By Josh McGuire
Finance, Entrepreneurship and Christian Studies Major, Honors College
At the beginning of the fall semester, the Grand Canyon University Honors College jump-started the new academic year with a packed attendance for its orientation. What stood out the most was an incoming class of 500+ freshman piling in, snatching brand new Honors College T-shirts and mingling in a vibrant atmosphere of anticipation.
The event was a testament to what the Honors College has been doing this year. The formal announcement of the new Honors College Dean Antoinette Farmer, DHEd, and Assistant Dean Breanna Naegeli, was a focal point, but there were many highlights including a speech by GCU President Brian Mueller sharing his vision for honors students.
Mueller stated, “I want this class to go out and be the entrepreneurs, the change makers that our community needs. We don’t need more employees – we need more leaders!”
Without a doubt, he has confidence that GCU honors students are capable and ready for the task. The theme of assurance in the students continued with a reading of Edgar Albert Guest’s classic poem, “It Couldn’t Be Done,” by Dr. Farmer. “There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,” but the power to determine action is within every student’s power.
The message of the orientation was a lift off – don’t settle for the minimal. Even as an honors student it can be easy to do minimal work in class simply to pass, slack off and watch Netflix, instead of getting involved in clubs and projects. It can be easy to ignore personal and spiritual development.
But what’s the point? You are smart, so dive deeper. You are a go-getter, so make the best of the opportunities available. You are an honors student, so design life for improvement and betterment.
The opportunities to engage and improve are numerous in the Honors College. Naegeli shared many of the details including the essential requirements to graduate. Although, the emphasis was on the benefits, including a free professional development boot camp, potential membership in five honors clubs, frequent social events including international excursions and a support network within each college.
One opportunity unique to this year are the Research and Design Project Teams led by the faculty in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. Dean Mark Wooden, PhD, and Assistant Dean Michael Sheller, PhD, along with several faculty members, were present to promote the new initiative.
Additionally, longtime partner of the Honors College, Career Services, made an appearance. Every year, honors students receive support for internship and job opportunities in the community alongside the many other services typically offered. And the lineup of Honors College opportunities and tabling following the formal presentation continued, including all of the Honors College organizations.
Coming full circle, the orientation was a representation of what the college will continue to do in 2017: inspiring, motivating and believing in students, offering higher level of opportunities to get involved and personally interacting to make the future brighter for each individual and across our communities.
And with that, I leave you with a few words of encouragement to pull you through a new semester, from Edgar Guest:
“Buckle in with a bit of a grin, take off your coat and go to it; start in to sing as you tackle the thing that ‘cannot be done,’ and you’ll do it.”
Grand Canyon University offers a vibrant campus experience for students. To learn more, visit our website or request more information by using the button at the top of the page.
More about Josh McGuire:
Josh McGuire is a finance, entrepreneurship and Christian studies student at GCU. He works for the Honors College as an event planner and interned for SEED SPOT and Operation Angel Whings. Additionally, he serves as a senator on ASGCU and club president for Defenders GCU and Circle K International.