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2009 News Releases

Longwood launches The Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars

March 16, 2009

Longwood University has launched The Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars, a program that blends the former Honors Program and Cormier Citizen Scholars Program. The Longwood Board of Visitors approved the renaming during its September 2008 meeting. The Cormier Honors College is open to all eligible Longwood students and meets the needs of academically gifted and talented undergraduate students through a distinctive living-learning community that links intellectual growth with the practice of citizenship.

"The establishment of the Cormier Honors College is a singular accomplishment for Longwood," said Dr. Geoffrey Orth, director of the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars.  "Its endowment will allow us to attract outstanding students drawn to careers in public service, broadly defined, who exhibit both an unusual level of intellectual curiosity and an openness to other cultures, reinforced through study abroad.

Their research will prepare them for graduate study and their chosen professions.  We fully expect the students in our Honors College to be leaders within and beyond the classroom."

More than 230 students representing approximately 5 percent of Longwood's undergraduate student body are enrolled in the Honors College. Incoming students are offered admission to the Cormier Honors College based on a review of their high school records, including an unweighted average of their core academic courses; a profile of college-level coursework, especially through Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate; and SAT/ACT scores.

The majority of first- and second-year Honors students choose to live in Wheeler Hall, a newly renovated building that is dedicated primarily to the Cormier Honors College. Located in the heart of campus, the three-story residence hall provides suite-style living arrangements, modern amenities, contemporary study rooms, communal study lounges, and an outdoor terrace area with patio furniture. An Honors College classroom on the first floor brings Honors College class meetings directly into the community.

Students accepted to the Cormier Honors College benefit from a thriving living-learning environment within the larger university setting; smaller class sizes; extensive faculty-student interaction; opportunities for independent and advanced research; and emphasis on learning opportunities outside the classroom through cultural events, conferences, field trips, and international study.

Madison Stevens is a senior biology major and chemistry minor and four-year member of Longwood's women's soccer team. As a freshman she entered the Honors Program as a Cormier Citizen Scholar, an award that provides $5,500 per year for four years. Cormier Citizen Scholars, like all other Honors students, complete eight honors courses and they complete additional requirements for a faculty mentored research project and a study abroad experience. Stevens, who will graduate from Longwood in May 2009, is currently completing a Senior Honors Thesis and plans to enter medical school or graduate school to study biochemistry or genetics. 

"Being in the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars places you in a small group of elite students, creating many excellent academic opportunities," said Stevens. "Because of my research experience and leadership roles on campus and on the women's soccer team, I applied to and was chosen to participate in the Research Experience for Undergraduate students at Clemson University. As part of my research, I worked with students from North Carolina State University and Clemson to complete a research project on breast cancer and leukemia cell lines. My skill set and qualifications were the same as those students from the larger universities."

Longwood offers several types of Honors courses, including Honors sections of traditional courses and team-taught interdisciplinary courses.  Longwood seniors may participate in the Senior Honors Research Program, which enables capable students to study intensively a subject of choice, thereby becoming acquainted with methods of research, organization of materials, and the presentation of results in a scholarly manner.

Longwood's Honors Program was founded in 1983 as the Arts and Sciences Honors Program with 20 entering students. For more information about the Cormier Honors College, visit www.longwood.edu/honors or phone 434.395.2157.