Honors College receives $3 million, Fishback name

The Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College official naming ceremony took place on Sept. 27 at 5:30 p.m. after donating a large endowment to the Honors College to help with their relocation.

Van and Barbara Fishback have given $3 million endowment that will support student and faculty development. The naming ceremony had musical performances, various speakers, recognition of donors, original poetry, official naming proclamation, and presentation by honors students. 

In addition to being named the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College, a new residence hall was built to house honors students. The Honors College have had to raise the money and had to be sponsored by donors to have the classroom in the hall. 

“Honors is an opportunity for talented, motivated students in any major to make the most of their academic studies,” said Dean of the Honors College, Tim Nichols.

The Honors College began planning the new residence hall three years ago. The Honors College main office was originally in Briggs Library; and had a living learning community in Mathews Hall. As the Honors College began to experience rapid growth it needed a place of its own. The honors students wanted to have an office space, classroom library, student lounge, and community building space. 

“The notion of community is important to us,” Nichols said.

The new residence hall is a mix of undergraduate students complete with double rooms and suites.

Shah Siddiqui, sophomore physics majors, said “The best part about Honors Hall is the people. They are very smart, great to be with, and people who are involved.”

The move from Mathews Hall to Honors Hall has prompted a dramatic change in the number of students that live in the Honors living learning community. Previously, in Mathews Hall there were 50 students living in the honors living learning community. This number increased to 153 students living in Honors Hall. 

All the honors students can interact in the various common 

rooms in the Honors hall or in the basement where there is an internet café, seven kitchens, group study rooms, and a piano. 

My favorite thing about the new Honors Hall is the sense of community, support, and friends,” said Allyson Lucht, sophomore sociology major. 

“It is a great opportunity to bring the out of class and academic experience together,” Nichols said. “My hope for the Honors College is that it can add a positive dimension to the campus community.”