wesson honors program

The Wesson Honors Program in the News

Read more about the program and experiences of Wesson Honors students in these articles featured in Colby-Sawyer's online magazine Currents.

Idea Fund Grant Yields Career Options…

Kara Loiselle '14 knows she wants to pursue veterinary medicine. The Wesson Idea Fund grant she received allowed her to research different kinds of practices – research she wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.

Wesson Honors Students Present Papers at Alpha Chi Honor Society's Super-Regional Convention…

Three Colby-Sawyer College honors students presented research papers at the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society's Super-Regional Convention, with one winning an award in her region.

Honors Seniors Look Back on Four Years…

Nineteen members of the Class of 2009 graduated with honors, having completed the vigorous requirements of the Wesson Honors Program. Among them were five Baccalaureate Award winners and four Capstone award winners. Wesson Honors students were recognized with a number of other awards before and during Commencement as well. The year's last issue of the Wesson Honors Program's newsletter was devoted to the graduating members and included these reflections on their time at Colby-Sawyer.

A Long, Far Look: Wesson Students Explore Southwest…

The annual Wesson Weekend provides honors students at Colby-Sawyer the opportunity to venture out of New England and experience other parts of the United States.

An Extreme Learning Experience…

Every student who earns a college acceptance letter has worked hard to make the grade. They've pored over textbooks, joined sports teams, rehearsed plays and scores and songs, debated and created, yearbooked and reported, led their student governments and made their mark. At Colby-Sawyer, each class is comprised of these multi-talented students. Among them, about one in every 13, are the Wesson Honors students.

The Wesson Honors Program offers intensive academic, cultural and social opportunities for the most motivated and capable Colby-Sawyer students who combine a solid work ethic and natural ability with intellectual curiosity. Honors classes are taught in small seminar settings and explore topics from multiple perspectives.

Program members are committed to taking on leadership roles in a community of scholars and participate as catalysts for inquiry and discussion across the college

Benefits of the Program

  • The Idea Fund awards grants each year to support independent student research projects that have included career exploration, testing American teaching methods in China, and organic beekeeping.

  • The Honors Suite in Colgate Hall provides an airy, colorful space where students can study and gather 24/7.

  • An even more rigorous academic learning experience with Honors courses offered every semester in multiple disciplines.

  • Identification and recognition of outstanding intellectual inquiry.

  • Development of each student's leadership in the immediate and extended community.

  • A fostering of intellectual exchange between students, faculty and students, and the college community as a whole.

The Wesson Honors Scholarship

The Wesson Honors Scholarship is Colby-Sawyer's highest academic award at $24,000 per year and is offered to students with a 3.75 GPA at point of admission who elect to participate in the program. Due to limited space, students are placed in the program and awarded Wesson Honors Scholarships on a first-come, first-served basis.

This award is renewable annually for four years of study dependent upon good academic standing within the program.

Students who qualify to apply for the Wesson Honors program will be notified through the mail following their acceptance to Colby-Sawyer. Applying for the honors program is separate from our Merit Award application process and eligible students are encouraged to pursue both.

FAQ about the WHP

How do entering students join the Wesson Honors Program?

Students are invited to join the Wesson Honors Program at the time of acceptance if they have a high school GPA of 3.75. They are offered a merit scholarship for four years as long as they maintain good standing in the program. “Good standing” means taking at least one honors course per year and maintaining Dean's List standing (3.5 GPA) at least every other semester.

How does a student graduate with a Wesson Honors Certificate?

The Wesson Honors Program mimics the palette of minors in the Colby-Sawyer curriculum by consisting of six courses. Typically, an Honors student fulfills two of those courses by taking the Honors Pathway sequence of two courses (6 credit hours), three additional Honors courses (9 credit hours), and an Honors Capstone Seminar (1 credit hour), or two Honors courses and one Honors Contract (9 credit hours) and the Honors Capstone Seminar.

What is an Honors Contract?

An Honors Contract is a proposal negotiated between the student, a faculty member and the Honors Coordinator to add an interdisciplinary component to a regular catalog course.

For example, an interdisciplinary component might be added to Psychology 101, such as an exploration of cross-cultural perspectives on individual behavior. The student, Honors Coordinator and professor discuss in advance how that component will be manifest in the class (i.e. extra papers, class presentations, poster project, a presentation on Scholar's Day, etc.)

What is an Honors Capstone and what is the Honors Capstone Seminar?

Senior Wesson Honors students must add an interdisciplinary component to their department's Capstone requirement. Students do this by seeking a second (Honors) reader for their Capstone from an academic discipline other than their own department. The student's department evaluates the Capstone and credit hours vary widely. In order to serve all students and departments, the 1 credit Honors Capstone Seminar acts as a clearinghouse for the development of the Honors Capstone Proposal. It also allows Honors students to meet once a week during the spring semester to share their Capstones with each other and to discuss as a closure to their honors experience what it means to take academic and co-curricular leadership in Colby-Sawyer's community of scholars.

Can students become a part of the Wesson Honors Program after they enter Colby-Sawyer?

Yes. Each semester the Honors Coordinator looks for students whose academic achievement has been acknowledged by inclusion on the Dean's List and invites them to consider applying to join the Honors Program. The Honors Coordinator meets with those who are interested, explains the program's advantages, and invites them to apply by writing a letter of interest and intention. The Honors Coordinator presents this letter to the Honors Advisory Group for evaluation.

Another way for students to join the Wesson Honors Program is through an advisor's recommendation to the Honors Coordinator, which will lead to a meeting with the student and the same evaluation process by the Honors Advisory Group.

For more information contact Professor Ann Page Stecker, Coordinator, Wesson Honors Program, or call her at 603-526-3644.