From the Director

Autumn 2012 Newsletter

Jim Clauss and Dubs
Director James Clauss
with Dubs, UW Mascot

Academic year 2011-12 marked the 50th anniversary of the University Honors Program at the UW and 2012-13 will see the launch of our e-newsletter.  Since this is our first edition as well as our first large-scale outreach to alumni, friends, and colleagues on and off campus, we will catch you up on the most recent developments in Honors, including the inauguration of a new curriculum in 2010.

Founded in 1961, the program underwent updates in 1976, 1981, and 1989, so the new curriculum replaces one that had just turned twenty-one years old.  We created a timeline neatly capturing the history of the program that was compiled for our 50th anniversary celebration. And if you would like to share your Honors story, whether you are a current student, alumnus/alumna, professor, librarian, staff member or friend of honors, please do so on our 50th anniversary website.

Honors can truly boast of an award-winning staff; all of my colleagues have won service awards from Undergraduate Academic Affairs. They are:

  • Julie Villegas, Associate Director
  • Aley Mills-Willis, Director of Academic Services
  • Brook Kelly, Assistant Director of Academic Services
  • Laura Harrington, Academic Adviser
  • Wendy Durant, Manager, Finance & Administration
  • Ryan Luk, Database & Web Computing Specialist

We also have an outstanding student staff comprised of:

  • Janelle White
  • Emily Nitz-Ritter
  • Allison Tesch
  • Kelsey Wallach

Their work in support of the students, faculty, librarians and other support staff around campus is a major reason why this year the UW Honors Program was recognized as the “best overall in the west” by John Willingham, author of A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs (UW Honors was also ranked 6th overall among the 50 large public university Honors Programs or Colleges reviewed in the study).

Many of you receiving this e-newsletter knew Ran Hennes.  In 2010, our dear friend and colleague passed away at the age of 80.  Ran taught military history and served Honors and non-Honors students as well as student athletes for 40 of those 80 years.  For generations of students, Ran was the Honors Program.  We continue to miss his guidance, friendship, and wonderful sense of humor.

I hope that you enjoy reading about the University Honors Program. At 50, we are looking pretty good thanks to our amazing staff, phenomenal students, and the support that we receive from so many people, both on and off campus.

Ad multos annos (“for many years to come”),

James J. Clauss
Director of Honors
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Professor of Classics