Weekly Message from the Dean

October 6, 2021

Dear all,

I'm writing today, at midterm time in Fall 2021—our 4th COVID-impacted semester—to praise our students, faculty, staff, and administrators across the university and in the Honors College for all their great work in the midst of difficult and sometimes scary challenges, and for their extraordinary resilience, creativity, and solidarity over the past two years and now.

YES, life and learning are still hard for all of us, even though, and also because, we are mostly back living and learning face-to-face, or close. Let's honor the difficulties we all are facing everyday, and honor all the ways we are finding to meet and overcome those difficulties. And let's remember that our colleagues (our students, faculty, staff, administrators again) may be coping with things and situations and anxieties we can't see or know. Be gentler even than normally with each other, and always seek ways to help.

And on campus, in Boone, and over Fall Break, let's please wear our masks. Let's mask up for each other, and for each other's loved ones, friends, and neighbors.

Sending thanks and admiration always,


Click here for the full version of the latest Honors Wednesday Memo.

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Announcement Center

Welcome to the Honors College Announcement Center! Check back here frequently to learn about upcoming events, opportunities, and programming relavent to Honors students and the Honors community.

  • Career Development Center: Education Career Fair
    Oct 14, 2021
  • Upcoming Application Deadline: Garrett Scholarship
    Oct 14, 2021
  • OIED is hosting the Education Abroad Fair!
    Oct 14, 2021

About the Honors College

The Honors College at Appalachian offers an enhanced intellectual experience for the most academically motivated students on campus, one that fosters independent and creative thinking, global engagement, and personal integrity. The Honors curriculum includes topically focused, interdisciplinary, and discussion-based seminars. It extends to a required international experience, and culminates in an Honors thesis as original research or a creative endeavor. Students in the Honors College are supported and challenged by a community of like-minded learners. From the Honors experience, students emerge as lifelong learners well prepared for post-graduate training—leaders of the future.

Meet the Dean

Dean Vahbusch

"One of the best things about being Honors dean are all the chances I have to define and refine Honors education at Appalachian, in conversation and collaboration with Honors students, faculty, parents, staff members, friends. In the words of national Honors leader Dr. Sam Schumann (1942-2014), 'Honors is trying to do undergraduate education as well as it can be done.' The Honors College and departmental Honors programs across the university are thus communities in which students, faculty, and staff gather to create new opportunities, to experiment and innovate, to grow together in collaborative pursuit of an important and ever-changing goal."

Dr. Jefford Vahlbusch
Dean, Honors College

Learn more about Dean Vahlbusch