Thursday, September 10, 2015

Honors Picnic and Sorting Hat Ceremonial--Tonight!

The Honors Director predicts: vuvuzelas, solemn words, scrolls, fortune reading, and an Indiana Jones hat.

You won't want to be late. Arete, Dao, Eureka, Orenda Houses are calling.
5:30 in the Wintersmith Pavilion east of the Lodge (not 6:00 like the Honors calendar says--who made that thing anyway?).

There will also be food and beverage. If you need a ride, e-mail the Honors center ( to let us know!

Again: there will be vuvuzelas.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lunching Honorably

We had a great turnout for Honors Lunch today. Come Wednesday at noon-ish for more.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Kickoff 2015: Wintersmith Lodge

Did CJ just ask an Enduring Question that started a debate between Drs. Grasso and McMahon? Dr. Mount is formulating his answer.

Follow the jump for the Chicken Game video and more pics . . .

2015: Thirty Years of Honors at ECU

Honors Kickoff 2015 Has Begun

An Honorable Campus Tour.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

SummerScreening and Social

What's an Honors SummerScreen and Social?

Ralph Fiennes in a recorded live Royal National Theatre of London production of George Bernard Shaw's "Man and Superman," three jugs of Hawaiian Punch, four flavors of San Remo's Pizza, five cartons of ice cream  (with sprinkles!), and 28 varieties of ECU Honorable (Madison, Dillon No. 1, Dillon No. 2, Colin, Jacob, Andrew, Kaitlyn, Destiny, Elizabeth, Amanda, Jake, Brittany, Elsa, Ashley, Talor, Dylan, Ashton, Maranda, Robert, Nathaniel, Elizabeth, Chisum, Anna, Kyle, Flora, Sean, Dr. Peters, and Dr. Benton).


Laughs, tears, intellectual provocation ("To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer."), reconnections, introductions, new acquaintances, and high expectations for the year ahead.  See you in August!

Dillon W, Dylan/Wylan, Dillon R..

We have made plans!

Historian Ashley Houchin, President Brittany Jolly, Treasurer Talor Stewart, Vice President Nathaniel Starry, and Secretary Dillon Rea did a lot of planning on Friday, ate banana muffins, grew increasingly hungry and then somewhat delirious, fell for the old 2 for $20 scam at Applebee's (more like 2 for $37.16!), came back Saturday for more planning and some picture taking, including the one below, which has been nominated as a new Honors tradition. Can you guess what each officer was thinking when this shot was taken? How about what happened next?
This experience led indirectly to: "To the chambers!" "Only until death," "Ask about the chicken," "Bow down to America," "Sleep, those little slices of death--how I loathe them!" (wrongly attributed to Edgar Allen Poe?), and, finally and most ominously, the emergence of the very cool Wylan Dest.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

From the Metropolitan to the Metroplex

Miranda, Hamlet and Poor Yorick at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

One more taxi to go.
This shot, taken at DFW a few minutes after our 10:20 PM arrival from NYC, was only ten percent posed. I will soon wake everyone up to ask them questions about the trip. Results below:
Favorite NYC Experience:
"Les Miserables": Melody, Sidney, Anna, Leah, Sean.
"Sleep No More": Melody, Miranda, Lauren, Madison C..
9/11 Memorial Museum: Sidney, Maddie O., Talor.
Ellis Island: Jacob, Lauren.
Favorite food:
Tacos at Chelsea Market: Melody, Sidney, Anna
Meatball sub and Duck Dumplings: Maddie O.
Brookfield Plaza Umami Burger: Jacob and Lauren
10th Street Cafe Pizza: Talor, Miranda
Everything he tasted from someone else's plate: Sean
Gelato: Leah (Raspberry Lemonade) and Miranda (Vanilla Bourbon)
Strawberry Cupcake: Maddie O.
Street vendor chili dog: Lauren
Memorable Firsts:
Flight: Sidney
Visit to NYC: Sidney, Talor, Sean, Miranda, Anna, Leah, Lauren, Madison C., Melody
Broadway Musical: Sidney, Sean, Leah
Ferry: Sidney, Madison
Train: Sidney, Talor, Miranda, Madison
Washington Square: Maddie O.
Taste of Lamb: Jacob
Taxi: Talor, Miranda, Madison C.
Hotel with bunkbeds: Sean
Les Miserables: Miranda, Melody
Night in a Youth Hostel: Anna
Public transportation: Anna
Ellis Island: Lauren

Home Sweet Home Away From Home

We bid a tearful farewell to our home away home, the cozy, quaint Chelsea High Line Youth Hostel. It was hard tearing everyone away from this place.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

In the Theatre District

In Times Square, on our way to the Imperial Theatre, where we have tickets for "Les Miserables"--the 5th longest running show in Broadway musical history (behind "Phantom of the Opera," "Chicago," "Cats," and "The Lion King."

Seeing "Les Miserables" was Leah's favorite NYC experience.

In the Financial District

According to the Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation: "Sculptor Luis Sanguino (b. 1934) celebrates the diversity of New York City and the struggle of immigrants in this heroic-sized bronze figural group. The sculpture depicts figures of various ethnic groups and eras, including an Eastern European Jew, a freed African slave, a priest, and a worker. The figures’ expressive poses emphasize the struggle and toil inherent in the experience of the immigrant or dislocated person."
More immigrants come to NYC every day.

Fritz Koenig's "The Sphere" once stood in the area between the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, it was relocated to Battery Park.

All Aboard Statue Cruises

Ellis Island

From Ellis Island.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hello, Greenwich Village

After  lunching in Chelsea Market, we head to Greenwich Village. Our first stop: the White Horse Tavern (567 Hudson St. @11th Ave.), where the poet Dylan Thomas reportedly drank 18 whiskey shots shortly before his death. We did not try to break his record. One of the oldest pubs in New York, the White Horse Tavern dates to the 1880s and has been frequented by the likes of Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac, Anais Nin, and Jim Morrison. Also, Sean Jesse, Melody Dunn, Lauren Tucker, and Madison Camp have been photographed outside of it. By me. On this trip.

After seeing the exterior of the building where Carrie Bradshaw lived in “Sex and the City” (though it was supposed to be several miles away on the Upper East Side) and the Charles Street homes of author/artist Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), poet Hart Crane (The Bridge), Okemah-born singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie (his first lease in NYC), novelist Sinclair Lewis (Babbit), composer Charles Ives, we made our way to the small cul de sac called "Patchin Place." The novelist Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie, An American Tragedy) once lived at this address. Though the entrance to the alley is gated, it is unlocked, so we ventured in for a peek. There are only 2 old gas lamps still left in NY - one of them is at the back of the alley (though its electric these days). Looking back down the alley towards the entrance gate, you can see the ornate Victorian Gothic Jefferson Market Library, formerly a courthouse built after the Jefferson Market was leveled in 1873. Beside it: The Jefferson Market Garden, once the site of a women’s prison, where scandalous Broadway legend and Hollywood movie star Mae West was kept (it helped her career).

we dropped in on poet e. e. cummings at #4 patchin place (see above), but he was out. and dead since 1962. mr. cummings lived in common-law marriage with fashion model and photographer marion morehouse from 1924 until his death.  i may have recited the opening lines "anyone lives in a pretty how town . . ." while we were here. the small case letters in this paragraph are a tribute to mr. cummings's signature style. you're welcome, e. e.

After leaving Patchin Place, we walked by the house that was accidentally blown up in 1970 by the 60s radical group The Weathermen during bomb-making practice (oops). Dustin Hoffman lived next door in #16. We also passed the house where Marlon Brando lived when he first moved to New York to take up acting, and the 10th street home where Mark Twain lived between 1900-1901. We strolled down Washington Mews--one of the few genuine cobblestone streets you'll find in New York-- and then arrived at Washington Square Arch.

The Washington Square Arch, modeled after the Arche de Triomphe in Paris, was built in 1892. The first model, created in 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration, was made of wood and papier-mache.

First walk through New York City: On the High Line

After catching a bus to Fort Worth, a shuttle to DFW, a flight to Newark, a train to Penn Station, and a taxi to the Chelsea High Line Youth Hostel, we  deposited our bags and headed to the High Line. Along the way, we walked past several art galleries, including the one featuring the gun Talor Stewart is taking a picture of (above). The High Line elevated train line opened to trains in 1934. According to, it was “ designed to go through the center of blocks, rather than over the avenue, carrying goods to and from Manhattan’s largest industrial district.” In 1980, “following decades-long growth in the interstate trucking industry, the last train runs. “ A group of property owners lobbied for demolition,” but in November 2005, the line was donated to the City so that it could be converted into as a public park and pedestrian walkway. The first section opened to the public in June 2009.
This work of public art by the UK's Ryan Gander (b. 1976) is titled "To employ the mistress.... It’s a French toff thing." According to High Line Art, this water fountain was made in the image of "his wife playfully spitting water . . . [the] sculpture plays with the tradition of fountains in classical gardens, where mythological divinities, imaginary animals, and other strange creatures are turned into whimsical springs. Gander extends this practice by inserting a traditional figure into a contemporary garden, and inviting adventurous visitors to drink from her mouth." Our adventurous visitor: Miranda McNabb.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Honors Graduation, Fall 2015

Honors Graduates from left to right, first row: Catherine Phipps, Caitlin Maddox, Laura Asaro, Nik Razo, Kendall Dobbs, and Charlotte May. Second row, from left to right: Melissa Pope, Sadie Woodruff, Cerina Stiles, John Dale, Rachel Nicholas, and Bethany Ragle (not pictured: Taylor Glasco).
Kendall Dobbs graduated with University Honors and delivered one of two keynote addresses in the Honors Graduation Ceremony.

Laura Asaro also graduated with University Honors and delivered the second keynote address. At right, Nik Razo lets Dr. Benton sing his praises.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Spring Honors Engagement Opportunities

It has been a busy semester. Let us know what events were most meaningful to you, Honorables! (Click on the "# comment" box at the bottom of this post.)

If you attended an ECU-sponsored academic, fine arts, or cultural event on campus this spring that is not listed here, let us know!
1.        January 20:  MLK Celebration in the Estep
2.        January 20 and Wednesday, January 21:  Honors Lunch in the Taff Cafeteria.
3.        January 20:  Meet with Joy Hofmeister, new State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
4.        January 22: Research Workshop #4
5.        January 23: Second City Hits Home (2 points)
6.        January 27: Watkins Lecture (Aradhna Pillai)
7.        January 29: Tri-Beta Presents: What to Expect in Med School and Dental School
8.        January 29: Ramadan Research Symposium (2 points)
9.        January 29: A Very Chorale Valentines

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Outstanding Seniors

ECU has about 4,500 students. Four of them were named finalists for the George Nigh Award for Outstanding Seniors. Each fall, about thirty incoming first-year students are accepted into ECU's Honors Program. In 2015, three of the four finalists for the George Nigh Award started in ECU's Honors Program.

Congratulations to graduating Honors senior Kendall Dobbs, a Nigh Award Finalist.

Congratulations to graduating Honors senior Allie Barton, a Nigh Award Winner.

Honorably done.