“Donors and other sources have provided support for students to become involved in scholarship, study and research, as well as develop leadership skills,” Letters & Science Honors program director Chuck Snowdon said. “One of our goals is developing students who will use their considerable talents for the betterment of society, to bring about a better world, whether it’s through scholarship, research, public service, what have you. That’s the Wisconsin Idea in action, using what’s learned at the University to make a better world.”
The Trewartha Fund, for instance, is an endowment that has been a major catalyst for Senior Honors Thesis research. Established by Professor Glen T. (’21 BPH L&S, ’24 PhD) and Sarita Trewartha (’29 BA L&S) in 1969, awards from the fund have backed student work that fills volumes occupying several shelves in the Honors Program’s new home in Washburn Observatory.
Leadership Trust Awards, established by Harry J. Rowe (’47 BPH L&S) cover two semesters of in-state tuition for up to two students a year working on initiatives to benefit the campus or broader Madison community. One of last year’s awards was for a student-driven emergency medical services program that trained students to be first-responders in dormitories, at sporting events and in other campus situations.
“Private support has meant so much to the Honors Program and its students over the years. We wouldn’t be who we are, and the students would not have as rich an experience, without that philanthropy.”
Charles Snowdon, director, L&S Honors Program
Another Leadership Trust grant trained Honors students to be literacy volunteers, and Snowdon said that group was able to eliminate the entire backlog of clients for the Madison Literacy Council. Many of those volunteers are working on campus with international students and those who have English as a second language, and they are helping with numeracy skills as well.
The Coddon Family Foundation is sustaining the Journal of Undergraduate International Studies, and the family of Mark Mensink, an Honors student killed by an intoxicated driver, has set up a named endowment to support Honors undergraduate research.
Current and former directors of the program have created an Honors Directors Fund Endowment as a way to get alumni involved, develop new programs and support existing efforts.
“Private support has meant so much to the Honors Program and its students over the years,” Snowdon said. “We wouldn’t be who we are, and the students would not have as rich an experience, without that philanthropy.”
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The Honors Program in the College of Letters & Science was created in April 1960 and it was launched in the fall semester of 1960. Fifty years later, the program is thriving, and its students are leaders on campus and in the community.
The Letters & Science Honors Program has many tales of high student achievement. Daniel Lecoanet could be its poster child.