A Word from the Director
Near the end of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the venerable Headmaster
Albus Dumbledore explains to Harry Potter why the Hogwarts Academy Sorting Hat placed
Harry in Gryffindor house (home of those who are courageous and loyal) rather than
in Slytherin (home of those who use their gifts for darker purposes):
"Listen to me, Harry. You happen to have many qualities Salazar Slytherin prized in
his hand-picked students. His own very rare gift, Parseltongue – resourcefulness –
determination – a certain disregard for rules. . . . Yet the Sorting Hat placed you
in Gryffindor. You know why that was. Think."
"It only put me in Gryffindor," said Harry in a defeated voice, "because I asked not
to go in Slytherin."
"Exactly," and Dumbledore, beaming once more. "Which makes you very different from
Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our
Many students enter the undergraduate experience well-equipped with their own "gifts."
Perhaps you excell at math. Your teachers may have singled you out for your writing
ability. Maybe you're the student others sought out in biology class because you're
a born tutor. You might dazzle your friends with your musical or theatrical performances.
Perhaps the adults around you have pointed out your leadership abilities, naming you
captain of your Quidditch – I mean, soccer – team. Whatever your gifts, as you move
to the "next level" in your education, you enter a more selective company of young
people who possess their own gifts. Some of them may even possess your gifts. How,
then, do you distinguish yourself and achieve your full potential in this more selective
The Hogwarts headmaster suggests that in an atmosphere where many have ability, it
is our choices that set us apart. If you approach your undergraduate career with a
sense that you'd like to challenge yourself, to see what you can make of your gifts,
then the Boone Honors Program may be the right path for you.
Members of the Boone Honors Program receive scholarship at the highest level of the
college’s matrix. Other benefits include a travel scholarship of up to $3,000 for
every member in good standing, priority registration and housing, social and cultural
outings to a broad range of destinations including regional and national conferences,
opportunities for independent research, and a head start on preparing for graduate
school or your career. In recent years, program outings has included performances
of Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group, a visit to Biltmore Estate, and an overnight
excursion to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
In these pages, you will find a general outline of the honors program, including the
handbook and course listings. Note that nearly all honors seminars meet a requirement
in the Liberal Arts Core. The program handbook contains the policies presently in
effect, including eligibility for the honors scholarship. Membership and alumni directories
will introduce you to program members, present and past. You will also find news and
pictures from program activities.
If you are a new member of the Boone Honors Program, I extend a special warm welcome.
In Fall 2016, we welcome the 15-year anniversary class to our honors community – a
group of intellectually curious individuals who are willing to be challenged in the
classroom and in every other campus involvement, in order to reach their full potential.
Students already enrolled at Ferrum may petition to join the honors program if they
have been named to the Dean’s List for one semester of coursework at Ferrum.
If you are still deciding whether or not to distinguish yourself with membership in
the Boone Honors Program, I welcome the opportunity to visit, speak, or correspond
with you. Please call me (540.365.4334), send an owl to firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop
by my office in Britt 200.
Make your choices wisely, for I suspect that Professor Dumbledore is right when he
says, "it is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Lana A. Whited, Ph.D.
Director of the Boone Honors
Program and Professor of English