Seven decades ago, University of
Maine Professor of English Stanley Ashby started an Honors Program
modeled after the tutorials, extensive outside reading and small group
discussions he had in 1904 as one of the first Rhodes Scholars. When
Ashby established UMaine's Honors Program for undergraduates in the
1930s, it was one of only a handful in the United States.
Today, that program is now a college. In UMaine's Honors College, 500 of
the university's most academically talented undergraduates are engaged
in interdisciplinary coursework and research with mentoring faculty. The
rigorous curriculum culminates with an in-depth thesis project in the
student's academic field.
Honors students explore areas of thought not closely related to their
disciplines, all the while working in their majors with greater
intensity than is often possible in a conventional course pattern.
Across the university, Honors College students and faculty members form
a community of scholars.
Professor of Political Science Robert Thomson, who served as director of
the Honors Program for more than 20 years, firmly believed that honors
students need a solid grasp of "the basic approaches of science, social
studies and humanities, and some consideration of the kinds of problems
with which these areas of thought are concerned."
Last year, when the Honors Program became a college, UMaine President
Peter Hoff called the transformation "a cornerstone of our focus on
Today, more than ever, Honors is fulfilling its motto and "igniting a
passion for learning."
"Lasting Impression" features a memorable person or event in UMaine