By Breana Oliver, CSUB Public Affairs & Communications Intern
Graduating college is one thing. Graduating college in the top 10% of your class or after completing 4 years, as a member of the university’s distinguished honors program, is a whole other story. A story that was written by the roughly 50 students that were honored at CSU Bakersfield’s University Wide Honors Convocation and Alpha Chi National Honor Society Induction Ceremony held at the Doré Theatre on Sunday, April 28.
As the houselights dimmed across the stage, students were filled with a sense of pride, accomplishment and tinge of a bittersweet parting. They knew that the end of their undergraduate college career was near, but it was not close enough to feel the impact. On the other hand, there was an unparalleled sense of excitement for the fact that many of the students in attendance were on the cusp of their adult life.
For many students who enroll into the CSUB Hawk Honors program as a freshman or transfer, the expectations of scholastic achievement and an appetite for success are a given. However, as students progress through their college careers and are faced with more responsibilities, many find it hard to stay enrolled in such a rigorous and challenging program. Though the courses are not designed to be any harder than non-honors courses, many of the courses cover some of the most thought-provoking and intriguing topics such as Government and Politics in China or the Meaning of Death.
“The Honors Program and Alpha Chi help distinguish CSUB as an institution of higher learning that sets high goals for its students and rewards them for meeting them. I think having an Honors Program at the university raises the level of achievement for all our students (honors and non-honors alike) and gives us a viable way to share with the public through newspaper and magazine articles and other media outlets some of the wonderful academic goals and awards our students achieve. Celebration of our students’ success is always appropriate!
“I felt like the honors program was worth the extra work to stay in.,” said junior Kayla Heitzenroder. “Though being in the program has tested my patience and will, I think that the outcome is far greater. No one in my immediate family has ever graduated college so I feel that by me being able to do that, I’m setting a positive example for my siblings.”
The Honors Award and Alpha Chi induction ceremonies represented the completion of two goals that nearly every student who enters the honors program has, a goal to stay in the program all four years and a goal to do well in the program. While some choose to leave the program for whatever reasons, the students honored on Sunday, were students that stayed true to their commitment to finish out the program strong. These are the students who help set the caliber of character that CSUB treasures in all its students.