Welcome to the 2020-2021 Academic Year!

Dear Honors College Students,

Welcome—and welcome back!

As much as we wish we could be welcoming you back to Burnham Hall and catching up on what you did over the summer, we start this semester virtually, like much of the rest of higher education. Thus our offices remain closed, yet all of us in the Honors College are working remotely, intent on making sure that you benefit from everything that UIC and the city of Chicago have to offer. In this way, despite different circumstances, nothing has changed.

Yet we’re also aware of the moment and of the challenges both large and small that we’re confronting, as individuals and as a society. Because the stressors brought by the ongoing situation can be aggravated by lack of casual social interaction, we want you to know that we’re here, willing to talk, and eager to connect you with all of UIC’s support resources. And let me remind you to keep current by opening the semiweekly Announcements and checking our website on a regular basis.

Faculty Fellows and instructors in HON courses have worked hard all summer to make sure that the quality of classes and mentorship remains high in our online mode; they’ve also indicated that they want to make sure that you remain connected with the research side of UIC. It’s important that you and your faculty maintain connections, so ask them what their virtual office hours are and don’t be shy about asking for zoom appointments. In many cases they, like us in the Honors College, are at home on their computers, so finding a time won’t be a problem.

We expect to start the semester with a record enrollment of over 2000 students and over 500 Faculty Fellows. We’re starting strong in numbers, but more importantly, we’re strong in spirit: realistic about our situation, yet determined to shine and set an example. I wish you strength and success as we start this new—very new in so many ways—semester.

Once again, Welcome.

Ralph Keen, Dean