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New Honors College Established and Dean Named

by University Relations

Every year, APU attracts increasing numbers of the country’s best and brightest students seeking a rigorous academic curriculum grounded in a Christian worldview. Many of these top students demand programs and courses of study that stretch them beyond the standard requirements. Although APU’s Honors Program satisfied that need for many years, President Jon R. Wallace, DBA; Provost Mark Stanton, Ph.D.; and the Board of Trustees agreed that the growing population of gifted students called for a more vigorous and comprehensive approach, leading to the establishment of an Honors College.

The new Honors College offers an academically enriched plan of study developed for exceptionally talented and motivated students. The curriculum fulfills a significant portion of the general education requirements while challenging students with greater depth, intensity, and intellectual rigor. The coursework suits students with a demonstrated commitment to robust intellectual dialogue and scholarly engagement. The program also offers extracurricular cultural and social activities, conference presentations, research, mentoring alongside noted experts, service-learning, and international study that deepen the educational experience. Upon graduation, honors scholars receive a certificate of completion, distinction as an honors scholar on their diploma, and an honors medallion. Students who choose to complete an honors thesis also receive this distinction on their diploma.

Leading these efforts as the Honors College’s first dean, David L. Weeks, Ph.D., former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, draws upon his depth and breadth of experience to usher in this new dimension of academic excellence. An APU professor for 30 years and an administrator for more than 20, Weeks remains a student and a teacher at heart.

“I can think of no one more inherently qualified and committed to the vision for APU’s Honors College than Dr. Weeks,” said Wallace. “In this important position, he will advance APU’s academic reputation by attracting top-caliber students, inspiring them to achieve their highest potential, and graduating emerging scholars who will make an impact in their respective fields.”

As dean, Weeks will develop an enriched humanities-based curriculum that encourages gifted students to explore life’s most profound questions.

“Establishing the Honors College is a natural next step for APU. We aim to become the preferred destination for outstanding students,” said Weeks. “I’m honored to serve as dean of a college that offers unique opportunities for naturally curious and highly motivated students who love learning, crave challenge, and see education as an adventure.”

Knowing Weeks’ reputation as an advocate for the “arts of freedom,” Stanton endorsed the appointment. “As Honors dean, Dr. Weeks will champion opportunities that stretch these students who seek greater academic intensity while benefitting from the APU hallmarks of faith integration, service, and community,” said Stanton. “I look forward to the evidence of Dr. Weeks’ imprint on the Honors College and know that under his leadership, the college will expand our academic reputation, showcase the scholarship of our academy, and become a signature part of the APU experience.”

Originally published in the Summer '13 issue of APU Life. Download the full issue (PDF).