In 1979, at the request of the former president Dr. Martin B. Garrison, Dr. Bill Gentry began developing ideas for the creation of an Honors Program at Henderson. In 1984, the Honors College began with a group of 23 incoming freshmen. Now the program welcomes over 100 freshmen each year.

Honors Students were originally housed in Pines Hall, with classes held on the third floor of Foster Hall.

The Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust donated $1 million to the building of Sturgis Hall. Completed in 2002, the building houses most of the students of the program and also provides the classroom space.

The Honors College admits students on the basis of their national examination scores, high school grade point average, rank in class and a competitive essay. The average composite ACT score for Honors College students ranks in the 94th percentile nationally.

Students graduate the Honors College with professional skills, academic discipline and personal confidence in knowledge necessary to succeed in their future academic and professional endeavors.

“One of the true tests of the effectiveness of an undergraduate program is the degree of success its graduates achieve beyond the program.” – Dr. David Thomson, Director

Honors College graduates have received scholarships to further pursue their academic interests at such prestigious institutions as Duke, Rice, Vanderbilt and the University of North Carolina. The achievements of the graduates serve as a testimony to their academic preparation in the Honors College.

"All experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untravelled world..."

– Alfred Lord Tennyson