The Honors College

at West Chester University

Dr. Kevin Dean, Director
703 S. High Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2996
Fax: 610-436-2620

History of the Honors College

With its humble beginnings in 1979, the Honors College at West Chester University has built upon the sure foundations of academic excellence, campus engagement and community building through a fostering of peer relationships. Through the dedication and vision of the founder and first Director Dr. Walter J. Hipple (1979-1991), the nurturing of the second Director Dr. Elizabeth Larsen (1991-1995) and the embrace of over 100 faculty who have participated in Honors seminars and governance, Honors at West Chester is robust and ever evolving in the service of our students. As we celebrate over 25 years of Honors education, we are so very proud of the over 400 men and women who took the invitation to go beyond the expected.

An amazing partnership was forged in summer 2001 between WCU Honors and the people of South Africa. Led by a team of educators, including then WCU President Madeleine Wing Adler, 27 students from around the State participated in a two week international program that conducted oral histories of current college students and men and women who were on the forefront of change from Apartheid to Democracy. Supported by colleagues at the Universities in the Cape Town and Pretoria regions, local leaders in the Cape Town community and Guguletu Township, students had first hand "behind the tourist line" opportunities to study nation building.


Being named the Honors College in fall 2006 through an announcement by Provost Linda Lamwers, and receiving word of a move to a permanent location in January 2007, marked additional milestones for celebration. Originally housed in the faculty office of the founding Director in Main Hall, moving to a converted classroom space in Anderson, and then to a make shift conference room in the former entry way to Green Library, the Honors College, now has an appropriate home at 703 S. High Street.