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General News

Welcome From Professor Creppell

January 2019

Dear University Honors Program Students,

Happy new year & welcome back from the holidays! I hope you’ve had a restful break and return with replenished energy for the spring semester. I am delighted to become Interim Director of the University Honors Program. Over the past eight years, serving as Deputy Director and teaching many of you, I have seen the passion, curiosity, and work you all invest in being here – as students who push yourselves to expand your understanding and as contributors to the joy & challenge of living in our multifaceted world. It gives me great faith in the future to witness such positive energy and commitment to improving both the world and your selves.

We live in “interesting times” as the saying goes, and GW could not be a more central space to study and engage with these times. One of my favorite authors, Michel de Montaigne – writing during the horrific trauma of the French Wars of Religion in the 16th century –  composed one of the first modern books about the self. It is a lengthy, meandering, fascinating study that examines his thoughts and feelings, in relation to himself as an individual and to the larger political context. About the “runaway horse” of his mind he wrote: “I cannot keep my subject still. It goes along befuddled and staggering, with a natural drunkenness.” But his wisdom identified something we try hard to cultivate in the University Honors Program: conversation. Montaigne brilliantly encouraged conversation as a mode of politics and self-understanding: “Human understanding is marvelously enlightened by daily conversation with people, for we are, otherwise, compressed and heaped up in ourselves, and have our sight limited to the length of our own noses.”

As we begin the new semester, I encourage you to balance your hard work and ambition with ways to stay healthy and connected. Some of the exciting upcoming activities include:

Kleptocracy at the Arena Stage (by Kenneth Lin, House of Cards series writer; we’ve reserved 12 tickets for Honors students)

A Night of Ideas at the Hirshhorn Museum

First Sunday of the Month Breakfasts at the Vern

Trivia Night in March

Honors Hike in April

Movie Nights

Watch for specific announcements and details about these events and many others in the weekly Newsflash! In other news, we are anticipating a great new program advisor to come on board with Honors in a few weeks. In the meantime, Ben, Eydie and Alex, as well as the faculty are here to support you – in moments of stress, confusion, joy, etc. I’d love to meet more of you one on one and in small groups. Please do not hesitate to make an appointment with me if you’d like to have a conversation. We’ll host a “meet the director” reception in the Honors Townhouse on Friday, January 25 at 1pm. I speak for the faculty and staff in welcoming you back for a great spring semester!

All the best,

Ingrid Creppell