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South Carolina Honors College

A Letter from the Dean

Dean Steven Lynn headshot on the Horseshoe.
Dean Steven Lynn

The spring 2023 AHA! is, as usual, full of stories of our incredible alumni accomplishing remarkable things. As I recently wondered how we could bring those stories off the page to have even greater impact, I shared an idea with the honors team. And as a result, I have what I hope you’ll agree is some exciting news. 

Recently I’ve been pointing out at alumni gatherings that I am only the fourth dean of our honors college, founded in 1978 (started as a program in the 1960s). Obviously, I say, it’s a terrible job, very difficult to find anyone willing to take it — which invariably elicits laughter. Bill Mould, Peter Sederberg, Davis Baird, and I have all had the great good fortune of interacting with SCHC students, staff and faculty members, parents, donors, and alumni (often overlapping groups) for an average, to this point, of more than 11 years each. We’ve enjoyed remarkable, visionary support from the university’s leadership.

Since 1978, much has changed. Most obviously, the Honors College has grown: we have now more than 2,100 students, 47 staff members, three living communities (the Honors Residence, 650 Lincoln, the Horseshoe), and roughly 600 honors courses each year. In the beginning, being “in honors” just meant that you would take honors classes. And that was glorious. But now students also have access to dozens of events each semester, study abroad, service learning, internships, funded research, the senior thesis — all guided and encouraged by their teachers and advisors.

This summer we plan to evolve and expand again what we are offering our students. The project, launching this summer, is called “Honors Connect,” and I want to give you a brief preview here along with a pre-invitation.

We now have more than 12,000 Honors College alumni, and we want to connect this sea of talent to our students. Alumni already offer guidance, encouragement, internships, even jobs to our graduates. Honors Connect will organize and shape and expand this laudable activity. We envision a wide range of ways to participate: perhaps you are willing to offer students a brief conversation about what it’s like to do whatever you do for a living. Or perhaps you’d be willing to participate in a panel or workshop, what we often call a “Lunch and Learn.” Or maybe you’d like to host an honors class or a group of students at your place of employment, or engage with students on social media (lots of options there). Maybe you’d like to explore creating an internship — our students, as many of you already know, can be enormously helpful as interns, and perhaps even as future employees. And we’re sure that our alumni will think of ways to connect with students that we haven’t imagined.

If this sounds interesting to you, be on the lookout for an email explaining how to get involved and access the interest form on our website. And if you do connect with our students, I predict the experience will be so terrible that you’ll love it, and want to keep doing it as long as you can. 

Dean Steve Lynn signature
Steven Lynn

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.