Honors College dedication shows character of program

The theme throughout the dedication ceremony Friday of the John V. Roach Honors College was what sets the college and its students apart. A banjo interlude, a speech delivered in Spanish and several skits showcasing students’ individual skills got the message across.

President of the Honors Student Cabinet, senior finance major Maddison Grigsby told a story about meeting her best friend through the Honors Program. She said the students are what set the program apart.

“I think that represents a part of the TCU honors experience that differentiates itself from all other honors experiences – that’s the people,” Grigsby said. “Not only are the people involved with (the university) academically and extracurricularly but their motivation and their desire to positively impact the world is unlike any I’ve ever seen.”

From there, the presentation showed off some of those students.

David Grant, a former director of the Honors Program and current chair of the religion department, came through the rear curtain playing a banjo-rendition of “Home on the Range” as the honors students on either side of the stage sang the lyrics.

Grant stressed the value of popular culture along with high culture, as well as the notion of home. Grigsby said she was appreciative to see the growth of her “home,” during her time at TCU.

“Its hard to believe that it’s been three years since I started at TCU and in the Honors Program,” Grigsby said. “It’s a joy, and it’s exciting to have been a part of this transition into an honors college.”

More lighthearted skits followed that ran the gauntlet from Provost Nowell Donovan reading Shakespeare and poetry to Dean of the Honors College Peggy Watson speaking in Spanish as one of the program’s students translated.

However, all the gathered faculty were serious about the goals of the Honors College, which Watson called “arguably the boldest academic initiative taken at TCU in decades.”

Luther King, chairman of the board of trustees, thanked the Honors College’s contributors.

“An honors college has long been a dream of our university,” King said to open his speech. “Thanks to the generosity of Paul and Judy Andrews, it’s now a reality, and we’re very appreciative.”

Fort Worth residents Paul and Judy Andrews offered the largest donation to the program but opted to name the program after their good friend John V. Roach, former chairman of the board of trustees.

Roach thanked the Andrews in his speech before thanking Chancellor Victor Boschini and the board of trustees for elevating the Honors Program to the Honors College.

King said Roach’s name was a great choice for the college.

“We’re especially pleased that the Honors College is named for our colleague and very good friend, John V. Roach,” King said. “John Roach and his family (exemplify) the very best of Texas Christian University. There could be no more appropriate way to honor our long, loyal friend and his service to TCU.”

Donovan summed up the meaning behind the dedication.

“For a long time, faculty and students have clamored for excellence, and today we see a tangible reminder of that excellence,” Donovan said.

The John V. Roach Honors College will move in to Scharbauer Hall in January.