SAU Honors College

The SAU Honors College was founded in 2003 by Dr. David Rankin, president of SAU. Dr. Lynne Belcher served as founding director and recently retired from SAU. The Honors College seeks and admits qualified students who seek to pursue a serious academic program with equally gifted peers and committed teachers. Honors classes are small and provide academically enriching opportunities for students and the faculty who teach them. Currently, SAU enrolls nearly 170 honors students and graduates about 66% of admitees in four years or less. Anyone interested in applying to the Honors College or seeking further information should contact the director, Dr. Edward P. Kardas at or at 870 904-8897.

Friday, December 13, 2019

December Grads 2019

The Honors College graduated four students this fall.

 Above are nursing grads (L to R) kTiffany Williams, Serena Nix, and Jennifer Rhinehart. All are nursing students and all have jobs to report to soon (in Minden, LA, Springhill, LA, and Texarkana, TX.

Above is psychology grad Neha Shrestha who has had a remarkable undergraduate career. She currently serves as Arkansas student representative to the Southwestern Psychological Association. In the fall she will begin graduate study in counseling at the SAU Graduate School.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Travelers: Webb and Shrestha

Josey Webb

Josey Webb and Neha Shrestha recently spoke to the Honors Seminar classes about their travel experiences.

Josey went to Italy (Venice, Florence, Assisi, and Rome) in June with the EF trip partially funded by the SAU Foundation. She saved up for months to match the Foundation's contribution. It was her first time to travel any distance away from Arkansas and she was worried about not finding us at the Little Rock airport. Once she arrived, however, she easily found us. Little did she know that Atlanta and JFK awaited her.

She made new friends on the 10-day trip and took many, many pictures. Venice was her favorite she said. She also loved the food and the gelato. She also saw gypsies for the first time and had to watch out for pickpockets.

She enjoyed the three hotels, the night life, and the difference in culture. She did manage to find a Church of Christ in Rome on Sunday. She was surprised to run into a group from Henderson State there. So there were a bunch of Arkansans at that worship service.

Neha Shrestha

Neha is from Nepal but now qualifies as an honorary Arkansan having spent nearly four years here. She's a psychology major and presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) in Albuquerque.

She too had to scrap, scrimp, save, and put together enough money to make the trip. Fortunately, she, too, benefited from the SAU Foundation's largess, that, along with contributions from Psi Chi, and the Honors College put her over the top.

Neha learned about SWPA's governance structure and how it included student representation. So, she ran for the office of student representative for Arkansas and won. Congrats.

Travel is part of the honors experience and students should try to avail themselves of those opportunities when the arise.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

2020 Honors College Poster

 Here's our new poster for 2020. Many thanks to A M Arefin Khaled for making it and putting up with our many changes.

Yes, we know we appropriated the Science Building but we'll give it back :-)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Matriculation 2019

SAU Honors College 2019 first year students

SAU Honors College held its annual matriculation ceremony today welcoming it first-year class of 2019. Dr. Berry welcomed them and their family and guests. After, each student was introduced and received an Honors College pin.

Honors College alumna Kara O'Neal addresses the class

Kara O'Neal came down from Little Rock, where she is a PhD candidate at UAMS studying immunology. Her specific dissertation topic deals with malaria. During her talk she spoke of how she had changed majors starting with elementary education then biology followed by psychology, and biochemistry. She took the hard way out receiving an undergraduate diploma in the last three majors. She also urged students not to be afraid of failure telling how she had to retake the Organic Chemistry I class eventually passing it with a A and following it up with another A in a new course at the time, Advanced Organic Chemistry. She encouraged the new students to expect and benefit from change, to confront their fears, and to take full advantage of the opportunities to come.

Kara was the first Honors College graduate to speak at matriculation and hopefully many more will follow.

16 Years, 10 Years

Let’s all give David Wingfield a hand on the eve of his birthday. David, as many of you know, has been with the SAU Honors College since its founding 16 years ago. He has seen it grow from a the tiny acorn it was back then when his office in the English department was the Honors College. He, along with founding director Dr. Lynne Belcher and former president Dr. David Rankin worked together to create the vibrant entity you are joining today. I am celebrating ten years with the Honors College and I can assure you it has become the pinnacle of my academic career. I can imagine nothing better than being the director and helping you succeed.
            You are joining more than 600 former SAU students who matriculated in years past. Today, you heard from one of those distinguished graduates, a new tradition we hope to continue. Hopefully, one of you sitting here will someday we invited to welcome a future matriculating class.
            Look around, these are your classmates. Watch out, one of them might be your spouse someday. That has already happened far more than David and I thought possible. Many of them will become your lifelong friends. All of you came to SAU for your own reasons but you have several things in common. You are more than simply intelligent, no, you are driven to learn, to succeed, to make a difference. For you, SAU is not the end of your life’s intellectual journey. It’s a step along the way of a journey that began early in your lives. Recently, you crossed high school off of your bucket lists. Now you are beginning the short-span called college. The few years you will spend here will speed by much faster than you can imagine. Who knows what the next steps on your paths will be. Wherever that path takes you I can assure you that much of it will depend on what you accomplish here in the next few years.
            In 2011, on her Bucket List, Kara wrote:
 “To me, the whole purpose of life is to live, so that is the biggest dream that I want to fulfill before I die.  I want to live my life to the fullest with no regrets.  I want to take chances, smile, make others smile, and make my dreams come true.  I want to dance, sing, laugh, and love.  I want to be true to myself and the values I hold.  I want to live my life in a way so that when it comes to an end I will be proud of the life I have lived.”
You too have dreams, will take chances, and live your lives your own way. Now is the time for you take that next step boldly, without regrets, and to be true to yourselves. I realize you may not yet have seen where your steps will soon lead. So, be aware of your surroundings, take advantage of the opportunities you will have here and outside of SAU.
            There is no past and there is no future. Only now truly exists and it makes the future and obliterates the past. Carpe diem, seize the day, now is the time.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Steak Dinner 2019

It was hot outside but not so bad inside at the annual SAU Freshman Steak Dinner. Here are some scenes from the event.

The crowd was huge

Dr. Berry worked the line while students waited

Others sat and waited or had already eaten

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

SAU's Lone Pine at Four

SAU's new Lone Pine at four years old.

In 1956, a storm blew done Southern State's original Lone Pine tree on "Aggie Hill." Four years ago, Dr. Berry, SAU's current president, planted its successor in the same spot on the day of his inauguration.

The original tree (see below) was a favorite trysting spot for students and was the scene of many a marriage proposal. (Photo from old SAU Yearbook)

Original Lone Pine

Soon, our new Honors Seminar classes will be traveling around campus in our SAU as Text exercise. The National Collegiate Honors Council always schedules a "City Name" as Text exercise in the venues of its conventions. Naturally, this year's will be titled: New Orleans as Text. The idea is to learn about a place by walking around using a list of historically interesting sites.