Graduates from honors program reflect on experience


Daniel Schwalm

An honors medal sits on top of a graduation cap. The honors medal is awarded once students in the program graduate from Loyola.

Kloe Witt, Breaking News Editor

Alumni from the honors program are speaking out about how the program affected their experience at the university, after last semester when upperclassmen in the program said they were upset over the program providing an additional scholarship for freshmen that was not offered to them.

Paul Chu graduated from Loyola in the spring of 2021 with a triple major in accounting, finance, and business. Chu said he didn’t have a choice in joining the honors program since he was awarded the Ignatian scholarship, a full ride scholarship that ended in fall of 2022 to introduce the Honors scholarship, which was awarded to every honors student who joined Loyola in fall of 2022.

With no choice in joining the program if he wanted to accept his full ride, Chu said he was nervous about what it would be like.

“At first I was very apprehensive about it,” he said. “But upon entering, I would say it was pretty life changing.”

Chu said he was able to engage with the typical college experience, finding himself and his thoughts, thanks to being in the honors program.

Gabriella Killett graduated from Loyola last December and said the honors program also helped improve her experience at Loyola.

“It created really intimate and beautiful learning relationships that will honestly follow me through life,” Killett said.

Students in the honors program are required to take the same amount of core classes, except honors students are limited to a small number of honors classes offered per semester.

Chu said these special honors classes were one thing he particularly enjoyed. He said that having these special classes taught by professors who specialized in the material made his experience better.

However, Killett critiqued these requirements and said it made scheduling her classes harder than it should have been.

“I think there could just be a way to improve the university system of mangling honors with general university education just because it always felt very separate,” she said.

Chu said if he could change anything about the program, it would be the inconsistent leadership he felt during his time. Three different people took over as director of the honors program from 2018 to 2021.

Still, Chu said constant change of directors didn’t negatively impact his experience.

“Each and every director puts students first and that translates extremely well to the student experience especially in the honors program,” he said.