Honors Program Symposium


Graduating honors students presented thesis posters illustrating the topics of their final papers on Wednesday night in the Gordon B. Hinckley Center. The evening concluded with an elegant dinner and an address from Utah Senator Bob Bennett titled, “The Evolution of American Politics.”

The BYU Honors Program said on its website, the program “provides an unusually rich and challenging experience for capable and motivated undergraduate students. Its purpose is to assist students as they establish lifelong patterns of learning and appreciation of the world’s great treasures of knowledge.”

Anna Thurston, a junior from Sandy majoring in humanities, is an honor student who hopes to go to grad school at NYU and said the Honors Program is a good thing for students to be part of.

“People think I’m an overachiever for being in the Honors Program, but really I just want to give myself an edge up for applying to grad school,” Thurston said.

One of the requirements of the Honors Program is for students to write thesis papers and present them at the annual symposium. This year 16 students presented on a variety of subjects.

Kelsey Murdoch, a senior from Grace, Idaho graduating in humanities in August, presented her thesis paper, “Hope Rises in the Leprosy Colonies of India: Examining the Mission and Success of Rising Star Outreach.”

Murdoch said she chose the topic for her thesis paper after volunteering in India with Rising Star Outreach, where she said she gained an appreciation for Rising Star and its mission as well as a love for the people she served.

“I fell in love with their smiles and the people and the work that we were doing there,” Murdoch said. She said the goal of her thesis is to explain how Rising Star began and what it is doing today.

Murdoch said she started in the Honors Program when she was a freshman and it has been a great opportunity.

“Instead of that kind of basic syllabus, assignment, test, quiz format, it challenged me to look at things in different ways and kind of learn them differently,” Murdoch said. “The thing I think is the most incredible about the BYU Honors Program is that it’s open enrollment.”


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