A Brief History
2005: The Genesis of EHP
Under the leadership of then Associate Dean John Bennett and many of the college's most accomplished teachers, we asked the simple question:
Are we providing the best possible education for our very best students?
In respect to the curriculum, the answer was largely ‘yes.’ Even our most talented students didn’t finish Fourier Analysis or Thermo saying they were under- challenged and wishing the class had covered more. Although there were some things we could do to improve what happened within the classroom (specialized classes, seminars, etc.), our attention shifted to all those aspects of the educational experience outside of the classroom: research, service, community, internships, leadership and personal development. With all of this in mind, the College of Engineering formally committed itself to creating an Honors Program that would serve and challenge its best students. In the Spring of 2006, Professor Scot Douglass was appointed the Program's first Faculty Director.
Since then, we have been very busy...
2006: The Inaugural Class
The inaugural class of first-year incoming Honors Students was comprised of 24 students, all by invitation. This entering class achieved numerous honors and awards: both the College’s 2010 Outstanding Graduate and Silver Medal winners, 4 students now enrolled in PhD programs (Caltech, UC-Davis, NC State and Stonybrook), 10 now working on their Masters degrees (Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia, Colorado, etc.), 6 working in industry, 1 taking the year off and 3 finishing their degree this year (1 in Business). 2/3 of them were involved in research as undergraduates, ½ of them did one or more industry internships, ½ were involved in peer-mentoring and leadership.
2007: The Establishment of the Residential Component to EHP
In partnership with Campus Housing, EHP proposed what would become the University of Colorado’s first residential college including a residential faculty. While Andrews Hall was being renovated for over $15 million dollars to be the future home of the EHP Residential College, the 45 members of the entering class of 2007 moved into a wing of Hallett Hall, to be followed the next year by the 65 members of the entering class of 2008.
2009: The Opening of Andrews Hall
In the Fall of 2009, EHP Director Scot Douglass and his family (wife and two young daughters, Hannah and Thali) moved into Andrews Hall along with 70 second through fourth year EHP students and a new incoming class of 66 students. Closely partnering with the Engineering Honors Program and filling the remainder of Andrews Hall were engineering students from the BOLD Program—a program committed to diversity, leadership and opportunity. During its first year, Andrews Hall had the highest GPA on campus, the greatest number of academic programs, the highest number of students involved in intramural sports, the largest in-house tutoring program, 4 research programs, ran the TEAMS engineering outreach program in 8 elementary schools, did over 7000 hours of volunteer service, and had its own garage band, jazz ensemble and string quartet (an acapella group has been added this year). Far from being NERDFEST 2009-2010, it was a place of incredible diversity and talent (cooking, musical, athletic, artistic) in which 45% of EHPers were involved in research. Living in Andrews is required of all first-year students and approximately half the program lives on campus, half lives off.
2010 and Beyond: Crafting a Culture of Excellence That is Ambitious Without Being Competitive
Committed to creating a space and culture where they could be ambitious without being competitive, EHP students (now numbering 238 from over 3700 engineering students during the same time period) have done very well—having won many awards and prestigious scholarships (e.g., Astronaut Scholarship—1 of 17 national; Marshall Scholarship to Cambridge, 1 of 14 international; Goldwater; NSF Graduate Fellowship; Math for America Fellowship at Columbia; 2 Colorado Medical Scholars—2 of 8); done incredible research at amazing places; been involved around the world in development projects; run summer outreach programs; landed great internships; and won back-to-back first places in the International Mathematical Modeling Contest. They have done all of this while being committed to enjoying each other, working together and having fun.