Program History

Reconstructing Our History

We need the alumni to help us reconstruct the history of the Honors Program. To the extent records were kept, they have been destroyed or lost. Please send us your memories of your years in the program: the courses you took, the other students in your class, what your thesis was on, who advised it, and any other details you’d like to share. Please send them to

The First Ten Years

We believe the first Honors class was in 1980-81, with the seminars run by Professors Dan Lev and Lance Bennett. (Who ran the third seminar?) Professors Lev and Bennett began the Honors Program to provide an introduction to social science grand theory (Durkheim, Weber, Freud, Marx, the classic anthropologists through Geertz, economics from Adam Smith to Keynes) to explain the origins of political and social analysis. The grand theory approach proved difficult to sustain, and eventually gave way to the current format of introducing current faculty research and expertise to the students. Professor Christine DiStefano and Professor Michael McCann were early leaders in the program. Professor McCann served as Director of the program from 1983 to 1988. The first decade was largely a collaboration among these four faculty.

We will be slowly filling this history. If you are an alum and would like to help us reconstruct the years you participated in the program, please contact us.