Honors College

Our Mission: To Empower Engaged Students 

Gifts made to the college directly benefit dedicated, deserving students engaged in stimulating, one-of-a-kind courses and research within our supportive community. Your investment has both immediate and life-long impact. Here are a few of their voices:  

“The Honors College has provided me with so many opportunities for growth including fellowships, attending and presenting at regional and national conferences, taking interesting and engaging courses that encourage me to expand my thinking, and being a part of a true community. Through several changes in my major and my future plans, the Honors College was my constant.” (Jamie, an alumna from the Indianapolis area) 

“I can honestly say that the honors curriculum transformed my college career as I shaped, sculpted, and reshaped my perspectives, values, and engagement in the world. I have personally benefited from enriching relationships, both professional and personal, with fellow students and faculty alike. I had ample opportunities and support to expand my horizons, travel and present at conferences, and conduct research through Honors Undergraduate Fellowships. Life truly is all of what you make it. The world is your oyster, and the Honors College can provide you a platform to personal and professional growth unmatched in other settings. Take notice of those Honors College students around you; they will be the leaders of tomorrow.” (Jon, a recent first-generation graduate from southern Indiana)

This year the Honors College focuses on reflection. With a new dean and several prominent members of the Honors College retiring over the past year, we seek to celebrate the past by honoring those who laid the foundation for what has become one of the oldest and most prestigious Honors Colleges in the nation. 

C. Warren Vanderhill Scholarship for Honors Enhanced Experiences 

Dr. Warren Vanderhill served as Director of the Ball State Honors Program in 1970 and later founded the Honors College at Ball State University in 1979 (the first Honors College in the state of Indiana). In addition to founding the Honors College, Vanderhill created the Whitinger Scholars program and the Honors Undergraduate Fellows Program. Established in 1976, the Whitinger Scholarship is the most prestigious award that the university can offer to incoming first-year students. In 1986, Vanderhill was named Provost of Ball State University, although he has remained actively involved in the Honors College. This scholarship honors Dr. Warren Vanderhill by providing students with funding for enhanced experiences, such as internships and paid research opportunities. 

Arno Wittig Endowed Honors Scholarship

In 1986, Dr. Arno Wittig was named as the first Dean of the Honors College.  He served in that role for a decade before being called back into service for two years following the passing of Honors Dean Bruce Meyer. Dr. Wittig, along with Provost Vanderhill, were instrumental in helping expand the Whitinger Scholarship to include both tuition funding and room and board. Dr. Wittig also oversaw the inclusion of global studies into the honors curriculum, as well as moving the Honors College from the Whitinger Business Building to Burkhardt. This scholarship honors Dr. Wittig by offering a scholarship to students alongside the Whitinger Scholars program that he has helped nurture over the years. 

Bruce and Ildiko Meyer Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Bruce Meyer served as Dean of the Honors College between 1996 and 1998. During that time the Honors College moved to Carmichael Hall. Dr. Meyer and his partner Ildiko often traveled with students on study abroad opportunitie, and almuni frequently comment about their time with the Meyers on these excursions. This scholarhship provides support for an honors student who demonstrates financial need and is renewable for three years.

James Ruebel Honors Fellowships for International and Innovative Experiences

Dr. James Ruebel and his partner Connie were fixtures in the Honors College community for more than a decade and a half. Ruebel joined the Honors College as Dean in 2000, when he helped introduced many of the hallmarks that students and alumni are familiar with today, including moving the Honors College into the Ball Honors House, renovating Dehoirty Hall to serve as the Honors Living and Learning Community, and hiring the first full-time honors faculty in the college. This fellowship fund honors Jim and Connie Ruebel's passion for travel and introducing students to the wonders of the world. 

Emens Scholarship in Honor of Dean John W. Emert 

Dr. John Emert served as Dean of the Honors College from 2017 until 2023 (after serving as Associate Dean for many years). He and his wife, Elizabeth, continue to be fixtures of the honors community and actively attend honors events and activities on campus. During Dr. Emert's tenure as dean, he worked to expand and raise funds for the Emens Leadership Scholars Program. This scholarship in his honor funds an Emens Leadership Scholar. 

Honors College Endowed Scholarship in Honor of Cary and Susie Wood

This scholarship is named in honor of the father and mother-in-law of Dr. Jim Buss, the new Dean of the Honors College. Dr. Buss's partner Dr. Leanne Wood (Ball State School of Music) comes from a long line of educators, including her parents. This fund provides a scholarship for an incoming honors student who wishes to major in Education. 

The Edmund and Virginia Ball Honors House Project

Thanks to a generous donor who has provided the initial funds to begin renovations of the Ball Honors House, the project is moving forward with designs to be available later this spring and into the summer. This fund helps complete that project, which will include an additional classroom, gathering spaces for students, additional offices, and an outdoor gathering space that will include a labyrinth. Additional funds will enable the Honors College to ensure that the spaces best serve students and provide upgraded facilities for faculty and staff.  Donors at the $500 level or above will receive recognition in the new space. Individuals who would like to sponsor named spaces in the new additional should reach out to the Honors College via honors@bsu.edu

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