The beginning of a new academic year brings a feeling of promise, optimism and excitement to a college campus. Whether it’s freshmen opening new chapters in their lives, or seniors preparing for their professional careers, the dawn of each fall semester is a special time for a university.
Each year, the University of Houston’s Honors College celebrates this time of year with its Fall Convocation. This year’s free event unites both the UH and Houston communities on Aug. 29 in the UH Hilton’s Grand Ballroom. A dessert reception kicks off at 6 p.m., and the program begins at 7 p.m. The keynote speaker at the 2013 Fall Convocation is founding dean of the Honors College Ted Estess. Honors College alumna and U.S. Department of Justice attorney Sabita Soneji will introduce him. UH President Renu Khator also will be in attendance.
Estess led UH’s Honors programs for 31 years. He first served as director for what was known as the Honors Program. In 1993, he became the founding dean of the University’s Honors College. He served in that role until 2008. Estess holds the Jane Morin Cizik Chair in the Humanities and continues to serve as a professor for both the Honors College and English department. His expertise on the humanities has been invaluable to students participating in the yearlong 10-hour course, The Human Situation (a requirement for all Honors College students). Estess published a book on Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust writer Elie Wiesel and two collections of non-fiction stories and essays – “The Cream Pitcher: Mississippi Stories” and “Be Well: Reflections on Graduating from College.” His legacy thrives at UH thanks to the Ted L. Estess Scholarship Endowment, which provides support to students who demonstrate academic excellence. Estess earned his doctorate from Syracuse University. He also holds a master of divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor of arts from Baylor University.
The Honors College at UH is a hub of excellence that serves the needs of gifted undergraduates in more than 100 fields of study and reflects the rich diversity of the University of Houston in its courses, faculty and students. For over 50 years, the Honors College has offered students the best of both worlds: the advantages of a small college together with the comprehensive resources and rich diversity of a large university. For more information about the Honors College, visit http://TheHonorsCollege.com.