Westminsters Honors-Program Director Receives National Award

Richard J Badenhausen receiving Honors Council Award


February 7, 2017

Westminster College is pleased to announce Richard Badenhausen, director of Westminster's Honors program, is the 2016 recipient of the National Collegiate Honors Council's Sam Schuman Award for Excellence at a Four-Year Institution.

The award recognizes Badenhausen's dedication to academic excellence and leadership in advancing Honors programming at Westminster and institutions across the country. The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), a membership organization of over 900 Honors programs and colleges around the country, established the award in 2015 to honor the late Sam Schuman, a longtime and beloved leader in Honors education. Badenhausen is the second national Honors leader to receive the award.

Richard Badenhausen, PH.D., is the director of Westminster's Honors program and teaches classes in humanities, war literature, theories of place and trauma studies. Badenhausen is the newly elected vice president of the NCHC. He regularly visits campuses around the country to consult with colleges and universities on how they might improve their Honors programs.

"Honors programs produce high-achieving students who excel academically and professionally," said Badenhausen. "While Westminster College's Honors graduates are accepted into selective medical schools like the Mayo clinic and further their studies at Georgetown, University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth, more notable is the transformative experience they have while at Westminster."

Westminster's Honors program has thrived under Badenhausen's leadership. It is poised for even more growth because of the record number of applications received last year. The rigorous curriculum provides students the opportunity to discover their own voices as writers, speakers and thinkers. Westminster Honors students select from an exciting menu of nine interdisciplinary, team-taught seminars that replaces their entire general-education program. The classes are small, engaging, discussion-oriented and student-centered. These features prompted one external evaluator of the program, former NCHC president John Zubizarreta, to identify Westminster's Honors program as "one of the best in the country."

Badenhausen is the 2014 recipient of Westminster's Gore Excellence in Teaching Award, and two-time winner of Westminster's Manford A. Shaw Publication Prize for his scholarship on T. S. Eliot. He is a two-time member of the NCHC board of directors, an NCHC-recommended site visitor, and an editorial board member of HIP:Honors in Practice. In 2011, he was one of seven individuals to be named an NCHC Fellow, a designation that celebrates distinguished individuals who have given substantial time and energy to furthering the cause of honors.