West Liberty University celebrated its inaugural Honors College today as it welcomed dignitaries and media to campus to hear an update on the college and learn about the progress of the entire Institute for Innovation in Education.

Honors College celebration photo

The inaugural class of the WLU Honors College gathers for festivities.

The Honors College is one of the collaborations managed by the Institute, led by Executive Director Ron Witt. The college includes both the honor students who are traditional undergraduates and the high school students who are part of West Liberty’s Advanced Academy of West Virginia.

President Robin C. Capehart thanked the campus community, parents, dignitaries and visitors who took time out of their day to honor the students and the new program.

“We are proud of these ambitious students and we thank everyone who has been involved in this initiative,” Capehart said.

Dr. Susan McGowan-Koyzis, dean of the Honors College also addressed the audience and explained a bit more about the students themselves and what they have been doing.

She introduced two students who spoke on behalf of their classmates and themselves, thanking West Liberty University and the many administrators and faculty members responsible for the opportunity they have received.

Devyn Nickerson, President Capehart, Levi Smith

President Capehart is shown with Devyn and Levi.

  • Levi Smith, Ravenswood, W.Va., is a sophomore honors student and business major. Smith is thrilled with the program so far, describing it as academically challenging but friendly, adding that “the Honors College is like a family.”
  • Devyn Nickerson is a junior at Wheeling Park High School and a member of the Advanced Academy. She is from the Warwood neighborhood of Wheeling and is very pleased to be offered a chance to work on her college degree while still in high school, explaining that she is sometimes bored in high school and welcomes the challenge of college.

Currently there are six students from Ohio and Marshall County school districts enrolled in the Advanced Academy and 31 undergraduates who make up the Honors College. The program is expected to grow and attract more students in the future.