by Karla S. Mishak Lee

News Reporter

It's official. At exactly 4:34 p.m. Thursday, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board gave the final approval: The Honors Program is now the Honors College.

Honors Program Director Ted Estess is now Dean Estess and Associate Director William Monroe is now an associate dean. Other immediate changes are more symbolic, but "don't underestimate symbolic changes," Estess said.

Estess' membership in the Dean's Council will "facilitate my being an advocate for high-quality, undergraduate education, honors in particular," he said, "and it also puts me in a better position to serve specific educational needs of undergrads."

The Honors College differs from all other colleges on campus because it is not a degree-granting college. It is designed to supplement any discipline a student may choose.

One may graduate with membership in the Honors College by completing the college's class requirements, which are 36 hours of honors classes in specific areas. If a student chooses to complete a Senior Honors Thesis or take two graduate-level courses, he or she will graduate with university honors and honors in a major field.

The Honors Program was founded in 1959. "It is one of the oldest and biggest in the nation, and most comprehensive in its mission" because of its dorms, scholarships, teaching faculty and extracurricular activities, Monroe said.

The talk of changing the Honors Program to the Honors College began about 10 years ago, with serious deliberation beginning in the fall of 1988.

"There was a widespread sense of cooperation in support of honors education, and there were not many obstacles," Estess said. "The question was whether the university would be better-served by an Honors College -- we thought it would be."

"I think the college gives a lot more credibility to honors. It will create a lot of recognition for the university as a whole, even though it is only a small part of it. It will also help draw attention and top scholars from around the United States," said Ed Noack, president of the Student Foundation and a member of the Honors College.

In 1985, there were approximately 375 students in the Honors Program. Today, it has more than 1100 students and 250 National Merit Scholars on campus.

"The name change is more an acknowledgement of the changes and improvements made in the last five to seven years," not a prelude of changes to come, Monroe said. "Now, over 10 percent of the entering freshman class is in the Honors Program."

The university wanted to be assured there would be no new funds needed. The change was made without the infusion of new money; it will be financed using existing funds, Estess said. "There is little change financially," he said.

Estess added that he hopes the change will attract more alumni and donor funds. "It is an announcement of the university commitment to Honors."

There are no immediate plans to relocate, although conversations are underway, Estess said. Expanding the library or renovating Oberholtzer Hall is a possibility.

The Honors College has eight tenured faculty. Each holds joint appointments with another department. There are three teaching fellows and two part-time adjuncts.

Seneca Brashear, a junior business major and a member of the Honors College, believes the new name will attract quality professors. "As an Honors College, we will be able to maintain high-quality, tenured faculty," Brashear added.

"Having the Honors Program being named the Honors College can only enhance recruitment of quality faculty," Monroe said.

The change is expected to make both the college and the university more attractive to prospective students. "High-quality students and institutions go together," Estess said.






by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

America has a new president, but an activist group says the struggle to end political oppression will continue.

Refuse and Resist, a Houston-based, UH-registered, political activist group, held a press conference Sunday to let people know that political intervention in Third World countries is not acceptable, even if it is done by a "dove" president.

"They think we are going to chill out now that Clinton is in office, but while the United States is on the defensive from Iraqi forces, and they are still protecting Kuwait by dropping bombs, it is still called a war," said Bilal Nine, an R & R member.

The group, which says its actions are not strictly militant or peaceful, states its main objective as refusing to follow "blindly given" orders and resisting any oppression.

"It is great that we want to feed people in Somalia, but it is so hypocritical. We have people starving and homeless here in our own country. Our government does nothing about that," said Frank San Miguel, an R & R member and a senior in journalism and sociology.

"If we really wanted to help Somalians, we would be over there just plain feeding them," he said. "Instead, we (the United States) are confiscating guns and basically telling people how and when to live their lives. We think just because we are bigger we can tell people what to do."

Education, as well as activism, is an objective of the group. "Our meetings are open to all and members stand on may political fronts. We have Democrats, socialists and anarchists. We are perfectly willing to accept Republicans, too," said R & R member Christopher Henley, a Houston Community College student.

According to San Miguel, the number of members in R & R fluctuates between 30 and 50.

Although R & R members faced opposition Saturday when they held an action protesting a Right to Life rally in Tranquility Park, they faced none on Sunday at UH because no one showed up.

"Channel 13 was supposed to show up," said Nine, referring to the noticeable absence of both group members and observers.

R & R will hold meetings at Butera's restaurant on Montrose Mondays at 7 p.m.






by a UH Energy Laboratory spokesperson

Alvin F. Hildebrandt, former head of the Physics Department and scientific visionary, died Saturday. He was 67.

As Director of the Solar Energy Laboratory at the University of Houston (1974-78) and of UH's Energy Laboratory since 1978, Hildebrandt reviewed and assisted in the development of new proposals and fostered advanced scientific programs, including the Houston Petroleum Research Center, the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center and the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston.

Hildebrandt leaves a legacy of solar power. He was determined to develop a technology that would maintain a high standard-of-life for future generations.

He conceived the idea of the Power Tower for using the sun's energy to power large-scale, electric power-generating plants. Solar One, built and functioning at Barstow, California, brought to fruition this idea and proved his theory, affording the world a legacy of the sun's power for fulfilling part of the world's energy needs.

Hildebrandt was born in Spring, Texas, in 1925. He earned his B.S. degree in 1949 as an undergraduate student in physics at UH and his Ph.D. in 1956 from Texas A&M. From 1956-65, he served at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, as Research Group Supervisor of the Quantum Physics Group and the Low Temperature Physics Group.

From 1960-63, he was also a Senior Research Fellow, Chemistry Division, of the California Institute of Technology, where he supervised graduate thesis work in the field of spin resonance and low-temperature physics.

He returned to UH in 1965, where he served as professor of physics and chair of the Physics Department from 1969 until 1975, when he resigned to concentrate on his work as head of UH's Solar Energy Laboratory.

The Energy Laboratory, designated and continuously funded as a special budget item by the state, operated to help solve future energy needs of the state and the nation. It served as the agency on campus for providing seed funds for 20 to 40 faculty per year who needed assistance in starting up innovative research, and a number of projects led to new technology.

Hildebrandt's vision enabled him to judge distant potential, and his scientific expertise enabled him to assess the viability of scientific ventures.

His efforts drew significant funding to the university through the original grants of the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy as co-principal investigator of power tower (central thermal) research. Hildebrandt's support of scientists and engineers helped the state and university leverage funding with outside resources.

His work is explained in more than 40 scientific articles, including an article in Science Magazine from Sept. 16, 1977, co-authored with Lorin Vant-Hull, in which the full history, theory and engineering design of the Power Tower are described.

Hildebrandt held three patents on superconducting magnetic flux pumps and one for the production of ultra-pure helium by super-fluid flow.

He was a founder, principal investigator and chairman of the Department of Energy's Solar Thermal Test Facilities Users' Association.

At the time of his death, he was serving the university as president of Phi Kappa Phi, the national scholarship society.

He leaves his wife, Katrina, two sons, George F. and Bill J.E., and grandson Jon Michael.

A memorial service will be held for Hildebrandt on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Luke Presbyterian Church on 8915 Timberside in Houston.






by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Houston guard David Diaz said he thinks Southern Methodist is one of the premiere teams in the Southwest Conference.

You wouldn't know it the way Houston shut down the Mustangs' inside game with a stifling, in-your-face defense.

Senior center Charles Outlaw contributed seven blocked shots, as Houston's 1-3-1 match-up zone forced SMU to shoot the long ball. The Cougars dropped the Mustangs to 3-1 in the conference (10-5 overall) with a convincing 85-75 victory in Hofheinz Pavilion.

Houston, 4-0 (11-2), has taken sole possession of first place in the SWC, courtesy of Baylor's 96-87 victory over Rice Saturday.

"We knocked a lot of balls loose," said Houston coach Pat Foster. "Defense was good. The Mustangs weren't shooting well around the perimeter. They never got a good, inside game today."

The Ponies were an embarrassing 3-of-30 from three-point land -- 1-for-16 in the first half. That's 6.3 percent for those of you without a calculator handy.

The Mustangs weren't much better from the field, shooting only 38.5 percent for the game, well under their 43.9 percent average through the first 14 games.

The Ponies managed to come close in the second half on a Greg Kinzer lay-up to creep within two, 48-46, with 16:59 to play, but Mustang guard Mike Wilson's turnover and Derrick Smith's steal gave the Cougars some breathing room.

"We spread the zone out a little bit," Smith said. "We cut their break down. We played hard from there on out."

Wilson, a senior from Atlanta and the Mustangs' leading scorer, came into the game averaging 22.3 points. The Cougars held him to just 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting in 23 minutes.

But it was the inability of SMU to push the ball inside that decided their fate. Tim Mason was the only Mustang with a hot hand, sinking 8-of-17 shots with most coming from the right perimeter. He lead his team with 19 points.

"They rotated defensively. Houston deserves credit," said SMU coach John Shumate. "We got caught helping down on Outlaw."

Outlaw helped himself to 11 rebounds, eight of them defensive, but it was 15 Houston turnovers and second and third chances on offense that kept the Mustangs in the game. Houston led by as much as 17 in the first half but led only 42-35 at the half.

"We had a difficult time adjusting to another style of play," Shumate said. "It was good for us though. Houston is a lot like the Arkansas team, but Houston was quicker."

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