By Ruby Morua
Honors College students "officially" started the school year with the Fall 1998 Honors Convocation Thursday at the University Hilton Hotel.
Honors College faculty welcomed new and returning students to the Honors community and gave both parents and students an insider's perspective on how the college works.
"I felt like I was welcomed with open arms to The Honors College community," said freshman biology major Angela Applegate.
As one of the guest speakers in the opening ceremonies of the convocation, Katherine Kalenda, a senior sociology major, said an Honors professor inspired her to change her major and work as a professor's assistant.
Faculty members presented awards and scholarships to students who have demonstrated excellence in academic and community achievements and showed parents the degree of quality education the college offers.
"You're offered an Ivy League education for state tuition," said UH System Chancellor/UH President Arthur K. Smith.
As part of the convocation, both incoming and returning students received scholarships and awards from companies across Houston.
Sophomore engineering major Casey Smith received the Hearst Leadership Award for earning a 3.97 GPA in his first year at UH.
Officials presenting the award to Smith jokingly remarked that he would have had a 4.0, but he made a low A in Linear Algebra.
Sophomore biology major May Reyhani said she felt the ceremony was "an opportunity to casually interact with the heads of the University in an unintimidating atmosphere."
Megan Lee, a sophomore political science major, also said she thought the convocation was important.
"As a sophomore Honors College student, convocation reinforced my belief that the Honors College staff is always there to guide and inspire me through my college years and beyond," she said.