Commonwealth Honors College offers programming throughout the year that provides Honors College students across disciplines exclusive opportunities to gain insight into cutting edge scholarship, to foster global perspectives and diverse viewpoints, and to promote dialogue about contemporary issues.
In addition to our signature events, below, we host “Meet the Law” networking dinners with alumni attorneys, frequent opportunities to network with Commonwealth Honors College alumni, and information sessions on careers and graduate schools, scholarships, and study abroad.
As our programming is only a small portion of the abundance of opportunities and activities at UMass Amherst, Honors College students are strongly encouraged to stay informed about campus events and get involved.
Honors Induction Ceremony
The Honors Induction Ceremony welcomes all new Honors College students and their families at the beginning of the fall semester. During the Honors Pinning portion of the ceremony, students exchange commemorative pins, celebrating their entry into Commonwealth Honors College.
The Commonwealth Honors College Plenary Lecture is an annual event that features thought leaders from across the spectrum of UMass Amherst faculty. The Lecture is also connected to the Honors course “Ideas That Changed the World,” an interdisciplinary seminar course, for first-year Honors students, which investigates change-makers in history and their big ideas.
Celebration of Excellence
This Celebration of Excellence is a special event for graduating Commonwealth Honors College seniors and their families. During the Celebration of Excellence, graduating seniors are called by name to be presented with gold stoles. The program lists for each student’s Honors Thesis title as well as other honors received, and distinguished speakers, including the Commonwealth Honors College dean and a selected student speaker, pay tribute to Honors College student accomplishments. The event precedes Undergraduate Commencement.
Pizza & Prof Night
Pizza & Prof Night provides an opportunity for Honors College students to get to know a professor on a more personal level. Each professor joins Honors College students for pizza and an informal discussion of research and scholarly interest, followed by lively Q&A and conversation. Held monthly in the Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall, Pizza & Prof Night is made possible by generous donations from parents, friends, and alumni of Commonwealth Honors College.
Annual Black Heritage Month Celebration
For Black Heritage Month, Commonwealth Honors College presents a live exhibition and discussion featuring groundbreaking presenters who are working at the intersection of art praxis, racial justice, and the embodiment of change as pathways to liberation.
Established in 2000 by alumni Kathryn and Paul Williamson, this lecture series brings distinguished visitors to campus to interact with Honors College students and present public talks.
The Daffodil Lecture on Sustainability and the Environment is sponsored by the Commonwealth Honors College and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. The theme of the lecture reflects UMass Amherst’s leadership in green research and sustainability, including the development of biofuels and wind energy.
Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference
The Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (MassURC) is an annual one-day convening of undergraduate students from the 28 public colleges and universities across the Commonwealth who present their research, share knowledge, and learn from their peers. MassURC celebrated its 25th year anniversary in 2019.
Unique opportunities to engage with faculty members, develop life-long learning skills, and join a vibrant intellectual and social world.