Our Community

The Honors Program creates a vibrant, tight-knit “community within a community” at Clarkson.

Bonds of friendship and teamwork are formed as early as “Pre-Frosh” Summer Research and first-year student orientation, when newly arrived Honors students escape for two days to Camp Oswegatchie in the Adirondack Park to conquer the high ropes course and gobble a few too many s’mores. Throughout their four years, Honors students discover endless ways to connect, collaborate and create memories together.

Ben & Jerry's™ Nights

Ben & Jerry's™ nights bear some explanation. They are relatively impromptu social occasions at which students get the flavor of ice cream that they designated when they signed the Honors Program Roll Book. These occasions mark the legacy of the first Honors Program gift from a late Clarkson University custodian, Shirley Nelson. She wanted a gift which would provide a time for student relaxation and enjoyment. She particularly admired people, including students, who know how to work hard and to strive for excellence in their daily lives. 

Little Things Matter

There is a jar of cookies and a big bowl of candy in the Honors Program office. It might seem like a small detail, but it contributes to the feeling of family and community that permeates the program. The Honors year is also punctuated by a variety of social events: the orientation picnic, Thanksgiving dinner, the December solstice party, the end-of-year picnic, and Honors Commencement Brunch.

Housing and Orientation


Incoming first-year Honors students can indicate interest in living in the Honors Program Living Learning Community (LLC)! This opportunity is optional and is part of a larger effort to create an academically focused learning community. Honors has reserved living space and incoming first-year students must indicate their interest in being placed in Honors housing when they complete their University Housing Questionnaire in PeopleSoft.

We are usually able to accommodate all first-year students who are interested in Honors housing, but please note that Honors housing for incoming first-year students is not guaranteed and students will be placed on a space-available basis, according to the date that the incoming first-year student formally accepts (in writing) their invitation to join the Honors Program.

First-Year Orientation

We welcome first-year students for move-in on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 with special required Orientation activities designed to introduce you to the Honors Program community and to begin a four year program of personal growth and development. The highlight of Orientation for first-year Honors students is an overnight trip to Camp Oswegatchie in the beautiful lakeside setting in the Adirondacks. Activities include professionally-led low-ropes and high-ropes courses and a night hike, which challenge the individual and build teamwork skills. Honors Orientation culminates with a program-wide dinner where all new students in the program have the opportunity to sign the Honors Program Roll Book and record their favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s™ ice cream (it’s a tradition among others that you will learn about!).

Additional information about Honors Orientation will be sent to students throughout the summer.

Honors Program Steering Board

Serving in the Honors Program student government provides students with the opportunity to lead activities and initiatives and to influence the future direction of the Honors Program. It also provides an essential vehicle to address grievances and concerns regarding the Program and its activities. The Honors Program Steering Board provides direction and guidance to committees and acts as the liaison between Honors students, the Honors Program office, and the Honors Council. Please refer to the The Steering Board’s own website for a full roster of representatives.

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