FMU hosts honors program annual reception

Honors program poses for picture at the end of annual welcoming event at the PAC



Honors program poses for picture at the end of annual welcoming event at the PAC.

Julia Fulmer, Co-Editor

A multitude of FMU Honors students donned collars, ties and dresses in a welcoming reception hosted by President Carter at 6 p.m. on Sept. 8. at the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The annual event serving as a tone-setter for the months to come has been a part of FMU for numerous years and shows no signs of fading its tradition.

The annual event serves as a way to set the tone for the coming months of academics and allows students and professors alike in FMU Honors to connect. In addition to this, it acts as a platform to discuss pertinent business among the organization such as leadership roles and upcoming classes.

During previous years, President Carter hosted receptions for Honors students at the Wallace house, but due to the surge of COVID-19, it was moved to the PAC to allow for social distancing.

The reception started outdoors, with the strum of an electric guitar reverberating in the background along with savory appetizers offered to students and faculty alike.

Following the initial time for conversation, the group moved into the main auditorium, where President Carter addressed the students and spoke briefly about the history of the PAC. Shortly after, Jon Tuttle, director of the Honors Program and professor of English, listed the 14 Honors courses to be offered in the spring of 2022, as well as introduced the seven new candidates for Honors Student Advisory Council (HSAC) leadership.

Since taking the reins for the program in 2013, Tuttle said he always enjoys interacting with the students in a different setting than usual.

“It’s fantastic,” Tuttle said. “It’s an opportunity, first of all, for everyone just to exhale and get to know one another and maybe put on a nice shirt. The high concentration of intellectual candlepower under one roof probably generated enough electricity to light the downtown area for two years. Where there are Honors students, there are always great conversations.”

Tuttle said he was glad so many students could come to the event and felt it was a productive night overall.

“I hope [the students] were most excited about meeting one another in an atmosphere that was casual and stress-free,” Tuttle said. “Also, we got some good business done—the statements from the HSAC candidates, and of course the greetings from Dr. Carter. Students need to get to know him and appreciate what a well-run university this is.”

FMU Honors is one of the largest organizations on campus. According to Tuttle, the group has garnered roughly 220 members since its inception in the late 1970s and continues to add new students each semester.

In addition to the two HSAC vice president elects, Kelsey Ioffreda and Camryn Cassetori, was Jacob Ballington, a junior math and finance double major, who was recently voted HSAC president for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Ballington said he was inspired to run for president because of the leadership he saw in other presidents that came before him.

“When I heard the announcement, I was a bit surprised,” Ballington said. “I was up against some really strong candidates. I’m really glad people have faith in me to help run the organization; now, I plan on living up to those expectations. I’ve got some good events in mind, and hopefully, this is the best year of FMU Honors yet.”

Throughout his years at FMU, Ballington said the Honors program has helped him form a strong support system with his peers, and he looks forward to seeing everyone at the Honors reception each year.

“So many people have interesting projects they are working on, and it’s great to hear about them,” Ballington said. “To anyone on the fence about joining honors, I’d say, a hundred percent, come join us. Honors people are the best if you need anything from a study buddy to a shoulder to cry on.”

The Honors program at FMU includes a variety of courses offered exclusively to participating students as well as student-organized events and outings. Those interested in joining the Honors program can apply at