CSOM Honors Program, Launched in 1958, Will End With Class of 2021

thomas wesner

The CSOM Honors Program will end with the class of 2021, Ethan Sullivan, the director of the program and associate dean of CSOM, told students in the program on Monday night.

All current students in the program will be able to graduate with Honors, although the program will be phased out over the next three years.

The reasons given by Sullivan at the meeting were similar to those outlined in the letter by Dean of MCAS Rev. Greg Kalscheur, S.J., announcing the end of the MCAS Honors Program in October.

An official letter announcing the end of the program is expected later this week. The Heights reached out for comment to Dean of CSOM Andy Boynton, but he was not yet able to comment at press time.

CSOM Honors was founded in 1958 as the College of Business Administration Honors Program, which aimed “to afford superior students the opportunity to develop their abilities and talents to the highest degree possible,” according to an April 1960 Heights article.  

The article goes on: “This aim is accomplished in the following ways: 1. The individual treatment and intellectual stimulation of Honors Men by the faculty and such programs which are of interest to future business executives. 2. The opportunity for Honors Men to do some independent work and study, aside from their daily routine. Library stack privileges are of great benefit to the Honors student in this area. 3. To convey the accomplishments of the Honor Program to the entire student body of Boston College through seminars on broad topics of vital interest. These seminars are open to the entire campus. 4. To encourage the development of a professional attitude in the approach to business problems by meetings with business executives on a business and social level.”

As the academic profile of the University has risen significantly in the past decades, the administration no longer sees a need for an honors program when the academic disparities in the applicant pool have decreased, Sullivan said at the meeting.

Student reaction at the announcement was a mix of shock and sadness. Many were frustrated at the lack of student input in making the decision.

“The CSOM Honors Program is not only the reason I chose to come to BC, but is also the reason I love BC and can call it home,” said Sam Schelble, CSOM ’21. “Through it I have received academic opportunities and met influential mentors, for which I am incredibly grateful.

“The fact that my class will not be able to give future classes what our mentors have given to us is very unfortunate and very saddening,” he said.

This article has been updated to more accurately characterize the founding of the CSOM Honors Program.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor