In order to foster a sense of community among new and current students of varied backgrounds, the Honors Program hosts an annual retreat before New Student Orientation in the fall semester. During the virtual retreat this year, Honors faculty and staff engage in a day and a half of fun, games, and discussions. These retreats are a formative experience for incoming Honors students and are critical to the continuing development of the Honors community.  While upper-class students are invited to attend, new students are required to attend.*

Virtual Honors NSO 2020 Schedule

(Monday through Thursday, August 24th, 25th, 26th, and 27th, from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM ET)






7:00 PM

Open House: Parents Invited as well as all-new Honors students Introductions

Communication and Respect discussion

Intersectionality presentation and discussion Part I

Sign up for contract meetings and other needed meetings. (Note: we have a fair number of transfer students this year who will need contracts instead of first-year courses.)

7:15 PM

Kahoot! (overview of what is Honors)



7:30 PM


Introductions and Icebreakers (Two Truths and a Lie)



7:45 PM




Icebreakers (Flashlight)

8:00 PM


Panel of upper-class Honors students

The Hate U Give book discussion (Dr. Stremlau will lead the discussion.)


10-15 minutes break: Scavenger Hunt Game

Little Fires Everywhere book discussion (Dr. Myers will lead the discussion.)

8:15 PM





8:30 PM





 8:45 PM


Questions from the audience


Wrap up and explain Monday's schedule


Wrap up and explain Tuesday's schedule

Discuss watching the movie, The Hate U Give and the series based on Little Fires Everywhere. Final thoughts. Wrap up.

9:00 PM

Wrap up and explain Friday's schedule




JumpStart Participants

Honors Students in JumpStart will attend the Honors Retreat. Honors and JumpStart coordinate their schedules to minimize conflicts. The retreat is an excellent place to meet new friends. New signers who have joined the retreat have enjoyed the experience as a time to develop more confidence in their signing skills and to meet friends outside the JumpStart community. New signers have been surprised by how quickly they meet new friends and how well they are able to engage with their peers. Interpreters and live captioning are provided for the academic discussions and are available at other times if needed.


Honors students need to ensure that their medical forms from the student health service have been submitted prior to their arrival at the University. 

Students who do not have their immunizations completed by the close of business on arrival day will not be able to attend the Honors Retreat.  Because participation in the retreat is a requirement for admission to Honors, students who do not attend the retreat will lose their Honors placement.  If students have a scholarship with additional funding for participation in Honors, the loss of the Honors placement will reduce the scholarship award. Please check your Bison account for information on what the Student Health Service is missing from your required materials.   

*Satisfactory performance in the Honors Retreat is required to retain an Honors placement. If you are not able to participate, contact as soon as possible. Failure to meet expectations of the Honors Retreat will result in removal from the program.