Recruiting the Best and Brightest

The annual Honors Scholars & Fellows Recruitment Weekend kicked off on Nov. 5 with a series of events and programs geared toward accomplished prospective students. On the first day of the weekend, applicants and their families had the opportunity to attend an academic fair, student presentation and financial aid information session. Applicants were also encouraged to attend presentations by various academic colleges and departments, as well as a full campus tour.

Maya Gibson

Keynote Speaker Maya Gibson speaks about a wide range of topics during Scholars & Fellows Weekend.

That evening, attendees were invited to an Honors Scholars & Fellows recruitment dinner. The event was held in the Reynolds Alumni Center and included appetizers, a fully catered meal and a dessert reception. Students and their families were joined at their tables by professors, academic deans and Honors College staff. Current Honors Scholars & Fellows and Honors College student ambassadors also joined attendees to offer a student perspective and answer questions.

Honors College Director J.D. Bowers provided opening remarks at the dinner and introduced the keynote speaker for the evening, Maya Gibson. Gibson is a professor of musicology in the School of Music, and used her expertise and research to provide prospective students and their families with a taste of the wide range of topics and perspectives present in Honors courses.

Gibson’s talk centered on the interconnected relationship between Afro-American music, popular music culture and intersectional issues of gender, race and sexuality. She played videos of Beyoncé on stage with the Dixie Chicks, Saturday Night Live spoofs utilizing irony to highlight societal issues and clips of songs by various jazz and country music artists from the past century. Gibson’s presentation ended with an interactive, open discussion with the audience as she answered questions and navigated attendees through a discussion of issues surrounding race, gender and sexuality.


Prospective students and their parents are joined by MU faculty, staff and students during Scholars & Fellows Weekend.

In closing remarks, Bowers delved into many of the Scholars & Fellows programs that students can choose from in the Honors College and publicly acknowledged the staff, faculty and Scholars, Fellows and Ambassadors who made the evening possible. He encouraged prospective students to seek out those students and faculty and have conversations with them at the dessert reception immediately following the dinner.

The next morning prospective students and their families attended Honors College sessions meant to give a more in-depth look at life in the Honors College. The presentations offered more information on the opportunities available to high achieving honors students at MU.

The prospective students headed home at the conclusion of the weekend with a clearer picture of MU Honors, as well as all the tools needed to apply for Scholarships and Fellowships that will put them on the path to achieve high levels of academic success.