Honors Appoints New Director

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The University of Utah Honors Program has two ambitions: to be recognized nationally and to provide U students with an Ivy League education, said Kathleen McMillen, newly appointed development director.

The Honors Program created the position of development director to expand its fund raising efforts, said McMillen, who will begin her work on Apr. 1.

McMillen will work to create various ?development projects,? said Richard Rieke, director of the program.

Program officials created the position after hearing a proposal by U administrators.

Administrators offered the program two houses in the Fort Douglas Officer?s Circle that could function as honors-student housing. However, program officials would need to raise $1 million to fund the remodelling, Rieke said.

He said the cost is normally about $1 million per house, but U administrators said they would provide a donor to share the renovation cost.

?It is a once in a lifetime opportunity?[so] we needed to act at once. Next year would be too late,? he said.

The Honors Program National Advisory Committee, composed of graduates from the program, created the position to raise the necessary funds and take advantage of the opportunity, Rieke said.

McMillen will also work to raise $1.6 million for an expansion to the Sterling W. Sill Center, the facility that houses the Honors Program.

Officials plan to add an additional wing to the building in order to expand offices.

The director will be ?our connection with our friends and alumni,? Rieke said. And will serve as a liaison between the program and its national committee, former students and donors.

Included in McMillen?s list of tasks will be increasing the visibility of the program and establishing more scholarships for honors students.

McMillen said she would like to at least double the number of scholarships currently offered to honors students.

?I want to bring awareness of the program to the eyes of the public,? she said.

Increased visibility will also increase student enrollment in the program, she said.

The program boasts approximately 3,000 students, and contains ?a student in about every major department,? Rieke said.

McMillen said the program has grown a great deal since her years as a student in the program.

?It was just tiny. There were hardly any students in it,? she said.