Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Sharon Carlson

Second Advisor

John Winchell


This thesis delves into the developmental journey of honors education at Western Michigan University's Lee Honors College spanning the years 1962 to 1992. Commencing with the establishment of honors programs in the United States, it explores the influential roles of key figures like Frank Aydelotte and Dr. Joseph Cohen. The document scrutinizes Dr. Samuel Clark's vision for WMU's honors program, the profound impact of the Keio University seminar, and the significant visit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The participation of Carl and Winifred Lee in the 1980s, coupled with Faith Gablenick's leadership in the late 1980s was also addressed in this paper. Moreover, the study investigates the Honors College's involvement in foreign study initiatives, encompassing seminars in Yugoslavia, Mexico, Guatemala, and China. The thesis concludes by scrutinizing the Russell H. Seibert Fund and the expansion of honors education during Gablenick's tenure. This comprehensive narrative unravels the rich history of Lee Honors College, underscoring its unwavering commitment to academic excellence, global engagement, and transformative learning experiences for students.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted