Summer Honors 2021 Takes Place at Lee
By Merritt Jenkins
Lee University’s 36th annual Summer Honors program recently hosted 190 incoming freshmen and rising high school seniors from around the country for a two-week experience. This spiritual, interactive, and academic event prepares them for the academic and social challenges of college.
This year’s Summer Honors experience was based on the spiritual theme of “Pursuit,” which comes from Philippians 3:12-14.
“The focus was on how we have a choice in terms of what we pursue individually and as a community,” said Dr. Mike Hayes, vice president for Student Development. “The students engaged this theme wholeheartedly, inspiring me about the future.”
During their two-week stay, students participated in various activities in and outside of the classroom. Students chose two of the 14 classes offered in order to receive six college credits, including three new classes and revised old ones. Class selections included “Becoming More than Christian: Developing a Faith that Informs Your Life;” “Disaster Health and Survival: When Others Run Out, We Run In;” and “Leading in Cancel Culture,” among others.
Worship services were also held during the program, featuring Hayes and Lee President Dr. Mark Walker.
Over the two weeks, students participated in various activities such as whitewater rafting, campus-wide Capture the Flag, and an open-air concert and karaoke with food trucks. They also visited Chattanooga for a night out and enjoyed an “80s Night” party.
Service projects, which are traditionally held during Summer Honors, remained on campus to limit contact with off‐campus partners or community members. Students wrote letters to those incarcerated at the Bradley County Justice Center.
Through devotionals and small groups, students were able to experience the faith-development aspect of campus life.
“Summer Honors has been an experience that allowed me to grow spiritually and mentally,” said Lindsey Ross, Summer Honors participant for two years. “I created lifelong friendships that hold me accountable in my pursuit to grow my relationship with God.”
The university made some significant COVID-19 shifts in order to hold as normal a Summer Honors experience as possible, according to Hayes.
Lee has announced its plans to fully return to normal by the start of the fall semester.
For more information about Summer Honors, visit leeuniversity.edu/summer-honors or contact the Office of Student Development at (423) 614-8406.