Students and faculty associated with the honors program gathered at the President's House on Sept. 19 to celebrate retired philosophy professor William Edgar, who founded the program.
Edgar and his wife Stacey, also a philosophy professor, have traditionally hosted a party for the program in their home during the fall semester. President Christopher Dahl said he felt that this type of event would be "the perfect occasion" for formally announcing the re-naming of the honors program as the Edgar Fellows Program.
He hosted an honors gathering in the past when the Edgars were on sabbatical, and felt his house would be able to accommodate the large turnout.
Dahl described Edgar, who retired in 2005, as a "really distinguished" professor who pioneered curriculum initiatives and truly changed the lives of many of his students. "He follows his students for their lives, and is always teaching them," Dahl said.
Edgar Fellows Program director Olympia Nicodemi said that the re-naming of the program was recommended by many of those in connection with it and eventually, the choice to do so was obvious. She said the program was "totally his creation, and [it] carries his mark with it." She said she hopes the re-naming will serve as a lasting thanks to Edgar.
"I think it's very nice for Bill … he deserves it," said Stacey Edgar, who teaches one section of the introductory honors course for freshmen and sophomores entering the program.
Bill Edgar served as chair of the philosophy department for over 20 years, and he was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1974 and 1976.