The social opportunities in the honors program are varied enough that there is something for everyone! Dinner parties in the Marx Center will typically feature a spread of ethnic fare from one of Frederick’s amazing restaurants – Mexican, Indian, Thai, and Mediterranean have been favorites in the past, and our Chinese Holiday Dinner is a long standing Honors tradition.
Honors students living in Marx plan monthly events open to all. Recently we’ve had a themed murder mystery dinner, movie and pizza night and a board game night with drinks and snacks. Pumpkin carving has been hosted on the Marx patio around Halloween, where there is also a fire pit and a grill for the use of honors students and their guests. The honors lounge in Marx is another place where students can gather any time of the day or night, and students have 24-hour access to the kitchen in the Honors suite, which is stocked with snacks and drinks.
Honors program trips are legendary. We take at least two big trips a year and try to partner with other departments to take joint trips as the opportunity arises—we’ve gone to both Richmond and Philadelphia this way. Honors students are often permitted to bring a guest who is not in the program on trips. Our fall semester trips have taken us to such diverse places as a performance of Cirque du Soleil, a lighthouse tour of the Chesapeake Bay, a steam locomotive ride through the mountains of western Maryland, a performance of “Oliver!” at Arena Stage, and a day at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, complete with a ticket to the aquarium, and, pass to tour the historic ships docked there.
Every spring we go to New York for a day in the city and an evening on Broadway. Students have the opportunity to vote on which shows they’d like to see, and we do our best to get tickets to those performances. Since we believe that no one should be prevented by financial considerations from taking part in these opportunities, the cost to students for honors trips and activities is either minimal or nothing.
Individual classes have traveled to Civil War battlefields, a mosque, the New Jersey shore (in the wake of Hurricane Sandy), a Middle Eastern restaurant, a birthing center, and numerous museums and theater performances in D.C., Baltimore and beyond.
We also look for opportunities to forge partnerships and participate in activities that benefit the local community. Our annual fall stream cleaning and cookout with honors students from Frederick Community College is always a good time!