Honors Institute Graduates Go Places 

Honors graduates have gone on to careers in journalism, medicine, law, scientific research, NASA, business, high finance, and higher education. Others have been called to the priesthood or to life as members of religious orders. Among the graduate schools attended by Honors graduates have been the following:

  • The University of Chicago
  • The University of Notre Dame
  • Georgetown School of Foreign Service
  • The University of Michigan Law School
  • William and Mary Law School
  • Bowman Gray School of Medicine
  • Baylor University
  • The University of Dallas
  • Loyola University of Chicago

Current Students of the Honors Institute


Emma Piazza ’18

Belmont Abbey College’s motto inspires us to search for “Excellence and Virtue,” and the education I am receiving through the Honors Institute truly gives me the tools to strive towards these ideals. Under the guidance of our professors, my friends and I grapple with beautiful words and great ideas, leading us to an understanding of God and humanity. Classmates build each other up across the years, creating an invigorating community and an engaging environment. Friendships are lasting and deep and culminate in numerous activities, from discussing Aristotle at the dinner-table to visiting the Charlotte symphony. We are future doctors, journalists, priests, musicians, and teachers, yet we are all united through the desire to pursue Truth.


Jessica Camano ’18

Although this is only my first year at Belmont Abbey, the Honors Institute has already made a positive impact on my development as both a student and a person. Focused on a study of the great philosophers and classic literary works throughout the ages, this Honors program has given my peers and me the opportunity to scrutinize the works of great thinkers from Aristotle to Machiavelli, as we seek to fully understand their teachings through engaging in-class discussions and casual conversations that at times continue long into the night. These courses have challenged me to think for myself and form my own opinions on the works that we have studied and have helped me to determine what I truly value in life. Aside from growth in the academic sphere, I have formed a stronger identity as a person who values wisdom, faith, and constant striving towards excellence and virtue. This continued personal formation has been enhanced by a myriad of cultural events and by surrounding myself with peers who share in my interests. I highly recommend the Honors Institute for anyone who seeks a richer, deeper experience in life.


Vincent Ginski ’17

I love the rich classroom experience that the Honors Institute offers. The philosophically oriented core curriculum, the devoted doctors and professors who reinforce and feed our passion to learn the Truth, and the ambitious students in the program all collaborate to make my time here truly worthwhile. All of these parts comes together to form an Institute that symbiotically thrives off of everyone’s participation.


Robyn Hatcher ’16

I always strove to do well in high school, but it wasn’t till I joined the Honors Institute that I gained an appreciation for a love of learning through classical philosophy, modern philosophy, literature, and theology. In addition to playing soccer and studying Biology, Honors has shaped my thoughts and enhanced my person through close reading, professors’ guidance, high standards in written work, cultural events, travel to Italy, and friendships that I know will last a lifetime. The intimate academic experience provided by Honors enables the student to be confident in the search for truth.


Paige Duren ’15

Even though Belmont Abbey is a long way from home for me, I would not trade my experience here as an Honors student for any other college experience. The Honors Institute has exposed me to and challenged me with great texts and has satisfied my desire for adventure and curiosity by trips to Ireland, Italy, and Charlotte’s finest symphonies and art museums. All of my experiences in and out of the classroom helped me to make many close friends on campus ˗ friends who I now consider to be family. Largely because of Honors, I will always be thankful for my education, travels, and friendships formed during college, which I will cherish fondly for my entire life.


Kevin LoTruglio ’15

While studying in the Honors Institute, I discovered the following quotation from the magnanimous Harry V. Jaffa: “Never since Socrates,” Jaffa writes, “has philosophy so certainly descended from the heavens into the affairs of mortal men…[Abraham Lincoln] is, we are tempted to say, the eternal political science professor addressing the eternal class.” Drawing inspiration from Jaffa’s thought, the Honors Institute, I am tempted to say, has prepared me not only to be a student of the “eternal political science professor” but also of all those who possess knowledge and wisdom. Both Aristotelian intellectual virtues, knowledge and wisdom, are plentiful amongst the students of the Honors Institute. Many of the professors who have taught Honors Institute courses would be included amongst my most important mentors. In short, the persons I have encountered through the Honors Institute have facilitated my own intellectual and moral development.

Alumni of the Honors Institute


Annemarie Maimone ’12

“As a student in the Honors Institute, I have become part of a unique and engaging academic community. From classes and cultural events to professors and students, the Honors Institute has been my ideal college experience. In my History of Ideas course, I gained a profound appreciation for and greater understanding of philosophic texts. The artistic performances we attended were exciting and entertaining. I was able to build closer friendships through the shared experience of these events.”


Alexis Hess ’12

“Being part of the Honors Institute has been the highlight of my experience at Belmont Abbey College. In addition to a challenging curriculum, the Honors Institute involves studying with other students who share an enthusiasm and excitement for what they learn and how it applies to life and the world around them.”


Tom Varacalli ’11

“What I love about the Honors Institute is that it has focused not merely on knowledge, but on something higher: the awesome quest for truth, meaning, and happiness. It integrates the mind with the soul, logos with arête, Athens with Jerusalem. The result has been a life-changing experience. Even at dinner with my friends, conversation can easily turn to passionate discussions on the difference between rights and duties, the shrewdness of Machiavelli, which Greek philosopher is the better one. I have also been fortunate in having been able to attend performances of Baroque music, Verdi’s Aida, the music of an African Gospel choir. My Honors Institute friends and I have friends throughout the College, participate in a range of college activities – go to movies together, listen to concerts, and make occasional pilgrimages to Steak’n’Shake.”


Christine Basil ’11

“When I was offered an Honors Fellowship a few years ago, I could not have imagined the way that participating in the Honors Institute would broaden my perspectives both in and out of the classroom. Friendships, laughter, stimulating classes have contributed to an experience that sets not only the Honors Institute but this school apart from any other college. My education has been a blessing and an experience that I will treasure throughout my life.”