September 13, 2018

Selective program provides 23 outstanding students with opportunities for intensive study and scholarly research

Centenary University has launched a new Honors Program for the fall semester, providing academically talented students with opportunities for advanced study and scholarly research. In its inaugural year, the program has accepted 23 students after a rigorous selection process that required an application, letters of recommendation and a personal interview.

The honors students include 12 incoming freshmen and one transfer student, as well as 10 current Centenary sophomores and juniors. While previous academic success was a factor in the selection process, it wasn’t the final determination, according to Lauren Bergey, associate professor of biology and Honors Program director. “We were looking not just for the students with the highest GPAs, but for well-rounded students,” Bergey explained. “They needed to show evidence of leadership and community service. Through this program, Centenary brings in high quality students who are real go-getters.”

After attending a conference organized by the National Collegiate Honors Council, Bergey formed an Honors Council at Centenary to develop the program over the last academic year. In addition to courses required for their major, Honors Program students complete several thought-provoking classes across a range of academic disciplines. For instance, this fall Centenary University President David P. Haney is presenting “How Do We Know?,” a history of knowledge that melds philosophy and ethics to interpret the world and identify truths from falsehoods. Honors Program students must also complete a capstone project under the direction of a capstone advisor.

“The Honors Program illustrates how students get more one-on-one attention at small universities like Centenary,” said Bergey, pointing out that Honors Students also work closely with their academic advisor and an honors advisor during their undergraduate studies. “Sometimes students initially think they want to go to a larger institution, but then realize they’ll get more personal attention here. Centenary really is a hidden gem.”


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.