Mission, Methodology, and History | Lloyd International Honors College

About Us

Dragon Puppet

Mission, Methodology, and History

The mission of Lloyd International Honors College (LIHC), with housing and living-learning communities in four Residential Colleges,  encompassing the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Office, and with multiple scholarship opportunities, is to recruit outstanding undergraduate students to UNCG and to provide them with an enhanced and supportive intellectual and social experience that acculturates them to the life of the mind and helps them to become critical, independent thinkers who are active in the design and pursuit of their own education, become globally aware and community engaged, and prepared to lead successful and fulfilling professional, civic, and personal lives.

This goal will be accomplished through the active involvement of faculty (noted for their excellence in undergraduate teaching) in:

  • teaching small Honors sections of regular catalog courses, interdisciplinary Honors courses and seminars;
  • guiding and supervising student research;
  • guiding and supervising student international experiences such as study abroad, internships, and service learning; and
  • acculturating students to the life of the mind through intellectual social activities such as cultural events, public lectures, symposia, and colloquia.
  • Build critical oral communication skills using creative modes of learning that incorporate performance, improvisation, and play as part of developing social and emotional intelligence for greater global competency.

Lloyd International Honors College is an independent academic unit with its own budget and with a Dean who reports to the Provost. The Dean works in close cooperation with a faculty University Honors Council to establish and review policies and procedures for Lloyd International Honors College. Consistent with these policies and procedures, subject to UNCG governance requirements, Lloyd International Honors College:

  • disseminates information about Honors requirements, benefits, awards, and LIHC certificate recipients to prospective Honors students and other interested publics through direct communication, university publications, and the news media;
  • admits students to LIHC, maintains records concerning their continued eligibility to belong in LIHC and their progress toward earning Honors certificates, and certifies their LIHC awards and LIHC certificates to the University Registrar;
  • provides special Honors academic advising through LIHC’s office by faculty and professional staff;
  • provides advice and coaching for students interested in applying for nationally competitive scholarships, fellowships, and other awards;
  • encourages and coordinates the creation and scheduling of Honors sections of regular catalog courses taught by other academic units;
  • develops, schedules, and budgets interdisciplinary Honors courses and seminars taught by faculty from the other academic units;
  • promotes Honors students’ involvement in research which culminates in a Senior Honors Project;
  • sponsors Honors residence halls for those Honors students who wish to live there;
  • facilitates communication with the UNCG community among students, faculty, staff, and administration with regard to Honors matters;
  • celebrates the achievements of Honors students at an annual gathering;
  • solicits nominations and chooses among those nominations the winners of UNCG’s Provost Student Excellence Award, and celebrates the achievements of those and other exemplary UNCG students at UNCG’s annual Student Honors Convocation;
  • arranges special programs and events for the larger University community;
  • participates fully in the activities of the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Southern Regional Honors Council, and the North Carolina Honors Association;
  • works with the Development Office on programs that lead to private gifts that will support and advance LIHC’s mission; and
  • works with the Alumni Affairs Office to foster LIHC alumni interest and loyalty.

High Impact Practices

Lloyd International Honors College aims to carry out high impact educational practices. See “Ensuring Quality and Taking High Impact Practices to Scale” by George Kuh and his colleagues at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (2013). These include the following:
  • First Year Seminars and Experiences
  • Common Intellectual Experiences
  • Learning Communities
  • Writing Intensive Courses
  • Collaborative Assignments and Projects
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Diversity/Global Learning
  • Service Learning, Community-Based Learning
  • Internships
  • Capstone Courses and Projects.
  • ePortfolios

See UTLC High Impact Practices



Our theoretical and methodological influences and underpinnings are partly derived from Lev Vygotsky, an early twentieth-century Russian methodologist. His insight into what he calls Zones of Proximal Development have been valuable to us in thinking about creating developmental learning environments, weather in the classroom, lab, or field, or in other areas of campus and off-campus life. There is also the work and influence of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, the mid-twentieth century Austro-British philosopher, whose ‘language-games’ influence our notions of play and practical philosophizing. We are also very much guided by the work of Lois Holzman, the American developmental psychologist whose insights have been especially valuable with regards to the power of improvisation and ‘performance’ in learning; finally, among others, there is the work of Carol Dweck, whose “growth mindset” have been of value in the educational culture we cultivate in the Honors College.

In practical terms, we teach our students to ‘Yes, and’ each other—an approach derived from and used in improv theatre to create scenes. The approach entails (1) paying attention to what others say or do, (2) building on what others say or do, (3) and making those around you look good. It is a powerful and creative approach to becoming better conversationalists and excellent learners, and, in the process, helping others to learn and grow. We offer improv workshops and infuse this playful, performative, experimental approach into the culture of the Honors College.



The Honors College at UNC Greensboro is part of a public research university with a diverse, mostly poor and working-class student body, a high proportion of whom are first-generation college students. The university was founded in 1891 as the designated women’s college of the UNC system, and explicitly for white women. It would not become racially integrated until 1956 and then co-ed in 1963. Honors itself began as a program within the university’s College of Arts & Sciences in 1947, when UNC Greensboro was still called the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina. Honors began with six students and grew slowly. In 1962, the program received a boost through a grant from the Ford Foundation to support and incentivize 100 students. Ten years later, Honors included 200 students, each of whom completed Honors courses and wrote a senior thesis. The Honors Program continued under several directors until 2006, when it became the Aubrey Paul and Georgia Garrison Lloyd International Honors College at the request of Rebecca Lloyd, an alumna who provided a multi-million dollar endowment, establishing its present structure as a college with its own dean and additional staff.



1947: Women’s College Honors Program founded with 6 students 

1956: First African American students admitted to the university

1962: A Ford Foundation grant will help grow Honors to 100 students

1964: Women’s College becomes UNC Greensboro; first male students admitted to the university

1972: Honors Program grows to 200 students

1989: Honors Senior Thesis created; the first dedicated Honors Academic Advisor hired

1997: Honors Liaison Faculty Network is established; first Raft Debate in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences

2001: First Honors Symposium is organized with participants drawn from across the state, including private and community colleges

2005: International Honors College created with three tracks: Disciplinary, General Education, and Full Honors

2006: Rebecca Lloyd donates $4 million to establish Lloyd International Honors College–the largest alumna gift to UNCG

2010: Dr. Jerry Pubantz named founding Dean; North Spencer becomes the first Honors Residence Hall; and the first Chancellor’s Residential Fellows named

2012: Honors Faculty Fellows established; Honors courses are offered by faculty from across most of UNCG’s schools and colleges

2013: Gray Hall becomes the second Honors Residence; the Honors Ambassadors student leadership program underway

2014:  Artist in Residence Program established in partnership with the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Office

2015: Dr. Omar Ali named Dean and introduces play, improvisation, and performance to support student learning and development; the seminar “Human Rights for Whom?” with American University Beirut is offered by Honors faculty

2016: South Spencer becomes the third Honors Residence; the Honors College grows to over 1,000 students; “Ludite, Explorate, Perficite!” (Play, Experiment, Perform!) becomes Honors motto

2017: Partnership with the National Humanities Center bridging the humanities and sciences; over 100 Honors students now regularly studying abroad through International Programs Center

2018: Developmental psychologist Lois Holzman serves as Distinguished Vygotskian Visiting Scholar; pioneering presidential candidate Lenora Fulani gives Annual Honors Lecture

2019: Honors produces first TEDxUNCG “Empower” theme; YDG Interdisciplinary Honors Journal launched; Honors offers a range of colloquia, seminars, dedicated sections, and contract courses; LIHC also helps to establish UNCG’s local chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.

2020: The global pandemic compels much of the Honors College to temporarily go online with virtual classes, internships, and programing; we learn from this experience to develop new international experience options.

2021: Ambassador Akbar Ahmed gives the Annual Honors Lecture; Let’s Learn! The World as Classroom launched with partners in India, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Mexico, and Taiwan.

2022: For the third time, Honors hosts the North Carolina Honors Association conference; the Global Honors program is launched, building on partnerships across campus; LIHC also co-hosts the Cultivating Ensembles international conference “Exploring Across STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math).

2023: The Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Office and both Ashby and Strong Residential Colleges (RCs) become part of LIHC. Honors further expands its support of all undergraduate students.

2024: North and South Spencer become Residential Colleges. Each of the four RCs have living-learning themes, with related courses and programing: Law & Social Justice (South Spencer); Community Health, Medicine & Wellness (North Spencer); Social & Environmental Sustainability (Strong);  and Arts, Design & Media (Ashby).