Insignis Program  
 

1985-2010: 25th Anniversary of the Insignis Honors Program

 
The Insignis Program was designed as a place for high-achieving students to do a different kind of work, rather than just more work, through offbeat seminars and the opportunity for individual work at the senior level, while also providing a place for academic-focused students to socialize and connect. 
 
Insignis Fun Facts
  • 1984: Gary Eberle began the discussion regarding resources spent at Aquinas on high achieving students compared to low achieving students.
  • 1985: The program begins with 12 students.  The first seminar is called “Everything you know may be wrong.”
  • About 1990: Gary Eberle, Mike Blomme, Char Griffin, and Paula Meehan designed the Spectrum Scholarship Competition in an attempt to bring more high-achieving students with leadership skills to Aquinas.
  • 1990s: Got involved with the Mid-East Honors Association (MEHA) and the Michigan Honors Association (MHA).
  • 2001: Michelle DeRose becomes the head of the program
 
Chicago Trip, Fall 2009 Mid-East Honors Association (MEHA) conference, 1996
Chicago Trip, Fall 2009 Mid-East Honors Association (MEHA) conference, 1996
 
Memorable Moments
  • Trips to MEHA conferences
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Week Plays (and the practices for them)
  • Trips to Stratford, Ontario
  • Insignis Seminars
  • The Symposium
  • Muffin Fridays
  • Trivial Pursuit against Calvin College
  • Living in the Insignis LLC in Meijer Hall
  • Cultural events in Grand Rapids and elsewhere
 
Insignis Mentor Bowling, 2009 A performance during St. Thomas Aquinas Week, 2000
Insignis Mentor Bowling, 2009 A performance during St. Thomas Aquinas Week, 2000
 
Comments from Alumni and Current Students
“Insignis made my experience in Aquinas richer: it gave the eggheads an opportunity to get to know each other better, to celebrate geekdom, and to be involved in something.” - Jason Tylenda ‘97
 
“I think Insignis helped broaden my learning experience, exposing me to things I wouldn’t have been exposed to - such as an independent project in Biology and unique classes such as one on African history/culture.” - Siobhan Kent ‘99
 
“Being in Insignis gave me confidence as I left Aquinas.” - Nora (Veine) Berninger ‘93
 
“I joined because I wanted to be able to be part of something special and elite in college. I wanted to separate myself from the average student.” - Edward Seymour
 
“I joined Insignis because I was hoping to take classes with students who I could learn from and who wanted the most out of their college experience. I most looked forward to being a part of a smaller community within the AQ community with other students who valued knowledge and service, as well as an academic challenge.” - Kristina Krausman