July 14, 2024

Love was in the air at the “Feelin’ the Love De-stress Event” sponsored by the Honors department last Wednesday. Students were rejuvenated by coloring giant coloring pages, decorating heart-shaped cookies, painting canvases and performing yoga poses to the beat of hit pop songs at the Matthies Honors House. 

The Matthies Honors House, located on Alumni Way, hosts a variety of events for honors students and the larger Wittenberg community. Members of the University Honors department have 24-hour access to the house and frequently visit to complete homework assignments, meet with study groups and indulge in complimentary coffee and hot chocolate drinks. Recently, tutors from the Writing Center and the Math Workshop have begun holding weekly walk-in tutoring sessions at the honors house. 

While the event was sponsored by the Honors department, the event was open to the entire student body. The Director of the University Honors Program, Molly Wood, explained how the department is actively trying to involve non-honors students.

“The idea is to grow our honors community by inviting other students into the honors space, as a kind of outreach so that honors students and non-honors students have more opportunities to engage with each other,” Wood stated. “Since the Matthies Honors House is not open to the public, honors students will, if they choose to, invite a friend and accompany them to the Matthies House for the event.”

On top of reviving themselves through the countless self-love activities, students were also encouraged to help others in need. In the upstairs computer lab, attendees were able to create and send Valentine’s day cards to patients at various children’s hospitals. Jenny Larrick (‘20) expressed how heartwarming it felt to cheer up hospital patients with a simple card. 

“If it makes a kid’s day, then that makes me feel good,” Larrick said. She explained that she was able to choose between four unique drawings created by current patients at Dayton Children’s Hospital. While she loved all the drawings, Larrick expressed her favor for a drawing of a narwhal offering an adorable proposition: “‘Whale’ you be my Valentine?” Senders will also receive pictures of the children opening the cards if they provide their emails. 

Peyton Ernst (‘22) sent many customized cards to children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She worked diligently to draw hearts on all of the cards she sent. 

“I just want to be helpful and make people happy,” Ernst said. 

The value of inclusivity that is shared by these two students is also valued by the Honors department. Assistant Honors director, Beth Hallauer, explained how she believes the program fosters a sense of community for Wittenberg students. 

“The Program is also concerned with building community – not just the Honors community, but the Wittenberg community,” Hallauer said. “Just as coaches seek out ways to support their player’s physical and athletic pursuits at the highest level, Honors seeks to offer opportunities and support for students to excel academically.”

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