Board of Regents approves naming of the John E. Sallstrom Honors College

Board of Regents approves naming of the John E. Sallstrom Honors College

From left to right: Honors College Dean Brian Newsome, GC President Steve Dorman, Provost Costas Spirou and Professor Emeritus Ken Saladin cut the ribbon in front of the Humber-White House.
From left to right: Honors College Dean Brian Newsome, GC President Steve Dorman, Provost Costas Spirou and Professor Emeritus Ken Saladin cut the ribbon in front of the Humber-White House.

The Board of Regents approved the naming of the John E. Sallstrom Honors College at a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Sallstrom was the founder of the Honors Program at Georgia College and a staunch supporter of giving high-caliber students unique learning opportunities.

“The namesake of our Honors College is Dr. John Sallstrom, whom I’ve had a long-lasting professional relationship,” said Dr. Ken Saladin, who recently gifted $1 million to embark the Honors Program off on its new mission as a designated college within the university. “He began here seven years before me and came to Georgia College as chair of the religion and philosophy department.”

Sallstrom heavily encouraged students to explore leadership and innovation throughout their studies at Georgia College. In 1973, he helped students initiate the Honors Student Association, later renamed Eta Sigma Alpha. In 1996, he established the Honors and Scholars Endowment Fund to provide additional long-term financial support for the program. 

“I think Dr. Sallstrom’s biggest contribution to Honors at Georgia college was being a visionary,” said Saladin. “He conceived of the idea that we should have an Honors Program even when we were a small, local college. He wanted to do something special for high-caliber students and give them special learning opportunities.”

The Honors Program and now, the Honors College, is the crown jewel of Georgia College- Dr. Ken Saladin, professor emeritus

Throughout Honors history, the program has had three directors: Dr. John Sallstrom, Dr. Doris Moody and Dr. Steven Elliot-Gower. Dr. Brian Newsome was selected as the Honors College inaugural dean this year and he will spearhead its future as the fifth official college at the university. 

“It’s about raising the profile of honors at Georgia College,” Newsome said. “An honors college means having the resources for transformative experiences. When I interviewed here, I found a deep appreciation for that type of honors community, and that appealed to me.”

As part of the overhaul of Honors at the university, the Humber-White House has been renovated into “a vibrant hub” for honors activities. Space includes a kitchen for food receptions, lounge and study areas and the Doris C. Moody Seminar Room for “dynamic conversations.” 

“The Honors Program and now, the Honors College, is the crown jewel of Georgia College,” Saladin said. “It epitomizes what it means to teach students how to think—not what to think but how to think analytically, collaboratively and across disciplines.”

To commemorate 50 years of Honors at Georgia College, and to mark the opening of the new John E. Sallstrom Honors College, join in a Zoom-based celebration during Alumni Week, on Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. The celebration will feature a short film of the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Humber-White House, comments by President Steven Dorman and Provost Costas Spirou, a history of the Honors Program and reflections on the path that lies before the new Honors College. It will also have a directors’ panel featuring each of the previous Honors directors: Dr. John Sallstrom, Dr. Doris Moody and Dr. Steve Elliott-Gower. The evening concludes with a 360-degree video tour of the Humber-White House.

To join the virtual 50th-anniversary celebration of Honors at Georgia College, please register here.