Virginia Tech Receives $20 Million for Honors Fellowship Program

Member News, Transdisciplinary Collaboration

March 21, 2018

Virginia Tech has announced a $20 million gift from alumnus David Calhoun (’79) to pilot a collaborative learning initiative within its Honors College.

The largest gift in the university’s history will support the launch of the Calhoun Honors Discovery Program with the goal of equipping graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in today’s complex and dynamic society. To that end, the program will encourage students to apply their understanding of cross-cutting concepts into transdisciplinary, hands-on, problem-solving experiences that engage partners in industry and other professional sectors. Building on the university’s Pathways for General Education, a longstanding initiative to help students connect different disciplines and experiences through high-level concepts, the program initially will include honors students from four participating Virginia Tech colleges: architecture and urban studies, engineering, science, and business.

The lion’s share of the gift — $15 million — will endow a fund that supports the recruitment and retention of Discovery Program participants and ultimately will benefit two hundred Honors College students a year. The remaining $5 million will be used to develop the Discovery Program curriculum and launch the Calhoun Center for Higher Education Innovation.

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