Since its inception in 1985, the Honors College has awarded our graduates with Medallions bearing the Owl of Athena, a revered symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and academic virtue.

This year – with our incoming Class of 2023 – we began a new tradition to integrate the Owl of Athena emblem into each year of the journey toward graduation. In recognition of your ongoing commitment to your education, the college will award you with a pin corresponding to your progress at the beginning of each academic year.

University Honor Pins featuring the owl symbols

Our hope is that these pins serve as a visual reminder that you are now part of an extraordinary community that embraces the pursuit of wisdom and your best selves. We recommend attaching it to something that you will see daily such as your backpack.

Then, when the time for graduation finally arrives, you will receive the coveted Honors College Medallion and join the ranks of our esteemed alumni.

Why the Owl of Athena?

In Greek mythology, Athena, the goddess of wisdom, was often depicted with an owl as her loyal companion and guardian. The owl, with its penetrating gaze and ability to see in darkness, became synonymous with wisdom, foresight, and the ability to see beyond the surface. It represents the power of critical thinking and intellectual curiosity —essential qualities that Honors College students cultivate throughout their educational journey.