We can't wait to meet you

Schedule a visit Apply to Lyon

Honors Fellows

The Honors Fellows Program is a rigorous course of study designed to provide highly skilled, motivated students the opportunity to study, hone their research skills, and exchange ideas in a challenging and supportive academic environment. Honors Fellows work closely with Lyon College faculty in small, specially-designed courses to extend their academic experience beyond the scope of the traditional undergraduate curriculum.

Honors Fellows have the opportunity to learn among their peers, customize their education through course contracts and points, connect with research opportunities, build long-lasting relationships with faculty members, travel domestically and internationally, and enjoy the benefits of living in Honors Fellows housing.


Meet the Faculty

  Dr. Wesley Beal
  Professor of English, Director of Honors Fellows Program

  Contact information
  Office 211 in the Alphin Humanities Building 
  870.307.7174 | wesley.beal@lyon.edu | View bio


Hear about the program from the first class


First Honors Fellows Graduates

After being accepted into the new program four years ago, Lyon College’s first class of Honors Fellows graduated on May 22, 2021.

“We have a great bond as a graduating class and have loved getting to grow the program and mentor new Fellows,” said Melissa Elliott, of Benton.

“It’s exciting and exhilarating to be able to move on in society,” said Riley Young, of West Memphis. “I know my education has prepared me well.”

Hannah Zang, of McKinney, Texas, enjoyed serving as an officer for the past four years, including as president of the program her senior year.

“I think it’s really exciting to have our first class of Fellows graduate,” she said. “It has been cool to watch the program grow.”


Reflections on the Program

Zang said the program has expanded and changed a lot since the senior Fellows’ first year.

“Saying we were guinea pigs is a nice way to put it,” she said, laughing. “My class came in not really knowing the next few steps. Everything was a first for everyone, so there was really no one to ask.”

The senior Fellows developed a mentor program to facilitate relationships between the different classes of Fellows and give younger students someone to go to for advice. She said this year was the first time all four class years at Lyon were represented in the program.

“The younger Fellows’ experiences have differed so much from ours,” Zang said. “We’ve enjoyed having events where everyone gets to come out, meet each other and share their experiences.”

Elliott said the program’s original vision has changed a good deal, but having peers to turn to for help and advice has made all the difference.

Associate Professor of English Dr. Wesley Beal has served as the coordinator of the Honors Fellows program, helping to develop the initial framework with other faculty. He said the learning community that the Fellows have built has been critical to their studies and their personal development.

“Frankly, it has exceeded our hopes and expectations by far,” Beal said. “I am beyond proud of these students--what they've accomplished and who they are becoming.” 

Like many Lyon students who have come before them, he said they exemplify the ideals of the liberal arts. 

Beal continued, “As a group, they are funky and ambitious, and it's been a joy to watch them grow together over these past years.”

Bube credited Beal’s leadership for helping the program reach its current point.

“I can’t say enough about his leadership in developing the program,” Bube said. “It shows by the way students respond to him.”

Elliott said she cannot thank the Fellows enough for making her college experience, rocky as it was at times, one that she will cherish forever.

“For future Fellows, I would say go out in the commons and make friends. With your peers, you are stronger than you know and can work together to get what you need.”

Elliott concluded, “Leaving our mark on the honors program is a legacy we can all be proud of.”