Thanks to generous gifts received through the Together We Reach campaign, the Honors College at the University of Utah welcomed a unique, state-of-the-art residence hall to campus. Dedicated specifically for Honors students, the building features apartment-style living, classrooms, faculty offices and mixed use space. The Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community is the first building of its kind at the U.
The building's 3-tower design reflects the Honors philosophy of engaged learning, by creating an environment that nurtures students academically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Each Honors student accepted for residency in the building is enrolled in a cohort community such as the First-Year Experience, Outdoor Leadership and Education and Honors Science group. These Live/Learn models engage students with like-minded individuals and faculty mentors to provide coordinated classroom and extracurricular experiences, building affinity for Honors and creating relationships that will last a lifetime.
The first floor of the building houses the Honors academic experience: Virginia and L.E. Simmons "Big Ideas" Innovation Center the home of the Engaged Learning Initiative, two seminar rooms, a library, three Honors faculty offices, and two Residential Education offices. The C. Charles and Lisette Hetzel Honors Commons at the center of the building is the community hub, and is open to the entire campus.
Each residential wing of the building is centered among a series of "Honors Towers" which provide both conceptual and functional identities to the space. Select floors within the building are dedicated to different disciplines or learning communities. Other amenities include: an indoor fireplace, the Honors Market, music room, on-site laundromat, ski wax room, secure bike storage, pool table, TV lounge, exterior living room with a fire pit and easy access to TRAX light rail station.
The second year of operations at the Marriott Honors Community has far exceeded our expectations, and the building continues to provide the hospitality of a home-away-from-home for our students.
In 2013, local Honors students living on campus rose by 4.38%, with over half of all Honors residents returning to Honors student housing. We feel this is due, in large part, to the increased sense of fellowship and belonging these students develop as part of our Living Learning Communities.