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Greetings, Honors Colleagues:

On behalf of the 2021 Conference Planning Committee, the Board of Directors, and the staff of the NCHC national headquarters, welcome to our 56th Annual Conference. Since the last time we were together in New Orleans, a lot has happened. The world is a different place. While I have seen some of you on Zoom squares, I miss the collaborations that happen because of a random conversation at the conference. For those who are able to make it in person, welcome. Please continue to take all the precautions to make this a safe and successful conference for all. 

Little did we know how much we would need to reimagine honors and higher education when we identified a conference theme to complement our Disney location back in January 2020. I am looking forward to hearing from our presenters about their adaptations to teaching and learning these last 20 months, and having follow-up conversations both in session, in the hallways and across a table sharing a meal. I want to recognize that attendance may be significantly less than what NCHC conferences have historically drawn. It is important to acknowledge that many of our colleagues are unable to travel, due to personal health, program and university budget cuts and the ongoing COVID-19 circumstances.

On the main stage this week, you'll get a taste of Imagineering in education, insights into space travel, explorers who continue to make new discoveries here on earth, and we'll celebrate the successes of our students and alumni. Friday night, we’ll also get a taste of flavors from around the world at EPCOT's International Food & Wine Festival. Saturday we can revel in the week's hard work at the NCHC Costume Party.

With the diverse members of the honors community - students, faculty, administrators and administrative staff - the myriad of perspectives and experiences upon which we can draw, and the setting, we have something for everyone (from first-time attendees to veterans). Be mindful that conference can be as exhausting as it is exhilarating (reimagining takes energy!) and for many this is your first major excursion since spring of 2020. Pace yourselves. Step outside and walk the grounds. Sometimes in the stillness of a break, an original insight emerges.

We are excited that you have taken time from your busy schedules to spend the next few days with your extended honors family. We hope you enjoy the collegial atmosphere of our conference, make new friends, learn a great deal, and have fun. 

Cheers, Christina

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney

Christina McIntyre  
2021 Conference Chair  
NCHC President Elect