For years, The University of New Mexico’s Honors College has been lacking a permanent home on main campus, until now.

“I’m really pleased with the big sign we have out in the front of the building, that’s something I’ve wanted from the beginning,” Dean Gregory Lanier said.

The college relocated from the basement of the Student Health and Counseling Center (SHAC) to Anderson East, after a $2.1 million renovation.

“I think the planning for this move started almost 10 years ago,” Lanier said. “The renovation to this building has given everybody a home and a nice place to come work in.”

UNM’s Honors College program was founded in 1957. It transitioned from a program to a degree granting college in 2013. This semester there are 1,659 students enrolled in Honors College. Lanier said his vision, as well as the vision of the university, is for the Honors College to become both a magnet for recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest students from New Mexico.

UNM’s Honors College has been recognized by both regional and national honors organizations. The Center for Academic Excellence and Leadership Development (CAELD) is housed within the Honors College. CAELD provides programs to enhance the academic, personal, and professional development of high-achieving students. The primary mission of CAELD is to prepare students for the next steps after graduating from UNM, by strengthening each student’s potential to become a competitive candidate for graduate schools, nationally prestigious scholarships and professional opportunities.

“An honors college is a place for educational enhancement for the high achieving students. The students that the provost likes to call, 'the strivers.' It's the students who want to go above and beyond their normal learning.” - Honors College Dean Gregory Lanier

There are two signature areas within the newly-renovated building. The first is the Honors Adobe Creative Flexible Classroom, which contains state-of-the art equipment to enhance student experiences using Adobe software. The classroom includes a 3D printer, a large-scale printer and complete zoom-based projection and networking equipment. The second area is the Honors Forum. The open area is designed to showcase exemplary creative activity and research projects produced by students.

“We now have a showcase place where we can bring students and see what an honors environment and honors learning situation would be here, putting us on par with other learning institutions,” Lanier said.