The J. Spencer and Patricia H. Standish Honors Program

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Investing in academic excellence today to produce leaders for tomorrow.

The J. Spencer and Patricia Standish Honors Program supports the intellectual and aesthetic growth of its students through personal interaction with faculty and staff both inside and outside the classroom. The Honors Program expands opportunities to develop critical and creative thinking; to gather, synthesize and analyze evidence in making reasoned and informed judgments; to appreciate cultural diversity; and to enhance written and oral communication skills. Every effort is made to challenge the intellectually motivated students while keeping them fully involved in the life of the College. There are multiple points of entry into the Standish Honors Program.

Begun in the fall of 2002 as part of Siena’s academic excellence plan, The Standish Honors Program has grown from an initial cadre of 32 undergraduates to its current enrollment of 300, a ten-fold expansion achieved not by lowering standards but by raising them.

There are 3 components to the program: honors courses (small and highly interactive seminars), service and research/thesis.

Learn more about the Standish Honors Program

Voices of Our Campaign

Marissa Potts

Marissa Potts ’14

B.A. in English and Spanish
Pre-Law Certificate

Amidst all of Marissa Potts’ engaging academic and extracurricular work, being a part of the Standish Honors Program was the most rewarding. “It made me a better independent student,” she said.

Lois Daly, Ph.D.

Lois Daly, Ph.D.

Director of the Standish Honors Program,
Professor of Religious Studies

Lois Daly’s passion for the Standish Honors Program and liberal arts education is clear. “The one-on-one (students) get with the mentor during the thesis project is absolutely thrilling for many of them. They have no idea that they can be talking with faculty as colleagues.”

J. Spencer and Patricia Standish

J. Spencer and Patricia Standish

J. Spencer Standish is a Siena College Trustee Emeritus; both serve as members of the Honorary Campaign Committee

Patricia Standish began teaching English literature at Siena College in 1958. Since then, she and her husband J. Spencer have maintained a close relationship with the Siena community. “We believe in Siena and what it is doing. The academic climate is exceptional,” said Patricia.

Naming Opportunities

The J. Spencer and Patricia H. Standish Honors Program (J. Spencer H'04 and Patricia H. H'04 Standish)
Endow program costs.
Directors Fund ($25,000 each)
Supports the Executive Director’s compensation.
Senior Thesis Fund ($25,000 each)
Supports students who cannot complete their senior thesis because doing so will put them over the 16-credit limit for tuition and they cannot afford the extra cost.



Standish Honors Program

$1.1 mil. committed
to $1.5 mil. goal

Original Goal Exceeded!Let's Keep Going