That is the distance between Chapel Hill and London.
But for the past 30 years, Honors Carolina has made that distance seem smaller by connecting Carolina’s best and brightest students to the international academic community. Both the Honors in London Program and Winston House, Honors Carolina’s London home and the hub for UNC study abroad programs across Europe, are celebrating anniversaries this year — 30 years for Honors in London and 15 years for Winston House.
An event held Oct. 29 at Winston House in historic Bedford Square kicked off a yearlong celebration. UNC faculty, students and donors gathered to celebrate the
many years that Winston House has provided Carolina students with a home away from home while studying in London. College
of Arts & Sciences Interim Dean Terry Ellen Rhodes ’78, Peter T. Grauer Associate Dean for Honors Carolina Jim Leloudis ’77. Ph.D. ’89 and Vice Chancellor for Development David Routh were all in attendance.
The Honors London experience is part of the larger Honors Global program, which prepares students to develop cross-cultural competencies and to operate in a competitive, globalized economy, fulfilling UNC’s “Global Guarantee” that every student will graduate with the skills and experience needed to be engaged global citizens.
“Winston House is one of the resources that helps make these opportunities possible,” Rhodes said. “Winston House and our Honors Carolina programs are made possible through the support of generous donors. We could not do all that we do in the College of Arts & Sciences without committed alumni, working with us, sharing our vision for an even greater Carolina and helping us advance our mission. A global education and global experiences are a huge part of what we want our students to be doing.”
Winston House offers Carolina students the opportunity to study and work in the heart of an international city. It sits in one of the most vibrant, historical, cultural areas of the city. Bedford Square is the oldest remaining intact Georgian garden square in the city and located in historic Bloomsbury, a neighborhood in central London that has long been associated with literature, art and learning, and is just steps away from the British Museum, University College London, and West End theaters, opening up endless areas to explore.
“I can’t really begin to tell you how gratifying this is to stand here this evening and see Winston House so full of life,” Leloudis said. “It is the fulfillment of a dream that began more than 15 years ago, and here we are tonight in this magnificent study center.”
Leloudis reiterated the promise that Honors Carolina makes to students — “Come Here. Go Anywhere” — and the launching pad that it can be for the rest of their lives.
“If students come to Chapel Hill, if they come here to Winston House and take advantage of all that a great university has to offer, they will be prepared to vault into life and go wherever their dreams and aspirations might lead them,” he said.
He also offered a reminder: “To the students who fill this place with such vitality, I hope you know that you are the reason this place exists.”
The Heart of Winston House
Erin Tschupp ’13, Winston House director, sees the myriad ways the Honors in London Program and Winston House provide students with a unique and valuable experience.
“Getting to do internships in the city is such a huge draw for students, and it is such a joy for us to enable that and watch them grow, not only as students and academics but as professionals, and international professionals,” she said. “Working abroad, particularly in a global city like London, is invaluable. Not only are you experiencing a different culture, but you may be experiencing 10 different cultures in one office, and that is so, so vital in this day and age where we are getting smaller and smaller as a planet, and it is so likely that you’re going to come across so many different people. You can’t trade that for anything. The internships here in London really help provide that.”
An aspect of the London study experience Tschupp finds particularly special is that Winston House is a home away from home and a root back to the university. “We are the University of North Carolina in London. Our home away from home, Carolina in a different country. But it doesn’t change the fact that we’re Tar Heels.”
Let the Anniversary Year Begin!
To close the evening and usher in the year of celebration, reminding all of the connection they share, Rhodes led those gathered in singing ”Hark the Sound.”
By Mary Moorefield
(Laura Nelson ’20 contributed to this article.)