Benefits of Honor

Benefits of Honor

President Teresa Sullivan: “The Honor Code is one of UVA’s distinctive hallmarks.  Employers tell me that their employees from UVA stand out for more than their intelligence and skills—the UVA alumni stand out for their integrity.”

Virginia Simms, CLAS ’06: “Honor empowers students to take ownership and responsibility for their community. Students do not pass through this University, they shape it.”

Lytle Wurtzel, COMM ’04: “In terms of logistical benefits, I enjoyed being able to take tests outside of the scheduled test dates at my own convenience. It’s helpful during a stressful exam period to set your own priorities. I appreciated being treated like an adult – and trusted like one. In a broader sense, I think the real benefit is learning what it means to be an honorable student and person. It’s an important base to have before you go out into the “real world” where your honor is tested on a daily basis.”

Professor Lucien Bass, COMM: “I would not want to teach anywhere a community of trust did not exist. It is an honor in itself to be accepted as a student or faculty member into this community.”

Dr. Susan Allen (alumnus): “I graduated almost thirty years ago, and I still think about Honor code at UVA almost every day of my life. Anytime I’m confronted with a situation that might work to compromise my integrity, my recollection of the values that Honor at UVA instilled in me helps me choose the right path.”

Gibbs Fryer, CLAS ’06 & Law ’09: “Apart from Thomas Jefferson, Honor is the single most distinctive feature of UVA. I think it forms the background fabric of all the interactions-both academic and social-with other UVA students and professors. The tangible meaning is obvious-no cheating, lying, stealing, etc. But I think on a more abstract level it has a general meaning of attempting to hold both yourself and the community to a desirable standard.”

Scott Blackwell, CLAS, Alumnus: “Honor is a time-tested program. Faculty and students have challenged the foundation of the System, and it has yet to be changed. It is student-run, with very little intervention. It is not simply a set of rules, but a way of life.”

Lytle Wurtzel, COMM ’04: “To be a member of the community of trust, you have to realize that it’s only as strong as its weakest link. Like any beloved institution, the Honor system requires continual support from its members. It means you have to make choices every day to uphold the system. Sure, you can make dishonorable choices and no one may ever find out, but you know in your heart that you’ve taken yourself out of the community.”

Jordan Dods, CLAS ’10: “The Honor system provides the framework and platform for the community of trust. This suggests that UVA is a close network of people who respect each other. Honor brings diverse people together.”

Professor John Colley, Darden: “UVA’s honor system is the best preparation we can offer for the ‘real world’.”