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In Memory of Dr. David Ontjes, KU Honors Alumnus & Former Rhodes Scholar

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The University Honors Program is saddened to announce the passing of Dr. David Ontjes, a former Rhodes Scholar and one of KU's most prominent alumni.

Originally from Stafford, Kansas, Dr. Ontjes was a Summerfield Scholar during his time at KU, and he graduated in 1959 with Highest Distinction. Dr. Ontjes went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, to attend Harvard University for medical school, and to serve in the U.S. Public Health Service conducting research at the NIH. This was followed by a distinguished career as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina.

Our thoughts are with Dr. Ontjes's family and friends during this difficult time.

We invite you to learn more about Dr.Ontjes and his relationship with KU's Honors Program in this interview from 2014. We are privileged to continue Dr. Ontjes’s legacy at KU by fostering the next generation of KU leaders, including Rhodes scholars such Shegufta Huma (Political Science, Minor in Spanish '17), who will begin her studies at Oxford later this year.


Course offerings are “among the most comprehensive in the nation,” according to “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs”
98% of University Honors Program graduates are employed or accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation
40% of students in the University Honors Program conduct research before graduation
9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
1 of only 7 programs nationwide to receive a top rating from “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs” in 2014
60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
KU honors students select their advisors from top-ranked KU faculty
KU Honors students and their guests are invited to join us for pancakes on Family Day this Saturday. Deadline to re… https://t.co/Ga9aymTiGp

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