Picture of the MTU campus in the winter from the Portage Canal.

"Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." 

– Malcolm Forbes

About the Pavlis Honors College

At Michigan Tech, we believe that a student’s success should be measured by more than their GPA. Within the Pavlis Honors College, we are redefining honors education to reflect this belief. Here, honors education is about self-motivated, independent-thinking students who take charge of their education and full advantage of all that Michigan Tech has to offer. Students design their own path through the honors program that strategically supports their personal and professional goals. We address society’s need for graduates who possess both depth of knowledge in their chosen field and intellectual breadth obtained through interdisciplinary collaboration, experiential learning and deliberate reflection. Our transformative approach to education cultivates thoughtful, passionate, authentic students who will go on to positively impact the world as innovative scholars and leaders.

Established in 2014 to provide a home for high-impact interdisciplinary programs, the Pavlis Honors College is Michigan Tech's hub of experiential learning. The college initially housed the Honors Institute, the Enterprise program, the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, and later added the Honors Pathway Program, Husky Innovate, global engagement opportunities, and study abroad.

Pavlis programs supplement students' undergraduate education and complement their majors, extracurriculars, or whatever else brought them to Michigan Tech. Our programs offer both breadth and depth of study: students may  explore a wide variety of topics, or strive to become subject matter experts in one area of focus.

Mission and Values

The Pavlis Honors College is a hub for interdisciplinary, experiential learning at Michigan Tech. As a college:

We value what each individual brings to our community

We celebrate our diversity to build a strong, inclusive, and creative community.

We value reflection and personal growth

We thrive by supporting and challenging each other to become more self-aware and engage in fulfilling endeavors.

We value meaningful relationships

We forge authentic connections with others, allowing us to provide value to those we serve.

We value flexibility and agility

We embrace uncertainty, responding innovatively to the changing needs of society.


Group photo of Honors Students with Frank Pavlis

Founding Leaders

The Pavlis Honors College is an interdisciplinary honors college at Michigan Technological University. It is designed to provide an enriched educational experience for high-achieving students and plays a significant role in the university community. The founding leaders believe in the value of experiential learning, providing support and mentorship that fosters personal growth, and encourage students to explore connections between various fields of study.

The Pavlis Honors College is Michigan Tech's first named college, honoring Michigan Tech alumni and friend Frank Pavlis.

Frank Pavlis

When Frank Pavlis graduated from Michigan Tech in 1938, the Pavlis Honors College benefactor was the first in his family to graduate from college. He graduated at the top of his class with a BS in Chemical Engineering. After graduating from Michigan Tech, Pavlis earned an MS in chemical engineering from University of Michigan and later completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

After turning down a job with Shell Oil, he became the first employee at Air Products, then a small new company in Detroit. There, he was paid $3 a day as chief engineer and helped design an affordable oxygen generator, which became the foundation of the company’s product line. After nearly 20 years of struggling, business took off; it was listed on the NYSE in 1961. Now, the company employs nearly 20,000 workers around the globe and tops $7 billion in annual sales.

During his 40 years with the company, Pavlis rose through the ranks, joining the Board of Directors in 1952 and serving as vice president for engineering and finance before retiring in 1980 as vice president for international/world trade.

Pavlis’s support for our programs began in 2005, when he underwrote the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership. His aim was to give participating students an innovative entrepreneurial spirit; communications, technical and people skills; and a global vision. The Pavlis Institute enrolled nearly 200 students, and their studies took them to Argentina, India, Malta and Ghana, where they have worked on projects ranging from establishing a mobile health clinic to addressing solid waste disposal problems. The themes of the Pavlis Institute inspired the goals of the Pavlis Honors College.

A longtime supporter of the University, he was a member of Michigan Tech’s McNair and Hubbell Societies. Pavlis’s gift to the University built on his commitment to providing students with opportunities to develop an intercultural perspective and the skill set necessary to be competitive in a global marketplace.

Frank Pavlis: a Digital History

Watch Learn more about Michigan Tech alumni and friend, Frank Pavlis video
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Learn more about Michigan Tech alumni and friend, Frank Pavlis

Founding Dean

Lorelle Meadows

Lorelle Meadows

2014 - 2021

Dr. Lorelle Meadows joined Michigan Tech as founding dean of the new Pavlis Honors College.  She received her BS, MS and PhD in Oceanic Science from the University of Michigan, College of Engineering in 1983, 1985 and 2002, respectively.  Her primary areas of research include the application of high frequency radar to the determination of a variety of air-sea parameters in the near-shore zone as well as natural and anthropogenic influences on near-shore processes and productivity.  In 2009 Dr. Meadows joined the University of Michigan, College of Engineering as Assistant Dean of Academic Programs. Her primary responsibility in this role was to assure the delivery of a curriculum that addressed college-wide educational objectives in order to prepare students for the careers of the 21st century. In this role Dr. Meadows led the design, planning, implementation and assessment of the College of Engineering first year program, oversaw the Program in Technical Communication and undertook targeted curriculum development projects in areas such as ethics education and sustainable engineering.  She is the recipient of the 2013 University of Michigan Aspire Advance Achieve Award and has been honored with a Faculty Recognition Award for Outstanding Research Mentorship.  She also conducts research in engineering education, with specific emphasis on the influence of gender stereotypes in student teamwork as well as general issues of motivation and engagement.  She has received three best paper awards from the American Society of Engineering Education and is often invited to speak on her research, first year program development and curriculum innovation in engineering.  Dr. Meadows retired as dean of the honors college in 2021.