The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Michael Hamrick

University Honors Program Student Graduates with Six Majors

Michael Hamrick, a University Honors Program, was graduated from UTC in May 2004 with an unprecedented six undergraduate majors. A resident of Hixson, TN, Hamrick now holds a B.A. degree with highest honors in Humanities, Latin, and Music and honors in Philosophy. He also earned a B.S. degree with highest honors in Anthropology and Psychology.

“No student has ever cut so wide a path through the University Honors (UHON) Program, and indeed through the University, as Michael has done,” said Dr. Gregory O’Dea, Director of the University Honors Program.

Hamrick was also recently named Student Government Association (SGA) Outstanding Senior in Sociology and Anthropology, and last year he received Outstanding Senior Awards from SGA in Latin, Philosophy, and Humanities. He was honored with the Ulrey K. Wilson Award as outstanding senior majoring in Psychology.

“He is an accomplished saxophonist. A dedicated rock climber. A filmmaker. A Latinist. A religious theorist. A tireless volunteer and humanitarian. He has maintained a nearly-perfect grade point average at UTC while pursuing an astonishing curriculum. Not only is he, to my knowledge, the first student in the history of our University to complete more than one departmental honors project—a rigorous, year-long research thesis—but Michael will finished his undergraduate career with no fewer than five such projects to his credit. His accomplishments are simply unprecedented in many, many ways,” O’Dea said.

Hamrick originally wanted to graduate in three years. He never took an elective, but he did take heavy class loads for each of what turned into five years invested in his undergraduate education. He admits he learned to enjoy the process.

“I started as a humanities major, and the addition of five majors just kind of happened,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick credits his advisor, Debbie Bell, and the entire UHON faculty for his positive college experience.

“The UHON Program was excellent. Not only do the faculty members know your name, they know everything about your entire academic program, and really care about you as an individual. When I was looking at schools, I decided I wanted to be involved with UHON at UTC, a place I could afford, rather than attend a snooty liberal arts school,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick has been awarded a generous fellowship to pursue another academic discipline this fall. He will start work on his Master’s of Business Administration (M.B.A.) at The University of Georgia. Someday, Hamrick says he would like to pursue a doctorate in the social sciences.

While he considers his career possibilities, Hamrick says he imagines they will “run along the lines of becoming a professor.” “I would like to integrate business into the social sciences. I hope to learn more about business and the power structure, and learn how to manipulate it to bring about positive change,” Hamrick said.