In 2004, the 21,000-square-foot Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building opened. Crowned by a stately bell tower, the building is the architectural jewel on the east side of the MTSU campus. Paul W. Martin Jr., the first graduate of the MTSU Honors Program, and his brother, Dr. H. Lee Martin, both of Knoxville, provided the challenge dollars that made the building a reality.
On-campus residential space for Honors students is provided at the Honors Living and Learning Center in Lyon Hall, but the hub of Honors activity is the Martin Building. Here students can study, consult with an academic advisor, attend one of the many educational or extracurricular events sponsored by the Honors College, work on an Honors publication, enjoy a free cup of coffee or newspaper, check e-mail, do homework in the study area, play a game, just hang out, and relax beside the fireplace in the Student Commons.
Current enrollment includes dozens of high school valedictorians and several National
Merit Finalists. Students come from a wide range of backgrounds. They differ in life
goals and ambitions, special talents, ethnic background, socio-economic level, gender,
and state or country of origin.
In the fall of 2013, 416 entering freshmen enrolled in the University Honors College. Their collective high school grade point average was a 3.816, and their average ACT score was a 28.04. Eight and one-half percent were valedictorians or salutatorians.
The Buchanan Fellows constituted an elite within this elite. In 2013, the average entering Buchanan Fellow had a 3.92 grade point average and an average ACT of31.1. Most of these students also have a long list of awards and extracurricular activities.