In 2005, in his outline of his strategic vision for Marshall, new University President Stephen J. Kopp included the establishment of an Honors College as a priority initiative to improve the overall competitive stature of the University. The initiative advanced in early 2009 when Provost Gayle Ormiston announced a national search for a Founding Dean of the Honors College and the Faculty Senate approved the creation of an Honors College. The appointment of the Founding Dean, Dr. Mary Todd, was announced in May 2009.

The 2009-2010 academic year was a time of transition from an Honors Program to an Honors College, and the College officially opened in fall 2010, welcoming an inaugural class of 150 first-year students. The University’s commitment to resource a new college is evidence not only of its confidence that honors education is central to the academic mission at Marshall but of its willingness to invest in that mission.