Founded in 1978, with its first class starting in the fall of 1979, the University of Dayton Honors Program has supported generations of academically accomplished students.

In 2003, the most elite group of students within the Honors Program became known as the John W. Berry Sr. Scholars, and a select group of 30 highly-qualified first-year students were admitted to this program each year. At the same time, a newly expanded University Honors Program began offering a specialized diploma for a wider range of Honors students.

With an increasing number of talented students seeking greater academic opportunities, the 2009-2010 academic year ushered in expanded diploma options for University Honors students and admission of the final class of students in the Berry Scholars program.

Although the program has changed over the years, its hallmarks have always included the Honors Thesis project, Honors curriculum, a commitment to leadership and service, and support for international academic, service and leadership experiences.