Today's young people are sophisticated consumers in the higher education marketplace. They are seeking "above and beyond" academic experiences such as study abroad and undergraduate research. They are looking for a personalized academic experience, and they aspire to be in community with others who share a similar sense of purpose and drive toward success and personal fulfillment. The honors college thus becomes a lead card in this recruitment process, packaging and highlighting the components expected by some of today's most discriminating college shoppers. This article discusses how the honors college at South Dakota State University (SDSU) serves as an institutional driver of innovation and excellence, starting in the classrooms and extending beyond the walls of the academic disciplines.