The first CARS celebration took place on April 20, 2012 and was a campus-wide event showcasing the creative and scholarly work of Nazareth students. The acronym CARS (which originally stood for Creative Activity, Research, and Scholarship) emerged from faculty discussions about ways to celebrate, foster, and support undergraduate research. For many, the term "undergraduate research" was not sufficiently inclusive to fully capture the range of significant student achievement and work at Nazareth, so the name expanded.
The inaugural event — CARS 2012 — involved 193 undergraduate and graduate demonstrations and displays of student work, including performances, presentations, artwork, and posters. Forty-two faculty sponsors represented 21 departments/programs. Feedback from both participants and attendees indicated the event was a success and a much welcome addition to the Nazareth calendar that has continued.
In 2015, the definition of CARS was changed slightly because many students thought only of the financial definition of "scholarship." To clarify the purpose of the celebration, CARS now stands for Creative Activity and Research Showcase. The mission remains the same and will continue to grow and share the great work being created at Nazareth College.
Participation in 2015 grew to 263 students and 37 faculty sponsors representing 25 departments.