About Engagement & Leadership

William & Mary’s history gives us a unique perspective on the importance and meaning of leadership and civic engagement in a democracy. Often referred to as the “Alma Mater of the Nation,” William & Mary is in position to be a national model for civic leadership.

In recent years the university has garnered accolade for our alumni dedication to public service. In November 2013, a report release by the Aspen Institute and published in Washington Monthly, concluded, the university had more graduates enter service careers over the first decade of the new millennium than any other national university. William & Mary topped the national university listing with 32.1 percent of its graduates reporting government and non-profit sector positions for their first and second jobs. In 2015, the university earned the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement designation, an honor give to only 240 colleges and universities in the 2015 application and given to a total on 381 in the lifetime of the award. 

The recently revised William & Mary vision statement implores us to cultivate the development of the next great leaders. It reads:

William & Mary redefines the academic community: building on more than 300 years of innovation and excellence, we break the boundaries between teaching and research, student and instructor, living and learning. People come to William & Mary wanting to change the world – and we do.

Cultivating Leadership at William & Mary

Leadership is cultivated throughout campus — in classrooms and laboratories, on the playing field and the practice field, in community and within student organizations. We believe that leadership can be learned; that the skills of leadership can and should be practiced; that it is not just about a position that you hold. We believe it is critical for students to have increased opportunities — because our world needs more people who have the skills and ability to provide positive change in the communities, causes and organizations in which we all live.

The departments of Student Engagement & Leadership are dedicated to providing opportunities to explore leadership and community engagement. We strive to promote flourishing through education, engagement, and reflection.