William & Mary Leadership Award

Risk takers, bridge builders, catalysts for change. This is you.

Congratulations!  You are a William & Mary Leadership Award recipient.  Your high school has identified you as a change-maker, a shaker-upper, a critical and creative thinker who brings people together.   Your passion and commitment will be an asset to any campus community.  We hope this award will encourage you to celebrate and reflect on your achievements, build upon them in your senior year and prepare to serve as a catalyst for positive change well into the future. 

William & Mary and leadership belong in the same sentence.  As a William & Mary Leadership Award recipient, you share the attributes of leaders we have educated for more than three centuries. 

We're counting on you

We urge you to think beyond your high school years.  What will your energy and ideas bring to a college campus?  How is leadership defined?  We have some great examples of what student leaders are capable of accomplishing at W&M. 

The Sharpe Community Scholars Program offers a living-learning experience for selected W&M student leaders.  Sharpe Scholars are known for their demonstrated leadership potential, community involvement and desire to explore important public questions and issues.  This bold and dynamic group lives in a residential hall on campus while gaining experience in direct service, advocacy and community-based research.  Read more about our "Sharpies" at W&M.

The Recognizing Achievement in Leadership (RAIL) Outstanding Student Leader of the Month award was established in Fall 2006 by the Office of Student Activities in an effort to increase the frequency with which the hard work and dedication of students is acknowledged and celebrated.  Recipients include:

  • A student who founded the Haitian Earthquake American Relief Team (HEART), an almost 500-person organization that has coordinated numerous events and organizations across campus in their relief efforts.  
  • A student worker at the W&M Career Center, responsible for the training of new student employees and creating innovative Career Center marketing.
  • A tireless editor of the Colonial Echo, William & Mary's yearbook.
  • A student who had given countless hours of time and energy to helping develop programming opportunities for transfer students to the College, working closely with both the Office of Undergraduate Admission and the Dean of Students Office.
Faces of leadership:  Students and Alumni

Senior Quinn McDowell highlighted the William & Mary men’s basketball team’s award winners at the 2012 CAA awards banquet, becoming the first player in league history to earn the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award on two occasions. The award is given to the student-athlete who “embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship in conjunction with his academic athletic achievement.”

Kevin Byrne '00 was chosen as the winner of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry “Month at the Museum 2” contest.  As the winner, he spent 30 days living, eating and sleeping inside the Hyde Park museum.  No space was off limits for Byrne, who shared his experiences with the world via social media.

Dozens of students attending the Mason School of Business’ first Social Entrepreneurship Conference (SEcon) presented their ideas for using business strategies to bring about social change throughout the world.

The Office of Community Engagement and Scholarship is a go-to source for meaningful service opportunities on and off-campus.  W&M students can participate in various kinds of service - weekly tutoring, mentoring and anti-hunger programs, Williamsburg Engagement, large-scale local service days, pre-orientation service, partnering with a community in our region and alternative breaks.  From Haiti to New Orleans and right here in Williamsburg, W&M students dedicate an astonishing 323,000 service hours each year through 90 regional partnerships and dozens of national and international service trips.

Other service and leadership facts:

  • W&M produces more Peace Corps volunteers than almost any other mid-sized college in the nation.
  • Some of the most powerful and successful service projects at W&M are run by students. The annual Alan Bukzin Bone Marrow Drive is the largest collegiate bone marrow drive in the country, collecting thousands of individual blood types to add to the national registry.
  • The W&M Active Citizens Conference explores ways in which higher education might respond to complex, community-based challenges.  Recent speakers include Robert Egger, Founder and President of the DC Central Kitchen (the country’s first “community kitchen”) and Cosmo Fujiyama a Japanese-American philanthropist and W&M graduate who co-founded Students Helping Honduras.
Tell us more

We welcome William & Mary Leadership Award recipients on campus for tours, information sessions and interviews.  Come check us out in person.  We would be delighted to meet you. 


Please contact  [[lareed,Assistant Dean Logan Reed]]  with any questions about the William & Mary Leadership Award.  If you prefer to contact him by phone, please call 757-221-3996.