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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 a position to be a national model for civic leadership.

In recent years the university has garnered the accolade for our alumni dedication to public service. A report released 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. The university earned the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement designation, an honor given to only 240 colleges and universities in the 2015 application and given to a total of 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 engagement. We strive to promote flourishing through education, engagement, and reflection. 

Purpose Statement
Student Engagement and Leadership staff provide developmentally appropriate learning opportunities to students so they are equipped as educated citizens and emboldened leaders to forge positive change in their communities