William & Mary’s commitment to providing a rigorous academic experience, a rich residential life, a wide range of extracurricular and co-curricular activities, and an engaging learning environment, make it an ideal institution to focus on student engagement and leadership development.
By underscoring the importance of engagement and leadership as core themes and an institutional focus, we prepare graduates to effectively manage change, deal with uncertainty and ambiguity, and embrace a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, and live lives of meaning and purpose.
The Princeton Review recently released its annual “Tops” lists. This year William & Mary tops the list of Happiest Students, places number two on the list of colleges with “Lots of race/Class Interactions,” and seventh on “Commitment to Community Service.” These rankings are, at a minimum, indicators of our long-term commitment and subsequent accomplishment in creating and sustaining a culture of well-being, engagement, belonging, and leadership development. They are indicators of progress in our Division-wide vision to create an engaging learning environment where individuals flourish and the community is strong.
Part of William & Mary’s educational mission must be not only to teach leadership and offer opportunities to exercise it, but also to process those experiences and to find meaning and lessons in those opportunities. It also must offer opportunities for members of the William & Mary community to witness leadership in action and to learn from others who are leaders in their academic fields and professions, whether at the national or local level.
It is important that students have a variety of contexts in which they learn to work with diverse people, overcome conflict, create solutions and affect positive change. Leadership cannot be learned exclusively in the classroom. It is critical to nurture a culture at William & Mary where students can develop and refine their leadership skills while pursuing a wide range of interests and activities. We have a variety of academic and extracurricular programs that contribute to the development of engaged and informed citizens and leaders. The emphasis on integrating academic study with opportunities beyond the classroom into a portfolio of mentored leadership experiences. Below are examples of our carefully constructed programs.
- High School
- Leadership by Design
- Courageous Leadership Institute (online)
- Commonwealth of Virginia Institute for Open-Mindedness
- Incoming Freshmen
- Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
- Juniors and Seniors
- Conferences for all students