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A new program for leadership development

Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) has formed a four-year leadership development program, as announced by a press release from the college Wednesday. It noted that the program will be named in memory of a former H-SC president, retired Lt. Gen. Samuel V. Wilson, U.S. Army, who died in June 2017.

Samuel V. Wilson

Officials in the release said that the Wilson Leadership Fellows Program operates under the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest and offers students a cohesive, focused and thorough exploration of leadership.

“Wilson Leadership Fellows will graduate with a comprehensive understanding of leadership principles and practical leadership abilities gained through experience,” school officials said.

“The world needs responsible, ethical leaders more today than ever before,” H-SC President Dr. Larry Stimpert said in the release. “The college years are a pivotal time for young men to explore leadership as a discipline and to put into practice what they learn. The Wilson Leadership Fellows Program enhances an already transformative educational experience by giving select young men an outstanding set of leadership opportunities to develop their leadership abilities within a tight-knit community that shares their commitment to making a difference. Upon graduation, Wilson Fellows will be well-positioned to lead others as ‘good men and good citizens.’”

Officials in the release noted that students accepted into the new program will study and practice ethical decision-making, effective leadership for diverse contexts, active citizenship and the civil and rational exchange of ideas. Leadership-focused coursework, seminars and workshops will facilitate access to nationally-recognized speakers and ideas, officials said.

“Wilson Fellows will also assume leadership roles on campus and implement the tools, tactics and principles that they’ve learned, culminating in an off-campus internship or service learning project for course credit following their junior year,” school officials said in the release. “All of this will occur under the guidance and mentorship of a dedicated leadership advisor assigned to the student during his freshman year.”

In the release, Stimpert emphasized that Wilson “left an indelible mark on both the nation he served and the college he loved.”

“The establishment of the four-year Wilson Leadership Fellows Program is the next step in fulfilling his enduring legacy,” Stimpert said in the release. “Acceptance into this program will be a tremendous opportunity for a superb group of young men, and we look forward to welcoming our first class of Wilson Fellows this fall.”

Officials cited that to become a Wilson Leadership Fellow, a student must already have been granted admission to H-SC and must apply for the program by March 1 of his senior year of high school.

“Program applicants must be nominated by a Hampden-Sydney alumnus, public official or someone who can attest to their leadership experience and potential, such as a high school principal or coach,” school officials said. “Interested students must also complete a program application and an in-person interview.”

The release noted Wilson’s storied career in military intelligence.