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“The world needs purposeful men and women—men and women who are fitted to be leaders in every avenue of righteous activity.”
– Principia founder Mary Kimball Morgan
Principia was founded on the belief that education must include what Mrs. Morgan called the “building of character” and should foster moral courage, selflessness, and service to others. She expected Principians to be not only outstanding students but exemplary citizens. This emphasis on character-building, along with Principia’s ideal size and broad range of extracurricular activities, creates an outstanding environment for leadership development.
What is the Leadership Institute? / Purpose
The purpose of the Leadership Institute is to develop and refine students' leadership practices through study, discussion, reflection, and experiential learning. The Leadership Institute provides students with a formal, structured, and detailed look at leadership practices, as well as opportunities to apply what they’re learning to their leadership roles.
The institute works both independently and in partnership with other departments to help students learn more about leadership, work on specific skills, and put their leadership into practice.
The institute's work focuses on extracurricular activities and learning outside the classroom, but it also serves as a resource for faculty.
Who is it for? / Participants
The Leadership Institute offers a number of talks and workshops each semester that are open to any student, but it works primarily with students who hold leadership positions.
The institute works with the Student Body President and Vice President, Student Senate, house presidents, and house boards, offering workshops, training, and ongoing coaching.
The institute works with athletic team captains on issues such as motivating others, dealing with conflict, setting standards, and more.
In partnership with Student Life, the institute works with Resident Assistants on goal-setting, building rapport, developing confidence, and other leadership skills.
Students seeking a Leadership Certificate work with the institute not only to fulfill the requirements of the certificate but also to examine the leadership lessons they’re learning.
The institute works with students who have a particular area of interest. Sample groups include Leaders in Film, which explores leadership in the context of movies, and Leaders across Borders, which looks at the impact of culture on leadership.
What does it do? / Activities and Offerings
Training and Coaching
The institute offers training for students in leadership positions and provides ongoing coaching addressing the particular issues and needs of individual leaders.
Several times a semester, the institute puts on workshops that are open to all students and cover specific leadership topics and skills. Recent workshops include “High Performance Teams,” “Building Rapport,” and “Difficult Conversations.”
Working in partnership with faculty members, the institute hosts several Exploring Metaphysical Concepts (EMC) talks each semester. These talks are designed to look at leadership through a spiritual lens. Topics have included the leadership lessons of David in the Bible, the moral courage of Mary Baker Eddy, and more.
The institute offers students a chance to obtain a non-credit Leadership Certificate by participating in a range of leadership experiences and activities such as attending workshops and talks, doing community service, holding elected positions, and more. Earning the certificate signifies that a student has actively engaged in learning about leadership and has put that learning into practice.
The institute has put together special projects for students interested in a particular area of leadership. These include Leaders in Film, which explores leadership in the context of movies, and Leaders across Borders, which looks at the impact of culture on leadership.
The institute periodically visits classes to present guest lectures on leadership subjects or take students through a leadership activity.