Young Alumni Leadership Program: Forming the leaders of tomorrow

Leaders are born, not made.

The Young Alumni Leadership Program (YALP) of the Garthwait Leadership Center turned this popular myth on its head in late September by hosting the program’s first on-campus workshop of the 2012-13 academic year, aimed at bolstering leadership abilities of participants through the guidance of experienced alumni mentors.

“Leadership development is a tradition at Gettysburg College,” said Andy Hughes, director of the Garthwait Leadership Center (GLC). “The GLC wants you to cultivate leadership abilities in your community, in your profession, and in your family life.”

The annual workshop served as the official kickoff for the second year of YALP, a program that originated as an idea by the Burgains Of the Last Decade (BOLD) Council and, with the direction of the GLC, has evolved into a prominent forum for Gettysburg alumni to interact and learn from one another.

“This is truly alumni relations at its best,” said Erin Stringer, assistant director of alumni relations and member of the YALP planning team. “[The program is] cultivating relationships on an individual basis and reengaging alumni with the College.”

The program is also opening the eyes of its participants through a 360-degree assessment of their leadership strengths and challenges.

“We break [the program] down to the things you can do to promote leadership around you,” Hughes said. “How can you be the leader you want to be without knowing who you are?”

With new insights from the assessment and personal feedback from mentors with refined, real-world strategies for inspiring others, many young alums came away from the on-campus workshop with a clearer vision of effective leadership…and a homework assignment.

The Gettysburg grads were encouraged to not only build upon their strengths, but to solidify a plan to improve their leadership challenges – an essential task for those eager to blossom into the collaborative, consistent, ethical leaders the GLC promotes.

“Keith Davis ’00, my mentor, has been very helpful in getting me to see myself as others see me – he is pushing me to leave my comfort zone and is a great sounding board for my struggles, successes, and ideas,” said Justin Kollinger ’10, a YALP mentee. “I am more convinced now than ever that leadership is a life-long practice and not something ‘I’ll get around to one day.’”

At Gettysburg College, we form the leaders of tomorrow today.

The GLC serves as an intellectual and experiential hub of leadership, providing students and alumni with knowledge, experiences, and resources to prepare for leadership in the 21st century.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Mike Baker, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6521.

Posted: Sun, 28 Oct 2012

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