The Wilson Leadership Fellows Program is a four-year leadership program designed for a select group of motivated, energetic freshmen who wish to make a difference in their communities today and tomorrow.

Hampden-Sydney College announced today the formation of a four-year leadership development program named in memory of the College's former president, Lieutenant General Samuel V. Wilson, U.S. Army (Retired). Operating under the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest, the Wilson Leadership Fellows Program 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.

Student leaders address incoming freshmen at orientation.

"The world needs responsible, ethical leaders more today than ever before," said Hampden-Sydney President Larry Stimpert. "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.'"

Students accepted into the Wilson Leadership Fellows 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. 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. All of this will occur under the guidance and mentorship of a dedicated leadership advisor assigned to the student during his freshman year.  

"General Sam Wilson left an indelible mark on both the nation he served and the college he loved," continued Stimpert. "The establishment of the four-year Wilson Leadership Fellows Program is the next step in fulfilling his enduring legacy. 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."  

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.

Hampden-Sydney President Larry Stimpert

To become a Wilson Leadership Fellow, a student must already have been granted admission to Hampden-Sydney College and 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. Interested students must also complete a program application and an in-person interview. 

General Wilson, the program's namesake, served as president of Hampden-Sydney College from 1992 to 2000. His storied career in military intelligence culminated in his service as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest at Hampden-Sydney was established in his honor in 1996. General Wilson passed away in June of 2017. 

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LTC L. Rucker Snead III '81


Executive Director
Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest 
rsnead@hsc.edu 
(434) 223-7077

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