Vanderbilt leadership training for students makes 2007 “best” list

Leadership Excellence, a magazine founded by well-known leadership and management consultants Ken Blanchard, Stephen R. Covey, Charles Garfield and Ken Shelton, has named Vanderbilt University to its list of the best leadership development programs for the second year in a row.

Vanderbilt moved up a spot this year to 14 from 15 in the magazine’s ranking of universities and schools of management and business. The magazine recognized the university for its leadership development programs for students, which are run by the Office of Leadership Development and Intercultural Affairs in the Dean of Students office.

The magazine also ranked small to midsize organizations with less than 2,000 employees, large organizations with more than 2,000 employees, non-profit organizations, the government/military, independent consultants/trainers and coaches, and large consulting groups with more than six employees.

The university’s programs include Collegiate Leadership Vanderbilt (CLV) which allows up to 30 students to meet and interact with “real world” leaders on a monthly basis. Students have met with a senior adviser to the governor of Tennessee and the spokesperson for the secretary-general of the United Nations, among others. At the end of the yearlong program, students travel to meet with leaders among Vanderbilt’s alumni and explore a leadership topic based upon the city they visit. CLV is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.8. Students are selected based upon their interest in leadership, campus and community involvement.

Students interested in leadership development may also choose to live in Leadership Hall – a “living-learning” community in rooms set aside in one of Vanderbilt’s residence halls where sophomores and juniors meet monthly to discuss a leadership topic selected in consultation with their adviser. During the monthly meetings, students discuss and analyze leadership opportunities, current events, leadership development tactics and different leadership styles.

Leadership Odyssey, a weeklong pre-orientation camp for incoming freshmen is designed to help smooth the transition from high school leadership to leadership at Vanderbilt. About 30 students are engaged in problem-solving and team-building exercises designed to develop collaborative and individual leadership skills. The students also meet daily with leaders from the university’s student organizations, administration, faculty and staff to learn more about the campus community.

Kaleidoscope, a weeklong pre-orientation camp geared toward entering freshmen who are interested in diversity issues, gives 25 students the opportunity to learn about differences in cultural norms and values, in religious and political beliefs and in sexual orientation.

Other programs include the Magnolia Awards, which recognize students’ efforts in the campus community; the Collegiate Leadership Summit, which brings together students from across Tennessee to learn about leadership, and the Multicultural Leadership Council, which fosters cooperation and communication among the existing multicultural student organizations.

To view the list of the top leadership development programs, visit To learn more about student leadership development programs at Vanderbilt, visit

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Media Contact: Princine Lewis, (615) 322-NEWS

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