emoment with carl

Leadership is a precious commodity. We all admire great leaders; most of us hope that, in some way throughout our lives, we will be leaders, or at least influence others in a positive way. Most of us don’t know where the qualities of leadership come from or how they could be cultivated in young people. Ten years ago, a friend of the College gave money for a program to develop students as leaders in a way that’s rooted in our unique mission and motto, “Educate for Service.” The program, known as Called To Lead, teaches how being a leader who serves others with his or her talents is service, just as much as traditional kinds of giving and helping are service.


Over a fifth of the College’s students participate in Called To Lead, learning leadership theory, working together on developing leadership skills, and intentionally exercising leadership through a wide variety of campus activities—clubs, teams, charitable activities, or projects in their majors.  Every student crafts, with the help of faculty and staff mentors, a program of self-development that involves events, programs, independent reading, experiential learning, and academic courses.   The program’s directors, Stacey Zimmerman, Associate Director for Strengths Coaching and Ethical Leadership Development, and Tracy Wenger Sadd, Executive Director for Purposeful Life Work and Ethical Leadership, say testimonials explain the program best.



According to Joe Williams ’17, “Not every graduate of the program will become a CEO or leader of a cultural movement but they will know more about themselves than they did before and help others reach their potential.” “Being in Called to Lead  motivated me to become more of a leader and to find time for community service and helping others, which never used to be important to me but is now one of the things I care very strongly about," said David Boretti ’15. And, as Jessica Leidy ’15, found:


“Called to Lead challenges all participants, not just to attend the events that are put on, but to take a step back and look at what they are doing and ask why? Am I passionate about my chosen career path? Is it meaningful to me? I have found myself questioning my strengths on a regular basis through reflection and thoughtful conversation with my peers. Called to Lead has had a wonderful impact on my life as well as many others at Elizabethtown College.” Leaders, called to lead, called to serve.



Enjoy the moment,

Carl J. Strikwerda,

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