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"The Loop" Blog

Reflecting on our 20th Anniversary Celebration

founders of leadership studiesAs we reflect on our 20th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion Weekend, we are grateful to an outstanding group of students, alumni, and friends who joined us to celebrate 20 years of leadership studies at K-State!

As we strive to fulfill our mission and shape the leadership journeys of our students, one question that is asked often here at the Staley School of Leadership Studies is, “Leadership for what?” This question was ever-present this past weekend in the purposes for our celebration. We reflect further on this question below:

Leadership For 20 Years of Growth and Progress

It was both gratifying and inspirational to be joined by so many of the people who helped make the Staley School of Leadership Studies what it is today and have committed to being part of what it will be in the future. In the photo above, you’ll see a group of our visionary founders as well as current and former members of our faculty and staff—joined by members of the first class of leadership studies graduates—who gathered last Thursday evening. The first class was honored as recipients of the Michael C. Holen Leader-in-Residence Award at the formal program on Friday evening.

Our Leaders-in-Residence spent several days on campus sharing their experiences and engaging in rich and challenging conversations with our students, faculty, and the Kansas State University community. Above is the first class at a public forum discussion, moderated by Dr. Bob Shoop, and held at Forum Hall.

Friday, November 10th – Annual Spirit of Leadership Celebration

Check out our live-stream of Friday’s Spirit of Leadership program below, where we honored our Leaders-in-Residence and discussed “Leadership Studies Then and Now.”

Through the voices of our current and former faculty and staff, our alumni, and our students, the program was an opportunity to share about the many ways we have grown and changed over 20 years. However, the common thread weaved throughout was about the things that have stayed the same—including the caring and supportive culture of our learning community.

We hope to remain a touch-point for our alumni and friends to reconnect and continue to develop, foster, and—as one of our alums put it“refuel” their engagement in our diverse and changing world. Our alumni both near and far are engaged in the hard work of exercising leadership within their workplaces and communities, across all sectors and in many different fields. They are truly our mission in action, and we want to continue supporting their leadership journeys.

We also have big plans and big goals for the ways we can continue to grow our efforts and meet the demand for leadership in our world. However, as our story demonstrates, this will only happen through the support of a caring and engaged community.

This 20th Anniversary celebrated our strong foundation, but—through the generosity and engagement of our alumni and friends—it also helped set us on course for the next 20 years and beyond.

Saturday, November 11th – Tailgate at CatTown

On Saturday, November 11th, we hosted a tailgate at Cat Town before K-State Football’s kickoff against West Virginia. The rain didn’t stop us from turning out, in purple, for the tailgate! We were joined by alumni, friends, parents, and children of our growing leadership studies family. In addition, the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows were recognized during a timeout at the game. We had fun taking part in some purple pride!

Sunday, November 12th – Leadership Lens Brunch and Open House

The weekend concluded with the Leadership Lens Brunch on Sunday, November 12th. When the Leadership Studies Building opened in 2010, it included original artwork and photography from individuals with a connection to Kansas and K-State, with the thought that these pieces would be refreshed and rotated over time. As part of our 20th Anniversary Celebration, we again invited our alumni, friends, faculty, and staff, to submit photographs to enrich our learning environment. In the photos above, you can see some of the photographers introducing their work as well as an auction that took place for the photos that were previously being displayed in the building. Through the support of our event sponsors, Opus and Gavel Roads, we were able to raise nearly $10,000 through the bids at our live art auction!

See more photos from our 20th Anniversary Weekend on Facebook!

Leadership For Today

Our times demand real and authentic engagement and leadership. The leaders we work to develop through our minor and programs will leave K-State prepared to exercise leadership for change on behalf of an organization, a community, and the world.

Learn more about the service-learning and civic engagement programs that help put leadership concepts into practice and make impacts on our campus and in our communities—both local and global:

Leadership For Life

Reflecting on a memorable 20th year of leadership studies, we are most thankful to our alumni and friends who engaged, connected, gave back, and helped build on the strong foundation established throughout our first 20 years!

As a result of our 20th Anniversary Engagement Initiative, more alumni and friends have joined with us, in a variety of ways, to help advance our timely and critical mission. We have grown the reach and impact of our community and strengthened our network of supporters both near and far—through social media, “The Loop” Blog, local gatherings, live-streams and webinars, and continued leadership and professional development opportunities. And, in turn, our alumni and friends have increased their impact on our program—with more than 125 individuals who made their first contribution to the Staley School this year, through our “Leadership for Life” Fund!

Watch this video to hear our students discuss their leadership learning and their answers to the question, “Leadership for what?”

We hope you’ll join us as we embark on the next 20 years of leadership studies and work to cultivate “leadership for life!”

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