College Programming

L&C Scholars

Leadership and Character Scholars constitute a small cohort of exceptional students who are committed to developing their leadership and character during their four years at Wake Forest. Leadership and Character Scholars receive a full scholarship to Wake Forest, along with special opportunities for leadership and character development. Led by Michael Lamb and Ann Phelps, the program helps students clarify their sense of vocation and empowers them to serve their communities well beyond Wake Forest. To learn more about the Leadership and Character Scholars, click here.

Discussion Groups

Building on past success, the Program expanded our regular discussion groups. This year, more than 70 students met regularly to discuss the following topics:

  • The purpose of college
  • The role of friendships in a good life
  • Dealing with failure
  • Discerning our vocation
  • Conversation and community
  • Justice, service, and charity
  • Art and compassion
  • Solitude, rest, and self-care

Workshops

The Program for Leadership and Character partners with student organizations, academic departments, and campus offices to facilitate leadership and character development through workshops, retreats, panels and presentations. Some of the topics include:

  • “The Enneagram,” with the Wake Forest Fellows, led by Christopher Copeland
  • “Friendship in the Lives of Leaders” at the Wake Forest Leadership Summit, led by Michael Lamb
  • “Leadership as Conversation,” at the Presidents’ Leadership Conference, led by Michael Lamb
  • “Leadership for Sustainability,” with the Office of Sustainability, led by Michael Lamb
  • “Leadership and Vocation,” with the Wake Forest Fellows, led by Michael Lamb
  • “Virtues, Values, and Vocation,” with the Office of Wellbeing, led by Ann Phelps

L&C in the Arts

How does creativity, performance, and expression impact our character? How do music, theatre, literature, dance, and visual art help shape our culture and experience of the world? How do artists lead?

The Program for Leadership and Character explores these questions by partnering with students, community members, academic departments, and campus initiatives that bring the arts into every corner of Wake Forest. Student actors sit on panels to explore the way that rehearsing a role instills their sense of empathy. Student painters and photographers respond to prompts to create visual art pieces that line the walls of Starling Hall. Student dancers take time away from the rigor of ballet studios to write memoirs on how such discipline and hard work has shaped them both on and off the stage. And researchers among faculty, staff, and students explore how the arts impact who we are individually and communally.

In our arts programming, we strive to respond to students’ interests and energies, so if you have ideas or inspiration for creative programming around character you would like to lead, please contact Ann Phelps at phelpsa@nullwfu.edu.

Religious Life

In partnership with the Chaplain’s Office, Divinity School, and a variety of partners across campus, the Program for Leadership and Character offers a number of opportunities for students to reflect upon their religious traditions, the meaning of life, and how they might lead and grow in ways that honor their understanding of the sacred. Central to these efforts are discussion groups on “Leadership and Character in Religious Life,” led by Dr. Bradley Burroughs.

Principled Pluralism Fellowship at Wake Forest University

The Principled Pluralism Fellowship at Wake Forest provides students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, research skills, and civic capacities needed to engage difference with empathy, integrity, and purpose.

Americans are deeply polarized. The institutions, commitments, and practices that have long helped us find common ground are under stress. At the same time, America is becoming more diverse, making it even more important that we learn to recognize and understand our differences.

The Principled Pluralism Fellowship aims to support at least two students per summer who pursue research on principled pluralism, write a joint white paper on its importance, and organize a campus event to promote meaningful dialogue across difference. The Fellowship aspires to transform students and inform a larger conversation about the value of principled pluralism in our cultural context.

The Fellowship includes a stipend of $4,000, housing on campus, and up to $500 for supplies and research materials related to the project. Fellows also receive personal mentoring from experts in the field. The Fellowship is currently scheduled for 8 weeks of the summer and will be overseen by the Program for Leadership and Character.

The Fellowship is open to all Wake Forest students from diverse backgrounds, traditions, and perspectives. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Bradley Burroughs at burroub@nullwfu.edu.

  • What is principled pluralism? Principled pluralism affirms as a matter of first principle the importance of respecting different beliefs and viewpoints, rooted in a commitment to both individual dignity and shared community. It affirms the value of robust engagement across differences and encourages sharing one’s values and viewpoints while engaging generously, even if critically, with people who hold different commitments and perspectives. Principled pluralism encourages humility and openness and seeks to promote a respectful and skilled approach to discussion, disagreement, and collaboration in the midst of acknowledged differences. Principled pluralism favors a vibrant, dynamic public sphere enriched by a diversity of viewpoints.

Other Initiatives

The Program for Leadership and Character strives to respond to the interests of students, faculty, and staff when designing programs and initiatives. Often we partner with other offices around campus, such as the Women’s Center, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Student Engagement. You might see us presenting at the annual Presidents’ Leadership Conference, facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations, or offering one-on-one student mentoring in both formal and informal settings. Recently, Dr. Bradley Burroughs directed the Program’s efforts to create resources designed to help students, faculty, and staff cultivate the virtues that might enable them to meet the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have an idea for a partnership or program related to ethical leadership or character development, please reach out to Ann Phelps at phelpsa@nullwfu.edu.