30 Fact for 30 Years


In honor of yesterday’s 30th anniversary of the Institute, we have a list reflecting the growth of the program since 1986. Have anything to add? We hope you’ll do so in the comments section below.



  • The first session of the Institute began on July 19, 1986.
  • The program was started by Alpha Tau Omega.
  • The first location of the Institute was Allerton Park and Retreat Center. National sessions of the Institute are still held at this location.
  • LeaderShape was incorporated in 1988.
  • The first campus partner to hold a session of the Institute exclusively for their students was the University of Michigan.
  • LeaderShape’s Institute program recognized as an Exemplary Program by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1997.
  • The University of Michigan is the first campus to hold 2 sessions of the Institute in one calendar year. They have also held the most number of sessions in one year with 4 sessions in 2000 and are our longest-standing campus partner.
  • The first all-women’s session of the Institute was held in 2001 at Meredith College (NC).
  • Surpassed 13,000 graduates of the Institute in 2002.
  • The first national session held outside of Illinois was in California in 2005. Since then, national sessions of the Institute have also been held in Georgia, Massachusetts, and Nevada.
  • The first session for a historically black college or university was held in 2007 at North Carolina Central University.
  • Surpassed 25,000 graduates of the Institute in 2007.
  • The first international session of the Institute was held in 2007 in Doha, Qatar in conjunction with the Education City Project.
  • The first predominantly Latino/Latina student population session was held in 2006 at the University of Texas-Pan American.
  • Surpassed 50,000 graduates of the Institute in 2013.
  • The first set of concurrent sessions held was in 2013 with Auburn University.
  • The 1,000th session of the Institute: North Carolina State University in 2013.
  • At present, there are over 60,000 graduates of the Institute.
  • There have been over 7,000 Cluster Facilitators for the Institute
  • There have been over 1,500 On Site Coordinators for the Institute.
  • There are currently over 225 Co-Lead Facilitators for the Institute, with over 300 in our history.
  • The Institute has taken place in 4 countries.
  • 95 sessions of the Institute will take place in 2016.
  • There have been 1,281 total sessions of the Institute to date.
  • There have been 5 Board of Trustees Chairpersons, Mr. Gene Hoffman, Dr. Maureen Hartford, Dr. Robert Sheehan, Ms. Carla Paonessa, and Dr. Ainsley Carry.
  • There have been 31 Board members over the course of its history.
  • LeaderShape has had 3 Presidents, Mr. Gene Hoffman, Dr. Robert Sheehan, and Mr. A. Paul Pyrz, Jr.
  • LeaderShape has hired 24 staff members over the course of its history.
  • LeaderShape has had 4 organizational logos.

Bonus Fun Facts!
Over the past 30 years, there have been approximately…
30,000 “High Five” partners
3,000 boxes of tissues used
Over 600,000 post it notes used
Close to a million “smelly” markers sniffed, er, we mean used
The word “Videre” has been yelled over 5,000,000 times
There have been over 180,000 trades made during Star Power

Possibility & the Someday List

LeaderShape’s Vision: A just, caring, and thriving world where all lead with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible.

The notion of living in possibility has been a part of LeaderShape for 30 years now. At the Institute, one way in which we explore this idea is in regards to the visions that we create for the world. This line of thinking allows us to break through mindsets that hold us back and prevent us from reaching (or even pursuing!) our goals.

Living in possibility is not a tool reserved only for vision work. It is a mindset that when embraced in everyday life can open up possibilities that excite us and engage our interests. Possibility thinking brings with it innovation, freedom, fulfillment. It can help us to realize all that can exist in our day-to-day lives. It can turn our thoughts about who we want to be and what we want to do “someday” into a reality.

LSH-all-banners-LO-RES-3There are people in the LeaderShape community who I know embrace this kind of thinking. So I reached out to our Pebble Club members asked them to to think in terms of possibility and share their “Someday Lists” with us. Here is what we received:

Ally Vertigan
Visit every Spanish-speaking country
Ride my bike in every state
Go to the Harry Potter theme park
Become an ordained pastor
Take a candle-making class

Aja C. Holmes, Ph.D.
5 things on my “someday list”
Travel to South Africa
Pay of credit cards
Save up 3-6 months of expenses
Develop a regular Yoga practice
Fall in love

Visit all of the museums in Washington, D.C.
Get in the habit of eating slower
Experience the Broadway show Fun Home
Learn how to grow mushrooms
Attend another National Collegiate Honors Council conference

Take the day off to play with the kids, without feeling overwhelmed
Expand my business to another product category
Travel to New Zealand
Build a legacy in the community
Retire early in life to enjoy all that is out there to be part of.

How are you living in possibility every day? And how does that translate to your own Someday List? Tell us in the comments.

If you are into lists, check out another post with our friends from the Pebble Club, The Today List.

The Today List

I love lists. Making a list helps me think, dream, process, produce, clear my mind, fill my bucket.

I can turn anything into a list. I can make a list from anything. Can you relate?

Even though I can list like it’s an Olympic sport, sometimes I look at a blank sheet of paper and decide to make it a “Today List”, putting on it only what I am going to do today. This day.

For me, the day-dreaming and wishful thinking and believing myself to be a superhero who can tackle a 75-point to-do list in one has to take a backseat to current priorities and the time that I have on this day.


There is power in a good “Today List.” It demands that we embrace the present. It requires that we be mindful of what tasks are most vital. We must consider where to focus our attention. Today is all that matters with this short (and important) list. Just today with these to-do items.

In fact, I recently read an article in which the author reflected on the power behind his daily top three priority post-it note habit. Each day he decides on his top three priorities, writes them down on a post-it note, and sticks it to his computer. He sees this note all day. Although other things will likely get done that day, these are the three things he will be sure to attend to. I wish I could find that article – and have now put “find article on top 3 priority list” on my general list of wonderings and to-dos.

With all of this in mind, I was curious what others put on their own versions of the “Today List.” So I invited some members of the Pebble Club  to share what was on their own “Today Lists.” You can see them below.

What about you? What is on your list? Post it in the comments.

Vertigan.ExpoAlly Vertigan
Complete a blog post for class
Be mindful of my time
Take the dogs for a walk
Mail thank-you cards
Three weeks worth of laundry


Headshot Fall 2015Aja C. Holmes, Ph.D.
Finish Staff agenda
Read manuscript
Grocery shopping
Give an awesome reference check for former staff member
Drink more water= going to bathroom =getting up and walking more frequently 🙂


Christy FolkChristy
Start on Hispanic Lit Homework
Do laundry
Skype with my Dad
Practice piano
Research for-profit internship opportunities


Book Travel to China
Mail new catalogs to customers
Schedule training session with marketing team
Confirm weekend travel plans
Clean desk

Kristen Bendon Hyman is the Director of Community Engagement at LeaderShape, where she gets to meet and work with change-agents from colleges and universities all over the country. She believes there is power in storytelling and the best part of her job is the privilege of hearing the stories from members of the LeaderShape community. After hours you can find her making memories with her family, hanging out with friends, with her face buried in her Kindle, and/or making lists.