2019 National Sessions of the Institute

LeaderShape believes that leadership involves living in the state of possibility, making a commitment to a vision, developing relationships to move the vision into action, and sustaining a high level of integrity. We believe that effective leadership takes place in the context of a community and results in a more equitable society.

It is this definition that serves as the foundation of the Institute. The Institute is IMG_2341an immersion experience that allows participants to work collectively to live in this world of possibility as they explore their values, who they are, and who they want to be.

While together, they will develop a vision that is grounded in their deepest values.

In 2019, we will host three national sessions as follows:

  • May 12-17, 2019: National session of the Institute in Boston, MA
  • July 21-26, 2019: National session of the Institute in Champaign, IL
  • July 28-August 2, 2019: National session of the Institute in Champaign, IL

In 2019, we are also offering a 4-day session of the Institute. We have conducted pilot sessions of this format of the Institute with our campus partners and are now hosting it as a national session. The date for that session is:

  • May 20-23, 2019: 4-day national session of the Institute in Champaign, IL

We recognize that for many participants, finding six days away is not possible and we don’t want time to be a reason someone doesn’t attend the Institute. The 4-day Institute is formatted to provide the Institute experience in a shorter timeframe to help engage more participants. The curriculum for the 4-day and 6-day Institute are the same; the difference being the pace of the days.

If you are interested in learning more about the Institute and sending students
this summer, please contact Vernon Wall at lead@leadershape.org
or call the LeaderShape office at 800-988-LEAD (5323).

2017 National Sessions of the Institute


As everyone quickly moves through their daily lives, it is difficult to make time for conversations. Many interactions happen with a quick text or message via Snap Chat. At the Institute, we intentionally slow down to allow participants to create a community in which they can engage in meaningful conversations about values, integrity, and their passions. The week is focused on asking participants to connect with their values and then put them into action by developing a vision for something they care about.

In 2017, we will continue to provide the Institute experience to participants giving them an opportunity to explore their values and develop a vision for something they care about.

We will host 5 sessions in two locations. The dates and locations of the two general sessions are May 14-19 in Boston, MA and July 23-28 in Champaign, IL.

For the past two years we have hosted a national session for a specific demographic. We have done this to help participants explore the concepts of the Institute in a community of individuals who share parts of their identity. These sessions with African American men have been profoundly impactful so we are expanding to other areas of interest in 2017. Here are the dates and specifications for the three special interest sessions, all to be held in Champaign, IL:

May 21-26: Institute for Residence Hall Leaders
July 30- August 4: Institute for Latinx Students
August 6-11: Institute for African American Men

If you are interested in learning how you can attend or how you can send students from your college/university or organization to a session, please email us at lead@leadershape.org.

Want to learn more about the Institute?
You can visit our website and check out these posts about our program.
Institute FAQs
A Nerd’s Reflection on the Institute
The Heart of National Sessions of the Institute


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