During the last 6 years you may have been in a District meeting around June and witnessed the graduation of several individuals who’ve worked hard for the previous 9 months. You may have watched them receive their Leadership Academy certificate and pin and wondered ….”Why? What did they do? Where do they come from? How can I find out about that? Maybe I would like to do what they did.”
I will try to demystify what you’ve been witnessing. These are past presidents and others who have asked or been offered an opportunity to learn more about Rotary, to prepare them for further Leadership in their clubs or beyond.
The Leadership Academy was founded in 1998 in District 5110, which is in Oregon, to train and prepare past club presidents and others to assume positions of leadership at the Club or District Level. District 5170 adopted the program in 2006 after Past District Governors Dick Lohmiller and Ron Sekkel traveled up to District 5110 to see what they were doing.
Dick and I got to hear 3 panels. A panel of faculty, another of current students, and a third panel of past students described how they felt about participating in the Leadership Academy. The primary feeling that was conveyed was that they were all excited about the possibility of a life in Rotary after being a Club President.
Even though this was meant to be a program for Past Presidents, almost everyone who has been through the Academy said that they wished they had been to the Academy prior to being Club President. As a result of those comments we have offered the academy to a limited number of students who have not yet been Club Presidents.
The Faculty of our Leadership Academy are some pretty heavy hitters. Their experience ranges from University Professors to consultants in the fields they’re teaching. Some are so well versed in these topics that they have been called back to Rotary Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois to share their expertise with Rotary International.
Another exciting aspect of the program is that there are no fees paid by the students for this high level program. The 6 online courses cut down the meeting time yet they are supplemented with several live sessions to build a working resource network.
Students are selected by the Leadership Academy Committee which is made up of recent Past District Governors, Future District Governors, the current District Governor, and the Faculty. This past June we graduated our 6th class and now we are at the point where the nominations are being solicited for our 7th Leadership Academy, the 2012-2013 Class. If you have any questions please email Ron Sekkel your questions at email@example.com.