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March 19, 2009

Leadership academy launched

In conjunction with Pitt alumna Frances Hesselbein, the University is launching the Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement. Named for Hesselbein — chair of the board of governors of the Leader to Leader Institute (formerly the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management) — the academy has as its mission inspiring, developing and rewarding accomplished student leaders.

In 1998 Hesselbein was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in recognition of her leadership of the Girl Scouts of the USA. She also was a member of the first class of University Legacy Laureates, a group of Pitt alumni who have reached the highest levels of their professions.

The academy is under the direction of Kathy Humphrey, Pitt vice provost and dean of students, and Angela Miller McGraw, Hesselbein Academy program manager at Pitt.

An inaugural student leadership summit will be held at the University July 10-14; it will be open to 50 top college student leaders from across the United States. Subsequent summits, to be held annually, will be open to college students worldwide.

The annual summits will teach participants how to be effective, ethical and innovative leaders. Through mentoring communities, international experts will share their insights and knowledge, training students so that they leave the academy with the skills and experiences necessary to excel in various leadership capacities.

The academy also will offer four global leaders externships beginning in summer 2010. Graduating senior leaders from around the world are eligible. Fellows will complete a yearlong externship under the direction of leaders in countries that are different from their native ones.

In addition to serving as chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts, 1976-1990, Hesselbein was founding president and chief executive officer of Leader to Leader, 1990-2000.

Her latest book, “Hesselbein on Leadership,” focuses on her philosophy that “leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do.”

Hesselbein has been awarded the Legion of Honor Gold Medallion from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, Pitt’s Distinguished Alumni Fellows Award and an International ATHENA Award.

For more information on the academy, contact Miller McGraw at or 412/624-5203.

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