D&E hosts first Leadership Day

A group of 60 incoming Davis & Elkins College freshmen who achieved a 3.0 or higher GPA recently spent a day on campus getting acquainted and learning more about leadership.

The college’s first Senator Leadership Day brought together students and their guests from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, California, Iowa, Florida, Georgia and Ohio.

“We wanted to recognize the many outstanding students who will be joining us on campus next fall,” says Davis & Elkins College Manager of Enrollment Programs and Events Kara Fisher, who organized the event. “Highlighting their leadership potential and the many ways they are involved in their home communities seemed like a natural fit.”

The day included small group team-building and leadership exercises for students, sessions for parents, an academic fair, Senator Leadership Luncheon, fine arts auditions, campus tours and opportunities to meet with admission counselors.

In his welcoming remarks, D&E Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Wilson said the theme of leadership was selected because “it is in everything we do.”

Chancellor Michael Mihalyo also addressed the group asking them to think about how they have inspired others and how they have overcome adversity. Quoting Chinese Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu, he said, “A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, we did it ourselves.”

The keynote address presented during the luncheon also focused on the theme of leadership. Speaker Karen M. Quasny recently retired from the federal government after spending 30 years teaching leadership to civilians with the Departments of the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy.

Quasny outlined five key points identified for inspiring and motivating people. Those are: interpersonal skills, treating others with respect; oral communication, being clear, asking questions and listening; written communication, being clear and concise with a presentation for the intended audience; honesty and integrity, showing a high standard of ethics; and continual learning, pursuing self-discovery.

Quasny also encouraged students to understand their own strengths and weaknesses and take action on them. “Learn what did and didn’t work, and why,” she said.

The day concluded with scholarship interviews. Among the scholarships offered is the top award, the William S. Robbins Leadership Award, named in honor of the late supporter, alumnus and trustee.

“In naming the top award, we unanimously agreed that it should be named for Bill Robbins,” Fisher says. “The legacy of his commitment to students and the D&E community is unparalleled.”

Robbins graduated from Davis & Elkins in 1956 and continued a lifelong enthusiasm for all aspects of the college. He was named to the Board of Trustees in 1976, and provided financial resources to create many facilities, including the Madden Student Center and the Robbins-Madden Fitness Center, and restoration of Robbins Chapel in memory of his parents.

Fisher says the scholarship interviews gave faculty members a chance to “preview the many exceptional students they will meet in the classroom.”

Orientation for new students is scheduled for Aug. 24-25, and fall semester classes begin Aug. 26.

For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.