Leadership, an Iowa State tradition

Iowa State students have a history of involvement in their high schools and communities, and they bring their leadership abilities to campus. The President's Leadership Class is built on this rich tradition of leadership. Each year, a small diverse group of exceptional first-year students, representing a cross-section of the university student population are selected for the class. Their selection is made on the basis of co-curricular involvement, community and school service, and high school academic achievement.

How it works

Through weekly formal and informal gatherings, students interact with Iowa State administrators, faculty, staff, state and local leaders, and Iowa State alumni. Students gain an understanding of how the university operates and exchange ideas about leadership development. 

The President's Leadership Class serves as an important training ground for students who will become campus leaders, and ultimately, leaders in their professions and communities.

Class information

  • Class focuses on the meaning, practice, and responsibilities of leadership.
  • Students discuss a variety of topics related to leadership with President Wendy Wintersteen and Mr. Robert Waggoner and other key leaders.
  • Students engage in class exercises that help develop leadership skills.
  • Class meets weekly during the fall and spring semesters. 
  • Each student receives a $500 scholarship per semester. 

Selection Criteria 

  • Scholarship: Exceptional academic performance as demonstrated by class rank, GPA, and SAT or ACT score (if available).
  • Leadership Experience: Prior leadership roles in school, co-curricular, and/or extra-curricular activities (e.g. student government, team captain, youth group leader).
  • Service: A demonstrated commitment to community and helping others.
  • Contribution: A willingness to actively participate in PLC class exercises and engage with peers and guests. 

Leadership Class application

The application period for the 2023-2024 President’s Leadership Class is now closed. For questions, please email plc@iastate.edu.