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Jepson School of Leadership Studies

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Jepson School of Leadership Studies
Jepson School of Leadership Studies.jpg
DeanSandra J. Peart
Academic staff

The Jepson School of Leadership Studies, founded in 1992 at the University of Richmond, is dedicated to the academic study of leadership. The school is named for benefactors Robert S. Jepson, Jr., and his wife, Alice Andrews Jepson. The school opened as the first undergraduate school of leadership studies in the United States with a full-time multidisciplinary faculty.[2]


In 1987, Jepson School of Leadership Studies founders, Robert S. Jepson, Jr., and his wife, Alice, announced they would provide a $20 million challenge gift to develop a leadership studies program at the University of Richmond.[3] E. Bruce Heilman, Richard L. Morrill, and Zeddie Brown were among the University leaders who helped form the school.[4]

The first dean of the school was Howard T. Prince, who developed leadership programs for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Military Academy in West Point. James MacGregor Burns, a preeminent scholar in leadership studies, was named a senior fellow. The school's inaugural faculty included Joanne Ciulla, Richard Couto, Karin Klenke, William Howe,Gill Hickman, and J. Thomas Wren.[5]

The first class entered the school in 1992.[6] General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. spoke at the dedication of Jepson Hall on September 9, 1992.[7]



1990–1996 Howard T. Prince
1996–2000 John W. Rosenblum
2002–2006 Kenneth P. Ruscio
2007–present Sandra J. Peart


As of fall 2017, the Jepson School of Leadership Studies has 15 full-time faculty members.[8]


Virginia State Council of Higher Education teaching awards: Joanne Ciulla (retired; 2003),[9] Don Forsyth (2002)[10]

Student life[edit]

Student Activities[edit]

Students are elected annually to the Jepson Student Government Association, which acts a liaison between students and faculty and between Jepson School students and University of Richmond as well as organizing programs and speakers.[11] Students are appointed to the Jepson Corps, an emissary group that promotes the student experience, the Jepson School curriculum, and the School’s mission.[12]

The Science Leadership Scholars Program is a co-curricular program offered through the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and the University of Richmond School of Arts and Sciences for students pursuing leadership studies and science.[13] The program met for the first time in January 2016 at a dinner with journalist James Hamblin.[14]

A collaboration with the University of Richmond School of Law, the Jepson at Cambridge summer program allows students to spend five weeks studying at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. Students participate in classes, lectures, and excursions to examine law and leadership in an international context.[15]

Student Research[edit]

Students work with faculty members to research leadership as a part of the human condition. They may apply for grants to conduct full-time or part-time research with a faculty member during the summer.[16] Students who have demonstrated scholarly drive and initiative may complete and defend a senior honors thesis in order to earn honors in leadership studies.[17]

Students present research projects at an annual symposium.[18] In recent years, students have presented research on the relationship effect of ADHD on leadership, the leadership impact of satirical news, and the impact of socioeconomic status on perceptions of leadership.[19]

The school’s annual Fredric M. Jablin Award for Undergraduate Research—given in memory of Dr. Fredric Jablin, a beloved professor and scholar at the school—is an annual award of $2,000 that is presented to a rising Jepson School senior conducting research in a wide variety of fields. The recipient is recognized at Finale, the Jepson School’s senior recognition and appreciation ceremony held each spring.[20]

Conferences and Teams[edit]

Four seniors are selected from the Leadership & Ethics capstone course annually to represent the Jepson School in the APPE InterCollegiate Ethics Bowl competition.[21] The 2014–15 team finished in the top ten nationally.[22]

Jepson School students attend conferences held throughout the country, including the Hatton W. Sumners Student Leadership Conference[23] and the US Naval Academy Conference.

The Jepson EDGE Institute[edit]

Organized and led by Jepson School alumni, the Jepson EDGE Institute prepares students for success in life after college.[24] Students network with alumni while developing strategies for securing and excelling in internships, jobs, graduate school, and post-collegiate life.[25]


Every year, the Jepson Leadership Forum presents a series of programs that explore leadership topics around a theme. Forum speakers have included Elie Wiesel,[26] Bill Moyers,[27] Nina Totenberg, Maria Konnikova,[28] Peter Singer,[29] Annette Gordon-Reed,[30] and Isabel Wilkerson.[31]

The John Marshall International Center for the Study of Statesmanship hosts a variety of seminars, conferences, and speakers to explore topics surrounding constitutionalism, political economy, politics, and ethical reasoning.[32] Speakers include Václav Klaus,[33] Gen. Michael V. Hayden,[34] Jennifer Rubin,[35] and Harvey C. Mansfield.[36] The late Margaret Thatcher served as an adviser to the center.[37] In 2017, the Jepson School center hosted a conference surrounding Thatcher’s leadership with guests such as Robin Harris, John Bolton, and Sir David Cannadine.[38]

Each academic year, notable leaders at the local, state, and national level are invited to serve as Leaders-in-Residence within the Jepson school. Particularly notable holders of this position have included: Leo K. Thorsness, Tim Kaine, Mary Sue Terry,[39] Leland Melvin,[40] and Vivian Pinn.


  1. / Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Faculty
  2. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: History".
  3. "Washington Post: Program to usher leadership to head of class at Richmond U."
  4. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: History".
  5. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: History".
  6. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: History".
  7. "UPI: Schwarzkopf urges students to cultivate character, competence".
  8. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Faculty".
  9. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Joanne Ciulla".
  10. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Donelson Forsyth".
  11. "University of Richmond Org Sync".
  12. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Jepson Corps".
  13. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Science Leadership Scholars Program".
  14. "University of Richmond: Students apply leadership studies to sciences in new program".
  15. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Jepson at Cambridge".
  16. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Research". Archived from the original on 2010-01-18.
  17. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Honors".
  18. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Student Research Symposium".
  19. "University of Richmond: Student scholarship takes center stage at the 2017 Jepson Research Symposium".
  20. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Fredric M. Jablin Award for Undergraduate Research".
  21. "APPE: Ethics Bowl". Archived from the original on 2013-04-03.
  22. "University of Richmond: Jepson School's ethics bowl team places 10th in national competition".
  23. "University of Richmond: Jepson student learns about integrity and leadership ethics at student conference".
  24. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: EDGE".
  25. "University of Richmond: Jepson workshop thrives on alumni's commitment to students".
  26. "The Newsletter of the Richmond Peace Education Center" (PDF).
  27. "The Newsletter of the Richmond Peace Education Center" (PDF).
  28. "University of Richmond: Psychologist and bestselling author uses Sherlock Holmes as a guide to making smarter choices".
  29. "2015-16 Jepson Leadership Forum to focus on health, science and the future".
  30. "Jepson Leadership Forum will explore topics related to racial justice".
  31. "University of Richmond: 2016-17 Jepson Leadership Forum hosts bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist".
  32. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: The John Marshall International Center for the Study of Statesmanship".
  33. "University of Richmond: Former president of the Czech Republic Václav Klaus visits campus".
  34. "YouTube: Marshall Center Lecture Series: Gen. Michael V. Hayden".
  35. "University of Richmond: 2016-17 Marshall Center lecture series focuses on leadership and law; speakers include former CIA director, Washington Post blogger".
  36. "University of Richmond: Marshall Center hosts talks on leadership and economics from scholars' perspectives".
  37. "University of Richmond: Marshall Center announces 2011-12 Lecture Series".
  38. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: The Leadership & Legacy of Margaret Thatcher". Archived from the original on 2017-03-24.
  39. "Jepson School of Leadership Studies: Leader-in-Residence".
  40. "University of Richmond: Astronaut Leland Melvin discusses leadership, challenges, responsibility and NASA at 50".

External links[edit]

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