Well hello there! Long time, no blog! I can’t believe we’ve already been in classes for two weeks! I guess that really goes to show that time flies when you’re having fun.
What have I been having fun doing, you ask? Well, lots of things! Between work, classes, my sorority, other campus organizations, friends and family, my schedule is packed full of fun things to keep me busy! But there’s one thing that I don’t need to put on my calendar anymore: LEAD events.
Since this is my last semester at The Woods, I do not have to participate in the LEAD program as long as I am in good standing and have signed off on my senior status waiver. Even though I'm not attending weekly events, I'm still earning the scholarship money. How cool is that?!
I’ve been mentioning LEAD a lot over my past several posts, but I haven’t really explained what it is. Luckily for you, this post is dedicated to LEAD and LEAD only!
LEAD stands for Leading, Educating, Achieving and Developing. This program was enacted by Dr. Barnett (our university president) in 2000 and has been going strong ever since! The intent of this $5000 tuition award is to encourage campus involvement and enhance our education here. And guess what? It’s available to any accepted WWU student! Love it!
Attending LEAD events during these past four years has been one of the highlights of my Woods experience. Lots of fun memories have been made either hanging out with my friends at a concert, listening to an inspirational speaker, or experiencing a different culture or lifestyle.
As I mentioned in my first post, I LOVE taking pictures. I’ve basically been documenting my college years ever since I stepped foot on this campus! While thinking about what I wanted to tell you about the LEAD program, I decided to look back at some of my older photos and videos. My conclusion: Man, oh man, I’ve had some fun!
As I was looking through my pictures, I noticed a recurring theme. There are three main types of LEAD events: educational, concerts and performances. I know the idea of LEAD may still seem kind of arbitrary. However, a picture speaks a thousand words, so check out these photos and enjoy!
The Student Activities Fair at the beginning of the fall semester is always a great way to meet new people and learn how to get involved. Each organization has their own booth, so you can go around and sign up for what you think looks interesting. Plus, there's always free stuff!
Earlier this year, Dr. Lori Hart visited our campus and spoke about gender theories and gender communication. Her presentation was one of the funniest and most informative LEAD events I'd ever been to!
Fire safety is always an important topic to cover, and last year the Office of Residential Life made it even more interesting by asking the local fire department to set a room on fire to show how quickly it burns. The heat was so intense!
Rev. Billy Kyles was a close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's and was a witness to his assassination. His presentation during Black History Month was incredibly powerful; meeting him afterward was even more amazing.
Two Deaf Native American men visited campus during Deaf Awareness week a few years back. They were so much fun to watch and had some very impactful stories to share.
Since our school mascot is Screech the owl, it was only appropriate for the Biology Club to host a bird sanctuary LEAD event. The people from the sanctuary brought birds that were tame enough to fly around the gym, swooping over our heads and landing on their trainer's arm for a treat. I'm not a fan of birds, but I did enjoy this event!
One of my favorite things is learning about different cultures, so I was very excited when Multicultural Affairs Club brought in a woman from Mexico to perform traditional dances and talk about her culture. Can I have a swooshy dress like that, please?
Marcus Engel was another powerful speaker that visited campus last year. His story of how he became blind was awe-inspiring; even more touching was his attitude about moving beyond his blindness and encouraging others to be their best no matter what. I loved it! (Plus, his seeing-eye dog was SO cute!)
The most recent LEAD event I attended was a performance by the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. You cannot imaging how strong and graceful these dancers are until you see them in person. It is absolutely amazing!!
You know what's even more fun than watching professionals perform? Watching your friends perform! Every spring WWU sponsors the Fine Arts showcase. At this event, all the dance groups, dance classes and singing groups have the opportunity to perform a couple numbers. Cheering for my friends is my favorite part!
The Truman Brothers were a fun little duo that came to campus my freshman year. They were incredibly talented; in the middle of the show, they switched and played each others' instruments! Way cool!
One of the great advantages of going to a smaller school is being able to meet artists after they perform for us! Shannon Curtis was such a sweetheart when she came-now we're Facebook friends!
Tim McGraw was busy the day we wanted him to come, so we invited the next best thing to come sing for us: Adam D. Tucker! Adam travels around performing a Tim McGraw tribute show, and let me tell you, it was SO much fun!!
If you've never seen or heard of Recycled Percussion, then I suggest you Google them right now! They play popular songs on things everyone else would consider trash: ladders, buckets, saws, etc. Their performance was, without a doubt, one of my favorite LEAD events ever, and they came my freshman year!
If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to balance everything, along with the LEAD program, don’t worry! As a residential student, I only needed FOUR points per month, TWENTY by the end of the fall semester and FORTY-FIVE by the end of the year. That basically means I went to one event per week, sometimes more. (Each event lasts about an hour.)
Everyone about the LEAD program is online. The events calendar is always accessible through a link on the LEAD homepage. You can also check how many points you have just by entering your student ID on another link on the homepage. Gotta love that internet!
One time my friends calculated how much we as students are “making” attending LEAD events. It equaled out to between $150-$200! Talk about makin’ bank! Think about getting paid to cheer on your school’s team at a basketball game or laughing hysterically while your friends get hypnotized. I think that’s something we can all agree with!
Let's face it-some LEAD events are just plain fun. A few years ago, we had a hypnotist come during a prospective weekend, and I laughed till I cried! I had no idea some of my friends would do the things they did!
The LEAD program is just one of the many unique things about William Woods, and one of the countless reasons why I chose this school as my home for four years. If getting paid for not sitting on your room and going to a fun event sounds good to you, I think you need to schedule a campus visit!
I’d better stop blabbering on about the LEAD program now because I could probably type all day! I hope you are having a fantastic week and trying to stay as warm as possible with this crazy winter weather! (For those of you who aren’t experiencing the wrath of Mother Nature-consider yourselves lucky!)
Smiles and sunshine!