Two days after this post is published, the Jepson School will celebrate Finale, our senior recognition ceremony. The following day, we’ll graduate 73 leadership studies majors (almost doubling the number who graduated a decade ago!). They are diverse in their personal interests, goals and aspirations, and future plans. What then can we say unites them and sets them apart as leadership studies graduates?

A dedication to critical thinking. Leadership studies students apply critical thinking to their own varied academic interests and to multiple methods of inquiry. Consider these three honors projects:

A commitment to improving communities. Outside the classroom, the Jepson Class of 2018 has served the University of Richmond on Honor Council, as RA’s, at new student orientation, as tour guides, and on the University President’s Advisory Committee for Sexual Violence Prevention and Response. They assumed leadership roles at the Interfraternity Council, in Mock Trial, and The Collegian. Among them are Club and Varsity athletes and the University’s commencement speaker.

The ability to apply knowledge. Our graduates are now heading to positions at organizations where they completed their credit-bearing internship, including Diversified Search and The Hershey Company. Others will join Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte Consulting, The Education Advisory Board, Vanguard, Cigna, Yelp, the Charles Koch Institute, Apex Systems, Freddie Mac, Cvent, and AlphaSights. Still more will serve with Teach for America and Americorps.

Furthermore, Jepson leadership graduates will soon enter postgraduate studies in law at the University of Richmond, interior design at the Pratt Institute, behavioral and decision sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, and international politics at Trinity College.

On Sunday, these students will join almost 1,400 extraordinary Jepson alumni, who live in many states and counties and pursue varying careers and interests:

  • Like cybersecurity policy subject matter expert Jessica Ruzic, ’10,
  • Like Matthew Reinaker, ’02, president of Asurest,
  • And like Juletta Tyson, ’95, a higher education grants professional.

They are driven and energetic communicators, persuaders, analysts, leaders. And they are determined to use their Jepson education to improve the world.

The leadership studies graduate

Sandra J. Peart

Dr. Peart is Dean of the School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. She is an economist with special interests in leadership and economics and leadership ethics. More about her: Go to and see faculty information.

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