Jepson Hall remains a hub of activity, despite the end of classes. Students gather in lounges and study spaces to prepare for finals, finish papers, and work on presentations. It’s an exciting time: Seniors have almost finished their final fall semester in the Jepson School community. Juniors look forward to a break before launching into their spring semester classes, including the Internship class, Theories and Models class, and electives. Following their formal induction into the Jepson School this fall, sophomores are now anticipating their Critical Thinking class.

As the semester draws to a close, I am first and foremost grateful for our students. Their curiosity and eagerness to learn about leadership make everything else we do at Jepson–writing papers, developing new courses, preparing for classes–worthwhile.

This fall, like any other, has been extremely busy. With several faculty searches underway and one completed, a record number of student applications, and the usual day-to-day business of the School, our days are full.

I’m excited about several new and unusual initiatives that are in various stages of fruition.

First, as I have mentioned here before, we are developing a program that fully supports graduating Jepson students who undertake a one-year master’s program at the University of Oxford. I recently spent a few days at Oxford and had the pleasure of meeting up with our first Jepson Scholar, Sabrina Escobar Miranda. More on that visit and this initiative in a separate blog. For now, I will report that several current students have applied to Oxford, and we look forward to another successful year of building the program.

Second, as the School is now almost 30 years old and remains an extraordinary exemplar in higher education, it seemed important to me to document our history. I was delighted that when I mentioned this idea to the faculty, Dr. Julian Hayter eagerly agreed to undertake the project. We will soon begin to develop an oral and documentary history of the School.

Several years ago, the Jepson School faculty briefly considered how to bolster interdisciplinary scholarship in leadership studies. I can now report that Drs. Kristin Bezio and Julian Hayter have agreed to take the lead in creating an online interdisciplinary journal in leadership studies. Although still in the early planning stages, this project is another exciting step forward for the School.

At this half-year mark, then, I celebrate the School’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni for their continuous efforts to innovate and create new ways to enhance leadership education and research.

Happy holidays!

End-of-semester speculations

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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