HGLead-Logo-2Color-VerticalOur mission is to equip students with the knowledge and ability that is necessary to be successful leaders who exhibit integrity and enact change in their current and future leadership roles.

Program Objectives

  • Provide students with a foundational understanding of the theories and practices of leadership.
  • Offer students the opportunities to develop and enhance a personal understanding of leadership and how that affects themselves, others, and the community.
  • Understand that leadership works for positive change in others, their community and society in general.
  • Assist students in gaining and understanding their leadership positions and experiences.
  • Produce globally-minded leaders, who are able to lead in cross-cultural leadership situations.

Foundational Theory

The foundational theory that best fits with the goals of Harper Gatton is the Social Change Model.  The Social Change Model was established in 1994 from a collaboration of individuals at the University of Maryland. The following assumptions guide the Social Change Model:

  • “Leadership is socially responsible, it impacts change on behalf of others.
  • Leadership is collaborative.
  • Leadership is a process, not a position.
  • Leadership is inclusive and accessible to all people.
  • Leadership is values-based.
  • Community involvement/service is a powerful vehicle for leadership”  (taken from http://socialchangemodel.ning.com/)

Using the Social Change Model as the foundational theory behind Harper Gatton Leadership Programs, students will be encouraged to create relationships with others, to create positive change, and to create experiences that allow collaboration.

The seven tenants of the Social Change model are

  • Citizenship
  • Common Purpose
  • Collaboration
  • Controversy with Civility
  • Consciousness of Self
  • Congruence
  • Commitment
  • Change (technically this is number 8, but should be the ultimate goal of the 7C’s)

Leadership Programs

HG LEAD – Our premiere leadership program, a four-year program focusing on various aspects of leadership and service.  Each year the student will focus on a different leadership experience.  The students will take on a new role each year in the program.  Harper Gatton LEAD students will:

  • Learn
  • Experience
  • Advise
  • Develop

Emerging Leaders – The application and selection process for student leadership positions on campus.  Emerging Leaders begins in February of each school year.

Impact – A student leadership retreat for GC leaders, usually held in January before the beginning of the spring semester.

GSS 280 “Student Development and Leadership Theory” – Two-hour credit course for students interested in further developing their knowledge of leadership theory, particularly the Social Change Model.  Class is offered in the fall and spring semesters.

HG Convos – These meetings will be held at various times throughout the year with all HG students – surrounding a current issue in today’s society regarding leadership.


In order to receive the Leadership Medallion, a student must have participated in all Harper Gatton Leadership Programs and earn a cumulative 2.5 GPA upon graduation.


Contact Laura Wyly, Dean of Students
Email: laura_wyly@georgetowncollege.edu