From all corners of the world, the McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character unites exceptional speakers and exemplary student-leaders at the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point. Groups of attendees collaborate with renowned industry leaders to help come up with creative solutions for international issues while gaining a broader understanding of leadership principles, critical thinking skills, and social responsibility.
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See What Our Students Say About Their Experience:
The McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character combined a culture of leadership development at West Point with the experience of learning from prestigious global leaders to provide me with a fully immersive leadership analysis. Keynote speakers such as Nobel Prize nominee Katheryn Bolkovac and former Chief of Staff Denis McDonough shared with me lessons they believe are vital to effective leadership such as the importance of trust and increasing social surface area. The conference also included ten additional senior fellows such as the Bridgespan Group Global Development Practice Head and Partner Jeri Eckhart Queenan. Not only did Mrs. Queenan serve as a panelist, answering leadership questions for all student fellows, but she also served as my small group leader, facilitating, stimulating and inspiring discussions on the characteristics of successful leaders, how to encourage and nurture progressive ideas, and the importance of diversity on teams. These discussions, in addition to interactive challenges such as replacing the conductor of the West Point Orchestra and leading songs, gave me different perspectives on leadership and emphasized the significance of inspiration and gratitude. The knowledge and connections I gained from the conference will last a lifetime and I am eager to apply my new appreciation for leadership to my future endeavors.
– Ryan Oliver, 2018 Participant
As a member of the Engineering Student Leadership Advisory Board (ESLAB), I was able to apply and be selected to represent the entire school at the annual McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character (MCLC) in 2017. It brings students together from all over the country and the world. Each group of students is led by a Senior Fellow in conversing about the specific conference topic. My topic was “opposition and innovation: taking risks to lead change”. The guest speakers are prominent leaders from industry, academia, or the military. We also got to eat in the mess hall with West Point cadets, observe regimental formation, and sit alongside members of the West Point Band. Overall, this conference was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from and be inspired by student and professional leaders from all around the world.
From all corners of the world, the McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character unites exceptional speakers and exemplary student-leaders at the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point. Groups of attendees collaborate with renowned industry leaders to help come up with creative solutions for international issues while gaining a broader understanding of leadership principles, critical thinking skills and social responsibility.
– Celeste Sheets, 2017 Participant
- Ryan Oliver, Senior, Mechanical Engineering
- Celeste Sheets, Senior, Chemical Engineering
- Casey Martin, Senior, Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Kayla Duckworth, Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering