As I was finishing my service with the U.S. Army in the early 1990s, there was an opportunity to join the faculty at Methodist in the Political Science Department. After about two years, I was involved in designing a new program in leadership. My Army experience convinced me that leadership skills can be learned, leadership ability is essential to success in all careers, and leadership instruction can be very effective. North Carolina Senator Lura S. Tally believed so much in the idea that she made a substantial donation to get the program off the ground. In recognition of her gift, and for her decades of leadership and service to the people of Cumberland County, Methodist named the new leadership center for her; the first leadership course was offered in 1995. The Lura S. Tally Center for Leadership has since grown substantially, with hundreds of graduates having greatly improved their career options as a result of stronger leadership ability.
With the MU Journey, the Tally Center is poised to play an even larger role on campus. All MU students will now have wonderful opportunities to participate in new and expanded leadership activities. The new Leadership Fellows Program will provide an array of leadership courses and opportunities to students who want to develop such skills. Leadership Fellows will experience off-campus conferences, professional workshops, specialized mentorships, intensive internships, academic course work, and practical experiences. They will learn about the art and practice of leadership, ethical values important to building trust and respect, and develop critical skills such as decision making, team building, critical thinking, and problem solving. Fellows gain practical experiences as they serve in leadership positions on campus.
The MU Journey presents all students with limitless avenues for personal discovery, intellectual growth, and professional development. The Tally Leadership Center is delighted to be a key part of the MU Journey, guiding students seeking greater leadership development and preparing them for careers.