Select Freshmen Take the Leadership Plunge

July 18, 2019

19th Annual Activity Grooms Campus Leaders

A dozen incoming freshmen at Wilmington College got a jump on the upcoming fall semester as members of the Summer Leadership Plunge this week.

PICTURED: Lauren Chafin an incoming freshman from Stoutsville, guides a blindfolded Alex Gano, a new freshman from Newcomerstown, in an activity known as the “Trust Walk,” in which the Leadership Plunge participants are guided to various landmarks on campus. In this case, Gano shakes hands with Isaac Harvey at the Isaac and Sarah Harvey statue near the Quaker Heritage Center.

A five-day event running through Saturday (July 20), the 19th annual Plunge is designed to take those students that were proven leaders in their high schools and lay the foundation for them becoming campus leaders at WC.

Plunge facilitator Michael Allbright said the select students were among those freshmen invited to apply for the Plunge based upon their high school activities and grade point average, as well as previous leadership positions. Their applications included written essays that complemented their leadership resumes.

“Through Plunge activities, we look at the attributes of a leader, tap into their leadership skills and expose them to some of the leadership opportunities and challenges they will encounter while students at Wilmington College,” said Allbright, associate vice president for student affairs.

“They come here as top dogs at their high schools — it’s always interesting to see them learn to adapt to situations with others who also are used to being in leadership positions.”

Allbright added that the Summer Leadership Plunge’s 19-year history illustrates that these students are among best, brightest and most well rounded, and they tend to shine once they arrive on campus.

“We’ve seen that many of those who engaged in the Plunge became resident assistants and members of student government, and have taken on other leadership positions during their time at WC,” he said

He noted that Plunge veterans include a dozen of WC’s Robert Lucas Leadership Award winners since 2005, which was the year the initial group of Plunge participants became seniors. The Lucas Award is given annually to the May graduate deemed as the outstanding student leader over the previous four years. Indeed, 2019 graduate and Lucas Award recipient Jayme Mabry is serving as a Leadership Plunge counselor this summer before embarking upon law school this fall.

“They typically have very successful, well-rounded College experiences,” he said.

“One Drop Makes a Ripple” has been the theme since the Plunge’s inception in 2001.

“It means that each individual has something to bring to the greater whole,” Allbright said. “Each person can have an impact on campus, especially at a college like WC.”

With only a month until the start of the fall semester, these new students have already met others students and staff members, made friends and know their way around the campus and community.

“They will be ready to hit the ground running and take things by storm,” he said. “Also, they will have a positive effect on other new students they’ll meet at New Student Orientation in August.”