Select WC Freshmen Take the Leadership Plunge

July 20, 2022

Incoming Students Identified with Leadership Potential Engaged in Immersive, Five-Day Program

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

PICTURED: Engaged in the “Trust Walk” are incoming freshmen Bryce Hensley of Wilmington and Maddie Flick of Sandusky. Maddie led a blindfolded Bryce to various campus locations she described in detail, including the Sarah and Isaac Harvey statue, at which Bryce shakes hands with Isaac.

A five-day event running through Saturday (July 23), the 21st annual Plunge, is designed to take those students that were proven leaders in their high schools and lay the foundation for them to become campus leaders at WC.

Plunge facilitator Michael Allbright said the select students were among those first-year students invited to apply for the Plunge based on 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 21-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 Leadership 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 more than 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 graduate deemed as the outstanding student leader over the previous four years.

“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 less than a month until they return to campus for New Student Orientation and then the start of classes Aug. 22, these new students will have already met student peers and staff members, made friends with fellow freshmen and upperclassmen, and know their way around the campus and community.

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