March 19, 2007
Monday afternoon, the administration and student leaders of the College of Charleston met at 69 Coming Street to dedicate the College’s leadership center to former President Lee Higdon and First Lady Ann Higdon for their years at the College. President Higdon came to the College of Charleston nearly six years ago with a plan to bring the College to a level of “national preeminence”. The plan, named the Fourth Century Initiative, was designed to bring the College to that level by increasing the number of full-time faculty, decreasing class sizes, updating and adding facilities to the downtown campus, and capping enrollment to maintain a rigorous admission standard.
President Higdon’s vision of a leadership center on campus came to life after discussing the idea with Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Victor Wilson, who felt that there needed to be a program to cultivate leadership in all students. In Fall of 2005, the Leadership Center began its first of many programs, Leadership Seminar, which educated Freshman in their first semester on how to become involved on campus and be productive student leaders. Since then, the Leadership Center has added other programs like Cougar Excursion, Leadership CofC, Dance Marathon, and LeaderShape.
The Ann and Lee Higdon Student Leadership Center is designed to continue to cultivate those leaders throughout their four years at the College. Ann Thorsen, a student who has been in many of the innagural programs commented that, “My experiences with the HSLC have put me on a path to understanding my leadership abilities and how I can apply them to other areas of my life in college and beyond. My involvement with the programs offered by the HSLC has given me confidence and connections to pursue objectives of all kinds, and enabled me to meet like-minded people whose friendships I will cherish far beyond my time at College of Charleston.” The College’s Honor Board President, Patrick McShay also stated that the programs within the Higdon Center “are directly responsible for enhancing my leadership ability and have helped me tremendously lead the Honor Board, the Finance and Investment Club and many other organizations and programs on and off campus.”
Many students within the Student Government Association are involved with the Higdon Student Leadership Center. The Center provides resources for its students, meeting rooms, and programs that all center around developing the leader in the student. For more information on the Higdon Student Leadership Center please visit their website at www.cofc.edu/slc .