President's Leadership Program

History of PLP

A Note from the Director:

The President’s Leadership Program is about interest beyond self, and our members and alumni exhibit this core value as they serve others through their leadership and service in their communities.  A great illustration for PLP’s motto, is our logo.  The logo for PLP is a drop of water as it hits a larger pool of water, making waves that impact the entire body, and that is essentially what our PLP students do: they impact their communities.  This program helps them to structure that impact through taking multiple perspectives, utilizing inclusive leadership principles, and checking to see that their impact is indeed a positive one and not a negative one.  Although it is not possible to track each wave of positive difference a PLP student makes, we know that our students and alumni are out there generating change and improving their communities.  I look forward to sharing some of their stories with you, in hopes that it will encourage and inspire you to take part in making the world a better place.

The History

PLP was started through an El Pomar grant in the spring of 2000. With the help of UNC’s President, Hank Brown, John Bromley was the first Program Director and the main creator of the Presidential Leadership Program. The name was changed a few years later to what we all know as the President’s Leadership Program. John brought Amy Smart, a former student of his and a UNC alumnus, on board to help with the Administrative side of the program, as he tackled the curricular side. The inaugural class of PLP scholars began the program in the fall of 2000.

Program Location, Structure, and Requirements

PLP has undergone both physical moves, from the basement of Kepner to the basement in Michener, and structural moves within the university, from being a floating program to being one of the key programs in the Center for Honors, Scholars, and Leadership in University College. During our history, we have also undergone several curricular changes, all the while having leadership theory and practice at the heart of our curriculum. In addition to core leadership courses, community service, speaker series, and the focus on an internship or study abroad experience, have always been program requirements. PLP has also been fortunate in that giving out scholarships is a part of programmatic tradition.


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