The Bill Emerson Center for Leadership & Service was created in 2002 with support from a federal grant. It is the hub of leader development at Westminster College and is named for Westminster Alumnus William Emerson, Class of 1959, who served in the United States Congress for 14 years until his untimely death in 1996. The Emerson Center is integrated into the Churchill Institute and endeavors to develop tomorrow's leaders -- leaders who, like Sir Winston Churchill, courageously step up when they are needed, lead by example, hold steadfast to their core values, and inspire others towards a shared vision.
The Center achieves all this through both curricular and co-curricular initiatives. A minor in Leadership Studies has been developed and significant movement is taking place to create an academic major. Co-curricular programs include targeted learning experiences for campus leaders, first-year students, and other select groups.
Additionally, the Center is the nexus of service activity on campus. The Office of Community Engagement & Service Learning sponsors projects that range from partnerships with local community service organizations -- from the Red Cross to the Soup Kitchen to Callaway County's homeless shelter -- to the more ambitious initiatives like building medical clinics in rural Rwanda, constructing greenhouses in Trinidad-Tobago, and a establishing a library in Ethiopia.
A new Multicultural Student Development Program has been created within the Center that supports and celebrates our diverse campus. This office works closely with student leaders to celebrate differences, mediate conflicts, and develop future leaders that are prepared to enter our global community.
Through the Office of Student Involvement, the Emerson Center works closely with the Student Government Association, the College Activities Board, and over 65 campus clubs. These organizations often become the "trenches" where students first get involved in serious leadership positions.
We think Bill Emerson would be proud of the way his alma mater is developing future leaders for the global community. We dedicate our work to him and his family.