The Residential Leadership Community at Virginia Tech has had a rich, evolving history.
Landrum Cross, vice president of student affairs, created a Student Leadership Development Program Committee with the purpose of studying existing curricular leadership development programs on campus.
Don Creamer from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies chaired the committee. With the exception of the Corps of Cadets and Military Affairs program, the committee realized no program existed for general undergraduate leadership development. The committee made the decision to create a proposal for a campus-wide leadership development program.
The proposal from the Student Leadership Development Program Committee was presented. It focused on strengthening four components:
- Community responsiveness
- Responsible citizenship
The proposal recommended adding essential organizational characteristics for a student leadership development program, including:
- Combination of academic and student affairs
- Involvement of program alumni as mentors
- Inclusion of experiential learning components
The committee further recommended adding a residential living component to the program and creating a leadership minor through the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.
The proposal developed by Creamer’s committee was reviewed by a Vision Team and given further recommendations based on comparable university programs.
The team recommended extending the program opportunities to include Pamplin Scholars and general incoming freshmen.
The Vision Team decided to include representatives from various university programs with the goal of further developing the leadership program.
The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies became the academic home for the envisioned leadership minor.
Sally Johnston became the curriculum coordinator for developing and guiding the first year of the introductory residential leadership course program and for coordinating the development of the leadership minor.
The two-semester leadership course provided the academic component to what became known as the Residential Leadership Community.
The Residential Leadership Community accepted its first students.
The introductory course for the Leadership Studies Minor began in spring of 2000.
The RLC Steering Committee made the decision to move the the community's academic home to the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. The change of academic department has opened new doors for the expansion of the minor.