iLEAD: What Mount Students Embrace

Director of iLEAD Dana Sauers and Associate Director Michael Hoover have just announced the institute’s name change from “ILS” to “iLEAD,” standing for Institute for Leadership, Ethics, Achievement and Development.

This change is in part to support interim President Timothy Trainor’s “We and Us” vision. As a campus-initiative, former-ILS hosted a competition to suggest new names embodying this vision. They received 33 suggested name changes, some of which that had Latin in them, others reflecting a global focus, and some involving famous leaders such as Dorothy Day.  

Ultimately, the name chosen was “iLEAD” and was suggested by Dr. Richard Buck, Chair of the Philosophy Department. This name was chosen because it best represents the institute as it is while relating to the current trends. It appeals to students and greatly stands out.

Sauers said, “We are unabashedly appealing to the millennials because we believe leadership is so relevant and in-the-moment.”

The “i” is lowercase to show that this is more than an institute and is focused on the continuation of assisting others and acquiring skills. When choosing iLEAD, Sauers and Hoover thought the acronym was very attractive.

“The new name represents a revitalized energy that is highly passionate, and experts in educational development that students claim find stimulation in the action they’re taking,” stated Sauers. Hoover agreed and stated that, “‘lead’ is a verb and is about taking action.”

The name change came about first from a suggestion at a Department of Communication meeting, when Chair Carl Glover joked, “Do you really want to be called ILS (pronounced ills)?!” Sauers said back, “I’ll have to give that some thought,” and decided to work on that change.

“The Mount is in an exciting period of change and moving forward. We wanted to celebrate in an obvious way,” said Sauers.

Both Sauers and Hoover are poets and big fans of language. The relationship of the title to the university is very important to them. This is an opportunity for them to work to enhance the individuals within iLEAD.

With a new name come changes in signage, name badges, stationery, documents, professional cards, and marketing which can take considerable time.

Sauers would like to thank Mike Celmer, the iLEAD graduate assistant, for his hard work. “I’m personally proud of Celmer for his passion in iLEAD.  I would like to give him a lot of credit.”

iLEAD is also offering a new opportunity to all sophomores and juniors, the National Society of Leadership and Success. Junior Olivia White is the president and there is currently a 12 person student board. This society provides opportunities in resources, speakers, recognitions, and archives.  

Another opportunity to get involved with iLEAD is Leadership through Film which will be hosted by Stephen Jackson. This will be an hour, featuring clips of movies and the leadership roles and traits shown in these clips. “The Big Short” and “Miracle” will be the first two films in the year-long series to be viewed and discussed. Popcorn, candy and drinks will be provided.


Photo courtesy of Haley Phelps

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