As chancellor, my top imperative for the university is to shape tomorrow’s leaders. While participating in a leader development program is not required to be a leader, I feel strongly that our dedicated leadership education and experiences uniquely position our graduates to positively impact humanity.  

I’m proud of our outstanding commitment to leadership programs across academic and student life, beginning more than four decades ago with the establishment of the Presidents Leadership Class.Whether it is ROTC preparing our students to lead in and out of the military, athletics helping our students lead on and off the field, or our leadership studies minor providing opportunities for all students to develop as leaders, CU Boulder supports a healthy ecosystem of leadership education and experiences. 

As the Newton Chair, I remain committed to strengthening our existing programs and providing additional opportunities to reach more students through innovative approaches to leader development. We believe that leaders are developed through a combination of education, observation and experience. Therefore, we support a strong pedagogic foundation for learning to lead—provided by accomplished educators within our respective schools and colleges.

We will continue to expose students to recognized leaders through our formal leadership speaker series, to include the Leo Hill Leadership Speaker Series, and informal mentor relationships. Since the best way to develop as a leader is to lead, we will provide students opportunities through extra-curricular experiences, internships and professional positions. I also encourage and support international experiences for our students and service to the community as impactful practices that support personal growth. 

I will ensure the University of Colorado Boulder supports a culture of leadership education and becomes a nationally recognized institution for leadership development that honors the legacy of Quigg Newton.

Philip DiStefano

Leadership Lessons: A Conversation with Stefanie Johnson & Phil DiStefano