Davenport Leaders

New Summer Institute prepares students to lead.

Davenport Leaders


The Davenport Leadership Institute was designed to build community and develop the College’s promising student leaders.

The three-week Institute is a new part of the Davenport Leadership Program, which was created by Joseph Davenport in memory of his wife Susan Funkhouser Davenport ’69.

Forty students, ranging from rising sophomores to seniors, applied for the 17 available spots in the summer Institute, and participants were selected based on written applications and an intensive interview process.

“We are training our current students in areas we think are important for them and for the College; things like principles of leadership, how we understand community, and how we build community,” said Kim Sheldon, director of student success.

During the session, workshops and seminars focused on such topics as leadership principles, conflict resolution, intercultural understanding, and mentoring skills.

In addition to the leadership curriculum, Davenport students helped lead Randolph College’s early orientation programs this summer. In the past, orientation for new students was held the week before classes began. This year, two sessions were held in June as a way to ease the transition to college.

“I am extremely excited to be a role model for my sister class, the first-years,” said Allie Starbuck ’12, one of the Davenport Leaders.

The student leaders were enthusiastic about sharing their experiences on campus with the newest class of Randolph students.

“It is highly important for students, not faculty and staff, to explain the College’s traditions to the first-years,” Starbuck said. “These traditions are something that the students share as a common bond between classes.”

The end result of the new Davenport program was a win-win, according to Tina Johnson, director of Randolph’s Experiential Learning Center.

“You get the benefit of a small group of students connecting with each other and having this leadership opportunity, and at the same time, having a big impact on the entire first-year class,” she said.