President’s Emerging Leaders

The President’s Emerging Leaders (PEL) program was created to fulfill Oglethorpe University’s mission to educate students to be citizens in a global world, ready them for responsible leadership, and empower them to pursue meaningful lives and productive careers. The program brings in leaders from everywhere and is the premier leadership program for first-year students at the University.

How can you be selected?

If you have applied to Oglethorpe University as a first-time student, you have also put yourself in consideration for PEL. Students are hand-selected by University faculty and staff based on a thorough review of the student’s Application for Admission. To be part of this tight-knit community of 20 student leaders you must show prior excellent leadership involvement. Although not necessary, you may choose to send an additional, short (no more that 300-word) letter via email to your admission counselor discussing your specific qualifications fitting of the program.  

What’s in it for members?

Participants have the opportunity to interact with many amazing individuals through PEL, namely the Oglethorpe University President, Dr. Lawrence Schall, a former attorney specializing in civil rights litigation as well as frequent contributor to several famed news outlets. PEL leads students to success during their time at OU and helps connect them to University alumni and friends who are leaders of our state and nation.

When does PEL meet?

The group meets every other week at 5:30 pm on Wednesdays in the fall starting on the first week of the semester. The meeting format includes both dinner and an opportunity to hear from a specially selected presenter. Meetings will conclude by 6:30 pm. ALL participants must be able to attend each of the 8 meetings (allowing a single absence) throughout the fall semester.

After PEL, what’s next?

After a semester of participation in PEL, students will automatically be invited to take part in the Oglethorpe Leadership Institute—a self-paced leadership certification program that connects students to opportunities like a professional fellowship with one of Atlanta’s top companies and a distinguished professional to serve as a career mentor. Those not in PEL will need to apply for the Institute separately.

What have past participants thought of the program?

  • I am more equipped to fully realize my potential as a mover and shaker in my community. For that, I am eternally grateful. -Alexander
  • I loved PEL because it gave me a chance to critically investigate who I am as a leader and what I can do at Oglethorpe in my four years here. – Mikayla
  • PEL has given me the opportunity to meet an array of faculty and students who I know I can depend on for incredible advice and support for anything I need assistance on. – Olivia
  • I greatly enjoyed my experience in the PEL program. I made a lot of friends and I’m grateful for the opportunities this program has given me. I have made connections with so many people that I would not have made without this program. – Aleece