News Story

Hulbert senior named to Northeastern State University’s President’s Leadership Class

Paige Taylor, daughter of Benny and Shelly Taylor, was selected as one of 17 for Northeastern State University’s 2015 President’s Leadership Class (PLC). 

This year more than 250 high school seniors applied for the program. NSU offers approximately 15 spots to each incoming class of freshmen. 

During her time at Hulbert High School, Taylor served as the president of the National Honor Society, as well as the captain of the varsity softball team.

Events like the Student Council State Convention have ignited Taylor’s passion for school spirit, and she was able to bring back the ideas and plans regarding increasing school pride, participation in activities and leadership that she learned with her school.

President’s Leadership Class

PLC is a unique program that gives incoming freshmen both continual leadership skill building opportunities and a break on costs associated with attending college in return for participation. 

The program has a long history at NSU, dating back to 1974. Former NSU President Dr. Don Betz was an assistant professor of political science at the time and saw the need to promote and subsequently reward leadership demonstrated by incoming freshmen.

Since then, PLC has had 329 alumni members and currently has 51 students. Notable graduates include Dr. Denise Spears Roddy and Dr. Kathleen Foster Elliott, who both have been named Oklahoma Optometrist of the Year; Stephen Highers, Tahlequah city councilman; Glenn Coffee, the 30th Oklahoma Secretary of State and former Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore; John deSteiguer, the president of Oklahoma Christian University; and NSU directors Jeff Walker, Peggy Glenn, Chris Adney, Daniel Johnson and Anita Thompson. 

Scholarship Increase

The President’s Leadership Class (PLC) was recently endowed a substantial portion of the late Mary Katherine and Eva Harriet Stewart estates. 

The inaugural PLC students attended NSU at a time when tuition was $10.50 per credit hour, or $157.50 per semester, and through the program each student was able to receive a $315 tuition waiver and $1,415 cash. Current PLC students receive 15 credit hours of tuition waivers and $1,200 cash per semester each.

Thanks to the Stewart sisters, who both attended NSU in the 1930s and worked for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the stipend amount that each continuing PLC student will receive beginning in the fall of 2015 will increase by 20 percent. In addition, NSU will provide incoming freshmen with funds to cover half of their on-campus housing costs.  These are the first significant increases in the PLC scholarship in many years.

Those selected as PLC members are held to a high standard of excellence and are provided with ample opportunity to excel at NSU in leadership positions.

“The question we ask when choosing the incoming class is ‘Are you a move and a shaker?’ and if they are, we ask, ‘Can we get you to do that here at NSU?’” Kin Thompson, faculty sponsor of PLC, said.

In the first year of the program, students are required to complete a freshmen orientation course led by Thompson focused on personal leadership. Thompson hopes to further the support he can offer to students in the future by extending the course schedule to last all four years, with sophomore year focusing on leading peers, junior year on leading in the community and senior year on leading globally.

“This class historically consists of outstanding students, some of which have even been named to NSU’s Hall of Fame,” Thompson said. “You can’t be surprised they end up as stand-outs on campus. They’re very driven academically and the networking that is available for them allows them to make connections, build skills and confidence and be equipped to be excellence-practicing leaders after graduation.”

For more information about the President’s Leadership Class or for more information on how to apply, contact Kin Thompson at 918-444-3087 or thompsok@nsuok.edu.

Published: 7/31/2015 11:10:11 AM

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