Martinella Dryburgh, Director
History of the Institute
Austin College’s President Emeritus Oscar C. page initiated the Leadership Institute in 1994 upon his arrival on campus. His plan was to provide Austin College students opportunities to explore various aspects of effective leadership through a combination of scholarly and experiential learning that would enable and equip those students to implement the understanding, responsibilities, and actions of effective leaders within their own communities. The intent of the program of study and exploration was to present a modern model of leadership to students that embraced service to others, and a global perspective of influence and personal responsibility. The program included active study of leadership theory and practice, experiential growth through internships and mentor relations and exposure to some of the leading international figures of our time.
The Austin College Leadership Institute and the leadership program of study continued to develop and take shape until 2002. It was then that the Leslie B. Crane Chair in Leadership was established and endowed by Lee and Sally Posey, loyal friends of the program as well as a source of inspiration for it. Lee Posey, an entrepreneur and founder and chief executive of Palm Harbor Homes of Dallas, was significantly influenced by Mr. Crane, who was influential and effective in his ability to recognize and encourage energy, talent, and potential. The Poseys found the goals of the Leadership Institute in keeping with their own goals of service and mentoring. The program now bears their name in honor of their generous investment in the program and their example of leadership.
Mission and Purpose
The mission of the Posey Leadership Institute is to develop women and men of influence. The Institute provides an opportunity to engage all interested men and women in the study and practice of leadership in their personal and professional lives, and promote personal, group and organizational leadership skill and effectiveness. The Institute responds to the needs of undergraduate, alumni and professionals interested in continuing leadership development.
The purpose of the Institute is to provide a venue for dialogue and study of leadership that engages interested students and professionals in thoughtful investigation, demonstrated service and critical reflection on the roles, responsibilities and actions of effective leaders in our society. Austin College students are encouraged and prepared for service in leadership roles as presented, and alumni and interested professionals are fortified and enhanced in their continuing commitments.
Range and Scope
The Institute is primarily dedicated to the development of undergraduate students at Austin College. The lines of influence extend to potential students engaged in programs of interest sponsored by the Institute, as well as alumni of Austin College, and other professional seeking development or renewal. The physical geographical boundaries are considered to be worldwide in the support of Austin College students.
The guiding philosophy of the Institute is that all thoughtful and discerning people are called to lead at some point in their lives, and should be prepared to do so effectively. The responsibility of the College is to assist in this preparation by principled, values-based programs of investigation and study that address the needs of men and women to increase their personal and professional awareness of the challenges of leadership, build and enhance abilities to meet these challenges and present an environment that encourages leaders to make the level of commitment necessary to be successful.