Austin College created the Leadership Institute in 1995 to provide young people the opportunity to explore effective, value-based leadership. Through a combination of reflection and scholarly experiential learning students are enabled and equipped to implement the understanding, responsibilities, and actions of effective leaders in their own communities. By observing leadership throughout the world and interacting with local, national, and world leaders, Austin College students gain an understanding of individual and organizational leadership at various levels and the importance of global service through the presentation of the Posey Award.
In 2003, the Institute was named The Posey Leadership Institute to honor Lee and Sally Posey of Dallas, Texas, who have served as mentors to many students and have demonstrated a selfless example of leadership in their community.
Austin College formally launched the Posey Leadership Award in 2005, naming its first honoree in 2006. The Posey Leadership Award honors an outstanding individual who has demonstrated the principles of servant leadership by:
- taking a courageous stand on a public policy issue that advances a humanitarian or educational purpose,
- serving the youth of a state, nation, or international community to improve the quality of health, educational, or community services, or
- by creating opportunities for young people that help them enhance their educational experience and move to a new level of service to society.
See the Past Award Recipients.