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The Vision Bank Presidential Leadership Program at East Central University was awarded a $10,000 grant from AT&T on Friday in a ceremony attended by state and university leaders.

The Presidential Leadership Program, a comprehensive four-year program, is designed to develop extraordinary leaders. There are currently 65 students involved in the program and each year 15-20 incoming freshmen and six transfer students are invited to participate in the program.

The participating students explore leadership theory, practice and the context in which leaders operate. Student is PLP are encouraged to be innovative, strategic and service-oriented. They have the opportunity to meet and learn from state and national leaders.

“It is a pleasure to partner with ECU in their mission to develop the next generation of leaders for Oklahoma and the nation,” said Jason Winborn, AT&T Area Manager-External Affairs. “Leadership is perhaps the most important skill set to ensure our state and country continues to grow and thrive.”

The $10,000 grant will provide more opportunities for student leaders to engage and enhance leadership skills and opportunities and will specifically facilitate the planning and hosting of the inaugural Oklahoma Presidential Leadership Collegiate Conference.

“Our long-term vision is to combine forces with other PLP groups from around the state and host the Oklahoma Presidential Leadership Collegiate Conference for Oklahoma college students. Just as other cities host leadership conferences for business men and women, East Central University and Ada will be the home for outstanding collegiate leadership training, thanks to AT&T,” said Shelley Ross Hamby, PhD., Director of the Vision Bank Presidential Leadership Program.

State senator Susan Paddack and State Representative Todd Thomsen were also on hand for Friday’s ceremony.

“I’m delighted to see this type of partnership between the private sector and educational community,” said Paddack. “An investment in leadership development is an investment in the future growth of our state.”

Thomsen added, “I share this vision to develop leaders amongst the next generation of professionals, teachers and public servants…thanks to ECU and AT&T for working to make this vision reality.”

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