Harry T. Wilks Leadership Institute

“At Miami I got a great education, plus leadership experiences in student activities that helped me throughout my career. By endowing the Perlmutter Leadership Conference, I hope students will be able to enhance their leadership skills, to help make them successful at Miami and in life.”
—Diane Perlmutter ‘67

The Harry T. Wilks Leadership Institute develops ethical and transformational leadership in Miami University students to ensure graduates are prepared and inspired to serve and lead beyond the university.

Affiliated student groups: Sigma Alpha Pi (National Society of Leadership and Success), Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Honor Society), Scholar Leader Living Learning Community, Student Leadership Challenge Living Learning Community


The Institute provides intentional leadership development for undergraduate students through: theory-based workshops, intensive retreats, Living Learning Communities, conferences, lectures, a leadership certificate, honor societies, cohort-based programs and academic courses.


The Office is funded by the Harry T. Wilks Leadership Institute Endowment and six additional endowed gifts. These funds are carefully managed per the donors’ vision and Institute priorities. The Institute also supports campus-wide employee development through StrengthsQuest workshops.

Students studying in front of a backdrop of flagsKey Facts & Figures

  • Participants in U-Lead, a pre-semester experience for first year students, had a 96% retention rate from fall to spring semester
  • Leadership Certificate Program attracted over 50 participants in its first year, of which 90% are first or second year students
  • Strengths-Based Leadership initiative supports approximately 30 workshops and over 700 participants annually
  • Scholar Leader community annually averages a cumulative grade point average of 3.63
  • The LeaderShape Institute is offered as an alternative spring break experience
  • Host an annual high school leadership conference for an average of 100 high school students and 20 high school staff