History of the Center for Leadership

Isabella Cannon founded the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows Program in 1989. The Isabella Cannon Leadership Program developed from the Fellows program as a way to make leadership accessible to all Elon students. The ICLP was an intensive four-year program to help students realize and expand their leadership abilities.

During the first phase of the program, Emerging Leaders, students focused on “self.”  Students explored their own personal leadership skills through workshops, campus events, serving the community, and shadowing campus leaders.  During phase two of the program, students furthered their leadership development by learning how to collaborate with others. Students developed an understanding of followership, how to handle conflict, group dynamics, in and out groups, and how to be a diverse local and global leader. In phase three of ICLP, students work to make changes in their organizations on campus. Students determine their own vision regarding personal and organizational change and develop strategies to facilitate that change. In the final phase of the program, students use the knowledge gained from the ICLP to serve the common good of the campus and community in the form of a legacy project. They also learn necessary skills and tools to help them effectively transition to life after college.

In May 2007, the Center celebrated the 15th anniversary of the first ICLP graduating class with an alumni reception and the Cannon Ball, along with tours and an alumni meeting.

The ICLP and the Leadership Fellows Program were the main focus of the Center for Leadership for many years, but in the past decade the Center for Leadership has additional leadership development initiatives including the Elon Challenge Course, Life Entrepreneur Program, the Leadership Studies Minor, Leadership in Eastern Europe, Intersect Conference, and most recently the new LEAD Program.


The LEAD Program was launched in the fall of 2012. The LEAD Program will replace the ICLP in an effort to make the program accessible to more students. Please visit the LEAD Program page for more information about this program.

There are many more new and exciting initiatives that will be developed in the coming years!