About The Program


Former BGSU President Sidney A. Ribeau (1995-2008) had a vision for the University-- to prepare BGSU students to lead with integrity and make meaningful contributions to society during their student years and in their professions and communities as alumni. In 1997, Dr. Ribeau's vision became a reality with the establishment of the President's Leadership Academy (PLA). In fall 1998, the first cohort of students committed to developing their leadership skills were selected for the PLA. In spring 2009, the University’s Board of Trustees honored the former president’s initiative by renaming the program the Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy.

Today, PLA scholars from a variety of disciplines and geographic locations strive to ensure Dr. Ribeau's vision. To cultivate their leadership skills, PLA scholars follow a curriculum that engages them in classes, workshops, experiential learning, and community service activities. The curriculum is structured to focus on specific targeted outcomes, with each year’s experiences building on those of the previous year.

Additionally, the Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy is a vehicle for personal growth and support.  The PLA offers many opportunities for students to expand their horizons to learn not only about leadership, but also about culture, other people, and themselves. Furthermore, the Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy encourages its students to take on leadership roles across campus. In these roles, they can share their experiences and cultivate their life-learning skills with other emerging campus leaders.

The Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy Program is steeped in the theory of servant-leadership, a practical philosophy that supports people who choose to serve first, and then to lead as a way of expanding service to individuals and institutions.  Servant-leadership encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment.  Servant-leaders are inclusive and may or may not hold formal leadership positions.

The PLA enrolls approximately 15-30 new students annually, resulting in a total of 100-120 students matriculating per year. Awardees receive a renewable scholarship up to the cost of in-state instructional (tuition) and general fees.

The mission of the Sidney A. Ribeau President's Leadership Academy at BGSU is:

The Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) provides a comprehensive leadership curriculum grounded in the ideals of servant leadership. Through the development of a community of scholars, students are empowered to grow and develop as they seize opportunities and maximize their academic success while at Bowling Green State University.