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Wednesday, June 26

Brookdale Newsroom

Leadership Society Welcomes First Cohort

A capacity crowd of friends, family, and faculty packed into the Student Life Center on May 10 to support Brookdale’s first inductees into the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS).

Attendees were on hand to recognize the hard work and dedication of the 109 students who officially joined Brookdale’s new NSLS chapter and learn more about the unique advancement and professional development opportunities available to its members.

In his welcoming address, Vice President of Student Success Dr. David Stout thanked each of the NSLS inductees for raising the bar for success and achievement at Brookdale.

“This school has a long history of success, dating all the way back to when Brookdale was a horse farm,” said Stout. “You are all now bringing that success to a new level with the establishment of this amazing leadership society and the completion of your membership.”

The advisors and co-founders of Brookdale’s NSLS chapter, Sarah McElroy and Jill Donovan, helped to explain the ins and outs of the nation’s largest leadership organization, which offers intensive workshops, community service and peer mentoring opportunities, exclusive seminars offered by internationally recognized experts, and much more.

NSLS executive board member Mary Heleotis speaks to her fellow inductees on May 11.

NSLS executive board member Mary Heleotis speaks to her fellow inductees on May 11.

McElroy and Donovan also explained the roots of the Brookdale NSLS chapter – which was established earlier this spring – as well as the NSLS shield, mission statement, and the requirements of being a member.

Honorary membership awards were also presented to the Brookdale employees who helped get the new chapter up and running. Recipients included Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy; Vice President of Learning Dr. Matthew Reed; Dr. David Stou; and Career and Leadership Development staff members Anne LaPorta and Lauren Silverstein.

Excellence in Service to Students awards were presented to the Office of Registration and Records, Office of Grants and Institutional Development, Office of Career and Leadership Development, and the Innovation Center for their efforts in recruiting and enrolling the inaugural cohort of NSLS members.

All of these offices and employees were instrumental in establishing the chapter, Donovan said, and allowing the new members to get to work immediately. Over the past six weeks, she said, the students were able to complete 3,000 hours of leadership development and more than 60 hours of community service.

“Back in March, when I brought the idea to Sarah, all of this was just a hopeful wish,” said Donovan. “Not only were the students doing all the work, they were helping to build the foundation for future groups.”

Newly appointed members of the Brookdale NSLS executive board were later welcomed on stage to address their fellow inductees and highlight the wide range of opportunities – and responsibilities – that lay before them.

“This organization teaches us to discover ourselves in a way that no other college course can offer,” said Victor De Los Santos, membership outreach co-chair. “The next CEO, doctor, scholar, or scientist is sitting in this room right now, thanks to the direction of NSLS.”

Many students also gave personal accounts of how the NSLS has already helped them to grow, both as students and as individuals.

“A few years ago I would have never pictured myself the president of an organization like NSLS,” said Chanell Singletary-Eskridge, president of the NSLS chapter. “I am here today because I took a risk… Try to imagine a place where you could not fail. Now I want you to realize that you are sitting in the midst of that same place. We all possess the power to change the whole dynamic of Brookdale.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Singletary-Eskridge joined her fellow board members in presenting McElroy and Donovan with a gift, thanking them for their efforts and their dedication to all Brookdale students. Nine of the new NSLS members also received the National Engaged Leadership Award for going above and beyond their membership requirements this spring.

Nearly 460 Brookdale students have been nominated for induction into the NSLS. In order to achieve full membership, nominees must complete a series of orientations, training sessions, meetings and speaker broadcasts. To learn more about the chapter and the requirements for nomination, click here.

Check out more photos of the induction ceremony here.

— Article by Mikaela Mazzeo, college relations intern