The Plemmons Leadership Scholars Program is under the direction of the Department of Student Engagement and Leadership at Appalachian. It was developed in 1994 in honor of Dr. William H. Plemmons, Appalachian's second president. Dr. Plemmons embodied the principles of student empowerment and was committed to providing students with out-of-class experiences that would complement their in-class learning, which is the foundation of the Plemmons Leadership Scholars Program. Demonstrating the belief that leadership can be developed, the Plemmons Program is a four year in-depth experience aimed at creating successful leaders. The program attempts to identify entering freshmen who have demonstrated leadership and successful involvement in their high school or community. The program combines both in-class instruction and out-of-class experiential opportunities designed to provide participants with leadership development opportunities. Programs and opportunities available to a Plemmons Scholar include special classes, seminars, retreats, outdoor leadership experiences, conferences, experiential opportunities, and individual needs assessment.

The Plemmons Leadership Scholars Program has core goals that serve as the foundation for the program. These are:

  • To provide curricular or classroom opportunities for students to learn about leadership concepts
  • To provide co-curricular and experiential opportunities for students to "learn by doing"
  • To provide opportunities for self-discovery and personal growth
  • To develop strong moral judgment, creativity, and initiative in the practice of leadership
  • To teach Plemmons Leadership Scholars to help others experience and exercise effective leadership
  • To create and understanding of the increasing complexity and challenges of leading diverse organizations
  • To assist participants in understanding the importance of continued growth and development