Topeka, Kan. – The annual Washburn University Leadership Challenge EventTM (LCETM) will take place March 3 -4 at the Maner Conference Center in Topeka. The Washburn University Leadership Institute hosts this annual two-day leadership competition, which is open to high school and college students in the region. The LCE is the only event of its kind in the U.S., offering students a space to practice the leadership skills they will need when navigating challenges in the real world. This is the twelth year of the LCE.

     “We are so excited to be able to host the Leadership Challenge Event fully in-person again this year and provide this experience to many students from the surrounding areas, and across the country,” Taton Smith, this year’s LCE student fellow. “We are truly grateful for the constant support we receive for this event. Without the support of our community, sponsors, and volunteers, this transformational program would not be possible. This year, we are making the event better than ever, and hope to challenge students to think outside the box and test their leadership skills in new ways.”

     There are 37 teams participating this year – 10 college teams and 27 high school teams. This is the first time 10 schools have participated, with one traveling from Newport News, Va. Teams arrive Thursday, March 3, and will visit Washburn University, with an opportunity to hear from many influential leaders from the Topeka area. Thursday night will feature a celebratory banquet.

    The leadership simulation will start at 8:00 a.m. Friday, March 4 at the Maner Conference Center. Students will participate in planning and strategy meetings, written tasks and individual and team leadership decisions. During this time, they will interact with volunteers role-playing as community stakeholders invested in the crisis the students are tasked with solving. The simulation encompasses three rounds, all observed by judges who score participants’ leadership acumen on a variety of metrics, including a group presentation defending all their decisions at the conclusion of the exercises. The event concludes with an awards ceremony beginning at 3:30 p.m. in Heritage Hall.

    Leadership Institute students have raised $36,650 in sponsorships, including co-title sponsorships from the Capitol Federal Foundation® and Evergy.


Editor’s Note:

(*=First Year participating)

College Participants:
Arkansas Tech University (2 teams)
Christopher Newport University*
Fort Hays State University
Kansas City Kansas Community College*
Midland University
Missouri Western State University*
Wartburg College
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2 teams)
High School Participants:
Arkansas City High School
Bishop Seabury Academy*
Crest High School
Derby High School
Fort Scott High School
Highland Park High School (2 teams)
Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School*
Mill Valley High School
Northern Heights High School*
Northeast Magnet High School (2 teams)
Salina South High School
Seaman High School
Shawnee Heights High School
Silver Lake High School
St Mary’s High School*
Topeka High School
Topeka West High School
Washburn Rural High School
Wellington High School
West Franklin High School*
Wichita High School Northwest
Wichita South High School
Wichita Southeast High School
Wyandotte High School*
Yates Center High School*


For further information, contact:
Joy Bailes
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Telephone: 785-670-2153
Cell: 785-230-1648

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