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Milliken/Wofford Summer Leadership Institute makes impact


2010-06-09

Milliken Summer Leadership Institute Photo

Students experience volunteerism at agencies on Wednesday

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Thirty-five leading high school rising seniors from a two-state area are getting an introduction to the dynamics of leadership and principles of team building at the Milliken/Wofford Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) in Spartanburg during June 6-12, 2010. They also will get a lesson and real dose of hands-on experience in community involvement and volunteerism.

The Institute, held on the campus of Milliken & Company’s Milliken University and Wofford College, exposes the students to a combination of corporate and academic experiences which should prove valuable to their future education and careers. Now its thirteenth year, the Institute is modeled after leadership training courses offered to Milliken associates. More than 500 students now have attended SLI and more than 50 have gone on to attend Wofford College.

Milliken and Wofford provide the students with leadership and team development skills that they would not normally receive through traditional classroom education. It provides them with insight into leadership careers in business at an early age, and in the process helps attract top students to both Wofford and Milliken. Activities included team building, problem solving, presentation skills, creativity, entrepreneurship, diversity appreciation, dining etiquette, and volunteerism.

This year the students will again be doing community service projects and learning how leadership applies to this need in each of our communities. Five sites were chosen from a list provided by the United Way of the Piedmont for the projects. The projects will be conducted on Wednesday, June 9, at the following locations: The Soup Kitchen, SOAR Academy, The Haven, Hope Remains Youth Ranch, and the United Way Gifts in Kind Center. For the first time this year, Milliken college interns from the “Milliken Summer Challenge” program are also participating in the projects with the SLI students.

On Friday, June 11, the students will get a chance to present their project results, in the form of creative skits, to the leadership teams of Milliken and Wofford College. Attending, as in the past, will be Milliken chairman, Roger Milliken. The students also will hear remarks from Milliken president and CEO, Dr. Joe Salley, and Wofford College president, Dr. Benjamin B. Dunlap.

“Milliken views volunteerism as an important component of leadership development, though it is not typically included in conventional education curriculums,” Salley says. “Through the Milliken/Wofford Summer Leadership Institute, these students are gaining valuable exposure to community involvement."

One key to the success of the week is the use of Wofford students as counselors to the high schoolers. The Wofford students establish a bond with the young people that would be very difficult for adults. Institute participants are housed in Wofford dormitories, and evenings include a continuation of project work as well as free time for relaxation and recreation.

2010 Class Profile

• 35 total Students
• (2) States represented (SC & GA)
• 70% played in a varsity sport
• 92% are in Honor Societies
• 20% are members of band or orchestra
• 100% are in top of class
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Milliken is a privately-held, technology-based company dedicated to building a strong culture of integrity, innovation, and excellence, and serves textile, chemical, and floor covering markets. Milliken Research includes the largest textile research center in the world. The company employs over 100 PhDs dedicated to developing innovative products and breakthrough technology. The Company has been named a FORTUNE “Best Company to Work For” for five years and a “World’s Most Ethical Company” for four years.