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The Center for Ethical Leadership Presents the 2009 Hatton W. Sumners Undergraduate Conference

AUSTIN, Texas-- Feb. 20, 2009-- The Center for Ethical Leadership and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs presented the 2009 Hatton W. Sumners Undergraduate Student Conference which took place February 26 through March 1, 2009.

During the conference students were given the opportunity to develop their leadership abilities through seeing and hearing inspirational leaders discuss approaches to leadership. The organizers hope that students will be better prepared to take on leadership roles and learn from their experiences as leaders and followers when they return to their schools and communities following the conference.

“This year we had students from 28 colleges and universities in the U.S. and five schools in Mexico,” said Howard T. Prince III, Director for the Center for Ethical Leadership. “ The conference provides new ideas about leadership through inspirational speakers and activities and a chance to meet some of the young people who will lead the U.S. and Mexico 20 years from now.”

Twelve graduate students, 9 of whom are LBJ School students, were team leaders for the conference and led the undergraduate student attendees in small-group sessions. The purpose of these small sessions were to teach students the responsibility of being a part of working groups and meeting and exchanging ideas with other young leaders from other schools and countries

“LBJ graduate students play a very special role that is the most important part of the conference,” said Prince. “We delegate tremendous responsibility to them for the design and execution of the majority of the conference events.  Our graduate students develop and deliver three 90-minute small-group workshops on leadership topics such as motivation, conflict management, communications, and the use of digital technology to lead geographically dispersed teams.”

Susan Todd, an LBJ School Master of Public Affairs (M.P.Aff) student, served as a team leader.

“It was a great experience working with the other graduate students and the undergraduates,” said Todd. “The undergraduates felt like they really got a lot out of the conference. They were really excited to go back to their home campuses and impliment what they had learned in terms of being student leaders in their communities.”

The conference began on Thursday, February 26, with the opening keynote address "Failure is Not an Option!" by Gene Krantz, former flight director of the Apollo space program. The opening keynote was also sponsored by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation in Dallas and the Distinguished Speakers Committee of the Texas Union. The keynote was followed by three days of speaker sessions and workshops aimed at developing the leadership potential of current students and achieving the  goals inspiring young people to seek and accept leadership responsibilities, to increase awareness of current and emerging leadership challenges, and to develop a network of students to support future collaboration among these emerging leaders.

For more information on the conference, visit: