The 2016 Leadership and Engagement Awards of Distinction (LEAD) ceremony is a celebration of WSU student leaders and those who have mentored and supported the efforts of these students as they work towards leadership and social change. The LEAD program will include an address from the 2015-16 ASWSU and GPSA presidents, the inauguration of the 2016-17 ASWSU officers, a Gallery of Leadership, an address from WSU President Dan Bernardo, the presentation of the 2016 President’s Award for Leadership, and the announcement of the 2016 Virginia E. Thomas scholarship recipient by Steve Wymer, former two-term ASWSU president. The LEAD event is open to the public and will take place on Tuesday, April 19, beginning at 4:30 pm in the Compton Union Senior Ballroom on the WSU Pullman campus.

Beginning at 4:30 p.m., guests are invited to visit the Gallery of Leadership and enjoy a brief event reception. The Gallery of Leadership will feature a variety of projects in which WSU students have shown themselves to be true Cougar leaders who have made a difference in the community or on campus.

Following the Gallery of Leadership and reception, the current ASWSU and GPSA officers will be acknowledged for their service throughout the year, and the 2016-17 officers will be inaugurated.  President Bernardo will then be invited to speak on leadership at WSU.

At the conclusion of President Bernardo’s remarks, the presentation of the 2016 President’s Award for Leadership will begin. Since 1996, the President’s Award has been an honor bestowed annually to students and others who advance leadership and engagement at WSU. Recipients of this prestigious award demonstrate exceptional leadership and service to the university and the community or support leadership development and engagement of WSU students. Awardees were reviewed using the framework of the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. The 2016 award categories are student, student group, faculty or staff, and community organization. The event will conclude with the announcement of the 2016 Virginia E. Thomas scholarship recipient who was chosen from the President’s Award applicants.

Visit for more information on the LEAD ceremony and the WSU President’s Award for Leadership.