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    PLC is not just a program; it is a community. Learn more about our community.
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Our Program


The Presidents Leadership Class (PLC), a nationally renowned program, has guided the leadership development of Colorado’s most talented undergraduate students. The PLC program is owned and operated by the Presidents Leadership Institute, an independent nonprofit organization, in partnership with the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Founded in 1972, the Presidents Leadership Class began with a conversation between William Douglas, Dean of Admissions, and Terry Heineman, Assistant Director of Admissions. Terry and Bill thought that it would be worthwhile to initiate a leadership program at CU Boulder as a strategy to recruit some of Colorado’s top students to attend the university and provide leadership in the state of Colorado. Both men felt it important to involve a number of outstanding leaders in the state to inform the creation of a pioneer leadership program. This led them to William Coors, President of the Adolph Coors Company. The three men then moved forward with the development of the President’s Leadership Class, named in honor of the university president and the corporate presidents involved in the program’s formation.

PLC is unique because it is based at the University of Colorado, yet managed by an independent, nonprofit board of directors that oversee the Presidents Leadership Institute. While PLC offers courses and works very closely with CU, it is largely funded and directed by outside community members. Many individuals work together to make this opportunity available to students each year. Through the support of an extensive network of over 37 years of alumni, along with parents, business/community leaders, and very involved PLI Board members, PLC continues to grow and develop as the core program of the Presidents Leadership Institute.

Each year, fifty of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s most gifted students are selected to be PLC scholars. Each scholar is awarded a merit-based scholarship and receives rigorous leadership training that fosters both intellectual and personal growth. The training is exceptional and the results are college graduates with extraordinary leadership skills and virtues that exemplify PLC’s mission.

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