Wiley College, a historically Black educational institution in Marshall, Texas, has launched the Heman Sweatt Leadership Institute. Sweatt was a 1934 graduate of Wiley College. In 1946, he was denied admission to the law school at the University of Texas. He filed suit and the case was eventually decided upon by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1950. The ruling in Sweatt v. Painter ordered his admission to the law school.
In establishing the Sweatt Institute, Herman J. Felton, president of Wiley College, established four pillars as the foundation of the effort; servant leadership, expressing empathy, accountability, and repetition.
Raé Lundy, the associate vice president of student health counseling and wellness, stated that members of the campus community were given the task of “developing, designing, thinking through, and conceptualizing what it looks like to be a leader using theory and experiential opportunities, and what emerged was a series of intensive workshops or sessions for a smaller cohort of people and then several campus-wide sessions.”
The result was a nine-week long training process, with the intention to develop indispensable leadership principles. Dr. Lundy explains that “we are taking an intentional focus on what our college’s mission is: A liberal arts institution with a focus on social good and leadership. We cannot promote leadership to our students if we are not also learning and growing and continuing to develop.”