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LWC hosts the Bonners' 27th Annual Summer Leader Institute

Site pick this year was no-brainer, National Program Director Annie Pasqua said, adding that choosing Lindsey Wilson College this year was an obvious choice.
Click on headline for complete story with Mariah Stearns photos

By Mariah Stearns

Lindsey Wilson College hosted the 27th annual Summer Leadership Institute of the Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation this past week from May 23-26, 2017.

The Bonner Summer Leadership Institute or SLI, is an annual conference hosted by a different Bonner Foundation affiliated school each year. It provides an opportunity for Bonner administrators, students and national partners to come together and network, creating a pathway for best practices to become common practices.

National Program Director for the Bonner Foundation, Annie Pasqua, said that choosing LWC to host SLI 2017 was an obvious choice.

"Every year we pick a different school to host the conference, and this year it was a no-brainer," Pasqua said. "The LWC Bonner Program is enthusiastic and ready to get to work on SLI, it just seemed like the perfect time for Lindsey Wilson. I believe that I speak for most everyone when I say that we've all been blown away by their hospitality, love for the area and serving others.

The Summer Leadership Institute at LWC attracted more than 250 participants from over 50 institutions from across the country, which included national partners, Bonner administrators and Bonner students. The three day conference featured five sessions that brought everyone together to hear from Bonner alums and discuss issues such as civic engagement and community building. Other sessions were led by students, administrators, and national partners.

LWC Bonner Program Director Natalie Vickous says that having the opportunity to host SLI at LWC was an honor and served as a way to "break some misconceptions" people may have about Kentucky.

"By the end of the week, everyone I spoke to was in love with Kentucky and Lindsey Wilson College, raving about our beautiful campus and supportive administration and community partners," Vickous said.

And Vickous says that events like SLI are great reminders to always remember the big picture.

"It's so easy for us to get caught up in the day-to-day requirements of our own small program and forget about the national scale and the impact Bonners are having on the world. It was our privilege to host everyone and be part of that 'annual reminder' of the bigger picture."

Founded in 1990, the Bonner Foundation is a part of more than 60 campuses nationwide and engages roughly 3,000 students annually. Designed to provide students with "access to education and an opportunity to serve," the program has grown to become the largest privately-funded, service-based college scholarship program in the country. The scholarship provides students with high financial need and an ethic for service with four-years of financial aid support and an opportunity to participate in an intensive cohort experience.

For questions or for more information about the conference, contact Director of Civic Engagement & Student Leadership, Natalie Vickous at or 270-384-7469. Mariah Stearns, the author/photographer, is Lindsey Wilson College Writer & Media Producer

This story was posted on 2017-05-30 15:48:19
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Annie Pasqua and Ariane Hoy kick off SLI

2017-05-30 - Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, KY - Photo by Mariah Stearns, LWC photo.
National Bonner Program Director, Annie Pasqua, left, and Bonner Foundation Vice President, Ariane Hoy, kick off the 27th annual Bonner Summer Leadership Institute, hosted at Lindsey Wilson College. - MARIAH STEARNS

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LWC Co-Director Elise Luckey discusses social issues

2017-05-30 - V.P. Henry Audiorium, 210 Lindsey Wilson Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Mariah Stearns, LWC photo.
Lindsey Wilson College Bonner Leader Program Co-Director, Elise Luckey, discusses social issues with a SLI conference participant as they break off into groups. - MARIAH STEARNS

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SLI Conference participants take a break from work with trivia

2017-05-30 - Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, KY - Photo by Mariah Stearns, LWC photo.
SLI conference participants take a break from work with some trivia in the Holloway Health & Wellness center. - MARIAH STEARNS

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