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Since 1987, the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business at Marietta College has offered one of the most innovative undergraduate leadership development programs in the United States. Our cutting-edge program is built on three fundamental pillars: Knowledge (a liberal-arts based curriculum introducing the latest concepts and ideas in the field); Action (an extensive experiential education program that builds critical leadership skills); and Growth (offering the mentoring and coaching needed to connect theory to practice). While many of the leadership programs in the United States offer one of the three pillars, McDonough stands out at the national level by its comprehensive nature – offering breadth and depth in all three.

The Action pillar of the McDonough Leadership Program is based on the idea that students develop new insights about leadership by taking their knowledge and applying it to the “real world” in a guided Experiential Education setting. At McDonough, this Experiential Education focus involves five types of activities – internships, study abroad, service project trips, conference participation, and undergraduate research (e.g., Honors Thesis).

The Leadership Experiential Education Fund (LEEF) supports the McDonough Scholars’ participation in these five areas listed above. LEEF allows us to give grants to leadership students to use for these Experiential Education activities. LEEF grants are life changing for our students. They provide powerful eye-opening experiences that shape their professional path beyond college.  While the McDonough Center offers intellectually stimulating seminars, which expose our students to the latest concepts and models of leadership, Experiential Education provides a bridge from the classroom to the world at large. Students are then able to see how the concepts and models work in the “real world.”

All McDonough Scholars are eligible to apply to receive a LEEF grant during their college career at Marietta. To apply, please send an email to with your LEEF grant proposal memo. Your 2-3 page proposal should include the following items: general description of the proposed experience (one of the five recognized experiential learning activities listed above); budget (the requested amount and how it will be spent); and impact statement.

For most LEEF grants, the McDonough Center will request a brief report from the grantee following the completion of the experience. LEEF grant applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, unless specific deadlines are announced in a separate email message to the McDonough Scholars.