Established in 2001, with an initial investment from retired Coca-Cola executive Earl T. Leonard, ILA has been inspiring "new" leaders to serve their communities and organizations from a perspective grounded in ethics and personal values. To facilitate this mission, Leonard and other early donors provided operating funds to support innovative undergraduate leadership programs that enhance the expertise students gain from their academic majors.
ILA students apply theoretical learning to personal assessment, development exercises and community service initiatives to enhance their understanding of personal and organizational leadership effectiveness. Through these programs — the Leonard Leadership Scholars Program (exclusively for Terry College majors) and the ILA Leadership Fellows Program (for students in any UGA major) students learn and experience leadership and its ability to enhance the lives of others — locally and globally. Since its inception, over 1500 UGA students have graduated from ILA leadership development programs. These students — some of the best and brightest at the University and highly recruited by top companies — demonstrate academic excellence, leadership capability and a commitment to values-based leadership.