Student Leadership Retreats


Each year, two leadership development retreats are offered to assist students in developing leadership skills. Each retreat has a distinct focus.

This retreat is offered in the spring of each year and is focused on assisting newly elected officers of the College’s student organizations develop an improved understanding of their role as an elected leader.

Executive leaders and faculty advisors of student organizations are invited to a full day retreat. Mini-lectures, discussions and active learning strategies are utilized to help participants recognize the difference between management of an organization’s work and leading the organization to accomplishing its mission and vision. Topics include creating an envisioned future, building a legacy, practices of successful leadership teams and organizational action planning.

students playing games at Leadership Retreat

Organization leaders who have attended the retreat have reported that they felt more prepared to succeed in their leadership position and that their organization would see greater accomplishments because of their participation in the retreat. Participants have highlighted the concept of “legacy”, alignment of action planning with a defined envisioned future and the opportunity to work with students across organizations to be areas of greatest personal and organizational benefit.

The College of Pharmacy expresses its gratitude to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., for the lead gift that created the Leadership Development Endowment Fund, which supports costs associated with these retreats. For further information, please feel free to contact Dr. Todd Sorensen ( or Dr. Kristin Janke (

This retreat is offered during the fall of each year at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge in Deerwood, Minnesota and open to all PDII, PDIII and PDIV students at the College of Pharmacy. This overnight retreat focuses on personal accountability for excellence and how leadership can come from anyone regardless of whether they have a formal position or title of authority.

Prior to arriving at the retreat center, attendees read The Fred Factor, a short story with a powerful message about how an average postman took responsibility for making a difference for those he served. The retreat format relies on mini-lectures, video clips, discussions, small group activities, outdoor games and reflection exercises to assist attendees in discovering how they can express leadership in their future practice.

Since its first offering in 2007, retreat participants have been enthusiastic in their evaluations of the retreat experience. In addition to their own personal development, the retreat has also served as a key element in creating a sense of collegiality between students across classes and campuses.