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“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” —Helen Keller

The Center for Leadership and Service values our partnerships on campus and in our community. These partnerships help us to fulfill our mission “to educate and engage all students to lead and serve in the global community,” and we are grateful for both the formal and informal partnerships that our department has been a part of cultivating and sustaining with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners!

The VOLeaders Academy

A dynamic partnership between UT’s Center for Leadership and Service, Center for Sport, Peace, and Society, and Department of Athletics, the VOLeaders Academy cultivates student-athlete leaders to create positive social change. By using their platform in sport, participants learn how to be a positive force for their team, campus, and local and global communities. The program inspires student-athletes to find ways to use their influence and passion for sport to enact change that transcends their athletic success. The year-long collaborative program includes a leadership retreat, a leadership and sport course, a sport for social change course, and an international service immersion experience. Visit the VOLeaders Academy website.

The Leadership Studies Minor

A collaboration between the Center for Leadership and Service and the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, the leadership studies minor prepares students to serve confidently, collaboratively, and ethically in formal and informal leadership roles in campus, local, national, and global contexts. Learn more about the leadership studies minor.

Leadership Knoxville Scholars

The Leadership Knoxville Scholars program represents an innovative approach to leadership education through community partnerships. The program targets current rising junior leaders in a cohort model in collaboration with Leadership Knoxville. A highly selective and competitive program, Leadership Knoxville Scholars targets the best and brightest student leaders at the University of Tennessee and connects them to impactful change agents and leaders within the Knoxville community. Learn more about Leadership Knoxville Scholars.

Service for Community Partners

We partner closely with our community agencies, nonprofits, schools and volunteer coordinators to provide safe, meaningful, and helpful experiences for our students and community. These opportunities are listed on our “Sign up to Serve” calendar. Volunteer request forms and partner information are available on our Community Partner Resources page.


The Ignite program has become a strong tradition on our campus, and more than ten classes of incoming freshmen have participated. Ignite is a unique opportunity for first-year students to learn about opportunities for involvement and life outside the classroom while meeting other new students and developing their leadership skills. Participants learn about their leadership style and discover how to make a difference at UT.

Ignite is divided into four programs. Leadership Summit, in which we partner with twenty faculty and staff members across campus who serve as mentors to a small group of incoming students throughout the three-day off-campus program and beyond; Serves, a four-day service program in Knoxville in which we partner with over twenty community partner agencies to provide service to our community; Knox, a four-day community engagement program in partnership with several Knoxville local businesses and organizations that introduces new students to the Knoxville community; and Outdoors, a four-day outdoor leadership excursion introducing students to rock climbing, canoeing, and backpacking coordinated by UT RecSports Department.

Ignite serves more than 1,000 students each year and would not be possible without our campus and community partnerships. Learn more about Ignite.

The Center for Leadership & Service Advisory Committee

The CLSAC is a campus-wide team composed of students, community members, faculty and staff who help to guide our department forward. Participating UT units include the Office of the Dean of Students, the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Service-Learning, the Center for Career Development, Athletics, Multicultural Student Life, Housing, Sorority and Fraternity Life, New Student and Family Programs, the Center for Student Engagement, Disability Services, Student Media, the Great Schools Partnership, Alumni Affairs, Outreach and Engagement, Undergraduate Research, the Student Success Center, the Chancellor’s Honors Program, the Haslam College of Business and its Office of Diversity Initiatives, Communications and Marketing, and Development. Community organizations include Volunteer Knoxville and the Cornerstone Foundation. We are grateful for the insight and innovation of these partners!

These represent only a small snapshot of the extensive campus and community partnerships that help us provide meaningful leadership and service experiences to our students and our community. If you have an interest in partnering, either formally or informally, with the Center for Leadership and Service, please contact any of our staff.