McMurry Scholar-Athlete Leadership Academy Reaches New Heights

Just over a year ago, McMurry University Director of Athletics Sam Ferguson launched a program he had long envisioned, targeting young scholar-athletes and designed to accelerate and enhance their leadership potential. With that, Ferguson instituted McMurry's Scholar-Athlete Leadership Academy (SALA) for the War Hawks' intercollegiate athletics department.

The premise of the SALA is simple: identify freshmen or sophomore scholar-athletes who have those skills commonly identified in team leaders and help provide them a foundation before they are thrust into leadership roles on their respective teams. The SALA helps them become even stronger by the time they are upperclassmen via lectures and real-world experiences. Some of the key areas that the SALA focuses on are conflict resolution, valuing differences, leadership and character, and the power of positivity.

The program's launch in 2016-17 consisted of participants selected by coaches and events consisting of speakers who came to campus. But it laid the groundwork for the future. Now, in just its second year, the SALA has ballooned to 30 of McM's best and brightest scholar-athletes. Each SALA member had to apply for acceptance into the program and will have the chance to be involved in several exciting opportunities to learn and grow in 2017-18.

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