Photo by James V. Carroll

52 students graduate from Legion College

On Friday, 52 Legionnaires from 32 states earned their Legion College diploma at The American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis.

"You have successfully completed the work so go back to your individual departments, districts, counties and posts and make a difference," American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong told the graduates. "You have the tools. Now it is up to each of you to use them in a positive way."

Legion College enhances one's knowledge on and appreciation for The American Legion, and it teaches the core values and contributions of the organization, its Auxiliary, Sons of The American Legion and many subordinate programs. It prepares young Legionnaires for leadership positions in posts, districts, counties and departments through education, development and motivation. The curriculum challenges student leaders to think critically and creatively about issues confronting the Legion.

National leaders launched the week with sessions and lectures focusing on mentoring, recognizing and building leadership traits, and putting good leadership practices to use. These skills and techniques were practiced and reinforced throughout the week in a small-group environment and in student-led meetings and presentations.

Small-group workshops provide students basic leadership training in a volunteer environment. Core subjects include mentoring, leadership styles and opportunities, time management, conflict resolution and legal issues.

The first two Legion College sessions convened at National Headquarters in Indianapolis in July and December of 1946. Additional sessions from 1947 to 1949 trained hundreds of future Legion leaders. Two more sessions were conducted in 1954. After a long hiatus, Legion College was reinstituted and convened in November 1999.