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National Bonner Leaders Program

The National Bonner Leaders Program at Virginia Wesleyan University is an intensive, four-year community leadership opportunity that educates, equips and inspires students to engage our local community and beyond through a partnership with the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation.  The Bonner Leaders at VWU are a group of students committed to serving the local community by using their gifts and talents where needed. Students in this program develop leadership skills by participating in meetings, training workshops, internships, and service. Upon graduation, Bonner Leaders continue to seek ways in which they can enrich their communities through leadership of non-profits and/or direct service.

The Six Common Commitments of Bonner Leaders:

  • Civic Engagement: We participate intentionally as a citizen in the democratic process, actively engaging in public policy and direct services.
  • Community Building: We establish and sustain a vibrant community of place, personal relationships, and common interests.
  • Diversity: We respect and embrace the many dimensions of diversity in our private and public lives.
  • International Perspective: We develop international understanding that enables us to participate successfully in a global society.
  • Spiritual Exploration: We explore personal belief while respecting the spiritual practices of others.
  • Social Justice: We advocate for fairness, impartiality, and equity while addressing systemic social and environmental issues.

What Will I Get Out of Being a VWU Bonner?

  • Experience and knowledge about the community and the world in which we live that connect back to your academic studies
  • Real-world grass-roots leadership, advocacy and other skills that will translate into success in graduate school and/or life after college
  • A deeper understanding of the six common commitments of service:  civic engagement, community building, diversity, international perspective, spiritual exploration, and social justice
  • Connections and friendship with other members of the Marlin community who are committed to the same values

National Bonner Leader Preferred Admission Criteria:

  • Minimum 1170 SAT and/or 24 ACT
  • Minimum 3.5 cumulative high school GPA
  • Demonstrated service to community
  • Completed VWU Bonner application

Become a Bonner Leader

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Brian Kurisky, Director of Wesleyan Engaged: Civic Leadership and Service Learning, at or at 757-455-3216.