peter c cook leadership academy cohort

Where emerging leaders prepare to build their future

The Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy is a leadership development program for 60+ undergraduate and graduate students during the academic year. For almost 20 years, the CLA has instilled leadership excellence in a select group of students across the institution. The program is co-curricularĀ and cross-disciplinary, offering our student fellow candidates unique opportunities for reflection, engagement, and learning with and from a diverse cohort of their peers. Candidates are admitted to the Cook Leadership Academy for one or more years. Each applicant must meet the criteria of high academic achievement, active involvement in the campus community, dedication to the public good, a passion to lead, and a commitment to personal growth.

If you are a current CLA Fellow Candidate looking for the CLA Fellow Portal, click here.

CLA By the Numbers

Cost to Participate

Students participate at NO COST! All events are programs are paid for through generous donations from campus and community partners.

Time Commitment

There are 7 required events each semester, in addition to mentor meetings. This is about 20-30 hours per semester for the academic year. On top of that, there are hundreds of hours of optional opportunities for engagement through campus and community events!

Cohort Size

65 students, from undergraduate through doctoral programs, representing over 30 degree programs at GVSU.

The Program

Wheelhouse Talks


Public leadership lectures



Individualized community mentorship

Leader Labs


Student storytelling 

Self Reflections


Interactive workshops

More About the Academy

Give Today

This endowment is used to support the leadership development of the 60+ fellow candidates in the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy.

If you have any questions about the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy, please contact Emily McKenna-Makela at [email protected] or (616) 331-7072.

Page last modified May 26, 2023