TIME ranks Western as a ‘Best College for Future Leaders’

Contact: Amy Coughenour or Chris Hybels

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—TIME ranked Western Michigan University as one of the best schools in higher education for future leaders, citing it in the top 100 colleges that excel in nurturing highly influential leaders and noting the expertise of the Haworth College of Business in particular.  

TIME partnered with Statista in launching the inaugural list of the Best Colleges for Future Leaders and the Best Companies for Future Leaders. To develop the list, TIME and Statista analyzed the resumes of 2,000 top leaders in the U.S. spanning politicians, CEOs, Nobel winners and others to determine where they received their degrees. 

While Ivy League schools were prominent, many other private and public universities earned TIME’s accolade, as well. The publication's listing ranked Western at No. 79 in the nation and third in the state. 

"To be recognized as one of the top three universities in Michigan and similarly highly ranked among the nation’s thousands of colleges and universities is truly outstanding yet not surprising," says Western President Edward Montgomery

"Through our comprehensive approach to higher education, blending rigorous classroom instruction with a myriad of experience-driven learning opportunities, we equip students with the knowledge and skills that are essential to be leaders in their respective fields and communities. It's part of why our graduates are so attractive to employers," Montgomery adds. 

Nine of 10 Western graduates are employed quickly, working in their chosen field in jobs they like (2022-23 Career Outcomes Report). TIME’s list shows that alumni are distinguishing themselves as leaders, and the education they received played a key part in their path to success. 

The University offers a variety of programs in which students are challenged to see themselves as leaders and practice those skills in the classroom. Faculty are committed to developing experiential learning that empowers students to apply their talents and abilities in large and small businesses, nonprofits and other sectors during the college experience. 

The ranking provides external affirmation that Western’s emphasis on excellence has translated into tangible achievements for its graduates. 

“Our leadership training is led by the Center for Principled Leadership and Business Strategy, a hub for leadership skills that sustain business leaders,” says Dr. Satish Deshpande, dean of the Haworth College of Business.  

“In addition, the ranking and acknowledgement of WMU Haworth by TIME validates the strength of our undergraduate and graduate business programs and the emphasis on leadership throughout our curriculum. We are proud to be recognized for our work in cultivating future leaders.”

Haworth College of Business at Western offers a major in leadership and business strategy, giving students specific training in the skills most desired by top companies—leadership, teamwork and strategic problem-solving. 

Dr. Doug Lepisto, associate professor of management and co-director of the Center for Principled Leadership and Business Strategy, says, “At WMU Haworth, we aspire to provide the most immersive and impactful leadership experience in higher education. We are thrilled to be on this list of great universities committed to developing future business leaders.” 

According to TIME, an elite diploma signals at least two things to prospective employers: survival of a difficult admissions process and a high likelihood of intelligence. For many companies, hiring from these institutions is also an investment in pre-vetted talent and established connections. 

“This ranking illustrates the high quality of WMU’s many leadership programs that prepare students to harness science, technology and innovation to solve the world’s grand challenges," says Dr. David Szabla, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology in the University’s College of Education and Human Development. 

Ben Holland is a master's student in organizational change leadership. He says that being part of one of WMU’s leadership programs has opened his eyes to the true meaning of exemplary leadership. 

"The profound mentorship we receive from world-class faculty helps us develop leadership skills to lead with integrity, empathy and commitment that is bound to set us apart from the rest."

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