Shaping Tomorrow's Leaders--Summer 2010 Edition

As a responsible food company one of our areas of focus is supporting the communities where we live and work, including programs that feed the hungry and provide education opportunities for those in need.

One way we support education in the Hampton Roads area is through the Smithfield Foods Leadership Scholars Program at Christopher Newport University (CNU) in Newport News, Va.

Smithfield donated $5 million to the school through the Smithfield-Luter Foundation, with $1 million designated for the start of this leadership program. The funds were matched by CNU, and created a partnership between our company and the school.

Now in its fifth year, the Smithfield Foods Leadership Scholars program equips students to become tomorrow's leaders by helping them achieve a minor in leadership, as well as giving them opportunities to learn and display leadership qualities through community service, a speaker series, and study abroad opportunities. They receive a $2,000 merit scholarship each year, and an additional $2,000 stipend in their junior year for foreign study. Students apply for the program their senior year of high school and must have an excellent GPA, as well as excellent SAT scores, in order to be considered.

In order to stay in the program, students must:

  • Be full-time students enrolled in 12 or more credit hours per academic semester.
  • Reside on campus for each of their 4 years at CNU.
  • Remain in good academic and social standing with the President's Leadership Program (PLP).
  • Participate in the PLP's Leadership Adventure the summer before entering CNU.
  • Attend a minimum of 2 PLP Speaker Series events per academic semester.
  • Complete an internship, here or abroad, prior to graduation.
  • Complete a minimum of 100 hours of community service during their academic career.

We're proud to be able to partner with CNU to influence the lives of these students as they learn and develop throughout their college career.

To learn more about the program and Smithfield Foods' involvement, click here. To learn more about the Smithfield-Luter Foundation, please visit our site.