Margie and Ken Blanchard Pledge Gift in Support of USD’s Undergraduate Leadership Program

The recent financial crisis has placed increased scrutiny on the nation’s business schools and the kind of ethics and values they instill in their students. In response, the University of San Diego School of Business Administration is creating a new Undergraduate Leadership Development Program and today the school announced a gift from leadership experts Margie and Ken Blanchard.

The amount of the gift was not publicly disclosed. It will fund the Margie and Ken Blanchard Leadership Forums featuring keynote speakers who will provide fundamental exposure to the transformational power of leadership and assist participants in self-reflective and self-assessment exercises. “We can think of no better investment than creating future generations of servant leaders,” the couple said.

“We’re very pleased to receive this generous gift from Margie and Ken,” said David Pyke, dean of USD’s School of Business Administration. “The Margie and Ken Blanchard Leadership Forums will be a key component of our new program to offer undergraduates the kind of leadership training that traditionally has been reserved for students at the graduate level.”

The new program will also include a leadership fellows academy and training retreats to provide undergraduates with intensive training, role-playing and self-assessment to become ethical and transformative leaders. The business school plans to raise a total of $600,000 to endow the program.

To date, the Undergraduate Leadership Development Program has successfully delivered two series of workshops, one each in the spring and fall of 2010. These workshops, each spanning two days, were designed specifically for undergraduate leaders of business student clubs and fraternities. Approximately 25 students participated in each round, with some in both.

The business school already offers the Master of Science in Executive Leadership (MSEL) program in partnership with the Ken Blanchard Companies to develop and inspire leaders. The MSEL is an innovative, values-based business degree for established and emerging executives. The mission of the program is to develop and inspire leaders who will transform their organizations and the world through service with compassion and integrity. “We are excited to announce that MSEL alumni will serve as teachers and mentors for undergraduates in the new program,” Pyke said.

About USD’s School of Business Administration
The University of San Diego School of Business Administration is committed to developing socially responsible leaders and improving global business practice through innovative, personalized education and applied research. For more information go to

About the Ken Blanchard Companies
The Ken Blanchard Companies is a global leader in workplace learning, productivity, performance and leadership effectiveness whose leadership programs have been implemented by many Fortune 500 companies, mid-to-small-size businesses, governments, educational and nonprofit organizations. Blanchard uses assessments and a blended approach of instructor-led and e-learning for its teams, customer loyalty, change management and leadership interventions. To learn more, visit The Ken Blanchard Companies website at, and the CBSD website at

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Pamela Gray Payton
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