The National Society of Leadership and Success

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The National Society of Leadership and Success
IndustryHigher education
Founder(s)Gary Tuerack
HeadquartersHoboken, New Jersey, USA
Number of locationsChapters at 400+ campuses
  (Redirected from Sigma Alpha Pi)
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The National Society of Leadership and Success
IndustryHigher education
Founder(s)Gary Tuerack
HeadquartersHoboken, New Jersey, USA
Number of locationsChapters at 400+ campuses

The National Society of Leadership and Success is a collegiate organization that focuses on goal fulfillment, community involvement and leadership. Their stated mission is "We Build Leaders Who Make a Better World". The National Society of Leadership and Success was founded with the sole purpose of creating lasting positive change, and there are over 350,000 members. In its logo, the Society uses the Greek letters Sigma Alpha Pi, which stand for success, action, and purpose. Beginning with a handful of chapters, the Society now reaches hundreds of thousands of students at hundreds of chapters around the world. The Society encourages community action, volunteerism, personal growth, and strong leadership from its chapters and members. Chapters have been established at four-year universities as well as community colleges.[1]


The National Society of Leadership and Success was founded in 2001 by Gary Tuerack. Tuerack had been a slow reader as a child but went on to graduate from an Ivy League school. He went on to set up the Society because he believes that people have untapped potential because they do not follow through on their dreams, and he wanted to create an organization where students could come together to learn from and support each other.[2]

"This organization prides itself on helping college students realize that their ultimate dreams and goals can become a reality. Many people do not go after their dreams because they feel incapable of doing so. In actuality, one can achieve their dreams with the right combination of support and dedication, which is offered through Sigma Alpha Pi," said National Society of Leadership and Success 2009 member Megan Konarik.[3]


The National Society of Leadership and Success is headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey and employs over 30 full-time employees, including team members who work in supporting existing chapters, communications support, technology, member support, scholarship distribution, starting new chapters as well as success coaches.[4] The Society offers leadership opportunities to student leaders who start up successful chapters on their college campuses.

The Society has expanded from a handful of chapters to hundreds of thousands of students at more than 400 college chapters, most of them in the United States and a few in other countries.[1] Local chapters offer students in-person leadership development and peer-to-peer networking.

University faculty advisors and student services staff often praise the Society for the quality of its leadership training. “The National Society of Leadership and Success gives Surry Community College students a wonderful opportunity to prepare themselves as productive and successful community and business leaders,” said Tony Searcy who directs Campus Life and Student Support at SCC.[5]


All membership selection is handled through the local school chapter. Most chapters choose to invite students to join the Society, based upon either academic standing and/or identified leadership potential. However, students can also apply for membership consideration through a self-nomination process.

Membership in the Society requires completion of five steps: Students must first attend a chapter orientation which provides a schedule of events and an overview of the membership process. Next, they complete Leadership Training Day, a three-hour, video-led leadership development session aimed at helping students identify individual passions, purpose, and action steps towards their objectives. Next, they attend one or more speaking events in which public figures talk about leadership, either live or through video broadcast. Then the students participate in Success Networking Teams. These teams meet bi-weekly and set goals. Linda Domenitz, who works in student services at Capital Community College, describes these groups as giving students "the opportunity to support each other in the development of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, rewarding, and timely) goals.[6] After completing these four steps, students are ceremonially inducted into the Society. Each Society member must complete a training program that prepares them for leadership in the academic arena, as well as the workplace.[3]

Society members frequently comment on the value of the networking strategies and opportunities they acquire through the membership training process, especially the Success Networking Teams (SNT). "NSLS is a collection of motivated students hoping to increase their potential through compassion and persistence. It has been a year and I have already make lasting personal, and invaluable professional relationships," commented Alex Herten, a member at the University of Michigan at Dearborn.[7] Alexandra Armada, also a member at University of Michigan at Dearborn said, "Success Networking Teams are great and really helped me hold myself accountable for reaching my goals!"[7]

Member benefits[edit]

Member benefits include access to over $100,000 in scholarships and awards,[8] access to a Society job bank,[9] funded by a percentage of membership fees. Society members may apply for these awards electronically through the Society's website. The Society receives many submissions each semester and winners are chosen by the National Review Board. Other benefits are customized letters of recommendation for prospective employers or graduate schools,[10] personal success coaching,[11] enhancement of job skills,[12] certificate of national leadership, society insignia pin, and Sigma Alpha Pi tee-shirt.[13]

Member activity[edit]

Speaker series[edit]

Society programming includes a speaker series[1][18][19] via live interactive Web broadcast six times per year. Past presenters are: Rudy Giuliani, Vernice "FlyFirl" Armour, Hilary Duff, Hill Harper, Brad Meltzer, Peter Bergman, Goldie Hawn, Alan Dershowitz, Patch Adams, Les Brown, Dion Jordan, Nigel Barker, Tom Krieglstein, Shawn Harper, Alton Brown,[20] Bertice Berry, Josh Linkner, Kevin Bracy, Brad Meltzer, David Bach, Stephen Covey, Lou Holtz,[21] and Common. Society speaker events are recorded and can be watched online, by members, at the Society's website.

Many of the Society's students consider these speakers role models from whom the students can learn important leadership qualities. “You are able to get leadership input and mentoring from big name people in the business industry without the cost,” said Society member Jerome Gafford in an interview for the Flor-Ala.[21] "The Speaker Broadcasts reminded me that success takes failing at what you want to do first because failure does not mean you have to start over, it means that you have learned that the first way did not work so tweak what you have done and try again," said Tina Moynahan, a National Society of Leadership and Success member at the University of Michigan, Dearborn.[7]

Notable projects[edit]


According to an article in a University of Connecticut publication, a few parents of college students have expressed concern about the organization's fees and for-profit status. However, the same article notes that both for-profit and non-profit honor societies charge fees.[25]

The society maintains an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau following four complaints since 2011.[25][26][27]

The society has expanded in part by engaging paid interns. These are students who attend schools that do not yet have a Society chapter. These interns receive a $1500 stipend if, at the end of two semesters, they have successfully started up a new chapter. The society also employs a full-time development team that works toward establishing new chapters as well as the planning and development for future expansion into new markets.[28]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c McCauley, Byron (27 December 2013). "Millennials Must Be Prepared to Assume Future Leadership Roles". Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "History". National Society of Leadership and Success. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Konarek, Megan (28 May 2009). "A measure of life is its success". Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Sestric, Lia (2014). "Personality Types Fit For High-Powered Careers". Yahoo Education. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Sigma Alpha Pi inducts 103 Surry Community College students". Pilot Mountain News. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Domenitz, Linda. "Career and leadership development: a paradigm shift for college career centers". Capital Community College. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "The National Society of Leadership and Success/University of Michigan - Dearborn Chapter". Web. University of Michigan, Dearborn. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "NSLS: National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi)". University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "National Society of Leadership and Success benefits of membership". Gulf Coast State College. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "National Society of Leadership and Success". Mercer University. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "National Society of Leadership and Success". Lehigh University. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "Student Services Activities Leadership". AB Tech Community College. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "National Society of Leadership and Success Membership". University of Maryland University College. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Lorena, Ruiz (23 November 2012). "With #Swabbin4Robin, ‘Foot Soldier’ plays bone-marrow matchmaker". Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  15. ^ Kidd, Erin (6 December 2013). "A helping hand for the homeless". Daily Courier. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Lewis, Terry (27 August 2013). "ASU student awarded $5000". Albany Herald. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Duffee ’14 Named Technos Award Winner". Plus Media Solutions. Lexis Nexis. 18 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Nigel Barker, "America's Next Top Model" Judge, Comes to New London". NBC Connecticut. 31 October 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  19. ^ Wisckol, Martin (5 February 2013). "At UC Irvine, Giuliani talks immigration overhaul". Orange County Register. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Alton Brown to speak to students through live broadcast". The Southeast Sun Enterprise. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  21. ^ a b Morris, Nichole (29 August 2013). "New student organization desires to build leaders". The Flor-Ala. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Group drops off stuffed animals at Dupont Hospital". News-Sentinel. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  23. ^ Summer Dawn, Hortillosa (14 January 2013). "NJCU Leadership Society Welcomes Over 90 Inductees, Donates Almost $3,000 to Nonprofit WomenRising". Jersey City Independent. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  24. ^ "Food drive at Lehigh to benefit local food bank". 25 October 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  25. ^ a b Ghanem, Domenica (3 September 2013). "Students back honors societies". The Daily Campus (University of Connecticut). Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "State of New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services". New Jersey. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  27. ^ "National Society for Leadership and Success". Better Business Bureau. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  28. ^ "On-Campus Paid Internship Opportunity of a Lifetime The National Society of Leadership and Success". CareerArc Group. Retrieved 5 June 2014.