Azusa Pacific University recently inducted 487 students into the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi), making this inaugural chapter the largest class ever installed in the organization’s history.

"We are incredibly proud of what Azusa Pacific University has accomplished in just its first year,” said Charles Knippen, president, National Society of Leadership and Success. “It's clear that APU has a long tradition of community involvement and academic excellence, and their society chapter reflects that legacy. I look forward to what these students will accomplish.”

Founded in 2001, the National Society of Leadership and Success develops leaders committed to making a better world and boasts 260,000 members nationwide with more than 350 active college chapters. The society champions community action, volunteerism, personal growth, and the building of actively engaged, influential, and inspiring members of society.

“The society aligns with our academic curriculum and the cultural value of leadership here at Azusa Pacific,” said Sarah Visser, M.Ed., assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, program coordinator for the leadership minor, and advisor to the Sigma Alpha Pi Chapter. “APU is a campus replete with student leaders; Sigma Alpha Pi now provides an opportunity for those students to come together with a shared purpose and become better equipped in their leadership skills. The student inductees represent a wide array of academic disciplines, co-curricular involvements, and community partnerships.”

In late fall 2012, Visser partnered with the Office of the Registrar to select potential members of Sigma Alpha Pi based on grade point average. APU faculty also recommended prospective inductees. Current leadership involvement and commitment to leadership development and practice factored into the selection process. Once invited, students completed rigorous induction requirements, such as attending multiple training and speaker events and participating in peer support and networking teams.

“The society was a perfect fit for APU because it provides students with the opportunity to discover their passions and achieve their career goals,” said Raz Zapanta ’14, president of the Sigma Alpha Pi chapter and a Business Management major.

Azusa Pacific embodies a God-First approach exemplified by the University’s Four Cornerstones: Christ, Scholarship, Community, and Service. With this Christ-centered focus, APU actively engages in building leaders and difference makers. The National Society of Leadership and Success represents another tool and partner in that process. APU offers a leadership minor, outreach and community service opportunities, and local and international missions programs. Each year, undergraduates perform more than 165,000 service hours.