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Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership Gateway

Through rigor, intense challenge, and mutual support, the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) is a four-year program that prepares women for leadership in the military, public service, and private sectors in the United States and around the world. This MBC women’s leadership program combines military leadership development training (through ROTC as well as the VWIL Corps) with civilian approaches. VWIL is the only all-female corps of cadets in the world. Students live and learn together and each must complete a minor in leadership studies. Additional application and interview are required.

Who may apply?  The Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership is open to all students in the Residential College for Women. Your academic record and physical fitness may be factors in your selection into the program.

Will I take classes as part of the VWIL program? In addition to your academic schedule you will also take:

  • MBC 101: Orientation to College and to the VWIL Program (1 credit)
  • ROTC: Army, Air Force, Navy/Marines (1 credit)
  • Physical Education: Leadership Challenge, Wilderness Adventure, Advanced Fitness (1.5 credits)

What extra-curricular activities will I be participating in? As a nULL (first year cadet) you will participate in three formations each week; you will march in parades each month; you with attend leadership seminars oriented towards career interests and leadership development. Activities such as drill team, marching band, and Honor Guard are optional. Evening study hours are required.

Where will I live?  You will live as a nULL class in Tullidge Residence Hall

Beyond the First Year. VWIL is a four-year women’s leadership program permitting you to elect a commission in one of the armed forces if you so choose.  You will assume leadership positions in the Corps beginning in your sophomore year and you will earn a minor and a certificate in leadership studies. Corps activities, including physical training, continue throughout the program. You will reside together as a class each year, will be held to a code of professional standards, and will be encouraged to pursue leadership opportunities throughout Mary Baldwin College as well as within VWIL.

Wella Belser
As a VWIL cadet, I have the ‘best of both worlds.’ I get to participate in all MBC activities and have opportunities to apply my skills as a leader in the corps of cadets and in my everyday life.
–Manuela “Wella” Belser ’11dual citizen of Switzerland and the U.S.