Adrian College National Society of Leadership and Success chapter receives Founder’s List award

Adrian College’s National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) chapter recently received its first Founder’s List award from the national office.

“It’s a bit of a big deal,” Adrian College’s NSLS chapter president, Josie Martin, said, noting that only 53 chapters out of 700 received the national award this year.

The Founder’s List award is reserved for NSLS chapters that complete eight of 10 pillars, which are designed by the national organization to maintain the success and longevity of each chapter.

Last year, Adrian’s NSLS chapter received the organization’s Order of Sigma award, which is the highest award for pillar achievements.

“Our pillars are achievements we make in order to fundraise money for our chapter,” Martin said. “For example, one of the pillars is strategy meetings, so I hold strategy meetings with my executive board and we fill out forms on the NSLS website. If they are submitted and they give us credit, then it goes towards those required pillars. If we do two during the year, we can get upwards of $500 or $600 for the chapter.”

Martin said her chapter completed all of its pillars over the summer months, before the start of the school year — “I was a little shocked. We were just on top of it!”

One of the required pillars is community service, which Adrian College’s chapter is very involved in.

“We have a community service chair on our board, and we hold multiple community service events throughout the year,” Martin said. “In the past, we’ve done things like adopt a highway, coat and food drives, and volunteer hours at the Hope Community Center.”

The NSLS is also known as Sigma Alpha Pi, but is not a fraternity or a sorority. It is the largest leadership honor society in the United States with more than 700 chapters, and over 1.4 million members. The Greek letters of Sigma Alpha Pi (ΣAπ) stand for Success, Action and Purpose.

This year, 54 of Adrian College’s incoming students qualified with a 3.0 GPA or better and were invited by the national office to join Adrian College’s chapter. Less than five percent of students nationwide receive nominations.

“One of our pillars is a forty percent induction rate,” Martin said. “So, my expectation is to have at least fifty to sixty percent of those be fully inducted by the end of the semester. It would be awesome if all of them did. We are the biggest organization on campus.”

Adrian College started its NSLS chapter in 2018, and currently has more than 400 active members on campus.

Sam Bird, a junior, assists Martin as the local chapter vice president. Janna D’Amico, Adrian College’s Institute for Career Planning Director, and Antonis Coumoundouros, professor of philosophy and leadership, are the chapter’s advisors.

Martin, from Battle Creek, is a psychology major in her senior year at Adrian College. When she initially received an invitation to join NSLS, she checked the organization out and thought it was definitely something she wanted to be a part of.

“I’ve always had leadership skills,” she said. “I’ve always been looked at as a role model, a good leader, and leading by example has always been an important aspect of my personality and lifestyle.”

Martin mentioned that many students join the NSLS because being a member is a good resume builder, “But it is so much more than that,” she said. “You can do a lot of networking. You meet people from everywhere around the country who come from different backgrounds and careers, and get great advice from them.”

Research shows that 70% of all jobs are not published publicly on jobs sites and as much as 80% of jobs are filled through personal and professional connections.

“Our philosophy is that we accomplish more together than we do alone,” Gary Tuerack, the NSLS founder, notes on the organization’s website, “We have seen that with proper support and dedicated action, people can achieve extraordinary things for themselves and the greater community.”

For more information about Adrian College’s NSLS chapter, email Martin at or D’Amico at