Student Affairs

Tradition and Innovation: Updating School Spirit for a New Generation

Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Dr. Adam Peck
Price: $50.00

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There has never been a more important time for institutions to consider the issue of School Spirit. Attendance is down at college sporting events across the country. The preferences of the current generation have drastically changed how students want to engage and be engaged by institutions. This session will provide the framework for participants to work on a plan for developing school spirit on their campuses, secure buy-in from key stakeholders and update the student affairs experience for a new generation. Drawing upon innovative practices from schools all over the country, this program will explore applying strategies that have been proven effective in improving school spirit.

Spirit is an intangible quality – and one that is more notable by its absence than its presence.  Most would view “spirit” as being highly connected to athletic endeavors.  If the home team is winning, voila – there is school spirit; if they lose…no spirit.  Some may suggest that a school without a competitive football team can have not spirit at all.  But is that all there is to it?  What about two-year colleges, technical schools or schools without intercollegiate athletics? How do they develop school spirit?

This session seeks to address how collaboration between student leaders, faculty, administrator and key stakeholders in the community can work together to enhance school spirit on campus.  Schools differ greatly from each other in history, structure, and purpose – so a simple “how-to” session is not possible, but by matching common problems with creative solutions and considering how real schools are dealing with these issues, participants should come away with a better understanding of how to begin to create real and lasting spirit on their campus.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will express increased confidence in their ability to define school spirit.
  • Participants will express increased confidence in their ability to articulate the importance of school spirit to key stakeholders.
  • Participants will understand how the changing preferences of the new generation are affecting school spirit.

Who should attend:

  • Entry-Level Professionals
  • Mid-Level Professionals
  • Senior-Level Professionals


Dr. Adam PeckDr. Adam Peck serves as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Illinois State University and has been a higher education professional for more than 25 years. He previously served as Assistant Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University for 13 years. Prior to that, he was Director of Student Life at Saint Louis University and Senior Student Affairs Administrator for The Texas Union at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Peck is actively engaged in scholarly work as well. He is the co-author and co-editor of the new book, “Applying Design Thinking to the Measurement of Experiential Learning” which is expected to be released in late 2021.  He is also the author of more than forty scholarly publications. He served as editor and co-author of the book, “Engagement & Employability: Integrating Career Learning Through Co-curricular Experiences in Postsecondary Education” (NASPA Press, March 2017). He also co-edited, “Leadership Development in Student Employment, New Directions for Student Leadership” with Executive Editors Susan Komives and Kathy Guthrie. He also serves as editor of the Scholarship to Practice section of the Journal of Campus Activities Practice and Scholarship.

Dr. Peck earned his bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Lewis University, a master’s degree in Communication Studies from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

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