John McLean Jr. Leadership Award


In 1824 on the campus of New Jersey College (now Princeton University), a young man by the name of John Mclean Jr. found himself alone on Christmas Eve. 

He yearned for the camaraderie of like minds, values, and ambitions. Through his leadership, an honor society was founded that today thrives across the country. 

The John Mclean Jr. Leadership Award was created in this young man’s name to commemorate his ambition to lead his peers, not for selfish gain, but to build a more vibrant community on his campus.  

Today, up to $20,000 is awarded annually to individuals across the United States that strive to build up their campus communities through peer leadership. 


To qualify for consideration of the award, a successful applicant will be:

  • A male student that's at least 18 years old or turning 18 by the start of the Fall Semester of the year applied. 

  • Enrolled in a qualified institution of higher education or anticipating enrollment by the Fall of the year applied*.

  • A past and/or current leader of their peers through sports, clubs, community organization, military service, or other similar activities. 

  • Aspiring to continue peer leadership activities while a student at an institution of higher education.  


Start an Application



All applicants will be required to submit a complete application to be considered for the award.

The following will be required for each complete submission:

  • Three-Part application form which can be started on this page
  • Letter for Consideration: A short statement outlining why you believe you’re a strong contender for the award. 
  • A brief phone/video interview with a member of the Award Team. 

An option to meet one of our local award team members on your campus may be an option for applicants but is not mandatory for consideration. 


All applications submitted are considered for the award. An initial grading system will attribute weighted points for past experience, future goals, and other factors. Then, the award team will manually review the top applicants to determine the finalists based on the letter of consideration and any interviews conducted.

Up to $20,000 will be awarded annually to a group of finalists in increments to be determined.


The application will be continually open. Applicants can submit anytime. 

There will be two award decision cycles: 

  • Cycle one will be for applicants who submit a completed application between December 1st  and March 31st. Decision announcements for cycle one will be on June 1st.*
  • Cycle two will be for applicants who submit a completed application between April 1st  and November 30th. Decision announcements for cycle two will be on February 1st.* 

*If applicant graduates before award announcements, but qualify for the award at the time of application, they will still be considered and eligible for the award.