Here at Marquette, innovation is all about people. Anchored in our Catholic, Jesuit mission, we have a long history of shaping mission-driven, ethical leaders who provide the critical spark to drive meaningful change. 

Excellence in Leadership (E-Lead) is a three-year, curricular innovation leadership development program for undergraduate students at Marquette University. Students apply and are accepted to the program in their sophomore year. The E-Lead program is designed to: 

  • Educate and develop the leadership character, capacity and efficacy of outstanding undergraduate students who will be able to lead teams tasked with solving global problems. 
  • Prepare leaders to inspire, engage and serve people and organizations who represent the full range of diversity across the human spectrum. 
  • Develop leaders who are driven to address 21st century global challenges in order to create value and bring about positive change. 


The Opus College of Engineering launched the first iteration of E-Lead, then called Engineers in the Lead, in 2014. Since its inception, the nationally-recognized program has seen immediate results, graduating undergraduate engineering students with enhanced self-awareness and emotional intelligence. 

Thanks to a generous $1 million gift from engineering alumni couple Chuck and Karen Swoboda, E-Lead doubled the size of the program starting in fall 2019. Since that time, incoming cohorts consist of 20 engineering students and 20 students from disciplines across the university.