Valley Forge Military Academy and College

The Women’s Leadership Symposium is an annual event hosted by VFMC during the national Women’s History Month. It brings together VFMC Cadets, institutional female leaders, and invited guests from other regional institutions to talk about their personal experiences with leadership and how VFMC can expand leadership opportunities for Cadets.

“Leadership is part of the core learning experience at VFMC,” said Dr. Christine Royce, member of the VFMC Board of Trustees and host of this year’s symposium. “This event was an amazing opportunity for our female cadets and staff to learn from one another and discuss the unique challenges of being a female leader in both private industry and the military.”

Radnor Township Commission President Moira Mulroney, the keynote speaker, spoke to the group about women leading in business, education, and in public service. Sharing her story as an attorney and her journey to public service, Commissioner Mulroney spoke about the leadership opportunities abounding for women and their need to be bold about making those opportunities their own. Following her presentation, campus leaders led group discussions about how to improve opportunities for women on campus and how VFMC can support female cadets in developing their leadership skills.

The intention of the symposium is for women to individually and collectively search for ways to elevate the role of women develop the capacity to fulfill them. VFMC takes great pride in creating this learning space for our young women. For more than five years, the symposium has been a unique feature of VFMC’s community engagement activities. 

“It is wonderful to see these young women participating and hearing their thoughts and questions as part of the discussion,” said Dr. Royce. “Programs such as this one enables the Cadets who are not only just young women but future officers, and tomorrow’s leaders an opportunity for discussion, engagement, recognition that they are admired and supported in all of these responsibilities.”

VFMC began admitting women in 2007, and since then has had several female regimental, battalion, and company commanders. The current Infantry Battalion commander is Cadet Shania Clayton from Alabama.

Like any efforts to advance thinking, symposium attendees concluded in their group discussions that female success is best supported by ongoing dialogue. Continued conversation and engagement are essential to assure equality and equal opportunity. The next Symposium is scheduled for March 2024.