National Student Leadership Week began more than 50 years ago.
In 1972, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)—the founding organization of the National Student Council and National Honor Society—worked with President Richard Nixon’s administration to declare September 26 National Student Government Day. At the time, NASSP’s Director of Student Activities Robert Gaut said, “Our hope is that honoring America’s youth leaders in this way will spark renewed interest in the concept of student government and will point the way to increased student participation in the workings of this country’s schools.”
As part of the preparations for the United States Bicentennial, National Student Government Day was moved to the spring in 1975. In 1979, it was renamed National Student Leadership Day to include all student leaders in student government, honor societies, campus clubs, and beyond. It was extended into a week-long celebration in 1983 when it was also named National Student Leadership Week.
Over the past 50 years, millions of student leaders have been celebrated for their achievements and dedication to their schools, communities, and the world.