The Youth and Nonprofit Leadership (YNL) program at Murray State University has long been a leader nationally among its peers. The 2010-11 academic year saw Murray’s YNL with the top enrollment in the country for the 20th consecutive year with 670 students, but it doesn’t stop there. The university also certifies more students to work in nonprofits than any other campus program in the United States.

Building on its strengths, YNL now offers a major in the program. This is a particularly appropriate time for the creation of the new major, which was approved by the MSU board of regents in May. According to Robin Esau, YNL program coordiantor, the nonprofit sector is one of the fastest growing in the country with more than 50,000 new jobs each year.

Murray State’s record number of certifications is a plus for current students and graduates of YNL. With a degree in the program and the appropriate certification, doors open that can lead to potential career opportunities. Youth and Nonprofit Leadership prepares graduates to assume leadership positions in organizations such as the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, hospitals, colleges and more. Murray State led all campuses in the U.S. in certifications this year.

Leadership has been a key factor in YNL program development at Murray State. Dr. Roger Weis, program director, has been at Murray State since the start of its Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (formerly American Humanics)/Youth and Nonprofit Leadership studies in 1983. Dr. Randy Dunn, MSU president, is a member of the national Nonprofit Leadership Alliance board.

In addition to the enrollment and certification records for the past year, Murray State’s NLA/YNL received the Gold Award for generating more than $10,000 in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Through the years, students, faculty and staff have generated nearly $2,000,000 in funds for the campus and the community. More than money, though, they have been leaders in creating local and campus organizations including United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, YMCA, Service Learning Scholars, the MSU Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, and Health Matters for Students.

For more information on Murray State’s YNL program, contact Esau at (270) 809-3808 or at or go online at

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