VWIL Gateway | Women’s Leadership Development Training

Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership Gateway

Through rigor, intense challenge, and mutual support, the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) is a four-year program that prepares women for leadership in the military, public service, and private sectors in the United States and around the world. This MB women’s leadership program combines military leadership development training (through ROTC as well as the VWIL Corps) with civilian approaches. VWIL is the only all-female corps of cadets in the nation. Students live and learn together and each must complete a minor in leadership studies.

Who may apply?  The Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership is open to all students in the Mary Baldwin College for Women. Your academic record,  physical fitness, and leadership performance will contribute to your selection into the program.

Will I take classes as part of the VWIL program? Yes, in addition to your freshman academic schedule you will also take:

  • BOLD 101: Orientation to College and to the VWIL Program (1 credit)
  • ROTC: Army, Air Force, Navy/Marines (1 credit)
  • Physical Education: Leadership Challenge, Wilderness Adventure, Advanced Fitness (1.5 credits)

What extra-curricular activities will I be participating in? As a nULL (first-year cadet) you will participate in three formations each week; you will march in parades each month; you with attend leadership seminars oriented towards career interests and leadership development. Activities such as drill team, marching band, Honor Guard, and color guard are optional. Evening study hours are required.

Where will I live?  You will live with nULL class members in Mary Baldwin freshmen dorms.

Beyond the First Year. VWIL is a four-year women’s leadership program permitting you to elect a commission in one of the armed forces if you so choose or pursue a civilian career/graduate studies.  You will assume leadership positions in the Corps in your sophomore year and you will earn a minor and a certificate in leadership studies. Corps activities, including physical training, continue throughout the 4-year program. You will reside together as a class, be held to a code of professional standards, and be encouraged to pursue leadership opportunities throughout Mary Baldwin, VWIL, and ROTC.


Wella Belser
As a VWIL cadet, I had the ‘best of both worlds.’ I got to participate in all Mary Baldwin activities and have opportunities to apply my skills as a leader in the corps of cadets and in my everyday life.
–Manuela “Wella” Belser ’11
dual citizen of Switzerland and the U.S.
US Army Officer, Medical Services Corps