Approximately 2,300 high school students from throughout the state attended a leadership conference sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Leadership. Gilbert Cisneros/UVU Review

The eleventh annual Leadership Conference held Oct. 5 brought high school students from all over Utah to the university to hear distinguished speakers and further their leadership skills.

Over 2,300 students filled the UCCU Center to hear speakers such as Dan Clark, an internationally recognized speaker, and Larry Gelwix, the head coach of the Highland Rugby Team featured in the movie Forever Strong.

“I want to share the lessons I’ve learned,” Gelwix said. “The Five Championship Strategies; they work.”

Other speakers included Roger Anthony, Kyle Reyes, Dr. Bob Rasmussen, Tim Branscomb, Scott Asbell and the UVU Ballroom Dance Team.

“It is a way for future leaders to hear from great minds,” says Clint Pulver, executive vice president of UVUSA, “to not just be successful, but significant.”

The Center for the Advancement of Leadership hosted the event, with Megan Rittmanic as the student coordinator. This was her first year coordinating the event, but she had assistance.

“You can’t get anywhere in life unless you have great mentors,” Rittmanic said of Denece Kitto and Dr. Bruce Jackson who helped her with the undertaking of organizing the event.

Students arrived early Tuesday morning and opening remarks were given by Rittmanic and Dr. Jackson. President Matthew Holland then welcomed them, followed by Miss Utah, Christina Lowe, singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Gelwix discussed his Five Championship Strategies and then there were two breakout sessions. Students could choose from 17 speakers, each speaking for 50 minutes. Students could enter a raffle to win prizes such as iPod Nanos and tickets to the upcoming B.o.B. Concert, which were donated.

Clark, who is among the top 10 speakers in the world, was the final speaker as he discussed that leadership is about earning respect and creating opportunities for others to succeed.

“Standing in front of a group of people and saying, ‘I’m a leader,’ no more makes me a leader than standing in the garage and saying, ‘I’m a truck,’ makes me a truck,” Clark said during his lecture.

Students involved with CAL also donated their time to make this event possible. Volunteers decorated, advertised, organized and filled lunch bags.

“Everything went well,” according to Jason Carrick, the head of coordinating volunteers. “It’s great to see so many students come participate,”