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An idea to promote fitness that started with pumpkin carving

As is the case with most good ideas, this one began to take shape amidst some outdoor pumpkin carving and cold frosty beverages.

It was an idea that also emerged from the highly successful Towson University President’s Leadership Institute. Established in 1995, the Leadership Institute offers intensive, year-long leadership programs for faculty, department chairs and administrative staff. Leadership Institute members commit their time, energy, ideas and enthusiasm to the program and come away with improved leadership skills, expanded university contacts, “and great friends that last a lifetime,” observed Leadership Institute Director Dan Leonard.

In keeping with President’s Leadership Institute tradition, the group’s Class of 2014 was tasked in the fall of 2013 with developing an idea for a project that would benefit the university — now and in the future — and would be supported by the university president. Members began to discuss potential project ideas during one cool, late October evening that included dinner and, later, a pumpkin carving contest!

Out of that unlikely setting, the most popular idea ultimately emerged.

This Friday, Oct. 2, the Class of 2014 will unveil its leadership project during an 11 a.m. event to be held in the University Union’s Loch Raven Room. Known as “Tiger Trails,” the project consists of a system of four walking and running trails located throughout campus designed to promote health, fitness, wellness, exercise and TU pride along with enhanced engagement with the community.

“Tiger Trails” consists of four individual routes:

  • International Way, which is 3/4 mile long and provides accessible paths and walks with no obstructions;
  • Normal School Trail, which is one mile long and features the university’s most historic sites;
  • Heart of Campus Trail, which is also one mile long and leads through the most active and vibrant parts of campus; and
  • Johnny Unitas Pass, which is two miles long and highlights the university’s sports complex and is the most physically challenging Tiger Trail!

At Friday’s kick-off event, Interim President Dr. Timothy Chandler will make brief remarks along with TU’s Director of Campus Recreation Services Grady Sheffield. There will also be refreshments (including trail mix!), maps of the trails, and other giveaway items. Everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information about the Trails, please check out this link:  http://www.towson.edu/campusrec/tiger-trails.html

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