HOBY Leadership Conference Founder Speaks to Area Students at Mount Union

April 08, 2010


Over 170 high school sophomores from across northern Ohio gathered for the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership's Ohio Leadership Seminar at Mount Union College over the past weekend.



Hugh O'Brian speaks to students at the HOBY conference at Mount Union College this past weekend.

The students, selected by their individual high schools on the basis of leadership potential, were able to meet the founder of the program. Actor Hugh O'Brian, famous for his portrayal of Wyatt Earp in the television series "Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,' founded the Hugh O'Brian Youth Foundation (HOBY) in 1958. O'Brian started the program after he returned from a trip to Africa, where he traveled at the invitation of Dr. Albert Schweitzer. O'Brian spent nine days in a clinic complex run by Schweitzer and volunteer doctors and nurses who were caring for patients without the aid of electricity or running water. O'Brian admired the humanitarian work done by Schweitzer, and upon his return to the United States, he began working on an idea to help young leaders succeed.

The first leadership seminars took place in Los Angeles. Currently, HOBY is an international program.

Mount Union has served as the host of the northern Ohio seminar for many years. Students spent the weekend on campus, staying in the College residence halls and attending a variety of events designed to encourage them and give them the skills necessary to make a difference in the world, be leaders and make good decisions. The chairperson of the 2004 HOBY northern Ohio leadership conference was Michelle McGowan-Haviland.

O'Brian states that part of the focus of the HOBY leadership conferences is to 'accent the positive ' pat the good guys and gals on the back ' and let them know there are rewards for being responsible members of the community.'

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