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Meet Shawn Lauda

Shawn Lauda Alumni Story Profile Image

WLC Class Of: 2013

Major: Adult Accelerated - Business Management and Leadership

Occupation: Secretary/Treasurer, Milwaukee Police Association

I now have tremendous loyalty to Wisconsin Lutheran College and encourage everybody that I know is considering college to enroll there. I am truly a Warrior for life!
- Shawn Lauda

  • Shawn Lauda was a member of the Milwaukee Police Department for nearly 20 years when he decided to go back to school to not only fulfill a lifetime dream of obtaining his bachelor’s degree and preparing for another career after law enforcement, but to provide an example for his children. After completing his associate degree at an area technical college, Shawn enrolled in Wisconsin Lutheran College’s adult accelerated degree completion program.

    I chose WLC due to the excellent national rankings the school has earned, as well as offering my desired major, business management and leadership. The small class sizes, beautiful campus, and reasonable tuition were secondary factors in my decision to enroll.

    The Importance of Servant Leadership

    While at WLC, Shawn studied business management and leadership, specifically servant leadership. Entering the program, he didn’t think that the leadership courses would be significant to him, but soon discovered that the servant leadership concepts being taught and modeled were having a profound impact on his life. 

    I immediately took to servant leadership like a fish to water and now practice it in every capacity that I possibly can. I believe that helping others be the best that they can be is incredibly important, rewarding, and contagious.

    Applying Knowledge and Skills

    During his years as a member of the Milwaukee Police Department, Shawn became family with his fellow officers and says he’ll “bleed blue forever.” That is why, in 2012, he decided to run for a position on the Milwaukee Police Association (MPA) Executive Board, the union board that represents all 1,600 Milwaukee police officers and detectives. During his campaign for the Board, he utilized many of the skills that he learned at WLC. For instance, he developed a strategy and timeline, created professional flyers, sent emails, and tweaked his resume for distribution to the membership of would-be voters, all concepts and skills he learned within WLC’s program. He then went around the city to nearly all of the police department’s districts and bureaus and spoke to officers and detectives at their roll calls about his vision for the MPA. 

    I was able to speak confidently and concisely, which I directly attribute to my Wisconsin Lutheran College education.

    Servant Leadership in Action

    In October of 2012, Shawn was elected to join the seven-member MPA Board as a part-time Trustee. The Executive Board then later elected him in January of 2013 as their full-time Secretary/Treasurer. 

    I have no doubt that my business and leadership education at WLC was a major factor in my selection to this position, as other Board members have told me that my credentials were a perfect fit for the job. I am honored to be given the opportunity to represent the brave officers and detectives of the Milwaukee Police Department. I take this entrusted position very seriously and currently employ a servant leadership philosophy. Helping my fellow officers has become my life’s work and it’s incredibly rewarding.

    The WLC Experience

    Shawn is grateful that he had the opportunity to attend WLC and found it to be one of the best experiences of his life. He says he thoroughly enjoyed working with each member of his cohort and feels that he made some lifelong friends. 

    I also valued the excellent professors, as each were extremely knowledgeable, caring, and above all, servant leaders. The biggest compliment that I can give the school, is that one day I hope that my children enroll there.

    Shawn still makes his way back to Wisconsin Lutheran College to regularly visit with staff and friends, and would like to use the servant leadership skills that he learned in the program to give back to the school in any way that he can.