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Lefcoe Leadership Fund

The Lefcoe Leadership Fund and its three-month leadership program were founded in 1996 and are named for Portsmouth leader, volunteer, and native Vann H. Lefcoe, who lost his battle with cancer in that same year. The leadership program exists to identify, educate, and encourage future leaders within the city of Portsmouth.

Its twelve weekly meetings feature small group discussion, reference reading, a trip to the Virginia General Assembly and Supreme Court,  visits from elected city, state and federal representatives, and presentations by the heads of several community organizations and agencies.  As of March 2022, 580 individuals have completed the program, the overwhelming majority of whom serve with city commissions and/or community organizations.

2024 Richmond Trip 6

Richmond Tour 2024

2024 Richmond Trip 2
2024 Lefcoe Richmond Trip 5
Lefcoe Graduation
Lefcoe 2023

Cathy Lewis kicks off night one for the Class of 2023.

Class of 2022 ends their Portsmouth tour at Trinity Church.

Lefcoe 2022 Class

Class of 2022

Final night for the Class of 2022

Lefcoe 2022 Richmond Trip_edited

Lefcoe Class of 2022 visits Richmond

Lefcoe 2020 Class_edited_edited

Class of 2020 celebrates course completion at their reception.

Lefcoe Class 2019 Picture

Lefcoe Class of 2019

2025 Course Outline

I.       Introduction & Course Overview

II.     Effective Team Communications

III.    Maritime 

IV.   Education

V.    Development & Redevelopment

VI.   What's News?

VII.  Regional Perspective

VIII. City Management

IX.    Tourism & the Arts

X.     Volunteerism & Philanthropy

XI.    Political Perspectives

XII.   Earning a "Passport to Leadership"

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the course program schedule?

The course runs every January through March and consists of twelve 2.5 hour weekly evening meetings. Additionally, there are 3 class field trips that occur on a weekday.

How many people are accepted into the program each year?

Class size typically ranges between 20 to 30 participants each year, and will vary depending on applicant interest and/or instructional constraints. 

How much does the course cost?

The course carries a tuition fee of $400.00. Scholarships are available.

Who can apply to participate in the course?

All individuals who are interested in better serving the Hampton Roads community, with a focus on Portsmouth.

"Being a part of the Lefcoe Class made me feel like I found my people. There was such a variety of personalities and backgrounds, but we were all bonded by our common goal of improving our community. I am filled with such hope for the future of Portsmouth with so many passionate people investing themselves into our city."

- Sarah Vega, Class of 2022

When and how does someone apply?

Applications will be available beginning September 1, 2024. The deadline to apply is November 1, 2024. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the course by the end of November. Applications can be submitted electronically or mailed to

The Lefcoe Trustees will begin accepting applications for the Lefcoe class of 2025 on September 1, 2024.

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