The concept and early planning for ELP grew out of the College of Engineering (CoE) strategic plan roadmapping team led by Jean Paul Allain and Beth Holloway. The design of the program was fleshed out by the strategic plan "first action" team led by Beth Holloway and Dr. Inez Hua. The Leadership Minor was endorsed by the CoE Undergraduate Chairs in January 2012.
In June 2012, Dr. Monica Cox was appointed as the inaugural director of the program ushering the beginning of the implementation phase of this initiative.
The ELP logo, similar to the CoE logo, draws its inspiration from the fountain on the Purdue Mall. The stylized arrangement produces a plan view of the fountain via its negative space whereas the orientation is representative of the profile view of the fountain. This orientation symbolizes the entrance of students into the program from various entries but all exit at the top.