The John and Mimi Elrod Fellowship provides opportunities for recent Washington and Lee University graduates to develop a lifelong commitment to civic engagement and to prepare for civic leadership. The competitive fellowship program connects young alumni with innovative public service organizations that address poverty and significant social issues in the fields of healthcare, law, education, economic development and housing. In turn, organizations that participate in the fellowship program gain access to a motivated and highly-qualified pool of applicants who are committed to exploring and serving the public sector for at least a year and sometimes two. Fellows are compensated by the agencies that hire them. There is no University funding to supplement fellow compensation.
Washington and Lee alumni in Baltimore, Houston and Washington, DC, are key to the Elrod Fellowship program, developing and maintaining relationships with partner organizations who hire program fellows. They also assign alumni mentors to fellows and organize and implement events that enrich the fellowship experience.
Since Washington and Lee began its Elrod Fellowship program in 2005, 50 Elrod Fellows have been placed with organizations through the program.
The Elrod Fellowship, which is named in honor of the late W&L President John W. Elrod and his widow, Mimi Elrod, is based on the model established by the Princeton Alumni Corps (formerly Princeton Project 55) and other affiliates of The Alumni Network (TAN), a consortium of alumni-driven public interest organizations at institutions including Washington and Lee University, Harvard, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Bucknell, Stanford and the University of Virginia. Association with TAN offers Elrod Fellows access to a broader pool of opportunities and a network of like-minded fellows.