Holleman Fellowship

History of the Fellowship

Vernon W. Holleman Jr. was a member of the Washington and Lee Class of 1958, a University trustee and recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Following his death in 1999, Holleman's family, friends and fellow alumni established a fellowship in his name to honor Holleman's lifetime of commitment and dedication to Washington and Lee University. His devoted support of the Washington, D.C., Alumni Chapter and his work with students from the area was a source of great pleasure for him. Therefore, it is a fitting tribute to Holleman that students from the metropolitan Washington area who embody the core values of the University and have a commitment to community service be afforded a summer opportunity to expand their leadership potential.

Those values are delineated in the mission statement of the University: "Washington and Lee University has two preeminent objectives: to dedicate all its resources to developing in its students the capacity and desire to learn, to understand and to share the fruits of their intellectual growth, and to pursue its educational mission in a climate of learning that stresses the importance of the individual, personal honor, integrity, harmonious relationships with others and the responsibility to serve society through the productive use of talent and training."  

Applicants are encouraged to present a proposal for summer work or study in the areas of public or community service or civic learning that enhances student leadership qualities and provides an incentive for fellows "to make a difference."


How to Apply

Applicant Requirements

Applicants for the Holleman Fellowship must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Top Priority Applicants: Be a Washington and Lee first-, second- or third-year student who is a resident of Washington D.C., metropolitan area
  • Second Priority Applicants: Law school and undergraduate students engaged in a summer experience in the Washington D.C., metropolitan area
  • All Applicants must be in good academic standing, and
  • Display a strong commitment to service and values of the University.

Proposals may be made by more than one student, applications are available on the Career Development website via LexLink, beginning Jan. 1.  Application submission deadline is March 15. 

Nature of the Application

The selection committee welcomes adventuresome proposals for summer work or study in the United States or abroad.  Proposals may relate to public or community service opportunities; to civic learning experiences that will enhance students leadership qualities and provide and incentive "to make a difference."

Proposal Requirements

Applications are available online at W&L LexLink (reference job ID 2068)
In no more than 1,000 words, applicants must:

  • Include a statement of purpose of the proposed activity and its relationship to the qualifications,
  • Relate the activity to the educational mission of the University,
  • Explain ways in which results of the activity will be communicated to the wider W&L community and the Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter,
  • Detail a budget and if traveling, and include an itinerary.


One or two Holleman Fellowships of up to $5,000 is awarded each spring to a student from the metro D.C. area to work or study in the United States or abroad the following summer. A proposal may be made jointly by more than one student.

Selection Committee

A six-person selection committee appointed initially by the president of the University for terms of no more than three years will consist of a member of the Holleman family, the Steuart family, two alumni from the Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter (the chapter president and a member-at-large), a current W&L student and a representative of the University. The committee will review applications and interview final candidates in early March and announce a successful candidate by late March. The committee will have full discretion each year as to whom and in what amount to award the Holleman Fellowship and in deciding any questions of applicant domicile. It is anticipated that former Holleman Fellows will be eventual student and/or alumni members of the selection committee.

Post-Fellowship Requirements

No later than Sept. 15 following the fellowship summer, the recipient must provide a written report on the summer's activity to the Coordinator of the Shepherd Alliance and to the selection committee to share with the University community. The Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter will invite the recipient to report to the newly-accepted Washington and Lee students and to the chapter's board of directors.

Of Note: Near the sorority houses on the W&L campus a bronze plaque bears the following inscription:

In Loving Memory of Vernon V. Holleman Jr. (1936 - 1999)

A man of unsurpassing integrity and loyalty whose devotion to his family and friends, public service to his church and community, humor and passionate joie de vivre brought lasting definition to a noble life.  Vernon, both as a father and a W&L Trustee, made the first gift for this complex or sorority houses....a typical act of leadership for one who so magnificently embodied the core values of Washington and Lee University.

"He made a difference"