The Bonner Program is a unique leadership development program for students with an interest in service and civic engagement. The program is based on the belief that students have the desire and ability to leave lasting and unique contributions through their community service. The Bonner Program provides students with the framework to continue involvement in community service, while providing financial support to help make their education more affordable. Bonners commit to 1800-hours of service and leadership training over the course of their four years in college.
The Bonner Program strives to provide students with the experiences and skill set to provide meaningful and lasting service, during college and beyond. Bonner Scholars commit not only to service, but also to development as a leader both on campus and in the community. For Bonners, their education does not just take place in the classroom; their service serves as a tool to broaden and enhance their education at Washington and Lee.
W&L Bonners are eligible to receive work-study wages for service in the local community and also receive financial support for enrichment activities, such as conferences, summer internships, individual projects, and leadership building workshops. The program provides students with a developmental structure and a peer network of students who share a similar commitment to social justice and desire to serve.
In addition to an interest in meaningful and significant service, most students must demonstrate financial need as evidence by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Bonner Program was introduced at W&L in winter of 2011 by the Corella and Betram F. Bonner Foundation of Princeton, N.J. The program followed in the footsteps of a strong two-year Bonner Leader Program that was established on W&L's campus in 2002. More than two dozen campuses across the nation have Bonner Programs.