Elrod Fellowship

The John and Mimi Elrod Fellowship provides mentorship and programming for W&L students and young alumni interested in social impact careers. Our mission is extend and integrate the learning of the Shepherd Program into participants’ post-graduation civic and professional lives. 

Although we aim to support any and all interested students, our programming focuses on participating cities (currently Baltimore and Washington DC). While there is no financial support for Elrod Fellows, there are other valuable benefits. We support students at four distinct stages:

 1.     Stage 1: On-campus programs and alternative break trips introduce interested students to the ways that different types of organizations (not-for-profit, social enterprise, and governmental) are promoting improved opportunity and well-being, especially for low-income members of their surrounding communities;

2.     Stage 2: One-on-one advising with our Elrod Fellowship Coordinator (Fran Elrod) supports interested students with the creation of an application to the program;

3.     Stage 3: Selected students are connected with alumni and events in participating cities (currently Baltimore and Washington DC) to help navigate the search for social impact jobs with not-for-profit, for-profit, and governmental organizations;

4.     Stage 4: Once students secure a social impact job in a participating city, Elrod Fellows participate in programs that connect them with other fellows and with supporting alumni, who provide ongoing learning and mentorship opportunities that help with the transition to a new job in a new area.

The Shepherd Program aims to prepare students to understand and address the causes and consequences of poverty in ways that respect the dignity of every person. One important aspect of addressing poverty is understanding the vast landscape of organizations and professions working to this end.  The Elrod Fellowship program bridges the gap between eager, well-equipped seniors and alumni associated with employers in the social impact sector. It is not just about getting a job.  The experience provides an opportunity to build on the education of W&L’s Shepherd Program.  

How to Apply 

Washington and Lee students interested in applying for the Elrod Fellowship should arrange a meeting with Fran Elrod and complete the application to be considered for a fellowship position. The initial deadline for the fellowship is Jan. 12, 2020. Candidates may also submit their application by a second deadline of March 1, 2020. 

Contact Fran Elrod for an application.

Your Application Packet Should Include:

  • Completed application form
  • One-page essay
  • Resume
  • Course history and cumulative GPA
  • Two letters of reference

Mail or deliver your application to Elrod Fellowship Coordinator Fran Elrod, 304 Mattingly House, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA  24450 or submit via email to elrodf@wlu.edu.

Resources for finding employment opportunities


The Elrod Fellowship provides alumni with opportunities to participate in the exploration and discernment process as students and recent graduates seek meaningful work.  Alumni use their expertise as active citizens and professionals to mentor students, assist in networking, develop group seminars and oversee the program in their area. Please visit the Alumni page for additional information.


One way in which the Elrod Fellowship program has supported fellows is by developing partnerships with agencies.  Please visit our Employers page for additional information.