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.  

For Applicants

The Elrod Fellowship program aims to bridge the gap between highly-qualified young alumni and innovative public service organizations, enabling fellows to acquire valuable professional skills and connections while working on significant public interest issues.

For Alumni

Alumni who support the Elrod Fellowship program are not only committed to Washington and Lee but also improving the communities in which they live. Supporting the program offers them the ability to get to know recent graduates who are interested in the public service sector and matching them with organizations who can help further the education of young alumni in this area.

For Employers

The Elrod Fellowship connects non-profit, for-profit and government organizations that address significant social problems with a pool of highly-qualified and committed young professionals with an interest in learning more about the public sector.


Successfully landing your first job out of college takes a wealth of resources, but ones that are easily accessible at Washington and Lee. The Elrod Fellowship program is one piece of the puzzle for W&L students who are interested in working with public service organizations that address poverty and significant social issues. Those engaged in the program are strongly encouraged to explore many avenues for employment and not rely on the resources of the Elrod Fellowship program alone.

Elrod Fellows

Current and historical listings of Elrod Fellows.