• Participants in Chidsey leadership programs are provided structured opportunities to reflect on and grow from their experiences.

  • Chidsey programs and services reflect a commitment to experiential leadership development.

  • Leadership Fellows are people who want to use their gifts and talents to make a significant difference in their communities.

Chidsey Leadership Fellows

The purpose of the Chidsey Leadership Fellows program is to develop exceptional leaders who will make a lifetime impact and exemplify the values of Davidson College: honor, service, leadership, community, and respect for the dignity and work of all people.

The program enacts an experiential leadership learning environment where students bring their leadership experiences to seminars, reflect on those experiences, connect leadership frameworks to develop their own skills and understandings, and then apply what they learn. Seminars feature staff, faculty, alumni, and community members from a range of sectors and with a wealth of expertise in the field of leadership. It also employs a range of engaging formats including panel discussions, case studies, group activities, field trips, and discussions that encourage fellows to develop leadership.

Program Structure

Seminars and experiences are progressive in nature moving in focus from self to group to community. Fellows bring their lived experiences to the seminars and use them as a basis for discussion and reflection. Each program year has a distinctive common experience. At some point during the spring semester and prior to leaving for the summer between their freshman and sophomore years, first year students participate in a mini-retreat where they get to know other fellows and begin to set goals for their time with the program.

Juniors take part in the Cool Spring Leadership Odyssey that is an immersive weekend-long teambuilding experience that focuses on group development. Seniors take part in seminars that are selected by the group and have the opportunity to be supported by an adult mentor from the greater Charlotte community. Each Fellow will have the opportunity to take part in an immersive leadership project that is outside the boundaries of their typical involvement. Students will partner with program staff and be connected to existing resources throughout the college and in the community to help make this experience a reality.

Application Process

We will select 16 rising sophomore students for the incoming cohort. Applicants are encouraged to attend an information session in which you will receive a program overview from our assistant director and hear from current Chidsey Fellows about their experiences in the program. In order to apply, attend an information session in mid-April for more information. You may apply online beginning in early March. Finalists will be asked to the interview. Students will be notified of acceptance by the end of April. Any faculty, staff or student can nominate a student for the program, or students can apply on their own.