welcome to the Caldwell Fellows website!

The Caldwell Fellows program at NC State University, building on the legacy of Chancellor (1959-1975) John T. Caldwell, invests in students selected during their first year at NC State who share a passion to learn, grow and serve others. Honoring his vision, the Caldwell program encourages scholars to “Think BIG” and facilitates the goal of maximizing the college

experience by providing intensive programming and leadership training, as well as by fostering collaborative interaction with alumni, faculty and community partners. Supported by endowers, this comprehensive program is dedicated to student development as individuals and as servant-leaders now and throughout their lives as NC State alumni.

A History of the Program

Students from the first NC Fellows Class

The NC State Fellows Program
The Smith Richardson Foundation in Greensboro founded five leadership development programs across university campuses in NC. When the Richardson grant funding ended, the NC State Alumni Association and the Division of Student Affairs made a commitment to continue the NC Fellows at NC State.

Caldwell Scholars kayaking

The Caldwell Scholars Program
Upon retirement of then Chancellor John T Caldwell, NC State alumni established the university’s first merit scholarship program for exceptional new students. The legacy of John Caldwell is one of servant leadership and it is this model of leadership the program strives to model and to engender in its Fellows.

Caldwell Fellows on an escalator

The Caldwell Fellows Program
Finally, these programs fully merged to better meet their mission of identifying passionate and talented students, while helping increase their leadership capacities and capabilities. The program in its current form extends the merit scholarship component of the Caldwell Scholars, with an additional enrichment-stipend scholarship awarded to help the student gain additional learning experiences during their time at NCSU.

The Legacy of John T. Caldwell

Chancellor John T. Caldwell

Hailed widely as one of the institution's most visionary and successful leaders, Chancellor Caldwell was well known for walking the campus and talking freely with students and faculty. He hosted dinners in his home, discussing with students the important questions of the day and the university’s response. He was a great builder of community and was constantly optimistic, positive, and looking ahead.

Program Components

Sophomore Leadership Seminar

students from sophomore leadership seminar

Fellows of the Juvenile Justice team, a service learning branch of the sophomore leadership experience, pose for a picture at one of our monthly dinner seminars.

During their Sophomore year, Caldwell Fellows attend a weekly three-credit hour seminar that discusses issues including conflict management, leadership styles, overcoming adversity, and setting attainable goals. The class is also divided into groups that volunteer with one of our service learning partners. This allows fellows to utilize the lessons exposed in the classroom component of the seminar each week.

Personal Executive Coaches

executive coaches speaking at a dinner

Executive coaches for the class of 2015 hold a pannel for students during a dinner seminar.

The Sophomore Fellows' experience is rounded out by several meetings with a personal, executive coach. These coaches help the fellows develop their resumes and five-year-plans, and improve upon their philosophical understanding of leadership. The goal is so that fellows can be successful in finding jobs and building their careers as they get closer to finishing their degree.

Monthly Dinner Seminars

caldwells at dinner

Current Caldwell Juniors pose for a shot during one of the dinner seminars.

Each year, a theme centered on improving leadership is chosen, and monthly dinner seminars are planned with guest speakers. These speakers have made it their life's work to improve the world around them. Guests have included foundation proprietors, policy analysts, CEOs and executive coaches. The format of these seminars includes a question and answer portion, which gives fellows an opportunity to engage with the esteemed guests on a more personal level.

This years theme is "A Caldwell State of Mind".

Wilderness Leadership Experience

jump in Charlotte Lake

Three Sophomore Caldwells take a dip in near-freezing Charlotte Lake, right off the Pacific Crest Trail in the Sierra Nevadas.

During the summer, Caldwells have the opportunity to participate in an intensive, ten day wilderness experience. Recent past trips have seen the Caldwells going to the Sierra Nevadas. The trip tests teamwork, will power, and the ability for all participants to take the lead at some point. The Caldwell Leadership Expedition is based on an outward-bound model, and led by Caldwell Alumni who have become NOLS Certified wilderness leaders.

Capstone Leadership Training at CCL

woods near CCL

Caldwells take a break in the woods surrounding CCL's Greensboro campus.

During the fall, Junior and Senior Caldwells can attend a session at the CCL in Greensboro, NC. These sessions involve extensive leadership testing and team-building mini-retreats. We are the only collegiate program with a long-standing relationship with the Center for Creative Leadership.

Annual Class Retreats

caldwells on retreat

Senior Caldwells in the midst of a fun team-building exercise.

Recommitment to the program and to fellow Caldwells is achieved through yearly class retreats. The retreats are hosted by the Acqueduct located near Chapel Hill. Each retreat's content corresponds to deepening the ongoing leadership curriculum of the program.

Professional Development Seminars

professional development seminar leaders

Leaders of the 2012-2013 professional development seminar series show off their best professional dress at a research symposium.

Senior Caldwells plan and execute a number of exciting profressional development seminars each year. In the past, these have included everything from small dinners discussing table to ettiquette to massive networking events that include NCSU's esteemed Park Scholars and Alumni. Since the seminars are student-ran, and they are always rotating in content.

The Caldwell Fellowbration

group at caldwell gala

Caldwells and Alumni pose together with Jerry Barker, director of the wilderness program.

Each year, the Caldwell Fellows hosts a number of events for Alumni and friends of the program, the largest being the annual Fellowbration (fromerly known as the Caldwell gala). A night of professional dress and great food, current Caldwells speak about the programs they have started or reinvigorated the past year. Alumni are also invited to other events, including our holiday party held at The Lump in Downtown Raleigh.

Partners in Leadership Development

Click the logos below to learn more about our organizational partnerships

Robert F. Greenleaf Foundation

Originally formulated by Robert Greenleaf, servant leadership is an understanding of leadership that results from a desire to serve others first and is grounded in a strong sense of stewardship for one’s various communities (academic, professional, civic, national and global). Characterized by an emphasis on personal growth, community-building, principled behavior, collaboration and mutual empowerment, servant leaders build their passions from the bottom up.

Center for Creative Leadership

Both the foundation of the Caldwell Fellows and the Center for Creative Leadership were the vision of the Smith Richardson Foundation – to better current leaders and to insure committed and ethical leaders for the future. For forty years, this common history has also meant the chance for Fellows to attend a leadership training program at the CCL on its Greensboro, NC campus. The Fellows partnership is the only on-going commitment to student training in CCL's international network.

Service Learning Partners

The Kid’s Café program serves at-risk middle school students in the Avent West neighborhood near Centennial Campus. Students in the program enjoy some outside recreation, receive one-on-one help with homework, and partake in a hot meal courtesy of the Foodbank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Caldwell Fellows serve as program tutors and mentors. In 2013, thanks in part by the efforts of a Caldwell alumni, Lenovo awarded Kid’s Cafe a technology grant. Caldwell Fellows are currently in the process of developing a technology enrichment program for the students.

Communities in Schools works in partnership with the Wake County Public School System to sponsor five after-school community-based learning centers across our county. One of these programs is located in Kentwood, a subsidized housing community tucked just on the other side of Western Boulevard, right in the NC State neighborhood. The Kentwood Center provides tutoring and enrichment for children from elementary grades through high school. Caldwells will be tackling the job of helping the Kentwood Center expand its programs by creating and leading art enrichment classes for middle school aged students.

The Wake County Interfaith Food Shuttle is an organization commited to providing "innovative and transformative solutions des igned to end hunger in our community". Caldwell Fellows teach weekly cooking classes at the Downtown Boys and Girls club. Components of each class include gardening and nutrition lessons, games, and of course, cooking and eating at the end of each lesson.

Urban Ministries is an interfaith organization that strives to alleviate the effects of poverty in Wake County by meeting people’s basic needs for food, shelter and healthcare, providing services that promote self-sufficiency, and building awareness of the issues of poverty within the larger community. One component of Urban Ministries is the Open Door Clinic, which aligns medical professional volunteers in the community with the needs of the poor and underserved. Caldwell Fellows serve as eligibility interviewers, welcoming and signing in patients, locating and pulling charts, completing necessary forms, and directing patients’ needs to the appropriate medical staff. Fellows fluent in Spanish have also served as interpreters between patients and the medical staff.

"WE Recycle," NC State's Stadium Tailgate Recycling Program was started by a Caldwell Fellow in 2003 in coordination with the WRR Office. The program was originally called "Chuck It" Recycling, named after former head coach Chuck Amato. Seeing the "chuck wagon" rolling through collecting bottles and cans was a familiar site to tailgaters preparing for the next NC State victory. After the departure of Coach Chuck Amato the effort was rebranded as the "WE Recycle" program. The program recycles nearly 20 tons of beverage containers each season. This makes it one of the nation's most productive stadium recycling efforts. The program relies on volunteers who cruise the tailgating lots in the hours before the game to stress the importance of recycling to the whole NC State community. Read more about the program and learn how to get involved over at NCSU's recycling website.

Satellite (Science and Technology Enriching Lifelong Leadership in Tomorrows Endeavors) is a summer program for rural NC youth that was started and continues to be run exclusively by the Caldwell Fellows. The program strives to introduce its participants to the science and technology related disciplines at NC State. Five days of seminars focus on many of the different avenues of study in the College of Engineering, the College of Agriculture and Life Science, and the College of Physical and Mathematical Science. Through lectures and demonstrations by professors, on-site tours of facilities available for study and research, projects used to demonstrate industrial and research applications, and hands-on exercises, students begin to gain an understanding of which areas excite and interest them the most.

Caldwell Fellows TV

2012's Cooking Matters Graudation!