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History and Impact


Alumni Graduated


National Fellowships Awarded


Hours Volunteered to
North Carolina Every Year


NC State Colleges Represented


States with Caldwell Fellows Alumni

#1 Goal


A History of the Program


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.

The original class of NC Fellows circa 1968.


The Caldwell Scholars Program – Upon retirement of then Chancellor John T Caldwell, NC State alumni established the university‚Äôs 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. 

NC State Chancellor John T. Caldwell meets with students.


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.

A Caldwell Fellows Wilderness Expedition to Zion National Park in Utah.


Caldwell Fellows alumni from across the world gather at NC State to celebrate 50 years of leadership development and invest in the future of the Caldwell Fellows program. A generous gift from Caldwell Fellows alumni Jeff Williams (’85) further solidifies the program’s relationship with the Center for Creative Leadership, funding an annual leadership development experience at the Center’s Greensboro, NC headqurters in perpetuity.

Dr. Randy Woodson, the 14th chancellor of NC State University, addresses 50 years of Caldwell Fellows alumni.


The Caldwell Fellows program is now the only university-wide, merit-based award available after a student enters NC State. The academic standard of 3.25 total GPA to be accepted and to continue in the program is the highest bar for any merit scholarship program among universities in the Triangle. Academic excellence is a hallmark of the program. Caldwell graduates have earned numerous prestigious fellowships. Two Marshall Scholars and a Rhodes finalist have been Caldwell Fellows. Fellows have also been distinctive recipients of numerous National Science Foundation awards as well as the Udall, Churchill, Goldwater, and Fulbright scholarships.

The Class of 2024.