• Message from the President of the White House Fellows Foundation

    Dear White House Fellows:

    It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the president of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association. As I take the helm and we prepare to mark the Fellowship’s 55th anniversary next year, here are some thoughts to guide us forward.

    For more than half a century, the White House Fellowship has been the nation’s premier program for leadership and public service. As alumni, we have a responsibility to uphold the legacy of our founder John Gardner and to provide the stewardship he espoused. I want to focus on stewardship and engagement during my presidency. We need your talent, your time and your resources to ensure the long-term health and viability of the White House Fellows program.  You elected a fantastic Board of Directors ready and able to serve you this year. We hope that many of you will volunteer to serve on our various Board committees.

    As a Foundation, our vision is clear. We are united to foster and strengthen leaders for the betterment of our communities and our nation. We exemplify a spirit of non-partisanship, mentoring and mutual support. Now more than ever, we must focus on what unites us: the fellowship and the friendships. This year gives us the opportunity to unite at The Annual Leadership Conference, which will be in Washington, D.C. on November 12-14, 2020. We will hold a 55th Black-Tie Gala celebration on the evening of November 14, 2020 marking the 55th anniversary of the program. I hope you will come celebrate this milestone in our fellowship.

    We will continue our recruiting efforts this year to ensure future generations of highly qualified applicants to the White House Fellows program. You are the best ambassadors for the program – to convince women and men of “exceptional intelligence, character, talent and promise” to apply to be Fellows. Help us recruit the next generation. The application process is now open for the Class of 2020-21. Interested applicants can find more information and apply here.

    In conclusion, in 1964, President Johnson said, “A genuinely free society cannot be a spectator society. Freedom in its deepest sense, requires participation.” His words, and those of John Gardner, are as meaningful today as they were 55 years ago. It’s up to us to fulfill that promise. As you reflect on the 55 years of the program, John Gardner said it best in one of his last speeches on leadership and service. To hear his words, click here.

    With great expectations for our way forward,

    Stephanie L. Ferguson, PhD, RN, FAAN (WHF 1996-97)

    posted: November 4, 2019
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