Elon University welcomed 573 high school students for Fellows Weekend March 2-3 to compete for a spot in Elon's Fellows program.The finalists were selected by faculty committees and were invited to Elon to fully immerse themselves on campus.
Though the Office of Admissions hosts the weekend, Vice President for Enrollment Greg Zaiser said other departments help out across campus.
"The fellows committee, which includes all program directors and a team of admissions staff members, begins meeting regularly in December,” Zaiser said. “However, we rely on the considerable support of everyone at Elon. They recognize the importance of the fellows process and programs and all work together. So, it’s a huge team effort and we are grateful.”
Teaching Fellows also had a huge turnout, despite the bad weather across the northeast.
"It's early in the weekend, we have a record number of people here, so in terms of attracting a record number of people competing for the teaching fellows program, I consider that a success," Jeff Carpenter, associate professor of education and director of Teaching Fellows program said.
Following the weekend, committees select a certain amount of students depending on the program. According to Zaiser, the Honors Fellows will accept 43 students, the College Fellows will accept 55 students, the Communications and Business Fellows accept 30 students each, and the Teaching and Leadership Fellows take 25 students each this year.
“When we sit down and do the evaluation we have all those numbers in front of us. We do our best job to make suggestions and recommendations based on all of that available data,” Colin Donohue, director of student media and instructor in communications, said.
Many finalists were unable to attend because of bad weather conditions - about 30 finalists total.
"We had a little bit of challenge with the weather, so a few people haven't been able to make it, but we can't control that, so we're happy to have a good number of applicants here and hopefully we'll get them to come to Elon, whether they become fellows or not."
Even if Fellows Weekend does not turn out the way a candidate hopes, there is still an equal amount of opportunity for a non-fellow at Elon.
“Certainly, if you are a fellow, we expect you to be a leader,” Donohue said. “But if you’re not a fellow, you can still climb all the way to the top. I think that’s important for students to remember.”