Newman Civic Fellowship

We view the Newman Civic Fellowship as a core component of our strategy to build a national network of engaged student leaders who can support one another in building transformational partnerships between campuses and communities. As we and our member campuses work to prepare students for lives of engaged citizenship, we believe it is critical to listen to students and to engage them as partners in this work. The voices of our Newman Civic Fellows inform our shared efforts.

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

The fellowship, named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, provides training and resources that nurture students’ assets and passions to help them develop strategies to achieve social change. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides learning opportunities focused on the skills fellows need in order to serve as effective agents of change in addressing public problems and building equitable communities.


The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are changemakers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact member institutions. Fellows are nominated by their president or chancellor on the basis of their potential for public leadership.

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides students with training and resources that nurture their assets and passions and help them develop strategies for social change. The yearlong program, named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, includes virtual learning opportunities and networking as part of a national network of engaged student leaders and an optional in-person convening.

Fellows are selected in the spring each year; the fellowship term lasts for the duration of the following academic year. After their fellowship term, fellows will remain part of a national network of current and former Newman Civic Fellows.

Mentors play an important role in the Newman Civic Fellowship experience by supporting fellows in their personal, professional, and civic growth through individual relationships.

In agreeing to serve as a Newman Civic Fellow mentor, mentors commit to the following responsibilities:

  • Meet quarterly with their fellow during the academic year of the student’s fellowship
  • Complete brief surveys from Campus Compact after two of the quarterly meetings
  • Help fellow reflect on their experience in the fellowship and on their broader personal, professional, and civic development
  • Connect fellow to relevant resources as opportunities arise to do so
  • Participate in a virtual mentor orientation with Campus Compact during the summer prior to the fellowship year
  • Communicate with Campus Compact as needed


“The most important thing an institution does is not prepare a student for a career, but for a life as a citizen.”
-Frank Newman


Frank Newman was a passionate advocate for broadening opportunities for diverse and economically challenged students to have access to a college education. He was equally passionate in his advocacy for educating students to fulfill their roles as active citizens.

After serving his country in WW II and working in industry in California, Frank arrived at Stanford University to earn his doctorate. While at Stanford, Frank was asked by the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare to organize a task force on higher education policy. His Report on Higher Education (The Newman Report) stirred a national debate. Frank then put his ideas into practice as the President of the University of Rhode Island (1974-1983).

As a scholar in residence at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1983-1985), Frank authored Higher Education and the American Resurgence and called for a GI Bill for Community Service.

Frank co-founded Campus Compact with the presidents of Stanford University, Brown University, and Georgetown University (1985) to foster students’ involvement in public service and as democratic change-agents. Campus Compact has since grown to represent more than 1100 college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education.
When Frank became president of the Education Commission of the States (1985-1999), he worked with the nation’s governors on a far-ranging agenda of issues including at-risk youth, teacher quality, and education reform.
Later Frank returned to Brown University to teach a course on leadership, serve on the Board of Trustees, and organize The Futures Project. He called attention to the impact of market forces, new providers, and global competition on the higher education industry. Frank exemplified a life of public service and educational leadership.

Frank turned problems into opportunities, projects into exhilarating expeditions, and organizations into enterprises in the nation’s service. 

2019-2020 Cohort 

March 5: Cohort publicly announced

May 2: Welcome Orientation

September: 2019-2020 fellowship starts

9/16 Virtual Meeting #1 @ 2:00 pm EST

October: 10/1  Virtual Meeting #2 @1:30 pm EST

Plan to meet with your mentor for the first time.

November 15-16: National convening 

Plan to meet with your mentor for your second meeting.

11/25 – Check-In due Start Survey #1

December: 12/2  Virtual Meeting #3 @2:30 pm EST


Plan to meet with your mentor.

01/ 16 Virtual Meeting #4 @ 2:00 pm EST


Plan to meet with your mentor for your 4 and final meeting.


03/15 Check-In due –Start Survey #2

April: Final reflections due from fellows 

4/30 due: Final Reflection Instructions 

May: 2019-2020 fellowship ends



2020-2021 Cohort

  • October 31, 2019
    Nomination form opens
  • February 1, 2020
    Last day to nominate students
  • March 2020
    2020-2021 cohort publicly announced
  • April 2020
    Orientation for 2020-2021 cohort
  • September 1, 2020
    2020-2021 fellowship starts
  • November 2020
    National convening of Newman Civic Fellows
  • May 2021
    2020-2021 fellowship ends, reflections due from fellows