Six Years Later, Hull Fellows Experience Continues to Make an Impact
I won't say that I was cocky or that I believed I knew all I needed to, but there was a large part of me that understood philanthropy as a simple and straightforward mechanism of American society. If the me of ten years ago was questioned, I would, more than likely, admit that the world of organized philanthropy was as about as complex as grass farming. Plow ground, sew seeds, water in, wait eight weeks, and bam...grass.
My year in the Hull Fellowship program changed this view completely. Not only did I discover that large social issues are a bit more complicated than basic agriculture, but also I found that many of the solutions I touted had been tried repeatedly, with little to no success. I learned that my family's foundation was as unique as it was common, that many of the issues we faced had been addressed by other family foundations in the past, and that many of our quirks were our very own. There were literally hundreds of insights on operations and governance. I imagine the virtual lightbulb above my head burning with a blinding light by the end of my fellowship year.
Yet, these were not the most important things. My Hull Fellows class remains one of my favorite groups of people I have ever encountered. The diversity of background, of opinion, of thought, and of context drove incredibly rich discussions that forever altered how I understood parts of my world. There were fierce conversations, incredible moments of honesty, lasting insights, and friendships forged through it all. To this day, should a question or need arise, I have 19 people whom I trust intensely to answer my call. I was affirmed in my belief that it takes great people to make great ideas work. These were truly great people.
Meet the 2017-18 Class of Hull Fellows
Developing the next generation of leaders in Southern Philanthropy is central to SECF’s mission. At the heart of this work is our Hull Fellows Program, which has graduated more than 300 people – many of whom are now CEOs, senior executives and engaged trustees at their organizations.
Today, we’re excited to announce the next group of men and women who will enter into this transformative program. The 2017-18 class of Hull Fellows represents the full diversity of SECF’s membership. The 24 fellows shown below will soon begin a year-long program that will explore the latest trends and best practices in the field, the history of the South and its philanthropic development and the major issues facing foundations today.
As with any SECF program, connections are central to the Hull Fellows experience. Each Fellow will be paired with an experienced mentor that will serve as a source of knowledge and wisdom, offering their own insights on how to lead in the world of philanthropy. The class will also develop long-lasting relationships among themselves, resulting in a peer network that will benefit them for the rest of their careers.
You’ll get the chance to meet the new class in person at the 2017 Annual Meeting. In the meantime, if you see anyone on this list you know, offer them your congratulations and support as they begin this journey!