An initiative sponsored by the Eugene Lang Foundation in 2001, Project Pericles challenged ten colleges and universities to provide a learning experience that will "instill in students an abiding and active sense of social responsibility and civic concern." Elon University accepted the challenge, which fit with the university's stated mission to prepare students to be global citizens and informed leaders and to foster an ethic of work and service. Currently there are 31 colleges and universities nationwide that have embraced the challenge with becoming a Periclean Institution.
Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility at Elon
Elon University has built a reputation as a national model of engaged learning, connecting knowledge and experience in and out of the classroom. One of Elon's primary missions is to prepare students "to be global citizens and informed leaders motivated by concern for the common good." This mission drives both curricular and co-curricular activities at the institution. Eighty-eight percent of Elon graduates participated in volunteer service while in school, serving as tutors in the local schools, mentoring in after-school programs, and building homes for Habitat for Humanity. By graduation, 78 percent of Elon students will have had at least one internship, many of which are with local government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Service learning is a significant component of many classes each semester. Students are attracted to Elon because they will have the opportunity for such engagement; they continuously push us to offer more.