Founded in 1989 by Isabella Cannon ’24, the former Mayor of Raleigh and one of North Carolina’s most distinguished leaders. The Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows program is a nationally recognized leadership development program designed to strengthen each student’s leadership skills and ability to impact themselves, their communities, and their worlds. The four-year cohort experience builds a strong sense of community among the group and allows students to develop close mentoring relationships with peers, faculty and staff. The incoming students are expected to be the next leaders of the Elon community.

As a cohort, the first-year Fellows are enrolled in Elon 1010 together. Second-year Fellows will continue the academic component of the Fellows program with a 2000-level Leadership Studies elective/course and a domestic travel experience during Winter Term. All Fellows are required to complete the Leadership Studies Minor and complete their cohort academic experience with courses that support the completion of their common good (research and) change initiative.

Co-Curricular Leadership Experiences

The first-year Fellows collaborate with the Alamance Chamber of Commerce to facilitate Alamance Youth Leadership Academy (AYLA) workshops for middle school students throughout the year. The Fellows participate in leadership education and development throughout all four years; the Center For Leadership facilitates workshops, or Leadershops, which are designed to help students better understand themselves as a leader, how to lead with others, and how to make an impact on their community. Additionally, each month, the Fellows attend a Fellows Forum which brings together the four cohorts to hear from a leadership expert and for a discussion about a leadership topic.

Other Opportunities

Several Fellows have participated in other domestic and international programs such as LeaderShape, the NACA Summer Leadership Event, and the Global Leadership Exchange.

Elon Experiences Grant

All Leadership Fellows receive a $1,000 Elon Experiences Grant. To receive this grant, students must remain active in the Leadership Fellows program and complete a grant application.


If you are a high school student interested in the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows program, you can apply online.


Upon successful completion of the Leadership Fellows requirements, Leadership Fellows graduate with distinction as an Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellow and a medallion to be worn at Commencement. The Cannon Legacy is a life-long journey!

Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows Class of 2022