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White House Fellowships - History

The White House Fellowships celebrated its 30th anniversary with the class of 1994-95. On the following pages, the program looks back at three decades of shaping tomorrow's leaders--and where some of them are today.


(Photo of President Johnson announcing the creation of the White House Fellows program)
President Johnson announces the creation of the White House Fellows program, October 3, 1964.

"A genuinely free society cannot be a spectator society. Freedom, in its deepest sense, requires participation--full, zestful, knowledgeable participation. Toward that end, I have today established a new program entitled the White House Fellows."
--President Johnson

(Photo of the first class of White House Fellows, 1964-65)

(Photo of the first class touring NASA's Saturn project.)

The first class tours NASA's Saturn project during an educational trip.

(Photo of President Johnson with a new Fellow.)

(Photo of CNN President Tom Johnson..)

"The White House Fellows experience opened splendid new horizons for me. My personal and professional world was broadened more by this fellowship year than by any other educational experience in my life."
--Tom Johnson ('64-'65), President, CNN


"I went from a bunker under fire in the DMZ to writing a memo to the President on schooldesegregation in a period of three weeks. A White House Fellow has an incomparable opportunity to learn government quickly by being a part of it. The work, the education and the association with one's class make the Fellows program a truly complete and unique experience."
--Dana Mead ('70-'71), President, Tenneco, Inc.

(Photo of President Carter and Program Founder John Gardner greeting a new class of White House Fellows in the Rose Garden.)

(Photo of Julia Taft ('70-'71), with CBS reporter Mike Wallace at a Fellows educational luncheon.)

(Photo of Susan Stautberg ('74-'75), with Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.)

(Photo of Class of 1971-72 meets with Pope Paul VI.)

(Photo of 1976-77 Fellows Lynn Schenk, Bill Drummond and David Cleary on a Fellows trip to the Arctic.)

"The White House Fellows program was a key point in my life. The year gave me the opportunity to understand the impact of good public policy--and bad. It also gave me invaluable insight and experience which I put into use every day as a Member of Congress."
--Lynn Schenk ('76-'77), U.S. Congress, 49th Distrct of California

(Photo of Keith Crisco ('70-'71), with President Nixon in the Roosevelt Room.)


(Photo of Anne Cohn Donnelly ('79-'80)

"Through the work experience I learned firsthand the complex challenges our national leaders face as well as how decisions are made and carried out at the highest levels of government. The educational program allowed me to meet and begin to understand leaders from all sectors of society. And the camaraderie of the fellowship itself gave me a chance to get to know some very outstanding people from quite diverse backgrounds. Not only have my classmates remained close friends and mentors, but the program has had a tremendous impact on my career."
--Anne Cohn Donnelly ('79-'80), Executive Director, National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

(Photo of President Reagan greeting the 1985-86 class of White House Fellows and their families in the Cabinet Room.)

(Photo of John Weiland ('87-'88) and Alan Kopit ('87-'88), with William Webster following an educational luncheon.)

"I have found that the White House Fellows program attracts people who are enthusiastic, committed, and dedicated to making things work. The contributions that the Fellows have made at the FBI and CIA have been significant and of real value to the nation. I am a believer in this important program.
--Judge William Webster, former Director, CIA and FBI.

(Photo of Congressman Joe Barton ('81-'82.)>

"Every day in the Congress, I put to practical use the knowledge I gained from my year as a White House Fellow. The White House Fellowship program is absolutely an outstanding program about the Federal Government."
--Joe Barton ('81-'82), Member of Congress, 6th District of Texas

(Photo of Jeri Eckhart ('85-'86), with Labor Secretary Ann McLaughlin and Vice President Bush.)


"Only through the White House Fellowship could a civilian from the business world spend one year working at the top level of the defense and national security establishment. Experiences I will never forget include leading humanitarian assistance missions into the former Soviet Union, and traveling with Defense Secretary Cheney to NATO headquarters in Brussels for meetings with European defense ministers. It will take a lifetime of public service to repay the country for this opportunity."
--Thomas Nelson ('92-'93) venture capitalist

(Photo of President Clinton greeting the 1993-94 class in the Blue Room.)

"I grew up in the projects of Brownsville, Brooklyn, a precinct which boasts the highest murder rate in New York. Nevertheless, I earned three degrees, became an attorney at a prestigious law firm, and served in the administration of New York's first African-American mayor. I thought I had accomplished everything that was possible for a ghetto kid. I was wrong. The Fellowship program has taken me from City Hall to the State Department, where I'm working on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and trying to make foreign policy and the money we spend relevant to other ghetto kids. When I return to Brooklyn, I'll take back a better sense of what our government can accomplish and an eagerness to help it do more."
--Martha E. Stark ('93-'94)

(Photo of Suzy Becker ('93-'94) and Program Director Brooke Shearer meeting with leaders of Brooklyn's Hasidic community.)

(Photo of Michael Levy ('93-'94) with HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros ('71-'72)

"Whether attending daily morning meetings with the Secretary or working on special assignments--like traveling to Vidor, Texas, to assure the peaceful desegregation of an all-white public housing development in the shadow of the Ku Klux Klan--the Fellowship has provided me the opportunity not merely to observe but to participate actively in the inner workings of the federal government."
--Michael Levy ('93-'94)

(Photo of Robert Grusky ('90-'91), with Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.)

For more information:
Phone: 202-395-4522
Fax: 202-395-6179
EMail: almanac@ace.esusda.gov (type send brochure or send application in subject and body of message )
On-Line: White House Fellowship Application
On-Line questions or comments: White House Fellows Feedback
Mail: The President's Commission on White House Fellowships,
712 Jackson Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20503.
To comment on this service: feedback@www.whitehouse.gov

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