Fellowship Alumni

A Community of Civic Leaders, More than 1600 Strong

first group of fellows

The first class of Project 55 fellows in Chicago, 1990.

The Project 55 alumni community is a rich network of more than 1600 former fellows and interns who share the experience of a meaningful placement, engaging seminars, a supportive mentor, and lifelong connections to other young people working to address public issues. The first year out of college is an influential year no matter what you do, but Project 55 fellows know the true impact that year can have on your worldview, your professional aspirations, and your sense of self. It’s not uncommon to hear a Project 55 alum say, years later, “That was the most challenging year of my life, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

No matter what year they graduated, former fellows are always eager to get to know each other, and many new connections have been forged with the phrase “Oh, I did PP55, too!” Because the Project 55 alumni network includes many current leaders of public interest organizations, fellowship alumni have access to significant professional resources and contacts across the social impact and nonprofit space. Through job transitions, starting new ventures, or just lasting friendships, Project 55 fellows support each other. Fellowship alumni are also the deepest pool of volunteers for AlumniCorps, and the majority of area committee members and many mentors are former fellows.

Incubating New Programs for Project 55 Alumni

As part of our 25th anniversary and 2013-16 Strategic Plan, Princeton AlumniCorps launched an intensive 2-year initiative to re-engage our community of more than 1500 former fellows and foster meaningful connections among alumni with an enduring interest in civic engagement.

Through this initiative, we aimed to organize a substantive national network of PP55 and other alumni and energize them with new pathways to get involved, including interest groups focused on specific public issues and opportunities in the nonprofit sector. As we developed new pathways of engagement, we aimed to respond to the needs and aspirations of alumni by providing opportunities, relationships, and resources for individuals and organizations to collaborate on issues they care about. Finally, we sought to expand the geographic reach of AlumniCorps by connecting alumni outside of our program areas to online, issue-based programming and periodic in-person gatherings.

As a first step in this process, AlumniCorps conducted an Alumni Impact Survey that identified new strategies for expanding our programming and collected information on the professional accomplishments of fellowship alumni. The results of this survey painted a portrait of a highly accomplished and passionate community that continues to value the impact of their fellowship year and prioritizes ongoing civic engagement in their personal lives:

    • 86% of respondents obtained a graduate or professional degree after the completion of their fellowship.
    • 60% of respondents currently work in a public interest position (including nonprofit organizations, government and educational institutions)
    • 100% of survey respondents indicated that they remained civically engaged outside of their paid employment.