What is a Weiss Fellow?
The Weiss Fellow program extends lifelong learning to its recent graduates in preparation for leadership positions in service.
Once accepted, a Weiss Fellow serves a two-year term on the College’s board of trustees to hone the skills expected of volunteer leaders: patient analysis; thoughtful reflection; respect for collegiality; ethical decision making, and; financial stewardship.
Muhlenberg graduates independent, critical thinkers who are intellectually agile and committed to lifelong learning. A Weiss Fellow ensures that this expertise is shared in service with all types of nonprofits around the world.
Who can become a Weiss Fellow?
Muhlenberg College alumni up to 10 years after graduation are eligible for consideration.
Responsibilities and Benefits of a Weiss Fellow
- Serve a two-year term on the Muhlenberg Board of Trustees with a year overlap between fellows.
- Attend all Board meetings (tri-annual) during their term as a non-voting but participating member.
- Receive a stipend for necessary travel and accommodations during Board meetings and for useful learning resources (i.e. subscription to Trusteeship magazine, attendance at an AGB workshop).
- Receive training in the fiduciary obligations, leadership responsibilities and skills of effective trusteeship.
- Voluntary service on one or more Board standing committees or a task force to develop specific skills.
- Review of relevant board materials for the committees in which he/she participates with accountability for confidentiality and fiduciary responsibility.
- Voluntary attendance at the annual gathering of Trustees Emeriti to learn how former trustees continue to lead after their terms of service are completed.
- Partnership with a sitting Trustee who serves as a mentor throughout the two-year fellowship.
- Lifelong relationships with fellow trustees from varied industries who share their commitment to skilled governance.
How do I apply?
Graduates of the last decade are eligible to apply by sending application materials to WeissFellow@muhlenberg.edu. Applications typically open in early February.
Applications must include:
- A resumé or curriculum vitae
- A 500-word reflective statement: What is my vision for volunteer service as a board member? How will this fit into my professional and volunteer leadership plans?
- Two written references from individuals who speak to the applicant’s leadership skills, and their capacity to grow through the Weiss Fellowship program. References can be sent directly to WeissFellow@muhlenberg.edu by the referee or can be included with the applicant's materials.
The Selection Process
- The Nominations and Governance Committee will recommend one Weiss Fellow to the Board at its spring meeting
- Accepted applicants are notified of their selection via written letter and email in May
- New Fellows are announced via internal and external Muhlenberg channels
- Term of service begins July 1 of the year in which he/she is selected, and ends in two years on June 30
- Applicants not selected are welcome to reapply
Who was Harold Weiss '52, '78HON?
As a young man, Bishop Harold “Hal” Weiss ’52, '78HON sold chickens on his family farm each summer to pay his Muhlenberg tuition. After World War II, he became a theologian, a pastor and a beloved bishop within the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1978, Weiss was awarded with an honorary doctorate of divinity. After two distinguished terms as a Muhlenberg trustee, the board bestowed on Hal its highest honor - the designation of Life Trustee.
Individuals whose wisdom, insight and diplomacy are so valued to the College they are elected Life Trustees - leaders with no term limits for whom there is always a seat at the table of governance and decision making. Hal represented the gold standard of board service and led with dignity and intention until his passing in August 2017.
To honor Hal’s memory, and to perpetuate his process of thoughtful leadership, the Board established the Weiss Fellowship program.
For questions or more information, contact WeissFellow@muhlenberg.edu or the President's Office at 484-664-3125.