Society of Presidential Fellows

The Society of Presidential Fellows program enhances RISD’s competitiveness in recruiting and retaining its most sought-after students. These students work with faculty on research and creative projects, elevate the educational experience for all students and enhance the reputation of RISD’s graduate programs.

Endow a fellowship

Society of Presidential Fellowship Fund — $1,000,000

The Society of Presidential Fellows was launched in 2019 as a direct line of support for improving RISD’s recruitment and retention of highly talented graduate students, many of whom have been opting for competing institutions that offer more generous financial aid packages. Our goal in the next five years is to secure funding for RISD’s top 50 graduate students.

Endowed Society of Presidential Fellowships fund a student's full tuition for one to three years of study, depending on the length of their academic programs. Fellows apply to programs through existing processes; department heads and deans then select their most exceptional applicants and final selections are made by the President and Provost. The society is simply a way to guarantee that resources are made available to our most promising applicants.

In addition to providing financial support, the Presidential Fellowship is a notable award that adds to each recipient’s professional credentials. Fellows receive a special certificate signed by the President emphasizing the prestigious nature of the award and identifying the benefactor responsible for their award. Presidential Fellows are also invited to participate in special events throughout the academic year with creative thought leaders, and each Fellow is assigned an alumni mentor for the duration of their studies.

As an endowment donor, you will receive annual stewardship reports, which include a financial statement, an overall endowment performance update, biographies on all students in the cohort, an invitation to the annual fall induction ceremony and communications from named fellow(s).