Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops leaders and institutions to meet the nation’s critical challenges. The Woodrow Wilson Fellowships responded to a shortage of college faculty at the conclusion of World War II by offering talented students the opportunity to attend doctoral programs and begin college teaching careers. As college enrollments swelled in the latter half of the 20th century, the Woodrow Wilson program prepared generations of faculty, creating a well-known fellowship and becoming a hallmark of academic excellence.
Over time, the Foundation’s fellowships have evolved to address emerging needs, serve specific populations underrepresented in the academy, strengthen designated fields, and support key stages in professorial careers. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation has awarded fellowships to more than 22,000 scholars, who now include 14 Nobel Laureates, 37 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows, 19 Pulitzer Prize winners, 27 recipients of Presidential and national medals, and many others.