UNCF/Mellon Summer Institute at Emory

The UNCF/Mellon Summer Institute, held annually in June, is the point of entry for Emory Fellows and their counterparts at UNCF institutions. Fellows from South Africa also participate in the UNCF/Mellon Summer Institute. The Summer Institute has several goals. Chief among them are to introduce up to thirty-five students to the purpose and objectives of the MMUF program; to provide them with guidance and support in the preparation of a prospectus, which serves as the foundation for a two-year research project with their faculty mentors at their home institutions; and to provide fellows with an opportunity to acquire teaching experience during their orientation period in the Summer Institute.

The chief goal of the UNCF/Mellon Summer Institute has been the successful creation of an intellectual community across disciplinary and institutional contexts. The collective reading and discussion of Born to Rebel: An Autobiography, by Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, strengthens now the annual common reading for the UNCF/Mellon Summer Institute, strengthens the robust sense of community and shared commitment to the goals of the MMUF Program. During their tenure at the Summer Institute, participating fellows are able to claim membership in an intellectual and social movement that is transforming higher education in the United States and South Africa. At the conclusion of the UNCF/Mellon Summer Institute the fellows are resolved, like Dr. Mays, to “travel that road” to the doctorate—a road, as Dr. Mays’s life makes plain, that leads to self-knowledge, self-assertion, teaching, scholarship and leadership in the academy.