Bonner leaders envision a community of service, civic engagement, and social justice. Then make it real, one project at a time.

The Program

In 2011, Sewanee joined the national consortium of Bonner colleges and universities. Through this partnership, the Sewanee Bonner Leaders Program aims to educate students for lives of achievement and service while collaborating with community partners in and around Sewanee. More about the Bonner Foundation and the National Bonner Network.

Sewanee’s Bonner Leaders apply for a four-year Service Internship and Leadership Program as they are being admitted to the University. As a Bonner, you will complete the Bonner Path to service, which starts with establishing a connections to community partners and ends with you taking full leadership responsibility. Along the way, you will serve the greater Sewanee community, engage in meaningful, reflective discussions around your work, and work with a supportive group of like-minded peers, mentors, and community partners every step of the way.

For the four year duration of the internship, students will receive a stipend that, among other things, requires that they engage in an average of eight to 10 hours of community service per week. These service hours include regularly scheduled Bonner meetings and activities, such as in-service workshops, reflective discussions, and site-based team meetings.

What's it like to be a Sewanee Bonner? Review our 2021 Senior Reflections.

The Internship

In general, Bonner Leaders are expected to:

  • serve 193-227 hours each academic year
  • remain in good academic standing, which requires a GPA of 2.0 per semester.
  • attend all required Bonner meetings
  • conduct themselves at all times in a manner that reflects the character of the University of the South, the Bonner Foundation, and the Sewanee Bonner Leaders Program.
  • encouraged to participate in either a summer service internship, the fall Bonner Congress, the Bonner Summer Leadership Institute, or Sewanee Outreach Trip during their four years in the program
  • foster a culture of service whose collective goal is a harmonious and effective program
  • maintain good standing with community partners
  • support Bonner’s Common Commitments of Social Justice, Civic Engagement, Community building, Spiritual Exploration, International Perspective and Diversity
  • engage in academically-supported reflection on the meaning of their service by taking some community engagement courses connected to their Bonner Leader Internship.
  • develop and complete a successful senior capstone project that helps build the capacity of a local service organization.

For more details on expectations and design of Sewanee's program, please review at Sewanee's Bonner Leaders Handbook.

Meet Our Community Partners

Current Community Partners

How To Apply

Applications include the following components:

  1. Four short essay questions (up to 200 words)
  2. A list of the applicant's past service experiences and leadership roles
  3. A brief video essay (up to four minutes) in response to the prompt below

Video Essay Prompt: If you had a chance at a college to create a program serving a low income population on a social issue of your choice, how would you know that it was a program that would answer a real need? How would you generate campus and community interest in it? 

Students will be invited to submit their video essay after they submit their short essay questions

Important Dates

April 1st - Applications due

April 4th - Video essays due

April 22nd - Decisions released

May 1st - Deadline to accept offer

Students may apply for this program after they have been notified of being admitted. The invitation to apply for the Bonner Leaders Service Internship Program will be extended by email to all admitted students.

As openings in the program become available, current students may be invited to apply.


Contact Bonner Director Robin Hille Michaels, or Senior Assistant Director of Admission Nancy York, C'11, about the Bonner Program or application process.