CELE Fellowships

Ellis Civic Fellowships can be understood as a series of building blocks, beginning in the first year with a broad overview of the Seattle community, moving in to a service partnership with a community organization, developing deeper integration between each Civic Fellow’s academic work and service commitments, and culminating with a community-based capstone project.

The purpose of the Ellis Civic Fellowships is to support students in making a commitment to our community with core objectives including serving in the community; learning about yourself, the community, and the intersection of your academic study and community service work; and developing skills and experience in leadership, fellowship, and empathy.

Every Ellis Civic Fellow will be supported with individual mentoring and a flexible leadership curriculum as they move towards graduating as an Ellis Civic Leader.


Robert Lee Ellis, a Seattle native, was killed in action in World War II.

In 2007, James Ellis honored his brother Robert — a person of high ethical standards and the willingness to help others — with a gift to the University of Washington. This gift became the endowment to support the Robert Lee Ellis Civic Fellows program.

The intention of the endowment and the Civic Fellows program is to support students who make a commitment to our community.

Learn about the application process

Email engage@uw.edu