Overview of Activities

Olin Fellows get together for planned events approximately once per month during the academic year. The shared purpose of these activities is to network the current Fellows with each other and, on a couple of occasions per year, with local alumnae of the program.

Here is a list of the events you may expect to attend:


Orientation Tea  - First-year Fellows are invited to Dean Pope’s home for afternoon tea (beverages and baked goods), networking, and learning about the Olin Fellowship Program.

Welcoming Dinner – All current Olin Fellows and their administrators (Dean William F. Tate, Associate Dean and Program Director Nancy P. Pope, Conference Coordinator Adrienne Rusbarsky, Program Assistant Cecily Stewart Hawksworth) are invited. Administrators make brief remarks after dinner. First-year Fellows are asked to introduce themselves to everyone; typically, the entering cohort is also photographed.


Annual Conference – The conference always includes a lecture and a dinner for current Fellows and their administrators with the speaker and the Trustees of the Monticello College Foundation. In addition, it may include a panel discussion, a film, or some other presentation to complement the lecture. If time permits, there is a poster session that allows current Fellows to share recent research with the trustees. Aside from the dinner and poster session, conference events are open to the university community and to the general public.

We hold the first of at least three conference-planning meetings for the following year. These are called “eat-and-meets” because they begin with a casual dinner and conversation before turning into a planning meeting. Current Fellows who attend these meetings suggest conference topics and speakers at the first meeting, rank a short list of affordable and available speakers at the second meeting, and plan the other conference events at the third meeting.

Holiday Party  - The only event all year with no agenda, this party features food, drink, background music, and a chance to meet not only the current Fellows and administrators but also their guests; every current Fellow is invited (but not required) to bring a friend or significant other.

January & February
We hold the second and third conference-planning meetings, as described above.

The Trustees of the Monticello College Foundation host current Fellows, their (optional) guests, their administrators, members of the selection committee, and other university officials for dinner on the campus in Godfrey, Illinois, that formerly belonged to Monticello College. First-year Fellows are required to attend; each of them is formally introduced after dinner by a Trustee. The Olin Fellowship Program charters a bus for those who don’t want to drive or who want the fun of riding together.

Also in April
The Olin Fellowship Program and the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship Program co-host an Arts & Letters colloquium to share the work of MFA students in Art or Creative Writing, or Architecture who are Fellows in either program with all the other Fellows.

Graduation reception to honor graduating Fellows, share news of their plans for the immediate future, and say goodbye. All current Fellows and their administrators are invited; graduating Fellows may bring any number of family members or guests.