Liberty Fellowship Over Time
Investing in human capital to build a Just Society.
A deep love of South Carolina, a steadfast faith in its leaders and a conviction that change is possible lead Anna Kate and Hayne Hipp to found Liberty Fellowship. Modeling it on the proven approach of the Aspen Institute and in partnership with Wofford College, they envision a program that will push South Carolina forward through its greatest assets – its leaders. Seasoned business executive Jennie Johnson, as Executive Director, and Wofford President Bernie Dunlap are instrumental in designing the Fellow experience.
Nominations open. Founding Board members are chosen, and Mentors are recruited. The first class of 20 Fellows launches.
Selected from 250 nominations received the first year, each Fellow hungers to hone their ability to lead and to take action to benefit South Carolina.
Are we moving the needle?
With the launch of the 5th class of Fellows, Liberty Fellowship undergoes an extensive independent evaluation. All Fellows and most Mentors participate in one-on-one interviews. The evaluation finds overwhelming evidence that Liberty Fellowship empowers leaders to think and collaborate more openly. Each Fellow identifies specific ways to make South Carolina a stronger state. The interviews also provide specific recommendations for strengthening the program and boosting impact.
Transcending Tribalism – moving beyond barriers like geography, race, politics, and religion that can stand in the way of solving issues.
Bringing together not only Fellows and Mentors, but close to 1000 other South Carolinians with a desire for change, the Liberty Fellowship Summit features speaker Walter Isaacson. Following his remarks on Transcending Tribalism, participants spend the afternoon forming action groups and delving into the nitty gritty of tackling some of South Carolina’s most intractable problems in the areas of education, economic development, health, environment, and public policy.
Celebrating 10 years.
What began as a concept is now a breathing, active network of over 200 leaders. A second comprehensive evaluation is performed. Results show strategic, collective impact has taken hold – weaving together leaders for better leverage, performance, and results.
Transition from the Founders to Fellows.
At their biannual Multi-Class Gathering, Liberty Fellows decide they want to lead Liberty Fellowship going forward and continue to inspire South Carolina’s leaders to take action to improve the state. A Fellow from the 4th class, Luanne Runge, joins the staff as Associate Executive Director.
Poised for the future: the next phase of the transition takes root.
Luanne Runge is named President & CEO. A Transition Team comprised of Fellows develops a new governance structure. In the summer, the Founding Board passes the reins to a new Board of Directors, made up of Fellows.
The Fellow program is expanded with the Call to Action seminar. Designed as the capstone of the 18-month experience, this 5th seminar brings Fellows together as a class specifically to make plans for collective action in South Carolina.