The Kenan Purpose Program encompasses several initiatives designed to help students forge purposeful paths, at Duke and beyond. These opportunities are designed to move students towards successful, meaningful work, whether they have just arrived on campus, are contemplating life after graduation, and at any point in between.

The Kenan Purpose Program Fellowship offers a curricular bridge to direct work experience over the summer. Each year, currently sophomores and juniors apply to take Pursuit of Purpose (Ethics 2052S, EI, SS, S), a one-credit interdisciplinary seminar designed to hone students’ personal sense of purpose, situate that ethos in the contemporary world of work, and provide practical steps for moving forward. By semester’s end, each fellow has a funded internship placement for the summer, during which they will continue to reflect on questions raised in the course. Students design and participate in a Purpose Symposium upon returning to campus in the fall.

The Fellowship includes a total of $5,000 to support reflection during the summer and integration of those insights the following fall. 

Click here to apply for the program. Priority consideration deadline is October 22nd at 5pm.

The program also focuses on moments of transition: first and final undergraduate semesters. First-year undergraduates can fulfill their seminar requirements through one of the What Now? seminars offered through the Purpose Program. Each seminar offers an exploration of an element of a life well lived—and a focus on best practices to help students thrive at Duke and beyond. The seminar groups will also come together each week to connect with faculyy, share a meal, and solidify a wider community of purpose at Duke.

Seniors can take part in the What Comes Next Working Group series. These informal sessions for exclusively for graduating seniors combine practical advice and knowledge for post-graduate life with space to reflect on the questions that face graduates once they leave the confines of the university.

For more information about the Purpose Program, contact Christian Ferney.