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Project Pericles Collection

Identifier: EUA063


The Project Pericles Collection is comprised of materials describing activities and events that have taken place within the Project Pericles program at Elon. The collection is arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by type of material.


  • 2003 - ongoing

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research of otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical / Historical

Project Pericles is a national program designed to weave into the academic curriculum a strong ethic of service and social responsibility that includes students and staff throughout campus. The program was founded by New York philanthropist Eugene Lang. In 1999 Lange wrote an essay in which he addressed a concern with the growing political cynicism and civic disengagement among young people. He believed that colleges and universities should assume a central responsibility in incorporating student-driven community service programs within the academic curriculum in order to more profoundly impact students' civic attitudes. In 2001, Lang founded Project Pericles, in honor of the fifth century BCE Greek statesman who led the Athenians in establishing the prototype of a democratic society. Pericles recognized that "every citizen, regardless of social or economic status, had both a duty to serve and the potential to lead," thus forming the foundation of modern democracy (Project, 2013). In accordance with the national Project Pericles model, each college and university develops a comprehensive civic engagement program which reflects "the institution's characteristics and traditions, curricula, resources, student body, faculty interests, location, social concerns, and alumni and community relations" (Project, 2013). Elon University was one of 10 charter colleges and universities that were invited to join Project Pericles in 2001. The Eugene Lang Foundation provided $50,000 in grant funding to help get the program started. Sociology professor Tom Arcaro, the director of Project Pericles, led the campus in forming an integrated program with the following objectives: (1) foster a conversation in the community about ways in which Elon could better partner with local organizations; (2) be more deliberate about embedding civic engagement and social responsibility in the curriculum;(3) invite all constituencies of the university to integrate Periclean values into all dimensions of the institution; and (4) implement a systematic program for highly motivated students designed to enhance their awareness of civic responsibility and provide them with skills to be proactive members of society. Early in the fall semester of 2002, faculty were offered course enhancement grants of up to $1,000 to support them in devising ways to enhance civic engagement and social responsibility in their classes. As a result, several projects were funded, including four classes that worked with Heifer International to sponsor the construction of a global village in January 2003. Each year Project Pericles commits funding for up to four service sabbaticals to afford any university employee an opportunity to spend a month working with an agency or cause to which they are committed. The annual Pericles Award was established to recognize faculty or staff whose efforts as civically engaged and socially responsible citizens model the ideals of Project Pericles. The first award was presented in May 2003. Each year a class of Periclean Scholars is selected. These are students who are committed to civic engagement and social responsibility. The first class of Periclean Scholars, who graduated in 2006, adopted the mission to make both local and global communities aware of the issues surrounding the spread of HIV/AIDS in Namibia, Africa (Elon's Project Pericles website, 2013). As of the 2013-2014 academic year, Elon shares the distinction of membership in Project Pericles with 28 other colleges and universities.


.20 Linear Feet (1 archival box)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by type of material.

Physical Location

The collection is located in the Carol Grotnes Belk Library Archives and Special Collections at Elon University. Please consult the Archives and Special Collections staff for further details about the location.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Unknown. Materials collected and assembled over many years to form collection.

Related Materials

Please consult with the Archives and Special Collections staff for additional information about materials related to this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Katie Nash, December, 2012

Encoded by Shaunta Alvarez, July, 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Belk Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

100 Campus Drive
2550 Campus Box
Elon North Carolina 27244 USA