Sophomore Cole Porter Selected to Participate in Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows Program


MACON – Mercer University sophomore Cole Porter is one of 16 students nationwide selected to participate in this year's Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program, a competitive five-and-a-half-week summer leadership program for rising juniors who desire to make a difference.

“Cole shows remarkable potential, and this will be an exceptional opportunity for him to develop leadership skills and experience that he can use to change the world,” said Dr. David A. Davis, director of fellowships and scholarships and associate professor of English.

The fully paid and funded program takes place at George Washington's famous estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia, which sits just outside of Washington, D.C.

Rising juniors from diverse academic disciplines are invited to immerse themselves in a leadership development program inspired by the first president of the United States as well as today's foremost leaders.

The select, small cohort will engage in dynamic leadership education curriculum, interact with nationally recognized corporate, government and military leaders in the nation's capital and discover how to change the world through self-reflection, exciting experiential activities and a community service-focused capstone project.

“I am honored to spend the summer at Mount Vernon as part of this prestigious program, engaging with dedicated professionals and public servants alongside like-minded peers,” said Porter. “I hope that throughout the program, I am able to grow and contribute by employing the servant-leadership mindset cultivated during my Mercer experience. During the program, I will be working to develop a practical and flexible urban-planning resource to share with local communities and municipalities. The goal will be to provide principles of planning and design that promote vibrant communities.”

Porter, from Dublin, is a political science major who, upon his graduation from Mercer, aspires to attend law school.

As an undergraduate, Porter has served as a sophomore senator on the Student Government Association and chair of SGA's External Relations Committee, a peer adviser and an intern at NewTown Macon. He also has participated in Leadership Mercer and is an active member of Wesley Foundation. His interests including hiking, participating in intramural sports, reading and spending time with friends.

With the opening of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington in 2013, Mount Vernon President Curt Viebranz set forth an ambitious plan to attract and engage emerging student leaders, helping them become the movers and shakers of tomorrow. He proposed an innovative, residential summer fellowship experience for standout rising college juniors from the nation's top colleges and universities. For more information on the Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program, visit