The work of the Blackburn Institute is predicated on a required student curriculum that helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and disposition to act as “agents of change.” Upon completion of the one-year curriculum, students will either continue their experience as a returning student or graduate and transition to the role of Fellows. Over the history of the Institute, the formal student curriculum has seen many changes, but it has had consistent elements of exposure to the state’s people, history, culture, successes, and challenges and in-depth education on Alabama issues.
Likewise, informal programming and activities have slowly developed as the community of Fellows grew. In the academic year leading up to the 25th anniversary (2018-19), a renewed emphasis was placed on the work, engagement, and learning of the alumni through the Fellows Involvement Network (FIN), led by the FIN officers and the Coordinator of Blackburn Alumni Programs.
In addition to these two discrete tracks of involvement specifically for Fellows and students, the Blackburn Institute also provides opportunities for the full community – students, Advisory Board members, and Fellows – to come together. These events, in furtherance of the Blackburn value of “networking through the generations,” are the setting for sharing knowledge, building relationships, considering strategy, and taking action. Visit Annual Symposium, Spring Networking Dinner, and Summer Networking Events to learn more about how these communal gatherings bring us closer together and prepare us to take individual and collective action to improve the state.