Up Next

Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Future Business Leaders Committed to Changing the World for the Better

About the Luther Hodges Scholars Program

We provide a world-class, transformative scholars experience for exceptional students who are committed to learning and working at the intersection of business, academia, policy, government and the nonprofit sector at home or abroad.


Each year, up to 25 sophomores are selected to become Luther Hodges Scholars. Students are selected for their superior scholarship and genuine interest in research and in working with private and public sector professionals to address the timeliest, most pressing issues facing business and society today and in the future.   Scholars are introduced to the critical role that business and the private sector play in providing solutions to these challenges. Students learn the interdisciplinary competencies of leadership, research, and cross-sector collaboration essential for success as high-impact leaders. Scholars are provided:

  • Mentorship by faculty, alumni, and business, policy and non-profit leaders
  • Coaching and advising
  • Financial support for experiential learning opportunities
  • A fully funded cross-sector internship experience
  • Research experience
  • Alternative breaks and field trips
  • Access to personnel and resources at the Kenan Institute, including

Please consult our annual reviews for more information about the program:

2021-2022 Annual Review

2020-2021 Annual Review

2019-2020 Annual Review


The Luther Hodges Scholars program is committed to developing future business leaders equipped to address economic and societal challenges present in today’s interconnected world. To accomplish this, the program provides scholars real-world experiences working at the intersection of the public and private sectors through a cross-sector internship experience that takes place during the summer following their first semester in the program.

Cross-sector internships are customized cohort-based professional learning experiences. Interns work alongside fellow scholars and professionals in the public and private sectors to make industry connections, develop hard and soft skills, and gain practical knowledge in chosen industry areas and fields of inquiry. Scholars receive financial funding and participate in biweekly virtual briefing sessions with staff to reflect on and share their experiences.

Scholars are supported in understanding the important role of research in problem-solving in today’s dynamic business environments. The focus is on what can be learned from business research and how that knowledge, along with the knowledge of research methods, makes a difference.

To deepen and broaden their research capabilities, scholars are provided opportunities to enhance research skills. During the junior year, scholars complete a business research course specifically tailored to scholars where they sharpen their abilities to develop research questions, deploy research methods, and produce a capstone research paper. Scholars have the option of continuing the research experience into the senior year and pursuing the honors thesis or an independent research project. Scholars have access to the institute’s research-related resources, including research advising and funding to support skill-building and participation at research conferences.

The Scholars Leadership Council was created to serve as the student voice of the scholar experience. Council representatives foster engagement and affinity for the program among their fellow scholars.

The council is made up of two class representatives from each cohort and is supported by a staff liaison.

Representatives manage a yearly budget, organize monthly community-building activities, and advise and counsel staff on program improvements.

Program mentors are a select group of business leaders, near-peers, policymakers and UNC Kenan-Flagler faculty who provide guidance and support to scholars for personal and career development. Mentorship is provided in one-on-one and group sessions. Scholars can opt to pair with an individual mentor. Mentors sign on for at least one year with the opportunity to engage with scholars throughout their university careers and beyond.

Program staff provide opportunities for group mentoring through moderated panel discussions and structured networking opportunities. 

Luther Hodges Scholars have a dedicated advisor who supports their personal and professional development. Scholars participate in one-on-one advising appointments with their Luther Hodges Scholars advisor to connect with campus and community resources, secure internship and research opportunities and develop goals that align with their values and interests. Advisors empower scholars to make informed decisions and meaningfully reflect on their experiences within the program.

More information can be found in the Luther Hodges Scholars Advising Syllabus.

In addition to attending many exclusive, invitation-only events at the Kenan Institute, the Luther Hodges Scholars also have access to the growing list of Luther Hodges Scholars Program alumni. Alumni from the Kenan Institute Leadership Fellows and Luther Hodges Scholars Program already number more than 100 people around the globe.