AAC&U Future Leaders Society

AAC&U seeks to recognize and support future academic leaders who will advance the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy.

Each year, the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award yields nominations for hundreds of graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education and who are committed to academic innovation in the areas of equity, community engagement, and teaching and learning. While only a few can be honored with the Cross Award, all finalists for the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award—including the winners—are inducted into the AAC&U Future Leaders Society.

The Future Leaders Society is generously supported by the L. Lee Knefelkamp Fund.

About the Nomination Process 

The Future Leaders Society is open to doctoral-seeking graduate students who are planning a career in higher education, regardless of academic department. Graduate students in fields where the master’s degree is the terminal degree are also eligible.

Inductees must be nominated by a faculty member or administrator for the Cross Future Leaders Award and identified as a finalist for that award.

More information about the 2021 Nomination Process

Society members are selected based upon their demonstrated commitments to equity, innovations in teaching and learning, and community engagement as integrated components of their graduate work.

Activities and Benefits of the AAC&U Future Leaders Society 

As members of the AAC&U Future Leaders Society, graduate students have access to unique, cross-disciplinary opportunities for professional development, networking, and mentorship. Members will also have access to an exclusive virtual community designed to support ongoing engagement, collaboration, and support.           

For one year

  • Complimentary access to OneHE’s online professional development platform, provided in partnership with AAC&U, and the Future Leaders Society online virtual community
  • Early and discounted access to AAC&U’s magazine and other publications
  • Opportunities to share your work internationally through AAC&U presentations and publications
  • Significant savings on AAC&U events and professional development programs

Ongoing, for Future Leaders Society alumni with an active AAC&U membership

  • Discounted access to OneHE’s online professional development platform, provided in partnership with AAC&U, and the Future Leaders Society virtual community
  • Early and discounted access to AAC&U’s magazine and other publications
  • Opportunity to join the Future Leaders Society Advisory Committee
  • Significant savings on AAC&U events and professional development programs

Programming and professional opportunities for Future Leaders Society members will be informed by an advisory board of past Cross Future Leaders Award winners.

For more information about the AAC&U Future Leaders Society, contact Kathryn Enke at 202.888.4647 or kenke@aacu.org.