Application deadline now extended to April 18, 2024!

The Four Friends Fellowship was established in 2012 by a gift to Carleton from John Youngblood ’81, Peter Ross ’80, Danal Abrams ’80 and Jeff Appelquist ’80 (collectively, “Four Friends”) in thanks for all the experiences they have had together since meeting at Carleton in the late 1970s. In establishing the fellowship, The Four Friends sought to express their fondness for Carleton College and appreciation for the abiding connections they formed during college and have continued to grow throughout their lifetimes. The Fellowship is awarded annually to the group of two or more Carleton students proposing the most compelling and unique shared experience that forms lasting friendships, enriches the participants’ personal development, demonstrates the spirit of Carleton and enriches the greater campus community.

The criteria for this Fellowship is intentionally vague so that students are encouraged to think “outside the box”, be creative, imaginative, have fun, work collaboratively and perhaps do something no one has done before. Participants should develop a shared experience that will form life-long memories and camaraderie by doing or creating something remarkable that will be of value when shared with others. Participants should consider the true meaning of collaboration and explore unique opportunities “beyond your typical means” when developing their proposal. Carls are intelligent, clever, creative, collaborative, caring and naturally curious. Now’s your chance to prove it.

Want to meet the Four Friends and learn more about the Fellowship in their own words? Here is a video describing their goals for the Fellowship.

Past Recipients

  • Katrin Birk ’25, Grace Malooly ’25, Sophie Quinn ’25 and Selma Vangstein ’25, traveled to Iceland to explore an ecosystem uniquely impacted climate change. The participants spent 10 days traveling Iceland’s Ring Road by RV taking time to witness melting glaciers, active volcanoes, spreading invasive species, and active reforestation efforts, while also interacting with local cultures.
  • Jonathan Kagan-Kans ’14 and Marcus Porter Rider ’14 became SCUBA certified in the Bahamas and swam with reef sharks. Their goal was to better understand and appreciate these near-endangered animals with a dangerous reputation. The title of their project is “Sharks are friends, not food” and helped raise awareness of the shark fin trade.
  • Sarah Abdel-Jelil ’16, Gabriela Olvera ’16, and Khuaten Maaneb de Macedo ’16 traveled to New Orleans to analyze how music and art help communities heal from catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina. The trip challenged the team as they immersed themselves into racial divides, local housing policies, media representation of the region, the jazz music scene, and even some Civil War monument controversies.
  • Erik Lagerquist ’19, Carolyn Ward ’19, Chris Lee ’19, and Emma Dempsey ’19 spent a week in the Twin Cities, making “A Carl’s Guide to the Twin Cities.” The online guide is an interactive map that shows opportunities available to the Carleton community. The team spent a couple days in several parts of the Cities and experienced many cultural and historical attractions that sometimes go unnoticed.
  • Ben Lowry ’21, biology major Maya Hilty ’21, sociology/anthropology major Katie Babbit ’21, and psychology major Amida McNulty ’21 headed to Yellowstone National Park to learn more about wolves and their impact on the ecosystem.
2023 fellowship recipients in Iceland
2023 Fellowship Recipients in Iceland


The Four Friends Fellowship is intended for any group of two or more First-Year, Sophomore, or Juniors who are currently enrolled at Carleton. The approved experience may take place at any time — including academic breaks — however, it must occur prior to graduation. The experience may take place either on or off campus and must be shared with the campus community upon completion.

  • Carleton students studying any discipline or combination of disciplines are eligible.
  • All applicants must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
  • Seniors are ineligible to apply, even if applying with younger students.
  • This award is not intended to fund student organizations or travel for established groups on campus.
  • Travel to the home countries of any international student applicants will not be supported by the Four Friends Fellowship.
  • Must include a “give-back” component, where participants share their experience with the greater campus community at the conclusion of their activity.


The Fellowship consists of approximately $5,000, to one group of students.

Selection Criteria

Successful applicants will collaborate on the development of a shared experience that is creative, feasible and honors unique forms of knowledge. Selection will be based — in part — on the following criteria:

  • Originality of the idea (including its spirit of innovation and honors diverse forms of knowledge);
  • The project has a reciprocal component, developing deep connections among Carleton students and sharing the experience at its conclusion with the wider campus community;
  • Viability of the plan and budget; evidence of extensive collaboration in the proposal and the plan itself; and
  • The overall quality of the proposal.

Application Process

The Student Activities Office will correspond with ONE group member, so each group should appoint a contact person. That person will be responsible for gathering and submitting all elements of the proposal and meeting with the selection committee if applicable. Your group contact person should submit the application form below. Questions? Contact Cathy Osterman, Coordinator of Student Activities.

Deadline extended to April 18, 2024.