Black and white image of Russ Edgerton

Edgerton Fellows

Advancing Innovation in Higher Education

The Edgerton Fellowship recognizes distinctively innovative contributions to improving postsecondary education and student success while honoring the legacy of Russ Edgerton (1938-2022), an innovator and thought leader in higher education. The Gardner Institute will provide a three-year opportunity for postsecondary leaders to join a community of practice with other motivated people who are doing promising work in their respective spheres. Fellows receive a mentor, cohort collaboration, annual participation in a community of practice at the Gardner Institute symposium, a one-time honorarium of $2,500, and opportunities to network and engage with alumni and community networks.

The Edgerton Fellow selection committee will make every effort to identify new talent as honorees who are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, age, organizational or institutional type, and academic or professional field.

Photo of Betsy Barefoot, wearing glasses and a salmon pink colored top.
John Gardner wearing a black suit.

Barefoot & Gardner Awards for Equitable Higher Education Outcomes


The Gardner Institute recognizes postsecondary institutions that have taken active steps to successfully mitigate inequitable performance gaps for historically underrepresented student populations. The awards were created and named by friends and colleagues of Drs. Betsy O. Barefoot and John N. Gardner, the Gardner Institute’s co-founders, to recognize and honor their deep commitment to and advocacy for more just and equitable postsecondary learning experiences.

One two-year and one four-year institution will be selected as the recipients of the Barefoot & Gardner Awards. The awards will recognize institutions that demonstrate, with strong evidence, their commitment to working toward the attainment of more equitable outcomes, in undergraduate education. Institutions receiving the recognition will be selected by a distinguished national panel. Awardees will receive a plaque recognizing institutional accomplishments, Opportunity to present their work and outcomes at A Symposium on Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience in Pittsburgh, PA in October 2024. (The Gardner Institute will cover the registration fees and travel costs for one person to accept the award), Additional opportunities to contribute thought leadership with the Gardner Institute and the greater higher education community through publications, webinars, leadership academies, and other opportunities.