The Project Pericles program was initiated in 2003, making the Class of 2006 the inaugural class. All members of the program applied during their freshman year and the group met as a class for the first time in the fall of 2003 (member’s sophomore year).
The Periclean Scholars program at Elon University is an interdisciplinary extension of Elon University 's General Studies program required for all graduates, that raises student's awareness about global issues. Project Pericles members are enrolled in special seminar classes on issues of global concern and civic engagement, and the Class of 2006 selected HIV/AIDS in Namibia, Africa as their focal project for their three-year involvement in the program. The selection was made in part because of the gravity of the issue and in part because Dr. Tom Arcaro, the mentor, had previously established contacts in Namibia through his son and daughter-in-law who were working there in the Peace Corps at the time.