We are blessed to live in a nation that offers boundless career and educational opportunities to support us in our formative years. However, many of us, after achieving success in our careers, desire later in life to pivot from our career interests and pursue meaningful pathways that we perhaps did not have time to explore previously or lacked the means to do so. We want to do more for our families, our communities, or those in need. But there are few programs designed to pursue this new pathway in a stimulating and rewarding setting.

Notre Dame sign at sunrise

The Inspired Leadership Initiative (ILI) is designed for accomplished leaders from any background: business, education, the military, the clergy, public service, or others. The ILI will be uniquely Notre Dame, featuring special program elements and other unique aspects. Fellows will forge strong new bonds and relationships with peers, students, faculty, and administrators.

With the full support of Notre Dame’s senior faculty and leadership, fellows will not only be able to learn from auditing classes and lectures that will facilitate their desired path of study, but they will also learn from each other given their breadth of diversity of experience. Moreover, fellows will (in both cases at their discretion) be able to leverage the Notre Dame Global Gateways in places like Beijing, Dublin, Rome, London, and Jerusalem, and also enrich their own spiritual journey.

We plan to select 25 fellows and spouses or life partners from diverse backgrounds to enroll for the academic year commencing in early 2018. The cohort will be selected in early 2018 and participate at Notre Dame in a week of discernment in May 2018. 

ILI Core Program Elements Include:

  • A period of discernment: “The Next Step”
  • A personalized on-campus orientation visit during the late spring and summer of ’18
  • A core curriculum designed specifically for ILI participants
  • Development of a tailored curriculum, under the guidance of a faculty mentor, with selected classes from across the University that will prepare the fellow for their next mission
  • Activities and enrichment options for the cohort of fellows and spouses/life partners
  • Access to Notre Dame’s student resources
  • An invitation to spiritual guidance, whether Catholic or another religious tradition, under the guidance of a spiritual advisor 

Unique Aspects of the Program:

  • A discernment process for those who know they want to transition to something new but are uncertain as to what best to pursue
  • Access to Notre Dame’s expansive global network
  • An invitation to spiritual enrichment for those of all faiths
  • Exposure to Notre Dame’s myriad domestic and international initiatives as a force for good
  • Engagement in research with students and/or faculty in the fellow’s desired area of study
  • Participation in campus activities, both with students and for students
  • Engagement with the local community