What is your next act?
I am ready for something new to focus on in my life but I don’t know what.
- Discerning the right next step is critically important, and we will provide information and tools to help ensure you have an opportunity to develop an awareness and understanding of both yourself and the opportunities that Notre Dame can provide. This will commence with information provided through the application process and be further developed in sessions throughout the summer before the program begins in the fall.
Why is the University of Notre Dame the right place to do this?
- Every university has a “brand” that connotes different things to each individual depending on their experience, interaction, and relationship with the institution. The University of Notre Dame has a 175-year history of being one of America’s leading undergraduate teaching institutions and has evolved into a leading graduate institution at the forefront in research and scholarship. The aerodynamics of glider flight, the transmission of wireless messages, and the formulae for synthetic rubber were pioneered at the University. Today researchers are achieving breakthroughs in astrophysics, radiation chemistry, environmental sciences, tropical disease transmission, peace studies, cancer, robotics, and nanoelectronics, just to name a few exciting fields.
This evolution has resulted in centers and institutes found only at the top research universities. A list of these can be found at: https://www.nd.edu/academics/centers-institutes/.
Is this program designed solely for those of the Catholic faith or who have graduated from Notre Dame?
- While Notre Dame is distinctly Catholic, we embrace those from all faith backgrounds and hope to attract fellows from a diverse array of educational institutions and backgrounds.
I am concerned that I do not fit the profile of a typical fellow as my accomplishment may not be “traditional”, could the ILI still be right for me?
It is important to emphasize that we define accomplished broadly to incorporate those that have risen to positions of leadership in business, non-profit and other organizations large and small and those who have distinguished themselves in education, medicine, law, religious life or similar. We have scholarship capacity and encourage you to apply even if you believe financial resources could be a constraint.
- There are many events that happen each week throughout the year that will be accessible and intriguing to our fellows and spouses / life partners. Information on these will be available through the University and our intranet site. A sample of the events currently happening can be found at: http://events.nd.edu/.
The beauty of the ILI is that you will have the opportunity to design your days based on your interests. Some may prefer days that are more fully scheduled, others days that leave more flexibility. Experience at other institutions has shown that many start the year more scheduled and then realize that there is a clear benefit to flexibility as a university environment rewards the opportunistic. This is due to our rich trove of accessible faculty, interesting students, enlightening lectures, fabulous wellness facilities, and athletic and cultural events just to name a few items.
We are confident that our fellows will have no shortage of items to fill their days across the following categories:
- Attending Classes: Fellows will have access to a full spectrum of classes across all the colleges, institutes and centers. We will recommend that a fellow take two to four classes in areas they wish to pursue with help provided by faculty guides that have a broad understanding of the academy.
- Core Lectures: There will be lectures scheduled each week for the cohort that will be organized in tracks intended to provide exposure to top faculty in subjects that will be relevant to the arc of the year in addition to interesting, relevant top outside speakers on topics of interest to our cohort.
- Studying: We would anticipate that fellows will want to spend meaningful time reading and studying in advance of the courses they are auditing to gain the most from these classes. This could range from a few hours per week to much more at your discretion.
- Wellness Activities: Both on and off campus fellows will have access to both scheduled wellness classes, all student and faculty gyms and workout facilities, and activities like reserving a sheet of ice to learn that Olympic sport that is a mystery to most of us: Curling.
- Music, Arts and Theatre: You will have full access to all the cultural activities on campus as well as the ability to hone or develop new passions in these areas through classes, workshops or access to private practice rooms to play a piano, cello or other instrument.
- Mentoring: We believe there will be many opportunities for intergenerational engagement with students and faculty.
- Faculty Engagement: We are confident that our fellows will find common, productive and valuable relationships with faculty that will be mutually rewarding. These could be simple shared meals or more fulsome engagement with the projects, institutes or centers that they are involved in.
- Cohort Interaction: We expect our ILI Fellows to take advantage of and create opportunities to get to know one other, build community, see each other as resources as they share the journey, both during the ILI year and beyond.
- Community Engagement: The Center for Social Concerns has generously offered us the ability to leverage their relationships with local, national and global organizations to do anything from offer your expertise to partnering with student groups to volunteering.
- Project Development: Fellows may find they have a specific project they wish to develop during their year and accordingly will spend time on campus and off bringing a new mission or venture to fruition. This will be accomplished leveraging relationships they develop with University faculty, staff and leadership and the cohort they are joining.
- Spiritual Enrichment: You are invited to take full advantage of the many means to develop your spiritual dimension, regardless of faith tradition. This could involve a spiritual mentor, self-discovery, theology courses, liturgies, service work...
- Global Engagement: Our International leadership will provide access to our Gateways and Centers across the globe to aid in the pursuit of your newfound interests and missions whether for a week, month or Semester.
- Athletics: Notre Dame has 26 Division I sports teams with most of the teams ranked affording fellows numerous opportunities to enjoy high quality sports both indoors and outdoors.
- Free Time: A luxury many of us do not afford ourselves which can lead to true and generative creative outcomes.
The above is but a subset of what we are confident our fellows will find to explore during a "typical" week. To aid in this process our ILI team will provide you an intranet site with full access to all campus and community activities and guidance to ensure you have the richest experience possible. With some direction, and most importantly a curious mind and the initiative that made you the accomplished person our fellows are intended to be, our belief is that we will be doing more counseling on how to manage all the options available as opposed to helping you occupy your precious time.