Inspired Leadership Initiative Overview

From Retired Life to Inspired Life



TOM SCHREIER Founding Director, Inspired Leadership Initiative

Through participation in the Inspired Leadership Initiative (ILI), you will be afforded the opportunity to discern, design, and powerfully inform your next act. This will all occur while immersed in Notre Dame’s rich academic environment while exploring the issues that are important to you. You will also enrich the campus community with your considerable knowledge, experience, and relationships. I invite you to further investigate this pioneering program.

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Explore Your Purpose

If you are an accomplished individual from any background (business, nonprofit, education, medicine, law, religious life, and beyond), we invite you to consider exploring the ILI to discover, discern and then launch the next phase of your life as a renewed and richly prepared force for good in your community and beyond.

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Imagine a year of intellectual stimulation and time for discernment, surrounded by the ILI cohort and the University community. Imagine yourself in the INSPIRED LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE.

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ILI fellows work with faculty advisors to gain a broad understanding of the academy and select appropriate courses from across the University. In addition, there is a core curriculum consisting of a seminar style course to explore great texts and consider how these texts inform the journey of your life, along with curated lectures; weekly dinners with your community; a course on designing your inspired life; and an opportunity for global immersion. There are also many opportunities for intergenerational engagement and mutually generative relationships with faculty and students.

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Have you ever thought about how much more you would draw from the classroom experience today? What if you had the opportunity to attend a lecture series featuring some of education’s finest professors?

Engage your mind, body, and spirit with ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT

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“I enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of the classes, meeting and engaging with students 35 years younger than I am, the rich content that Notre Dame offers every week, and I really enjoyed the interaction of

our cohort.” Marty Whelan

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Fellows have access to a full spectrum of classes across all the colleges, institutes, and centers. We recommend that fellows take two to four classes in areas they wish to pursue with help provided by faculty advisors who have a broad understanding of the academy. Lectures are scheduled each week for the cohort and organized in tracks intended to provide exposure to top faculty in subjects relevant to the arc of the year, in addition to interesting, relevant top outside speakers on topics of interest to our cohort. Fellows have found they 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. Fellows are invited to take full advantage of the many means to develop spiritual dimension, regardless of faith tradition. This could involve a spiritual mentor, self-discovery, theology courses, liturgies, or service work. Fellows 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 and workshops, or access to private practice rooms.






There are many opportunities for intergenerational engagement with students and faculty.



Our fellows have found productive and valuable relationships with faculty that are mutually rewarding.

Our ILI fellows take advantage of and create opportunities to get to know one another and build community. They see each other as resources and friends as they share the journey, both during the ILI year and beyond. 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 expertise, to partner with student groups, to volunteering. 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. 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.






A luxury many of us do not afford ourselves which can lead to true and generative creative outcomes.

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Spouses and life partners (and for select activities, invited guests) are welcome to participate in many elements of the ILI programming and are encouraged to do so to the degree that best suits each individual ‒ from social participation to full fellow status. The ILI is designed with the flexibility to allow you to continue to be involved in family, community, and board activities while participating in this rare opportunity to discern, discover, and pursue your goals for the next stage in life.

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Contact the Director of Candidate Development at or 574-631-8070

Learn more about the program

Schedule a campus visit


Meet the current fellows


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Inspired Leadership Initiative University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana, 46556 574-631-8070

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