Parents and Families

U-M students have a range of opportunities to pursue their passions, from academics to athletics to hundreds of student-run organizations. For students who want to change their organization, campus or the world, there’s the Michigan LeaderShape® Institute.

LeaderShape® is an ethics-based leadership development experience that challenges students to lead with integrity. In a six-day interactive retreat, students focus on making choices, taking risks and developing a vision for change that corresponds to their passion.

“By virtue of their education alone, many of these students will have roles in society where their decisions will impact others,” program coordinator and lead facilitator Dave Waterhouse says. “LeaderShape® helps students build a framework for exercising leadership with integrity and thinking about their individual contributions to a more just, caring and thriving world. It also helps them build or strengthen the skills to carry out their vision.”

U-M offers the program to students twice per year, in May and August. A national program offered on more than 80 U.S. campuses, LeaderShape® engages students from diverse backgrounds and includes those already involved on campus and those who are just getting started.

Participating in LeaderShape® as an undergraduate in 2009 offered many “Aha! moments” for Kerri Wakefield, now a doctoral student in higher education who serves as a facilitator for the program.

“I learned that most leaders are made, not born; that leadership is not about winning or losing, but about consistently showing up to play; and that living with a ‘healthy disregard for the impossible’ produces bold, creative ideas that can transform the status quo,” she says.

This year, participants will have the opportunity to attend the LeaderShape® Institute May 2-7 or August 22-27, 2011. Each session will include approximately 50 students, who must apply by Monday, March 14 in order to participate.

The retreats are held at the DeSales Conference Center in Brooklyn, Michigan. Food, lodging and transportation to and from the conference center are provided at no cost to students.

For more information or an application, visit the Michigan LeaderShape® Institute online.