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About Us

Welcome to the Barger Leadership Institute:

The home for immersive and interdisciplinary undergraduate leadership experiences at the University of Michigan. Here, we take a holistic approach to help you explore, nurture, and realize your authentic leadership potential.  

Through the power of empathy, understanding, and mindfulness, we explore a leadership approach based on dedicated practice, deep human connection, and inspiration. With a balance of high-touch mentorship and real-world autonomy, BLI offers a certificate, classes, fellowships, and more — all designed to enhance and elevate the full Michigan educational experience. 

BLI is far more than a resume builder. It’s the realization of leadership potential in all aspects: social, situational, relational, and cultural. We’re not merely offering a skill set; we help instill a mindset — one that will serve you throughout your education, career, and life. We’d love to help you get there.

Leadership Pillars

Connection 

We believe in the power of connection. BLI helps cultivate connections for personal growth, social change, and building communities of inspiration. 

We nurture and celebrate the power of connection. 

Immersion 

We are immersive in our approach, offering a multitude of experiences and practical tools that bring leadership concepts to life.  

We are real, powerful, and immersive.   

Inspiration 

We believe that leadership is a set of learnable characteristics, habits, and actions, designed to connect and foster meaningful change.  

We inspire the leadership potential in all.

Impact 

We prepare students to become leaders at the university, at their workplace, in their communities, and in their lives through real-world actions. 

Our impact is measured by the actions of those we influence.

Student Community

While the Barger Leadership Institute is housed under LSA, any Michigan undergraduate can become a member. Students may enter the BLI community by becoming a member at any point in their undergraduate career. 

Where to start? Join the BLI to enter our community of leaders. We offer life-enriching experiences and practical tools that bring leadership concepts to life. A member's BLI path begins with any of our LEARN experiences – taking a BLI Leadership Course, participating in an experiential Leadership Retreat, or attending our Social Transformation workshop series.

To learn more, read about our BLI Habits, history, and staff. To find out how you can become an integral part of this growing community, please email BLI Associate Director, Mary Schlitt.

Barger Leadership Institute

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
University of Michigan
Weiser Hall, Suite 800
500 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

(734) 764-8200
(734) 764-6554 (fax)
bargerinstitute@umich.edu

Pictured L-R: Fatema Haque, Sarah Stilwell, Dave Barger, Rick Price, Ram Mahalinam, Hannah Kuriakose, Elizabeth Cain-Toth