The BLI is excited to introduce Bargie Beaver as their new mascot! 

It was a whirlwind introduction of Bargie to our campus community of leaders this past winter term. They made their way across campus to spread the word about BLI programming to roughly 60 campus partners' offices, took over the BLI Instagram, and even viewed the solar eclipse with 100 or so new friends outside Weiser Hall.

Ever the explorer, Bargie additionally jetted off to Washington DC with a group of BLI members over spring break to connect with alum and see leadership in action, participated in an array of contemplative practices with Fatema Haque (BLI program manager and lecturer) in Lexington, Kentucky at a conference on mindfulness, tagged along with 23 BLI members in an immersive retreat in Detroit centered on using tech for social good, and landed in Scotland for a conference on followership where they were in the audience for a session led by Mary Schlitt (BLI Associate Director), Fatema Haque, and Dorine Lawrence-Hughes (UGED Assistant Dean).

If you want to see what Bargie is up to next, be sure to follow BLI’s Instagram. Like Bargie, you never know where your leadership journey will take you!

So, why a Beaver? 

Beavers are known for their hardworking, adaptable, and social nature, making them fascinating creatures to observe in the wild. Just like our BLI students who you will find leading across campus.

Beavers approach teamwork by collaborating, communicating effectively, and ensuring that their efforts benefit the group. They appreciate each individual's talents and contributions and embody the values of perseverance, community cooperation, and adaptability. These are all skills and values we strive to impart to our students as they learn in our courses, immersive experiences, and fellowships offered at the BLI.

At the BLI, we are committed to being conscious consumers. We are excited to partner with The Bear Factory, a family-owned company just down the road in Whitmore Lake, in sourcing Bargie. They have a deep commitment to Social and Environmental Awareness, as represented in their recycled plush line and partnership with the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation.

We believe that leadership is a set of learnable characteristics, habits, and actions designed to connect and foster meaningful change. If you would like your very own Bargie to display and help inspire the leadership potential in all, please reach out to our ALF CORE team. We’d love to connect and share the wide range of experiences that BLI offers our student community!


Barger (Bargie) Beaver is a 3rd year student majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a Sustainability minor. After Michigan, they hope to work as an engineer building lodges for beavers in rural areas, with an emphasis on freshwater conservation and protecting natural habitats. Outside of school, Bargie enjoys creating intricate wooden sculptures, spending time floating down the Huron River, and being an active member of the Michigan Club Swim team.

Skillset: Detail-oriented, team-focused, industrious, organized, creative
Favorite BLI Habits: Build a Team and Collect, Combine, Create
Fun fact: Bargie’s teeth never stop growing!
Favorite Quote: "That's just dam good leadership!"