Freshman Ignatian Scholars Retreat

The Freshman Ignatian Scholars Retreat kicked off on Tuesday, August 8 with a bus ride down south to the University of Indianapolis. Scholars were presented with a fantastic space to spend the day and it was clear right from the start that UIndy had gone above and beyond in their preparations for us, which made the day all the more special. Students were given a welcome and a brief introduction to the Ignatian Scholars Program by Mr. Miller, who discussed their theme for the year, “Knowing Yourself.” In addition, a short video was shown on the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, to give the Scholars some background and perspective.  This was followed by St. Ignatius’  Prayer for Generosity.

Scholars engaged in a number of icebreaker activities in order to get to know one another better and all were impressed with how quickly they memorized names, previous schools, and hobbies of all those in their group! The rest of the college counseling team (Director of College Counseling Jim Fadely, Mrs. Newman, Mrs. Root, and Mrs. Davis) were gracious enough to come down and introduce themselves to the Scholars. The Principal of Brebeuf Jesuit, Mr. VanSlambrook, gave a very revealing talk about leadership and all of the various forms that it can take. He asked students to look at and explain inspirational quotes regarding leadership that he had posted around the perimeter of the room that they particularly identified with and why.  

Following that exercise, students were given a tour of UIndy by seven enthusiastic tour guides. The tour ended up in a private dining hall where students were served a gourmet meal complete with black tablecloth and red napkins (UIndy school colors), as well as a bouquet of roses on every table, not to mention a dedicated waitstaff! Soon thereafter, the Scholars listened to University of Indianapolis President, Brebeuf Jesuit Trustee, Brebeuf Jesuit alumnus and past parent, Rob Manuel.

Mr. Manuel discussed the importance of taking advantage of not only being at Brebeuf, but of all of the opportunities available. Furthermore, Mr. Manuel talked about what colleges are looking for, why focusing on the right fit is so crucial, and how to position oneself well to maximize financial aid offers from colleges. 

Last, but certainly not least, Scholars were treated to a talk by former Mayor of Indianapolis and current Uindy Visiting Fellow, not to mention a former Brebeuf parent, Greg Ballard. Mayor Ballard had great things to say about Brebeuf and implored the Scholars to become leaders and serve others as they will be called upon in life to step up and help solve some of the world’s most concerning issues of the day. Mayor Ballard also answered questions about his public in life in politics, and his life after politics. 

In all, it certainly was a busy day for the Scholars but they impressed everyone with their attentiveness, willingness to participate, and how quickly they absorbed copious amounts of information. It definitely bodes well for their success at Brebeuf this year and beyond!



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