October 11-13, 2019
Wingspread Retreat and Executive Conference Center

33 E. 4 Mile Road, Racine, WI 53402
(262) 639-3211

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...You are the heroic and spiritual leaders of Jesuit higher education in the United States, who are rightly placed to make important decisions.
— Former Jesuit Superior General, Rev. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J.

The future of Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States relies more each day on the capacity of generous trustees — lay women and men, as well as Jesuits — to understand the mission in all its dimensions, and to exercise courageous mission governance. This mission governance both includes and exceeds what we normally think of as the fiduciary duty of boards. It extends to the deepest levels of trusteeship: holding the mission of the university in trust for current and future students, the academy, the Society of Jesus, the Church, the poor and excluded, and local and global communities. Capable mission governance is not for the faint of heart: it requires intentional and ongoing skill-building and spiritual growth.

The need for discerning board leadership has never been more important for the future of the 27 Jesuit institutions of higher education in the United States. Therefore, the pilot AJCU Trustee Forum has been designed as an intensive weekend for trustees and presidents who wish to advance their board’s capacity for Jesuit mission governance. By probing difficult issues and exploring possibilities alongside trustees from other Jesuit colleges and universities, participants forge essential relationships and build a stronger national network among institutions.

Please join Jesuit college and university presidents and trustees from the following institutions for a weekend of essential conversations on mission governance in Jesuit higher education: Canisius College, Loyola University Maryland, Regis University, St. John’s College (Belize), Seattle University, University of Detroit Mercy, and Xavier University.


Each speaker is also a trustee at a Jesuit institution. Click on photos for speaker biographies.


Click on photos for presenter biographies.


Attendees will hear from a panel of trustees and administrators at Seattle University, Canisius College, and Xavier University. Facilitated by Rev. Robert Niehoff, S.J., Provincial Assistant for Higher Education for the U.S. Jesuits West Province and Consultant to the President of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S.


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Check-in and registration for the Trustee Forum will take place on Friday, October 11 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Please go to the Sam and Gene Johnson Guest House on the Wingspread grounds, where you will be greeted and given a key to your room. We encourage you to arrive early to relax, meet your fellow trustees, and walk the beautiful grounds of Wingspread.

Concierge staff at Wingspread will be available 24/7, and the after-hours emergency number for reaching Trustee Forum participants is (262) 833-1400.

The Trustee Forum will conclude after a noon lunch on Sunday, October 13. “Grab and Go” lunchboxes will be available.


The Wingspread Executive Retreat and Conference Center is located on the western shores of Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin, just 25 minutes south of Milwaukee. Standing on the Wind Point peninsula, amid 36 acres of forests, prairies, trails and streams, it has for decades provided a creative convening space for leaders across the country and around the world.

The original iconic building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a private home. It was later donated to the S.C. Johnson foundation, and known simply as Wingspread. Today, Wright’s architectural creation sits at the heart of a beautiful complex. State-of-the art meeting rooms and comfortable accommodations complement the property’s natural beauty , making it an ideal location for the AJCU Trustee Forum.

Groundbreaking initiatives such as National Public Radio and the National Endowment for the Arts were first conceived of at Wingspread, and well-known luminaries such as such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Buckminster Fuller, David Rockefeller, Julian Bond and Les Aspin have gathered thought leaders there. Thus, the AJCU Trustee Forum takes place in an environment that is steeped in creativity and social commitment.

We invite you to explore the rich history of Wingspread while you are at the Trustee Forum. A tour of the complex will be offered on Friday evening, but you are also welcome to walk the grounds at your leisure.


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Air Travel

Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee (25 minutes) — preferred

  • Mitchell International Airport is the closest airport to the Wingspread Center. Trustee Forum participants are strongly encouraged to consider flights to Mitchell International Airport, as it will reduce travel time.

  • Shuttles will be provided to and from Mitchell to Wingspread, grouped according to participants’ arrival/departure times. You will be notified of pickup times, once you have registered for the Trustee Forum.

O’Hare International Airport in Chicago (90 minutes)  

  • Shuttle service will be provided to and from O’Hare Airport, grouped according to participants’ arrival/departure times. You will be notified of pickup times, once you have registered for the Trustee Forum. Please be aware that Chicago-area traffic may cause some delays.

Midway International Airport in Chicago (1 hour and 45 minutes) is the farthest of the three regional airports from the Trustee Forum location (1 hour and 45 minutes). Those arriving at Midway will be responsible for their own transportation to and from Wingspread, as we are unable to provide shuttle service.

Ground Transportation

Information on ground transportation from airports and other travel venues is available HERE. Please indicate on the registration form if you intend to travel by train or bus and will require pickup. Approximately one week before the Trustee Forum, Wingspread will email participants who requested shuttle service, to specify airport pickup times and locations. Please watch for this email in your box.


Directions to Wingspread are available on their website or by clicking HERE.


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All participants will stay at the Sam and Gene Johnson Guest House, located on the grounds of Wingspread. The hotel-style rooms in the Guest House include desks and high-speed Internet. Throughout the center, there are many relaxing common spaces for conversations with fellow trustees and presidents. The Guest House has a well-equipped fitness room and bicycles for exploring the property. Each floor of the building also has a fully stocked hospitality room with snacks and drinks for Trustee Forum participants.  



Getting the most from your experience at the Trustee Forum requires some reflection before you arrive. Please read and/or listen to the brief selections below, each of which sheds light on the work of mission governance and trusteeship.

Word Cloud of Ex Corde Ecclesia (literally, “From the Heart of the Church”), Pope John Paul II”s 1990 Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities (click on image for full text)

Word Cloud of Ex Corde Ecclesia (literally, “From the Heart of the Church”), Pope John Paul II”s 1990 Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities (click on image for full text)



What to expect

Trustee Forum participants will hear from informed and thoughtful speakers; engage in discussion within and across colleagues from Jesuit colleges and universities; take time to pray and reflect on the vocation of trusteeship and the demands of mission governance; and build relationships with colleagues in Jesuit higher education. Come prepared to ask questions and share your experiences. You are part of a pilot project that we hope will have an effect on Jesuit college/university trustees for years to come.

What to wear

Please dress comfortably. Business casual clothing, such as polo shirts, sweaters and slacks, are appropriate, and a light jacket would be helpful for cool autumn evenings. You may also wish to bring casual clothing for exploring the Wingspread grounds, biking or using the fitness facilities.

What to bring

In addition to the usual contents of your suitcase, we encourage you to bring your energy, experience and openness to the insights of colleagues. You may wish to pack a journal for reflection during and after the meeting, business cards to exchange with participants, and a list of questions or issues that arise for you, after reviewing the preparatory materials.


Contact Dr. Stephanie Russell, Vice President for Mission Integration at the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities with any questions:
srussell@ajcunet.edu or (414) 771-9342 (cell)

Please click on the button to the right to register online on or before Friday, August 30. All participants must be nominated to the AJCU by their school’s president.

Your prompt registration will assist us in meeting your needs for the Trustee Forum.