Ad Astra

Ad Astra: In Pursuit of our Purpose is the signature, overnight retreat experience for undergraduate students of the McDonough School of Business. Hosted by the Undergraduate Program Office and made possible through the generous contributions of alumni, Ad Astra encourages students to find their own north star with the guiding philosophy that a life steeped in meaning yields profound value to those who seek it.

Ad Astra retreats are designed for undergraduate business students to gather in community away from the Hilltop in order to engage in thoughtful dialogue and explore individually and as a community their own journey toward self-actualization and the pursuit of purpose. Built on a model drawn from Jesuit pedagogy and the Japanese concept of Ikigai students work through a series of reflective exercises, small group dialogue, and facilitated modules by industry experts.  

Ad Astra is an homage to the Latin phrase per aspera ad astra – through hardships to the stars. Our retreats are centered holistically around undergraduate students, honoring the idea that each person struggles inherently in their pursuit of self-actualization and a fully formed life. The retreat experience provides a format to explore and discern a roadmap through one’s own struggle to their stars.

For students who are particularly driven toward a productive, high performing life, holistic development fosters a sense of value beyond the material. Through a process of exploration, reflection, and discernment students who attend Ad Astra retreats will:

Examine concepts of identity and social context as they relate to one’s sense of knowing.

Develop a deeper sense of self and identity, as well as strengths, in relation to others.

Explore the intersections of passion, mission, vocation and profession.

Enhance skill sets for exploring and identifying value across professional and personal networks.

Foster resilient sense of self worth and unique value to industry and community.

Faculty and Staff interested in attending the retreat as speakers, please contact: