Donaldson Leadership Retreat

Thanks to the generous donation from Jane Donaldson the Illinois Leadership Center is excited to offer the annual Donaldson Leadership Retreat.

Learn more about the Donaldsons' gift by visiting

This retreat will be offered once a year to undergraduate registered student organization (RSO) leaders at Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello, IL. 

Friday, March 1st - Sunday, March 3rd, 2024

RSO leaders who attend the Donaldson Leadership Retreat will:
  • Develop and enhance skills to successfully lead a student organization
  • Engage in campus conversations with campus administrators and other student leaders
  • Engage in peer coachign with other student leaders on an organizational challenge
  • Devleop an action plan to bring new leadership principles back to your RSOs.

Students will also participate in a conversation with campus administrators to discuss some of the key topics that impact students and student organizations at the University of Illinois. Throughout the retreat students will engage in workshops and presentations that will enable them to be more effective leaders of their student organizations. The retreat will culminate in a follow-up session before the end of the semester to discuss the work they have done since the retreat and celebrate their shared victories.

Please contact for questions. 


image at quad day


How to Participate

To participate in the Donaldson Leadership Retreat, registered student organizations (RSOs) will need to submit an application for considersation. 

click here to apply for the Donaldson Leadership Retreat

The application is open from  October 25th to February 2nd. It is strongly recommended that an RSO officer submit the application. If the applicant is an officer in multiple organizations, they must select one organization per application.

The applicant will be asked to nominate 1 or 2 members of their organization to participate in the retreat. The applicant is encouraged to send one current officer and/or one future leader from their respective RSO. 

The Illinois Leadership Center will  notify RSOs of their application status on a rolling basis. 

RSO representatives who are selected to participate will be provided transportation to and from the retreat, lodging, and snacks and meals throughout the duration of the retreat. 



Frequently Asked Questions

What will each day of the retreat look like?

The first day will begin at 3:00 PM and end at 9:00 PM. The second day will begin at 8:00 AM and end at 9:00 PM. and the third day will begin at 8:00 AM end at 1:00 PM. Participants can expect to engage in workshops, presentations and group discussions, and individual reflections each day of the program. Daily meals, snacks and other refreshments are also provided to participants throughout each day. 


Where is the program held?

It is held at the Allerton Park Retreat Center in Monticello, Illinois. Round-trip transportation, housing in the mansion and adjacent buildings, and meals will be provided for all participants. Learn more about Allerton Park here at


How much does the program cost?

The retreat is free of cost to students. 


Can I arrive later or leave early from Donaldson Leadership Retreat?

No, participants must be able to attend the entirety of the program. Applicants must agree to this expectation when completing the application form in order to be considered eligible.


For more information about applying to The Donaldson Leadership Retreat, contact the Illinois Leadership Center at 217-333-0604 or