Academy Spirit staff
The 17th-annual National Character and Leadership Symposium will feature presentations by Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and other keynote and concurrent speakers who will gather here Feb. 17-19 with cadets, faculty, Academy alumni, government employees and other university students.
This year’s theme is “Guardians of Trust: Leaders in the Modern Era.”
NCLS is regarded as one of the premier national symposiums in the area of character development. It is designed to guide cadets toward turning ethical reasoning into action, improving knowledge of ethics and foundations of character, and developing a sense of moral courage, said Maj. Olivia Nelson, an individual mobilization augmentee with the Center for Character Leadership and Development, which sponsors NCLS.
Participants will speak with visiting undergraduate university student leaders from across the country, known as a student consortium, in seminars and discussions to pursue understanding the im-portance and challenges of sound moral character and leadership.
The three-day event is hosted and sponsored by the Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Develop-ment, Association of Graduates and Class of 1973. Other sponsors include the Sabre Society, the Air Force Academy Athletic Association, John and Lyn Muse Educational Foundation, the Phillis Foundation, the Senator Margaret Chase Smith Foundation, the USAFA Class of 1959, the Academy Class of 1974 and the 10th Air Base Wing.
“The best leaders tell great stories – to illustrate, to inform, to share,” Major Nelson said. “At NCLS, we orient leaders to see themselves and their world differently, to see opportunities for character and leadership development and to emerge … to being great leaders whose decisions and actions will shape a better future.”
The round-up of speakers includes:
– Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley
– Retired Gen. Lee Butler, former commander of U.S. Strategic Command
– Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former principal deputy director of national intelligence
– Retired Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Martha Rainville, the National Guard’s first female adjutant general
– Navy Capt. Steve Trainor, chair of the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
– Retired Army Col. Joe LeBoeuf, professor of the practice of management at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
– Retired Army Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell, a survivor of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon
– Lt. Col. Rod Lewis, commander of the 4th Airlift Squadron at McChord Air Force Base, Wash.
– Capt. Amy Kauvar, a brain cancer survivor
– Army Chief Warrant Officer Lance McElhiney, a helicopter pilot
– Former Congresswoman Heather Wilson of New Mexico
– Dr. Marvin Berkowitz, co-director of the Center for Character and Leadership at the University of Missouri-St. Louis
– Dr. David McCone, associate professor of the Academy’s Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership
– Dr. Rick Rigsby, author of “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout”
– Dr. Thomas Zweifel, a leadership professor and author
– FBI Special Agent Arthur Everett, assistant special agent in charge for the Chicago FBI Field Division
– Brian Billick, former NFL head coach and TV sports analyst
– Steve Birdine, author and diversity educator
– Dr. Michele Borba, author of “Building Moral Intelligence”
– Mark Bowden, author of “Black Hawk Down”
– Dr. David Callahan, author of “The Cheating Culture”
– Dr. Annette Clark, interim dean and associate professor of law at the Seattle University School of law
– Dan Clark, an author and motivational speaker
– Dinesh D’Souza, author of “The Virtue of Prosperity: Finding Values in an Age of Techno Influence”
– Derek Foster, a former cadet and traumatic injury survivor
– Eric Greitens, chairman of the Center for Citizen Leadership
– Frances Hesselbein, chairman of the Leader to Leader Institute’s Board of Governors
– C.L. Lindsay, founder of the Coalition for Student and Academic Rights
– Mike Melvill, a commercial test pilot
– Judithe Registre, director of policy and outreach for Women for Women International-UK
– Darrell Scott, father of Columbine High School victim Rachel Scott and founder of the “Rachel’s Challenge” Foundation
– Nate Self, a former Army Ranger and veteran of the Battle of Roberts Ridge in Afghanistan
– Kaylei Deakin and Moranda Hern, co-founders of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling BDUs”
– Jordan Thomas, an amputee and president of the Jordan Thomas Foundation
– Jim Tressel, head football coach at Ohio State University
– Mikey Weinstein, a Class of 1977 graduate
and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation