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Servant Leadership Lecture Series

Every legacy, big or small, begins with a leader. The Servant Leadership Lecture Series, presented by Whiteman Air Force Base and the University of Central Missouri, features speakers who reflect both organization's shared values of service and leadership.

Since its founding, UCM's focus on "education for service" has remained unchanged, and together, Whiteman AFB and UCM serve as the largest educators, employers and leadership training centers in the community. In 2011, UCM and Whiteman AFB enhanced their collaboration and formed The Whiteman Advantage, a program aimed to create a shared vision of community while improving opportunities for servicemen and women. During his time at Whiteman AFB, Brigadier General Thomas A. Bussiere strengthened the partnership among Whiteman, UCM and the Warrensburg community; his legacy of selfless, community-focused leadership provides the foundation for the series.

The premiere event for the series, the annual Ike Skelton Lecture, will feature public leaders, including politicians, military figures, educators, business leaders and journalists. Speakers will focus on the spirit of service and leadership displayed by Ike Skelton during his life and the shared missions of Whiteman AFB and UCM.

The Inaugural Ike Skelton Lecture

Richard Myers

The first lecture of the series will feature General (Ret.) Richard B. Myers, 15th chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff. Myers will present the first Skelton Lecture at 10 a.m.. Wednesday, Jan. 22 in Hendricks Hall.

A Kansas City native, Myers served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Oct. 1, 2001 to Sept. 30, 2005, after previously serving for 19 months as vice chairman. As chairman, he was the highest ranking military officer in the nation, serving as the principal military adviser to the U.S. President, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council. He oversaw the U.S. strategy on the war on terrorism, including U.S. efforts in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the military relief efforts following the Pacific tsunami in 2004 and Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005.

A highly decorated military officer and a seasoned fighter pilot who logged more than 600 combat hours during the Vietnam Conflict, Myers spent 40 years in the U.S. Air Force. His career includes numerous operational command and leadership positions such as Commander of the U.S. Space Command, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Pacific Air Forces; U.S. Forces Japan, and two fighter wings.

Myers’ vast military honors include Distinguished Service Medals from the Army, Navy, and Coast Guard; Air Force Grey Eagle; Air Medal with 18 gold leaf clusters; Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster; Legion of Merit; Defense Distinguished Service medal with three oak leaf clusters; Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and many more.

His education includes a mechanical engineering degree from Kansas State University and Master of Business Administration degree from Auburn University. Myers also attended the Air Command and Staff College, Army War College, and the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.