Your Foundation in action

Your Foundation in action

I wanted to report on our activities in support of the new classes of 2018 at CGSC. The Foundation has packed a lot of activity into the first three months of the school year in support of the college and our mission. We are a small organization but we believe we have a large impact and we’re proud to support the faculty and students of the Command and General Staff Officers Course (CGSOC), School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) and the School for Command Preparation (SCP).

The Foundation sponsored two major events during the first two months of school as well as a number of extra-curricular lectures and other activities. Below is a list of our completed and scheduled major activities in support of our mission that I’d like to review so that you can see the impact we have:

  • Celebration of International Friendship The Foundation hosted the fourth annual Celebration of International Friendship Sept. 29 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts where the International Military Student Class of 2018 was introduced to the Kansas City area. We had a wonderful group of sponsors led by People to People International, JE Dunn construction, and the Tim and Karen Carlin Foundation (you can see a full list of our sponsors here). The evening was topped off by a performance of the U.S. Army Chorus, which was nothing short of fantastic. We want to thank our International Military Students and their spouses for participating as well as the IMS sponsors from the fort, from Operation International in the local community, and the KC Chapter of People to People. Planning is underway for the Class of 2019 event.
  • Simons Center The Col. Arthur D. Simons Center for Interagency Cooperation recently published InterAgency Journal Volume 8, Issue 3, with original scholarship and research by a number of CGSC faculty and students. The Center is sponsored by a grant from the Perot Foundation and individual contributors. The InterAgency Journal is a refereed professional journal in use throughout the interagency community and is published hard copy for use within the College (you can get a free copy by dropping by the Foundation offices on the bottom floor of Lewis and Clark) and in e-magazine format. The Center also has a website that serves as a resource for all things interagency.
  • After-hours Lectures The Foundation sponsors a number of after-hours lectures outside the curriculum for the community at large and especially to augment the faculty and student life-long learning process.
  1. InterAgency Brown-Bag Lecture Series – The Simons Center hosted the first three InterAgency Brown-Bag lunches on Aug. 22, Sept. 18, and Oct. 12 to support the development of interagency knowledge in students and faculty. These lectures are sponsored in part by a generous grant from First Command Financial Services.
  2. General of the Armies John J. Pershing Great War Centennial Series – The first Pershing lecture of the academic year was presented both in Leavenworth on Sept. 20 and again at the WWI Museum in Kansas City on Oct. 11.  The topic for this lecture was “The German Homefront,” presented by Dr. Scott Stephenson and was sponsored by a grant from First Command Financial Services and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The Pershing Lecture series seeks to learn the lessons of the Great War during the 100-year commemoration.
  3. Vietnam War Commemoration Lecture Series – The Vietnam Commemoration Lecture will be conducted on Thursday, Oct. 19, featuring a discussion entitled “The Naval War in Vietnam” by Dr. John Kuehn. These lectures are held in Leavenworth for the community at large, but they are also focused on giving faculty and students a greater appreciation for the lessons to be learned from this long and often divisive war. This lecture series is made possible with our partners at the Fort Leavenworth Garrison, the Henry Leavenworth Chapter of AUSA, and the CGSC General of the Army George C. Marshall Chair of History, and are sponsored by our friends at First Command, the Veterans of Foreign Wars national headquarters, and the local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter.
  • General Hugh Shelton Distinguished Visiting Chair of Ethics Dr. Shannon French, the General Hugh Shelton Distinguished Visiting Chair of Ethics, is supporting the CGSOC writing elective this fall as a mentor and resource. The Shelton Chair of Ethics is sponsored by a permanent endowment from the Perot Foundation, which also supports the annual ethics conference. Dr. Shannon French, who is serving as the 2017-2019 Shelton Chair, is deep into the planning for the 9th Annual Ethics Symposium for the Class of 2018 on April 30 and May 1, 2018.
  • Youth Reading Programs The Youth Reading Programs at Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library are supported by the Foundation through generous grants from JE Dunn Construction and Northrop Grumman. These programs include support for materials and personnel for such programs as the weekly pre-school Story Times and the recent “Talk Like a Pirate Day” event.
  • National Security Roundtable The National Security Roundtable will be conducted Oct. 24-25, and is being led by the Department of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations (DJIMO), with logistical support for the event provided by the Foundation. The NSRT brings business and civic leaders from throughout the country to spend time at CGSC to learn the importance of the mission and the excellence of the programs. This produces a corps of influential graduates that understand CGSC’s role in the world and advocate for the school and the Army.

Those are the “named” programs that we support, but we also support a number of outreach events throughout the community to help educate and connect Americans with the College and their military. In addition, we are engaged in a major campaign to support the college Art and Gift Collection for the foreseeable future. Our gift shop is the perfect place to get a piece of Foundation Gear including our annual holiday ornaments. The latest ornament was just released and it rocks! Stop in and see and buy all that you want. They make great in-law gifts.

On top of all of this, we held our annual board of trustees meeting at Fort Leavenworth Aug. 29-30. Our trustees are vital to the operation of the Foundation. At the annual meeting, we elected new trustees, elected a new chair, elected three new emeritus trustees, and began a complete revision of our governing by-laws to incorporate latest nonprofit governance best practices. I look forward to working with newly elected trustees Maj. Gen. Tim Orr (Iowa), John Wilson (Missouri), Scott Smith (Missouri), and recently retired Col. Norma Bradford (Kansas).  I personally want to thank our departing trustees Tony Major (New York), Dan McGowan (Iowa, elected Emeritus), and Rich Young. I’d also like to say a very special thank you to our outgoing Chair and newly elected Emeritus Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John Miller for long and dedicated  service. In addition I want to welcome our incoming Chairman Mike Hockley, a partner with Spencer Fane in Kansas City. One final note about our board is the passing of trustee (elected Emeritus) Mr. Skip Palmer, decorated Vietnam veteran, entrepreneur, and dedicated champion of CGSC who wasn’t able to attend the meeting and passed away shortly after. I personally appreciated Skip’s boundless energy, bottomless optimism, and endless courage. – He was a great American.

As you can see, these programs have either been conducted or will soon be conducted in support of our mission while we also continue to provide ongoing support to a number of other missions. The Foundation remains busy as we sponsor, co-sponsor, or provide logistic support for programs throughout the College, the fort, and the community that support the development of military leaders of character and competence for ethical service to the nation. But, we can’t do it alone. We need volunteers and donors/sponsors in order to for us to continue our mission. We use volunteers to help us a number of our programs and we’re looking for volunteers to support our outreach programs in the community. – Ask me about opportunities. We also need donors to help us pay for the programs that we support. Won’t you consider assisting us in our important missions to enhance the academic experience; connect Americans with the College and their military; and enrich the lives of our military and their families? Please go to our Donate page and make a contribution today! Thank you, we love what we do and we appreciate your help and support.

Doug Tystad
Chief Executive Officer
CGSC Foundation, Inc.

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