Student Leaders Celebrated: 2017 Service Academies Leadership Conference Program

Each year, business school students apply for selection to attend leadership conference opportunities at our nation’s military academies.  These annual leadership conferences are sought after for their content and expertise in the area of leadership and character and host global leaders from private industry, government, athletics and more.

Each year, selected Wake Foresters return from these conferences with insights and experiences that seem superlative to the last year.  The 2017 attendees to leadership conferences at the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, The Citadel, and the United States Military Academy at West Point recently joined the Center for Leadership and Character, Vice Dean of Faculty Dr. Michelle Roehm, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, Dr. Pat Dickson, and Dr. Pat Sweeney, Director of the Center for Leadership and Character to share their experiences  from this year’s conferences and receive recognition for this achievement.

Several of our conference attendees’ comments are included below, as well as a highlights video of some of their takeaways.

“NCLS provided me with the opportunity to listen to inspiring personal stories from military leaders and world class athletes. This experience enhanced my understanding of moral character and good leadership, and I look forward to incorporating these key takeaways into my business school experience and future career. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience!” Brittni Milner, US Air Force Academy National Character and Leadership Symposium attendee

“I had the honor of spending four life-changing days at the McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character at the United States Military Academy at West Point. We explored leadership by studying how values-based opposition can influence change through ethics, structures, and expression. We were challenged to constantly listen to and surround ourselves with individuals who are different from us, in order to best lead others through positive change. Don Yaeger, one of the Senior Fellows leading the weekend and New York Times Best-selling Author, said we must ‘go to uncomfortable places to ask uncomfortable questions.’ From this, I made a commitment to continuously surround myself with diversity, so I can learn from my peers and change my environment for the better. I am so grateful for this experience and will always remember the inspirational individuals from all over the world that I met at this conference.”  Jaime Spruce, US Military Academy at West Point, McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character attendee

“My view on life, character, and leadership has changed after attending this symposium at the United States Air Force Academy. I have learned to appreciate time as a gift as there may be no tomorrows. I have learned to think of leadership as a way of serving others by impacting their lives in certain key touch points, and character as something that defines us. As a result of attending this conference, I have been inspired to reach my full potential and never quit striving to be a leader. I am deeply thankful for the opportunity the Business School at Wake Forest University has given me to attend this conference and encourage others to apply in the future.” Hayden Lineberger, US Air Force Academy, National Character and Leadership Symposium attendee

“The Naval Academy Leadership conference has had a great impact on me in several ways. First, my leadership style will be forever changed based on the things I learned. I will be more cognizant of the social atmosphere created in groups and the importance and value of everyone in the group. Hearing the stories throughout the conference my concept of failure changed from something to fear to an opportunity to embrace. Failure can either make or break a team, depending on how it is handled. I am very thankful to the School of Business and everyone involved with the USNA Leadership Conference for the opportunity to learn and further develop my leadership skills and I will do my best to make an impact in the communities I serve with the insights I brought back.”  David Boone, US Naval Academy Leadership Conference attendee

“Attending The Citadel’s Annual Leadership Symposium was a valuable experience for me, especially as a business student. The keynote speaker was Stephen Cannon, who is the CEO of the group that runs business operations for the Atlanta Falcons and other Atlanta business units and who also was the previous CEO of Mercedes-Benz of North America. It was exceptionally valuable to me to hear a successful leader such as himself discuss the real world application of ethics in business and other topics that I have been taught while in the Wake Forest School of Business.” Meredith Gay,  The Citadel Annual Leadership Symposium attendee


Watch the 2017 conference attendees highlights video here.

Completing its fourth year, the Center for Leadership and Character is pleased to support and sponsor the Service Academies Leadership Conference program.