Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Wedding of Two Venerable Institutions: West Point and Frances Hesselbein

I was thrilled to learn that Frances Hesselbein, Chairman and Founding President of the Leader to Leader Institute, has been named by the United States Military Academy at West Point as Chair for the Study of Leadership. Readers of The White Rhino Report are already familiar with Mrs. Hesselbein from the article that appeared last summer after my visit with her in New York City.

In the Presence of Greatness

I am personally thrilled by the appointment of Frances to this pivotal role. I have many friends among West Point's alumni, faculty, staff and cadets, and I know that they will all benefit from the unique perspective on leadership that she will bring to this role.

Please read the full announcement about this historic appointment below, jointly issued by the Leader to Leader Institute and the Untied States Military Academy.

Frances Hesselbein Welcomed to West Point
as the
Chair for the Study of Leadership

NEW YORK, August 25, 2009: The Leader to Leader Institute (founded as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management in 1990) announced today that Frances Hesselbein, Leader to Leader Chairman and Founding President, has been appointed as the Class of 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The Chair is in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership.

According to Mrs. Hesselbein, "West Point has my total commitment to making the greatest contribution in a unique and significant way to cadet development."

"I know of no American whose entire life more genuinely reflects the values of "Duty, Honor, Country," and though never a cadet or a general, Frances Hesselbein exudes the best qualities of both-excellence in leadership and a burning desire to serve others. We're honored that Frances has agreed to serve in this capacity-she's a true patriot, a brilliant leader, and a genius at developing people and organizations," said Lt. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenbeck, Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Bringing an element of diversity to the role, Mrs. Hesselbein is not only the first woman appointee; she is also the first non-graduate of West Point to hold the position of Chair for the Study of Leadership. Gen. Eric K. Shinseki (U.S. Army, Ret.) was appointed the first Chair for the Study of Leadership, followed by Duke University's Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

"Frances' service at our Academy will raise awareness of the common values shared by those serving in the military and in the social sector," said Col. Thomas A. Kolditz, PhD, Professor and Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. "Mrs. Hesselbein is fond of saying that there are two institutions that sustain democracy-public education, and the US Army. We're excited to host her at West Point, where we do our best to merge those two grand institutions."

The West Point Class of 1951 established the Leadership Chair to advance the study and practice of leadership at the Academy through interaction with cadets and faculty. The execution of this responsibility, according to the Academy, is "limited only by our collective vision and creativity."

During Mrs. Hesselbein's tenure, she will focus on engaging cadets and faculty with leadership experts, establishing avenues of cadet and faculty development, and ultimately advancing the practice of leadership.
About the Leader to Leader Institute
The Leader to Leader Institute's mission is to strengthen the leadership of the social sector. Established in 1990 as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, the Institute furthers its mission by providing social sector leaders with the essential leadership wisdom, inspiration and resources to lead for mission, innovation and diversity and to build vibrant effective social sector organizations. For additional information visit www.leadertoleader.org.

About West Point
West Point, The U.S. Military Academy, is a four-year co-educational federal undergraduate liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. The world's preeminent leader development institution, it was founded in 1802 as America's first college of engineering. Its mission remains constant-to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army. For more information, go towww.westpoint.edu.

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