Marines visit four colleges and universities to hold the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar as part of Marine Week Nashville in the greater Nashville, Tenn. area, Sept. 6-9, 2016.
A different school hosted the event each day. The Marines first visited Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Tuesday; then, Tennessee State University in Nashville, on Wednesday; followed by Austin Peay State Uniiversity in Clarksville, Tenn., on Thurday; and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, on Friday.
“We chose to come to these schools during Marine Week because they would allow the Marine Corps to engage with diverse schools that are among the best academically and athletically in the area,” said Dr. Kenneth D. Dunn, a Louisville native and the director of the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar. “The seminar is comprised of classes, exercises where each attendee serves as a leader to apply the skills they learned, a panel where students ask Marines about developing into a strong leader, and a guest speaker.”
More than 700 Marines are participating in Marine Week Nashville to give the citizens of the greater Nashville area the opportunity to learn Corps’ capabilities while celebrating Marine traditions and history.
“I heard about the event from one of my professors when we were discussing Marine Week and I knew I wanted to attend,” said Kempson Onadeko, a Freshman Business and Administration Major at TSU. “I did not expect to learn as much as I did, or have it be as fun and engaging as it was. I look forward to learning more about the Marine Corps during Marine Week, and applying what I learned.”
By holding and attending events such as the Leadership Seminar and Marine Week Nashville, the Marine Corps shows key influencers, educators and highly qualified prospects that the Corps is a viable career option.
“We are honored to have the United States Marines, who are known for developing their leaders, here with us today,” said Millicent Gray Lownes-Jackson, the College of Business Dean of Students at TSU. “I hope my students enjoy, listen, ask, learn and prepare to receive the tools to write their signature on the world.”
For Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Bailey, the Deputy Commandant of Plans, Policies and Operations and APSU alumnus, attending Marine Week Nashville and being the guest speaker for the Leadership Seminars was especially meaningful.
“There’s nothing like going home and seeing America’s future leaders,” said Bailey. “I can’t describe what it feels like to have the opportunity to return to my alma mater and speak on what I’ve learned in these classrooms and the Corps. I hope to leave each student with something that will benefit them in the future.”
Five years ago, the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar began as a way for the Corps to engage with a diverse population of students throughout the country by communicating a message of leadership and integrity.
“Although we have a recruiter in the room ready to answer any of their questions, we know not every person that attends this seminar, or the other Marine Week events, is interested in joining,” said Dunn. “As Marines however, we do bear the responsibility of sharing what we know with America’s future leaders. By showing them what it means to be a leader of Marines, we can create brand ambassadors who could influence members of their community to lead Marines.”
Story by Cpl. Brendan Roethel