January 2017
Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano Philip P. DiStefano

Dear Friends,

Robert Gates, who served as defense secretary under presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, will kick off a new Distinguished Leadership Speaker Series on campus in February. The series, generously funded by the estate of well-known Boulder banker and philanthropist Leo Hill, is directed by former CU President Sandy Bracken.

Gates is the only secretary of defense in history asked to remain in office by a newly elected president. He also recently advised President Trump on some of his cabinet selections.

Over the course of his distinguished career, Gates has served eight presidents, in various leadership roles, including as CIA director.

A bipartisan leader, Gates is the perfect inaugural speaker for the Leo Hill Distinguished Leadership Speaker Series. In addition to his public address on Feb. 28 at Macky Auditorium, he will spend time with students in the classroom the following day.

A major part of our student success initiatives at CU Boulder is developing tomorrow's leaders. This includes exposing students to recognized national and global leaders and giving them the opportunity to interface with these leaders in a personal way.

Our Leadership Studies minor was established in 2014 and now hosts more than 400 students across all disciplines, from fine arts to physics.

These students, like Lakshmi Karamsetti, who will graduate in May with a degree in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and a minor in leadership studies, want to make a positive impact on the world and on the lives of others.

Some 44 percent of employers say new college graduates lack leadership skills. We believe our leadership minor fulfills this need. Our leadership minor complements any academic major and is open to any undergraduate. Read more about the program below.

We want students in their education at CU Boulder to explore their roles and responsibilities in society, including the moral and ethical dimensions of leadership that go beyond the usual conceptions of leadership as simply position and power.

All sectors of society need leaders and leadership comes in many forms: corporate, political, grass roots, educational, non-profit, charitable and community leaders to name a few. We will bring high-level speakers, like Gates, from all walks of life to expose students to different viewpoints and the challenges leaders face throughout their careers.

We reach our full potential with a broad understanding of the world around us, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, a sense of responsibility to others, leadership skills and a recognition of the importance of lifelong learning.


Philip P. DiStefano

Robert Gates

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