About the Center's Military Education Program
Strategic Broadening Seminar for the U.S. Army
The McConnell Center has hosted the Strategic Broadening Seminar for the U.S. Army since 2014. The unique month-long residential leadership program is designed for mid-career soldiers to take part in discussions, lectures and active-learning sessions with experts, local leaders and McConnell Scholars at the University of Louisville. Programming focuses on the history and philosophical concepts essential to approach leadership and ways of war while facing the challenges of the 21st century. Participants also study U.S. national government, the U.S. Constitution and the national security process, with an immersion experience in Washington, D.C. The D.C. component includes meetings with high-level decision makers and staffers in the Pentagon, the executive branch and on Capitol Hill, as well as engagements with experts at think tanks and within academia. The goal of this broadening seminar is to provide graduate-level immersion related to U.S. political order.
Distinguished Military Leaders Lecture Series
The McConnell Center, in collaboration with the University of Louisville’s Office of the President and Kyle Hurwitz, director of UofL’s military and online initiatives, launched a new lecture series in 2021 to bring senior U.S. Department of Defense officials to campus, either in-person or virtually. Hosted by McConnell Center Director Gary Gregg, the series is designed to enable the campus community to hear and engage directly with senior military officials in a dialogue about leadership.
- March 15, 2021: Chief Master Sergeant Joanne Bass, the highest-ranking enlisted person in the U.S. Air Force and the first woman appointed to the position. Video of her talk is available online.
- March 1, 2021: U.S. Army Lt. General Bryan P. Fenton, Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense and commander of Joint Special Operations Command (Capt. Daniel H. Utley Memorial Lecture)
Meditations, an online professional development opportunity for military leaders
In 2018, the McConnell Center launched Meditations, a newsletter originally designed for past participants in the McConnell Center's Strategic Broadening Seminar to continue their education online. Due to popular demand, the monthly publication is broadly available and is tailored to provide online leadership development for military leaders. The newsletter includes a Vital Remnants podcast episode, book and video recommendations and other educational resources.
U.S. Army War College Resident Fellow
Since 2014, the McConnell Center has hosted a U.S. Army War College Fellow in residence. The University of Louisville is one of only three institutions in the mid-west, along with Notre Dame and Northwestern, to host a prestigious Army War College Fellow each year. The Army War College Fellow program allows Army leaders to spend a year conducting research and outreach while auditing classes to sharpen their leadership skills and broaden their outlook as strategic thinkers.
- Col. Chris Luke, 2020-2021
- Col. Jonathan Patrick, 2019-2020
- Col. Jeremiah Jette, 2018-2019
- Col. Brian Wortinger, 2017-2018
- Col. Archie Herndon, 2016-2017
- Col. Thomas Russell-Tutty, 2015-2016
- Col. Christopher Wynder, 2014-2015
Additional Enrichment Opportunities
The McConnell Center also promotes additional leadership development for our student groups through military partnerships. Affiliations and past partnerships include the US Army War College's Eisenhower Series Program and undergraduate student participation at the US Military Academy at West Point's Student Conference on US Affairs and the US Naval Academy's Leadership Conference.