Governance and Social Responsibility : Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Connects with Eller Students
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spent part of March 30 with Eller undergraduate and MBA students while he was in town to receive the 2012 University of Arizona Executive of the Year award.
Gates — the only Secretary of Defense to have served two back-to-back presidents of different parties — met with select students for up-close-and-personal sessions in advance of the awards luncheon, at which he delivered a speech on leadership that garnered a standing ovation.
“Going into the up-close session, I expected other students to ask questions pertaining to his experience as an educator, because his roles at Texas A&M and the College of William and Mary are the ones that most students can best relate to,” said Allison Stein (Eller MIS and Operations Management ’12). “I was surprised that the students in the up-close session asked lots of very specific questions about certain situations, such as the capture of Saddam Hussein and the specific weaknesses our government shows that may be susceptible to terrorist attacks.”