Dynamic Chip Herr Lecture by Dr. Chris Howard

Shannon Allen
Dr. Christopher Howard, president of Hampden-Sydney College, visited with select juniors and seniors on Monday, September 17 prior to his evening appearance at the Captain David R. “Chip” Herr, Jr. ’80 Memorial Lecture. In the Goff Room of the Fisher Dining Pavilion, he talked about leadership, sharing two of his five“Be’s”: “Be Yourself” and “Be Humble.” He urged students to attend the evening’s lecture or encouraged them to view his speech on YouTube to learn the rest.

Dr. Howard attended middle school and high school in Plano. Even as a young man, he was on a path to become a great leader. “I wore a tie on the first day of school,” he shared. “I knew I wanted to be important; I wanted to be someone significant.” In high school, he joined the Army Junior ROTC program. He said he was “the only guy in a tie three days a week and an ugly green uniform the other two. I wanted to go to West Point.” Now, years later, he is one of the youngest college presidents in the United States and has an impressive scholastic and leadership resume.
Dr. Christopher Howard, president of Hampden-Sydney College, visited with select juniors and seniors on Monday, September 17 prior to his evening appearance at the Captain David R. “Chip” Herr, Jr. ’80 Memorial Lecture. In the Goff Room of the Fisher Dining Pavilion, he talked about leadership, sharing two of his five “Be’s”: “Be Yourself” and “Be Humble.” He urged students to attend the evening’s lecture or encouraged them to view his speech on YouTube to learn the rest.

Dr. Howard attended middle school and high school in Plano. Even as a young man, he was on a path to become a great leader. “I wore a tie on the first day of school,” he shared. “I knew I wanted to be important; I wanted to be someone significant.” In high school, he joined the Army Junior ROTC program. He said he was “the only guy in a tie three days a week and an ugly green uniform the other two. I wanted to go to West Point.” Now, years later, he is one of the youngest college presidents in the United States and has an impressive scholastic and leadership resume.

Dr. Howard is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, where he received the Campbell Award, the highest academic award in the country for a collegiate football player. A Rhodes Scholar, he earned a doctorate in politics from Oxford University and an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School. He is the co-author of the book, Money Makers: Inside the New World of Finance and Business, which was released in spring 2010.

A lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve, Dr. Howard earned a bronze star for his military service in Afghanistan. He also served as the U.S. Reserve Air attaché to Liberia. While on active duty, Dr. Howard served as intelligence operations and plans officer with the elite Joint Special Operations Command.

He is a co-founder and trustee of the Impact Young Lives Foundation, a nonprofit organization that brings South African students of color to the United States for summer educational and cultural tours. He is also one of the few college CEOs in the United States to be invited to join the prestigious Young Presidents Organization. Dr. Howard has appeared on CNN and has been featured on NPR, by the Associated Press and in The Washington Post.

President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Howard to the National Security Education Board; he was confirmed by the Senate in 2011. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

During his evening address, Dr. Howard highlighted eight interesting points related to leaders and leadership:
  1. Leaders are self-aware.
  2. Leaders are contextually aware.
  3. Leaders are students of leadership.
  4. Leaders are effective/efficient communicators.
  5. Leaders are empathetic.
  6. Leaders are accountable.
  7. Leaders act courageously.
  8. Leaders have character.
Throughout his dynamic address, he cited some of his favorite leaders, including Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Bill Clinton and Harry Truman, among others.

Following the address, those in attendance were able to speak with Dr. Howard and mingle among themselves. Dr. Howard also met Connie Herr, Chip’s mother; Sally Hollenbeck, Chip’s sister; and Colonel Parker Schenecker ’80, USA (Ret.), Chip’s best friend from FWCD and Washington and Lee. The lecture series honors Chip's heroism and leadership. Chip’s helicopter malfunctioned and crashed in eastern Saudi Arabia during a noncombat mission on February 3, 1991. Chip is the only FWCD graduate who has died in service to his country. Following the lecture, Connie laid a wreath on Chip’s memorial stone, [a duplicate of the headstone that marks his grave] in the FWCD Veterans’ Garden, in memory of her fallen son.
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Phone: 817.732.7718
Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a JK-12 private, independent, coeducational, nondenominational college-preparatory school located on approximately 100 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The mission of Fort Worth Country Day School is to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of capable students through an academically rigorous college preparatory program that integrates the arts and athletics.