About the Leadership & Ethics Conference
Begun in 2010, the VMI Leadership Conference is a hallmark of the Center for Leadership and Ethic’s programming. It is a top-tier conference that addresses a significant issue or theme of ethical leader development, including living an honorable lifestyle in contemporary America.
The conference attracts the attention of faculty and students from the nation’s foremost schools, members of the public and private sectors, military leaders, and non-profit audiences. By bringing these representatives on Post, VMI once again leads national conversations on diverse themes of leadership and ethics in modern society.
2016 - Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Age
As our society becomes more and more reliant on technology, new questions arise regarding the role Ethics, Honor, and Leadership play in this ever changing world. The 2016 VMI Leadership Conference “Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Age” held at the Virginia Military Institute, March 7-8, 2016, explored these new, technologically driven challenges to our individual and national character. This conference addressed ethical dilemmas in national policy and in society that have arisen as a result of new technologies with a balance of perspectives.
Download the Conference Program Here
View Conference Session Videos Here (YouTube)
2015 Honor in Service: Leaders Responding to the Needs of Our Time
Framed by the faculty service committee and organized by the Center for Leadership and Ethics, the conference explored how leaders from various walks of life are addressing complex humanitarian issues including poverty, human trafficking and civil rights.
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DISTINGUISHED LEADER PANELS:
• Actively Caring for People • Combating Human Trafficking
• Developing Servant Leaders • Sustainable Solutions to Poverty
• School Honor Codes • Service Learning • Leadership in Unexpected Places
• Ethics in Business • Ethics in Military
Special Award Presentation
On the 50th anniversary of key civil rights legislation, VMI commemorates Jonathan Daniels '61, a civil rights activist, who was killed defending a fellow African-American female voter registration worker from bodily harm. In honor of his ultimate act of selfless service, VMI established the Jonathan Daniels Humanitarian Service Award. This award honors distinguished men and women whose lives, sacrifices and commitment to humanitarian causes epitomize the kind of honor and leadership demonstrated by Mr. Daniels, which truly represent VMI's values. In keeping with this year's Leadership Conference theme, VMI will confer this award upon Representative John Lewis of Georgia's 5th Congressional District, 'dubbed one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement,' and for his work as a fierce human rights activist and public servant.
John Lewis CNN Interview 'Get into Good Trouble'
2014 George Washington: The American Cincinnatus
Designed for an audience of the Corps of Cadets and interested faculty and staff, the 2014 VMI Leadership Conference explored George Washington as an exemplar of honor and leadership. Participants examined this heroic figure to gain a deeper understanding of his motivations and decisions, and were challenged to decide if the leadership insight gleaned was relevant in the world today.
This conference provided a forum for cadets to discuss the themes of Washington’s life including honor, leadership, public service and self-improvement. Such discussions enhanced the leadership training system of VMI, allowing cadets to reflect on their own philosophies and skills while examining those of others.
Speakers included internationally renowned scholars of George Washington, leaders from the VMI community, and MBTA Patrol Officer Richard “Dic” Donohue, VMI ’02, who reflected on how his cadetship at Virginia Military Institute shaped his leadership style, particularly during the events of April 19, 2013 when he responded to back up local law enforcement and a bullet severed his femoral artery during a gun battle with the alleged Boston Marathon bombers.
A fulldescription of this and all past conferences are available online.
2013 Building and Strengthening Honor Codes: Inspiring Honor and Respect
Designed at the urging of VMI’s Honor Court, the 2013 VMI Leadership Conference explored the “nuts and bolts” of collegiate honor codes, including developing a culture of learning and honor, academic integrity in class and homework, building and honor code, adjudicating alleged violations, and strengthening an honor system.
Speakers included Mr. Martin Smith, producer of The Untouchables, PBS FRONTLINE, Mr. Edward Jurith, U.S. Representative, Foundation Board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Chairman of WADA’s Education Committee and the VMI Honor Court.
In 2014, the conversation continued with the first stand-alone VMI Honor Summit, at which more than 80 undergraduate, faculty and staff delegates from colleges and universities across the country discussed gaining honor code buy-in from students and faculty, administrative processes, education, and a future without honor. Dr. Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and author of “The Honest Truth about Dishonesty,” delivered the keynote address.
Full descriptions of these and all past conferences
are available online.
2012 Cheating, Lying and Honor in America’s High Schools, Colleges and Universities
The 2012 VMI Leadership Conference highlighted what many have referred to as a national epidemic of cheating. Major goals of this conference were to begin a discussion and to give students and faculty alike a chance to explore topics such as corporate corruption, cheating on the SAT, liespotting and life after honor systems.
Speakers included the Honorable Louis J. Freeh, Director, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (1993 – 2001), Pamela Meyer, author of “Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception” (2010), and Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta, recipient of the Medal of Honor, 2010, and first living Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War.
A full description of this andall past conferences
are available online.
2010 Answering the Nation's Call for Leaders of Character
The 2010 VMI Leadership Conference acknowledged the need for leaders of character in our country and brought together experts on topics that bear on our collective responsibility for leader development. It provided a forum for discussion among representatives of the federal academies, senior military colleges, the Department of Defense, government agencies, and the private sector.
Speakers included General Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (ret.), President of McCaffrey Associates, LLC, Mr. Philip K. Howard, Esq., author of Life Without Lawyers, Captain Dick Couch, USN (ret.), author of “Sheriff of Ramadi,” LTG Robert L. Caslen, Jr., Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center & Fort Leavenworth, Mr. Craig Mullaney, Senior Advisor to the Administrator on Afghanistan and Pakistan, USAID and author of “The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education,” and Coach Bobby Ross, Former Head Coach of Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers, US Military Academy, Citadel, the University of Maryland, and Georgia Tech.
A full description of this and all past conferences are available online.