Gen. Dempsey Visits Syracuse University

Gen. Dempsey Visits Syracuse University

Since my time starting at Syracuse University, I have noticed that guest speakers are always on campus. This is not only great for story ideas as a Broadcast and Digital Journalism major, but the people Syracuse arranges to visit are some of the best in the business.

For example, Alan Rusbridger, John Bolton and Oprah Winfrey to name a few. However, in a political time of unrest before election week and national attention given to Ebola and ISIS, Syracuse University arranged for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, to speak to students and the community at Dineen Hall, Syracuse University Law School. 

Dempsey was a lot more personable than the audience expected out of the top commanding officer of the United States military. The focus of his speech was how to make military veterans comfortable in a college campus environment. Many Syracuse University ROTC members were in the audience.

“This generation will find you are constantly under scrutiny, which can sometimes lead to changing a decision quickly,” Dempsey said. He added that humility is a required character trait.

“You should be ambitious and humble,” he said. “It’s about thinking less about yourself while still remaining confident.”

Dempsey mentioned what keeps him humble is an index card he carries around with him that states: when is the last time someone changed my mind.

“Competition and character will get you to the table, but character makes you stay at the table,” Dempsey said.

He added his thought on leadership.

“The leader’s job is not to eliminate, but make it safe for your subordinates to take risks,” Dempsey said.

Given its track record, Syracuse University will likely continue to bring distinguished guests to campus for the benefit of students. Hopefully, students will continue to go listen to these fantastic speakers.

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Lena Wallace

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