MISENHEIMER, N.C. - Pfeiffer University athletics will host Colonel Arthur Athens as a guest speaker on Friday, March 18th at 1:00 p.m. inside Merner Gym. Colonel Athens will speak on "Back to the Basics: the Fundamentals of Extraordinary Leadership." Pfeiffer students can obtain cultural credit, area 5, credit 0.5, for attending. Colonel Athens is the Director of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership and a member of the Academy’s Senior Leadership Team.
Colonel Athens retired from the Marine Corps in July 2008 with over 30 years of combined active duty and reserve service. As a Marine Officer, he commanded units in the 3rd and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings, served with the U.S. Space Command and instructed at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1. Additionally, he was a White House Fellow under President Ronald Reagan, the Special Assistant to the NASA Administrator following the Space Shuttle Challenger accident, the Executive Director of OCF, a worldwide non-profit organization helping military personnel integrate their faith and profession, the Commandant of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and the Naval Academy’s first Distinguished Military Professor of Leadership.
Aside from his professional responsibilities, Colonel Athens has been a volunteer lacrosse coach at the high school and collegiate levels and the Washington Post recognized him as their High School Coach of the Year.
Colonel Athens holds a bachelor’s degree in operations research from the Naval Academy where he lettered in lacrosse and served as the Brigade Commander, the senior ranking midshipman at the Academy. He also earned masters’ degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School and the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies. He is married to the former Mistina Root of Williamsburg, Virginia and they have ten children.