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Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership

Leadership Conferences, Lectures and Discussion Groups

The Stockdale Center Influence the Influencer program funds leadership conferences such as the Volgenau Honor, Courage & Commitment Seminar Series – a Spring and Fall leadership luncheon includes midshipmen, faculty, coaches, and staff.  Past lunches featured nationally known speakers such as Dr. Ken Blanchard and Mr. Simon Sinek. Additionally, we sponsor an annual department chair leadership conference centered on historical sites and an annual leadership development day for NAAA. Lastly, we host single lectures and provide leadership books for study groups.   

Volgenau Honor, Courage & Commitment Seminar Series IMG_8112.jpg


Dr. Volgenau, a 1955 graduate of USNA, is founder and Chairman of SRA International, Inc., an information technology firm of about 6,000 people, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange from 2002 to 2011 and is now privately held. SRA is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia and for ten years in a row was on the Fortune magazine list of 100 best places to work in the United States.

Prior to founding SRA, Dr. Volgenau served in the Air Force where he helped develop space boosters, satellites, and computer systems, taught in the field of astronautics, and gained a PhD in engineering from UCLA. After retirement as a colonel, he joined the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and led a team of 700 engineers that inspected all nuclear power plants in the United States. Dr. Volgenau also served for five years as rector of the George Mason University Board of Visitors.   

Sara is a 1957 graduate of Morehead State University and taught in elementary schools for several years. Sara and Ernst are longtime supporters of Naval Academy ethical leadership development programs. They have three daughters, three sons-in-law, and nine grandchildren of whom they are quite proud.

Past Honor, Courage & Commitment Lecture Videos

Winter 2020 - Mr. Ryan Holiday - Author of Stillness is the Key and speaker about Stoicism, speaks about "Ancient Wisdom, Modern Life."

Fall 2019 - Mr. Brad Snyder - USNA Grad, retired EOD officer, and Paralympic World Record Holder and author of "Fire in My Eyes" speaks about "Triumph over adversity."

Winter 2019 - Mr. Jake Harriman - former Marine and founder of the NGO Nuru International, speaks about "Others First, You Last: Unlocking the Potential in Teams to Accomplish the Impossible".

Fall 2018 - Mr. Bill Kraus - Founder, Mission BBQ, speaks about his life and experiences.

Winter 2018 - Mr. Sean Stackley, former Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition speaks about "Profound Simplicity: Wayne E. Meyer, the AEGIS Weapon System and a Century of Maritime Superiority."

Fall 2017 - Mr. Billy Hurley - USNA Grad and PGA Golf Professional on "Lessons from the Suez Canal"

Winter 2017 - Mr. Ken Blanchard - author of The One Minute Manager, and The Servant Leader, discusses the concept of servant leadership "Service Leadership in Action".

Fall 2016 - General Robert Van Antwerp was in the Pentagon during 9/11 - he speaks about that and leadership excellence through character.

Winter 2015 - Ms. Annette Simmons, the author of "The Story Factor, Influence and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling" drives home the power of stories in their ability to enhance leadership and provide motivation and inspiration in "Personal Profiles in Honor, Courage and Commitment".

Fall 2014 - Mr. Dan Gable, Olympic Gold-Medalist and Perennial Champion Wrestling Coach speaking about "Excellence Through Great Leadership"

Fall 2013 - Mr. Travis Tygart, Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, speaking about "Playing Fair and Winning: An Inside View of Ethics and leadership from the Lance Armstrong Case"

Winter 2012 - Mr. Ira Chaleff, founder of Executive Coaching Associates, speaking about "The Honor of Courageous Followership"

Fall 2011 - Mr. Christopher Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership, speaking about "Heroic Leadership"

Fall 2010 - Mr. Jim Donald - President and CEO Haggen Food and Pharmacy, speaking about "Six Steps of Leadership through Honor, Courage, and Commitment" Part 2. Part 3. Part 4.

Winter 2010 - Ms. Kimberly Dozier - CBS News Correspondant and author, Breathing the Fire, speaking about "Reacting to Crisis"Part 2.  Part 3.

Department Chair Leadership Conference


2019 in Gettysburg, PA

Conference Materials

Coaching Slides

Pearls of Wisdom Collected after the Conference

Link to Photos


NAAA Professional Development Conference

2019 - Speakers:

Trevor Ragan of Train Ugly, speaking about "Learning Like a Jungle Tiger: The Science of Development".

Eric Kapitulik, author of The Program, speaking about "Leadership and Attacking Adversity".





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