AUM spring commencement brings special guest

Posted By: Alisha Clark

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Retired General Richard B. Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Medal of Freedom winner, will deliver the commencement address during Auburn Montgomery's spring graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 15, at both 10 a.m. and 2 p.m in the Physical Education Complex.

Myers served with the U.S. Air Force from 1965 to 2005 and was the 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs. As chairman, Myers was the U.S. military's highest ranking uniformed officer.

Myers became the chairman of the Joint Chiefs in October 2001. In this capacity, he served as the principal military advisor to the president, the secretary of defense and the National Security Council during the earliest stages of the War on Terror, including planning and execution of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

He graduated in 1977 from the Auburn Montgomery School of Business with a Master of Business Administration. Myers has attended the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., and the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Myers received pilot training from 1965 to 1966 at Vance Air Force Base, Okla. He is a rated command pilot in seven different aircraft with more than 4,100 flying hours.

Prior to becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he served as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs from March 2000 to September 2001. As vice chairman, Myers served as the chairman of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, as vice chairman of the Defense Acquisition Board and as a member of the National Security Council Deputies Committee and the Nuclear Weapons Council. In addition, he acted for the chairman in all aspects of the Planning, Programming and Budgeting System, including participation in the Defense Resources Board.

From August 1998 to February 2000, Myers was commander in chief of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command, commander of the Air Force Space Command and Department of Defense manager of the space transportation system contingency support at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. As commander, he was responsible for defending America through space and intercontinental ballistic missile operations. Prior to assuming that position, he was commander, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, from July 1997 to July 1998. From July 1996 to July 1997 he served as assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, and from November 1993 to June 1996 Myers was commander of U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

In addition, Myers is the author of Eyes on the Horizon, which looks back over his career, including a candid, insider's view of the war on terror, and offers a new plan for preparing America for the diverse national security challenges of the 21st century.

In 2006, Myers accepted a part-time appointment as a foundation professor of military history at Kansas State University. That same year, he was elected to the board of directors of Northrop Grumman Corp., the world's third largest defense contractor. He later joined the board of directors of United Technologies Corp. He also serves on the boards of Aon Corp., John Deere and the USO and holds the Colin L. Powell Chair for National Security, Leadership, Character and Ethics at the National Defense University.

At Auburn Montgomery's graduation, candidates from the schools of Business, Sciences and Liberal Arts will receive their diplomas during the morning ceremony. Candidates from the school of Nursing and Education will receive their diplomas during the afternoon ceremony. A total of 469 students are expected to receive degrees.

AUM's commencement will be broadcast live online. Viewers from around the world may watch the ceremony and Myer's address by visiting on AUM's Web site in the days leading up to the ceremony, as well as archives of past ceremonies.

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