WMU staff member among graduates honored by U.S. presidents

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of Russell Kavalhuna with presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Kavalhuna, pictured with presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush

KALAMAZOO, Michigan—Capt. Russell Kavalhuna, Western Michigan University's new executive director of flight operations, is in Little Rock, Arkansas, to take part in a historic graduation event today featuring former Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The two former presidents and prime minister are appearing together at the graduation of the 61 members from the 2016 Class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program. The leadership program was launched by Bush and Clinton in 2014, and Kavalhuna was subsequently tapped to take part in six-month leadership effort.

About the program

The scholars program is an executive-style development initiative that draws upon the resources of the presidential centers of Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton and George W. Bush. Over the past six months, Kavalhuna and his fellow graduates of the 2016 class have been traveling to each of the presidential centers to meet with and learn from former presidents, key administration officials and leading academics. They have been studying and will put into practice varying approaches to leadership, develop a network of peers and exchange ideas with mentors and others who will help them make an impact in their communities.

Also in attendance at the event will be the Little Rock Nine, a group of black students from Little Rock who were enrolled in previously whites-only Little Rock Central High School in 1957 after segregation in education was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. The ensuing Little Rock Crisis, in which the nine students were initially prevented from entering the school, was an important event in the Civil Rights Movement.

For more information, contact Mark Schwerin in WMU's Office of University Relations at (269) 387-8413.

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