08-28-13-methodist-welcomes.gifWhen hardship descends on a country it is leadership that often decides the fate of the people. One noticeable leader who helped lead a fledgling country from the bloody fields of war into democracy was the Marquis de Lafayette; and it is in his honor that another great leader of our nation is coming to Fayetteville to speak.

To kick off the Lafayette Birthday Celebration Gen. Russell Honorè will be lecturing on “Leadership in the New Normal” as part of the Lafayette Leadership Speaker Series.

The lecture is sponsored by Methodist University in celebration of Lafayette’s Birthday.

“Methodist University feels that part of its mission and purpose is to bring high-quality speakers in routinely. It is exciting to see the university do this and be part of bringing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and hear General Honorè. He took charge and became a hero. It is an opportunity to see, meet and hear someone of this stature,” Dr. Andrew Ziegler, the director of The Lura S. Tally Center of Leadership Development, explains.

Gen. Honorè first came into the public eye when he was put in charge of managing the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Dealing with the overwhelming devastation was a daunting task, but with a great leader at the helm, the situation was resolved quickly.

Ziegler recalls the devastation by saying, “Two-thousand people died as a result of the storm, there was $100 million in property damage, and more than 1 million people were displaced or lost their homes. New Orleans was not the only place affected, it was the entire gulf coast. In the aftermath, civil authority broke down and there were riots, looting and violence: total tragedy. Gen. Honorè came and put it all back in order. He brought thousands of troops, took command of the National Guard and hundreds of boats. It was a massive operation. The first phase was search and rescue, second was restoring order and finally recovery. He handled it superbly. Perhaps this lecture will help people to remember how fragile civil society is.”

There is more to Gen. Honorè than the ability to handle massive devastation in a short period of time. For years he has been a sought after speaker for emergency preparedness and leadership required for the modern world; but he has pushed for change to better the country in other ways as well.

“He has a passion for the country and for leadership. He wrote a book called Leadership in the New Normal, and he will be talking about that during his lecture. He is very concerned about bread and butter issues for the country such as education and family,” says Ziegler.

The lecture will take place on Sept. 6 from 11 until 11:50 a.m. in the Reeves Auditorium at Methodist University. It is completely free and open to the public. Reeves Auditorium is located at 5400 Ramsey St. For more information, visit the website www.methodist.edu/pub_media/releases/honore.pdf or email questions to aziegler@methodist.edu.

Other events associated with the Lafayette Birthday celebration include the Lafayette Trail tour, which costs $30, a sidewalk sale in downtown Fayetteville and more. There will be a 3K Dog Jog and a 5K Road Race on Sept. 7. Call 644-0137 for more information.

Wine and Design will offer a paint your own Eiffel Tower class on Sept. 7. Call 483-0433 for more information.

Photo : Gen. Russell Honoré will speak at Methodist University in honor of Lafayette’s Birthday Celebration.

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