New Endowed Chairs Bolster Servant Leadership, Military History

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The University System of Georgia Board of Regents has approved for Columbus State University a pair of endowed faculty chair positions, separately honoring CSU’s previous president and a decorated war hero-turned-philanthropist.

A $2.5 million gift from the Richard R. Hallock Foundation and Mrs. Richard Hallock has helped create the Col. Richard R. Hallock Distinguished University Chair in Military History. A search to fill the position is under way.

Meanwhile, the Frank Brown Distinguished Chair in Servant Leadership, effective fall 2011, has been funded anonymously in honor of CSU President Emeritus Frank Brown. Myriam Hallock, Frank Brown

“This position ensures the program, established in 1999, is led by an outstanding professional with top academic credentials in leadership and with a true commitment to the servant leader ideal,” said current CSU President Tim Mescon. “Naming the chair for Dr. Brown fulfilled the wishes of donors, who wanted to recognize his 27 years of leadership at the university.”

Brown, 70, retired in 2008 as CSU’s third president and served as interim headmaster of Brookstone School in 2008-2009. He now focuses his time on volunteer activity that includes serving on the boards of the Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation and National Infantry Museum. He also team teaches with CSU Servant Leadership professor Stuart Rayfield for Columbus State’s new Servant Leadership graduate program.

Rayfield, CSU’s Servant Leadership Program director since 2006, said Brown has exhibited “all the qualities of a servant leader” throughout his CSU tenure. “Dr. Brown led the university’s commitment to establish an undergraduate program and this chair recognizes both his vision to have such a program on our campus and his practice of the qualities of a servant leader,” she said.

Servant leadership to Brown represents a longtime personal theme – “especially when I speak to younger people,” he said. He regularly employs sayings  –  “We drink from wells we have not dug,” and, “We rest in the shade of trees we did not plant” –  to stress “the need we all have to repay society for the benefits we have received.”

Brown said the concept of “giving back” is more focused under the umbrella of servant leadership. “The gathering of like-minded individuals whose shared ideals can lead to heightened awareness of the concept of leading by serving represents the real value of an organized servant leadership program.”

Rayfield said the new chair is one of perhaps only 10 such positions nationwide and is a strong testament to the university’s commitment to teaching and practicing servant leadership.

“It is rare to find institutions of higher education that philosophically adopt servant leadership as a core value,” she said. “Most institutions consider leadership development as extracurricular and not co-curricular.”

The program’s undergraduate scholars complete a four-year academic and community immersion in servant leadership and make an impact on the communities they serve. The program also has become a source of applicants for the servant leadership track in CSU’s recently established Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program.

For the Hallock chair, CSU seeks a nationally renowned scholar to help develop a military history program while teaching, fostering student research and working with local organizations that can contribute to the learning process. Such organizations include the National Infantry Museum, the Donovan Research Library at Fort Benning and the National Civil War Naval Museum.

“This is an amazing pledge of support from the Hallock Foundation and recognition there is a rich new educational program that can be developed here,” Mescon said when the gift was announced last year. “Mrs. (Myriam Johnston) Hallock has become a wonderful friend to Columbus State and this region, supporting lectures at CSU and the National Infantry Museum. It will be great to see this program bring such entities together.”

The Hallock Foundation was co-founded by Col. Richard R. Hallock, a much-decorated World War II paratrooper, who retired from the Army in 1967. He was a successful entrepreneur and military-political advisor during the Nixon and Ford administrations. He and his wife established the foundation bearing his name before his death in 1999.

“I am so proud because my husband would be delighted by having military history taught in his name,” said Myriam Hallock. “Columbus State University is the ideal place for a program like this to effectively help prepare our future leaders.”

With the Brown and Hallock designations, CSU now has 17 endowed chairs – more than any other Georgia university its size and more than many larger universities in the state. The presence of such positions allows institutions to recruit faculty of national and international caliber – ultimately benefiting students.