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Giuliani Discusses Leadership at University of the Cumberlands


WILLIAMSBURG, Ky- During times of crisis, citizens look to leaders for reassurance and answers. Eleven years ago, millions of New York citizens were looking to Rudy Giuliani for leadership, reassurance and answers. Giuliani delivered, becoming one of the most beloved and respected public figures in American history.

On Tuesday, April 3rd, “America’s Mayor”, Rudy Giuliani, spoke at University of the Cumberlands (UC) before a capacity crowd in the O. Wayne Rollins Center as part of the “Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership” series. Bringing a direct yet entertaining tone, Giuliani encouraged those in attendance to be the leaders of tomorrow.

“We were honored to have ‘America’s Mayor’ Rudy Giuliani, with us as we paid tribute to first responders, men and women of exceptional courage, commitment and motivation who provide outstanding service in response to crisis situations,” UC President Dr. Jim Taylor stated. “In my opinion the program went exceptionally well, and Mr. Giuliani’s address on the characteristics of a leader was well received.”

The former New York City mayor spoke on courage and the six principles of leadership; beliefs, optimism, courage, relentless preparation, teamwork and communication. The mayor focused on leading in all aspects of life; as a student, as a professional, and as a family.

For students, the ability to hear this advice from a proven leader provided them with a pivotal and inspiring experience.

“[Mayor Giuliani] exemplifies the qualities of a true leader,” said UC sophomore Ezra Anderson. “You could see his courage and desire exude as he spoke.”

“Mr. Giuliani communicated his six points of leadership very well and perfectly supported them with personal stories,” explained UC sophomore Jacob Stephens. “While communication was one of his leadership points, he showed us how to be a great communicative leader through his speech.”

Giuliani encouraged those in attendance to not shy away from fear by saying, “What defines courage is what you do with fear.” It was a reminder, as he stated, that being a leader means being courageous in times of adversity.

In conclusion of his message, Giuliani reflected on the events of September 11, 2001 and his memories. He reminisced standing outside the World Trade Centers as fire burned above, lives were lost, and the heroism and courage of the first responders and volunteers.

“Mr. Giuliani is a man that is a role model for anyone who desires to be successful in life and the best at what they do,” stated graduate student Joshua Hallock. “Hearing his memories of [September 11, 2001] made the speech very personal for me. And as he talked, I could envision that day all over again. I am very grateful to Cumberlands for giving us such a rare opportunity to hear him speak.”

The free event began at 7 p.m. and also featured the honoring of Leadership Award recipients Ronnie Biggerstaff (Mine Rescue Trainer), Wayne Bird (Williamsburg Police Chief), Joe Bradshaw (Air Evac Life Team), Colan Harrell (Whitley County Sheriff), Kelly Harrison (Whitley County EMS Director), Charles Nantz (Staff Sergeant KY ARNG), James Privett (Williamsburg Fire Chief), and Jessica Taylor (911 Terminal Agency Coordinator).

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.