Past Lectures


2010 - Russel Honore

2009 - Robert "Hoot" Gibson

2008 - Hodding Carter, III

2006 - John B. Boles


Russel Honore
Ret. Lieutenant General, United States Army 


Lieutenant General Honore is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971. He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College.

Prior to his command of Joint Task Force Katrina during which he led the Department of Defense's response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, General Honore served in a variety of command and staff positions which focused on defense support to civil authorities and homeland defense. As Vice Director for Operations, J-3, the Joint Staff, Washington D.C., and as the Commander, Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, United Stated Northern Command, General Honore's focus was Defense Support to civil authorities and Homeland Defense.

Some of his assignments have included: Commanding General, First Army; Commanding General, SJFHQ-HLS, U.S. Northern Command; Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division, Korea; Deputy Commanding General/ Assistant Commandant, United States Army Infantry Center and School, Fort Benning, Georgia; and Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver/Support, 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

General Honore's awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), and the Army Achievement Medal.

General Honore retired on February 29, 2008, following thirty-seven years of active service with the United States Army. He continues to speak and consult nationally on building a culture of preparedness. His book, Survival: How a Culture of Preparedness Can Save You and Your Family from Disasters is available in bookstores everywhere.



Robert “Hoot” Gibson

Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson, United States Navy, graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University. He entered the United States Navy and served as a fighter pilot in F-4 “Phantom” and F-14 “Tomcat” Aircraft and flew combat missions in Southeast Asia, making more than 300 carrier landings. After attending the Navy Fighter Weapons School “Topgun”, he graduated first in his class at the U. S. Navy Test Pilot School and served as a flight test pilot prior to being selected as an Astronaut in 1978 in the first Space Shuttle Astronaut selection.

In 18 years as an Astronaut, he flew 5 space flights, 4 of them as the Mission Commander, aboard the Space Shuttles “Challenger”, Columbia”, “Atlantis”, and “Endeavour,” His final Space Flight was the first mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station “Mir.” In his career with NASA, he held the positions of Deputy Chief of NASA Aircraft Operations, as the Chief of the Astronaut Office, and as the Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations.

After leaving NASA and retiring from the U. S. Navy in 1996, Captain Gibson flew for 10 years as an airline pilot with Southwest Airlines. In a flying career covering over 45 years, he has accumulated more than 13,000 hours of flight time in more than 100 types of military and civilian aircraft. He has been an Air Race Pilot continuously since 1998 in the Reno National Championship Air Races.

Gibson has received numerous honors, awards, and decorations including the DOD Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal (3 awards), the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal.

He has established six World Records for aircraft; “Altitude in Horizontal Flight”, Class C-1A in 1991; “Time to Climb to 9000 meters”, Class C-1A in 1994; “100 Kilometer Closed Course Speed Record”, Class C-1A in 2004; “Speed over a Recognized Course” Seattle to Las Vegas, Jet Class C-1H in 2004; “Speed over a Recognized Course” Las Vegas to Wichita, Jet Class C-1H in 2004; and “Speed over a Recognized Course” Chester, England to Geneva, Switzerland, Jet Class C-1H in 2009.

He has also established 3 World Records for Spaceflight: “Assembled Mass of Spacecraft in Earth Orbit”, Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Russian Space Station Mir, 1995; “Distance Traveled in Linked Flight”, Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Russian Space Station Mir, 1995; and “Altitude in Linked Flight”, Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Russian Space Station Mir, 1995.

Captain Gibson was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003.


Hodding Carter, III

Although Hodding Carter, III grew up in Greenville, Mississippi, his family's roots are deep in the Hammond area. In the early 1930s, Carter's parents, Hodding Carter, II and Betty Werlein Carter, operated the Hammond Daily Courier, a publication noted for its outspoken opposition to Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long. A decade earlier, Carter's grandfather, Will Carter, was instrumental in founding Southeastern as Hammond Junior College.

After graduating from Princeton University, Carter, III returned to his family's newspaper the Delta Democrat-Times of Greenville where for 17 years he was a prize-winning reporter, editor and associate publisher. In 1961, he won the Society of Professional Journalists' national award for editorial writing. He was a Harvard University Nieman Fellow from 1965-66.

Active in racial and political reform, he served in the Johnson and Carter campaigns before joining the Carter administration as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.Nationally, Hodding Carter is perhaps best remembered as the spokesman for the U.S. State Department during the Iran hostage crisis in the late 1970s.

After leaving the State Department in 1980, Carter held a variety of media positions, including opinion editorial columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

Carter has also served as a correspondent for the PBS Frontline documentary series, is a four-time Emmy winner, and a recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast journalism.

Beginning in 1994 he served as the Knight Professor of Public Affairs Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. He resigned the post in 1998 to become the president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Knight Foundation is an American non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting journalism.

Carter has lectured at universities all over the country and continues to do freelance work for the television and print media. Since 2006, he has served as University Professor of Leadership and Public Policy at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 


John B. Boles
William P. Hobby Professor of History, Rice University

On 19 October 2006, the campus community had the opportunity to attend Boles' lecture on the provocative topic "Climate, Geography, and Southern History: The Influence of Non-Human factors."

Boles is the William Pettus Hobby Professor of History at Rice University and Editor of the Journal of Southern History.