Chancellor McRaven meets with Clements Undergraduate Fellows

Sep 13, 2017

As part of our Undergraduate Fellows program, UT System Chancellor William McRaven met with our students to talk about careers in public service and national security.

Discussing his career in the military and at the White House, Chancellor McRaven advised the students that national security issues will "often times not be black and white-- it is up to you to distinguish shades of grey." He talked with the students about the policy-making process in the National Security Council and gave insights to how difficult national security decisions are made. 

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When asked about his time as a Navy Seal and opportunities for mentorship, the Chancellor said that each day was an opportunity to prove yourself, "the only easy day was yesterday." 

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Christopher Shafik, an International Relations and Global Studies major, asked Chancellor McRaven about the role of the military in bringing about hope and peace abroad. The Chancellor recalled his time spent assisting in humanitarian and disaster relief missions, a military task unknown to many Americans. He mentioned the diplomacy involved in disaster relief missions, as well, specifically in reference to the earthquake in Northern Pakistan in 2005. The United States military were the first to deliver assistance, providing nearly a thousand personnel and saving tens of thousands of lives.

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However, the Chancellor remarked that what keeps him up most at night is K-12 education. "If we do not educate our young people and we do not teach them American values, we will not be a superpower in 50 years," he argued. 

Learn more about the Undergraduate Fellows program