Dale Center for the Study of War and Society
Dale Center for the Study of War and Society
On April 13th, the 2023 Lt. Col. John H. Dale Sr. Distinguished Lecture in International Security and Global Policy featured a conversation between Major General Bufford "Buff" Blount (U.S. Army, ret.) and internationally-renowned journalist and anchor Ted Koppel, recounting their experiences together during Operation Iraqi Freedom which launched twenty years ago this spring.
Commanding the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division, General Blount served as one of the leading commanders of the war. Embedded with the Third Division, ABC News "Nightline” anchor Ted Koppel observed and reported on the entire campaign, from the preparations for the assault to the initial invasion through the capture of Baghdad in April 2003. The talk focused on their experiences during this important historical moment. Dale Center Co-Director Dr. Heather Stur moderated the event. Dr. Stur’s forthcoming book, 21 Days to Baghdad: General Buford Blount and the 3rd Infantry Division in the Iraq War (Osprey Publishing, 2023), provides an authoritative account of the Third Division’s odyssey through the Iraq War.
•In September of 2019, Dan Rather, legendary journalist and war correspondent delivered the Dale Distinguished Lecture. Rather, whose sixty years as a journalist included twenty-four years as anchor for the CBS Evening News, covered stories from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to the Vietnam War, from Watergate to Tiananmen Square, from the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather has earned nearly every journalism honor, including numerous Emmy and Peabody Awards and the 2012 Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award.
•In September of 2017, General David Petraeus, former commander of U.S. Central Command, the architect of the Surge in Iraq, and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2011-2012) offered the Dale Distinguished Lecture as an assessment of how America needs to approach foreign policy goals going forward. In the decade that followed the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Petraeus commanded coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in the Middle East and Central Asia.
•In February of 2014, Dr. Robert M. Gates offered a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse of White House politics and policies as the Dale Distinguished Lecture. Gates served as the 22nd Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011, a period of time that spanned the presidencies of both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He also served as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (1991-1993), as Deputy Director of National Security (1989-1991) and on the National Security Council.
The 2014 program also included an important announcement regarding the lecture series’ facilitator — the Center for the Study of War & Society. The center was renamed the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society in honor of the Beverly Dale family.
•In October of 2010, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke on “The Future of NATO.” In 1997, Dr. Albright was named the first female Secretary of State, where she served until 2001. From 1993 to 1997, she served as the United States' Ambassador to the United Nations and was a member of the U. S. Security Council. At the time, Albright was the highest-ranking woman to have served in the history of the U.S. government.
•In November of 2008, the first speaker in the series was Wyche Fowler, U. S. Senator (D-GA) and former U. S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia who spoke about his experiences and of U.S. relationships in the Middle East as an integral part of the “Breaking the Veils” exhibit. “Breaking the Veils: Women Artist from the Islamic World” was an international art exhibit designed to counter misconceptions about the art and culture of women who live in the Islamic world. It featured art from 52 women from 21 countries.
The Lecture Series and Lt. Colonel John H. Dale, Sr.
Lieutenant Colonel John H. Dale, Sr. was a career member of the military who served in World War II and the Korean Conflict, and was awarded the Bronze Star. He graduated with his Masters of Science from Southern Miss, later served as Professor of Military Studies for the University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, and also served as a faculty member in the Science Education department. The lecture series which honors him allows the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society to periodically host a significant speaker in the fields of International Security and global policy.
The lecture series is made possible through a generous donation by Southern Miss alumna, Dr. Beverly Dale, in honor of her late father.