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Albert Sobey Lectures on Leadership and Ethics

Albert Sobey Lectures on Leadership and Ethics

The Albert Sobey Lectures on Leadership and Ethics, formerly the Thompson Lectures on Leadership and Ethics, brings speakers to campus to promote understanding of a variety of issues related to leadership and ethics.  The lectures are of particular interest to students in the Liberal Studies capstone course, Senior Seminar:  Leadership, Ethics, and Contemporary Issues, in which students actively participate in analyzing and evaluating pressing workplace and global issues that confront all citizens and focus on the ethical demands placed on leaders.  The lectures are open to the entire campus community in order to affirm the importance of all people considering the leadership and ethical dimensions of their academic and work lives. 

These lectures are named for Albert Sobey as a tribute to his leadership of General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and concern for the character development of students.  For 31 years (1919-1950), Albert (“Major”) Sobey led General Motors Institute and its predecessors (School of Automotive Trades and the Flint Institute of Technology). A leader who knew that life was more than technical knowledge and material success, he urged students to “learn to know yourself,” “develop a sound philosophy of life,” and learn about “this world of ours, what man has done in it, and what he has thought and dreamed about” (Opening Assembly Address, GMI, October 23, 1945). 

Guest speakers are drawn from the full range of types of organizations (small businesses, large corporations, non-profit organizations, universities).  Some share their research on leadership and/or ethics and others will provide insights based on their personal experiences as leaders. Past lectures for the Thompson Lectures on Leadership and Ethics include “We are facing an irrevocable destructive change of our planet—What Kind of Leadership is Needed?” by Stanford Ovshinsky, “Deep Challenges of Leading for Sustainability: Ethics, Values and your Identity,” by Dr. Steve Olson, and  “Value-Based Leadership: Lessons from Shackleton” by Dr. Michael Harris.

2009-2010 was the Albert Sobey Lectures on Leadership and Ethics series inaugural year.  Dr. David E. Cole, Chairman of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, delivered the inaugural lecture of the Albert Sobey Lecture on Leadership and Ethics series in February, 2010.  Dr. Cole is the Chairman of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The title of his lecture was "Today’s Turbulence: Foundation for Future Success.”

Joanne B. Ciulla, Professor and Coston Family Chair in Leadership and Ethics at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond, will deliver the Albert Sobey Lecture on Leadership and Ethics on May 9, 2012 from 12:25 to 1:15 in AB 2-225 (the "Crib-a-Thon").  Professor Ciulla has taught business ethics and leadership in the Netherlands, South Africa, and Jordan as well as at Harvard University, the Wharton School, Oxford University, and Boston University.  In addition to dozens of scholarly articles and papers, she is the author and editor of several books including The Ethics of Leadership, Leadership and the Humanities, and The Working Life: The Promise and Betrayal of Modern Work.  The title of her lecture is “The Ethical Challenges of Leadership.”   All members of the Kettering community are welcome.

For more information on lectures for 2011-2012, contact Dr. Michael Callahan