Professor in Leadership/Professeur au leadership


                        (Adaptation of recent report from Keith Ambachtsheer)

Following the 2000 Reunion, class leaders started talking to the then new RMC Principal John Cowan about what that ‘next big thing’ might be for the class to pursue. John Cowan persuaded the Class that our ‘next big thing’ should be a Class of ’65 Professorship, and he was fine with the Class idea that it should be in Leadership Studies. Why a Professorship? Because as a named, endowed chair, it is a sought-after honour in academia, permitting RMC to go after top-flight academics currently teaching elsewhere. What is the price tag of a Professorship in Leadership? John Cowan thought that $25,000/yr in financial support would get the job done (this money provides a salary top-up and research funding for the Professorship holder), requiring a $500,000 endowment to support it. 

So raising the additional funds for the Professorship became the new campaign goal leading up to the 40-Year Reunion in 2005, with the campaign continuing after 2005 right through 2009. The RMC Foundation reported that the December 31, 2009 value of the Class of ’65 Endowment Fund was $633,871.36 which would cover the  $100,000 needed to continue to fund the Teaching Excellence Award and $500,000 to fund the Professorship.

At the same time, Principal Cowan created a Search Committee to commence the long, arduous search for suitable candidates for the Professorship. Classmate Steve Arnold (a retired member of the Queen’s Faculty) was a member of the Search Committee. After a lengthy search Dr. Nikola Garner accepted RMC’s offer to become the first Class of ’65 Professor in Leadership. Prof. Gardner, a Canadian, was a prominent member of the Department of Leadership and Strategy at the USAF Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. Prof Gardner met with members of the Class during the 2010 Reunion and will start at RMC once all administrative procedures are completed.