On Oct. 19, Lyon College will hold its annual Founders’ Day Convocation, and it will host Maj. Matt Cavanaugh, an active duty U.S. Army strategist and author, as the convocation speaker. In his talk, “To Be a Hero, Shine Your Shoes,” Cavanaugh will use his experiences and his dissertation research to speak about what he believes the core of the college experience is about—a student’s decision on what he or she should aim for in life and how to get there.
“I’ll make the case that they should strive to be real heroes to at least one other person and that the path to becoming that person is in part through mundane tasks of discipline and maintenance like shining their shoes,” shared Cavanaugh.
As an active duty U.S. Army strategist, Cavanaugh has had global experience in assignments ranging from the Pentagon to Korea and West Point to the Middle East. He has been the youngest recipient of the U.S. Army Strategist Association’s professional award, the Order of Saint Gabriel the Archangel award, in addition to earning West Point’s faculty-wide Apgar Award for Excellence in Teaching, and being named the U.S. Army’s Athlete of the Year. Cavanaugh has served on the Wounded Warrior Project’s Advisory Council, been a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations, is a founding member of the Military Writers Guild, and a Non-Resident Fellow and co-founder of the Modern War Institute at West Point.
In 2002, Cavanaugh received his B.S. in American politics and systems engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He went on to earn his master’s in strategic studies at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and his Ph.D. in international relations at the University of Reading in Reading, U.K. His book, “Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict,” is currently on shelves and online, and his writings have been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and USA Today, among other outlets.
Lyon is more than just a college. It's a community distinguished by its academic curriculum, unique honor and social systems, and award-winning professors.