2019 McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character


The mission of the McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character (MCLC) is to bring together a diverse group of the top undergraduate student leaders from across the globe with world class senior leaders who act as mentors in a team-based, experiential event that bolsters leadership skills, fosters critical thinking and collaboration, and develops potential strategies for addressing pressing global issues.

Conference History

The McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character began in 2012 with the vision of being the premier transformative, short-duration leadership experience for young, emerging global leaders who unite together with preeminent world leaders in an enduring partnership. The annual conference is made possible by the vision and resources of founding benefactors Secretary & Mrs. Robert McDonald and is supported by a kind gift from the Garrison and Sharman families. The conference has been hosted each year by the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership.  Since its inception, the event has touched the lives of over 600 students and senior leaders through its exploration of relevant and timely themes.

2019 Theme & Panel Topics

Theme: Leading with Character in a Technology-Driven World

Our world, our organizations, and our interactions with others continue to be shaped by evolving technology. For the 2019 MCLC, we are interested in how technology has impacted leadership – we will explore this impact through the discussion of: Making Decisions, Developing Character, and Leading Innovation.

Panel 1: Making Decisions

Leaders make decisions – often in times of crisis. How has technology impacted a leader’s ability to make decisions? How can leaders leverage technology to make better decisions? Are there (or should there be) limits to the use of technology in decision making?

Panel 2: Developing Character

Technology has the unique ability to both shape and reflect a leader’s character. How can leaders of character best leverage technology to develop character in themselves and others?

Panel 3: Leading Innovation

This panel explores how leaders might leverage technology to establish functional cultures and creative, adaptive, and agile organizations that embrace innovation.

Event Schedule

Wednesday 20 March, 2019

NLT 5:00 pmInternational Student Fellows ArriveThayer Hotel Lobby
5:00-6:00 pmInternational Student Fellow Check InThayer Hotel Lobby

Thursday 21 March, 2019

5:30 – 7:00Group Exercise: Running and Walking Tour of West Point- 5km (optional)Thayer Hotel Lobby
7:40Meet in LobbyThayer Hotel
8:00 – 9:30International Student Fellows Breakfast
Speaker: Major Steinlage and Cadet Nash
Thayer Hall 352
9:30Senior Fellow Liaisons meet International Student FellowsThayer Hall 352
9:30 – 4:00West Point Activities / Personal TimeVarious Locations
12:00 – 1:00International Student Fellows Lunch with Senior Fellow Liaisons and BS&L FacultyCullum Hall--Main Floor
NLT 5:00 pmDomestic Student Fellow and Cadet Fellow Reception and Check-InThayer Hotel Lobby
6:20 – 7:10DinnerMCLC Tables, Washington Hall
7:30 – 9:00Team Building Activity (Rock Climbing or Dancing)Arvin Gym

Friday 22 March, 2019

5:30 – 7:00Group Exercise: Indoor Obstacle Course (optional)Thayer Hotel Lobby
7:30Meet in lobbyThayer Hotel
8:00 – 9:30Fellows Breakfast and West Point Leader Development System Presentation
Speaker: Secretary McDonald and Lieutenant Colonel Yastrzemsky
Ike’s Riverside Cafe
9:30 – 11:00“Core of the Corps” – West Point Leader Development via musicEisenhower Hall Theater
11:00 – 11:15Move to Cadet mess hall & group photoBattle Monument (Trophy Point) or Eisenhower Hall Theater
11:15 – 11:45Tours of Trophy Point led by Team LeadersTrophy Point
11:45 – 12:00Teams observe regimental formationCadet Mess Hall Steps
12:10 – 12:40Team lunch in mess hallRegimental Room
12:40 – 1:00Movement to Jefferson Hall
1:00 – 1:45Welcome
Speaker: Cadet Nash and COL Spain
Haig Room, Jefferson Hall
2:00 – 3:30Panel #1: Making DecisionsHaig Room, Jefferson Hall
3:30 – 3:45Move to breakout rooms / light refreshments in foyer
3:45 – 4:45Breakout session #1Assigned Team Rooms
4:45 – 5:15Team PhotosOutside Jefferson Hall
5:15 – 6:00Senior Fellow Meet and Greet with Jack Ma6th Floor Terrace or 2nd Floor Ring Display or 514
6:30 – 8:30Dinner
Keynote speaker: Mr. Jack Ma
Haig Room
9:00 – 9:15Movement to Cullum Hall
9:15 – 11:30Evening SpecialCullum Hall--Main Floor

Saturday 23 March, 2019

5:30 – 7:00Group Exercise: Run or Walk to historic Fort Putnam (optional)Thayer Hotel Lobby
8:00Shuttles to Jefferson HallThayer Hotel Lobby
8:30 – 9:00Breakfast available in foyerHaig Room, Jefferson Hall
9:00 – 10:30Panel #2: Developing CharacterHaig Room, Jefferson Hall
10:30 – 10:45Move to breakout rooms / light refreshments in foyer
10:45 – 11:45Team breakout session #2Assigned Team Rooms
11:45 – 12:00Move to Haig Room
12:00 – 12:45Senior fellow recognition lunchHaig Room, Jefferson Hall
12:45 – 2:15Panel #3: Leading InnovationHaig Room, Jefferson Hall
2:15 – 2:25Move to breakout rooms / light refreshments in foyer
2:25 – 4:00Team breakout session #3Assigned Team Rooms
4:00 – 5:45Free TimeThayer Hotel/ Various
4:30 – 5:45Senior fellow socialChief of Staff (COL Bieger) Quarters
5:45 – 6:00Movement to Haig Room
6:00 – 8:00Dinner
Keynote speaker: Mr. Brian Stevens
Haig Room, Jefferson Hall
8:00 – 8:30Senior Fellow Huddle with COL SpainJefferson Hall 514
8:00Movement to Herbert HallLibrary Corner
8:30 – 11:30Farewell SocialHerbert Hall
10:30 – 11:59Shuttles available back to Thayer Hotel

Sunday 24 March, 2019

5:30 – 7:00Group Exercise: “Murph” Memorial Workout (optional)Thayer Hotel Lobby
8:00 – 9:30Breakfast and Closing Remarks
Speaker: Major Steinlage, President Swygert, and Secretary McDonald
Thayer Hotel Grant Room
0930 – UTCAll fellows depart USMA Shuttles to airports & train stationHotel Thayer Various Locations

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