Adm. William McRaven

Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted Adm. William McRaven Jan. 11 in collaboration with Harding University

 Nationally celebrated figure brings distinguished leadership expertise to lecture series


SEARCY, Ark. (Dec. 20, 2023) — The Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Harding University welcomed Adm. William H. McRaven as a distinguished guest speaker at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11. As an accomplished retired four-star admiral for the U.S. Navy and former chancellor of the University of Texas System, McRaven brings a wealth of leadership experience to the lecture series.


“The chamber is thrilled to be collaborating with the American Studies Institute to bring Adm. William H. McRaven, one of the most requested military speakers, to Searcy,” said Tara Cathey, president and CEO of the Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce.  

Throughout his distinguished military career, McRaven commanded special operation forces at every level, meriting his position over the U.S. Special Operations Command. He was instrumental in many of the country’s most significant military operations, including the capture of Sadam Hussein, the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips and overseeing the Osama bin Laden mission in 2011. McRaven is also the author of several books including “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life” and “The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy).”


"Harding is proud to host such an accomplished national figure like Adm. McRaven," said Mike Williams, president of Harding University. "His remarkable career and contributions to national defense and foreign policy make him an invaluable voice for our lecture series. He will undoubtedly inspire and educate our university community."


As a respected authority on U.S foreign policy, McRaven has counseled a number of U.S. presidents and national leaders including the Bush and Obama administrations. Currently, McRaven shares his experience and skills as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Football Foundation and serves on the board of directors for ConocoPhillips.


A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin in 1977, McRaven returned to his alma mater as the chancellor of the UT Systems in 2015. His work as chancellor was instrumental in leading all 14 of the University’s institutions, which consisted of 220,000 students and more than 20,000 faculty members.


McRaven achieved national acclaim through his New York Times bestselling book, "The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy),” which encapsulates the leadership lessons gleaned from his four decades of service. Over his lifetime of accomplishments, he has received several prestigious honors for his contributions to both community and country, among them being named first runner-up for TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” and Politico magazine’s distinguished “Politico 50” list.


McRaven’s lecture was held in the Benson Auditorium at Harding University, located at 201 S. Blakeney in Searcy, Ark., 72143. For more information about upcoming events, visit and


About Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce


The Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based, non-profit community and economic development organization. Founded in 1945, the Chamber has 78 years of experience of helping businesses grow. The chamber serves as the indispensable source for business connections, opportunities, and solutions with a mission to strengthen member businesses and build a strong local economy. For more information about the Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce visit or call 501-268-2458.


About Harding University


Harding University is a private Christian, liberal arts university located in Searcy, Arkansas. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and celebrating its centennial year, it is the largest private university in the state. Harding’s student body represents students from across the U.S. and more than 50 nations and territories. The University offers more than 110 undergraduate majors; 14 preprofessional programs; more than 40 graduate and professional programs; as well as numerous study abroad opportunities including locations in Australasia, Peru, Europe, Greece, Italy and Zambia. For more information, visit


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