On the evening of March 10, King was delighted to host Dr. Lori Murray as part of our 150th Speaker Series. Dr. Murray holds the Distinguished National Security Chair at the US Naval Academy where her principal responsibility is to instruct the undergraduate midshipmen on current global national security issues. She is also a proud member of the King community as an Alumni parent - she is mother to Lucyann '08 and Amanda '10. During her time as a King parent, Dr. Murray served on the Board of Trustees.
Dr. Murray opened her talk by referencing the theme of our Speaker Series (drawn from our mission statement): thriving in a rapidly changing world, and spoke about the challenges we face in that world - namely security.
Dr. Murray spoke about the security issues we face today vs. those faced when our School was founded. In 1865, the 13th amendment had been passed and the Civil War was drawing to a close when President Lincoln was assassinated. Today's challenges, she said, are "different, but equally profound." She quoted the Director of National Intelligence and said that "unpredictable instability has now become the new normal."
Dr. Murray then dug a bit deeper into what she sees as the five most profound short-term threats to our security - or, as she calls them, "black swans." These black swans, Dr. Murray insisted, are topics that could have disastrous consequences and are demanding of an understanding and discourse that is not happening. The threats according to Dr. Murray are: Russia, the conflicts in India and Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, and ISIS and the nexus of weapons of mass destruction.
Stating that she did not want to end her talk on a note of doom, Dr. Murray shared a quote from Thomas Jefferson: "The bullock of a democracy is an informed citizenship." Education and information, she said, are key - particularly in an election year. In 1865, in the wake of Lincoln's assassination, Dr. Murray reminded the audience, Ms. Richardson started the school that would eventually become Low-Heywood and is the founding institution that led to today's King.
After a lively Q&A with audience members - including Faculty, Board members, Alumni, and a group of highly engaged and informed students - Dr. Murray concluded her presentation by saying how grateful she was to have been part of the King community, and sharing all that it has meant to her and her family.