BRYCE BRIDGEWATER | COPY EDITOR • JOSEPH REILLY | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF • Admiral
Bob Inman of the U.S. Navy returned to Wabash Monday night to give a talk titled “Inman’s View of the World.” The retired serviceman discussed world events and how they affect colleges, governments, and other facets of modern life.
In addition to his talk, he visited classrooms throughout the day and ate lunch with a group of students who were interested in careers in the international arena.
As an Admiral in the United States Navy, he served as the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He came back to Wabash after a positive experience interacting with students several years ago.
“Once a year, I make myself availability to speak at other colleges,” Inman said.
Outside of traveling to campuses during his talks, Inman works as a professor at the
University of Texas-Austin. He deals with classes on foreign policy. He is also a trustee of the California Institute of Technology for the past 28 years where he works with the jet propulsion lab for NASA. During his visit, he sat in on classes of varies subjects.
“The classes will be impromptu and on the spot,” Inman said. “There is no agenda for them.”
Similar to the classes, Inman’s lunchtime discussion included a free-wheeling question and answer session after the Admiral gave an overview of his career. Questions included topics such as foreign policy, government career advice, and specific benefits a liberal arts education provides to people interacting with complex issues such as team management of a group confronting an international crisis.
In the evening, he embarked on a geographic overview of hotspots in foreign policy. He
tied the changes in the world do direct effects experienced by students. Inman is concerned with students not knowing the whole story of events in the world. He lectured without notes for an hour, including a question and answer session. Inman’s vast knowledge comes not only from his prior 87 years of life experience, but also from his commitment to continual following of world issues after leaving his formal career in analytics. His focus, breadth, and depth of knowledge served as an inspiration
“I will try to entice [students] to, on their own, take more interest and more time in what is going on in the world,” Inman said.
“I was very impressed with the broadness of the Admiral’s talk,” Zach Campbell ’18 said. “He basically sat on the stage and took us on a trip around the globe and summarized his concerns and hopes for various geopolitical situations in a very insightful and concise manner.”
Inman ended his talk with a return to the emphasis he places on his liberal arts education. He credits his strong liberal arts background for his ability to adapt to each new position or job he held as well as helping him to tie in lessons from seemingly unrelated events and previous jobs.