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NIU Marks 50th Anniversary With the Arrival of the Class of 2013

August 27, 2012

Honorable Michael Rogers
Celebrating his 25th anniversary of the school, Mr. John Halinski, Deputy Administrator for the Transportation Security Administration, returned to his intelligence alma mater and encouraged the Class of 2013 to take advantage of the diverse learning at NIU during Convocation on 27 August at DIA HQ. Mr. Halinski urged the audience, representing more than 340 students and faculty, to "use this time to break out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself." He received a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College, the school name in 1987 when he graduated.

By Michelle Roby, NIU Staff

WASHINGTON – Urging the newest class to "use this time to break out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself," Mr. John Halinski, Deputy Administrator for the Transportation Security Administration and member of the Class of 1987, returned to his intelligence alma mater and encouraged the Class of 2013 to take advantage of the diverse learning at NIU during Convocation on 27 August at DIA HQ.

As someone who lives that mantra, Mr. Halinski remarked with a smile, "I'd never thought I'd use this," referring to a course in military intelligence and Congressional affairs. "Those lessons were some of the most valuable I took away as I now address Congress regularly and manage a multi-billion dollar budget," he said as he acknowledged the course as one of the best he took. He received a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College, the school name in 1987.

50-Year Legacy in Intelligence

The ceremony marked the beginning of the academic year and celebration of the 50th Anniversary. In his remarks, Dr. David Ellison, NIU President, acknowledged that part of the school's legacy is the alumni, including Mr. Michael Hayden, former director of both CIA and NSA, and Marine Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

"Each alumnus shaped their critical-thinking skills here," he said. "And with the relationships they established, are now contributing to the IC today in ways that enhance collaboration across traditional boundaries, better contributing to mission accomplishment."

President Ellison also honored a special alumnus, Mr. Donald Stretch, Class of 1963, with a presentation of the NIU 50th Anniversary banner. Army Captain Stretch became one of the first graduates of the Defense Intelligence School, as the Naval Intelligence School and the Army Strategic Intelligence School merged in 1962. Mr. Stretch continues today in federal civil service as a key member of NGA's Support Team to the DIA.

Dr. Ellison acknowledged the legacy in the different names the school has held over the years. He said, "Director Clapper, when he renamed the NIU, expanded the mission to the entire IC and the desire to use education as a force multiplier in intelligence analysis and decision-making."

The precursor to NIU, the Defense Intelligence School was created by Department of Defense Directive 5105.25, establishing the school as a professional educational institution attached to DIA. Regional accreditation was obtained in 1983 at which time the School was re-chartered and renamed the Defense Intelligence College. During the 1990s, the College became an institution that was devoted solely to intelligence education and research and in 1993, the College was renamed the Joint Military Intelligence College. In December 2006, DoD Instruction 3305.1 changed the school's name to the National Defense Intelligence College. The school was named National Intelligence University in 2011 reflecting the expanded mission to become the center of academic life for the intelligence community.

Take the Challenge

"Our world is moving at a pace more rapidly, and with more uncertainty, than I've ever known and one of those anchors that will help us understand and grapple with change is education and training," said Mr. David R. Shedd, Deputy Director of the DIA, in his remarks.

He described education as an anchor for strategic planning, and emphasized their experience at NIU as an opportunity to set aside the immediacy of today's missions and "ponder, think and apply great thoughts about the world today and tomorrow." He added that this experience will also provide opportunities to approach problem sets differently by embracing different mindsets and views of colleagues, what he described as true "jointness." His last point challenged students to take what they learn at NIU and spread it across the IC – that each of them will look at the hard problems the IC faces and to take that understanding to their colleagues when they return.

Awards and Honors

More than 340 students and faculty packed the Tighe Auditorium, including notable visitors Ms. Deborah Kircher, Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Human Capital and Chief Human Capital Officer; and Commander Wesley Sloat, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Command Chaplain. A member of the Class of 2013 presented a school coin to Mr. Halinski on his 25th anniversary of his graduation from the Defense Intelligence College. Events to commemorate the NIU 50th Anniversary will continue through the academic year.

In her parting comments, Dr. Susan Studds, NIU Provost, said, "While a diverse group, you share a common commitment – to learn. I challenge you to maintain this through your entire career and lives. Experiment. And take risks."

 
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