US Naval Academy 2013: Thomas Walker

WalkerThis April, I had the privilege to represent Wake Forest at the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference in Annapolis.  Over the course of three very full days, we heard from politicians, military leaders, journalists, and academics, we discussed foreign policy in breakout groups, and we learned what it was like to be a Midshipman at the Naval Academy.  We were also able to fit in an afternoon of sailing and touring “the Yard.”

The theme of this year’s conference was “A Time of Transition” so we addressed the rebalancing toward Asia, the immediate threats to the United States, and what our nation’s long-term course of action should look like.  Some of the speakers were former Dep. Sec. State Richard Armitage, Ambassador Dennis Ross, and Admiral McRaven.  It was truly fascinating to hear the perspectives of those who shape and enact foreign policy.  Probably, my biggest takeaway from my conference experience was the time that I spent with the Midshipmen.  I found the Midshipmen to be just as intellectually engaged and dynamic as students at Wake Forest.  And after getting to know many Midshipmen, I am happy to know that our country will be served by such fine military officers.  Overall, I am very thankful for this experience and it is one of my greatest academic memories from my time at Wake Forest.