Fort Leavenworth foundation gets $6.1M pledge
Billionaire H. Ross Perot has pledged gifts totaling $6.1 million to the Command and General Staff College Foundation at Fort Leavenworth.
The gifts will support two new initiatives at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the “Col. Arthur D. Simons Center for the Study of Interagency Cooperation” and the “Gen. Hugh Shelton Chair in Ethics.”
Perot, who launched a third-party quest for the presidency in 1992, visited Fort Leavenworth last month. Robert Ulin, the foundation’s chief executive officer, said the Texas billionaire came to Fort Leavenworth to 2009 to view firsthand the education of military officers and their interagency and international counterparts. Perot made his decision to support the initiatives shortly thereafter, Ulin said.
Ulin said Perot selected the names of the new initiatives, rather than have them named after himself, which the foundation had planned to do. He elected to name the center for the study of interagency cooperation after retired Col. Arthur “Bull” Simons, who led the 1970 Son Tay Raid to free prisoners of war in Vietnam. Simons also led a mission in 1979 (during his retirement) to rescue two of Perot’s employees from a prison in Teheran. Perot elected to name the chair in ethics after Shelton, a close, personal and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The Col. Arthur D. Simons Center will break new ground in development of improved cooperation and understanding of interagency affairs,” said Brig. Gen. Edward Cardon, deputy commandant of the college. “This is an area of increasing importance to the College and the Army.
“The Gen. Hugh Shelton Chair in Ethics will add significantly to our ability to enhance the college’s focus on ethics.”
During his visit Oct. 20, Perot spent time with students in seminar, toured the Lewis and Clark Center, attended a presentation by retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré in Eisenhower Auditorium and visited the Memorial Chapel on post.
“The Lewis and Clark Center was magnificent,” Perot told his hosts. “But I really enjoyed my time with the soldiers in class and at lunch. They’re all heroes everyday for what they do for our country.”