Library Showcase Past Events

Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 7:00pm at the SWOSU Conference Center

Colonel James Wilhite (Ret.) Shares Success Story of Building an Afghanistan University

Colonel James Wilhite (Ret.) Shares Success Story of Building an Afghanistan University, Tues., March 8, 2011

Retired U.S. Army Colonel, James Wilhite, will share his story of accomplishing an impossible task: building a four year university in Afghanistan with no funding and no full time staff - a mission he accomplished in ten months. The presentation will be held at the SWOSU Conference Center on the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University on Tuesday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m. The evening presentation is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow the evening presentation.

The presentation will offer first-hand knowledge for anyone curious about the Afghan people and the U.S. Military's role in reconstruction and humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan. The information presented will be very insightful for any college student currently serving with the U.S. Military or those individuals pursuing careers in education, business, management or leadership. Wilhite will discuss the support and cooperation provided to him by the faculty of the West Point Military Academy and how he set goals for accomplishing this task, managing personnel, and acquiring building resources. He will also share the story of how he became known as, "The American Father of the National Military Academy of Afghanistan."

Colonel Wilhite currently serves as Liaison Officer to the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York and Professor Emeritus at the College of Education, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK. He has served as Drill Sergeant, Senior Drill Sergeant, Training Officer, Company Commander (Co D 291st Regt, 3d Bde), Assistant MOS Director, Public Relations Officer, and Deputy Inspector General (90th Regional Support Command, North Little Rock, AR.), Battalion Commander (1st Bn 377th Regt, 3rd Bde, 95th Div (IT), Shawnee, OK.).

James Wilhite earned his Bachelor of Science degree and M.S. in Elementary Administration from University of Central Oklahoma and his Ed.D. in Public School Administration from Oklahoma State University. Throughout his military career, Wilhite continued his education and training in several areas, such as battle focused instruction and officer training. He served as an instructor in the Drill Sergeant Academy, 95th Division Tng, Oklahoma City; the Leadership Academy, 95th Division Tng, Midwest City; 4156th USAR School, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Colonel Wilhite has served nearly 40 years in the U.S. Army Reserves. In 2004, he was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom where he served as Chief of the National Military Academy of Afghanistan, Implementation Team. During his military service, Wilhite has earned the following decorations, service medals, and badges: Bronze Star (Operation Enduring Freedom), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Ten-Year Device, Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon, Expert Infantry Badge, and Drill Sergeant Badge.

For more information about this evening event, please contact Jason Dupree, Head of Public Services, SWOSU Libraries, at 774-3031 or email