As we segue from Thanksgiving to Christmas this holiday season we have much to be thankful for and many “gifts” to anticipate in the coming year. In October we recorded our 1000th member and the latest update was 1030 and counting. This is a major milestone for any organization, particularly one with a sharply focused agenda such as ours. We thank all of you for bringing guests who represent an interested recruiting pool and talking to your friends and neighbors about your Council.
This is, in my view, a testament to the quality of speakers in the Friday seminar series, researched and selected by our volunteer Program Committee. The coming Winter–Spring speakers are equally as strong as the Fall. Be sure to check out the website for the latest speaker updates. At the November Program Committee we transitioned to new leadership with Jeff Stokes taking the Chair and beginning the development of the 2016-17 Speaker Program. Joan Deery continues to own the 2015-16 Program but will settle into a well-earned “retirement” at the end of May.
Our very popular Evening Speaker Series begins in January and continues through April. While the 2015 Evening series had a nation-based focus, this year’s has a military focus that will allow you to get “inside” some of the issues driving the military as an institution. Subscriptions are available here.
Also starting in late January will be the Great Decisions discussion series. We are again offering three discussion groups, two morning groups (Tuesdays & Wednesdays) and an evening group (Thursdays). Michel Jover has taken on the ownership of this program going forward. The information on the specific topics and schedule along with registration materials are already in your in-box. Based on past practice, the Great Decisions Briefing Book 2016 will available for those members who purchased the book in the Gathering Space at our January Speaker sessions.
To all of you, I extend the Board’s wishes for a Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing all of you in the New Year. We’ll see you at the first speaker meeting on January 8, when the president of the United States Institute of Peace address us on the very timely topic: “The Political and Humanitarian Refugee Crisis in Europe.”
Lee J. Wilwerding
President, World Affairs Council Hilton Head