Called To Serve Speaker Series

Called to Serve is a virtual speaker series that allows members of the Naval Academy community to share their perspectives on critical topics, the Academy's mission, and the role of service—of all kinds—in their lives.

UPDATE: 10 November 2022-6:47 p.m. EST:

Click the link to watch the recorded session of our virtual series A World Above: A Discussion with USNA Astronauts Barron '10 and Lawrence '81:

LCDR Kayla Barron ’10, USN, is the most recent Naval Academy alumnus to become an astronaut. She made her first launch into space on 10 November 2021 as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). At the time of her selection into the astronaut program, Barron was serving as Flag Aide to then-Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy VADM Ted Carter ’81, USN (Ret.).

Captain Wendy B. Lawrence ’81, USN (Ret.), logged over 1,225 hours in space during her four space flights. Lawrence was selected by NASA in March 1992 and was the first female Naval Academy graduate selected for the astronaut program. Lawrence has more than 1,500 hours flight time in six different types of helicopters and has made more than 800 shipboard landings. She is a 2019 Naval Academy Distinguished Graduate honoree.



May 2022: War in Ukraine: Thank you for joining us on 11 May 2022 for a faculty discussion on the current situation. Faculty panelists included: Dr. Clementine Fujimura, Director and Professor, Area Studies; Dr. Catherine O'Neil, Associate Professor, Russian; Jeff Kosseff, Associate Professor, Cyber Security Law.

April 2021: We were thrilled to host Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. ’78, USN (Ret.), former Ambassador to South Korea, as our featured Called to Serve virtual series speaker on 6 April as he shared his perspective on the Indo-Pacific region and its critical importance to the United States—its opportunities, challenges, and threats—including a network of Alliances and partnerships amid the generational challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China and North Korea. Watch the video recording from the event.

November 2021: A Place to Call Home; Alumni Association and Foundation Center Update. The Project Committee Chairman, ADM Robert J. Natter ’67, USN (Ret.), and CDR Craig Washington ’89, USN (Ret.), Vice President of Engagement at the Alumni Association will take you inside the project, share the impact the new facility will have on alumni engagement and services, and how you can be a part of it. Demolition at the new facility’s site is scheduled to begin in November with construction expected to take 17 months. Watch the video recording here.

October 2021: A World Above; A discussion with USNA's Astronauts. We hope you enjoyed listening to our panelists: CAPT Frank Culbertson, Jr. '71, USN (Ret.), CAPT Michael López-Alegria '80, USN (Ret.), CAPT Wendy Lawrence '81, USN (Ret.), and CAPT Robert Curbeam '84, USN (Ret.), and moderated by MajGen Charles Bolden '68, USMC (Ret.). Watch the video recording here.

May 2021: Blue Angels Virtual Event: On the eve of the Blue Angels’ exciting return to Annapolis for Commissioning Week 2021, we’ve reunited four veteran members of the U.S. Navy’s premier flight demonstration team for a look back at their experiences. Click here to view the event recording.

April 2021: Teammates Then and Now: Elite Eight Basketball: On 16 March 1986, No. 17 Navy (7th seed) stunned No. 9 Syracuse (2nd seed) 97-85 in their own Carrier Dome in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, helping pave the way for the Midshipmen’s eventual Elite Eight appearance. Thirty-five years later, the bonds that united that legendary team remain. We were joined by five members—Vernon Butler ’86, Tony Wells ’86, Kylor Whitaker ’86, Carl Liebert ’87, Cliff Rees ’88; Moderated by Phil Bergman of Navy Athletics—of that incredible squad reunite to share their memories of the roots of the team’s success and how that experience—and the rest of their Naval Academy careers—shaped their lives. To view presentation, click here.

February 2021: A Place to Call Home: Alumni Association and Foundation Center Update: The Project Committee Chairman, ADM Robert J. Natter ’67, USN (Ret.), led the discussion and was joined by Architect Sabret Flocos and CDR Craig Washington ’89, USN (Ret.), Vice President of Engagement at the Alumni Association. This virtual event provided an opportunity to learn more about this distinctive initiative—the first facility in history dedicated to the achievements of the U.S. Naval Academy alumni community. In addition to their presentations, all panelists welcomed questions about the project and what it means for the Naval Academy alumni network. See the full presentation here. FAQ's and additional information stemming from the event will be posted in the near future.

January 2021: Unclassified Briefing: Recent Russian Cyber Attacks on the U.S. Government: The event featured USNA Center for Cyber Security Studies Leaders examining the long-term pact of recent breaches of U.S. agencies by Russian hackers.  

October 2020: Interview with NASCAR Truck Series driver LCDR Jesse Iwuji ’10, USNR: The interview covered his life in the Navy and NASCAR by Shipmate Managing Editor Jimmy DeButts. And he even took us on a thrilling drive around the track in his racing simulator. LCDR Iwuji  began his NASCAR racing career in 2015, and he shared his journey from earning an appointment to the Academy as a first-generation Nigerian American to playing football and beating Army and Air Force all four years to serving on minesweeper and amphibious warfare ships to becoming the only current military service member racing in NASCAR’s national levels.  Jesse joined the Naval Reserve in 2017 and he described the challenges of balancing his racing career with military responsibilities. His story is an inspiring example of passion, persistence and perseverance. Learn more about Jesse at