College of Business

Inspiring Leaders in Management

by Karen Doss Bowman

Alumnus and Rear Admiral Christopher Murray '82, speaking to management students

SUMMARY: Naval Officer, JMU Alumnus, Rear Admiral Christopher Murray, '82, MBA, '83, spoke to management students about developing leaders.

JMU alumnus Rear Admiral Christopher Murray, commander of the Naval Safety Center, visited the College of Business (CoB) on Monday, Oct. 10, to talk to management professor Eric Stark’s Organizational Leadership classes. Murray--who oversees 250 military and civilian employees working to cultivate a “proactive risk management culture” for a Naval force comprising 325,000 personnel--drew from his own personal and professional experiences to share with students how the Navy develops leaders and about his view of “leadership keys to success.” These include setting a vision, understanding your employee’s motivations, accepting accountability and making informed decisions. His perspective reinforced topics Stark discusses with students in class and emphasized the importance of key leadership concepts. 

A career fighter pilot, Murray has served in numerous F-14 squadrons. He was commanding officer of VF-143 and deputy commander and commander of Carrier Air Wing 9. He graduated from JMU with a double major in business administration and political science in 1982 and an MBA in finance in 1983. He also has studied at the Royal College of Defense Studies, the National Defense University, the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC and the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun). 

“I really wanted my students to hear from someone who has been where they are, and has, through hard work and persistence, achieved a great deal of success,” Stark says. “I want my students to understand that they can be successful as well. Having alumni like Admiral Murray come back to campus and engage with ours students provides both inspiration and validation of the things we’re doing in the classroom. Students get to see the possibilities for their lives when they interact with successful alumni, and it also inspires them to think about how they might give back in the future.”

Published: Thursday, October 13, 2016

Last Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2018

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