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Reagan Inspires Ivany’s Leadership
Photo: Dr. Robert IvanyDr. Robert Ivany, University of St. Thomas president, regularly addresses groups in Houston, including high schools, civic groups and organizations. Ivany also attends galas to accept awards on behalf of the University. Recently, Ivany, a retired two-star major general in the U.S. Army, shared anecdotes during his term as an Army Aide for former President Ronald Reagan, from 1984-1986, with UST faculty and staff at President’s Town Hall meeting on Nov. 1 in Cullen Hall.

In each of his recent addresses, Ivany weaves in stories about Reagan’s impact on his life as an “affable and compassionate” leader. He also informs listeners about the small, but important things Reagan did to show his appreciation for all people.

Ivany pointed out that, when he first met Reagan, the former president took the time to learn about Ivany’s background as a football player at the U.S. Military Academy and engaged him in a jovial conversation about the sport. Moments like these, when Reagan made an effort to get to know the whole person, allowed Ivany to see how Reagan connected respect and leadership.

Ivany said he learned that “respect, collaboration and dialogue” are effective tools for creating a cohesive environment where challenges are met head on and goals are achieved. He challenged faculty and staff to practice these concepts as a community working toward the goal of successfully educating leaders of faith and character.

Ivany’s time with Reagan showed him that a leader can be steadfast, amiable and good-natured while making great strides for peace and mankind. Especially witnessing Reagan’s relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, during the Cold War, Ivany saw how, even with a supposed enemy, bonds can be discovered, friendships can emerge and peace can be achieved.  

In his various speaking engagements and appearances, Ivany expresses his gratitude for his time with Reagan and works to show individuals that maintaining humanity in all situations is part of effective leadership.  
The next President’s Town Hall meeting is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 in Cullen Hall.

Other speaking engagements include:
Oct. 23 – Ivany accepted an award at the “United Nations Day Gala” from the United Nations Association in Houston. UST was honored as the “Global Impact Award” recipient.

Nov. 2 – Ivany was the keynote speaker at the Houston West Chamber of Commerce “Salute to Veterans” luncheon and awards ceremony. Current and former military members were honored.

Nov. 28 – Ivany will give a presentation at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston in a leadership class. He was invited to speak on the connection between his military and spiritual life.

Dec. 12 – At Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, Ivany will speak during the “Captain Andrew R. Houghton Award Dinner.” The event awards a deserving sophomore who exhibits academic excellence, service to the community, enthusiasm for life and determination to succeed.

Feb. 18 – Ivany will be speaking to the Ronald Reagan Republican Women at the Doubletree Hotel. 

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