Admiral and Alumnus

Journalism alumnus William H. McRaven profiled as a Longhorn Legend

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Before William H. McRaven (BJ ’77) was an admiral in the U.S. Navy, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command or the sole finalist for chancellor of The University of Texas System, he studied in the School of Journalism at the Moody College of Communication. While on the Forty Acres, McRaven also ran track and was in the ROTC program at The University of Texas at Austin.

In 1996, McRaven used his writing, communication and journalist training from the Moody College to help author his book, “Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice,” cited as an insightful study of military engagement.

Thirty-four years after graduation, McRaven directed special operations to execute the raid on Osama bin Laden’s secret compound in Pakistan, which led to the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist.

He currently commands about 67,000 special operations forces worldwide. Invited back to deliver the keynote at this year’s spring commencement on May 17, 2014, his speech has since been viewed more than 2.3 million times.

“If there is a lesson to be learned from me being invited to speak at this commencement—it is that the university is not only about the strength of your GPA, your class standing or your accomplishments on the field — the strength of this university is about how it prepares you for life,” said McRaven.

Marc Speir
Senior Content Producer