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Christopher Reilly Attends SVA Leadership Institute

October 1, 2019

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Christopher Reilly, a Marine Corps veteran and president of the Student Veterans of America chapter at SUNY Orange, was among approximately 125 student veteran campus leaders from across the country selected to attend the four-day Student Veterans of America Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. in September.

A resident of Maybrook, Reilly is studying architectural technology and is involved in student Architectural Club on the Middletown campus.

The institute, held under the auspices of the Student Veterans of America, was sponsored by Prudential Financial and supported by Will E. Williamson Jr., director of veterans initiatives for Prudential. The premise of the event was that long-term leadership success comes from an intimate knowledge of one’s core values and how they can be used to empower others. Attendees were mentored through this experience by successful SVA alumni, business leaders and veterans’ advocates.

The event included lectures on leadership, panels to discuss daily habits that promote success, and group learning exercises focused on understanding personal values and leadership traits. A remembrance of 9/11 was held at the Capitol Building on Sept. 11, where Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, expressed her gratitude and support to those at the institute for their prior service and current on-campus leadership.

Kyle J. White, a Medal of Honor recipient, spoke on overcoming the challenges relating to transitioning into the civilian world. Former Commander of the Joint Special Operations Command and Four-Star General, Stanley A. McChrystal, held a question-and-answer session on identifying and overcoming obstacles as a leader.

“I applied for the Student Veterans of America Leadership Institute to connect with student veterans from all over the country and to gain insight on how to effectively rebuild the newly reestablished SVA Chapter at SUNY Orange,” Reilly said. “I was constantly surrounded by and engaged with other highly motivated student veterans and mentors, who at one time were student veterans themselves involved in Student Veterans of America. After attending, I hope to pass along as much information from the institute as I can and, if possible, provide other motivated student veterans attending SUNY Orange with a similar opportunity.”