For years, Heidelberg University alumnus Colonel Chad Breeden, USMC has wanted to get engaged with his alma mater, but his military career and distance precluded his involvement. Back in 2013, he “took the plunge” when he returned to campus for his 25th reunion.
In 2015, the Marine Corps relocated Chad and his family from San Diego to Quantico, Virginia, and the opportunity to get more intimately involved at Heidelberg became manageable. And now, with his sights set on a second career in higher education leadership after his mandatory retirement from the military in April 2020, he has assumed a major role representing alumni.
In June 2017, Chad began a three-year term on the Alumni Council and had been serving as vice president. In November, following the passing of Alumni Council President Frann Zverina, he stepped in as president. As such, he joins the Board of Trustees as the Alumni Council representative.
“I’m a big believer that what I learned at Heidelberg is as big a component as anything else in my life in preparing me for my career and beyond,” Chad said. “I just feel called to give back.”
In February, Chad attended his first full Board of Trustees meeting to get the lay of the land. He’ll officially join the board July 1.
“I’m really looking forward to getting alumni energized and excited, and spreading the news about all the great things taking place on campus,” Chad said.
He’ll be joining a 28-member Board of Trustees that is comprised of more than 60 percent ’Berg alumni. “Initially, I’m going to try to learn about the board and how I can fit in to provide a voice for alumni,” he said.
Alumni will appreciate Chad’s strong skill set as their representative on the board. He is currently an assistant professor at the National War College, National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Before the National War College, he served as a Senior Military Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, and his command assignments included serving as the commanding officer of Marine Air Control Group 38 in San Diego and Marine Air Control Squadron 1 in Yuma, Arizona. He also has completed a number of other leadership assignments, including director of the President’s Emergency Operations Center at the White House Military Office.
Currently, Chad is pursuing his Ed.D. in community college leadership at Ferris State University, expecting to graduate in 2020. He also has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University.
President Rob Huntington is looking forward to working with Chad in this new capacity. “I have a great deal of admiration and appreciation for Colonel Breeden’s service to our country,” he said. “I look forward to the leadership skills, energy and expertise he will bring to the board as he represents the interests of Heidelberg’s 15,000-plus alumni.
Board Chair Kathy Geier, ’78, is anticipating great contributions from Chad. “His background in leadership, management and service will be a great asset to our board,” she said. “He is a strategic thinker who is extremely passionate about helping Heidelberg move forward. We are fortunate that he has made a commitment to serve his alma mater in this way.”