Chris Marvin Visit POSTPONED – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Chris Marvin Visit POSTPONED


A former U.S. Army officer and Blackhawk helicopter pilot, and a fourth-generation U.S. Army combat veteran, Chris Marvin joins the President’s Forum Series to discuss his work with Got Your 6, an organization that empowers veterans by bridging the civilian-military divide through creative partnerships with the entertainment industry.

Marvin will present his talk – “Hollywood and Vets: How Films like American Sniper are Shifting the Cultural Narrative on Veterans”- on Tuesday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Vandervort Room in the Scandling Campus Center at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

As managing director of Got Your 6, an offshoot of Be the Change Inc., Marvin is uniting the entertainment industry with top nonprofit organizations and the federal government to correct Hollywood depictions of veterans as damaged heroes in need of help. The goal is to ensure that veterans and military family members are seen as leaders and civic assets who can reinvigorate our communities. As a coalition, Got Your 6 works to integrate these perspectives into popular culture, to engage veterans and civilians together to foster understanding, and to ensure that there are opportunities for them to continue their service.

By encouraging television networks and movie executives to present characters that show a wider range of the veteran experience, Got Your 6 – a fighter-pilot phrase meaning “got your back” – is changing the conversation in America around veterans and military families.

In January, Marvin teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama and actor Bradley Cooper, the star of the Oscar-nominated film American Sniper, to launch a new seal of approval for films that consult with veterans and portray them accurately.

“We believe the way veterans are portrayed on the screen is the way they will be thought of in the living room and the way they will be treated in the community,” Marvin said at the gathering of hundreds of producers, writers and veterans in Washington. “We need to make sure everyone sees them as assets and encourages them to continue to serve in the community.”

In Marvin’s President’s Forum lecture, he will discuss the debates American Sniper has touched off and the role Hollywood can and does play in the conversation surrounding war, service members, and the process of returning home.

Marvin, who also serves as a commissioner for the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform, is a Truman National Security Fellow and represents Got Your 6 at the Clinton Global Initiative. Marvin’s work with Got Your 6 has been recognized with awards from the National Conference on Citizenship, Points of Light, and Goodwill Industries.

Marvin served for more than seven years as a U.S. Army officer and Blackhawk helicopter pilot. His military awards include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Medal. After being severely wounded in combat in Afghanistan, Marvin volunteered as an advocate for other wounded veterans, most prominently as the director of the Fellowship Program for The Mission Continues — a non-profit organization that challenges wounded and disabled veterans to volunteer in their communities. Subsequently, he volunteered for The Mission Continues as the national director of the Fellowship Program, logging more than 2,000 volunteer hours in 2008 before joining the organization as full-time staff in 2009. 

In 2008, he represented Hawai‘i and the Pacific at the Army Wounded Warrior Symposium and was selected as one of 30 young military leaders for the ServiceNation Summit.

Marvin is conversationally proficient in Hawaiian and has volunteered as an instructor for a Hawaiian language immersion program. He holds a bachelor of business administration from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He was named a Venture Fellow, leading trips in Chile and Antarctica, as well as a Social Enterprise Fellow, studying the impact of cross-sector collaboration on social movements and pervasive cultural events.

As the Wharton Graduate Association Executive Director for Leadership, Marvin founded the Wharton Perspectives on Leadership student speaker series-an innovative lecture series that allows students with non-conventional backgrounds to inspire group discussions on leadership dynamics. Marvin serves as a commissioner for the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform, as a Truman National Security Fellow, and as a Presidio Institute Cross Sector Leadership Fellow. He is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post. He appeared in four episodes of the ABC television drama “Lost” and was a significant contributor to the National Geographic documentary “The Last Days of Osama bin Laden.”

The President’s Forum Series, established in the winter of 2000 by President Mark D. Gearan, is designed to bring a variety of speakers to campus to share their knowledge and ideas with students, faculty, staff of the Colleges, as well as with interested community members. Many speakers draw audience members from the surrounding cities of Rochester, Syracuse and Ithaca. Forum guests generally take the opportunity to visit classes or gather with students and faculty members to discuss issues. Many people have one-on-one interaction with the speakers for the exchange of ideas or thoughts. Recent PFS guests include Susan Brison, Mary Matalin and James Carville, and Victoria Reggie Kennedy.

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