Chancellor William H. McRaven is the Winthrop Roundtable Keynote Speaker

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, the Friends of the Library at the College of Charleston will host William H. McRaven as the keynote speaker at the annual Winthrop Roundtable.  William McRaven is the University of Texas System Chancellor, a retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral, and author of the New York Times best seller, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World.

William McRaven is best known for organizing and overseeing the special ops raid in 2011 that led to the death of Osama bin Laden. He headed special ops teams in Iraq and Afghanistan and served as commander of U.S. Special Operations Command before retiring from the Navy and accepting the chancellor position at University of Texas, his alma mater.

In 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven’s commencement speech to the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin went viral with over 10 million views on social media. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World, builds on the core tenets laid out in his commencement speech. The book recounts tales from McRaven’s own life and from those of the people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage.

The Winthrop Roundtable is the signature event of the College of Charleston Libraries. The event showcases a renowned speaker each year in a keynote address related to current events, politics, business, leadership, or culture exchange with the intent of inciting thought-provoking discourse and showcasing unique viewpoints to our community. The first Roundtables, held in John and Libby Winthrop’s home in the early 1990’s, were intimate affairs and provided attendees the chance to meet and learn from extraordinary speakers like Cokie Roberts and George Plimpton. The Roundtable outgrew Winthrop’s home in 1996 as word spread, and the College of Charleston Friends of the Library has since maintained the gathering’s original vision of showcasing notable speakers and engaging audiences in invigorating roundtable discussions. Past speakers of the Winthrop Roundtable have included journalist Dan Abrams, former Secretary of State John F. Kerry, and General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt.

For tickets, please contact Vincent Fraley at


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