Pat Gamble is the current President of the University of Alaska, having succeeded Mark Hamilton last year.  Retired Air Force General and past President of the Alaska Railroad, President Gamble has a great deal of experience leading very complicated institutions, and all of us wish him luck in his current role.

President Gamble is not new to such responsibilities.  He is a retired Air Force General, who served as a commander at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.  He entered the Air Force in 1967, and flew 394 combat missions as a forward air controller.  He has commanded a fighter squadron and three wings.  Not only that, he was deputy chief of staff for air and space operations at the Pentagon.  He retired from the Air Force in 2001.

After he retired from the military, he became a senior executive for the Alaska Railroad.  Later on, President Gamble  succeeded Bill Sheffield as President of the railroad.  In 2010, he retired from the railroad and took on his current role.

 President Gamble spoke about a great many subjects, far too many to properly summarize in just a few sentences.  Not only that, there were a great many questions from other members of Rotary, and the discussion sometimes became rather technical.  The primary point that President Gamble made is that strategic planning for such a large organization is intensely difficult, and requires coordination with state agencies, private organizations, and legislative bodies.  Currently he's working to develop a 5 year plan for the university system, and it is quite an undertaking.

We were very fortunate to have President Gamble visit us today, and he filled that time with a great deal of information and interaction.