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Global Alumni Lecture Includes Retired VA Official, 30 Year Career Army Nurse


US Army retired Colonel Lucretia McClenney is among speakers for the Global Alumni Lecture Series from 7 to 9 p.m. this Wednesday in Murray State's Curris Center Theatre. A self-proclaimed "Army Brat" - she was interviewed by the late Dr. Ruth Cole for a nursing scholarship at Murray State in 1968. She speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about her career in the US Army, her work with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and her plans on inviting Murray to become a commemorative partner for honoring Vietnam veterans.

Lucretia McClenney's dad served 27 years, McClenney started school in Germany; continued in California; the returned to her mother's hometown, Louisville, where she went to Shawnee High School. The late Dr. Ruth Cole interviewed her for a nursing scholarship at Murray and she came in 1968, the year of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination. McClenney recalls peaceful demonstrations; school parades, and a supportive African American community in Murray, which brought students to church and offered her family meals on weekends.

US Army Retired Colonel Lucretia McClenney is among speakers for the Global Alumni Lecture Series this Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. in Murray State's Curris Center Theatre. A 30-year career in nursing leadership distinguishes McClenney's CV with executive positions and elite military decorations. She currently works as the consultant with the Department of Defense Vietnam War Commemoration Office and Executive Coach with the Brookings Institute Executive Education Program.

Lucretia McClenney says in her youth she had no intentions of making the Army a career, but found that she had a skill in nursing and was doing what she was trained to do and felt a desire to give back. On considering the Army, she says, "What was three years of my life when I was going to be a nurse for life?" Grateful for the experience, traveling and living all over the world, McClenney says that for her there was no greater honor than serving one's country in uniform.

Now, she works with the VA, educating veterans of their benefits, reminding them that the VA is not welfare, but an earned benefit from serving in the military. Despite some recent VA issues, she says she has personally received very good care and has no complaints. As part of her visit to Murray State University, McClenney plans on asking the City of Murray to become a commemorative partner for honoring veterans of the Vietnam War. She says the partnership means conducting an event that will recognize, honor and thank veterans and their families.

More about Lucretia McClenney

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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