NEW YORK - In the last meeting of 2011-12 for The Leaders for Life Program, retired Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead, the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to the rank of general, spoke to the group of Columbia student-athletes who participated in the year-long leadership workshop.

Halstead, a member of the second West Point class that admitted women, is a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy, earning a B.S. in engineering.  She also has an M.S. in National Resource Strategy and an M.S. in Advanced Military Studies.

"I cannot think of a better way to close out our Leaders for Life Program this year than with Brigadier General Halstead," said M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education.  "The leadership lessons Rebecca speaks to are invaluable.  In August 2011 she spoke to our head coaches and they absolutely loved her.  We brought her back to speak to our student-athletes and they felt the same.  It was the perfect ending to a fantastic year."

Halstead founded her own leader consultancy company, STEADFAST Leadership, following 27 years of service in the U.S. military.  Nominated in 2003 by then President George W. Bush, Halstead was confirmed as Brigadier General in 2004. After a lifetime of leadership training, Halstead was able to convey clear messages about leadership to Columbia's student leaders.

Once again, The Leaders for Life Program was a complete success.

"The Leaders for Life Program was a great experience," senior baseball co-captain, and Ivy League Blair Bat Winner, Jon Eisen said. "I really appreciated the leadership personality test. It helped me understand more about myself and become a better leader."

In 2008, Murphy launched The Leaders for Life Program. The program is designed to provide comprehensive leadership training to student-athletes representing all of Columbia's 31 varsity sports programs.