By Bill Gattie, TACOM LCMC Public AffairsJuly 5, 2013
The 2013 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month observance at the Detroit Arsenal was held May 22. The theme for this observance was "Building Leadership: Embracing Cultural Values and Inclusion" and the guest speaker was Dr. Virinder K. Moudgil, President and CEO of Lawrence Technological University (LTU) since August 1, 2012.
Mistress of Ceremony, Barbara Stallworth, DOD Observances Manager, welcomed the audience and introduced the following program participants:
• National Anthem: Barbara Lang, Army Contracting Command (ACC) Tactical Division
• Invocation: Lt. Col. Stephen DeMien, Command Chaplain, TACOM LCMC
• Guest speaker introduction: Timothy Tarczynski, Deputy Chief of Staff for Human Capital, G-1 TACOM LCMC
Moudgil spoke about the many groups that make up the Asian Pacific Islander population in the U.S. These include: American Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Asian Indian, Filipino, Cambodian, Hawaiian, Samoan and Thai. He also noted the high degree to which these people participate in our society. He mentioned that they are included as a group on the Army's website and 80 percent of them vote in our elections. "There is not a single arena of life in the U.S. where Asian Pacific Americans have not made a mark," he said. He cited a number of Examples, including Eric Shinseki, former U.S. Army Chief of Staff and current Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He also shared some of his thoughts on leadership. "It is not who you are that holds you back," he said, "but who you think you are not."
Following Moudgil's presentation, the audience enjoyed a performance of some Asian, Hawaiian, Chinese, Indian and Filipino dances. At the conclusion of the program, Moudgil received a two-star note signed by TACOM LCMC Commander Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry and audience members were invited to partake in a reception featuring samples of various types of Asian food.
Prior to his appointment as the seventh president of LTU, Moudgil held the position of Senior Vice president and Provost at Oakland University, where he led academic affairs from 2001 to 2012. He also was a professor of Biological Sciences and chaired Oakland University faculty in 1976.
Moudgil received his Ph.D. in Zoology-Biochemistry from Banaras Hindu University, which is ranked the top university in India. He was a research fellow in India for two years and came to the United States in 1973 to take a post-doctoral fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.