Creating Critical Thinking Experiences For Cadets: Reflections Of The Social Sciences Department Head

L. Donne Olvey


BG Olvey graduated from West Point in 1955 and earned a Rhodes Scholarship. In 1970, he earned his PhD from Harvard and returned to the Department of Social Sciences where he served as Deputy Head from 1970 to 1972 and as Department Head from 1972 to 1989. In this interview, he provides a detailed history of the Department of Social Sciences and some of the changes that occurred at West Point during his tenure. He discusses the introduction of Academic Majors and the Cadet Honor System. He describes his leadership of the Department of Social Sciences and important aspects of teaching. He reflects upon his own history and his experiences in the Army. Finally, he shares his observations about the turbulent and momentous period in the mid-1970s that saw the end of the Vietnam War and the admission of women into the Military Academy.


topics Character Leadership West Point History
interviewer COL Suzanne Nielsen
date 25 May 2017


name L. Donne Olvey
institution USMA
graduation year 1955
service Armor
unit Department of Social Sciences
specialty Rhodes Scholar
service dates 1955 1989