The George C. Marshall International Center
In Leesburg, there is no shortage of history. The George C. Marshall International Center located in the historic district at Dodona Manor encompasses the life of the Nobel Peace Prize winner of the same name. To learn more about Dodona Manor and its famous inhabitants, I spoke with Valerie Beaudoin, Executive Director of George C. Marshall International Center.
On the George C. Marshall International Center’s purpose and mission.
[We] bring to life Marshall’s timeless values of selfless service and unwavering integrity to develop visionary leaders worldwide. When students visit our house, we teach them about Marshall and encourage them to make a difference in their lives the way he did. In addition, Eagle Scouts often come in to receive help with their projects. Our biggest student event is our Ethical Leadership Conference. Its goal is to help students become better leaders through researching Marshall’s life and learning from it. To learn more about our programs, visit the “Education” page under the Marshall Center’s website. (www.georgecmarshall.org)
Beaudoin’s Personal Connection to General Marshall
There were multiple crossovers between General Marshall’s work and I, but the most notable is that I had been part of the Rotary Club and he was an honorary member. He always put the nation first. Many leaders are in it for fame, while Marshall was a humble philanthropist.
What You Probably Didn’t Know About Dodona Manor
95 percent of everything in the house belonged to the Marshalls. In most historical homes, the antiques are reproductions or “of the era”. There are many of these items that are important to me in the house, but one of the most interesting is Marshall’s bedroom. It may not look the most impressive but it has the biggest impact for me because it shows the reality of his situation since he slept in such a small bed. It is very humbling.
Most people [in our region] don’t know about the GCMIC. People see Dodona Manor and don’t realize it is a museum you can visit. I also wish General Marshall received more recognition. In school, students quickly learn about World War II and that the Marshall Plan saved Europe. It was so important to the European countries that they received the United States’ support. It was crucial to their economic stability.
George C. Marshall International Center Annual Events
We host the official town and county Veterans Day event. Every year on November 11th from 10:30 AM to 11:11 PM, we have a celebration to commemorate veterans. This year is our 17th year of the tradition and it is free and open to all. It is important to the Center because Marshall had to save peoples’ lives and take care of his soldiers, so we do the same. Join us!
The Best Part about the GCMIC
We are dedicated to the next generation. Other museums are stuck in the past and tell the old story back in the day. We look towards the future to foster great leaders like Marshall was. That is our mission.
I invite everyone to visit. Take the first step and learn about his life and the person he was so you can be part of the discussion. You could be the next great leader.
Article by Kashvi Ramani