Retired U.S. Army colonel, a woman of many firsts, to address annual King breakfast

January 7, 2013

Lisle, Illinois~ Retired U.S. Army Colonel Jill Morgenthaler, who broke ground on a number of military fronts, will be the featured speaker Monday, January 21, 2013 at the 18th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast hosted by Benedictine University and College of DuPage.

The breakfast will be held from 8:00-9:30 a.m. in the Main Dining Room of the Krasa Student Center on the campus of Benedictine University.

Morgenthaler was one of the first women to train as an equal with men in the collegiate Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship program at Penn State University. She served as the first woman battalion commander in the 88th Regional Support Command, and was the first woman brigade commander in the 84th Division of the U.S. Army Reserves

Her varied military experiences include working as a peacekeeper in Bosnia, conducting evacuation operations for Kosovar refugees and handling disaster recovery during the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. Morgenthaler received the Bronze Star for her leadership performance in Iraq in 2004, and the Legion of Merit for her 30 years of extraordinary service in the Army.

She was also Illinois' first Homeland Security advisor.

Today, Morgenthaler is a motivational speaker, exhilarating audiences with tales of her famous stare down with deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein while he was on trial for war crimes. Her presentation, "Winning at Work: 21 Secrets to Lead and Succeed," is in high demand.

The King Breakfast, which honors the legacy of the civil rights leader and celebrates diversity, is one of the largest events of its kind in the state. More than 500 community leaders and citizens attend annually. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund at both schools.

The event is sponsored by Nicor Gas.

For more information and tickets, call the McAninch Arts Center at (630) 942-4000 or go to


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. A 2016 PayScale Inc. report ranked BenU one of the top 10 colleges in Illinois for return on investment and in the top 20 percent nationally. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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