Kansas State University Police Capt. Don Stubbings, along with 256 other law enforcement executives, recently graduated from the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Va.
The 248th session of the National Academy consisted of 48 states and 28 countries, three military organizations and five federal civilian organizations. FBI Director Robert Mueller was the principal speaker at the graduation.
Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy Program, conducted at the FBI academy, offers 10 weeks of advanced investigative, management and leadership courses, as well as a comprehensive physical fitness program.
The training for the program is provided by FBI academy instructors, FBI special agents and other faculty members. Since 1972 National Academy students earn either undergraduate or graduate hours from the University of Virginia. Stubbings, who already has a master’s degree from the University of Central Missouri, chose to take 15 graduate hours at the academy.
“The program was certainly an academic challenge,” Stubbings said. “One of the highlights of the experience was working with the 28 international students. We all share the same challenges in our profession.”
While the academic challenges were plentiful, the fitness program pushed all the students to their physical limitations, Stubbings said. The program, ironically named the Yellow Brick Road, is a combination of multiple weekly challenges ending in the final challenge of a 6.2-mile Marine Corps obstacle course and run. Students who complete all the challenges receive the coveted yellow brick, which graduates of the National Academy often proudly display in their offices.
“The diploma is great, but the yellow brick has a special significance - lots of sweat, mud and blood were all part of earning the yellow brick,” Stubbings said.
Ronnie Grice, assistant vice president for public safety, said, “The value of having Capt. Stubbings attend the National Academy is immeasurable; the education is second to none. He was on a waiting list over five years, and to be selected was an honor for Capt. Stubbings, the K-State Police Department and Kansas State University. He was only the second officer in the history of our agency ever to be selected. Fewer than 1 percent of law enforcement officers worldwide will ever attend the National Academy.”