UDM alum’s insecurity talk a hit among students

Detroit Mercy alum Bill Priestap, a distinguished figure in national security and co-founder of Trenchcoat Advisors, returned to his alma mater to deliver a thought-provoking talk titled “An Era of Global Insecurity.” The event, held on March 13 in the Student Union Ballroom, attracted a diverse audience eager to gain insights into the complexities of global security issues. 

The event was sparked by the efforts of the College of Business Administration Board of Advisors and the Dean, who facilitated connections that led to Priestap’s involvement. Evan Peterson, the organizer, shed light on the meticulous planning behind the scenes. When asked about the choice of Priestap as the speaker, Peterson emphasized the Speaker Series’ aim to bring distinguished leaders to campus, spanning different sectors. Priestap’s expertise in national security promised a unique perspective on the pressing issue of global insecurity. 

Promotion of the event was thorough, with flyers scattered around the C&F building, announcements in Campus Connection, LinkedIn postings and targeted emails to students. Peterson credited the collaborative effort across the university for ensuring a good turnout. 

The talk itself was held with bold passion and an urgent tone that Priestap succeeded with how he conveyed his words. Although specific details from Bill Priestap’s presentation cannot be shared due to a request from the speaker, attendees were treated to a comprehensive exploration of global insecurity. Topics such as nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction were discussed, international cybersecurity issues, poverty, geopolitical tensions, socio-economic disparities and much more. Priestap demonstrated his deep knowledge on these topics by also answering questions spurred by the audience.  

One thing that stood out from Priestap’s talk was his claim about today’s community and their more than relaxed attitude towards critical issues threatening the nation and world today.  

“We aren’t hungry enough,” Priestap said.  

This comment elicited a crowd member to talk about his own experience with serving tours for the country for which he claimed went to waste.  

Attending the talk was a student, Brandon Manuszak. Manuszak is a criminal justice major in the five-year Intelligence Analysis program with a strong dedication and passion toward the field and global security as a whole.  

“It was a wakeup call,” Manuszak said. “I’ve been learning about all these pressing issues and threats to our national security in class and I’m glad to see that the school is pushing for more than just the Intelligence studies department to be made aware of them as well.” 

Much like Manuszak, the large audience attending the talk seemed to benefit greatly from this wake-up call. The audience was very intrigued all the way up to the end of the talk with many asking in-depth questions on the topics Priestap spoke on.  

With a robust turnout and engaging discourse, attendees were privy to a comprehensive exploration of pressing global security issues. Priestap’s return to Detroit Mercy to deliver his insightful talk marked a significant moment for both the university and its community serving as a catalyst for continued engagement and action in addressing the challenges of an increasingly insecure world.