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George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Lifelong Learning is Integral to the Mission for Navy Rear Admiral

Written by Greg Johnson on .

Captain Luther 250x313When Brian Luther, MBA ’04, was seeking to advance his education, he knew he wanted to be on the ground level of a special place, one that was destined to grow and be as good as any of the top institutions of the region or country. “Mason’s faculty had the Nobel laureates and other distinguished faculty, where I knew they were in a position to educate at the highest level,” he says. “I remember Mark Warner, who was governor at the time, talking about building up the value of higher education in Virginia,” says Luther. “He put his money where his mouth was and really built up Mason.” Excited to be on the ground level of something bigger than himself, Luther enrolled at the School of Business for his MBA and immediately realized the significance of a Mason education.

Luther is a veteran of the United States Navy, having served as rear admiral, most recently in command of Carrier Strike Group 2. Now, as president and CEO of Navy Mutual Aid Association, he remains committed to the Navy and his country. Many of the skills he developed and honed as a commander have become integral in his current career as a business leader. “In the Navy, it’s vital to be ready at any time for any task, and in preparation, we have to analyze cost/benefit statistics, return on investment, and comparing alternatives,” he says. He now exercises these abilities on behalf of his clients—servicemembers, both retired and active, and their families in need of affordable life insurance and annuities.

A major similarity that Luther sees between leadership in the military and in business is the importance of investing in people. “Navy ships come in classes, what makes one different from another is the crew. The people are what make the difference,” he says. Luther brings that experience to his role as CEO and strives to create an environment where his team feels gratified in their mission and day-to-day roles. As part of Luther’s investment in himself, his team, and in turn, their customers, he enrolled the Navy Mutual Aid Association leadership team in a class with Mason’s Executive Development. “The class trained us in maximizing the value of data analytics and providing a common frame of reference so that our team can be on the same page,” he says. “It’s an ongoing education and I look forward to more classes down the road.”b luther120x180

Luther’s involvement as an alumnus stretches far beyond the Executive Development program. He’s an active member of the School of Business Management Advisory Council and a frequent participant on panels for career discussion. “By interacting with these students, we’re helping them understand what employers are looking for, but we’re also gaining a lot by learning what these future employees want and what tools they will be bringing to the table,” he says. Luther knows that Mason is the institution that reflects his commitment to lifelong learning and dedication to the armed forces. “Mason has it all, in every field, and it has seemingly endless opportunities to engage with Washington, D.C.—the capital of the world.”