RSU News

May 20, 2010

RSU to Host Gen. Tommy Franks Public Exhibit during OMA Reunion

The Gen. Tommy Franks Road Show, which features an extensive collection of cultural, social and geographical artifacts from 24 Middle East countries, will be open to the public June 4-5 at Rogers State University.

The traveling exhibition will be on the RSU campus in Claremore during the annual reunion of the Oklahoma Military Academy, predecessor institution of RSU.

The exhibition and classroom, housed in a 60-foot truck and trailer, will feature cultural dress and clothing, handcrafted items, children's toys, ceremonial items and the first democratic ballot from Afghanistan, drawn from the collection of the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum in Hobart, Okla.

Traveling with the road show will be an educator to guide visitors and serve as a living voice for stories and information.

The traveling road show will be located at the east end of the Loshbaugh Parking lot (just west of the Centennial Center), and public touring hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 4, and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 5.

The road show is an active resource for critical thinking and discussion designed to expose visitors to educational opportunities, said Trapper Heglin, director of the Tommy Franks Museum.

Gen. Franks is well known throughout the world. He was promoted to four-star general in June 2000 and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command, leading American and Coalition troops in two strategically unprecedented campaigns in two years, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. It is in the latter position, the culmination of an almost four-decade military career, that the world knows him best.

Today, Gen. Franks' work focuses on leadership development for future generations. "It is my belief that leaders are not born, they are developed, and it is my passion to develop a world-class facility to inspire the next generation of leaders," Franks states on the museum's web site at

"The Road Show gives visitors the chance to discover a bigger world and bigger possibilities," Heglin said. "This program is one of three projects the Gen. Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum has developed to advance the understanding of historical events, encourage leadership, and inspire enlightened decision making by providing a forum of critical thinking through scholarly research, exhibitions, and public programs."

Since his retirement from the military in 2003, Gen. Franks has traveled the world speaking on leadership, character, and the value of Democracy, and developing a leadership institute. His autobiography, "American Soldier," debuted as number one on the New York Times Best Seller list in August 2004.

The Institute and Museum are housed in recently renovated historic buildings in downtown Hobart. The 9,500-square-foot facility includes a gift shop, show room and display gallery, showcasing items from Gen. Franks' personal collection. The museum's theme of leadership, patriotism and service is shared through many unique items, one-of-a-kind pieces, and special videos.

For more information on the traveling exhibition or museum, visit the web site at or call (918) 343-7773.