KU News Release

June 28, 2011
Contact: Mike Krings, University Relations, 785-864-8860

Retired Marine to lead KU's Office of Professional Military Graduate Education

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has a new director for the Office of Professional Military Graduate Education.

Gary “Michael” Denning, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel with 27 years of service – including three tours of service in Iraq – will be the new director, effective July 11.

“Col. Denning comes to KU with impressive military experience, an educational background that includes a national security fellowship with the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government and a deep appreciation for KU as an alumnus,” said Sara Rosen, dean of Graduate Studies. “The University of Kansas is indebted to Dr. Adrian Lewis for his work and leadership as the initial director of the OPMGE. Col. Denning will bring his wealth of experience to the KU office with a well-established track record of success.”

Denning said KU is in a unique position to enhance collaboration with the military.

“KU is committing significant resources to help enhance the quality of professional military graduate education,” Denning said. “The campus can have a positive effect on the whole Army officer corps, since many Army leaders pass through Fort Leavenworth at some point in their careers. I look forward to working with the KU faculty to explore additional educational opportunities in partnership with each of the Armed Forces, as well as elements within the Department of Defense, Department of State and other government agencies.”

Denning’s military career includes 17 years of operational experience, including two tours as aviation squadron commanding officer, one tour as assistant chief of staff/operations for a Marine aviation wing, and one tour as assistant chief of staff for air operations for a Marine combat division. His post-Marine career includes instructing human terrain teams in preparation for combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and serving as a project director for Marstel-Day, an environmental consulting firm in Fredericksburg, Va.

Denning earned his bachelor’s from KU, a master’s with distinction from the Naval War College and a national security fellowship from the Kennedy School of Public Affairs at Harvard University.

The Office of Professional Military Graduate Education was launched in September 2007 and is overseen by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The office supports military and civilian students earning graduate degrees by facilitating the exchange of information, ideas and knowledge between KU and the armed forces, promoting activities such as faculty and student exchanges, joint military-academic courses, conferences and programs and developing opportunities for academic research. More information about the office can be found at http://www.opmge.ku.edu.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

KU Today

Subscribe to our daily newsletter covering research, academics, media coverage, campus news, events & more. Subscribe




The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).