Maj. Gen. Lorraine Potter ’68 
to Speak at Keuka College Sept. 20

The retired Chief of Chaplains for the U.S. Air Force will discuss her inspiring career.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Maj. Gen. Lorraine K. Potter will speak at Keuka College Thursday, Sept. 20.

A member of the Keuka College Class of 1968, Maj. Gen. Potter, who retired as Chief of Chaplains with the U.S. Air Force, will discuss her inspirational story with members of the College community during a Wolf Pause presentation. Her talk begins at 12:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel.

Maj. Gen. Potter’s career has been marked by a string of “firsts,” beginning with being the first woman ordained by the American Baptist Churches in Rhode Island and, on Sept. 27, 1973, becoming the first woman chaplain commissioned in the Air Force.

More firsts followed: first woman chaplain to serve as senior pastor for an Air Force wing, the historic Flying Tigers; first woman chaplain to serve at the Department of Defense level; first woman chaplain to serve as command chaplain for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and later for the Air Education and Training Command; and, first woman chaplain in all military services to be promoted to colonel in 1992, to brigadier general in 1999, and to major general as chief of Air Force chaplains in 2001. 

Also among her career highlights: serving as chief of Air Force Chaplain Service Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. As a member of the special staff of the Chief of Staff, she advised on all matters pertaining to the religious and moral welfare of Air Force personnel. She was also responsible for establishing an effective total chaplain program to meet the religious needs of all members of the Air Force. 

As chief, Maj. Gen. Potter was the senior pastor for a combined active-duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian force of more than 850,000 people who serve at approximately 1,300 locations in the United States and overseas. She led an Air Force Chaplain Service of approximately 2,200 chaplains and enlisted support members from the active and Air Reserve components. 

As chairperson of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, she and other members advised the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff on religion, and ethical and quality-of-life concerns.

Thursday’s Wolf Pause presentation is free and open to the public. Wolf Pause is the official Keuka College name for the 60 minutes in which no classes are scheduled, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.