Former Warden of Leavenworth Prison to Deliver Michael Lester Wendt Character Lecture

Sep 24, 2018

Claude Chester

DUBUQUE, Iowa – University of Dubuque’s Wendt Center for Character Education is pleased to announce that Claude Chester, former warden of Leavenworth Prison and a retired civil servant, will deliver the Michael Lester Wendt Character Lecture on Monday, Oct. 15, at 7:00 p.m. in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, “Limited Opportunities,” Chester will share his experiences at Leavenworth Prison and how his faith and compassion informed his work. He was passionate about developing opportunities not only for his staff but also for the offender population to help them aim for a better life once they were released.

“I truly believe you can’t just warehouse an individual. I think you have to create an opportunity for change,” Chester said.

Chester earned his bachelor of science in criminal justice from Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. Throughout his long career, he held positions in security, operational procedures, correctional case management, and program development, with assignments ranging from correctional officer to associate warden at various penitentiaries, to deputy regional director for the Bureau of Prisons, and finally to warden of Leavenworth Prison. In addition to his accomplished career, Chester enjoys mentoring high school students, volunteering at food pantries as well as church and community service organizations, and, above all, spending time with his family.

Admission is free and tickets are not required. If you have any questions, please contact Farber Box Office, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque, 2255 Bennett Street; by phone at 563.585.SHOW; or online at