The Citadel’s 20th president will be Gen. Glenn M. Walters, the 34th assistant commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, the school announced Thursday.
The Citadel, which is governed by an all-alumni Board of Visitors, often has selected alumni to serve as president, and Walters is no exception. He graduated from the school in 1979.
Walters currently oversees a budget of more than $42 billion and about 184,000 active duty and 38,000 reserve Marines.
He will take over from current Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa, who plans to retire June 30.
Col. Fred L. Price, chair of The Citadel Board of Visitors, said he is delighted with the choice of Walters.
“His extraordinary 39-year career serving our country as a principled leader, aviator and Marine Corps officer prepared him perfectly to serve his alma mater," Price said. "Gen. Walters’ experience devising high-level strategy, securing and allocating resources, and developing relationships with stakeholders made him the ideal choice.”
Walters said he was honored and thrilled to be chosen.
"I have always been impressed with the passion and commitment of my alma mater’s alumni, faculty, staff, cadets, students and friends who have been so generous with their support," he said. "I feel like I’m coming home.”
The board began its search for Rosa's replacement in September and announced four finalists in March. The other finalists included retired Army Gen. Dan Allyn, Army Gen. Robert B. Brown and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter.
Ferriter also is a Citadel graduate, while Allyn and Brown are West Point graduates.
Walters graduated from The Citadel with a degree in electrical engineering, then was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He served as an infantry officer, attended flight training in Pensacola, Fla., and became a naval aviator in 1981.
He served as a test pilot and also was deployed in Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Born in 1957, he has earned the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with award star, the Air Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Korea Defense Service Medal.
His wife, Gail Walters, is a communications professional.
Rosa, a 1973 Citadel alumnus and Air Force veteran, returned to his alma mater as its 19th president in 2006 after working as superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.
As one of its longest serving presidents, Rosa oversaw the creation of new cadet leadership programs as well as new academic programs in areas including cybersecurity, nursing and intelligence analysis. The Citadel's School of Engineering doubled its offerings in five years while increasing enrollment by 50 percent.
He also led the college through waves of controversy, including an incident in which cadets donned white hoods for a Christmas skit, as well as fallout from the college's handling of a sex abuse scandal involving former summer camp counselor Skip ReVille.
Rosa and the commandant of cadets, Capt. Geno Paluso, also led a major crackdown on hazing in the ranks in 2015.
The College of Charleston is seeking a replacement for President Glenn McConnell, who announced his retirement in January citing his age and health concerns. The college has selected retired administrator Steve Osborne to serve as interim president starting July 2.
Charleston Southern University is looking to replace outgoing President Jairy Hunter, who is set to step down and become president emeritus in May. Hunter is the second president in the history of CSU, a Southern Baptist-affiliated private school.