CHARLESTON (Jan. 5, 1997) - Meeting in special session here, The Citadel Board of Visitors today elected retired Marine Corps Major General John S. Grinalds to the office of President. Grinalds was one of four finalists interviewed by the full board after a search committee narrowed the field of applicants and nominees.
The search for a new president began in late March when retired Air Force Lieutenant General Claudius E. Watts III announced his retirement effective at the end of August. Major General Roger C. Poole, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, agreed to serve as interim president but did not seek the presidency.
Grinalds, who since 1991 has been the headmaster at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia, will assume his new duties prior to the start of new school year.
Board chairman James E. Jones, Jr., of Greenville, said the decision was difficult to make. "The full board had four outstanding candidates to consider. Any person on the short list would have been an excellent choice. We believe that General Grinalds best represents, in totality, those qualities that reflect both the outstanding character of The Citadel and the ability to lead and manage a dynamic institution during an era of unprecedented change and challenge. General Grinalds is fully aware of the enormous responsibility associated with the position and understands that the eyes of the nation will remain on The Citadel for years to come."
Attorney Francis P. Mood, Jr., of Columbia, who headed the search committee, noted that the process of selecting four finalists for consideration by the board was a demanding but rewarding one. "It was heartening to realize that any one of more than a score of the candidates could have been a finalist. Narrowing the field to the best of a very fine group was not easy, but the search committee members were heartened by the quality of the aspirants for the position."
General Grinalds is a 1959 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and has bachelors and master's degrees in geography from Oxford University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard.
His final active duty assignment was commanding general of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. He has commanded Marine infantry units from platoon to regimental levels. He holds the Silver Star medal.
The president elect is 59 years old today. He is a native of Maryland. He and his wife Norwood have four children: Drummond, Southy, Kate and Allen.