Office of the President
John B. Sams, Jr. '67
Lt Gen, USAF (Ret.)
Interim President, The Citadel
Lieutenant General John Sams, USAF (Retired), Class of 1967, assumed the role as The Citadel’s Interim President in July 2018. He returned to his Alma Mater after a distinguished career in the Air Force, industry, and service as Chairman of The Citadel Board of Visitors.
Lt Gen Sams leverages his extensive leadership, military and business experience, along with a lifelong association with The Citadel to lead his Alma Mater as Interim President. Since retiring from the Air Force in 1999 and the Boeing Company in 2007, he has operated his own aerospace consultancy firm, working with both the Air Force and multiple corporations.
As a command pilot with over 6,000 flight hours and 32 years of active duty service, Lt Gen Sams career included command at the Squadron and Wing levels, and he concluded his career as Commander, 15th Air Force. He accumulated over 6,000 flying hours, including 700 combat hours over Vietnam. He flew the B52, B-1, C-7 and E-4 aircraft. Lt Gen Sams’ military awards include The Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Lt Gen Sams’ graduated from The Citadel in 1967, and holds a master’s degree in personnel management from Central Michigan University. He is a distinguished graduate of both the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College. Lt Gen Sams additionally graduated from the Emory University Advanced Management Program and the Advanced School of Government at Harvard University.
His involvement with The Citadel is extensive. Lt Gen Sams was honored as a Greater Issues Speaker, and served six years on the governing Board of Visitors, the final two as Board Chair. He is a life member of The Citadel Alumni Association, and founded the Scott Air Force Base Citadel Club. With the entire Class of 1967, he was instrumental in the conception and construction of The Citadel War Memorial, unveiled during Homecoming of his Class’ 50th Reunion.
Lt Gen Sams and Suzanne, his wife of 49 years, reside in his hometown of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. They have three daughters and six grandchildren, including Matthew Dickerson, The Citadel Class of 2016.
( Past presidents. )