Josiah Bunting, III

H-SC President, 1977-1987Josiah Bunting, III

For the first time in almost 150 years, the Board turned north for a new President. Josiah Bunting III had served briefly in the Marine Corps after graduation from St. George's School in Newport, RI, before attending Virginia Military Institute, where he majored in English, rose to the top cadet rank, and won virtually every honor; as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, he rowed for Christ Church and took his degree in Modern History. After active army service, including duty in Viet Nam and teaching at West Point, he had been on the staff of the Naval War College before becoming the last president (1973-77) of Briarcliff College, a women's college in New York. In 1972 he published his first novel, and by 1977 was becoming well known for articles and book reviews in leading magazines and newspapers.

After Bunting's arrival in 1977, the inspiriting effect of the most visible and energetic President in almost sixty years raised morale batterd by the uncertainty over whether Hampden-Sydney should remain all-male or join the many single-sex institutions that had become coeducational.

Kirby Fieldhouse and Crawley Forum and the adjacent residence halls were built; Graham Hall and Venable Hall were renovated.  Enrollment increased by 20%.  The endowment more than doubled. The Rhetoric Program was established. 

After ten years of restored confidence and momentum, he became President of The Lawrenceville School, which he left in 1995 to become Superintendent of Virginia Military Institute.