11 veterans who are now college presidents

From serving the nation to serving students

The skills required of our nation's service members also make for disciplined and dynamic academic leaders. 

Christopher Howard, Robert Morris University

Howards has served as a helicopter pilot with the Air Force Reserve and an intelligence officer for the Joint Special Operations Command. He won a bronze star for service in Afghanistan. Howard is involved with several nonprofit organizations, including the Impact Young Lives Foundation, which he founded.

Elizabeth Hillman, Mills College

Hillman, a past U.S. Air Force officer, received high acclaim for working on gender issues in the military. She helped bring down "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and played a major role in allowing women to enter combat. As Mills' president, Hillman's particular focus areas include women's education and the liberal arts.

Robert Clark, Wesley College

Clark served in the Navy's Submarine Force for 32 years, during which time he also served as the commanding officer of the nuclear-powered submarine, USS Connecticut. As Wesley's president, Clark says he embraces servant leadership and aims to demonstrate that learning is a lifelong process.

Ronald Lingle, Coastal Carolina Community College

Lingle served as an Army medical evacuation helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, and is now the president of Coastal Carolina Community College, a position he has had for the past 28 years. As the college's leader, Lingle emphasizes outreach to the military families in the area.  

Ann Rondeau, College of DuPage

Rondeau served in the U.S. Navy, where she was the second woman to achieve the rank of three-star admiral. She joined Dupage in July 2016 and brings experience as a former president of the National Defense University.

Steven Tallant, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Tallant served in the Air Force and as chief of Air Force Family Research. As a university president, Tallant says he focuses on building a team of leadership, improving enrollment rates, enhancing facilities, and expanding marketing efforts.

William Harvey, Hampton University

Harvey served active duty in the Army and is currently a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. He has led Hampton University for 38 years—one of the longest tenures among current sitting presidents. As Hampton's president, Harvey is described as "one of the most focused individuals that one can ever meet."

Thomas Haas, Grand Valley State University (GVSU)

Haas served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 23 years, and has been president of GVSU for 10 years. He is also a professor of chemistry in GVSU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Elroy Ortiz Oakley, Long Beach Community College District (LBCC)

How you can recruit more student veterans

Oakley served in the U.S. Army for four years, and is now the first Latino chancellor of LBCC's 113-college system. As chancellor, he has implemented innovative programs and policies for student success.

Herman Felton, Wilberforce University

Felton served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years. As the president of Wilberforce, Felton says he is devoted to preserving the school's legacy as the one of the nation's oldest historically black colleges and universities.

David Garland, Baylor University

Garland served in the U.S. Navy and is now Baylor University's interim president. He is also a professor of Christian Scriptures at Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary (Arnett, Education Dive, 11/11; Baylor University site, accessed 11/15; Coastal Carolina Community College site, accessed 11/15; College of Dupage site, accessed 11/15; Grand Valley State University site, accessed 11/15; Hampton University site, accessed 11/15; Long Beach City College site, accessed 11/15; Mills College site, accessed 11/15; Robert Morris University site, accessed 11/15; Texas A&M University Kingsville site, accessed 11/15; Wesley College site, accessed 11/15; Wilberforce University site, accessed 11/15).

4 ways to serve student veterans

  • Manage Your Events
  • Saved webpages and searches
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Update personal information
  • Invite a colleague