The University always welcomes new faculty, staff, and students at the beginning of each academic year. This fall, besides largest incoming class of freshmen in its history, the University welcomes its new president, Dr. William Lennox Jr.
Lennox has had a long and distinguished career before coming to the University as a member of the Board of Trustees in 2008. He attended The United States Military Academy at West Point where he received his bachelor’s degree in international affairs. He received his Master’s and PhD in Literature from Princeton University. His doctoral dissertation is on American war poetry. In addition, he graduated first in his class at Fort Leavenworth’s Command and General Officer’s School, and he completed the Senior Service College Fellowship at Harvard University.
Lennox served in the U.S. Army for 35 years, and left as a Three Star Lieutenant General. During his time in the military, he served as the Deputy Commanding General and Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Army Field Artillery Center; the Chief of Staff for Ill Corps and Fort Hood; the Assistant Chief of Staff, CJ-3, at Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea; the Deputy Commanding General, Eighth United States Army; and Chief of Legislative Liaison.
Lennox then became the Superintendent of West Point in 2001, and he held this position until 2006. Over the five years he held this position, Lennox oversaw many exciting changes at West Point, including upgrades to the liberal-arts program, expanding the study-abroad program, and completing a $220 million fund-raising program for the Academy.
“I’m most impressed with [Lennox’s] diverse background. He’s been in business, the military, and the liberal arts,” said Zach Brassur, Alumni.
In 2008, the University’s former president, Dr. Kirk, asked Lennox if he would serve on the University’s Board of Trustees, and Lennox took on the challenging position. Lennox served as the Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.
“I like that [Lennox] was an internal hire. It shows that we pay attention to our family here at Saint Leo,” said Br. Robert Amarillas, Junior.
While serving as a member of the Board, Lennox was the Senior Vice President at the Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 aerospace firm. Lennox said he got to see ethical leadership in action during his time at Goodrich.
“I’m excited about Dr. Lennox because he was president of a college before this, but he also has so much life experience besides academia,” said Carol Ann Moon, Associate Professor and Reference and Instructional Outreach Librarian.
Dennis Mullen, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and head of the Presidential Search Committee, said it was a long and nearly impossible task finding a suitable replacement for Kirk. According to Mullen, there were over 100 applicants for the position, and this reflects how well the University is perceived across the nation.
“Our goal was clear: select a candidate who embodied our mission and our core values, understood that we are a student-centric model, and would clearly believe that our best days are still yet to come,” said Mullen.
Lennox believes the University’s greatest strengths are its mission and cores values, the teaching abilities of the faculty, and the online program. Our weaknesses are retention and financial accessibility, and he plans on finding solutions to those problems as president.
“We could not have attracted a leader like Bill Lennox if it weren’t for…the faculty, staff, and students,” said Kirk. “We have a leader that knows and is committed to our mission, shares our core values, believes in our vision, and will assure that Saint Leo’s greatest days are ahead of us.”