Charles Krulak
Charles Krulak
Title: President
Organization: Birmingham-Southern College
Phone: 205-226-4620

Gen. Charles “Chuck” C. Krulak, retired commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was introduced March 21, 2011, as the 13th president of Birmingham-Southern College.

General Krulak officially began his duties full time on June 1. He replaced Dr. Mark Schantz who served as interim president of the college during the search process.

Krulak was appointed the 31st commandant of U.S. Marines Corps on July 1, 1995, a post he held until his retirement June 30, 1999. As the senior leader of the Marine Corps, he was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with overall responsibility for recruiting, training, operational readiness, and welfare of more than 220,000 active and reserve forces and 20,000 civilian employees. During his tenure, he annually increased the USMC share of the Department of Defense budget by $1.5 billion to initiate a modernization effort that continues to benefit troops today. He also instituted the Marine Corps Fighting Laboratory, lengthened and strengthened recruit training, and fathered the concepts of “Three Block War” and “The Strategic Corporal” to help Marines better understand and prepare for warfare in the 21st century.

Following his retirement from military service, Krulak was named in 2001 as chairman and chief executive officer of MBNA Europe Bank in Chester, England, where he spearheaded a financial turnaround for the third largest credit card provider in the United Kingdom and the largest credit card provider in the Republic of Ireland. Under his leadership, net income and loans doubled, the number of managed accounts increased from $3.2 million to $8.4 million, and the bank expanded into Spain, its first entry into a non-English speaking country.

In 2004, he joined MBNA America Bank N.A. in Wilmington, Del., as vice chairman and chief administrative officer, where he was responsible for corporate development and acquisitions, personnel, and education for the FORTUNE 500 company employing 28,000 people in five countries and 20 locations. Krulak led the acquisition of four companies as a part of a corporate diversification strategy, negotiated the first joint venture with a foreign bank, and acquired more than $6 billion in loans, among other initiatives.

During this time, MBNA was recognized as a “Great Place to Work” in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

Krulak’s long and distinguished military career included two tours of duty in Vietnam and as commanding general of the 2nd Force Service Support Group at Camp LeJeune, N.C., during the Gulf War. His other commands included commanding general of the Marine Forces Pacific at Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii, the largest theatre of operations for the USMC; commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, Va., responsible for developing war fighting concepts and determining capabilities to enable the Marine Corps to field combat-ready forces; director of the USMC Force Structure Planning Group, where he developed, coordinated, and published the strategic vision of the U.S. Marine Corps for the 21st century; and deputy director of the White House Military Office, where he coordinated the military support for Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

From February 2003 until April 2006, Krulak served by presidential appointment as chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, overseeing the board responsible for morale, discipline, curriculum, faculty, athletics programs, and admissions policies of the U.S. Naval Academy.

His military honors include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star Medal, three Bronze Star medals, two Purple Heart Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the French Legion of Honor, among many others.

Krulak currently serves as the co-chairman of the Founders Group of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation which has raised in excess of $150 million to build, equip, and staff Phase I of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

He serves on the boards of the Union Pacific Corp.; Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold; Aston Villa Football Club of professional soccer’s English Premier League; Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the medical school for the U.S. Armed Forces; and CEO Forum. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Hope for the Warriors, Human Rights First, and Officer Christian Fellowship.

A native of Quantico, Va., Krulak is a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy, a highly regarded coeducational institution in New Hampshire for grades 9-12. He received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and his master’s degree in labor relations at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He completed a seminar on International Relations at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. The general is also a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, Army Command and General Staff College, and National War College.

Krulak and his wife of 47 years, Zandi Meyers Krulak, have two sons: David, a physician in the U.S. Navy, and Todd, a visiting assistant professor in classical studies at Tulane University.