Josiah Bunting III

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Josiah Bunting III
Born (1939-11-08) November 8, 1939 (age 76)
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1966 –1972
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Major
Unit 9th Infantry Division
Other work Author

Josiah Bunting III (born November 8, 1939) is an American educator. He has been a military officer, college president, and an author and speaker on education and Western culture. Bunting is married and has four adult children. His half-brother is Dick Ebersol, the creator and former executive producer of Saturday Night Live; Ebersol and Bunting have the same mother.[1]


Josiah Bunting was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He attended The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and the Salisbury School in Connecticut, but was expelled from both institutions for playing pranks.[2] He then entered the U.S. Marine Corps. Bunting went on to Virginia Military Institute where he graduated third in his class as an English major, and was elected to a Rhodes scholarship to attend the University of Oxford, where he achieved a M.A. and also served as president of the American Students Association. He entered the United States Army in 1966. After six years of service, he reached the rank of Major. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Vietnam; and West Point, where he was assistant professor of history and social sciences.

Bunting's 1972 novel The Lionheads was a scathing account based on his experiences as an officer of the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1968. The novel's main antagonist, General Lemming, was based heavily on the commanding general, Julian Ewell.[3]

The July 28, 1972 issue of LIFE magazine included a profile written by Thomas Moore of then Major Bunting examining his decision to leave West Point because of his desire to "disassociate [himself] from the active implementation of [the Army's] policy in Vietnam..." In the article Bunting also stated that he favored a "citizen draft and civilian control over the military" and that he didn't "want to see that son of a bitch who grows up in Greenwich, Conn., goes off to Yale and becomes a member of the Skull and Bones get out of doing some sort of national service." Bunting served on the faculty of the Naval War College for a year in 1973-74.[4]

Bunting served as president of Briarcliff College, and later as president of Hampden–Sydney College. He was also the headmaster of The Lawrenceville School near Princeton, New Jersey. Notably, Lawrenceville is the archrival of Bunting's former high school, The Hill School. At Hampden–Sydney he revitalized the English composition or Rhetoric Program, enhanced the Western Civilization program, then called Western Man, making it more interdisciplinary. He also spearheded the Campaign for Hampden–Sydney, a capital campaign that nearly tripled the college's endowment.

Bunting was appointed Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute in 1995 and served until 2003. At VMI, he served as Professor of Humanities. He was responsible for overseeing preparations for and the enrollment of VMI's first female cadets.

Bunting is also a member of the UNESCO Commission and of the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington.

In 2004, Bunting was appointed chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

In 2007, Bunting was appointed president of ISI’s Lehrman American Studies Center.



  • Small Units in the Control of Civil Disorder (1967)
  • Ulysses S. Grant (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2004), part of the American Presidents series (ed. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.)


  • The Lionheads selected one of the Ten Best Novels of 1973 by Time magazine.
  • The Advent of Frederick Giles (1974).
  • An Education for Our Time (Regnery, 1998), a work describing a "dying billionaire's detailed vision of a new, ideal college", was a main selection of the Conservative Book Club in 1998.
  • All Loves Excelling (Bridge Works, 2001), set in a boarding school.

Edited editions[edit]

  • Macaulay, Thomas Babington. Lays of Ancient Rome (Gateway, 1997)
  • Newman, Cardinal John Henry. The Idea of a University (Gateway, 1999)

Military Service Record[edit]


Army-USA-OF-08.svg Army-USA-OF-03.svg
Lieutenant General
Virginia Militia
United States Army

Awards and decorations[edit]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
US Army Airborne basic parachutist badge.gif

Ranger Tab.svg

9th Infantry Division patch.svg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lemon, Richard (March 11, 1983). "Live from Litchfield! It's the Improbable Duo of Dick Ebersol and Susan Saint James". People. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ Finn, Peter (August 15, 1997). "Leading the March Into Coeducation". Washington Post. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam: Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife, p. 185, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0-275-97695-5.
  4. ^ Moore, Thomas. LIFE, July 28, 1972. Volume 73, Number 4.