Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Leadership Forum

What is a Session?

A "session" is a gathering of men and women to hear the words of a prominent community leader, on a topic of contemporary importance, and on the application of Judeo-Christian principles to daily life, as a family member, professional, and citizen.

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Josiah Bunting III

Josiah Bunting III became president of The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation June 1, 2004. For the preceding eight years, he had served as superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia; subsequently completing a new biography of Ulysses S. Grant in September 2004.

Bunting is a graduate of VMI (1963) and later studied at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and at Columbia where he was a John Burgess Fellow. From 1966 until 1972 he served on active duty in the Regular Army, attaining the rank of Major. He served with the Ninth Infantry Division in Vietnam, and as an assistant professor of history at West Point.

Latterly he served successively as professor of history at the Naval War College, and as president of Briarcliff College (1973-1977) and Hampden Sydney College (1977-1987). Before taking his appointment at VMI, he was headmaster of the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey.

His publications include four novels, the biography of Ulysses Grant, written for Arthur Schlesinger’s Series on the American Presidency; and a new biographical venture, to be published by Knopf on the life of George C. Marshall. Mr. Bunting’s first novel, The Lionheads, was selected as one of the “Ten Best Novels of 1973″ by Time Magazine; his utopian fantasy about an ideal college—An Education for Our Time—was a main selection of the Conservative Book Club (1998).

Mr. Bunting has served as president of Phi Beta Kappa at the College of William and Mary, as a director of the Owens and Minor Corporation in Richmond, Virginia, and as a director of The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation in New York City.

He also serves as chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Wilmington, Delaware—an enterprise committed to the reestablishment of the regular study of the staple subjects of liberal education in American universities and colleges.

He is married to the former Diana Margaret Cunningham, a painter whom he met at Oxford. They have four children: two sons, Josiah IV and Charles, and two daughters, Elisabeth and Alexandra.