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Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, Retired Four-Star General in U.S. Marine Corps, to Visit Villanova University as “Scholar in Residence,” Nov. 14-18


A 1965 graduate of Villanova University, Gen. Zinni will participate in classroom discussions, meet with various student organizations including the University’s NROTC, and deliver two public lectures.

Villanova, Pa. – A retired four-star general in the U.S. Marine Corps and former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. Anthony C. Zinni will spend a week at Villanova University, Nov. 14-18, as a “Scholar in Residence.” During the week, Zinni – a 1965 graduate of Villanova University – will participate in classroom discussions, meet with various student organizations including the University’s Naval ROTC, and deliver two public lectures. 

“We are fortunate to have a person of Gen. Zinni’s stature and experience spend a week at the University and offer his time in a way that will benefit students and contribute to their academic experience,” said the Rev. Kail C. Ellis, PhD, OSA, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Villanova University.

“Gen. Zinni has demonstrated his commitment to his alma mater in numerous ways, but his presence as a ‘Scholar in Residence’ will benefit students in a very special way,” Fr. Ellis added. “Years from now, they will reflect on his visit and recall the insights he shared with them on such topics as peacemaking, private policy, peace envoys, Middle Eastern politics and strategies, and international affairs.”

Zinni will take part in a variety of on-campus activities throughout the week, attending political science, history, business and nursing classes and events, and meeting individually with Villanova faculty and students to share his knowledge and experiences. Among the groups he will meet with are the University’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) and Leadership Learning Community.

On Thursday, Nov. 17, Zinni will discuss “The Global Humanitarian Missions of the U.S. Military,” in a 1:30 p.m. lecture at Driscoll Hall Auditorium. Later that day, he will speak on “Factors Shaping the Middle East over the Next Decade,” in a 7:30 p.m. event at Driscoll Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.

While at Villanova, Zinni will also participate in “The Global Smackdown,” a weekly campus discussion that focuses students on timely and important international news. Hosted by Villanova’s Center for Peace and Justice Education, “Global Smackdown” aims – not to answer questions – but to develop students’ curiosity about and connections to the larger world.

Zinni joined the Marine Corps' Platoon Leader Class program in 1961, and was commissioned an infantry second lieutenant in 1965 upon graduation from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the School of Business. During his esteemed military career, he held numerous command and staff assignments, including platoon, company, battalion, regimental, Marine Expeditionary Unit, and Marine Expeditionary Force command. Zinni also has participated in presidential diplomatic missions to Somalia, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, and State Department missions involving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and conflicts in Indonesia and the Philippines. In 2002, he was selected to be a special envoy for the United States to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.