Alumnus Paul J. McNulty named College's ninth President

The Grove City College Board of Trustees named the Honorable Paul J. McNulty ’80, an alumnus and accomplished attorney with a long career in public service, the College’s ninth President on Friday, May 16. 

President-elect McNulty, a former U.S. Deputy Attorney General, is a partner in the global law firm Baker & McKenzie. He oversaw the prosecution of terrorists in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, set policy for prosecuting corporate fraud and was a top Congressional Republican staffer. He is considered a leading expert on business ethics, corporate governance and regulatory risk management.

McNulty will succeed Richard G. Jewell ’67, who is retiring in August after 11 years as President of the nationally-ranked private liberal arts college.

“My goal is to build on a strong foundation of faith, stewardship and academic excellence by serving and leading an outstanding team of professionals and an extraordinary group of students,” McNulty said. “Grove City College is in an ideal position to face the significant future challenges in higher education. Together, by God’s grace, we will be a clearer voice in the world, and our graduates will continue to be transformational leaders as they faithfully pursue their callings to integrate their faith into every aspect of their lives.”

The selection marks the successful conclusion of a nearly eight-month long search process. A committee of faculty, administration and Trustees, aided by executive search firm CarterBaldwin of Atlanta, Ga., considered nearly 80 qualified applicants for the job. Search committee members cited McNulty’s experience as a leader and manager, his vision for the College, understanding of its academic mission and his faith.

“Paul has the vision and leadership to see that this treasure we call Grove City College is a strong and respected voice for individual liberty, free market principles and faith in Christ. Paul is incredibly accomplished … yet he is humble, eager to listen, learn and serve. His leadership will be both refreshing and inspiring,” Trustee Dawn (Jurewicz ’90) Owens said. 

“Paul McNulty has the best skill set and experience to be the most effective President of all the qualified people we considered,” Dr. James G. Dixon III, a 38-year member of the faculty and chair of the English department, said.

David Rathburn ’79, chair of the Board of Trustees and the search committee, said McNulty has been a leader everywhere he has served, including as vice president of the Student Government Association on campus more than 30 years ago.

“Since he left, he has managed complex organizations and done it well, without ever losing focus on the foundational principles that he solidified here at Grove City. Paul’s leadership in founding Faith and Law, a Christian study group for men and women working on Capitol Hill, working with both Republicans and Democrats while an attorney serving the House of Representatives and his service as an elder in the Presbyterian Church were just a few of the many reasons the committee unanimously recommended him to the Board,” Rathburn said.
McNulty will be the fourth alumnus to serve as President of the College, where he studied history and met his wife Brenda (Millican ’80). The McNultys have three daughters, Katy (McNulty ’07) Hittinger, Anni and Corrie ’14, who is graduating from Grove City on Saturday. Their son Joseph died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 26 while attending law school. 

At Baker & McKenzie, McNulty chairs the firm’s Global Corporate Compliance Steering Committee and the North America Compliance and Investigations Practice Group. He has been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the top 50 “Trailblazers and Pioneers in Corporate Governance and Compliance.” 

Phil Suse, North American Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie, said McNulty will be missed. “We are extremely happy for Paul and Brenda as they prepare to return to their alma mater, and for Paul as he assumes this prestigious position. Paul’s transformative leadership and tireless efforts over the past seven years at Baker & McKenzie have resulted in the development of a premier compliance and investigations practice,” he said.

He joined the firm in 2007 after more than two decades in public service. He is most widely known for his leadership at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served from 2005 as the Deputy Attorney General, the second highest-ranking official in the Justice department and the chief operating officer of its more than 100,000 employees. In that role, he chaired President Bush’s Corporate Fraud Task Force, successfully argued a police conduct case before the U.S. Supreme Court, organized the U.S. rule of law efforts in Iraq, and authored the so-called “McNulty Memo,” which serves as a milestone statement on the federal prosecution of business organizations.

McNulty was confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the chief law enforcement authority in one of the country’s most important federal districts, three days after the Sept. 11 attacks and his office was subsequently entrusted with many of the highest profile terrorist prosecutions. He held other positions at the Department of Justice and received the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the department’s highest honor.

McNulty’s career also includes 11 years as a senior lawyer on Capitol Hill where he served as the Chief Counsel and Director of Legislative Operations for the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and Chief Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime.

McNulty has served on the Grove City College Board of Trustees since 2004. He received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater in 2007 and the Jack Kennedy Memorial Alumni Achievement Award in 1998. He also was awarded an honorary LLD in 2003 from Capital University School of Law where he received his juris doctorate degree in 1983. He began his legal career in 1983 as counsel for the House Ethics Committee.

Alumnus Paul J. McNulty named College's ninth President

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