17th President of Wesley College
Robert E. Clark II became the 17th President of Wesley College on July 15, 2015, after 32 years of distinguished service in the United States Navy’s Submarine Force, including spending the last five years of his military career serving in senior executive roles at two of our nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning.
Most recently, he served as the Joint Service Coordinator at the Pennsylvania State University. Similar to a Department Chair, and holding the academic rank of full professor, he oversaw and coordinated a myriad of issues and efficiencies between all of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs and Penn State. These included, but were not limited to, fiscal, operational, scheduling, and curricular matters. Additionally, while at Penn State he served on Penn State’s Undergraduate Education Leadership Council, and guest lectured at Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College Leadership Academy.
Prior to Penn State, President Clark served as the 84th Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. He served in that position for just over three years from April 2010 until May 2013, becoming the longest standing Commandant in the Naval Academy’s history. In that capacity, he was responsible for the professional development, physical fitness, housing, food service, medical care, and day-to-day activities, as well as the infrastructure, to support a student body that numbered around 4,500. Additionally, he served as the Chairman of the Naval Academy’s Board of Control that provided operational and fiscal oversight, defined policy, and was the senior governing body for all aspects of the Naval Academy Athletic Association. During his time at the Naval Academy, grade point averages, retention, and diversity enrollment reached historical highs resulting in U.S. News & World Report consistently ranking the Naval Academy as one of the top public institutions in the country.
During his 32 years of operational military service, President Clark served in some of the most challenging and highest visibility positions in the Submarine Force, including Commodore of Submarine Squadron FOUR, Commanding Officer of the nuclear powered submarine USS CONNECTICUT (SSN 22), and Executive Assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Considered a strategic visionary, expert tactician, and one of the most motivational leaders in the Submarine Force, his commands consistently led the way in retention, operational readiness, warfighting, and innovation.
Fully embracing servant leadership, President Clark fosters an environment of education, empowerment, inspiration, and accountability, knowing full well that excellence stems from collaboration and teamwork. Additionally, he is a true believer that the foundation of our future is set by the framework of a well-balanced education and fostered by a sense and belief that learning is a lifelong process.
President Clark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Science degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California. He was one of the top graduates at the Naval Post Graduate School, and received the Naval Institute Award for his thesis work. Additionally, he was part of a select group of senior leaders selected to attend the Navy Corporate Business Course on Executive Management at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, he spent his formative years growing up in Howell, New Jersey; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and West Chester, Pennsylvania, where his parents still reside. His passions include fly-fishing, music, reading, and family. As a former student athlete, and 2007 inductee into the West Chester East High School Hall of Fame, it is not uncommon to find President Clark in a pick-up basketball game at the gym or working out with one of our sports teams.
He and his wife, Ruth Ann Clark, live in the Annie Jump Cannon House with their two Golden Retrievers, Leonidas and Bliss. The Clarks have two adult sons, both of whom are Naval Officers. Andy is with Navy Special Forces (Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Branch) and lives in San Diego, California, with his wife Sarah, and Wes is stationed on a Destroyer in Norfolk, Virginia.