President Michael J. Rounds

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Michael J. Rounds

About President Rounds

Michael J. Rounds, a former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, West Point Assistant Professor, and Deputy Commandant of the United States Military Academy Preparatory School, became the 13th president of Williamson College of the Trades on July 1, 2013.

President Rounds graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1988 where he majored in Aerospace Engineering and played football all four years, earning two varsity letters. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers.

After completion of the Army Engineer Officer Basic Course, Army Airborne School, and Army Ranger School, he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division (Forward) in Boeblingen, West Germany, serving as a combat engineer platoon leader and company executive officer in Alpha Company, 1st Engineer Battalion until 1991.

From 1991-93, he served as an observer/controller and engineer company analyst with the Light Forces Training Team (Airborne) at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California.

After attending the M1A1 Tank Commanders Certification Course and the Armor Officer Advanced Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas from 1993-1996 where he served as assistant brigade engineer for the 1st Brigade Combat Team and commander of Alpha Company, 20th Engineer Battalion.

President Rounds attended the University of Minnesota from 1996-98, earning his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He then served as an assistant professor and executive officer in the Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering at West Point from 1998-2000, teaching Thermodynamics and serving as an Officer Representative for the Army Football team.

After attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from July 2000- June 2001, he served as the battalion operations officer and battalion executive officer for the 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky from June 2001 – June 2003 including deploying with the Division in February 2003 and conducting combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom I.

President Rounds was then assigned to the engineer staff of the Combined Forces Command in Yongsan, South Korea where he served as the engineer operations officer on the joint and combined staff of the US and Republic of Korea Forces from July 2003 – June 2005.

In 2005, he returned to the Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering at West Point where he taught courses in Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Mechanical Engineering Design, served as the Director of the Mechanical Engineering Design Group and Department Executive Officer, and again served as an Officer Representative with the Army Football team.

In 2008, President Rounds was assigned as the Deputy Commandant of the United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS) at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.

In March of 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan where he served as the Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Bagram Area Office for one year, supervising major construction projects at Bagram Air Field and four surrounding Afghan Provinces. After redeploying from Afghanistan, President Rounds returned to the Deputy Commandant position at USMAPS and also served as chief project officer for the construction of the new USMAPS facility at West Point. USMAPS relocated to its new facility in the summer of 2011 when Fort Monmouth was closed. President Rounds retired from the Army after 25 years of service with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in May of 2013.

President Rounds was born in Madison, South Dakota and grew up in Andover, Minnesota, graduating from Blaine Senior High School in 1984. He has been a Religious Education Teacher, youth sports coach, Boy Scout Den Leader, and volunteer in many ministries with his church.  He is a member of the Armed Services Committee of the Union League of Philadelphia and serves on the Board of Governors for the West Point Society of Philadelphia.

His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters, Airborne Wings, Air Assault Wings, and the Army Ranger Tab. He is a licensed Professional Engineer.

President Rounds and his wife Mary Nell have three sons. Patrick, a 2015 graduate Princeton University, Daniel, a junior at Princeton University, and Thomas, a first year cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point.