By Kim Keelor-Parker for The Island Eye News
The South Carolina Corps of Cadets Class of 2020 commencement will take place at 9 a.m. May 9 at McAlister Field House. About 500 cadet graduates and veteran day students will be addressed by this year’s commencement speaker, retired Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr.
Anderson “Andy” D. Warlick, a 1979 graduate of The Citadel, will address The Citadel Graduate College commencement exercises at 3:30 p.m. the same day, also in McAlister Field House. He is currently the chairman and CEO of Parkdale, Inc.
Dunford served as the 19th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer and the principal military advisor to the president, secretary of defense and National Security Council from 2015 to 2019. Prior to becoming chairman, Dunford served as the 36th commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. He was the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps from 2010 to 2012 and was commander, International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces-Afghanistan from February 2013 to August 2014.
A native of Boston, Dunford graduated from Saint Michael’s College and was commissioned in 1977. He has served as an infantry officer at all levels, including commanding the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, and 5th Marine Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dunford also served as the assistant division commander of the 1st Marine Division, Marine Corps director of operations and Marine Corps deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations. He commanded I Marine Expeditionary Force and was the commander, Marine Forces U.S. Central Command.
Warlick is considered to be one of the most innovative leaders in the textile industry, particularly with regard to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Parkdale’s patent-pending process that allows polyester and other synthetic materials to biodegrade like natural materials results in less pollution of the oceans. Parkdale is the world’s largest independent producer of cotton and cotton-blend yarns and cotton consumer products for the health and beauty industry and owner of the U.S. Cotton brand.
Warlick joined Parkdale Mills in 1984 and became president and CEO in 2001. He also is part owner of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association.
Warlick has served his alma mater in numerous capacities over the years, and is currently a member of The Citadel Foundation board of directors, a position he has held since 2013. In 2009, The Citadel honored him with an honorary degree of doctor of business administration for his optimism, leadership and vision in service to his community and his alma mater. He also is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development and of the National Cotton Council’s Leadership Program.
Warlick and his wife, Pam, reside in his hometown of Gastonia, North Carolina, where Parkdale is headquartered. They have two adult children, Collins and Davis.