Academics – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Thu, 01 Oct 2020 18:29:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Academics – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 Opinion: Trump debate refusal to discourage unrest after the election shows he doesn’t get the U.S. https://today.citadel.edu/opinion-trump-debate-refusal-to-discourage-unrest-after-the-election-shows-he-doesnt-get-the-u-s/ Thu, 01 Oct 2020 18:16:11 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=19093 Think, NBC News's home for op-eds, in-depth analyses and essays about news, published an article by Citadel professor Jacob Hagstrom, Ph.D.]]>

Photo: An engraved portrait of George Washington holding his Farewell Address.

Note: Jacob Hagstrom, Ph.D., is a new professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He teaches Leadership in Military History and History of the U.S. Military as a member of The Citadel’s History Department.

As seen on NBC Think
By Jacob Hagstrom, Ph.D.

Tuesday night’s verbal brawl between the presidential candidates broke nearly every rule of debate decorum short of a descent into physical violence. The rules dictating equal time for both sides and restraint from interruptions might seem trivial, but their contravention in Cleveland is significant for more than its denying the American people the opportunity to hear clear and contrasting views about the country’s most pressing issues from the two people poised to run it.

Jacob Hagstrom, Ph.D.

It was also a breach of the more fundamental values supporting American democracy: deference to established norms, respect for different points of view and reasoned debate. Because what makes America work isn’t just the brilliance of the U.S. Constitution in laying out a balance of powers and restraining any one individual from becoming a despot. It’s also because those individuals choose to subordinate themselves to those laws and accept them peacefully without resorting to force. Such action could quickly override the words written on paper.

Which is why it was even more troubling to hear President Donald Trump refuse to forthrightly answer moderator Chris Wallace’s question about whether he would urge his followers not to engage in civil unrest until the end of a potentially lengthy ballot-counting process in November.

While it’s easy to dismiss the president’s response when asked these kinds of questions as mere political jockeying not to be taken seriously — and indeed, that is likely the fact of the matter — it is still important that we remind ourselves of the underlying fragility of our system and what’s at stake.

It was very much a question whether the world’s first experiment with the republican process would succeed back in the late 1700s. It’s only now, centuries later, that we take voluntary departure from high office after the completion of the appointed term as a matter of course. And we can take it for granted because the Americans before us chose to follow those principles.

In fact, the concept of a peaceful transition of power was so revolutionary that even many of the framers of the Constitution themselves hesitated to count on it. They were wary of the risks of concentrating federal power in a single executive and feared that the tyranny of the federal government would be worse than that of Britain. Samuel Adams, among many leaders of the patriots of 1776, believed that the new government would be filled with an aristocratic ruling class and that the very act of centralizing the government would breed striving politicians who would oppress their ordinary constituents.

The reluctance of many framers to sign the Constitution was eased only by their virtually unanimous respect for the leadership of George Washington. Some at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 agreed to its strengthening of executive power only after being reassured that Washington would come out of retirement to accept the presidency.

Like Trump, our first executive was fabulously wealthy, and, alongside Benjamin Franklin, he was one of the biggest celebrities in the Atlantic world. But Washington’s stature was due to his republican values, based on the ancient Roman archetype of Cincinnatus. Washington and his supporters believed that the greatest honor was due a successful general who gave up public power to enjoy private life.

That creating the office of the presidency in the young United States was largely dependent upon having the right person to fill the role indicates how shaky the concept was at the time and how essential the model of Washington was.

Thankfully, Washington was aware of his role in history and establishing a republican tradition. His widely circulated Farewell Address made clear the importance of his stepping down from presidential power in 1797 rather than pursuing a third term in office. In part, Washington sought refuge from the national stage after a lifetime of diplomatic and military service. In a private letter to Alexander Hamilton, Washington revealed that he also sought to avoid abuse “in the public prints by a set of infamous scribblers.”

But though Washington’s retreat from the public spotlight went off without a hitch, it wasn’t enough to secure the principle of the peaceful transfer of power. The first genuine fears of violence during an American transition came soon enough, when Washington’s successor, John Adams, ran for re-election in 1800. In the shadow of the French Revolution, there were fears across the Atlantic that republics could not long survive.

Part of the novelty of the election was that a small but aggressively partisan press had developed by 1800. The partisan “scribblers” whom Washington bemoaned trafficked in fears that the election of the leader of either budding faction, Jefferson or Adams, would result in mobs spreading “villainy and bloodshed.” Of course, none materialized.

But political violence remained an ever-present threat in the early republic, usually taking the form of former military officers going rogue, like Aaron Burr, who tied Jefferson for the most electoral votes in 1800 and lost the vote in the House of Representatives. Burr went on a campaign to stir dissent, with critics accusing him of treason — specifically, plotting to form a breakaway republic in the West.

But Washington’s example of disinterested leadership proved stronger than such challenges, even when the most serious threat to the transfer-of-power tradition emerged in the contested election of 1824. That year, military hero Andrew Jackson, famous both for duels and for leading an unauthorized war against the Seminoles, won a plurality of the popular vote and more electoral votes than his two main rivals, the aristocratic John Quincy Adams and Sen. Henry Clay.

But none had a majority in the Electoral College, so the House of Representatives decided the election. The legislature decided against Jackson, even though by all democratic logic he was the choice of the people, in what Jackson denounced as a “corrupt bargain” between Adams and Clay.

Though Jackson was, in fact, accustomed to personal and military violence, he abstained from “the Society of both intriguers and Caucus mongers,” writing, “If ever I fill that office, it must be the free choice of the people — I can then say I am the President of the Nation — and my acts will comport with that character.” Jackson simply waited as states began to allow property-less white men to vote, which he correctly calculated would score him a landslide victory in 1828.

Instead of challenging the integrity of the democratic system, Jackson merely challenged that of contemporary political parties. Trump, too, likely represents only the breakdown of the current two-party system rather than a breakdown in society and geopolitics at large.

Jackson’s populism led to the growth of the anti-Jackson Whig Party in the 1840s from the wreckage of the old Federalist Party of Hamilton and the elder Adams, as well as anti-Jackson Democrats in the mold of the more principled and erudite Jefferson. The new Whigs remained a check on Jacksonian Democrats until the sectional crisis of the Civil War era reorganized the party system once again.

Many aspects of political culture in the era of Jackson — populism, racialized thinking and the favoritism of a nepotistic governing system — have re-emerged as pressing problems. But these problems didn’t lead Jackson to try to hold power unlawfully, even as many feared what the galvanizing of disaffected poor white men would mean for the republic.

Today, Americans must hope that Trump’s threats to remain in power against the wishes of the people are as empty as his threats to “build a wall” or “lock her up” and that, like his hero Jackson, he, too, follows in Washington’s footsteps.

]]>
19093
New Center for Climate Studies to be established at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/new-center-for-climate-studies-to-be-established-at-the-citadel/ Tue, 29 Sep 2020 19:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=19004 Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The Center’s mission will be to promote climate science through education, research, outreach and the development of public-private partnerships.]]> Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., USAF, ’77, Center for Climate Studies under development

Photo above: Dr. Scott Curtis, director for the new Center for Climate Studies, surveying atmospheric conditions from atop Grimsley Hall.

Climate variability, risks and the advancement of solutions will be the focus of a new, interdisciplinary center being established at The Citadel. The official name: the Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., USAF ’77 Center for Climate Studies.

Near, a member of The Citadel Class of 1977, career meteorologist for the Air Force and dedicated professor of Physics at the college, passed away in March of 2020.

“Lt. Col. Near knew the importance of climate science work firsthand. He demonstrated extraordinary generosity by providing the college, through The Citadel Foundation, a $1.865 million gift to initiate the Center. Ever humble and not wanting to receive any recognition for his donation, Jim specified that his gift remain anonymous until his passing,” said Darin Zimmerman, Ph.D., dean for The Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics at The Citadel.

The mission

Jenkins Hall, Thomas Hall and Grimsley Hall are seen from Summerall Field at The Citadel

The Center’s mission will be to promote climate science through education, research, outreach and the development of public-private partnerships, according to Scott Curtis, who holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Curtis was recently named the Dr. John Lining Professor of Physics and director of the Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., USAF ’77 Center for Climate Studies.

“There is a critical need for expanded climate work of this nature in the Lowcountry, coastal areas and around the country as evidenced by flooding, increasing storm magnitude and climate driven wildfires,” said Curtis, who will teach atmospheric and oceanic physics in addition to directing the Center. “Once activated, the Center will be unique in South Carolina higher education. There are several centers that focus on water, the environment and hazards, but none have climate as their central mission, like The Citadel’s new Center will.”

The Citadel is placing such importance on the Center that its establishment appears as Objective 6.3 within The Citadel’s strategic plan, Our Mighty Citadel 2026: Advancing Our Legacy of Leadership.

Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of The Citadel’s new Center for Climate Studies

In his first month as director, Curtis met with several climate stakeholders in the Lowcountry, including the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Charleston, Mark Wilbert, and Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie who graduated from The Citadel in 1983.

Curtis also recently released the 2nd annual Climatological Research Studies Grant (CRSG) competition. The CRSG will fund up to $60,000 in research projects related to climate science. In addition, Curtis is preparing a proposal for the Center to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, to be reviewed in early 2021.

The Center will:

  • Inform and promote the design of sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient and ethically defensible climate risk management strategies.
  • Guide curriculum development in atmospheric and climate science.
  • Conduct place-based research with undergraduates.

“We hope the Center will be readily recognized as an entity that will not only serve campus, but our Lowcountry neighbors, the citizens of South Carolina and beyond,” said Curtis.

Research activities

Planned research activities within the Center will include the relationship of climate and variability to:

National security

Climate effects are a critical issue facing the nation’s military and citizenry into the foreseeable future. In the 2019 “Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense,” 79 mission assurance priority installations were experiencing some effect of climate or would realize vulnerabilities within the next 20 years.

Coastal environment and infrastructure

Recurrent flooding is also a priority issue for policy makers in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. According to the Charleston NWS, coastal flood events in Charleston occurred 89 times in 2019, which far exceeded any other year in the record dating back to 1980. Nuisance flooding is costly to coastal communities through loss of revenue and degradation of infrastructure. Severe heat waves are detrimental to tourism, rising sea surface temperatures affect fish populations and acute drought events can decrease freshwater supply and increase salinity levels, which affects agricultural productivity and ecosystem services.

Public health and welfare

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the necessity of science literacy. Like public health science, climate science is inherently global, involves many feedback loops and requires the critical analysis of data trends. Climate extremes also can be linked to health disparities. For example, The Post and Courier recently reported that in Charleston “flooding can cause transportation hardships that lead to lost workdays and health risk for those who have to slog through water teeming with E. coli and toxic chemicals.” In addition, temperature and humidity extremes contribute to heat stress for field workers.

For these reasons, from 2020 to 2023 the Center will be a collaborator on an EPA grant: “Predicting Drinking Water Contamination from Extreme Weather to Reduce Early Life Contaminant Exposure.” 

For more information, contact The Citadel Department of Physics at (843) 953-5122.

The moon is seen over Padgett-Thomas Barracks during Matriculation Day for the Class of 2024 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 8, 2020
]]>
19004
Citadel launches climate science research center with $2 million donation https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-launches-climate-science-research-center-with-2-million-donation/ Tue, 29 Sep 2020 16:15:30 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=19034 Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)As seen in The Post & CourierBy Chloe Johnson A new research center at The Citadel will focus on climate change — the first group dedicated exclusively to this work in]]> Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

As seen in The Post & Courier
By Chloe Johnson

A new research center at The Citadel will focus on climate change — the first group dedicated exclusively to this work in the Lowcountry. 

Called the Lt. Col James B. Near Jr. Center for Climate Studies, it was started with an almost $2 million donation from its namesake.

Near, an Air Force veteran, was a meteorologist and 1977 Citadel graduate who worked in the school’s physics department. He died in March, and asked that his donation be kept anonymous until after his passing. 

The center will be headed by Scott Curtis, who was previously on the faculty at East Carolina University. He spent part of his career at the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, where he analyzed atmospheric satellite data.

Curtis’ own work has focused on large-scale phenomenon like the El Niño climate pattern and precipitation trends. 

Mark Wilbert, chief resilience officer for Charleston, hailed the move, saying it will “raise the awareness from a super respected institution in the state that the climate science is real and the climate threat is real.”

Curtis said his goal for the ongoing fall semester is in part to learn about the existing research efforts in the area.

There’s already a rich scientific community in the Lowcountry. The state-funded S.C. Sea Grant Consortium provides towns with technical information about the environment, the College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Hazards Center maps flooding, and there’s a local presence from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among others. 

“The center’s already trying to get itself ingrained in what’s happening here as much as possible,” Curtis said. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel. We don’t want to duplicate efforts.”

Curtis said there could be more to contribute to the understanding of the conditions that set up sudden, extreme precipitation, or rain bombs, that sometimes unleash flooding chaos on Charleston.

The center is designed to involve faculty across disciplines at The Citadel in climate research. For example, Curtis hopes that engineering expertise at the school will lead to work on potential flooding fixes.

The center will also focus on environmental health issues and is supporting water quality research to identify dangerous microbes and microplastics in floodwaters. 

The Citadel’s new group will also focus on how a changing climate affects national security. Some military installations in the state, including the Marine Corps training base on Parris Island and Coast Guard stations in Charleston, have been flagged in the past as vulnerable to rising seas

“Regardless of who’s in the White House and the political structure, I think the military is really taking this seriously,” Curtis said. 

]]>
19034
Lowe, The Citadel launch educational program for Civil and Construction Engineering cadets and students https://today.citadel.edu/lowe-the-citadel-launch-educational-program-for-civil-and-construction-engineering-cadets-and-students/ Sun, 27 Sep 2020 23:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18877 Citadel engineering cadets and students tour Cooper Hotel construction site in Charleston courtesy of Lowe, a real estate development companyCitadel engineering cadets and students tour Cooper Hotel construction site in Charleston courtesy of Lowe, a real estate development companyBeginning in spring 2021, Lowe’s internship program will be offered to juniors and seniors within The Citadel School of Engineering.]]> Citadel engineering cadets and students tour Cooper Hotel construction site in Charleston courtesy of Lowe, a real estate development companyCitadel engineering cadets and students tour Cooper Hotel construction site in Charleston courtesy of Lowe, a real estate development company

Photo above: Citadel engineering cadets and students tour The Cooper Hotel construction site in Charleston courtesy of Lowe, a real estate development company

On September 23, Lowe announced its partnership with The Citadel to launch a construction educational program, featuring an in-class lecture series with Lowe executives, on-site project tours and an internship program at Lowe’s Southeast regional office in Charleston for students enrolled in The Citadel School of Engineering. The program aims to provide cadets with real-world construction analysis and experiences to supplement classroom learning.

Beginning in spring 2021, Lowe’s internship program will be offered to juniors and seniors within the School of Engineering. The internship will provide participating cadets and students with real estate and construction management experiences. Interns will also work closely with Lowe senior project managers, attend construction team meetings and experience real-world construction activities with tours of active construction sites.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for these young adults to learn meaningful life skills and experience first-hand the many different components that are involved in successfully managing a multifaceted construction project,” said Mike Mansager, vice president of Lowe. Mansager adds that “through classroom lectures and in-field learning, Lowe will provide unmatched opportunities for students to learn about our local projects and take away real-world applications that will help them find great success in their careers after graduation.”

Mike Mansager, vice president of Lowe, instructing cadets and students during tour

In early September, Lowe hosted a group of Citadel cadets from professor Rebekah Burke’s Construction Engineering Materials and Methods class at the company’s construction site for The Cooper Hotel, downtown Charleston’s new full-service waterfront hotel, which broke ground in February 2020. The site tour was used to illustrate the construction process and discuss the challenges associated with building foundations for large waterfront developments.

“In talking with Mr. Mansager and the Lowe construction team, the cadets and students experienced firsthand the application and execution of technical engineering topics discussed in class,” said Burke. “As a result of this partnership between industry and academia, the students commonly described profound realizations about their career path in construction and engineering in their site visit reports and guest lecture reflections.”

Lowe is also currently hosting in-class lectures as part of a reoccurring, visiting lecture series at The Citadel School of Engineering. The most recent educational lecture, led by Mansager, focused on the topic of construction contracts. In his upcoming lectures, Mansager will discuss a variety of topics to assist cadets in better understanding how what they are learning in the classroom applies in real world applications for construction and development.

For more information about the Construction Engineering Program at The Citadel, please call (843) 953- 5083, or email sfye@citadel.edu.

Citadel engineering cadets and students tour Cooper Hotel construction site in Charleston courtesy of Lowe, a real estate development company

]]>
18877
My ring story: Inspired by my grandfather https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-inspired-by-my-grandfather/ Sat, 26 Sep 2020 10:00:01 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18978 Cadet Dettrich and grandfatherCadet Dettrich and grandfather"The ring holds me to a higher standard."]]> Cadet Dettrich and grandfatherCadet Dettrich and grandfather

Meet Cadet Matthew Dittrich, Lawrenceville, Georgia, ’21

Who or what inspired you to attend The Citadel?

My grandfather, Louis A. Wilken, Class of 1960, would never miss an opportunity to tell me about one of his many stories about The Citadel. From marching in the heat of Charleston to having his room inspected every Saturday morning, I didn’t see how he could enjoy such a school. Nonetheless, he would wear his band of gold every day with pride.

Then came the time for me to attend college and I thought my plans would never change: I would go to Georgia Tech and join the USAF. But I started to think about the man my grandfather had become by attending the Citadel. I thought about all he taught me, and I knew that is what I wanted for my life.

In what ways has this institution impacted your life?

Before coming here, I thought leadership was just about getting the job done. I never considered about the obligations that a leader has to his or her people. Now, I realize it is about taking care of the people first and mission comes second.

“We wear the ring” is a repeated phrase amongst Alumni. What does it mean?

To me, it reminds me that I am part of a larger group myself. A group of alumni that hold themselves to a higher standard and have chosen to be leaders in their communities and their country.

What is inscribed on the inside of your ring and what is the significance?

“Part of the Journey is the End.” I put this in my ring to remind myself that The Citadel will always be a part of my life, but the time is coming to move on and use what I have learned and experienced for the rest of my life.

The Citadel is a crucible for life: like everything that goes into a crucible, it must eventually come out.  

Cadet Matthew Dittrich, Regimental Academic Officer, double-majoring in Physics and Mathematics, ’21

When you finally look down at the band on your finger, what memories will come to mind?

I think about the times my grandfather sat me down and told me stories and taught me lessons. I will think about how I can now relate to each story, and how even after 60 years, this school is still able to teach the same lessons and instill the same values in its Cadets.

What obligations do you feel you have in the future as a member of the Long Grey Line who wears the ring?

The ring holds me to a higher standard. I am not just some college graduate trying to get a job, but I will be a Citadel graduate. I will take the lessons I have learned and use them to lead and mentor others as many people have done for me.

Note: This is one in a series stories intended to show the different journeys members of The Citadel Class of 2021 have undertaken to earn their bands of gold. The Regimental Public Affairs team, Cadet Ruby Bolden, public affairs officer, and Cadet Samantha Walton, public affairs NCO sent a list of questions to participating cadets. These are the resulting stories.

]]>
18978
My ring story: I am stronger https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-i-am-stronger/ Fri, 25 Sep 2020 18:46:40 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18949 The Citadel Volleyball team takes part in their first practice of the season in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, August 6, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The Citadel Volleyball team takes part in their first practice of the season in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, August 6, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)"I vividly remember coming for my pre-knob visit and immediately thinking I could never survive at this school."]]> The Citadel Volleyball team takes part in their first practice of the season in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, August 6, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The Citadel Volleyball team takes part in their first practice of the season in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, August 6, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Meet Cadet Mellanie King, Southlake, Texas, ’21

Who or what inspired you to attend The Citadel?

Originally, volleyball called me to The Citadel, but it is not what kept me here. For starters, there was no way I was going to another college with that haircut! But in all seriousness, I loved that I was doing something different and knew that when I looked back on my college experience, I knew I made the right decision. This institution challenged me and inspired me to be better every day.  Not only that, but the friends I made here, will continue to be a part of my life even after graduation, and for that I am forever grateful to this school for bringing us together.

What was the most difficult obstacle you conquered that made you feel you earned the honor of wearing the ring?

Cutting my hair. I know it sounds superficial, but my hair used to be a part of my identity, and I think that is the case for a lot of girls. But I understood the purpose of it. The school breaks you down to build you back up again, principled, disciplined, and stronger than ever. (Note: The grooming policy changed in 2018, matching the standards of America’s Armed Forces. Freshmen women are no longer required to cut their hair.)

This photo was taken on my Recognition y with my roommates…honestly couldn’t have gotten through know year without them. Left to right: Ally Ansell, Me, and Sharlissa De Jesus

In what ways has this institution impacted your life?

This institution impacted me most in my faith and perseverance. There were many times I thought, “I can’t do this anymore,” and sure enough there was always something that kept me going. Whether it was my friends, Jesus, my coaches, or simply my will to be there that grew stronger and stronger each and every day that I got through. When I speak about my testimony, a lot of the hardships I faced here are what I speak about.

“We wear the ring” is a repeated phrase amongst Alumni. What does it mean?

I vividly remember coming for my pre-knob visit and immediately thinking I could never survive at this school.

Personally, wearing that ring is a statement to overcoming my self-doubt and distrust in my own head. So, I think it means you worked hard for everything you accomplished here and deserve everything it has to offer. I also think it signifies unity and a sense of comfort knowing that there will always be people that have your back because of the shared experiences.

What is inscribed on the inside of your ring and what is the significance?

Romans 8:18. This verse says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us.” This is significant because knob year was TOUGH. As I look back, I realize that the suffering that I was enduring, was nothing compared to what is to come from those very sufferings. Not only have I already benefited from those experiences with improvements to the way I view things and approach situations, but I am stronger. I now will be able to wear the ring and that is just another reason to give glory to God for the doors it will open.

What is a song that describes your emotions leading up to Ring Day/Parent’s Weekend and why that song selection?

As cheesy as it sounds, We Are The Champions, by Queen, definitely comes to mind. It makes me think of victory and success, which is exactly what I will be feeling as soon as I am able to say I wear the ring. I will feel like a champion!

These are my teammates on Student Athlete Appreciation Day and our strength coach who was more like a mentor to us. Back row left to right: Sharlissa De Jesus, Alicia Roberts, Sarah Dobrich, Coach, Faith Justice, Megan Fuhr, Emma Strong. Front row left to right: Me, Jen Barbot, Carcia Rodriquez, Maya Elassal.

When you finally look down at the band on your finger, what memories will come to mind?

When I look at my ring, I do not expect to just remember the good, but also the bad. I will remember my company mates, and that awesome feeling after Parents Weekend and Recognition Day, as we all knew that we were becoming stronger in bond.

I will remember the large meetings and the constant struggle with trying to stay awake in classes and during addresses. I will remember the glorious volleyball wins over Furman, Chattanooga, Mercer, and others at home when cadets were cheering us on, but I will also remember the stigma that came with being an athlete here. I can’t forget President Rosa cancelling Presidents address my knob year.

There are too many memories with my friends to reflect upon at once, but those will come up most often. I look forward to the days we can look back and laugh together.

King is captain of the Volleyball Corps this year. She is a Criminal Justice Major, and plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Psychology after graduation and playing volleyball as long as she is able.

Note: This is one in a series stories intended to show the different journeys members of The Citadel Class of 2021 have undertaken to earn their bands of gold. The Regimental Public Affairs team, Cadet Ruby Bolden, public affairs officer, and Cadet Samantha Walton, public affairs NCO sent a list of questions to participating cadets. These are the resulting stories.

King in action at the net during a match against Mercer in 2018-19.

]]>
18949
Remembering Col. J. W. Bradin,’58: His life of service to America and his alma matter https://today.citadel.edu/remembering-col-j-w-bradin58-his-life-of-service-to-america-and-his-alma-matter/ Fri, 25 Sep 2020 15:09:42 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18928 On four occasions he was awarded America's third highest military combat medal, the Silver Star, for gallantry in action.]]>

Photo above: Col. J.W. Bradin, USA (Ret.) The Citadel Commandant of Cadets, 1984. Courtesy of The Citadel Archives.

On four occasions he was awarded America’s third highest military combat medal, the Silver Star, for gallantry in action. And among his other commendations: the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism.

For his service to his country, and his many other professional accomplishments and deeds, Col. J.W. Bradin, USA (Ret.), Citadel Class of 1958, is being remembered as a leader who personified the college’s core values of honor, duty, and respect. Bradin passed away in September of 2020, at the age of 85.

Click to read full citation

In addition to his service to America, outlined in his obituary below, Bradin served The Citadel as a Professor of Military Science while still on active duty, and later, as Commandant of Cadets from 1982-84, followed by service as a member of The Citadel Board of Visitors.

Photo of Col. J.W. Bradin, USA, taken in 1981 while he was a Professor of Military Science and head of AROTC at The Citadel. Courtesy of The Citadel Archives

His full obituary, as seen in The Post & Courier, is below.

SUN CITY, FL – It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of James W. Bradin, 85, Colonel, U.S. Army Retired. The family was able to be with him in his final moments and we now reflect on his life. Jim was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the son of Benjamin M. Bradin and Anna Bower Bradin.

He moved to post-war Berlin with his parents as a young child, where, among many other adventures, Jim was the first American dependent to become an Eagle Scout in Germany. This led to him taking an active role in the Boy Scouts for many, many years. As Jim grew into a rebellious teenager, his parents thought it best to send him to the Carlisle Military Academy in Bamberg, South Carolina. During his time at Carlisle, he met a girl from Orangeburg (SC) who would forever change his life. Upon graduation from Carlisle, he enrolled in The Citadel, in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jim loved The Citadel and the military program, but he was having a little too much fun and found it difficult to fit in time for studying. In 1958 — by the grace of God –Jim graduated from The Citadel with a degree in history and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Thankfully, he was, by now, well adapted to wearing the limited wardrobe of uniforms! During his time at The Citadel, he began to date that lovely young girl from Orangeburg, our mother, Jervey Gramling. In June of 1958, Jim made the best decision of his life when he married Jervey and they began a journey that would last for 62 years. In his words, “She is a saint. God blessed me so, by talking that lady into sharing my wild and wooly life.”

Over the next 30 years, Jim and Jervey moved to military bases all over the US, as well as Germany. In 1980, as fate would have it, Jim returned to The Citadel. He was assigned as the PMS, Professor of Military Science, followed by Commandant of Cadets. He would later serve on the Board of Visitors. Jim dedicated himself to his military career, but also made time for his family and community. He enjoyed sailing and camping with the family – dragging them along even when they did not want to go…he always encouraged his children to challenge themselves.

Throughout his career, Jim was awarded 4 Silver Stars, 2 Bronze Stars with V device, the Distinguished Flying Cross, 22 Air Medals, the Purple Heart, 2 Meritorious Service Medals, and 2 Legions of Merit.

On 14 September 2020, Jim Bradin was given his final assignment to Fiddler’s Green, where he was reunited with his fellow cavalrymen. His service to his family and nation was one of total commitment – he never did anything halfway.

He was an avid boater, military historian, and published author. He is survived by his wife, Jervey, his three children, James Bradin (Regina), Jr., Stuart Bradin (Kelly), and Michelle Holtzclaw (James), 6 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. Jim will be cremated and, upon the passing of Jervey, they will be buried together in the Beaufort National Cemetery.

Cadet James W. Bradin, The Citadel Class of 1958
Courtesy of The Citadel Archives

]]>
18928
My ring story: I would choose The Citadel all over again https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-i-would-choose-the-citadel-all-over-again/ Fri, 25 Sep 2020 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18908 Hill family pictureHill family pictureI come from a big military family of eight and it became a family tradition to attend a military college]]> Hill family pictureHill family picture

Meet Catherine Hill, Charlottesville, Virginia, ’21

Photo above: Cadet Catherine Hill is fourth from the right. “This is when my brother got married in August at The Citadel. It’s the only picture we have of all of us, my family is huge! My mother is Pamela and my father is LTC Ruston Hill. My older sister is 2nd LT Alexandra Gibbs and her husband is 1st LT Aaron Gibbs. My oldest brother is 2nd LT Russ Hill and his wife is Lauren. My fiancé is Ryan Jackson. My little sisters are Sophia and Victoria, and our youngest brother is Caleb.

Who or what inspired you to attend The Citadel?

My entire family inspired me to go to The Citadel.

I come from a big military family of eight and it became a family tradition to attend a military college. My Father, LTC Ruston Hill graduated from The Citadel in 1990, my older sister 2nd LT Alexandra Gibbs graduated from VMI in 2018 and my older brother 2nd LT Russ Hill graduated from The Citadel in 2020. When it was time to apply to college I couldn’t imagine myself going anywhere else.

The Citadel had just opened a new nursing program and I received an Army scholarship before I matriculated, I knew I wanted to come here. I have wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember. My mother, Pamela Hill who is a nurse, inspired me more than anyone to graduate from The Citadel with a BSN.  Without the support of my family I wouldn’t be here today.

This is me with my brother, 2nd Lt. Russ Hill taken at the annual Thanksgiving get together when I was a junior and he was a senior. My knob year, he came over to Echo and picked me up like this, then it became a tradition to take this picture in the quad each year.

What was the most difficult obstacle you conquered that made you feel you earned the honor of wearing the ring?

In short I would say that throughout my time here I have learned the importance of always doing the right thing, even when it wasn’t the popular decision to make. I can honestly say that at the end of the day, I know that I have always tried my best to do the right thing by my classmates and the knobs that I watched over while being an HA CPL, SGT, and officer.

What is inscribed on the inside of your ring and what is the significance?

Inside my ring is a Bible quote, “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed,” (1 Peter 3:14). It’s significance to me refers to the moments that were the hardest to make decisions to stand up for what is right.

Note: You might remember Cadet Catherine Hill from her freshman year. She was featured in one of the college’s first Our Mighty Citadel stories. You can watch it at the bottom of this story. Seems like it was just yesterday, Catherine. Congratulations!

What is a song that describes your emotions leading up to Ring Day/Parent’s Weekend and why that song selection?

The song that comes to my mind is “5 More Minutes” by Scotty McCreery. The song talks about time flies and how we wish we could pause and have 5 more minutes to take it all in and be in the moment.

Why do you think it is important that cadets and/or people in general understand the symbolism and weight that the ring holds?

It is important because we chose to take “the road less traveled.” Anyone who has graduated from The Citadel will tell you that it wasn’t easy. Every year brought new challenges and we had to become more resilient and better leaders.

We wear the ring” is a repeated phrase amongst Alumni. What does it mean?

When we came to The Citadel we were just 18 year old young adults who had no clue what the next 4 years were going to hold for us. Here we learned the importance of Honor, Duty, and Respect. We learned how to follow and we learned how to lead. I don’t think you will find a single senior here that will tell you that they think they are the same person they were when they matriculated. We have learned so much here and will continue to carry our Citadel legacy for the rest of our lives.

What obligations do you feel you have in the future as a member of the Long Gray Line?

I am honored to be connected to a long line of alumni that I have shared similar experiences with. You just don’t get this experience and connection with people anywhere else. If i could go back in time I would make the decision to come here all over again.

I feel that I am obligated to uphold a standard as a nurse and an officer in the Army. We didn’t go through four years of The Citadel to throw away all that we have learned while we were here. It is our job as future graduates to take what we have learned here and apply it to our daily lives as we graduate and become adults.

Hill is 2nd Battalion human affairs officer, a nursing major and will commission as an officer in the U.S. Army upon graduating.

]]>
18908
My ring story: an active duty Marine’s journey https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-an-active-duty-marines-journey/ Thu, 24 Sep 2020 17:17:44 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18863 Staff Sergeant Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Beaufort, South Carolina, ’21Staff Sergeant Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Beaufort, South Carolina, ’21"My time here at The Citadel has been crucial to my personal leadership development."]]> Staff Sergeant Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Beaufort, South Carolina, ’21Staff Sergeant Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Beaufort, South Carolina, ’21

Meet Staff Sgt. Lyndsay Danielle Pires, MECEP, ’21, Beaufort, South Carolina

Photo above: Staff Sgt. Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program active duty student, ’21, with son JJ

Who or what inspired you to attend The Citadel?

In addition to wanting to live in the Charleston area, The Citadel appealed to me for its prestigious reputation and alumni. This institution stands out for its unique educational experience, and opportunities within the Cadet and Veteran community to lead and learn from others within your four years here.

What was the most difficult obstacle you conquered that made you feel you earned the honor of wearing the Citadel Graduate College band of gold?

Being a dual major, a single mother, and an active duty Marine is demanding, but being entrusted with the responsibility to help mentor the future military leaders of America is just as heavy. The small part I had in these young men and women’s lives makes me feel most honored to wear the ring.

In what ways has this institution impacted your life?

My time here at The Citadel has been crucial to my personal leadership development. Not only has college given me the necessary critical thinking skills needed to succeed moving forward as a commissioned officer, but also the exposure and training within the Navy ROTC program has allowed me to network and continue to thrive in a military environment.

When you put your ring on your finger, what memories about The Citadel will you be thinking about?

Putting the ring on is the culmination of four years of opportunity. The opportunity to develop as an individual and a Marine, the opportunity to earn a valuable education, the opportunity to spend quality time raising my son, and most importantly, the opportunity to serve next to, and learn from some of the greatest men and women this country has to offer.

Like ranks in the military, the ring is a representation of past achievements and future responsibilities. In addition to the affiliation of honor and history within this great institution, the ring symbolizes that you are an individual of commendable moral character.

You are connected to thousands of alumni, not only through your Citadel experience but through the ring. How does that make you feel?

Empowered. I’m grateful to all those who paved the way before me, and hopeful for all those who will follow.

What is inscribed on the inside of your ring and what is the significance?

Next to being a mom, being a Marine is the most meaningful work I’ve ever done. The inside of my ring says both Semper Fidelis, signifying my commitment and gratitude to the Marine Corps – and JJ, my sons name and my ultimate reason why.

SSgt Pires is a Criminal Justice and English double major and an active duty Marine enrolled in the MECEP program. She will commission as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation.

Citadel Class of 2021 MECEP student, Staff Sgt. Lindsay Danielle Pires with her son, JJ.
]]>
18863
My ring story: Self discipline and accountability https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-self-discipline-and-accountability/ Wed, 23 Sep 2020 21:15:33 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18804 Regina-Amber-Mills-and-other-cadets-2Regina-Amber-Mills-and-other-cadets-2To “wear the ring” means that The Citadel is a unique and shared experience...that we have earned our right to be in the Long Grey Line.]]> Regina-Amber-Mills-and-other-cadets-2Regina-Amber-Mills-and-other-cadets-2

Meet Regina Amber Miles, Aiken, South Carolina, ’21

Photo above: Cadets in order of appearance are Thorne, Miles, Engel and Reen. This picture was taken right after they graduated from Marine Officer Candidate School.

Who or what inspired you to attend The Citadel?

I read Pat Conroy’s Lords of Discipline and In the Company of Men, by Nancy Mace, and that was what initially intrigued me. I also knew people who went here. But, the real selling point was when I attended a pre-knob overnight and just had this overwhelming feeling that this is where I belonged.

What was the most difficult obstacle you conquered that made you feel you earned the honor of wearing the ring?

I’d say just having the endurance to uphold your commitment to this school, no matter what personal hardships you’re going through, is reason enough to wear the ring. It can be very tempting to give into an easier alternative, especially after knob year, but this institution was not made to be easy or to become easier; that in itself is the whole point of The Citadel.

No one can better themselves by being complacent. There should never be a point in anyone’s life where they can say they “have made it.” One should always seek self-improvement whether they are a private or a general. That is the mindset The Citadel instills within us.

In what ways has this institution impacted your life?

This institution forces you to grow up in some ways, and I mean that in the best way possible. Self discipline and accountability are drilled into our heads from the start. If we fail, it is completely on us. We have to take responsibility for it, learn from it, and move on.

Why do you think it is important that cadets and/or people in general understand the symbolism and weight that the ring holds?

I don’t think that people outside of the Citadel – other than the alumni, will ever truly understand the magnitude of what the ring means to us because they have not experienced what we have endured. The ring symbolizes four years of pure sacrifice, I hope they understand that, at least.

What is inscribed on the inside of your ring and what is the significance?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt. I live my life by this quote. Essentially, it just means your worth does not come from others nor should you let it be influenced by others.

What is a song that describes your emotions leading up to Ring Day?

“Humble Beginnings by Bazzi.” The chorus reflects how I imagine I’ll feel when I get my ring. We have been looking forward to this day for so long and it’s going to feel surreal when we have finally earned it: “Can’t believe that we made it, can’t believe that we made it. We was broke, we was breakin’…now I’m here and I’m stayin’…”

“We wear the ring” is a repeated phrase amongst Alumni. What does it mean?

It’s a really moving concept, honestly.

To “wear the ring” means that The Citadel is a unique and shared experience. The Ring also means that we have earned our right to be alumni in the Long Grey Line when we graduate. Historically speaking, every cadet does not undergo the exact same Citadel experience, but we are all connected in having been part of the Corps of Cadets. We will always have each other’s backs because we have that mutual respect.

Miles is a part of the mascot cadet handing team. She is the senior dog handler and team captain. Miles will commission as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation. She was included in this local news story about the mascot handlers.

]]>
18804