Alumni – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:10:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Alumni – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 Charleston native transforming warehouse into new fitness site Ethos https://today.citadel.edu/charleston-native-transforming-warehouse-into-new-fitness-site-ethos/ Sun, 14 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22672 The 34-year-old Citadel graduate is spending about three-quarters of a million dollars to renovate and outfit his own gym on Huger Street.]]>

Photo: Joey Welling talks on March 5 about the space under construction for Ethos Athletic Club, a new 21,000-square-foot fitness center he plans to open in May off Huger Street on the Charleston peninsula. (Courtesy: Lauren Petracca, The Post and Courier)

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Warren Wise

Charleston native Joey Welling has been involved in fitness in one way or another since junior high school when he started playing baseball at Bishop England and later in college.

Now, the 34-year-old Citadel graduate is spending about three-quarters of a million dollars to renovate and outfit his own gym on Huger Street in a rapidly changing part of the Charleston peninsula where nearly 40,000 people live within one mile, many of them in new multistory apartment developments that have sprung up in the past few years.

Ethos Athletic Club, a new 21,000-square-foot fitness center off Huger Street, is expected to open in May. This is what it looked like on March 5, 2021, as construction was underway. (Courtesy: Lauren Petracca, The Post and Courier)

Welling recently leased 21,000 square feet in a barrel-vaulted building beside High Wire Distilling. Construction is underway, and he plans to launch Ethos Athletic Club in May.

For the past few years, he and former business partner Jason Fiutem ran Exemplar Fitness in a 6,000-square-foot space on James Island, but the two parted ways when the lease expired in February and both are now on their own. Fiutem recently started 1014 Fitness in West Ashley.

Welling is temporarily operating out of a 9,000-square-foot space at 483 King St., where the former human resources software startup PeopleMatter once operated in an annex and ugly holiday sweaters could later be found in a pop-up shop.

He lost about half of his 700 clients when he moved operations downtown, but he already has about 300 signed up for the new space and is shooting for another 400.

“Epicenter of positivity’

The new location, an L-shaped shell used more recently by an events company for storage and decades ago as a backup warehouse for the long-gone Sears department store, is undergoing a complete overhaul.

The framework for new interior walls is up, plumbing for new bathrooms with lockers, showers, saunas and steam rooms is being installed and café equipment for smoothies and other healthy items sits along one wall.

Turf will run along a side and back walls over a polished concrete floor, and an elevated cardio area will face a large movie-playing screen. Each cardio machine also will have TV monitors.

“I might put up a few TVs, but they won’t be showing any news programs,” Welling said. “This is meant to be the epicenter of positivity.”

One aspect of the new gym will be a 60-foot, tunnel-like hallway that leads from the front check-in station, café and retail area through the center of the gym to the workout zones.

Joey Welling flips through plans for the space for his new fitness center, Ethos Athletic Club, off Huger Street on the Charleston peninsula on March 5. (Courtesy: Lauren Petracca, The Post and Courier)

“We are trying to create the mindset of an athlete walking into an arena,” he said.

Welling chose the name “Ethos” after reading a book a couple of years ago by Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks and one-time owner of the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team.

The gym owner noticed the word “ethos” in the book, and looked it up for a better understanding of what it meant.

Merriam-Webster describes ethos as “the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature or guiding beliefs of a person, group or institution.” Think ethics.

“I told myself if I ever do another gym, that’s what I’m going to call it,” Welling said. “It perfectly embodies the culture of the gym.” It’s one where he often tells his team, “We are not in the fitness business serving people but rather the people business serving fitness.”

Gem of a gym

Welling tried for several months last year to find a large-enough place with parking and a price per square foot he could afford on James Island, but was unsuccessful and eventually turned to Ross Armstrong with MoRE Commercial real estate in Charleston.

Armstrong showed him about 15 different properties on the peninsula, but when Welling saw the vacant warehouse next to the distillery, he was sold and signed a seven-year lease with an extension option.

“It was love at first site with the unique ceilings and the size and the overall location of it,” Welling said. “I think it’s a very positive and up-and-coming area. The more I visit it, the more I realize how central it is to the entire Lowcountry.”

Joey Welling points out features on a blueprint on March 5 for Ethos Athletic Club, a new 21,000-square-foot fitness center off Huger Street which plans to open in May on the Charleston peninsula. (Courtesy: Lauren Petracca, The Post and Courier)

The fitness facility will offer all of the traditional free weights, treadmills and rowing machines, but it also will come with classes for yoga and high-intensity training and will include a dedicated space for physical and massage therapists. Individually numbered net bagging for sweaty gym clothes also will be offered for on-site laundry service.

The gym space wraps around the rear of High Wire Distilling. There, three large roll-up doors lead to a concrete dock overlooking what will become the Lowcountry Lowline linear park running beside the Interstate 26 offramps next to the distillery. 

The deck can be used for outside training as well, and eventually a canopy will be installed.

At the front of the gym, a garage door opening will be added where Wyatt Morris’s Tres Palmas Açai Café will offer smoothies, salads and açai bowls. Chef Owen Bernstein of Cramer’s Cuisine also will have pre-made meals to grab and go.

Fitting start

Welling credits his longtime interest in fitness to Mike Darnell, the head baseball coach at Bishop England.

“He got me interested in working out and being fit in the seventh grade when I started playing baseball,” he said. “It was his first year there, and he’s still there.”

He also said Donnell Boucher, his strength and conditioning coach when he played baseball at The Citadel, was instrumental as well.

“He was a huge influence on my life and my career,” Welling said.

Joey Welling, owner of Ethos Athletic Club, poses for a portrait on March 5 in what will become a tunnel-like hallway in a 21,000-square-foot space which will house his new fitness center off Huger Street in downtown Charleston. (Courtesy: Lauren Petracca, The Post and Courier)

Welling’s entrepreneurial spirit also runs back a couple of generations.

Some longtime Charleston residents may remember his mother’s late father, Henry A. Kennedy Sr., who launched the former Kennedy’s Economy Drug Store, one of the first pharmacies in West Ashley, in 1954. He, too, was a Citadel graduate.

At the new gym, Basic Projects is doing the interior design work, Stumphouse is the architect, and Interior Woodworking is the contractor.

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Remembering Col. Robert S. Adden, The Citadel Class of ’44 https://today.citadel.edu/remembering-col-robert-s-adden-the-citadel-class-of-44/ Sat, 13 Mar 2021 11:00:47 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22655 Col. Bob Adden, The CitadelCol. Bob Adden, The CitadelAs seen on Jhenrystuhr.tributes.com Robert S. Adden, 98, a long time resident of Charleston, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2021 after a brief hospitalization in Reston, Virginia. Born January 1, 1923]]> Col. Bob Adden, The CitadelCol. Bob Adden, The Citadel

As seen on Jhenrystuhr.tributes.com

Robert S. Adden, 98, a long time resident of Charleston, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2021 after a brief hospitalization in Reston, Virginia. Born January 1, 1923 in Orangeburg, South Carolina to the late Mary Elizabeth Heggie Adden and John Augustus Adden. His father died months before he was born and he was raised lovingly, along with his siblings “Toots” and Jack, by his mother during the difficult Depression era.

He attended The Citadel as a member of the Class of 1944, of which the entire class was called to active duty following their Junior Year. He served as a 2nd lieutenant in World War II with the 84th Infantry Division and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, a Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was severely wounded in combat in November 1944 in Prummern, Germany, attributing his life being saved by God’s hand causing his dog tags to deflect a machine gun bullet that was directed towards his heart. He was discharged from the Army in 1946.

He graduated from The Citadel in 1947 as the first honor graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Two days later he began his teaching career at The Citadel, leaving the college only for a short time to earn his Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business and his Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at Chapel Hill he met the love of his life, Norma Sue Sligh, and they married on December 27, 1953.

He enjoyed teaching accounting and taxation. He served as the Head of the Business Administration Department at The Citadel from 1962-1982, during which time he was instrumental in launching the Master of Business Administration and the evening undergraduate programs at what is now the School of Business Administration. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1985. The Citadel recognized his service to the school awarding him the coveted Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in 1984; an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2008; and the School of Business Alumnus of the Year Award in 2011. He and Sue were loyal supporters of Citadel athletics, rarely missing any home football, basketball or baseball game and listening on the radio to many of the away games.

He was a faithful Lutheran who proudly donated to the church. When his older brother Jack (USMC) gave him $100 that he had won playing poker in the South Pacific during WW II, he donated the money to the Orangeburg Lutheran Church. He taught an adult Sunday School Class for more than 50 years at St. John’s Lutheran Church, served on its Vestry and was a former President of the Vestry. He was also a lifetime member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and a member of the Charleston Rotary Club.

Surviving are his wife of 67 years, Norma Sue Sligh Adden; daughter, Carolyn Elizabeth Rose and her husband Col. Michael G. Rose (USA, Ret) of Herndon, VA; son, Robert S. Adden, Jr. and his wife Kimetha Hunt Adden of Charlotte, NC; daughter, Virginia Sue Barrett and her husband Hazle Barrett of Camden, SC; four grandchildren, Robert Anthony Adden, Daniel Spencer Adden (Kayla), Caroline Jordan Christian (Jack) and Thomas Caldwell Jordan; four great-grandchildren, Mary Caroline Christian, Eleanor Christian, John Christian and Frances Christian and many loving nieces and nephews.

“He had such a calm sweet spirit & will be missed by many. “

Remembrance by family friend Mike Wiggins

“Col. Adden was a great accounting teacher during my years at the Citadel. He was kind and caring to the cadets. His quality as a man is undisputed. He supported the Citadel in many ways after his retirement. You could see him at basketball, baseball, and football games cheering on his team. God Bless his family and many friends.”

Roy DeHaven, ’81

Leave a remembrance about Col. Adden here.

J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel is serving the family. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a memorial service will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church at a date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to The Citadel Foundation Class of 1944 Scholarship Fund, 171 Moultrie St., Charleston, SC 29409 or to St. John’s Lutheran Church, 5 Clifford St., Charleston, SC 29401.

Read more about Col. Robert “Bob” Adden in this story by The Post and Courier

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With a Citadel graduate serving as navigator, Coast Guard tall ship ‘Eagle’ to be in Charleston with free port-side exhibits https://today.citadel.edu/with-a-citadel-graduate-serving-as-navigator-coast-guard-tall-ship-eagle-to-be-in-charleston-with-free-port-side-exhibits/ Fri, 12 Mar 2021 19:33:07 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22680 Lt. Will Singletary, the navigator of the Coast Guard tall ship ‘Eagle,’ is a native of Charleston and a 2013 graduate of The Citadel.]]>

Photo: The Coast Guard Cutter Eagle traveling for Charleston Harbor Fest 2009. Fort Sumter is pictured in the background. (Courtesy: Petty Officer 3rd Class Nick Ameen, U.S. Coast Guard)

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Tim Renaud

The Coast Guard tall ship ‘Eagle’ will arrive in Charleston on Friday.

The ship, known as “America’s tall ship,” is scheduled to arrive at the Charleston Cruise Ship Terminal on Friday afternoon and will remain in the harbor through Sunday afternoon.

Those who wish to see the ship can enjoy free pier-side exhibits and discussion with officer candidates and members of Eagle’s crew.

The Eagle’s navigator, Lt. Will Singletary, is a native of Charleston and a 2013 graduate of The Citadel.

You can enjoy the port-side exhibits at the following times:

  • Friday, March 12, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 13, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 14, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

According to a press release from the Coast Guard, the Eagle is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square-rigger in United States government service.

It was constructed in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as the Horst Wessel by the German Navy. Coast Guard officials say the ship was a war reparation for the United States following World War II.

The Eagle is a three-masted barque with more than 6,797 square meters (22,300 square feet) of sail and 9.7 kilometers (6 miles) of rigging.

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Remembering Major Gen. Arthur H. Baiden, III, U.S. Army (Ret.), The Citadel Class of 1962 https://today.citadel.edu/remembering-major-gen-arthur-h-baiden-iii-u-s-army-ret-the-citadel-class-of-1962/ Fri, 12 Mar 2021 11:34:55 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22640 Maj. Gen. Arthur Hamilton Baiden, III, U.S. Army, (Ret.) of Greenville, S.C., passed away on March 8, 2021 after living the life of a principled leader.]]>

Maj. Gen. Arthur Hamilton Baiden, III, U.S. Army, (Ret.) of Greenville, S.C., passed away on March 8, 2021 after living the life of a principled leader.

Baiden was a member of The Citadel Class of 1962 and dedicated much of his life to serving his alma matter. He was Chairman of the Board of Visitors, Vice Chairman of the Board and President of The Citadel Alumni Association during his lifetime.

Baiden earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and recognition as the second honor graduate when he graduated. He accepted a commission as an officer in the Army, a career that spanned more than three decades. He then has a second, civilian career lasting almost as long.

Baiden retired from his 32-year long civilian career in 2005 as president and CEO of what was then called Potter Shackelford Construction Company in Greenville. Prior to that, he retired with the rank of major general after serving America for 35 years in active duty and the reserves.

While in the Army, Baiden served three combat tours, one in the Dominican Republic and two in Vietnam. His awards and decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Air Medal. He was a master parachutist and ranger. In 1994, South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell presented the Order of the Palmetto, to Baiden, the state’s highest honor, for his service as commanding general of the 120th Army Reserve Command in support of Operation Desert Storm. He subsequently served as the first Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Readiness Command and as a member of the Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee at the Pentagon.

Baiden served his community as president of the Wade Hampton Sertoma Club; Chairman of the Board of Carolinas AGC, the largest construction trades organization in the Carolinas; and was vice chairman for the Board of Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County.

In addition to his degree from The Citadel, Baiden earned a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University; and in 2009 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Military Science from The Citadel. Additionally, Bainden graduated from the U.S. Army War College.

Baiden was married for 54 years to Jean Parsons of Fayetteville, North Carolina, who passed away on Aug. 8, 2020. She was also known for her expansive philanthropic service. Her obituary can be read here.

The Baidens are survived by a daughter, son, brother, and three granddaughters.

The Baiden family invites friends and family to leave remembrances about “Art” and Jean at this website where information about services will be posted at a later date.

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Lu Parker, ’94: Citadel Graduate College alumna, journalist, former Miss USA, and kindness entrepreneur https://today.citadel.edu/lu-parker-94-citadel-graduate-college-alumna-journalist-former-miss-usa-and-kindness-entrepreneur/ Thu, 11 Mar 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22573 We strive to help all people better understand and embrace the power of kindness.]]>

“Never underestimate the power of a kind woman.” Lu Parker

Lu Parker doesn’t dawdle in the slow lane. She’s flying along numerous professional pathways, and while she’s navigating, she’s deliberate about conveying one key message: Be kind.

“The best is when someone sees my t-shirt or hoodie while I’m wearing it and stops me to say “I love your shirt!” or “What a great message!”  When that happens, it makes me realize that I am doing the right thing. It’s working,” Parker shared with The Citadel.

As a journalist with two decades of experience (including with WCSC-TV in Charleston, South Carolina) and multiple Emmy awards, Parker anchors four hours of news daily for KTLA in Los Angeles. Additionally, she is an inspirational speaker, an author, and the founder of Be Kind & Co. which recently launched a line of apparel.

Lu Parker in the studio at WCSC-TV, Live 5, in Charleston in the late 1990s.
Lu Parker in the studio at WCSC-TV, Live 5, in Charleston in the late 1990s.

Prior to her career in broadcasting, Parker was a ninth-grade English Literature teacher. In 1994, while she was a teacher, Parker captured both the Miss South Carolina USA, and Miss USA titles, going on to place fourth in the Miss Universe Pageant.

But, before all of that, Parker graduated from The Citadel Graduate College in 1993 with a Master of Arts in Education, after earning a BA in English Literature from the College of Charleston.

After seeing the launch of the Be Kind & Co. apparel line, The Citadel Graduate College reached out to Parker to ask her to share some reflections.

This is what she said.

An interview with Lu Parker, The Citadel Graduate College Class of 1994 and founder of Be Kind & Co.

What is your goal for Be Kind & Co.?

We strive to help all people better understand and embrace the power of kindness. My goal is to use Be Kind & Co. as a way to share content, experiences, and merchandise that inspires all of us to be a bit more kind each day. I truly believe that each kind act, even if small, helps to collectively heal the world.  

In 2021, we launched our BKC Apparel line and we are thrilled to be seeing so many people wearing our merchandise around the country, including in South Carolina. We like to say it’s “Merchandise with a Message.” We share small sayings like, “Be a Kind Human” – “Born Kind” – Be Kind Y’all – “Never Underestimate the Power of a Kind Woman.” 

 Why did you create Be Kind & Co.?

The original concept of Be Kind & Co. was created after I experienced an unfortunate situation where I was attempting to be kind to someone and it backfired on me. At the time, the experience made me seriously question kindness. I questioned my urge to help people and literally almost gave up on being kind ever again.  But eventually, I came to my senses and realized that kindness is a gift that I cherish. Be Kind & Co. was originally a blog but now it’s more of life-style media company that shares content, offers merchandise with messaging, and creates a space where people can share insights into the power of kindness.  

I am also in the early stages of writing a book about my experiences and how I handled it.  I am also looking forward to traveling again to speak around the country at conventions and venues on “How Kindness Creates Success.”

Lu Parker accepting her diploma for a Master of Arts in Education
from The Citadel Graduate College in 1993.

Why did you pursue a Masters of Education and why did you select The Citadel Graduate College?

I was already interested in English Literature and hoped to one day teach on a college level. My Mom suggested that I apply to The Citadel because I was living in Charleston at the time and she said the program had a great reputation. 

I have fond memories of attending the Citadel Graduate College.  My professors were helpful and the process was a smooth experience. I believe that anytime you set a goal in life, personally or professionally, you must complete each small task while staying focused on the future goal. Studying at The Citadel allowed me to further my education so I could eventually teach high school. I did teach high school at North Charleston High School after graduating from The Citadel. 

What do you miss most about Charleston?

Ahhhh, Charleston. The city has my heart in so many ways. I spent over two decades there growing up, going to college and graduate school. I also taught in the city, and eventually returned to work in tv news there at WCSC. I often say I have a memory on every corner of the city.  I love the beaches, the Southern accents, the people and the style. I even miss the heat, humidity and rain.   

What is your greatest achievement to date?

To answer your question about my greatest achievement to date, I would say I have been very fortunate in my life and had the opportunity to experience a lot of wonderful moments including attending college, winning Miss USA, winning Emmys, traveling the world, working in TV news, meeting celebrities, going to Hollywood events, and even writing a book….But I still don’t consider those accomplishments. They were all wonderful experiences. To answer you question about my greatest achievement to date, I would say it’s the fact that I have never given up on the belief that kindness can create huge change. Kindness can save a life.  Kindness can shift the world. Kindness is strength. It’s a daily practice that I hope I can continue to share through my writings, my company and my voice. 

What would you say to young women considering various careers about innovating their own pathways or even multiple careers?

I am a huge believer that life is better when you love what you do. I always suggest to young women and men to find a career or a path to that career that lights a fire inside of you. I love my job as a tv news anchor because I am able to combine my love of writing, reading, and interacting with people.  It’s the same with my company Be Kind & Co. Creating a company takes a lot of behind the scenes work. It’s challenging and can be overwhelming, but when you feel good about what you are doing, then it’s worth it. I also totally believe that it’s never too late to change your profession or start a company, non-profit or passion project. It may require you to work after your “real” job, but again, when the passion is there, it won’t always feel like work. It’s a joy.  

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I want to add that I 100% believe that when women support each other’s success, we all succeed.  There is so much success available out in the world, let’s help each other along the path and celebrate each other!  That’s true kindness!

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Citadel Graduate College Masters in Intelligence and Security #10 in U.S. by Best Value Schools https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-graduate-college-masters-in-intelligence-and-security-10-in-u-s-by-best-value-schools/ Tue, 09 Mar 2021 17:48:08 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22490 Photo above: Citadel Graduate College students meeting with the Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, on campus in 2018 As seen on BestValueSchools.org It is easy for individuals that are]]>

Photo above: Citadel Graduate College students meeting with the Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, on campus in 2018

As seen on BestValueSchools.org

It is easy for individuals that are not familiar with the complex nature of security professions to assume that a security education is part of criminal justice. The truth is that there are many types of security specialists. The growing need for security professionals leads to the need for those interested in security to receive a a high-quality education, such as a masters in security degree. 

Badge for Best-Masters-in-Security

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Security Degree? 

There are a variety of master’s in security programs available to individuals that have an interest in providing security at national and international levels. Pursuing a masters in security in the field that a person wants to enter requires selecting the right program. This helps to determine what a person can do with a master’s degree in security.

Consider a master’s degree in security studies if you want a career that focuses on security leadership, crisis management, or security analysis. Individuals that want a career in cybersecurity or homeland security often find ideal master’s in security programs that fulfill the goals or requirements for working in these fields. Do you want to focus on the security of populations or on security efforts after a disaster? Earning a master’s in security that focuses on human security is an option that leads to a rewarding career.  

The pay and job growth in security is likely a reason that some people choose to earn a master’s degree in security. The 2019 median pay was $99,730 for information security analysts, with an anticipated job growth of 31 percent through 2029. The National Security Agency (NSA) lists the entry level pay for a mid-level investigator at more than $72,000, and the pay for an NSA Forensic Analyst starting at $93,822 a year. 

Some schools allow students to complete program requirements online to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals. Other programs require on-campus coursework and other face-to-face meetings. Exploring the best master’s in security programs allows for determining the best school and program that meets your goals and interests.

About The Citadel Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies: an online program offering real-world skills

DNI Coats speaking during the 2018 Intelligence and Cyber Security Conference at The Citadel
Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, speaking during the 2018 Intelligence and Cyber Security Conference at The Citadel

The Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Intelligence and Security Studies (ISS) prepares students to enhance national security through intelligence and homeland security leadership. Best practices for intelligence collection and analysis and national security combined with current theory, research, and experience give students the background necessary to cultivate critical thinking, concise writing, and effective briefing. By introducing applicable management principles and policy analysis, the program fosters the leadership skills to successfully address security and intelligence challenges facing the United States.

Unlike traditional graduate programs that take a theoretical and conceptual track in preparing students for further academic research, The Citadel’s ISS program combines theory and practice to provide the real-world skills necessary to enter and advance in the public and private intelligence arenas.

This program is entirely online to provide maximum flexibility for students, and at the same time allow the ISS program to attract instruction from intelligence professionals located around the world. Our program is taught by internationally recognized experts, with real-world experience at agencies like the FBI, CIA, DHS and at the White House.

Citadel.edu

Learn more and find information about how to apply to The Citadel Graduate College here.

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Col. Thomas J. Gordon, U. S. Marine Corps, to be next Commandant of Cadets at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/col-thomas-j-gordon-u-s-marine-corps-to-be-next-commandant-of-cadets-at-the-citadel/ Mon, 08 Mar 2021 19:08:42 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22517 Colonel Thomas J. Gordon, USMC, The Citadel Class of 1991, brings a wealth of leadership, operational, and academic experience to the role]]>

The President of The Citadel has selected the college’s next Commandant of Cadets.

Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC, (Ret.) sent the following announcement to the campus community on Monday, March 8:

After an exhaustive vetting and interview process, I am pleased to announce our next Commandant of Cadets.

Colonel Thomas J. Gordon, USMC, The Citadel Class of 1991, brings a wealth of leadership, operational, and academic experience to the role. I am certain he will build on the strong foundations set by Captain Geno Paluso. We are fortunate such dynamic leaders choose to return to their Alma Mater in this critical position. The Corps will continue in good hands.

I wish to thank everyone who expressed interest in the position, particularly finalists Captain Matt Meilstrup, Colonel Mike Larsen ‘92 and Colonel Scott Nahrgang ‘96. This was not an easy choice, each had extraordinary success in their military careers, and the requisite skill and experience to be a successful commandant.

I also thank our search committee, and everyone who took time to assist in the selection process.

On behalf of the entire Citadel Family, I welcome Colonel Gordon, wife Candace, son Shane, and daughters Shannen and Shelby to campus.

The Citadel Commandant of Cadets is a vice presidential position that is responsible for the command, leadership development and oversight of the 2,300-member South Carolina Corps of Cadets and is crucial to the success of the Military College of South Carolina.

Gordon sent this statement in response to his selection:

“I am honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve The Citadel as the next Commandant of Cadets. I am grateful for the confidence Gen. Walters and the BOV have extended, and am excited to give back to the institution that has given me so much. Candace and I are looking forward to returning to Charleston and serving alongside our Citadel family. “

Col. Thomas J. Gordon, USMC

Gordon graduated from The Citadel in 1991, becoming a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) officer. He retires from military service in May 2021 after 30 years.

Gordon is currently the Director of the Command & Staff College at Quantico, Virginia, one of the four Department of Defense professional military education colleges where he leads the development of future commanders of the joint force with graduate level education.

Previously Gordon served as the Chief of Staff to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, supporting the coordination of policy, plans, and decisions governing the manning, training, and resourcing of nearly 200,000 Marines and 13,000 civilian employees with an annual budget of $42 billion.

Examples of other his positions include serving as a Resident Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations and as Commanding Officer for a 4,000 member organization executing world-wide combat operations that provided the communications, intelligence, electronic and cyber warfare capabilities, supporting arms integration, and liaison capabilities for the USMC. Gordon holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Webster University and studied as a Fellow of International Relations and National Security with Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The search for a new commandant was initiated in November following an announcement about the retirement of the current commandant, Captain Geno Paluso, USN (Ret.), ’89, who will leave at the end of the current academic year. Paluso joined his alma mater as commandant in 2014.

Approved photo of Col Gordon
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Hamilton Baiden, ’91, on how Citadel experience contributed to his career success with Heritage Health Solutions, Inc. https://today.citadel.edu/heritage-health-solutions-inc-announces-new-president/ Tue, 23 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22326 Headshot of Hamilton BaidonHeadshot of Hamilton Baidon"In his elevated role, Baiden continues to lead the strategy and execution of Heritage's business development and growth while providing transparent leadership..."]]> Headshot of Hamilton BaidonHeadshot of Hamilton Baidon

Note: Hamilton Baiden graduated as a member of The Citadel Class of 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mr. Baiden emailed these thoughts to the college after we contacted him to congratulate him and to ask what about The Citadel contributed most strongly to his professional success.

“When I look back at all the different influences in my life that have contributed to any success I might have achieved, The Citadel is definitely near the top of the list. Most people that know my personality and learn I went to The Citadel immediately ask “How the heck did you graduate from there?” Sometimes I ask the same question. At the end of the day, at 18 years of age, I needed to learn how to wrangle my energy and use it to the best of my ability. I needed to learn when to listen and when to talk. The greatest thing The Citadel taught me was how to handle all the different things that get thrown your way and solve the problems that really matter. I always look back on my four years at The Citadel with admiration and respect, and I cherish the lasting relationships that were built there.”

Hamilton Baiden, The Citadel Class of 1991, President, Heritage Health Solutions

As seen on PR Newswire

COPPELL, Texas, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Heritage Health Solutions, Inc. (Heritage) has promoted Hamilton Baiden to President effective immediately. In his elevated role, Baiden continues to lead the strategy and execution of Heritage’s business development and growth while providing transparent leadership and expanding upon Heritage’s vast portfolio of services and solutions. His strategic direction and initiatives will cement Heritage’s status as one of the industry’s top Integrated Health Care Managers. Hamilton’s extensive knowledge of the industry will also lend itself to developing new healthcare solutions and services within the Heritage Health Solutions brand.

Baiden first joined Heritage in 2018 as the Executive Vice President and General Manager, where he oversaw business development and strategic planning. He is credited with adding new innovative solutions to Heritage’s already impressive suite, including Heritage CARES, a virtual substance use, suicide prevention, and mental health program, and launching a new corrections division focused on the health and wellbeing of those in confinement.

“I am honored to be asked by the Board to help lead Heritage Health Solutions forward in our mission to improve people’s lives by offering innovative solutions to the health care journey,” said Baiden. “Over the year’s we have created an organization with incredible employees that dedicate their time to the cause and who work tirelessly to make a difference.” 

Prior to joining Heritage, Baiden was Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development at Avella Specialty Pharmacy (Avella), where he grew annual revenues over 1000 percent. During Baiden’s 13 years at Avella, he implemented successful sales strategies at all levels of engagement. He also served in various roles for prominent pharmaceutical sales companies, including MedImmune, Serono, and Daiichi and Sanofi. Baiden received his undergraduate degree from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.

About Heritage Health Solutions, Inc.

Headquartered in Coppell, Texas, Heritage Health Solutions, Inc. is a premier provider of integrated health care management to correctional, public sector, and commercial entities. Heritage meets the demands of an ever-changing health care landscape by providing our clients with comprehensive, customized solutions. We manage costs, utilization, and quality, which leads to optimal health care outcomes. For more information about Heritage, please visit us at

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Army cadets learn leadership from one of The Citadel’s highest-ranking active duty officers https://today.citadel.edu/army-cadets-learn-leadership-from-one-of-the-citadels-highest-ranking-active-duty-officers/ Fri, 19 Feb 2021 16:41:47 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22207 Maj. Gen. David Wilson, '91, was -- virtually -- back on his old stomping grounds, teaching senior Army cadets about leadership.]]>

Photo: (top left) Maj. Gen. David Wilson, Class of 1991, speaking with Citadel cadets virtually

“If you don’t like what you do, you won’t do it well or do it long.”

A history-making graduate of The Citadel recently returned to Jenkins Hall, one of the campus locations where his Army career began many years ago.

Though Maj. Gen. David Wilson, USA, was back on his old stomping grounds, he didn’t get to stroll down memory lane. That’s because Wilson, a member of the Class of 1991, visited campus virtually via Microsoft Teams.

Wilson, the first African American Citadel graduate to become a two-star general, was participating in a day-long, virtual leadership development event, hosted by Fort Jackson.

Twelve senior Citadel cadets participated in the opportunity, which brought together senior Army ROTC cadets from nearly 20 colleges and universities. The annual Leader Professional Development Symposium — in its fourth year — included a panel discussion with junior officers and well as speed mentoring with various Army generals, including Wilson.

“Taking care of people is more than making sure that they have the means and resources to care of themselves and their families,” said Wilson during his Citadel speed session. “It’s about making sure they’re empowered and equipped to do the missions that they’re going to embark upon.”

Cadets were also given the chance to ask Wilson questions about his time in the Army, his Citadel experience and more.

Cadets asking Maj. Gen. David Wilson, ’91, questions about leadership and his experiences

“Receiving advice from a Citadel graduate, who is a general in the Army, gives me hope for my future,” said Cadet Pedro Sharpe. “This is true because advice from a graduate is more relatable. They can utilize examples from their experiences at this institution and connect them to real world scenarios.”

Wilson discussed how his time at The Citadel prepared him to operate in a diverse environment and gave him an early lesson in the importance of structure and discipline.

“The Citadel is a leadership laboratory. If you can get a senior private to shine their shoes, get their hair cut — that’s really something,” continued Wilson.

With a hands-on assist from Citadel AROTC Chief Military Science Instructor Sgt. Maj. Willie Murphy, Wilson also presented some of the attending cadets with his Challenge Coin, to honor their achievements.

“Listing to Maj. Gen. Wilson helped me realize that being a leader is about setting the example and putting your people first,” continued Sharpe. “Leadership includes you being the sole individual that is willing to put yourself on the line for your people. It also means being honest with yourself in the Corps and in the Army.”

Wilson wasn’t the only member of The Citadel family to help guide the ROTC cadets across the region. Citadel Military Science professor, Capt. Paul Najarian, sat on a junior officers’ panel, taking questions from cadets with all the participating ROTC units.

Capt. Paul Najarian during the junior officers’ panel

“It was an honor to be able to pass along some lessons that I learned the hard way,” said Najarian. “This is one of the ways in the Profession of Arms that we can continue to grow within our organization, ensuring future leaders learn from our successes and failures. Based on what I saw, and the questions I heard asked during the symposium, it is clear to me that the Army will be getting some fantastic young leaders very soon.”

Najarian also pointed out that all the cadets who participated in the program are less than 100 days away from becoming officers — making the lessons they learned at the event even more vital.

“Life isn’t so much about how much you keep for yourself, it’s about how much energy you pour into other people,” said Wilson. “And you as a leader, pouring into your subordinates, investing in them, is what’s going to allow them to achieve mission success.”

Citadel cadets, virtually joined by hundreds of ROTC cadets at other colleges, standing for the National Anthem
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From the Corps to the Chapel: Meet Chaplain Aaron Meadows https://today.citadel.edu/from-the-corps-to-the-chapel-meet-chaplain-aaron-meadows/ Tue, 16 Feb 2021 19:36:07 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22033 The former cadet, and current Air Force reservist, will now serve his alma mater as the Chaplain to the Corps of Cadets.]]>

“Remember Now Thy Creator in the Days of Thy Youth”

Those old words above Summerall Chapel greeted the new Chaplain to the Corps of Cadets, Aaron Meadows, a member of the Class of 2004.

The former cadet, and current Air Force reservist, will now serve his alma mater as the Chaplain to the Corps of Cadets.

Meadow’s role will involve tending to the spiritual needs of cadets, alumni, faculty and staff and also serving as a community leader, bringing religious leaders from different faiths around the city together for worship and fellowship. He also leads celebrations, such as the annual Christmas Candlelight Services, and the celebrations of the lives of the many people who request to have funeral services in the chapel.

Learn more about Ch, Lt. Col. Meadows below:

How many years have you served in the military?

I graduated from The Citadel in 2004 and accepted a commission that May — so May of this year will be 17 years in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

Why did you join the military?

I actually grew up in a military family — a Navy family — and I applied here my junior year. I got in, and I didn’t apply anywhere else.

My family could not pay for me to come to college, so I had to have some kind of scholarship, and I ended up getting a four year Army scholarship. My sophomore year, I switched from Army to Air Force but was able to maintain the scholarship.

Why did you want to become a chaplain in the Air Force?

My junior year, when I was doing campus ministry as a cadet — I was involved here in the chapel, went to Campus Crusade, Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Charleston Wesley Foundation and several other campus ministries — God was calling me to ministry as a chaplain, so that’s when I switched. I had to go through a ton of hoops because there was no process to go from an active duty commitment to a reserve commitment at that time, and I was told it wouldn’t happen. But God just opened up a door and I was able to take a reserve commitment so I could go to seminary.

So I left The Citadel, went to seminary, and enrolled in the Chaplain Candidate Program. I became a chaplain, and I’m still an Air Force Reserve chaplain with the 315th Airlift Wing, stationed at Joint Base Charleston. Then God opened up the door for me to do campus ministry, which I’ve done with the Methodist Church for seven years. I am transitioning out of that to fully focus on my work here on campus.

Why have you stayed in the military?

I feel like God has given me the gifts and graces to do ministry in the military as a chaplain. I love caring for people, I love being able to meet people at the best of circumstances and — not that I love this part, exactly — but I also get to help people at their lowest, as well as people in the middle, too. And I get to do that from a perspective of faith.

As a Christian minister, I get to lead worship, I get to help people grow in their faith as Christians. As a chaplain I get to do this for everyone, for people of many faiths and beliefs. I get to help support others in their faiths or even those who have no faith at all. I get to be that person who’s there for them. That’s a big reason I’ve stayed in the military, but also why I wanted to do the chaplain job here at The Citadel.

What is the most defining moment of your service to date?

I think it would be all the times I was able to help multiple people — not just one person or moment. I feel like, for people who were at a low point of their life, or who’re completely lost and directionless, I was able to be a part of helping them get from where they were to where they needed to be — to a healthier place. God put me in the right place at the right time to help.

What does being an Air Force reservist mean to you?

I think that the beauty of the reserve world for me is that it lets me stay connected and be a part of the military, doing all the things I love to do there. I was initially planning on going active duty in 2010. I’d just started at a church in North Charleston that was struggling, but God started doing some really cool things, the church was growing and I thought, ‘I can’t abandon this ministry to go active duty.’ So I stayed in the Air Force Reserve.

What it’s allowed me to do is keep that military connection. That has opened up so many doors, even getting to work here at The Citadel. I get to do military ministry and to fulfill that part that I love, as well as staying connected to the church ministry and the civilian world. It’s allowed me to stay grounded in two, often, very different worlds.

What leadership qualities did you learn in the military that have helped guide you through your career and life?

There’s an important role that’s played by the military, so I think bringing that attitude, the understanding that sometimes you have to dig in and work hard, shows how there’s something valuable about sacrificing and working hard for the benefit of the whole. So I think those things — like adversity, discipline, getting yelled at — build the military attitude that’s part of making changes and breaking down barriers.

As an alumnus, what does it mean to you to take on this position?

I think that, when I walk around meeting cadets, they see me as just some 40-year-old balding guy — until they see my ring and say, “Wait a minute, you went here,” and then there’s an instant connection. We’ve done something similar.

As a cadet, I was a cadre corporal, squad sergeant, platoon sergeant, battalion recruiting master sergeant, regimental religious officer, on the honor committee, wrestler in my knob year — all those things I did as a cadet are now how I can better relate to current cadets.

Cadets know that as a graduate, I can relate to the fact that SMIs suck, or that I understand that morning PT isn’t always fun. I feel like I can understand those things in a way that I couldn’t if I hadn’t gone here. I feel like God’s gifted and graced me to support these young men and women and help transform their lives, specifically from a spiritual and faith-based aspect, for those who choose to engage there. But also for those who don’t, I think that I have an opportunity to help them in a positive way outside of the concepts and components of faith. That brings me joy — I feel like that’s a part of how God wired me.

What do you hope to accomplish as Chaplain to the SCCC?

I really want to be a part of growing the specific chapel ministry so, on campus, kids can grow in their faith and that part of their life for those who want to. We’re part of making this campus what it should be so that all students can come, thrive and leave here as better people.

Chaplain Aaron Meadows (center) with Summerall Chapel staff members LeLa Sijtsma (left) and Geri Jones (right).
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