Alumni – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:51:17 +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 Alumni – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 Thinking of you from a distance: Homecoming 2020 events regrettably cancelled https://today.citadel.edu/thinking-of-you-from-a-distance-homecoming-2020-events-regrettably-cancelled/ Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:51:13 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=19028 The Citadel campus is seen from the air in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, August 27, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The Citadel campus is seen from the air in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, August 27, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)For reasons of safety, the college will not hold large public events for the remainder of the semester.]]> The Citadel campus is seen from the air in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, August 27, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The Citadel campus is seen from the air in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, August 27, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

With 54 days remaining before cadets and students depart for the semester, The Citadel continues to follow safety protocols constructed to keep the campus community healthy by reducing the spread of COVID-19. In keeping with the most current medical guidance, the college will not hold large public events for the remainder of the semester. Therefore, there will be no Homecoming 2020 campus events as originally planned for Nov. 5 – 8.

“Homecoming is a revered event for all of us, however our priority must be the health of our alumni and our campus community. We are grateful for our reunion chairs and class campaign committees who have planned special private events for their classmates, and we look forward to having them return to The Citadel as soon as conditions permit,” said Tom McAlister, Associate Vice President of Alumni Affairs.

A socially-distanced annual membership meeting of The Citadel Alumni Association will still take place in accordance with their bylaws on Friday, Nov. 6 at the Holliday Alumni Center. Notifications and updates will be sent to CAA members to ensure that all health and safety protocols, including wearing face coverings, are met. Call (843) 953-7696 with questions.

Information on future alumni activities, including virtual fall engagements, will be socialized via the Association’s website at www.citadelalumni.org.

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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

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Commentary: Goldfinch’s power play hurt Citadel, all SC colleges https://today.citadel.edu/commentary-goldfinchs-power-play-hurt-citadel-all-sc-colleges/ Tue, 15 Sep 2020 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18544 "As a Citadel graduate who served as a state senator from Charleston for 12 years and a member of the Citadel Board of Visitors for eight years, I find the whole situation extremely troubling."]]>

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Dewey Wise

The core values of The Citadel are honor, duty and respect. Unfortunately, state Sen. Stephen Goldfinch Jr., a 2004 graduate, exhibited none of those values recently when he publicly harassed and bullied Board of Visitors Chairman Fred Price into resigning.

As a Citadel graduate who served as a state senator from Charleston for 12 years and a member of the Citadel Board of Visitors for eight years, I find the whole situation extremely troubling.

Underpinning South Carolina’s three branches of government are thousands of local men and women who serve on boards and commissions overseeing the daily operations of school boards, state commissions and state boards, without which state government could not operate. These selfless men and women serve largely without pay, devote countless hours to the task and frequently go unrecognized.

Fred Price is one of those who serve in this capacity. Fred is a successful businessman from Columbia and a 1975 graduate of The Citadel. He certainly did not need a job, especially one that required a lot of time and did not pay anything. Those who know him appreciate the fact that he is a true gentleman who devoted countless hours sharing his business knowledge and advice for the benefit of the state and The Citadel. Testimony to his reputation lies in the fact that he was unopposed for reelection to the Board of Visitors.

I understand from my service under three different Citadel presidents that there can be differences of opinion between board members, alumni and the administration. These differences are debated internally, and once decided, everyone moves forward in a united fashion. This is very important for an institution of higher education such as The Citadel because of national accreditation requirements. Having individual politicians harass and bully individual board members on internal policy matters is unheard of. It’s a disturbing development.

The issue is not whether it is correct to move cadets among the cadet companies through a “sophomore shuffle” to achieve leadership goals. Nor is it about the Confederate Naval Jack, whose removal is currently against state law. The issue is: Do Sen. Goldfinch’s crude tactics create a chilling effect on getting good, competent citizens to serve on these important boards? Chairman Price chose to resign rather than endure the harassing tactics of a disgruntled politician. Knowing the possible fate that awaits them if they vote in opposition to Sen. Goldfinch’s wishes, who in their right mind would step forward in the future to serve in this important position? Sen. Goldfinch has done his school and the state of South Carolina a great disservice.

College and university accreditation agencies will be looking carefully at this case. Is The Citadel going to be managed by an independent board and administration or by the changing whims of individual, local politicians?

Sen. Goldfinch fortunately is only one of 170 members of the General Assembly. He has only one vote. He knew if the General Assembly voted, Chairman Price would be reelected overwhelmingly. Instead of letting the 169 other legislators vote, he bullied and threatened Chairman Price into resigning. The members of the General Assembly with whom I have spoken are appalled and embarrassed at his tactics.

For the sake of encouraging and attracting good men and women to serve on these critical boards and commissions, the tactics and micromanaging involvement of Sen. Goldfinch should be condemned by everyone.

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Statement from Col. Myron Harrington, USMC (Ret.), ’60, Chair, The Citadel Board of Visitors https://today.citadel.edu/statement-from-col-myron-harrington-usmc-ret-chair-the-citadel-board-of-visitors/ Sat, 12 Sep 2020 15:08:16 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18520 Bond Hall Eagle at The CitadeBond Hall Eagle at The CitadeThe Citadel has made great progress during the tenure of Fred Price Jr., ’75, on the board and as board chair. That progress will continue.]]> Bond Hall Eagle at The CitadeBond Hall Eagle at The Citade

On behalf of our Citadel community, I want to thank Fred L. Price, Jr. ’75, for his decades of faithful, honorable volunteer service to our college. The Citadel has made great progress during his tenure on the board and as board chair. That progress will continue.

As our Board continues its oversight role, we will continue to do so “free from undue influence from political, religious, or other external bodies and protect the institution from such influence,” as prescribed in the Board of Visitors Commitment to Excellence and Ethics, which all board members sign. 

We will also remain dedicated to the principles of honor, duty and respect. These are the core values of our college, and they will guide our actions as we move forward together. 

Our mission is “to educate and develop our students to become principled leaders in all walks of life by instilling the core values of The Citadel in a disciplined and intellectually challenging environment.” Rest assured, we will continue the mission.

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The Citadel plus Clemson equals more doctors of education in South Carolina https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-plus-clemson-equals-more-doctors-of-education-in-south-carolina/ Thu, 10 Sep 2020 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18045 The Citadel's Zucker Family School of Education and Clemson University are working together to help students earn a Doctorate of Education.]]>

Photo: Clemson’s first Ed.D. cohort in Education Systems Improvement Studies; nine earned their Ed.S. at The Citadel (Courtesy: Clemson College of Education)

Citadel graduates lead the way while pursuing their doctorates

For some, teaching — and learning — is a lifelong pursuit. And it’s because of people like this that The Citadel’s Zucker Family School of Education partnered with Clemson University, in order to help more teachers earn a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.).

The Citadel, along with Coastal Carolina University and Winthrop University, partnered with Clemson to establish an Ed.D. consortium partnership, and the program’s first group of students started class in summer 2018.

Lee Westberry, Ed.D.

“Earning a doctorate in education is the pinnacle of professional development for teachers,” said Lee Westberry, Ed.D., a professor and the program coordinator for Education Leadership at The Citadel. “In addition to personal growth, earning an Ed.D. creates many new and practical opportunities in a variety of educational career paths.”

Through the agreement, anyone admitted into Clemson’s Ed.D program — with an education specialist (Ed.S.) degree from one of the four institutions — has a pathway to earn their doctorate more quickly.

With The Citadel’s strong focus on leadership, it makes sense that Citadel graduates would make up the largest proportion of students seeking their Ed.D.

In each of the three years since the partnership was formed, Citadel graduates make up much, if not most, of the students in the group. In fact, more than half of the newest Ed.D. students are from The Citadel.

Kevin Smith

“I have found myself reflecting on how the Ed.S. program has flowed seamlessly into Clemson’s Ed.D. to continue my own growth as I pursue my goals,” said Kevin Smith, an Ed.S. graduate from The Citadel. “I highly recommend those who are interested in making an impact to invest their time with the committed faculty of The Citadel’s Ed.S. program. I believe it is the right choice for those who desire, like me, to be an educational leader of consequence.”

According to Westberry, an Ed.S. is required to work as a superintendent, the highest-ranking education official. But an Ed.D. is for something more.

The Citadel’s Ed.S. in Educational Leadership offers teachers an advanced graduate degree, between a master’s and a doctoral, that prepares them as candidates for certification at the superintendent level. Clemson’s Ed.D. program offers teachers the theoretical and practical knowledge and research skills that they need to be an educational leader.

To learn more about other programs offered by the Zucker Family School of Education, click here.

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Statement from Fred L. Price, Jr., ’75, chair, The Citadel Board of Visitors https://today.citadel.edu/statement-from-fred-l-price-jr-75-chair-the-citadel-board-of-visitors/ Wed, 09 Sep 2020 21:20:59 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18452 Fred L. Price, Jr., Citadel Board of Visitors Chair, speaking during presidential inauguration ceremony for Gen. Glenn Walters on April 5, 2019Fred L. Price, Jr., Citadel Board of Visitors Chair, speaking during presidential inauguration ceremony for Gen. Glenn Walters on April 5, 2019The Board's outstanding Vice Chair, Colonel Myron Harrington, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), will step into the Board Chair position, where he will continue to serve our college with honor and distinction. ]]> Fred L. Price, Jr., Citadel Board of Visitors Chair, speaking during presidential inauguration ceremony for Gen. Glenn Walters on April 5, 2019Fred L. Price, Jr., Citadel Board of Visitors Chair, speaking during presidential inauguration ceremony for Gen. Glenn Walters on April 5, 2019

Photo above: Col. Fred L. Price, Jr., Citadel Board of Visitors Chair speaking during presidential inauguration ceremony for Gen. Glenn Walters on April 5, 2019

Today I reluctantly withdrew my name for consideration to serve another term on The Citadel’s Board of Visitors from the College and University Trustee Screening Commission. I also resigned immediately as Board Chair and will step down as a member of the Board December 31, 2020. The Board’s outstanding Vice Chair, Colonel Myron Harrington, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), will step into the Board Chair position, where he will continue to serve our college with honor and distinction. I can think of no better leader to continue the college’s mission to educate and develop principled leaders for all walks of life.

I want to thank every member of our Board and our greater Citadel family who supported and contributed to our college’s superb record of success for the past 12 years.  Some of the highlights of those years include:

⦁ Last September, The Citadel was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 public college in the South for the 9th consecutive year. I am confident that we will again achieve this honor, which recognizes the splendid student outcomes we achieve for our cadets.

⦁ The Citadel was also recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 Best College for Veterans in the South, and we take great pride in serving those who have served and sacrificed to defend our nation.

⦁ The Citadel provides the highest return on investment of any four-year institution in the state of South Carolina according to a recent study by Georgetown University. This distinction recognizes that Citadel graduates earn the highest salaries after graduation and some of the highest employment rates of any comprehensive institution in the state. 

⦁ At nearly 66%, The Citadel’s four-year graduation rate is the highest in the state of South Carolina; the national four-year graduation-rate average for public institutions is 37%. 

⦁ We have maintained a conservative fiscal posture. As a result, The Citadel’s debt balance decreased from more than $77 million in 2006 to only $16.9 million in 2020. 

⦁ Minority cadet enrollments increased 87% from 2006-2020 (286 minority cadets in 2006 grew to 536 minority cadets in 2020). 

I have served our college as a volunteer for over four decades in various capacities, and many of my proudest and happiest moments have been those shared with classmates and other passionate supporters of our Citadel family. Serving as Board Chair for The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, has been one of the great privileges of my life, and I will continue to support our college as we all move forward together. Go Dogs!

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Two former cadets, both now Army chaplains, continue to take the road less traveled together https://today.citadel.edu/two-former-cadets-both-now-army-chaplains-continue-to-take-the-road-less-traveled-together/ Thu, 03 Sep 2020 18:46:35 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18242 A photo more than a decade in the making — two '11 alumni, standing together at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, holding a Citadel flag.]]>

It’s a photo more than a decade in the making — two members of the Class of 2011, standing together at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, holding a Citadel flag between them.

It was made possible when, earlier this month, Chaplain Zachary Honeycutt arrived to replace his fellow alumnus, Chaplain Daniel Biegger.

“As a chaplain, you’re constantly taking the initiative to train your team and increase your ability to plan and provide religious support during necessary operations,” said Biegger.

It is not uncommon for Citadel graduates to seek out leadership positions, where they can demonstrate the servant leadership they learned while in the Corps of Cadets.

“It’s always great to see how many Citadel graduates go on to join the ministry,” said Joe Molina, USN (Ret.), Chaplain to the Corps of Cadets. “Given our military college’s dedication to educating principled leaders, it’s only fitting that two Citadel alumni would consecutively serve in this position to guide American soldiers along their spiritual journeys.”

I sincerely felt a call to become a Chaplain.  I had originally wanted to be a pilot; however, following my freshman year when I became a Christian, I felt the call to be a Chaplain grow. I was part of a campus ministry called Campus Outreach and had a desire to go to seminary and do full-time ministry.

Chaplain Daniel Biegger, Citadel Class of 2011

Shortly after Honeycutt left his North Carolina home to deploy to Kuwait, Biegger returned to the Tar Heel State where he’s serving as the Brigade Chaplain for the 518th Sustainment Brigade.

“Being able to carry on a mission that Danny helped build in an honor,” said Honeycutt. “Having an established friendship also simplified our transition phase. When I meet someone from The Citadel, there is already an element of deep trust that exists, even if I do not know the person.”

In addition to chaplain duties, Honeycutt also assumed responsibility for one of his former Citadel roommate’s projects, called the Bean of Life

“My Unit Ministry Team and I developed the “Bean of Life” Resiliency Center to assist in providing religious support and increasing morale,” said Biegger. “The Bean of Life is a coffee shop and recreation area that has a room with a TV, DVD Player, etc. Before, it was a trailer that had not been used in over two years, which we cleaned up, reorganized and repurposed into what it is today.”

Army Chaplain Daniel Biegger, center, sharing a care package, sent by Citadel alumni in Maine, with soldiers in the Bean of Life

In some ways, Honeycutt’s new role is why he began ministry in the first place. “I wanted to be able to serve and care for soldiers that were feeling the burdens that sometimes comes as a cost of war and military service,” he said.

When Biegger and Honeycutt were cadets at The Citadel, their friendship was solidified at the beginning of their junior year, when they first became roommates. They would go on to be roommates in their senior year, too. In addition, they were both Summerall Guards and both graduated from The Citadel as commissioned Army officers.

But their parallel paths continued, long after commencement.

“Zach and I are pretty much the brothers we never had,” said Biegger. “After graduating from The Citadel, we were roommates at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. We both worked at the same jobs together. We both served as Battalion Chaplains together in the same Battalion. We got married roughly a monthly apart from each other. We were each other’s best man. We both have a set of twins.”

Just like a traditional family, this brotherhood extends beyond their professional lives.

“We currently live not too far from one another,” said Honeycutt in an email. “As I write this Danny, his wife and their twin boys are spending time with my wife and our twin boys. I count it a blessing to have friends that help take care of family in our absence.”

It’s this dedication to others, part of the servant leadership learned at The Citadel, that Honeycutt values most.

“The day in the life of an Army chaplain is really a day spent with the soldiers,” he continued. “We call it ‘muddy boot ministry’ and it simply means going where the soldiers are. Being present is one of the best ways to build trust, which is needed for effective ministry.”

In some ways, not much has changed since, just before graduation nearly ten years ago, Honeycutt received the John O. Willson Ring — awarded annually since 1911 to a senior elected by his or her peers as the finest, purest and most courteous member of the class.

“Our mission is to provide religious support to all the soldiers who transition through Camp Arifjan,” continued Honeycutt. “Being able to care for these soldiers as they come and go, as well as provide a place that helps build morale and resilience, has truly been an honor of mine.”

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Citadel postpones parade, events honoring Class of 2020 https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-postpones-parade-events-honoring-class-of-2020/ Wed, 26 Aug 2020 18:00:05 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18140 Due to the evolving COVID-19 environment, the parade honoring the Class of 2020 which had been scheduled for the weekend of September 18-19 will be postponed.]]>

Due to the evolving COVID-19 environment, the parade honoring the Class of 2020 which had been scheduled for the weekend of September 18-19 will be postponed. Also postponed is the opportunity for 2020 graduates to walk the stage and receive their diplomas from General Walters or a legacy presenter. The Citadel will announce a new date once conditions enable such large gatherings.

Citadel leadership made the decision, along with cancelling all review parades in September, in order to keep the campus and local communities safe through the pandemic.

“We will conduct in-person events to honor the Class of 2020 when conditions permit,” said Gen. Glenn Walters, USMC (Ret.) president of The Citadel. “It will be a great day when we can welcome the Class of 2020 back to campus and fully celebrate their accomplishments together as a Citadel family.”

For more information about COVID-19, and the actions The Citadel is taking to keep campus safe, click here.

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Citadel Engineering faculty; alumnus leaders making news with top awards https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-engineering-faculty-leaders-making-news-with-top-awards/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 23:00:54 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17391 Faculty and an alumnus from The Citadel School of Engineering are the proud recipients of awards from the 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers.]]>

Photo above: Award-winning Volvo interchange engineering project led by Citadel School of Engineering alumnus

The Citadel School of Engineering, consistently ranked as one of the top engineering schools in the country, could not achieve that status time and again without prominent industry faculty leading the way. The results of the 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awards for the state of South Carolina underscore that point. 

Announced in July, the awardees include two faculty leaders, an alumnus, and a project that alumnus helped lead. 

Le Tellier Cup winner for outstanding lifetime achievement

Col. Ron Welch, USA (Ret.), Ph.D., PE, dean for The Citadel School of Engineering 

Dean of The Citadel School of Engineering, Dr. Ron Welch, accepting Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award in 2018

“Dr. Welch has accumulated a highly regarded national reputation for academic excellence continues to play an instrumental role in direction of ASCE’s Project ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education), and is a recognized leader in ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education) Civil Engineering Division.  He has served in academic appointments in higher education over 29 years including faculty and leadership positions at U.S. Military Academy, University of Texas at Tyler, and The Citadel.  His career includes 25 years of service as an Officer in U.S. Army rising to the rank of Colonel, prior to his retirement from the Corps of Engineers in 2007.   

His career includes 25 years of service as an Officer in U.S. Army rising to the rank of Colonel, prior to his retirement from the Corps of Engineers in 2007.  Since his arrival at The Citadel in 2011, Dean Welch has served as a forward-thinking leader of higher education in our state. As a testament to his vision, two new undergraduate degrees were added to The Citadel School of Engineering including Mechanical Engineering and Construction Engineering.  Additionally, he led creation of Master of Science degree programs in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.  Through Dean Welch’s strategic leadership, The Citadel’s School of Engineering enrollment has risen to 700 students, comprising approximately one-third of the college’s degree seeking students.”

William J. Davis, Ph.D., P.E., Dept. Head and D. Graham Copeland Professor of Civil Engineering, The Citadel 

In addition to leading the The Citadel School of Engineering, and continuing to teach Civil Engineering cadets and students, Welch has worked as a servant leader in numerous voluntary leadership positions throughout his career. Examples include serving a board member for Engineers Without Boarders and serving ASCE in leadership roles for more than 20 years, including as a program developer and mentor.  

Some of Welch’s other awards include: 

  • ASCE Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award, 2018 
  • Bliss Medal, Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), 2018 
  • Pillar of the College, College of Engineering, University of Texas at Tyler, 2017 
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE Fellow, 2016 
  • Engineer of The Year, Charleston Engineer’s Joint Council, 2015 
  • Society of American Military Engineers, SAME Fellow, 2015 
  • American Society of Engineering Education, ASEE Fellow, 2015 

Educator of the Year

Kweku Brown, Ph.D.

Dr. Kweku Brown teaching cadets out in the field during a Civil Engineering course in 2019

“Dr. Kweku Brown is an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel. His well-founded educational approaches and effective teaching methods are benefiting students, contributing to the quality of our Department’s learning environment, and embodying the highest ideals of The Citadel’s mission, as a teaching institution.  

His ability to create and support productive student-learning environments is phenomenal. Through his great work ethic and collaboration, he exemplifies how engineers can work together to strive for the highest standards of excellence. He passed his PE exam in 2020 and is in the process of submitting his application.” 

William J. Davis, Ph.D., P.E., Dept. Head and D. Graham Copeland Professor of Civil Engineering, The Citadel 

In 2019, Brown taught 12 sections of 8 Civil Engineering Courses, was selected as a national delegate for the Minority Faculty Development Workshop at Harvard University, and participated in 27 Citadel events and initiatives including Leadership Day and Student Excellence Day. In addition, Brown currently serves as a faculty Advisory for the student chapters of ASCE, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers.  

Brown’s most recent research appointments and recognition include: 

  • Member, Geographic Information Science and Applications, Standing Committee, Transportation Research Board, National Academies of Sciences, 2014-present
  • Member, Statewide Transportation Data and Information Systems, Standing Committee, Transportation Research Board, National Academies of Sciences, 2014-present
  • National Committee Member: American Association for State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Geographic Information systems for Transportation (GIS-T), Vice Chair of Student Paper Award Committee 

Brown received his Civil Engineering Bachelor’s degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. His Master’s degree and Doctoral degree were obtained from the University of Connecticut and Clemson University, respectively. Brown is a member of both the National and South Carolina Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). 

Engineer of the Year

Jim O’Connor, The Citadel Class of 1989, JMT engineering, Charleston

Project of the Year 

I-26/Volvo Car Interchange, Jim O’Connor, chief engineer 

Jim O’Connor

Charleston area JMT executive, and a JMT project, have been honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) South Carolina Section. Jim O’Connor, PE, CEng MIEI was named Civil Engineer of the Year, and JMT’s I-26/Volvo interchange design-build project was selected as Project of the Year. 

Jim O’Connor is a 1989 Citadel graduate and Vice President in JMT’s Charleston office who is both responsible for the firm’s South Carolina operations and actively participates in complex projects. He also holds an MS from Rutgers University and is a professional engineer in several states, including being a Chartered Engineer in the Republic of Ireland. As an active ASCE member, he serves as a Practitioner Adviser at The Citadel and is a member of the Civil Engineering Department’s Advisory Board. 

As an accomplished structural engineer, O’Connor contributed to the success of several key projects that are helping reshape the infrastructure in South Carolina’s Lowcountry including the award-winning I-26/Volvo interchange, the Port Access Road/I-26 interchange, the historic Low Battery reconstruction, and the Nexans Marine Terminal in the Goose Creek Bushy Park complex. 

Delivered to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) in 2019, the new I-26/Volvo Interchange provides critical access from a regional Charleston interstate highway to Camp Hall Commerce Park and the Volvo manufacturing facility. As the lead design firm on this project, JMT provided overall project management along with bridge and roadway design, and environmental services in support of the contractor, Conti Enterprises, Inc. The successful delivery of this project has added substantial value to the greater Charleston coastal community and the state of South Carolina. (Provided by JMT) 

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Pro Bowler Andre Roberts & Former Citadel QB Building a Business https://today.citadel.edu/pro-bowler-andre-roberts-former-citadel-qb-building-a-business/ https://today.citadel.edu/pro-bowler-andre-roberts-former-citadel-qb-building-a-business/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2020 10:00:56 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17385 Two Citadel athlete alums are now business partners and co-owners of the first Zaxby's restaurant in Chantilly, Virginia.]]>

As seen in Sports Illustrated, by Chris Russell

Two friends and college teammates at The Citadel – one a quarterback and one that has been a 2-time Pro Bowler as a NFL receiver and kick returner, playing currently for the Buffalo Bills and in the past for the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals and for the Washington Football Team, where I covered him.

An idea that came after a round of golf, simply because the two were hungry. One business with plans of a major expansion during a global pandemic. 

Welcome to the wild ride that Andre Roberts and Duran Lawson have been on for the last 15 years or so. 

As training camps around the NFL are set to open this week, one key part of a Super Bowl contender will have his attention focused on his day job because of the trust and belief he has in his teammate. 

Together, while Roberts still maintains back-to-back Pro Bowl & NFL career on the frigid shores of Lake Erie, they are not only friends but they are business partners and co-owners of the first Zaxby’s restaurant in Chantilly, Virginia – a short drive from where Roberts used to apply his trade and where he makes his home.

Opening a business that is is not an established brand in a specific area (The first Zaxby’s in the expansive Northern Virginia area) is always a challenge but especially when you face a pandemic in the first six months.

Roberts along with Lawson had a sparkling new store built fresh for the pair as the first of what they feel will be a coordinated infusion of the Zaxby’s brand into a region that has over three million people living in the general area. 

The new Zaxby’s restaurant, nestled in between a brand new gas and convenience store along with another strip of stores is the crown jewel of the overall project. Why? 

Because it’s unique. Gas stations and Dunkin’ stores are all over but those that live in the immediate area have complained about a lack of restaurant choices. 

Lawson and Roberts aren’t planning on stopping at one. They have a multi store agreement and are actively pursuing the next step. 

While Roberts has to watch what he eats so that he can try and make a third straight Pro Bowl, Zaxby’s offers a wide array of chicken dishes and “Zalads” that are delicious

Hungry? Thought so! 

So how does a quiet NFL star grade out as a partner and co-owner? There’s no All-22 film at Zaxby’s – just great teamwork between Roberts, Lawson and their crew. 

NFL players know that their careers can end in very short fashion because of injury, so it’s obviously wise to have a backup plan. 

I’ve worked with and covered some really smart players like Lorenzo AlexanderKedric Golston and others. Both of those guys went into business together during their playing career. So did Pierre Garcon. 

Roberts could have waited if he wanted until he was completely done but as they detailed, just getting one store up and running was a long journey. It helps to have someone you can trust to balance business and football.

When you go into business, you better believe in the brand. It has to be running through your veins and have a commitment level that far exceeds just a normal job. 

It helps when that brand is something you’re passionate about and one that makes your tummy happy. 

For Roberts and Lawson, they’re just getting started. It’s the first quarter and they won’t be stopped. 

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