Citadel honors 50th anniversary of first African American graduate

The Citadel Photo

Photo: (left to right) Gen. Glenn Walters, president of The Citadel; William Foster, brother of Charles Foster; Larry Ferguson, Citadel Class of 1973; and Bruce Alexander, president of The Citadel African American Alumni Association taking review during a parade in honor of Charles Foster

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Katie Turner

It’s been 50 years since Charles Foster made history as the first African American graduate of The Citadel. Today, his legacy was honored with a parade on Summerall Field.

Foster’s brother William was in attendance. He describes Charles as a tenacious individual with a good heart.

Charles Foster, Citadel Class of 1970

“He loved a challenge,” says Foster. “He wouldn’t take no, he’d keep trying things until he got it right.”

Charles’s perserverance set the tone for diversity at The Citadel. Five decades later; his legacy is continues to show.

Bruce Alexander is the President of The Citadel African American Alumni Association. He explained the magnitude of Charles deciding to matriculate in 1966.

“During that time, that was humongous. We just didn’t have that kind of bravery. It took great courage to walk through those gates,” says Alexander.

Many say that the school has come a long way over the years; specifically in the diversity of the student population. Moving forward, The Citadel wants to continue working on making the school as inclusive as possible.