The Citadel Today Thu, 18 Jul 2019 15:36:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 Howie family and friends to observe 75th anniversary of the liberation of Saint-Lo Thu, 18 Jul 2019 15:36:35 +0000 More than 20 family and friends are traveling to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Saint-Lô and the death U.S. Army Maj. Thomas Howie.]]>

Photo: The memorial to Maj. Thomas Dry Howie in Saint-Lô, France, depicts an American flag with a bust of Howie at its center. This photo of Howie family members was taken in 2014.

As seen in The Index-Journal, by St. Claire Donoghy

Abbeville’s Tom Howie says anyone who is able to do so should visit Normandy, France at least once in his or her lifetime.

The beaches, cemeteries and museums can have a profound impact on bringing history out of textbooks and into very real, gut-wrenching perspective, Howie said.

“It’s an overwhelming place,” Howie said. “When you see that huge beach and that wall. The gun encasements are still there. You realize the people who got off those boats when they landed at Omaha Beach knew how bad it was going to to be. … The first wave that hit Omaha Beach was the National Guard unit that my uncle was in.”

Howie, the nephew, along with more than 20 family members and friends are traveling to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the town of Saint-Lô and the death of his uncle, U.S. Army Maj. Thomas D. Howie, an Abbeville native and World War II hero.

Maj. Howie was commander of the 2nd Battalion, 116th Infantry, 29th Division of the United States Army.

The major was an English teacher and coach at Staunton Military Academy in Virginia when he was commissioned into the U.S. Army Reserve and later transferred to the Virginia National Guard’s 116th Infantry Regiment of Staunton.

“It’s gratifying to me, that my uncle’s unit got through at Omaha Beach and led the break-out at Saint-Lô,” Howie said. “All of that was very significant from a military standpoint.”

Maj. Howie died during the liberation of Normandy while leading his unit in an effort to capture the strategic French town of Saint-Lô, a transportation hub.

A photograph of Howie’s flag-draped body is one of the most famous images from World War II.

The day after the attack in which Maj. Howie was killed, his soldiers carried his flag-draped body through the town, laying it on top of the rubble of the St. Croix cathedral.

It is speculated that the character of Army Capt. John H. Miller (played by Tom Hanks) in the 1998 film, “Saving Private Ryan” was based on Maj. Howie.

For several in the Howie family, this will be their third visit in observance of the liberation’s anniversary, having also traveled to Normandy for the 40th anniversary and the 70th, Howie said.

“All my life I have felt I was the undeserving beneficiary of my uncle’s good name,” Howie wrote to the Index-Journal via email recently. “Being Thomas Dry Howie II has opened many doors for me; given me access to people and places and a lot of attention. And the only thing I did was got born and named. So, I feel obligated to do what I can to keep his memory alive, to ‘earn it’ per the dying request of Capt. John Miller (Tom Hanks) in Saving Private Ryan. But, nothing I will ever do with justify the benefits of Major Howie’s good name and legacy, but I will keep trying. Not to mention the heroic men and women who secured my life of freedom in this great nation by the sacrifices they made in WWII and other wars of my generation.”

Howie said those making this 75th anniversary trip will visit Omaha Beach and Colville Cemetery July 18 and pay “respects to all the heroes who reside there.”

The visit will also include the United States Memorial at the Saint-Lô Chapel of La Madeleine, commemorating the 29th and 35th U.S. Divisions, which liberated Saint-Lô.

The church, Howie said, is within a few feet of where his uncle was hit by enemy fire.

A celebration is planned, Howie said, often with wreaths placed at various locations and speeches made.

“This is always a very emotional service,” Howie said. “Even after all the years, the pain of Nazi occupation and the horror of war is very much felt in Saint-Lô.”

Colville cemetery at Omaha Beach is where Maj. Howie is buried, his nephew said.

“If you are thankful for our freedoms, thank the military,” Howie, who served in the Army National Guard during the Vietnam War era, said. “They are the reason we have it.”

Remembering Maj. Thomas Howie

The following is an excerpt from an Associated Press piece about Maj. Thomas Howie lying in honor at the 29th division’s cemetery, along with other officers, that appeared in the July 29, 1944 edition of The Index-Journal:

The wiry, muscular officer, a native of Abbeville, S.C., was popular with all ranks in the division from the lowest private to the commanding officer, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Gerhardt, who personally ordered Howie’s body taken into St. Lo by the combat force as a gesture honoring him and his battalion. By taking the high ground dominating the approaches to the city, his men sealed its fate.

“He had given up an operations post at regimental headquarters to take over the battalion only five days before,” said Capt. Charles B. Cawthon of Murfreesboro, Tenn., executive officer of the cut-off battalion to whose relief Howie and his troops came after they had been almost three days with no fresh rations or ammunition supplies.

“We have many officers in the army, but you can’t say of all that they are gentlemen. Major Howie was the finest gentleman I ever knew.”

“He certainly was,” added Lt. George E. Bryan of Allendale, S.C.

“I would like to have you talk to some of his stonewall buddies so you really can understand the fine type of man he was,” Cawthon said. “But there are not so many left. You know we came ashore on the toughest beach and it wasn’t any barbecue breaking through the Germans in front of St. Lo. His closest friend, Capt. Cherman V. Burroughs of Roanoke, Va., was killed before he got to the beach Invasion Day. I declare we have lost a lot of Virginia men.”

Just then Lt. Col. Sidney V. Binghem, Jr., Dallas, Texas, Cawthon’s battalion commander, who himself had served as executive officer for Howie when the latter led a battalion last year before taking up the regimental operations post, returned from the cemetery.

“There never was another man quite like Howie,” he said.

75 years ago, the major of Saint-Lô Thu, 18 Jul 2019 15:36:16 +0000 Thomas Howie: Citadel class president, star football halfback, captain of the baseball team, high school teacher, coach and, finally, American hero. ]]>

As seen in The Roanoke Times

The Allied landings on the coast of Normandy on D-Day had been more than a month before. They had succeeded, to the extent that a great army had been put ashore and not pushed back into the English Channel. But it did not yet feel like a victory. The Allies were still pinned down, both by the Germans and the topography.

The Americans had hoped to have the crossroads village of Saint-Lô — about 20 miles inland — under control within a day of the landings. Now it was mid-July and the Americans were still short of their first-day goal.

The same was true all across the landing zone. D-Day had turned into “the battle of the hedgerows.” On June 21, one of those American soldiers finally had time to rest. Thomas Howie took his boots off for the first time since he’d come ashore 15 days earlier; sea salt was still encrusted in his socks.

Howie was a balding, 36-year-old teacher from Staunton with a colorful past and a future he could never have known. Howie had grown up in Abbeville, South Carolina, and went on to both a storied academic and athletic career at The Citadel — class president, star football halfback, captain of the baseball team, voted “Most Versatile, Popular and Best All Around” by his classmates. He once led a student strike to protest poor food in the cafeteria — not the easiest thing to do at a military school. But Howie was not one to do the easy things.

In 1928, Howie faced a choice: The Citadel was playing heavily-favored Clemson that day. But he was also scheduled to take the qualifying exam for a Rhodes Scholarship that day in Columbia, two hours away. Howie took the exam. One of the coaches was waiting for him in a Studebaker, and they raced two hours to Charleston to try to make the game. Howie changed into his uniform along the way. They arrived just in time for the kickoff. As the records of The Citadel tell it: “Howie ran onto the field just in time to carry the ball on the first play from scrimmage, taking a hand-off around the end and bowling over two Clemson defenders. Fired up by the happy surprise of his presence . . . the Bulldogs went on to pull a surprise 12-7 upset victory with Howie scoring the winning touchdown.”

Thomas Howie, Class of  1929 (Courtesy: US Army)
Thomas Howie, Class of 1929 (Courtesy: US Army)

Later he learned he had missed qualifying for the Rhodes Scholarship by one-tenth of a point. Instead, he moved to Virginia to teach English literature and serve as athletic director at Staunton Military Academy. He coached football; his teams won four state championships against other military schools, which were numerous at the time. He played baseball in a summer league. He married and became a father. Life seemed good. Then the world intervened.

Howie served in the Virginia National Guard — you would not expect otherwise of a man from The Citadel. In 1941, his unit was called up to federal service. On June 6, 1944, he was wading ashore at Omaha Beach. His best friend, Capt. Sherman Burroughs of Roanoke, was killed before even getting that far.

On June 24th, Howie found time to write a letter home, but he wouldn’t have much time to rest. There was still a war on, and the Americans had to get to Saint-Lô if they were ever going to get to Paris and, eventually, Berlin. On July 13, Howie was put in charge of the 3rd Battalion of the 116th Infantry. The first mission: To relieve another battalion that had been surrounded by the Germans and was nearly out of food and ammunition. On the morning of July 17, Howie and his men set off at 4:30. His final words before he departed: “See you in Saint-Lô!”

Howie’s men drove through the fog — and into hand-to-hand combat. Rifles weren’t much use. Howie and men resorted to pistols, grenades — and bayonets. Howie personally took out two German machinegun nests – a military term that sanitizes the bloody work required — and in two hours the encircled 2nd Battalion was encircled no more.

The plan had been for both battalions to then push onto Saint-Lô, but it was quite apparent the 2nd Battalion was in no shape for any more action. So the 3rd Battalion would go alone. “Yes, we can make it,” Howie radioed to his commanders, yet again signing off with: “See you in Saint-Lô.” Just then, German artillery came raining down. Howie’s men ducked for cover. He remained standing to make sure they were safe. A fragment of mortar sliced through his back and into his lung. Within two minutes, he was dead. Some of his men began to cry.

The next morning, the 3rd Battalion finally fought its way to the outskirts of Saint-Lô. By order of Gen. Charles Gearhart, Howie’s body was laid on a stretcher, draped with a U.S. flag, and then loaded onto the hood of a Jeep — so it could be said that he was the first American to enter what remained of Saint-Lô. The writer Samuel Beckett later dubbed it “the capital of the ruins.”

The soldiers stopped at the rubble that had once been St. Croix Cathedral and laid Howie’s flag-draped body there — then went on to continue that battle that still raged around them. At 6 p.m. on July 18, Gearhart finally declared Saint-Lô liberated.

For two days, Howie’s body lay there in the open. American soldiers and French villagers alike filed past to give their respects, the former removing their helmets, the latter often leaving flowers. It was a gesture that was said to have had no precedent in the war — an ordinary soldier lying in state, so to speak.

Journalists accompanying the American army documented the scene. The soldier’s name couldn’t be released, pending notification of next of kin, so Drew Middleton of The New York Times referred simply to “The Major of St. Lo.” A correspondent for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes called it “one of the truly heartwarming and emotional scenes of a gruesome and frightful war.” That correspondent was Andy Rooney, who later went onto fame with “60 Minutes.” In a speech years later, Rooney said “I guess there never was an American soldier more honored by what the people who loved him did for him after he died.”

Three-quarters of a century later, Howie’s name lives on. The Citadel has a Howie Bell Tower. The Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership at Mary Baldwin University has a drill team named the Howie Rifles. Army Reserve Centers in Staunton and Greenwood, South Carolina, are named after him. And in Saint-Lô, there stands a monument to Howie. The French do not forget. Nor should we.

Something else happened on that July day 75 years ago. July 17 is the day when the death telegrams about D-Day started arriving back home in Bedford.

Autonomous vehicles and AI: Citadel’s future engineers prepared to thrive in evolving technical landscape Thu, 18 Jul 2019 10:00:30 +0000 The availability of highly skilled engineers prepared to help lead the development of A.I. and its associated industries in the Charleston, South Carolina area is vital to the state's competitiveness and its economy. The Citadel School of Engineering, one of America's oldest engineering programs, is meeting that growing demand.]]>

Artificial intelligence is present in the daily lives of most people, even if few stop to consider the source. A.I. guides ride sharing apps, commercial airliners, and even mobile check deposits.

The availability of highly skilled engineers prepared to help lead the development of A.I. and its associated industries in the Charleston, South Carolina area is vital to the state’s competitiveness and its economy. The Citadel School of Engineering, one of America’s oldest engineering programs, is meeting that growing demand.

Cadet in electrical engineering lab at The Citadel

It takes computer, electrical and mechanical engineering ingenuity to develop the A.I. supporting an autonomous vehicle, for example. Engineering students at The Citadel are already learning how to integrate those disciplines and have been for years.

“The students are called upon to bring together knowledge from a variety of undergraduate courses to design the autonomous vehicle,” said Bob Barsanti, Ph.D., electrical and computer engineering professor at The Citadel, and a target tracking and signal processing expert. “They must be able to integrate the electronic sensors, digital communications, motors, and computer controls to complete the challenge.”

The college’s Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) team developed a winning design for the 2019 competition. Their intelligent vehicle, Bender, finished fifth out in the design portion of the competition, just behind powerhouse universities including: 1. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2. Manipal Institute of Technology from India, 3. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and 4. Hosei University from Tokyo. As in years past, the college had a strong presence among the nearly 50 institutions at the annual competition at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, a testament to the electric and autonomous vehicle skills developed within the The Citadel School of Engineering.

Bender, an intelligent ground vehicle developed by students in The Citadel School of Engineering
Bender, an intelligent ground vehicle developed by students in The Citadel School of Engineering

The Citadel was one of very few institutions offering only up to a Master’s degree to earn a place within any of the four portions of the competition.

“It is clear that our Citadel engineering team performed extremely well against some of the top schools around the world, and is a front runner in preparing engineers for the global industry surrounding electric and autonomous vehicles,” said Col. Ronald Welch, USA (Ret.),Ph.D., dean of The Citadel School of Engineering. “The Citadel School of Engineering is answering the call of local companies to produce the talent needed within a burgeoning electric and autonomous vehicle industry within the Lowcountry and South Carolina.  

The Citadel has been competing in the IGVC since 2011 when it secured rookie of the year honors, along with a ninth place finish in the Autonomous Navigation challenge. The Citadel’s other high finishes include a seventh place in the design competition in 2014, and a ninth place in the 2016 autonomous navigation challenge.

The Citadel’s Pablo Bot in 2016

The engineering faculty believe that competitions push students farther, and provide real world experience not found in the classroom. The faculty use a variety of competitions to engage students and promote the teaming skills desired by employers, one is the IGVC and another is the IEEE Regional Robotics Competition. The Citadel students are regularly in the top five within the regional robotics competition. 

Engineering at The Citadel has been producing engineers for the region, state, and nation since 1842. The Citadel School of Engineering meets regularly with regional industry leaders to ensure its graduates are meeting the companies’ present and future technical and professional requirements and will continue to partner with The Chamber of Commerce, the Charleston Regional Development Council, and the Charleston Corridor to ensure the greatest needs area being fulfilled with exceptionally skilled, locally developed engineers.

Citadel professor wins $1.6 million grant to anticipate social unrest Wed, 17 Jul 2019 10:00:40 +0000 Deepti Joshi, Ph.D., will serve as the principle investigator, or lead, for the project which is funded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.]]>

The research-based, five-year grant combines computational and social sciences

More than a year of hard work turned into a $1.6 million grant for a professor of computer science at The Citadel.

Deepti Joshi, Ph.D., will serve as the principle investigator, or lead, for the project which is funded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

Deepti Joshi, Ph.D.
Deepti Joshi, Ph.D.

The goal is to find a way to combine diverse types of data and use that information to anticipate social unrest events — such as strikes, riots, civil wars, coups, revolts or revolutions — in 19 strategically selected countries in Asia and Africa.

“Receiving this grant was a long process with multi-step reviews, and took almost one and a half years,” said Joshi about the collaborative effort with University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). “It is an honor to finally receive the grant from the NGA. I am privileged to have the support of my department and school at The Citadel, as well as the faculty and students at UNL.”

Four to six cadets will work on the research with Joshi. There will also be three Ph.D. students who will work on this grant from UNL. Undergraduate and graduate researchers will focus on data curation, filtering, and mining, agent-based modeling, and social science research to build statistical models. Additionally, Caroline Strobbe, Ph.D., from The Citadel, will provide expertise in French and Ghazi Abuhakema, Ph.D., from the College of Charleston, will provide expertise in Arabic.

Joshi and her team will spend the next five years working to integrate model-driven and data-driven frameworks to improve the understanding of the dynamics of social unrest and also to potentially help anticipate its onset.

This is the second grant the NGA has awarded to Joshi. The first, for nearly $300,000, helped create the building blocks that will be used for her current project, like developing a social science-based model to identify long-term factors for social unrest, as well as developing a map-based visualizer called SURGE, short for Social Unrest Reconnaissance GazEtteer. The map is a work in progress, and new features will be added as more research is completed. Joshi also plans to add a feature that allows users to work with what-if scenarios.

The NGA is a combat support agency under the Department of Defense that delivers intelligence used by policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders.

Both of Joshi’s grants have been funded through the NGA University Research Initiatives Program, which supports research in geospatial intelligence disciplines at U.S. colleges and universities.

Lessons learned at Citadel pay off for opera star Morris Robinson Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:23:08 +0000 Morris Robinson is the only former cadet and All-American football player at the Citadel to become a world-renowned opera singer. ]]>

Photo: Morris Robinson portrays Porgy in the 2019 Cincinnati Opera production of “Porgy and Bess,” which launches July 20 (Courtesy: JEQ)

As seen in the Cincinnati Business Courier, by Janelle Gelfand

Morris Robinson is the only former cadet and All-American football player at the Citadel to become a world-renowned opera singer. The opera bass, who stars in Cincinnati Opera’s “Porgy and Bess” opening July 20, received an honorary doctorate and gave the commencement speech at the military college in Charleston, S.C., two years ago.

 “At the Citadel, you obtain discipline, personal accountability, you understand the concept of teamwork, of overcoming adversity, of being flexible and of duty and responsibility,” he said at Music Hall. “Then I got into my first opera rehearsal and I realized, the first thing I need to have is personal accountability and teamwork.”

Robinson, who played offensive guard, hoped to play pro football but was deemed “too small” at 6-foot-2 and 285 pounds. Instead, he excelled in corporate marketing and sales. The son of an Atlanta Baptist minister, he also loved singing since age 6. When the director of opera at Boston University heard his resonant bass at an event, he was encouraged to study opera.

He “took the gamble” at age 30, giving up a paycheck, company car and expense account. To make ends meet, he worked at Best Buy, loading 36-inch televisions.

He knew he’d made the right decision when he auditioned for the chorus at Boston Lyric Opera. Instead, he was offered the role of the King in Verdi’s “Aida.” Since then, he’s played “kings, godfathers and devils” at A-list companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, and locally at the May Festival and Cincinnati Opera, where he’s also Artistic Advisor. In 2016, he sang his first Porgy in his debut at Milan’s legendary La Scala.

Morris Robinson is the only former cadet and All-American football player at the Citadel to become a world-renowned opera singer (Courtesy: Philip Groshong)
Morris Robinson is the only former cadet and All-American football player at the Citadel to become a world-renowned opera singer (Courtesy: Philip Groshong)

He credits it all to a higher power: “I’m just walking down the path that has been laid out for my life. Who else writes this script?”

Cincinnati Opera’s “Porgy and Bess” by George and Ira Gershwin, July 20, 25, 27-28 at Music Hall. Tickets: 513-241-2742,


What was it like to return to your alma mater, the Citadel, for an honorary doctorate and to give the commencement speech?

Very breathtaking. You leave that place, and you are literally just happy to get out of there, because it is one of the toughest schools, not just academically, but because you have the regimen of the military aspect.

How has your education at the Citadel informed what you have done in business – with 3M and Advanced Elastomer Systems – as well as in opera?

I was in marketing first and then in sales. My first job I covered all of Virginia and Washington, D.C. accounts. I had a company car, a fax machine, a laptop and eventually a cell phone. It was up to me to go out and generate business and train my distributor representatives on the product line that we represented. I had literally hundreds of sales reps in various distribution centers that relied on my expertise to help them close deals in order to feed their families. So, it came with a sense of duty and responsibility, personal accountability, time management, account management, teamwork – all those things directly applied to corporate America.

Coming into the opera world, I very much thought I was going to walk away from that. … (But) it’s a whole huge team of people putting all of their acquired skills on display so that we can present a product to the customer base. We sell tickets to customers. There’s a whole business model there. We put a bad product up, they’re not buying it. We’re out of business. So, it is absolutely parallel.

Morris Robinson performs at Lincoln Heights in 2016 (Courtesy: Philip Groshong)
Morris Robinson performs at Lincoln Heights in 2016 (Courtesy: Philip Groshong)

Unbeknownst to myself, the good Lord has a plan for us. So, when I embarked on this career, I was already fully equipped with those skill sets.

Did you grow up in a musical family?

My dad was a Baptist minister, and my mom was president of the gospel choir, so I grew up in a house when I went to church every Sunday morning, and there was music being played. My mother probably sang more than she spoke. There was music all the time. It was always in our ears.

She had us as kids join the Pastor’s Choir – that’s the children’s choir. I joined that at age 6, and got my first solo at age 6, standing on a chair because I was too short to be seen over the banister. Then I realized that I don’t want to do this. The cool people are playing drums and bass guitar. My dad bought me a drum set and I was church drummer at age 9 through high school.

Porgy, who is disabled, is so different from the booming authority figures that you usually sing – the Grand Inquisitor, the devil, the king, surrounded by gold and splendor. What was it like to sing your first Porgy at La Scala in Milan, Italy?

Singing Porgy at La Scala was a lot more intimidating than making a presentation in front of a board meeting at 3M. 

Every other role I’ve sung for 99 percent of my career as a bass – the kings, godfathers and devils – you walk out, you take control of the moment, and everyone listens to you. Sometimes they sing about you for an hour before you even walk out. And when you do, you own the space.

It’s very easy to walk out, as an African American guy who used to play football and went to military academy. I walk in the room and I’m used to people paying attention to me. That’s easy. Porgy is not the same guy. The challenge was, this voice that I’ve nurtured and developed with these other roles is my voice, but how do I package that as someone who is emotionally sensitive to the situation?

How do you view Porgy’s character?

He’s been portrayed as the kicked puppy — mean old Crown has taken his girlfriend. But if you really look at Porgy as a character, Porgy is not a weak person. Porgy is the most respected person in Catfish Row. They sing about him, and how good he is, and how he’s too good for Bess, and how she’s not good enough for him. He’s honorable.

But when he falls in love with Bess, as unlikely as it might have been, this is the first time in his life he’s achieved this level of intimacy, love and compassion. … I’ve got a chance with this one girl, the most beautiful woman in the community, even though she has her issues, and she’s with the bad guy. There’s a moment where he says to her, “If there weren’t no Crown, then what?”

He decides then he’s going to kill the guy. That’s kind of gangster. That’s not a soft guy. I can’t walk, but I’m going to kill the baddest guy around. Everyone is afraid of Crown. So, I do it with my bare hands.

That’s believable!

Especially with me!

In pursuit of transformation through travel Mon, 15 Jul 2019 04:00:07 +0000 Prof. Alison Smith (left) and a co-volunteer from Indiana University, Prof. Lisa Calvin, working in Spain with the organization American Pilgrims on the CaminoProf. Alison Smith (left) and a co-volunteer from Indiana University, Prof. Lisa Calvin, working in Spain with the organization American Pilgrims on the Camino(Photo above: Citadel Prof. Alison Smith (left), and a co-volunteer from Indiana State University, Prof. Lisa Calvin, working in Spain with the organization American Pilgrims on the Camino) The Camino]]> Prof. Alison Smith (left) and a co-volunteer from Indiana University, Prof. Lisa Calvin, working in Spain with the organization American Pilgrims on the CaminoProf. Alison Smith (left) and a co-volunteer from Indiana University, Prof. Lisa Calvin, working in Spain with the organization American Pilgrims on the Camino

(Photo above: Citadel Prof. Alison Smith (left), and a co-volunteer from Indiana State University, Prof. Lisa Calvin, working in Spain with the organization American Pilgrims on the Camino)

The Camino de Santiago is a network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe. The passages date back more than 1,000 years, coming together in north-west Spain at the Tomb of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

According to the Pilgrim’s Reception Office near the Cathedral, a pilgrimage on the trail is “essentially a spiritual experience” driven by a personal wish or vow, as penance for sins, a desire for cultural immersion or a love of nature.

Citadel students on le Chemin de Saint Jacques (Camino de Santiago’s name in France) in 2018, led by Citadel Prof. Alison Smith.

The office expected travel by cars and airplanes to eventually reduce the pilgrims on the trail but instead reports “huge growth” over the past 30 years, tracked through requests for trail credentials. “In 1985, 1,245 pilgrims arrived in Santiago. In the 2010 Holy Year 272,703 pilgrims qualified.”

Citadel professor of language and culture, Alison Smith, Ph.D., is researching the growing pursuit of travel for transformation. In fact, she is developing a course about it to be taught at The Citadel.

Citadel Prof. Alison Smith departing for her research and volunteer work in Spain in the summer of 2019

“In 2018 I directed The Citadel Summer Study Abroad program in Montpellier, France. I developed a cultural component for that trip that incorporated my ongoing research on the Camino de Santiago,” Smith said.

Smith and her 2018 group walked the Montarnaud to Saint Guilhem-le-Désert segment of the Camino. “The abbey in Saint Guilhem dates from the 10th century and was itself a pilgrimage site. Students spent the night inside the Medieval walls of the city,” Smith said. “The idea of doing an entire course was born then as I observed the transformative potential of the experience through my cadets and students.”

The Gellone Abby in Saint Guilhem le Desert which was the culmination of pilgrimage Citadel Professor Alison Smith led for cadets in 2018

“This summer I was invited by American Pilgrims on the Camino to serve as a volunteer at a pilgrim welcome center in the albergue (pilgrims’ hostel) in Ribadiso, Spain,” Smith explained. “The albergue was once a pilgrims’ hospital in the Middle Ages, and it is just a two day walk from the final destination of Santiago.”

Smith learned that many of the pilgrims, who originated from 43 countries, had been walking for over a month by the time they arrived in Ribadiso to be welcomed by her and other volunteers.

“I helped them with basic needs such as water and medical attention, showed them to their bunks, answered questions, and facilitated communication with the staff (who only spoke Spanish and Gallego, the languages spoken in the region).”

The the pilgrim albergue or hostel, where Citadel Prof. Alison Smith volunteered in Spain as part of her research into travel for transformation

After volunteering for two weeks, Smith went to Ireland for a four day walk on a segment of the Camino there with other pilgrimage scholars. Her journey ended at a conference entitled Sacred Journeys, in Maynooth, Ireland where she presented a paper about her research.

Citadel Prof. Alison Smith on the Kerry Camino in Ireland

Smith expects to teach her Travel for Transformation course on campus in 2020. “The themes we will explore are related to service, faith, and peace, all of which are important for the development of principled leaders.”

For more about studying abroad with The Citadel, please visit this website.

Citadel cadets and students enjoy a dinner together in Saint Guilhem le Desert, France, after walking more than 13 miles in one day in 2018
Getting ready to go back to school with The Citadel Graduate College Sat, 13 Jul 2019 10:00:02 +0000 The Citadel Graduate College has announced its upcoming new student orientation and an open house for graduate, evening undergraduate and online programs.]]>

Photo: Citadel graduate students in Daniel Library

Here are a couple of important dates you need to know.

While the start of school may still be weeks away, it’s never too early to start preparing. That’s why The Citadel Graduate College (CGC) has already announced its upcoming new student orientation, as well as an open house for those interested in graduate, evening undergraduate and online programs.

For students who are finishing their bachelor’s degrees or getting started on their master’s degrees, CGC is holding an orientation for new students on Wednesday, August 21, from 5:30 – 8 p.m. It will be on campus in Bond 165.

The orientation will give new students the chance to learn more about CGC, as well as the many resources available to them. Students will also be able to see the campus, meet with key resources, get their campus ID and parking pass, and get answers to any of their remaining questions.

To register for the new student orientation, click here.

Then, the month after that, CGC will hold an open house for those who are interested in graduate programs, undergraduate degree completion programs, or online classes. The open house will be Tuesday, September 17, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. in the 4th floor of Johnson Hagood Stadium.

The open house gives prospective students a chance to learn about the more than 70 programs offered by CGC. They will also have the chance to meet with program faculty, admissions, and staff from locations such as: Financial Aid, the Student Success Center, Daniel Library, the Career Center, and more.

To register for the open house, click here.

Howard Pickett King, Class of 1961, presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award Fri, 12 Jul 2019 10:00:42 +0000 With more than 53 years of experience in law, King has become an authority in his industry and currently serves as an Active Retired Circuit Court Judge.]]>

Photo: Howard King in The Citadel’s 1961 yearbook

As seen on Marquis Who’s Who

Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Howard Pickett King with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. King celebrates many years’ experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

With more than 53 years of experience in law to his credit, Mr. King has become an authority in his industry and currently serves as an Active Retired Circuit Court Judge. Previously, he excelled as an associate at Bryan & Bahnmuller (now known as Bryan Law Firm) from 1966 to 1969 and a partner at Bryan, Bahnmuller, King, Goldman & McElveen from 1969 to 1996. He served as Resident Judge for the Third Judicial Circuit from 1996 to 2006.

Mr. King served in the South Carolina National Guard from 1963 to 1967 and as First Lieutenant in the United States Army Artillery from 1961 to 1963 in Fort Sill, OK and Giessen, Germany. Prior to becoming a renowned legal professional, he pursued higher education with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, in 1961. He pursued postgraduate coursework at the University of Tennessee in 1964 and received a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of South Carolina in 1966.While at USC Law School, he was a member of and Comments Editor of the South Carolina Law Review, a member of Wig & Robe honorary society, and Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. He authored two articles for the South Carolina Law Review. Mr. King was admitted to practice law in South Carolina in 1966, as well as before the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina in 1966, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1970 and the Supreme Court of the United States in 1973.

Outside of his professional responsibilities, Mr. King remains informed of the advancements and changes in his industry through relevant organizations. He sat on the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Bar Foundation and as Chairman of the House of Delegates, Secretary, Treasurer, President-elect and President of the South Carolina Bar. Mr. King is a former member of the American Bar Association where he served in the House of Delegates from South Carolina. He was a trustee of the Sumter County Library from 1980 to 1985, a member of the Sumter Advisory Board of Nations Bank (now Bank of America), and a member and former president of the Sumter Lions Club. He married his wife Nancy Leslie Ariail in 1962 and they have two daughters, Leslie K. Ducey, a K-5 teacher, and Ariail E. King, an attorney, and three grandsons, Ryan Ducey, Reagan Ducey, and Ross Ducey.

In light of his many contributions to the field, Mr. King has received a number of accolades throughout his career. He was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Mark Sanford in 2006, the highest civilian honor in the state of South Carolina. The proudest moment of his career, however, was being elected as a Circuit Court Judge. He has also served by special appointment as Acting Judge, South Carolina Court of Appeals and Acting Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of South Carolina. While on the bench he attended the National Judicial College ill Reno, Nevada. In 2018 Judge King was appointed by the South Carolina Supreme Court as interim Master in Equity for Sumter County to replace the deceased Master in Equity until a successor could be selected. He is also a charter member of the Pee Dee Inn of Court Chapter of the American Inns of Court. As a testament to his success, Mr. King was also featured in the seventh edition of Who’s Who in American Law.

Intelligence gathering on Russia’s edge Thu, 11 Jul 2019 12:43:20 +0000 Few, if any, U.S. colleges besides The Citadel, offer the opportunity to study abroad in the important locale of the Republic of Georgia.]]>

Citadel cadets and students learn about territorial relationships in the Republic of Georgia

The Republic of Georgia, wedged between Russia and Turkey, is a critical strategic partner to the United States. That’s why a group of graduate and undergraduate students with The Citadel Department of Intelligence and Security Studies went there to study. Their leader: Terry Mays, Ph.D., professor of political science, and international relations expert.

Few, if any, U.S. colleges besides The Citadel, offer the opportunity to study abroad in this important locale, Mays said. It is critical to understand Russia’s role in this region and how Georgia and other states cooperate in order to maintain their independence.

Group photo at Jvari Monastery (6th century), with Citadel Professor Terry Mays (back/right) and his 30 year old Bulldogs flag he has taken with him around the world

Mays, who has focused his research on multinational peacekeeping, led the students from site to site, including some just across the boarder from Russia. As they traveled he explained foreign policy lessons from Georgia and neighboring countries.

“They work together to counter Russian cyber attacks and to resist movements by Russia to reincorporate territories into its borders,” Mays said. “These relationships provide many lessons.”

According to Mays, the Republic of Georgia has also been the largest per capita contributor to coalition military efforts in Afghanistan.

A group of Georgian students interviewed veteran student Ashley Towers about her experiences in Georgia for their school

The four week study abroad trip included multiple excursions to exciting locations, lectures by former ambassadors to the U.S., former ministers in the Georgian government, and trips to Georgian military facilities. 

Standing near the Russian occupied zone boundary of South Ossetia

Plus, a few opportunities including a soccer match were built in just for fun.

Students attend a Tbilisi Dinamo soccer match. Dinamo won 2-1.

Oh, and the they did this too! Watch Lee Ropp, a Citadel Graduate College Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies candidate, soaring above the Republic of Georgia.

For more information about studying abroad with The Citadel, please visit this website or email

Photographs and information provided by Terry Mays, Ph.D., and The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Mays has extensive study abroad teaching experience and also leads The Citadel Study Abroad in Estonia.

Remembering Col. Chaplain Charles Clanton Wed, 10 Jul 2019 20:10:43 +0000 Inside The Citadel’s Summerall Chapel, there are photos of many former chaplains to the Corps of Cadets, honoring the time they dedicated to the college’s shrine of religion, patriotism and]]>

Inside The Citadel’s Summerall Chapel, there are photos of many former chaplains to the Corps of Cadets, honoring the time they dedicated to the college’s shrine of religion, patriotism and remembrance.

The many people who served as chaplain in the college’s history tended to the spiritual needs of cadets, alumni, faculty and staff. The chaplains have also served as community leaders, bringing religious leaders from different faiths around the city together for worship and fellowship. They have also led celebrations, such as the annual Christmas Candlelight Services, and they’ve led the celebrations of the lives of the many people who request to have funeral services in the chapel.

One of the photos, on the northern side of the chapel, is of Col. Chaplain Charles T. Clanton, US Army (Ret). Clanton served as chaplain at The Citadel from 1994 – 1999.

Clanton, 83, died on Monday, July 8, in Columbia. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 11, at the First Baptist Church in Sumter, SC.

Col. Chaplain Charles Clanton’s obituary, as seen in the Sumter Item

Retired U.S. Army Col. Chaplain Charles T. Clanton, 83, husband of Betty Ann Green Clanton, died Monday, July 8, 2019, at Prisma Health Richland Hospital in Columbia.

Born Sept. 3, 1935, in Little Rock, Arkansas, he was a son of the late Thomas David Clanton and Almedia Woodward Clanton. Through marriage to his wife Betty Ann, he was also the son-in-law of the late LeRoy and Elizabeth Ann Green of Shiloh. The Rev. Clanton was a graduate of Furman University and Southeastern Baptist Seminary. He was a chaplain in the U.S. Army for 26 years. He served two tours in Vietnam for which he was awarded, among others, the Silver Star, Bronze Star (5 awards), Purple Heart and the Air Medal (4 awards). He was commandant of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School and retired as the Forces Command (FORSCOM) Chaplain, where he assigned all religious support for Operation Desert Storm. Following his retirement, he served seven years as the chaplain for The Citadel and then returned to Sumter, where he was interim pastor of Crosswell Baptist Church and First Baptist Church (twice) before serving as pastor to senior adults at First Baptist. The Rev. Clanton was a member of American Legion Post 15 and was post chaplain and past post commander.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years; three children, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Charles Clanton of Atlanta, Dean Timothy Clanton (Traci) of Cumming, Georgia, and Elizabeth Ann Niedzwiecki (Abe) of Athens, Alabama; four grandchildren, Rachel Bloemer (Keith), Nick Niedzwiecki (Jordan), Sarah Niedzwiecki and Isaac Niedzwiecki; two great-grandchildren, Joseph and Caroline; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church. Burial with full military honors will be at Shiloh Methodist Church Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be grandsons, Nick Niedzwiecki and Isaac Niedzwiecki; and Eddie Harrison, Wallie Jones, John James and Don Morris.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Senior Adult Sunday School Department of First Baptist Church.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 107 E. Liberty St., Sumter, SC 29150.

Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home and Crematorium of Sumter is in charge of the arrangements.