Honoring The Citadel’s 2024 Palmetto Medal Award recipients

The Palmetto Medal Award recognizes exceptional performance reflecting great credit on The Citadel and the state of South Carolina. Established by the Board of Visitors, the award is presented to those whose service to the college or state is particularly noteworthy. With the exception of honorary degrees, the Palmetto Medal is the highest honor awarded by The Citadel.

Four individuals who embody the college’s definition of principled leaders were chosen for the honor this year. Members of the Board of Visitors presented the Palmetto Medal awards during the military review parade on March 23.

The citations for the award recipients are below.

Cadet Col. Sullivan Newsome

Cadet Col. Sullivan M. Newsome is the 2023 – 2024 regimental commander. He is responsible for the professional leadership development of the more than 2,000 members of the Corps of Cadets, enforcing both individual and unit accountability, and, through his counsel, improving command cohesion. A leader best mentors through example, and Newsome consistently demonstrates leadership, academic excellence and service to others.

Newsome communicates exceptionally across all avenues and can be counted on to inform his fellow cadets of upcoming training requirements in addition to reinforcing standards and policies with his subordinate commanders.

Frequently, Newsome is proactive and well in front of the operational tasks placed on the Corps of Cadets, where he adds his experience and innovation to increase positive results at inspections, formations and training events. He is unafraid to engage the commandant’s staff to offer best practices, lessons learned and continuous process improvements.

In addition to earning a position on the 2024 Summerall Guards, Newsome is involved in numerous extracurricular activities and committees across campus. He is always first to volunteer his time and efforts when a group of distinguished visitors or alumni visit. In the classroom, Newsome earned President’s List honors for three semesters and was awarded the Bastin Business Scholarship Award, the Daniel 2 Fund Scholarship and the Burlington Fretwell Scholarship for his superb academic performance.

Never resting on his achievements, Newsome strives to make The Citadel better through his untiring support of his chain of command and the leadership and dedication he shows his fellow cadets.

For his service to our state, his community, and his fellow cadets, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to award Cadet Col. Sullivan Newsome the 2024 Palmetto Medal.

Susan Redmond

For almost 40 years, Susan W. Redmond has faithfully served the state of South Carolina, The Citadel and the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. When Mrs. Redmond began working in the Office of the Commandant in 1986, she immediately took responsibility for the administration of the college disciplinary system, eventually overseeing its successful computerization and ensuring that it remains up to date, fair and reliable. Beyond her work in the Office of the Commandant, she is an eager volunteer who hands out yearbooks and lines up cadets to walk through the ring on Parents’ Weekend and across the stage at Commencement.

More importantly, however, Mrs. Redmond is legendary for being a motherly presence to thousands of cadets over the last four decades, offering guidance, compassion and stern advice to those in need. During her tenure, she has touched the lives of thousands of cadets, including two of her own two sons, a nephew, two grandsons and soon, a great grandson.

For her unwavering devotion to the Corps of Cadets and her service to the college, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to award Susan Redmond the 2024 Palmetto Medal.

Linda Mitchell Robinson

The second of 12 children, Linda Mitchell Robinson grew up in the heart of Charleston. In 1971, she began what would become a celebrated five-decade career in catering services at The Citadel.

“Miss Linda” as she is affectionately known, works nights, early mornings and weekends. During her tenure, she has served thousands of faculty, staff, cadets, students and visitors, as well as nine college presidents — always with a smile and a kind word. Her unwavering commitment to The Citadel and The Citadel family is a model of hard work and excellence, and she serves as an example to us all.

Cadet Major John Ropp

Senior Cadet John C. Ropp IV is the embodiment of a Citadel principled leader who lives by the college’s core values of honor, duty and respect.

Since his matriculation in August 2020, Ropp has thrived in the Corps of Cadets, the classroom and the community. He has served in a number of leadership roles as a cadet, including cadre squad corporal, cadet armorer and cadet first sergeant, culminating with his role as Fifth Battalion executive officer, where he currently serves as second in command of 400 cadets.

Ropp is a gifted student and member of the Honors Program who has consistently earned Gold Stars for academic excellence. A biology major, he is a Star of the West Scholar and a recipient of the Student Excellence Day Special Merit Award. Following graduation in May, he will attend dental school at the Medical University of South Carolina.

As a servant leader, Ropp has participated in South Carolina Camp Joy for two summers, where he worked exclusively with a special needs camper. He has served as a counselor for Hartsville Presbyterian Church Bible and Music Camp for three summers, leading activities and managing classes. In 2022, he spent a month in Africa with the Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics Kenya Study Abroad Program, providing medical services to the underprivileged.

In recognition of his leadership, his academic achievements and his service to others, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to award Cadet John Ropp the 2024 Palmetto Medal.