In the News – The Citadel Today Fri, 12 Feb 2021 21:56:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 In the News – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 The Nixon Precedent: Lawyer, author reviews book by Citadel Intelligence professor Mon, 15 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 Melissa Graves, Ph.D., arranged the Watergate panel held at The Citadel as part of the Intelligence and Cybersecurity conference in Feb 2020.]]>

Photo: Melissa Graves, Ph.D. (left) arranged the Watergate panel, held on The Citadel campus in February 2020 as part of the Department of Intelligence and Cybersecurity’s two-day conference. (Seated left to right: Melissa Graves, Ph.D., John Mindermann, John Clynick, Paul Magallanes, Daniel Mahan and Angelo Lano.)

As seen in Washington Decoded, by James Robenalt

Nixon’s FBI: Hoover, Watergate, and a Bureau in Crisis
Melissa Graves
Lynne Rienner Publishers. 246 pp. $85

Exactly one thousand twenty-five words comprise Article II of the Constitution, and most of them are devoted to how to select a president of the United States.

The two hundred or so left over describe a president’s substantive powers. That the key phrase—“executive power shall be vested in the president of the United States”—has been interpreted generously is an understatement. It has become the basis for vast power since it confers unenumerated powers. By contrast, Article I, which governs the Congress, only vests all legislative powers “granted herein”—a limiting qualifier.

Add sweeping clauses like “commander in chief,” and “he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and you arrive at the dilemma posed in Melissa Graves’s new book, Nixon’s FBI, Hoover, Watergate, and a Bureau in Crisis. What are the limits of a president’s control over federal law enforcement, especially when the crimes at issue may involve the president in either his/her private or elected capacity? This issue, in turn, raises the question of the government’s power to surveil its citizens, including citizens who may be considered political dissidents and not seditious criminals. That question is at the heart of the present danger posed by domestic extremists or terrorists who have grown exponentially during the Trump administration.

This makes Nixon’s FBI an important read.

Melissa Graves, Ph.D.

An assistant professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies at The Citadel, Melissa Graves started out to write about the fundamental conflict between the FBI’s duties, as the premier federal investigative agency, and the fact that it answers to the president while also investigating said president from time to time. Her focus was the Nixon administration, when this conflict was in sharper relief, owing to the Watergate scandal, than at any other time save for the past four years. Eventually her research encompassed the courageous FBI agents who pursued the Watergate investigation despite all the headwinds from higher-ups to constrict the search for the truth—including, as it turned out, a higher-up named Richard M. Nixon. Special agents like Angelo Lano, John Mindermann, Daniel Mahan, Paul Magallanes, and John Clynick are profiled in an important chapter about the investigation of the break-in by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. These agents are depicted, correctly,  as being many steps ahead of Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. While Woodward and Bernstein are celebrated in history as the “intrepid” reporters who cracked the Watergate case, in reality it was the hard work of these FBI agents who simply would not be waylaid.

But the wider context of the Watergate investigation, naturally, dominates the book. In that ambitious endeavor she sought to explore the issue of presidential control over law enforcement, and the concern that unlimited presidential power could lead to a surveillance state where political speech and thought become crimes against the state. Concern over government overreach goes all the way back to the founding of the nation as shown through the passage of the Bill of Rights, which included the First Amendment rights of free speech, a free press, freedom of religion and assembly, and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures as delineated in the Fourth Amendment.

These rights, though guaranteed, have been tested continuously in American life, almost always under the banner of national security, which is seen as the province of the president. During Watergate, the Vietnam war provided the pretext for political repression not only of real bomb throwers but true dissenters. What Graves shows is that a president inclined to authoritarianism and corruption will manipulate weak actors around him to use law enforcement to attack political opponents in the name of national security.

Graves rightly points to Tom Huston as her first example. Huston, a low-level White House lawyer, was asked to create a coalition of intelligence-gathering agencies to address the anti-war violence of students and Black activists who were rising in urban areas because of abhorrent living conditions and repressive police power. While this kind of federal intelligence-sharing was exactly what happened following 9/11 and the passage of the Patriot Act, the tactics envisioned by the Huston plan were much more invasive and dubious constitutionally, involving “black bag” jobs, wiretaps, and bugs. The plan also touched off internal fights in the Nixon administration. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover initially approved and then withdrew his sanction of the Huston plan, likely because he did not want to share such powers with rival agencies like the CIA. Attorney General John Mitchell likewise got his nose out of joint because he wasn’t informed of the effort until after most of the meetings had already taken place.

This tension exacerbated relations between an aging Hoover and Nixon. According to Graves, Hoover was taking heat in the press for domestic intelligence-gathering that had the approval of the Nixon administration, but the White House was not backing up the director in public. The alienation grew to a point where Nixon spent hours of his time trying to figure out how to get Hoover to resign after more than forty years as director. Nixon failed to pull the plug out of fear of repercussions in the 1972 elections. But he had every intention of removing Hoover if and when he was re-elected to a second term.

Initially it appeared as if Hoover had done Nixon somewhat of a favor by dying in early May 1972, weeks before the Watergate break-ins. Nixon looked for a weak character to replace Hoover, one who he imagined he could easily manipulate. There was no weaker actor than L. Patrick Gray, who had never served in any capacity in the Bureau. Gray was a middling lawyer at the Department of Justice with a military background, a crew-cut former Navy officer who would cheerfully follow orders while trying to appear to be in control. His appointment as acting director, as with everything in this story, sparked a surreptitious revolt by longtime Hoover acolyte W. Mark Felt, who thought he had been denied his rightful anointing as the next director. Felt undertook to subvert Gray’s tenure by leaking details about the Watergate investigation to Time magazine and The Washington Post, making it seem to Nixon that Gray could not control the FBI.

After his landslide victory in November 1972, Nixon miscalculated and sent Gray’s name to the Senate for confirmation in February 1973. The hearings, a preview of the Watergate hearings to come, were a complete disaster. Gray was not a facile man. He tried to show the Senate that he was his own man and in the process threw White House counsel John Dean under the bus. He testified that he had kept Dean informed of the Watergate investigation, provided FBI files to him, and allowed him to sit in on FBI interviews of officials in the White House, such as Charles Colson. Behind the scenes, Nixon fumed, eventually plotting to destroy Gray’s credibility with planted questions through a friendly senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

While Graves has it right about Gray’s incompetence, a deeper dive into the White House tapes from the time would have added substance and color to her narrative. Chief domestic advisor John Ehrlichman, for example, famously quipped to John Dean that Nixon should let Gray “twist slowly, slowly in the wind” after Gray had implicated the White House in what appeared to be a cover-up. Even worse, when Dean broke ranks, one tape from the evening of 15 April 1973, shows Gray telling Ehrlichman that he intended to lie if asked about receiving files given to him by Dean and Ehrlichman early in the investigation. The files were from Howard Hunt’s safe in the Executive Office Building, and consisted of political sabotage materials that were highly embarrassing, but had nothing to do directly with the Watergate break-in per se. Gray had been given the files so that the White House could say that everything in Hunt’s safe had been handed over to the FBI. Yet later, without being specifically asked to do so, Gray had destroyed the files while burning Christmas wrappings.

Graves’s final chapter is also a good start but could have profited from a more complete and nuanced discussion of executive power and national security. She points out that post-Watergate reforms and the Church Committee’s review of FBI and CIA secret operations almost led to an FBI charter that would have defined and limited domestic spying by the FBI. This leaves the reader wondering what the answers may be when the nation confronts a lawless president, or when the intelligence agencies, engaged in combating foreign or domestic terrorism, begin to gather information about everyday citizens via clandestine surveillance.

Graves also might have analyzed the 16-page memo written by William Barr about the Mueller investigation in June 2018, which Barr composed to burnish his credentials in his quest to return as attorney general. In that memo, Barr argued that Trump’s request of FBI director James Comey to “let it go” when it came to then national security adviser Michael Flynn was a proper exercise of power by the president and not an obstruction of justice. Barr and other proto-authoritarians base such arguments on what they refer to as the “plenary law enforcement powers” granted the president by the Constitution, mainly the “take care” clause. This, Barr submitted, allows a president to supervise criminal investigations directly, including the firing of officials, without ever running afoul of the Constitution. The “unitary executive” theory favored by those like Barr is exactly the kind of unfettered authority Nixon believed he had, and sought to exercise, with respect to the Huston plan and in the effort to gum up the FBI’s Watergate probe. As Nixon himself succinctly described the theory in 1977 during an interview with British journalist David Frost, “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

History has much to teach us in these fraught days. It is good to have a book that reminds us of a time when law enforcement stood up to unconstitutional efforts and pursued justice without fear or favor.

James Robenalt is a lawyer and author of four nonfiction books, including January 1973: Watergate, Roe v Wade, Vietnam, and the Month That Changed America Forever. He is also a contributor to The Presidents and the Constitution, A Living History (ed. Ken Gormley). He has taught a Continuing Legal Education Course on Watergate with John Dean.

The FBI Watergate Panel, featuring Angelo Lano, Daniel Mahan, John Clynick, Paul Magallanes, and John Mindermann, moderated by Assistant Professor Melissa Graves, takes place during the 2020 Citadel Intelligence Ethics Conference in Mark Clark Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)
Dr. Melissa Graves, John Mindermann, John Clynick, Paul Magallanes, Daniel Mahan and Angelo Lano at the Watergate panel held on The Citadel campus in February 2020.
Citadel alum calls in Chick-fil-A manager to help a drive-thru Covid-19 vaccination clinic Sat, 13 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 When a drive-thru COVID vaccine clinic left people waiting for hours, the town mayor called in a professional for help: a Chick-fil-A manager.]]>

Note: Mayor Will Haynie (photo left), a member of The Citadel Class of 1983 who earned a Business Administration degree, was elected mayor of Mount Pleasant in 2017.

As seen on CNN, by Alaa Elassar

When a South Carolina drive-thru coronavirus vaccine clinic got backed up, leaving people waiting for hours, the town mayor decided to call in a professional for help: a Chick-fil-A manager.

Local hospitals in Mount Pleasant opened the clinic on January 22 for residents eligible to receive the first shots of Covid-19 vaccine. But shortly after the drive-thru opened, the computer system handling registrations went down, causing hundreds of people to wait in heavy traffic.

That’s when Jerry Walkowiak, the manager of a nearby Chick-fil-A, stepped in to save the day.

“When I heard about it, I called Jerry and asked if he would come help us out,” Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie told CNN. “After he looked it over, he said, ‘There’s your problem right there. It’s backed up because you have one person checking people in.’ Then he showed us how to do it right.”

With the help of a few additional volunteers, Walkowiak transformed the messy traffic jam into a smooth operation, reducing the hours-long wait to just 15 minutes.

More than 1,000 people received the vaccine that day, Haynie said. When everyone returns for their second dose on February 12, Walkowiak will be back to help manage the drive-thru.

“At Chick-fil-A, we’re about being the most caring company in the world, and when Mayor Haynie asked us to come over, we took a look at what was their drive-thru system,” Walkowiak told news station WCBD.

“We saw a little hiccup in their drive-thru system, and we needed some more people, so we gathered some of the wonderful Rotary volunteers and went down there and just was able to expedite the registration part.”

More than 29 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the United States, according to data published Saturday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the US still has a long way to go before the pandemic is over, Haynie hopes his town’s experience will encourage others to get vaccinated and help with vaccine efforts.

“Jerry got a phone call and dropped everything because he knows getting this vaccine out is a game changer,” Haynie said. “This is what the light at the end of the long Covid tunnel looks like.”

Citadel cadets tour the International African American Museum site Thu, 04 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 Former mayor Joe Riley and Citadel cadets in his class toured the International African American Museum currently under construction.]]>

Photo: Former Mayor of Charleston and current Citadel professor, Joe Riley, ’64, speaking to his class as they tour the International African American Museum construction.

As seen on WCSC – Live 5 News, by Ann McGill

Cadets studying American history at The Citadel will experience history in the making. To kick off recognition of Black History Month at the military college of South Carolina, they will tour the International African American Museum currently under construction in Charleston.

The students are enrolled in the spring semester course titled, “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum.”

The instructor is Joseph Riley. The former Charleston mayor is a graduate of the class of 1964, and now serves in the role of professor of American Government and Public Policy at his alma mater.

Riley will tag team with history professor Kerry Taylor, Ph.D., who specializes in African American history. Taylor is director of the Charleston Oral History program at The Citadel.

“I believe for the students this will be a most meaningful college experience, for they will study a project that is under construction and learn much about our nation’s long-hidden history,” Riley said in a statement from the school.

“Upon graduation, in years to come, I have no doubt the museum will be part of their return visits to Charleston.”

The IAAM is located near the South Carolina Aquarium along the Charleston Harbor, and is set to open in 2022.

According to the IAAM website, “This museum is about a journey that began centuries ago in Africa, and still continues. It is about the journey of millions of Africans, captured and forced across the Atlantic in the grueling and inhumane Middle Passage, who arrived at Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina and other ports in the Atlantic World. Their labor, resistance and ingenuity and that of their descendants shaped every aspect of our world.”

A statement released by the school describes the goal of the class. This collaborative course, while offering Citadel cadets the unique opportunity to learn African American history through the establishment of the IAAM, is as much a study of history as it is a study of the making of history, drawing additionally on the disciplines of marketing, finance, architecture and design, civil engineering, public policy, and project management.

Riley and Taylor are planning a second visit to the museum later in the semester.

Citadel professor receives Army commission to restart new ‘Monuments Men’ mission Mon, 01 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 James Bezjian has been accepted into the Army’s new project to revive a historic unit to safeguard cultural icons, artwork and artifacts.]]>

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Novelly

James Bezjian has always loved history. 

And as a former officer in the volunteer-only South Carolina State Guard, he’s always felt compelled to serve the community. 

So when Bezjian, a professor at The Citadel, was told he was accepted into the Army’s new project to revive a historic unit to safeguard cultural icons, artwork and artifacts, he felt like it was the answer to a lifelong calling. 

“It’s so vitally important to preserve as much of history as possible so that the narrative of history doesn’t get lost or twisted in the process,” Bezjian said. “Once this stuff is gone, it’s gone.”

The Pentagon unveiled the revival of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives program this fall during an announcement at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

It mirrors one of the most prolific World War II units — the team of history, art and culture experts dubbed the “Monuments Men” that saved European icons taken by Nazi Germany. 

The unit of more than 300 people was active for eight years during and after the war. They tracked down an estimated 4 million pieces of valuables, artwork and other trinkets that were taken or stashed by German soldiers. Two members of the group died during their mission.

The team became part of the 2014 big-screen hit “The Monuments Men” starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman and Charleston resident Bill Murray. 

Bezjian, a business professor at the military college based in downtown Charleston, specializes in teaching students about entrepreneurship and cultural preservation.

He received word he would be commissioned in early March, before the global pandemic hit. He will become a captain in the Army Reserves along with more than 30 other academics and military officers. 

“They wanted to create this group of military government specialists, such as people trained in preservation, curation and protection techniques, to get them commissioned as the new monuments officers unit,” Bezjian said. 

James Bezjian Innovation Lab
Citadel assistant professor James Bezjian uses a 3D scanner to create a digital copy of a bird statue on Friday, January 12, 2018. Students in Bezjian’s class used the scanners to copy artifacts at the Charleston Museum and the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. (Courtesy: Brad Nettles, The Post and Courier)

The new group has a goal similar to the original unit and is composed of commissioned officers from the Army Reserve as well as civilians outside the armed forces with certain academic specializations. They’ll be based at the Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C. 

War doesn’t just claim lives, it can also turn historic sites to rubble in moments. 

Bombs can level ancient architecture, valuable military equipment from an important mission can be set aside as scrap, and priceless artwork can become worthless after a single firefight. 

The revamped Monuments Men will help war-torn nations preserve their cultural artifacts. Additionally, the new group will also aim to inform the Department of Defense and allies which significant sites should be spared from airstrikes and invasions. It also hopes to curb looting.

It’s an important mission for the Army and the Smithsonian. 

“In conflict, the destruction of monuments and the looting of art are not only about the loss of material things, but also about the erasure of history, knowledge and a people’s identity,” Richard Kurin, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian, said during the announcement that the unit was being renewed. 

The team will not be deployed full time, but will be assigned to tasks as they arise. It could include going to war zones. 

Bezjian has been working to inspire a love for history and preservation among the Corps of Cadets. 

In February, Bezjian traveled to Fort Bragg with two students to help preserve artifacts at the U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum. Using state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology, they created digital replicas of historic war artifacts. 

One piece The Citadel students preserved was an Army-issued M1 steel helmet worn by Walker Kirtland Hancock, one of the original Monuments Men team members. 

Bezjian will continue to keep his job at The Citadel while working with the Monuments Men unit, and hopes to inspire students into military careers that follow in his culture-protection footprints. 

“My goal is to eventually create a training program at The Citadel where we can directly commission students into this unit,” Bezjian said. “I want to create a pipeline for students to these types of preservation jobs.”

Capers Hall to be demolished this year Mon, 11 Jan 2021 11:00:00 +0000 As seen on WCSC – Live 5 News, by Summer Huechtker The Citadel’s historic Capers Hall will soon be demolished and re-built. Officials say this will be the first time]]>

As seen on WCSC – Live 5 News, by Summer Huechtker

The Citadel’s historic Capers Hall will soon be demolished and re-built.

Officials say this will be the first time an academic building is replaced at the college in 40 years.

A little over a year ago, the Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review denied the demolition.

The school then filed an appeal with Charleston county saying that denying the demolition is a disadvantage to the students and teachers inside.

Citadel Vice President of Communications and Marketing Colonel John Dorrian says they have since discussed the need for the new building with the city and it was approved.

Dorrian says Capers Hall is the largest academic building on campus and about 75% of cadets take classes there. He says it was built in the early 1950′s and received some additions in the 70′s.

Capers Hall will be demolished starting in June because Dorrian says the building is not conducive to modern technology and teaching methods.

The Citadel’s historic Capers Hall will soon be demolished and re-built.

Officials say this will be the first time an academic building is replaced at the college in 40 years.

A little over a year ago, the Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review denied the demolition.

The school then filed an appeal with Charleston county saying that denying the demolition is a disadvantage to the students and teachers inside.

Citadel Vice President of Communications and Marketing Colonel John Dorrian says they have since discussed the need for the new building with the city and it was approved.

Dorrian says Capers Hall is the largest academic building on campus and about 75% of cadets take classes there. He says it was built in the early 1950′s and received some additions in the 70′s.

Capers Hall will be demolished starting in June because Dorrian says the building is not conducive to modern technology and teaching methods.

Click here to watch the on-air coverage.

National Cyber Range Complex Charleston and NIWC Atlantic fosters collaboration through Cybersecurity Simulation Exercises Fri, 08 Jan 2021 11:00:00 +0000 Thirty-five teams competed in 48-hour time slots to find hidden clues and virtual flags by hacking into mock computer systems. ]]>

Note: For more information on The Citadel’s Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations, click here.

As seen on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Hub, by Kris Patterson

The National Cyber Range Complex (NCRC) Charleston, located at Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic, recently hosted teams of cybersecurity professionals to compete and hone their cybersecurity skills in the NCRC Cyber Red Zone Capture the Flag (CTF) competition.

Based loosely on the outdoor “capture the flag” game, as well as the board game, “Battleship,” this year’s Cyber Red Zone CTF event was given a maritime twist. During CTF, 35 teams competed in 48-hour time slots to find hidden clues and virtual flags by hacking into mock computer systems. In order to accommodate all the teams of cybersecurity professionals from across the Department of Defense, as well as the three collegiate Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) teams, the NCRC held 11 sessions from early October to mid-November with four teams competing concurrently in each session.

The NCRC Charleston hosted two teams in October with participants from The Citadel’s Cybersecurity Team, as well the Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity (MCOTEA). Although NIWC Atlantic cybersecurity professionals have previously participated in past National Cyber Range CTFs, this was the first year NCRC Charleston hosted any teams.

“By learning how to thwart an attack, or better yet, seeing how an attacker attacks, it helps cybersecurity professionals design better defenses, which ultimately protects your information and mine,” said Jeff King, NCRC Charleston director.

For the CTF, the flags were assigned point values based on difficulty and each team worked under the pressure of time limits to accumulate points, said Scott West, NCRC Charleston lead event director. The teams with the most points won in their respective event.

During the NCRC Cyber Red Zone CTF, cadets from The Citadel used their offensive cybersecurity skills to compromise modern wireless networks and web applications. During the event, cadets also researched specialized embedded real time operating systems and communications standards commonly used on marine vessels for navigation and engine operations.

As part of the event, West said that the cadets learned new lessons and techniques while solving several of the competition’s more complex challenges.

“We had to learn a lot of protocols, a lot of new skills,” said Citadel Cadet Shiloh Smiles. “We had to apply things used in other areas here in ways that are difficult. I was just trying my best to get information and do some damage.”

Cadets that competed in the NCRC Cyber Red Zone CTF are also recipients of either the National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarship for Service (SFS) or the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP).

“These cadets will go on to spend at least three years working for the United States government as cyber professionals, so CTF training really helps to prepare them for future tasks,” said West.

The Citadel cadets expressed their appreciation for participating in the CTF at NCRC Charleston as a chance to reinforce classroom training.

“I don’t think anywhere else could have provided an actual experience like this for us.” said Smiles. “I’m really thankful that I was able to have this opportunity.”

The NCRC CTF event offered a similar experience for Marine Corps cyber professionals to practice and sharpen skills in a realistic training environment.

“Members of the MCOTEA team use these types of events to maintain proficiency,” said King. “MCOTEA is the independent operational Test & Evaluation authority for the Marine Corps and is responsible for the operational and cyber testing of products that NIWC Atlantic builds prior to them going to warfighters.”

While the networks and systems in the CTF are simulated, the technology represented is common to many of the systems actively being developed, tested, and fielded across the DoD, said West.

“Serial-based protocols used in the CTF are actively used in U.S Navy vessels and Marine Corps vehicles,” said West. “These type of events provide those vulnerability assessment analysts with tools and realistic challenges needed to identify deployments and determine potential mission impact to assess risk to interconnected mission-critical systems.”

NCRCs conduct cyberspace testing, training and mission rehearsal/preparation events for the full spectrum of DoD customers including those involved in research, development, acquisition, testing, training and operations. The NCRC Charleston supports a wide variety of event types including science and technology demonstrations, developmental test & evaluation, operational test & evaluation, security controls assessments, cyberspace operations training, cyberspace tactics, techniques procedures development, forensics/malware analysis, and cyberspace operations mission rehearsal/preparation.

The Charleston facility is one of two OSD R&E resourced Navy cyber test and training range facilities, with NCRC Patuxent River as the second facility.

Read more about The Citadel Cyber Operations initiatives

Future federal cyber warriors selected for Citadel’s CyberCorps program

Women’s History Month: Meet Cadet Lilly Layden, working to increase the number of women in military cyber operations

The Citadel launches bachelors degree to train America’s future ‘cyber warriors’

Citadel to create a South Carolina CyberCorps with $2.8 million grant

Senior military colleges aim to fill gaps in cyber skills for the Defense Department

Two brothers, both Citadel cadets, raise over 3,000 pounds of food donations for local food bank Thu, 07 Jan 2021 20:05:39 +0000 Citadel cadets Jack and Max Zappendorf grew up in Dawson County and, in 2013, noticed that some in the community needed extra help with food.]]>

Photo: Brothers Max and Jack Zappendorf recently raised over 3,000 pounds of food donations for local food bank RIC-Rack in their eighth annual food drive. (Courtesy: Seannie Zappendorf)

As seen in the Dawson County News, by Eric Aldrich

(Note: The cadets’ mother, Seanie Zappendorf, says her sons collected more than 4,000 pounds of food donations by the end of 2020, and over 12,000 pounds of food total between the years of 2013 – 2020).

Two Dawson County brothers recently raised and donated over 3,000 pounds of food to the RIC-Rack Food Bank during the family’s 8th annual food drive. 

Jack and Max Zappendorf grew up in the Dawson County community, and in 2013 the brothers noticed that there were some people in the community in need of a little extra help with their groceries. But instead of standing by, the brothers decided to do something about it. 

“They noticed that there was poverty in the county, so we went ahead and asked the Chamber who to donate to,” Seanie Zappendorf, the boys’ mother, said. “And they said that RIC-Rack would be a good one to donate to, so they started collecting food.” 

Jack and Max Zappendorf stand with a RIC-Rack employee and a school friend after unloading the canned goods donated during their food drive. (Courtesy: Seannie Zappendorf)

Max Zappendorf, who is now a sophomore in college at The Citadel, said that he and his brother Jack decided to hold their food drive around Christmas because it’s a time when RIC-Rack needs a little more food than usual, especially in a year such as 2020. 

“Every time at Thanksgiving and Christmas it’s really busy,” Zappendorf said. “I know that they’ve been needing a lot more this year and it’s been a lot harder for them to get food so I think it’s even more beneficial.” 

The Zappendorf family owns Discovery Parts, a racing car parts store that is located in the Atlanta Motorsports Park and sells to car racers all over the country. The brothers decided to use the family business as a way to reach more people and collect more donations. 

“We wanted to encourage people to come here for deals but also do something positive like this, so we give people a discount at the store and ask them to bring in as many cans as they want,” Zappendorf said. 

The amount of food raised has grown each year, from just over 190 pounds in 2013 to more than 3,000 pounds this year. 

According to Jack Zappendorf, a senior at The Citadel who will be accepting a 7 year contract with the Army upon graduation, he and his brother set a goal each year to raise more than the previous year. 

“It started out as a company food drive and it’s grown over the years,” Jack Zappendorf said. “Every single year the food drive numbers just keep growing and growing which is great to see, and most of the people are from out of the county, but they come in to help out which is great.” 

According to both brothers, it all comes back to doing what they can to help and support the community that they live in. 

“We’ve been here for almost a decade, and we just try to help out where we live,” Jack Zappendorf said.

Meet the retired Atlanta attorney who pledged his entire $20 million estate to The Citadel Tue, 05 Jan 2021 15:00:00 +0000 The former assistant solicitor for the state of Georgia and Fortune 500 CEO named The Citadel as the sole beneficiary of his entire estate.]]>

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jenna Schiferl

When he was growing up, William Baer Endictor’s parents used to give him a piece of advice that he still carries with him today: “You have a responsibility when you leave this life to leave it in a better condition than you found it.”

“It’s indelibly imprinted in my brain,” Endictor, 82, said.

Today, the retired Atlanta attorney and 1959 graduate of The Citadel has dedicated his life to fulfilling that responsibility.

The former assistant solicitor for the state of Georgia and Fortune 500 CEO made headlines in 2009 when, to celebrate his 50th class reunion, he named the public military college as the sole beneficiary of his entire estate. Only a handful of other donors in the school’s 178-year history have made such a commitment.

In the decades that followed, Endictor’s estate has grown significantly, allowing him to substantially increase his donation.

The value of his legacy gift today totals approximately $20 million, one of the largest contributions the school has ever received.

Endictor’s gift will be processed through The Citadel Foundation, an independent nonprofit dedicated to raising funds for the school.

Bill Yaeger, the foundation’s senior director of legacy giving, said half of the donation, or about $10 million, will go toward the nonprofit’s annual academic endowment. This money is aimed at supporting educational enrichment opportunities, such as scholarship support for faculty and students, program enhancements and technology upgrades or improvements.

The rest will be classified as “unrestricted giving,” meaning the money can go toward whatever endeavors the school requires most.

“Academic enhancement is the lifeblood of this institution, supporting our mission to educate principled leaders,” Gen. Glenn Walters, Citadel president, said in a statement. “By generously supporting this fund, Bill’s estate gift secures his legacy of leadership and reinforces his lifetime of service to his alma mater.”

Flexible donations like this are often rare. But, Yaeger said, it wasn’t surprising that Endictor opted for this type of gift.

“One of Bill’s favorite things to say that he learned a long time ago is, ‘You hire good people, you give them a job and you get out of their way,’” Yaeger said.

The legacy donation will have a profound impact on the military college and its operations, Yaeger said.

“It’s a huge gift for The Citadel,” he said. “We’re a relatively small college, and we’ve got less than 25,000 living alumni.”

Over the years, Yaeger and Endictor have maintained a longstanding friendship.

Endictor is deeply passionate about The Citadel, Yaeger said, not only because of his financial contributions but also his heavy involvement in the school’s operations after graduating.

Endictor is a former president of The Citadel’s Alumni Association, and he previously served on the President’s Advisory Committee and The Citadel Foundation Board of Directors.

He is a member of The Citadel Legacy Society and the Society of 1842 lifetime giving societies, and in 2011 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the school.

“He’s a good man with a big heart that loves his college and the people he went there with,” Yaeger said. “He has always come back and tried to help out in any way that he can.”

Life lessons

Endictor was born and raised in Detroit. When he was 7 years old, his family relocated to Charleston, where he spent the remainder of his adolescence. His maternal grandfather lived nearby in Summerville as a farmer.

His family’s home on Dunnemann Avenue sat just 40 feet from The Citadel campus. After befriending a Citadel cadet as a high school senior, Endictor used to make frequent trips across the street to visit the school’s mess hall and barracks.

“You can’t do that now,” he said with a laugh.

But more restricted access to the campus isn’t the only thing that’s changed in the 61 years since Endictor was a student himself.

“I thought I knew what The Citadel was all about. I didn’t have a clue,” he said.

Long gone are the days when disorderly freshmen had to scrub the insides of the 50-gallon communal trash bins at the barracks, he said.

“In terms of the military, that freshman year was a very rude awakening. But I learned how to take orders,” he said.

Endictor credits his tenure at The Citadel for two other important life skills: a commitment to hard work and persistent punctuality.

“I always do what I say I will do. It’s tattooed in my brain,” he said. “If I tell you I’m going to be doing something, you can take it to the bank.”

Endictor graduated from the college in 1959 as a pre-med major with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He briefly attended the Medical College of Virginia before realizing his true passion was law. He transferred to the University of South Carolina’s School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor, and he was admitted to the Bar in 1963.

During his time as assistant solicitor for the state of Georgia, Endictor became well-known for his work to combat child pornography and organized crime. He even litigated two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the ’70s, Endictor joined E.T. Barwick Industries, one of the largest international manufacturers of floor coverings, as its corporate lawyer. He eventually advanced to the position of CEO and member of the board of directors. Under his leadership, it became a Fortune 500 company.

“In business, just like in the military, you have a mission statement,” Endictor said. “And I have one invaluable rule: ‘The customer is always right. No exceptions.’”

Manufacturing leaders

After receiving a quadruple cardiac bypass surgery in the early 2000s, his thoughts in the recovery room often returned to the childhood advice he received from his parents. He wanted to ensure that he left the world better than the way he found it.

“I have no way to explain it. I decided that no matter how hard I worked, I was never going to be the richest person in the graveyard,” Endictor said.

He terminated his private law practice and shifted his entire focus to humanitarian work, most notably at Feed the Hungry and the Atlanta Community Food Bank, along with several local hospitals.

“I just want to do as much as I possibly can to make sure people aren’t hungry,” he said.

In addition to combating food insecurity, Endictor is passionate about cultivating talented leaders. 

He hopes his legacy donation will help his alma mater continue to further this training at the military institution. 

“At The Citadel, they are manufacturing leaders,” he said. “And this country desperately needs leadership.”

Commentary: This is what The Citadel learned during a tumultuous 2020 Tue, 05 Jan 2021 00:00:00 +0000 It seems long ago that we began to fully understand the impact that COVID-19 would have on the world and, closer to home, our college.]]>

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Citadel President Gen. Glenn Walters, USMC (Ret.)

Early March 2020 — it seems long ago that we began to fully understand the impact that COVID-19 would have on the world and, closer to home, our college.

Like every major institution — indeed, every part of our society — we’ve had to rethink our way of doing business to care for our people, accomplish our mission and set conditions for the post-COVID-19 future. Racial and political tensions across our nation intensified an already precarious situation.

As 2020 comes to an end, this is a good time to reflect. We’ve learned a lot and validated some time-honored leadership principles that we will continue to rely on next term.

The wide-ranging impact of COVID-19 was like nothing most of us have ever seen. From widespread illness, death of loved ones and friends and devastating economic effects to debilitating fear and uncertainty, the pandemic touched everyone in our society, either directly or indirectly.

Since the challenges imposed by the pandemic affect us all, one guiding principle for our response is that everyone must to be a part of the solution. There were immediate challenges, such as taking our 1,400-course curriculum completely online while our cadets were on spring break, conducting The Citadel’s first-ever virtual commencement, laying the groundwork for returning to campus in the fall semester and overcoming a multitude of obstacles this past semester.

Our campus community demonstrated the grit for which The Citadel is renowned. This year has been challenging, but it has also been a rich in-person experience that gave our faculty, staff, cadets and students opportunities to test themselves in real-world crisis leadership.

At The Citadel, we support each other, but we also know we should try to make our own luck. Our facilities and proximity to Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, Parris Island, made us an ideal location for the Marines to quarantine recruits before shipping out for basic training. We had the privilege of helping them continue their crucial national security mission, while using what would otherwise had become a ghost town campus.

As an added benefit, our partnership with the Marines enabled us to plan for cadet and student life in a pandemic environment — we learned what worked and what didn’t. Our generous alumni and donors, as always, demonstrated their inclination to help, setting records in both donors and dollars during our Giving Day in May. They also endowed a COVID-19 Relief Fund which enabled the college to fund grants, laptops or internet hotspots for dozens of cadets, students or employees facing economic hardship.

Members of our campus community have also contributed a tremendous amount of time, effort and energy in our community by creating N95 masks, laundering linens for the city’s warming shelters for the homeless and myriad other outreach opportunities. There’s no more powerful way to create camaraderie than being there for each other when times are tough.

Any organization facing a crisis does well to remain true to its values, and The Citadel is no exception. Our core values of honor, duty and respect are always a prominent part of campus life, and they have been essential in navigating this difficult year.

The COVID-19 environment presented innumerable complications, but our campus community came together to treat our safety measures as a duty we perform to protect each other. Indeed, Cadet Colonel Nick Piacentini, regimental commander of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, referred to operating in a COVID environment as “the ultimate team sport.”

And while racial and political tension dominated the news across the country, it was encouraging to see members of our campus community treat each other with respect and thoughtfulness. Institutions of higher learning, in particular, must always be places where we can disagree without demeaning one another.

In August, I told our returning cadets that their most memorable experiences and their most powerful relationships are developed when they are overcoming challenges together.

We understand we have more obstacles ahead to complete this academic year. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth the effort. Going through this experience together as a community will make us better, and if we continue to do it right, we will create bonds that can never be broken.

Retired Gen. Glenn M. Walters, a 1979 Citadel graduate and the 34th assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, is president of The Citadel.

Positives of the Pandemic: Resiliency in Relationships Sat, 26 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0000 “We are actively seeking out communication in a way that we’ve never done before,” said Chip Taylor, Head of Psychology at The Citadel.]]>

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Danielle Hensley

Since March, the world has seen tremendous loss in all arenas of life as a result of COVID-19. In an attempt to shine some light, News 2’s Danielle Hensley is highlighting a few positive impacts the pandemic has made here in the Lowcountry in a new series called Positives of the Pandemic.

Social, familial, and romantic relationships are a core part of our society. During quarantine, that aspect was largely stripped from day-to-day routines.

By nature humans are social animals, always looking for a way to connect with others.

Being at home with a lot of time and not a lot of human interaction, many found themselves being more intentional, making new relationships, and strengthening old ones.

“I’ve actually lost people I know and loved to COVID… so it’s been really difficult,” Jenna Johnson, Goose Creek resident, shared.

People like Jenna Johnson have experienced the effects of COVID-19 in every aspect of life and have needed relationships more than ever.

“It’s almost been therapeutic to have people reach out or me reach out and have conversation by phone or by facetime,” Johnson added.

Johnson says staying in touch with friends and family has been a lifeline.

“One thing that has helped me really survive is being intentional about staying connected to my friends and family,” commented Johnson.

Relationships now forged through the screen instead of in person.

As a whole, society has been resilient in finding new ways to cope with the new normal.

“We are actively seeking out communication in a way that we’ve never done before,” said Chip Taylor, Head of Psychology at The Citadel.

Gone are the days of difficult long-distance phone calls. “Now we can zoom with people and intentionally call friends and connect with folks across the country across the world,” Taylor noted.

Despite our best efforts to cope, Taylor says isolation can cause sadness and anxiety — which is what people worldwide have experienced for nearly eight months — and it has fundamentally changed our collective sense of ‘normal.’

“Even if people try to shake a hand or give a hug at this point it’s become odd… The hard part about this pandemic is there really is no end point on this,” Taylor mentioned.

While the absence of touch is still felt this new way of communicating is a light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel.

“To me the overarching theme of positivity is resiliency. What we do is when we’re dealing with a crisis we typically find a way to find some positivity,” Taylor emphasized.