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Citadel News Service
11 Nov 2011

Arland D. Williams Society inducts first woman

Abigail Webber Zuehlke, Citadel Class of 2003, today became the first woman and the 20th member inducted into the Arland D. Williams Society at The Citadel.

Photo

Abigail Webber Zuehlke

Created in 2000 by The Citadel Alumni Association, the Arland D. Williams Society recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to their communities and or have acted in the noblest way in placing the well-being of others before themselves. It is named in honor of Arland D. Williams, Class of 1957, who drowned after surviving a 1982 plane crash in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. After repeatedly passing a life ring to other survivors, Williams drowned before he could be rescued.

“Abigail’s selfless service in the face of danger undoubtedly saved the lives of the two swimmers,” said Mike Rogers, director of the alumni association. “Her exemplary calmness and courageous actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Arland D. Williams Society and reflect great credit upon herself and The Citadel.”

Zuehlke, who lives in Earlysville, Va., was recognized for saving the lives of two people in July at Hunting Island State Park, near Beaufort, S.C. Zuehlke was on vacation with family and friends at the beach when she saw three men caught in a rip tide and on the verge of drowning. She immediately passed her 9-month-old baby from her lap to her husband, kissed him, swam into the ocean and saved two of the men with the help of Tim Glas, Class of 1993, who was at the beach as well. The third swimmer was able to make his way to shore.

"Principled leaders are those that place the needs of others ahead of themselves and are willing to take action when necessary. Abigail has demonstrated this important quality and we honor her courage,” Rogers said.

While a cadet Zuehlke was an English major and a member of Band Company. She grew up in Lucerne, Ind., and is a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Zuehlke was presented with the award during The Citadel Alumni Association today. She also will be recognized during the Homecoming military dress parade at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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