The Colonel Robert R. McCormick Beach Club of The Citadel is named for a great American soldier, editor, former Chicago Tribune publisher and philanthropist. Colonel McCormick served in the First Infantry Division Artillery in World War I with then Brigadier General Charles P. Summerall, who later became the 10th President of The Citadel. A deep bond was formed between the two men during the war and their friendship grew in the years to follow.
When General Summerall assumed Presidency of The Citadel in 1933, Colonel McCormick’s support and admiration was manifested through the establishment of five all-expense scholarships, then worth $550 each a year, by The Society of the First Division, A.E.F.
In 1941, Colonel McCormick deeded his estate in Aiken, S.C., to General Summerall, with the stipulation that it be General Summerall's home for life. Summerall lived there until his death in 1954. The property was sold in 1957 and the proceeds were used to purchase the land and construct the first beach house on the Isle of Palms.
The beautiful two-story house was dedicated on November 30, 1958, and named the Colonel Robert R. McCormick Beach Club of The Citadel. It was General Mark W. Clark's intention that the facility be for recreational use by cadets, other students and Citadel personnel.
On September 22, 1989, the devastating hurricane Hugo swept through the East Coast and left only pieces of the beloved structure. It took several years to rebuild and reopen the house and on March 31, 1995, the official dedication was held for the new Colonel Robert R. McCormick Beach Club of The Citadel.