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Citadel News Service
5 Nov 2010

Alumni Association honors Coach Higgins and four graduates

The Citadel Alumni Association has honored five people for outstanding contributions to The Military College of South Carolina. The awards were presented during the association’s annual meeting on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010 during Homecoming 2010 activities.

“Citadel alumni recognize the values the college holds dear – service to others, service to country, service to something greater than ourselves –are just as important in the lives they go on to lead as they were when they were cadets,” said Mike Rogers, executive director of The Citadel Alumni Association. “We continue in our efforts to educate our cadets in these principles and offer these alumni as examples of how a life should be lived.”

Honorary Life Member

Citadel football coach Kevin Higgins has provided a more significant legacy off the football field than on the football field as he has turned young boys into men. The won/loss record of Coach Higgins will fade in everyone’s memories over time but what he has taught his players off the field will last a lifetime.

Through adversity and difficult football seasons, Higgins has not wavered in his desire to graduate his football players and produce men of character and values. He has worked consistently to produce winners in a most difficult environment and despite occasional setbacks, has succeeded in doing so. He does not take the easy way out and works very hard to recruit the type of athlete that will succeed at The Citadel and graduate.

“He does not trade his values and ethics for success on the field and that is a trait that all Citadel alumni admire,” Rogers said. 

Citadel Alumnus of the Year

Retired Air Force Col. Edward B. Carter, Citadel Class of 1966, is this year’s recipient as Citadel Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year for his leadership and guidance in the acquisition of the Big Red historical flag currently on display at the Holliday Alumni Center. Carter put together a team of alumni and historical researchers who diligently pursued the history of the flag, which is now on loan from the State Historical Society of Iowa. Iowa acquired the flag at the end of the conflict in Alabama in April, 1865 and state flag specialists restored it. The flag is believed by many to have flown over Morris Island during the firing on the Union supply ship, Star of the West, in January, 1861, by Citadel cadets who were called to duty by the governor of South Carolina. These are believed to be the first shots of the War Between the States,

“This flag would not be here without Col. Carter’s determination and organizational abilities,” Rogers said. “We are proud to honor Ed Carter with the Alumnus of The Year award.” 

Young Alumnus of the Year

Army Capt. Brian Brennan, Citadel Class of 2006, has distinguished himself through his non-profit foundation that provides aid to U.S. military personnel who have suffered a loss of a limb or limbs. The Brennan Stands Alone Foundation is a tribute to Brennan, a double amputee, who has overcome his own severe physical limitations to reach out and assist those wounded warriors suffering from similar wounds. Brennan was injured while serving in Afghanistan.

Still on active duty with the Army, Brennan has taken on more than just his own difficult recovery but has reached out to his fellow warriors as well as others in the civilian world to help them in their healing process. A frequent speaker to campus groups, Brennan represents a most important core value taught at The Citadel; service to others.

District Director of the Year and Citadel Alumni Club of the Year

William C. Cooper ll, Class of 1982, has been a mainstay in the greater Washington, D.C., area where more than 800 Citadel alumni reside. Cooper has fostered an active and supportive district that goes above and beyond what is normally expected of alumni in a district and within a Citadel Alumni Club. Cooper and his club are recognized for their devotion and support of alumni wounded in action and their families. In addition, this club has an active and robust yearly schedule with monthly meetings and well known guest speakers. From recruiting new cadets to funding scholarships, this club does not rest on its laurels.

Club President of the Year

Jack Liles, Citadel Class of 1985, is the CAA’s Club President of The Year for 2010. Liles represents the Atlanta Citadel Club and has been actively involved for the past several years. A former Navy fighter pilot, Liles has motivated and led one of the best Citadel clubs in the nation. This club, through Liles ‘ efforts, has achieved Gold Star Status year after year and has served The Citadel and The Citadel Alumni Association in every aspect of college life. From sponsoring a job fair for cadets to hosting The Citadel president and staff, Liles has been the lead agent and planner for every major alumni event in Atlanta. His efforts and those of his club officers have set him apart from other club presidents.

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