Class of 2013 dismissed!
The South Carolina Corps of Cadets, veterans and active duty military personnel that make up the Class of 2013 graduated today ready and confident to be leaders of principle in a global workplace and the military.
This morning, 468 students participated in commencement exercises, including 12 veteran students and 28 men and women who are currently serving our country as members of the Marine Corps and Navy. Among them was Nathan Cintula, who after nearly 22 years as an enlisted serviceman was commissioned Friday as a Naval officer and is about to embark on a whole new military career when most are considering retirement.
Cintula, 39, had always wanted to be an engineer and Navy officer but as a 17-year-old enlisted sailor he did not have the grades or study habits needed to excel. He took college course part-time over the years, and when just a semester away from graduating from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Technical Management, he applied for a slot in the very competitive Seaman-To-Admiral 21 program. STA-21 allowed him to earn an engineering degree and an officer's commission at The Citadel.
"The STA-21 program made a lot of sense to me because I get to start a completely new career, complete an engineering degree, become a commissioned officer, and continue to serve my country proudly," Cintula said. "My family and I are immensely excited to begin a new adventure, and my family is very proud of my service and academic accomplishment."
In addition to the presentation of diplomas, several awards and honorary degrees were presented during the Corps of Cadets commencement exercises to recognize students and others for outstanding leadership and academic achievement.
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award is a bronze medallion presented through the New York Southern Society to students or others in recognition of high thought and noble endeavor. Recipients are:
- Cadet: Tyler L. Woolum of Pineville, Ky.
- Staff: Samuel G. Evans, III, editor, Alumni News, Citadel Alumni Association
James A. Grimsley Undergraduate Teaching Award
The James A. Grimsley Undergraduate Teaching Award for outstanding performance in instruction and service to undergraduate students was created in 1986 and named for Maj. Gen. James A. Grimsley, U.S. Army retired, who was president of the college from 1980 to 1989. Each year the senior class votes on the recipient.
- Modern Languages Professor Zane Segle
John O. Willson Ring
The Willson Ring has been awarded annually since 1911 to a senior elected by his or her peers as the finest, purest and most courteous member of the class. Willson, who was a Citadel student until 1862 when he left to join the Confederate Army, established the award to honor the most popular student among his or her peers.
- Tyler Paul Smith of Bremen, Ga.
David Shingler Spell Honor Graduates
The awards recognizing the two cadets with the highest academic achievement are sponsored by David Shingler Spell, Class of 1950 and a resident of Charleston, S.C.
- First Honor Graduate – Charles M. Sackett, Kingwood, Texas
- Second Honor Graduate – Micah F. Moore, Franklin Springs, Ga.
Honorary degrees, the highest honor the college can bestow were presented to:
- Gen. Robert W. Cone, commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
- William H. Johnson Jr., Class of '75, president of KJ investments Co. and former Board of Visitors member
- Dolphin Dunnaha Overton III (posthumously), Korean War veteran and decorated fighter pilot.
- Stacey L. Pearsall, award-winning photographer and decorated combat veteran.
- Darius Rucker, leader singer of Hootie & the Blowfish and an award-winner solo country music artist
- Stephen C. Tobias, Class of '67, retired vice chairman and CEO, Norfolk Southern Corp.
For detailed biographical information on award recipients and other commencement news, visit http://www.citadel.edu/root/commencement2013-news.