Class of 2015 arrives at The Citadel on Aug. 13
Regimental Commander recalls his knob year
as he sets goals for the incoming class
Cadet Col. Matt Collier’s brother told him about The Citadel, but being related to a graduate did not make Collier’s matriculation or knob year any easier.
“My older brother explained The Citadel structure to me but he never really told me any stories. I think he wanted it to be a surprise for me, as it had been for him,” Collier said. “I remember making the mistake of not shaving the morning of matriculation. Several upperclassmen made it a point to tell me I should have shaved while my brother stood in the background watching me. I knew then I needed to learn from my mistakes and move on rather than let it get to me.”
Now the top ranking leader in the Corps of Cadets, Collier can relate to what more than 700 incoming freshmen will be feeling on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011.
The Class of 2015 will mark the 5th consecutive year The Citadel has enrolled a freshman class of more than 700 students – a first in the college’s 169-year-history. Official enrollment numbers won’t be available until next week, but the college expects between 725 and 750 freshmen to report for academic orientation and military training in advance of the Aug. 24 start of classes.
“Interest in The Citadel and the leadership development opportunities we offer today’s young people continues to be high,” said Director of Admissions Lt. Col. John Powell, USMCR retired. “We continue to expand our outreach to attract highly qualified students to The Citadel. In the last 12 to 18 months we have increased our recruitment efforts through social media and the Internet while continuing to visit schools and college fairs throughout South Carolina and around the nation.”
During the first year students learn the best qualities of character, physical fitness, ethics, honor, integrity and courage through a military and disciplined environment. The first step—learn how to be followers
A native of Greer, S.C., Collier’s goal for matriculation day and the year ahead is straightforward – instill a sense of pride, professionalism and honor in the freshman class, as well as upper class cadets. His remarks reinforce the college’s new emphasis on its core values of honor, duty and respect.
“I want to stress the honor and pride in being a cadet. From the way we wear our uniform to the way we treat others and conduct ourselves,” he said. “I want cadets to realize that The Citadel experience is not just about freshman year, it is about continually improving and learning how to be a principled leader.”
Collier plans some sage advice when he speaks to the Class of 2015 during their military training: Work hard and persevere.
“All hard work pays off. Every minute counts; when you have one, take advantage of it by doing something productive rather than put it off for later,” he said. “The cadre wants you to grow and to succeed. I promise that if you work your hardest and embrace the challenges you face, you will go farther than you will have ever imagined and come out strong.”