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Citadel News Service
5 May 2012

Class of 2012 leaves The Citadel today prepared to be leaders

The South Carolina Corps of Cadets’ Class of 2012 graduated today and leaves The Citadel confident and prepared to be leaders in the state, nation and abroad.


The Class of 2012 is made up of:

  • 484 students, including cadets, active duty military personnel and veteran students
  • 448 men and 36 women
  • An estimated 183 students – about 38 percent of the graduating class – that have decided to serve their country in the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy as commissioned officers.
  • Full class profile

“In order to earn a Citadel diploma each one of them has overcome challenges few college students face,” said Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, USAF retired. “With the education and training they have received at The Citadel our graduates are equipped to become leaders in the military, in private enterprise and in public service. We are all very proud of the Class of 2012 and wish them all the best.”

In keeping with Citadel tradition the last cadet to cross the commencement stage in McAlister Field House was able to address his classmates and commencement guests.

“Ever since our first day we have strived for the next milestone. It started with Recognition Day, then quad and parade deck privileges, then blazers, ring day, and now graduation. Now it’s our last day and I’m the last cadet standing between you and your graduation,” Zimmerman said. “So I’d like to leave you with a short quote: ‘Life’s not about who you were or where you’re from. It’s about who you are and where you’re going.’”

Sports marketing leader and businessman Harvey W. Schiller, Citadel Class of 1960, delivered the commencement address and was one of three honorary degree recipients. Schiller joins television magnet Ted Turner as the only people to receive two honorary degrees from The Citadel. The other honorary degree recipients on Saturday were shopping center developer Joseph Allen Edens, Class of 1963; and attorney and former Board of Visitors chairman William E. Jenkinson III, Class of 1968.

Also during the Corps of Cadets commencement, awards were presented to recognize students and faculty for outstanding academic achievement, leadership and performance in the classroom and with students. A list of awards follows:

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: Mary Eve Rochelle Bennett, Crawfordsville, Fla.
  • Faculty: History professor Brig. Gen. Michael Barrett

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 Sara Fernández Medina

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. 

  • Franklin Clay Settle of Inman, S.C.

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 – Shana Couch, Edwardsville, Kan. 
  • Second Honor Graduate – Alexandria Ray Burns of Pendleton, S.C.

For detailed biographical information on award recipients and other commencement news, videos and photos, visit and click on the Commencement 2012 Spotlight.

Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Kim Keelor-Parker
(843) 953-2155

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