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Citadel News Service
7 May 2011

Cadet Class of 2011 leaves The Citadel prepared to be leaders

More Class of 2011 news 
Watch a playback of the commencement webcast

The South Carolina Corps of Cadets’ Class of 2011 entered Lesesne Gate in August 2007 as a group of nervous and eager young men and women just out of high school. Today they leave The Citadel confident and prepared to be leaders in the state and nation and abroad.

Degrees were conferred today to 507 cadets, active duty military personnel and veteran cadets during the Corps of Cadets commencement exercises in McAlister Field House. The Class of 2011 is made up of 460 men and 30 women. Of the 507 graduates, 191 received officer commissions and have elected to serve their county as members of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

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

“Our time in the barracks has taught us hard-earned lessons and forged life-long friendships that could only be obtained at The Citadel,” said Blake Zedar of Stowe, Ohio. “We wear the ring. But remember this – the ring…does not define you, but instead, your actions, careers, and values will define the person you truly are.”

George Will, a columnist with the Washington Post and ABC News political commentator, delivered the commencement remarks. Will was among five people to receive honorary degrees from The Citadel Board of Visitors. 

The David Shingler Spell Honor Graduates award recognizes the two cadets with the highest academic achievement.
Also during 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: 

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 – Noah Koubenec, Pilot Mountain, N.C.
  • Second Honor Graduate – Hamad Al-Meer, East Riffa, Bahrain

Honorary degrees 

The honorary degree is the highest honor the college can bestow on someone.

  • Charlie B. Coe, Class of 1973, honorary doctor of business administration 
  • William Baer Endictor, Class of 1959, honorary doctor of laws 
  • Charles Albin Klinger, Class of 1969, honorary doctor of humane letters 
  • Sen. John C. Land III, D-Manning, honorary doctor of public administration 
  • George F. Will, columnist and political commentator, honorary doctor of journalism 

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 Steven Anthony Muñoz of Miami, Fla.
  • Spanish 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.

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.

  • Zachary Charles Honeycutt, Albermarle, N.C.

The 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.

  • John Carter, head, department of Health, Exercise and Sport Science 

For detailed biographical information on award recipients and other commencement, news, videos and photos, visit the college web site online at and click on the Commencement 2011 link.

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

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