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Citadel News Service
8 May 2010

2010 Honorary Degree recipients

For more Commencement Week news

The following people were presented with honorary degress from The Citadel during the South Carolina Corps of Cadets commencement on Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lieutenant Colonel Randolph J. Bresnik, USMC 

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United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Randolph J. Bresnik, a NASA astronaut and member of The Citadel Class of 1989, embodies the highest ideals of a Citadel graduate through his principled leadership, service to country, and character.

A Naval ROTC Distinguished Graduate, Lieutenant Colonel Bresnik was a member of Band Company. After he graduated with a degree in Mathematics, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Lieutenant Colonel Bresnik holds a Master’s degree in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and is a graduate of the Air War College.

As a Marine pilot, he attended TOPGUN and Test Pilot School, flying F/A-18s and logging more than 5,000 hours in 79 types of aircraft.

Lieutenant Colonel Bresnik’s substantial flight knowledge and experience uniquely qualified him to enter NASA’s 2004 astronaut class. One of eleven candidates, and one of only two test pilots chosen by NASA, he represented his service branch as the only Marine Corps officer selected in that class and the first Marine Corps astronaut since the Columbia tragedy in 2003.

On November 16, 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Bresnik made his inaugural space flight aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis which delivered spare parts to the International Space Station. While on that mission, he logged more than 259 hours in space, including nearly twelve hours on two spacewalks.

Lieutenant Colonel Bresnik is an inspiration to cadets and a source of pride for his alma mater. Because of his selfless service and his duty and commitment to his country and the space program, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to present to Lieutenant Colonel Randolph J. Bresnik an honorary degree of Doctor of Aeronautics.

Marc A. Buoniconti

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Marc A. Buoniconti, a member of The Citadel Class of 1988, has been an inspirational leader in the fight against paralysis. He is a shining example of a principled leader who is committed to selfless service.

A Citadel linebacker in 1985, Cadet Buoniconti was paralyzed from the neck down while playing in the East Tennessee State football game in Johnson City. Though he was told he would never walk again, Mr. Buoniconti’s determination and hope have made him an inspirational leader in efforts to find a cure for paralysis through medical research.

After graduating with a psychology degree in 1993 from the University of Miami, Mr. Buoniconti joined The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and now serves as president for the organization that has become the world’s largest facility devoted to spinal cord injury research. He and his family have raised more than $300 million through The Buoniconti Fund and their dogged determination to find a cure for paralysis has transformed research in that field.

Mr. Buoniconti has received many accolades for his energy, support for others and can-do attitude. The South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame presented him with the Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award. He was named Volunteer of the Year by the American Lung Association of South Florida, Alumnus of the Year by the University of Miami School of Arts and Sciences, and received the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 or under. He has conducted countless interviews, and spoken to tens of thousands in his campaign on behalf of those suffering from spinal cord injuries.

In recognition of his principled leadership and his selfless service to others, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to present Marc A. Buoniconti with the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service. 

Bernard Marshall Gordon 

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Bernard Marshall Gordon’s ground-breaking inventions have touched millions of lives and have had a profound impact on society. An outstanding businessman and entrepreneur, Dr. Gordon is also a selfless philanthropist whose contributions to scholarship and the field of engineering are unprecedented.

After honorably serving as an officer in the United States Navy, Dr. Gordon attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he graduated with both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He has also received an honorary doctorate from Tufts University.

As a young engineer, he was involved in the design of the world’s first commercial computer. When Dr. Gordon co-founded EPSCO, he began a prolific period of his life when he pioneered technologies such as the dot matrix display, fetal monitors, navigation and traffic control systems, and digital Doppler radar. After founding Gordon Engineering, he invented the first solid-state X-ray generator and pioneered the equipment that prints today’s black-and-white X-ray films. He also created the world’s first lightweight, mobile computer-aided tomography scanner. Dr. Gordon has received numerous awards for his inventions including the National Medal of Technology presented by President Ronald Reagan and the Benjamin Franklin Award for Innovation in Engineering and Technology.

His legacy continues not only through his inventions but also through his significant support of the fields of engineering and higher education. Dr. Gordon has been a generous contributor to The Citadel School of Engineering where he has established The Excellence Fund and a scholarship while also supporting a high-tech conference room and renovations to the school’s facilities and equipment.

In recognition of his many contributions to his profession and his generous support of those in the field of engineering and The Military College of South Carolina, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to present Bernard Marshall Gordon with the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering. 

Michael Thomas Rose

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A native of Charleston, South Carolina, State Senator Michael Thomas Rose has consistently exhibited leadership throughout his life and distinguished career of public service to the State of South Carolina and this region.

An Eagle Scout, Senator Rose became the first person in his family to attend college, graduating from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs. He served in the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserves where he attained the rank of major and has received the Air Force Commendation Medal. Senator Rose earned a law degree from New York University, where he was editor of the NYU Law Review. In 1981, he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

A dedicated family man, lecturer, entrepreneur and leader in state government, Senator Rose has been a tireless crusader for education and services for senior citizens. He also has been a proponent of balanced growth in our communities to ensure a high quality of life without higher taxes.

Recognized in Who’s Who in Americ, and Who’s Who in American Politics, Senator Rose has received numerous awards for his work as a legislator including the Friend of Taxpayer Award, the Leadership with Ethics Reform Award from Common Cause, and the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association for Uniformed Services. He has earned the highest professional rating for conduct and ethics from the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

Senator Rose received one of South Carolina’s highest civilian honors for lifetime achievement and service, the Order of the Palmetto, from the late GovernorCarroll A. Campbell, Jr. He also has been recognized as an Outstanding State Legislator by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

In recognition of his service and leadership to his country and to the State of South Carolina, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to present Senator Michael Thomas Rose with the honorary Doctor of Public Administration.

Bob Schieffer

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Newsman Bob Schieffer has been a familiar face in American homes for five decades. With his honest ability to relate clearly and eloquently the major political news of our time, Bob Schieffer has truly become the face of a nation.

Born in Texas, Mr. Schieffer graduated from Texas Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a captain and information officer before becoming a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In 1965, he became the first reporter from a Texas newspaper to report from Vietnam.

For the past 41 years Mr. Schieffer has diligently worked as a reporter and anchor for CBS News. He has held a number of positions including White House correspondent, anchor for the Saturday Evening News and now as Chief Washington Correspondent and Moderator of the CBS Sunday news program “Face the Nation.” Mr. Schieffer is one of the few journalists to have covered all four of the major Washington national assignments: the White House, Pentagon, United States Department of State and United States Congress. Since 1972 he has covered every presidential campaign and has been a floor reporter at each Democratic and Republican National Convention for nearly four decades.

During his illustrious career, Mr. Schieffer has been the recipient of seven Emmys and two Sigma Delta Chi Awards. He has received virtually every award for broadcast journalism including the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcast Journalism and the National Press Foundation’s 2002 Broadcaster of the Year. He is the celebrated author of four books, two of which became New York Times bestsellers. In March 2005, Texas Christian University honored his achievements in journalism by creating the Schieffer School of Journalism.

In recognition of his lifetime of leadership and achievement in the Fourth Estate, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to present Bob Schieffer with the honorary degree of Doctor of Journalism.

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