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Citadel News Service
10 May 2014

Academic skills and leadership earn Boodee and Hipps top awards

The 2014 First and Second Honor Graduates

Each year during the South Carolina Corps of Cadets commencement ceremony, the Cadet Scholarship Medal and the David Shingle Spell First Honor Graduate Award are presented to the senior cadet who has attained the highest academic standing in the class based on the total college record.

Lieutenant General John Sams, a member of The Citadel's Board of Visitors, presented the awards to a cadet from Raleigh, North Carolina – Cadet Major Ryan Joseph Boodèe. He graduated with a major in physics and minors in applied mathematics and aerospace science.

Boodée completed research in fluid instrument design and went through training under high G-force and hyperbaric environments. He was chosen for two summer NASA projects: one at NASA Ames Research Center involving robotic systems and drones, and one at NASA Marshall SFC as a project manager, supervising both graduate and undergraduate students in designing research-specific systems. He is developing a photometer that attaches to a telescope for a suborbital laboratory.

"Cadet Boodée has 4.0 GPA, has earned Gold Stars all four years at The Citadel, was the Lead Editor of The Gold Star Journal, as well as the 2nd Battalion Executive Officer," Sams said. "He has been accepted into the Ph.D. Program in Aerospace Science at Texas A & M University, but is also interested in obtaining a pilot slot in the United States Navy to eventually become an astronaut."

The next highest academic honor at The Citadel is the David Shingler Spell Second Honor Graduate Award. Sams presented that award to Donald Preston Hipps, who is a native of Pelion, S.C.

An English major with a minor in Spanish, Hipps served as Chairman of the Corps' Honor Committee which oversees all the processes and procedures that sustain and enforce the Citadel's Honor Code.

In addition, Hipps is the co-founder and leader of the Citadel's Ethics Debate Team which placed fifth in the 2012 Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl competition. He was also Vice President of Inn of Court, a human affairs sergeant and a squad sergeant.

"Hipps achieved Gold Stars honors by maintaining a perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average while serving as one of the three highest ranking cadets in the Citadel's 2,300 cadet corps," said Sams. It is my pleasure to present the David Shingler Spell Second Honor Graduate Award to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Donald Preston Hipps, Jr."

In addition, Cadet Hipps received the Colonel Joseph E. Perkins Honor Committee Award for exceptional leadership and dedication to Honor System operations and the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. He has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Mexico where he will teach English for one year before beginning law school at Harvard University.