The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina


What to Expect on Matriculation Day!

Saturday, August 12th is the official Matriculation Day, but there are several events on Friday the 11th you should consider attending.  Although there is plenty of information for you on different webpages, we have tried to boil the important issues for parents and family members in the information below.  Remember to keep watching the Matriculation HQ webpage for the most current information.   

Before we get started you may want to bring up the Campus Virtual Map from the webpage so you can see the buildings we point out below.

Friday, August 11th

Activities for the day begin at 0900 (9AM) for those who wish to speak to the staff at our award winning Academic Support Center.  Hopefully you saw the video on the Parents' "Important Conversations" page with Dr. Jane Warner and the Academics video with COL Mark Bebensee.  If you child has a diagnosed disability or you just want to see the center and find out for yourself what is available for all cadets (tutors, special labs, etc.), stop by between 0900 and 1700 (5PM).  The Academic Support Center is in Thompson Hall or #14 on the Virtual Map.  From a parent's point of view, we recommend stopping by to find out the services we provide - which you are paying for - so you can better advise your cadet during the school year.

From 1400 (2PM) to 1450 (2:50PM) the Deans of the 5 schools and members of their faculty will do a brief presentation on their specific programs.  This is a good opportunity to hear in more detail the program your cadet has chosen and meet some of their faculty.  The program will be held in McAlister Field House which is #21 on the Virtual Map.

At 1700 (5:00 PM) the Chaplain will lead a brief service, called "The Gathering", and introduce you to the different religious programs we have on campus. In addition to Sunday services, religious programs meet on Monday and Thursday evenings.  Although not mandatory, they do provide a time where cadets can relax in a social setting, develop new relationships and learn a little more about their faith.  And yes, most serve food!  The service will take place in Summerall Chapel while the various campus programs will move to Mark Clark Hall afterwards at 6PM.  You can find the Chapel and Mark Clark Hall on the map at #5 and #9, respectively.

For those selected to participate in the Honors Program you should have received an invitation for dinner at 1800 (6PM) at Daniel Library.  The Library is next door to the Chapel (#2 on the map).

For Incoming Female Cadets

During the first week there is a well thought-out plan to get the freshmen measured for their uniforms and regulation haircuts. Because women's uniforms require additional measurements, we recommend, if possible, incoming female freshmen come on Friday and have their measurements taken by our seamstresses.  We also recommend while on campus to go ahead and get your haircut while the barbers have more time to spend on each customer than they will the following week.

On Friday the 12th, the Barbershop will be open from 0800 to 1400 (8AM to 2PM) for female haircuts.  You can find it in Mark Clark Hall (#9).  The Cadet Store will be open from 0800 to 1600 (4PM) to take measurements for uniforms.  Make sure you bring your black socks and black leather shoes for the measurements. The Cadet Store is a little harder to find, but if you walk in-between 1st and 2nd Battalions (#26 and #27) towards WLI Field (#34), you will see the Cadet Store (#31) on your right just before you go on WLI Field.   

At 1530 (3:30PM) in the Holliday Alumni Center or HAC (#54), there will be a "Welcoming Reception" for incoming female cadets.  It is a nice way to meet other incoming freshmen as well as ask questions of the upperclass female cadets.  The reception will end in time to join the others in the Chapel for The Gathering service.

Editorial note: We strongly recommend that the incoming female cadets take advantage of getting their haircut, measured for uniforms and attending the reception.  Definitely helpful in weeks to come.

Saturday, August 12th - Matriculation Day!

Congratulations, you made it to the big day!  First thing you need to know is that everything will be OK.  If you take a wrong turn or go to a different company, it's OK, there will be plenty of people available to help you get to the right place.

                              Getting to The Citadel

When coming to Charleston on I-26, you will come to Exit 219A which says to exit for "The Citadel".  You can use that exit every time in the future, but today we recommend continuing on I-26 eastbound and following the signs for "Savannah" Highway 17 South. This will merge onto Septima Clark Parkway (aka "The Crosstown").  Continue on the Parkway until you pass the Holiday Inn Express on your right and take a right onto Lockwood Boulevard.  If you cross the Ashley River, you have gone too far.  If you use the address of "Joe Riley Stadium Charleston SC" in your GPS, it should bring you in this way.  Keep in mind, Lockwood Boulevard turns into Fishburne Avenue at the J.R. Stadium.

If you took Exit 219A, don't worry.  Stay on Rutledge Avenue until you come to Moultrie Street where you take a right.  Keep going until you meet road guards from The Citadel, who will direct you to the HAC.

The line of cars will stretch back as far as Joe Riley Stadium on Fishburne and if you come on Moultrie, back through the local neighborhood - so you will have to wait a little.  Click here to see diagrams from Google Maps.  Once you get to the HAC road guards will be there to queue up the cars in the parking lot.  Although we've seen cars as early as 5:30AM, the Cadets won;t process th efirst car until 7AM sharp.  Once they get going, it won't take long.  Last year everyone had been processed by 9AM.  Key to the processing at the HAC is finding out what company your cadet will be in!

After receiving your company assignment at the HAC, you will be directed to enter the campus through Lesesne Gate (Main Gate at the end of Moultrie Street - #1 on the map).  There will be guards at every turn to get you to the right battalion (barracks), and where to park and unload.

matriculation cfaWhen you arrive at your battalion, your car will be surrounded by members of the Citadel Family Association (CFA) (they will be wearing blue shirts).  These folks are parents of former and current cadets, so they know exactly what you are going though.  They will help you unload your car and offer any assistance.  While you unload the car, your cadet will go and check in at the entrance to the battalion (called the "Sally Port") with the Admissions Office representative who will direct them to their company.  

mariculation attentionFrom there they check in with their Company 1ST Sgt who will accept their FERPA Release Form (if not already sent in), take their phone and provide them their room number. They will then proceed to the standard uniform issues where they will get the PT uniforms and instructions on what to do next.  

matriculation with familyAfter receiving their initial set of uniform items, they will meet you outside the Sally Port where you can help them take their gear to their room.  You can go with them . . . and you should.  You can stay in the barracks until 1000 (10AM).  How long you stay is up to you and your cadet.  This will be the last time you see them today, so tell them how much you love them and how proud you are of THEIR decision to come to The Citadel!  If the TAC Officer is available, take the opportunity to meet them.  This is one of the most important relationships you will develop on this day. They will see your cadet just about every day and who you should reach out to first with any concerns.  It is a good idea to have the TAC Officer list with you so you can look up your TAC's name when you get your company assignment at the HAC. 

We strongly recommend you join us and other parents at the Information Fair and light brunch in McAlister Field House (#21 on the map) from 0900-1030.  This is a great time to meet other families and ask the "experts" any questions you may still have.  We will have a Parents Website table, so come and find us!  At 1045 sharp we will begin the formal presentation which will include remarks from the President, Commandant, Provost and CFA President.  We will post the briefs on our website after the presentations if you want to review them when you get home.  The goal is to complete the presentations by 1145 so you can be on your way.  Normally General Rosa and the Commandant will stay as long as it takes to answer any questions.  Remember, before you leave campus make sure you have your cadet's TAC Officer's name, email and phone number.  

Once it is over and you get back to your car, most people find out how drained they are. If you feel this way, you aren't alone.  You probably didn't get a good night's rest, got up pretty early and throughout the morning (and maybe the whole week) had very emotional experience in a hot and humid climate.  Just remember, it is going to be ok. In addition to you, there are a lot of people who will be working to help your child succeed.  Please remember how important letters from home can be.  They will be checking their mailbox each day.  

For those staying over Saturday night, come and join us for a relaxing BBQ buffett at the HAC.  We hope you will take the opportuntiy to come and meet some of the folks you will be seeing over the next four years!  You can register by clicking here.


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