What to Expect on Matriculation Day!
Saturday, August 17th is the official Matriculation Day, but there are several events on Friday the 16th you should consider attending. Although there is plenty of information for you on different web pages, we have tried to boil the important issues for parents and family members in the information below. Remember to keep checking the 2019 Matriculation HQ Webpage for the most current information.
Before we get started you may want to bring up the Campus Virtual Map from the web page so you can see the buildings we point out below.
Friday, August 16th
Activities for the day begin at 0900 (9AM) for those who wish to speak to the staff at our award winning Academic Support Center. I hope you will make it a point to stop by with your cadet so they can see where the Center is located and meet the staff. The Academic Support Center is on the 1st floor of Thompson Hall or #14 on the Virtual Map. This is a great asset for cadets that you are paying for whether they use it or not. There is a math lab, writing center, individual tutors, group sessions - and what they don't have, they can probably create is there is a strong need. As their advisor, keep this in mind if they expereince trouble making that adjustment to performing college level work. Help them to be proactive vice reactive when making the choice to use it. Also you will want to meet with the counselors if your child has a diagnosed disability and is eligible for accomodations in their academic classes.
From 1300 (1PM) to 1400 (2:00PM) 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 Holliday Alumni Center (HAC) which is #54 on the Virtual Map.
At 1730 (5:30 PM) the Chaplain will lead a brief service in Summerall Chaple called "The Gathering". This is a nice chance to catch your breath and spend a little quiet time with your child before the next day. We have a large religious program on campus designed to meet the various religious needs of each cadet. In addition to Sunday services, various 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! At the end of the service Chaplain Molina will introduce the leaders of the various programs. At 1800 (6PM) they will be available in Mark Clark Hall to meet with you and your cadets to share more about their respective programs. Again, like the Academic Support Center, the religious program is a great resource available to your cadet in the tough weeks ahead as well as over their entire cadet career. 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 1830 (6:30PM) at Daniel Library. The Library is next door to the Chapel (#2 on the map).
Finally, for incoming African-American cadets and their parents, the Multi-Cultural Services Department will host a drop-in from 7:30PM to 8:30PM at the HAC. Look for RSVP instructions in the near future.
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 have made it mandatory this year for incoming female freshmen to come to campus on Friday and have their measurements taken by our seamstresses in the Cadet Store (#31 on the map). You must go ahead and get your haircut while the barbers have more time to spend on each customer than they will the following week. Yes, it is a day early, but it is a very good deal.
On Friday the 10th, the Barbershop will be open from 0800 to 1400 (8AM to 2PM) for female haircuts. You can find it on the 1st floor of 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 3-5PM in the Holliday Alumni Center or HAC (#54), there will be a "Welcoming Reception" for incoming female cadets. It is a great networking event and a great opportunity to 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: Coming on Friday is mandatory for incoming female cadets so they take can advantage of getting their haircut, measured for uniforms and attending the reception. Definitely helpful in weeks to come. If for some reason you cannot make it, make sure you contact Lisa Lugo in the Admissions Office.
Saturday, August 17th - 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
Your first stop that morning will be at the HAC where your cadet will check in and get their company assignment - all without getting out of the car! We recommend taking the route that will have you come down Lockwood Boulevard along Brittlebank Park and past Joe Riley Stadium (#55). Keep in mind, Lockwood Boulevard turns into Fishburne Avenue at the sharp turn by the Stadium.
Taking Exit 219A (Rutledge Avenue) will bring you through the surrounding neighborhoods which is fine. Just 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 may stretch back as far as Joe Riley Stadium on Fishburne and if you come on Moultrie, back through the local neighborhood - so you may have to wait a little. 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 the first car until 0700 (7AM). Once they get going, it won't take long. Last year everyone had been processed by 9AM.
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) then where to park and unload.
When 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 upperclass 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.
From there they check in with their Company 1ST Sgt who will 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.
After 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 over the next four years. 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. I hope you will be able to meet your cadet's TAC, but keep in mind they may be busy making sure all is going smoothly with the check-in process. But if they are available, don't be afriad of introducing yourself.
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 0800-1030. 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, however, the President, Provost and Commandant normally stay as long as it takes to answer any questions. After that you are free to go since your cadets will be training. 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. Although there is not an assigned time to check mail, they normally find time between events to check their mailbox each day. One mail note: first week, keep it to letters. I know you will want to send care packages, but - because there is not a set time to check their mailboxes and even if the do they may not have time to go to the window to get their packages - you won't know exactly when they will get them. If they get a package the first thing in the morning, then they will have to carry the box around until they get a chance to drop it off in their room which may be just before lunch or dinner. Learning how to march in the hot and humid weather is difficult enough without having to do it while holding a box! What you can do is bring a lot of letters to the Information Fair that morning and look for the Post Office table. They will have a large bin you can drop the letters into without having to pay for postage. After the 24th, send whatever you want. Make sure you read the letter from the Director of our Post Office about delivery of packages. The Post Office is located in Mark Clark Hall which your cadet will probably visit each day. Your cadets will pick up packages from FEDEX and UPS - as well as USPS - at the Post Office.
The official day for Parents ends at 1145. Yes, you are free to go. You will not have a chance to see your cadets for a couple of weeks. Many Parents do like to stay through the weekend and return to watch the Freshmen take the Cadet Oath Monday afternoon at 5:30PM. The event takes place on the Parade Field. Parents are welcome, but don't expect to speak to your cadet. They will be in formation and after the oath will head right to dinner.
For those staying over Saturday night, come and join us for a relaxing BBQ buffet. We will meet where you started the day - the Holiday Alumni Center (HAC) - at 6PM to 8PM. We hope you will take the opportunity to come and meet some of the folks you will be seeing over the next four years! Over the next four years, you will find that we don't have large venues, so we have to cap the registration at 350. We will have the reservation and payment page up in a few weeks.