Alumni Association honors outstanding members
Charleston man named first Young Alumnus of the Year
The Citadel Alumni Association today honored six outstanding alumni, including its first Young Alumnus of the Year.
The awards were presented during the association’s annual meeting, which is held each homecoming. In addition to the Young Alumnus of the Year award, the association presented its Alumnus of the Year award, honored its club president and district director of the year and bestowed honorary life membership on a member of the college staff.
The Citadel Alumni Association created this award because so many young alumni are making significant contributions to society at a younger age,” said Mike Rogers, director of the association. “We want to demonstrate to them that we recognize their contributions.”
Channing Proctor, Class of 1991, of Charleston was named the associations first’ Young Alumnus of the Year. Proctor is the founder and manager of the Charleston Miracle League, which constructed a $500,000 baseball complex for children with mental and physical challenges. Proctor has received several awards for his efforts, including the Rotary Club of Charleston’s Humanitarian of the Year award for 2006, the Exceptional Parent Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his long commitment to those with disabilities and special needs and the Thomas Jefferson Award for distinguished service to the disadvantaged.
“The positive impact Mr. Proctor has had on Charleston in the past couple of years has brought great credit upon him and reflects the core values and principled leadership taught by The Citadel,” Rogers said.
Alumnus of the Year
Thomas R. Culler, Class of 1950, was named Alumnus of the Year for his exceptional dedication and loyalty to The Citadel. A life member of the association and supporter of The Citadel Brigadier Foundation, Culler is a veteran of World War II, retired attorney and banker and has worked tirelessly to support the Regimental Band and Pipes, Summerall Guards and Palmetto Battery, all cadet organizations on campus. He lives in Cameron, S.C.
“He has earned the highest respect of his classmates and peers in all of his endeavors and accomplishments,” Rogers said. “His actions have been in keeping with the finest traditions of The Citadel and The Citadel Alumni Association.”
Honorary Life Member
Les Robinson, director of athletics, was presented with the Honorary Life Member Award for 2006. A 1965 graduate of North Carolina State University, Robinson served five years as assistant coach of The Citadel basketball team under the direction of Dick Campbell and George Hill. He spent 11 seasons as head coach and led the 1978-1979 and 1984-1985 teams to 20 and 18 victories, respectively. Now entering his fifth year as Citadel athletics director, Robinson oversaw the opening of the Altman Athletic Center at Johnson Hagood Stadium and the new addition to McAlister Field House, which houses women’s athletics. He was responsible for hiring The Citadel’s first senior woman administrator, taken measures to revamp the Athletic Department weight room, and is personally spearheading the Johnson Hagood renovation project.
Distinguished Life Member Award
John Baker, Citadel Class of 1950, of Summerville, was presented with the Distinguished Life Member Award for 2006. Mr. Baker has been exceptionally dedicated and loyal to his alma mater, exemplifying the college’s ideals both as a cadet and as an alumnus.
Baker has served The Citadel as an ex-officio member of the Board of Visitors and president of the alumni association and the Brigadier Foundation. A life member of alumni association and member of The Summerall Society for his charitable giving to The Citadel, Baker founded and organized the Summerville Citadel Club in 1992 and been active in the Brigadier Foundation’s annual coach’s golf tournament., and as a member of the Southern Conference Tournament Baseball Committee and the Brigadier Foundation’s Auction Committee. He has also participated in the Citadel Volunteer Program and the Fourth Class Sponsorship Program.
Club President of the Year
Dan Dehaenen, Class of 1993, was named Club President of the Year Award for 2006 for his work with the Charlotte Area Citadel Club. He is credited with revitalizing the Charlotte Areas club, increasing attendance and interest among alumni. Under Dehaenen, the Charlotte Area Citadel Club has become a Gold Star Club and attracts more than 100 attendees to its meetings. He resides in Charlotte and is a vice president and senior business manager at Wachovia Corp.
District Director of the Year
Charlie Burnside, Class of 1965, was named District Director of the Year Award for 2006. Burnside has been the district director of North Carolina for the last 12 years. In addition to his passion for The Citadel, he enthusiastically motivates those with whom he interacts to be actively involved in their respective clubs and The Citadel. He lives in Peachland, N.C.
“His dedication and service record to The Citadel and The Citadel Alumni Association is something that all alumni should strive to achieve,” Rogers said.