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Citadel News Service

Office of Public Affairs

March 16, 1999

The Legendary Boo Receives Palmetto Medal

          Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Nugent Courvoisie, also known as The Boo, will receive the Palmetto Medal on Saturday, March 20, during the 11:00 a.m. dress parade on Summerall Field. The chairman of The Citadel’s Board of Visitors, Frank Mood, will present the award.
          Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Nugent Courvoisie, United States Army, Retired, began his college career at The Citadel in the summer of 1934, but after only two short years at the military college, his education was interrupted by military service during World War II. His tours included Iceland, England, France, and Germany. After the war, Courvoisie returned to The Citadel as a veteran and received his bachelor of arts degree in history in 1952 while stationed in Georgetown, South Carolina, as an Active Duty Instructor with the South Carolina National Guard.
          In 1959, Courvoisie was assigned to his alma mater as an assistant professor of military science, a position he held for nearly three years. Upon his retirement from the Army in 1961, where he served more than 20 years, Colonel Courvoisie was appointed assistant commandant in charge of disciplinary action. During his tenure as assistant commandant from 1961 until 1968, Colonel Courvoisie touched the lives of many cadets who entered Lesesne Gate, whereby earning his nickname, "The Boo." The nickname is said to have originated when an entering cadet said the colonel acted "like a trapped caribou." Gradually it was shortened to "The Boo." After his respected reign in the Commandant's Office, Colonel Courvoisie continued to serve The Citadel as manager of the central supply warehouse until his retirement in 1982. In this capacity, he continued to maintain contact with the Corps of Cadets, affectionately referred to as "his lambs."
          Throughout the years, The Boo has remained a living legend at The Citadel and continues to receive countless letters, cards, photos, and other memorabilia from past cadets. In 1962, he was presented a bronze shoe which was worn by the cadet who walked countless tours. To this day, his renowned and fiery prophecy resounds through the halls of The Citadel and the hearts of its graduates: "Whatever you did wrong at The Citadel, even if you had bad thoughts, I am going to be waiting for you as Sergeant of Lesesne Gate In Hades, and you're going to walk, Bubba."
          A favorite guest speaker at Citadel alumni functions, he was made an honorary member of the Class of 1969 during a Homecoming Weekend at The Citadel. To honor Colonel Courvoisie, a group of Citadel graduates raised more than $10,000 and established a scholarship in his name.
          Renowned author and Citadel graduate, Pat Conroy, immortalized Courvoisie in his book, "The Boo", a collection of humorous and sentimental reminiscences that took place during The Boo's time as assistant commandant in charge of discipline.
          The Palmetto Medal Award, second only to an honorary degree at The Citadel, recognizes performance that reflects great credit on the military college and the state of South Carolina. Recipients of the award may be cadets, alumni, faculty, staff, or any other person whose service is deemed worthy of consideration.



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