The Military College of South Carolina
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Citadel News Service

For Release
May 2002


About The Citadel

          The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, is a public coeducational institution with approximately 1,800 students in the undergraduate Corps of Cadets. The Citadel also has approximately 2,000 students enrolled in the College of Graduate & Professional Studies in a non-residential program.

Academic: The Citadel is a comprehensive college with a classical military environment. It is widely recognized for the excellence of its programs because of the education and experience of the faculty, the student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1, the availability of financial aid, and emphasis on an honor system. The curriculum offers 20 majors and 13 minor areas of study in liberal arts and engineering. In 2000, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Citadel as the "best college value" in the South.

Military: The Citadel trains students in a military environment that encourages teamwork, promotes self-discipline, and challenges students to make decisions under pressure. Cadets are trained to become leaders who understand the values of honor, loyalty, patriotism and service to others. The fourth-class system gives every cadet an equal opportunity to shoulder increasing levels of responsibility by advancing in the chain of command.

Alumni: About a third of the graduates traditionally go into military service and the others go to graduate schools or professions. Citadel alumni have distinguished themselves by taking leading roles in business and government. Over the years, 132 Citadel alumni have reached the top ranks in the military by becoming flag officers (generals, rear admirals or commodores). Alumni of The Citadel have unselfishly served their country in all wars involving the U.S. Citadel alumni have been killed in action during the Civil War (49), World War I (15), World War II (280), Korean War (32), Vietnam (68), Lebanon (1), Grenada (1), and the Gulf War (1).

History: Established as part of the South Carolina Military Academy by the South Carolina legislature in 1842, The Citadel draws its military character from its original mission to provide deserving young persons with an education in the arts and sciences, to serve the state in time of peace, and to prepare them for service in time of war.

A notable event in The Citadel's history occurred on Jan. 9, 1861 when cadets initiated the first overt act of the Civil War. The cadets stationed at Morris Island fired on the U.S. steamer, the Star of the West, preventing it from supplying Fort Sumter with troops and supplies. Cadets earned eight battle streamers during the Civil War and those streamers still fly with the regimental colors during weekly parades.

The Citadel was closed for 17 years between 1865 and 1882, when the academy was reopened by an act of the U.S. Congress and the S.C. General Assembly.

The original Citadel was on Marion Square in downtown Charleston. In 1922 the college moved to its present location, approximately 100 acres of marsh and high ground along the banks of the Ashley River.

The first African-American alumnus, the late Charles D. Foster graduated in 1970.The first female graduate, Nancy Mace, was admitted in 1996 and graduated three years later in 1999. The first African-American female cadets (seven in all) will graduate this May.



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