Citadel announces graduation awards
The Citadel graduated 298 cadets this morning in McAlister Field House, including seven African American females--the first black women to graduate from the Corps of Cadets.
Cadet Ryan O'Neal Parker, a resident of Orangeburg, S.C., was awarded the First Honor Graduate Scholarship Medal, which is presented annually to the graduating cadet with the highest grade point average. A biology major and a Citadel scholar, Parker served as fourth battalion commander this year and was a member of the Summerall Guards, the college's elite precision drill platoon.
The coveted John O. Willson Ring was presented to Cadet Mark Andrew Connelly. Connelly, a resident of Granite Falls, N.C., served as third battalion commander this year. A member of the 2002 Summerall Guards, he majored in civil and environmental engineering.
The Willson Ring has been awarded annually since 1911 to the member of the senior class who is voted by his or her peers as the finest, purest and most courteous member of the class. Willson, who was a Citadel student until 1862 when he left to join the Confederate Army, established the award. In his will, Willson set aside a "small fund" to furnish a ring yearly for a senior deemed most popular among his or her peers.
Professor and department head Col. Lawrence Wayne Moreland of political science and criminal justice, received the James A. Grimsley Teaching Award for his outstanding performance in instruction and service to undergraduate students. Moreland, who teaches American politics and criminal justice, specializes in Southern politics, judicial process and public law. He has been employed at The Citadel since September 1964. Grimsley, who was Citadel president from 1980 to 1989, created the award in 1986. Each year the senior class votes on the recipient.
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award was established by the New York Southern Society in 1925 and has been presented at The Citadel since 1933. The bronze medallions are awarded in recognition of "high thought and noble endeavor" as exemplified in the life of the late Sullivan, a lawyer who lived from 1826 to 1887.
Lt. Col. Russell Hutcherson Stout Jr. of the civil and environmental engineering department was the faculty recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. A 1968 graduate of The Citadel, he has been on faculty for the past 25 years. His specialty is geotechnical engineering and soil mechanics.
English major Cadet Louis Neal Reville of Birmingham, Ala., is the cadet recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Throughout his cadet years, Reville has distinguished himself in his service to others. As a senior, he served as chair of the Honor Committee and president of the Bulldog/Bullpup program, a mentoring program for children from less fortunate families.
U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona was the commencement speaker and was one of seven honorary degree recipients. Following is a complete list of the recipients:
Col. Leonard C. Fulghum Jr., chairman of The Citadel Board of Visitors received an honorary degree of business administration. A native of Goldsboro, N.C, Fulghum has resided in Charleston since 1947. He graduated from The Citadel in 1951. A successful businessman, Fulghum was the founding director of the Bank of South Carolina. He is president of Lenwal Enterprises, vice president of the Old Charleston Joggling Board Co. and the retired chairman and president of Ferguson Fulghum, Inc. He is currently completing his term on the Board of Visitors, a board on which he has served for 25 years.
Representative Robert W. Harrell, Jr. was awarded an honorary doctor of public administration. Harrell has distinguished himself as an outstanding leader in the S.C. General Assembly and a skilled representative of constituents in the Lowcountry since 1992. During the past decade, he has become one of the most influential members of the state House of Representatives and has worked diligently to improve public schools and encourage economic development while promoting fiscal responsibility.
Lt. Gen. Frank Christopher Libutti Jr. was the recipient of an honorary degree of honorary doctor of military science. Libutti has faithfully served his country for more than 35 years, first in the U.S. Marine Corps and now as the New York City Police Department's Deputy Commissioner of Counter Terrorism. Formerly on the front lines of the war in Vietnam, he is now on the front lines of a different kind of war, helping protect this country from acts of terrorism. Libutti graduated from The Citadel in 1966 with a degree in physical education.
Judge Robert Roland Mallard received an honorary doctor of public administration. A graduate of The Citadel class of 1959, Mallard has presided over family court in the Lowcountry for more than three decades, inspiring others by his sense of integrity and fairness. He began serving as a Charleston County family court judge in 1970. He was elected Ninth Judicial Circuit in 1977. After retiring from the bench in 1995, he was recalled a year later to service as chief judge of the Family Court of Berkeley County, serving until 2001.
Admiral Wesley Lee McDonald, U.S. Navy (Retired), was the recipient of an honorary doctor of military science. His 39 years of military service have been marked by distinguished performance of his duties. In 1972, McDonald was promoted to rear admiral and became commandant of the Thirteenth Naval District. In 1982, he was promoted to the rank of admiral and assumed the duties of Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command, and Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. During this tour, Admiral McDonald was in charge of the successful United States intervention in Grenada in October 1983.
Sen. John McCain was awarded an honorary doctor of public administration. McCain served the country for 22 years as a Naval aviator. In 1967, he was shot down over Hanoi and captured by the Vietnamese and held prisoner of war for five and a half years where he was subjected to torture and solitary confinement. Currently, he is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. He is an acknowledged authority on telecommunications and aviation issues, promoting competition and government deregulation. He has fought for campaign finance reform, a strong national defense, and a sound foreign policy.
Dr. Mary Thornley, was the recipient of an honorary doctor of public administration. The president of Trident Technical College since 1991, Thornley has spent nearly 40 years helping students in high school and college prepare for success in the workplace. A high school teacher, she moved to Charleston in 1973 to teach English and speech at Trident Technical College. In the years that followed, Thornley filled many roles as a faculty member and administrator at Trident Technical College, becoming vice president for academic affairs in 1989, and two years later the first female president of Trident Technical College. During her tenure as president, academic enrollment on the colleges three Lowcountry campuses has grown 30 percent to nearly 10,500.