The Zinkon tradition
The last graduating senior traditionally gives a speech after receiving his or her diploma. This year’s speech will be given by Cadet Grant Zinkon of Johns Island. Zinkon is following in the footsteps of his older brother Yancey, who gave the speech when he graduated in 1999.
The last speech is not where the similarity ends. Both brothers were in Lima Company and both were business majors. Both brothers were members of the Summerall Guards (the college’s elite precision drill platoon), and they both drew the same sword, which is determined by height and establishes marching position.
Unfortunately, Yancey Zinkon will not get to hear his brother’s speech. He is currently an Army captain serving in the 4th Infantry Division in Iraq, and although Grant is disappointed that his brother will not be present, he was excited to get an early graduation present--an American flag flown in Iraq and signed by his brother’s men.
Upon graduation, Grant will go to work for Buck Management in Charleston as an operational assistant of stockade storage.