The Citadel announces graduation awards
The Citadel graduated nearly 400 cadets and active duty military personnel this morning in McAlister Field House and presented several awards to in honor of academic and professional achievements.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was the commencement speaker.
Cadet Lt. Col. Patrick Colin Reilly of Boston, N.Y., was awarded the First Honor Graduate Scholarship Medal, which is presented annually to the graduating cadet with the highest grade point average. Reilly is one of two in the Class of 2004 with perfect 4.0 GPAs.
Cadet Reilly is commander of 1st Battalion and a computer science major. During his Citadel career he has received academic and Citadel Women's Club scholarships and worked for five months in the late Sen. Strom Thurmond's office as part of the Washington Semester Fellowship. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, has been named to the President's, Commandant's and Dean's lists and received Gold Stars for academic achievement. On Friday, May 6, he was awarded the Wade Hampton Sabre by the South Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy for outstanding leadership and contributions to The Citadel while a cadet.
The coveted John O. Willson Ring was presented to Regimental Commander Cadet Col. Keene Phillips. The Willson Ring has been awarded annually since 1911 to a senior elected 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 to honor the most popular student among his or her peers.
A Beaufort, S.C., resident, Phillips arrived at The Citadel in August 2000. During the past four years, he has excelled in academics, repeatedly earning President's List, Dean's List, and Commandant's List citations. A biology major in the honors program, he holds a Citadel Foundation Leadership Scholarship and his academic record earned him early induction into the Tri Beta, a biology honor society. He has served as company clerk, third battalion administrative clerk and regimental sergeant major. During his senior year he was the highest-ranking cadet.
Margaret T. Britz, professor of political science and criminal justice, received the James A. Grimsley Teaching Award for outstanding performance in instruction and service to undergraduate students. Grimsley, who was president of the college from 1980 to 1989, created the award in 1986. Each year the senior class votes on the recipient.
Britz came to The Citadel in 1994 as an assistant professor. A noted lecturer and consultant, Britz has among her areas of expertise forensic computer science, data recovery and computer investigations, gambling, youth gangs, law enforcement policy and organized crime. Britz holds an undergraduate degree is forensic science from Jacksonville State University and a master's in police administration and doctorate in criminal justice and criminology from Michigan State University.
Mei Q. Chen, professor of math and computer science, is the faculty recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.
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.
A native of Shanghai, China, Chen understood the joy of learning as a young child. In 1981, she earned a scholarship that brought her to the United States to study software engineering. She earned her bachelor of science in computational mathematics from Eastern Illinois University and continued her education at the University of Illinois where she earned a master of science in applied mathematics and a doctor of philosophy in mathematics.
Since her arrival at The Citadel in 1989, Chen has tutored cadets several nights each week during evening study period. She willingly taught extra classes to help mathematics majors get needed courses and searched for ways to help cadets apply their knowledge beyond the classroom. Colleagues have recognized Chen by awarding her the Krause Faculty Award, the C.A. Medbery Award for Dedication to Teaching, The Citadel Faculty Achievement Award and a research fellowship from The Citadel Foundation. She also chairs The Citadel's Research Development and Faculty Development committees, two of the busiest committees on campus.
Cadet Stephen Aaron Meadows of Mount Pleasant is the cadet recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.
Meadows has worked to develop programs that foster cooperation among religious groups on campus. His efforts include the establishment of a cadet-led Christian worship service with contemporary music, ecumenical services each semester, a forum to encourage Jewish and Muslim cadets to discuss their religious beliefs and needs with the cadet religious officers, a retreat for Christian cadets of all denominations, and weekly sessions to help company religious representatives become more effective. Cadet Meadows has also led two annual drives to support Compassion International, a charitable organization that provides education, clothing and health care to children in Third World countries.