The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina

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President's Address to the Fourth Class

Summary of Remarks
19 August 2014

McAlister Field House

The Citadel is a challenging experience.
    We live by our Core Values of Honor, Duty, and Respect.
    We live by our Honor Code: we don't lie, steal or cheat nor tolerate those who do.
    You will be expected to tell the truth, do the right thing, be a person of integrity.

It was a tough decision to take the road less traveled.
    I know what a tough decision to come here.
    In a few short days you've already done more than you had all summer.
    Thank you for being here.

Be a person of character at all times on the campus and when you get leave to go downtown.
    The oath you took last night is important.
    You represent more than yourself.  You represent The Citadel and you represent your families.
    Don't embarrass the College or your parents.  Do the right thing.  People are watching you at all times.

We're not like other colleges.  We hold ourselves to a higher standard.
    We will not tolerate drugs and alcohol.
    We randomly drug test.
    Don't think your number won't come up, it will.

We will not tolerate hazing.
    It is your responsibility to not let someone mistreat you.
    We take this very seriously.

You will see the best leadership and also some not so great.
    You are learning to follow your freshman year.
    My leadership is based on what I saw my freshmen year.
    Learn who to follow and learn how to lead the right way.

You will create lasting friendships from this institution.
    I roomed with the same guy all four years and we are still best buds today.
    We both tried to get out of here that whole first year but kept being sent back by our
    parents.  We can't imagine our lives if we hadn't finished.

Keep a good attitude.
    I appreciate what you are doing - how hard you're working.
    Each day, work toward wearing this ring.

Whether you are going into the military or business - this country needs principled leaders.
    So do what your families taught you to and you'll do great things.
    Next year at this time you'll look back and know what you accomplished your knob year.
    Stay focused - you can do this.

Each of you chose The Citadel for a reason - you are blessed to be here.
    When your back is against the wall, look to your roommate - your company mates to help you.
    This is a wonderful opportunity.
    Thank you for choosing to take the road less traveled.

To close, I want to introduce my wife of 41 years, Donna.
    We met at a football game my sophomore year.
    We got married right after graduation and shared a great life in the Air Force,
    then the Air Force Academy and now back here in Charleston.
    We have two boys, our oldest went to FSU and our youngest here at The Citadel,
    so she knows how your moms are feeling.
    When you get your cell phones back, give your moms a call - stay close to your
    Moms - Dads too, but moms worry more.
    Donna will be your campus mom -- you'll see her quite a lot this semester.

I can't stress enough that you can do this.
    It is meant to be tough - to be a challenge.
    Make good decisions - be smart.
    Thank you for being here.

 

 

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