Man who captured the world's most iconic images of The Citadel retires
*Credit and thanks to the Post & Courier for the use of this article and gallery.
Citadel’s photographer of 30 years, Russ Pace, set to retire
By Adam Parker
November 30, 2015
Russell Pace was hired by The Citadel in 1986 to take pictures. Since then, Pace has produced perhaps half a million images — of the military college’s dress parade (homecoming), sports matches and campus life.
Some of those photographs have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated. Hundreds have appeared in the pages of The Post and Courier.
On Jan. 1, Pace will retire, relocating with his wife to Hilton Head Island where the couple will live by the beach and work on building up a health care-sector nonprofit, he said.
He’s remained at The Citadel for 30 years “because of the cadets, faculty, staff and administration,” who have made him feel welcomed, who have valued his contributions — for whom his affection swells.
“It’s been a fun place,” he said.
Lt. General John W. Rosa, president of The Citadel, lauded Pace’s visual panorama accrued over three decades.
“The remarkable photographs taken by Russ Pace have become iconic images documenting the rhythm of life for the Corps of Cadets, the beauty of our campus, the achievements of our athletics teams and the city of Charleston itself,” Rosa said in a statement. “His extraordinary talent combined with his dedication to visually record almost every parade, game or event over a period of 30 years is commendable. In his photographs, Russ leaves a visual legacy that will last for lifetimes to come.”
The first photo he took was a “selfie” to test exposure before shooting members of the football team. Among the last are shots of his 700th parade, snapped Nov. 7.
“He is the only one in the history of the school to have seen that many parades,” remarked Kimberly Keelor, director of media relations.
In 1999, his boss, who came from the Navy, announced that the campus was going digital.
“So we did,” Pace recalled. “We didn’t have much of a choice.”
Pace has done much more than position himself behind his cameras. He started a cadet photo internship program to teach students the particulars of the photographic arts. And he has been a guest lecturer recently in a new photography class taught by Tiffany Silverman. It’s a very popular class. Pace talks about sports photography and portraiture, among other topics, he said.
Over the years, he’s enjoyed his share of pretty cool assignments, he said. He traveled to Scotland with the marching band. He’s shot pictures from atop the north tower of the Cooper River Bridge. And he captured the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis in Florida. That was the most difficult — he had to set up a bunch of remote cameras in order to capture the entire launch process.
Pace was on campus for many visits by presidential candidates and government officials: President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney.
“I’ve covered every football game, every home basketball game, every banquet, every soccer match on Sundays,” he said. “This job here takes up all my creativity.”
Reach Adam Parker at 843-937-5902. Follow him at facebook.com/aparkerwriter.