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Advisory Board

Advisory Board Members

Terrence James Ahearn

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Mr. Ahearn earned a B.A. in English from The Citadel in 1963 and was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force where he served for six years as a radar navigator, and flew 143 combat missions, on B-52 bombers. Subsequently, he earned a J.D. from Boston College School of Law where he was a member of the law review. He then joined Humble Oil & Refining (later Exxon Corporation), serving in various high-level positions during a career that spanned thirty years. He currently resides on Seabrook Island, SC.

David B. Bell

After graduating from The Citadel in 1971, Mr. Bell served for two-years in the U.S. Army. He then entered the University of Georgia School of Law from which he earned a J.D. in 1977. David practices law and frequently conducts legal seminars in Augusta, Georgia. He has served as Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Kiwanis Club and occupied similar positions of leadership in other civic organizations in his native Augusta.

Joseph K. Coffey

Mr. Coffey earned a B.S. in Business Administration from The Citadel and a J.D. from the University of South Carolina. He practices law in Manning, S.C., focusing primarily on real estate transactions and certain civil and family court litigation. Mr. Coffey serves on various civic and church related boards. His father, W.C. Coffey, Jr. is a 1963, graduate of The Citadel and his brother, W.C. Coffey, III, is a 1989, graduate of The Citadel. 

Lucy M. Duncan

Lucy Duncan is founder, President and CEO of Safe Ports, a company which provides mission critical logistics, training, construction and other services to various US Government agencies and international clients.  She was recently awarded the prestigious US Defense Logistics Agency’s Best Small Business and Best Woman Owned Business in recognition of her company’s excellent track record in Afghanistan; she has served on multiple boards in SC including SpoletoUSA and the Medical University’s Hollings Cancer Institute.  Prior to forming Safe Ports, she founded and led Diplomatic Resolutions, Inc., an international business development and advocacy company leading Silicon Valley’s best technology companies into major projects in developing countries.  She has represented countries such as The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Brazil as well as served as advisor to The World Bank, the Council of World Regions, and the OECD Development Agency.  A noted philanthropist she was President of the Museum of the Americas, launching a portal of 300 of the hemisphere’s leading museums in four languages and six academic levels before the Summit of the Americas, April, 2001, in Canada and as President of the Washington  DC Symphony Orchestra from 1996 – 2000.  She divides her time between her homes in Middleburg, VA and Mt. Pleasant, SC where she is a dedicated equestrian. 

Ann Elish

Ms. Elish graduated from the Citadel with an MBA in 1986 and a Master's in Clinical Counseling in 2008. Ann has worked at the Westvaco/MeadWestvaco/KapStone paper mill in North Charleston for 33 years. Currently she is the Operations Manager, responsible for approximately 450 employees producing 2400 tons of paper per day. She serves as second vice chair on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina. Ann i s a Disaster Mental Health volunteer with the American Red Cross. Ms. Elish served as an advisory member of the Citadel Board of Visitors from 1997 to 2000, was a member of the Citadel Business Network from 2002 to 2004 and has participated in several Citadel Graduate School advisory committees. From 2004 to 2007 Ann served on the Charleston Metro Chamber Education Foundation Board of Directors.

John W. Falkenbury

Mr. Falkenbury holds a bachelors degree in history from The Citadel and a masters degree in management from Webster University. A graduate of both the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, he served for more than twenty years in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Upon leaving active duty, he became president and CEO of Five Oaks Nursing Center in Concord, North Carolina. He currently is the managing partner of the Falkenbury Family LLC, and president of the Stephen D. Falkenbury, Jr. Foundation. He is a member of numerous civic organizations in Charlotte.

Donald L. Fowler

A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Mr. Fowler earned a BA in psychology from Wofford College and an MA and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in political science. He began teaching at the University of South Carolina in 1964, where he continues as an adjunct professor of American Politics in the Department of Political Science.  Dr. Fowler is the Chairman of the Board of Fowler Communications, Inc., a public relations and governmental affairs firm. He served as Chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party for nine years from 1971 to 1980, and as Chair of the Democratic National Committee in 1995 and 1996.  He is also a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and a graduate of the U.S. Army War College.

Steven Josias

Mr. Josias has been a practicing Attorney in Florida for over thirty years. Originally from Massapequa, New York, he earned his B.A. in History at The Citadel and his J.D. from The University of Notre Dame. A U.S. Army veteran, he has served as Special Counsel to U.S. Senator Bob Graham, President of the Museum of Discovery and Science, and as a member of the Federal Judicial Nominating commission for Florida. He is listed in Who's Who of American Law.

B. Thomas Kays

Dr. Kays graduated from The Citadel in 1966 with a B.S. and he continued his academic career at the University of Iowa, achieving his D.D.S. and serving as president of his class. Following graduation from dental school, he joined the United States Air Force as a dental officer from 1970-1972 prior to opening a private practice where he is still active. Dr. Kays served on the dental school faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina from 1972-2008. He has played a dynamic role in the professional dental fraternity Psi Omega for the last 45 years and he is currently the executive director. Dr. Kays hold numerous professional honors and has endeavored in his career field by participating in state and professional associations. He is the former President of the South Carolina Dental Association and the South Carolina State Board of Dentistry. Dr. Kays has researched and published numerous articles and has held membership and leadership roles with the American College of Dentists as well as the International College of Dentists. In addition, Dr. Kays serves as a board member to the Bank of South Carolina West Ashley as well as the Trident Technical College Foundation. In addition to his dental career, he returned to the Citadel and graduated with a M.Ed. in clinical counseling in 1982. He is married to the former Claudia Johnson, of Aiken, South Carolina and they have three children and six grandchildren.

Stacy L. Pearsall

Stacy Pearsall attended the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. During three tours in Iraq as an Air Force photographer, she twice won the National Press Photographers Association's Military Photographer of the Year competition. She also earned the Bronze Star Medal and Commendation with Valor for heroic actions under fire. Combat disabled and retired from the military, Pearsall works worldwide as a freelance photographer and educator, and is the Owner and Director of the Charleston Center for Photography. Her work has appeared in print and television media, including Time magazine, New York Times, CNN, and the BBC; been exhibited in numerous facilities across the United States; and been featured in the Oscar-nominated PBS production, Operation Homecoming. She works extensively with veterans on issues of importance to them working with veteran's rights groups and is a multi-medaled athlete, including gold, from the US Paralympic sponsored Wounded Warrior Games in 2010 and 2011.

Ron Plunkett

A native of Atlanta, GA, Mr. Plunkett received his Bachelor of Arts degree (Political Science) from The Citadel in 1964 and a Master of Arts degree (English) in 1996.  As a Citadel student, Mr. Plunkett was initiated into Phi Alpha Theta (History), Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science), and Sigma Tau Delta (English), and is believed to be the only Citadel graduate to be elected to all three honor societies as a Citadel student.  Mr. Plunkett began his military career upon graduation as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and served in both Korea and Vietnam, among other assignments, from 1964 to 1968, attaining the rank of Captain in 1967.  He was also a member of the United States Army Reserve until 1972.  Ron started his professional career as a Management Trainee with Sea-Land Service, Inc. in 1968.  Sea-Land Service, Inc. was purchased in 1999 by Maersk Line, the world’s largest containerized steamship line, and Ron continued working in various capacities before retiring in 2009 as a Senior Account Executive.  Ron is a member of numerous civic organizations in the Charleston area.  He is married to Dr. Linda Muckenfuss Plunkett, a graduate of Emory University (BBA) and Georgia State University (MPA and Ph.D,) who was a Professor of Accounting at the College of Charleston for many years.  Linda is a past Chair of the Coastal Community Foundation and the Hollings Cancer Center (MUSC) Advisory Board. 

Jonathan A. Pope

Mr. Pope is a partner of Georgia's Hasty-Pope LLP, where he focuses his trial practice exclusively on personal injury matters, including wrongful death cases, automobile accidents, truck accidents, and other cases involving catastrophic injuries. A Citadel graduate in 1992, he received his JD from Georgia State University in 1995 prior to beginning his legal career at  the Atlanta insurance defense law firm of Chambers, Mabry, McClelland & Brooks (now Mabry McClelland). During his career, he has been the recipient of several awards and has membership in numerous professional organizations, and was named one of "Georgia's Elite" by Georgia Trend Magazine in 2009.

Tandy Clinton Rice, Jr.

Mr. Rice was born in Franklin, Tennessee and was graduated by The Citadel with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961 and subsequently served a three-year commitment in the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command. Mr. Rice is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Top Billing International, a leading Nashville-based entertainment and marketing company specializing in world-wide booking and management of some of the most notable names in Country Music. A supporter of numerous civic groups and charities, he holds a Master Degree in Liberal Arts from Vanderbilt University, is a former President of the Country Music Association, a member of the North American Country Music Hall of Fame, and the founder of the fully endowed Rice Scholarship at The Citadel.

Artie Richards

Artie Richards is originally from Dalton, GA and moved to Charleston two years ago after living on the Georgia coast in St. Simons Island.  She graduated from the University of Georgia with a BBA in Finance in 1989.  She formally worked at SunTrust Banks, Inc. as a Commercial Lender, Senior Recruiter, and eventually managed Employment for the Atlanta organization.  In addition, she worked for Wachovia Bank as the Manager of Employment for the Corporate Bank and Senior Recruiter.  She was also, Human Resources manager for epipeline, inc, an internet start-up company.  She has served on the boards of  Alice's House Children's Home, the Community Foundation of West Georgia, the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation. 

Frank B. Robards, III

Mr. Robards earned a B.A. in Political Science and an M.B.A. from The Citadel and a J.D. from The University of South Carolina. He is also a graduate of the United States Naval War College. Formerly a Senior Vice President with the First Citizens Bank Wealth Advisory Group, Mr. Robards is now the Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo in Charlotte, N.C. He also serves as a Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Reginald M. Sealey

LCDR Sealey was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia. He is a 1974 NROTC graduate of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, with a BA degree in History.  He was first commissioned a second lieutenant United States Marine Corps and served on active duty as a communications officer from 1974 to 1979, earning a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from National University in 1978.  He continued serving in the Marine Corps Reserve while attending The University of San Diego Law School where he graduated with a JD degree in 1982.  LCDR Sealey served as a Deputy Public Defender in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1983.  He received a direct commission as a JAG officer in the USCG Reserve in 1983, and later integrated into the Regular Coast Guard in 1990.  After serving at various Coast Guard activities throughout the United States and graduation from the Naval War College in 1993, LCDR Sealey retired from active duty on 1 April 1998.  He presently serves Prince George’s County as a private attorney.  He was married to Julette Ann Sealey (nee Hicks) in 1975.  They have two children, Amanda, a Prince George’s County school teacher and Reginald M. Sealey, II, an active duty Captain, USMC.  LCDR Sealey and Julette are the proud grandparents of two boys and counting.

Holcombe Thomas

Mr. Thomas earned a B.A. in history from The Citadel and a J.D. from the University of South Carolina. He taught and practiced law in Columbia, S.C. before entering the U.S. Foreign Service in which he served as a consular officer for 23 years with overseas postings in Korea, New Zealand, Japan and Hong Kong, as well as several tours in Washington. His decorations include the State Department's Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards. Most recently, he was Vice President of Broad Industrial Products, Inc., an export firm in Fairfax, VA.

Peter B. Trainer

Mr. Trainer is the Vice President and Director of the Defense Services Sector of Scitor Corporation, providing professional services to a wide range of customers including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, The Department of Homeland Defense, The Defense Intelligence Agency, The Joint Staff, USSTRATCOM, Army Strategic Command, HQ USAF and Air Force MAJCOMS. His responsibilities encompass business development and management of Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance contracts, as well as directing a $140M per annum business unit of 220 national security professionals. Formerly, he led Scitor’s National Services Sector, which supports the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Space Club, and is affiliated with several professional groups, including the Space Foundation, Air Force Association, and the Reserve Officers Association.

Francis Eli Wishart

General Wishart graduated from The Citadel, University of South Carolina, and Midlands Technical College. General Wishart's first assignment was at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne Division. Overseas assignments were in Vietnam with the Military Assistance Advisory Group and the Special Forces. Other assignments included both command and staff positions with Second United States Army, Third United States Army, the 108th United States Army Reserve Training Division, 120th ARCOM and the South Carolina State Guard. Retired from Midlands Technical College, he served three years as South Carolina Military Department Homeland Defense Program Director. He serves on the boards of several civic, business and military organizations. He is also married to the former Diane Wolack and they reside in Columbia, South Carolina.

Advisory Board Charter

NAME

The organization will be known as The Citadel’s School of Humanities & Social Sciences Advisory Board. Alternately it may be designated as the SHSS Advisory Board.

MISSION

The mission of the Advisory Board is to provide advice and support to The Citadel’s School of Humanities & Social Sciences. That advice and support will include guidance and assistance in strategic planning, development of academic opportunities for students and faculty, maintaining effective liaison with the rest of the college and the community, and raising funds through individual gifts, corporate gifts, and grants.

MEMBERSHIP

Members of the Board will be persons who have established themselves as leaders in their fields of endeavor and who are committed to advancing education in the humanities and social sciences at The Citadel. Characteristics of the successful Advisory Board member include the following.

  • A demonstrated lifelong interest in learning and a solid commitment to the goals of The Citadel.
  • A commitment to service and shirt-sleeve participation. Prior demonstrated involvement with The Citadel is not a prerequisite for newcomers, but is an excellent indicator for alumni.
  • A commitment to the long term advancement of The Citadel and its mission. An interest in and willingness to talk about and contribute to the financial needs of The Citadel.
  • A willingness to mix with people in member communities promoting The Citadel from the perspective of recruiting students, educating state legislators, usage of the appropriate media, and interacting with other groups of influential people in their communities.

The Advisory Board composition will include 25 members from a variety of backgrounds and educational experiences. Membership will be comprised of at least 50% Citadel graduates. New members will be approved by the SHSS Dean and the Advisory Board. Members will serve for a term of three years and which may be extended for additional terms at the mutual agreement of the board member, Membership and Governance Committee, the Board chair and the Dean. The term limits begin with the Class of 2013.

MEETINGS

The Advisory Board will meet at least three times each year, normally during the fall and spring semesters of the academic year and once in the summer. Meetings will be held on the campus of The Citadel, unless the Board elects to meet elsewhere. Special Board meetings may be called by the Chair of the Board for special purpose(s). A quorum will consist of a majority of all active members.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Membership on the SHSS Advisory Board carries with it the following responsibilities:

A.  Attend Board meetings prepared to discuss agenda items.

B.  Participate in fundraising efforts on behalf of the School, providing advice and counsel on how to increase effectiveness of the development program.

C.  Identify other top-level philanthropists and "open the door" for Citadel leadership and development staff where and when appropriate.

D.  Work with members of the Board for the advancement of the SHSS.

The Advisory Board will consider such matters as may be placed before it by the Dean of SHSS. These matters may include but are not limited to:

A.  Reviewing existing academic programs and assistance in identifying new technological areas that should be promoted and old areas that should be reduced in emphasis or eliminated.

B.  Serving as a sounding board for new ideas, activities or programs.

C.  Assisting in the formulation, structure, prioritization and fundraising for future development, endowment, and scholarship programs related to the mission of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

D.  Establishing an alumni/friends relations program(s).

E.  Assisting in promoting professional relations between the School and the community.

F.  Enhancing the School’s communications effort with the external public, and other supporting groups.

VI.       COMMITMENT

Board members will be asked to show their personal commitment to the success of the School by committing to an annual gift to the School of Humanities & Social Sciences.

VII.     OFFICERS

There will be a Chair and a Chair-Elect of the Board, elected from the Advisory Board to serve a two-year term commencing at the close of the fall meeting.  After the two-year term the Board Chair becomes the Past Chair, the Chair-Elect assumes the Board Chair and the Board elects a Chair-Elect thereafter.  Duties of the officers will be as follows:

A.  Board Chair

1.  Preside at meetings of the Advisory Board.

2.  Act as representative of the Advisory Board at any function where the Board requires representation.

3.  Appoint committees of the Board.

4.  Chair the Executive Committee of the Board.

B.  Chair-Elect

1.  Serve as Chair in the absence of the elected Board Chair.

2.  Succeed the Board Chair to fill out an unexpired term in the event that the Board Chair resigns, or is otherwise removed from office by any reason.

3.  Chair the Marketing and Capital Development committee.

C.  Past Chair

1.  Provide liaison between the Board and other support groups of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

2.  Chair the Governance and Membership Committee.

VIII.    STANDING COMMITTEES

There will be four standing Committees of the Board.  These will include an Executive Committee, Governance and Membership Committee, Marketing and Capital Development Committee and an Awards Committee.

A.  Executive Committee

The Executive Committee will consist of the Board Chair, the Chairs of the other three standing Committees, and the Dean of SHSS. The Executive Committee will act to transact such business as may be necessary between the regular meetings of the Advisory Board, and prepare the agenda for the Advisory Board meetings. The Executive Committee will meet at least once before general meetings or at the call of the Board Chair for special purpose(s) as initiated by the Dean of the School of Humanities & Social Sciences.

B.  Governance and Membership Committee

This Committee will encourage and solicit nominations from the general membership regarding new members for the Advisory Board. The Committee will maintain and recommend updates to the By-Laws as needed for review and approval by the entire Advisory Board.  The Governance and Membership Committee will consist of at least three Board members, and will include the past Chair of the Board, who will serve as the Chair of the Committee. The Dean will serve as an Ex-officio on the Governance and Membership Committee.

C.  Marketing and Capital Development Committee

This Committee will review and suggest areas for improvement in the School with regards to marketing of The Citadel SHSS programs. This committee will also play a key role in support of development and fund raising efforts. The Marketing & Capital Development Committee will consist of at least three Board members. The Chair of the Committee will be the Chair-Elect and is a member of the Executive Committee.

D.  Awards Committee

This Committee will participate in the selection of faculty, student and alumni awards to recognize members of the SHSS "family" who have distinguished themselves by their performance or service to the SHSS. The committee will consist of at least three Board members and will be chaired by a member who is interested and capable of advancing to the Advisory Board chair. The Dean and the executive committee will nominate the Chair of the Awards committee. The full Board will vote to approve the nomination.

E.  Additional Committees

The Executive Committee may appoint ad hoc committees to address specific initiatives as needed. Committee members will be selected from the Board membership.

IX.       REVISION OF BY-LAWS

All By-Law revisions shall be sent to all members of the Board at least three weeks prior to a meeting. Approval of revisions shall be based on majority vote of all members present at the meeting.