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Citadel News Service
11 Nov 2010

Former Citadel president’s memoir published

Summerall’s efforts instrumental in bringing recognition to college


“The Way of Duty, Honor, Country,” a memoir originally written on a yellow legal pad by Gen. Charles P. Summerall, president of The Citadel from 1931-1953, has recently been published by the University Press of Kentucky.

When Summerall arrived at The Citadel in 1931, he found the military college in financial depression and the campus in a state of neglect:

the buildings were in bad condition. There were no paved roads on the campus.  The furniture in the cadets’ room was obsolete, and the beds had no springs…. Only a few of the faculty had degrees above that of bachelor…. The only transportation was a very lame mule, which died in a few months, and a wobbly cart that fell to pieces.  The grass on the campus was cut only in the fall of the year for hay, and this was done by a man who took half for himself.

The book details Summerall’s distinguished military career as well as his 22-year term as president of The Citadel in which he turned the college into a nationally recognized institution.  Among his accomplishments, he doubled enrollment, balanced the budget, expanded the campus and established the first civil engineering program in the state of South Carolina.

Summerall died in Washington D.C. in 1955. He rests at Arlington National Cemetery along with his wife Laura Summerall, and son Col. Charles Pelot Summerall, Jr.

“The Way of Duty, Honor, Country,” is edited and annotated by Timothy K. Neinninger.

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