Remembering Citadel grad and country music leader Tandy Rice
Tandy Rice, ’61, a respected Nashville country music executive, who launched the careers of Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton and Jim Ed Brown, passed away Monday at the age of 76.
Rice was a native of Franklin, Tenn. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from The Citadel, he served in the United States Air Force for three years with the Air Force Strategic Air Command at Loring Air Force Base, Maine, before rising through the ranks of the Nashville music industry. Rice was the founder of Top Billing International. He was a member of the Country Music Association’s board of directors, serving as president in 1981. In 2014, he was named the first inductee of the Nashville Association of Talent Directors Hall of Fame.
At The Citadel, Rice was known for his generosity and leadership.
“Tandy Rice epitomized The Citadel core values of Honor, Duty and Respect,” said Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa. “Many will remember his professional accomplishments, but even more will remember his spirit of giving and helping those in need. He will be missed, but his legacy will live on at The Citadel.”
Rice’s contributions to his alma mater were numerous. He helped create the Rice Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides cadets with four-year scholarships, and he served on the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Board. He mentored and counseled more than 200 middle Tennessee freshman applicants to The Citadel, and for more than 15 years, he attended Nashville area college fairs to bolster interest in the college.
In the Middle Tennessee Citadel Club where he served for more than 30 years, Rice was the only member to be awarded emeritus status, and in 2008, The Citadel Board of Visitors presented Rice with an honorary degree, the college’s highest honor.