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John O. Willson Ring awarded to Cadet Khoury

Dr. John O. Willson was a Citadel class of 1862 graduate, and a Confederate Cavalryman in Company F, Sixth South Carolina Cavalry. His unit was known as the "cadet company" because it was made up of Citadel cadets. He became a successful lawyer, preacher, and editor and served as the second President of Lander College in Greenwood, South Carolina. He established a fund for the John O. Willson ring in 1911.

The coveted John O. Willson ring is given each year during commencement to the first class cadet voted by classmates as the finest, purest and most courteous of the class. Colonel Tee Hooper, a member of The Citadel Board of Visitors presented the award to Cadet Captain Khalil Paul Khoury, of Spartanburg, S.C.

The Class of 2014 voted to award the Willson Ring to Khalil Paul Khoury who is a Physical Education, Health Exercise, and Sport Science major with a concentration in Physical Education, Health, and Wellness. In addition to being a Dean's List student seven times, Khoury has held several positions in Kilo Company and in his battalion: company clerk, battalion clerk, first sergeant, and Kilo Company Commander.

"As a Company Commander, Cadet Khoury had the overall responsibility for managing Kilo Company and ensuring that members of his company understood the meaning of becoming principled leaders centered on the Core Values of Honor, Duty, and Respect," said Hooper. "Khoury has also served as Summerall Guard commander and as co-captain of the lacrosse team."

Hooper also presented a letter from last year's recipient of the Willson Ring, part of a long standing tradition with the award. Next year, it will be Khoury who will write a letter to the new recipient to be presented at the graduation of the Class of 2015.