John Milton, in his Tractate on Education, described a complete education one that prepares the individual to perform justly, skillfully, and magnanimously, all offices both public and private, of peace and war. This is the essence of a Citadel education. Since its inception in 1842, The Citadel has sought to prepare its graduates intellectually, physically and morally to be principled leaders and productive citizens in all walks of life.
In 1843, the first Board of Visitors of the Citadel Academy reported to the Governor and General Assembly of South Carolina. The report was on the system of education it had devised for Cadets as follows:
“The Board have aimed at a system of education at once scientific and practical, and which, if their original design is carried out, will eminently qualify the Cadets there taught, for almost any station or condition of life.” 2
The Citadel of the 21st Century remains true to this vision, instilling in Cadets the core values of integrity, honesty, and responsibility in a disciplined academic environment, thereby preparing its graduates to understand their obligations as citizens, and to become principled leaders in whatever their chosen field of endeavor.
Citadel graduates have participated in many of the pivotal events in our nation’s history, and have fought in every American war since the Mexican War of 1846. Alumni have achieved prominence in such diverse fields as military and government service, science and engineering, education, literature, business, the medical and legal professions, and theology. The Citadel’s legacy of service to the State of South Carolina and our Nation is a tradition of which its founding fathers would be justly proud.
Origins of The Citadel
The original site of The Citadel was on what is now Marion Square in the City of Charleston. A fortification, known as a “Horn works”, was established in Marion Square during the Revolutionary War. In 1783, this site was transferred to the City upon its incorporation as a municipality. Six years later a small portion of this tract was transferred back to the state for use as a tobacco inspection site. The City retained the remainder of the land known as the Citadel Green which was used as a muster site for militia units. In 1822, the South Carolina Legislature passed an “Act to Establish a Competent Force to Act as a Municipal Guard for the Protection of the City of Charleston and its vicinity.” The act provided that a suitable building be erected for the deposit of the arms of the State, and a guardhouse.4
Prominent Charleston architect Frederick Wesner designed the building that was to become known as the Citadel, but it was not until 1829 that the structure was erected on the square. Wesner’s design, a two story Romanesque structure, incorporated an interior courtyard with Doric columns and Roman arches. It is speculated that Wesner’s design was inspired by the Jacques-Louis David painting, The Oath of the Horatii.5
At the request of the State of South Carolina, troops from the federal garrison at Ft. Moultrie became the first guard of the new state arsenal on January 8, 1830.6 Federal troops were withdrawn on December 24, 1832, as a result of tensions between the federal government and South Carolina over federally imposed tariffs. State militia at the Charleston powder magazine was then detailed to guard the state arsenal at the Citadel.7 During the next ten years several smaller arsenals around the state were consolidated at the Citadel in Charleston and the Arsenal in Columbia and placed under the guard of two companies of state militia known as the Arsenal and Magazine Guard.8
Governor John P. Richardson first conceived of converting the Arsenal in Columbia and the Citadel in Charleston into military academies. This was accomplished by an act of the State Legislature on December 20, 1842. In his message to the State Legislature in 1842, the Governor spoke eloquently of the purpose to be served by converting the State’s arsenals to educational purposes:
“If the success of these institutions should form the basis of future and important improvements, which may judiciously be extended to our free schools; if they should supply better teachers from their alumni; if they should suggest higher standards and better systems of morals;…or if they only awaken greater ardor in the people, and a warmer interest in our rulers, to advance the cause of education; they will achieve more for the weal and honor of our State than all the other labors and appliances of government could in any other manner confer.”9
The two academies, formally named “the Citadel Academy,” and “the Arsenal Academy,” were originally established as separate institutions governed by a common Board of Visitors. However, in 1845, the Arsenal Academy was made auxiliary to the Citadel Academy and accepted only first-year Cadets, who would transfer to The Citadel to complete their education.10 On March 20, 1843, the first Cadets reported to The Citadel on Marion Square. This date is celebrated today as “Corps Day” the official anniversary of the formation of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.11
The Citadel Prior to the Civil War
The regulations adopted by the Board of Visitors for the Citadel and the Arsenal military academies provided for an equal number of “Beneficiary Cadets” and Pay Cadets, to be selected from each of the 29 judicial districts of the State based on their academic qualifications, moral character, and fitness for military service. In adopting the system of military education and discipline for the academies, the Board of Visitors undoubtedly adopted many of the regulations in effect at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.12 However, in developing the academic course of instruction for cadets, the Board had much more latitude and endeavored to provide Cadets with as broad an education as possible, both scientific and practical, to prepare them for leadership roles beyond military service.13
Compared to the more classically focused universities of the day, the practical education provided at the Citadel and Arsenal Academies was unique for its time. During a Cadet’s four years at the Citadel Academy, he would undertake a demanding course of academic study in addition to his military training and duties. This course of instruction included the following subjects: Modern History, Geography, English Grammar, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, French, Bookkeeping, Descriptive Geometry, Rhetoric, Moral and Natural Philosophy, Architecture, Civil and Military Engineering, the Science of War, Topographical Drawing, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Mineralogy, Botany, Constitutional Law, and the Laws of Nations. In addition, Cadets would be schooled in the military arts, including Artillery, Evolutions of the Line, and Duties of non-commissioned and commissioned Officers.14
The first class of cadets graduated from the Citadel Academy on November 20, 1846, with 6 Cadets receiving diplomas. Charles Courtenay Tew was First Honor Graduate. Tew would become a professor at the Citadel Academy and later establish the Hillsboro North Carolina Military Academy. During the Civil War, Tew was a commissioned officer in the Confederate Army and rose to the rank of Colonel. He was killed on the eve of his promotion to brigadier general at the battle of Sharpsburg on September 17th, 1862, while commanding the 2d Regiment, N.C. State Troops.15
Also during 1846, the Citadel Academy undertook its first military training exercises to assist America to prepare for war. The 1st South Carolina’s Volunteer Infantry also known as the Palmetto Regiment, took its training in military drill and arms from Citadel Cadets in Charleston prior to departing for the Mexican War.16 William J. Magill, a member of the first class to graduate from the Citadel in 1846, served with distinction as a lieutenant in the 3d U.S. Dragoons under General Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War. Magill later served as Commandant and professor of mathematics at Georgia Military Institute, and during the Civil War served in the First Georgia Regiment rising quickly to the rank of Colonel before being seriously wounded at the battle of Sharpsburg.17
Life as a Cadet at the Citadel Academy was Spartan and demanding with little time for idle pursuits. A typical day would begin at 0600 hrs (6 AM) and end at 2130 hrs (9:30PM9:30 PM) during the winter months, and at 2230 hrs (10:30 PM) when the days were longer. Academic classes and military drills and duties took up most of the day, with evenings devoted to studying. Saturdays were reserved for inspections. From March 1 until December 1, there was an infantry or artillery drill each day except Saturdays and Sundays. On Saturdays, in addition to room inspection, there was inspection under arms, and on Sunday attendance at church services was mandatory.18
The Association of Graduates (now named The Citadel Alumni Association), was organized at a meeting at the Citadel on November 19, 1852. Charles C. Tew Class of 1846, was elected as its first President, and John P. Thomas Class of 1851, its first Secretary. The Association of Graduates was destined to play a pivotal role in securing the return of The Citadel to State authorities after its confiscation and occupation by federal troops at the end of the Civil War.19
Before the institution of athletics, debate and oratory among literary societies were the main forms of competitive activity and relaxation among college students. At the Citadel, two literary societies were formed in the 1840s. The Calliopean society was formed in 1845 and drew its members primarily from the low country of the state. The Polytechnic society was formed in 1847well-appointed and drew its members mostly from the upstate.20 The rivalry between these two societies was great and reportedly their debates were often acrimonious. The societies each occupied well appointed halls within the Citadel itself, and one of the early honors at the military academy was to be elected as President of one of the societies, a position reserved for members of the First or senior Class.21
On February 22, 1857, a standard of colors was presented to the Corps of Cadets on the occasion of the Washington Light Infantry’s semi-centennial celebration in Charleston.22 This elegant flag is composed of a field of blue Lyons silk, displaying on one side the arms of the State of South Carolina and the name “South Carolina Military Academy” with the date 1857, and on the other side an elaborate wreath of oak leaves, enfolding the inscription – Fort Moultrie, Cowpens, King’s Mountain, Eutaw Springs, and below this “Our Heritage.”23
The flag served as the Corps of Cadets’ battle flag throughout the Civil War. After the Civil War, the flag was safely preserved by John P. Thomas, Class of 1851, and returned to the Corps upon its reformation when the college was reopened in 1882. For many years the flag was borne by the Corps of Cadets color guard as the battalion colors during parades. It is now on display in The Citadel museum.24
The Citadel and the South Carolina Corps of Cadets during the Civil War
On December 20, 1860, South Carolina formally seceded from the Union, setting the stage for the great civil war that was to follow. In organizing its military units to prepare for war, the South Carolina General Assembly on January 28, 1861, combined the Corps of Cadets at the Citadel and Arsenal into the Battalion of State Cadets and designated the two institutions as The South Carolina Military Academy. The Battalion of State Cadets was made a part of the military organization of the State.25
During the War, the Arsenal and Citadel continued to operate as military academies, however, classes were often disrupted when the governor called the cadets into military service. Even before January 28, however, the Citadel Academy, its officers, and Cadets were called on to perform military duties. A laboratory at the Citadel was set aside for the manufacture of ammunition,26 and on January 9, 1861, Citadel Cadets manning an artillery battery on Morris Island fired the first hostile shots of the Civil War, repulsing the federal steamship Star of the West, carrying supplies and two hundred federal troops dispatched by President Buchanan to reinforce Union Forces garrisoned at Fort Sumter.27
During the Star of the West incident, the Cadets flew as their banner a unique flag, observed by eyewitnesses on the federal steamer, and described in a dispatch by a Union officer at Fort Sumter as “a flag with a red field, and a white palmetto tree.”28 A depiction of this flag flying over the Cadet battery on Morris Island can be seen in the Star of the West mural in Daniel Library, and replicas of the flag are now used as the spirit flag of The Citadel Corps of Cadets, known affectionately as “Big Red.”29
During April 12 – 13, 1861, Confederate artillery batteries in Charleston harbor and Union forces occupying Fort Sumter exchanged fire culminating in Fort Sumter’s surrender on April 13. Officers of the Citadel were directly involved in establishing artillery positions and directing fire on Fort Sumter.30 There are few surviving records of Cadets’ direct involvement in the Fort Sumter bombardment. It is known, however, that many Cadets were in Charleston at the time, and some attached themselves to various military units manning harbor batteries when the bombardment began on April 12.31 Although most Cadets were officially on leave following the April 9 commencement of the graduating class, several Cadets returned to the academy when learning of the bombardment, and were ordered to White Point Gardens to take charge of five, six and twelve-pound cannon located at the extreme eastern promenade of the Battery.32
During the Civil War, mounting and manning heavy guns, guard duty, and, escorting prisoners were among the military duties most frequently performed by Cadets. Early in the war, Cadets were called upon to train raw recruits in newly formed military units.33 Cadets traveled as far north as Virginia to conduct training of troops at the front lines.34 However, members of the Corps of Cadets and its officers actively participated in several campaigns and engagements in defense of Charleston and South Carolina during the War. The regimental colors of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets carry eight battle streamers and one service streamer for the following campaigns and engagements by the Corps of Cadets35:
- Star of the West, January 9, 1861
- Wappoo Cut, November 1861
- James Island, June 1862
- Charleston and Vicinity, July – October 1863
- James Island, June 1864
- Tulifinny, December 1864
- James Island, December 1864 – February 1865
- Williamston, May 1865
- Confederate States Army
The engagement at Tulifinny Creek is of historic importance because it involved the deployment of the entire Battalion of State Cadets from the Citadel and Arsenal Academies as an independent military unit engaged in armed combat with Union forces. In December of 1864, the Governor of South Carolina ordered the Battalion of State Cadets from the Citadel and Arsenal to deploy to Tulifinny Creek south of Charleston to reinforce Confederate troops defending a key railroad bridge against a much larger advancing Union force.
On December 7, the Battalion of State Cadets, along with Confederate militia units from North and South Carolina and Georgia, engaged a much larger Union force in a pitched battle for several hours, advancing against rifle and cannon fire and forcing the federal troops back to their entrenchments. On December 9, the battalion of cadets successfully repulsed a Union counter-attack on their defensive position by the railroad trestle with their disciplined rifle fire.36 The Battalion of State Cadets suffered eight casualties in the engagement, including one killed,37 and were commended by Major General Samuel Jones, CSA, Commanding General of South Carolina and Georgia Departments, for their gallantry under fire.38 A mural depicting the December 9th engagement at the Tulifinny Creek railroad trestle is on display in the Daniel Library.
A large number of Cadets left the academies to join the War. Among these were a group of Citadel and Arsenal Cadets who left the academies in June of 1862 to form a cavalry unit known as the Cadet Rangers. The Cadet Rangers became part of the 6th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry,39 and were of incalculable assistance in training the Regiment’s officers and non-commissioned officers. They took part in several engagements along the South Carolina coast before deploying to Virginia in 1864.40 The Rangers are best known for their participation in the battle of Trevilian Station, Virginia, considered the largest and bloodiest engagement of Union and Confederate cavalry during the Civil War.41 A mural depicting the Cadet Ranger’s successful cavalry charge at Trevilian Station under the command of General Wade Hampton, is on display in Daniel Library.
On February 18, 1865, the Citadel ceased operation as a military academy when Union troops captured Charleston and occupied the Citadel building and grounds. The Citadel remained the confiscated property of the federal government for nearly 17 years and was used as a garrison by federal troops.42 The Arsenal in Columbia was burned by General Sherman’s army and never reopened.
During the War, twelve members of the Battalion of State Cadets were killed or died as a result of wounds or illnesses suffered in the field.43 In addition, 4 members of the Cadet Rangers were killed in military service.44 Of some 224 graduates living during the Civil War, 209 served in the Confederate armed forces, all but 29 as commissioned officers. 4 graduates attained the rank of general, and 19 attained the rank of full colonel. 36 graduates were killed in action or died from wounds on the battlefield. Another 13 died from wounds or diseases while in military service. Some 200 former Cadets who had not graduated are known to have died in military service during the Civil War.45
The Recovery and Reopening of The Citadel
Federal troops were garrisoned at the Citadel from the fall of Charleston in February of 1865 until 1879.46 Although the State made attempts to recover possession of the Citadel from the federal government, its recovery and reopening as a college, were to take many years, and is due primarily to the unfailing efforts of the Association of Graduates.47
In December of 1877, alumni of the Citadel Academy met in Charleston to reconstitute the Association of Graduates. Brigadier General Johnson Hagood, Class of 1847, who would later become Governor of South Carolina (1880 – 1882), was elected President of the Association. Under Hagood’s leadership, the Association undertook a successful campaign to gain general public and political support for the reopening of the Citadel as an educational institution. In 1878, Governor Wade Hampton appointed a new Board of Visitors for the Citadel, with General Hagood as Chairman, and five regular members, all of whom were graduates of the Citadel Academy.48 This Board of Visitors was to take responsible charge of the movement to recover and reopen the Citadel.49
On January 29, 1882, the Secretary of War ordered the commanding officer of the federal Military District of South Carolina to evacuate the Citadel,50 and on January 31, 1882, the South Carolina General Assembly passed “AN ACT to authorize the Re-opening of the South Carolina Military Academy.”51 After seventeen years, the Citadel was once again under the control of the State and the Board of Visitors.
On October 2, 1882 one hundred eighty-nine cadets reported to the reopened Citadel. Colonel John P. Thomas, Class of 1851, who had headed the Arsenal Academy during the Civil War, was appointed Superintendent.52 The 1882 Act authorizing the reopening of the Citadel, continued the practice of competitive appointments for deserving young men from the several counties in the state who were referred to as “beneficiary” or scholarship Cadets, as well as providing for the enrolling of pay Cadets. However, the 1882 Act established for the first time the requirement that after graduation, beneficiary Cadets teach for two years in the free public schools of the County from which they received their appointment to the Academy.53
Colonel Thomas and the Board of Visitors established the same strict system of military and academic discipline for the Citadel Academy as before the war. In doing so, they were careful to delineate that the aim of the military system was to further scholastic achievement and produce men who were equal at once to civil and military achievements. Military discipline was not be used to compel mechanical obedience to a rigid code, but to impress upon Cadets ethical propositions and the high thought of duty and responsibility.54
Rebirth and Growth of The Citadel
In 1882, in anticipation of the reopening of the Citadel, the Charleston City Counsel acted to gain control of the spacious grounds in front of the Citadel with a view of converting the entire square into a parade ground and public mall. This grand idea of a military plaza resulted in the creation of Marion Square.55 By act of the State Legislature the historic Citadel Green in front of the Citadel on Marion Square, was permanently preserved as a place for military exercises, with the proviso that the Corps of Cadets of the State Military Academy would likewise have the right to use the Citadel Green for military exercises and recreation.56
In 1890, the office of Commandant of Cadets was created and Lieutenant John A. Towers, 1st U. S. Artillery, USA, was detailed by the United States Army to the Citadel to become the Citadel Academy’s first Commandant of Cadets.57
In 1898, America went to war against Spain. Seventeen Citadel graduates served with volunteer regiments in the Spanish-American War, and the first South Carolina unit to be mustered in was commanded by Captain Edward Anderson, Class of 1886.58 Another five graduates served with the Regular Army.59
In 1900, in recognition of the high academic standards maintained at the Citadel, the South Carolina General Assembly granted the Board of Visitors authority to award the bachelor of science degree to graduates.60
By 1910 enrollment at the Citadel had steadily increased to 242 Cadets, bringing the Citadel to full capacity.61 In order to accommodate the large number of Cadets and officers, the General Assembly approved construction of a fourth story to the Citadel which was completed in 1911.62 Believing the term “academy” was no longer appropriate for a college level institution, the General Assembly accepted the recommendation of the Board of Visitors to change the Academy’s name to “The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.”63 Also in 1910, the General Assembly granted the Board of Visitors the authority to award the degree of civil engineer to graduates.64 This act was in recognition of the strong emphasis on engineering instruction at the college, and the national prominence which many of its alumni had attained in the engineering profession.65
World War I
On April 8, 1917, Congress declared war on Germany commencing America’s entry into World War I. With the approval of the Board of Visitors and Governor of South Carolina, The Citadel offered all of the college’s military facilities to help train recruits.66 The National Defense Act had established the Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1916, and this provided Citadel Cadets and recent graduates a direct opportunity to become officers in the U.S. military. All members of the Class of 1917 entered military service upon graduation, 6 received commissions as officers in the Regular Army, and 13 received commissions as officers in the Marine Corps.67
Again in 1918, all members of the graduating class entered military service.68 Citadel graduates volunteered with Allied forces prior to America’s entry into the war69, were on the first American convoys that sailed off to war on June 13, 1917, and participated and distinguished themselves in most of the major battles of World War I.70 In all, 316 Citadel graduates served in World War I, 277 as commissioned officers.71 Six graduates died in the war and 17 were wounded.72
Move to the Ashley River Campus
Despite numerous building additions, by 1918, enrollment had outgrown the capacity of the Old Citadel on Marion Square. The City of Charleston offered the State a large tract of one hundred seventy six acres adjacent to Hampton Park and along the Ashley River for a new campus73. The first main buildings to be completed were the main barracks (Padgett Thomas), the College Building (Bond Hall), Alumni Hall and the Mess Hall (Coward Hall).74 Although not originally planned or budgeted, a hospital building was among the first buildings completed on campus due to a generous gift from an anonymous citizen of Charleston.75
The Romanesque style of architecture was followed in constructing the buildings and the use of arches and courtyards replicated those at the old Citadel.76 According to reports, the corner stone of the College Building was laid on a beautiful Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1920, by the Grand Mason of South Carolina, in an imposing ceremony that included a parade of 2,200 Masons in their full regalia and an audience of over 5,000, including several hundred alumni.77
Accreditation and Expansion of the Academic Curriculum 1922-1932
On December 5, 1924, The Citadel’s academic credentials reached an important milestone when its application for membership in the Southern Association of Colleges was approved.78 Other colleges gaining membership in the Southern Association of Colleges on this same date were Furman University and Texas A&M.79
Until 1916, there were only three majors that Cadets could pursue at The Citadel: civil engineering, the sciences or a literary course. Increased enrollment at the college allowed for the introduction of further elective courses of instruction. In 1924 business administration was added as an elective course,80 and within a few years, elective courses of study in education and psychology were added, followed by electrical engineering, chemistry, pre-medical chemistry-biology, English, history, social science and modern languages. The first bachelor of arts degree was awarded in 1925.81
The first homecoming at The Citadel was observed on October 25, 1924, culminating in a football game in which The Citadel Bulldogs were victorious over Furman.82
Establishment of The Honor Code
The first reference to an honor system at The Citadel was in the 1919 Guidon. It specified that Upperclassmen were subject to the Honor System. The freshmen (or 4th class cadets) at The Citadel, who were known as “Recruits” at that time, were not held to the criteria of the Honor System. This system proved controversial and was dropped in 1925. In 1955, West Point Cadets visiting The Citadel gave a presentation on the Honor System adopted at the United States Military Academy. This drew strong support among the Corps of Cadets, and in September of 1955, the Honor Code was officially adopted for the Corps of Cadets by order of General Mark Clark, then President of The Citadel.83 The Honor Code states simply that: “a Cadet does not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do.”
General Charles Pelot Summerall’s Presidency of The Citadel
Upon his retirement as Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General Charles Pelot Summerall became the tenth President of The Citadel. General Summerall’s distinguished service in the United States Army, dating from the Boxer Rebellion in China to his leadership of the 42d and 1st Divisions and V Corps of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I, established him as one of America’s great generals and provided The Citadel with immense national prestige.84 His leadership of the college during the Great Depression enabled The Citadel to weather the economic depression and remain a vital and growing educational institution.85 Under General Summerall, the college’s campus was greatly expanded to include LeTellier Hall, the Summerall Chapel, Capers Hall, McAlister Field House, Law and Stevens barracks.86
World War II and the Korean War
During World War II The Citadel and its alumni once more responded to the call of our nation. A higher percentage of its students entered military service than any college in the nation, other than the federal service academies.87 Even before the United States entered the war, Citadel alumni were serving in the armed forces of allied nations.88 Of 2,976 living graduates in 1946, 2,927 served their country during the war. Before the end of the war, two hundred seventy-nine Citadel Men had given their lives in defense of our country.89
During 1941-45, in addition to educating and providing military training for members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, The Citadel and its faculty provided specialized screening and training programs for the war effort, matriculating over 10,000 military personnel in such programs as The Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), the Engineering, Science, and Management War Training Program (ESMWT), the Army Specialized Training and Reassignment Program (ASTRP), and Specialized Training and Reassignment (STAR).90
In 1950, The Korean War broke out and the United States led the United Nation’s military effort to repulse the North Korean invasion of the south. Over 1,500 alumni served in the Korean War with Thirty one alumni paying the ultimate sacrifice for our country. General E. A. Pollock ’21, USMC, who would upon retirement become Chairman of The Citadel’s Board of Visitors, commanded the 1st Marine Division in Korea and served under General Mark Clark, then Commander in Chief of the United Nations Command. General Clark would upon his retirement from the Army, become President of The Citadel in 1954.91
General Mark Clark’s Presidency
General Mark W. Clark became President of The Citadel in 1954, and served until 1965. Prior to coming to The Citadel, General Clark had had an illustrious military career. Among his numerous Army assignments were serving as commander of the 5th U.S. Army in Italy during World War II and serving as Commander in Chief of the United Nations Command during the Korean War. General Clark’s reputation for leadership and his relationships with international dignitaries brought further national and international recognition to The Citadel.
During General Clark’s tenure as President, the campus continued to expand to include the Daniel Library and Museum, Mark Clark Hall, Jenkins Hall, the Howie Memorial Carillon, the McCormick Beach House on the Isle of Palms.92 General Clark is responsible for the formal adoption of the Cadet Honor Code at The Citadel in 1955,93 and establishing the Greater Issues Series, a program of distinguished speakers. He is also credited with formation of the college’s endowment foundation, establishing The Citadel Summer Camp for boys, as well as revitalizing the college’s varsity sports programs.94
The Citadel of the Modern Era
The Citadel’s unique educational experience, combining rigorous academic preparation within a disciplined military environment, has continued to keep pace with the changing nature of our society. During the 20th Century, The Citadel established itself as one of the leading undergraduate liberal arts colleges in the Southeast.95 It has also expanded its academic programs to serve the needs of the South Carolina low country by establishing the undergraduate Evening College in 1966, and Graduate School programs in 1968.96 Citadel Cadets and graduates have continued to serve our nation bravely, in the tradition of the citizen-soldier, participating in every conflict our nation has faced since the Korean War, including Viet Nam, the Gulf War, Kosovo, and the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq.
During the latter part of the Twentieth Century, The Citadel experienced the same social change that has transformed America in general. The first African American Cadet, entered The Citadel in 1966 and the first women entered the South Carolina Corps of Cadets in 1996. Cadets from many foreign countries have added to the cultural diversity of the Corps of Cadets since the 1920s, when the first Chinese students arrived. These were followed by Cadets from Puerto Rico (prior to its becoming a commonwealth) in the late 1940s, Thai and Taiwanese Cadets in the 1960s and 1970s, and Jordanian and Iranian Cadets in the 1970s.97 Today, the Citadel’s Corps of Cadets represents a rich and diverse group of young men and women from across America and many different foreign countries, intent on preparing themselves to be principled leaders in their chosen fields of endeavor.
The ultimate test of any academic institution is the quality and character of its graduates. Through three different centuries, The Citadel’s contribution of leaders to society has been greatly disproportionate to its size. Numerous alumni have served as flag officers in all branches of our uniformed military services. They have served as governors, United States Senators and Congressmen, distinguished jurists, ambassadors, presidents of universities and colleges, prominent theologians, engineers, doctors, lawyers, writers and business executives in many diverse fields of endeavor. The record of Citadel graduates has more than validated the hopes of Governor Richardson in 1842, that the institution he sought to establish would produce useful citizens. At the beginning of the Twenty-First Century, The Citadel continues to stand as a bulwark of Duty, Honor, God and Country, dedicated to producing principled leaders for service to the state of South Carolina, and our nation.