Celebrating Citadel Diversity Milestones in the 50th and 20th years
The Citadel’s 2016 Homecoming weekend will kick off a number of special events being held in coming months to commemorate the 50th anniversary of African American cadets and the 20th anniversary of females in the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. During the homecoming football game on Nov. 5, members of The Citadel Black Alumni Association will take the field, alongside the President of The Citadel to honor the first black cadet, the late Charles D. Foster, who entered The Citadel in 1966 and graduated in 1970. Foster’s brother, William, will be with the group. The association recently arranged for the reading of a congressional record in honor of Charles Foster, on the floor of the U.S. Senate with the assistance of U.S. Senator Tim Scott.
“Charles Foster was a pioneer and should be honored, just as the first female cadet to graduate from the Corps, Nancy Mace, should be honored — what they did was not easy. Their courage and tenacity laid the foundation for The Citadel to become more diverse, and therefore stronger year after year,” said Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, USAF (Ret.), president of The Citadel. “Because of them, and those who followed the path they paved, a culture supporting diversity at all levels evolved, enabling us to work together to develop principled leaders for our nation.”
Mace was born into a Citadel family, with her father, Brig. Gen. James E. Mace, having been the former commandant of cadets and one of the college’s most decorated graduates. Her mother, Anne J. Mace, Ph.D., graduated with a master’s degree in teaching from The Citadel Graduate College in 1972. (Women have attended The Citadel Graduate College since it was formed in the mid-1960s.)
Foster and Mace are featured as part of a new Celebrating Citadel Diversity Milestones section of citadel.edu. The ongoing project includes historical timelines and photographs, information about the accomplishments of the African American and female alumni, as well as events listings. Some of the events will include the announcement of a new scholarship, a fund-raising ball, a 50/20 anniversary panel at the 10th Annual the Principled Leadership Symposium, March 16 - 17, 2017, as well as activities for Black and Women’s History Months such as the 3rd Annual Boeing Women in Leadership Day, where female cadets learn from some of Boeing’s top female leaders, March. 8.
“We work to create powerful learning environments for all of our cadets and students. This year, that effort is empowered by the largest African American, female, and Latino freshman population in the history of the college,” said Connie Book, Ph.D., provost and dean of The Citadel. “From recruiting students to scholarships to human resources, our programs to enhance the diversity of our campus populations are working. These efforts create dynamic learning environments where students of every color and background are represented, advance to earn their degrees and then begin careers as principled leaders in the military or as civilians.”
Under Rosa’s leadership since 2006, The LEAD Plan 2018 was created, outlining the college’s strategic plan to enroll a diverse community of leaders as faculty and staff and to expand cadet and student diversity. Foundational training and education related to the ethical treatment of cultural, gender, racial and religious diversity matters was expanded for the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, and Rosa established a Diversity Council comprised of cadets, students, faculty and staff. Additionally, Rosa has overseen the development of a robust menu of clubs, activities, workshops and services dedicated to fostering an understanding of issues related to diversity, as well as to supporting the success of female and minority students.
“The college’s gender and ethnic student populations reflect the demographics of the other six senior military colleges. The competition to attract top notch minority and female students who have an interest in a military college education is substantial, but we are dedicated to continued growth,” said The Citadel Director of Multicultural Student Services, Robert Pickering, Jr., class of 1994. “We are also dedicated to helping young cadets understand the contributions of alumni like Charles Foster and Nancy Mace, whose fortitude and strength serve as examples for generations to come.”
Visit the Celebrating Citadel’s Diversity Milestones web room by clicking here.