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Citadel News Service
17 Mar 2016

The 2016 Citadel Palmetto Medal Awards

One of the highest awards presented by The Citadel will be given to three people who embody the college's definition of principled leaders. The Palmetto Medal Awards will be given to the following leaders during the 11a.m. dress parade on Saturday, March 19, as part of the festivities for this year's Corps Day Weekend. It is with great pride that The Citadel Board of Visitors will award the 2016 Palmetto Medal to Dr. Emmett Davis, Jr., Cadet Lt. Col. James McManus, and Cadet Lt. Col. Spencer Lukas.

Emmett Irwin Davis, Jr., ’50

Emmett Irwin Davis

Davis is the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Davis and Floyd, an award-winning engineering firm with offices in Atlanta, Boston and the Carolinas. A member of the Class of 1950, Davis graduated with a degree in civil engineering. In 2007, he received an honorary doctorate of engineering from The Citadel, the highest honor awarded by the college. Also in 2007, the governor presented Davis with the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor in the state of South Carolina. As an alumnus, Davis’s contributions are vast, twice serving on The Citadel Foundation Board of Directors, once as president. He is also a member of The Citadel Society of 1842, a lifetime giving society recognizing his generous support of the college. His commitment both to the field of engineering and his alma mater are unwavering.

Cadet Lt. Col. James McManus, Regimental Academic Officer

Cadet James McManus

McManus is an education major and an Honors Program student. He is a high-achiever whose footprint on The Citadel campus is vast, but he is most known for his passion for education, his social consciousness and his untiring spirit. His goal to become a high school principal is one of which he never loses sight—a goal that is reflected in much of how he spends his time, volunteering for non-profit organizations, serving as the student governor of the state of South Carolina, being a founding member of an initiative called Global Outreach to improve education around the world, and publishing an online educational resource for students and teachers called The Oxford Observer. A portion of his research overseas for the Observer was funded by The Star of the West Scholarship, which he received in 2015. McManus is a presence who stands for ethical reasoning, self-sacrifice and a high standard of integrity. He is a model cadet and a respected leader. (Pictured in center with Col. Mark Bebensee, assistant provost, on left, and Lt. Gen. John Rosa, Citadel president.)

Cadet Lt. Col. Spencer Lukas, Regimental Executive Officer

Lukas is an exemplary cadet whose four years at The Citadel have been marked by scholarship, leadership and a commitment to service. He is a political science major, a Citadel Scholar and a member of the Honors Program. As regimental executive officer, he is second in command of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. In this role, he is responsible for all administrative matters in the regiment. He has streamlined operations to make the Corps function more efficiently. As a servant leader, Lukas is humble and dedicated to making a difference, generously giving of his multi-dimensional skills to ensure a successful outcome in various endeavors. He has served with the Main Street United Methodist Church youth organization and as an intern assisting congressional staff within the U.S. House of Representatives. As a campus leader of the One Campaign, he worked tirelessly to promote awareness of social injustice and poverty. Additionally, Lukas has led cadets on a number of other projects, including restoration of the oyster beds in the Ashley River. Lukas is a principled leader dedicated to service.

Corps Day Weekend takes place in conjunction with the 9th Annual Principled Leadership Symposium. For more information about both events please click here or visit


Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Kim Keelor-Parker
(843) 953-2155


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