October 2004

Articles in this edition
PT dedication inspires Hollings to reminisce
The new Zoo
General's Journal
Brigadier Foundation announces
new Hall of Fame inductees
Long lost ring reunited with owner
Alabama reporter gives heartwarming tribute to The Citadel
Board of Visitors tackles stadium,
building issues
Wachovia grant boosts reading program
Extra: Dawgs lead the good life

General's Journal

Essentials and amenities

by Major General John S. Grinalds

U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)

President, The Citadel

John S. Grinalds

Major General, USMC (Ret.)
President, The Citadel

Colleges compete keenly for the best high school students and, according to the New York Times, some institutions are adding unconventional facilities in an attempt to lure top prospects to their campuses. These schools boast of such on-campus amenities as water parks, large-screen theaters or, at one West Coast university, a Jacuzzi that can hold 53 people.

In cases where prospective students factor such creature comforts into their college choice, The Citadel does not stand a chance.

Critics of this trend question whether such facilities are worth the higher student fees, but that is an issue for those colleges to debate. In a highly competitive market, these institutions are simply responding to consumers who seek the most for their money. For some, the best value may include such options as theater-style TVs or latte bars in residence halls. Since there are many places where one can get an excellent education, the unique advantages a given campus offers can be the deciding factor in that complex college decision-making process.

What draws prospective students to The Citadel?

Surveys tell us that The Citadel appeals to high school seniors because of our military-style education, academic reputation and unique college experience. With our modest accommodations and numerous rules, lifestyle perks are not part of the equation. We tend to attract high school graduates who enjoy challenge and believe that The Citadel experience will better equip them to handle challenges in the future. Our classic military education has prevailed for more than 160 years because it leads to success after graduation. The achievements of our alumni continue to be one of our strongest marketing points.

Yet it would be unrealistic to say that The Citadel is not adapting to changing student populations. High school graduates come here with different backgrounds, experiences and expectations than their predecessors had 10, 20 or 50 years ago. Look at the role models celebrated by the Internet, media and entertainment industries. More often than not, they are successful because of their cunning and skill, not because of their character. Statistics tell us that many high schools are losing the fight against cheating – a piece of data confirmed by the fact that nearly every hand is raised when cadre ask their knobs how many witnessed cheating at their schools.

In a world where character often seems to be marginalized, living by an honor code is not the norm. Consequently, we have refined the way we teach incoming cadets about honor to help them succeed in an environment that does not tolerate lying, cheating or stealing, For the first time in recent history, members of the honor committee have developed a set of common lesson plans for honor classes so that all fourth class cadets receive the same instruction. On-line quizzes and periodic reviews in Citadel 101 help them apply principles to given situations. Company sergeants who work most closely with the fourth class during military training are the primary instructors, demonstrating that upper class cadets have a personal stake in the integrity of the system. Discussions about honorable behavior continue throughout the first semester in The Citadel 101 classes. Plans are being made to extend these conversations about the honor system to the upper classes.

The honor system is not something that can be taken for granted; it is a precious legacy that must be cultivated with each incoming class. Although the outside attraction of The Citadel may be its reputation or military-style education, the core of a Citadel education remains its honor system.

Without that, we are just another good college.

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22 October
       Ring ceremony

22-24 October
       Parents' Weekend

26 October
       Greater Issues Address
       Dr. Roger Ferguson, vice chair,
       The Federal Reserve

5-7 November

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