Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department

Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department


(from "Through Their Eyes: What Really Happened in the World's Toughest Plebe System.)

The heat and humidity that had defined the summer and autumn switched to a frigid coastal smack in the face as winter's chill slammed into us no less forcefully than the system itself had almost four months earlier. In a matter of days we went from parboiling to freeze drying and the Ashley River's ever present grip crackled as it tightened around us. First we switched to thick cadet grey wool trousers with field jackets, but deep winter was impatient and in her vengeance she swept in and dropped the low country temperatures to the low thirties and high twenties. Soon we switched from field jackets to overcoats with mufflers. During the day we k***s walked in the gutters and our breaths gave the impression of tiny steam engines as we chugged our way to class. At night when we marched to evening mess, the steam from the mechanical plant produced phantom mists that erupted from the old sidewalk grates and we momentarily disappeared into the ghostly clouds as if to join the departed graduates who had come before us, only to emerge when we reached the mess hall's steps.
(Various observations from folks after reading about The Citadel.)

Graduates of all years: Great! Brought back so many memories! Some good, some bad, but all unforgettable.

Parents of graduates: Oh my gosh. If I’d known what my cadet was going through I'd have had a nervous breakdown.

X-girlfriend: No (censored) wonder you were so (censored) screwed-up when we were dating.

High school classmates: Holy cow! You were going through that when we were at UGA?

Parents of upcoming cadets: This was such an eye-opener. I hope my cadet can take it.

Distant relatives: It was a military school?


Charlestonians: Unbelievably, that goes on right here in our town.

Neighbors: No offense but I'd die before I sent my kid there.

Drop-outs: That place ain't so hard.
(from Summer's End, Copyright © 2016)

When Cooper took charge for drill on that last day before the k***s arrived, he marched the cadre platoon far to the other end of the parade ground and took them around its edges. With computerized precision, the platoon pivoted right, wheeled left, marched to the rear and flanked each way under his command like a well-oiled machine. As they headed back Ronnie noticed Cooper laughing and talking to the guys and generally coming out of command character. When they were fifteen feet from the senior, Cooper yelled, "PLATOON ... HALT!" Then he goose-stepped up to Ronnie, came to a clicked heel stop, snapped a razor salute with a huge grin and announced, "India cadre is ready, sir."

Ronnie returned Cooper’s salute without smiling. "Pretty sharp. What was that last thing you did?"

"Oh just a little high-stepping," Cooper grinned. "We used to do it in JROTC at my high school."

Ronnie nodded. "Uh-huh. That was sharp but don’t ever do it again if the Commandant is watching. In fact, stick to the FM 22-5 without adding anything ... no matter how sharp you think it is. N***s do that crap. Soviets do it. But we never goose step. That’s for tin pot dictators who need to prove something that they’re not sure of themselves. If they were really that good they wouldn’t need to parade like idiots. Don’t ever let me see you do that again. You read me?"

Cooper blushed deep red and stared down at the grass. "Yeah Ronnie. I’m sorry man."

"Fall back in," Ronnie said as he shook his head and smiled at the cadet corporal. All was forgiven but the lesson wasn’t lost on the rest of us as Cooper double-timed to the back of the platoon and stood at attention.

"Everybody fall out in the bleachers," Ronnie ordered.

When we were all seated he crossed his arms and planted his feet like the Colossus of Rhodes. Looking into each of our faces he said, "What I’ve got to say doesn’t apply to last year’s cadre as much as it does to you sophomores. Guys, I know you’re excited to be back. I was excited to be on cadre when I was a sophomore. It’s only normal. But the one thing we don’t need is for all of the excitement to cloud our judgement. Do any of you sophomores remember anything unprofessional about cadre last year? Anybody?"

No one moved a muscle.

"That’s right. We didn’t screw around and you know it. And your class came out pretty well as a result. The fact that you were picked for cadre doesn’t mean that you’re any better than your non-cadre classmates. Everybody was pushed through the same meat grinder during k**b year and any of them could have just as easily been here as you. But the fact is you’re here so it’s up to you to take charge tomorrow."

Uncrossing his arms he hooked his thumbs behind his belt and relaxed some. "You guys are the spear tip of a tradition that began over a hundred years ago. It’s a tradition that’s been handed-down every year from class-to-class and you’ve got a mandate from all of the graduates who came before you to grab the baton and run with it just like they did. It’s your duty to the k***s, it’s your duty to the Corps and it’s your duty to yourselves. But you’ve also got a duty to somebody else. You owe a duty to the parents. They didn’t birth their kids, go to the trouble and heartache of raising them and then pay all of that money just to have you new cadre screw things up. Am I making myself clear?"

We nodded.

Relaxing his jaw, he pushed his cap backward a few inches and his voice took on a more amiable and an almost big brotherly quality. "Guys, you’re in the best physical and mental condition of your lives. You’re sharp and you know the ropes and you’re every bit as ready as any cadre that came before you. These new kids and their parents are depending on you to deliver the best plebe system that money can buy. When they start pouring through that front gate tomorrow morning I have no doubts that you’ll perform as well as all of the cadres that came before you. But remember this: whatever happens to the new k***s under your leadership will be branded in their memories forever. You never forget that first day, that first cadre corporal or that first cadre sergeant and you never forget all of the sweat and tears that you shed during the entire year."

Then he pulled his cap brim back down over his eyes and firmed his chin like stone. "Give them their money’s worth guys. Give them the same system you got when you were k***s. Give them a system that’ll tear them down, forge them into men and create the bonds that’ll last a lifetime. Give them all of the experiences we shared so that many years from now when they are old and grey and stooped-over with age, they can laugh and raise their glasses together and drink to each other’s health as well as to the ones who have passed-on who live only in their memories. Give it everything you’ve got, guys. Make it last forever."
(from "Through Their Eyes: What Really Happened In The World's Toughest Plebe System.")

The yelling, the insults, the curses and screamed corrections were just part of life. We learned to expect the sneak attacks, the ambushes on the galleries, the surprise visits to our rooms, the quick sweat parties for small uniform infractions and the extended sweat parties for more serious violations. It was all part of the game and we were getting the hang of it.

But there was one event that we never got used to. From the beginning of cadre until Recognition, this encounter always struck fear into our hearts and it was articulated in four little words: "Drive by my room."

The reasons for such an order were legion and they could have simply meant that a k**b was needed to run messages around the battalion. On the other hand it could mean that he was in serious trouble. Either way, when a k**b heard those words panic ruled because a visit to an upperclassman’s room usually meant one thing: PAIN, especially if it was a trip to the guidon corporal's room.

The rank of guidon corporal was a high honor. The guidon corporal carried the pennant in front of the company during parades and PT runs along with doing the clerk paperwork for the company. The position was usually held for a semester by the sophomore with the highest academic average who also had the military thing all in one sock. Predictably, the guidon corporal often ended up commanding the company during his senior year or else holding another high office somewhere else in the Corps. He was also the meanest sophomore in the company and we were very much afraid of him.

Whenever a k**b reported there was a prescribed protocol that had to be followed to the letter. Stopping directly across from the door, the k**b stepped across the gallery, grabbed the screen door's handle, banged it twice, and yelled, "Sir Mr. (whoever) sir, Cadet (whoever) reporting as ordered SIR!" The k**b then backed up to his side of the gallery and waited for a response. If he wasn't loud enough, he was told to try it again. He screamed it even louder after which the upperclassman usually yelled, "GET IN HERE!"

But sometimes the k**b flubbed his report-to announcement so completely that the fireworks started before he even got inside the room. Such was the case with k**b Sam Applewood who was reporting for the supreme offense of letting the guidon corporal's tea glass remain empty for more than thirty seconds.

Sam was a Yankee. That was his first mistake. But he was also a New York Yankee. Strike two. On top of everything else he blurted his words and had that most un-Southern way of speaking in a way that even under normal conditions we had to ask him to repeat himself several times before we got the gist of what he was saying. But a visit to an upperclassman's room, particularly the guidon corporal's room, was sufficient enough to increase his speaking speed from the usual 78 rpm to an unintelligible fast forward that sounded like Minnie Mouse on three shots of caffeine.

On this particular day the guidon corporal, who we affectionately called Pelican, was already stressed about a test and he was in no mood for a mush-mouthed k**b who spoke without taking breaths or using the briefest of pauses between his words.

After bamming the screen door twice, Sam yelled, "Sir Mr. Pelican sir! Cadet Applewood, S. reporting as ordered, sir." But it came out, "Sirmrpelicansircadetapplewoodsreportingasorderedsir," just like those long German words that go on forever.



"Louder and slow it down, stupid!"


Pelican was livid. From our room next door, Ebb and I felt Pelican's chair go backward across the hardwood and it slammed into his roommate's full press. Taking several long strides to the door, the guidon corporal yanked it open, jumped across the gallery and shoved his nose up against the trembling k**b's nose. "What in the &%$#[email protected] hell is wrong with you? Are you channeling an alien who can't speak English or are you just a re**rd?"




"Well I'll tell you what, Mr. Surnicutestovercuter, or whatever the hell you're saying. Until further notice whenever you report to my door you will say one word at a time followed by the word sh-t, followed by the next word and then sh-t, until you're finished. And I'd better be able to understand each and every word you say! NOW TRY IT AGAIN!" he yelled as he stepped back inside his room and slammed the door.

Sam thought a moment, and tried to put it all together. His mind wasn't wired to be creative on the spur of the moment and he stood there mouthing the words to himself, hoping to create a sentence that would get him through the door with a minimum of problems. Of course once he was inside, there was no telling what awaited him, but he could only tackle one thing at a time.

"SAY IT!" Pelican yelled.

"Sir--sh-t--Mr.--sh-t--Pelican--sir--I mean--sh-t--cadet--sh-t--Applewood--S--reporting--as--I mean--sh-t--ordered--sh-t--sir."




The Official page for use by the Citadel English Department.

Operating as usual


The English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department recently came across the original of this photo of the 1963 Citadel English faculty. We're having it framed and will put it on display in the new Capers replacement building! Anyone out there old enough to remember any of these professors?


Congratulations to Fine Arts Director Tiffany Silverman, who won The Citadel's Excellence in Teaching Award this year! It was the first time an Excellence in Teaching Award was given out to a non-tenure-track faculty member, and, as hundreds of students will attest, no one is more deserving than she!

Photos from Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department's post 05/09/2022

The Citadel Inn of Court Pre-Law Society held its annual banquet recently, hosted by English, Fine Arts, and Communications Professor Tom Horan. Cadets and alumni gathered to hear speakers Jeffrey O'Hara and Lee Rosin, who work with POVAT--Project One Veteran At A Time, a charitable group that offers legal and medical advice and support to veterans. At the banquet, Philosophy minor John Morris won the annual William A Smith '47 Award for service to the Inn of Court. He was presented with a deluxe copy of Black's Law Dictionary!

Photos from Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department's post 05/07/2022

The Class of 2022 has joined the Long Gray Line!


The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences is very pleased to present this year's Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Award to Mr. Keyshawn Gascey, Political Science and English Double Major, President of the English Club, Human Affairs Officer for The Citadel, and Army National Guard Soldier.

The Riley Award was established in 2009 and is presented annually to the graduating senior in the School of Humanities & Social Sciences who best represents the commitment to academic excellence, the breadth of intellectual interests, and the dedication to public service exemplified by the life and career of Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Citadel Class of 1964, State Legislator (1968-1974), and Mayor of the City of Charleston, SC Government (1975-2016); Citadel Professor of American Government & Public Policy (2016-present).

The awardee is chosen from nomination from Department Heads and chosen by a select committee of tenured faculty in the School based on the student’s cumulative GPA and successful completion of either: a) a minor or second major within the SHSS; b) a study abroad experience; or c) a significant service-learning project.

In addition to his studies and many activities on campus, Mr. Gascey also completed a semester-long internship under Mayor Riley for the new International African American Museum in Charleston during his junior year.

We are honored by Mr. Gascey's accomplishments and commitment to his community, and we cannot wait to see what he does next!

The Citadel Political Science Department
Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department

Cadet Sam Wilson recognized as this year’s best-drilled cadet - The Citadel Today 05/05/2022

Cadet Sam Wilson recognized as this year’s best-drilled cadet - The Citadel Today

Congratulations to English and History double-major Sam Wilson!

Cadet Sam Wilson recognized as this year’s best-drilled cadet - The Citadel Today Sam Wilson, a History major from Carlisle, Iowa, is currently the South Carolina Corps of Cadet’s best-drilled cadet.

Photos from Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences's post 05/05/2022

Photos from Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences's post

Photos from Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department's post 04/29/2022

The Citadel held its annual Ethics Colloquium this past week, hosted by EFAC instructor of Philosophy Dr. Robert Craig. Its theme was competing political theories born of Marxist and democratic thinkers. Professor Keith Knapp of the History Dept. was one of the featured speakers. He spoke on Chinese understandings of what the term "democracy" means and how they influence the communist government of Xi Jinping. The colloquium was a great success!


The mysteries of English...


Happy birthday to William Shakespeare, from all his friends in The Citadel's English, Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department!

Photos from Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department's post 04/25/2022

Professors Scott Lucas (English) and Tiffany Silverman (Fine Arts) spoke to a good number of pre-k***s and their parents about our programs on Admitted Students Day this Saturday. Later Profs. Lucas, Licia Hendriks, and Frances Frame met with an incoming pre-k**b and his family at the English, Fine Arts, and Communications offices. High schooler Mason Cooper is looking forward to joining the Corps of Cadets and becoming an English major this August!

Photos from Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department's post 04/21/2022

Congratulations to veteran student and English minor Ashlyn Howard, who earned third place in The Citadel's annual public-speaking contest. Ashlyn's speech was titled "Embrace Your Identity Crisis." Her showing was a very strong one for a freshman!


Congratulations to CPT Alyson Eggleston, our department's specialist in linguistics, technical writing, and English as a Second Language instruction. She has just been promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor!


Some of our "Old Corps" alumni might remember Major General James W. Duckett '32, long-time Chemistry professor and, later, president of The Citadel from 1970-1974. The English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department is housed in 304 Mims Ave. during the time the new Capers Hall is being built, and that was then-Colonel Duckett's residence for many years. His name is still on the steps leading up to 304. We had a nice surprise this week when Trudy Duckett, Gen. Duckett's daughter, stopped by for a visit, accompanied by her own daughter and granddaughter. Trudy recalled how Dr. Duckett was the first person on campus ever to own a television, and how his family cooked for all the faculty residents on campus back in 1959, after Hurricane Gracie brought flooding and power loss to numerous parts of The Citadel. Here she is on the steps of her childhood home with EFAC Dept. Head Professor Scott Lucas!

2022 Palmetto Medal Award recipients celebrated at The Citadel - The Citadel Today 04/13/2022

2022 Palmetto Medal Award recipients celebrated at The Citadel - The Citadel Today

2022 Palmetto Medal Award recipients celebrated at The Citadel - The Citadel Today Established by the Board of Visitors, the award is presented to those whose service to the college or state is particularly noteworthy.

Photos from Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department's post 04/11/2022

On Friday, Fine Arts minor Trey Stevens was one of three editors of the _Gold Star Journal_ honored by The Citadel's Faculty Senate for their outstanding work on the 2022 issue! Members of the English major and the English, Fine Arts, and Philosophy minors collaborated with others this year to help make the 2022 issue a great success.


Fine Arts minor Lauren Sordo '22 and English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department Head Scott Lucas spoke with pre-k***s this morning at the April information fair. Let's hope a few of those who came to the table end up joining the Corps of Cadets in August!

A miniature manuscript written by Charlotte Brontë to go on sale for $1.25 million 04/01/2022

A miniature manuscript written by Charlotte Brontë to go on sale for $1.25 million

A miniature manuscript written by Charlotte Brontë to go on sale for $1.25 million A rare manuscript written by Charlotte Brontë when she was 13 years old will go on sale at a New York City book fair later this month.

Photos from Citadel English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department's post 03/30/2022

Congratulations to Philosophy minor Thomas Kyte, who joined with a cadet from West Point and another from Switzerland's state military academy to win fifth place in the international Law of Armed Conflict competition in Sanremo, Italy! Overseen by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, the competition invites cadets from military academies and colleges all over the world to compete in mixed-school teams. Their goal is to offer the best approach to a thorny issue involving law, ethics, and armed conflict. Over twenty teams competed, and The Citadel had cadets on the second and fifth-place teams!


Congratulations to the many members of the English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department's major and minors on the 2022 _Gold Star Journal_ staff! Members of our programs are always at the heart of this annual tribute to the best student writing at The Citadel.

Back row, from left to right: Fine Arts minor Jesse Quimby, English major Hampton Dennis, Philosophy minor John Morris, faculty advisor Suzanne Mabrouk (Chemistry).

Front row, from left to right: Dylan Young, English major Ken Galsgaard, Elissa Reckdenwald, Fine Arts minor Trey Stevens.


It was great to host English alumni here at The Citadel on Corps Day Weekend! Here's a picture of English, Fine Arts, and Communications Department Head COL Scott Lucas with Ron Plunkett '64 (English M.A. '97) and David Walters, Jr., '95, at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Board meeting in Bond Hall. We're grateful for our alumni support!

2022 Pinesong Award Winners 03/18/2022

2022 Pinesong Award Winners

Congratulations to Katherine (Katie) Scott Crawford, a graduate of our joint M.A. program with the College of Charleston. Her poem "Litchfield Beach" has just won a Pinesong Award for best poem from the North Carolina Poetry Society! Katie is a novelist, poet, and journalist who is a driving force in the literary-arts community of Western North Carolina.

2022 Pinesong Award Winners It is my extreme pleasure to announce the winners of the 2022 Pinesong Awards Poet Laureate Award Preliminary Judge: Anne McMasterFinal Judge: Joseph Bathanti First Place: Two Variations on a Theme…

Dragon Hoarding Enormous Pile of Treasure Seeks Unpaid Intern 03/02/2022

Dragon Hoarding Enormous Pile of Treasure Seeks Unpaid Intern

Look for our department's first class in Sci Fi and Fantasy literature from Professor Michael Livingston in 2023!

Dragon Hoarding Enormous Pile of Treasure Seeks Unpaid Intern Dragon seeks smart, motivated intern to help manage a sprawling cavern of various golden treasures. This is the perfect opportunity for a go-getter...


Some of you may have fond memories of classes or club meetings in the Achurch Room, 111 Capers Hall, named after long-time Citadel English professor Robert Achurch (1905-1980), a beloved teacher, scholar, and department head. Did you know, however, that he was Robert Achurch, Jr., and that his father was a prominent figure in the Charleston artistic community? Robert Achurch, Sr., was an early practitioner of the new art of photography, and many of his photos of Charleston in the late nineteenth century are held by the Charleston Museum. Here is the father of The Citadel's Professor Achurch, photographed in the early twentieth century, at home with his pets!


Professor Tom Thompson takes photos on behalf of The Citadel at today's Career Fair in Daniel Library!


Dr. Alyson Eggleston, our department's specialist in linguistics and technical communication, hosted the annual Darwin Week talk sponsored by the Charleston chapter of the Scientific Research Honor Society of Sigma Xi. Dr. Eggleston is vice-president of the chapter, and is certainly the first humanities person to hold an office in the Lowcountry's chapter! Here she is with the speaker, Dr. David Pfennig of UNC Chapel Hill, and Dr. Jeffrey Lyons of The Citadel's Math department.


Dante's _Inferno_: long a mainstay in Citadel World Literature classes!

Announcing Origins of The Wheel of Time: The Legends and Mythologies that Inspired Robert Jordan, With a Letter From the Author 02/15/2022

Announcing Origins of The Wheel of Time: The Legends and Mythologies that Inspired Robert Jordan, With a Letter From the Author

Announcing Origins of The Wheel of Time: The Legends and Mythologies that Inspired Robert Jordan, With a Letter From the Author Tor Books is proud to announce the acquisition Origins of The Wheel of Time: The Legends and Mythologies that Inspired Robert Jordan by Michael Livingston, including a foreword by Harriet McDougal,…





171 Moultrie St
Charleston, SC

Other Schools in Charleston (show all)
College of Charleston College of Charleston
66 George St
Charleston, 29424-0001

The College of Charleston is a public liberal arts and sciences university located in the heart of historic Charleston, South Carolina.

Lowcountry Kindermusik Lowcountry Kindermusik
West Ashley, James Island, Downtown
Charleston, 29414

Visit our website at: for more information about our music and movement programs for ages newborn to 4 or to register online.

Trident Technical College Trident Technical College
7000 Rivers Ave
Charleston, 29406

At Trident Technical College we know how to prepare students. Whether you want an associate degree, transfer credits or a shorter program that gets you job ready immediately, we're here for you!

The Citadel Alumni Association The Citadel Alumni Association
69 Hagood Ave
Charleston, 29403

The Association is organized and shall operate a supporting organization exclusively for the benefit of, to perform the functions of, and to carry out the purposes of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina ("The Citadel").

Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS®
5600 Wetland Crossing
Charleston, 29418

The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors has been the trusted source for Lowcountry real estate information for more than 100 years.

Montessori Community School PTA Montessori Community School PTA
2120 Wood Ave
Charleston, 29414

“Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world” ~Maria Montessori

The National Society of Collegiate Scholars at College of Charleston The National Society of Collegiate Scholars at College of Charleston
66 George St
Charleston, 29424

NSCS at College of Charleston is an honor society inviting high-achieving freshmen and sophomores. Members must have a GPA of 3.0 or above.

MUSC College of Pharmacy MUSC College of Pharmacy
280 Calhoun Street, MSC 141
Charleston, 29425

College of Charleston Friends of the Library College of Charleston Friends of the Library
Addlestone Library, 205 Calhoun St
Charleston, 29401

They built the library of the future. Now it's time to ensure the future of the library. Join the Friends of the Library in this important effort!

The Citadel Graduate College The Citadel Graduate College
171 Moultrie St - 101 Bond Hall
Charleston, 29409

Nationally recognized by U.S.News & World Report and Princeton Review, The Citadel Graduate College (CGC) provides top-rated civilian education tailored to meet the diverse professional growth goals of our students.

The Pulsera Project The Pulsera Project
449 Fleming Rd, Suite C
Charleston, 29412

Bring a pulsera sale to life in your school and join us in making the world a more colorful & equal place.

Chem and Biochem at the College of Charleston Chem and Biochem at the College of Charleston
66 George St
Charleston, 29424

Find us on Twitter @CofCChem