175 Years at The Citadel

The story of The Citadel is one of compelling vision and rich tradition. Since its founding in 1842, The Citadel has sought to prepare its graduates intellectually, physically and morally to be productive citizens in all walks of life. Remaining true to this vision, The Citadel strives to instill in students the core values of Honor, Duty and Respect in a disciplined academic environment and to prepare its graduates to understand their obligations as citizens and to become principled leaders in their chosen field of endeavor. ;xNLx;Spanning three centuries, The Citadel's enduring legacy of service to the state of South Carolina and the nation is a tradition of which its founding fathers would be justly proud. Citadel graduates have participated in many of the pivotal events in the history of the United States 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. For 175 years, Citadel graduates have answered the call to serve.;xNLx;As an institution that builds character, educates the mind and develops principled leaders, The Citadel embraces the timeless values that have always served this country well. Drawing from a foundation of character, academics, military and fitness, The Citadel’s strong sense of purpose and community will remain relevant for generations to come.

1842-12-19 13:04:06

The Citadel Academy (1842 - 1882)

In 1842, the South Carolina Legislature passes an act “to convert the Arsenal in Columbia, and the Citadel and Magazine in and near Charleston, into Military Schools.” On March 20, 1843, 20 cadets report to the Citadel Academy at Marion Square. This date is known as Corps Day. The curriculum includes courses in history, French, math, astronomy, military and civil engineering, physics, chemistry, philosophy, economics, international law, and infantry and artillery tactics.

1843-02-01 00:00:00

Capt. William F. Graham Becomes First Superintendent

Capt. William F. Graham is appointed superintendent of the Citadel Academy by the Board of Visitors on February 24, 1843. Born in Newberry, South Carolina, on June 15, 1818, Graham receives his early education in Newberry and attends the United States Military Academy at West Point from 1834-1836. After fourteen months in office, he dies of tuberculosis on April 26, 1844.

1844-04-01 13:04:06

Washington Light Infantry Participates in Citadel Superintendent's Funeral

In April of 1844, the first association of the Washington Light Infantry and the Corps of Cadets forms a funeral escort for the body of the Citadel Academy's first superintendent, Capt. William Fair Graham. Every February 22 thereafter the cadets escort the Washington Light Infantry on parade, and cadet officers are guests of the Washington Light Infantry at an annual banquet in honor of George Washington. This custom continues today.

1844-05-01 13:04:06

Maj. Richard W. Colcock Becomes the Second Superintendent

Maj. Richard W. Colcock holds the position of superintendent of the Citadel Academy from 1844 until 1852. He dies in 1856 and is buried in Charleston.

1846-10-01 13:04:06

The Mexican War

In 1846, South Carolina prepares for the Mexican War. Citadel cadets train the South Carolina Volunteer Infantry, which is named the Palmetto Regiment. J. H. Howell, a member of the class of 1846, becomes the first alumnus to fall in battle. Citadel graduates have fought in every American war since the Mexican War of 1846.

1846-11-01 13:04:06

First Class Graduates from The Citadel

The first class of cadets graduates from the Citadel Academy in November of 1846. Charles Courtenay Tew is the First Honor Graduate. After serving as a professor at his alma mater for eleven years, Tew would found Hillsboro N.C. Military Academy. Serving as a colonel in the 2nd North Carolina State Troops, Tew is killed in action at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.

1852-08-01 13:04:06

Maj. Francis W. Capers Becomes the Third Superintendent

Maj. Francis W. Capers becomes an original faculty member at the Citadel Academy as Professor of Mathematics. In 1853, he becomes superintendent of the Citadel Academy. He resigns in 1859 and dies in 1896 in Charleston, South Carolina.

1857-02-22 13:04:06

The Association of Graduates

The Association of Graduates is founded in 1852. Charles Courtenay Tew, Class of 1846, is the first president and John P. Thomas, Class of 1851, is elected secretary.

1857-02-22 13:04:06

Semi-Centennial Celebration of WLI

February 22, 1857, marks the semi-centennial celebration of the Washington Light Infantry. The Washington Light Infantry presents the Corps of Cadets with its first set of colors "as a memorial of common brotherhood." This flag is currently in The Citadel’s museum collection.

1859-04-01 13:04:06

Maj. Peter F. Stevens, Class of 1849, Becomes the Fourth Superintendent

Maj. Peter F. Stevens graduates first in his class in 1849. In 1853, he becomes a professor at the Citadel Academy, and, in 1859, he becomes the superintendent of the Citadel Academy. He resigns in 1861 and dies in 1910.

175 Years at The Citadel

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