The History of Women at The Citadel

Women have been a part of The Citadel since its inception in 1842. They served in supportive roles as staff, nurses, mothers, sisters, girlfriends, company sponsors, and mentors, eventually becoming faculty and graduate students in the 1960s, and then members of the South Carolina Corp of Cadets in the 1990s. Take a look at back as The Citadel keeps moving foward.(Dates approximate.)

The Citadel is a landmark in Charleston and South Carolina that is noted for its educational reputation as well as its rich history. Founded in 1842, The Citadel has an undergraduate student body of about 2,300 students who make up the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. Another 1,000 students attend The Citadel Graduate College, a civilian evening program that offers graduate and professional degrees as well as undergraduate programs.;xNLx;;xNLx;The Citadel is best known nationally for its Corps of Cadets, which draws students from about 45 states and a dozen countries. The men and women in the Corps live and study under a classical military system that makes leadership and character development an essential part of the educational experience. ;xNLx;;xNLx;For more than a dozen years now, The Citadel has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the top public college in the South for institutions granting up to a master's degree.

1842-09-01 00:00:00

The beginning

This shows the original Citadel Academy building which is now a hotel on Charleston's Marion Square.

1859-01-01 00:00:00

The South Carolina Militia

The South Carolina Militia (cadets) waiting with citizens

1885-12-08 00:00:00

Bill to convert Citadel into a female college

A bill presented to the SC General Assembly proposes to "metamorphose" the male military college into a female college.

1886-01-01 00:00:00

First men's baseball team

1893-04-01 00:00:00

Cadets with dates

Girlfriends, sisters and mothers visited the cadets.

1901-12-09 00:00:00

Christmas Hop

Several hops (dances) were held annually until the early 2000s.

1903-05-01 00:00:00

1903 yearbook sketch about going co-ed

1913-04-01 00:00:00

King Street stroll

With no women on campus, cadets often strolled King Street in Charleston to meet girls. (And still do.)

1920-09-01 00:00:00

Women as company sponsors

From the late 1800s to about 2000, young women from the community would be named company sponsors. They were featured in the yearbooks and would assist with special events.

1942-04-04 00:00:00

The Beauty Section of the Sphynx

Called different things over the years, this was the Beauty Section in the 1942 yearbook, featuring the young women who were serving as company sponsors, and Miss Citadel.

1950-11-01 00:00:00

Miss Citadel Contests

Each company had a female sponsor, a young woman from the area. At homecoming for decades, the sponsors would compete to be named Miss Citadel. They would have photo shoots and be featured at special events and in the yearbook.

1955-10-01 00:00:00

Mrs. Clark serving as a mentor

Maurine Clark, wife of Citadel President, Maj. Gen. Mark Clark, frequently engaged with cadets, serving as mentor. Gen. and Mrs. Clark were the "first couple" of The Citadel from 1954 - 1965.

1956-04-05 00:00:00

Yearbook superlative sketch about going co-ed

Bo Fant named Most Naive. It says "I don't think we'll ever go co-ed."

1966-09-01 00:00:00

Co-educational evening undergraduate classes begin

The Citadel's undergraduate Evening college was founded, (now called The Citadel Graduate College) is established with co-ed evening undergraduate courses. Graduate degree programs were added in 1968. It became a full operation when the Citadel Board of Visitors officially named it The college of Graduate and Professional Studies in 1994. The CGC now serves as many as 1,500 evening undergraduate, veteran and graduate students annually, offering 26 graduate degree programs with 42 concentrations and 23 graduate certificates.

1969-09-01 00:00:00

First female African American instructor

The college's first African American instructor was a woman who taught for the graduate college. Many of the graduate college instructors and professors were women.

1970-05-01 00:00:00

First women graduate from Graduate Program

1974-01-08 00:00:00

First female full-time, permanent professor

Aline Mahan, Ph.D. taught psychology courses for the Corps and was also the first woman to achieve the rank of colonel at the college.

1975-06-06 00:00:00

First full-time African American (and second woman) faculty member

Dr. Marlene O'Bryant Seabrook, a third-generation educator, came to The Citadel in 1975 teaching in the Department of Education.

1976-03-01 00:00:00

Cadets and Miss SC for Miss America

Cadets serve as escorts on televised Miss SC contest, part of the Miss America pageant.

1982-07-07 00:00:00

Dr. Suzanne Ozment - first woman Dean

Dr. Suzanne Ozment, now Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Montevallo, began her illustrious career at The Citadel in 1982. She served on the faculty of the English department for 15 years before being named the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the Dean of women, in 1997. She was instrumental in assessing the needs of female cadets.

1988-10-10 00:00:00

Award-winning Bulldogs cheer leading squad

Cheerleaders have often been a part of Bulldog athletics. The squads were composed of young women from the community and the College of Charleston until there were female cadets who wanted to cheer.

1988-11-08 00:00:00

Mothers honored with cadets

Through out the history of the college the mothers of cadets have played an important and supportive role. They are honored, along with cadets when the seniors receive their rings, and they are invited for many important occasions. Officers in The Citadel Family Association are most often the mothers of cadets who stay in close touch with the commandants office, sharing news with all cadet families. Pictured here is Cadet Don Livingston with his mother, Betty, and his girlfriend, Robin Johnson.

1995-08-19 00:00:00

First woman enrolls as cadet

Following a ruling in her favor by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Shannon Faulkner reports to The Citadel with other freshmen on Matriculation Day. She departs six days later.

1996-05-01 00:00:00

3000th female graduates from Citadel Graduate College

Originally called The Citadel Evening College, and then The Citadel College of Graduate and Professional Studies. (Now The Citadel Graduate College.)

1996-06-01 00:00:00

Male gender requirement dropped from admission policy

Citadel Board of Visitors votes to drop male requirement from admissions policy for the Corps.

1996-08-24 00:00:00

Four women matriculate to become cadets in the SCCC

Petra Lovetinska, Jeannie Mentavlos, Kim Messer and Nancy Mace join the Corps. Hazing allegations surface in December involving two of the female cadets. Mentavlos and Messer withdraw by not returning for the spring semester. The Messer family and the college reach a settlement in 1998. The Mentavlos family agreed to a settlement with the college in 1999.

1997-01-01 00:00:00

Assoc. of Citadel men changes name to CAA

The name of the college alumni association transitions to The Citadel Alumni Association to become more inclusive. Graduate college students are invited to join, including women.

1997-02-01 00:00:00

Retired Army Brigadier Gen. Emory Mace named Commandant of Cadets

New commandant overseeing Corps is Nancy Mace's father.

1997-04-01 00:00:00

First female recruiter

Captain Kelly Gosnell becomes first female admissions counselor.

1997-06-01 00:00:00

First women on Board of Visitors (Citadel's governing board)

After several failed attempts which received media coverage, two women are selected to be the first female advisory members of the college's Board of Visitors. Ann Elish and Allison Wright (later Dean) Love. Both graduates of The Citadel Graduate College.

1997-08-01 00:00:00

20 women cadets report to the Citadel with The Class of 2001

17 of the 20 will go on to complete their freshman year.

1997-09-01 00:00:00

Lt. Col. Bonnie Joe Houchen named women's head volleyball coach.

Volleyball was the college's initial intercollegiate women's team sport.

1997-09-09 00:00:00

Cadet Mandy Garcia becomes first woman cadet student-athlete

First female to earn athletic scholarship. Cadet Garcia participates in cross country and track.

1998-02-02 00:00:00

Women's volleyball first season

1998-05-01 00:00:00

Female cadets begin appearing in The Sphynx (yearbook)

Athletic photos and candid pictures of of female cadets (in addition to just class headshots) slowly become a part of the yearbook. Company sponsors and homecoming queens also continue to be included for several years.

1998-07-25 00:00:00

Female cadets selected for athletic cadre

Cadre members are cadets who train the incoming freshmen and are considered to be in high standing academically and militarily.

1998-08-20 00:00:00

37 women matriculate

An 85% increase over previous year.

1998-11-01 00:00:00

First woman cadet to pursue commission as active duty officer

Cadet Rebecca Kinney signs USAF contract. Cadet Patricia Giera is next, signing with the US Army.

1999-01-15 00:00:00

Wendy Anderson named women's volleyball coach

former all-conference Clemson player and district Six coach of the Year at Converse.

1999-02-01 00:00:00

Certified by NCAA after adding women's teams

The Citadel is officially certified by NCAA.

1999-07-12 00:00:00

Woman commanding officer in charge of Athletic Cadre

Cadet Petra Lovetinska named commanding officer.

1999-09-05 00:00:00

Christiana Spies first African American MECEP at Citadel

Spies was Marine enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) student; first female graduate of the college to go into full-time service in Marines as second lieutenant.

1999-09-10 00:00:00

Volleyball team wins first game

Defeating Columbia College, 15-12, 15-14, 15-7.

1999-10-10 00:00:00

First woman to earn Citadel ring - Nancy Mace

1999-11-15 00:00:00

Director of equal opportunity, affirmative action and diversity is hired

The Honorable Roberta Smith Tracy becomes the college's diversity director for faculty and staff.

2000-01-15 00:00:00

33% increase in female applicants

117 out of 1,395 applicants were female.

2000-03-03 00:00:00

First woman editor of cadet newspaper, Brigadier.

Cadet Dena Abrash

2000-04-05 00:00:00

First women company commanders

Cadets Garcia and Abrash are named company commanders.

2000-04-05 00:00:00

First female Regimental Executive Officer

Cadet Mandy Garcia earns the highest rank of any female, second-highest ranking in the Corps.

2000-04-07 00:00:00

Allison Dean Love becomes first woman elected to Board of Visitors

She was appointed previously, but elected to the seat on this date. She continues to be a highly engaged board member. (2016)

The History of Women at The Citadel

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