2017 Matriculation Headquarters Page is Posted

move in

Entering knobs place their belongings on the side walk outside the barracks and go to check in. Family members wait by the belongings.

I just received word that the new Matriculation Headquarters page is posted. Long time readers will notice some major changes in layout and information.

The main changes to the Success packet is the addition of an iron and ironing board (either travel size or full size) and that the Nice to Have List is no longer posted. I’ve been told by the admissions office that the Commandant’s Office felt that knobs were reporting with too many things the past few years so knobs should only bring what is on the new Success Packet list.

For tips and links for items on the Success Packet List go to Cadet Parent Advice.

Change

NOTE: If you follow my blog for information on The Citadel, this entry won’t be of interest. It is a personal reflection not related to The Citadel.

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In September of 1999 I returned to my studies at Columbia Theological Seminary after the birth of our daughter in November of 1998. 1998 marked the end of a very turbulent 10 years for me. The changes continued after she was born but they slowed to a manageable pace.

In 1988 I was pregnant with my first son and my mother was diagnosed with cancer. She died nine months after the initial diagnosis. I returned from my mother’s funeral to find I would be laid off when my son was born. The company was restructuring and they kept me on until his birth rather than lay me off right away.

My oldest was born in March of 1989. By early 1990 I learned I was expecting my second baby, my husband at the time accepted a job in San Antonio, Texas and we moved there. Six months later he left the job in Texas and moved back to Atlanta. I was on bed rest for several weeks that fall and my second son was born in November of 1990.

Soon after my second son was born I went to work part-time for a United Methodist Retreat Center, January of 1991. That time period is a bit of a blur to me now. Two small children a new job and the loss of my mother left me in a bit of a fog. The job became full-time and was a great distraction from the profound loss I felt when my mother died. To compound the confusing time my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. My sister and I were o the front end of a trend that became known as the sandwich generation. Adults with small children caring for elderly parents.

Dad died in 1993. Shortly after he died it became evident that the my marriage was not going to make it and we separated. In early 1995 the divorce was finalized. In July of 1995 with the help of scholarship money, Student financial aid, and the support of my work place, I began my studies at Columbia Theological Seminary. by the fall of 1995 I was engaged to my now husband. We married January 6, 1996, Epiphany. It seemed an appropriate date to begin our new lives together.

The first few years of marriage were also filled with change. I had two miscarriages the first year we were married. We bought our first house. In January of 1997 my second son who had just turned 6 broke his femur in a bicycle accident. He required care 24/7 and I had to leave school for the semester to care for him.

By early 1998 I was pregnant with our now 18-year-old daughter. The changes didn’t end there. When my daughter was 2 weeks old I was fired from my position at the retreat center. It was a difficult time but I learned by then that God would hold me up in my time of uncertainty.

So, when I went back to my studies at Columbia I began a study on change and the church. I had been through so much in a relatively short period of time studying change and the church seemed an appropriate topic. I used a book, Mighty Stories Dangerous Rituals as the main basis for the study, “The Use of Narrative and Ritual in Leading Church Organizations Through Major Change.”

It was a wonderful way to help me make sense of my personal feelings and emotions, but also a great lens to view the changes I had seen in my former work place, the church I belonged to and the Presbytery, that just went through a change in leadership.

I interviewed several people for the study and video taped the interviews. One in particular has amazing relevance today. I interviewed Dr. Lane Alderman, senior pastor of Roswell Presbyterian Church. Each person I interviewed received a few questions in advance about the change they were going through in their respective positions, and asked them for scripture passages they used to help guide them through the transitions. Their answers to my questions helped me make sense of my own path through tremendous change.

At this point you may be wondering why I decided to write about this now. April 14th will mark one year since Dr. Lane Alderman died after a long battle with cancer. Roswell Presbyterian Church just welcomed our new pastor after a long and thoughtful search. I found myself thinking about my study on change and in particular the conversation I had with Lane about change. This weekend I looked for and found my study from 1999 and uploaded the video interview to YouTube. I’ve shared the link with Lane’s family and the new pastor of our church and decided other people may find his insights helpful as change enters your life.

Back in 1999 the study helped me frame many of the experiences I had gone through. I had no way of knowing then how helpful it would be to me 18 years later.

The Citadel Foundation Launches the 2017 Senior Campaign

This past week The Citadel Foundation (TCF) launched a campaign for seniors to give back $20.17. The goal is to raise $2,017 with 100% participation. Parents can also donate in honor of their cadet as well! In addition, the TCF will be adding a gift match by a generous donor in the near future but that won’t happen until next week.
 
It would be amazing to announce that this is the first time in history The Citadel Foundation has had a current cadet class at 100% participation! The link to the page is:
The members of the Cadet Philanthropy Council choose their priorities which are The Citadel Fund, Academic Endowment, Cadet Activities, and the Cadet Relief Fund.

Corps Day and Recognition Day Tips

UPDATED 03/16/2017

The Citadel is combining two big events for cadets the weekend of March 17 – 19, Corps Day and Recognition Day. The school website mentions three events which includes the Leadership Symposium. Since most families who come to town do so to see the Summerall Guards ceremony on Saturday morning, and this year for Recognition Day, I’ll focus on those two events.

The schedules are available online for the weekend. For a more detailed schedule for activities parents will want to attend, go to the parents page of the school website and read through the Corps and Recognition Day 2017 page.

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the 2015 Bond Volunteers prepare to take their rifles and become the 2015 Summerall Guards.

Tips for parents of Bond Volunteers and Summerall Guards:

The crowd begins to form on the parade field about 30 minutes before the scheduled ceremony. The schedule lists the time as 8:45 – 9:45am. So arriving  by 8:15am to find your preferred spot along the roped off area is a good idea.

Be sure to ask your cadet where they will be as they march onto the field to know if you should be on the side closest to the barracks or the other side closer to Chapel side of the field. For instance my son was the 5th squad back on the end closest to the barracks side of the field. We stood at the roped off area closest to the 2nd battalion across the walk way from where General and Mrs. Rosa sit for parades. (Of course cadets and grads will refer to theses areas and line up for the Summerall Guards by their proper terms. Since I’m a mom and not a grad I’ve developed my own way to describe the areas to help other parents know where to stand.)

Another must is insect repellant for the morning. The entire ceremony only lasts about 20 minutes or so but after it is over you’ll want to snap photos with your cadet. It is a bit of a scramble after it ends. Ask your cadet the best way to find them after the ceremony ends. Many of them will be talking with the Summerall Guard whose rifle they now carry and receiving their Summerall Guard patch.

Most years they’ve had a luncheon for the Summerall Guards after the parade. It is at the luncheon where we purchased out Summerall Guards parent t-shirt. It is a fundraiser for them to help with expenses. Check with your cadet for the plans for this year.

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Members of the Class of 2019 begin their march to Marion Square on Recognition Day for the Class of 2019.

Tips for parents of the Class of 2020:

The schedule this year is completely different from previous years since Recognition Day has been moved from April to the same weekend as Corps Day. Stories from parents of upperclass cadets of what they did on Recognition Day won’t really apply to your experience this year.

This weekend is not like Parents Weekend where the emphasis is on spending time together. The Recognition Day part of the weekend is really about the Class of 2020 and their time together, parents while welcome to watch are not the focus. If you are planning to be in town, remember you may not see your cadet Friday afternoon and evening. They have meetings and will need to get their rooms in inspection order for the open barracks Saturday morning. If they do have time off to see you for dinner consider it a bonus visit.

Saturday will be jam-packed with activities. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for the day. Look over the schedule to see just how busy you’ll be and make your plans for lunch based on your family.

The barracks open at 8:00am. Check with your son or daughter to see if they want any food brought to them. They will have a VERY strenuous workout after the parade so they may not want anything too heavy.

The Rifle Legion and the Summerall Guards will perform on the parade field that morning. Check with your cadet to see if they will be attending both or either of those events. My son’s senior mentor was a Summerall Guard so he wanted to see that ceremony.

After the Summerall Guards exchange rifles the Corps of Cadets must prepare for the 10:00 parade. This would be a good time to have a light snack. The Canteen will be open but to avoid lines you may want to pack your own snacks or lunch. You’ll also have time after the parade and before the Gauntlet begins to grab something to eat or sit in the reception room in Mark Clark Hall between events.

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Members of the Class of 2019 participate in the gauntlet as upperclass cadets guide the activities.

The Gauntlet begins at 11:30. It is a series of physical challenges the 4th Class cadets go through together by company. They will be either on the parade field or the WLI field. Some years the school posts a map. I haven’t seen it posted yet. To get an idea of how Recognition Day was handled in the past I’ve found the PowerPoint from 2015 on the website.

The past several years after the gauntlet is over and the 4th class cadets are in the barracks and hear the announcement “The 4th Class System is no longer in effect.” The newly recognized cadets would come out to give a hug to their family members. The timing is very tight this year and the cadets may not have time to come out. The training schedule has the cookout in the barracks beginning at 1320 and the hygiene time to get ready for the retaking of the oath on the parade ground at 3:00. The March is on the schedule for 1500.

If you haven’t ordered a meal through the school (the ordering time frame has past), pack a lunch or eat in the Canteen the school.

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General Rosa and Provost Dr. Connie Book visit with class of 2019 family members at a lunch held last year after the gauntlet. This year boxed lunches will be available to purchase.

Cadets who saved an overnight and followed the protocol can take one Saturday night. Most of the cadets are too exhausted to want to do much Saturday night. If you want to go out for a nice meal Sunday is the better day to do that.

I’ll be helping my youngest daughter at her high school musical that weekend so I’ll have to miss the excitement. I look forward to seeing everyone’s photos. Next year I’ll have my own college freshman, just not a knob at The Citadel.

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L-R Provost, Dr. Connie Book, Dorie Griggs, Mrs. Donna Rosa, General John Rosa

 

Recognition Day for the Class of 2020

Recognition Day, March 18, is the day The Citadel Class of 2020 will hear the words, “The 4th Class system is no longer in effect.” The knobs have worked very hard to get to this point in the year.

Many parents have asked if there is a traditional gift to mark this milestone. While there isn’t one “have to get” item, over the years many families have given their 4th Class cadet a company t-shirt  from the campus bookstore to mark the occasion.

In the past few years an alumnus has offered a special Recognition Day t-Shirt. The sales benefit the Col Harvey M. Dick, ’53 Memorial Ring Endowment. A photo of the shirt is below and it is available on the Senior Private Etsy site. Sunday, February 20 is the last day to order this shirt.

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The decision what to give a 4th Class cadet, if anything, is up to each family. What is really important is the pride they will feel in accomplishing the toughest goal they have faced to date.

Welcome to The Citadel Parents of the Class of 2021

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Each year for the past five years I’ve posted a group to support parents of incoming knobs at The Citadel. It is now time to announce the group for parents of the Class of 2021, The Citadel: Parents of the Class of 2021

Please note the parent groups by class are for the parents/guardians of the incoming cadet recruit (they aren’t cadets until Parents Weekend). While I understand there are family members who are very proud, the groups are limited to the parents only. Family members can follow the school via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat(TheCitadel1842), YouTube, Instagram, and Periscope.

The Citadel Family Association and the Parents page on the school web site are both great resources. Their web sites are accessible to anyone. The page for Freshman Parents features a series of helpful pages linked on the left hand side of the page (when accessed via computer). I highly recommend parents and their high school senior read through the Important Conversation page and watch the video there.

The Citadel Family Association web pages have very helpful information too including the Nice to Have List of items found on the Resources for Families page along with other helpful information. All new parents should read through the Frequently Asked Questions page before Matriculation Day.

In the weeks and months to come I’ll post additional information and links geared towards new families. Be sure to send me an email or private message via Facebook after you request to join the group for 2021 parents. I verify each request to join the group to make sure only parents and guardians are accepted. Receiving an email makes the approval process go quicker. My email address is: Dorie at dorielgriggs dot com

Once a parent is accepted to the group they are asked to read and acknowledge the post pinned to the top of the page which outlines the basic ground rules for membership in the group.

A note about social media and cadets: It is best to tighten up the security of all social media platforms. Knobs should keep a low profile until their Recognition Day, the day the 4th Class system ends and they become full members of the Corps of Cadets. In addition to security settings an incoming knob should not use any Citadel related hashtags nor should they post photos wearing Citadel apparel.

Looking Forward for Citadel Parents of the Class of 2018

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Bravo Company 2011 wear the Ring photo by Stanley Leary

Parents of the Class of 2018: Your cadets have ordered their rings and gotten their blazers. It won’t be long until the BVA’s find out if they are Summerall Guards. In less than ten months from now you’ll be attending Parents/Ring Weekend!

A few notes:

  • If your cadet is a Summerall Guard, do attend Corps Day Weekend. That is when they will transition from Bond Volunteers to Summerall Guards.
  • Find out where your cadet will be as they march onto the field Saturday morning and find your place along the roped off area early to get good photos. My son was on the side closest to the stands (versus on the chapel side of the field) we stood along the rope in front of the stands closest to the walkway from 2nd battalion.
  • Looking ahead to ring weekend, make your hotel or house reservation early. Get cancellation insurance if you rent a house as we learned this past fall with hurricane season anything can happen.
  • I’ve written quite a lot about Ring Weekend and posted plenty of photos to show moms in particular what to wear Friday evening. In short, the ring presentation in the afternoon business dress is appropriate (you’ll see more casual attire too) the evening ring ceremony traditionally moms wear a formal gown since the cadets are in their most formal uniform. Moms, wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be standing in a line for your turn through the ring.
  • You do not need tickets for the afternoon ring presentation or the evening ring ceremony.
  • The field house fills up quickly for the presentation so get to your seats early. As your friends with sophomore or junior cadets to take photos/video of the march into the field house and have them stationed at the chapel where the cadets knock on the chapel door with their rings.
  • After they receive their rings families should go to the barracks. The seniors run into the battalion have a sparking cider toast and throw the glasses at the company letter. If you are stationed at a sallyport with a view of the letter and a zoom lens you can get some photos. In 2010 my husband got permission ahead of time from the TAC officer to be in the battalion to take photos which we shared with everyone in the company afterward.
  • After the toast the seniors will come out of the barracks for congratulations and photos. The Summerall Guards have to practice. Most others have the afternoon off.
  • The school will post the schedule of when each company goes through the ring Friday night. If your cadet’s company has a time from 6 – 8 you can have dinner after you go through the ring. Bravo went through at 8:30 so our group of 30+ had dinner at 5:30.
  • Family and friends who are with you Friday night will go sit in the stands and wait for the cadet and mom/date/other guest to go through the ring. Once you walk through the ring your party will leave the field house.
  • Saturday of Ring Weekend is a regular football day, but with open barracks Saturday morning. Most cadets appreciate families bringing breakfast to them in the barracks that morning.
  • Keep a camera handy. Senior cadets smile more on Ring Weekend than any other time. It all goes by so quickly. If you have family or friends with you consider asking them to be the designated photographer for the family.

See the links at the end of this post for more photos:

The Citadel: Parent’s Weekend and Ring Weekend 2013

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