Recognition Day for The Citadel Class of 2016 is this Saturday, April 13. The year has flown by for me, but I know it hasn’t for the knobs and their parents. Looking back on my own son’s knob year I remember how long it seemed. The following three years past by like it was just one.
There is one aspect of the day I need to emphasize. Recognition Day is for the 4th Class cadets.
Each year since 2008 when I first watched the 4th Class cadets march into Marion Square more and more families travel to Charleston to watch the activities Saturday morning. It is important for everyone who does decide to attend to remember that this is their cadets big day, even though you too feel like you have survived knob year. It is a 24 hour period filled with challenges both physical and mental for the knobs.
While you can now observe the gauntlet, a series of activities performed on the parade field or the WLI field, you should not cheer or get in the way of the activities. Bring a chair, watch from a distance, take photos from a distance, visit with other parents, but do not interact with the cadets.
In 2008 we arrived in Charleston before noon to watch the march into Marion Square. I was surprised to see some people gathered around the sallyport gates watching what was happening inside. We got out of the car just in time to hear the announcement, “The fourth class system in no longer in effect!”
Many alumni do not understand why parents now come to campus for Recognition Day. The tradition has changed from their time as cadets. The significance of the day for the 4th Class cadets has not changed. Don’t be surprised if a friend who is also a graduate of the school doesn’t understand why you are going to the campus.
For parents who cannot be on campus for the activities, the phone call you will get from your cadet will be one of the best calls you have ever received. The school will post photos and the Facebook groups for parents will be filled with photos and videos.
I look forward to seeing the photos and videos myself. I am hoping the members of the Facebook group, The Citadel: Parents of the Class of 2016, will gather at some point for a group photo.
Congratulations to the Class of 2016!
See the following links for previous posts about Recognition Day.