Nancy Mace: The Citadel Must Earn Its Good Name Back
By Nancy Mace || My heart is heavy for the alleged victims of Skip ReVille. To think about what the individuals and their families have faced thus far and must continue to experience is gut wrenching. I send my prayers and ask for God’s healing for them during their time of crisis.
I know I am not alone when I say The Citadel family is deeply sorry for any ill will experienced at the hands of Mr. ReVille.
The sense of family at The Citadel is something I’ve known my whole life. My father is a graduate, and his love for the college is what encouraged me to follow in his footsteps.
Like many in our community, I am thinking back and wondering how something like this could have occurred and resulted in the failure to involve law enforcement.
However, I will patiently wait to find out the results of an external investigation before forming any judgment.
While there are many things I am unsure about at this time, I would like to share something with you that I am certain about.
I have witnessed The Citadel during some difficult moments and the college has days ahead that will be more challenging than what we have seen in its recent history. But I have witnessed the school overcome these obstacles with honor, integrity and responsibility.
My time spent at The Citadel was the most valuable preparation for the real world I could have ever received. As with anything worth having, the hard work, dedication, drive, tears and perseverance have to come before you are able to reap the rewards.
The Citadel experience has shaped who I have become. It influences my personal and professional decisions.
As a mother, it shapes the way I parent. I have said in the past and I still say, The Citadel is a place where I would be proud to send both of my children.
The Citadel is known for developing principled leaders. That often means being pushed to the brink of breaking in order to find out what you are really made of.
It means doing the right thing even when no one is looking. It means doing the difficult right rather than the easy wrong. As we look to the future, we must keep this in mind.
While we can all agree that these acts, if deemed to be true, are deplorable, disgusting and horrific, we must not give up. 99.9 percent of Citadel graduates are phenomenal people who live the core values of principled leaders everyday.
Honor, duty and respect. These are ideals ingrained when cadets enter The Citadel and they remain for a lifetime.
While evaluating the school’s processes is a step that must be taken, The Citadel must do more. It must restore full confidence to the Corps of Cadets, graduate students, staff and the public. This can be done by partnering with Darkness to Light in order to educate the public on childhood abuse.
The Citadel can reach further and keep the public abreast of all external audit milestones and findings. It can partner with MUSC and other community resources to offer counseling services to those affected.
The school should provide information to summer camp families who attended during the time ReVille was a counselor because many questions remain for those who do not know if their child was at camp during this time frame.
And last but certainly not least, help step up the reporting requirements to strengthen the existing childhood molestation and abuse laws in South Carolina.
If you agree, and want to support the college, encourage the school to take these necessary steps to restore faith in our alma mater.
Additionally, this event should serve as a strong reminder to all families about sexual abuse.
Parents must talk to their children at a very young age about inappropriate behavior, make this tragedy an opportunity for conversation.
My faith in The Citadel still rides high. I want The Citadel to remain the institution that I have known it to be and hope to share with my children one day.
Nancy Mace, The Citadel’s first woman graduate (Class of 2000), runs a public relations and web design company in Charleston. Her column was first published in The Charleston Post and Courier.