News & Donor Stories

The Class of '64 Rallies: The Long Gray Line Watches Over Its Own

In times of need, Citadel graduates have always stepped forward to support their college, their classmates, and the Corps of Cadets. Consider, for example, the case of a promising young cadet facing financial hardship.

As a freshman, Cadet Bryan Byler of Salisbury, Maryland, endured all the challenges every knob faces. He may not have enjoyed it much, but he and his classmates struggled successfully through the rigors of the system.

The real trouble came the following year, when the combination of expensive out-of-state tuition and a costly divorce back home caused financial difficulty for his family. Byler completed his sophomore year with good grades, but walked away with a semester's worth of debt.

He held two jobs the following summer, waiting tables in the evenings after a full day's shift with a construction company. He got a strong taste of reality along the way, thanks in part to a week he spent living out of his truck, struggling to save every dime he earned. But it wasn't nearly enough.

Byler quickly realized that he'd have to sit out of school for the next year. "I work hard, I'm a smart kid, and I'm a good fit for The Citadel," he noted at the time, "but unfortunately, I just can't write the check to cover tuition."

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