Parent Philanthropy Council

Spotlight:  Arthur Wood, The Citadel Foundation Parent Advisory Council

Name: Arthur Wood, Delta Company, Class of 1982
Cadet Taylor D. Gilliam, Class of 2011Home Town: Tampa, FL
Occupation: Staff Director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence at U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB
Cadet’s Name: Ian Wood, Class of 2011 (pictured, right)
Cadet’s Company: Delta

1.       Why do you serve on the Parent Advisory Council?

I was thrilled at the invitation to join the Parent Advisory Council to help bring Citadel Parents together to support our cadets.  The corps of cadets is the heart of our great college, the cadets are the reason the college exists.  An effective Parent Advisory Council will be able to contribute directly toward ensuring our sons/daughters receive the best possible education and leadership experience The Citadel has to offer.


2.       As the parent of a cadet, why do you feel it is important to give back to your son’s/daughter’s college?

Selecting and attending college is a big deal, it affects the entire family.  Supporting the college is important to ensure our sons/daughters obtain the ability to succeed in this very competitive modern world.  If we each contribute and support the college, the cadets are the ones who will receive the combined strength of all of us.


3.       What does The Citadel mean to you and your family?

Being a Citadel parent is a uniquely rewarding experience.  Handing your child...and money...over to a college is a major milestone, one that has taken over eighteen years to reach.  It is a defining family event, watching our son mature over these past three years as a Citadel cadet, has been a remarkably rewarding experience.  To be part of the extended family of this historic 168-year old college means a great deal to each cadet family, we each have uniquely grown in ths common relationship with this unusual and small college.  As did a long line of families before us, how we support The Citadel today will benefit families and cadets yet to come. 


4.       What advice can you give to parents of cadets, especially knob parents?

My advice now as the parent of a junior cadet would be to listen.  From that hot, humid summer August morning as your dropped off your high school senior, hearing them try to explain they had the wrong kind of socks.  Listening to the sounds within the tall Battalion walls of excited voices.  Listening as you receive years of calls, or text messages, home from, at times, a frustrated, tired, hungry cadet who is faced with demanding academics and dealing with "living-the-life" as a cadet, you will hear the quiet unsaid voice of determination to carry on...or your knob's excited breathless relief of an April Recognition Day...or the restrained thrill of your cadet sharing with you trying on their ring for the first time.  Listen as you stand there waiting for the cadets to march out on parade.  The Citadel is one of the few places where you can hear pride and confidence of those who are on the path less traveled.  It takes a lot of patience to listen, especially when the news is difficult.  However, the reward of being a Citadel parent is of memories and achievements, which will last a lifetime. 


5.       What other service activities are you involved in—boards, community service, church, etc?

I am currently the President of the Tampa Bay Area Citadel Club, past President of Tampa's New Suburb Beautiful's neighborhood civic association, Bayshore Little League softball and baseball coach, Junior Achievement volunteer, and Citadel volunteer for admissions.


6.       Any other advice or feedback you would like to share?

When I was first asked to join the Parent Advisory Council my initial reaction have got to be kidding me!  Are you serious that we are going to approach parents who are already dealing with eye watering college expenses, especially out of state families, to donate beyond tuition?  Each year's expense is worth more than the house my father was raised in!  It was a good laugh.  However, I said yes that I would help because the cause is so very important.  The Citadel is the college our children have chosen to attend, this college will set the course of their young adult lives.  The Citadel and our cadets need our support, whatever the level of effort.  Working together, Citadel parents represent a critical and very important part of The Citadel family and we can have a direct impact on the quality and opportunities given to our cadet. 

Please support the Parent Fund, as there are few charities that I know of that my contribution is used for exactly how I want it to be this case for Citadel cadets.