Matriculation Day tips for the Parents of the Class of 2022

Class of 2021 knobs line up to “meet” the 1Sgt

NOTE: The Gathering Friday evening is at 5:30pm in the chapel. A previous schedule said it was at 5:00.

August 11, the Class of 2022 reports for Matriculation Day. The Parent page of The Citadel website has detailed information for families. I HIGHLY recommend you read the page and bookmark it for the weekend. Parents of incoming freshman knobs should take time and read all the links on the Freshman Parents page.

Citadel Family Association Blue Shirt volunteers help unload cars and carry items to the rooms.

The weather in Charleston in August is hot and very humid. Watch the weather forecast and prepare for the potential of rain. As of this writing (Saturday August 4) rain is in the forecast.

Since the cadets can no longer have plastic storage bins in their rooms we’ve been recommending that the knobs pack in disposable boxes and bags so they do not have to worry about storage of suitcases after their families have dropped them off. Since rain is likely, bring some large trash bags to protect the boxes from the rain Saturday morning. The Citadel Family Association “Blue Shirt Army” volunteers will help you unload your car and carry everything into the barracks. Since most knobs are housed on the 4th division (floor) of the barracks be sure to pack each container light enough for one person to carry each container.

A member of the Class of 2021 signs in at the 1Sgt table

 

A few more tips and reminders as  you prepare for Matriculation Day:

  • See this link for official information about Matriculation DayBy now the soon-to-be knobs, and their parents, should be checking the Matriculation Headquarters page each week for updates. Read EVERY link on the page and print out the schedule and traffic diagram in addition to the forms that must be turned in that morning.
    • If you will be in town the evening of August 11 make reservations for the 2022 parent BBQ HERE.
    • Put your knob’s name in the People Search window to find their mailing address.  Send letters to arrive the first week. Wait to send boxes until after the first week.  See this link for how to address mail to a cadet. DO NOT use nicknames.
    • Do attend “The Gathering” in the chapel Friday at 5:00 to hear about the various religious and fellowship groups on campus.
    • The knob should bring their wallet with state issued ID, like a driver’s license. It helps to have a little money, $20 or so with them in case they have an opportunity to buy snacks. Some years they have the chance to buy pizza as a fundraiser at the end of Challenge week.
    • The knob should wear a plain shirt (tucked in!), shorts, a belt if the shorts have belt loops, white ankle socks, and their athletic shoes. If they already have the white ankle socks and athletic shoes on they won’t have to search for them as soon as they have to change.
    • Drive to campus from your hotel the day before so you will know how to get to the Holliday Alumni Center. (See Traffic Diagram here and print it out for easy reference later) Getting lost Saturday morning can really add to the stress of the knob. (Ask me how I know)
    • Be sure you have a full tank of gas. You wait in your car in a long line Saturday morning. You won’t want to be the family that ran out of gas before you report.
    • They begin to process the line at 7:00am. The line begins to form before that time. It is best to report early and not wait until the last minute.
    • Say your real goodbye’s before you leave the hotel or your home. Once you arrive on campus things move quickly and the knob’s time will not be their own.
    • The knobs turn in their cell phones when they go into the barracks. They should be sure to have them fully charged and turn them off before they walk in. They won’t get them back for at least a week. Many knobs end up having to charge their phones before they can make their first call home.
    • Arrive on the early side. The line starts around 6:30am. Check-in begins at 7:00 am. It will be hot. Arriving early means it will be a chilly 85-90 versus 90-100.
    • Once you get to the barracks the Citadel Family Association volunteers will be there to help unload your car and let you know where to move your car. They have blue shirts on and all of them have been in your shoes.
    • Parents and family can go into the barracks, but you do not unpack your student.
    • Do take a photo behind closed doors, you’ll be glad you have that first day of knob year photo later. Do not make a fuss over your knob at all on campus that day.
    • Once the boxes are unloaded the knob reports in on their own. (With their FERPA form) Parents must wait with the boxes.
    • Once the knob comes out you’ll do what he or she tells you to do. How things happen from here can vary by company and each year the process is fine tuned based on the current cadet leadership.
    • Parents and family members SHOULD NOT approach the 1SGT table in the barracks in front of the company letter. Ask the CFA volunteers any question you’d like, but the uniformed cadets at the table are their to process the knobs.
    • All families must be out of the barracks by 10am. Many families leave earlier because their son or daughter is ready to start their process .
    • There is an information fair in the McAlister Fieldhouse. It is a great time to get your questions answered and meet people from various departments. The Fieldhouse is air-conditioned and there are restrooms, refreshments and water fountains.
    • The President, Commandant and the Citadel Family Association chair address parents after the information fair. It is a great place to visit to get information and cool off.

    FAQ

    • Your knob will find out their company the morning of Matriculation.
    • Legacy and Band Company knobs still must go through the check in process at the Holliday Alumni Center. It is how they keep track of who has reported.
    • Extended family members can come with you, but you should be aware there is a lot of standing and waiting around. Ask your son or daughter who they want to drop them off. One good option is to have everyone stay at the hotel and only a few go to campus that morning. No knob wants to call extra attention to themselves that day.
    • If you have young children, bring quiet toys, snacks and water.
    • If you have older family members or family with disabilities that make standing difficult, bring a folding chair.
    • The presentation in the Fieldhouse should be over by 11:45 the administration will be available to answer questions afterward.
    • You can attend Sunday worship (Christian students) at 9:00 am but you will not interact with your son or daughter. They are divided into groups for worship, Protestant, Catholic, Anglican.
    • The oath ceremony takes place Monday evening on Summerall Field. The school has live streamed it in the past. It is a short, less than 15 minute, ceremony. (See a previous years video here) Watch the school webpage and Facebook page for details. If you are in town you can attend. You will not interact with your son or daughter and may not be able to tell which knob is yours since they will be dressed alike and have no hair, or little hair in the case of the women knobs.
    • If you need to reach your knob’s company or battalion TAC officer after you leave the campus see this directory.
    • The Ombudsperson’s are a confidential resource for cadets, faculty staff and parents too.
    • The Parents resource page is very helpful throughout the year. Email parents@citadel.edu with your questions.

    NOTE: Parents of the Class of 2022, if you haven’t already, join the Facebook group, The Citadel: Parents of the Class of 2022. Go to the page request to join, then answer the 3 screening questions to let me know you are the parent of a knob. Email me with any questions. PLEASE note the group is for parents of knobs only. Please let your extended family members know they will not be approved to join the group.

    Once a knob checks in with the 1Sgt they are instructed to pick up their issued items

    Be sure you have made hotel reservations.

Previous posts about Matriculation Day:

The Citadel: A visual of the first view days