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Special Awards


In 1976 the Council established a Marine Biology Award to a College of Charleston rising senior student in that field. The study of Marine Biology fits in with the Navy League’s Sea Power resolutions concerning the freedom of the seas, shipping, ship building, and a National Oceanic policy. The chairman of the College’s Biology Department wrote to the Navy League Council stating that the College "sincerely appreciates the Navy League’s willingness to honor one of our students, and that the award should be made to a senior enrolled in marine biology who, in the opinion of the department, shows great promise in the area of marine biology." Thus, the Award was commenced in 1977 with the first recipient being Daniel C. Abel. The award at that time was a $100 check and recognition at a Navy League luncheon, normally in the month of May. Over the years, the award increased in value in increments to $300. The amount was tailored to match the value of the swords given to the Citadel cadet winners. In 1998 the Nuss Family Endowment, established at the College of Charleston by Jerry Nuss and family, decided to fund this award and it was changed from a cash award to a paid scholarship of $500 which the winner would receive in September starting his(her) senior year at the College. To keep up with inflation in future years, the amount of the scholarship can be increased with permission of the Nuss Family. The award is named, "The Navy League Council of Charleston Marine Biology Scholarship."

The List of award winners:The List of award winners:

1977: Daniel C. Abel; 1978: Thomas Moersen; 1979: Susan Harrison Grimball; 1980: Olga Fields; 1981: Anna Marie Horn; 1982: James l. Pinckney; 1983: Scott Poaps; 1984: Edmund Woloszyn; 1985: Amy Hodgson; 1986: Sara Shepherd; 1987: Patricia Deloach; 1988: Dawn Emigh; 1989: Mary Beth Abel; 1990: Andrea Wilbanks; 1991: (unknown); 1992: Dorian R. Reynolds; 1993: Richard T. Kraus; 1994: Paul Allen Fleming; 1995: Mr. S. C. Shulty; 1996: Ross Langston; 1997: Laura Flynn; 1998: Lane D. Jeffries; 1999: Jennifer Culbertson.


The exact date the Navy League started awarding an officer’s sword to the outstanding graduating NROTC cadet is not known, but it was probably in the late 60's or early 70's according to recollection by a past president. In 1973, two Citadel men tied for the award, so President Bill Craver awarded two swords, one to Cadet John Patterson headed for Naval service, and a Marine Sword to Cadet Edward O’Brien, a forthcoming Marine Officer. After this year The Navy League started awarding Officer swords to the outstanding Citadel graduating NROTC Navy oriented cadet and to the outstanding Citadel graduating NROTC Marine oriented cadet.

Names of recipients before or after 1973 are not known until 1977, These swords were presented to the winning cadets by the President of the Navy League Charleston Council during one of the Citadel’s Friday afternoon parades just prior to graduation, usually in April. The winning cadets of these swords are selected by the administration of the Citadel.

The Swords were originally purchased out of operating funds of the Council. During the first few years, the swords were of a reasonable cost but with subsequent inflation, each sword cost $400 or more and this was a considerable strain on the small Council Budget.

In 1996, an endowment was set up by Navy League life member, Fran Josephson, for the purpose of purchasing the sword for the Navy oriented cadet. This endowment is in memory of her husband, Captain H. Carl Josephson, a member of the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1952, and who had been a life member of our council. This sword is known as the "Captain H. Carl Josephson Sword presented by the Charleston Council of the Navy League". In 1997, N.L member Jane Williams-Smith, established in memory of her husband, "The Brigadier General William Lee Smith Memorial Fund" which is used to fund the sword for the Marine oriented cadet. This sword is known as the "Brigadier General William Lee Smith Sword presented by the Charleston Council of the Navy League."

The list of Award winners:

1977: Navy Charles Bensten, Marine Richard Lake; 1978: Navy John Herring, Marine James DeOtte; 1979: Navy Thomas Towle, Marine Richard Reinecke; 1980: Navy Mark Breor, Marine Frederick Whittle; 1981: Navy Robert Fitzgerald, Marine Mark Vanous; 1982: Navy James Rose, Marine Donald Graczyk; 1983 Navy David Bastien, Marine Matthew Bucholz; 1984: Navy Steven LeBlanc, Marine Thomas Goolsby; 1985: Navy Christophe Liptak, Marine Albert Ivens; 1986: Navy Marion Miller, Marine Claude Baldwin; 1987: Navy David MacPherson, Marine Robert Tanke; 1988: Navy John Mordigal, Marine Thomas Alaksa; 1989: Navy David Beauclair, Marine Patrick Wall; 1990: Navy Gregory McWherter, Marine Christopher Dorgan; 1991: Navy Benjamin Taylor, Marine Thomas Gordon; 1992: Navy James Wucher, Marine William Berger; 1993: Navy Randal Bell, Marine Robert Baker; 1994: Navy Robert Fagan, Marine Norman Dorecet; 1995: Navy Robert Meyer, Marine John Jarrad; 1996: Navy Colin Chinn, Marine Justin Anderson; 1997: Navy Brice Butler, Marine Michael Arpaio; 1998: Navy Reggie Gil, Marine Christopher Farrike; 1999: Navy Jonathan Biehl, Marine Shane Donahue.