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Our Mighty Citadel

Derek Webster

Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

Derek Webster is always smiling, but his natural optimism was not enough to subdue the nervousness he felt about flying alone for the first time. As he boarded a flight to Charleston for a recruiting visit with basketball coaches, however, he met the pilot—a Citadel alumnus—who recognized his Citadel t-shirt. The next thing Webster knew, he was being bumped up to business class. Webster forgot all about his nervousness and enjoyed the unexpected luxury. The Citadel visit proved to be unexpected too. The coaches showed him around campus, but they also arranged for him to talk with administrators at the Medical University of South Carolina because they knew he was interested in pursuing a career in medicine.

"It made me feel like it was about more than just basketball. They wanted to see me succeed not just on the court but in life."

Webster has been playing basketball from the time he could walk. His father is in the Hall of Fame at Florida A&M, and it was through basketball that Webster bonded with his dad. Webster’s mother also played an influential role in her son’s life. Instead of reading him bedtime stories, she assigned him a bone or a body part to memorize each night before bed, inspiring a deep understanding of the human body and a dream to become a doctor one day.

“It was always in my mind to go to med school,” said Webster. “I love learning about the body. I love helping people out and seeing people smile, and that's why I chose to major in biology.”

A senior biology major and a forward on the basketball team, Webster is a three-time Southern Conference Honor Roll honoree. He has earned the Southern Conference Commissioner's Medal for the last two years and is a two-time Academic All-SoCon selection. During the 2019-20 academic year, he was named to the Chi Alpha Sigma National Scholar-Athlete Society, and in July he was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honor Court. With a cumulative 3.82 GPA, he’s earned Gold Stars for five semesters, an accomplishment that eluded him his freshman year.

“Freshman year didn't go as I thought it would,” said Webster. “The military aspect, playing Division I basketball—it was new for me, but once I got it together, and I knew what was required of me to get Gold Stars, I did it. And just seeing the smiles on my parents’ faces was my proudest moment.”

Making people smile is a recurring theme with Webster, who enjoys working with kids and who has coached Little League Basketball. “I want to be a pediatrician because I love working with kids. I feel like I can relate to them, and they bring the goofy side out of me.”

With his positive outlook, Webster is excited as the Bulldogs gear up for the 2020-2021 basketball season. He’s come a long way since he boarded that first flight to Charleston on his own, and the future looks bright.

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#1 Public College in the South

The Citadel has been ranked #1 Public College in the South offering up to a master's degree by U.S. News & World Report for 10 years in a row.

1 in 3 Cadets Earn a Commission

Approximately 1 in 3 cadets earn a commission into the U.S. Armed Forces upon graduation.

Citadel Graduate College

The Citadel Graduate College offers 25 graduate degrees programs with 22 concentration options, 25 graduate certificates and 10 undergraduate degree completion programs.

12:1 Student-Faculty Ratio

The 12:1 student-faculty ratio ensures direct access to nationally recognized scholars.

2,300 Cadets

Approximately 2,300 students comprise the South Carolina Corps of Cadets at The Citadel.

Over 90% Cadet Placement

Over 90% of Cadets report professional employment, military, or graduate school acceptance within 6 months of graduation, which is significantly above the national average.

$250,690,056 Raised

20,784 donors contributed to the Foundation for Leadership campaign, a 6 year effort to support the college.

Over 1,100 Non-Traditional Students

The Citadel Graduate College has a population of over 1,100 students, 23% of whom are a part of the undergraduate degree completion program.

16 Varsity Athletic Teams

The Citadel is part of the Division I Southern Conference with 9 men's varsity teams and 7 women's varsity teams.

Learning in 23 Countries

Citadel cadets and students study abroad in 23 countries across several continents.

22% Veteran Students

22% of the Citadel Graduate College are veteran students studying locally and abroad with The Citadel ranked as #1 Public College for Veterans in the South.

24 Undergraduate Majors

The Citadel offers 24 undergraduate majors and 39 minors.

#1 College for Alumni Giving in the South

The Citadel is ranked #1 College for Alumni Giving in the South with a current alumni network of over 39,000 people.

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