John Warley, far right, receives honorary degree from The Citadel

Beaufort writer John C. Warley is already a proud member of The Citadel Class of 1967.

But Warley received another degree –this one honorary – from The Citadel Board of Visitors during the commencement celebrations for the Class of 2024.

Honorary degrees are awarded to the speakers for the commencement ceremonies for The South Carolina Corps of Cadets and The Citadel Graduate College, as well as those who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the college during their lifetime. Five honorary degrees, including Warley’s, were conferred during the 2024 commencement ceremony.

In 1963, Warley, who spent his formative years in Virginia, returned to his home state of South Carolina to attend The Citadel on a football scholarship. He was the quintessential student. He excelled in academics. He was a member of the Round Table and a cadet officer. He was highly regarded by his classmates, and he played both football and baseball.

After graduating from The Citadel in 1967, he earned a law degree at the University of Virginia School of Law.

As an attorney, an active member of the community and a busy husband and father of four children, Warley had to forego his dream of writing, but later, with the encouragement of his family and his classmate Pat Conroy, he put words to paper in his first novel Bethesda’s Child. He has written six novels as well as a modern-day history of The Citadel and several essays. Warley is also the author of the eloquent inscription that appears on The Citadel War Memorial, which was sponsored by the Class of 1967.

A spokesperson for The Citadel said in a release, “In recognition of his inspiring words that tell the story of his alma mater, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to award John C. Warley the honorary Doctor of Letters degree.”