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History of The Gold Star Journal

Year and Reason for The Gold Star Journal

  • July 1996, The Gold Star Journal was founded. The journal provides Citadel students, both graduate and undergraduate students, the opportunity to publish well written research papers, which were required for a class.

Journal Facts

  • From 1997-2008, The Gold Star Journal was published on campus by the staff of The Citadel Print Shop. 
  • The 1997 edition is the only one to have a hand-drawn cover.
  • The covers of the 1998-2004 editions featured a photograph taken by campus photographer Russ Pace.
  • Since 2005, the cover has included the stars and bars, the name of the journal, the year, and the Citadel seal. With the 2005 edition, the four color photograph moved to the inside cover.
  • To celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Gold Star Journal, the 2006 edition was printed completely in color.
  • Since the twentieth anniversary issue, The Gold Star Journal has continued to be printed completely in color.
  • Mr. Kevin Metzger (previously of Multimedia); Dr. Suzanne Mabrouk; and the 2008 editors Leon Hontz, Trey Williams, and Thomas Sullivan designed a seal for the publication. The seal includes one star for each year that the journal existed prior to its design. Since 2008, the seal has been included in each edition. 2012, the GSJ seal replaced The Citadel seal on the cover. The GSJ seal appears in the banner at the top of all GSJ web pages. This seal includes the Latin words Honoris Causa, which means "for the sake of the honor."
  • In 2011, the Best Overall Paper Submission Award was first given.
  • In 2012, the Best Photograph Award was first given.
  • 2013-2018, The Gold Star Journal had been printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. FSC is devoted to responsibly and properly managing our forests so that they will continue to exist in the future.
  • In 2014, the Best Undergraduate Paper Submission Award was given.
  • In 2015, Colonel and Mrs. Abraham Goldfarb, made it possible to print the journal in color.
  • The 2015 editors Jane Ma, L. Miguel Parrado, Jennifer Burch, Ryan Leach, and Lauren Seedor and Mr. John Whitten (Multimedia) changed the GSJ seal by removing the feather pen and flipping the crescent. The revised seal was printed on the 2015 cover for the first time.
GSJ Seals
2008-2014   2015-2021   2022
GSJ logo 2008-2014   GSJ logo 2015-present   GSJ logo 2022
  • To celebrate the 20th anniversary, The Gold Star Journal, The Friends of The Daniel Library, and The Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics co-hosted an Inaugural Lecture. The event was entitled "Scholarship at Its Best: An Evening with the Authors and Editors of The Gold Star Journal."  The authors spoke about their featured papers.  The editor-in-chief spoke about his multi-year experience with the publication.  A previous editor spoke about the influence of the publication on his career.
  • In 2017, the Best Oral Presentation Award was first given.
  • The first photo story was featured in the 2019 edition and honored with the GSJ Distinction in Photography Award. 
  • Spring 2019, the Best Graduate Paper Submission Award was first given.
  • Fall 2019, Dr. and Mrs. James F. Boyd, Class of 1971, establish The Gold Star Journal Excellence Award, which provides funds towards the Student Awards.
  • Fall 2020, the editors renamed The Best Overall Submission Award to The Boyd Family Distinction Award.  This award honors Dr. and Mrs. James F. Boyd, Class of 1971, who established The Gold Star Journal Excellence Award.
  • 2022 Editors Elissa Reckdenwald, Ken Galsgaard, John Morris, Jeese Quimby, Trey Stevens, Dylan Young, and Hampton Dennis; Mr. John Whitten (Multimedia); and Dr. Mabrouk redesigned the GSJ seal.  The stars and year in which the seal was originally designed swapped positions.  The palmetto tree became more defined.  The name of the journal and the school were printed in gold.  The new seal took center stage as the only thing printed on the 2022 cover.  The year and stars on either side were gold-foil embossed for the first time on the bind.

Editor Facts

  • 1996-1997 was the only year in which all editors were sophomores.
  • The founding editors (Bradley Moorer, Joshua Jenkins, and Christopher McFarland) served two sequential years, 1996-1998, as editors of the journal.
  • Since 2007, most editors have served multiple years.

Author Facts

  • Priyadarshini Mukherjee (1997) was the first graduate student to be published in the journal.
  • Chris Paige (1999) was the first freshman to be published in the journal.

Hall of Fame

  • In 2005, The Gold Star Journal was a Special Merit Award Recipient in the Other Magazines Category of The Case District III Advancement Awards Program. The entry included the 2004, 2003, and 2002 editions of The Gold Star Journal.


  • These students served as editors for three academic years: Leon Hontz (2006-2009), Trey Williams (2007-2010), Thomas Sullivan (2007-2010), Taylor Gilliam (2008-2011), Mark Shaw (2009-2012), Lance Braye (2010-2013), Ryan Boodee (2011-2014),  Jane Ma (2012-2015), Lauren Seedor (2014-2017), John Clark (2015-2018), Hunter Crawley (2016-2019), and Carleton Bailiff III (2018-2021).


  • These students served as editors for two academic years: Bradley Moorer (1996-1998), Joshua Jenkins (1996-1998), Christopher McFarland (1996-1998), Joseph Rohe (2001-2003), John Bergmans (2004-2006), Matthew Harakas (2004-2006), Timothy Devine (2004-2006), James Russell (2005-2007), Jennifer Burch (2014-2016), Ryan Leach (2014-2016), Miguel Parrado (2014-2016), Elijah Melendez (2017-2019), Sierra Morris (2017-2019), James Quimby (2017-2019), Taylor Diggs (2019-2021), and Jake Norris (2019-2021).


  • The following published authors became an editor the subsequent academic year: Walter Zink (1998), Stephen Foland (2001), Thomas Sullivan (2007), Jane Ma (2012), Robert Keener III (2012), L. Miguel Parrado (2014), and Grant Miller (2016).


  • The following students had more than one paper published in the journal: Lance Braye (2011, 2012, & 2013), Hannah Dion (2019 & 2021), Robert Keener (2012 & 2014), David Leaumont (twice in 1997), Jane Ma (2012, 2014, & 2015), Franklin McGuire, Jr. (2012 & 2013), Grant Miller (2016 & 2018), Marttin Periola (2009, 2010, & 2011), John Riser (2011 & 2012), Matthew Selmasska (2011 & 2012), Anastasiya Smertina (2001 & 2002), Shiloh Smiles (2021 & 2022), Dean Sproles (1997 & 1998), and Todd Truesdale (2017 & 2018).


  • The following students had photographs published in more than one journal: Dashawn Costley (2020 & 2021), Kaytlynne McCord (2019 & 2022), William Rasberry (2018 & 2019), Erika Sineath (2018 & 2019), Jacob Williams (2021 & 2022).

The Gold Star Journal Legacies

  • Scott (2013) and Michael (2016) Holmes are the first siblings to have been published in The GSJ.
  • James (2020) and Jesse (2023) Quimby are the first siblings to serve as editors of The GSJ.
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