NGU News

NGU Holds Inaugural Challenge Coin Ceremony for Criminal Justice Graduates

Posted on: May 14, 2024
By Billy Cannada,

Tigerville, SC—North Greenville University (NGU) marked a significant milestone in the academic journey of its Criminal Justice and Legal Studies students with the inaugural Challenge Coin Ceremony on May 2.

Students receiving recognition included Cobey Cruell, Brooke Cushman, Christopher Jackson, Cheyenne Norton, Nathan Suggs, and RiLee Meeks.

Following a welcome from Campus Safety and Security Chief Jeff Smith and an invocation from Major Stephen Carlson, Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis delivered the keynote address to the honorees.

“It was great to honor to present our graduates with a challenge coin to recognize their achievements,” Smith said. “The challenge coin carries significant symbolism and instills a sense of pride and camaraderie among members.”

The tradition of awarding challenge coins, a practice dating back to ancient Roman soldiers, was a significant part of the inaugural Challenge Coin Ceremony. This tradition gained prominence during World War I and World War II, when coins served as a means of identifying downed American airmen to friendly forces in France.

The Office of Strategic Services, a precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, used them as “bona fides” to prevent spies from infiltrating their meetings. Subsequently, each military branch designed and developed its own challenge coin as a matter of pride.

Commanders used them as tokens of recognition and appreciation for a service member’s outstanding performance in an assignment or responsibility. Law enforcement agencies follow this tradition. Challenge coins are exchanged as tokens of professionalism and pride to recognize those who stand on the “thin blue line.”

Rollins, representing the NGU Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, presented the coins to the graduates, symbolizing their time and achievements with the department.

“We are proud of each of our graduating seniors and look forward to seeing how they make a difference in the field,” She said.

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