Lt. Col. Rafael A. Candelario '94, U.S. Marines
Rafael Candelario, 3d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Commander, found Davidson through the Davidson Love of Learning Class, led by Rev. Brenda Tapia. "The program staff, Davidson students of all backgrounds, showed me the importance of committing to a cause and following through. I liked the fact that Davidson let students be who they were, regardless of their background, ethnicity, religious or political. As a leader today, I tell all Marines and sailors I am fortunate enough to lead that their race, gender, religion, political or sexual orientation does not matter to me–I am here to serve. The faculty and leadership at Davidson, who took their personal time and energy to mentor, take care of, and really love me, provided an example of leadership that I hope my Marines and sailors see from me. Caring interpersonal leadership is a choice...it is hard and it takes time."