Missouri Military Academy’s new administration building is closer than ever to completion. The new Stribling Hall is nearly finished as crews added columns to the front of the building last week.
School officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday, May 26 during MMA’s 123rd Commencement Exercises. Former Academy president Charles Stribling, III ’44, Chairman of the Board of Trustees R. Strib Koster, current Academy president MajGen Robert Flanagan, and others opened the building for tours once the ribbon between the two main columns was cut.
The new building replaces the old administration building that stood at the same location from 1900 until 2011. Like MMA’s academic building, Barnard Hall, Stribling Hall is LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the U.S. Green Building Council.
One major difference between the old and new Stribling Hall is what sits on top. A new gold dome adorns the building, replacing the silver dome that was on top of the old building.
Missouri Military Academy awarded diplomas to the Class of 2012 and recognized many achievements on behalf of the 123rd Corps of Cadets during annual Graduation activities May 24, 25 and 26, 2012.
MajGen Kevin Kuklok, USMC (ret.), was the guest speaker at the 123rd commencement exercises Saturday morning in the Centennial Gymtorium.
MajGen Kuklok was introduced by Academy President MajGen Robert Flanagan. Flanagan noted that Kuklok is a good friend of his and was excited to welcome him to be part of this year’s commencement.
Forty-eight seniors received their diplomas from Dean of Academics LTC Frank Giuseffi and MajGen Flanagan, and many of MMA’s primary awards were presented. Cadets who earned scholarships to different colleges and universities were also recognized. As a whole, the Class of 2012 were offered over $2.1 million in scholarships – the second highest total in school history.
Valedictorian and 2011-2012 Battalion Commander EuiJeong Chung ’12 of Seoul, South Korea addressed his class and the crowd, urging them to continue their education and keep their minds open to learning new things.
MajGen Flanagan told the cadets their education has given them the tools to succeed in the world, but they must now make the right decisions themselves, without the Academy rules and faculty to assist them.
The Commencement was followed by the traditional Final Formation and Au Revoir on front campus, where Chung announced the command of “dismissed.”
The Commencement ceremony was the culminating event during a weekend of competitions, award ceremonies and the annual Senior Baccalaureate and Senior Banquet.
The weekend kicked off Thursday evening with the annual Wallace Fry Speech Contest. Jack Solls ’14 of Dallas, Texas was awarded the Wallace Fry Cup and Nischal Khanal ’13 earned the Winston Churchill Memorial Award for the best persuasive speech supporting a just cause.
Brett Talley ’12 was this year’s recipient the Class of 1984 Unheralded Leader Award. It is presented to the cadet who is not an officer, but still displays outstanding leadership qualities and works for the betterment of the Corps.
Exercises continued Friday morning with Company Drill and Competition and the middle and high school final assemblies. The best drilled company for Commencement was Echo Company, commanded by cadet Roberto Garcia ’12 of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. During the Final Assembly, Eui Jeong Chung received the Legion of Honor award and Delta Company was named the 2011-12 Honor Company.
On Friday evening seniors and their families attended the Baccalaureate ceremony and Senior Banquet. Alumni Association president Dave Telford ’65 addressed the seniors and reminded of them of the brotherhood to which they now belong as graduates of MMA: “Of the hundreds of thousands of seniors who will graduate this weekend, only 48 can call themselves graduates of Missouri Military Academy.”
The weekend was MajGen Flanagan’s last major event as president of the Academy, so members of the MMA family took time to pay tribute to his accomplishments as President. During the Senior Banquet, members of the Alumni Association presented MajGen Flanagan with a senior ring and the Parents Committee presented special gifts during the graduation ceremony. Parents Committee chair Tracy Belton of Mt. Dora, Florida also announced that the paintball field would be named ”Flanagan Field,” to the cheers of the corps of cadets.
An MMA sophomore cadet added a trophy to his case after giving the best speech at this year’s Wallace Fry Public Speaking Contest. The 80th annual speaking competition featured Sean Fitzgerald ’17, representing the middle school, and six high school sophomores and juniors. Parents, faculty, and the Corps of Cadets convened in the Centennial Gymtorium to hear the competitors take on issues facing our society today.
In the winning speech, Jack Solls ’14 questioned the morality and legality of sperm donation and sperm banks. Winston Churchill Award winner Nischal Khanal ’13 presented ways to handle the United States’ multi-trillion dollar debt.
Topics of discussion varied from a case in favor of improved 2nd Amendment rights to the American response to the “KONY 2012″ campaign, launched earlier this year to raise awareness about the actions of Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord.
This year’s judges included: Mr. Louis Leonatti, an attorney for Leonatti & Baker, P.C. in Mexico, Mo.; Mr. Paul Seigfried, an attorney for the Seigfried Law Firm in Mexico; and Mr. Kevin Freeman, Assistant Superintendent of Mexico Public Schools.
Wallace Fry Cup (For excellence in speaking)
Jack Solls of Dallas, Texas
Speech title: “My Daddy’s Name is #20311”
Winston Churchill Memorial Award (For the persuasive speech supporting a just cause)
Nischal Khanal of Mexico, Missouri
Speech title: “Debtocracy: The Overspending of the United States”
Not one, but two Missouri Military Academy seniors will pack their belongings for a move to Colorado Springs, Colorado this summer. Jared Roberts ’12 of Springboro, Ohio and Landon Smalley ’12 of Derby, Kansas have both been appointed to the United States Air Force Academy.
Roberts and Smalley are scheduled to report at the end of June.
It is a very difficult and arduous process to apply and subsequently be accepted to the academy. A lengthy application, letters of recommendation from representatives, and an outstanding GPA are just some of the requirements to be fulfilled.
Roberts and Smalley were roommates during their first year at MMA and both had a deep interest in the Air Force Academy. Roberts says he and Landon were able to motivate each to strive for acceptance to the school.
Roberts received an email acknowledging his acceptance, and Smalley received the news from MMA president MajGen Robert Flanagan. Roberts had it a little easier than Smalley, as MajGen Flanagan broke the news in a more nerve-wracking manner. He called Smalley to his office for a meeting with MMA Executive Officer LTC Jim Medley (USAF, retired) and himself and convinced Smalley that he was in some sort of trouble.
Roberts (left) and Smalley (right) receive the news of their appointments to the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The act did not last long, however, as MajGen Flanagan and LTC Medley cracked smiles and made him aware of his achievement.
Roberts and Smalley are the second and third cadets in the last three years to be appointed. Luis Gonzalez ’10 is currently a junior at the Academy.
Missouri Military Academy honored its spring sports teams at a special banquet on campus. MMA’s baseball, tennis, track and field, golf, Raiders, and Middle School track teams convened in Barnard Hall for Friday night’s dinner. Athletic Director LT John Noel began the night with a few comments recapping the season, including MMA’s unprecedented season sweep over Wentworth Military Academy in all competitive events in 2011-2012.
Coaches of their respective sports recognized players who contributed the most on the field and on the track this spring. Most Valuable Player, Best Sportsmanship, and Most Improved Player were just some of the honors bestowed on the athletes. Varsity athletes were also given their letters.
Noel also presented the yearly awards to the most outstanding athletic cadets.
Photos from Friday night’s banquet can be seen by clicking here.
Missouri Military Academy has named a new leader of the Corps of Cadets for the 2012-2013 school year. John Dillon ’13 of Colorado Springs, Colo. will serve as the Battalion Commander. Previously a staff sergeant, Dillon was also promoted to Second Lieutenant during Friday’s designation ceremony.
To see the special order listing each new leader, click here.
MMA wishes all of our cadets born in May a very happy birthday!
Front row (L to R): Jose Estrada ’16, Yun Jeon ’16, Samuel Udeh ’12, Ethan Rogers ’18, Tristan Bisch ’17, Jacob Conyers ’16
Second row (L to R): Zeyuan Zhang ’12, Austin Grosjean ’13, Gabriel Blatty ’14, Roy Grabowski ’14
Third row (L to R): Rick Massey-Scott ’13, Kaeshon Adams ’14, Tao Chen ’12, Noah Agne ’14
Fourth row (L to R): Dalton Blackwell ’14, Austin Teague ’14, Nicholas Mabbs ’14, Tavian Willits ’14
Each year, Missouri Military Academy senior cadets are given the opportunity to wear something other than their uniform for a day.
Toward the end of the year, after acceptances and scholarships have been finalized, seniors wear with pride a t-shirt representing the college or university to which they are headed in the fall. Faculty members also wear a shirt in honor of their alma mater.
The Class of 2012 has been offered over $2.1 million in scholarships this year, thanks to their hard work and the assistance of the College Placement Office.
In addition to achieving the third-highest scholarship total in the history of MMA, the seniors fulfilled an important requirement here at MMA – a 100% college acceptance rate. All 48 seniors were accepted into a college or university.
Examples of the schools the cadets will be attending include:
United States Air Force Academy, University of Missouri, Iowa State University, University of Oklahoma, Boston University, The Citadel, DePaul University, University of Washington, Truman State University, and many others.
Missouri Military Academy has touched the lives of many people since its founding in 1889 and will continue to do so for generations. Today we are asking you and every member of the MMA family to show their support for MMA and the tradition of military school education by giving $18.89 before the end of the MMA fiscal year – May 31, 2012.
If you believe in MMA and what we do, take some time to donate $18.89 online or mail a check to:
Missouri Military Academy
204 North Grand St.
Mexico, MO 65265
If you have questions about gifts or donations, contact Director of Advancement Dan Fowler.
A group of Missouri Military Academy cadets were presented with an opportunity to hear stories from a survivor from one of history’s greatest tragedies.
English Instructor LT Annette Meinheit and CPT Keith Morgan accompanied nine cadets to the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center Thursday, May 10. Earlier this month, Meinheit coordinated lessons for Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is a day set aside to remember those who were killed and also those who survived the atrocities.
The cadets who participated in those lessons were offered a trip to the museum to learn more about what happened during World War II. Meinheit felt it appropriate for her students to take a deeper look at those events, beyond the classroom.
“This is a significant event in history that I believe students should learn about,” Meinheit said.
Part of the trip included meeting with a Holocaust survivor at the museum, Mendel Rosenberg.
“We didn’t want to stop talking with him,” said Francisco DelRio ’13. “We were so interested in what he was saying, we stayed an extra 30 minutes talking with him.”
DelRio added that Rosenberg told the group of his long reluctance to even talk about what happened during the Holocaust. Rosenberg said it took him 35 years to discuss what he went through.
Meinheit said the cadets were very respectful throughout the trip, noting their reverence for Rosenberg after hearing him speak.
“It is not an easy topic to teach nor is it easy for students to understand,” she said. “I was very proud of the boys behavior, their attentiveness, and their respect for Mr. Rosenberg and the people at the museum.”
Click here for a link to some of Meinheit’s photos from the trip to St. Louis.
Another duo of Missouri Military Academy athletes are headed to a state competition. Alejandro Macias ’12 and Alan Avila ’14 will compete in the state doubles tournament in Springfield, Mo. next week.
Their sectional victory means three MMA athletes have been in contention for a state title during the 2011-2012 school year.
Macias and Avila won the Class 1 District 7 Doubles title on Saturday, May 12 by taking down Kirksville, Hannibal, and Fulton – all in straight sets.
Unfortunately no one advanced in the individual tournament that also took place. Santiago Bou ’12 fell in the second round of districts after winning his first set, 6-3. He would go on to lose the second and third sets, 2-6 and 3-6.
However the district champions, Macias and Avila, would move on to the sectional tournament where they were scheduled to face Marshall. An illness prevented one of the Marshall players from competing as he was forced to withdraw, giving Macias and Avila the sectional title. The two will now head to the state championship tournament.
“I’m really confident these guys can make a run,” head coach MAJ Mike Pemberton said. “They have looked good all season. We are going to prepare diligently over the next week for the tournament.”
Pemberton added practice should help his doubles team stay fresh after not playing Monday.
Macias and Avila will learn their opponent soon as the tournament schedule is still being completed. They will travel to the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield for the state tournament May 24-26.
One way Missouri Military Academy cadets contribute to their community is by volunteering their time serving local organizations. The entire Corps of Cadets ventured around Mexico and surrounding areas Friday, May 11.
Some of the cadets traveled to Columbia to do their part. Whether it involves clearing brush from Mexico parks or spending time with veterans at the Missouri Veterans Home, cadets were ready to serve.
About 30 cadets volunteered in Columbia at the Central Missouri Food Bank preparing food to be distributed to the less fortunate in mid-Missouri. Most of the Corps of Cadets helped Audrain County groups, such as the King’s Daughters Home, the Mexico Optimists’ Club, and the Audrain County Historical Society.
The cadets’ service is not limited to Audrain County. One group of cadets even traveled to Busch Stadium to help collect recyclables from fans in the stands during Friday’s St. Louis Cardinals game.
This was the fourth Community Service Day at MMA, and is part of the Academy’s community service requirement.
Below is a list of all the venues where cadets volunteered their time Friday:
Central Missouri Food Bank (Columbia), Habitat for Humanity (Columbia), MU Campus (Columbia), Central Missouri Humane Society (Columbia), St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Arthur Hills Golf Course, Green and Hardin Parks, King’s Daughters Home, Lakeview Park, Mexico Optimists’ Ball Fields, Missouri Veterans Home, Littleby Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church.
For more information on MMA’s community service program, contact LTC Tim Scherrer.
It was a year of widespread improvement for the Missouri Military Academy Middle School track team. LTC Willis Kleinsorge led the squad that competed in three meets this spring – at Centralia, at Mexico, and at Moberly.
Kleinsorge says the middle school athletes made impressive strides in a number of events. David Gu ’16 brought home a bronze medal in the 100-meter hurdles at the Centralia meet, and improved upon his time in each meet.
Jason Russell ’16 also earned a silver medal for his performance in the 800-meter run in the Centralia meet. Russell also improved his personal best time by almost 30 seconds in the 1600-meter run at Moberly.
As for group events, the relay team of Byron Amidon ’16, Jack Moore ’16, Gu,and Rafael Lozano ’17 sprinted to a gold medal finish in the 4 X 100-meter event at Centralia.
In field events, Amidon also earned a medal for his throw in the shot put event. His heave traveled 36 feet and 10 inches, good for a silver medal.
Overall, Kleinsorge says the middle school track team learned a lot during the spring season. The cadets participated in a number of track and field events, perhaps preparing them for a future as a part of the MMA track team.
The team did not win any of the meets in which they participated, but Kleinsorge says the season was an excellent learning experience for his squad.
Two Missouri Military Academy juniors have been recognized for their excellent shooting skills. Oliver Fitzgerald ’13 (pictured at right) and Blake Bibles ’13 brought home first and second place (high individual shooter), respectively, in the final postal of the American Legion Junior Sport Shooting Program. Rifle team coach 1SG Randal Jacobson honored the duo at lunch earlier this week. Great work!
Missouri Military Academy’s varsity tennis team has commenced its quest for a state title. Unfortunately the Colonels will not participate in the state tournament as a team after Tuesday’s loss to Fulton.
There are two state tournaments for tennis – one for teams and one for individual players.
The Colonels began the team tournament by defeating Mexico High School in the first round of the state team tennis tournament, 5-2. Top seed Alejandro Macias ’12 won in straight sets (6-0, 6-0) as did #2 seed Alan Avila ’14 and #3 seed Santiago Bou ’12. Senior Landon Smalley ’12 also scored a win against the Bulldogs. In the team’s only doubles match, Macias/Avila took the match, 6-3, 6-2.
Head coach MAJ Mike Pemberton says he was impressed with the team’s play Monday, noting how difficult it can be to play a team three times in one season.
Pemberton added that he was impressed with Smalley’s play against Mexico.
“After losing a close first set, he was able to bounce back and win his next two matches,” Pemberton said.
Monday’s win insured a spot in the district team semifinals at Fulton. Another frequent opponent of the Colonels, Fulton had all the answers Tuesday, taking the semifinal, 6-3.
Macias was not as smooth against Fulton, but was still victorious after dropping his first set, 2-6. He battled back and secured the final two sets, 6-3 and 6-4. Macias paired up with Avila again for the semifinal, defeating their opponent 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Bou saw a similar fate Tuesday, losing his first set (4-6) but coming back strong to take the last two, 6-2 and 6-1.
Pemberton said one part of the team’s game hurt them the most.
“We got off to a slow start and had trouble with our serves,” he said. “We are going to take a look at that the next few days and improve before the individual tournament.”
The district tournament for individual players begins Saturday, May 12 in Hannibal, Mo. with times to be announced later in the week.