Tag Archives: MajGen Robert Flanagan

MMA Remembers Leslie C. Barnard ’48

barnard hall

Les and Joanne Barnard cut the ribbon during the Barnard Hall dedication in October 2009.

The MMA community is mourning the loss of alumnus and philanthropist Leslie C. Barnard ’48, of Flossmoor, Ill., who passed away on July 12. The students participating in MMA’s summer camp and school took a moment during dinner Thursday evening to remember a man they’ve never met – but whose legacy is present all around them.

The family will hold a celebration of life at Mr. Barnard’s hotel in downtown Chicago on Saturday, July 14 at 1 p.m.

Les Barnard attended Missouri Military Academy from 1945 until he graduated in 1948. He long remembered his time at Missouri Military Academy as a transformative experience and attributed his success as an entrepreneur to his MMA education. He was prosperous in the construction, real estate and hotel industries.

At MMA, he was widely respected by his classmates, the board of trustees, staff and faculty as a kind man of excellent character. Mr. Barnard was a loving husband to his wife, Joanne, a proud father of children Nancy Barnard Knox, Stephen Barnard and Ross Barnard, and a grandfather to their children.

Mr. Barnard was a lifelong supporter of Missouri Military Academy. Former Missouri Military Academy president and chairman of the board, Charles R. Stribling III ’44, remembers Mr. Barnard as an “incredibly loyal” alumnus who was among the first to step up and serve the MMA Alumni Association when it was revived sometime after World War II. He served as the Association president in the 1950s.

In 2009, he decided to make the gift of a lifetime, contributing $3 million to construct MMA’s academic building, which was named Barnard Hall in his honor. A modern, state-of-the-art facility that transformed the way MMA cadets learn, Barnard Hall was the first LEED-certified high school constructed in the state of Missouri.

Mr. Barnard’s gift remains the largest single contribution in Missouri Military Academy history. He found tremendous personal gratification from philanthropy, and once mentioned that he considered the dedication of Barnard Hall among the best moments in his life. In his public remarks during the dedication, he encouraged those in attendance to experience the great feeling that comes from philanthropic contribution.

In many ways, Barnard Hall is a symbol of Les himself: Elegant. Innovative. Welcoming. Supportive of a cadet’s ability to learn and grow. And in those walls, his spirit lives on at Missouri Military Academy.

Other members of the MMA community shared their thoughts about Les Barnard:

“Les will always be remembered as not only an accomplished cadet and later a highly successful businessman, but also as one of the Academy’s most generous benefactors and philanthropists. His vision and support in spearheading the construction of Barnard Hall will leave a lasting imprint on MMA cadets for generations to come.” R. Stribling Koster, chairman of the MMA board of trustees

“Generous is not even enough. He truly loved the school.” Ron Kelly, MMA president, 1993-2007

“I am saddened to hear of Les Barnard’s passing. Saddened because he was a good friend and because he was a man of character who will be missed by many.  Les was a successful entrepreneur who worked hard all his life and he always attributed his success to the values and lessons he learned at MMA. I’ll miss Les, so will many others.”  – Robert M. Flanagan, USMC (Ret), MMA president, 2007-2012

“Due to the extraordinary generosity of one of MMA’s own, Les Barnard, we have an academic building that is conducive to the intellectual development of today’s youth. So many of our cadets will benefit from Barnard Hall for years to come.” – Francesco Giuseffi, MMA Dean of Academics

“Les was a good student at MMA, and a very good friend.” Classmate and close friend SMSgt Albert Brown USAF (Ret), MMA class of 1948

“I am very sad to hear this. Les was a great person. We will miss him tremendously.” Classmate Wallace Beckley ’48

“Les and his wife Joanne have truly been transformational figures at MMA.   Their commitment to the institution and its Cadets is manifest in the beautiful state of the art Barnard Hall which serves each Cadet and members of our faculty and staff every day.   We will all truly miss this wonderful son of MMA.” – Charles A. “Tony” McGeorge, current MMA president

MMA Staff Bids Farewell to MajGen Flanagan

It was one last hurrah for Missouri Military Academy’s ninth president.  MMA staff gathered in the new Stribling Hall yesterday for a farewell lunch for MajGen Robert Flanagan, who is retiring after five years leading the school.

About 30 faculty and staff convened to say goodbye to MajGen Flanagan, and a few of them presented him with some parting gifts.  They also provided a cake for the gathering that featured a motorcycle riding down a cookie-crumb road, and the words, “Happy Trails!”

Flanagan told the group that after his last day at the school, Friday, June 29, he plans to begin his trek to the West Coast along the Lewis and Clark Trail.  However, he will not be making this trip in an air-conditioned car – he will be cruising west on his motorcycle.

PHOTOS:  See more from MajGen Flanagan’s farewell luncheon

“I’ll finish packing up the truck, put on my jeans, and head out sometime Saturday,” Flanagan said.

He added that he has wanted accomplish this feat for many years and figured the perfect time to do it was now, before settling with his wife Debbie in Georgia.

Flanagan completes five years of service to MMA, during which he approved the construction (and saw the completion) of Barnard Hall and the new Stribling Hall.  He oversaw other extensive renovations to campus.

Academically, MMA cadets achieved record-breaking college scholarship totals during Flanagan’s time at the school, as well as a 100% college acceptance rate among MMA graduates.  He also created numerous new ties with the Mexico, Mo. community.

Following Flanagan is Mr. Charles A. 'Tony' McGeorge, who has been named the Academy’s tenth president.  McGeorge begins his MMA tenure Monday, July 2.  His wife, Joy, will join him as they complete their move to Mexico.

Families Gather at MMA for Spring Family Weekend

Mothers and grandmothers were the guests of honor at Missouri Military Academy’s Spring Family Weekend.  The annual event includes activities that honor mothers and grandmothers and their influence on their sons.

The Mothers’ Tea kicked off the weekend, as incoming MMA president Charles A. “Tony” McGeorge and Mrs. McGeorge joined a number of mothers and grandmothers in the Barnard Hall atrium.  The tea was hosted by the Office of Advancement and the MMA Parents’ Committee.  Incoming chairperson Cynthia Dillon of Colorado Springs, Colo. and incoming vice-chairperson Leslie Teague of Plato, Mo. spoke briefly about the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.

After the tea, families made their way to the new Stribling Hall, where MMA president MajGen Robert M. Flanagan joined the Office of Advancement and MMA faculty and staff to dedicate the terrace that is attached to the back of the building, which will house a 50-year time capsule.  The area has been named after MMA alumnus Bill Ewton of the class of 1941.  MajGen Flanagan and Director of Advancement Dan Fowler unveiled a plaque that will be displayed on the terrace.  Ewton’s daughter, Valynda, spoke of her father at the event, noting that her father held only his wife higher in his heart than MMA.  The area will be known as the Bill Ewton ’41 Terrace.

Families had the opportunity to sign their sons out for the afternoon before returning to campus for the Kathryn C. Epple Memorial Art Show and the Festival of the Arts in the Centennial Gymtorium.  Many cadets displayed their work in the art show, including Best in Show winners Rodrigo Delgadillo ’13 for his scratchboard, “Bob,” and Byron Amidon ’16 for his graphite drawing, “Skull.”

After the conclusion of the art show, the audience took in performances by the Middle School and High School bands, chorus, Dramateers, the new high school jazz band and other fine arts groups.  Several cadets showed off their skills with a solo.  The entire show was well received by the crowd.

MMA faculty also awarded cadets with the annual fine arts awards.  Ribbons and plaques were presented to cadets who were most outstanding in the areas of art, drama, band, chorus, and journalism during the 2011-2012 school year.  Winners can be seen by clicking here.

Cadets could spend the night out with their parents after the show before returning Sunday morning.  Families enjoyed a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Class of 2012 before heading to the Field House for Sunday’s main event, the Flower Pinning Ceremony.  Cadets were in formation for the pinning, where mothers and grandmothers pin red flowers on their sons and grandsons.  In a special part of the ceremony, MajGen Flanagan and Mrs. Debbie Flanagan pinned white flowers on those cadets who have lost their mothers.

After the pinning ceremony, the crowd took in a performance by MMA’s Fusileers followed by the Sunday Battalion Review.  As part of the Review, Senior Army Instructor SGM Henry Suddarth presented the Superior Cadet Award to cadets Nathan Hollinger ’12 (LET IV), Eoghan Matthews ’13 (LET III), Alec Noonan ’13 (LET II), and Jonathan Miller ’15 (LET I).  The award is given for excellence in military and academic scholarship and leadership; demonstrated qualities in discipline, courtesy and character; and potential for achieving positions of ever increasing responsibility at MMA.

The weekend concluded with Vespers in the Memorial Chapel with Susan Iverson of Germantown, Tenn. serving as a guest speaker to the cadets.

For photos from all of Spring Family Weekend, click on this link to our Flickr page.

MMA Supporters Convene in St. Louis for Maroon and Gold

Friends of Missouri Military Academy gathered at one famous St. Louis location for the 2012 version of the school’s annual fundraising event, Maroon and Gold.

170 guests attended the event, which was held in the Chase Park Plaza’s Starlight Ballroom.  According to Director of Advancement Dan Fowler, the auction grossed nearly $54,000 for the Academy’s Annual Fund.

Guests were encouraged to take part in the silent and live auctions, as well as a catered dinner.  Items such as a guitar signed by the living members of Led Zeppelin, a jersey signed by the 2011 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, vacation packages, and game tickets were up for grabs as the night began.

In addition to the auction portion of the event, attendees heard comments from MMA Board of Trustees chairman R. Strib Koster, Academy president MajGen Robert Flanagan, and senior cadet Jared Roberts ’12.

This will be MajGen Flanagan’s final Maroon and Gold before retiring in June.  He addressed the crowd and thanked them for their support during his time leading the school.

PHOTOS:  Check out the Maroon and Gold 2012 photo album on Flickr

Roberts, who will graduate in May, also noted the effects his MMA experience had on his planned future endeavors.

Even though this year’s event has just concluded, stay tuned as school administrators will be setting the date for next year’s Maroon and Gold!

MMA Sea Cadets Earn Recognition for Program Involvement

Two Missouri Military Academy cadets who are members of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps have earned accolades for their involvement and achievement with the program. Nicholas Mabbs ’14 (right) earned the Distinguished Service Ribbon for his work at Camp Perry, Ohio.  Blake Bibles ’13 (left) was awarded a Certificate of Achievement and a Physical Fitness Ribbon.  Academy president MajGen Robert Flanagan and program director LTJG Brian Sharp presented the two Sea Cadets with their awards before Army Days Saturday, March 24.










Gold Dome Adorns New Stribling Hall

Construction crews have completed the assembly of a gold dome on top of Missouri Military Academy’s new administration building, Stribling Hall.

The dome replaces the silver dome that sat on top of the old building from 1900 to 2011.  It is one of the finishing touches on Stribling Hall’s construction. MMA alumni, faculty, community members, and all three living MMA presidents were on site to witness the historic event. Four members of the class of 1971 traveled from the St. Louis area to be present.

Alumni from the class of 1971 (pictured L to R):  Buff Chance ’71, Raymond Stotlar ’71, Rick Frahm ’71 and Jack Heutel ’71.

The 8,000-pound dome was hoisted to the top of the building around 10:00 a.m. Monday under sunny skies, despite a slight breeze.

VIDEO:  See the dome make its way to the top of Stribling Hall

Once the dome was in place, spectators were invited inside for a reception and tours of the building, which is still under construction and slated for completion in early May. During the reception,  MMA president MajGen Robert M. Flanagan, USMC (Ret.) gave remarks, when he revealed the history of the gold dome – the idea was first conceived by MMA alum Les Barnard ’48, of Flossmoor, Ill. The dome will be one of the few gold domes in the state of Missouri.

Director of Advancement Dan Fowler then presented commemorative crystal mementos to the on-site members of the Gold Dome Society, a fundraising initiative introduced in September 2011.  He announced that the names of the Gold Dome Society members will be displayed in the rotunda of Stribling Hall.

Guests were then invited to tour the building. When the tours were complete, many spectators were surprised to see MajGen Flanagan lifted to the top of the dome alongside two workers to assist with the placement of the dome’s pole.

PHOTOS:  Check out photos on Flickr from the dome placement

Upon its May completion, Stribling Hall will also be only the second LEED-certified building in Audrain County.  The United States Green Building Council awards organizations and business with LEED certification, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  In 2009, MMA became the only LEED-certified high school in Missouri.

The next steps in Stribling Hall’s construction include finishing the areas around the top of the building and the placement of a time capsule inside the back terrace before laying its concrete surface.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled during MMA’s Commencement Weekend May 24-26.  Alumni, cadets, faculty and staff, and friends of the Academy will be invited to attend the ceremony, where school officials will dedicate the new Stribling Hall.

McGeorge to Serve as Next MMA President

Missouri Military Academy is proud to name Mr. Charles A. “Tony” McGeorge as its tenth president. His tenure begins July 1, 2012, upon the retirement of President MajGen Robert M. Flanagan, USMC (Ret.).

“I am honored to be selected as the Academy’s tenth president.  For 123 years, Missouri Military Academy has delivered excellence in character based education to young men from around the nation and the world.  We will build upon that wonderful legacy by focusing on delivering a world class 21st century education that prepares young men and boys for life.  MMA will continue to be where the world educates its future leaders,” says McGeorge.

Mr. McGeorge brings distinguished professional experience in the business, non-profit and academic sectors. He is the principal of McGeorge & Company LLC, which provides consulting services to independent schools and colleges in the areas of marketing, strategic planning, organizational dynamics and Board relations.  He is also the founder and current president of Mustang Scholars’ Foundation, Inc., which provides college scholarships to underprivileged young men and women of promise, character, and intelligence.

Prior to founding McGeorge & Company, McGeorge was president of Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The Chairman of the Board at VFMAC, Mr. William R. Floyd Jr., has this to say of McGeorge, “During his tenure as president, Tony did an outstanding job and proved himself to be both a visionary and strategic thinker…he will be an excellent addition to MMA.”   McGeorge was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Valley Forge Military Academy Foundation and later served as Counsel to the Office of the President, overseeing enrollment management, marketing, and public relations. Mr. McGeorge is a former president of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS).

Mr. McGeorge began his business career at Johnson & Johnson. During his tenure there, he helped found two operating companies: McNeil Consumer Products Company (Tylenol) and Johnson & Johnson Health Management, Inc. He was selected as one of the national spokespersons for Johnson & Johnson during the Tylenol poisoning crisis that made business history and became a Harvard Business School case study.

A poet and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards at Westchester University Poetry Center, McGeorge is a recipient of the McKesson Foundation’s Neil Harlan Award, PECO’s “Hometown Hero” and a Ronald Reagan Gold Medal recipient and Honorary Chairman Business Advisory Council.

Mr. McGeorge comes to MMA with his wife Joy from Devon, Pennsylvania.

His academic background includes a B.A. in Sino-Soviet History from Boston University and a M.S. in the Dynamics of Organizations from the University of Pennsylvania.  He holds a certificate in Advanced Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.

Mr. McGeorge taught at St. Joseph’s University in the Graduate School of Business and was selected to create their Capstone for the Pharmaceutical MBA.  He also teaches Strategic Management and Organizational Theory at Eastern University’s Graduate School of Business.  He is a Guest Lecturer at Immaculata University, University of the Sciences Philadelphia and Ursinus College.

MMA Board of Trustees Chairman R. Stribling Koster commented, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Missouri Military Academy, I am delighted to welcome Tony as MMA’s tenth president. Tony brings with him not only a wealth of experience as a businessman, consultant and president of Valley Forge Military Academy and College but also a passion and commitment to excellence that will serve the Academy well as we head into our 125th anniversary in 2014. We certainly thank General Flanagan for his outstanding leadership over these past six years and wish him well on his retirement. He certainly has left an important and lasting legacy at the Academy.”

MMA Helps Unveil Addition to Mexico Community

Missouri Military Academy played an important role in constructing a new sign to welcome visitors and residents alike to the community.  Organizers of the project came up with the idea in 2008, the sign’s construction met several delays.  In 2011, MMA president MajGen Robert Flanagan contacted those organizers again to put the plans back in motion.  After consulting Reinhardt/Wilson Construction, the Mexico Chamber of Commerce, and other community groups, all the proper materials were gathered to add the sign to the corner of Business Route 54 and Teal Lake Road on the south side of town.  Flanagan was there Friday to assist with the sign’s unveiling along with Mexico Mayor Ron Loesch, Chamber of Commerce Director Dana Keller, and other city officials.


Mexico Chamber Recognizes MMA Community Service Program

Missouri Military Academy president MajGen Robert M. Flanagan accepted an award on behalf of the school at an event recognizing outstanding members of the Mexico, Mo. community.

MMA received the Mexico Chamber of Commerce Civic Award for the first time as a result of numerous community service projects in which the school’s cadets have participated.

MMA began its community service program in 2008 and since that time, 493 cadets have contributed over 18,000 hours of community service hours.  Cadets have had a hand in service projects in Mexico, Mo. and surrounding communities, in international cities as part of school-sponsored Educational Tours, and in their home towns around the world.

Mexico Chamber of Commerce Board President Tony Robertson presents MajGen Flanagan the Chamber’s Civic Award.  The organization recognized MMA for its contributions to the Mexico community in the past year.

Some examples of the service cadets provide to the community include:  raising money for and sometimes assisting with Special Olympics events, volunteering for Red Cross blood drives, tutoring local children through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, packaging food for the Buddy Packs program and local food banks, placing American flags at the Missouri Veterans Home, serving as Salvation Army bell ringers, policing grounds at local public parks, and visiting elder care facilities.

The Educational Tours also encourage cadets to serve communities internationally.  MMA cadets have worked at a food kitchen for the homeless in Montreal and also helped rebuild a school in Costa Rica.

Flanagan says he and the school’s faculty and staff are proud of the support the cadets have given to local and international communities.  He added that the cadets have shown they understand the real value of selfless service, and says he hopes future cadets continue to learn that lesson.

MHS Calls On MMA for JROTC Assistance

Missouri Military Academy will play an active role in Mexico High School’s quest to add a JROTC program to its curriculum.  Mexico High School Principal Dr. Terry Robinson says the district’s students have never had an opportunity to fully participate in an official JROTC program before.  He says his support for potentially bringing JROTC to Mexico High stems from his observations of the program during his time at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo.

He says implementing JROTC into the curriculum at Mexico High School will provide another outlet for area students.

“Students value structure and we believe that the program and its message will translate into something positive for young people,” Robinson said.  “These are ideas and values we believe can be transmitted at the high school level.”

Mexico High School freshman Amber Allison receives introductory information from MMA JROTC Instructor SGM Henry Suddarth.  Allison, along with 14 other MHS students, began their JROTC training Tuesday.

Robinson and Mexico Public Schools Superintendent Tina Woolsey contacted MMA president MajGen Robert M. Flanagan this summer about what MMA could possibly do to help.

“We suggested to Dr. Robinson and Superintendent Woolsey that we ‘train the trainers’ by allowing some number of their students to come to our school to start the program – not so much where they go through MMA JROTC, but rather to train them and help them understand the process,” Flanagan said.  “That way, when the program is approved, they would go back with a year or two of experience and would be able to train new members.”

Perhaps the greatest obstacle to getting that program started is a long and arduous application process.  Robinson says the school district submitted its application about six months ago, but it could be as long as 36 months before Army officials give their approval.  Until then, MMA JROTC Instructor SGM Henry Suddarth will train a group of 15 students who have signed up for the program.

Robinson and Flanagan both say they are very pleased to begin the partnership, and are hopeful the program is approved as quickly as possible.

Robinson says students from other school districts in Audrain County may also be invited to participate.