Last weekend Sheila and I traveled to Charlottesville to attend my 35th high school reunion. Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA) holds an Alumni Weekend every May, so former cadets from many classes were in attendance. I am pictured with two good friends from the class of 1979 who returned to serve at FUMA, Rob Feathers, Middle School Dean, and Dwayne Fender, the Upper School Assistant Commandant. Sheila and I were also special guests of Larry (FUMA Class of 1964) and Glenda Fischer, who helped organize the 50th reunion class. Larry has prepared many estate plans for AOG clients, and Michelle Whitlock, AOG Client Service Manager, is their daughter.
I was thrilled to see that my basketball, football, cross country, and track coaches are still teaching and coaching (although all are retiring in the next three years). These four men had such a profound impact on me, and so many other students and athletes. Fork Union’s motto is Body Mind Spirit, and it was on the playing fields, in the classrooms, and in the Chapel that many of my best qualities were encouraged and refined. (Yes, I did accumulate 11 demerits in four years, but never had to march extra duty! – I knew someone would ask.)
Fork Union has provided high school and/or post graduate education and training to such NFL greats as Sonny Randle, Eddie George, Don Majkowski, Vinnie Testaverde, and Mike Quick. It helped develop business leaders like Thomas Davis, the Founder and former Chairman of US Airways, Edward Telling, the former Chairman and CEO of Sears, and Kevin Plank, the Founder and President of Under Armour. It was also home to General John T. Chain, the former Commander in Chief of Strategic Air Command.
It was a fun stroll down memory lane. I am grateful to my parents who provided the means to attend FUMA, to the dedicated faculty and staff who gave so tirelessly to encourage and care for the cadets, and for the wonderful intangibles that have been a part of the institution since 1898. It was my reunion, but I think Sheila had even more fun than me!