I entered Fork Union Military Academy in the fall of 1963 as a freshman who did most things wrong. Bad grades, bad conduct and no direction. I hated FUMA for about the first three or four weeks I was there and then something clicked in my brain that changed my life, due in most part to the tremendous Fork Union facility and coaches who cared about every cadet and encouraged them to always do their best and to appreciate this once in a life time opportunity to grow into responsible young men of Christian principle. By my senior year, I was successful in every aspect of the FUMA lifestyle, academics, athletics and leadership. The lessons I learned at FUMA have served me well in college, my Army career, my corporate career, my retirement and my Faith. Thirty years after I graduated, my son entered FUMA and his experiences and success were identical to mine a generation earlier. Fork Union Military Academy has been, and continues to be, a difference maker in the lives of thousands of young men who enter it's gate. I love that the Fork Union mission, as a Christian all male military school, has never changed. GO FUMA!
I had failed the 6th grade in public school and my parents decided to send me to Fork Union. Although I had been away to camps for extended time, this would be a big difference. I didn't want the structure and I certainly wasn't a great student. That all changed soon after arriving. I was not used to be ordered about but found that it helped. I learned that I had it in myself to excel.
I found that every action I took had consequences, both bad and good. If you misbehaved, you lost privileges. If you followed the rules and did the right thing you got extra privileges.
I quickly had my grades improve to where I was on the Headmasters List (not quite the Honor Roll, but certainly well above public school). I found that I enjoyed learning in that structured environment. I also was surrounded by people of different financial and social levels and even back in the 60's there were students from many other countries.
Although some of the teachers may have recently graduated from teachers college or university, I felt that their age was a plus for me as I could relate to a younger teacher. Many became friends. You have to understand that both students and teaches there become a part of your life. I still visit and speak with both from my time there and have visited the campus many times over the years, the last time was 2019 which was my 50 year Reunion. How many other schools, public or private can boast that? Also many notable people in all walks of life have attended the school. It is doing something right!
I was worried that the school was in the middle of 'nowhere' I thought and that I would be bored and unproductive. I was so wrong! I engaged in many activities, one of which was the campus radio station, paving the path for me to be a DJ and 'air personality' in later life. That led me to meet many famous musicians also. I also look back and am sorry that I did not take advantage of even more activities such as the athletic teams and debate societies.
The 'One Subject Plan' makes so much sense and I have often explained it to people and in forums as a way for the U.S. to excel in education.
I cannot emphasize how much the school meant to me back then and continues to guide me even today.
You might enjoy this mans story about his decision to donate.
I am in this photo (bottom right) in 1962. The other two photos are from the school showing before and after photos. If the school can change their appearance so much in a few minutes, image what they can do in a year or more! Also not e that they are still smiling!
Fork Union Military Academy(FUMA).
Class of '82. As a student, was dying to go to boarding school. Mom went to German boarding scool in the '50s (dad stationed in Germany) Dad went to Naval Academy. Grandparents lived across the street.
When the need arrived, FUMA was the choice. 3 1/2 hrs away from home.
Overall a very good sports oriented college prep school. 2 heisman trophy winners have attended Fuma. Lots of military people like myself have used FUMA as a springboard to be in the Military.
No girls at the school which helps teenage boys be focused on school and sports.
Military focus of rank, marching, inspections, demerts, helps keep the teenagers inline. Tedious and not always fun helps with future life of yes ma'am-yes sir.
Baptist school with religious service.
Body, Mind, and Spirit is the school motto. Which the school strives to meet.
Because of good grades had the option of going to public school in Maryland. A top 50 school in America for my Senior year. Choose to go back to FUMA for friends sports and one subject learning. 1 course for 8 weeks with one elective and Bible study. Then on to the next course and elective for 8 weeks.
My personal motto even though I wanted to be at FUMA was "Hate it while you are there, love it when you leave! Hope this helps.
FUMA is an outstanding presence in today's educational landscape. A private school that uses a military environment in which to operate, the One Subject Plan offers a college bound student an excellent foundation to flourish wherever they attend after HS.
Administration is well led and focused on achieving success for the student cadets.
Worst decision I ever made for my child.
Fork Union is more concerned about money than your child. Because it is in a small town they have trouble recruiting competent teachers. Organizationally theu are a mess because their adminstrative staff is over worked and over paid.
I had to call and email the schoo for 2 weeks in order to receive information on my child.
If you are not willing to donate large sums of money to the school you will not receive good service.
FUMA is an first class organization which excels in developing leadship qualities in young men. Their academics and other activities are outstanding and their approach to the development of successful young men of integrity is second to none.