It's Christmas Time on Campus
The tree is up in Hatcher Hall, and the sound of Christmas music can be heard across campus during class breaks and after the class day in the afternoons up until dinner time. The music, which used to be played from speakers high atop the Titmus Tower of Wicker Chapel, now originates from near the Commandant's Office outside Jacobson Hall. The speakers on top of Wicker Chapel eventually wore out after generations of music played through them each December, but the December tradition has continued. Today, you're likely to hear a wide and eclectic mix of contemporary Christian music, R&B and country versions of Christmas classics, as well as hymns of the season as you walk across the campus.
Fork Union Cadets Enjoy a Road Trip to Liberty University
The Guidance Department at Fork Union sponsors several college visits during the school year to help our students gain a greater awareness of college life and the expectations colleges and universities have of incoming freshmen. A cadre of cadets recently traveled to Liberty University with Ms. Jenny Payne, our College Placement Officer, and COL Rob Feathers, our Guidance Director.
The FUMA group received a warm welcome from the Admissions Director and a thorough tour of the campus led by one of the University’s students. The tour included visits to several classrooms buildings, the student center, several dorms, the University bookstore, the convocation center, the recreation and fitness center, and the University’s dining hall, where the cadets and chaperones enjoyed an all-you-can-eat meal from an array of selections. The tour ended with a presentation offered by a representative of the University’s admissions department regarding entrance requirements and the financial aid process.
Annual Blood Drive Helps American Red Cross
Staff, faculty, maintenance workers, administration employees, and cadets all volunteered to donate blood.
Each pint donated can assist up to three persons with platelets, whole blood, and plasma.
Thank you to MAJ John Justice, Echo Company TAC Officer, and Mrs. Debi Justice, Infirmary Nurse, for organizing this year's drive.
Robotics Team Awarded Trophy in First Competition of the Year
Staff advisors Joshua Adams and Jamie Krogh took the Robotics Team to their first interscholastic competition of the year this past weekend. Although the team was disappointed to bow out of the competition at the semifinals level, they brought home the prestigious Rockwell Collins Innovation Award for their robot.
The competition takes place on an enclosed "field" with two baskets in the center into which the robot can throw "particles" (blue or red balls, based on the team). According to the team's staff advisor Joshua Adams, the Fork Union robot "has a free throw percentage closer to Shaq's than Kobe's right now" and is capable of firing two particles toward the goals. Other robotic tasks include lifting a large "yoga ball" into the basket, pushing a beacon on the front wall matching the color of the team, and parking the robot on the appropriate ramp. Some of the competition requires the robot to perform such feats in "autonomous" mode, with no input from its operators.
The Team's First Five Matches
The team's day started out with a log of promise. Last year at this early point in the season, the team's robot literally fell apart on the field and the team had to clean up the pieces of it. The team had practiced hard so far this year and had built a much sturdier robot in which they had a lot of confidence. Many robots in the weekend competition wouldn't start or failed inspection, which is commonly what happens at this early point in the year. But Fork Union Military Academy's robot started and passed inspection and barely lost the opening match in a 45-50 squeaker. The team won their second match in a 90-20 blowout of their competition.
The team won their next two matches handily, but during the fifth match of the day, the team's robot decided to lay down on the job, literally. It flipped itself during the autonomous phase but fortunately was able to get right side up once again. However it was not enough to win the match, and the team fell out of the top four teams in the standings.
Video of Round #4:
The Fork Union team was selected by the captain of the fourth-ranked team to be in their alliance along with another team to participate in the best two out of three semifinal matches. The first match was lost narrowly, but in the second match of the semifinals, the team's robot simply wasn't firing on all cylinders and lost in a landslide, ending the team's competitive day.
The Rockwell Collins Innovation Award
The day was not lost, however, as the Fork Union team was presented with the Rockwell Collins Innovation Award, presented for meeting the following criteria:
- Respect and gracious professionalism towards everyone they encounter at the event.
- An Engineering Notebook with an Engineering section that documented the Design Process and how the team arrived at their design solution.
- Robot assembly must be elegant and unique in its design. Components must be stable, robust, and work reliably.
- Robot is efficient and consistent with team strategy.
we've got many things to work on as we fell just shy of our goal of making it to states, we get one more try next weekend at Battlefield High School up in Northern Virginia, so if you see our guys this week encourage them to work hard and next weekend we can do this. —Joshua Adams, Staff Advisor to team
The Heisman High School
This coming Saturday, December 10th, the Heisman Trophy will be awarded for the 82nd time.
The Heisman Trophy has been awarded 81 times since it was first originated in 1935, honoring the most outstanding college football player in the NCAA. It's remarkable to think that football powerhouses like Penn State and the University of Alabama have only produced one Heisman winner each, while little Fork Union Military Academy, a small high school with barely more than one hundred graduates each year, has produced two Heisman Trophy winners, and a third Heisman finalist.
- In 1986, Miami's quarterback, Vinny Testaverde, became the first former FUMA cadet to win the Heisman Trophy.
- Eddie George, the Ohio State running back, won his Heisman in 1995.
- Chris Perry, a running back at Michigan, was a finalist in the 2003 Heisman hunt, placing fourth in the voting.