Front & Center News from Fork Union Military Academy–April 10, 2017

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Stories in this issue:

  • Dick and Nancy Cooper have established UVa scholarship for FUMA graduates
  • "Careers in the Military" seminar presented by COL George Gennin
  • Cadets take a "College Road Trip" to VMI
  • Cadets exceed goal in fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Chess team wins the FUMA Open Chess Tournament
  • Orienteering team brings home two national championship medals
  • Admissions team travels the world meeting FUMA parents as well as prospective international students
  • Admissions Mid-Week Open Houses this week
Fraley Circle this week with trees in bloom

Dick and Nancy Cooper have established UVa scholarship for FUMA graduates

Are you a FUMA graduate with an undergraduate degree in liberal arts, science, or engineering and want to continue your education?

Fork Union Military Academy alumnus Dick Cooper, Class of 1954, and his wife Nancy have established the Richard L. and Nancy L. Cooper Scholarship for the Masters of Science in Commerce program at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.

(1st photo) Dick Cooper, Class of 1954. (2nd photo) Dick and Nancy Cooper

This very generous scholarship has been designated for an accepted applicant who is also a FUMA graduate who demonstrates high standards of conduct and moral character. The scholarship is for those accepted applicants to the University’s one-year M.S. in Commerce Program that meet the scholarship requirements.

Mr. and Mrs. Cooper feel blessed to be able to establish the scholarship and to show their support to their alma maters, the University of Virginia and Fork Union Military Academy.

For more information about the Richard L. and Nancy L. Cooper Scholarship please contact Judy Cash at (434)924-3479 or Further information regarding the University of Virginia’s M.S. in Commerce program can be found at

Aerial view of the campus in 1937

"Careers in the Military" seminar presented by COL George Gennin

Col. George S. Gennin is one of our nation’s heroes. Retired from the Air Force following a distinguished military career, Col. Gennin also happens to be Cadet George Fleming’s grandfather and our most recent volunteer to speak to our cadets through the “Let’s Talk” series, sponsored by the Academy’s Guidance Department.

The seminar’s topic, “Careers in the Military”, attracted 20 cadets to the library on the evening of March 30.

Col. Gennin, now the President of SDS International, Inc., served our country with honor during his career in the Air Force. He served three combat tours in the F-4, flying over 700 combat flying hours, 450 combat missions in Southeast Asia, and more than 100 missions over North Vietnam. He served as a Fighter Weapons Instructor and Fighter Pilot, an F-16 Program and Advanced Avionics Manager and Test Director, a Requirements Staff Officer, an Operations Officer and Commander, a Chief with the Asia Division out of the Pentagon, and a Vice Wing Commander. The list of military awards earned by Col. Gennin is extensive and impressive. His career in the Air Force has taken him all over the world, with experiences in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

During the seminar, Col. Gennin shared a bit about each job he performed during his years in the service. He also shared how his experiences in the Air Force prepared him for his future work in the business world.

We are grateful to Col. Gennin for volunteering his time to talk to our cadets, and we are grateful for his service to our country.

Dogwood in bloom at edge of Fraley Circle

Cadets take a "College Road Trip" to VMI

This past Friday, fifteen of our Upper School cadets enjoyed a “College Road Trip” to the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA (, sponsored by our Guidance Department.

VMI, founded in 1839, is a state-supported military college and is the oldest such institution in the United States. Several of our cadets are accepted to VMI each year, and our faculty boasts three VMI graduates.

Accompanied by our College Placement Officer, Ms. Jenny Payne, and our Guidance Director, COL Rob Feathers, our cadets took an extensive walking tour of the campus, led by a very informative cadet guide. Following the tour, a member of VMI’s admissions staff shared with our cadets the requirements for entering freshmen. A full-dress parade, which is a Friday tradition at the Institute, provided our afternoon entertainment. Our cadets were impressed with the precision marching exhibited by VMI’s Cadet Corps during the parade. The day ended with dinner at the Institute’s Mess Hall, which earned rave reviews from our cadets.

One of our recent graduates, Erik Jorstad, FUMA Class of 2015, joined our group for dinner and shared about his experiences as a VMI cadet.

Hatcher Hall under construction in 1916

Cadets exceed goal in fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

This past Friday, Amy Reese, the Academy's Activities Coordinator shared with the Cadet Corps a presentation about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and our Penny War fundraiser, along with the results of the fundraising project. The lofty goal this year was to raise $3,000 for this cause, and our cadets blew that target out of the water. Mrs. Reese proudly reported that Fork Union Military Academy raised $4,654.07 for LLS this year!

Bravo Company won the Penny War by collecting $1,434.77. Charlie Company was a very close second place collecting $1,421.55 (just $13.22 separated 1st and 2nd place).

A huge part of our success this year was due to our cadets' efforts and the online donations we received from cadet family members. Our cadets and their families are truly amazing!—Amy Reese
Parade practice during drill time

Chess team wins the FUMA Open Chess Tournament

This past Saturday, Fork Union Military Academy hosted the FUMA Open Chess Tournament, also billed as the Fork Union Spring Scholastic Tournament by the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association, with a field of twenty-five high school, middle school, and elementary school competitors. The Fork Union team took first place in the high school division.

Cadet Luming Zhao won three matches and claimed a victory over the highest-rated player at the meet, whose rating was over 400 points above Cadet Zhao's rating, in a contest that chess advisor COL Chris Nothnagle described as "an awesome game." Cadets David Cammack and Alexander Birch each won two games, and Cadet Andrew Phillips added a win to help boost the team to the top in the tournament.

Marching band practice

Orienteering team brings home two national championship medals

After 1,500 miles of driving and five races the Fork Union Military Academy orienteering team returned to campus this past weekend with a slew of medals, including two national championship medals. On Friday evening, Cadet Sam Marinace, a junior, raced through a soggy 6.6 km course in an hour and twenty-four minutes to claim the gold medal in the US Night Orienteering Championships. Marinace ran at the varsity level. At the junior varsity level, sophomore Zach Williams obtained a bronze medal. The team had practiced on the Fork Union campus property to prepare for the limited visibility inherent in a night competition.

In addition to the night orienteering championships, three other competitions made up the twenty-first annual Flying Pig National Event. Fork Union orienteers placed in the middle distance competition on Friday afternoon and in Saturday’s long distance event, characterized by high, steep hills. The highlight of Saturday’s event was rookie seventh grader Sa’eed Dasher blowing away his competition on the beginner course.

Sunday’s competitions consisted of two short distance events, the first through the town of Columbus, Indiana. Columbus is a town with varied architecture. On Saturday, the team, pursuing excellence of both mind and body, had an opportunity to hear a lecture by a professor of architecture. On Sunday morning the team competed in and amongst the architecture. For Senior Dong Hun Lee, an AP Scholar, the race within the city was the highlight.

The weekend provided veteran and new orienteers the opportunity to employ all their skills in varied competitions in over 20 km of racing, and demonstrated why the Fork Union Military Academy team is nationally-recognized in the orienteering world.

Some of our international cadets

Admissions team travels the world meeting FUMA parents as well as prospective international students

In the past couple of weeks, Fork Union Military Academy representatives, Mrs. Katherine Giszack and Mrs. Sonia Brandon, visited several of the families of our current cadets in South Korea.

After a wonderful experience in South Korea, they headed to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to attend a total of seven admission fairs and to meet with several newly-admitted FUMA cadets.

Sent to us by one of our international families

Admissions Mid-Week Open Houses on campus this week

We encourage you to invite your friends and neighbors to learn more about Fork Union Military Academy and whether our college prep environment might be a good fit for one of their young men. Check out the upcoming schedule of admissions events:

  • APR11—Mid-Week Open House—9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • APR12—Mid-Week Open House—9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • APR13—Mid-Week Open House—9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • APR22—Admissions Open House—9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Created By
Daniel Thompson


Photos by: COL Al Williamson, Kate Pendergrass, RADM Burhoe, & Charles Thomas

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