It Takes a Community

On Thursday evening I hosted a dinner for Fork Union business leaders in the Dorothy Thomasson Estes Dining Hall. It not only gave me a chance to show off the delicious food we serve here every day (for every meal), but also provided terrific insight into just how significant Fork Union Military Academy is to this part of Virginia. We are interested in continuing to be good neighbors, and it was clear that there is tremendous benefit in working even closer together as a community. We have much to gain by developing strong partnerships with local business leaders, and working together to achieve greater economic prosperity. Our cadets will be well served by more frequent interactions with the Village of Fork Union.

Earlier in the week we selected the finishes for the new dormitory, Jacobson Hall. The interior design will be bright (taking full advantage of abundant sunlight) and filled with our favorite colors (blue and red of course). The architect provided a number of attractive options to our Barracks Committee, and the final selections were made so that the project could stay on track to open in July 2012. You can see what the dormitory looks like today by visiting

We will select all the furniture over the next week or two. There are still “naming opportunities” available for rooms and wings. Please contact LTC Bobby Cobb if you want to learn more about how you can be part of this transformative project.

Perhaps the highlight of my week was meeting with the members of our Cadet Honor Council on Tuesday evening in the Guy Beatty Library. I shared my views on the importance of honor and integrity to schools such as ours. Any schools with the words “military” and “academy” must have high standards of “truth-telling.” Sometimes “telling the truth” is hard, but it is always the right thing to do, and always the right choice. I complimented these young men on the great example they set to be nominated by the faculty for membership, and indicated that I was interested in their candid/honest views of any cases brought before them, and would strongly consider their recommendations before making our final decisions.

Time seems to go faster here than anywhere I’ve ever been…maybe it is the excitement and the challenge, maybe it is the sense of community. I read a book recently entitled “It’s Better to Build Boys than Mend Men” written by S. Truett Cathy. Here at Fork Union Military Academy the entire community is involved in educating, developing, and inspiring Fork Union Men; creating a legacy that will strengthen Virginia, the nation, and the world.