Captain J. Paul Mosley '05, USMC
Dear alumni and friends of the Academy,
It is my extraordinary privilege to be able to serve as President of the Alumni Association. This has been a difficult year, but the adversity has been more than overcome by both the faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni board members, as well as the alumni willing to contribute to and engage with the Academy – be it through Alumni Speaker Day, capital campaigns, or the many other ways that alumni participate throughout the year. As this is my first time writing to many of you, I want to pause and humbly reflect on what I have observed in my time reengaging with Fork Union Military Academy.
As I have reconnected with Fork Union Military Academy in past years, I have been thoroughly uplifted by the continuity of the good work that has taken place in the lives of thousands of young men over the past century and a quarter. The same FUMA ethos, commitment to excellence, and transformational impacts that my family experienced in the life of my father when he arrived 60 years ago – and my life nearly 20 years ago – has been perennially perpetuated in many other families, making FUMA – to this day – “Second to None.”
In the interim years since I was a cadet, I have witnessed FUMA redouble its commitment to our motto of Body, Mind, Spirit, and our cadets, alumni, faculty, and staff continue to live out our Core Values of Respect, Integrity, Faith, Character, and Discipline. I could not be prouder of the tireless efforts on behalf of the administration to continue to fulfill Dr. Hatcher’s dream for this Academy.
While staying true to the values that we as alumni all hold, Fork Union has also strategically enhanced various aspects of the Academy. In relation to development of the Body, examples include overhauling the physical fitness program and providing a greater number of nutritious options in the Estes Dining Hall. Since I graduated, we built a new Estes Aquatic Center and launched the Swimming and Diving Team. Most notably, this resulted in a 2016 Olympic athlete.
To facilitate further growth of the Mind, the revision of the grading scale makes our cadets even more competitive for top colleges, universities, and the service academies – in an age where metrics and statistics dominate college acceptance. This will expand the opportunities for our graduates and will continue to pay dividends into the lives of our future alumni, as they are set up for success to faithfully live out their callings.
As our founder no doubt would agree, most important is growth in Spirit. Rituals such as daily Chapel and devotions, “See You at the Pole,” the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each day, and the formation of a leadership development seminar greatly impact both current and future students. In a world increasingly grounded in skepticism and disbelief, Fork Union has set itself aside as a place that holistically focuses on developing young men into the husbands, fathers, church members, and citizens that they will become.
While several iconic buildings on campus and various uniforms were retired, Fork Union is far more than brick and mortar or the cloth that cadets wear, it is found in the indomitable spirit of our Corps and the men who came before them – who strive to make meaningful differences in their communities, their occupational fields, and their families. The changes on campus will allow the Academy to be a place that continues to foster an environment that encourages the development of scholars and athletes, soldiers and artists, financiers and missionaries, politicians and first responders. As an alumnus who grew up the age of social media and has seen the growth of my peers from the Academy, I can assure the alumni that our recent graduates are thriving in all walks of life, which is the true measure of our work and our effectiveness as an institution.
Military academies continue to close across the country, but I cannot help but reflect on the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon our institution, especially through the leadership of our Academy Chair, Paige Lester Pruett, Academy President, Colonel David Coggins, and our own Past President, George Anas. As many of you know, I was called to deploy twice in my tenure as President, to Japan and then Afghanistan. Mr. Anas, who was additionally serving as a trustee, handled many of the day-to-day duties of the alumni board so that I could focus on my mission with the Marines. For that I am immensely grateful to him.
The work of Fork Union is made possible by your generous contributions to the Academy Fund. Gifts to the fund enable the Academy to elevate alumni experiences and support cadets in new and expanded ways throughout the year. Since my father served on the mission field, scholarships were the only way that I was able to attend this Academy, and for that I am eternally grateful. Like many of you reading this, I do not know where I would be without Fork Union. We appreciate your generosity in this effort to keep improving and growing our alma mater for generations to come.
Captain J. Paul Mosley, USMC
President, Fork Union Military Academy Alumni Association
Class of 2005