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Letter from Tripp Billingsley '77

Date Posted:  Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Tripp Billingsley '77

“We all have talents and the school could certainly use our talents in one way or another.”

The above is the final line from the last Call to Quarters feature story on Bill Reiser, class of 1952, and it is obvious that the article had an impact on our Alumni.

Since that time the FUMA Advancement Office has received the following:

  • Messages from two Alumni who have offered to come to campus and speak to classes about their career paths.  One of these gentlemen also offered to help in the athletic or maintenance departments while here.  ‘Anything I can do to help out’ is how it was phrased.
  • An offer from an Alum to come to campus to speak with and counsel cadets who may be struggling with demerits…as he did when he was a cadet.
  • Invitations from Alums all over the country willing to host combined Alumni and admissions events in their hometowns.

You may notice that no mention was made of financial contributions in the above list.

We all know that the money we raise is the lifeblood of Fork Union Military Academy’s continued success, but all too often I hear from Alumni, especially younger ones, that they are “not able to give in the amount needed to make a difference”.

My response?

Yes, you are.

Like me, you’re probably not able to build a cannon like Mr. Reiser did, but as he has shown us there are ways we can all serve our school.

In terms of tax-deductible donations, give what you can to the area of your choice:

  • Academy Fund—supports the general operation of our Academy.
  • Access Scholarships—enables us to provide tuition assistance to worthy young men.
  • Endowment—helps us grow the fund that provides for FUMA’s long term future.

Here are other ways you can give that doesn’t involve a financial contribution.

Share your FUMA Story.

You can help us continue to grow our Corps of Cadets by recommending FUMA to friends who may be looking for a high-quality college prep environment for their sons.  Word of mouth referrals from our Alums and the parents of former cadets continue to be a leading source of new students.

Encourage our current community.

Encourage our school community with your presence.  As the world returns to normal (hopefully…) come to campus for a game, a parade, an Alumni event, to visit that teacher, coach, or TAC who impacted you, or to just walk the grounds where so many of us were educated, developed, and inspired.

We are glad to have cadets back on campus again, and look forward to a great year.

See you soon,

Tripp Billingsley

Class of 1977

Director of Advancement