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Updates on Fork Union's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

News Type:  President's Blog
Monday, May 18, 2020

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Daily Update as of May 18, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Term 5 is literally "in the books" now, as grades are being stored in PowerSchool today. You all should be able to view final grades in PowerSchool by tomorrow.

Transcripts will be sent out within the next two weeks.

Laptops for Seniors

Seniors, I have some good news to share with you. I believe that you were told previously that at the conclusion of your senior year, you would be given the opportunity to purchase your laptop at a reduced price.

I am pleased to tell you that thanks to a generous gift from one of our alumni, you can keep your laptop for free. The purchase price is being paid by an alumnus as a gift to our seniors. 

If you have your laptop at home, you may simply hang on to it. If your school laptop is still here on campus, you may contact COL Scott Krogh at or by phone at 434-842-4375 to make arrangements to receive your laptop.

Return of Laptops

For the rest of our undergraduate cadets, if you have received a school laptop for use during Term 5 at home, and the laptop was shipped to you via FedEx, you should have a return shipping label already that you can use to get the laptop back to us so we can clean it up and get it ready for you to use in the fall. If you picked your laptop up in person, or if you have any questions or need another return shipping label, please contact COL Scott Krogh at or by phone at 434-842-4375 to work out arrangements for the return or your laptop.

Thank you!

This will be the last of our daily updates for this school year, but we will be in contact with you somewhat regularly in the days ahead and keep you apprised of our plans for graduation, summer camps, summer school, and the 2020-2021 school year.

Thank you for helping us bring the 2019-2020 school year to a successful close during these very challenging circumstances!

As I close out this final daily update of the school year, I call upon the assurance of God's love and protection for each of us that is described in Psalm 91:


"I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." - Psalm 91:2-4



Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of May 15, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We have made it together across the finish line! Our 2019-2020 academic session has been closed, and we are preparing to rest from our labors. First, however, let's celebrate the Class of 2020 and their accomplishments.

Virtual College T-Shirt Day

We are reminded of the diversity of our student body when we see the wide range of outstanding colleges and universities to which they have been accepted. Our annual College T-Shirt Day is always a fun way to highlight some of these schools our cadets will be attending in the fall.

Senior Awards

Finally, we want to share our 2020 Senior and Postgraduate Awards Ceremony video with you today. Although we wish we could have awarded these honors in person, the accomplishments are every bit as important and recognized this year.

FUMA Presidential Unit Citation

Today I announced the special awarding of a FUMA Presidential Unit Citation to the Cadets, Faculty, and Staff of Fork Union Military Academy who have served during these unprecedented time.



“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” - Numbers 6:24-26



Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of May 14, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Today we completed the last day of classes of Term 5, finishing the academic work for the 2019-2020 school year. Congratulations to our cadets, faculty, and staff who pulled together in the past two months and met the challenges we faced in bringing the school year to a successful finish.

Tomorrow, on what would have been our graduation day, we will celebrate! We will present our Senior Awards Ceremony, share some of our College T-Shirt Day photos, and officially close the Academy's 121st Academic Session.

I also have a very special award presentation to make tomorrow.

Get some rest tonight, and we will celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 and all of our cadets, teachers, staff, and families together tomorrow!


" I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." - 2 Timothy 4:7



Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of May 13, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Just one more day of academic work and then we officially close the 2019-2020 academic session on Friday.

Continue to press on toward the goal, cadets. The finish line is in sight!

2020 Underclassmen Awards

In a normal year, we would gather in Wicker Chapel on this day and pass out hard-earned awards to our cadets during the annual Underclassmen Awards Ceremony. This year, we are announcing those awards virtually, through the below video. 

Tomorrow, we will publish the Senior Awards Ceremony video. 

Even though the presentation is virtual, the accomplishments are very real and are the result of hard work, grit, and high performance. Congratulations to all of our award winners. You have earned the recognition.



"Father God, we are proud of these young men. They have accomplished so much in the past nine months. Help them finish the year with that same spirit of achievement. Amen."



Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of May 12, 2020 at 4:00 PM

If you are a senior or a parent of a senior, please email us your College T-Shirt Day photos to so we can include that video in an upcoming email and celebrate our seniors! We have received 14 photos so far and are looking forward to getting more.

Good News for Parents

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainties that have resulted from it, I know that many of you have concerns about fall enrollment. I'm excited to share some news about some policy changes we've enacted to help families enrolling for our 2020-2021 academic year this fall, or our summer session this July.

Refundable Registration Fees

  • Registration Fees for both summer school and fall enrollment will be refundable deposits this year. If you let us know by July 1st for summer school or by August 1st for fall enrollment that you will not be enrolling, for any reason, we will fully refund your registration fees. 

Request Single-Occupancy Rooms

  • When you return your enrollment contract and registration fee, you may request that your cadet be given a single-occupancy room in the barracks. These requests will be honored on a first come, first served basis, based on the date received.

We are developing comprehensive plans for our return to campus during these times of COVID-19 concerns. We will have in place policies, protocols, and procedures to help maintain the safety and well-being of all on campus.

If you have any questions about re-enrollment concerns, please give our admissions office a call at 434-842-4205 so that we can address them individually with you.

Awards! Awards!

In the following days, we will be announcing the awards and honors earned by our cadets. On Wednesday, we will release the Underclassmen Awards Ceremony presented on video. On Thursday we will publish the Senior Awards Ceremony video.

Today, we are proud to announce the Athletics Awards for the year. Click the image below to view the Blue Devil Report.


2020 All Sports Awards



"Lord, continue your watchcare over us this week as our cadets push towards the finish line. Continue the work that You have begun in each one of us. Be with these families, as we ask that Your will be done in each of our lives, and as we bring you our thanks, our praise, and our needs. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of May 11, 2020 at 4:00 PM

It's hard to believe, but we are now in the last week of

the 2019-2020 academic year, and the final week of the Class of 2020's high school journey! What an extraordinary year this has been, and what an unusual last term we have experienced, unlike any in the history of Fork Union Military Academy's 121 years.

A Message to Our Seniors

Our faculty and staff wanted to share their greetings and best wishes with our Seniors. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Finish strong.

From the Commandant: Retrieving Gear

COL Tony Moss, Commandant of Cadets, has provided the following guidance for families on retrieving gear and personal belonging from the campus:

  1. Families wishing to retrieve gear will need to do so by appointment with their Company TAC Officer.  
    • Submit request 24 to 48 hours before arrival – to allow time for TACs to collect all items and coordinate with Athletic Department, if needed.
    • The TAC will need to know if your son has athletic gear in Estes and items in summer storage.
    • We will not allow anyone (from off campus) in the barracks, so items will be picked up at the company entrance door  
  2. If your son is returning to FUMA the next academic year – you are authorized to store at FUMA.  Please inform your Company TAC no later than 30 June 2020.
  3. We can also ship items to your address. Again, please let your Company TAC know in order for coordination with the Quartermaster (MAJ Wilson) and the shipping may come with additional expense from the family.
  4. All gear will need to be retrieved or placed in storage by 30 June 2020.

Underclassmen Awards and Senior Awards

On Wednesday, we will release our video version of the annual Underclassmen Awards Ceremony, and then on Thursday we will publish the Senior Awards Ceremony video. We have quite a number of awards going to deserving cadets, so be sure to look out for that in our updates this week!

Their Future's So Bright!

Ms. Amy Reese has put together our final photo challenge video for our cadets and staff this week. Enjoy!

Closing Prayer


"Lord, we ask that you be with each one of our cadets in this last week of the school year. Let them know that they are close in our hearts and held fast in our prayers. We ask that you be with each family, let them feel Your presence in their lives. We ask that You continue to work Your will in our lives and be with us in all of our needs, both spoken and unspoken, at this time. Amen.


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of May 8, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We have reached the final weekend of Term 5 and have just one week more to go!

I encourage all of our cadets to get some rest this weekend and get ready to finish strong for the last week of our school year.

AP Exam Reminder

I bring you the following message from Ms. Rhonda White of our College Counseling Office:

As you know AP Exams start on Monday, May 11th.  Please continue to look at emails constantly.

For those of you taking these exams, you will receive an email two days before your exam date with your unique exam e-ticket that includes your AP ID.

On exam day you will use this e-ticket to access your exam.  You will also need to complete your AP Exam Day Checklist that will be sent to your email as well.

I strongly encourage you to practice with the exam demo that was sent to you if you haven’t already done so. Remember practice helps! Again I wish you all the best of luck! GO FUMA!
- Ms. Rhonda White


Finish Strong!

I will close today with the encouraging words of Paul found in his letter to the Hebrews:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." - Hebrews 12:1-3


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of May 6, 2020 at 4:00 PM

I hope that all of you are staying safe and healthy. Our prayers remain with you and your family. If any of you have any specific prayer requests that you would like us to keep in our prayers in the days ahead, please let me know by emailing us at I believe in the power of prayer.


I hope that you all read my update yesterday, but just in case you missed it I want to restate that we are focusing on July 18th as our target date for a graduation ceremony for our seniors in the Class of 2020. Our hope and desire is that we will gather on campus to celebrate our seniors' success, so please circle that date on your calendars and follow our updates as we release more details in the days and weeks ahead.

School Nurse Appreciation Day

Dear FUMA Nurses, Thank you for all you do. In the spirit of Clara Barton you take care of our Corps of Cadets, faculty and staff. May we always be appreciative of our nurses in times of crisis such as during COVID19 and every day. Thank you for all you do. Happy National School Nurses Appreciation Day. 

National Day of Prayer on May 7th

Tomorrow, May 7th, is designated as our National Day of Prayer here in the United States. The practice of proclaiming a national day of prayer dates back to at least the early days of the American colonies, but was codified into federal law in 1952 during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. 

This National Day of Prayer is observed by people of many faiths including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. 

I hope you will join us tomorrow in prayers for our nation, especially in these trying days we are currently experiencing.



"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” - Matthew 21:22

"God, we believe in the power of prayer and we give thanks that You hear our prayers and respond to our prayers. We pray that You will continue to work Your will in our lives and through our lives. Amen."



Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of May 5, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia yesterday announced a three-phase schedule framework for the reopening of business in the state of Virginia beginning the week following May 15th. Each phase is expected to last approximately three weeks.

  • Phase I would continue the current limitation of gatherings in groups of more than 10 and the recommendation that all persons wear masks or face coverings in public.
  • Phase II would limit gatherings to less than 50 people, with the continued recommendation that all persons wear face masks, and continue teleworking as possible.
  • Phase III would lift the limits on gatherings, but continue to recommend the use of heightened cleaning and disinfecting practices

Based on our understanding of the Governor's announced plan, we are very hopeful that we will be able to hold our summer school session on campus, with some changes in normal procedures. We also expect that we will be able to hold our summer camps, but perhaps with some scheduling changes.

Plans, Policies, Protocols, and Procedures

My staff is currently hard at work completing a comprehensive plan for our reopening which includes revised policies to specifically address COVID-19 issues, as well as specific protocols and procedures to maintain the health and safety of all on our campus.

My expectation is that we will be able to reopen our campus this summer in a way that continues to place the health and well-being of our students and staff as our highest priority, as always.


In my letter to parents on April 22nd, I suggested that you save three dates as potential dates to hold our graduation exercises on campus. 

We have decided to focus on July 18th as the tentative date for our graduation, with the weekend of July 31st -  August 2nd as a contingency plan.

We will begin planning for our commencement ceremony, likely to start at 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2020, in our stadium. Certainly this is subject to change should conditions change here in Virginia, but I wanted to let you know as soon as we had settled on a target date so we could all begin making our plans.

I hope to have as many seniors back on campus for our graduation as possible! We will keep you posted as plans progress.


"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High." - Psalm 9:1-2


"God, we are so thankful for that bit of light at the end of this tunnel. We rejoice in the hope that we will soon be able to gather together on this campus to celebrate our seniors and all of their accomplishments in completing their high school journey. Be with us and guide us in our decisions as we prepare for this summer, and keep us always under Your watchcare. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of May 4, 2020 at 4:00 PM

This afternoon, Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam announced plans for a phased reopening of businesses in the state of Virginia. We are still examining the information from the Governor and will update you in the days ahead as to how his announcement will affect our plans for Fork Union Military Academy.

I look forward to bringing you news in the days ahead about our plans regarding the reopening of our campus, as well as any impact on our plans for graduation, summer camps, summer school, and the fall opening of the 2020-2021 school year.

Stay tuned!


"Lord, we are making plans for the protection of our cadets, and our employees, as we begin to move forward in a careful and phased process to reopen our campus to staff and students in the weeks and months ahead. We ask that you guide our decisions, giving us wisdom and discernment. We are excited about getting our cadets back on campus. We are also concerned about maintaining a safe and healthy environment for everyone. These are big issues. Thank You for Your guidance, mercy, and love as we deal with these issues. Amen.


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of May 1, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We have torn the April page off of our calendar and now welcome the first weekend in May. The first weekend in May has traditionally been when our campus is crowded with our alumni as FUMA Men of all ages mingle, network, and reminisce about their days as cadets. We get a chance to visit with alumni from the Class of 1943 to the Class of 2019 and every year in between. We have a big dinner, memorialize our cadets who died in our nation's service, we picnic, take photographs, and close the whole weekend off with a parade. It is awesome!


Virtual Alumni Weekend

While I am disappointed that we can't have our alumni physically on campus, I am so pleased and proud of the work done by our Development Office to host a number of "virtual" events for our alumni. We've had workshops, a trivia contest, and other gatherings held via ZOOM and other online platforms. I'm participating in one such event tonight, and I've heard reports that the trivia contest last night was a lot of much so that we're planning on doing that again sometime soon!

A big hearty hello and thank you to all of our alumni who have found ways to get together even while we are social distancing! And thank you to Tim Redden, Kate Goad, Vashon Hubert, Shannon Higginbotham, and Brooks Berry for all they have done to keep our development work ongoing and our alumni connected together.

An AP Exam Update From Ms. White

Those that are taking AP Exams please make sure you check your email daily for updates next week as their will be lots of info, covering things like AP Exam demos to practice, and class / review sessions to get you prepared for the start of AP Exams the second week of May. Ms. White strongly encourages you to utilize this. If you have had difficulty in receiving College Board emails please go the “confirm your email” page under your account and update any info that may be incorrect or call the hotline number at 888-225-5427.


"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:22-23
"Lord, it feels like we are at a new beginning on thie first day of May, but I am thankful that every day in Your love is a new beginning for each one of us. Great is Your faithfulness, God. We give thanks for Your great love and unfailing compassion. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 30, 2020 at 4:00 PM

I want to follow up on my congratulations yesterday to those cadets to be honored by induction into the National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society. This is truly one of the premiere academic achievements for a cadet of Fork Union Military Academy, so I wanted to say just a bit more about the qualifications these cadets had to meet to be considered, especially the attendance requirement.

  • Juniors and Seniors are eligible for induction into the National Honor Society, who have attended Fork Union Military Academy for the prior full year, and who meet stringent academic and conduct requirements. Only those current 11th graders who attended Fork Union for their full 10th grade year, and those 12th graders who attended Fork Union for their full 11th grade year are eligible for consideration for this honor.
  • For the National Junior Honor Society, students in the 9th grade and 8th grade who attended Fork Union Military Academy for the prior full year, and who meet stringent academic and conduct requirements may be considered to receive this honor. This means that a current 9th grader must have attended Fork Union Military Academy for his full 8th grade year, and a current 8th grader must have attended FUMA for his full 7th grade year in order to be eligible for consideration.

Once again, congratulations to our cadets who will soon be inducted into this prestigious organization. We are proud of you.

When I think of our cadets and how proud I am of each one of them, I am often reminded of the mentoring relationship that Paul had with Timothy. Paul's words of admonition to Timothy can give encouragement to all of us.

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:14-17


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 29, 2020 at 4:00 PM

I am excited to start off today's daily update with some great news for several outstanding cadets of Fork Union Military Academy!

National Honor Society News

This past Friday, the President of our National Honor Society, Cadet Xavier White (at bottom in below photo), and the Vice President, Cadet Brennan Stone (at right), met with our registrar, Mrs. Kayla Jones, by ZOOM meeting to discuss plans for our upcoming National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony.

Today, I am pleased and proud to announce the names of the cadets who will soon be inducted into our National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society.

National Honor Society Inductees

These cadets in 10th grade or higher have been in attendance at Fork Union Military Academy for at least one year and have met the stringent academic and conduct requirements to qualify for induction:

  • Marcus Billingslea
  • William Bryant-Gonzalez
  • Andy Bui
  • Timothy Cooper
  • Hector Del Angel Hernandez
  • Lamar Jordan
  • Khang Le
  • Drew Leydig
  • Jackson Manglicmot
  • Adam Nazar
  • Aaron Reese
  • Daniel Reynolds
  • Michael Sandusky
  • Phu Vo

National Junior Honor Society Inductees

These cadets in 9th grade or below have been in attendance at Fork Union Military Academy for at least one year and have met the stringent academic and conduct requirements to qualify for induction:

  • Jaxon Brooks-Powell
  • Wesley Lay
  • Tyler Manglicmot
  • Julian Reinshagen

Cadets, congratulations on this very significant achievement. Be on the lookout for an envelope to arrive in the mail with more information for you. We will hold an online induction ceremony for these cadets in the very near future.

Wednesday Evening with Admissions

This evening at 6:30 PM, our Director of Admissions, COL Tripp Billingsley, will host a ZOOM meet-up event we're calling "Wednesday Evening with Admissions." Tonight's event will feature a conversation with FUMA alumnus William Lot of the Class of 2019 talking about his transition from cadet to college student.

Please invite any of your friends, family members, and neighbors who might be interested in learning more about Fork Union Military Academy to attend this evening.

You can find the details about this event at the below link:



"We are so proud of these young men, Lord, who continue to achieve so much. They remind me of Paul's words written in Phillipians 4:13...'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' We are inspired by these young men, even as we seek to inspire them. We give thanks for the marvelous work You are doing in each of their lives. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 28, 2020 at 4:00 PM

I really enjoyed seeing so many of our cadets and employees wearing their Fork Union gear and showing off their Fork Union spirit in this video put together by Amy Reese and Kelly Shuman today!

Video: Spirit Photo Challenge

Thank you to all of you who participated! It is really wonderful to see you. We miss having all of you here, together, on campus. But the spirit of Fork Union Military Academy is strong, and we will weather this current storm and return even stronger...together.

Show Us How You Workout!

Our next photo/video challenge from Mrs. Reese is to show how you are working out during these quarantine days. Send her a video or photo showing how you are keeping in shape, physically and mentally, 

Email your photos and videos to by this Saturday, May 2nd.

I look forward to seeing a lot of active and creative cadets and staff members this coming week!


"A cheerful heart is good medicine." - Proverbs 17:22a


"Lord God, help us to keep our spirits high even during difficult times. The fellowship we share together is healing to our hearts and minds. Pour out your Holy Spirit on us, that we might be both comforted and cheerful together. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 27, 2020 at 4:00 PM

This past Saturday, our Admissions Office hosted their first Virtual Open House, using ZOOM to meet with prospective families online. This event featured a "Connecting with a Cadet" interview with a current student, Cadet Gregory Hyson. I am so impressed with the way Cadet Hyson presented himself in this discussion. He showed why he is one of our top cadets in the Class of 2021.

This week, we have two such admissions events planned, and I encourage you to invite your friends and neighbors who might have an interest in Fork Union Military Academy!

Wednesday, April 29th

On this Wednesday evening, April 29th at 6:30 PM, COL Tripp Billingsley and his team will host a Wednesday Evening with Admissions program. One of the highlights of this online event will be a discussion with a young alumnus, Will Lott of the Class of 2019, exploring his transition from Fork Union to college.

Saturday, May 2nd

This coming Saturday, May 2nd at 10:00 AM, we will host a Virtual Open House emphasizing our Day Student program. Included will be "Connecting with a Cadet," as we interview a current day student (submit questions for our cadet at, a presentation on the Academy military program by MAJ Gary Leydig of our Commandant’s Department, and a guide through the application process for both admission and financial aid. With our tuition reset for day students to only $14,950 for 2020-2021, Fork Union will offer one of the most competitive day student rates in the region as we look to attract even more outstanding students for the fall.



"Lord, thank you for being with us during these challenging times. We know that even now You are preparing a feast for us and that we will one day soon celebrate the end of this pandemic and welcome the days of fellowship that will follow. Give us the confidence to face these next weeks with patience and forebearance, knowing that these trials will also pass and Your new day will dawn with promise and prosperity for each of us in accordance with Your plans. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 24, 2020 at 4:00 PM

It feels good to reach the second Friday of our Term 5 and to know that we have a weekend to rest and recharge.

We have already received at least 70 responses to our Term 5 Parent Survey and I am grateful for the time you are taking to share your feedback with me. I hope that we will hear from every parent, as all of your comments, suggestions, and opinions are valued.

If you have not had a chance to complete the Parent Survey yet, please look for the invitation in your was sent yesterday, the 23rd, at a little after 11:00 AM. It might have gotten filtered into your spam folder, depending on your settings. We will send a reminder email out on the 27th to those who have not yet completed the survey.

Looking to the Future

Since mid-March we have been primarily focused on responding to the changing conditions and making sure we have a way to deliver academic classes to our cadets for Term 5, wherever in the world those cadets might be located. 

I am excited that more and more of my time is now being invested in planning for the re-opening of our campus as soon as we are allowed to. While much still remains subject to change, we are growing in confidence that we will return to campus at some point when we get the all clear.

Please join us in prayer that our confidence will be matched by reality and that these days of quarantine and separation will soon be in the rearview mirror.

Lord, You hold us with Your infinite care in the palm of Your hand and Your love for us is perfect, despite our imperfection. You know the plans that You have for us, and we know that Your plans are for our good, not for our harm. We rely on Your great providence, we depend on Your generous mercy, we thank You for Your many blessings. Please guide our steps forward as we anticipate that day when we will once again gather on our campus in Your name. Give us wisdom and discernment as we make the decisions we need to make. May all that we do bring glory to Your name. We ask all this in the name of Jesus. Amen.


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 23, 2020 at 4:00 PM

A little after 11:00 AM EDT today I sent out an invitation to our cadet parents and family members to complete a brief 5-question survey as to how we're doing in Term 5.

I hope that each of our cadet families will take a moment to complete this survey and give me some candid feedback that will help us do an even better job in the coming days. I appreciate it!

Morning Pledge

Each academic day, we have been sending our cadets a Morning Pledge video in which various staff members and alumni lead our cadets in the Pledge of Allegiance. While I recognize that not all of our cadets are from the United States, I think it is valuable to model patriotism and pride of country, whichever country our cadets might call home, just as we model faith in God and love for our families. 

I want to say a special thank you to today's pledge leader, Mr. Harry Isabel, who graduated from Fork Union Military Academy with the Class of 1943. At 94 years of age, he is one of our oldest living alumni. He is also an example of service to nation, as just thirteen months after his FUMA graduation, he was hitting the beach on the island of Saipan with the 27th Infantry Division in World War II. My Dad was also on the island of Saipan during those hard days of combat, helping secure that strategically-important bit of land in the Pacific Ocean.

Mr. Isabel, thank you for your service to our nation those decades ago, and thank you to your service to our cadets on this day, volunteering to make a Morning Pledge video for us.

I would like to share that video with all of you now, if you have not seen it earlier today.

Closing Thought

It is impossible for me to watch this video of Mr. Isabel and not think of him and his FUMA roommate Gerry Harden, as 18-year-old boys heading off to war. It brings tears to my eyes...tears of appreciation for the sacrifice of these FUMA cadets of the 1940s, and tears of hope that our young cadets who are graduating this year will be found in college classes or starting careers next year, and that they not be found in combat on any distant shore.

"Lord God, we ask for your watchcare over these young cadets we now teach...these young cadets we love and care for. May these young men be part of that generation that beats their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. May we reach that day You have promised when nation shall no longer rise up against nation, and shall study war no more. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 22, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Earlier this afternoon, I sent a letter out to parents and family members of currently-enrolled cadets, including those who might not be subscribed to receive these daily updates, with some information specifically for our current cadet families. It is possible that some of you who are subscribed to these updates are not properly identified on our list as family members of current cadets.

So, if you are a parent or direct family member of a currently-enrolled cadet but you did NOT receive an email from me earlier today, please send us an email at and tell us that you are a family member and provide us the name of your cadet so we can make sure we get that letter sent to you as well. 

Tomorrow, I will be sending you all some information about our Morning Pledge videos we are sending to cadets each day. I want to share with you a very special Morning Pledge video tomorrow featuring one of our oldest living alumni. I'm excited to share that video with you tomorrow, so stay tuned!

On days like this, when things are going well, I try to remember to take time to be thankful, to thank God for all that He has done and is doing in my life.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." - 1 Chronicles 16:34


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 21, 2020 at 4:00 PM

As our cadets continue Term 5 via distance education, our college counselors are still hard at work - albeit remotely - and the college acceptances for our seniors continue to roll in.

Congratulations, Seniors!

I am very proud to congratulate Cadet Xavier White (at right) of Elk Grove, California, who has earned an appointment to the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Our service academies are among the toughest colleges to get into and only the best of the best receive nominations and appointments to attend. Fork Union Military Academy has a long history of sending outstanding cadets to our nation's service academies, and it is great to see Cadet White continue this legacy.

Congratulations, Xavier! Ooo rah!

Another of our seniors, Cadet Corey Fraser, was recently honored as the Student Athlete of the Week by our local CBS News station. Here is a link to the great story they did on Corey:

We are already at 94% of our seniors accepted to colleges, despite the fact that many colleges are currently deferring some admissions decisions. We expect to be at our goal of 100% college acceptances very soon.

At least 35% of our seniors have been awarded scholarships for college, with the total scholarship amount earned by our seniors currently at $2.3 million and growing.

These are amazing numbers and I am so proud and happy for our seniors!

Thank You to the Tao Family!

We were so surprised and pleased to open a package sent to us this week by the Tao family in China to find a supply of face masks for us. Although our campus is closed currently, we do have employees working to clean and maintain our facilities and these masks will be very helpful to them right now, and helpful to all of us as we prepare to reopen our campus while maintaining safe practices in the weeks ahead.

Cadet Zhi Tao was Battalion Commander his senior year and now attends Rochester University in New York. This thoughtful gift from the Tao family demonstrates that our alumni and parents are part of the FUMA Family forever, and this is so clear when they give from the heart like this. We love and appreciate the Tao family, and we thank them for their love of FUMA. God bless the Tao family!

Here is a wonderful video that Cadet Zhi Tao helped us make during his junior year at Fork Union:

Closing Thought

As I reflect on our alumni and their famiies around the world, as well as our current cadets who are now spread far and wide around the globe, I am reminded of the simple words of blessing spoken by Laban in the book of Genesis:


"May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other." - Genesis 31:49


Our FUMA Family is always in our hearts, and always in our prayers. Though we are apart from each other at this time, you remain close in our thoughts and we are thankful for each one of you.


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 20, 2020 at 4:00 PM

I have to tell you, I am so energized this week!

We are into our second week of Term 5 and things are going as well or better than we had hoped.

I appreciate that almost all of our cadets are performing well under these extraordinary conditions, and only a very few are requiring a bit of extra supervision to perform up to our expectations. But we planned for this, and provided each of our teachers with a colleague to act as a teacher's aide, to help supervise student participation and to follow up with any needed communication and supervision.

Our system is working as we intended, and we are grateful for that.

Again, I would ask that if any of you have any questions, concerns, or issues we need to pay attention to, please feel free to email us at so we can address them.

Parent Ambassadors

It was so gratifying to read the online reviews that a number of you have already posted in the past week!

It would help us greatly if those of you who have not already done so would post a positive review about Fork Union Military Academy on some of the important online review sites. We want to add more high-performing outstanding students to our Cadet Corps in the fall, and I know that prospective student families pay a lot of attention to what our current families have to say about their experience. Won't you give us a helping hand and post a couple of brief reviews online?

You can find a list of some of the important online review sites on our website at this link:

Thank you!

Congratulations to Coach Jeff Appel

Speaking of positive online reviews, congratulations to our excellent strength and conditioning coach, Coach Jeff Appel, on having his program featured in a popular strength blog called the Get Strong Blog, written by legendary Strength Coach Mike Gittleson, the former Head Strength Coach at the University of Michigan.

Not many high schools have a full-time coach dedicated to the role of Director of Sports Performance with the strength and conditioning coaching experience of Jeff Appel. He has extensive experience in college athletics, having coached at the college level at Davidson, the Air Force Academy, University of Idaho, UNC Charlotte, and the University of Richmond. 

The blog post shares Coach Appel's "Deck of Cards" training workout. Check it out!

Pets of FUMA

Our Activities Coordinator, Mrs. Amy Reese, along with Kelly Shuman and other members of our Student Life Task Force for Term 5, have put together a wonderful video featuring our cadets and staff members pictured with their pets. It is fun to see the quarantine hair and apocalypse beards on some of them!

Closing Thought

Seeing the wonderful images of our cadets and colleagues with their pets reminds me of the words of Job. Job was going through incredible hardships, yet he never stopped believing that God was in control and had a plan for him. Job said that even the animals of the earth knew this:


"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." - Job 12:7-10


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 17, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Our first week of Term 5 is complete and COL Mike Goad, our Academic Dean, tells me that cadets have done very well and we've made it through these first days with no real hiccups. That is a credit to our cadets and to their teachers who have worked hard to make things go smoothly.

Picture of the Day

CPT Seth Wilson is teaching his Leadership Class halfway around the world! Cadet Zhang is ZOOMing in from Beijing, while Cadet Li joins from Fujian

Thank you to the Commandant's Department

I want to say a special word of thanks to COL Tony Moss and his staff in the Commandant's Department. Though they are working remotely from home as we all are under our Governor's Stay-at-Home orders, they still meet each morning as they always have done, although they now do so via ZOOM meeting. And they still open each meeting with prayer for our cadets.

Our Commandant's Department is also working each day to provide leadership training to our cadets, delivered by video. Any cadet that is interested in attending Cadet Leadership Training (CLT) in August must watch and review these short videos and write a synopsis about these traits and principles, which is due at the end of Term 5. Cadets completing this online class will be recognized on our Battalion Training Day in August, at the beginning of the 2020-2021 Academic Year.

How are things going?

I am interested to hear if you have any concerns or issues that we might need to address as Term 5 continues. Please email us at if you want to bring anything to our attention.

If you are happy and pleased with the job Fork Union Military Academy is doing, I would love it if you would take a moment and share some reviews online to help tell others about our school. I know that other parents would love to hear about your positive experience when they are deciding where to enroll their young man for next year. You can find links to important online review site on our website at

Thank you!

Closing Thought

Our cadets have worked well this week and I hope that they, like we, will enjoy a restful and relaxing weekend. Jesus reminded his disciples of the need for rest in the Gospel of Mark.


"Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" - Mark 6:31


We will take this weekend off and our next update will come on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend!


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of April 16, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Our cadets have been accomplishing great things this year. I want to start out today's update with a big shout of "Congratulations!" to one of our cadets for an incredible accomplishment we've just learned of.

The College Board has notified us that Cadet Christopher Merlo performed in the top 2.5% on the PSAT test among juniors in our region and has been invited to participate in the College Board National Recognition Programs. These academic honors programs are designed to identify academically exceptional students. Chris Merlo, a junior, is the son of Susan Merlo and Kenneth Hutwohl and is from New Fairfield, Connecticut.

Congratulations, Cadet Merlo! We're proud of you!

Parents, we invite you to help keep us up-to-date on your cadet's accomplishments, college acceptances, and other news we might not have heard about. Please email us at with any news we should know or updates you'd like us to share!

AP Exam Information

As we mentioned yesterday, Ms. Rhonda White has sent an email message with an attachment to all cadets who are signed up to take the AP Exam. Cadets, if you are signed up for the AP Exam, please check your FUMA email account for this important information.

Day Student Tuition for 2020-2021

I am pleased to announce that we have reset our Day Student Tuition for the upcoming year to just $14,950. Although this decision was made earlier in the year and was not related to the current COVID-19 situation, I'm sure this tuition reset will be good news to our local families. This tuition amount will place our tuition at or below most other private day schools in our area, and hopefully attract even more outstanding students to our campus as day students. If you have any questions, please give our admissions office a call at 434-842-4205.

Admissions Referral Program

We have an exciting referral program for new students that is designed to help attract new students, as well as provide scholarship money for them. More importantly for many of you, this program will even provide scholarship money for our current cadet families who refer new students to us for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year.

Here's how it works...

  1. On our new online application, there is a section that asks the applicant if they were referred to Fork Union Military Academy by somebody else.

  2. For each applicant you refer to Fork Union Military Academy, once they have completed their application naming you as the referrer and paid their application fee, we will thank you with a $50 gift card...whether the applicant is accepted for admission or not.
  3. If the applicant is accepted and enrolls, we will grant this new student a scholarship ($1,000 for a boarding student or $500 for a day student) given in honor of the alumnus, past parent, or current cadet family who made the referral.
  4. If the referral was made by a currently-enrolled cadet family, we will also give a scholarship to that cadet, $1,000 for boarding students or $500 for day students, credited to the current cadet's tuition account.

All you have to do is refer families to Fork Union Military Academy (which many of you are already doing!) and ask them to mention your name on their application as their referrer.

It's that simple!

For all the details please check our website at as certain conditions and exclusions may apply.

Closing Thought for Today

We miss our cadets so much. But I have faith that we will be able to gather together again in the weeks and months to come. And I look forward to having our returning cadets on campus again this fall as they return to complete their education at Fork Union Military Academy. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.


"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion...." - Philippians 1:3-6a


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Daily Update as of April 15, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We are settling into Term 5 now as we successfully finish up our second day. All seems to be going smoothly so far!

If you know of any issues you wish to bring to our attention, please send us an email at and let us know how things are going from your perspective.

AP Exam Information

Ms. Rhonda White in our College Counseling office has received some updated information regarding AP Exams. If you have registered for an AP Exam please be on the lookout for a letter arriving this week from Ms. White with detailed information.

Student Life Task Force

I want to thank Mrs. Amy Reese, our Activities Coordinator, for heading up our Student Life Task Force for Term 5. We recognize that so much of the Fork Union Military Academy experience has to do with the strong fellowship within our Corps of Cadets. With this pandemic and our move to distance education, we don't want to lose the special bonds built through shared events and activities. Mrs. Reese will be working with other members of our staff, as well as parents and cadets, to make sure that Term 5 is a time of continued community building and camaraderie for our cadets through a variety of special virtual events and activities. Stay tuned for more information!

Picture of the Day

Mrs. Jackie Montero-Sharpe, our Director of International Enrollment, teamed up with current cadet Bismark Gu to conduct a virtual open house for parents in China this week, in partnership with education consultant Golden Education.

"I could not have done this without Cadet Gu, who translated the entire presentation to Chinese and answered many question," said Mrs. Montero-Sharpe.

Mrs. Montero-Sharpe recently conducted a virtual open house in Russia and has plans to do ones in Brazil and Vietnam as well.

Admissions and Re-Enrollment

The fine people in our Admissions Department are still hard at work fielding phone calls, following up on inquiries and applications, and planning online open houses for families interested in admissions.

Now that we have our Term 5 underway, I hope that you will give consideration to your re-enrollment agreement for next year. We are already working hard to increase our fall enrollment, and I hope and pray that if your son is eligible for re-enrollment we will have the joy of seeing him on our campus this coming fall.

Great News Coming about Day Student Tuition, Referral Programs, and more...

We will have some special information coming in the days ahead as we roll out a pricing reset for day students next year, as well as a new referral program that can help provide scholarship money to our existing cadets. These programs were all approved in February or earlier, but news of these programs was delayed by world events.

I hope you will pay special attention to these announcements in the days ahead so that we can work together to keep our enrollment growing for the fall!

New Virtual Guided Tour Video

One change we've made in our admissions process in response to current events is that we've put together a video offering a virtual guided tour of our campus for prospective families who are unable to visit our campus at this time. Take a look!


Closing Thought for Today

As we work through Term 5, my thoughts are already turning to excitement about the next academic year to come in the fall. I am confident, based on my faith and belief in God's Word, that He has terrific plans for us in the days ahead.


"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" - Jeremiah 29:11


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of April 14, 2020 at 4:00 PM

This is a day that will go down in the history of Fork Union Military Academy.

Today we executed another phase of our plan by starting Term 5 via delivery of asynchronous distance education going to our cadets in 38 states and 14 countries. For the first time, our cadets began classes online via distance education. And it went off without a hitch!

I am so proud of our cadets, our teachers, and our FUMA parents and families. You have persevered during these extraordinary days, and have worked together in partnership with us to bring about a successful first day for Term 5.

Our staff and teachers have worked tirelessly these past weeks, and I especially want to recognize the work put in by our Academic Dean, COL Mike Goad, to make today a smooth and problem-free beginning.

Now, let's hear from COL Mike Goad in the video below.

We recognize that this is just a beginning. We still have miles to go in completing our mission, but I want to tell you how proud I am of the start our cadets and teachers have made today.

I know that God will give us the strength to finish this marathon we have started.


"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:31


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of April 10, 2020 at 4:00 PM

On this Good Friday afternoon, we are finishing our preparations for Tuesday's start of Term 5, even as we are also preparing our hearts and spirits for the coming Easter Sunday.

I do want to share a thought with you about Good Friday, but first let us finish our final preparations with our last Parent Brief video from COL Mike Goad, our Academic Dean. This one deals with the very important issue of accountability and attendance.

Speaking of accountability, COL Goad asked me to remind you that TODAY is the last day we will make any changes to a cadet's class schedule.

The Picture of the Day

We are missing our cadets here on campus! And I you think they might be missing being here together as well?

How Have We Done? Do You Feel Ready for Term 5?

I hope that our daily updates have helped to guide us all through these challenging days over the past four weeks, and have walked us step-by-step toward Term 5. But I wanted to just a quick check with you to see how you feel about things at this moment. I know we all have a bit of nervous anticipation about starting Term 5 with distance education, but do you feel like you are pretty much ready to go? Are there any problems you need us to help address before Tuesday?

Just click on this link to send us an email at and let us know!

Thank you!

Closing Thought for Today

I know that many of us in the Christian faith enjoy the celebration of Easter Sunday. It is a joyous occasion. By contrast, we often kind of skip past the message of Good Friday and jump forward to Easter's celebration. But I think the message of Christ's suffering on the cross has great relevance to us today, during this time of pandemic

Our God knows what it is like to feel fear and peril. Jesus felt the constraints and confinement of the cross and the tomb. He understands what it means to face pain and mortality. And through it all, Jesus showed us that beyond our human feelings of despair and trouble, there remains the promise of life. A new life, lived eternally in communion with God.

Even in the darkest hours of our worst Fridays, we can know that God is with us, He understands us, and He holds out the promise of Easter's new day.


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16 NIV


I pray that you and your family will have a safe, healthy, restful, and meaningful Easter weekend. We at Fork Union Military Academy will be enjoying a weekend break and time of rest with our families as well. We will not send another update until Tuesday.

Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of April 9, 2020 at 4:00 PM

It is Thursday afternoon, Maundy Thursday according to Christian tradition, as this update goes out here in Fork Union, Virginia, but it is already Friday morning in some parts of the world where our cadets and their families live. We are honored to have families from all around the globe choose Fork Union Military Academy as the school for their young men. We have been in continuous operation since 1898, and have enrolled students from as far away as China since those earliest years.

Fork Union Military Academy has overcome many world-changing events throughout our long history. Great economic depressions, two world wars, and even the terrible influenza pandemic of 1918 that took the lives of millions worldwide...none of these challenges stopped our school from performing its mission...and this challenge, too, shall pass. 

We will continue to grow and thrive together through this COVID-19 pandemic and we will emerge stronger and even more motivated in fulfilling our mission.

Picture of the Day

Our Chaplain, James Benson, suggested that we include a "Picture of the Day" in these daily updates to remind us all of the events we have participated in together during this academic year, the strength of community we enjoy as Fork Union Military Academy, and the cameraderie and fellowship our Corps of Cadets experiences.

Today's picture was actually taken today and shows one of our great teachers, COL Chris Nothnagle, recording video presentations for his Term 5 students. We are adapting to new ways of delivering our classes, but seeing COL Nothnagle in action at the whiteboard is a great reminder that the quality of instruction our cadets receive will be as strong as ever.

Body, Mind, and Spirit

In our recent daily updates we have been laser-focused on the academic side of things as we prepare to start Term 5 on Tuesday, April 14th. There has been a lot of information about distance education and courses we've needed to deliver before Term 5 begins. But Fork Union Military Academy is about educating the whole boy in body, mind, and spirit.

  • Daily Devotional

    As we mentioned yesterday, Chaplain Benson will be delivering a daily devotional within our attendance check-in process, just as we start each day on campus with time in Wicker Chapel.

  • Leadership Development

    Our Commandant's Department has also been hard at work preparing content for leadership development that will be delivered to cadets each day. All cadets will receive an email from our Commandant, COL Tony Moss, with a link to a leadership development video created by our Commandant's Department staff. Each video should be less than 5 minutes in length and will further develop our cadets' knowledge and understanding of 14 Leadership Traits and 10 Leadership Principles.  These traits and principles will increase their leadership potential and future success, both at Fork Union Military Academy, and in their life after FUMA. You will hear more about this in the days ahead.

  • Student Life

    We also have staff committed to creating "virtual" student activities to help bring our community of cadets together during this time. We don't want our wonderful traditions like College T-Shirt day and other fun events our cadets have enjoyed on campus to get completely bypassed during this time. We want to continue to strengthen our cadet community and brotherhood. Look for more information about this as we get Term 5 underway. 

COL Goad's Parent Brief for Today

Today's video brief from COL Mike Goad, our Academic Dean, deals with using the Khan Academy learning platform.

Closing Thought on this Maundy Thursday

Today is known as Maundy Thursday in the Christian tradition, remembering Jesus' "last supper" with his disciples. It is often commemorated by the ritual washing of others' feet, as Jesus washed his disciples feet in the upper room that night, an example of how we should each serve each other's needs. We are serving each other today by "social distancing" and by washing our hands.

The word "maundy" comes from the Latin word for "command" and is a reminder of Jesus' commandment to his disciples:


"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
John 13:34-35

We pray that you and your families are staying safe, healthy, and happy during these challenging days. 


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of April 8, 2020 at 4:00 PM

How are you doing?

I pray that you and your family are remaining safe and healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic. Please know that the prayers of the many members of our Fork Union Military Academy family are with you and with all of our cadet families, alumni, and friends.

We are looking forward to next Tuesday's start of Term 5 with anticipation, excitement, and, yes, even joy. It will be wonderful to bring our community of cadets back together again...even if it must be online.

Daily Attendance Check-In for Term 5

This week all cadets should receive a "practice" attendance check-in form from their teacher, sent to the cadet's FUMA email account. Cadets, please keep an eye out for this to arrive before the end of this week and practice your attendance check-in process.

This attendance check-in form will also include daily devotional content from our Chaplain, James Benson. Each cadet will be asked to respond thoughtfully to the message presented and how they might apply it to their daily life. The practice form for this week, however, simply prompts cadets to respond to a Bible verse.

Once we start Term 5, our expectation is that each cadet will respond to this attendance check-in form each academic day by 8:30 AM in his local time zone. If a response is not received by 9:00 AM in the cadet's local time zone, our teachers or teachers' aides will begin contacting the family to determine the cadet's whereabouts and well-being.

Even though we are separated by distance and time zones, our teachers will still expect appropriate accountability from every cadet. We ask every cadet to take their academic responsibilities as seriously during Term 5 as they would if they were on campus attending class.

Accessing FUMA Email Account and Office 365

Let me remind you how cadets can access their FUMA email accounts.

Each cadet can access his email by going to the link below and logging into his account:

Each cadet will also need to be able to access Office 365. Once he has logged into his account at the above URL, he will be able to download Office 365 if it is not already available on his computer.

Questions? Problems logging in? Please address all questions to our IT Department by email at the below address and they will be able to offer prompt assistance:

You may also phone our IT Department at 434-842-4375 with any technical questions. Simply leave a voicemail if your call is not answered and one of our IT staff will be able to assist you promptly.

COL Goad's Parent Brief for Today

Today, COL Goad's video brief covers how cadets will complete their registration and gain access to the Schoology platform that many teachers will be using during Term 5.

Closing Thought for Today

In the traditions of my Christian faith, this week is often called Holy Week, these days between this past Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday this coming weekend. This has certainly been a Holy Week unlike many of us have ever experienced. Most of us are sheltering in our homes, practicing "social distancing," and washing our hands frequently.

We are less like the crowds who welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem with shouts of "Hosanna," and more like the apostle Paul when he was locked away in a prison cell, in chains, unsure whether he would be released or executed.

Yet even in those uncertain days of confinement, Paul wrote one of his most encouraging letters to the church at Philippi. In this short epistle known as Philippians, Paul uses the words "rejoice," "be glad," and "joy" more than a dozen times. He encourages his friends to be comforted that they were not facing troubles all alone, and to not give in to fear but to find their confidence in the Lord. 

Paul's words from that prison cell speak to me today, as I shelter in my home from this pandemic. Perhaps they will speak to you as well.


"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 4:4-7


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of April 7, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We are now just a week away from the start of Term 5, next Tuesday morning, April 14th!

Just over three weeks have passed since we asked your son and his fellow cadets to do something extraordinary. We asked them to come to class prepared to take a final exam in a class they were expecting to last several days longer. Instead of complaining about the unfairness of it all, or lodging a protest, these cadets simply came to class last Friday and...they did their best.

Fork Union Military Academy thrives on routine, structure, and predictability. Cadets adjust to the schedule here, they know what to expect, they get used to "the daily grind." But our system is not designed just to prepare these young men to do the same thing every day in the same way.

When a weightlifter does bench presses, he is not preparing for one day when he might be called upon to lie on his back and lift a heavy weight over his chest. He does bench presses so that when he is faced with a situation that requires strength and power, he will be ready to do his best.

In the same way, when our cadets shine their shoes, stand quietly at attention in formation, or learn how to march as a group in unison, they are not preparing simply to be impressive in a parade. They learn how to pay attention to these small details in life, so that when faced with a big situation that requires great perseverance and determination, they will be ready to do their best.

We are getting ready to do something in a different way than we've ever done it before. There may be obstacles or bumps in the road as we go, but I'm confident that, just like our cadets, we will each be ready to do our best.

Today's Brief from COL Goad

In today's video brief from our Academic Dean, COL Goad invites CPT Mark Boyd, head of our World Languages Department, to walk through the process of using one of our learning platforms - Vista Higher Learning.

This video will apply to students in Term 5 Spanish classes only

REMINDER: Parent Questionnaire

If you haven't already done so, I'd like to repeat our request that you take a moment to complete a brief parent questionnaire prepared by COL Mike Goad, our Academic Dean. Your answers will help us know how best to contact you and your cadet, and whether your cadet will need any assistance gaining access to a computer and internet for Term 5. We want to help you and your cadet get off to a great start for Term 5, despite the extraordinary conditions. So please take a moment to complete the questionnaire at this link:


Closing Thought

In times of turmoil and trouble in ages past, God spoke to His people through prophets like Isaiah. As we prepare to set out on a new pathway this next week, and as we leave behind our long-familiar ways of doing things, I am reminded that Isaiah once encouraged the people with these words from the Lord:


"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."
- Isaiah 43:18-19


"Today I pray that God will comfort and encourage each one of us in the days ahead as we start 'doing a new thing.' Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of April 6, 2020 at 4:00 PM

If you are the parent or guardian of a current cadet at Fork Union Military Academy I hope that you have received an initial call from one of our guidance counselors, admissions counselors, or TAC Officers to check on how your family is doing, and to assess your cadet's readiness to engage in distance education for Term 5 beginning on Tuesday, April 14th.

Parent Questionnaire

As a follow-up our Academic Dean, COL Mike Goad, has prepared a brief questionnaire for you to fill out regarding your cadet's readiness for Term 5. You might have already covered some of these questions by telephone, but we want to try to over-communicate and gather as much information as we can so we can help your cadet get off to a great start for Term 5, despite the extraordinary conditions. So please take a moment to complete the questionnaire at this link:



AP Test and SAT/ACT Testing

I know you might have questions about testing for Advanced Placement (AP) classes, as well as the SAT and ACT tests given by The College Board and ACT. We understand that the AP testing will be available online, and The College Board and ACT are both offering information about upcoming test dates, refunds, and more at the links below:

Information about AP Testing

Information about SAT Testing

Information about ACT Testing

Some of you have signed your cadet up for our SAT Test Preparation class. This class will now be taught by distance education just like our Term 5 classes. Our Associate Dean, Nikki Hackenberg, and our Testing Coordinator, Rhonda White, will be coordinating this effort and we will have more information for those of you who have signed up for this SAT Test Preparation class in the days ahead.

Next Steps

This week, our faculty members will begin reaching out directly to you and your cadet to discuss the specific plans for their particular Term 5 course. Each teacher has also been assigned another Fork Union staff colleague who will help that teacher track attendance and troubleshoot any issues that might arise during Term 5's distance education experience.

We are excited to get Term 5 underway next Tuesday, and we want to work together to make sure that we can deliver the best possible academic experience for your cadet despite these challenging circumstances.

COL Mike Goad, our Academic Dean, has prepared the following video to help inform you of our next steps during this Phase Two of our rollout of Term 5 distance education classes:

Closing Thought

We have many staff and faculty members who are continuing to work hard to help you and our cadets have a successful Term 5. We will do our best to support and help each of you through the coming days.

I take comfort in our God of hope, and am reminded that when we need help, it is the Lord who takes us by the hand and leads us, as God reminds us, through his prophet, in Isaiah 41:13:


"For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." - Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of April 3, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Our faculty continues to make preparations for Term 5, which will be taught by distance education beginning April 14th and concluding May 14th. 

If you have not read some of our recent updates sent this week, I encourage you to go to our website page at to read the last several messages and watch the helpful "how to" videos created by our Academic Dean, COL Mike Goad.

Our TAC Officers, guidance counselors, and admissions counselors have been reaching out to parents this week by phone see how your family is doing at this time and to gather information as we get ready for Term 5.

If you have any concerns about your cadet's access to an appropriate computer, internet access, or other questions of a technical nature, please email our staff of the Perkins Technology Center at and someone will be able to help you promptly. You may also call 434-842-4375 and leave a message for our IT staff.

Our next update will come on Monday, April 6th.


"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God." - Psalm 62:5-7


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of April 2, 2020 at 4:00 PM

As we press forward toward Term 5's start date of April 14th, we want to continue the steps of preparation for this mission.

You should have received a call from one of our TAC Officers, guidance counselors, or admissions counselors by now with some questions for you. If you haven't spoken to anyone yet, they should be contacting you soon or may have left a voicemail for you already. These conversations will helps us determine your cadet's readiness to begin Term 5.

FUMA Email Account and Office 365

Your cadet will need to have access to his Fork Union Military Academy email account. He can access his email by going to the link below and logging into his account:

He will also need to be able to access Office 365. Once he has logged into his account at the above URL, he will be able to download Office 365 if it is not already available on his computer.

Questions? Problems logging in? Please address all questions to our IT Department by email at the below address and they will be able to offer prompt assistance:
You may also call COL Scott Krogh, our Director of Technology, at 434-842-4375. Please leave a detailed message if he is not able to answer and he will get back with you promptly.

Asynchronous Learning

Today's "how to" video from our Academic Dean, COL Mike Goad, describes the "asynchronous learning" methods we will be using for distance education during Term 5:

Closing Thought

We are going through a time of stress and anxiety for us all. I gain comfort from the words of Psalm 27 and offer this as my prayer for each of us.


"The psalmist reminds us 'God, You are my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? You are the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?' Today I pray that You will continue to give us your spirit of assurance, restore our confidence in You, and remind us that You are in control. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 31, 2020 at 4:00 PM

I continue to receive a number of emails from parents thanking us for these regular updates and the steps we are taking to continue Term 5 under the extraordinary circumstances our world is currently facing. It is gratifying to see our Fork Union Family pulling together under these conditions. We may be apart from one another physically, but we still remain Fork Union Strong together. 

Here in Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam this week issued a stay-at-home order, in effect until June 10th, so we continue to work remotely, meet virtually, and move forward to finish our mission.

Term 5

As we described in yesterday's update, we will begin Term 5 on Tuesday, April 14th, through the use of distance education methods and we will conclude the term on May 14th.

COL Mike Goad, our Academic Dean, has been working to prepare some helpful "how to" videos to provide answers to many of the questions you may have. In this first video, COL Goad explains our Phase 1 plan to contact our cadet families.

Closing thought

In the Bible we read in John 17:11 that when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane just before soldiers came to arrest Him, he prayed. And in that prayer, he asked that God would keep his followers safe and keep them unified:


“Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.”
-John‬ ‭17:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Today, I would echo the words of that prayer:


"Lord, keep us safe in Your mercy from the trials and tribulations we face in the world today, and may we always be stronger together, unified in Your love. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 30, 2020 at 8:00 PM

Our Academic Dean, COL Mike Goad, has been working with our administrators and faculty to create a plan for delivery of Term 5 classes that will meet the needs of our cadets.

This evening, that plan has received final approval from the Academy's Board of Trustees. Here are the details from that plan we can now share with you.

Term 5 Start

Term 5 will start on Tuesday, April 14th.

Term 5 End

Term 5 will end on Thursday, May 14th.

Term 5 Classes

Term 5 classes will be taught by Distance Education methods. These methods will feature:

  • Online Courses - This means that the instructional content will be delivered primarly by electronic means across the Internet or through other computer-based means, with the instructor and students in separate locations.
  • Asynchronous Learning - This means that the instructor-provided content and the student learning may take place at separate times, as differentiated from a live webinar type of instruction in which teacher and students are online together at the same time.
  • A Variety of Learning Platforms - Teachers will be permitted to deliver their class content using a variety of learning platforms, including Schoology, Office 365, Khan Academy, and Vista Higher Learning. Teachers will construct lesson and technology plans that work best for their particular subject area and group of students.
  • Daily Accountability - Teachers will take attendance on a daily basis each weekday, and cadets will be responsible for submitting required work on a timely basis. Daily participation will be graded. Cadets will be expected to "check-in" electronically each academic day by 8:30 AM in his local time zone and receive his assignments.
  • Virtual Office Hours - Though work assignments and daily check-ins will be based on the cadet's local time zone, teachers will be required to hold "virtual office hours" each academic day between 0800-1200 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) during which time they will be available to cadets by email, phone, virtual chat, or other means. During the hours of 1800-2000 EDT, teachers will accept appointments for students, especially those in time zones with more than two hours difference from Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

More details to be communicated this week

All families will be contacted personally in the coming days this week, by phone and email, to give you more details, and to assess your cadet's readiness to begin distance education on April 14th.

You can expect to hear from one of our guidance counselors, admissions counselors, or TAC officers with more information.

You will also be receiving an online survey by email with some important questions for you as we all prepare to begin distance education on April 14th.

In addition, COL Goad is preparing some specific "how to" videos regarding certain aspects of our distance education program that you will begin receiving in the days ahead.

Financial consideration for families for Term 5

FUMA wants to do the right thing. With the cadets unable to return to campus for Term 5, FUMA has been working hard to determine appropriate steps with respect to families under these extraordinary circumstances. FUMA has developed a financial policy and our business office will be emailing each family directly on or before April 14th with more information.

We will continue to keep you updated

I will continue to keep you updated with any news and information applicable to all of you through these email updates and website postings at

Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 30, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We generally have been releasing updated information at 4:00 PM, however, today we ask that you check back for a major update to be published at 8:00 PM, as we will be releasing more details about our Term 5 plans following a meeting of our Academy's Board of Trustees this evening.

Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 27, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We still have zero cases of COVID-19 within our Fork Union Military Academy community.

We have no significant news to present today.

Our next update will be made Monday, March 30th.

"May the Lord  bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 26, 2020 at 4:00 PM

I'm happy to be able to say, as we have all along, that we have zero COVID-19 cases in our Fork Union Military Academy campus community. Our campus remains closed and our staff and faculty are off campus on Spring Break. We have maintained a very small number of employees on campus to do a thorough, deep cleaning of our classrooms, offices, and common areas.

Our Academic Dean, COL Mike Goad, has been working tirelessly, along with our administrators, to craft a plan for Term 5 that will meet the needs of our students in all grades and from all parts of the world. We will share more detailed information as we move closer to resuming instruction.

Feedback? Questions? Comments?

I have received emails from many families with their comments, and expressing appreciation for our updates. Thank you for your kind words.

If you have specific questions or feedback for us regarding our COVID-19 response, our single point of contact during this time remains my Deputy Chief of Staff, LTC Steve McCoy. LTC McCoy is the Coordinator of our Crisis Action Team. His direct phone number is 434-842-4406 and his email address is He will either be able to answer your questions directly, or he will get your questions to the appropriate person on staff to answer. There may be some questions we are not prepared to answer at this time, but we will do our best.

Throughout these past days as we've all worked through these extraordinary circumstances, we have tried to communicate as much information as well and as often as we could. I hope we have helped you feel connected together with us as we all face these challenges together.

Closing thought

When I was deployed as a US Marine Corps officer during combat operations in Iraq, I would say this prayer before going down a route known for expected enemy contact. It still comforts me today:

"Although we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we will fear no evil for Thou art with me even unto the end of the earth.”


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 25, 2020 at 4:00 PM

I know that most of us are feeling a level of stress and uncertainty about our lives and the lives of our family. Much that is going on in the world at this moment feels outside of our control and beyond our ability to know for certain. So, at least in regards to your family and Fork Union Military Academy, I want to review with you where we are, how we got here, and how I see us moving forward from here. There are still many details to be finalized in the days ahead, but I want to tell you clearly what we do know at this point.

We first communicated with all of our families about this novel Coronavirus on January 20th, before this virus had even been given the name COVID-19.

Since January, we have been engaged in contingency planning for all the ways in which this health crisis might impact us, and we have acted proactively to stay ahead of the curve in our response.

Timeline of COVID-19 Events

  • On March 12th, the World Health Organization officially labeled the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. A pandemic is the term applied to a disease that is spreading widely in many countries around the world at the same time. The most recent outbreak termed a pandemic was the H1N1 influenza in 2009. 


  • On that same day, March 12th, we announced our decision to end Term 4 a week early with a final exam on Friday, March 13th, and to permit cadets to begin departing the campus early for Spring Break. We also announced that we were extending our Spring Break through at least the Easter leave weekend. 


  • On March 13th, Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam ordered that all K-12 schools in Virginia, public and private, be closed for at least two weeks.


  • This Monday, March 23rd, Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia announced that he was extending his previous order closing all K-12 schools in Virginia through the end of the academic year. 

Here is what we can say at this time:


Term 5 Will Not Have Classes On Campus

Due to the Governor's order, we know that we will not be allowed to hold in-person classes for Term 5 on campus at any time between now and the end of the regular academic year. So there is no need for you to make travel plans to return your cadet to campus in April.

Term 5 Credits

  • Cadets in grades 8-12 who successfuly complete their Term 5 One Subject Plan course under our plan will receive appropriate high school credit. 
  • Our 7th grade cadets will be offered academic coursework appropriate for their grade level. 
  • Cadets who are also currently enrolled in Seminar Courses (in addition to their regular Term 5 course) will be assessed on a Pass/Fail basis based on their current progress in the course to date.


Term 5 Start Date

Term 5 is expected to begin on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. It will not begin any earlier; if it is delayed beyond that date, you will be notified in advance.

Term 5 End Date

The Term 5 end date is to be determined, but we are confident that the ultimate schedule will not adversely impact any summer plans that you may have already made.

More Details to Come

As always, we will keep you informed in a timely manner and will soon be releasing greater details of our plan.

Closing Thought

Psalm 47 tells us to "Be still and know that I am God."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 24, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We still have zero cases of COVID-19 within our Fork Union Military Academy campus community.

Our staff and faculty leaders continue to make thoughtful and detailed plans for our next steps. We have been working in consultation with the various oversight agencies such as the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) and the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE) at the state level, and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) at the federal level to make sure that our plans for both our domestic US students and our international students will be appropriate and meet all requirements of those agencies.

We will communicate our next steps to implement Term 5 to you no later than April 7th, so please continue to keep an eye on your email inbox and on our COVID-19 updates page at

Closing thought for today

“Faith, Hope and Love...the greatest of these is love. Tradition tells us that Peter was crucified upside down in Rome. And, although this world is upside us to have faith, hope and love. Above Love is the ultimate ethic. Help us to love one another...Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 23, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We continue to have zero cases of COVID-19 within our Fork Union Military Academy community.

We are currently on Spring Break. Our campus is shut down to all but campus residents. I have asked our staff to work remotely this week as we continue our deep cleaning of all campus buildings.

We first communicated with all of our families about this novel Coronavirus on January 20th, before this virus had even been given the name COVID-19. Since January, we have been engaged in contingency planning for all the ways in which this health crisis might impact us, and we have acted proactively to stay ahead of the curve in our response.

This afternoon, Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia announced that he was extending his previous order closing all K-12 schools in Virginia. We have been planning for this possibility since early March. We are carefully studying the impact the Governor's directive is likely to have on our school and students, and will have more information for you in the days ahead. As we have been saying all along, we will communicate to you our plan for Term 5 no later than April 7th.

Continue to watch this web page and your email inbox, as we will keep you informed of news of any significance to our Fork Union Military Academy Family

As we do our civic duty to be safe—we do our patriotic duty.

“Oh Lord, on my honor let me do my duty. Protect me from harm and steady my faith so that I represent Your mercy and grace. Amen”


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 21, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We continue to have zero cases of COVID-19 within our Fork Union Military Academy campus community.

No further updates to report today.


"Oh Lord, give us strength for today and hope for tomorrow. 


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 20, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We were informed this morning of one confirmed case of COVID-19 within Fluvanna County. We are not aware of any cases involving persons associated with Fork Union Military Academy at this time. We have minimum staff on campus to maintain infrastructure, clean, and monitor the situation.


Our word "baptism" comes from baptizo, a Greek verb meaning "I wash."


“As we wash (baptize) our hands (20 seconds with soap), may we thank God for our lives, our safety, and our resurrection in Jesus Christ. Amen.”



Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 19, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We have no cases of COVID-19 in our county or on campus. All Cadets are now off campus.

We are contingency planning both for on-campus classes or online classes for Term 5, depending on the situation. We will let you know not later than 7 April for a start not earlier than 13 April. Planning return flights at this point is ill-advised. We will decide as soon as practical with safety as the decision point informed by the federal and state authorities.

Deep Cleaning Continues on Campus

Our housekeeping and maintenance employees are working hard this week doing a thorough, deep clean and disinfection scrub of all classrooms and common areas.

Our campus will be closed to most other employees this coming week so that we can empty all campus buildings of people and allow our cleaners full access to our offices and other areas during the week of March 23-27.

Closing thought for today

Officers of the Armed Forces of the United States swear an oath when they are commissioned. Enlisted personnel take a similar oath. The conclusion of this oath says, “So help me God."

Why? The oath is a prayer...”So, help me, God.”

Therefore, my prayer for the FUMA Family today is simply... ”So, help us, God.”

Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 18, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We continue to have zero cases of COVID-19 here at Fork Union Military Academy.

We, like you, are engaging in appropriate social distancing practices here on campus. We are holding planning meetings "virtually" and keeping at least six feet of distance between individuals when we are together in person. We are washing our hands regularly and taking all normal precautions, just like we expect you are doing within your homes as well.

Spring Break is in effect until April 13th

We are continuing to receive questions from parents about whether we will be sending home worksheets or setting up distance learning processes for our cadets at this time.

At this time, we are on an extended Spring Break, having combined our regularly scheduled spring break and our Easter leave weekend. 

Cadets will not return to campus before April 13th at the earliest.

We will not begin Term 5 before April 13th at the earliest.

For the time being, enjoy time with your cadets and family, be safe, and stay healthy.

We are continuing our contingency planning as to how we will deal with any changes to this schedule. It is impossible to know what conditions in the world will be in mid-April, so we are continuing to plan for a variety of scenarios. 

We do not expect to make any determination or announcement about this until at least April 7th. 

Follow our daily updates

While we do not expect any major announcements prior to April 7th, we encourage you to follow these daily updates either online at or by email. A link to subscribe to these daily update emails is available on that website page.

We will share with you any news or announcements you need to know in these daily updates. These daily updates serve as the single, authoritative, and comprehensive communication from us about our response to this COVID-19 crisis.

A closing thought

Looking back—looking forward? During the Great Influenza pandemic in 1918 folks wore masks and there were restrictions on travel and social gatherings. Today we have the same civic duty to take proper precautions—rather a patriotic duty to be safe.

My prayer is that “In God we trust. Amen.”


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 17, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We continue to have zero cases of COVID-19 at Fork Union Military Academy and in our community.


How to protect yourself

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidance with steps that all of us should be taking in the days and weeks ahead to prevent the spread of infection. I encourage all to review these recommendations and make sure that each one of us is doing our part to slow the spread of illness in our communities.

Click here to read the recommendations from the CDC

Packages to campus

Our Commandant and our Quartermaster have asked me to remind you to be sure to change all of your cadet delivery addresses for Amazon and any other products you may have on auto ship.We will not accept delivery of any packages for cadets who are no longer on campus, and will ask that the carrier return them to the shipper. You should be able to track those returns back to the shipper if tracking is enabled for the package.

Packages to staff and faculty who are campus residents will still be accepted at the Quartermaster’s office. 

Thought for today

Tradition tells us that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland.

“Dear Lord, give us peace and reassurance of the strength of our faith, provide wisdom, a Divine wind and means to drive this disease away.  Amen.”


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 16, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We still have zero cases of COVID-19 here at Fork Union Military Academy and in our community.

We continue to engage in social distancing while involved in activities on campus, as well as in our personal lives. All of our cadets and their families remain in our thoughts and our prayers as we face the uncertain nature of this pandemic each day.

Keep washing your hands and covering your coughs and sneezes!

Student Art Projects

This weekend, some of our cadets took advantage of their extra free time to finish up some personal painting projects, and they turned out so great that I wanted to share a couple of them with you!

Above you can see Cadet Logan Signorello, a sophomore from Las Vegas, Nevada, hard at work on his painting this weekend, and below you can see the final result. Awesome!

Below, you can see Cadet Austin O'Connor, a senior from Ruther Glen, Virginia, and his spectacular painted ceiling tile.


I am so proud of each of of our cadets, and I congratulate these young men on making such productive and creative use of their free time here on campus this weekend.

News from ACT

We received the following update today from the ACT organization concerning upcoming ACT testing:

ACT has decided to reschedule the April 4, 2020 National ACT® test date to our June 13 and July 18 test dates in response to concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
ACT will be notifying registered students directly in the next few days, informing them of the postponement and providing instructions for next steps.

We will be in contact with you in the days ahead as we work to plan for June and July, where we will need to build capacity to accommodate April examinees.

Our primary concern right now is the safety of students and testing staff. We hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe during this challenging time.


Our Contingency Planning Continues

Our staff and administrators continued with their contingency planning throughout the day today, preparing for a wide variety of circumstances that we may face in the days and weeks ahead. This detailed work will continue throughout this week. We may not be able to predict the future, but we are doing our best to create effective plans for dealing with the possibilities we might face.

At the appropriate time, we will give you more comprehensive information about the contingency plans we are making. Continue to check these daily updates on our website at or use the link on that page to subscribe to get them by email each day if you are not already receiving them.

Closing Thoughts

I will close with these thoughts for today: 

“I am surely with you always, to the very end of the age”
(Matthew 28:20)

“God, we know you are for us—not against us.”



Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy

Update as of March 15, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We continue to have zero cases of COVID-19 on our campus and in our community. We are continuing to care for those cadets remaining on campus and are coordinating transportation plans on an individualized basis.

Yesterday I offered my commendation and thanks to those working in academics and residential life for their tremendous adaptability and creativity in responding to this unprecedented situation.

Today I would like to offer my thanks and appreciation to some staff members for their constancy and unchanging devotion to the health and well-being of our campus community.

Many thanks to our Director of Health Services, Heidi Yates, BSN, RN and her great staff of nurses:

  • Sarah Manglicmot, MSN, RN
  • Carolyn Edwards, BSN, RN
  • DeeDee Marrs, BSN, RN
  • Juanita Scott, RN

They provide care in our Infirmary 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whenever there are cadets on campus, and their value to us cannot be overstated. And, of course, we deeply appreciate the counsel of our Academy Physician, Dr. Randy Lanford. I am relying greatly on their expertise and guidance in preparing our plans to meet this global pandemic.

Here is my prayer for us today:

Be still and know He is Lord. He is for us—not against us. Hear the word of the Lord and be encouraged, “Do not be afraid, do not fear, I am your God. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!”


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy

Update as of March 14, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We continue to have zero cases of COVID-19 coronavirus at Fork Union Military Academy and in Fluvanna County.

Campus Activities

This weekend, cadets still on campus are engaged in a variety of supervised activities, as you can see in the photos below!







Thank you, FUMA Parents and Family!

I want to thank all of our FUMA Parents and other members of the FUMA Family who have responded to us with such positive feedback for the steps we are taking in response to this worldwide health crisis. One of our parents posted this comment to social media:

So impressed by the forethought, organization, and excellent communication to parents! Thank you for taking such good care of our young men!!!

Taking good care of your sons is our highest priority. We are still working around the clock to do that here on campus, as we still have a number of cadets on campus awaiting departure.

Thank you, Staff and Faculty!

I am proud of our staff and faculty who have already put in long hours this week, under extraordinary circumstances, yet are back on campus today to help supervise and provide activities for our young men.

  • COL Tony Moss and his entire Commandant's Department staff is to be commended for an outstanding job in coordinating the departures of our cadets.
  • Mrs. Robbin Dodson is once again in the office this weekend to make sure that cadets get the transportation they need.
  • LTC Steve McCoy, my Deputy Chief of Staff and Coordinator of the Crisis Action Team, has been fielding your phone calls and coordinating our plan from early morning to late night.
  • COL Scott Krogh opened the Perkins Technology Center's computer labs for our cadets.
  • Mrs. Amy Reese is working extended hours to keep our Social Center and game rooms open for cadets from 11 AM to 9:30 PM.
  • Our Academic Dean, COL Mike Goad, and his teachers have done an outstanding job to finish Term 4 ahead of schedule and make preparations for an accelerated Term 5, including making contingency plans for online learning if that is required for a time period.

Our staff and faculty are demonstrating extraordinary flexibility and creativity in dealing with this unprecedented situation and I want to express my commendation and deepest thanks to each one of them.

Still much more work to be done!

Please don't mistake my expressions of appreciation to be an indication that we are taking any sort of victory lap. There is still much work to be done and we are still laser-focused on our highest priorities:

  1. Getting all cadets off campus and to their families safely
  2. Continue a thorough and deep clean of all campus facilities
  3. Keeping our employees safe and healthy in the days ahead
  4. Preparing to start Term 5 and provide our outstanding college preparatory education as effectively and as soon as circumstances will allow.

Please continue to follow our updates at or by email.


“Let us pray—Oh, Lord, by your grace, may this pestilence pass over our houses, may our families be delivered from sickness and we ask that you bless us — every one. In Jesus' name. Amen."


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 13, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We still have zero cases of COVID-19 at Fork Union Military Academy or anywhere in Fluvanna County.

We considered a wide variety of options this week, including cancelling spring break and accelerating class schedules to finish the school year earlier. One of our priorities was trying to do the best thing we could for our international students and domestic students who had to travel long distances. We understood that public transportation was likely to become more challenging in the days ahead. We wanted to avoid as much disruption as possible now and in the next few weeks.

As it turns out, I think we made the best decision possible to stay ahead of the curve. Our plan to end Term 4 early, permit cadets to depart campus for spring break early if they wish, and then extend our spring break through to the end of our Easter leave, was not only proactive but prescient in light of the emergency declarations that are now being issued by our state and federal government.

The Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia today ordered all Virginia K-12 schools to close for at least the next two weeks at a minimum. The University of Virginia has announced that they will remain closed, with students taking online classes only, at least until after April 5th and perhaps for the remainder of their semester. Other Virginia universities have taken similar action.

I want to thank all of you, as well as my outstanding staff and faculty, for your patience and understanding throughout this rapidly-evolving situation. 

Today I want to answer some of the frequently asked questions we are receiving:

What is my son going to do on campus between now and Thursday?

Today we will continue to operate as normal, and cadets will be engaged in athletic practices or other athletic activities between 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM, with a break for dinner between 5-6 PM.

We will not be holding class or taking cadets off-campus between now and Thursday, but cadets will be enjoying greater bit of free time (a rarity for them!), and we will be providing additional on-campus activities for them to engage in. We have wonderful indoor athletics facilities, outdoor tennis courts and basketball courts, a social center for cadets, and more.

We have revised our duty roster for staff & faculty to increase the level of supervision on campus during the day and evening.

Will you be providing transportation for cadets to the airports, train station, or bus station?

Yes. With cadets leaving at various times between now and Thursday, Mrs. Robbin Dodson is working hard to coordinate transportation for specific cadets on a case-by-case basis. We will make sure that your cadet gets to the airport, train station, or bus station in a safe and timely manner.

Who do I contact about travel plans?

Mrs. Robbin Dodson in our Commandant's Office is the primary point of contact for travel-related questions. She can be reached by phone at 434-842-4231 or by email at

What are the procedures for checking out my son when I pick him up?

We are limiting outside guests from entering the barracks or other cadet-occupied buildings, including the Commandant's Office, so the check-out process will be a little different.

  • We ask that you pick up your cadet during our normal business hours (8:00 AM to 4:30 PM) if at all possible.
  • You may park outside your cadet's company wing and we will have a faculty or staff member come outside to greet you and facilitate the process of checking out your cadet.
  • If you are not able to arrive within our normal business hours, we ask that you contact Mrs. Robbin Dodson in advance to make appropriate arrangements. Mrs. Dodson can be reached by phone at 434-842-4231 or by email at

What is the meal plan for cadets remaining on campus between now and Thursday?

Our meal service for cadets remaining on campus will continue on a slightly revised schedule.

  • We served breakfast and lunch today, and cadets will enjoy dinner from 5-6 PM today.
  • On Saturday and Sunday, we will serve brunch from 10 AM to 12 PM, and dinner from 5-6 PM
  • Monday through Wednesday, we will serve brunch from 10 AM to 11 AM, and dinner from 5-6 PM
  • On Thursday, we will serve brunch from 10 AM to 11 AM

Will cadets have their laptops between now and Thursday?

We collected all cadet laptops today. The Perkins Technology Center will have its computer labs open for specific hours Monday through Thursday.

What is the phone policy for cadets?

  • All restrictions on the phones in the barracks rooms have been removed, so cadets can make and receive calls at any time throughout the day or night.
  • Cadets have been given a long-distance code to use when making outgoing long-distance calls to numbers within the USA.
  • International students and others wishing to make outgoing long-distance calls to numbers outside of the USA will need to use a phone card as before.

My son was registered to take the SAT Test this Saturday. Is it cancelled?

Yes, the SAT Test has been cancelled for this Saturday, March 14th. The College Board tells us that they are experiencing a high volume of cancellations and will update their website to show Fork Union on their list of test center closings as soon as possible. 

The College Board will notify all registered students by email with information about how they will process refunds. 

You can learn more about The College Board's response and how to contact them at this link.

Will you be giving admissions tours or allowing other guests on campus from outside while my cadet is still there?

No, we have temporarily suspended all admissions tours and campus visits. We are not allowing any outside visitors into the barracks or other cadet-occupied buildings. We have essentially closed our campus to outside guests.

We will be making virtual tours available online, as well as webinars for prospective student families.

Our admissions staff remains available to answer all admissions questions.


"Will you reschedule the Senior/PG Dinner?"
"What about Military Ball?"
"Are you calling off Graduation?"
"Is Alumni Weekend still on?"
"Will I get to see my cadet march in a parade?"
"Are you rescheduling my son's lacrosse games?"

We have been getting a number of specific questions related to future events scheduled on campus. Please understand that we are not currently able to make any predictions about these future events at this time, but we will continue to update you as soon as we are able to make a determination about any and all of these types of questions.

It is our expectation, our hope, and our fervent prayer that we will welcome cadets back to campus on April 13th and begin our 5th Term back in our classrooms, and that our campus life will return to normal in the days following Easter.


I have other questions, who should I contact?

Our point of contact for any other questions you may have is LTC Steve McCoy, our Deputy Chief of Staff and Coordinator of our Crisis Action Team. His direct phone number is 434-842-4406 and his email address is


Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 12, 2020 at 6:00 PM

The Senior/Postgraduate Dinner and Pinning Ceremony originally scheduled for Saturday, March 14th, has been cancelled.

Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy


Update as of March 12, 2020 at 4:00 PM

We still have no cases of the coronavirus on campus, and we are continuing to evolve and revise our response as conditions warrant and as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health agencies is updated.

Yesterday the World Health Organization officially labeled the current COVID-19 coronavirus update a pandemic. A pandemic is the term applied to a disease that is spreading widely in many countries around the world at the same time. The most recent outbreak termed a pandemic was the H1N1 influenza in 2009. While this definition does not really change much in the way of recommended actions to combat the spread of the virus, it does underscore the urgency in taking aggressive action to slow and ultimately stop the spread of the virus.


1. We are Closing the Campus to Outside Visitors and Cadet Trips Off Campus are Cancelled

As of today, we have postponed or cancelled all athletic contests, have cancelled or postponed all events on campus that would bring outside visitors onto our campus, and have cancelled any planned cadet trips off campus, such as for field trips.

This means that we have cancelled this weekend's Alumni Speaker Day, and the Senior/Postgraduate Dinner and Pinning Ceremony will be conducted with only our on-campus faculty and cadets. No outside visitors will be permitted to attend these events. For the time being we are suspending admissions tours on campus while our cadets are on campus.

We will also be modifying our procedures for parents picking up or dropping off cadets on campus. No outside persons will be allowed in campus buildings, including the barracks, at this time.

2. Change in Exam Schedule for Term 4

We are aware that the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education are discussing further recommendations or mandates that may affect both public and private schools in Virginia. The decisions from these agencies are expected to be released later today. Many schools and universities in our region are already adjusting their plans and class schedules for the coming days.  

In order to stay ahead of the curve, at Fork Union Military Academy we are planning to accelerate the end of our 4th grading term by giving the final exam this Friday morning, March 13th, instead of next Thursday. The final exam will only cover material which has been taught to this date. This will allow us to finalize grades and award credit earned for 4th term classes. In this way, we will be well-prepared for whatever guidance we will receive this week from those governing state agencies.

3. Spring Break

Our spring break is scheduled to begin on Thursday, March 19th, at 12:30 PM. However, we will permit cadet departures beginning this Friday, March 13th, at 12:30 PM should you wish to make such arrangements. Cadets may otherwise remain on campus as normal until their regularly scheduled departure on Thursday, March 19th.

4. Return from Spring Break has been Delayed

Our return from Spring Break was originally scheduled to be on March 29th, but we have decided to delay our cadets' return to campus until at least Monday, April 13th, at 7:00 PM. This corresponds to the end of our regularly-scheduled Easter Leave. 

5. Term 5 Will Begin on Tuesday, April 14th

Our hope and expectation at this time is that cadets will return to campus and begin classes in person on April 14th. We will update you by April 7th as to whether we will conduct classes for Term 5 in person on campus or via online or distance learning.

Our teachers have made preparations to deliver their Term 5 courses through the use of online or distance learning. One advantage of our One Subject Plan is that each teacher is responsible for instructing a relatively small number of students. Because of this, our teachers can use a variety of methods and technology to deliver instruction as best meets their class' needs and the course being taught.

6. We Will Keep You Updated at 4:00 PM EDT Each Day

Each day at 4:00 PM EDT we will post any updates to the home page of our website ( with any changes or news regarding our response to this Coronavirus pandemic.

Our point of contact for any questions you may have is LTC Steve McCoy, our Deputy Chief of Staff and Coordinator of our Crisis Action Team. His direct phone number is 434-842-4406 and his email address is

We will close with this word of prayer:

Oh God our sovereign Lord, grant us, we pray, courage, patience, safety and wisdom in these troubled days. Please protect our cadets, faculty, staff and families...our FUMA Family...from the effects of Covid-19. Bless us, oh Lord.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

Best regards,
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy

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