Fork Union Military Academy is proud to announce the start of the public phase of a fund-raising campaign, “125 for the 125th,” in honor of the school’s 125th anniversary, which will be observed the weekend of October 13-15 in 2023.
The Academy was founded in Fluvanna County, Virginia, by Dr. William Hatcher in 1898, and the school is seeking 125 special gifts towards either its endowment or a targeted list of infrastructure projects created within the school’s campus master plan in celebration of the school’s founding. To be included in this campaign, donations must be of at least $12,500 in size, with some programs and projects, including some infrastructure naming opportunities, requiring a larger commitment.
According to the Academy’s 11th President Colonel Dave Coggins, USMC (Ret.), “The goal of this campaign is to celebrate Fork Union’s first 125 years by positively impacting its ability to attract and retain the talented students, faculty, and staff that will lead it into the future.”
The Academy seeks to grow its endowment through such areas as The Chain Family Fund for the Growth of the Endowment, established by the estate of General John Chain, class of 1952, the former commander of the Strategic Air Command, as well as through new and existing scholarship funds, and the establishment of Chairs of Excellence.
The Chairs of Excellence program honors significant contributors to FUMA’s history and provides the salary and benefits for the honored position. Micky Sullivan, class of 1967, was the first individual to be so honored with the creation of the H. M. Sullivan Chair of Excellence for Prep Football which was announced by Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George, class of 1991, at Coach Sullivan’s induction into the Academy’s Sports Hall of Fame in June 2022. Subsequently a Chair of Excellence for the Academy’s Chaplain position has been established by another donor and is now approaching fully funded status.
The campaign’s targeted infrastructure projects include the completion of Sabre Square, a multiple purpose outdoor area that sits on the former location of the Sabre Shop, which was the mailroom, snack bar and gathering spot for generations of cadets, as well as upgrades to academic areas, and the restoration of the Academy’s Alumni House. Of special note, also included in the campaign are outdoor areas for cadet activities such as an obstacle course, a leadership reaction course modeled after those found at our nation’s Military colleges, and outdoor weightlifting and basketball facilities. There will also be cadet gathering spots created outside the Academy academic buildings.
FUMA, long known for its successful athletic teams, will also look to renovate its outdoor track, as well as create a football playing area that honors the impact of long-time postgraduate football coach Red Pulliam.
Mrs. Paige Lester Pruett, Chair of the Fork Union Military Academy Board of Trustees, explained the potential impact of the campaign. “This campaign is so important. While the Academy has educated young men for generations and already made a lasting impact on the world, Fork Union has never been more relevant or important in the lives of families and their sons than it is today. We owe it to the young men of today and the future to make this campaign wildly successful.”
Mr. Dave Barrett, both a Board member and the past parent of a cadet added: “Now is the time to dramatically support this amazing institution. We must preserve and grow this place that produces strong, disciplined, and well-educated young men who have been influenced by Christian values and a love of God and country.”
Individuals or groups with an interest in participating in the “125 for the 125th” campaign may visit forkunion.com/125 to learn more or may call the Academy’s Advancement office at 434-842-4232.