Fork Union Military Academy - Review #3
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2000-2001|
|Sports and Activities:||Football, baseball, officer corps, band.|
|College Enrolled:||Hampden-Sydney College|
|Home Town, State:||Richmond, VA|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
There is no other school in the country that takes immature boys and turns them into total men. Body/Mind/Spirit are the three core values that FUMA strives to advance, and they do one helluva job at dutifully crafting each. From their single subject curriculum, to their state of the art facilities; there is no experience that comes close to equaling the Fork Union experience. Personally, I showed up as an immature, unprepared boy. When I graduated as an officer, I went to college light years ahead of the freshman competition. And as a business founder and owner, I use the skills learned at FUMA on a daily basis. Bottom line: there is no better school available for boys with promise.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I was expelled from high school for starting a school sponsored drinking club. I thought I was awesome and a great athlete. I knew NOTHING. FUMA made me understand that I was ordinary, but their system made me extraordinary. One must buy into the system for it to work. You parents will receive countless calls from your boy during the first year saying how tough/miserable it is here. But please... show tough love and make them stick it out. The transformation will blow your mind; especially once they buy into the system. And when they graduate with a full scholarship (be it athletic or academic) your son WILL be the proudest and anxious to succeed young man possible. As my parents still tell me, "FUMA was the single greatest investment we ever made."
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Bought into the experience. I was stupid jock, who thought I was special. But at FUMA, I was not the best at anything (excluding handsomeness). I walked more extra duty tours than anyone; even went on probation. However, once I made the commitment to make the most of the "lemon" that is going to Fork Union, I became physically, mentally and spiritually stronger than ever. Honestly, I was great athlete prior to FUMA, but with my grades, I was headed to community college (not that there is anything wrong with that). But thanks to the coaching, facility and fellow students, I got into the college of MY choice, and didn't pay a single dime for it.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Again, there is not one thing about FUMA that makes it great. It's the total experience. For you dads, think about your pledging experience in the college fraternity system. It wasn't easy. Hell, a lot misery and hardship. But you built bonds with others that don't just last four years; they last a lifetime.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Listen closely. Your son will HATE his first year at FUMA (and rightfully so). He was probably popular in his school and didn't want to be shipped off to "Middle of Nowhere, USA" in the midst of high school. But do NOT give in to his childlike self-centeredness! FUMA is NOT a "one-and-done" kind of place (unless he is going into his senior year). It's a place that he will be broken of his selfish habitat and reformed into a leader. I still thank my parents for allowing me the opportunity to become a man there. Not only did I leave a total stud in terms of mental and physical capabilities, but more importantly, I became a stronger Christian. And for icing on the cake, once I went to college, I was light years ahead of the fellow incoming freshman.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
FUMA is unique in that as opposed to seven (7) subjects all at once, they proscribe a one (1) class per five weeks schedule which leaves a young man totally immersed in the subject. There is nothing else like it in the country.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Hands down: the most state of the art facilities, coaching and programs that bring out the best in each young man. They are absolutely light years ahead of any other preparatory institution, and prepare each student for the rigors of college athletics.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
While most people don't go to FUMA to further their artistic capabilities, they were the first to expose me to theater and musicals. Via FUMA, I was exposed to many classic plays and musicals like: Cabaret, Chicago, Lord of the Dance, and the US Military Band.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
As stated above, I was exposed to musicals I. Richmond, orienteering, top level football/baseball, officer training, and state of the art science experiences like the planetarium. But most importantly, I learned to lead men.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
If you have to ask the best part about dorm life, then you'll never know. For what it's worth, after graduating from FUMA, I went to Hampden-Sydney College (which we all know as an incredibly fun school). However, to this day I swear that in terms of my experiences at school, NOTHING tops the camaraderie of the FUMA dorm life. And don't get me wrong; I waxed floors, scrubbed "the head", and waxed shoes countless times. But the sacred relationship building that goes on there lasts forever. In fact I'm closer with my FUMA friends than I am with my own fraternity brothers.
Alumni Reviews Review School
- Review Description
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- Hampden-Sydney College There is no other school in the country that takes immature boys and turns them into total men. Body/Mind/Spirit are the three core values that FUMA strives to advance, and they do one helluva job. . .
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Parents considering schools should read New York Times columnist Frank Bruni's book about college admissions entitled Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Much of what he says applies in the private K-12 world.