Cadet Life

Campus Events

Congratulations, Class of 2017!

Homecoming 2017

For the ALUMNI Homecoming Schedule, click here!

For the PARENTS Homecoming Schedule, click here!

Fall 2017 Homecoming Schedule

Friday, 13 October 2017
Time Event Attendees
0900 - 1900 Various Activities throughout the Valley Everyone
1300 - 1600 Welcome Registration and Refreshments Tent (Tours) Riddleberger Hall Alumni Only
1300 - 1500 Parent - Teacher Conferences Parents Only
1830 - 2200 Homecoming Dinner and Dance in Cook & Kitchin Dining Hall Cadets Only
1900 - 2130 Informal Alumni Reception at Beverly Farms Alumni Only

Saturday,14 October 2017
Time Event Attendees
0800 - 1300 Welcome Registration and Refreshments Tent (Tours) Riddleberger Hall Alumni Only
0900 - 1000 PAC Meeting in Spanier Library Parents Only
1015 - 1100 Parade in Gordon D. Bowman Stadium Everyone
1115 - 1230 Brunch in Cook & Kitchin Dining Hall Everyone
1300 - 1400 Alumni Council Meeting in Spanier Library Alumni Only
1430 - 1800 Football Game in Gordon D. Bowman Stadium Everyone
1900 - 2200 Formal Alumni Banquet - Place TBD (Fee to be charged) Alumni Only

Sunday, 15 October 2017
Time Event Attendees
0900 - 1100 Coffee Bar in the Hayes Activity Center Everyone
0930 - 1030 Alumni Religious Service in Caskey Auditorium Everyone

Upcoming Campus Events

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I went to MMA just one year and it is incredible looking back and realizing how much that one year shaped me in ways that surmount explanations. Definite needed experience for the growth and positive changes in my life.

-Luciana Hurtado

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  • Dr. Candy's Baccalaureate Speech

    Thank you, seniors, for the honour of speaking to you tonight. I know some of you had some worries about my skewering you, but I promise not to do so… much. Rather, I have one last piece of advice to give you, one I hope you find useful. This isn’t a lesson from studying history or the lessons of the past, but instead comes from the lessons of my own past. That advice is one simple word, one simple syllable, one simple demand.
    Act. Such a little word, yet one with so much weight behind it - and so often in a bad way. Act up, act out, act crazy, act wild, act like Kovach – all the things we so often tell you not to do. And yet, here I am, telling you to do this very thing.
    By acting I mean take action, make decisions, seize the moment. Mr. Asanga’s hobbies aside, I’m not recommending you become actors – California has enough nuts already. But act. Make choices, take responsibility, decide what course you will take and do it. All things have a season, but all seasons pass. You may make wrong turns, but making no turns at all makes you roadkill. You have a life ahead of you that will require action – jobs to do, work to turn in, people to meet, deadlines to make. But failing to act, to do the things you need to do, means that you will miss the things you want to do.
    Sometimes acting is choosing not to do what is expected of you, what is demanded of you, what everyone else says you should do. Many of you have major pressure to ‘be something’ – be a doctor, be an engineer, be in college, be awake in my class, or be what your family or teachers or others wish you to be. But you may not be that thing. My childhood was spent preparing to be an engineer, with every class, with every activity shaped towards making me ready to be that. And when the time came, I discovered that that was not me. For me it was joyless; for me it was soulless. I could have chosen to stuck with it, and lose… me. Or, I could take a leap of faith and say, “No.” So I leapt, and found that as something else, I could take flight. Do not be afraid to say no. Otherwise you will spend your life living someone else’s, and be miserable for it. Do not be afraid to say ‘I do not know what I am, but this is not me.’ Life will not end when you close that door; it will allow you to open others – if you choose to act.
    Do not be afraid to act in uncertainty, to take chances. Act judiciously, act with forethought – because your actions will have consequences. To act means to accept those consequences. One of the greatest of those consequences is that you will at times, despite everything you do, fail. You will fail in work, you will fail in love, you will fail in the eyes of others, and you will fail to avoid my sarcasm. And that is all right. Reward only comes from risk, not from cocooning yourself away from the world in the comfort of the familiar, the easy, the simple. Grow a thick skin, and keep it coming. One of my greatest teachers, Alan Piper, made me look like Mother Theresa. But he was never prouder than when we have back as good as we got – because nothing meant more to him than to see the fire in our belly, and the willingness to stand our ground and hold our own.
    Be sensible, be prudent, but choose to act on the possibilities that come your way. Take that trip, talk to that person, take that random class. Those moments are the ones that will shape your life, and there is no way to know when they will happen, unless you act. Even the littlest decision can change your life for the better. Two small decisions changed mine. The first was asking if a professor could teach me Welsh. He said he could not – but he could send me where I could. I never did learn Welsh in the end, but it began my career in history in the UK. And the second? Choosing to help a group of uncomfortable new grad students feel welcome by breaking the ice at a greeting function for my department in Durham – and meeting my wife Melissa as a result. Two small choices and my world changed for the better.
    When you act, do not just act in your own interests. Take with you from Massanutten the school’s motto, ‘Non Nobis Solum’ – ‘Not for ourselves alone’. Act not just for yourself, but act for others – because others may not act for themselves, or cannot act for themselves. Do not feel that you have to act to change the world – just change _your_ world. Even the smallest acts can change your life and that of others. We saw this in the 1992 riots, where an inner city preacher in the midst of anarchy and chaos chose to act with nothing more than a bible in his hand and a prayer on his lips to save a man about to be killed by a mob. You saw this in 1902, when Mt. Pelée on the island of Martinique erupted, roasting the northern end of the island in burning gases and ash. A larger woman, skin burnt to ash, awaiting her own death, chose to not wallow in her own pain and misery but sang. Sang her heart out, sang hymns that soothed the pain and misery of those suffering around her until help could come as well as her own passing – from which we get the phrase ‘not over until the fat lady sings’. And we see it every day in the work of unsung heroes such as Ibn Ali Miller, who confronted youths having a street fight in Atlantic City, NJ, and shamed them and the crowd filming the fight on their cell phones. This began a process that saw a whole neighbourhood made peaceful, made united, made whole. Remaking the world comes from the small efforts of everyday life as much from the giant steps of supposedly ‘great men’.
    And let no one convince you that you cannot act – especially yourself. Too many times I have heard the excuses. “I’m a minor,”, or “My parents won’t let me”, or “I’m just too young.” Ridiculous. I know it is ridiculous because I thought the same thing, always waiting to do something, anything until after the next step, the next milestone, the next box checked, all the way into graduate school, where I was finally set straight. My first year of my PhD, I asked my supervisor, Michael Prestwich - the pre-eminent British medievalist of his generation – and a man who scared the daylights out of me - when graduate students were ready to start doing important work. And that man, whose opinion meant more to me than anyone else, looked at me as if I had gone mad. He said to me, “You already do everything I do; the degree just confirms what you became long before. It’s the old adage of Newton of dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants – and after all… we are all dwarves at one time or another.”
    The diploma you will receive tomorrow only acknowledges for everyone to see the changes that you went through long before. You have gained no special insights in the past week that make you suddenly different, suddenly more adult – instead you are at the end of a process years in the making. Remember that, and remember that every part of life is a similar journey.
    Act, because nothing will cast a greater shadow over your life than not acting. From bitter experience, I can tell you that the greatest shadows darkening your life will be the regrets from not acting – from not saying those words, from not taking that chance, from not doing what you could have done.
    Martin Luther described purgatory not as my class, but as the waiting place between heaven and hell, as the place where souls who could not choose to accept God’s grace and forgiveness lingered from their inability to act and choose to accept God’s mercy in forgiving their sins. Do not turn your life into such a Purgatory. Act big, act small, act openly, act quietly. But act.
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  • SFC Kurtz's Baccalaureate Speech

    Mr. McGruder, Dr. Skipper, Dean Post, Faculty, Staff, Family, Friends and most important, Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 2016
    I wish I could tell you how much I remember about the day when I graduated, how excited I was to start a new chapter in my life, having the whole world before me…. but the truth of the matter is I can’t. That was a long time ago and a lot has happened since then. I can’t begin to count how many times I hit like a sack of …potatoes.. in the middle of the night after exiting an aircraft, and then there’s always that time I was kicked in the head and trampled by my daughters’ horse. I came too two days later at UVA medical center only to find out that I had been telling all the nurses I was “DEAD SEXY”  
    So what can I possibly tell you that might stick with you or help you in life? What do I say? I thought about that when I was given the honor to be the speaker this evening. What do you say to someone when you know you only have about 15 or 20 minutes and you will probably never see them again? I will tell you some crazy thoughts started running through my head, I was thinking about all kinds of things, making myself laugh and then I had a vary somber and emotional thought. I thought about my son James. There was a time when he was fighting in Afghanistan and I faced this same question. What do you say?
    I said the only thing I could say. “I love you son, into the valley Rode Six Hundred”. As each day pasted I became more concerned not knowing if he had received my message. With great relief I got a reply about three or four days later and all it said was “Didn’t they all die?” I busted out laughing and I knew he was going to be all right. I promptly replayed, “That’s beside the point, violence of action son, violence of action!” You see when you are in a bad spot, when things don’t look good and they’re getting really nasty or tough you have got to give everything you got, you can’t save anything. It’s been said when you want to succeed as bad as you want to breath you will be successful.
    So with that I say to you “Ride hard or cut leather!” You get 1 run at this thing called life, you have got to give 100%.  Be passionate about whatever it is that you are doing. You are an ambassador for your blood line, your name sake, your name should be synonymous with excellence. Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do therefore excellence is not an act but a habit” I can’t begin to tell you how many times the thought of loved ones and the reputation of my family name kept me going and got me through. Nothing is more important than family.  
    Get a Hanky. I know you think its gross but it’s not as gross as those stalagmites and stalactites hanging off the front of your face.  When you are sitting in an office waiting for your  “Job of a life time”  interview and you sneeze you’re going to run down the hallway to get some tissue and as sure as I am standing here that’s when the receptionist is gonna come out and call your name…SNOKUM’ems ….then they will scratch your name from the list and call NEXT all because you didn’t have a hanky. If you had a hanky you could have went into your immediate action drill, corrected the problem and probably went on to become the CEO of the company.
    A HANKY is good for other things too
    You can wipe off your shoes with it
    You can clean the side view mirror on your car with it
    Wipe your lipstick
    And every time you reach for it, it will remind you to keep your nose clean! Stay out of trouble and do the right thing!
    Don’t trivialize your current situation. What you are doing now is IMPORTANT! So again always do your very best and give 100%. You don’t know what impact today will have on you tomorrow, next week, next year or beyond. History is full of examples of great leaders who felt they where being neglected, overlooked, or assigned to meaningless or insignificant duties. General Brock was assigned to a remote post in Canada. He was depressed and upset as all his comrades were getting all the fame and glory fighting Napoleon. He had no idea at the time that all his efforts and hard work would make him a Canadian Hero during the war of 1812 and prevent the United States from acquiring lower Ontario. General Patton, arguably one of the greatest US Generals of WWII was put in charge of a fictitious army. He was incensed that he was not to lead the invasion of Normandy. But this seemingly meaningless assignment convinced the Germans that the invasion would take place at the Pas de Calais. Without this the Normandy invasion would have most certainly failed.  I got out of the army in 1980. Once out I realized I had made a mistake and tried to get back in. It took me 4 years and I was the only one out of 10 other prior service members allowed back in.
    I got in because my prior service record was impeccable. I had no idea that what I had done and what I had accomplished more than 4 years earlier would have such an impact on me now and my future. Had I not been able to get back in my life would have taken a completely different course. I would not have been able to be the JROTC Army instructor I am now and I would never have met you.
    Choose your friends and colleagues carefully. It has been said that we are the average of our five closest friends. We are products of our environment and we become like that with which we associate. If you want to be a bald eagle you have to hangout with Bald eagles. Toads can’t teach you how to soar. All they can teach you is how to bump your backside while hoping through the low ground looking for a place to hide. Confucius Said “A blade of grass that grows taller than its peers is the first one cut”. If you associate with those that have no desire to be great, lack motivation and have a “What Eve” mentality they will bring you down….they will turn on you and bring you down because you will force them to look at themselves and their lack of achievement and the fact that they are oxygen thieves and they are not going to like that.
    Oh and by the way…. I can’t stand the phrase “What Eve” You need to strike that from your vocabulary! Everything you do effects not only you but those around you and people you will never know.
    You’re also going to have to start paying more attention to what you eat. I recommend you go with the 60-40 mix. That’s 60 % binder and 40% slider. You’re gonna want enough binder to maintain control but enough slider to prevent getting bound up. Constipation is bad enough but the flip side to that is just as bad if not worse,
    and sure enough as soon as you run down that hallway the receptionist is gonna call your name again.
    In parting I will leave you with a few thoughts
    The more you know the more you’re worth; never stop learning
    You can’t have a positive life with a negative attitude; There’s more to be thankful for then there is to complain about.
    Be humble in your accomplishments;
    And remember life is fragile. Don’t pass up an opportunity to tell someone you love them, don’t be afraid to give someone other than me a hug and if you see an older person be polite, give them a hand, open a door for them……they undoubtedly played a part in our society and preserving our way of life.
    God bless you…I wish you all the best and Gods Speed!  
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Massanutten Military Academy is a co-ed non-profit boarding and day school for grades 612.