September 29, 2007
Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends of the Academy:
As many of you know, Lyman Ward Military Academy has fallen on hard times in recent years for a multitude of reasons, perhaps best symbolized by the tragic fire that destroyed the beautiful Dixon Chapel in 2006. Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, we are determined that the Academy will also rise again to its former prestige and purpose.
The school almost closed last year, but thanks to the intervention of a few who loved the school, that was averted in the nick of time. A popular and highly effective former Commandant, Colonel Bill Jenrette, U. S. Army, Retired has been installed as President with the support of the Alumni Association. Former staff members have returned, and the staff that remained has been re-invigorated for the mission ahead.
Alumni and parents have volunteered to return to campus to clean and paint and do what they can. Optimism is high. We have not just a chance to survive, but to thrive! We can excel and restore the reputation of this historic Academy. We can again serve our young men and create leaders in an environment of challenge and discipline.
Our youth has the “right stuff” as evidenced by today’s military being held in higher esteem than any other public institution in our country. LWMA has always believed that! We know the majority of young men have seeds of great purpose and ability that can flourish in the right environment. And that is what our Academy provides.
I will not mislead you. We are at a critical stage if we want to save Lyman Ward. Optimism, enthusiasm, hard work, and dedication can only go so far in the face of urgent needs, especially capital improvements. For example, at the moment we are desperately in need to repair the roof on Wallace Hall Dormitory, which is leaking badly and damaging the living space on the third floor. Our estimated cost of repair is $12,000. Once the roof is repaired the interior of the third floor will need to be painted before it can be used, which will be an additional $8,000-$10,000. There are other projects that require immediate work to prevent further damage from occurring. The gutters and fascia on Tallapoosa Hall are seriously in need of repair and when the rainy season returns will continue to cause further structural damage. This project alone will cost approximately $20,000 to properly repair.
I urgently need you to respond as generously as you can to this request for funds to attend to the many capital projects that must be done for the health and safety of our cadets. Our goal for this campaign is to raise a minimum of $250,000 by the end of this calendar year and it can be achieved if all Alumni, Parents of Current and Former Cadets, and Friends of the Academy join together in the effort to continue LWMA’s restoration as a preeminent Military Institute.
Please make your check payable to Lyman Ward Military Academy (LWMA) and indicate “Phoenix Fund” in the notation section of the check. Send your donation directly to LWMA at the address on this letter. Together we can accomplish our mission! Remember, all contributions are tax deductible. You will not only be helping in a most practical way, but your generosity will make you part of a truly worthy endeavor to preserve a great institution and help our young men achieve their greatest potential.
Thank you for your help!
Paul Tate Bill Thomason
Executive Director and President
Interim Chairman of the Board of Directors Alumni Association of LWMA
Alumni Association of LWMA Fund Raising Team Leader
Nick Myers, ’80 David Chambliss, ‘60
Alumni Association of LWMA Alumni Association of LWMA
Carey Treadwell, ’87 Harold Grant, ‘90
Fund Raising Team Leader Fund Raising Team Leader
Jeremy Farber, ‘95
Fund Raising Team Leader
P.S. A $10,000 donation by Doug Dromey, Class of ‘64 and his sons Beau (‘90) and Bryant (’92) arrived recently and is an example for others to consider when deciding how much to donate for this campaign. Their instructions were to use the money where needed, and they requested that their donation remain anonymous. However, Doug agreed to allow their generosity to be made public if it would help motivate others to make a donation. While it would be wonderful to receive many donations of that amount or more, every donation and pledge no matter how large or small will be a great help in returning the Academy to its place of prominence and will be most appreciated. We urge you to be as generous as possible!