Mary Baldwin University and the Staunton Military Academy Alumni Association have announced the establishment of an archival display area and museum at 227 Kable Street across from the Mary Baldwin President’s House, on part of the campus once owned by SMA. Funds are being provided by the SMA Alumni Association and Hunter W. Henry Jr., who also is funding a memorial wall outside the museum displaying names of SMA/VWIL cadets killed in U.S. military actions.
Since June the building has housed the SMA Alumni Office. A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place during SMA reunion festivities on July 28 at 1:30 p.m. The museum and archive area will be formally opened and named in fall 2001. Col. Michael Bissell, VWIL commandant, is coordinating displays of photographs, relics, uniforms, records, and flags and colors flown by both the SMA and VWIL corps of cadets. About two-thirds of the display space is dedicated to SMA history, and one-third features VWIL memorabilia. As time passes, the proportion of VWIL items will increase.
“Although SMA closed almost 25 years ago, it is still alive in the hearts and spirits of its alumni, and it is appropriate that a physical space is being created, here on the old SMA campus in what was once the supply room, to keep the memories real for future generations,” comments Crista Cabe, Mary Baldwin associate vice president for college relations. “VWIL uses some of the very same spaces – residence hall, parade ground, etc. – used by SMA before it closed. The two programs, quite different in many specifics, have in common a spirit of patriotism and service to country and community. And of course both include a military component. This project acknowledges that continuing legacy.”
Mr. and Mrs. Henry have also endowed Mary Baldwin scholarships, the first of which was awarded in fall 2000 to an outstanding ROTC cadet, Kristy Wheeler ’01. Scholarships have been established as well for descendants of SMA alumni, faculty, and staff. Hunter Henry, former president of Dow Chemical USA and executive vice president of the Dow Chemical Company, graduated from Staunton Military Academy in 1946.