Although sponsored by the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and within its boundaries, the driving force to establish a school in Northern Virginia was Dr. William W. Smith, President of Randolph-Macon College. His dream was to have college preparatory schools to serve as feeder schools to Randolph-Macon College which had been established sixty years earlier. Smith had been successful with an earlier experiment of the Virginia Conference when the first Randolph-Macon Academy was established at Bedford, Virginia.
1892—Randolph-Macon Academy at Front Royal opens its doors with twenty-six acres of land and one building. 42 boys enroll.
1900—Franklin Literary Society (Speech and Debate Team) is added to extracurricular activities.
1918—Military Feature is added, later becoming the National Defense Cadet Corps.
April 1922—The total indebtedness is paid.
1925—New gymnasium and indoor pool open.
1925—Enrollment surpasses 200 students.
January 10, 1927—A fire of undetermined origin completely destroys the main building. Miraculously there were no deaths.
October 1927—Students move back into the main building.
1932—Enrollment dips to 78 students due to the Great Depression.
1933—The Bedford Academy closes, and all students in both institutions attend R-MA Front Royal.
1954—The three Randolph-Macon institutions officially and legally separate themselves from each other.
1954—The Academy Executive Committee purchases adjacent property to expand the campus to 90 acres. New construction includes the building of a house for the president, a four-unit apartment house, four new faculty houses, and the purchase of seven houses for faculty quarters on Villa Avenue, Main and First Streets.
1956—Melton Gymnasium is dedicated, and the old gymnasium is converted to classroom use.
1970’s—Enrollment declines dramatically. The Civil rights legislation, the sexual revolution, the women’s liberation movement and the anti-war sentiment challenge the structured environment as well as the military program and the conventional standards of social behavior which had long been an integral part of Academy life.
1974—Females arrive at R-MA! The Board of Trustees embraces a total non-discriminatory policy to include religion, race, sex and national origin.
1975—R-MA installs a United States Air Force Junior ROTC program, which replaces the old NDCC program.
1979—Bing Crosby is made an Honorary Colonel in the Cadet Corps of Randolph-Macon Academy.
1980’s through early 1990’s—R-MA expands to a 135-acre campus with seven major buildings.
1985—A flight program is added.
1995—The Middle School campus opens for grades 6-8.
November 9, 1995—Disaster strikes when a fire breaks out on the third floor of Sonner Hall. There were no injuries.
1997—Major General Henry M. Hobgood, USAF (Ret.) takes over as Randolph-Macon Academy’s ninth Chief Executive Officer.
Fall of 2000—A ten-classroom addition is put on Crow Hall.
2002—A new maintenance building is constructed behind the Fulton Fine Arts Building.
2001-02—The Academy, which was already accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, adds an accreditation by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. Enrollment reaches an all-time high, with 508 students matriculating.
June 2005--Longtime Commandant Col Ivan Mieth retires from R-MA.
January 2009--The Capital Campaign "Celebrating Learning & Leadership" concludes, successfully raising more than $11 million. Among the funded projects is Stan Fulton Hall, a new state-of-the-art building that features classrooms with the latest technology, an infirmary, photo lab, and academic offices.
February 2009--All of the humanities are moved into Stan Fulton Hall, and the building is open for use.
Spring 2009--The VA 91st Air Force JROTC Unit is named a Distinguished Unit with Merit.
E-mail Audrey Koch at email@example.com to purchase a centennial history book of R-MA.