Alumni Association Recognizes Alumni, Staff

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Monday, October 14, 2013


Among the awards given at Randolph-Macon Academy's Homecoming Alumni Luncheon on Saturday, October 12, 2013, was the Staff Recognition Award, which is based on the various hats each faculty and staff member at the Academy wears and the guidance, preparation, and tools that they give their students to succeed in life.  This year’s recipient was Lt Col R.G. McManus, a 1980 graduate of R-MA and the head of the Aerospace Department at the Academy. Under his leadership, the Air Force JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Unit) at R-MA has earned U.S. Air Force Distinguished Unit Award with Merit multiple times. 

The Alumni Association Board named two R-MA class agents as recipients of The Class Agent of the Year for 2013: Fred Greenwood ’73 and Michael Starling ’88. 

Greenwood raised the money to add a third bench to the top of Riddick Field last year as a campaign to gain support for the class and this year’s reunion.  This year he set up several events for his reunion class and mobilized a scholarship fund to pursue in honor of their 40th Reunion. 

Starling was recognized for spearheading a great reunion committee, which set-up their reunion event, contacted all of their classmates, and achieved their goal for an already-established scholarship.  During the luncheon, the Class of 1988 presented Forsyth with a check for $15,450.88 for the Phillip J. Flagg Class of 1988 Scholarship. Flagg was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1992.

The Byron C. Gayle ’50 Dedicated Service Award is awarded to an individual who is consistent, outstanding and dedicated in his service to Randolph-Macon Academy and the community. This year’s award went Joseph Silek ’77, who is currently the chairman of the Board of Trustees, for his efforts to continue to put R-MA on the trajectory for further success.  

The last award given was the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award, which went to Joel W. Shankle ’51.  He was a star athlete at Duke University and went on to compete in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia in the 110-meter hurdles and won the bronze medal.  With a love of flying, he went into the U.S. Navy and later served as a pilot with American Airlines. 

The 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award was also presented this weekend, as the recipient was unable to be at Homecoming in 2012. That award was given to Major General David Puster ’75 of the United States Army Reserves, in recognition of his commitment to serve our country as a reserve officer and his transition to Commander of the 84th Training Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He earned both Bachelor and Masters Degrees from William & Mary as well as many distinguished awards and commendations throughout his career.                            

Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA), founded in 1892, is a college-preparatory, coeducational day and boarding school for students in grades 6 through 12.  Students in grades 9-12 participate in R-MA’s 91st Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and have the option to participate in a unique flight program. R-MA is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is located in Front Royal, VA.

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