Frank Batten Day

September 20th is designated as “Frank Batten Day” within the Culver Military Academy to honor the anniversary of the passing of one of our most distinguished graduates. To commemorate this solemn occasion, Culver will fly the Culver flag at half-mast for twenty-four hours on the second Thursday of September each year in honor of Frank Batten Sr., Class of 1945, and the CMA Corps of Cadets dedicates its weekly Retreat Ceremony to his memory.

 

An Embodiment of RESPECT

One of Culver's great benefactors, Frank Batten Sr. was a vibrant and productive man who was viewed as the very embodiment of servant-leadership by any community or organization in which he served. Batten was a communications entrepreneur who made his mark as a newspaper publisher, winning a Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles championing desegregation in the 1960s. His actions and accomplishments parallel remarkably our current program of promoting human dignity, regard for the individual, and our Culver Military Academy regimental goals summarized by the acronym RESPECT. He gave his time, his creativity, and his resources to help those in whom he believed. He certainly made a difference at Culver.

 

A Great Culver Man

During his time at Culver, Frank Batten experienced both summer camps and the boarding school. He attended Culver Naval School in 1940, and he graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1945, earning Gold and Silver A’s, lettering in cross country and track, serving as a member of the Honor Guard, and commanding Company C. He also served on the staff of the Summer Schools and Camps. His association with Culver continued throughout his entire life. In the most recent decade he sponsored and helped design the Batten Scholars Program, the Batten Fellows Program, the Batten Teaching and Learning Initiative, and the Batten Leadership Challenge, which, in aggregate, constitute one of the most remarkable instances of individual generosity and philanthropy in the history of secondary education.

 

Frank Batten was a prince of a man who was humble and generous as well as entrepreneurial and courageous. He lived by the Culver Code of Conduct, he was a great Culver man who was the personification of the “Spirit of Culver,” and this ceremony marks his passing and honors this true hero of Culver.

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