Welcome class of 2016

Culver Academies welcomed 262 new students to campus at its annual matriculation ceremony on Monday, Aug. 20, marking the official start of the school's 119th year.

Classes started on Tuesday, Aug. 21, with 806 students, 462 boys enrolled in Culver Military Academy and 344 girls enrolled in Culver Girls Academy.

The ceremony and opening convocation kicks off the 2012-2013 school year, which will feature two significant centennial celebrations: Culver Military Academy students assisting the residents of Logansport during the 1913 flood and the Black Horse Troop's first ride in the Presidential Inaugural Parade.

At the opening convocation, Head of Schools John Buxton told the students, faculty, and staff "We are responsible for making our own weather." As part of his presentation, he showed a video on Matt Lampert, a marine and 1998 Culver graduate, who lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan. Lampert returned to assist his unit with the help of his artificial legs.

Prior to the YouTube video, Buxton said, "This young Culver graduate embodies the Spirit of Culver that we celebrate in our Logansport Flood story and we carry with us when we saddle up to ride in honor of the President of the United States. The hope to win and the zeal to dare."

Similar themes were sounded by Regimental Commander Brock Frazer (Noblesville, Ind.) and Senior Prefect Lauryn Robinson (Arlington, Va.) during their brief remarks at the matriculation ceremony.

Frazer said the new cadets should stretch themselves and try new things. And when doubt does start to set in, "that is when the strength of the Culver Brotherhood will become clear. What is unique about Culver is that you are not on this journey alone. Every minute of every day you have 462 Culver brothers locked arm in arm, forging ahead together."

"I have learned that your friends will become your guiding light," Robinson said. "And you will soon discover that they will want to listen and help you in the most amazing ways possible. With Culver, your friendships are not limited to when classes start to the final period of the day, but a 24/7 relationship that you couldn't get anywhere else."

Culver's student body hails from 36 states, the District of Columbia, and 20 countries. Drawing primarily from the Midwest, there are 255 students from Indiana, followed by 97 from Illinois, 37 from Texas, 36 from Ohio, 34 from Michigan, and 25 from California. There are 163 foreign students, making up 20 percent of the student population. Countries represented include China, Mexico, Canada, and South Korea.

At the matriculation ceremony each new student walked through the Logansport Gate and was welcomed by Buxton and his wife, Pam, CGA Dean Laura Weaser, CMA Commandant Col. Kelly Jordan, Robinson, and Frazer.

Passing through the Logansport Gate represents the beginning of each boy and girl's Culver experience. They will end their Culver experience by graduating through The Iron Gate (CMA) or Graduation Arch (CGA).

Monday morning the new students were bused to Logansport to see firsthand the site where nearly a century ago cadets helped to save residents from the flood of 1913. New CMA cadets also experienced first-hand the difficult task of rowing boats similar to those used by the cadets in March 1913.

Logansport city officials called upon Culver to help rescue residents trapped by the flooded Wabash River. Culver sent some 40 cadets who were experienced in handling the summer Naval School's four cutters, each boat about 25 feet long and weighing more than a ton. Over a 48-hour span the Culver cadets carried hundreds of people to safety who were stranded on rooftops and on second stories.

A campus landmark, Logansport Gate was a gift in 1914 from the city of Logansport in gratitude for the rescue efforts provided by Culver cadets. The gate was refurbished as a gift from the Class of 2001.

By: Jan Garrison
Culver Communications 

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