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Ndubuisi-Obi asks Culver Girls Academy classmates: ‘If not you, then who?’

Tom Coyne

Ndubuisi-Obi chose theme based on the challenging times we live in.


August 12, 2022

Culver Girls Academy Senior Prefect Jacinta Ndubuisi-Obi (Chicago) reminded classmates of a story they learned last year about a Marine who was killed when he exposed himself to enemy fire to get an advantageous firing position and draw attention away from others wounded during an ambush in Iraq in 2007.

She recalled girls lacrosse assistant coach Caren Standfast telling the team about 1st Lt. Travis Manion before a game last season and how he explained about why he joined the Marines during wartime by saying: “If not me, then who?” She said her theme for this year is “if not you, then who?”

She said she chose that because of the challenging times we live in.

“So many things are unknown and different that if we don’t take the time to truly go out and explore, then who will?” she asked. “You can’t change the world or anything, by telling yourself that someone else will do it. Know that you are capable and compassionate women with each your own qualities and characteristics with every right to try and succeed. Carry that with pride and you will go far.”

Student leaders of CGA and Culver Military Academy were urged in separate ceremonies Thursday evening to be examples for others.

“Take hold of the year ahead,” CGA Dean of Schools M. Lynn Rasch ’76 said at the second annual CGA Leader Induction ceremony in front of Gignilliat Hall. “Make a difference for yourself and others. Rise up to the challenges ahead.”

Col. Mike Squires, CMA’s commandant of cadets, told the cadets being commissioned as officers that they were in their positions for a reason.

“To whom much is given, much is expected. My expectations of you are high,” he said. “I know you can meet them. That’s why you are here. That’s why we selected you.”

Students arrived back on campus this week and the 2022-2023 school year gets underway on Monday.



Rasch welcomed the girls back to campus, saying she loved the energy and excitement she could feel at the ceremony. She told the girls that as leaders they are responsible for setting the tone for the school year.

“New girls will look up to you. You represent CGA. Set your expectations. Don’t expect something unless you are modeling that,” she said.

CGA is welcoming 117 new students this year with another 241 students returning.

Rasch also urged the girls to support one another and to seek support when they need it, saying Culver can be difficult at times.

“Make sure to seek support from your counselor, residential director, or emotional support services if you or another friend needs it. We want to support each other. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you know somebody that needs a little extra support,” she said.

She asked the girls to close their eyes and to think about their first day at Culver and to remember how they felt. Then she asked them to think about a special leader who helped them at Culver.

“I want you to remember that special leader. Somebody who reached out to you that helped you feel more comfortable. I want you to be that leader for a new girl,” she said.

She urged the girls to go out of their way to include new students in their activities.

“You all are charged with promoting the traditions, ideals and values of CGA,” Rasch said. “As we start CGA’s 51st year, you are the ones who are going to set the tone, traditions and the history for the next 50 years. What will be your legacy at CGA?”

At the CMA ceremony, held on the lake side of Legion Memorial Building, 49 officers were commissioned: three cadet captains, 28 cadet 1st lieutenants and 18 cadet 2nd lieutenants. The CMA has 148 new cadets and 330 cadets returning as it marks 128 years since welcoming its first class of students.



Squires told the cadets that being an officer is a great honor and privilege.

“It’s an honor because we think highly of you. It’s a privilege because you get to serve others. But it also comes with tons of responsibilities,” Squires said.

Squires told the cadets that officers receive distinctive accoutrements for their uniforms to signify their positions and to allow others to quickly identify them as leaders.

“It’s mostly so everybody can see you modeling the way so they can aspire to be you some day,” he said. “That’s a tremendous responsibility to always be looking the right part, being in the right place at the right time and being prepared and being ready to answer the call when we need to get some work done.”




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