Honor the Past. Aim for the Future.
Culver is steeped in a rich history of tradition, some of which date back over 100 years. Students learn that they are part of the continuum of those traditions – honoring their past, but always looking ahead to the future.
Below are some of the significant events and traditions at Culver.
- Branch Insignia Boards
- Chapel Gold Seal
- Honor System
- Iron Gate
- Officers' Figure
- Ringing Ceremony
- First-Class Ring
- Veterans Day & Memorial Day
The matriculation of new students involves passing through the Logansport Gate entrance to the school and over the Leadership Plaza. This is symbolic of the eventual passage through the Graduation Arch (girls) and Iron Gate (cadets). As each student passes through Logansport Gate, he or she is welcomed by the head of schools and his wife, the commandant of cadets, the dean of girls, and the top student leaders, regimental commander and senior prefect.
Branch Insignia Boards are the last phase of the New Cadet System and, upon completion, represent a significant achievement, as new cadets are then welcomed as full members of their units and the Corps. The process includes a thorough inspection of the new cadet’s person, uniform, and room. If the inspection is passed, the cadet processes to a separate location for the second phase — a formal meeting with three or four unit officers, overseen by the counselor, testing the new cadet on material from the “Boards Book.” The cadet must answer from memory nine of the 10 questions posed to him. Invitations to Boards are normally extended to new cadets beginning in February.
Conceived by and for the students of Culver Military Academy and later revised by the students of both Culver Military Academy and Culver Girls Academy, this Honor System is designed to help each Culver student understand what honor means and to help each Culver student learn to lead a life of honor. The CMA and CGA honor councils administer the Honor System.
Initiated at the 1911 Commencement exercises, the Iron Gate is the portal through which each graduating CMA cadet walks signifying passage from Culver to his future. Each cadet salutes the commandant and then is greeted by the Legion President, who welcomes each to the alumni association. The Gate is opened by the head of schools just prior to the graduating cadets’ procession, and closed after the last cadet passes through it.
Two of Culver's time-honored traditions are tied to its roots in the military. The Veterans Day ceremony and Gold Star Ceremony on Memorial Day both recognize the sacrifices made by Culver alumni during times of war. Since 1924, Culver has recognized the sacrifices of American and Allied soldiers during World War I at 11 a.m. on November 11. The ceremony has not changed since that original Armistice Day ceremony was conducted at the Legion Memorial Building dedication over 80 years ago. The Gold Star Ceremony on Memorial Day recognizes all the Culver alumni who have made the ultimate sacrifice. During the ceremony, the names of alumni killed during times of conflict, from World War I to Iraq, are read aloud in the Memorial Chapel. Following the service, a solemn procession moves out to the Oval and the Corps of Cadets honor those fallen Culver veterans with a 21-gun salute and military review.