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STRATEGIC PLAN

FORK UNION, VIRGINIA www.forkunion.com


Contents Introduction..................................................................................1 Fork Union Military Academy 2020.............................................2 Educational Philosophy...............................................................4 Core Values....................................................................................5 Vision / Mission.............................................................................7 Strategic Themes..........................................................................7 Strategic Goals..............................................................................7 Character and Leadership Development....................................8 Academic Excellence....................................................................9 Community of Christian Love....................................................10 Enrollment Management...........................................................11 Enthusiasm and Discipline.........................................................12 Financial Sustainability..............................................................13 Notes............................................................................................14


Introduction We embarked on a long-range planning effort to gain alignment on how best to accomplish the mission and attain our vision. Through this process, we drew a picture with words of what Fork Union Military Academy would look like if we all worked together with unity of effort and a clear sense of purpose. This picture is called Fork Union 2020. It is a glimpse of FUMA seven years into the future. I am not a futurist. I do not believe that any person can predict the future. The future is clearly in God’s hands…not ours. I do believe, however, that work done today can create a better tomorrow, and I believe that if an organization works toward a common future, it increases the likelihood that it will occur. As you read Fork Union 2020, I hope you too will believe that the school you are reading about can be created right here, in the same oak grove Dr. Hatcher selected over a hundred years ago. I hope you will also find a way to help us make this future possible. This “vision piece” is intended to stimulate the candid, honest, and open conversations required to accomplish the challenges that lie ahead. It is also intended to create and sustain the momentum necessary to break free of the “tyranny of the present” and better navigate our journey. Fork Union 2020 describes a school that is a national leader among independent boarding schools; where faculty, facilities, and programs exemplify excellence, particularly in the area of academic preparation for higher education. It describes a school where the environment and culture promote Christian values and cultivate strength of character, leadership, integrity, respect, faith, discipline, and all the other skills essential for lifelong learning and service to others. It is through this holistic development of body, mind, and spirit that future leaders are educated, shaped, and inspired. Please join us on this journey. Go FUMA!

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Fork Union Military Academy 2020 n 2020 Fork Union Military Academy is thriving. The Washington Post published an article highlighting the innovative character and leadership development program, and The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) placed the Academy on the cover of Educational Leadership magazine as a model for mental, physical, social, and spiritual development.

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he cadets walk and march with pride in themselves and the school they represent. They openly acknowledge that attending school here is not without sacrifice. Many worldly distractions are absent. Even though the use of appropriate technology abounds, its purpose is to facilitate learning and bring efficiency to the staff. It is not used to fill time or for pure entertainment.

Many different media sources have highlighted the success of graduates and their impact as innovative business leaders, their achievements in sports therapy and medicine, their distinguished military service, and their example of servant leadership. Every graduate attributes his accomplishment to the learning experience, environment, and discipline at Fork Union.

A sanctuary exists, unlike any other independent boarding school. Students acknowledge and appreciate that they have more planned opportunities to collaborate in person, and more time to study, reflect, and improve their personal fitness. Cadets, faculty, and staff feel valued, connected, and committed to the Academy’s mission.

The character and leadership development program is also credited with providing a wide range of international students with the skills necessary to assume high-level positions in government and business around the world.

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s you drive onto this spectacular campus, you are impressed by its blend of beauty and strength. The Academy is comprised of individuals with different backgrounds, races, creeds, and religions…and there is a clear mandate to continue the equity achieved over the last decade. It is clear that one of the “best aspects of the military system” here is that everyone is equally valued and treated with respect. The Corps, faculty, and staff are diverse. This diversity strengthens and unifies the mission of educating, developing, and inspiring the next generation to live meaningful lives with purpose. Everyone is committed to the school’s core values of respect, integrity, faith, character, and discipline.

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The cadets are challenged in the classroom, through athletic competition, and on the drill field. They excel as a result of the teaching, support, and mentorship provided by nationally recognized professionals who work at the Academy to make a positive difference in the lives of the young men entrusted to their care.

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hat you also realize as you interact with the people who work and study here is that you have entered a world you wish existed everywhere. All around you is a vibrancy and joy that comes from doing what you love to do, and accomplishing what is best for your future. All around you are people who are physically fit and energized. Everyone welcomes you to their Academy, yet you recognize immediately that there is an emphasis on safety and security. Even as you are welcomed, you know as a prospective student that you will need to work hard to achieve what you see in the cadets; you know as a parent that your son will be loved and cared for…and that those who work here have empathy and concern, and understand the personal investment you have made for your son.


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here is a seriousness surrounding the Academy, yet there is also a sense of community where people are open, candid, honest, and respectful of each other and their neighbors. Everyone takes their work seriously, but it is clear that enthusiasm and discipline exist side by side. Cheerful optimism and energy abound. You see images of the past, where graduates and benefactors are honored and sometimes revered, but you also see and feel a connection to the future. Nearly everywhere you go there is a strong connection between this college preparatory military school called Fork Union Military Academy and the God we serve.

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ver the last five years, on the circle in the middle of campus, a “Body, Mind, Spirit Center” has emerged. This world-class, LEED-certified building contains the best strength and aerobic equipment, an entire floor dedicated to counseling and learning resources, and a Chaplain’s office where a team of youth ministers helps cadets nourish and strengthen their faith. Athletic fields, all groomed and manicured, now wrap the entire campus from the Gus Lacy Track behind Jacobson Hall, around Pruitt Lake, to the Dorothy Thomasson Estes Dining Hall where a multisport stadium with a lighted state-of-the-market artificial turf surface can be seen. This facility hosts multiple sporting contests and many other student activities.

A sanctuary exists, unlike any other independent boarding school.

You see intentionality, a distinct understanding that man’s purpose on earth is to serve God, and that through Him, Fork Union serves the needs of its cadets and the nation. You are surrounded by people—students, staff, and faculty alike—with a voracious appetite to learn, and the confidence to persevere in creative problem solving. Cadets impress you as confident communicators.

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he ever-increasing technical demands of nations will be met only by graduates whose secondary education remains rooted in a curriculum of math, science, English, the social sciences, and world languages. The faculty knows that their first allegiance and responsibility, the reason they work at this Academy, is to shepherd this intellectual growth and serve as positive examples of character and leadership.

Plans for a Leadership Development Center are complete, and a Leadership Chair has been selected to lead this effort. There are also plans to create a two-year college on this very campus.

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uite simply, Fork Union Military Academy is the model private Christian boarding/day school with a military lifestyle. It is a unique blend of support, challenge, intellectual stimulation, and physical development with a clear mandate for preparing its students for one purpose, serving God and leading America and the world… …and its graduates have the confidence, intellect, energy, enthusiasm, discipline, and compassion to accomplish anything they set their bodies, minds, and spirit to do.

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Fork Union Military Academy Educational Philosophy For any educational institution to be successful, it must have a clear and focused vision and mission. Fork Union Military Academy’s vision is to be a national leader among independent boarding schools. Our faculty, facilities, and programs will exemplify excellence, especially in the area of academic preparation for higher education. The school environment and culture will promote Christian values and cultivate strength of character, self-discipline, and critical thinking skills essential for lifelong learning, leadership, and service to others. Our mission, consistent with that vision, is to educate, develop, and inspire young men in a college preparatory, Christian, military environment. Cadets build character, and learn leadership, independence, confidence, responsibility, and discipline in a setting that encourages mental, physical, and spiritual growth. This school must have high expectations for students, teachers, and staff. These expectations must be met with support, recognition, and acknowledgment.

Any school’s effectiveness depends upon everyone associated with that institution being aligned with its vision and mission. This alignment occurs through candid, honest, and open conversations. Unity of effort is critical. Young people are remarkably perceptive and keenly attuned to inconsistency and hypocrisy. Their leaders must be consistent, fair, and must serve as positive role models. All aspects of a residential educational institution must be aligned…from the classroom, to the barracks, to athletics, to the chapel, and all support programs. The application of standards, expressions of concern and empathy, along with a commitment to excellence and professionalism must be seamless.

Our educational philosophy is that you cannot separate the mind from the body, or the person from the Spirit. It is through this holistic development of mind, body, and spirit that the finest leaders are educated, developed, and inspired.

Students reach their full potential when teachers and administrators articulate and expect high standards of performance while providing an extensive network of support. It is critical in a residential setting that students receive additional support and guidance early in their experience to ensure they understand the values of the institution, and they learn how to establish priorities and understand their role. Schools must integrate student-centered learning and experiences which are active and relevant. Students need the opportunity to work together in teams supported by a high-performing, well-educated, and dedicated faculty and staff who put teaching first and devote significant out-of-class time to reinforce learning. Teachers and administrators must assess performance, provide feedback, and establish clearly marked pathways of success for every student.

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Students must have the opportunity to learn about themselves. Self-awareness puts young people on the right path to becoming leaders. This knowledge of self allows students to more effectively explore human difference and better cultivate a strong community of inclusion and an appreciation for diversity.

We must immerse our cadets in a sea of professionalism. Everyone contributes to character development. Faculty and staff must look, act, and behave in a manner consistent with the mission, military culture, and legacy we represent. Successful schools are model institutions of learning. Administrators, teachers, and staff maintain the highest possible standards of conduct, appearance, and decorum consistent with the school’s mission. Students must have the highest possible expectations for their own learning and for their leaders, and those leaders must live up to those expectations, and engage in many quality interactions with each student. Our educational philosophy is that you cannot separate the mind from the body, or the person from the Spirit. It is through this holistic development of mind, body, and spirit that the finest leaders are educated, developed, and inspired.


Fork Union Military Academy Core Values Respect We respect ourselves, others, and the resources around us. We treat each other with fairness, dignity, and compassion. This creates trust, confidence, learning, and high performance. We value diversity and encourage individual opportunity, growth, and creativity. We are a team.

Integrity Integrity is synonymous with truth and honesty. We mean what we say, and say what we mean. When we make a promise, we do so in the presence of God. We always tell the truth, and are people of our word.

Faith Faith means to have complete trust. We acknowledge that God provides opportunities for us to have a positive impact on the world. We know we are on this earth to serve Him. The world revolves around God; it does not revolve around any one of us. We focus on serving others.

Character Reputation is defined by our character. We live lives guided by our conscience, and directed by respect, integrity, and Christian values. We demonstrate our character every day, and always strive to do what is right. We support others as they do the same. We reflect our God.

Discipline We create positive habits of thought, speech, and action through deliberate practice. We maintain high standards. Learning discipline allows us to improve, achieve our goals, cooperate with others, and thrive in adversity. Freedom comes through discipline.

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“Developing Bright Young Men Who Can Lead with Character”

Fork Union Military Academy Strategic Plan

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Vision Our vision is to be a national leader among independent boarding schools. Our faculty, facilities, and programs will exemplify excellence, especially in the area of academic preparation for higher education. The school environment and culture will promote Christian values and cultivate strength of character, self-discipline, and critical thinking skills essential for lifelong learning, leadership, and service to others.

Mission Our mission is to educate, develop, and inspire young men in a college preparatory, Christian, military environment. Cadets build character and learn leadership, independence, confidence, responsibility, and discipline in a setting that encourages mental, physical, and spiritual growth.

Strategic Themes Institution of Excellence: Fork Union Military Academy excels in educating,

developing, and inspiring students in academics, faith, leadership, and athletics. The Academy creates a challenging and rewarding developmental experience which addresses individual needs and provides growth opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.

Value to Virginia, the Nation, and the World: Fork Union Military Academy

graduates young men sound in “Body, Mind, Spirit.� Using the One Subject Plan, the Academy is unique in its approach to intellectual development. The graduates are remarkably successful in college and in their working careers. This holistic education creates independent leaders who thrive in an entrepreneurial environment.

Nationally Recognized: Fork Union Military Academy is widely recognized as an exemplary school, graduating young men ready for the rigors of college, military service, and business. Its graduates live the core values of respect, integrity, faith, character, and discipline. Academy faculty, staff, and administrators are sought for their professional expertise in the development of bright young men who can lead with character.

Strategic Goals

zzIntegrate Character and Leadership Development throughout the Academy zzDevelop Critical Thinking, Communication, Creativity, Collaboration, and Cultural Competency Skills through Academic Excellence

zzCultivate a Community of Christian Love zzIncrease the Size of the Corps of Cadets through Effective Enrollment Management

zzCreate an Environment that Balances Enthusiasm and Discipline zzAchieve Financial Sustainability by Optimizing Existing Resource Use and Addressing Shortfalls

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Integrate Character and Leadership Development throughout the Academy Strategic Direction

The Academy must integrate character and leadership development into every interaction with cadets, whether in the barracks, in the classroom, around the campus, or while engaged in athletics. We will be nationally recognized for our ability and expertise in graduating young men of character. Our faculty, staff, and administrators will model the behaviors, attitudes, abilities, and attributes expected of our students. The leadership experience must be transformational.

Action Items

zzSelect a Leadership Model. Study leadership models

and select one that will be used throughout the Academy. Create working groups and establish “Leadership Across the Academy” as a way to highlight the importance of learning followership and leadership. Educate the faculty, staff, and administration, and then export the learning to the Corps of Cadets.

zzFocus Continuously on Character and Leadership.

Distribute information to faculty and staff with suggested ways each constituency will reinforce important developmental and leadership topics. Utilize focus groups and other strategies to identify projects and activities that build character and leadership and champion those initiatives. Develop measures to refine the character and leadership development process.

zzImmerse Cadets in a Sea of Professionalism. Articulate

to all permanent and visiting personnel the President’s expectations regarding leadership behaviors, emphasizing the critical role that every person plays in developing young men of character. Emphasize the power of positive role models, accountability, responsibility, and the importance of maintaining a model military environment. Provide professional development, written guidance, and appropriate interactions to help ensure those behaviors.

zzCreate and Integrate a Leadership Development

Center. Endow a Leadership Chair to establish the resources and facilities necessary to create a Leadership Development Center that provides developmentally appropriate expertise in followership and leadership for young men. Involve the Center in all activities surrounding body, mind, and spirit. Integrate a youth ministry program into the Center to ensure that all leadership and character development is centered on Christian principles.

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Develop Critical Thinking, Communication, Creativity, Collaboration, and Cultural Competency Skills through Academic Excellence Strategic Direction

The Academy must offer its students academic excellence that prepares them for success at the very best colleges in the United States and abroad. Within this context, students at all grade levels must be fully engaged in their own learning. Beyond possessing knowledge of content areas, the Academy faculty must demonstrate ever-evolving instructional methods and the use of tools to create effective learning. Student experiences will be marked by hands-on ownership of their learning and include collaborative exercises. The development of critical thinking skills must be a central theme in all academic endeavors.

Action Items

zzDevelop Digital Citizenship. Cadets must understand

the proper use of available technology, digital etiquette, including rights and responsibilities, as well as their own digital health, wellness, and self-protection. Regularly assess institutional practices regarding the effective acquisition and use of educational technology.

zzIdentify the Primary College Readiness Skill Elements.

Develop the student experience in such a way as to impart these elements.

zzConduct a Curriculum Relevance Review. Conduct

the review for all core subject areas, to include gathering feedback from outside sources, including post-secondary sources, with an eye to offering students the best courses available.

zzEnsure that All Classroom Teachers Deliver Content

Instruction to Students. Provide additional help beyond the standard class day to those who require it, including, at a minimum, planning period, extra help, and peer study.

zzCreate a Scope and Sequence for Each Academic Con-

tent Area. Provide opportunities for Middle School and Upper School faculty members to work together within academic departments to ensure Middle School students’ preparedness for their education in the Upper School.

zzContinually and Systematically Examine the Selection and Professional Development of the Faculty. Ensure that teachers and skills match the needs of the school.

zzDevelop a Fine Arts Program. Integrate studio art,

drama, and music into the mainstream coursework in order to attract students with an aptitude in these areas. Also encourage the use of art and drama to increase the ability for students to learn and focus in other areas of the Academy.

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Cultivate a Community of Christian Love Strategic Direction

The Academy was founded on the timeless belief that instruction in a biblical Christian environment is central among all of the necessary components of a classical education. The Academy must maintain these founding principles. Our faculty, staff, and administrators must emulate Christian character and charity (love), while respecting the freedom for cadets to choose and follow the faith of their choice.

Action Items

zzEstablish a Youth Ministry Program.

Recruit and hire youth ministry interns to assist the Chaplain. Integrate this youth ministry program into the character and leadership development program to ensure that all components are congruent with biblical teachings.

zzStrengthen the Christian Community among the Fac-

ulty and Staff. Include a spiritual goal in each employee’s yearly planning and goal setting. Prayer must be a priority in our daily lives, personal interactions, and retreats organized throughout the year.

zzDevelop and Nurture a Servant Leadership Model.

Encourage all members of the school community to educate themselves about servant leadership through selfdirected study and readings. The Academy should provide resources to the community to enhance knowledge about servant leadership, specifically in the Christian model.

zzEncourage Community Service. Instilling a desire to

serve others while at FUMA should be a foundational building block of spiritual development for the Cadet Corps. Provide outreach at the local, regional, and global level by organizing mission trips and participating in numerous community service projects and supporting on-campus service groups (such as FCA, CCA, Interact Club).

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Increase the Size of the Corps of Cadets through Effective Enrollment Management Strategic Direction

Approximately 70 percent of the Academy’s annual operating budget is generated directly from tuition and fees. Over the past decade the Academy’s enrollment has steadily declined. Enrollment management involves each department and every individual on campus working together to attract, educate, and retain the best Corps of Cadets possible. This includes quality interactions beginning with a family’s first inquiry and visit to their son’s last parade and graduation. By increasing the size of our Corps of Cadets, our message of respect, integrity, faith, character, and discipline will reach more young men.

Action Items

zzMarketing for the Twenty-First Century. Continu-

ally evaluate internal and external branding and marketing efforts to efficiently and creatively communicate to all constituents the immediate and long-term benefit of enrollment at FUMA. Enhance customer service protocol such that personalized responses to admissions inquiries are issued immediately and over the time of the application process. Format and maintain the website to provide timely and relevant information to all constituencies, as well as to collect pertinent data to better understand our market. Enhance the diversity of the Corps by expanding branding and marketing efforts to new international markets.

zzMaximize the Enrollment Rate of the Applicant Pool.

Establish optimal enrollment objectives by grade level that will inform admissions decisions and financial aid allocation. Strategically focus marketing, admission, retention, and financial aid efforts to increase the tenure of enrollment for each cadet. Regularly assess price point, affordability, access, and market trends in order to maximize enrollment. Strategically evaluate the budgetary requirements necessary to offer sufficient tuition assistance to meet enrollment goals. Expand the use of merit aid to attract and retain academically gifted students.

zzRetain Students Through Graduation.

Ensure that cadets appreciate and understand the FUMA experience

through effective and constant communication of our values, mission, and goals. Develop an integrated retention program to provide the maximum tenure of enrollment for each cadet. Enlist the aid of all faculty and staff to participate in reenrollment trend analysis across all grade levels.

zzIncrease Enrollment in Summer Programs.

Develop strategies to encourage summer enrollment. Effectively brand and market the summer session to current cadets and their families, as well as to prospective cadets, emphasizing components such as leadership development and unique course offerings.

zzDevelop a Comprehensive Communications, Digital

Media, and Marketing Plan. Utilize best practices and current trends. The plan will be properly budgeted, staffed, and targeted for positive mission impact which includes increasing enrollment, fundraising, and international and national awareness through “brand building” efforts. Specific programs and initiatives must be multifaceted and will include website and content management, national advertisement initiatives, social media initiatives, and personal contact initiatives utilizing traditional mailings, telephone, and social media resources. Annual assessments will be conducted to identify successes, new trends, and areas for improvement and will require adjustments to this living document.

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Create an Environment that Balances Enthusiasm and Discipline Strategic Direction

The Academy recognizes that the cadet experience outside the classroom must foster the development of character, leadership, and discipline. To nurture young men in “Body, Mind, Spirit” requires more than academic instruction. It requires diverse sports offerings, attractive athletic facilities, training in etiquette, opportunities to develop followership and leadership, ample recreational activities, time for reflection, enrichment opportunities, and extraordinary mentoring and supervision by adult role models.

Action Items

zzEnsure Cadet Safety. Evaluate all facets of cadet life.

Ensure that adult supervision is appropriate and exceeds recommended best practices, especially during the afterschool, overnight, and weekend hours.

zzCreate a Cadet Enrichment Committee. Create a year-

long cadet activity schedule, offering opportunities on and off campus. These activities would be offered in support of the Academy’s integrated leadership and character development program and would include themes of service, academic enrichment, spiritual growth, and entertainment.

zzEnsure that Rewards and Consequences are Aligned

and Age Appropriate. Review and assess the Cadet Regulations in both the Upper and Middle Schools to ensure equivalence with behavioral expectations throughout all areas of student life. Create a system that appropriately rewards positive performance, yet also defines consequences for failing to meet published standards.

zzFormulate a Three-Season School-Wide Intramural

Program. Ensure that cadets who are not participating in organized athletics are taking part in meaningful after-school activities aimed at enhancing physical fitness. This program will be created under the direction of the Athletic and Commandant’s Departments and would be supervised by a team of Tactical Officers, available administrators, off-season coaches, and faculty.

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Achieve Financial Sustainability by Optimizing Existing Resource Use and Addressing Shortfalls Strategic Direction

The Academy must obtain and effectively apply resources such as funds, time, and personnel to upgrade, improve, and maintain the highest quality programs and facilities. This will allow us to accomplish our mission, attract the highest quality students, compete with peer institutions and achieve recognition as a national leader in independent education. The entire Academy community must foster a culture of sustainability and stewardship that will be emulated by other educational institutions.

Action Items

zzDevelop a Comprehensive Master Facilities Plan. Use

the best practices and emerging trends in private high school designs to assess current facilities and maintenance programs, and identify future requirements and needs. From this assessment, develop a ten-year facilities plan that prioritizes renovation and new construction needs that emphasize and work toward a lower carbon footprint that will minimize utility and maintenance costs. Ensure that all planning for upgrades takes into account the developmental, age-based needs of the cadets.

zzComplete a Strategic Technology Plan. Identify and

prioritize technology needs that will improve collective and individual academic learning and will improve cadet quality of life. The plan will streamline staff and faculty operations and will assist in highlighting Academy “Success Stories.� Assessments will be conducted to identify successes, new trends, and areas for improvement and will require adjustments.

zzDevelop a Long-Term Capital Budget Plan. Include

prioritized support, project costs associated with those efforts, a timeline for implementing the plan, and engage the Board of Trustees to realize funds for future capital projects identified in the Master Facilities Plan. Evaluate spending patterns at every level, and work with department heads to minimize nonessential expenses.

zzDevelop a Comprehensive Development Plan.

Utilizing best practices and emerging trends, the plan will include specifics to increasing the donor base and average giving amounts through planned, capital, foundation, trust, and annual giving initiatives. It must build on relationships with alumni, parents, and friends through robust donor cultivation programs. Analysis of data and optimization of effective data management systems will be utilized for prioritization of efforts in order to meet our philanthropic goals. Annual assessments will be conducted to identify successes, new trends, and areas for improvement.

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“It has not all it needs, and is not all that it ought to be, nor can I tell what its future will be, but I shall leave the world thankful for the good that it has done, and for the honor which has been mine in working with the good people of the community in the establishment of the Fork Union Military Academy.�

- Dr. William E. Hatcher (1834-1912)

Fork Union Military Academy

Success stories begin here.

4744 James Madison Highway PO Box 278 Fork Union, VA 23055 (434) 842-3212 www.forkunion.com


Strategic Plan