Sunday, May 24, 2009

Farewell to the MMI High School, 1887-2009

Since its founding in 1887, Marion Military Institute has always included high school-aged students. In fact, MMI was founded as an academy and as a college preparatory institution. Originally, high school students were incorporated into the overall academic, military, and extracurricular structure of the Institute, with no official designation being given to the high school program. These students were not even singled out in the cadet rosters found in the MMI catalogues and annuals.

Founded in 1842, Howard College, MMI’s predecessor, included high school-aged students.

MMI was founded in 1887 as an academy and as a college preparatory institution.

MMI’s predecessor, Howard College, founded in Marion in 1842, had also included high school through college-aged students. In the late 19th Century, Marion Military Institute even awarded the bachelor’s degree to honor graduates, plus, the occasional master’s degree!

It was not until the 1920s that The Miana, MMI’s yearbook, separated the high school and junior college programs. The High School included freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, but these students remained incorporated into both the overall military structure of the Corps of Cadets, and in the extracurricular activities of the Institute including athletics. Later, the High School organized its own varsity athletic teams – football, baseball, and basketball - at first; plus, it had its own cheerleaders, Homecoming Court members, Senior Prom, etc., just as would be expected at a civilian high school.

MMI football in the early 1940s.

Prep Baseball in 1958-1959.

Prep Football in 1964-1965.

Prep Basketball in 1973.

Prep Cheerleaders in 1987. Camie (Salter) Jones, MMI faculty member, stands at far right.

The 1995 Senior Prom.

2004 Prep Girls Basketball.

2004 Prep Wrestling.

On May 23, 2009, the High School of Marion Military Institute will graduate its final class of ten cadets, marking an end to an era. For some 122 years, high school students have graced the MMI campus, and it is with a heavy heart that the Institute bids the High School department “farewell.”

(All images credit: Marion Military Institute and the MMI Archives)