growing despite financial woes
school on a fund raising
drive to keep mission alive
Helen E. McKinney
PROSPECT, Ky. (September 2005) From the time she was in
third grade, Prospect, Ky., resident Lucy Kerman has been mesmerized
with the Millersburg Military Institute. Visitors to the Millersburg,
Ky., campus near Lexington cant help but notice the schools
by Don Ward
Kerman is a Millersburg advocate,
whose brothers, cousin and son graduated
from the Institute, near Lexington, Ky.
Kermans two older brothers attended the school,
which instructs boys from grades 7-12 for college preparatory classes.
It has a character developing program that most schools today
dont have, she said. Kerman's son, Lance, graduated from
there last year.
The Institute has a character that speaks for itself, Kerman said. My
brothers turned out to be such honorable, family men, she said.
The Institute is the only military school in the state of Kentucky out
of about 30 left in the country.
Although the instructors are paid less than the average teacher, they
teach at the Institute because of their love of the school and what
they do. Ive never seen so much love in one school,
Col. Carl Meade Best founded the school in 1893 and named it the Millersburg
Training School. At that time, it was under the jurisdiction of the
Methodist Church. In 1898, Col. Best purchased the campus from the church
and renamed the school.
Col. Best, who operated the school until 1920, believed that a structured
lifestyle combined with education would benefit the nation and the military.
Cadets are trained to be leaders on and off the 18-acre campus, located
25 minutes north of Lexington. The school adheres to a strict cadet
honor code: A cadet does not lie, cheat or steal.
provided by Lucy Kerman
graduated from the
Institute last year.
The school has kept its doors open for 112 years because
people believe in the values the school teaches, said former
president, Col. James P. Carruthers. Through a series of restructuring
moves, Carruthers stepped down from this position to become chairman
of the board and conduct fund raising activities for the school.
The school is an independent, non-profit institution. It has struggled,
financially, to keep its doors open but is currently in a growth spurt,
but money is still desperately needed for operational costs.
Carruthers, a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer, was the vice president
of the Marion Military Institute in Marion, Ala., the nations
oldest military preparatory school and junior college. He was asked
to bring Millersburg back to its former prominence.
The institute teaches leadership through respect, said Carruthers. Cadets
are prepared for four years of college and life, and to be leaders.
At this age, its powerful to experience, he said.
The middle school age is an important, formulative time in these cadets
lives, he added.
Some prominent Millersburg graduates include William K. Suter (Clerk
of the U.S. Supreme Court), nuclear scientist Dr. William Layson, and
Kentucky author Wendell Berry. They have all attributed their success
to Millersburg, said Carruthers.
The majority of cadets are from Kentucky but also include students from
Romania, Switzerland, France and Korea. Students are required to remain
on campus throughout the week and two weekends a month. The dormitory
can hold 100 students, but only about 50 are currently enrolled.
Carruthers said he expects student attendance to climb steadily back
to where it once was. He hopes to restore the philosophy of the school
back to its 1893 beginnings. Many of the schools principles mirror
the Ten Commandments, a creed forbidden to be on display in many schools
today. The Ten Commandments teach honorable living, said
Allisons Concrete Co. of Blue Licks, Ky., has recently donated
a monument of the Ten Commandments to be displayed in front of the institute.
A special unveiling ceremony will be held on Friday, Dec. 10, in the
Womack Gymnasium on campus. This invitation-only event will be held
in conjunction with the schools annual Christmas celebration,
and many dignitaries are expected to attend.
For more information, contact Millersburg Military Institute
at (859) 484-3352 or visit www.themilitaryschool.com.
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