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Welcome to the NEW Greenbrier Military School Alumni Association Website!

September 14, 2011
Fargo, North Dakota

As temperatures drop and the fall colors begin to appear across the upper mid-west, I begin to reminisce about this beautiful time of the year in Lewisburg as a cadet and as alumn. When I joined the GMSAA Board last October, one task I was asked to oversee was the redesign and development of our Association's website. As coordinator of the Graphic Communications Program at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), I provide instruction in web design, and thought this would be a good project for some student involvement. Not only would they get some real-life experience working for a client, we, the association, would be able to teach some young adults about GMS and the history of military schools in the U.S.

The original idea was to have a contest to come up with an interface design and award the winner(s) the job of developing the site. What really happened was I interviewed a number of graduating seniors who would have the programming background needed to develop the searchable database. Not only would this person need to have a good eye for web aesthetics, but also be knowledgeable in a number of web-based applications, such as CSS, Drupal, SQL and so on. The task was to develop a very intense database, an online store, reunion information, newsroom, Greenbrier Leadership Institute information, almost everything we had on the old GMSAA.ORG site, but more user friendly and with smaller-faster digital space.

Since the end of May 2011, Matt Winans of Fargo, ND, a brand new graduate of MSUM has worked diligently and professionally on developing our new look and the entire back end programming of the site. Matt spent hours on the phone with Tony Sadler, Phil McLaughlin, Jim Downer and Herb Pearis. Matt has spent close to 30 hours meeting personally with myself and has even had a meeting with Mary Essig, our Museum's Curator.

One new innovation is the Online Reunion Registration form. Where you can register for the all the Reunion activities, pay dues and will soon have a section for making donations. You are also able to pay by check if you do not want to use PayPal. This is very user-friendly. I registered this way and now JoAnn doesn't have to worry about rubber checks and the association has my money right away. The Cadet Store will operate in a similar fashion once it is up and running.

Try the new Cadet Database by looking for lost and not-so-lost friends. Type in any of the following: last name, last year or year graduated and company to find information on a cadet. There are two levels, one level is open to the general public and will retrieve a limited amount of information on any cadet. As a registered user, which we hope you will become, you will retrieve more in-depth statistics and information about a cadet as well as faculty and friends. This is an excellent tool.

So, welcome to the new GMSAA.ORG site. There is more to do, like an archive of Alumni Records and our Museum page, but I am sure you will find this enjoyable and easy to use.

I want to thank Tony Sadler, Herb Pearis and Phil McLaughlin for all their guidance and patience working with Matt and myself. And I especially think we all need to offer a big round of applause to Matt Winans for a bang up job on this project. His professionalism and technical ability to do this has saved our Association thousands of dollars.

Sincerely,
Dr. Mike Ruth, GMS '69

Department of Cinema Arts and Digital Technologies
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Moorhead, MN

Leadership Program Extends GMS Legacy

At a dinner party several weeks ago, the conversation turned to what event or circumstance made the biggest difference in your life. The dinner guests represented a variety of professions and careers and as you could imagine, the stories ran the gamut. When the discussion reached me I recounted my three years at Greenbrier Military School.

I can’t tell you if it was the drill and ceremony, the weekly inspections, the beat, or the many other activities I endured that eventually formed my character. Certainly for many of you, it was all those things and more. They say we are the sum of our experiences over time. If that’s true, that may explain how our time at Greenbrier contributed to our success as productive citizens.

Although we have graduated our last Cadet and the Battalion is growing smaller, there is a program that is offering today’s youth those values and principles that we have always held in high regard. The Greenbrier Leadership Institute, (GLI) through the guidance and direction of your Alumni Association, provides programs and resources that promote the core values of truth, duty and honor that we learned as Greenbrier cadets. Along with live leadership programs, GLI will be offering online instruction and packaged educational materials including DVDs available to schools and libraries throughout West Virginia.

I encourage you to attend the next leadership session during our upcoming reunion on Friday, October 14 in the old GMS auditorium on the campus of WVSOM. I’m sure after seeing the interaction and enthusiasm of the students you will believe as I do, that The Greenbrier Spirit is still alive. You will see first hand, why this program has received high praise from educators throughout West Virginia and why GLI is quickly expanding to new venues in 2012.

The future success of The Greenbrier Leadership Institute will depend directly on the financial support of our alumni and friends. For the last three years GLI has operated totally with alumni volunteers. To continue the good work and reach more youth, we’ll need to replicate the program using all forms of technology as well as conventional resources.

That’s why we need your help. When writing your check for the upcoming reunion weekend, consider adding an additional amount in support of GLI. You can be assured your generous financial gift will be used to extend the legacy of Greenbrier Military School for generations to come.

Grey Webb, Vice President, GMSAA

Greenbrier Leadership Institute Continues to Grow

The Greenbrier Leadership Institute of the Greenbrier Military School Alumni Association is making tremendous progress providing leadership development services as well as gaining attention statewide. In April we completed our third annual program with selected high school students from the Greenbrier County School System. In June, we made two presentations to West Virginia school administrators. On
June 3 we presented to the Region 6 meeting of the school administrators and June 29 to the statewide meeting of administrators. Both presentations resulted in our developing important liaisons in schools statewide.

As a result of the June presentations we were invited to conduct a staff and teacher leadership development program this fall and next spring for the Barbour County School System located just south of
Morgantown. Also as a result of the June presentations we were engaged by the West Virginia Department of Education to provide a leadership development program this fall to school counselors across the state at three locations including Beckley, Morgantown and Charleston.

Additionally, we are pleased to report that the development of our DVD supported programmed learning program last year was profitable. It boosted contributions from our alumni that yielded support significantly beyond the program cost. The DVD supported program has been used with students and staff in West Virginia that could not attend our live programs and even in a school district in Bourbon County, Kentucky. We will continue to provide it free of charge to school districts within and outside West Virginia as requests occur.

We will conduct our fourth annual Leadership Program for Greenbrier County Schools during our GMSAA Reunion this October. The staff and teacher program will start at 8:30a on Thursday, October 13 and the student program will begin at 8:15a on Friday, October 14. If interested in attending either program, please be seated prior to the start of the program, which will last approximately four hours.

The Greenbrier Leadership Institute is timely, gaining momentum and gives the GMSAA a chance to produce a lasting legacy for Greenbrier Military School. However, the Greenbrier Leadership Institute receives only minimal funding from the GMSAA Board of Directors and is in great need of additional support if we are to capitalize upon the current high interest statewide to build a true legacy for GMS well into the 21st century.

We are well on the way to preserving the legacy of GMS for years to come if we receive adequate support. Leadership development through the Greenbrier Leadership Institute is our path and our gift to the youth of West Virginia and beyond. Please make contributions to the GMSAA Leadership Fund to ensure our legacy.

Beaman Cummings ‘63
Executive Director, Greenbrier Leadership Institute

Dr. John McElhenney Society

Nearly two hundred years ago, Dr. John McElhenney began The Lewisburg Academy, the school that would eventually become Greenbrier Military School. Who could have imagined in 1812, the potential significance of this young Presbyterian minister’s commitment to education? Because of one man, thousands of young men have benefited from his determination and foresight.

It is fitting then, that as we approach the two-hundredth anniversary of the founding of our school, your Board of Directors has established the Dr. John McElhenney Society to honor those alumni and family members who have, over the years, contributed considerable financial support to the Greenbrier Military School Alumni Association. The upcoming bi-centennial celebration of our school offers us a chance to honor those who have given generously without fanfare or previous acknowledgment.

At this year’s reunion we will be awarding memberships into the Dr. John McElhenney Society to those alumni and family members who have, over the years, contributed $10,000 or more to GMSAA. At time of publication, I am proud to say that there are at least ten individuals who will become charter members in the Society.

If you are near the $10,000 threshold in your giving and wish to be included as a founding member of the Dr. John McElhenney Society, please contact Herb to complete the balance so that we may acknowledge your generosity in October.

Grey Webb, Chairman, Greenbrier Forever 3000

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