Staunton, VA — Thanks to gifts from Hunter W. Henry, Jr., an alumnus of the Staunton Military Academy (SMA), there are two newly endowed scholarship funds at Mary Baldwin University. The Henry Scholarships for the Descendants of Staunton Military Academy Alumni, Faculty and Staff are underwritten by a $100, 000 endowment. The Henry Scholarship Honoring the Staunton Military Academy is funded by a $50,000 endowment.
The Henry Scholarships for the Descendants of Staunton Military Academy Alumni, Faculty and Staff will provide financial aid to one or more undergraduate students who meet the legacy qualification as well as maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or above.
The endowment for the Henry Scholarship Honoring the Staunton Military Academy was given to Mary Baldwin University in honor of the donor’s alma mater as well as his parents. It provides a non-need-based award for the outstanding senior ROTC cadet at Mary Baldwin University. This year, the scholarship was awarded to Kristy M. Wheeler of Richmond. Ms. Wheeler, the first captain in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership Corps of Cadets, will commission in the U.S. Air Force in May 2001.
The Staunton Military Academy was founded in 1860 in Charlestown in what is now West Virginia; it moved to Staunton, Virginia, in 1883. In time the militarypreparatory school became the largest private secondary school in the south. Its graduates include many men who served with honor in the military and also many who went on to highly successful careers in a wide range of fields. Senator Barry M. Goldwater was perhaps the most famous alumnus of the school.
After a period of declining enrollments, SMA shut its doors in 1976. Subsequently, Mary Baldwin University, whose campus was adjacent to SMA, bought the SMA campus and expanded its own campus to its present 54 acres. In 1995, Mary Baldwin University inaugurated the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL), a rigorous baccalaureate program for women with a military component. VWIL cadets are proud to continue the military heritage of SMA and carry the SMA flag in their parades.
Mary Baldwin President Cynthia H. Tyson comments that “these awards recognize the continuity between the Staunton Military Academy and the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership. There is a bond of history and tradition between the young women of VWIL and the young men of SMA. Mr. Henry’s generosity and vision will ensure that the Staunton Military Academy lives on.”
Mr. Henry, a 1946 graduate of SMA, resides in San Marcos, Texas. Born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Canton, Mississippi, Mr. Henry graduated from Mississippi State University in 1950 and went on to a distinguished 42-year career with The Dow Chemical Company of Midland, Michigan, where he was a member of the Board of Directors for 14 years. From 1977 to 1982 he was the president of Dow Brazil; he went on to become President of Dow USA from 1982 to 1987. He has provided scholarship endowments and other educational funding for a number of institutions, including his alma mater MSU, Lamar University, Florida State University, and the Kappa Alpha Order Educational Fund. Mr. Henry is currently a member of the boards of directors of the MSU Foundation and the Texas Petrochemical Corporation.
Mary Baldwin University excels in providing leadership training, character development and career preparation with a strong academic foundation. A multi-faceted liberal arts college in Staunton, Virginia, Mary Baldwin offers three residential programs for women–the traditional program, the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, and the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership–as well as the coeducational, non-residential Baldwin Online and Adult Programs and Master of Arts in Teaching program. Mary Baldwin offers the B.A. and/or the B.S. in 32 majors as well as the M.A.T. degree with K-8 emphasis. The oldest women’s college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Mary Baldwin was founded in 1842 and is also the first women’s college to be granted a circle of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa. It is one of only 255 colleges and universities to house a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honorsociety.