Two hundred seventy-seven new students received a stormy welcome to the Culver Academies campus when the annual Matriculation Ceremony was delayed until Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 27, due to weather. Classes started on schedule Tuesday, Aug. 26, with a total of 827 students enrolled.
There are 476 boys enrolled in Culver Military Academy and 351 girls enrolled in Culver Girls Academy. They represent 43 states and 28 countries.
At the matriculation ceremony each new student walked through the Logansport Gate and was welcomed by the Head of Schools John Buxton and his wife, Pam Buxton, interim CGA Dean Lynn Rasch, CMA Commandant Capt. Mike Neller, CGA Senior Prefect Erin Luck (LaPorte, Ind.) and CMA Regimental Commander Cole Payne (Bucyrus, Ohio).
A campus landmark, Logansport Gate was a gift in 1914 from the city of Logansport in gratitude for the rescue efforts provided by the Culver cadets. The gate was refurbished as a gift from the Class of 2001. Passing through the gate represents the beginning of each boy and girl’s Culver experience. They will end their Culver experience by graduating through The Iron Gate (CMA) or Graduation Arch (CGA).
Monday morning the new cadets were told the story behind the Logansport Gate. In March 1913, Logansport city officials called upon Culver Military Academy to help rescue residents trapped by the flooded Eel and Wabash rivers. Culver sent some 40 cadets who were experienced in handling the summer Naval School’s four cutters to take hundreds of people to safety, many of whom were stranded on rooftops and second stories. Each cutter was nearly 25 feet long and weighed more than a ton. New cadets also experienced first-hand the difficult task of rowing boats similar to those used by the cadets in 1913.
The students, faculty, and staff did gather for the opening convocation in Eppley Auditorium Monday evening. During his opening remarks, Head of School John Buxton talked about the 2014-2015 school year being one of building, both literally and figuratively. Construction projects at the Argonne dorm and Huffington Library are ongoing, he said.
“But we are also at that time of the year when we need to build or at least shore up our cultures. We have new team members in our dormitories, barracks, departments, and offices,” Buxton added. “We’ll need to build chemistry on these new teams. We’ll need to find new roles and responsibilities for new teammates. We’ll need to develop new leaders for these enterprises. We’ll need to build community and then help that community build and fortify us.”
Buxton also talked about the family trip to Kenya this past summer. He said, “We were so fortunate to get behind the scenes to meet the people of Kenya, and were educated and inspired by them. Most importantly, however, we did our own special team building across the generations of our family while we were there. (Grandson) Luke’s short video summarizes how powerful our journeys together can be and how uplifting their scripts are.”