Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lyman Ward Military Academy - southern Universalist Heritage

yes, the Lyman Ward Military Academy
is the most solid southern Universalist Heritage remaining.

Universalists allowed for freedom of individual conscience - and that means freedom to believe and object to war on religious grounds and freedom to serve in the military. Southern Universalists often picked the last freedom - the freedom to serve. From Rev Giles Chapman who served in the Revolution, to Rev Strain who served in both the Mexican and Civil War, to Rev Clayton who served in the Civil War, to a modern family who proudly has 4 generations to be career military, yet Universalists. Plenty of northern Universalists (and Unitarians) also served in the military - and even Unitarian Universalists, not that long ago as US Secretary of Defence.

While I dont know what Rev Ward's feelings would be toward the military aspect of his school - I do know that he would strongly be glad to be associated with the education and the teaching of self-discipline that would enable young people (in the current school, that is young men) to grow and learn - to be able to chose what direction they want their life to be. He stated "We help deserving youth to help themselves."

In the alumni website
there are rememberances of the old SOUTHERN INDUSTRIAL INSTITUTE,
with the "God is Love" plaque in Goodwill Hall.

the list of Universalist family names in the alumni and board section: McGowin, Ross, Langley, Weed, Foshee, Simmons, Teague, Canfield, Clapp, Rasnake, Chapman, Coleman, Herrighton, Strain......

I'm sure the modern Lyman Ward Military Academy doesn't have enough Universalist Heritage to satisfy myself - how could it? It was a non-secreterian school from the begining -- but it still remains a most powerful reminder of the Universalist commitment to "make it possible for earnest industrious youth to win an education and to learn to lift instead of to lean."

1 comment:

Bill Baar said...

Sylvanus Thayer, the founder of West Point, was a Unitarian; as was the first Director of Annapolis I think.