Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

June 6, 2012

OMA cadets returning for annual reunion

CLAREMORE — The youngest of them hasn’t been a cadet for more than four decades, but every one of the men attending this year’s reunion carries his own indelible memories of what it meant to be a military-school student at Oklahoma Military Academy from 1919 through early 1971.

Scores of former cadets will gather on the campus of Rogers State University, OMA’s successor, this Friday and Saturday to swap reminiscences and participate in a variety of activities.

“We proudly recognize OMA as our predecessor institution, and our students, faculty and staff strive each day to honor the legacy that was built here,” says RSU president Dr. Larry Rice. “We’re always thrilled to host the OMA reunion.

“It’s simply another way we have of recognizing the school’s legacy and thanking its alumni, who have contributed to Rogers State in so many ways,” he said.

“As we reunite on ‘the Hill’ again this year, I see the rich history and tradition of OMA preserved and strengthened by the bright future of RSU — a fast-growing, high-quality regional university,”  said OMA Alumni Association president Bill Ramsay, class of ‘61. “As RSU has embraced the heritage of OMA, our Alumni Association as embraced the mission of RSU.”

Except for the Friday morning’s Alumni Golf Classic at Heritage Hills Golf Course. and a women’s lunch at the Pink House, all reunion events are scheduled for the RSU campus.

Among them, a ladies’ tea at 2 p.m. Friday, hosted by Rogers State’s first lady, Peggy Rice, at the President’s residence; pool and ping-pong tournaments from 3-5 p.m. at the RSU Centennial Center’s Student Recreation Room and a 5:30 p.m. reception in the Centennial Center.

On Saturday, the Morning Formation and OMA Killed in Action Memorial Ceremony begins at 9 a.m. at the OMA KIA Memorial, outside Meyer Hall.

This will be followed by a 10:30 a.m. Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in the Will Rogers Auditorium, the noon Alumni Luncheon in the Centennial Center Ballroom; an ice-cream social and OMA Museum tour from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and the reception, dinner, and dance beginning at 6 p.m. in the Centennial Center Ballroom, featuring music by the group Good Company.

Joe Daniel, class of ‘69, and Larry Lantow, class of ‘38, are being honored this year as Distinguished Alumni.

Daniel retired from active duty as a colonel in 2008 and currently serves as the Secretary of Defense’s director of operations for the civilian expeditionary workforce. Lantow earned a Bronze Star as a paratrooper in the Battle of the Bulge, going on to a successful career in the lumber business.

The OMA Hall of Fame inductee for 2012 is Randy Vierling, class of ‘63, a former pilot and instructor who conceived the idea of the OMA Killed in Action monument and saw it to fruition.

In addition to those three honorees, Dr. Richard Mosier will be presented with the Lt. General William E. Potts Award for his leadership and foresight as the transitional college president between OMA and what is now Rogers State.

Dr. Mosier was the first president of Claremore Junior College, the institution which replaced OMA on the Hill following the spring of 1971, when the academy graduated its final class.

The 2012 OMA Alumni Reunion adjutant is Major General Tim Malishenko, who served more than three decades in the Air Force and, later, became a corporate vice president at the Boeing Company.

Malishenko is one of 10 military generals who attended OMA.

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