Missouri Military Academy’s 135th Graduating Class Celebrates Commencement

Missouri Military Academy’s 135th Graduating Class Celebrates Commencement

MMA's Class of 2024 Offered More than $4.9 Million in College Scholarships and Achieves 100% College Acceptance

The 135th Missouri Military Academy (MMA) Corps of Cadets celebrated commencement on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 10 a.m. in MMA's Centennial Gymtorium. Feature photo above: Members of Missouri Military Academy’s Class of 2024 celebrate after receiving their diplomas.

The class of 37 seniors and three post-grads has been offered more than $4.9 million in college scholarships and plans to attend such schools as the University of Notre Dame, Virginia Military Institute, Loyola University Chicago, University of Missouri, Baylor University, Missouri University of Science & Technology, Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School. Every member of the Class of 2024 has achieved college acceptance.

Watch the commencement ceremony video.

MMA President Brigadier General Richard V. Geraci, USA (Ret), congratulated the class on their achievements and reminded them that their MMA education has been about more than academics.

“You graduate today with more than a high school diploma. You have MMA’s core values to guide you on life’s journey,” Geraci said. “It is through serving others, in some capacity, that you will have the greatest chance of finding purpose, happiness and success. Our best leaders seek to serve others. All of you have the capacity to be that type of servant leader.”

He reminded graduates that they are equipped with the ability to overcome diversity, the power of self-discipline and the MMA brotherhood — “a bond of love, trust and friendship” — to help them achieve their life’s goals.

During the commencement ceremony, Cadet Gabriel Iglesias from Antiguo Cuscatlan, El Salvador, was recognized as valedictorian. Cadet Brayden Phelps from Temple, Texas, was recognized as salutatorian. The 2024 Abbott-Albright Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to science instructor Eric Evertson.

Cadet Gabriel Iglesias, Missouri Military Academy 2024 valedictorian, address his fellow graduates.

Cadet Cadet Gabriel Iglesias from Antiguo Cuscatlan, El Salvador, Missouri Military Academy valedictorian of the Class of 2024, addresses his fellow graduates at commencement on Saturday, May 18, 2024.

MMA commandant Col Rick L. Grabowski, USMC (Ret), delivered the commencement address. A combat veteran with service in Iraq, he joined the MMA staff in 2016, following a distinguished 35-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps.

In his address to the graduates, Grabowski emphasized the difference between the education they have received at MMA and what other schools provide: the skills MMA has given them, the resiliency, accountability, self-discipline, and core values of courage, leadership, selfless service, respect and more.

Col Rick L. Grabowski, USMC (Ret), delivers the 2024 commencement address.

Missouri Military Academy commandant Col Rick L. Grabowski, USMC (Ret), delivers the commencement address to the MMA Class of 2024.

“These intangible, hard life skills that you are going to be taking with you today are what will help you to become the masters of your fate,” he said.

“Remember who you are and remember and where you came from, both from your homes and from here at Missouri Military Academy,” Grabowski encouraged the class. “I’m not going to wish you the best of luck because you don't need it … You are going to go out there and make us proud.”

Following MMA tradition, the corps conducted their final formation on MMA’s front campus after the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18. Watch the 2024 Final Formation video.

Missouri Military Academy’s newest graduates celebrate after Final Formation 2024.


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