50 Years Later: Looking Back at MMA’s Impact on My Life by Ned Thanhouser ’68

Starting out in D Company, I was introduced to rigorous barracks life, a strict academic regimen, ROTC military discipline and athletic opportunities. MMA provided me with the day-to-day structure that I didn’t enjoy at home. During my four years at MMA, I learned to appreciate these aspects of my development. I earned the soldier’s bar, I was awarded the academic honor cord, I had the honor to serve in the Military Police, I was named most valuable to the ROTC, I marched with the Fusileers when we won the state championship, I was named the most valuable company football running back, and I earned a letter on the golf team. 

These achievements instilled in me values I learned as a cadet at MMA: self-discipline, self-confidence, honesty, a sense of duty, organizational skills, public speaking and the importance of personal bearing and polish. I applied these values to my life after graduation. 

In 1973 I earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Trinity University in San Antonio. This career path was due to the inspiration and motivation from Capt. Walter Grebing in math, Capt. James Marley in physics and Maj. John Reddick in earth sciences. My love of science and math led me to a long and successful career in technology, as computers were becoming mainstream. I was hired right out of college by Tektronix in Portland, Oregon, where I wrote software programs that were used by research and scientific organizations around the globe. In 1982 I was hired by Intel Corporation where my leadership skills led to a 28-year career managing engineering and marketing teams. It was very gratifying to be a part of an organization that changed the way we generate and access information every day. I retired in 2011 to become an award-winning filmmaker and noted film historian and to work with non-profit organizations.

The values instilled in me while at MMA continue to shape my life. I am most grateful to the Academy and the faculty that helped set me on my path and helped me achieve worthy goals, overcome obstacles and enjoy the journey. 

Read this story in the July 2019 Reveille. 

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