Scroll down to watch full video of scholarship presentation.
The Kemper Military School & College Alumni Association (KMS&CAA) has awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Missouri Military Academy Cadet Bryce Bowen ’21. This first-ever scholarship award reflects the desire of Kemper alumni to support MMA, Missouri’s only active military boarding school.
From Clive, Iowa, Cadet Bowen is currently the Battalion Command Sergeant Major, Fusileers drill team commander, active in the MMA Academy Band and an information technology intern. After MMA graduation, he plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in business.
Founded in 1844, Kemper Military School & College closed in 2002 after educating cadets on its Boonville, Missouri, campus for 158 years. In 2005, KMS&CAA began a campaign to raise funds to preserve Kemper history and ensure the Kemper legacy lives on. The alumni’s first priority was to raise funds to purchase a building in Boonville for the Kemper Museum. With the goal accomplished, they turned to other priorities — supporting deserving young men and women to uphold the Kemper ideals.
“Supporting MMA cadets was top of mind on our board’s list before I became president a year and a half ago,” says James Hallam, KMS&CAA president.
According to Hallam, the new KMS&CAA scholarship for MMA cadets adds to the connection long ago established between the two schools.
“It goes without saying that Kemper and MMA have had a long-standing relationship, rich with tradition,” Hallam says. These customs range from such events as today’s annual trapshoot between Kemper, Wentworth and MMA alumni to memories of the Gold Football Game, one of the oldest prep school rivalries west of the Mississippi River, dating back to 1894. (Watch the 1987 game on MMA’s YouTube channel.)
Hallam’s perspective on MMA has evolved, he says, through his son, Hale, who is currently a ninth-grader at MMA. The Kemper alumnus says he and his wife left the choice of attending MMA up to Hale.
“I know he understands now the opportunity he has been given,” Hallam says of his son’s first-year cadet experience in 2020-21. “He knows there is a larger thing going on there. What MMA is doing is remarkable.”
The Kemper Scholarship exemplifies the spirit of a military school education, says Laura Gramlich, KMS&CAA vice president. “During our time at Kemper, we learned the importance of a valuable education and traditions that forever molded us into the men and women we are today. The importance of God, country, home and school are etched in our Standard of Honor that we embrace still. While our schools were once rivals, we now band together to encourage young men to embrace all that military school offers. F.T. Kemper had a saying that every Kemper cadet learned: ‘To develop in harmony the physical, mental and moral powers, not to make mere scholars but to make men.’ ”
(Left to right) KMS&CAA Vice President Laura Gramlich, MMA Cadet Bryce Bowen ’21 and MMA President Brigadier General Richard V. Geraci, USA (Ret) at Bowen's award ceremony.
The common experiences among military school graduates have made positive differences in the lives of alumni, says MMA President Brigadier General Richard V. Geraci, USA (Ret). “We are honored that our military school brothers from Kemper have chosen to invest in MMA cadets through this scholarship. Embodying the high ideals of strong leadership, character, academic excellence, athletics and overall competitive spirit for which Kemper cadets were known and for which MMA cadets continue to strive, Cadet Bowen is an excellent choice to receive this scholarship.”
The Kemper-MMA partnership strengthens the legacy of both schools, Geraci adds. “Kemper alumni are always welcome at MMA. We are proud to educate and inspire young men to take command of their lives with the same emphasis on structure, self-discipline and accountability once taught at Kemper. Through our partnership with Kemper alumni, we look forward to continuing to uphold and advance the honor and legacy of Kemper graduates through our own MMA cadets.”
The Kemper Scholarship will be awarded annually each spring. Funds may be used toward MMA tuition, books, uniforms and any other expense deemed appropriate to scholastic achievement. Eligible applicants must currently be enrolled at MMA with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and submit required materials, including a short essay.