Feature photo: MMA Chairman of the Board Strib Koster and President Geraci review maintenance and improvements at Alain M. Garcia ’06 Field House on MMA’s campus.
On January 16, 2022, Missouri Military Academy Board of Trustees Chairman Strib Koster visited campus. Co-chairman of the industrial investment banking group at Citigroup Global Markets in Chicago, Koster is a third generation Stribling family member who has been a member of the Board, serving since 1988. During his visit, he reviewed progress on capital projects, toured Barnard Hall (MMA’s academic building), and met with directors and other MMA administrative leadership.
“We are fortunate that Mr. Koster was able to visit,” said MMA President Brigadier General Richard V. Geraci, USA (Ret). “The opportunity to provide him an in-person update on our top campus improvements and programs is invaluable. The MMA Board of Trustees consistently demonstrates support for MMA’s employees, continuous improvement and campus enhancement.”
Highlights of Koster’s campus tour included the new operations center, levy work on the Salt River, Alain M. Garcia ’06 Field House extensive maintenance and improvements (interior and exterior), Calvert Baseball Field renovations, and re-construction of Carter Memorial on Teardrop Lake.
During his meeting with directors and other MMA leaders, Koster praised the faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication to MMA’s mission and cadets, and he commented on the positive feedback he received from the visiting Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) accreditation team after their visit to campus in Oct. 2021.
Koster addresses MMA’s leadership team in a meeting in Koster Media Center in Barnard Hall.
“Everyone is on board with the Academy’s mission— I heard this time and time again from the visiting team,” Koster said, praising the cohesiveness and strength of the MMA faculty and staff. “We have the right people in the right places at MMA.”
Koster briefed the MMA team on the top priorities of the Board of Trustees, including the following:
- Finances. “The fiduciary piece of the MMA equation is our major focus,” he said, adding that while MMA holds a good financial position with respect to many of our competitors’, increasing revenue is a priority, particularly with the dip in international enrollment caused by COVID, an increase in requests for cadet tuition assistance and heightened inflationary pressures.
- Enrollment and retention. Citing the goal to return MMA enrollment to 250 to 260 cadets, Koster emphasized that Board discussions include MMA’s recruitment and retention focus. He commented that addressing recruitment was a major element in the development of MMA’s current strategic plan: “After a lot of discussion and strategic analysis, we determined that being a premier military academy was simply what we are best at, and we are committed to doing what we do best.”
- People. With confidence in current staff and faculty, Koster stated that continuing to find and retain the right people is a priority for the Academy. One of MMA’s key strategic goals includes attracting, investing in, and retaining high-quality staff, faculty, and coaches to deepen the bench of potential organizational leaders and to best serve our cadet population.
Koster also briefed the group on how the Board is staying well informed on MMA activities, achievements and needs through their regular communication and work with President Geraci, regular situational reports from directors, and Board committee meetings with directors.
The MMA Board of Trustees, comprised of professionals (business, banking, legal, retired military, medical), former parents, and alumni who believe in the Academy’s mission, formally meets four times per year, in addition to regular committee meetings and monthly executive committee meetings.