MMA Brotherhood Reunites for Homecoming 2021  

September 17-19, 2021, over 400 Missouri Military Academy (MMA) alumni, families, faculty and staff reunited on the Academy’s campus for homecoming, a weekend designed to celebrate MMA alumni. Those attending represented more than 50 different class years, ranging from 1960 to 2021. View all Homecoming photos here. 

Friday

The weekend-long alumni celebration kicked off on Friday, September 17 with the Alumni Association Golf Tournament at the Oaks Country Club. Six teams competed – 25 total players – and their scores are as follows:  

  • Team "Weapons of Grass Destruction" took first place. This team was comprised of Richard "Buster" Hall, Jr. ’72 (Team Captain), Rick Dehlinger ’93, Jeff Brummet ’71, and Rick Hart ’70.  

  • Team "Hustlers" took second place. This team included Sanders Roth ‘04 (Team Captain), Rex Rodenbaugh ’95, Lee Merrill ’92, and Mark Thomas ’92. 

  • Team “Dressed for Success” won the Best Dressed Competition. This team included Jarrod Magee ’97 (Team Captain), Steve McDavid ’97, Jennifer Magee, and Jentrie McDavid.  

  • Rick Dehlinger ’93 won the Longest Drive Competition. 

  • Richard "Buster" Hall, Jr. ’72 won the Closest to Pin Competition. 

  • Gregg Center ’91 won the Marshmallow Drive Contest 

In the afternoon, more than 100 honored guests enjoyed a private cocktail party at MMA President Geraci’s quarters. Honored guests included the 50th-anniversary reunions of 1970 and 1971 and the Honor Classes (years ending in 0, 1, 5 and 6) between 1945 and 1981. 

In the evening, the MMA community enjoyed a pre-game pep rally hosted by the MMA Parents Committee, then moved to cheer on the Fighting Colonels soccer team as they played against Canton High School on Colonel’s Field, MMA. 

MMA won the game 6-1. See game details here.  

As a bonus, the national champion Fusileers Drill Team performed an exhibition demonstration during half-time. Also during half-time, cadets presented their respective company’s banners, which they had designed and constructed. Banner materials (tissue squares) were cut and provided by the MMA Alumni Association, making the floats a joint project. Charlie Company won for having the best banner design, voted on by the youngest and oldest alumni in attendance – Eric Gentry ‘21 and Guy Gilchrest ‘60.  

After the game, alumni and guests enjoyed each other’s company at a barbecue on Ewton Terrace, located on the east side of Stribling Hall. Of note, Garrett Stockum ’87 surprised everyone in attendance when he dropped to one knee to propose to his now-fiancé, Gina Hoffman.  

Saturday

A battalion review kicked off the day on Saturday, followed by alumni/cadets drilldowns which put the MMA brotherhood to the test. At drilldowns, participants must execute a series of commands in proper form. Contestants are eliminated with any error – no matter how small – until only one contestant remains. The winner of the alumni drilldown was John Schuchmann '86. The winner of the cadet vs. alumni drilldown was Steve McDavid '97. Watch the battalion/alumni drilldown here. 

For lunch, families enjoyed the company of their cadets in the dining hall while MMA alumni met for their annual Missouri Military Academy Alumni Association meeting. 

Carrying over the energy of friendly competition and comradery, alumni and cadets met again on Calvert Baseball Field for a softball game. Christopher Belknap, son of former Vice President for Institutional Advancement Bob Belknap, threw the first pitch, honoring his dad and the Belknap family support of MMA in his dad’s memory. The baseball field, currently under renovation, now boasts a new scoreboard, thanks to the Belknap family. The spirited game resulted in alumni beat the cadets 5-4 (a highly debated outcome).  

At twilight, a Silver Taps Ceremony was held. As an announcer read the name of each MMA community member who recently passed away, the Stribling bell rang for each alumni name read. The MMA marching band played “Old MMA,” and the MMA Corps of Cadets stood in tight formation and silent respect.  

Guests then moved to enjoy the Alumni Recognition & Donor Awards Banquet in Centennial Gymtorium. The banquet included recognition of legacy cadets and 1889 Scholarship supporters before awards were presented to alumni and donors. Because homecoming was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID, awards for both 2020 and 2021 were presented: 

  • Rick Dehlinger ’93, 2020 Paul Gillette Outstanding Alumni Award 

  • Eric Johnson ’70, 2021 Paul Gillette Outstanding Alumni Award 

  • Chris Gentry ’88, 2020 Eagle Talon Award for Philanthropy Award 

  • Jim and Amy Obenshein, 2021 Eagle Talon Award for Philanthropy Award 

  • Gregg Center ’91, 2020 Harold “Chris” Schafer Fellowship Cup  

  • Jason Falbo-Gwinn ’88, 2021 Harold “Chris” Schafer Fellowship Cup  

  • Gilberto Crombe ’89, MMA Hall of Fame Award for Business, Entrepreneurship and Leadership 

Concluding the evening, guests moved to front campus to sing “Old MMA.” 

Sunday

On Sunday, the MMA community converged one last time on campus for the Alumni Farewell Breakfast. Following the breakfast, guests loaded into MMA vans and their own vehicles, departing to Busch Stadium for the St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres baseball game.  

Beginning the game, the MMA Color Guard presented the colors on the field before the first pitch. Throughout the game, MMA families, cadets and alumni cheered on the Cardinals, who ultimately won 8-7.  

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