FMA History

FMA Campus Aerial
FMA Campus Aerial
September 8, 1958Frederick College opens as a two – year junior college and a four-year military high school at the renovated military base at 1801 Portsmouth Blvd. (formerly Gosport Rd.) with an enrollment of 265 cadets.
May 30, 1959The first FMA commencement ceremony.
September 5, 1961Frederick College becomes a four year institution and moves to the old General Electric Company grounds, off U.S. route 17 near the Western Branch area of Portsmouth. The high school remained on the original campus and changed it’s name to Frederick Military Academy.
May 30, 1962First class of four year cadets graduates from the military academy.
May 1962Medals for Most Outstanding Cadet NCO, awarded to Cadet NCO Mike Ashe. Most Outstanding Cadet Officer was awarded to Battalion Commander Lt. Col. William “Greene” McCollum. (see related story in the Canteen.)
May 1968Frederick Liberal Arts College permanently closes. Tidewater Community College opens on the grounds the following Fall.
July 1, 1968Frederick College Board of Trustees officially dissolved.
August 2, 1968Peak enrollment of 430 students attained at FMA.
May 197042 cadets and a teacher commend then President Richard Nixon on his decision to move troops into Cambodia.
September 1970Faculty member Lt. Donny Jones sponsors FMA Cheerleader squad lead by Co-Captains Nettie Crodick and Cookie Abee.
September 1972First African American students accepted into cadet corps.
September 5, 1975First female allowed to attend school as day class students.
May 1976Col. Phillip G. Inscoe retires from FMA.
August 1976William E. Haas replaces the first FMA President, Phillip G. Inscoe.
June 5, 1977First female cadets graduate from FMA. The three placed first, second and third in their class, ahead of 24 male cadets.
November 18, 1977The ceremonial “drumming out” of a cadet for stealing money from a faculty member conducted by the Cadet Honor Court before the 287 peers of the corps of cadets.
November 22, 1977Col. William E. Haas, (Lt. Col, Army, ret.) resigns as FMA President.
February 20, 1978Announcement made that 1963 Frederick College alumnus Donald E. Woodard would take over as the new President effective April 1, 1978. Woodard had also attended FMA.
1978New cadet dormitory constructed as part of the phase out of the old WWII military housing units and hall officers and responsibilities.
Click Here for a 1995 satelite view of the old FMA grounds.
August 30, 1979Latin added to Foreign Language department joining French, German and Spanish.
August 30, 1979First African American instructor hired at FMA. Mrs. Laura Gilliam – Typing.
August 30, 1979First African American administrator, Arthur Simmons. First female administrator, Gerry Edwards. New commandant, James B. Acker, Jr. New staff uniforms and a full compliment of 300 cadets.
May 24, 1980Col. Robert C. Plaine announces his retirement after 21 years of service to FMA.  The administration at that time insisted that he and his wife could not remain on campus, even if they purchased their own mobile home.
November 20, 1980Cadet Robert Perrot was murdered while sneaking off campus to a nearby convenience store.  The alleged local neighborhood individuals that were responsible have never been brought to justice.
1981Opening of the new student services center, consolidating the services that had previously been scattered across the campus.
October 15, 1983FMA celebrates its 25th anniversary.
April 1, 1985Announcement made to staff that the academy will permanently close in May. Enrollment was down to 198 of the 300 capacity for that school year.
May 31, 1985Friends of Frederick Foundation, Inc. stages a fund drive to raise 3 million dollars to continue operating the school indefinitely. When the drive ended June 2nd, the group had raised $100,000.
June 6, 1985Frederick Military Academy permanently closed.
December 12, 1986The Pines residential treatment center opens on the grounds of Frederick Military Academy.
August 11 & 12, 1995The first FMA reunion held with over 300 Alumni, former faculty and staff in attendance.
February 15, 1998VA Senate Joint Resolution #204 commemorating the August 8th founding of Frederick Military Academy.
June 30, 1998The Frederick Military Academy Cadet Alumni Website goes on line.
July 21, 1998WebSite receives RSAC and Safe Surf “suitable for all ages” rating. Other Family-Friendly ratings followed.
August 7 & 8, 1998Second reunion held in Norfolk, VA to commemorate 40 years since the opening of FMA.
September 14, 1998The Frederick Military Academy Website goes on line under its own domain name,
September 20, 1998The FMA Mailing List is activated.
October 6, 1998FMA Website becomes an affiliate member with Barnes & Noble Booksellers to generate residual income for the Alumni Association through sales.
October 16, 1998Entire FMA Website receives first major design upgrade.
November 27, 1998FMA Website receives first official Web Award for content and design.
November 28, 1988The FMA Honors and Awards page is added to the website.
December 9, 1998Complete list of Battalion Commanders received and posted based on the research of Robert “Doc” and Janette Doerr and Marilyn Rowland.
December 29, 1998Former Commandant and retired Army Lt. Col. Robert C. Plaine, U.S.A.R. passed away at his home in PA at the age of 86 after a long battle of multiple medical problems.
January 5, 1999Robert C. Plaine Memorial photos & Eulogy posted to website along with letters from alumni and friends.
January 29, 1999Robert C. Plaine Memorial page is created and published.
August 1999FMA Site Search Engine added.
May 5, domain registered and set up as a mirror site to the original for search engines to locate and catalog this site under both names.  Discontinued May 2004
May 15, 2000Second major web design upgrade ending a five month construction period unveiled as FMA 2000. Several new sections and hundreds of new photographs are added with new original graphics and no advertising banners. (The ultimate goal being to have no reliance on third party services)
July 20, 2000FMA Capt. Robert “Doc” Doerr, USNR, passed away in a Norfolk, VA hospital of heart problems at the age of 75. Funeral services were held in Edenton, NC and Internment in Suffolk, VA on July 24, 2000. Captain Doerr had served on the FMA infirmary staff since 1961.
January 1, 2001Memorial Page photo pop-up feature completed for cadets and staff linking a photo to the deceased member’s name.
March 28, 2001FMA Website receives recognition as a distinguished military website from
August 3-4, 20012001 reunion a smashing success at the Lake Wright.
May 1, 2002Website receives the prestigious Golden Web Award.
February 2003Golden Web Award received for second consecutive year.
May 30, 2003Bill Laakkonon, class of ’81, donates the services of his company – – for hosting the new FMA Site. 
June 4, 2003FMA Alumni Association registers new domain name of undertaken by Rich Abrams to monitor quality and timely updates.
November 26, 2003Third major revision completed creating two individual web sites. One public and the second, an Alumni only website requiring access codes.
August 6-7, 20042004 Reunion at Holiday Inn Old Towne, Downtown Portsmouth, VA. Boasted 195 attendees on Saturday night and about 175 on Friday night.  One of the more successful reunions, as for the numbers.  CLICK HERE to see the list that came to one or both nights.