12 Pages Vol.14, No. 3 March 2000


Published monthly by the
320 Iwo Jima Blvd.
Harlingen, Texas 78550
(956) 423-6006
Robert A. Beckley
Connie G. Flores

Eight inducted as General H.M. Smith Fellows

Those who had attended previous H.M. Smith Observances, agreed that this year’s induction ceremony was among the most memorable ever.

Perhaps it was the stirring comments of guest speaker General Al Gray, Jr., or the moving words of inductee Anthony McIntyre, or maybe it was the flawless musical performances by cadets Colin Scherr and Chris Johnson.

During a formal dinner at the Neuhaus Messhall, 18 February, eight donors were inducted into the H.M. Smith Foundation, which honors supporters who have given the Academy $100,000 or more.

The Foundation is named for General H.M. “Howlin’ Mad” Smith, the WWII commander who led Marine assaults on the Marshalls, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. Upon his retirement, he became one of the first board members of the Marine Military Academy, and was the first person to make the Academy the beneficiary of his will.

New members receive a ceremonial blue blazer and gold watch, and have their names engraved on a pedestal supporting a larger than life bust of the General.

Five of the new members were present for their inductions. They were Maj Edgar Aronson, USMCR (Ret) of New York City, John G. Brunner of St. Louis, Mo., Col H. Wm. Card, Jr., USMC (Ret) of Harlingen, Col George W. Carrington, USMC (Ret) of Beverly Hills, Ca., and Anthony McIntyre of Philadelphia, Pa.

Those inducted in absentia were MajGen Louis J. Conti, USMCR (Ret) of Inverness, Il. and LtCol and Mrs. Kelvin Bailey, USMCR (Ret) of Burbank, Ca.

Aronson, representing the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation, has been a donor to MMA since 1978. He was sponsored at his induction by Arden R. Grover, who is president emeritus of the trustees.

Brunner is a former Marine, and currently CEO of Vi-Jon Laboratories, a cosmetic company. He had a son, John, III, attend MMA, and has been a trustee of the school since 1997. He was sponsored by Robert G. Farris.

Card was a WWII and Korean War veteran who joined MMA as Director of Development and later Commandant of Cadets after his retirement from the Marine Corps. He later served as mayor of the city of Harlingen for 11 years. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees. Card was sponsored by MMA chancellor, Gen Alfred Gray, Jr., USMC (Ret).

Carrington, who was a friend of Card’s during WWII, was a former dean at the Marine Military Academy. Prior to joining the Marine Corps he graduated from Yale University. Later he received a master’s degree from America University and a doctorate from Oxford. Early in the day, in a ceremony in Coleman Hall, the dean’s office was dedicated in honor of Carrington. He was sponsored for his induction by General Gray.

McIntyre, a cadet at the Academy in 1974-75, is now an executive with the Graham Company, one of the largest insurance broker/consultant firms in the United States. In 1997 he became a trustee of the Academy.

McIntyre, who was sponsored by MMA founder Capt Bill Gary, USMCR (Ret), gave a rousing acceptance speech at his induction. He relayed how he borrowed money from a neighbor to attend MMA, and could not even afford to go home for spring break. He then credited the Academy for his success in life, and his stirring words brought the crowd to its feet for a standing ovation.

Conti was a Naval aviator during World War II, who has been familiar with the Marine Military Academy since its inception. He became particularly interested in the school when his close friend, the late MajGen Ralph Spanjer, USMC (Ret), became superintendent in 1978.

Conti’s son, 1stLt Robert F. Conti, USMC, was killed in action in Vietnam in 1969. A leadership hall at MMA has been dedicated in his honor.

Kelvin Bailey joined the Marine Corps on Pearl Harbor Day and served throughout World War II. In 1944 he became a Naval aviator, and later he was a personal pilot for Walt Disney and the Walt Disney Company. During 26 years of active duty service in the Marine Corps and in the Reserves, he flew nearly every type of aircraft available.

Gwendolyn Bailey was born and raised in Memphis, Tenn., and later graduated from Curry College in Boston. She and Kelvin met on a blind date in Hollywood, and were married in 1944.

The Baileys recently made the Academy the recipient of half of their charitable family trust.

China Marines send reinforcements to Academy

As the only military school based on the ideals of the Marine Corps, MMA has naturally found a place in the hearts of many Marine organizations.

Such is the case with the China Marine Association, who recently showed its support for the Academy with a donation of $15,000 during the Iwo Jima Anniversary cadet parade, 19 February.

Mr. James J. Hadaway, a member of the association’s board of directors, was at MMA for two days, with his wife, Ellen, to tour the school’s facilities, and to present MMA president MajGen Wayne Rollings with the association’s check. It was stipulated that part of the donation be unrestricted, and part be placed in the Christopher Lee Heard Scholarship Fund, named for the MMA graduate who died last year in the Texas A&M bonfire tragedy.

The China Marine Association is a relatively young organization, having been conceived in 1989, and formed in 1990 with an enrollment of about 300 Marines who wanted to share the unique camaraderie and memories of their service in the distant and enchanting country of China before and after World War II.

In 1993, when the association met for a reunion in Orlando, the membership had grown to over 1,000 Marines, and officers were elected for the first time. By 1995, there were nearly 2,500 members. That same year the China Marine Association made its first donation to the Marine Military Academy.

Leadership Forum slated this month

Lynn Lowder, a former Marine who is currently Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Mail Boxes Etc., will be the guest speaker at MMA’s annual Leadership Forum, scheduled for March 10.

Each year the Academy sets aside one day to specifically examine leadership styles and principals, and to discuss traits of a successful leader.

In the morning, Lowder will address the entire Corps of Cadets, explaining his views on leadership. Then selected cadets will meet in various panel discussions, each one hosted by a MMA staff member and trustee.

Lowder was in the Marine Corps from 1967 to 1983, during which time he rose from the rank of private to major. His service decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat “V”, Navy Commendation Medal and Purple Heart.

In 1976, he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, and in 1980 he graduated from the DePaul University College of Law.

Lowder joined Mail Boxes Etc., which is the largest non-food franchise system in the United States, in 1998.

Cadet Robert Scott, USMC, at MMA

CAPT ROBERT Scott, USMC, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was at MMA in February to address interested cadets on attending service academies and receiving NROTC scholarships. He is shown with two old friends, SgtMaj Bill Steigerwald (L) and GySgt “Ski” Wisnoski.

Dean's List

Cadets with a first semester grade point average between 3.50 and 3.74.

Abbinante, JS		Alameddin, CJ		Bajsel, MA		Bodden, DM
Bouchard, SA		Bradley, JP		Braudt, JM		Cripps, BC
Dehe, JR		Fremont, HW		Hwang, E		Johnson, CH
Johnston, WH		Kadri, SA		Lambuth, JR		Matthews, TW
McBride, JA		McNabb, JA		Merriam, JA		Moore, RPR
Nance, TM		Pax, JC			Pierce, GN		Reichert, MW
Sherling, GW

Five cadets inducted into MMA National Honor Society

FIVE CADETS were inducted into the MMA National Honor Society, 28 Jan. They were Matt Freeman, Grant Pierce, Saheed Kadri, Darby Bodden and Chris Johnson. Pictured are all NHS members and their sponsor, Lorriane Loyan. They are (front row, L-R) Pedro Said-Nader, Freeman, Pierce, Kadri, Bodden, Johnson, (back row) Joey Masterpool, Johnny Pax, Casey Schroeder, Josh Izakson, Tommy Duff, Daniel Paine and Matt Christian.


MMA swimmers Christopher Johnson and James Ewton made qualifying times which earned them a place at the TAPPS state swim meet, 5 February, at the University of Texas Swim Center in Austin.

Johnson, competing in the 200 and 500 freestyle, and Ewton swimming in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, both turned in strong performances at state.

Johnson, a senior, dropped six seconds off his personal best in the 200 freestyle, but was unable to qualify for the finals. He did, however, make the finals in the 500 freestyle where he placed seventh.

Ewton, a freshman, reached the finals in both of his events, placing fifth in the 100 freestyle and fourth in the 100 backstroke, where he narrowly missed a third-place medal.

“The fact that both of these swimmers turned in their best times at state is a credit to all the hard work they put in,” Coach Earl Gander said. “Ewton is a very determined swimmer, and Johnson does his best in everything he does.

“We had a large number of young swimmers on the team this year, and I’m looking forward to a strong season next year,” Gander added.


Just two months before the season was to begin, MMA found itself without a baseball coach when teacher Ed Thomas departed for Atlanta. However, a qualified replacement was quickly found. Eddie Medlin, a catcher with the Rio Grande Valley Whitewings, had already volunteered to help Thomas with the upcoming season. That made him the logical choice to step in and lead the Leathernecks.

Medlin is a native of Missouri, and played collegiate ball at Central Missouri State. He’s spent the last two years in the Texas-Louisiana League, and has also coached American Legion teams and at the collegiate level at Southwest Baptist University.

Medlin said this year’s MMA Leathernecks are young, with only two returning players. But, he also said there’s talent in several areas.

“We have a pretty good core of players. I feel real good about this team this year,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of speed, we’ve got guys who can hit up and down the line up, and we’ve got good defense.”

The two returners Medlin is counting on are sophomore Scott Fite at first base and junior infielder Andrew Whatley. Other projected starters are juniors James McDaniel at third base and outfield, Jared Grisham at pitcher and outfield, and James Dehe in the outfield

Mid-term registration was good to the Leathernecks. Four other starters arrived at MMA just this past January. They are junior David Shoemaker at shortstop, sophomores Travis Schendel in center field and Michael Bright at catcher, and freshman Adam Van Horne at pitcher and outfield.

League play begins 4 March, and Medlin hopes to qualify for the state tournament, 11-13 May, in Belton, Texas. His assistants are Bill Beckman and Frank Martinez.


The Fighting Leathernecks blasted Raymondville 98-51 in their final game of the season, 15 February, to finish the season with a 20-13 record. The win also preserved the team’s 44-game home winning streak at the Florence King Athletic Center, stretching over four seasons. The Leathernecks finished the year as the No. 5 ranked private school team in the state.

Junior point guard Tyronn Mitchell led the Leathernecks in their win over Raymondville with 29 points. Center Will Sherling added 25, and guard Kalen Mahoney had 24.

“We played some of the toughest competition in the state, such as Houston Madison, Dallas Kimbell and Dallas Carter,” athtletic director Tom Morton, said. “We also beat the No. 1 team in the Valley, PSJA North. With only two seniors on the team, I think Coach (Shawn) Jones did an outstanding job. The improvement the team showed throughout the year was impressive.”


Paced by victories in four weight classes, the Leathernecks took two team titles at the regional Golden Gloves competition in Brownsville, 17-19 February.

Winning their divisions for the Academy were light flyweight Steven Bouchard, feather weight Ricky Escobedo, middleweight James Paine and super heavyweight Leland Norris. Coming in second were Mitch Hanf in the bantamweight class and Omar Doherty as a middleweight.

It was the second straight year Bouchard, a junior from Houston, had won a gold medal in the competition.

“He’s a great little fighter,” boxing coach SgtMaj Fred Robertson said. “In the finals his first two rounds were even. But in the third he just took the other guy apart.”

Robertson said he nearly had a fifth winner. Hanf, a sophomore from Dupont, Wa., was in the middle of his title bout when he and his opponent started bleeding. The fight was stopped and sent to the judges who gave Hanf’s opponent a split-decision win.

Two Leathernecks, Escobdo, a freshman from Ingleside, Tx. and Norris, a sophomore from Lake Village, Arkansas, were unopposed in their title bouts. “Norris has made tremendous improvement over the past several months,” Robertson said, “I’m expecting great things from him next year. It’s too bad the crowd didn’t get to see Escobedo. He’s one of the best we’ve ever had here, just phenomenal.”

In the middleweight division, Paine and Doherty won their semifinal bouts, setting up a meeting in the finals with each other. Paine got the decision, avenging a loss to Doherty in the same tournament last year.


The Leatherneck linksters began their season with two tournaments in February. There are four more in March before the team enters TAPPS competition in April.

At the Raymondville Tournament, 11 February, the Leathernecks placed fifth out of 12 teams. Freshman David Mackie paced the Leatherneck scorers with a 77, placing him fifth among all individuals. Other MMA scores were Dustin Call (85), John Bradley (90), Adam Davis (107) and Joe Polland (110).

Perhaps the surprise of the tournament was the play of eighth grader David Square who shot an 89 in the JV flight. Other cadets in the JV event were Donald Shadd (114) and Kerman Lerrea (120).

The next day the Leathernecks traveled to the Llano Grande Golf Course in Mercedes for the Progreso Invitational. Once again, Mackie was the team’s low scorer with an 83, good for third-place individual honors. Mark Klein shot an 84, and Square, up to the varsity for this tournament, had an 89. Bradley carded a 93. Those scores were good enough to nab the Academy the second place team trophy.

The Leathernecks are coached this year by English teacher Chris Evans.

Where are they now?

William (Willie) D. Steigerwald
- WDSteig@aol.com. Willie currently lives in Colorado Springs, Co., and works for Agilent Technologies Inc. as a mechanical engineering technician. He has also returned to school to receive a degree in computer engineering. He has an associates degree in electronics technology from Texas State Technical College. Willie and his wife, Jeannette, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. Congratulations!. They have two girls, Shelly, 16, and Julie, 13. Willie is enthusiastic about helping out the alumni association as much as possible. With returning to school, singing in a local barbershop chorus, and of course, family responsibilities, Willie stays pretty busy. In fact, he finished by saying, “Well, I’ve got to finish up some studying for an exam.” Willie gets a lot of life out of every day . . . . just like his dad, SgtMaj Steigerwald.

GySgt Tim Edens, USMC (Ret)
- tedes001@home.com. Tim, a three-year cadet and editor of the Pass in Review, attended St. Ambros College, then enlisted in the Marine Corps. He retired in 1999 and now teaches math and electronics at Hamilton Technical College in Davenport, Iowa. He and his wife, Judith, have five children, Erin, Erica, Evan, Emily and Elise.

Tom Tamlyn
- 2203 Long Cove Circle, Katy, Tx. 77450, (281) 499-9604. Tom works for Tamlyn and Sons Building Materials, with offices in Houston and Dallas. He sent in his address to make sure he was receiving alumni mail-outs.

Sam Schulte
- 1399 Brockton Dr., Corona, Ca. 92882-4541, (909) 279-1024, schulte@linkline.com. Sam sent in his new address.

Mark McGinness
- Msmcginn@ionet.net. After 12 years with GE Military Aircraft Engines, Mark went into semi-retirement in August. Recently he received his real estate license and will explore that career avenue eventually. As another sideline, Mark bakes cheesecakes (several varieties) and other confections for private sales. Mark was concerned that he had not paid his alumni dues and thought he might be in “arrears.” Mark, no MMA alumni has to pay dues now. You can receive “The Leader” and even get a password on the alumni web page bulletin board at no charge to you or any other alumni. What a deal!

Lorrance Etcitty
- etcitty@YKHC.org. Lorrance, a two-year cadet, is living in Bethel, Alaska where he works for YK Health Corporation, along with his brother, Ron, (MMA class of ‘85) and John Hastie (MMA class of ‘99). He would like to hear from Lionel Pierre, Mike Reid and Mondo Availa.

Alan T. Vetal
- 5000 K. Ave #3018, Plano, Tx. 75074, (972) 516-4857, AV8R1992@aol.com. After two and a half years at MMA, Alan spent four years in the Marine Corps, before receiving a medical discharge. He then attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in aviation. He currently is manager of Humperdink’s Restaurant and Brewery in Dallas.

Hugh (Alex) Murray
- Hwmpm@primeline.com. Alex is now a sergeant at MCRD Parris Island. He drives a boat in support of the rifle ranges. He arrived at Parris Island in February of ‘99, and should be there for three more years. Alex really wants to start an alumni chapter at Parris Island, so any alumni in that area, get in touch with Alex.

Casey Dunn
- wdunn@du.edu. Casey, was a three-year cadet and is part of a MMA family. His older brother Bryan, was an ‘88 MMA grad, and is now a captain in the Air Force, flying KC-135s in Turkey. His younger brother, Corey, is currently a junior at MMA. Casey is attending the University of Denver, majoring in poly sci. He would like to hear from any graduates from ‘97 or alumni in Colorado.

What's Your Choice?

In last month’s issue of “The Leader”, you were provided a post card requesting your preference on receiving each issue of “The Leader.” You could either continue to receive it in the mail or view it on the MMA web site (mma-tx.org).

This is your last month to let us know which you would like. If you have misplaced your post card and would like to continue getting “The Leader” in the mail, you may call (956) 423-6006, ext. 232, or write the Public Affairs Office at 320 Iwo Jima Blvd., Harlingen, Tx. 78550.

If we do not receive a reply, then we will expect you want to view it on the web site.

Variety of activities planned for alumni reunion weekend

This year’s MMA (Millennium Mania For Alumni) promises to be one of the best MMA reunions of the century (so far).

If you haven’t made plans to attend, there is still time. Rooms are available at a special rate for MMA alumni at the following hotels: Courtyard by Marriott (412-7800), Holiday Inn Express (428-9292) and La Quinta Inns (428-6888).

Those planning to attend, please return the enclosed card, or RSVP with the Alumni Affairs Department so they will know how many people to expect. The phone number is (956) 423-6006, ext. 236.

2000 MMA Alumni Reunion Schedule of Events

     Friday, 14 April
	1000-1700	Registration, Cadet Activities Center
	1130-1300	Lunch available in the MMA messhall
	1500-1600	Alumni address to cadets 
			(Notify us if you would like to speak)
	1700-1800	Dinner available in the MMA messhall
	1830-1930	Parade by the Corps of Cadets
	1930-2200	Reception at the President’s House

     Saturday, 15 April
	0900-1000	Continental breakfast, Cadet Activities Center
	1000-1100	Alumni Meeting, Cadet Activities Center
	1100-1400	Alumni/Cadet softball game (food provided)
	1400-1600	free time
	1600-1620	Bus picks up alumni at hotels, provides
			transportation to South Padre Island
	1700-2200	Food, fun and dancing at Louie’s Backyard 
			Restaurant (all-you-can-eat seafood buffet)
	2200-2245	Return trip to Harlingen

     Sunday, 16 April
	0800-1100	Sunday brunch in MMA messhall 


William J. Cluphf - Chosin Few
Col James V. Donoghue, USMC (Ret) - 7th ROC
Samuel Chesley Hagaman - MMA 1995-97
Col James Hardin, USMCR (Ret), Combat Correspondent - WWII & Korea
Christopher Lee Heard - MMA’99
Sgt John C. Lincoln, Plt 249 Summer ‘63 San Diego
John Lipscomb - WWII veteran
PFC Robert Reed
1stLt Jeremiah A. Schmitt, USMC
SSgt “Knobby” Walsh

A Taste of MMA

On March 10, the Marine Military Academy will host an “open house” known as A Taste of MMA, from 6 to 8 p.m. a the Cadet Activities Center.

The idea behind the evening is to give members of the community a chance to tour the Academy’s facilities and meet with drill instructors, other staff and cadets.

There will be buffet-style tables with food from various local restuarants, as well as from the Academy’s messhall.

The cost of tickets is $5.00 per person, and all proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House charity.

For more information about A Taste of MMA, contact Patty Cavazos, special events coordinator, at 423-6006, ext. 610.

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