[sticklist] - The time has come ...

Richard Forno rforno at infowarrior.org
Mon Dec 21 20:57:56 UTC 2009

Gentlemen --

I encourage all Alumni to read the letter shown below (and/or attached  
to this message).

Although I helped write this letter, I am also one to whom it refers.  
Therefore (and despite being a Corpsman!) I am publicly announcing a  
$1000 restricted gift to the VFMAC Band, to be used at the  
Bandmaster's discretion.  This follows a similar gift of $1000 to the  
Band made by John '74JC and Susan Rapp earlier today. I am sending the  
check to the school, c/o Mr. Bill Floyd '63, Interim President &  
Chairman of the VFMAC Board of Trustees, with e-mail notification of  
the donation sent to the Bandmaster and Development Office (dspizuoco at vfmac.edu 

Friday's news of the McGeorge departure represents a significant  
milestone toward improving the current VFMAC situation.  Accordingly,  
as interested Alumni, we must demonstrate to the Administration,  
Trustees, parents, and the public that the Alumni of Valley Forge not  
only care about our Alma Mater, but can transform our strong words  
into strong action and deliver on our promises as interested Alumni.   
Otherwise, the Alumni community will be marginalized and our Alma  
Mater will move into the future without our constructive and  
collaborative input and involvement.  That must not happen!

This is a watershed moment for our school, and I invite you to join me  
in this effort.

Thanks for reading.  Happy Holidays to All!

- Rick Forno '90 '92C
Sticklist Administrator

< begin letter >

21 December 2009

Dear Friends,

As all of you now know, Tony McGeorge has departed as President of  
Valley Forge Military Academy and College.  His 3+ years were marked  
by significant staff turnover, a great deal of anger by Alumni and  
others, and a continued decay of the institution that many once  
considered the greatest private military academy in the United States.

Many of us have stated that, as long as Tony McGeorge was there, we  
would withhold financial support until he left.  He is gone now.  And,  
while we do not know what the immediate future holds in terms of his  
replacement or the direction of the school, a promise is a promise.   
It is a matter of honor now, not only to make good on that pledge of  
support, but also to keep Valley Forge available for the next  
generation of Alumni.

Resuming financial support also has another, equally important  
benefit.  It sends a powerful message to the Board of Trustees and  
Alumni Association’s Board of Directors.  While there were repeated  
statements from the school that the Tony McGeorge detractors were  
merely “a few disgruntled Alumni,” we all know that the reality was,  
and is, very different.  Over a thousand Alumni, parents and friends  
of Valley Forge have voiced their concerns about Tony’s leadership  
this past year.  Since news of his departure broke on Friday morning,  
the numerous websites, blogs, private communications, and public  
responses to the news that there will be a new senior administration  
has more than demonstrated that Valley Forge’s Alumni care deeply  
about the direction in which their Alma Mater should go.  Thus,  
providing the financial support we withheld during those years of  
unrest and unhappiness is a tangible demonstration that the Trustees  
finally made the right decision.

It also provides another important chance for the collective voice of  
Alumni to be heard.  The Board of Trustees, and most especially the  
search committee that will identify a new president of Valley Forge,  
is clearly on notice.  They no longer have the luxury of making a poor  
choice and expecting that Alumni simply will go along with a bad  
decision.  The Alumni can be a powerful force, but only if they ensure  
that their actions follow their words.  Financial support, either made  
or withheld, can be a powerful motivator for a struggling  
institution.  Words alone will not drive change or help Valley Forge  

So, as we come to the close not only of this year, but also of an  
administration marked by rancor and discord, it is time to think of  
the future.  Things at the Forge are far from perfect, but this past  
week’s news is a dramatic step towards ensuring the longevity of our  
Alma Mater.  We hope that you can join those of us who have made the  
decision to renew our financial support to keep this wonderful  
institution alive so that, once again, it will be the greatest private  
military academy in the United States.

Thank you.

W. Thomas Sykes ’50	
Richard F. Forno ’90 ‘92C
John R. (’74JC) and Susan M.S. Rapp
Ronad E. Tschiegg ‘52 	

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