Col. John E. Horne was a special figure in the history of the School on the Hill. The only former OMA cadet to become the school’s president, he was also the man in charge when it passed on.
By 1968, when Col. Horne took over, cadets were an increasingly smaller part of the campus population. That year, the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education officially allowed women to become day students during the regular semester, although there had never actually been a regulation against it.
A year later, only about 50 college enrollees were cadets living on campus – about a tenth of the total enrollment (excluding highschoolers). The youthful social revolutions of the ‘60s, and the antiwar stance that accompanied them, hurt military schools everywhere, and the drop in full-time cadets meant that the school was receiving less money for room and board.
It became clear that something had to change, and it did. Oklahoma Senator Clem McSpadden and Representative Bill Briscoe co-authored a bill changing Oklahoma Military Academy to a two-year institution called Claremore Junior College.
OMA graduated its final class in the spring of 1971. Col. Horne watched from his office as the school’s flag came down -- for the last time – and Claremore Junior College was born.