May 2, 2005

New Book Chronicles History of Oklahoma Military Academy

A new book that chronicles the history of the Oklahoma Military Academy will debut at a reunion of the academy's graduates on June 3-4 at Rogers State University.

The book, titled "Voices from the Hill: The Story of Oklahoma Military Academy," also will be available to the public beginning on June 3 at the RSU Foundation and Alumni Center, and at bookstores in Claremore, Tulsa and across Oklahoma.

The author of the book is John Wooley, a resident of Bushyhead, Okla., who is the author of several books and works as entertainment writer for the Tulsa World. The book is being published by Hawk Publishing of Tulsa.

This seminal history of the academy records the camaraderie, tradition, heritage and legacy of the institution that earned a reputation for high academic standards and excellence in military training. The academy was commonly referred to as the "West Point of the Southwest."

"The emphasis of the book is on personal stories of the cadets," Wooley said. "History is often best told through the personal experiences of those who were there and these men have plenty of fascinating stories to tell."

Founded in 1911, the OMA quickly became Oklahoma's primary training ground for the United States Armed Forces. More than 10,000 cadets entered the halls of OMA as wide-eyed "rabbits," and through hard work and determination grew to become upstanding citizens in their communities, Wooley said. More than 2,500 of its graduates served in the U.S. armed forces in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Ninety-six gave their lives for their country.

In 1971, OMA closed and became Claremore Junior College to serve the broader educational needs of a growing population in the Rogers County area. Today, the institution is known as Rogers State University, a regional four-year university that serves more than 3,700 students on campuses in Claremore, Bartlesville and Pryor, and through the RSU Online program.

Each year, thousands of visitors pass through the doors of the Oklahoma Military Academy Museum, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on the second floor of Meyer Hall on the RSU campus in Claremore. To schedule a personal tour of the museum, call (918) 343-7773.

Wooley is the author of more than a dozen books including novels and non-fiction books about film and music, including the recently published "How To Make It in the Music Business," co-written with Jim Halsey.

The author will be conducting several book-signing events across the state this summer. Announcements of the dates and locations of the book-signing events will be made in local newspapers.

The first public book-signing will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, in Post Hall on the RSU campus in Claremore, following a special book signing for OMA alumni.

For more information, or to arrange to purchase a copy of the book through the mail, call the RSU Office of Development at (918) 343-7773. The cost of the book is $29.95 plus shipping and handling.