Alumni from the Oklahoma Military Academy will gather on the Rogers State University campus this weekend to rekindle old friendships and celebrate the military school’s notable legacy. The OMA Alumni Association also will honor alumni and friends with awards and special designations throughout the weekend.
This year’s theme – “Once a Cadet, Always a Cadet” – pays homage to the lifelong bond OMA students developed during their time on “College Hill,” now home to RSU’s main campus in Claremore. OMA Alumni Association President Phil Goldfarb said he was excited about the reunion programming, which should bring back a flood of memories and long-remembered friendships.
Known as the “West Point of the Southwest,” OMA served as a high school and junior college that provided a military-focused curriculum during its years of operation from 1919 to 1971.
The reunion events start Friday with a golf tournament at Heritage Hills Golf Course, while alumni wives can enjoy a ladies’ luncheon at the RSU President’s Residence hosted by RSU First Lady Peggy Rice.
At 4 p.m., the public is invited to attend the Oklahoma premiere of “Never Surrender: The Ed Ramsey Story,” a documentary based on the remarkable life of the OMA alumnus who led the last cavalry charge in American military history. Ramsey’s widow, Dr. Raquel Ramsey, served as the executive producer for the film and will be on hand for the showing. Ed Ramsey also will be recognized posthumously on Saturday with the Lt. General William E. Potts Award of Excellence that recognizes those whose extraordinary service has advanced the OMA Alumni Association.
Friday night, OMA alumni will gather for dinner in the RSU Centennial Center that will feature a cadence/”jody call” contest where alumni will brush off their favorite call-and-response chants they used during runs or marches.
On Saturday morning, alumni will gather at 9:15 a.m. at the flagpole outside Prep Hall where the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s Guard Officer Leadership Program cadets from RSU will hold a drill and ceremony exhibition.
During a 9:30 a.m. ceremony in the Will Rogers Auditorium, the OMA Alumni Association will honor this year’s class of Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame honorees.
Recognized as Distinguished Alumni this year will be Jack A. Dolman, Jr. ’65, Don Dowell ’68, Rob Fisher ’68, Charles D. (Charlie) Hatfield, Jr. ’65, and George W. (Bill) Shaffer ’65. Recognized as Hall of Fame recipients will be Robert A. Wright ’53 and Perry D. (Bud) Inhofe ’50.
Larry Lantow ’38 will be the first alumnus to be inducted into the OMA Alumni Centenarians Club. OMA’s oldest living alumnus, Lantow turned 100 on Feb. 17 and has regularly attended OMA events and reunions even during his later years.
Saturday’s luncheon will include the RSU GOLD students as special guests, a presentation of the OMA Alumni Association President’s Award to B.G. Jones ’64, and recognition of this year’s class of OMA Honorary Cadets who include Mary Horne Faulkner, Logan Wilson Gear RSU ’17, Dr. Dean Loshbaugh, Mary M. Mosier and Joan Shaw.
An ice cream social at the Chapman Dining Hall immediately after the luncheon and the weekend festivities will officially close with a dinner featuring with a traditional Grand March used in formal military events.
For more information on the OMA Alumni Association Reunion, visit http://www.rsu.edu/alumni/oklahoma-military-academy/oma-reunion or call 918-343-6888.