For the last seven years, Admiral Farragut Academy and our alumni community have used the Army-Navy Game, long known as “our Nation’s Game”, to come together and honor our armed forces while enjoying the esprit de corps of the Farragut community. The host city for the 2014 event was Baltimore, Maryland.
This year, the 7th Annual Army-Navy Alumni Weekend took place in Baltimore, Maryland on December 12th and 13th. The event is based around the Army-Navy Game, which has traditionally been played in Philadelphia. The 115th meeting between the United States Military Academy Cadets and the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen — won by Navy 17-10 — was held at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore to coincide with the city’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s writing of “The Star Spangled Banner” while stationed at nearby Fort McHenry. Navy leads the all-time series with a record of 59 wins, 49 losses, and seven ties.
The weekend festivities began on Friday night when approximately 60 Farragut alumni, families and staff gathered at a dinner held at a restaurant overlooking the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. It was a great opportunity for alumni who were unable to attend Homecoming Weekend to reconnect.
The honored guest speaker was George Hamilton, the American film and television actor who is the father of Farragut freshman cadet George Thomas Hamilton. Hamilton is best known for his role as a smooth-talking Ivy Leaguer in the 1960 film Where the Boys Are, which Hamilton received a Golden Globe award for as the Most Promising Male Newcomer. Hamilton also made two memorable bio-pics about country-western music legend Hank Williams and starred as Evel Knievel in the daredevil’s biopic. A surprise blockbuster hit came his way in 1979 when Hamilton showed an unforeseen flair for comedy as Count Dracula in Love at First Bite. In the late 1980s, Hamilton gained a different type of fame and fortune when he launched the George Hamilton Skin Care System and the George Hamilton Sun Care System. Hamilton was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on August 12, 2009, which happened to be his 70th birthday! Starting in the fall of 2011, Hamilton starred as “Georges” for the national tour of the Tony-Winning Revival of La Cage aux Folles.
At the dinner, Mr. Hamilton entertained us with funny, witty stories about his life in Hollywood. He spoke about raising a son in today’s world and how he was looking for a safe, nurturing environment for young George to flourish. His lifestyle did not allow him to always provide this and he feels strongly that Farragut does. He has seen his son develop into a confident student and peer to his friends.
Mr. Hamilton and his brother both went to military boarding schools and they are both now closed. He praised Admiral Farragut Academy for being the fine institution that has changed with the times, becoming more college preparatory and yet keeping the military aspect to instill accountability in students. He knows that George will get the best education here.
George Thomas Hamilton ‘18, who has been a boarding student at Farragut since the 6th grade, joined him in speaking at the event. He discussed how he has grown from a shy young man to a confident leader. He is a wing leader in the dorms, has his Qualified Boat Handler’s sailing certification, and is the recipient of numerous ribbons and awards. He was the President of the Middle School Student Government and in his 8th grade graduation address, he spoke of his desire to improve his physical appearance after reading a negative comment in the press about his weight in a photo with this dad. George approached our weight training instructor and football coach in his pursuit to begin exercising and eating healthy. He remains dedicated to his physical health and well being. He is pursuing his passion in acting and is currently filming a television series.
George is ambitious and wants to serve in our government and push America forward. He wants to help the county return to old world America with values that have been lost over the years. “I would never have thought about my future the way I do now if it wasn’t for this school,” said the young Hamilton. “This is where I learned the fundamentals to succeed as a leader. I came to this school as a depressed, shy, chubby 6th grader. Fast forward 4 years and I am a happy, confident, handsome 9th grader!”
He told us he got there through dedication, hard work and the people at Farragut that have mentored him and have helped him develop the attributes he has acquired over the years. He humbly added, “I am not the perfect student, I have flaws, I make mistakes, but I learn from them and improve myself.” Something we hope all of our students can say.
Saturday, the game day activities were enjoyed by all and the weather cooperated for all to enjoy “America’s Game.” Following the game, alumnus David Owens ‘76N and Baltimore resident, organized and hosted an Italian dinner served family style at a local delectable restaurant. It was a great way to end the weekend of fun, sharing, and tradition.
The 2015 game is scheduled for Philadelphia, where the City of Brotherly Love has hosted “America’s Game” 81 of the previous 109 service-academy battles. On the fence about joining us in 2015? Take a look at what some of our guests said about their weekend with us:
“It been great to see where Farragut is headed. Getting involved again has allowed me to enjoy all the events and catch up with old friends. Being at the Army/Navy game was great. I’ve had the chance to be a part of the fun of the game, and the dinners were great for catching up. I’m looking forward to Homecoming and the game again in 2015.” – Tom Miller ‘73N
“Now THAT was a great weekend! Joining classmates, other Farragut alums and Academy staff and cadets, enjoying a perfectly-planned weekend of first-class events, rooting Navy to victory, and realizing that our alma mater is in good hands, fulfilling the mission, and producing graduates who will bring even greater prestige and recognition to the diplomas we earned years ago! Well Done!” – Robert Matthies ‘67N
“The ABSOLUTE BEST Army/Navy experience I ever had.” – Jim and Mary-Jane Dunn (former AFA parents)