During the 2017 Alumni Homecoming Weekend, over 150 members of the Admiral Farragut Academy alumni community gathered to celebrate their alma mater and the many relationships formed during their time at Farragut. For so many, their time at Farragut was more than a school, it was about the bonds, the people, the life experiences. Farragut was the formative years!
Bringing 150 alumni, families, and friends back together after one day, or 50 years, the one thing that seems to ring true to many of these folks is “it all started here.”
The largest classes to join us were from the classes of 1967, 1987, and 1997. Those years in time all have a different feel. Life was different then. But the one common theme for those who came to celebrate and reminisce, “it all started here!”
While the weekend’s festivities “officially” began Friday morning, roughly 45 of our guests joined us poolside at The Club of Treasure Island for our annual Heritage Society Social. This social is a perfect way to kickstart the weekend while also offering recognition to those who have made the ultimate gift to Admiral Farragut Academy and the Foundation as members of our Heritage Society by leaving a bequest to our beloved Academy. Our Heritage “100” Society offers a tremendous avenue for alumni, parents, and friends to honor their time at Farragut by leaving a legacy contribution to the school that will forever provide an impact on the students of today and tomorrow.
On Friday, alumni gathered together at Admiral Farragut Academy for Boca Ciega Bay boat tours, cadet-led campus tours, lunch in the West Lounge with the Cadet Regimental Command, the Multipurpose Building groundbreaking (read the groundbreaking story), the cadet parade, and the State of the School Address by Headmaster Bob Fine. That evening, everyone attended a tailgate at Commandant Todd Wallingford’s home followed with the Homecoming Football Game.
On Saturday, alumni members had the opportunity to sail or do other water activities at Farragut’s waterfront, take part in our aviation experience with resident Certified Flight Instructor and Co-Founder of our Aviation Academy, Rob Ewing at Albert Whitted Airport, host their own private glass gatherings, or attend the Coach Mike Nicholson’s retirement party at Great Bay Distributors. That evening, alumni joined for the Annual Homecoming Dinner held at The Club at Treasure Island followed with local musical act The Black Honkeys who performed poolside.
Here’s what our alumni said about Homecoming Weekend 2017:
“I was fortunate enough to have attended the recent reunion at AFA. I am the class of 92S and truly enjoyed the activities hosted by the school as well as gatherings with fellow classmates. It’s amazing to see how AFA has transformed into such a modern facility and progressing towards the future. One of the special highlights was to attend Mr. Mike Nicholson’s retirement party. After 40 years of devoted dedication, Mike has retired, and it was a pleasure to be a part of his send off. He will be missed, and as mentioned many times before, by many hundreds of students, Mike is one of AFA’s most valued and important members! I have so many fond memories of his 8th-grade science classes and the many trips we all went on”
Bill Baldwin ‘92
“Traditions ensure the preservation of positive memories and serve notice that what is being done, is still valuable”.
Bob Matthies ‘67
“As my 20-year alumni reunion came and went I’ve come to realize what Farragut Homecoming really meant to most of us. It was our childhood and our adulthood all combined into one. Able to pick up where we left off 20 years ago. Some of us a little older and fatter some of us haven’t changed at all, but still we are all close like a family of estranged cousins who hadn’t seen each other since childhood, and that Farragut bond had not been broken.”
Marco Inclan ‘97