Admiral Farragut Academy alumni and graduate news, class notes, updates, events and gatherings, fundraising initiatives, and more.
In honor of the Class of 1951, George Rodgers donated his model of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Eagle to Farragut’s Wagner Museum. Rodgers was a Naval Aviator and then retired as Vice President of Beech Aircraft in 1993.
Following this year’s successful virtual Homecoming, Farragut will be building on that success and starting a new tradition beginning in winter 2022 by moving the annual Alumni Homecoming to late January / early February (date TBA). What better place to be in late winter than St Petersburg! We are also fairly certain there will be no threat of hurricanes as there has been with the annual fall date. Additionally, this gives Farragut Basketball a chance to shine in the alumni limelight as Homecoming will be centered around a home basketball game –and perhaps an alumni game as well.
Recently, the Farragut Board of Directors came to the difficult decision to discontinue the football program, a decision made even more difficult as many of the board members played football at Farragut. The Board of Directors took into consideration student wellness, liability factors and scientific studies showing a link between football and traumatic brain injuries that lead to lasting health problems. Not surprisingly, many parents are deciding that their children’s well-being is too important to risk for the sake of a game. While high school football still attracts more players than other sports, the numbers have been steadily declining nationally, particularly at small, private independent schools. Several factors are seen as responsible for the decline in football participation, including rising costs, changing demographics, schools offering alternative sports, and players specializing in one sport. Clearly, though, the biggest issue has been increased awareness and research about the potential health problems associated with football.
While safety and participation are the key reasons, the board also considered financial and operational resources and constraints. Fielding a football team is a tremendous financial burden on the athletic department. The overall costs required to equip, train, and prepare a team extend well beyond the scope of a 10-week regular season. Therefore, considering the school’s Covid-19 related budget cuts, safety concerns, and overall financial constraints, it was decided to end the Farragut football tradition and apply those resources to Farragut’s other athletic programs such as basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, tennis, wrestling, golf, volleyball, sailing, and track & field.
Rest assured that this decision will not erase nor diminish the past achievements of Farragut Football and we will continue to celebrate those achievements. We remain fully committed to fulfilling our mission to provide a college preparatory environment that promotes academic excellence, leadership skills, and social development within a diverse community of young men and women and recognize the critical role that athletics plays in doing so. This year, AFA fielded 20 athletic teams and 78% of our students participated in one or more sports.
The discontinuation of football coupled with the potential to attract greater attendance for a winter event in Florida, is an opportunity for Farragut to develop new traditions for Homecoming and our greater alumni community. We look forward to an increase in travel in the coming year and the opportunity to welcome you all back to campus for Homecoming 2022.
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. Just visit smile.amazon.com and choose Admiral Farragut Academy as your charitable organization! So far AmazonSmile has donated $2,980.70 to Admiral Farragut Academy.
“The decision that I made to attend Farragut in 2009 was not easy,” said Farragut alumnus Bolun “Jerry” Liu ‘12. “I was too young to recognize that I was about to begin a journey beyond imagination. An ordinary teenager is not expected to make his bed, iron his clothes, clean his own room, and do homework without supervision or parent’s help. However, by my senior year, I had transformed completely into a responsible young adult with goals for my future. I owe many of my leadership skills to Admiral Farragut Academy.”
Last week, our Science Department received a generous donation from Mike Williams ’76N and his wife Sue, enabling the purchase of 12 Digital HD microscopes and a laser cutter for the STEM program. The students have already begun to use the microscopes in class!
On January 17th, Farragut’s Aviation Director Rob Ewing joined Farragut alumni Chris Miller ‘00 and Kreg Brown ‘07 to help coach in the SPIRAL Tropical Bowl. Miller was the head coach of the American team, Brown was on staff as a running back coach, and Ewing was a special teams assistant.
Alumni, pay your Farragut Legacy forward by giving $100 per month for 12 months. Your monthly donation will help raise $240,000 annually in the Founder’s Fund. The fund is critical to the school’s future and provides much-needed student financial assistance to deserving cadets.
Spike Mendelsohn, a non-graduate who attended Farragut two years with the class of ‘00, is a successful Washington D.C. chef and restaurateur who owns several top eateries in the D.C. area. Mendelsohn became a celebrity chef after placing fifth in the TV show Top Chef in 2008.