On April 10, Marine Military Academy dedicated the bust of its late founding father Capt William “Bill” Gary, USMCR (Ret). The bronze memorial honoring Capt Gary is now permanently located in the center of the MMA quadrangle, in front of the Headquarters building.
Among those present at the ceremony were the MMA Corps of Cadets, faculty and staff, board trustees and advisors, and Harlingen city dignitaries. The special guests were sculptor Bill Nebeker of Prescott, Ariz., and Capt Gary’s daughter Kathy McCraine, also of the Prescott area.
Before unveiling the bust of her father, McCraine spoke a few words about him.
“My dad did many things in his life, but he was most proud of the foundation of MMA,” she said.
Capt Gary was a prosperous rancher, land developer and home builder who lived near Prescott, Ariz. Above all, however, he was a proud Marine.
In the early 1960s, Gary could not find a Marine Corps-based school for his adolescent son anywhere in the country. Therefore, he set out on a mission to start one. Gary’s business savvy coupled with his vision and military leadership led to the opening of MMA in Harlingen in September 1965. He was still just 40 years old when the doors opened. His son, William “Bill” Gary Jr., was the first cadet enrolled at MMA.
Capt Gary faithfully served on the MMA Board of Trustees until his passing in January 2014. To this day, MMA is still the only private school in the world based on the values and traditions of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Click to learn more about Gary or the history of MMA.
Click to read the article in the Valley Morning Star.
Click to see photos of this event.