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On Thursday, April 7, Randolph-Macon Academy formalized its longstanding unofficial partnership with Shenandoah University, generating exciting new opportunities for our students. SU President Tracy Fitzsimmons, PhD, and retired U.S. Air Force Brig. General David Wesley, President of R-MA, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that unites the two schools in a one-year partnership that can be renewed for successive one-year terms.

“If I know anything about R-MA, I know it’s all about its students. And at Shenandoah, we care about our students. All of us here will celebrate this signing and this partnership because of what it is going to do for our students, and therefore, for our faculty and staff as well, because it inspires them to have new partnerships,” Fitzsimmons told a crowd that included leaders, faculty and staff from both schools and R-MA students.

“One of the things I love about what we’re signing today is that he leaves room for possibility. It doesn’t hold us back, it doesn’t create walls around him so that we don’t We can’t go any further. There are no parameters. We can dream together.

Key areas for potential mutual advancement

The partnership paves the way for potential mutual growth in key areas, bolstering current dual enrollment opportunities at our college preparatory school while creating a conversation around fast-track admission and student life opportunities.

Shenandoah University has an interest in starting an aviation program, and R-MA, which offers an elite Air Force JROTC program built around an aerospace science curriculum, runs a program in-house flight facility that provides both flight and drone instruction and is the only one of its kind at the secondary level in the country.

R-MA, which has a software and engineering program that includes quantum computing, advanced cybersecurity, and robotics and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) engineering, has a keen interest in augmented reality/reality programs Shenandoah Virtual, Computing and Esports. Our interests also extend to the development of more in-depth performing arts programs, an area in which the League excels through the Shenandoah Conservatory.

SU President Tracy Fitzsimmons, PhD, and retired U.S. Air Force Brig. General David Wesley, President of R-MA, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that unites the two schools in a one-year partnership that can be renewed for successive one-year terms.

“It gives our students at Randolph-Macon more options, more ways to think about the future, more ways to prepare for that future,” Wesley said. “I hope this will benefit Shenandoah University, purely through the skills and skill sets we are developing, particularly in aviation and computer science, but likely in other ways as well.”

Shenandoah University and R-MA are bonded by their roots in The United Methodist Church and by what Wesley called a commitment to making education accessible to students, not just regionally, but around the world.

“There is a new way forward, and we plan to do our part,” Wesley told those in attendance. “We want to be by your side. We are ready for the task.

Interested in seeing how these opportunities take shape at our private school?

Contact the Randolph-Macon Academy for more information.


Jerry B. Hatch