Caisson Nation \ Helping to build bridges to success

We Make Great Memories Too

Fishburne has always had a gift for seeing what’s great in boys. That why our alumni have such powerful memories of their time here—a time that shaped their characters and formed their futures. Spend a few minutes reading the fascinating and revealing recollections from fellow cadets, who are brothers with you regardless of the year you graduated.

Fishburne Men serve as leaders in all walks of life and take great pride in giving back to the school which provided them with the skills and confidence to succeed.

— Shown Above: Morgan A. McClure \ Class of ’76

 
Reflections on Fishburne
Jonathan Edward
Singer \ Songwriter
Class of ’64

“Fishburne provided a fresh start, a new beginning that soon strengthened my withering self-esteem and permitted me to envision a much more positive future. I was a troubled kid—in trouble all the time and failing out of public school. I didn’t fit in anywhere, so I acted out. My experience there in many ways, made me see myself in a different light—maybe I could do this job called life after all. Perhaps I wasn’t as bad as everyone (including me…) led me to believe. For me, it was the discovery of music in general and the guitar in particular that awakened me to an ability I didn’t know I had, and a destiny I’ve followed ever since. I’m forever grateful for the opportunities I found that were born in those rooms and in that curricula.”

“A few of us crawled around in the catacombs under the school until claustrophobia set in and panicked us.”

— Jonathan Edwards \ Class of ’64 \ TOP SECRET THING done at Fishburne
 
Reflections on Fishburne
Owen Linlithgow Conner
Curator \ National Museum of the Marine Corps
Class of ’91

“One of my favorite stories involved my English teacher, Colonel Keller (TEK). We all looked up to him and recognized his service in the Army during the Vietnam War by his ribbons he wore. He smoked a pipe in class and this made him that much cooler to us. No one could tell a story like Keller. However, when we pressed him to tell us war stories he always deferred. He would tell us the ribbons/medals he wore were just something he ordered from the back of Soldier of Fortune magazine! It drove us nuts. I look back at it now and smile. It was an important lesson in humility. He was a real soldier and teacher and the medals are secondary to the man who is wearing them.”

“Placed a small amount of unstable chemical in Colonel Young’s unabridged dictionary. He slammed it shut. It exploded open.”

— Joe Johnson \ Class of ’71 \ Most STUPID THING done at Fishburne
 
Reflections on Fishburne
Milton H. (Rick) Askew III
Retired Building Supply Dealer \ General Contractor
Class of ’68

“I matured considerably thanks to my experience at Fishburne. Fishburne taught me the value of being a leader—not a follower—and was instrumental in my acceptance into East Carolina University in 1968. However, it did take a two-year stint in the Navy for me to finally mature and graduate from ECU in 1974. At that time I began my career in the family building supply business. I value the brotherhood developed with my fellow Cadets and will never forget my experiences at Fishburne.”

“For a new cadet… I would advise him to be himself and not try to always be the class clown. You will go much further and gain so much more from the Fishburne experience by following the rules. It took me three years to learn this.”

— Milton (Rick) Askew III \ Class of ’68 \ Sharing ONE THING for a boy considering Fishburne
 
Reflections on Fishburne
Peter A. McCoy Jr.
President \ McCoy’s Furniture Co., Inc.
Class of ’70

“Man, it’s about the brotherhood! I was a day student. We had very unpopular haircuts for the time period. I became more diligent on school, learned how to study. Made friends I still stay in touch with. I was able to have friends to my house which gave some of the guys a break from school. I enjoyed the sports and JROTC. Enjoyed the rifle team. It was a great experience I never saw coming. I was there because of some not good conduct grades in public school. I wasn’t a problem, just girl crazy.”

“I graduated Fishburne in 1961. My son, Jimmy is an FMS graduate. His son, Dylan is an FMS graduate. My brother in-law, Roger Coll, is an FMS graduate. His son Jimmy Coll is an FMS graduate.”

— Jim Gladhill \ Class of ’61 \ TOP OF PAGE : photo of Jim, Jimmy and Dylan Gladhill
 
Reflections on Fishburne
N. Douglas Payne, Jr. (w/son Turner)
Principal \ Payne & Company
Class of ’84

“My roommate my senior year was from the deep South. We had different personalities, different middle and high experiences, but an appreciation for comedy—especially the absurd. So a competition of practical jokes and pranks soon began with each trying to outdo the other. It soon spread throughout the Corps, and regardless of the rank any of us had, we were all equal through the lens of who could pull off the best prank or practical joke. It was a prelude to my social life at college. We all definitely had a leg up because of our shared Fishburne experience.”

“Before FMS, I wasn’t challenged mentally or physically and I lacked self-discipline. Now after Fishburne, I have higher confidence and self-discipline.”

— Riley Malone \ Class of ’21 \ Cadet @ Virginia Military Institute
 
Reflections on Fishburne
Paul Haines
Regional Vice President \ Lincoln Investment and Planning
Class of ’93

“As a leader, Fishburne taught me the importance of valuing each individual and working with others to turn weaknesses into strengths through servant leadership. We were always ultimately judged as a unit, and that made it important to always pull others up, be an example, and showcase leadership. I learned that using your rank or forcing someone to do something can get a limited result. But working towards helping them see the vision, and buy into a process, helped our unit succeed in the long-term.”

“Using a gorilla mask to scare people—it always ended up with someone in the mask getting punched.”

— Paul Haines \ Class of ’93 \ Most STUPID THING done at Fishburne
 
Reflections on Fishburne
Adriano Mancini
Business Administration
Class of ’86

“Entering as a shy, 13-year-old boy, I emerged a 16-year-old teenager far more secure in myself. While there, I learned another language and made friends from all over the world. We were a bunch of South American guys who had to travel alone, thousands of miles, to get to this old school made of bricks. This made this huge impact on us. We became more confident about many aspects of life. As an FMS Alumni, I feel so proud of all the achievements I earned while I was there and after I left. That is something that remains with you for life. I will always remember my Fishburne experience.”

“Trying to count the school bricks so Garth Frable could sign my Rat Paper.”

— Adriano Mancini \ Class of ’86 \ Most STUPID THING done at Fishburne
 
Reflections on Fishburne
Edward H. Clement
Trustee
Class of ’51

“What makes Fishburne so special, so rare? In today’s topsy-turvy world when many of our most cherished traditions, values, people, and symbols are conveniently forgotten, Fishburne stands out. Fishburne stands out because Fishburne doesn’t forget. Fishburne doesn’t forget its own values and traditions, shaped and passed on now for over a century and one third of its existence. Fishburne doesn’t forget its people. All who have served the school with honor and distinction, passion and dedication.”

“Something to do with a machine gun during graduation.”

— David B. Shank \ Class of ’66 \ Most STUPID THING done at Fishburne
 
Reflections on Fishburne
Carl W. Kerby
President \ Westhills Company \ Eagle’s Nest Hangars
Class of ’55

“Before I went to Fishburne, I was more interested in sports and girls. FMS offered the structure I needed and helped me become more disciplined with my life and future endeavors—especially in the military. One of the most important aspects was learning proper study habits from Colonel Young, a true role model, who always encouraged me to move forward.

  1. Take advantage of all they have to offer
  2. Do not give up
  3. And definitely find a mentor. That experience helped me to have the confidence, structure, and relationships needed to run a successful company for over 50 years.”

“Can’t answer… Colonel Young is out there somewhere.”

— John Hudson \ Class of ’69 \ TOP SECRET THING done at Fishburne