Waynesboro, VA. Fishburne Military School (FMS) will hold the Blessing of the Colors ceremony in the Hitt-Millar Fieldhouse on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, at 4:00 pm. This event will also commemorate the life and service of Russell A. Hitt, FMS Class of 1953, who was the generous lead to the donation and construction of the Hitt-Millar Field House.
The formal “blessing of the colors,” blesses the flags of the United States, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and FMS. The cadets have gathered for this ceremony in the Hitt-Millar Fieldhouse, the 23,000-square-foot facility attached to the existing gymnasium at FMS, since its grand opening in Fall 2019. This year, the blessing will be officiated by Dr. Paul Mark Simpson of Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University.
The Hitt-Millar Fieldhouse was generously donated by the Hitt and Millar families: Russell A. Hitt ’53, his wife Joan Hitt, his daughter Tracy Hitt-Millar, and her husband Jim Millar. The $4.5M facility was designed and built by Harman Construction, Inc., of Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Hitt ’53, known by his FMS comrades as “Mouse” was said to be “remembered by his squeak and good nature.” Post FMS, he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology for one year before marrying his wife, Joan, and then voluntarily enlisting in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He honorably served two years as a radar operations specialist.
After his service, Hitt began his career in project management with HITT Contracting alongside his son Brett and son-in-law Jim Millar. Together, they built the company into one of the top 100 general contractors in the U.S. In addition to his generous giving to FMS, he was a top philanthropist of Virginia Tech and acted as a board member and contributor to many other organizations of his community.
Tracy Hitt-Millar said, “The Hitt, Millar and Nash families thank the Fishburne community for honoring our father on the two-year anniversary of his death. Fishburne holds a special place in our hearts as the school that shaped the lives of our Dad as well as his grandsons Wes Millar (‘07) and Gage Nash (‘10). We are honored to continue our father’s legacy at Fishburne.”
Russell A. Hitt ’53 passed away on September 14, 2020. FMS will forever extend its gratitude for his family’s gracious generosity to Fishburne and the support for the Corps of Cadets. FMS invites the community to honor his remarkable life and service to our nation at the upcoming Blessing of the Colors ceremony. His leadership, sincere generosity, and impeccable work ethic are enduring positive examples for future generations, that a life of kindness, can and will build the foundation for success.