The Camden-Carlisle Alumni Association History and Organization
The Camden-Carlisle Alumni Association represents the alumni of three college preparatory schools: Camden Military Academy (opened in 1958). Camden Academy (1950-1957) and Carlisle Military School (1892-1977).
Carlisle Military School, located in Bamberg, South Carolina, was established in 1892 as the Carlisle Fitting School of Wofford College. It was named in honor of Dr. James H. Carlisle, who was for many years the president of Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In 1932, Carlisle was leased by Colonel and Mrs. James F. Risher and in 1938 was purchased by them. They, and later their son, Colonel William R. Risher, operated it as a military preparatory school until it closed in May 1977.
Camden Military Academy, in Camden, South Carolina, was originally founded as Camden Academy in 1950 by a group of generous and far-sighted Camden citizens who felt that their town was an ideal setting for a private school. Colonel James F. Risher, then president of Carlisle Military School, purchased the facility in 1958, and the name changed to Camden Military Academy. His son, Colonel Lanning P. Risher, was the school's first headmaster, and he served in that position for 37 years. In 1974, Lanning Risher led the Academy through a reorganization as a non-profit, tax-exempt institution. Upon his retirement in 1995, he was succeeded by Lt. Colonel William K. Orris, who served as headmaster until August 2003. At that time, the Board of Trustees designated long-time teacher and coach, Colonel Eric Boland, the third headmaster of the Academy.
The Camden-Carlisle Alumni Association was organized in 1982. The first Alumni Association meeting was held July 16, 1983, at the Carlisle House on the Camden Military Academy campus. The Association, through the Academy's Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, maintains a data base of information on approximately 9,000 alumni. It also sponsors an annual alumni reunion in the spring and a homecoming in the fall, both of which are held on the campus of Camden Military Academy. In addition, the Association sponsors an annual Alumni Awards program to recognize outstanding alumni and other supporters. Each year's award recipients are honored at homecoming.
The first issue of the Alumni Association's newsletter, The Bugle, was published in October 1983. The publication is distributed quarterly to alumni, parents, friends, and former faculty of Carlisle Military School, Camden Academy, and Camden Military Academy.
In October 1997, the Alumni Association chartered a new organization, the Alumni Council, for the purpose of governing the Alumni Association. The Council is made up of current and past presidents of the Alumni Association. The current president governs the Alumni Association for the Council and may appoint vice presidents with responsibilities such as maintaining a corps of class representatives, regional focus and activities, and fundraising.
Through its various activities, the Alumni Association supports Camden Military Academy's Annual Fund and Capital campaigns, it encourages alumni to stay in touch with their alma mater and with their former classmates and fellow cadets and it keeps alive the traditions of Carlisle and Camden as these combined institutions move forward through their second century of service to young men.
Presidents of the Alumni Association
The Alumni Council
Colonel James F. Bradin, CMS '54: 2003-
James F. duFief, CMS '47: (2002-2003)
Robert L. Blackwell, CMA '62: (1999-2002)
William G. Hamilton, Jr. CMS '40: (1997-1999)
A. Campbell Walters, CMA '73: (1993-1997)
Larry Greer, CA '52: (1991-1993)
Breeden Blackwell, CMA '64: (1989-1991)
Henry P. Moore, Jr., CMS '42: (1987-1989)
*Hugh D. Griffith, Sr., CMS '46: (1986-1987)
Robert F. Glenn, CMS '49: (1984-1986)
John Mitchell, Jr., CMA '64: (1982-1984)