Millard Prep School
Classes Of 1962 - 1981
Welcome to the Millard Prep High Classes Of 1962 - 1981 web site. The purpose of this site is to provide a web presence outside of the USAFA web sites (AOG and Zoomie Nation) to connect up with Millard classmates who did not graduate from USAFA. Our USAFA class, 1975, has had a big push to connect up with classmates who did not graduate from USAFA. At our 30th reunion, we were fortunate to have over 30 non-grad classmates attend our 30th reunion.
I want to thank our class president, Jim Carlson for the idea of setting up the web site. I also want to express my profound gratitude to Bill Marvel, USAFA 1969 for giving me permission to liberally use the pamphlet he prepared for the Falcon Foundation on the Millard Foundation. I came across the pamphlet on a web search, contacted Bill, who gave me permission to use the material and provided me the original photos you see on the site.
ric lewallen - Millard '71, USAFA '75
Millard Prep School History
The beginnings of the Millard School occurred in 1925 in Washington, D.C. It was started by Homer B. Millard, himself a former West Point cadet. While attending the Academy, Homer realized the importance of its place in history and the utter necessity of adequate preparation — academic, physical and spiritual — that were needed for cadets to succeed. It was this motivation that led him to start the first Millard School, dedicated solely to preparing young men for the challenges of West Point. (At the time, the Naval Academy had its own prep school and, of course, the Air Force Academy did not yet exist).
Located at 1918 N. Street in downtown Washington, D.C., the Millard School emphasized rigorous preparation for the basic math, English and history exams that were prerequisites for selection to each class. Discipline, both the essential self- imposed variety as well as the less popular "externally-applied" version, was an integral part of the curriculum. It is often said that success breeds further success and this certainly held true with the Millard School. Starting right from the beginning, its admission rate to West Point was high and the success of Millard-trained West Point graduates was not lost on their World War II commanders. As a result, many well-known wartime leaders later elected to send their own sons there as a step to winning an appointment to West Point. Among these are Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton, Lucius Clay, Anthony C. McAuliffe, Willis Crittenberger, Henry H. "Hap" Arnold and many others. In fact, House Speaker Newt Gingrich's father is also a Millard School graduate.
For the next 17 years Homer continued to successfully manage his school, teaching the intensive math course himself while associates drilled his students in history and the many subtle details of English grammar and vocabulary. Their high success numbers in placing graduates into West
Point continued unabated. But late one Sunday afternoon, he received word of a stunning event that would eventually result in dramatic changes in his life — closure of the Millard School, meeting the woman he would later marry, and resurrection of the school in distant Oregon. That Sunday was in December, the seventh to be exact, and the year was 1941. Homer was in Washington, D.C. when word of the Pearl Harbor attack came over the radio, hours after it had actually occurred. Far to the west, and totally unknown to him at the time, was his wife-to-be, then Esther Lound. Esther did not need to be told about the bombing, however. She was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Class of 1933, and went immediately into the education profession. On December 7, 1941 she was teaching in paradise — at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. Her first recollection of the attack was "a horrible racket," excited reports on the radio and then the identification of the Japanese insignia on one of the planes flying overhead. As with her husband-to-be, a new era in her life had also begun. Most Americans alive on that date will recall that time went into fast forward immediately. Mobilization began in earnest as millions lined up to serve their country in the armed forces. The nation prepared for a long battle ahead, factories turned plow- shares into swords at a dizzying, accelerating pace and a single overwhelming goal — victory over the enemy — over- shadowed every other event of the day.
Soon after Pearl Harbor, Homer entered military service on active duty in the Army Air Corps and served in North Africa with the 9th AAF during the war. Afterwards, he remained in the reserves and eventually attained the rank of Colonel prior to retiring from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1957. Esther did the same except that she initially entered the Naval Reserves and underwent training and commissioning at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1943. As an active duty naval officer, she served until 1952 when she resigned with the rank of Lieutenant
Following the war, Homer left active duty and joined civil service. He was assigned as the Executive Officer to the Secretary General of the War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg, Germany, and served in this capacity during 1946 and 1947, prior to returning to the U.S. In his absence
both during and after the war, the Millard School had been run by others on his behalf. Their efforts were appreciated, but their standards were not up to the level he demanded. When Homer returned from Germany, he was unhappy about the quality of their work and very weary
of the war as well. This led to his decision to close the School in 1948. In November that same year, Homer was sent on an unofficial inspection trip to the U.S. Armed Forces Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. The purpose of the trip was to check on the accuracy of highly complimentary reports concerning the operation. His independent view was equally laudatory. At the time of his trip, one of the active duty military personnel serving at the Institute was Esther Lound, and it was there that the two first met. Early on they realized that each had a deep interest in education and that itformed a common bond in their relationship. She had, after all, been teaching at the university level and he had owned and operated a very demanding and
successful private prep school.
The Move to Oregon
Three years later, on April 25, 1951, he and Esther were married and bought a ranch in Langlois, Oregon, Homer's home state. Langlois is a very small town near the coastline in the southwest corner of Oregon — only a dot on the map, even today. Their desire at that point was to be independent and self sufficient, having seen many of the hardships created for everyone by the war. The Korea problem was becoming very active at the time and they wanted to be as insulated as possible from the long lines, lack of consumer goods and other inconveniences should Korea
prove to be a remake of World War II. At the same time, however, Homer had come to miss the prep school business and its environment of young men striving for what he knew to be a worthwhile goal. After some earnest discussion, the two of them opted to inaugurate a new Millard School at their Langlois ranch, thus combining their mutual interest in education with his prior involvement in preparing candidates for the service academies. They opened the school in 1953 and immediately received student enrollments. Mrs. Millard taught English and Colonel Millard, math. The excellent reputation earned by the former Millard School in Washington, D.C. paid off well and gave them all the word-of- mouth advertising they needed. Sons of graduates started showing up in every class. Historically, the Air Force became a separate service in 1947 and the Air Force Academy would open a few years later in Colorado. Many of the Millard students were sons of Army Air Corps personnel and understandably wanted to pursue the flying profession in the newly-minted USAF. Primarily as a result of this timing, the new Millard School tended to acquire students interested mostly in the Air Force Academy just as the old one had students who were focused exclusively on West Point. Would-be Annapolis midshipmen and West Point cadets also attended the new school in significant numbers but the percentages decidedly favored the Air Force Academy.
Another reason for this weighting was the fact that two financial entities had recently been formed by individuals friendly to the new USAF. Both were created to help fund prep school educations for promising Air Force Academy candidates who had not been successful in gaining appointments immediately following high school. One of these was the Falcon Foundation, established by both retired and active duty officers. The other was the Skelly Trust, established with funds provided by Mrs. Gertrude Skelly (of Skelly Oil Company fame) and administered by
her son-in-law, Harold C. Stuart. Mr. Stuart had served as an assistant Secretary of the Air Force under Stuart Symington in the Truman administration.
Although Falcon Foundation scholarships were available to anyone, only sons (and later daughters) of military service personnel were eligible for a Skelly scholarship. The two entities provided scholarships for many Millard students, which tended to increase the percentage of
would-be Air Force cadets above that for West Point and Annapolis. Although the Skelly Trust is still in existence, it merged with the Falcon Foundation several years ago for administrative simplification. Harold C. Stuart currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of the Falcon Foundation, which is chaired by Major General William Lyon, USAF retired. The president of the Foundation is Lt. General Benjamin N. Bellis, USAF retired. The Falcon Foundation continues to grow and maintains a close relationship with Mrs. Millard to this day.