"Preparing young men for the work of life" Dr. Lyman Ward

Our passion is changing young men's lives.


Vision & Mission

Our Visions

Our purpose is to prepare the cadet for the responsibilities of life and offer the best in academic instruction coupled with discipline of a military program. Lyman Ward Military Academy will be recognized as the premier military boarding school for young men in the United States.

Mission Statement

A private military boarding academy providing the best in academics, leadership and athletics structured on a foundation of moral and ethical values that develops young men of integrity, competence and excellence who are prepared for the work of life.

Grades 6-12

About Our School

  • Lyman Ward Military Academy is a non-denominational military school grades 6th-12th, unique among the more than 31,000 secondary schools in the United States in that there are only 13 boys boarding military schools.  The academy was established in 1898 by a New York Minister in order to bring an education to rural Alabamians who did not have the benefit of public education. Over the years the academy has evolved into a Military Academy still adhering to the founder's educational philosophy of Judeo-Christian ideas and self- reliance.  This year we have cadets from thirteen different states and international cadets from China, Germany, and Mexico. 
  • The structure of our military academy enables cadets to do their best work.  Our teaching faculty which average 12 years here at Lyman Ward are supported by the athletic coaches, military department and enforced study hours to encourage academic achievement.  Classes are small and our professional teaching staff establishes a close relationship to encourage achievement.  Our Dean is focused on preparing young men for college.  In the past four years graduates have received academic, athletic and ROTC scholarships to a great number of colleges and universities including the University of Alabama, University of Louisville, Birmingham Southern College, The Citadel, Berea College, Graceland College (Iowa), Huntington College, Marion Military Institute, Georgia Military College and the University of North Georgia.
  • Lyman Ward also offers a unique opportunity for cadets to develop leadership skills in a whole-person learning environment.  Under the supervision of retired military personnel, cadets learn respect for authority, while being held accountable for their actions and the actions of cadets under their command.  Our graduates leave Lyman Ward with good leadership skills and experiences that are readily applicable in any field of employment.  We aim to graduate caring, driven, motivated Servant Leaders who contribute to the well-being of individuals and their communities.
  • The Academy is character-centered with athletic coaching staff, academic department mentors, the military department providing guidance and role models.  The "Walk the Talk" presentations during noon meal hours address Commitment, Honesty, Accountability, Respect, Attitude, Courage, Trust, Ethics & Integrity and Responsibility.  The Honor Code is part of everyday academic and cadet life.  We are a school that changes lives.
  • The Academy's mission adheres to the principle that an education includes an emphasis on spirituality.  Academy chapel services are conducted mid-week and Sunday.  The Sunday chapel services consist of Bible Study Classes led by faculty and staff of the Academy.  In addition, cadet participation in off-campus religious activities is encouraged, as well as participation in community service projects which strengthen the work of good deeds and community involvement, such as Loaves and Fishes and Church of the Highlands.
  • Counseling on a number of levels is available on campus.
  • The Academy was founded by Dr. Lyman Ward in 1898 as a non-profit, non-denominational, co-educational institution for rural youth. The original purpose was to provide a secondary education for those with the ability to learn and the willingness to work. A long list of illustrious alumni attests to the need and the effect of the program.  A charter was granted in 1901 by the State of Alabama, the school being incorporated in the name of "The Southern Industrial Institute, Inc."  Shortly after the death of Dr. Ward in 1948, the military department was added and the school became "Lyman Ward Military Academy."  
  • While keeping pace with modern educational methods over the years, much of the original philosophy of the school's founder has been retained. Precedence is given to the development of Christian ideals and self-reliance. The high standards set by the Academy have fitted Lyman Ward Military Academy students for acceptance by outstanding universities throughout the country.


Founding of Southern Industrial Institute by Dr. Lyman Ward


Southern Industrial Institute (SII) receives charter by the General Assembly of Alabama


Tallapoosa Hall erected


J. Brackin Kirkland appointed President of SII


Dr. Lyman Ward passes away suddenly. Eli Howell appointed President of SII.


SII renamed as Lyman Ward Military Academy, with deletion of elementary and co-ed programs and implementation of military program.


Wesley P. Smith appointed President of LWMA


LWMA becomes a member of the ROTC program, and is assigned two active duty personnel by the Department of Army


LWMA adds grades 5-12 to program


LWMA receives accreditation from The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools


New gymnasium constructed at LWMA


Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation provide funds for construction of the chapel, administrative building, supply building, and the Martha Dixon Library.


Lyman Ward Adventure Camp receives accreditation by the American Camping Association.


Colonel Albert Hovey appointed President of LWMA


LWMA celebrates its 100th year


Major General Clyde A. Hennies appointed President of LWMA


Dr. Chester C. Carroll appointed President


COL Albert Jenrette appointed as LWMA President & Lyman Ward designated as Alabama Historic Site


Dr. LTC John Coulter appointed as LWMA President


Dr. Roy Berwick, a Lyman Ward Alumni, appointed as LWMA President


Institutional Goals

Cadet Leadership   

  • Orient leader training and mentoring toward the development of "Servant Leaders" prepared to lead, and to exercise sound moral/ethical judgement.
  • Encourage cadet leaders to adopt a Positive Leadership Model which supports all cadets being treated with dignity and respect regardless of the context of any training situation.
  • Review the daily structure of cadet life to ensure maximum integration of cadet activities to increase opportunities for excellence in all cadet experiences. The cadet's daily schedule must be filled with challenging academic and physical activities within a military culture that demands accountability.