Fork Union: Foundation of Cardale Jones Success

Fork Union: Foundation of Cardale Jones Success

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I’ll admit, sometimes as boarding school faculty member we didn’t know if personally, or structurally, we were getting through to a student.

It’s true that some students arrive to boarding school reluctantly. Most don’t. But, some arrive either irritated with their parents; believing that they know everything, already; or, that this crazy place, with all its requirements and adults, has nothing to offer.

Most reluctant boarding school students come around; embrace the process; and grow.

A few, never embrace the structure leaving – voluntarily, or involuntarily – before the conclusion of an academic year, or their graduation.

But, a strange thing often happens when you run into a reluctant student later in life. The student who didn’t embrace the experience, and didn’t finish, will almost always speak with regret about not finishing and express affection for what he/she learned while attending the boarding school to which he/she was hostile.

The lasting power of boarding school is strange and powerful force.

In the run-up to the NCAA FBS national championship game, Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel has a piece covering quarterback Cardale Jones’ semester as a cadet at Fork Union Military Academy, Life at military school: Cardale Jones looks back on his time at Fork Union.

Suffice to say, Jones was a reluctant Fork Union cadet and his high school coach, Ted Ginn Sr., didn’t fully disclose the FUMA experience.

Ginn Sr. told Thmel, “I set him up…It was all my idea.”(SI)

“‘This is terrible,’ Jones recalled thinking [of FUMA]. ‘Like, we don’t have cheerleaders? I was heartbroken. We couldn’t have our phones, no electronics.’” (SI)

Jones now knows that his FUMA experience is a major piece in his rise this season from third string to successfully stepping in as Ohio State’s starting quarterback.  Thamel writes,

“Jones isn’t ready to build a dorm there yet — ‘I’ll never go back’ — and demanded that Ohio State staffers not list it as his graduating school. (He insists on Glenville.) However, when pressed, Jones admits his six months in uniform, without girls and with a contraband phone, were probably good for him. ‘I really think it did, actually, help mold me as far as my patience,’ he said. ‘It was really, really structurally sound. We had to be somewhere every minute of the day, every single minute.’”(SI)

Perspective, success built from learned, practiced, habits and effort. You can buy a better endorsement.

Jones needs to let Ohio State’s SID include Fork Union in his bio.

Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

More by Brian Fisher

Subscribe for email updates:
Connect: