In May of 2011, eleven former Greystone students graduated from the Naval Academy. In May of 2012, eleven more former Greystone students will graduate from the Naval Academy and Merchant Marine Academy. That may not sound like much, but it is significant because those 22 former Greystoners represent a 92% graduation rate. For every Greystone student who enters the academies, 92% complete the academic and leadership program – graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree and a commission as an officer in the Armed Forces! That is significant! But how did it happen?
The secret lies in their determination to succeed as a team – and that team was established while they were at Greystone! Beginning on the first day – Operation Clean Sweep – they established the bonds that sustained them through the challenges they faced while at Greystone. When they arrived at the academies, the team was still together – communicating with each other. The bonds forged in the crucible of Greystone also served to unite them at the academies. The pledge they made to each other while at Greystone was remade when they arrived at the academy. Their pledge was to be there for each other regardless of circumstance – period. And they were there – through the good times and the not so good times, they met socially, they met for study hall, they worked out together, they hung out together – because they were a team!
The parents also remained close after the students left Greystone for the academies – sending words of encouragement or birthday wishes, an occasional care package or a dinner out in town should any of them visit the academy. The parents also served as communicators for each other and for Greystone – keeping everyone informed of “things” as they happened.
The team grew from a group of individuals into an extended family. Along with graduations, there have been weddings and deployments, warfare qualifications and professional accomplishments – thanks in large part to the support mechanism created by the team and the extended Greystone family. If there could be one thing responsible for the continued success of our students as midshipmen and cadets and officers it is the unending support provided by the family.
Greystone is not just a one-year program and our students are not just numbers – we are a team and we are family – and we continue to support each other as time moves forward – ever forward!