Randolph-Macon Academy Commandant Col Gary N. Sadler, USAF Retired, has announced his intention to resign on June 30, 2015. Sadler has served as Commandant at the Academy since his arrival in 2005.
On behalf of the R-MA Board of Trustees, alumni, students, parents, and employees, R-MA President Brig Gen David C. Wesley expressed appreciation for Sadler’s service. “Col Gary Sadler has made a huge impact on the lives of hundreds of cadets,” he said. “The entire Randolph-Macon Academy is grateful for his tremendous dedication and tireless efforts over the past ten years.”
As Commandant, Sadler has been in charge of student life through the residential life programs, day student programs, student services, and the disciplinary program. He and his staff have centered the residential life curriculum around themes each year, focusing on the ideas of honor and integrity. One of the recently added events was an Honor Code signing ceremony, in which every cadet signed a page in the newly created honor code book. Sadler and his staff created a separate freshman hall for the younger students, providing extra guidance while they adjust to the requirements of the Upper School dorms. Known for his commitment to honesty, Sadler’s efforts have instilled a renewed sense of allegiance to the R-MA Honor Code of “I will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do,” as he worked diligently to move the discipline program from a philosophy based on a reactive, punishment approach to an approach based on consequences and lessons.
Under Sadler’s guidance, the Flight Program has attained new records of students who earn their solo wings or the private pilot certification. He has also been instrumental in replacing the older Cessnas the school was using in its flight program with two 2001 Cessna 172s.
Although the Air Force JROTC program is under the purview of the academic dean, at Randolph-Macon Academy the program is closely intertwined with the dorms. This has resulted in Sadler working closely with the Air Force JROTC personnel; his guidance has played a role in the unit winning the Distinguished Unit with Merit Award multiple times over the last decade.
Sadler has also been well-respected in the community and was a frequent guest speaker for Veterans Day events in the area, including downtown Front Royal, Shenandoah University, and Warren County Middle School. On campus, Sadler is a constant presence, arriving before the cadets wake each morning, and attending sporting events, concerts, alumni gatherings, and nearly every R-MA event imaginable. His wife, Maureen, has also been a huge supporter, filling in gaps all over campus as she worked in the public relations office, coached sports, brought students to medical appointments, planned special events, and attended nearly every major campus event.
“There is no doubt that Gary and Maureen have been a noticeable presence on campus, and they will be missed,” said Wesley. “We wish them both the best as they move into this new phase in their lives.”