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.

"I would invest my very last cent in such boys as these!"

Dr. Lyman Ward, 1928



Historical Timeline

1898 Founding of Southern Industrial Institute by Dr. Lyman Ward
1901 Southern Industrial Institute (SII) receives charter by the General Assembly of Alabama
1930 Tallapoosa Hall erected
1942 J. Brackin Kirkland appointed President of SII
1948 Dr. Lyman Ward passes away suddenly. Eli Howell appointed President of SII.
1955 SII renamed as Lyman Ward Military Academy, with deletion of elementary and co-ed programs and implementation of military program.
1959 Wesley P. Smith appointed President of LWMA
1966 LWMA becomes a member of the ROTC program, and is assigned two active duty personnel by the Department of Army
1970 LWMA adds grades 5-12 to program
1972 LWMA receives accreditation from The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
1973 New gymnasium constructed at LWMA
1980's Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation provide funds for construction of the chapel, administrative building, supply building, and the Martha Dixon Library.
1991 Lyman Ward Adventure Camp receives accreditation by the American Camping Association.
1994 Colonel Albert Hovey appointed President of LWMA
1998 LWMA celebrates its 100th year
1999 Major General Clyde A. Hennies appointed President of LWMA
2003 Dr. Chester C. Carroll appointed President
2007 COL Albert Jenrette appointed as LWMA President & Lyman Ward designated as Alabama Historic Site
2012 Dr. LTC John Coulter appointed as LWMA President
2013 Dr. Roy Berwick, a Lyman Ward Alumni, appointed as LWMA President