Oak Ridge Military Academy
Oak Ridge Military Academy Historic District
Oak Ridge Military Academy, September 2013
|Location||NC 150 and NC 68, Oak Ridge, North Carolina|
|Area||38.6 acres (15.6 ha)|
|Architect||Milburn, Frank P.; Armfield, Will G.|
|Architectural style||Queen Anne, Mission/spanish Revival, Classical Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||83001887|
|Added to NRHP||March 17, 1983|
Oak Ridge Military Academy (ORMA) is a college-preparatory military school in northwestern Guilford County, North Carolina. The academy is located within the town limits of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, which is named after the school. It is seven miles north of the Piedmont Triad International Airport and Interstate 40, and is approximately eight miles northwest of Greensboro, North Carolina's third-largest city.
Oak Ridge was established in 1852 by the Society of Friends (Quakers) as a "finishing school" for boys. From 1875 to 1914 Oak Ridge was led by two brothers, Professors J. Allen Holt and Martin Holt. Under their leadership the "Oak Ridge Male Institute" became one of the best prep schools in North Carolina, boasting business and humanities departments, literary and debating societies, and sports teams which regularly played Wake Forest College (University), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Trinity College (later Duke University) in football and baseball. Several of the academy's baseball players went on to play in the major leagues. Despite the school's public name, women were admitted as students during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During the First World War the Junior Reserve Officer Training Program (JROTC) was admitted to the campus. In 1929 Oak Ridge officially became an all-male military secondary school. From 1929-1967 Oak Ridge was a junior college as well as a military school. During the Second World War 127 of the academy's alumni were awarded a Purple Heart during the conflict, while another 27 alumni earned the Silver Star. In 1972 Oak Ridge became the first military high school in the United States to admit female cadets. The Academy is the third-oldest military school in the United States still in operation.
The Oak Ridge Military Academy Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The district encompasses 21 contributing buildings and 1 contributing structure. They include the Queen Anne style Oakhurst (1897) designed by Frank P. Milburn (1868-1926), the home of Martin H. Holt; Maple Glade (1905), the home of J. Allen Holt; the Oakland Park Hotel (now Benbow Hall, 1905); the old Donnell and Holt Store (now Cadet Hall, c. 1900); the Alumni Building (1914); Chapel (1914); Whitaker Dormitory, Holt Dormitory, and King Gymnasium (1920s); and Infirmary (1938).
Oak Ridge Today
Since 1972 Oak Ridge has been a private, coeducational, college-preparatory military boarding school. The Academy is divided into a middle school (grades 7-8), and a high school (grades 9-12). Oak Ridge is the official military school of North Carolina, as designated by the state legislature in 1991. Oak Ridge is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and it was first accredited by SACS in 1899. ORMA is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools (NCAIS), and the Association of Military Schools and Colleges of the United States (AMSCUS). It is the only active military school to have won the National High School Drill Team Championship (1996).
- Samuel Bason, Yanceyville banker and businessman and member of the North Carolina State Senate, 1948–1956
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (born 1974), race-car driver for NASCAR, has 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins and 246 Top-10 finishes.
- Alvin Paul Kitchin (1908–1983), Democratic Party Congressman from North Carolina in the Eighty-fifth, Eighty-sixth, and Eighty-seventh Congresses (January 3, 1957 – January 3, 1963).
- George Parrott (1887–1918), officer in the United States Navy during World War I, receiving the Navy Cross, later honored for his service by his namesake on the US Navy Destroyer USN Parrott (DD-218).
- Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Paul Fomberg (March 1982). "Oak Ridge Military Academy Historic District" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
- Jeannie D. Whitlow with Carolyn Bason Long. "Caswell County Family Tree". The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina on wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved July 29, 2015.