Support military institute

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 28, 2006

It’s a good time to rally the troops.

In March of this year, the state legislature approved a measure making Marion Military Institute a part of the state’s college system.

It has cost the state money – $3 million so far, according to Alabama College System Interim Chancellor Dr. Thomas Corts.

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Regardless, it’s going to take some time to get the military institute back in good shape, both financially and in the number of students enrolled.

MMI started in 1842, and became a military institute around the time of the Civil War.

The historical significance alone is worth preserving.

But what it could mean for Marion, Perry County and the surrounding area is even more significant.

By making it a part of the state’s college system, tuition can be lowered and more local students will attend, supporters say. That will mean a boost for Perry County.

In addition, the Alabama State Board of Education has gained $40 million worth of assets and MMI’s 180-acre site, said a member of the board of trustees, Taylor Wilkins of Bay Minette.

Wilkins believes having a military institute will complement the state’s junior college system and help it be more diverse.

Both the state House and Senate approved the measure passed in March, and it was supported by State Senators Jim Preuitt, Bobby Singleton, Lowell Ray Barron and Hank Sanders.

Sanders said, “I hope that Dr. Corts will give it a chance.”

We hope so as well and expect that with time, the decision will prove to be a wise one that helps the local area through education opportunities and economic improvement.