er Military School and College Alumni

Help continue the Kemper legacy



November 24, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2021

Dear Alumni,

On behalf of the Kemper Military School & College Alumni Association Board of Directors, we want to wish you and your families the happiest of Thanksgivings. It has been a tough year, to say the least, with all that has transpired. Everyone is feeling the effects of supply chain issues, COVID-19 breakthrough cases, lack of employees in the workforce, political unrest, and the undercurrent of anxiety and stress out in the communities. As a result, it can be hard to find gratitude and kindness for our fellow brothers and sisters.

The association’s hope is that each of you will give yourself and others a little extra time while traveling, shopping, and getting those last-minute items, in preparation to sit down and enjoy what matters most in the world, family. Everyone is experiencing similar levels of stress due to this new landscape we find ourselves in, which makes it more important than ever to practice kindness and love.

It goes without saying that each of us are blessed beyond measure, but let’s take a moment and recognize the brave men and women of the armed services, law enforcement, healthcare, fire and rescue and any other service-related industry that helps maintain the communities that we call home. Without all of your tireless efforts, these precious holidays with our loved ones would not be possible, and for this we are forever grateful.

In closing, your Kemper Military School & College Alumni Association has never been prouder than it is today of all the hard work each one of you put in to support its efforts. THANK YOU!

Please enjoy your time with family and friends and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Your Friend,


October 14, 2021

KMS Reunion Success!

October 14, 2021

Dear Alumni,

As we just wrapped up our “Old Boy” reunion in Boonville, I am happy to report that the weekends festivities were a resounding success. The festivities began on campus with our flag and wreath ceremonies, followed by the grand opening of the Kemper Military School and College Alumni Association Museum, the Tri-Military Trap Shoot with Missouri Military Academy and Wentworth, graveside ceremonies with F.T. Kemper and T.A. Johnson, Saturday night gala, and Sunday morning farewell breakfast.

The Museum grand opening will be remembered as one of the most pivotal and special moments in Kemper Military School history since the schools closing.

It has been along time coming for such a celebration as the last time the city closed MainStreet for a special event that involved Cadets marching was in 2002. As we watched the Missouri Military Academy’s band, Fusileers and Color Guard perform, I felt transported back to my days as a Kemper Cadet. It was a privilege to announce and host the weekends activities and I have the upmost gratitude to our Association, Alumni, and our legacy for performing those duties. While ringing the school bell, it harkened back to 1844 school year where it was rung for the first time and every subsequent year until the school closed. Additionally, it was a privilege to see all the MMA Cadets and KMS Alumni inspecting each uniform, article, and document in our Kemper archives.

It is important to give special thanks to General Rick Geraci, President of Missouri Military Academy, Richard Dehlinger, Deputy Commandant of Activities and Support, Robert Silbaugh, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, and Gary Stewart, Associate Director of Enrollment Management. Further, I would like to recognize all the members of these fine attachments!

MMA cadets participating in the Kemper Museum dedication ceremony included the following:

Fusileers Drill Team 

  • Patricio Regis
  • Parker Woodruff
  • Yu-Jen Tong
  • Rene Garcia
  • Jingxuan Yan
  • Gabriel Iglesias
  • Domingo Holguin
  • Angelo Urdaneta
  • Gage Blanton


  • Clayton Nelson
  • Nathaniel Espinoza
  • Robert Peck

Academy Band

  • Matthew Hamilton
  • Benjamin Huyne
  • Kevin Sangster
  • Miles Matthews
  • Kruze Hagan
  • Aaron Huynh
  • Ian Robison
  • John Carlos Ahuja
  • Sage Fuller
  • Angelo Urdaneta
  • Peter Didicher
  • Anthony Melick
  • David Lee
  • Gavin Roberts

Color Guard

  • Gerardo Quiroga
  • Ryan Miles
  • Lucas Sydlewski
  • William Terrell
  • Kevin Wang
  • Samuel Way

Additionally, I would like to personally say thank you to the following KMS board of directors as well as alumni, family and friends who worked tirelessly to bring the museum to life.

  • Mr. Jody Gramlich
  • Mrs. Laura Gramlich
  • Ms. Ellise Gramlich
  • Mr. Mike Stepto
  • Mr. Michael Cookson
  • Mr. Bhisham Perti
  • Mr. Dash Perti
  • Mr. Johnny Kartsonis
  • Mr. Tim Casey
  • Mr. Jack Ryan
  • Mr. Brandy Waller
  • Mr. Joey Rhoer

A very special thank you to George Hittner, President of Wentworth Academy Museum, and his staff for all their support and guidance on helping our museum get off the ground.

Going back to our Tri-Military Shoot, your “Yellow Jacket” team produced a fine group of shooters. We were 4 clays from winning, but close will not cut the cake. We’re practicing and will be trained up and ready for next year.

Thank you to all the Old Boys who participated and let’s recognize our “Yellow Jacket” team:

  • Mrs. Laura Gramlich
  • Ms. Ellise Gramlich
  • Mrs. Cristie Rhoer Coles
  • Mr. Darrin Coles
  • Mr. Mike Melhalf
  • Mr. James Hallam
  • Mr. Mike Stepto
  • Mr. Thom “Thatch” Johnson
  • Mr. Chris Harmon
  • Mr. Tim Casey
  • Mr. Johnny Kartsonis

Additionally, I would like to recognize Missouri House of Representatives, Tim Dawn Taylor for the resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives, 101st General Assembly, First Regular Session recognizing Ellise and Jody Gramlich for their valuable assistance to save historical documents and memorabilia during the March 2021 downtown fire for the Kemper Alumni Association. Without their quick response, heroism and putting the needs of others before their own safety we thank you and owe you a debt of gratitude!

It is also important to recognize our Kemper Alumni and new elected board member Mr. Mike Stepto who cooked Friday evening and Saturday afternoon at the Museum. His grilling skills are world class, and we are so appreciative.

Further, many thanks to Shannon Twenter who catered our Sunday morning farewell breakfast at the museum. Those eggs and honey buns were insane!

Also, thank you very much to the city of Boonville, city council, and police department for coming together and allowing our special event to happen. A personal special thanks to Lieutenant James Deckard for his leadership on closing main street as well as Morgan St. to allow the MMA Band, Color Guard and Fusileers to perform.

Thank you to our Kemper alumni for believing in the KMS Board of Directors and supporting the dream and bringing item 2 of our bylaws to life, “To assure the legacy of Kemper lives on by building a museum”. Without your support of the association and the 1844 Society none of this is possible!

Also, many thanks to Ms. Alex Weaver, Director of Government Affairs, Ben E. Keith Beverages, and my left and right arms. Her tireless efforts behind the scenes on the website, social media, asset creation and marketing strategy do not go unnoticed.

In closing, it is important for all Kemper Alumni to understand that this Museum is the result of nineteen years of loss and the feeling of having our school ripped away from each of us. Like I said at the Saturday night gala and meeting, “We lost it once and got it back, let’s not lose it again”! Thank you for your support and God Bless America!



September 28, 2021

Old Boy Weekend is here!

September 28, 2021

Dear Alumni, 

Your Kemper Military School & College Alumni Association (KMSAA) has been hard at work building out the Museum and bringing it online for its grand opening this Friday, October 1, 2021. Additionally, as I type this report it feels a little surreal that this weekend has finally arrived and that all Kemper “Old Boys” will finally get to see what has been in development since early 2019.  As a reminder, it states in the KMSAA Bylaws, Article II, purpose 2., “To assure the legacy of Kemper lives on by building a museum”.  As you all recall this project had massive headwinds and it started right after the blank space was presented to the alumni in October of 2019.  In 2020 the pandemic hit, the entire world came to a halt and all production on the Museum stopped until late November of that year.  If that was not enough, and after gaining lots of momentum, there was a fire two doors down and all the archives had to be removed and the building remediated from the fire. This process took at least 4-5 months to complete as finding contractors in these times has been difficult.  I feel it is important to mention because the amount of work and the number of times the archives have been handled and moved is remarkable.  It has been a privilege to lead this TEAM through all the highs and lows and watch the KMS Museum pop out on the other side a better and stronger representation of the rich history we have all come to enjoy and expect.  Thank you to all who served and made this mission possible. 

In addition to the grand opening, your Board of Directors had their Board meeting on September 19th and approved the suggested Directors and Officers for two-year terms which are as follows: 

Election of Directors  
President: James Hallam  
Vice President: Laura Gramlich 
Secretary/Treasurer: Mike Melhalf 
Johnny Kartsonis 

Mike Stepto

1844 Society Director
Mike Stepto  

Please help me congratulate the above positions as I know they will represent your Alumni Association with honor and duty. 

It is also important to recognize two Directors who are rolling off the board and who have served with distinction, Mr. Tim Casey and Mr. Jack Ryan.  It has been an honor and a privilege to serve alongside both of you and the Association wishes you the best. We know this is not goodbye, but merely thank you and we will see you soon!   

In summary, I want to personally welcome each and every one of you this weekend as we have a very special program for you all.  Be safe in your travels and look forward to enjoying the weekend with everyone! 

Go Team!  



August 26, 2021

Fourth Kemper Museum Work Weekend

August 26, 2021

Dear Alumni,

Our fourth Kemper Museum work weekend is in the books and was another amazing success. The Museum is taking shape, and the organizing of our files and artifacts is in process. Our display cabinets are in and cleaned up, and the lighting in the front display cabinets has been installed. The bar was partially installed and the woodwork for the stairs, mezzanine and third floor railing has been completed. The third floor is now the official archives area where we divided all our history among ten tables in 15-year intervals for sorting.

I would like to recognize our amazing team and give thanks for all their hard work: Laura and Jody Gramlich, Brandy Waller, Johnny Kartsonis, Mike Stepto and James Hallam. A special THANK YOU to JOEY RHOER for the beautiful tuck-pointing work inside the museum. We would also like to recognize Missouri Military Academy (MMA) Brothers; Charles Schafer, Jason Falbo and Robert Silbough, who came over to help plan our grand opening on Oct 1st and for supporting the Museum and all Kemper Alumni.

As a reminder, MMA parents’ weekend is September 17-19th and Kemper will have a table and golf foursome. More details coming soon.

All Kemper Alumni make sure to mark your calendars for October 1-3rd for our KMS Old Boy Weekend. We are so excited to see everyone on October 1st from 4-6 p.m. at the special ribbon cutting ceremony for the museum!

I appreciate all the efforts and there has never been a better time to get involved with Kemper than right now.


James Hallam