Cheney’s $1 Million Grant will transform Library into comprehensive Learning Center

Bill Cheney ‘47 Presents MMI with $1Million Donation

This fall, Palm Beach, Fla., resident William “Bill” Cheney, Marion Military Institute (MMI) class of 1947, felt the call to invest in the future by giving back to his alma mater. Keeping in close touch with longtime MMI friends through an annual fishing trip together, his interest in the junior college in rural West Alabama was recently re-ignited through a family friend. When Evan Loughlin, of Newnan, Ga., graduated from MMI’s Service Academy Program in 2014 and successfully transferred to the U.S. Air Force Academy, he was reminded that MMI’s whole-person education continues to change the lives of young men and women. Mr. Cheney said, “It’s about educating young people.  It’s about our future.” 

On Oct. 26, during a visit from MMI President Col. David J. Mollahan, USMC (Ret) and Mrs. Suzanne McKee, the school’s V.P. for Institutional Advancement, Mr. Cheney presented a check for $1,000,000 on behalf of his family’s John & Margaret McCarty Foundation.  Mr. Cheney’s daughter, Frances Cheney, who lives with her father and has taken over the management of the foundation said, “The McCarty Foundation was originally established by my mother’s parents.  My grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and my grandfather had to hire nurses around the clock.  He started the foundation because he wanted to help those who could not afford home health care.  My father built the foundation through his investments, and today, the mission is centered on education.”  She continued, “Marion Military Institute did so much for my father.  It is such a worthwhile cause and makes a huge impact on these young men and women and is a real boost to their future”

The college’s administration certainly appreciates their support: “The depth of gratitude the MMI community feels toward the Cheneys for their incredible generosity is hard to put into words; thank you seems hardly enough, but grateful we are, and thank you is all we can say,” noted Col. Mollahan. “For our small school, this gift will have a significant impact as we plan to direct it toward large-scale improvements in our academic support and student success capabilities.”

Mr. Cheney’s grant will allow MMI to transform its existing Baer Library into a comprehensive Learning Center.