Governor Attends Dining Hall Ribbon Cutting

On Friday, April 26, Marion Military Institute (MMI) held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its brand-new Dining Hall, marking the first new construction on campus in more than 30 years. Special guests attending the ceremony were Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Vice-Chancellor Dr. Chris Cox and MMI alumnus Jimmy Rane, CEO of Great Southern Wood Preserving, maker of YellaWood.

A $12.8 Million project, MMI’s new facility seats up to 500 in the main dining room, is handicap-accessible, and features energy-efficient building systems and a covered porch with outdoor seating. Designed to complement the college’s historic architecture, it is also equipped with a private dining room and special event space with catering support. Cadets began eating daily meals in the new Dining Hall during the Spring 2024 semester.

During her speech, Governor Ivey said she was proud to help usher in a new era of expansion and modernization for MMI.

“It’s an honor to be here in Marion to celebrate this important milestone for one of the most unique institutions of higher learning both in this state of Alabama and in America,” said Ivey. “Marion Military Institute has a rich history, tracing its roots back over 180 years to 1842 with the founding of Howard College.  … Its now famous high standards of character, academic achievement, and military traditions continue to be its hallmark well into the 21st Century. … Today, MMI is synonymous with the highest caliber of learning, and its cadets pursue careers in military service or other disciplines. Its many graduates are leaders changing our state and nation, and their impacts are felt, literally, worldwide.”

Thanking elected officials for their investment in the ACCS, Dr. Cox remarked, “We are fortunate in this state to have a governor, her staff and our legislators who believe in the mission of our community colleges, giving back to serving those.”

The ceremony closed with COL Mollahan’s perspective on this historic moment in MMI history, moving from meal service in a basement to a beautifully-designed new space: “Today’s ceremony allows us to acknowledge that for MMI’s fully on-campus residential educational model, the dining service provided within this facility is absolutely mission essential for us.”

A member of the Alabama Community College System, MMI is the oldest military junior college in the nation and educates students from more than 40 U.S. states and territories