Many of the students enrolled at Greystone Prep School were rebuffed in their initial attempts to earning appointments to one of the five United States military academies. But over the past 10 years, 153 Greystone students have received a second chance and earned a congressional nomination to a military academy.
Greystone Prep School is located on the campus of Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas, and was established in 2004 by Cmdr. David Bailey. Bailey was turned down in his bid 37 years ago to attend the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. However, he refused to give up and is now an alumnus of the Naval Academy.
Bailey established the civilian prep school to give high school graduates another chance at earning an appointment to a military academy, as well as prepare them for the rigors of academy life. The name Greystone is atttributed to famed New Zealand explorer Sir Edmund Hillary who always looked for the grey stone when climbing because the granite composition was strong and would never let him down.
As its name implies, Greystone demands strength and resolve from its students. Full-time Greystone students, who are also full time at the university, must commit to 38 semester hours, physical conditioning, dorm-room inspections, community service projects that average 100 hours a year per student, intramural sports and the Greystone Toastmasters Club to hone communication skills. Leadership training and character development also stand at the core of the Greystone experience, resulting in the students developing an honor code and standards of conduct. This occurred under the guidance of Pat Tinley, a longtime American Legion member who recently passed away.
Military academies are "leadership institutions creating the generals and admirals that will be leading us 25 or 30 years down the road," Bailey said. "I take great pride in knowing Greystone is helping some of our future military leaders get off on the right trajectory."
Another Legion stalwart, retired Air Force Col. Bill Crum, serves as chairman of the Greystone Board of Directors and often leads mock interviews in preparation for congressional or senatorial interviews leading to academy appointments. "The American Legion is based upon the theme ‘For God and Country,’" Crum said. "Greystone might be considered the poster child for that theme."
At Schreiner University, "we don’t stress what credentials students bring to Greystone," said Dr. Summerlin, president of Schreiner University. "Instead, we’re more concerned about what they leave with. After all, the motto of Schreiner University is, ‘Enter with hope; leave with achievement.’"