Indiana military academy to close after 135 years

A private military preparatory school in northern Indiana will close after 135 years due to ongoing budget shortfalls and dwindling enrollment, officials said.

Howe Military Academy President Thomas Tate made the announcement Monday. The boarding school for grades 7 through 12 will shutter after the school year, The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reported. Tate blamed "rising costs and declining enrollment for more than a decade" at the school in Howe, about 40 miles east of South Bend.

The school has just 62 students this school year, down from 104 in 2011, according to the Indiana Department of Education.

"Fiscal challenges associated with a vast, but aging, campus, small class sizes, highly educated and qualified faculty and staff, and robust programming and student opportunities come at a very high cost—one that our business model is not able to support," the announcement said.

The school will help students, faculty and staff pursue alternative plans for the next school year, officials said. Academic, athletic and extracurricular programs will continue as planned for the rest of the current school year.

"While this is a time of sadness as we come to the end of an era, we celebrate the success, camaraderie, and friendship that Howe has provided to so many," Tate wrote.

The planned closure of the 100-acre campus comes five years after the school survived a similar financial crisis thanks to a $2 million donation from a graduate. At the time, the school said it would need to boost enrollment to 110 to survive.

Howe Military Academy opened in 1884. It began admitting women in 1988 and has more than 5,000 alumni, according to the school's website.

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