Last Am Samoan cadets graduate from Wentworth Military Academy

The Academy closes its doors after 137 years of service

Last weekend seven of our American Samoan cadets graduated from one of the well-known military academy in the states — Wentworth Military Academy. Sadly, they are in the last class to graduate from this school, which has been around for 137 years.

Last month officials announced that Wentworth was shutting down through the news media; and the news went out to those cadets from over the years to come back to see the final commencement and dress parade, to watch the flag come down one last time, and be together with all those they had worked with during their years at the school.

Wentworth Military Academy and College was a private two-year military college and high school in Lexington, Missouri, part of the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Wentworth was one of five military junior colleges in the United States.

A mother of one the graduating cadets, Leilani Tuamoheloa Tilo said to Samoa News, “When I received an email from the school that my son’s school was closing down I was so surprised, and it is too bad — this is such a good school because it has disciplined these kids and has shaped them to become better and focused in life.”

According to cadet Nathan Tuamoheloa, they were told that the school has struggled financially for some time and finally it was decided it was time to close down.

“After 137 corps of cadets, I am proud to be part of the final 2. It saddens me because not only all faculty and staff members lose their jobs but the first year cadets have to look for new opportunities to further their education or commission as a 2nd Lieutenant,” he said.

He added, "I will continue to share this great experience with others who may never get to experience how great this school was in my life. Great memories and friends were definitely made here."

The graduates from American Samoa are 5 boys and 2 girls, Schey-Xyong McMoore, Onosa’I Pule, Iafeta Vou, Kealoha Schuster, Valerie Pu’a, Lina Kava and Nathaniel Tu’amoheloa.

A fellow cadet, Anthony Collazo, who graduated with our Samoan soldiers said, “I will miss this school because this is where I experienced one of the best cultures in the world, American Samoa. These guys can make anyone feel like family and I feel blessed just knowing these are my friends and what I consider my brothers.”

Wentworth college officials said in a news release last month that remaining students are being helped to find another school to attend to complete their education, and military requirements.

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