FUMA president retires, successor named

Press Release

Col. David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.), Fork Union Military Academy’s 11th president, has announced his intent to retire later this year.  The Academy will celebrate Col. Coggins’ tenure in connection with Fork Union Military Academy’s 125th Anniversary, which will be held on October 13-15.  Col. Coggins and his wife Kelli look forward to retiring to Florida and being able to spend more time with their family.  

“The Academy appreciates Col. Coggins’ faithful leadership, particularly through the COVID pandemic,” said Paige L. Pruett, chairman of the Fork Union Military Academy Board of Trustees. “The Academy is blessed to have had the colonel’s vision and leadership, and we all are excited for him as he embarks on this next chapter of his life with Kelli.”

“The Academy is a special place,” Col. Coggins said, “and Kelli and I are glad to have been a part of it.”

Capt. Mark E. Black, USN (ret.), has been named the 12th president of Fork Union Military Academy.  He will be designated as president-elect immediately and assume the role as president upon Col. Coggins’ retirement in the fall.  Capt. Black is a current faculty member and coach and fully appreciates the Academy’s dedication to “Body, Mind & Spirit”.  He currently serves as a teacher of U.S. military and war history, leadership and ethics and U.S. government in the Academy’s One Subject Plan. In addition, Capt. Black also coaches lacrosse and football.  

He is a native of Huntington, West Virginia, and graduated from Virginia Military Institute with distinction.  He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1986 and was designated as a Naval Flight Officer and is a graduate of the famed Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). During his Navy career, he was selected to serve as a squadron commander and a wing commander before being assigned to lead all Naval personnel in Afghanistan as the NAVCENT Forward Afghanistan Officer in Charge. He was Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science at the University of Virginia’s Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Unit and came to the Academy from Fishburne Military School, where he served as superintendent.

 “Our world needs Fork Union Military Academy–now more than ever–and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Academy’s in its mission of educating, developing and inspiring young men in a Christian, college prep, military environment,” Capt. Black emphasized.

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