Latham leaving R-MA as one of its top students

Ryan Latham

FRONT ROYAL – Randolph-Macon Academy’s salutatorian Ryan Latham has kept busy in his time at school. 

His extracurricular activities have included being captain of the soccer team, band commander, drum major and president of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.

Additionally, Latham rose to the second highest rank among students and served as a cadet lieutenant colonel and deputy group commander, responsibilities that included overseeing morning formations. Even with the packed schedule, he managed to accumulate a 4.4 grade point average

“I’m pretty much involved in everything that I can be,” he said.

Amy Harriman, R-MA director of admission, said, “I’m sure any parent hopes that their kid is going to grow up to take advantage of everything around them and Ryan has definitely done that.”

Latham added to his list of accolades Thursday at R-MA’s Class Night when he received: the Outstanding Sportsman Award, the Scholar-Athlete Award, the Herbert Gray Wyatt Medal for Band, the German Medal and the English Medal.

He also was named the Best All-Around Cadet, which R-MA Director of Communications Celeste Brooks said is given to the senior who faculty determined had displayed characteristics of honor, courage, scholarship, leadership and service.

Latham has been at R-MA since the sixth grade, and Harriman said “he’s basically one of our top students in this school and has been since the day he arrived.” Even before enrolling as a student, he was a familiar face on campus as his father, Stephen Latham, teaches at the school. One of his dad’s favorite stories, he said, is when Latham attended the school’s parade as a young child.

“As the drum major marched past, I pretended I was holding a mase and walked next to him and that was kind of interesting because now I am the drum major. So I am the guy out there doing the same thing that I was pretending to do as a little six-year-old,” he said. 

Latham said he will miss the close-knit community of teachers and students, and that the school’s culture has “really helped shape me into a better person.” He will attend the University of Virginia, where he plans to major in environmental engineering with hopes of focusing on renewable energy. Although he will try not to overload his schedule as much as he did at R-MA, he plans to get involved in the school’s extracurricular activities. 

Latham is one of 68 seniors and who will receive a diploma Saturday. Every one of those graduating seniors was accepted into a school and the class received a total of $6.2 million in scholarships. In total, the seniors received 230 acceptances to 139 colleges. Also, seven students received an appointment to the Air Force Academy. The graduation is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in the school’s Melton Memorial Gymnasium. Robert R. Lindgren, Randolph-Macon College president, will serve as the commencement speaker.