June 24, 2024

For over three years, I have remained silent on an issue that nags at me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. An issue I have countless times tried to work out with Randolph-Macon Academy President Dave Wesley, and most recently the Board of Trustees. I have explored every avenue I know– emails, phone calls, and meetings. 

I am sure that most of you knew my father, Col. Ivan Mieth; he dedicated 21 years of his life to R-MA as Commandant. Tragically, he was killed in a fire 12 years ago. At that time, my family and I established a flight scholarship in his name, to honor his legacy and commitment to the kids.

That scholarship was started with $25,000.00 that my mother and I donated. Many others contributed over the years to this scholarship as well.

Three years ago, in direct violation of the endowment contract–and without consulting the Board of Trustees–my mother, or me (as the contract states must happen), Dave Wesley unilaterally decided to remove my father’s name from the scholarship and cut my mother and me out of the presentation ceremony that we had participated in since the first award over a decade ago. Wesley decided he would just give the money from my father’s flight scholarship to students under the general heading of “flight scholarship” thereby completely removing my father’s name from the scholarship.

I don’t mean just a few students either, one year 15 kids received money from my father’s scholarship with his name, and therefore his legacy, completely removed from it. This scholarship was set up to honor a man that meant the world to me, my family, the Academy, and countless R-MA kids.

With the help of a member of the Board of Trustees (thank you to this person, whom I won’t name) there was an agreement reached last year. This trustee helped me convince Gen. Wesley to honor the original terms of the flight scholarship. The terms: 1) The award would once again be presented in my father’s name. 2) The award would be presented to no more than three students a year. 3) My mother or I would present the award. These were simple and reasonable requests that honored the original endowment contract, and frankly we never should have even needed to make this “deal”.

Outrageously, Dave Wesley immediately went back on his word and again took my father’s name off the scholarship.  Moreover, no notice was given to me nor my family.

In a last-ditch effort to fix this situation, I met with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Harry Austin, on March 11, 2024, to again discuss the situation.  As of today, May 15, 2024, there has been no resolution.

I wouldn’t normally reveal this, but after more three years of getting nowhere and giving countless chances to Dave Wesley to make this right, there’s still no resolution.

Despite repeated attempts to convince Gen. Wesley to simply honor his word, it has gone nowhere. The last time the award was presented, in November 2023, the only participation my mother and I were afforded was receiving certified letters in the mailbox saying that the award had already been given.

My mother died February 2024. Gen. Wesley robbed her of her last chance at presenting the award in my dad’s name. She died seeing no resolution on this issue.

If Dave Wesley is treating me this way, with blatant disregard for legally binding contractual terms and with no sense of common decency, what else is he doing in secret?

Tawanna Mieth Williams
Amissville, VA.

 

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