KMI Legacy Fund|


The KMI Legacy Fund will help preserve the history of the Kentucky Military Institute. The fund will support the creation of a permanent exhibit at a new historical museum based in Venice as well as any other important projects that ensure the legacy of KMI.

by the Venice Museum & Archives

James Hagler, director of the Venice Museum & Archives, spends a few moments
with Charles & Diane Hodgin at the 2015 KMI Alumni Reunion in Louisville June 13th

UPDATE:  11/12/2015

As you know Alex Hodgin '49 recently established the KMI Legacy Fund with a $50,000 donation to the Venice Museum & Archives.  The Legacy Fund will help defray the cost of an permanent KMI exhibit in the City of Venice's planned new Heritage Center.  In his message below, Alex is urging all alumni to consider making an end-of-year contribution to the KMI Legacy Fund. As you will note in his message below, we're pretty close to putting the total amount raised to more than $100,000. That would, indeed, make this a truly
amazing legacy!

And there is more good news.  Although we have not yet broken ground for the new Venice Heritage Center here in Venice, through the generosity of Alex, KMI Alumni, and Friends of KMI we are already working with museum designers to build out components of a new enhanced KMI Exhibit! We should have some pretty exciting things to show our alumni during the 2017 reunion in Venice.

Wishing all KMI Alumni a safe and blessed holiday season!

Larry Humes '65

Dear Fellow KMI Alumni:

Have you made your contribution to the KMI Legacy Fund for 2015?  If not, this may be an opportune occasion to help us reach our goal of $100,000.  Surprisingly, we have already raised more than $85,000 in gifts and pledges for the 2015 calendar year. With your help, we can easily go over the top by Dec. 31st.

Many of us make our charitable contributions at year end so why not include the KMI Legacy Fund as you write your checks? Since the stock market has rebounded from its summer lows, appreciated securities may present an option for a triple play: a full-value contribution with no capital gains, the advantage of a matching gift, and a year-end tax deduction. Scan your portfolio and pick a winner for our Legacy Fund!   Thanks and best wishes.

Alex Hodgin '49

Charles “Alex” Hodgin, a 1949 graduate and former administrator of Kentucky Military Institute (KMI), surprised attendees at the school’s 2015 Alumni Reunion in Louisville, Kentucky June 13th when he announced he was providing a $24,000 challenge grant to the Venice Museum & Archives for the purpose of building a permanent exhibit in the city’s planned new Cultural Heritage Center.

“When you realize that the cadets who were in the school’s last class in 1971 are now in their 60’s, we’re running out of time,” said Charles A. Hodgin. “Most of us would like to see the legacy of KMI be shared with future generations, and what they are doing in Venice will enable that to happen.”

Hodgin donated $26,000 in late 2014 to establish the KMI Legacy Fund.  His father was a co-owner and commandant of KMI, and he graduated from the school in 1949. After college, military service, and graduate school, Hodgin returned to KMI where he coached golf and intramural athletics, taught history and served as Director of Admissions. He succeeded his father as the school’s Commandant of Cadets upon the elder’s retirement in 1965.

Given under the auspices of the KMI Alumni Association, Hodgin made the pledge to the Venice Museum & Archives with the stipulation that the money be used to enhance the KMI exhibit in the new center. A portion of the funds may also be used to provide ongoing maintenance of KMI memorabilia in the museum’s collection. The museum currently enjoys more than 600 objects in its collection.

“There are still more than a thousand alumni who benefited from what they gained as cadets at the school and I am hopeful they will match my gift and provide the resources needed to perpetuate that legacy,” Hodgin said.

Larry R. Humes, a 1965 graduate of KMI and current president of Venice Heritage, said alumni were moved by Hodgin’s remarks and pledged “several thousand dollars” afterward to match his challenge. “Those of us who attended the school realize what an impact it had on our lives and we would like to see some of the core values we learned there shared with future generations.”

KMI, which eventually merged with the Kentucky Country Day School of Louisville, was the oldest private military school in America, having been founded in 1845. Based in Lyndon, Kentucky, Venice served as the school’s winter quarters from 1933 until 1970. Many alumni still call the Southwest Florida area home.

“Coming to Venice on the heels of the Depression, KMI was critical to the community’s economic survival and recovery,” said James Hagler, director of the City of Venice’s Historical Resources and director of the museum. “We are most grateful to Mr. Hodgin for his generosity and for his leadership in helping to ensure his alma mater’s legacy and the values that made the institution what it was.”

Donations to the KMI Legacy Fund can be made to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, 601 Tamiami Trail South, Venice, Florida  34285, or online at:

When you realize that the cadets who were in the school's last class in 1971 are now in their 60's, we're running out of time,"

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