Southern Preparatory academy


A History of Excellence

The Academy was founded by Dr. Lyman Ward in 1898 as a non-profit, non-denominational, co-educational institution for rural youth. The original purpose was to provide a secondary education for those with the ability to learn and the willingness to work. A long list of illustrious alumni attests to the need and the effect of the program. A charter was granted in 1901 by the State of Alabama, the school being incorporated in the name of "The Southern Industrial Institute, Inc." Shortly after the death of Dr. Ward in 1948, the military department was added and the school became "Lyman Ward Military Academy," officially becoming an all boys military school.

While keeping pace with modern educational methods over the years, much of the original philosophy of the school's founder has been retained. Precedence is given to the development of Christian ideals and self-reliance. The high standards set by the Academy have fitted Southern Preparatory Academy students for acceptance by outstanding universities throughout the country. In 2019, Lyman Ward Military Academy rebranded to Southern Preparatory Academy, a name that represents the same values as years past but brings the academy into the 21st century. Our goals of instilling discipline, preparedness, and All American values into the young men of our future are at the forefront of our academy, through academics, military training, and a holistic approach to life and learning.

I would invest my last dollar in boys such as these.

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Be a part of something great.

We believe that every young man wants to be a part of something great. He wants to become as wise, as strong, as brave, and as respected as he can be. 


We also believe that each young man can become his very best self when he discovers that responsibility and hard work can make anything possible. 


Capable young men with this potential to achieve are the young men of Southern Preparatory Academy- even when they don’t yet know it.