St. John’s Northwestern

Military Academy

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Annual Events

Throughout the academic year at St. John's Northwestern, the Corps of Cadets participate in several special events on and off campus. Below are a few of the most asked about events.

Sword & Saber, and Ring Ceremony
During fall Parents' Weekend, cadet officers are presented sabers and senior non-commissioned officers are presented swords in recognition of their leadership. In addition, members of the senior class accept their first classmen rings during the Class Ring Ceremony. Symbolizing the unity and bond that seniors form, the rings remind them that they will forever be bound to the cadets who have gone before them.
The Excalibur
The Excalibur is the Academy's premier fundraising event, which is held on campus during spring Families Weekend. As a private educational institution, the Academy must rely on the financial support of our alumni, parents and friends to help ensure that our programs and facilities are the best they can be. Guests are treated to an evening with an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere for socializing and bidding. Proceeds support every cadet, teacher, program and department.
Corps Parades
Dubbed as "The Long Gray Line," the Corps of Cadets has been the highlight of many parades, including the annual Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade, Milwaukee Veterans Day Parade and Milwaukee Holiday Parade. The participation of the Corps in these community events strengthen the Academy's heritage and value of its military component.
Midwinter Ball
Midwinter Ball revolves around a formal military ball that is designed to acquaint members of the upper classmen with the etiquette of a formal social event. Just a few of the ceremonial activities that occur during the ball are the posting of the national colors, experiencing a formal receiving line, participating in a grand processional with an "arch of steel," and, for the cadet leadership, the presenting of honorary military rank to their dates.
Boar's Head Banquet
A tradition started in 1884, the "Breaking-Up Supper" was held the night before cadets left for Christmas break and the Boar's Head Pageant was added in 1906. The cadets, faculty and staff of St. John's Northwestern celebrate the Boar's Head Banquet before Christmas break. It is closed to parents and guests due to limited space.