It’s the same school with a different name for Southern Preparatory Academy. 

Previously Lyman Ward Military Academy the school changed names to emphasize it’s a college preparatory school, according to marketing officer and international admissions Becca Nelson.

“We still have the military traditions and the military aspects, but we want to show parents we’re more than just that,” Nelson said. “We’re not just a place necessarily where bad kids go or whatever the stigma around military schools is. We wanted to show that we are a college prep school.”

The school changed its name and colors from royal blue and yellow to navy blue and gold. The school is still all male and teaches sixth through 12th grades. 

Nelson said the school still wants to honor its Lyman Ward roots and changed its name to include “southern.” Founder Lyman Ward originally started Lyman Ward Military Academy in 1898. It was chartered in 1901 as The Southern Industrial Institute and was renamed Lyman Ward School in 1953. It became Lyman Ward Military Academy in 1955.

“We’re still Lyman Ward at our roots,” Nelson said. “In our history we still honor Dr. Lyman Ward for opening up the school and all that he did over the past 122 years.”

Nelson said the community is still getting used to the new name. 

“It’s only been Southern Prep for a few months so we’re still in the process of getting people used to that and getting them used to our branding,” Nelson said. “So we’re trying to put the logo, the new school colors, everything like that out there. We do still have alumni and parents of students who recently graduated or even parents whose student still go here but they started off with Lyman Ward (and) still want to call it Lyman Ward, so it’s definitely a work in progress.”