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Fleming Scholarship

MacDonald B. Fleming Endowed Scholarship

We invite the Indian Springs community to support a new scholarship in memory of one of the school's most beloved figures Mac Fleming (1923-2022). This scholarship in Mac's honor was first created in conjunction with Alumni Weekend 2021, thanks to a generous lead gift from John Bigger '56 on the occasion of his 55th reunion. Several alumni from the class of 1959 subsequently contributed. We now seek additional support to honor Mac's memory with an endowed fund to create a full scholarship to Indian Springs for a worthy student.

Please click here to make a gift or pledge online to the MacDonald B. Fleming Endowed Scholarship or reach out to Jim Simon in the Advancement Office with any questions: james.simon@indiansprings.org or 205.332.0615. 

Spring 2022 Magazine Feature

Memories from Alumni & Friends

List of 21 items.

  • Ameer Tavakoli '91

    Mr. Fleming was one of my favorite teachers at Indian Springs. His knowledge, love of teaching, and genuine care that he showed towards his students was clear in all of his interactions.
  • Carole & Michael Mazer

    Mac was such a remarkable part of ISS throughout its entire existence. He knew the name of every student that ever went there, even if he did not teach them. Always kind, knowledgeable, friendly, warm, and welcoming. A truly once-in-a-lifetime friend.
  • Charles Guo '05

    In memory of his classes that were brought to life through his calm southern drawl.
  • Charles Shook '57

    Sorry to hear the news and my condolences to Mac’s family. But his was a long and distinguished career with tremendous influence on many thousands of his students. I always thought that Mac - along with Frank Cantey and Doc Armstrong - really set the standard for the rigorous and provocative teaching of the early years. We are all better for knowing him!
  • Dick Crocker '65

    Mac Fleming was and is a giant in the story of ISS.
  • George Harper '70

    Mac Fleming was the first historian I ever knew, and he was certainly one of the best. He became a good friend to my wife Anne and our girls. We'll all miss him.
  • Grady Richardson '57

    Indian Springs School began its second year of operation in September 1953. At that point, there were about 100 students and about 12 faculty, including the two directors, Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Crosby. The first day was spent in an orientation session in the library, where we faced the faculty, who assembled in a semi-circle in front of the room.

    One of the first things Doc did was to introduce the faculty. Most of them Doc had been acquainted with at Peabody, and most had served in World War Two, which had ended only eight years earlier. Some had undergone actual combat, including Mr. Cameron, who had been in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Mr. Cobun, the science teacher, who had been an Army captain in the Battle of the Bulge, and Mr. Cantey, who was a lieutenant commander on a carrier that was struck by a kamikaze late in the War.

    Needless to say, such exploits fascinated us teenage boys, so during the break, John Fuller and I asked Mr. Fleming where he served during the War. Of course, he began with his signature laugh, and then told us: "Well, my military career was not nearly as exciting as some of my colleagues. I was a radio operator on one of the Aleutian Islands…a handful of sailors and a bunch of goats!" And then he added, "I guess things have really not changed that much. Ho! Ho! Ho!"

    Well, I imagine there were times when Mr. Fleming (except for Doc, our teachers back then always were addressed "Mister" or "Doctor") wishes he was back on that Aleutian Island, as he ended up being stuck with my class twice out of our four years at ISS. He was so brave and special that we invited him to our Fiftieth Reunion, and in the group picture Mr. Fleming looks just like one of us…after 50 years, he still looked and sounded the same!

    But, as those of us who are now octogenarians ourselves know so well, time finally catches up with all of us - physically, at least. Last Fall, I learned that Mr. Fleming had had a fall and was at one of our facilities recovering. He was sort of crumpled up in bed, but he knew exactly who I was, and he seemed to be as sharp as ever. What a recall he had, always!

    Mr. Fleming was "in the beginning with Doc." Just imagine being in one place for 70 years. When I think of Mr. Fleming, I can't help but recall the old movie version of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips". Mr. Chips is a professor at an English boarding school who, like Mr. Fleming, spent his entire career teaching several generations of young English high school boys.

    At the end, Mr. Chips has one of those end-of-life visions in which each of his pupils returns to his doorway and bids him "Goodbye, Mr. Chips". We would hope that just maybe Mr. Fleming had the same experience at the end of his life…"Goodbye, Mr. Fleming."
  • Helene & Norman Halpern

    One of Indian Springs' best!
  • Jack McSpadden '64

    I had the pleasure of having Mac as a teacher for most/all of my five years at ISS. I enjoyed his classes very much, along with those of Mr. Cantey, Mr. Johns, Monsieur Draper, Madame Bolande, Mr. Watkins, Mr. Warren, and others I can't quickly recall. These teachers were a fabulous set of educators who molded me as a young man. Their teachings and morever the life lessons they taught me have helped me throughout my life. I remember them all with great admiration and affection.
  • Jan Jander '95

    Mr. Fleming has been with us since day one, when Indian Springs began 50 years ago. He is our longest serving faculty member, but more importantly, he had a perpetual smile and a relaxed demeanor that was endearing. I am so grateful to have been in his last history class and for his humorous advice, "take the French AP, you know more than you realize." I would love for all members of the ISS community, past, present and future, to know Mr. Fleming and a scholarship is a beautiful legacy.
  • Jerry Kennedy '66

    Mr. Fleming is a teacher who earned and deserves the respect of every student lucky enough to have known him. His knowledge was of the highest caliber but his character was the best. Beyond this, some of us had the opportunity to break bread with the Fleming family in the dining hall. How lucky for us.
  • Jim Simon

    I'm contributing to honor an amazing friend and colleague.
  • Joonsuk Lee '93

    I took American History AP with Mac Fleming in 1990/91 - the class had an enrollment of two (2!) students. I do not think I had another class where I had had as much (and as much expert) attention as in this one.
  • Kevin Tavakoli '98

    Honoring the memory and lifetime work of Mr. Fleming.
  • Lester Siegel '75

    In tribute to Mac Fleming, an unforgettable teacher and gentleman, who influenced my own work as a teacher and continued to enrich my life since my days at ISS.
  • Mike Nichols '70

    Mr. Fleming was a wonderful history teacher who treated his students (including me) with grace. Mac Fleming was one of the great teachers in my life.
  • Robert Ward '68

    One of my clearest memories of Mr. Fleming was a one-on-one conference he had with me for our senior year history thesis. We would have these once a week to go over first the subject selection, then a research program, thesis development, and finally the writing. I realized later this was graduate-level thesis preparation.

    My subject was the role of the Russian affiliated aid to the Spanish Republican Party during the Spanish Civil War. During the research portion, I looked to current accounts as the most legitimate to consider in particular newspaper accounts and most particularly the New York Times. After going through some of these with Mr. Fleming one afternoon in his office, his initial comment remains with me today. With that half-smile/not smile on his face, he leaned back in his chair and asked, "Mr. Ward, do you think this reporter from the Times or maybe even the Times itself might have some point of view they are trying to get across here?" At first, I was a little taken aback because I instantly knew he meant bias from the droll skepticism in his voice.  My response felt so weak. I started with the grey lady theme, mentioned the Times byline "All the news that’s fit to print" and ended with the feeble argument about the fight against a dictator Franco being the right fight? Mr. Fleming was addressing not the value of the bias but the fundamental existence thereof. The lesson was obvious. He was asking us to be skeptical, to be critical of our sources, to read both sides, to travel beyond our boundaries, to be aware that truth may be relatively perceived, and to think for ourselves. That was Mr. Fleming's direction for projecting us into our futures; we all were very fortunate to know him.
  • Rosa Beth Smith

    Mac was the father of my dear co-worker, Rhea Fleming '79. As a former history educator, I support your school's endeavors in his memory.
  • Sherrie Cooper

    Mr. Fleming is the father of one of my closest friends from college, Catherine Fleming Edwards '78. As a friend of 44 years I know very well how significant Indian Springs is to the Fleming family and the legacy of their father to the school. My gift is a love tribute to the Flemings. 
  • Tommy Moody '64

    To honor a great teacher.
  • Will Davis '86

    Mac Fleming was one of my favorite teachers while I was at Indian Springs. His deep knowledge and gift for making the past come alive gave me an abiding love for the study of history. I am saddened to learn of his passing, but I am grateful to have had him as a teacher.