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Have any famous people ever attended or graduated from Cape Fear Academy?

Amy Hotz
Cape Fear Academy

Students walk to Cape Fear Academy’s Athletic Center and Mathematics Building. (StarNews file photo)

According to Susan Harrell, director of admission for Cape Fear Academy, some of the school’s more famous alumni include Patrick Ballantine, a former North Carolina state senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate who graduated in 1983; former major league baseball player Trot Nixon, who attended Cape Fear Academy in elementary and middle school before enrolling in New Hanover High School; and Reginald Shuford, who graduated in 1984.

Shuford is senior staff attorney of the Racial Justice Program at American Civil Liberties Union Foundation in New York, the recipient of the Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowship for the 2009-2010 academic year and earned a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Law School.

More recent alumni include JJ Niemann and Maddie Hasson. Niemann attended Cape Fear Academy through middle school and has gone on to star in the Broadway show “The Book of Mormon.” Hasson attended Cape Fear Academy through high school and has appeared in TV shows such as “Grimm” and “Twisted” and will star in the YouTube Red drama “Impulse.”

Cape Fear Academy has its roots in the Cape Fear Military Academy, a private military institution for boys, which was founded in October 1868 and closed in 1916, Harrell said.

In February 1966, a group of Wilmington men, some of whom were descendants of alumni of Cape Fear Military Academy, formed the corporation that started Cape Fear Academy. It opened in 1967 and has operated as such since then.

UPDATED SEPT. 11, 2017, by Austin Suther

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One Response to “ Have any famous people ever attended or graduated from Cape Fear Academy?”

  1. On January 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm Jim Ware wrote:

    This answer was updated on Jan. 26, 2012.

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