To say Manu Kumaran made an impression on the Effingham County High School Air Force JROTC cadets — and perhaps their parents as well — might very well be an understatement.
The CEO of Medient Studios was asked to deliver an address to the cadets at their annual dining-in “mess,” and he explained to them the lessons he’s gleaned from life through his various careers and enterprises.
Cadets who messed up during the mess are required to drink a cupful of what is called “grog,” which apparently is a fairly vile-tasting concoction, and then turn the cup upside down over their heads to display that they have in fact consumed its contents.
Kumaran noticed this and offered to try it, but he was widely advised not to by the cadets and parents. Still, once his speech was done, his curiosity got the better of him, and he went over to the punch bowl for a cup. As he walked back to his seat, he stopped and said it wasn’t the worst thing he’s ever had, eliciting more laughter from the crowd.
“Maj. Burgstiner has a great group of kids,” Effingham IDA CEO John Henry, who accompanied Kumaran to the event, said of the JROTC commander. “I was very encouraged. They were very respectful.”
Cadets asked, and Kumaran obliged, for pictures with the studio chief, along with Matthew Mellon, the newest member of his board of directors.