Hunter Prescott Arndt, the grandson of Mayfan and Clinton Thomas, owners of Paper Chase Book Store in Batesville, will graduate from the United States Naval Academy on May 27 at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.

The USNA Class of 2022 is 1,200 strong. President Joe Biden will be the commencement speaker. Arndt is graduating with a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering. Immediately following the commencement ceremony, the class of 2022 will be commissioned as Ensigns (Navy) and 2nd Lieutenants (Marines).

Arndt’s capstone project for aerospace engineering was to build a rocket as part of a 12-person team. The rocket had to carry a payload up 4-6,000 feet, return to the ground in a reusable condition, and broadcast its location without the aid of a GPS. His team successfully built and launched the rocket at the NASA Student Launch competition in Huntsville, Alabama.

While at USNA, Arndt was a member of the Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, having signed up to join the corps during Plebe Summer. He had never played a brass instrument, but he was able to read music thanks to years of piano lessons. For the next 3-1/2 years, he had several rehearsals per week, played at all the Naval Academy home football and basketball games, and traveled to several away games, including San Diego and at Notre Dame University. He was active in the Japanese American Club and the Officers’ Christian Fellowship. He was also very active with the Chapel, often serving as acolyte for the early Protestant services.

Arndt was selected for Naval Aviation. After graduation, he will report to Naval Air Station Pensacola to attend aviation training for approximately 18 months. He will then be assigned to his future Navy base or carrier. He is the son of Shannon Thomas Arndt and Robert Arndt of Apollo Beach, Florida.

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