Frank Robbins Pancake, a native of Staunton, Virginia, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1938. He served as a B-29 pilot during World War II, and subsequently served in the U. S. Air Force for 28 years, including posts in France, Panama, and at the Pentagon. He served as Commandant at VMI from 1951-1954. After retiring from active duty he earned a Ph.D. and returned to Staunton to teach at Mary Baldwin College. He died in 2003 at the age of 87.