Jackson-Hope Fund History
The Jackson-Hope Fund reflects the legacy of the Jackson-Hope Medals, the highest academic awards presented at VMI. These awards were created in 1876, the year of the nation’s centennial, through the generosity of a group of Englishmen who admired former VMI physics professor and Civil War Gen. Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. The Hon. A. J. B. Beresford Hope, a member of the British Parliament, authorized the establishment of the fund at VMI as a memorial to Jackson.
The First Jackson-Hope Medal and The Second Jackson-Hope Medal have been bestowed ever since upon the most academically distinguished cadets in each graduating class. For well over a century, the name Jackson-Hope has represented high academic attainment by individual cadets.
In 2001, the concept of academic excellence was expanded by the creation of the Jackson-Hope Fund as a $50 million component of the $175 million capital campaign Reveille: A Call to Excel.
“This is only the beginning for a unique venture capital arrangement that will advance academic excellence at VMI,” said George G. Phillips Jr. ’60, chairman of Reveille and the Fund’s Board of Overseers, in 2001. “The Jackson-Hope Fund will function as a venture capital fund does in business. The exception is that instead of underwriting the development of a new business or product, the JHF will nurture improvements in the academic programs at VMI.”
The investment the Board of Overseers has made in the VMI’s academic program is paying off in dividends as the quality of an Institute education is stronger than ever, and its reputation as a leading liberal arts college grows and it is counted among the first-tier colleges in the United States.