VMI Board of Visitors sets tuition and fees, elects new officers, approves name changes

Lexington, Va., May 3, 2021—In its first two-day, in-person meeting since the pandemic, the Virginia Military Institute Board of Visitors took action on a number of important items including setting tuition and fees for the 2021-22 academic year, electing new officers, and contextualizing a number of features on post.

The Board of Visitors considered three proposals for 2021-22 tuition and fees including a 3% increase, 2.3% increase, and 0% increase. Based on the need to cover increased costs in the coming fiscal year including VMI’s share (60%) of a state-initiated 5% salary increase for all employees, the Board of Visitors voted to increase tuition and fees by 2.3%. This amounts to a $762 increase for in-state cadets and a $1,408 increase for out-of-state cadets.

The Board of Visitors also took action on a number of recommendations from the Commemorations and Memorials Naming and Review Committee. The committee, which is made up of board members, cadets, alumni, faculty, and historians, has been working for several months to ensure that the VMI post presents an inspiring and inclusive landscape for all members of the VMI community and the post’s memorials properly reflect VMI’s core values. Among the actions approved by the Board of Visitors:

  • The Board of Visitors voted to remove the embossed name of Stonewall Jackson from the front of Old Barracks and has directed the Commemorations and Memorials Naming and Review Committee to determine whether it would be appropriate to provide a formal new name for the archway and, if so, what that name might be at the next meeting of the Board of Visitors scheduled for September 2021.
  • The Board of Visitors voted that the name Jackson be removed from Memorial Hall and directed the Commemorations and Memorials Naming and Review Committee to determine an appropriate new name of the building at the next meeting of the Board of Visitors scheduled for September 2021.
  • The Board of Visitors voted to preserve the Clinedinst mural currently located in Memorial Hall for public display. Additionally, the board directed the VMI Museum to develop a system to provide visitors with appropriate context for the mural.
  • The Board of Visitors voted to expand the symbolism of the sculpture Virginia Mourning Her Dead to honor all former cadets who have died in wars and military conflicts since 1839.
  • The Board of Visitors voted to remove the attribution to Stonewall Jackson of the quote, “You may be whatever you resolve to be,” from the second stoop of Old Barracks. The board further instructed VMI to install a plaque inside the arch that attributes the quote to William Alcott and the Rev. Joel Hawes, who included the quotation in publications in 1834 and 1851 respectively. The plaque will also include a statement that former VMI professor Thomas J. Jackson included the quote in his book of maxims.

Additionally, the Board of Visitors selected a new slate of officers. Tom Watjen ’76 was elected to serve as board president. David Miller ’70, Gene Scott ’80 and Lara Tyler Chambers ’03 were elected to serve as board vice-presidents. Lt. Gen. Charles Dominy was elected to serve as the non-alumni member of the Executive Committee. The board members’ new positions are effective beginning on July 1, 2021.

- VMI -

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