Alumni group at Virginia Military Institute gains regional attention

Roanoke Valley News

LEXINGTON, Va. (WFXR) — Alumni from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) have formed a political action committee to protect and defend the school’s “core values.”

“The story that’s being told isn’t correct,” said Matthew Daniel, founder of “The Spirit of VMI.”

As an alum of the institute, Daniel says the culture of the school has been negatively questioned over the past several months.

“What we see right now is a verbal and intentional threat against the honor system at VMI,” said Daniel.

Last October, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) sent a letter to VMI’s Board of Visitors, expressing deep concerns regarding allegations of racism and discrimination.

An investigation is now being conducted by independent law firm Barnes and Thornburg. A special team has already sent out a 107 page survey to current cadets and employees.

“This is a verdict that has been levied on VMI, and the history of VMI, and the current conduct on the institute with no proof. With no evaluation. With no interviews. Nothing. Other than the word or accusation of a few individuals,” Daniel said.

Key legislators soon chimed in after Northam’s order, most condemning the accusations.

Soon, Daniel and 12 other alums from his graduating class, decided to voice their concerns and fight against hateful feedback.

“It started as a group of guys that were trying to understand what was going on, in what we would consider sort of the assault on VMI,” said Daniel.

As a PAC, “The Spirit of VMI” was formed to push back against harmful legislation, to support the institute’s founding principles, and adhere to changes — both current and future.

“We do understand that there is continuing change that is going on, and we just want to make sure that the change is sound and for sound reasons,” Daniel said.

Since the group officially formed in February, hundreds of alumni have reached out to Daniel, looking to help where needed.

“Many have reached out to our team about wanting to join, wanting to contribute one way, shape or form.”

This is part of an effort to protest VMI and its essential principles.

“They are interrelated, interlocked, and we hope that both of them will continue to press on,” said Daniel.

To learn more about the group, visit their website here.

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