LEXINGTON, Va. (WFXR) — On Thursday morning, Virginia Military Institute’s Board of Visitors unanimously voted for Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins — a 1985 VMI graduate who was named as interim superintendent in November 2020 — to serve as VMI’s 15th superintendent.

VMI announced Wins’ appointment on Thursday, April 15 following the Board of Visitors meeting that morning. Wins is also the first Black man to lead the institute.

“Maj. Gen. Wins has distinguished himself as a leader whose dedication to the Institute’s mission and to the Corps of Cadets has endeared him to many during his brief time as interim superintendent,” said John William Boland ‘73, president of the VMI Board of Visitors. “VMI’s mission, Honor Code, and regimental and class systems are vitally important to the future success of our institution. There’s no question that Maj. Gen. Wins is the right person to preserve and advance VMI’s unique system of education moving forward.”

According to the institute, Wins’ priority during his time as interim superintendent has been focusing on the cadet experience, trying to provide cadets with a VMI experience that is as normal as possible amid the pandemic.

“If someone had told me a year ago that today I’d be the superintendent of my alma mater, I would have told them they were crazy,” Wins said. “However, the interactions that I’ve had over the past six months with VMI’s outstanding cadets and dedicated faculty have been some of the most rewarding interactions of my career. The fact of the matter is I believe in the honor, integrity, civility, and sacrifice that we instill in our cadets. I’m excited to once again be a part of that and am looking forward to leading this next chapter of the Institute’s history.”

Gene Scott ‘80, chair of VMI’s Superintendent Search Committee and a member of the Board of Visitors, said that the committee left no stone unturned in their search for VMI’s next superintendent.

“VMI is synonymous with leadership. So, when an opportunity to lead an organization like VMI opens up, there is no shortage of interest,” Scott said. “Our candidate pool was very strong from the outset of the search. Maj. Gen. Wins distinguished himself as a frontrunner through his experience as a military leader and innovator. His ability to communicate a vision for the development of leaders of character and the future of the Institute set him apart from others.”

“Over the past six months, Maj. Gen. Wins has brought a fresh perspective and a new enthusiasm to the challenges that the Institute faces today. There’s no question that the future of VMI is very bright with Maj. Gen. Wins at the helm,” said Board of Visitors and Superintendent Search Committee member Lara Tyler Chambers ’03.

During the first three months of his tenure as interim superintendent, school officials say Wins spent a significant amount of time conducting an assessment of the culture, policies, and procedures currently in place at VMI.

After meeting with and listening to cadets, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni to learn about their needs and concerns, VMI says he identified five outcomes for the institute moving forward:

  1. “The VMI Honor Code must continue to be a way of life for each and every cadet and alumnus.
  2. Diversity and inclusion. VMI must ensure that every cadet, regardless of race, gender, religion, or nationality, feels a part of the VMI legacy.
  3. The VMI brand. The outward face of VMI should be built around young leaders of character who exemplify honor, civility, and service above self.
  4. Competing and winning. VMI cadets must compete to win in the classroom, on the drill field, and on the field of competition.
  5. One VMI. VMI’s strength is in its diversity of experiences, thought, abilities, and backgrounds. No single cadet’s challenge is greater than another’s. It is through the reliance on their fellow cadets that the Corps succeeds.”