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

Roanoke Valley News

LEXINGTON, Va. (WFXR) — In its first two-day, in-person meeting since the pandemic, the Virginia Military Institute Board of Visitors took a number of actions, such as increasing tuition and fees for the 2021-22 academic year, electing new officers, and deciding to scrub the name of Stonewall Jackson from the Old Barracks.

The Board of Visitors considered three proposals for tuition and fees for the 2021-22 school year which includes a three-percent increase, a 2.3-percent increase and a zero-percent increase which is based on the need to cover increased costs in the coming fiscal year including VMI’s share (60-percent) of a state-initiated five-percent salary increase for all employees.

The Board voted to increase tuition and fees by 2.3-percent which 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 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 aspiring and inclusive landscape for all members of the VMI community and the post’s memorial 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.
  • 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.
  • The Board of Visitors voted to preserve the Clinedinst mural currently located in Memorial Hall for public display.
    In addition, 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.

In addition, the Board of Visitors selected a new slate of officers, who will take on their positions on July 1:

  • Tom Watjen ’76 was elected as board president.
  • David Miller ’70, Gene Scott ’80 and Lara Tyler Chambers ’03 were elected as board vice-presidents.
  • Lt. Gen. Charles Dominy was elected as the non-alumni member of the Executive Committee.

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