Superintendent's Newsletter - page 2

Dear Parents,
The Class of 2013 graduated May 16, with Governor McDonnell offering congratulations and warm final
remarks in front of an audience of 5,000 cadets, families, staff, and faculty. Ninety percent of this class had jobs at
graduation, and 53 percent were commissioned in all branches of the armed services in an impressive ceremony
the previous day. The New Market Parade on May 15 was one of the best of my tenure, performed in front of an
overflowing audience.
Summer 2013 at the Institute has been one of the most active in our long history. As I write this letter, we have
just “fare-welled” a large Hollywood production crew that has been filming
The Field of Lost Shoes,
which takes as
its subject the VMI Cadet Corps activities in the Barracks and on post, and its participation in the Battle of New
Market. Several current and former cadets were “extras” in the movie, which will be released late this year or early
in 2014. It was a very educational and interesting experience for our staff, in spite of the hard work required in
refurbishing the post to portray the 1860 timeframe and the extensive support and long hours put in by many.
We are now preparing to welcome the next Rat Class (2017) and bring back our largest Old Corps as we
commence our 174th year. We anticipate a new cadet class of 490 rats matriculating on Aug. 17 and, with the
combined Old Corps, should see 1,740 cadets in uniform at the start of the academic year. As in past years, the
number of applications has been extraordinary, with more than 2,000 for the third year in a row. The quality
of the incoming class is superb, with the very finest sons and daughters America has to offer. The Cadre (class
and regimental staffs) had a most successful April retreat, where they set objectives and plans to lead the Corps in
Academic Year 2013-14; they will arrive on post Aug. 11 to execute final preparations for the important training to
By the end of the summer, we will have completed two large sessions of summer school as some cadets “catch
up” or take classes to “get ahead” while others participate in undergraduate research with faculty mentors in the
very best educational experience. One-half of the inbound Rat Class will take part in our Summer Transition
Program, and more than 500 parents of these new cadets will have attended an optional Parent Orientation
session. The post and Institute are hosting a large number of athletic camps and other summer activities: men
and women’s soccer, wrestling, baseball, AAU baseball competition, community theater presentations, lacrosse
clinics, the College Orientation Workshop (COW ), football day camp, and 4th of July activities including the
balloon rally, which will be attended by thousands across this region, … and much more.
We have also hosted the Joint Legislative and Audit Review Committee here twice this summer with extensive
discussions and generation of reports aimed at understanding the factors impacting the growing cost of education.
Similarly, we have been active on the government relations front.
This summer, our Physical Plant and Construction Office have been involved in small and large projects across the
post. An extensive effort in Old Barracks to repair concrete deterioration, install new roofing, and paint and clean
all rooms is under way. A $150,000 project to install wireless Internet in the barracks is expected to be completed
by the time the Corps returns. Extensive planning and design is under way on our next three major construction
projects. Phase I is a new state-of-the-art $80 million Corps Indoor Physical Training Facility on Route 11 (next
to Cameron Hall and across from South Institute Hill Parking); Phase II is a $20 million major reconstruction
A Letter from the Superintendent
July 20, 2013
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