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Volume XXXVII, Number 4

December 2009

Film Actor’s Loyalty Runs Deep Dabney Coleman, Scholarship Sponsor, Escorts Cadet at Ring Figure By George Abry

Up until Ring Figure, the two had never met in The annual Ring Figure ceremony, always a stellar person. milestone for 2nd Class cadets, got some additional Coleman’s loyalty to VMI runs deep. He attended star power this year. VMI for two full school years, as a rat and 3rd Class Character actor Dabney Coleman escorted Cadet cadet, from the fall of 1949 through the spring of Hannah Granger through a series of formal events 1951. A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Coleman on Ring Figure weekend and walked Granger then transferred to the University of Texas, where through the ring. he studied before being drafted into the Army in Granger, a psychology major and member of the 1953. ROTC aerospace studies program, said she asked Four of Coleman’s relatives, including his late Coleman to escort her for a couple of reasons. father, Melvin Randolph Coleman ’21, attended VMI. Her first choice was her father, John Granger, who On Coleman’s ring finger is a VMI class ring that once was unable to make the trip to Lexington at that belonged to his late uncle, Claude Douglas Johns Jr. time. Neither was Granger’s second choice: Mike ’15. Bozeman, the retired VMI track and field coach who One of Coleman’s cousins achieved distinction in had recruited Granger. his own right. The late Col. Glover Steiner Johns Jr. Coleman sponsored Granger’s athletic scholarship ’31 served as VMI’s commandant from 1957 to 1960 to VMI, and the two have stayed in touch. So asking and was the commanding officer of the U.S. Army’s Coleman was the logical thing to do. 1st Brigade, 18th Infantry, in its 1961 move into West “I have been in contact with Mr. Coleman since rat year when all athletes who had a scholarship Actor Dabney Coleman ’53 slips Cadet Berlin, a feat that landed Johns on the cover of Life were required to send their sponsor a short letter Hannah Granger’s 2011 class ring on magazine. thanking them for their generosity and telling them a her finger at the Ring Figure Ball. - Photo In 1976 a scholarship was set up to honor Clover S. Johns Jr., who also served as military adviser during little about themselves,” Granger said. “I’ll call him courtesy of Candid Color Photography. production of the movie Patton. Granger attends sometimes to give him an update on how things are VMI on this scholarship, and Coleman represents it. going, and he will occasionally call me to check on how I am doing.” Please see page 2

Laundry Services Adjusts to Change By John Robertson IV

From shirts to trousers to laundry racks, the hardworking women and men of laundry services are seeing major changes in the way they perform their duties. By next fall semester, the warm weather uniform may no longer feature the time-honored high-rise white duck pants, as a switch to lowerrise white trousers with belt loops is currently

being considered. “They have cadets wearing sample pants now, testing them, and they really like them,” said John Wilson, director of laundry services. Since laundry services receives 7,000 pairs of pants each week during the warmer months, the switch would make a significant impact. “It’s going to change my operation entirely,”

said Wilson, noting that the new pants cannot be pressed on the same presses as the white duck pants. The traditional white duck pants will not be phased out entirely if the low-rise pants are adopted, but will continue to be used for formal occasions. The pants are not the only change for laundry Please see page 4


Page 2, The Institute Report, December 2009

TAPS – Cadet John A. Evans Cadet John A. Evans, a 4th Class at VMI interesting for me,” said cadet who collapsed in his Barracks Nathan Marion, one of Evans’ four room Nov. 7, died as a result of roommates, during his talk. “He cardiac arrest due to an underlying was one of those people who have medical condition, Idiopathic the gift of making you look at things Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis, or from a slightly different perspective. IHSS. The determination that IHSS, John was kind, and he was a servant an inherited disease of the heart to others. muscle, was the cause of death was More than 300 cadets and members made by the medical examiner for of the VMI community attended the the Western District of Virginia. Mass of Christian Burial Saturday Earlier Nov. 7, Evans, 19, had morning, Nov. 14, at St. Louis Catholic completed a 10-mile road march Church in Clarksville, Md. Thirty with other members of the 4th cadets took part in the observance, Class. Cadets took part in three including Evans’ roommates, who observances in the days following served as pallbearers, and a cadet Cadet John A. Evans ‘13 is pictured with his father, Robert Evans ‘80 rifle party, color guard, bugler and Evans’ death. Cadet First Capt. Karsten early in the semester. - Photo courtesy of Mr. Evans. bagpiper. Evans was buried in the Bloomstrom ’10, regimental church cemetery. commander, gathered the entire Corps of Cadets around the Sentinal Box Evans was an International Studies major and a member of the Marine in the evening of Nov. 7 for an informal observance including an Old Yell ROTC program. in Evans’ memory. He is survived by his parents, Robert J. and Cheryl A. Evans; his siblings, Later in the week, on Thursday, Nov. 12, Chaplain James Park led a Elizabeth, Daniel and Paul Evans; and his grandmother, Virginia Evans. memorial service in Jackson Memorial Hall in which four cadets shared Donations in his memory may be made to the John A. Evans Memorial Fund personal reflections on their relationships with Evans. for the VMI Foundation, c/o St. Louis Catholic Church, 12500 Clarksville “John’s fun personality kept the often-mundane life of someone Pike, Clarksville, Md. 21029.

Alumni Agencies Donor and Financial Information Available The VMI Alumni Agencies’ Combined Financial Statements and the VMI Foundation’s and VMI Keydet Club’s Honor Roll of Donors for 2009 now are available at the VMI alumni agencies’ Web site, www.vmialumni.org. Found on the page https://www.vmialumni.org/Support_VMI, the former shows the financial status of the VMI Development Board, the VMI Foundation, and the VMI Keydet Club. Those interested in the latter document will be able to find it at the address www.vmialumni.org/ Honor_Roll.

As well as presenting information about the importance of private financial support to VMI and the successes enjoyed in fiscal year 2009 by the VMI Foundation and the VMI Keydet Club, the Honor Roll of Donors recognizes the alumni and friends of the Institute who made a gift or commitment in support of VMI in budget year 2009. Printed copies of the Honor Roll of Donors will accompany Issue 1 of the 2010 edition of the VMI Alumni Review when it is mailed in early 2010.

Film Actor’s Loyalty Continued from page 1 Coleman, 77, has appeared in about 60 films. Smarmy, abrasive, patronizing, and self-absorbed are some of the words used to describe his characters. Coleman’s career highlights include a role in the 1969 Elvis movie, The Trouble with Girls, and more recently, a role in the 2005 film Domino, which also starred Mickey Rourke and Keira Knightley. And who could forget Coleman as Franklin Hart Jr. in the 1980 hit Nine to Five? Granger said she’s not sure how word got out about her celebrity escort, but in weeks leading up to Ring Figure cadets stopped her daily on the stoop to get the gossip, which she said Coleman found amusing. During his weekend stay in Lexington, Granger and Coleman dined with VMI superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62. Coleman also toured the Barracks, revisiting his old stoop as well as the countless memories he said makes VMI special the world over. “I think what makes it unique is not so much the discipline or the honor court, but the deep sense of tradition,” Coleman said. “It really is the Marine Corps of universities.”

Institute Report Office of Communications and Marketing Col. Stewart MacInnis – Director Sherri Tombarge – Editor Burton Floyd – Publications Coordinator Contributors: Wendy Lovell, John Robertson IV, George Abry and Kevin Remington. Printing – McClung Printing,Waynesboro, Va. Eight issues are printed during the academic year. Inquiries, suggestions, news items, or address changes should be directed to: Editor, The Institute Report, VMI Communications and Marketing, Lexington, Virginia 24450-0304, Telephone 540-464-7207, Fax 540-464-7443


The Institute Report, December 2009, Page 3

VMI Foundation Hosts Institute Society Dinner in Marshall Hall By Scott Belliveau ’83, VMI Foundation

Tables were set up on both levels of the Hall of Valor to accommodate the guests at VMI’s Institute Society dinner. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.

The VMI Foundation held the 35th “edition” of The Institute Society Dinner, its annual event recognizing some of the leaders in support of VMI in the previous budget year, on the evening of Founders Day, Nov. 11. This year marked the first time the VMI Foundation held the event in Marshall Hall. The primary purpose of the annual black-tie dinner is to celebrate leaders in providing unrestricted support to the Institute, the members of The Institute Society, those alumni and friends who donate $1,500 or more of unrestricted money to VMI through the Foundation Fund. As in years past, they numbered the vast majority of the almost 530 guests – a number that required tables to be set up on the upper and lower levels of the Hall of Valor. The dinner also celebrates the success of the previous year’s 25th and 50th reunion fund drives; this year, the Class of 1959 and the Class of 1983 were recognized for their generosity to the Institute. Also recognized were class agents who work diligently throughout the year to keep their Brother Rats informed about VMI’s progress and encourage them to support it. Among the honored guests were many of the past recipients of the VMI Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award as well as John C. Allen ’62, who had received the Distinguished Service Award at the Founders Day convocation earlier that day. Among those who addressed the assembled guests were VMI’s superintendent, Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, and the keynote speaker, the president of the Board of Visitors, Thomas G. Slater Jr. ’66. Peay said that he always looked forward to “this gathering of faithful friends of the Institute” and the opportunity to thank them for their Please see page 5

Allen ’62 Receives Distinguished Service Award By Scott Belliveau ’83, VMI Foundation

Walter C. Perrin II ’62, president of the VMI Foundation, presented his Brother Rat, John C. Allen ’62, with the VMI Foundation’s highest honor, the Please see page 4

John C. Allen ’62 receives the VMI Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award. – Photo courtesy of the VMI Foundation.


Page 4, The Institute Report, December 2009

Distinguished Service Award Continued from page 3 Distinguished Service Award, at the Founders Day convocation on Nov. 11. The award recognizes exemplary dedication to the Institute and its mission and to the work of the VMI Foundation in support of the Institute. Before receiving the award, Allen was described as “a superb example of the VMI Foundation’s motto – Excellence in Service.” The citation for the award, read at the ceremony, highlighted the close involvement in philanthropy of Allen and his wife, Joyce Allen, especially in the fields of higher education and public health; John Allen’s service as a class agent from 1992 to 1997 and as a trustee of the VMI Foundation from 1994 to 1998; his continued and generous support of James F. Allen ’33 Scholarship, established by his father and fellow recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, James F. Allen ’33; and the establishment of the John C. Allen ’62 Distinguished Professorship in Chemistry in

1998. “It was an immense thrill for me to present my Brother Rat, John Allen, with the Distinguished Service Award and to do so while my Brother Rat is the superintendent,” said Perrin after the ceremony. “As proud of a moment it was for the Class of 1962, however, I sincerely hope that John’s example of success as a businessman and service as an alumnus inspires members of today’s Corps of Cadets to achieve success in their chosen careers and to devote themselves to the service of VMI.” A short video of the highlights of Allen’s remarks at the Founders Day convocation can be found at www.vmialumni.org/news and on VMI’s Web site, www.vmi.edu. The full text of Allen’s remarks and his citation, as well as photographs of the event, will be published in Issue 1 of the 2010 edition of The VMI Alumni Review.

Laundry Services Adjusts to Change Continued from page 1 services. Beginning fall semester, in response to cadet input, laundry workers stopped folding and banding the white shirts. Now they place them on hangers immediately after pressing, saving work for cadets. “Once they got to their rooms they had to hang their shirts in their wall lockers,” said Wilson, “so they would have to unfold them, and some were taking irons and touching them up before they hung them in their wall lockers.” Considering that laundry services handles up to 5,000 of these shirts a week, even a small change has major implications. The change required the workers to modify the way they transport and store the shirts for cadet pick up. “It’s taking us a little bit more time to handle them,” said Col. James Joyner, director of auxiliary services “but by the same token, it’s providing a service that I think the cadets like, so we’re happy to do it.” This change, in combination with the growth of the Corps, made it clear that the area where cadets receive their laundry had to be reorganized and expanded.

Pat Vest (foreground) places a clean shirt on a hanger while Debbie Shifflett (background, left) operates a sleeve press and Peggy Sensabaugh operates another press for the shoulders and collar. – VMI Photo by John Robertson IV.

VMI laundry services now puts up to 5,000 cadet shirts on hangers each week in a cadet pickup area redesigned by laundry services personnel last summer. – VMI Photo by John Robertson IV.

“We didn’t have enough laundry bins and enough storage space to hang the clothes up so the cadets could come and pick them up,” said Joyner, “so our laundry department worked all summer redesigning the area where the cadets come in and pick up their laundry. It’s not uncommon for laundry services personnel to do more than laundry. They are also able to service the vast array of aged, but solid, washers, dryers, and presses. “We service all of the equipment in here ourselves; we do all the maintenance work on them. If there’s any breakdown, we fix it,” said Wilson. The 32 employees of laundry services handle about 54,000 pounds of laundry per week, with no carryover from one week to the next. “We pick up twice a week, Monday and Thursday, and everything that we pick up has to be back to the cadets before we go home on Friday,” said Wilson. “If that requires us to work nine- or 10-hour days, which we do a lot of, we do that because we have to have that kind of service for the cadets.”


The Institute Report, December 2009, Page 5

Six Inducted into VMI Sports Hall of Fame By George Abry

Among those inducted last month into VMI’s Sports Hall of Fame were (from left) Dr. George D. Henning ’61, special citation; Charles T. Cole ’64, football; Michael R. Rogers ’98, football; Darrius D. Jackson-Walker ’98, track and football; Col. Thomas W. Davis ’64, special citation; and Andrew G. Beasley ’90, baseball. – Photo by Jeremy Leadbetter.

Col. Thomas W. Davis ’64 is no stranger to salutation. Davis, a retired VMI professor of British history and Western civilization, is the author of The Corps Roots the Loudest, the ultimate history of VMI athletics. In 1986 he received the VMI Distinguished Service Award, which was followed by the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1987 and another in 2007. And yet, Davis considers his recent induction into the VMI Sports Hall of Fame an all-time distinction. “I am deeply honored to be included with those individuals,” Davis said. “I have always taken a keen interest in VMI athletics.” Davis was one of six people inducted at the VMI Sports Hall of Fame banquet, where inductees were honored for outstanding athletic achievement or exemplary service in the name of Institute sports. Davis himself received a special citation, along with Dr. George D. Henning ’61, a longtime VMI team physician. A special citation recognizes alumni and non-alumni for outstanding personal service to sports off the athletic field. Also inducted was Charles T. Cole ’64, who played football for legendary VMI head coach John McKenna, who once cited Cole’s contributions as a

linebacker and center. Cole, who was quick and hard-hitting, was known to play through injuries. A posthumous induction went to William Van Fossen ’56, who was recognized for his dominance of free style swimming events in the Southern Conference during the mid-1950s. Van Fossen won nine Southern Conference individual championships and swept the 220, the 440, and the 1500 meter freestyle Southern Conference events in three consecutive years from 1954-1956. Van Fossen died in 1997. Other inductees included Andrew G. Beasley ’90 for baseball, Michael R. Rogers ’98 for football, and Darrius D. Jackson-Walker ’98 for track and football. The VMI Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972. Members of its Honor Committee meet in odd-numbered years to review nominations submitted by alumni or other members of the VMI community. The Alumni Review solicits nominations for Hall of Fame candidates in all sports, and induction of members takes place at a dinner ceremony the Friday night before the “Hall of Fame Game.” “It’s a privilege,” said Jackson-Walker. “To think that what you did at VMI really meant something; it’s quite an honor.”

Institute Society Dinner Continued from page 3 generous support. He also praised the members of The Institute Society for playing what he described as “a critically important role in the life of the Institute, especially in these challenging economic times.” Peay added that all members of the VMI family “want to ensure that today’s generation of cadets receives the very best in faculty, programs, services, and facilities. The support that you give enables us to do just that: to provide the very best and require and ensure excellence in all that we do.” In his remarks, Slater highlighted the many advances made by the Institute’s academic, co-curricular, and athletic programs as well as the high rankings in such publications as Forbes and U.S. News and World Report that these successes have translated into for VMI. He mentioned the upgrades to the facilities on Post, such as the construction of Third Barracks, the transformation of VMI’s baseball facilities centered on Grey-

Minor Stadium, and the expansion and reconstruction of Kilbourne Hall, touted by Slater as “one of the country’s top ROTC facilities.” Slater also stressed the emphasis that the Institute’s leadership has placed on ensuring the improvement of the “critical components of culture here at VMI” – civility, professionalism, and honor – or, as Slater put it, moving cadets “from good to great.” “This year’s Institute Society Dinner was another success in a long string of successes,” said Brian S. Crockett, chief executive officer of the VMI Foundation. “The hard work of people at the VMI Foundation and on Post, to include many cadets, resulted in a splendid event that recognized members of the Society and last year’s 50th and 25th reunion classes for their generosity to the Institute and capped what was, despite the rainy weather, a truly wonderful Founders Day.”


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VMI Community Vaccinated for H1N1 Flu By John Robertson IV

H1N1, or “swine,” flu vaccines arrived on Post in several batches throughout November, making vaccinations available to the entire Corps of Cadets, as well as employees and their family members. “We vaccinated about 50 high-risk employees and family members and offered the vaccine to all the rats,” said Dr. David Copeland, Institute physician, who noted that the vaccine was at first in limited supply. “Later, we received more, and the other three classes were offered the vaccine on November 17th, 18th, and 19th.” VMI employees and their families were offered the vaccine on Nov. 23, with 439 of them being vaccinated. Additional vaccinations were given through Dec. 4, at which time Copeland was instructed to return the remaining vaccine to the Virginia Department of Health. “People were frightened about the safety of the H1N1 vaccine because of some poor media coverage,” said Copeland, but he stressed that the H1N1 vaccine is as safe and effective as the seasonal flu vaccine. All told, 2,610 doses of H1N1 vaccine were received in November in preparation against the possibility of another wave of illness. “Typically, there is a second and even a third wave after an epidemic,” said Copeland. The first wave of illness hit the Lexington area last spring. The second wave occurred in the fall semester, and the next wave will likely come this winter, coinciding with the typical onset of seasonal flu. “We haven’t had many cases [of seasonal flu] in the last few years, but any year can see a spike in the number of cases,” said Copeland. About 170 cases of flu-like illness had been reported at VMI through November, and that number is expected to rise with the arrival of winter.

Jeri Phelps RN, one of the VMI infirmary’s four full-time nurses, administers an H1N1 flu vaccine. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.

Joint Military Memorial Service Chaplain (Col.) Jim Park addresses cadets, active and retired military personnel, and local residents at the Joint Military Memorial Service held in Jackson Memorial Hall on Nov. 8. The service recognized the sacrifices made by members of the United States Armed Forces in the past and the sacrifices being made today. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.


The Institute Report, December 2009, Page 7

Cadet to Join National Corps of Teachers By Wendy Lovell

have well prepared him for the challenges he will face Cadet Clint Raine has been selected to participate as a TFA corps member. in Teach For America, a two-year teaching program that places recent college graduates in low-income “VMI has given me the opportunity to be in important communities. The third cadet to be chosen for the leadership roles that I do not think I could have highly competitive program, Raine likely will teach experienced anywhere else,” he said. “Because of English as a second language in Charlotte, N.C. these positions, I am confident that I have the necessary “I came to VMI with an open mind about traits and skills to set course objectives and think commissioning into the military, but in my second of creative ways to see that the students reach these year I decided not to pursue a commission,” said Raine, goals. I have learned to live by managing my time a 1st Class cadet from Richmond, Va. “Even though I wisely, which will transition directly into creating ruled out the military, I still possessed a strong urge class schedules and making sure that class objectives to serve my country and better my community. TFA are met, and most importantly, I believe that VMI has will provide me with this chance to enact change in a instilled a confidence in me that cannot be matched Cadet Clint Raine. struggling socioeconomic region and provide a positive by students our age coming from other educational VMI Photo by Kevin Remington. role model for students suffering from educational institutions.” inequity.” A history major and English minor, Raine is an executive This will not be Raine’s first time in the classroom assisting students. As officer with F Company. Following his TFA assignment, he plans to attend a high school student, he participated in a service learning program that law or graduate school. placed him in a Chesterfield County fifth-grade classroom three times a Since TFA placed its first 500 corps members in classrooms in 1990, week. He also participated in a Lunch Buddies program at an elementary more than 24,000 college graduates have joined its movement to eliminate school, serving as a mentor to two fifth-grade students. educational inequity. Raine will serve in one of 35 regions across the Raine said that experience in the classroom coupled with his cadetship country.

Cadet Counseling Staff Supports Corps in Crisis By John Robertson IV

Cadet Counseling Staff, a group of trained 1st and 2nd class cadets, helped rally the Corps on Saturday, Nov. 7, after Cadet John Evans ’13 collapsed in his Barracks room. After gathering in the commandant’s office, the Cadet Counseling Staff went directly to the 4th stoop to Hotel Company’s company room. “There were a couple of groups that just had open conversations about Rat Evans, who he was and what he had accomplished,” said Cadet Michelle Feole ’10, cadet chaplain. “Everyone in the room was in disbelief at what had happened, and they all had tremendous grief about his death.” CCS members remained on duty until taps, taking care to ensure that there was a member in each Barracks that night, despite the fact that many were away for the weekend. “The small skeleton staff that was present worked tirelessly setting up a schedule immediately to offer direct support on the stoops for any cadet who needed counseling or just to talk,” said Cadet 1st Capt. Karsten Bloomstrom. “This scheduling of shifts to monitor the stoops went well into the night and throughout the weekend.” The CCS, whose members rushed back as word spread of Evans’ death, worked with cadet officers, emergency medical technicians, and VMI’s professional counselors to provide support. “As the first captain, I was nothing but impressed by the efforts and professionalism exhibited by these cadets,” said Bloomstrom. “It was evident that their support and service to the Corps was well received and that cadets truly responded to them in a very personal way that, in my

opinion, could not be achieved by any staff members.” Catherine Noie, health and wellness coordinator, directs the CCS as a group of peer educators who are responsible for providing help to struggling cadets in situations where professional counseling is impractical. They are also trained to refer cadets to professionals where appropriate. “In the course of our response, it has been heartening to observe the collaboration among cadet leaders in ensuring that appropriate supports were in place for any and every member of the Corps of Cadets and developing meaningful opportunities to memorialize Cadet Evans,” said Lt. Col. Amie Manis, director of cadet counseling. “We are very proud of their leadership and the way the community rallied to mourn its loss and celebrate John’s life.” The CCS saw firsthand how every member of the Corps was affected differently by the death of Evans. “For the Firsts, it was one of our Rats,” said Feole. “As a First, you feel like it is your job to help everyone get through the Rat Line, and on that day we lost one that we shouldn’t have lost. For the Seconds and Thirds, I think it reminded them of how much their Brother Rats mean to them and how hard it would be to lose a BR.” Nov. 7 ended with a memorial to Evans and some closure for the Corps. “That Saturday night, 15 minutes before taps, there was a huge gathering in third barracks,” said Feole. “The regimental commander said a few words, an old yell for Rat Evans was done, Taps was played by a bugler, and ‘Amazing Grace’ was played on the bag pipes.”


Page 8, The Institute Report, December 2009

Roberts Fund Brings Business Leaders to Post By Wendy Lovell

Since the Roberts Free Enterprise Fund was established by John and Jane Roberts in 1997, VMI cadets and faculty have benefited from the wisdom of many successful leaders. Most recently, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Stephen Millard came to Post to shed light on the facts and fables of starting hightech companies. As co-founder of several NASDAQ companies, three of which have achieved peak market valuations of more than $1 billion, Millard knows what he’s talking about. During a public lecture in the Leslie Gillis ’29 Theater, he told the VMI community that hard work, patience and stamina are all necessary ingredients for creating a successful business. Luck and timing are two factors that have served him well, too. While there’s no foolproof method of starting a company, Millard added that leadership and integrity are two qualities that he values in employees, and he finds that military experience bodes well for success in business. “I think it would be difficult to find a Roberts Lecture Series speaker who not only captured the theme of free enterprise and entrepreneurship, as Stephen Millard did, but who also captured the essence of what makes the VMI experience such a prized possession for those who can meet the challenge,” said Col. Floyd Duncan, Roberts Professor of Free Enterprise Economics and head of the department of economics and business. “If

hard work, determination, honesty and integrity are the key ingredients for success in the world beyond VMI, then our cadets are very well prepared.” Currently managing director of Pathfinder Partners LLC, Millard cofounded Equatorial Communications Inc., now GTE; Telebit Corp., now Cisco; and Metricom, which later became the Paul Allen Group. As an investor in Silicon Valley, he is a limited partner in numerous venture capital funds and an adviser to other funds. He holds a federal appointment as a distinguished visiting fellow and member of the Board of Visitors of the National Defense University, and he’s on the board of the National Defense University Foundation, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkley, and The Kellogg School at Northwestern University. Other speakers in the Roberts Lecture Series who have visited Post include Donald Wilkinson ’61, chairman and CIO of Wilkinson O’Grady & Company Inc.; Robert Kimmitt, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush; futurist Dr. Lowell Catlett; Ann Rhoades, former executive with JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines; political economist Dr. Marvin Zonis; Al Broaddus, former chairman of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank; and Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia.

Rats Earn Grit and Courage in 23-Mile March By George Abry

After the first 10 or 15 miles, you could tell the rats were starting to get a little tired, but perhaps everybody was. “You can definitely feel it: your feet and knees start to hurt,” said John Keilty ’10. “But that’s where the Brother Rat spirit kicks in.” Keilty was among the upper class cadets, faculty members, and 4th Class cadets who took part in the annual 23-mile Rat March from Harrisonburg to New Market, which was held on Nov. 22. Each year in full kit and carrying a rifle, 1st Class dykes march in solidarity with 4th Class cadets to commemorate the Civil War Battle of New Market, where 10 cadets died. There, dykes and rats alike revisit the historic sacrifices made by the VMI Corps of Cadets, which in 1864 fought as a unit in battle. The present-day march takes place along a portion of the historic Great Valley Road, today’s U.S. Route 11, taken by cadets during a four-day period in May of 1864. The presence of 1st Class cadets on the Rat March is designed to reinforce the importance of shared responsibility in hardship and to elevate rat morale. “Hopefully they will take away more than just the pain of marching,” said Col. Thomas H. Trumps ’79, commandant of cadets. “It is the history, the significance of New Market, all tied into the physical aspects of the Rat Line.” The weather for the march was perfect, with afternoon temperatures in the mid 60s. When the cadets reached New Market Battlefield, they regrouped regimental formation, took a deep breath, and charged the Field of Lost Shoes. With the exception of a few tired cadets and some blistered feet, the march went smoothly. “It’s not the weight of the pack that is so difficult, it’s these boots,” said Emerson Suttenfield ’10, offering a sore left foot for assessment. “The march is symbolic of the Rat Line itself,” said Kevin Marshall Cox ’10. “It builds up to this, and when you finally get to the battlefield itself

Rats and their dykes marched 23 miles along U.S. Route 11 – the Great Valley Road of 1864 – to charge the New Market Battlefield Nov. 22. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.

you realize you have overcome something really difficult, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.” Cox was there to support his Rat, Samuel Craig. The march followed several weeks of intense physical training that will culminate in Breakout. Michael Hutchings ’10, president of the Rat Disciplinary Committee, organized the 2009 Rat March. “By conducting this event we hope to create a linkage between our new cadets and the valor of the past,” Hutchings said. “With proper training, good leadership, peer support, and intestinal fortitude, our Rats will find that they have exactly the same kind of grit and courage that the New Market cadets demonstrated back in 1864.”


The Institute Report, December 2009, Page 9

VMI and Area Residents Join for Holiday Show and about 12 cadets. On a recent evening, four women were seated around a table, trying “Spontaneous isn’t really the unsuccessfully, and with half-hearted word I would use to describe enthusiasm, to plan the annual Stocking Stuffers, because it has community Christmas party. been planned for awhile,” said “Do you want to take notes?” one Shayn Tierney ’11, a history major of them asked. who serves as theatre president. “I’d love to, but I don’t have pen The main difference between the or paper,” another responded. Stocking Stuffers and the recent “I think we should form a production of The Hasty Heart is one committee.” of time, Tierney said. While Hasty On it goes, round and round, each Heart required about six weeks of woman expressing a sincere desire intense preparation, often with full to participate in planning the event, cast reporting for rehearsals each then palming off responsibility night, Stocking Stuffers can be to some other member of the First Class cadets Ross Hussmann (left) and Shayn Tierney rehearse a done with a few weeks of off-and-on community. comedy skit for the production of Stocking Stuffers, staged earlier this groundwork. The roundabout dialogue is part month in Gillis Theater. – VMI Photo by George Abry. Tierney was the storyteller in two of a skit called “The Christmas skits. One of them was a children’s Committee,” one of several being rehearsed as planning got under way in poem about a scarecrow at Christmas. The other skit was a funny take November for the annual production of Stocking Stuffers, a variety show on Christmas love overpowering an old man’s bitterness and grumpiness. put on in early December by the VMI Theatre. This year’s show featured more than a dozen separate performances. Started in 1996 with a cast of six, the hastily arranged holiday “It’s a creative pot of gold,” said Sherri Holland, a Stocking Stuffers performance has become a VMI tradition, with an offbeat assortment of performer. music, storytelling, verse, and monologue that celebrates Christmas and Added Joellen Bland, VMI Theatre director, “That’s the common ushers in the holiday season on Post. This year the cast of 26 included VMI denominator: it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that.” faculty and staff, performers from the Lexington-Rockbridge community,

Visiting Scholars Announced VMI will welcome several new faces to Post next year, and several familiar ones will remain. Dr. Harrison J. Pemberton will join the faculty in January as holder of the Eugenio Lopez Visiting Chair for Asian Studies. Pemberton recently spent time in the Himalayan foothills of India as the private tutor of one the highest lamas in Tibetan Buddhism, and Socrates Meets the Buddha, the book he wrote about this experience, will serve as the text for an Institute Honors seminar and philosophy elective of the same title. Pemberton retired from Washington and Lee University as a professor of philosophy. As holder of Wachtmeister Chair, Dr. Calvin Hale will teach a special topics course in the chemistry department, the Structure and Function of Membranes. He will also work with undergraduate researchers and present several lectures for the department and Institute community during spring term. A leading researcher in biochemistry, Hale has been a member of the faculty at the University of Missouri’s Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center for 24 years. While he continues to teach for the university occasionally, he now spends most of the year in Rockbridge County, where he owns and operates the Lexington Valley Vineyard, applying his biochemical knowledge to the study and manufacture of wine. As holder of the Thomas Bahnson and Anne Bassett Stanley Professorship in Ethics and Integrity, Heba El-Shazli will teach in the departments of International Studies and Modern Languages and Cultures next fall. ElShazli is regional program director for Middle East and North Africa of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity. She will bring to

her teaching and cadet development activities practical experience in democracy, elections, human rights and political development, including 25 years of working with world institutions and leaders to challenge authoritarian regimes. Her teaching will include a historical survey of leadership in the Arab world taught in Arabic. Next fall, Col. William Badgett will begin a three-year appointment as holder of the Edwin P. Conquest ’14 Chair. With this appointment, Badgett will retire from the regular faculty after 55 years of service to the Department of English and Fine Arts and to the Institute. He will coordinate the department’s fine arts offerings as he continues to teach the history of music as well as a variety of art history courses, including new special topics seminars. He also will continue to organize the department’s classical music concert series and serve on the Institute’s Memorials Committee, which regulates Post development to ensure architectural and historical appropriateness. Also for a three-year term, Louis Blair will remain at VMI as holder of the Economics-Mary Moody Northen Chair. Retired as executive secretary of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, Blair will teach Institute Honors seminars in public leadership and the history of science and technology, special topics courses in the Department of International Studies, sections of the Honors Forum. He also will offer seminars to assist cadets of all majors in the selection of and application to graduate programs, while assisting in the preparation of VMI’s candidates for external scholarships.


Page 10, The Institute Report, December 2009

Teaching Workshops Support Faculty Development By Wendy Lovell

Thanks to a new initiative from the dean’s office, VMI faculty are returning to the classroom, so to speak, where they are receiving assistance with new technology, as well as sharing best practices in teaching. The efforts are being coordinated by the VMI ePortfolio Project and the Professional Development, Technology for Teaching and Learning and the Faculty Development committees. “The teaching workshops have been designed as part of the mentorship program for junior faculty members and ongoing faculty development for senior members,” said Col. Mary Ann Dellinger, director of the ePortfolio Project and member of the Technology for Teaching and Learning Committee. “Above all, they are meant to provide opportunities for faculty to share our most successful teaching techniques.” Dellinger said the program is doing just that, offering a series of workshops for reflection for learning that began in late September with a program by Dr. Duncan Richter on reflective essays and teaching with small-group workshops. That was followed by one on facilitating reflective learning led by Col. Christina McDonald; another on using technology for reflective learning facilitated by Lt. Cmdr. Alexis Hart, Col. Peter Hoadley, and Col. Stacey Vargas; and another on best practices in using technology for teaching led by Col. Alan Baragona, Cmdr. Dan Joseph, and Lt. Col. Jay Sullivan in November. According to Lt. Col. Daniela Topasna, a member of the Faculty Development Committee who heads new faculty orientation, the workshops have been well received by both new faculty and those who have taught at VMI for several years. The emphasis on teaching in these workshops as opposed to program orientation is helpful for all participants, she added, and based on positive response to the best practices in teaching with

technology workshop, a second workshop of that nature will be offered next semester. An additional piece to the program are workshops on the ePortfolio Project and the Angel ePortfolio software, which are widely used on Post not only in the academic arena but with other departments. “The beginning of the 2009-10 academic year has brought a surge of interest in the ePortfolio tool, not only in the academic departments, but as importantly in ROTC, Career Services and various cadet clubs,” said Dellinger. “As we move forward, we will soon incorporate more diversified venues on facilitating ePortfolio development in specific disciplines, divisions, and co-curricular areas.” Dellinger added that cadets who will be taking 300-level courses in Spain next summer will publish an ePortfolio based on their immersion experience with reflections on newly acquired intercultural competencies in day-to-day and academic contexts. Also, if a proposed teacher certification consortium program with Washington and Lee University is approved by the Virginia Department of Education, VMI will implement a pre-service secondary methods class on ePortfolio. As chair of the Faculty Development Committee, Capt. Blair Turner is playing a major role in planning the workshops. He foresees more programs for faculty on reflective essays and teaching methodology in the sciences. While VMI always has provided faculty with training opportunities, he said the new program increases the emphasis on teaching. “I think it will be effective if it gets faculty more active in thinking and discussing pedagogy, not that they don’t do this already,” said Turner. “Like any development program, it isn’t trying to change the world, but rather seeks to enhance what is already there.”

Just Like Home VMI cadets from Taiwan pause after a dinner given for them by Chaplain James Park with John Mott ’76 and his wife, Mei Mott, who is from mainland China. Seventeen students attended the dinner, which took place at the Motts’ home last month. Mei Mott worked with a local Chinese restaurant to prepare authentic Chinese foods for the dinner, which was intended to promote relationships between the chaplain, VMI’s chapel program, and cadets from Taiwan. – Photo courtesy of Chaplain James Park.


The Institute Report, December 2009, Page 11

College Football a Dream Come True for Scholarship Athlete By Wendy Lovell

my career against them,” said Curtis. “Another occurred When Cadet Jack Curtis began looking at colleges, he this past year when the team went up to West Point to knew playing football would factor into his decision. play Army. Having the opportunity to play such as storied After all, it was a sport he had played since the third program as theirs is something I will never forget.” grade, and, as long as he can remember he dreamed of While football has been a major part of Curtis’ playing at the collegiate level. cadetship, he said he values the education he’s received During his senior year at Robinson Secondary School at VMI as well. He credits small class sizes for enabling in Fairfax, Curtis had added another important element him to develop close relationships with his professors to the list of colleges he was considering. and independent study programs such as the Summer “I wanted a different college experience than a normal Undergraduate Research Initiative for giving him the school could offer,” said Curtis, whose father, Mac Curtis, opportunity to conduct research and enhance his writing is a member of the Class of 1979. “The VMI traditions skills. of honor, integrity and academic excellence really made A history major, Curtis is pursuing minors in science it stand above other schools I was considering. I was being recruited by others schools, but they could not Jack Curtis ’10- Photo courtesy and security and philosophy. Upon graduation, he hopes of VMI Sports Information. to work for the U.S. government in the area of intelligence offer scholarships. By offering me a scholarship, VMI and to one day give back to the Institute that has given him so much. clearly gave me the best opportunity to play in college.” The choice to attend VMI has been a good one for Curtis, who “I believe my VMI experiences have prepared me for any career path,” was redshirted his 4th Class year but played in every game the next, said Curtis. “The time management skills I have acquired here will benefit demonstrating his skill on special teams. He played at linebacker and on me the rest of my life, and the focus on leadership has allowed me to evolve specials teams his 2nd Class year and worked both sides of the ball this past into a much stronger leader than I was as an incoming freshman.” season. Just prior to his final season at VMI, Curtis was one of 11 cadets Curtis added that his time on the field and in training for football taught named to the 2008-09 Big South Presidential Honor Roll for academic him that you have to throw out excuses if you want to be successful. “It is true that VMI has many obstacles that other athletic programs do achievement. Among the highlights of his football career at VMI was being named the not have to deal with,” said Curtis. “However, if you want to be successful, special teams player of week against James Madison University during his you cannot allow these obstacles to affect you. Coach [Sparky] Woods has done a great job of not allowing the different factors of VMI get in the way sophomore year. “They were a highly ranked team, and I played one of the best games of of the team’s preparation, and I think that is a very good life lesson.”

Men’s Rugby Ranked Among Top Nationally Rugby Magazine has ranked the VMI Men’s Rugby Club as among the top 25 Division II club teams in the nation. VMI, which has never been ranked, beat ninth-ranked Radford University 22-21 on Nov. 7 in the Virginia Rugby Union championship tournament. VMI faced James Madison University the following day for the state title, and an injury-depleted VMI team dropped a close one in the final moments 25-21. Despite the loss, VMI still earned enough points over the season to share the No. 14 ranking with Virginia schools JMU, Radford and University of Mary Washington. The Rugby Magazine Web site noted the four teams were clustered so closely together it was impossible to separate them among the top 25 schools nationally. There are over 300 colleges and universities playing Division II rugby. Only VMI and JMU will advance to represent the VRU come the spring season when six teams compete for the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union Championship. VMI will play Salisbury University VMI’s Men’s Rugby Club was ranked among the top 25 Division II club teams in the nation by Rugby Magazine. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington. on March 20, 2010, in the first round.


Page 12, The Institute Report, December 2009

Falconi Earns Three-Legged Stool Award Courtesy of VMI Sports Information.

Women’s soccer defender among current VMI intercollegiate Audrey Falconi ’11 has been athletes. She holds a perfect 4.0 named the winner of the 2009 VMI grade-point average in her major, Three-Legged Stool. chemistry. The Three-Legged Stool is an Falconi has been recognized award given by the VMI Keydet numerous times for her performance Club annually to the 1st Class in the classroom, earning three trips cadet who best represents the to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine three aspects that make up the Academic All-District listing and three VMI life: academics, athletics, listings on the Big South All-Academic and leadership. Falconi is the first Team. She recently closed out her female cadet to win the award, career by being named the 2009 Big which will be presented Feb. 6 at South Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete halftime during the VMI-Winthrop of the Year, becoming the first VMI University basketball game at player to earn that honor. The Big South also recognized Cameron Hall. Falconi for her performance on the “Were he still living today, VMI alumnus Giles Miller would have Audrey Falconi ’11 has been named winner of the Keydet Club’s Three soccer field, as she was named First Team All-Conference each of her been very proud to know Cadet Legged Stool award. – Photo courtesy of VMI Sports Information. final two seasons at VMI. Prior to the Falconi,” remarked Greg Cavallaro ’84, chief executive officer of the VMI Keydet Club. Miller was the 1924 2009 campaign, she was second in the conference’s Preseason Player VMI graduate who coined the phrase “three-legged stool” to describe the of the Year voting, and she distinguished herself throughout her final campaign. VMI experience. “She represents the very best at VMI today and has brought incredible Playing every minute on the field during the season, she led VMI to honor to her team, her Brother Rats, the Corps, and all who know her,” its second consecutive year appearing in the Big South Championship semifinals, as the Keydets enjoyed their best defensive season, in large added Cavallaro. In addition to holding rank in the Corps of Cadets for two years and part due to the back line Falconi anchored. The team set a new record being elected team captain her 1st Class year, Falconi has maintained a with a 1.06 goals against average and tied the previous school mark with grade-point average just under 4.0 throughout her time at VMI – the highest six shutouts.

Post Briefs Bat Research Featured An article in the December issue of the BBC Wildlife Magazine describes the recent research of a team led by Maj. Paul Moosman, assistant professor of biology, with bats and fireflies, the results of which were published in the scientific journal Animal Behaviour. The research was also featured in October on Discovery News online. Moosman’s research sought to examine whether fireflies are eaten by bats and the role their flashes may play in avoiding predation by bats. His team determined that bats do not eat fireflies because they are distasteful and may recognize fireflies by their flashes, in what Moosman calls a “win-win” situation, where fireflies avoid being eaten and bats avoid wasting time going after bad-tasting insects. Miller Center Staff Presents at Conference Lt. Col. Anna Crockett of the Miller Academic Center gave a presentation at the College Reading and Learning Association national conference in Richmond, Va., Oct. 28-30. During the Pre-conference Institute, Crockett, learning programs director, presented “Foundations for Success: Teaching Executive Functions in Academic Support Programs.” Also, cadets Stephen Redmond ’11 and Nathanial Zand ’11 led the session “Peer Mentoring Program for College Students with Invisible Disabilities,” and Crockett led the session “Foundations for Success: Integrating Executive Functions in an Academic Support Seminar.”

Article Mentions Cadet Research Col. Mary Ann Dellinger, professor of modern languages and cultures, has published an article, “Endless Possibilities: Undergraduate Research in a Second Language,” that refers to the work of four cadets. Published in the Summer 2009 issue of CUR Quarterly, the professional journal of the Council on Undergraduate Research, the article includes references to research projects by Saul Newsome ’05, Keven Pellitier ’09, and John Terminato ’07 in Spanish and Whitney Matthews ’07 in German. Hardin Named to New Post Patricia Hardin has been named acting director of undergraduate research for a renewable term through June. She succeeds the program’s founding director, Col. James E. Turner, who was named head of the biology department earlier this year. Hardin has served as associate director and operations coordinator for the Undergraduate Research Initiative since August 2005, with primary responsibility for organizing the Summer Undergraduate Research Initiative. She has been at VMI since 2000 as an adjunct instructor of German and director of the Scott Shipp Hall Language Media Center. She is active in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research as a member of the association’s Editorial Board. Hardin currently is completing the requirements for her doctorate in Germanic languages and literatures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


The Institute Report, December 2009, Page 13

Faculty to Don Blue Come Fall By John Robertson IV

a gold braid with red in the middle,” said Joyner. VMI’s uniformed faculty and staff will be donning Faculty and staff who do not have military experience new colors next fall with VMI’s adoption of the blue but require a rank are offered a commission with the Army Service Uniform – ASU – in the wake of the U.S. Virginia Militia. Along with that commission comes a Army’s adoption of the blue uniform to replace the uniform. current green Army Service Uniform. “They are issued shoes, belts, ties, shirts, and all the Formal presentations to decide between two accouterments that they need to perform their jobs,” said vendors to provide the uniforms to VMI faculty and Joyner. staff took place early this month. Uniformed faculty and staff, with the exception of those “The design is pretty much the same, but the colors with past service in one of the armed services other are completely different,” said Col. James Joyner, than the Army who are authorized to wear that service’s director of auxiliary services. uniform, will be issued the new uniforms by mid-April, “Instead of wearing a green shirt, they’re going to about 170 in total. Faculty and staff will be wearing the wear a white shirt. It’s a deep navy, almost black, coat ASU by the beginning of next fall semester. and light blue trousers with a yellow stripe running “We want to do this all at one time,” said Joyner. down the seam.” “You can’t have half the faculty in one uniform and half “It’s a more traditional uniform for the Army,” in another, so that’s why we’re going to outfit all of the old said Joyner, noting that American soldiers have worn New Army Service Uniform faculty and replace the Army green uniforms they have some variation of the ASU’s color scheme in combat U.S. Army Photo with the Army blue uniforms prior to August and the new through the American Revolution, the Civil War, and school year.” the Spanish-American War. Another nod to tradition comes in the form of a colored sleeve braid Among the U.S. Army’s reasons for switching to the blue ASU were indicating the officer’s branch, reminiscent of similar braids running along deference to tradition – the green ASU dates only from 1954 – and a desire to streamline the Army’s array of uniforms. The Army expects to have the the trouser seam in Union Army uniforms of the Civil War. “Most of our faculty officers are in the engineer branch, so they’ll have green uniform completely phased out by 2014.

AFROTC Cadets Get Chemical Awareness Training by Cadet Angie Gomez, Air Force ROTC

Third Class Air Force ROTC cadets and water was sprayed on their faces. experienced tear gas firsthand in The exercise trained the cadets to training exercises during this year’s trust their gear and develop a greater Fall Field Training Exercise. appreciation for technology used for The cadets spent Saturday, Oct. 10, protection from chemical exposure. All of Detachment 880’s cadets learning about chemical awareness participated in a Sports Day at Jordan’s from the Readiness Fight from Langley Point that opened the FTX Friday, Oct 9. Air Force Base. They applied those In a morale-boosting activity, flights classroom skills in a practicum paired up to play soccer and complete Sunday, when they split up into groups foot races against one another. The at Lackey Farm and proceeded into cadets also participated in leadership the woods, locating inert training aid activities including working as a team explosive devices, using small unit tactics, identifying chemical agents Third Class Air Force ROTC cadets try on gas masks during chemical to push a van, a tug of war event, and a buddy-care relay. in the air, reporting fallen casualties, awareness training. – Photo courtesy of Air Force ROTC. The winners ate first at a cookout and addressing chemical symptoms. The practicum culminated in a mask confidence, or “gas chamber,” culminating the events. test. In groups of five, the cadets entered a small tent filled with tear gas. Following the cookout, the cadets attended Career Night in Kilbourne Hall and heard six officers discussing their career paths within the Air There they were instructed to trust in their gear. After a few seconds of breathing comfortably, the cadets one by one Force. The cadets met the officers and asked questions about their own were instructed to take off their masks and breathe in the moist air. Tear potential career paths. gas affects the eyes first, causing instant irritation. Afterward, an Air Force Fourth, 2nd, and 1st class cadets spent Saturday playing paintball at instructor escorted the cadets out of the tent to air out. The cadets flapped Lackey farm. On Sunday, 4th Class cadets completed the Air Force Officer their arms to help dissipate the tear gas crystals, which affect the sinuses, Qualifying Test, while upperclassmen attended a trap and skeet event.


Page 14, The Institute Report, December 2009

Water Polo VMI’s Seventh Women’s NCAA Sport By Wade Branner, VMI Sports Information

Water polo will be the newest sport sponsored by VMI’s intercollegiate athletic program for women’s athletics. The announcement was made earlier this month by Donny White, VMI athletic director. Plans are to hire a coach by July 1, 2010, with competition to begin during the 2011-12 academic year. Water polo will be VMI’s seventh NCAA intercollegiate sport sponsored for women, joining soccer, cross country, indoor track, swimming and diving, outdoor track and field, and rifle. The decision to initiate a women’s water polo program was based on a study conducted by a committee composed of athletic administrators, faculty, cadets, alumni, and Board of Visitors members. The committee began last September on the study, which evaluated the new sport’s potential competitive success, operational and facility cost, acceptance by the Corps as a sport that fits well with the VMI culture, and impact of the on existing VMI sports in relationship to practice and competition facility needs. Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, VMI superintendent, made the final decision in

consultation with White. “We are pleased to add water polo to our women’s intercollegiate sports programs,” said White. “The decision was based on extensive research by our committee, and we felt that it would be the best fit for the Institute at this time. We are also excited about the possibility of our women’s swimming program being enhanced with the addition of water polo to the sports VMI sponsors on the NCAA Division I level.” Water polo requires a minimum of 10 contests per season, and they can be scheduled against teams from all three NCAA divisions. Conference affiliation options on the East Coast include the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association and Collegiate Water Polo Association. Women’s water polo, a traditional spring season sport, has been sponsored as a championship sport by the NCAA since 2001, although competition itself has taken place much longer. Currently, there are 33 Division I programs, eight Division II programs, and 19 Division III teams.

Navy Cadets Receive Service Selection Service selection results for 1st The designation of Price for Class cadets in VMI’s Naval ROTC BUDS training chalks up VMI as unit were announced Oct. 15. owner of at least one of the 22 slots Sixteen of the midshipmen were available among 63 Naval ROTC units declared eligible, 10 received nationwide for the third straight year. their first choice of career options, It’s the seventh slot received by a VMI and 11 will immediately enter the cadet in the last three years. Price will community of their choice after follow in the footsteps of his father, commissioning. who is a prior SEAL. During service selection, the Rory Alfree is the second VMI cadet full record of a midshipman, chosen by the EOD community since including academic grades, 2008. He will begin his career through military performance, physical a Navy dive school before meeting fitness ability, and potential for First Class cadets in VMI’s Naval ROTC unit received notification of their other wickets for EOD qualification service in the community of service selection assignment in October. – Photo courtesy of Naval ROTC. after commissioning next May. He preference, is considered before assignment is determined. was one of 15 designated nationwide in a community where competition In all, three cadets were selected for surface warfare, one for submarine for entry is keen. warfare, six for training as naval aviators, two for training as naval flight “My EOD summer training was a confirmation for me that this is what I officers, one for SEAL training, and one for explosive ordnance disposal, wanted to do in the Navy,” said Alfree. “It is an honor to serve with such or EOD. Two more will receive their assignments at a later time as surface an extraordinary and motivated group.” Robert Allen and Rachel Halnon will enter the surface warfare community warfare or naval flight officers. The six selected to be naval aviators equals the number selected from immediately after graduation, but will embark on different career paths after their initial tours. Allen will later serve as a Navy engineering duty officer, and the class of 2009, which had 23 commissions through Naval ROTC. “It is a dream come true,” John P. Keilty III said. “I cannot wait to enter Halnon will complete the nuclear training pipeline after her first tour to serve aboard a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. the fleet and join this great team of professionals.” The selection of midshipmen for the SEAL and EOD communities is Up next for these surface warfare designees is ship selection, a unique an affirmation that the reputation for quality of VMI alumni is held in privilege among Naval ROTC midshipmen, as they will know exactly which high regard in the fleet. For Jonathan Price, service selection for basic command and port they will report to after commissioning. Should they underwater demolition/SEAL training, or BUDS, the first stepping stone choose to, they can remain local in Virginia by selecting a ship based in on the path to qualification as a Navy SEAL, represents the culmination of Norfolk. They also have the opportunity to select other ports such as San Diego, Honolulu, Jacksonville, and Seattle or overseas in Yokosuka or nearly four years of hard work and dedication to be chosen. “I came to VMI specifically to be a SEAL and to prepare for the rigors Sasebo, Japan. of BUDS training,” Price said.


The Institute Report, December 2009, Page 15

Marine Corps Celebrates Birthday By Gunnery Sgt. Bradley S. Driver, Naval ROTC

Past, present, and prospective Marines joined together Nov. 6 for the VMI Naval ROTC unit’s first celebration of the Marine Corps birthday to take place in Marshall Hall. It was the Marine Corp’s 234th birthday. The program included a presentation on the history of the U.S. flag and the poem “Old Glory,” as well as meditations on the title of “Marine” by 1st Lt. Russell Keene and Gunnery Sgt. Bradley S. Driver. The annual birthday message from the commandant of the Marine Corps was shown via video on a large-screen. The message highlighted the passing of the “warrior ethos” from past generations to the present. “From each generation, an elite warrior class emerges to defend our nation. Today we pay tribute to past warriors who fought valiantly for the freedoms we enjoy and salute the new generation of patriots who carry on that legacy of valor,” said Gen. James T. Conway, commandant. The video showcased Marines from the current generation Brig. Gen. Richard M. Lake (left) and Col. David Hough march on during the VMI Naval as having courage and selfless devotion to the country, ROTC unit’s birthday ball. – Photo courtesy of Naval ROTC. Corps, and fellow Marines. The guest of honor, Brig. Gen. Richard M. Lake, made inspirational present, representing the passing of the history and traditions from the remarks discussing the current state of affairs and where the Corps is headed oldest to the newest members, and the reading of Gen. John A. LeJeune’s in the future. Lake is deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s birthday message. The message, written in 1921, is read each year at Marine birthday celebrations around the globe, commemorating the words of the National Clandestine Service for Community Human Intelligence. The celebration also observed Marine Corps traditions, including the 13th commandant, who was also the fifth superintendent of VMI, serving cutting and sharing of the birthday cake by the oldest and youngest Marines from 1929 to 1937.

Army Cadets Rate High Nationally By 2nd Lt. Jared Law and 2nd Lt. Nathan Goldsmith, Army ROTC

First Class VMI cadets enrolled in Army ROTC received their branching assignments from the U.S. Army recently. The results were favorable for the 50 cadets anticipating graduation and commissioning this May. “Growing up listening to my dad talk about U.S. Army Ranger School, I was imbued with a desire to be in the infantry from an early age,” said Jonathan Buckland ’10. “I and my rat roommate, Josh Hughes, both wanted to be infantry officers from the very earliest days of the Rat Line. It’s pretty cool to see that come to fruition for both of us. I would say I’m just as proud and excited to get this as I will be about graduation and my diploma.” Seven of the cadets were named Distinguished Military Graduates, and of those one was in the top 10 percent. All seven received their first branch choice. Twenty-five of the other cadets also rated very highly on the order of merit list and received their branch assignment of choice. Eighty-eight percent of the VMI cadets who were up for branching got one of their first three choices, compared with only 81 percent of cadets on the national level. Army branching is based upon a number of factors, such as the cadet’s physical training scores over their time at VMI, academic performance, leadership ability, and performance at the U.S. Army’s Warrior Forge at Fort Lewis, Wash., during the summer. VMI typically performs very well overall in the national list, having produced the top cadet in the nation in

Army ROTC cadets who received their assignments recently, such as Edmund Preisser ’10, now sport branch insignia above their name tags. Preisser’s is field artillery. – Photo courtesy of Army ROTC.

both 2006 and 2007. As usual, over half of the unit’s 1st Class cadets are heading into a combat arms branch of the Army. The results were most favorable for those requesting infantry, armor, field artillery, ordnance, and engineer branches, as these branches had the highest number of slots and many cadets got their first choice.


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Individual Cross Country Title Leads To Second-Place Finish By Brad Salois, VMI Sports Information

honors with her 18:39 effort and 6:00 Second Class cadet Hannah Granger’s mile average. Leah Schubel ’13 was VMI’s individual title led the Keydets to a secondNo. 3 runner, finishing 16th with a 19:34 place finish at Oct. 31’s Big South Cross time, and Lindsey Carty ’13 nearly posted a Country Championships in Winston-Salem, fourth-consecutive personal best, running N.C. The finish was the team’s best-ever a 19:41 to finish 18th. Corinne Lariviere result at a conference championship meet ’13 finished 28th in 20:11, while Jenna and led to a litany of firsts in program Pickett ’12 was 31st with a time of 20:20. history. “Leah Schubel and Lindsey Carty ran well, Granger, who won the meet with a 18:25 and overall, I’m extremely pleased with clocking, bested rival Dacia Bushman of everyone’s effort today,” said Spangler. team winner Liberty University by seven In the team rankings, VMI’s secondseconds to capture the Keydets’ first-ever place finish was fueled by 66 team points. individual conference title in women’s Liberty won the meet with 47 markers, cross country and the Runner of the Year award. The VMI standout averaged 5:56 The VMI women’s cross country team achieved its best- Coastal Carolina University was third with per mile en route to the victory and was ever result at a conference championship at the Big South 76 points, and High Point University scored also named to the Big South All-Academic Cross Country Championships Oct. 31. – Photo courtesy of 86 points to finish fourth. VMI Sports Information. “Coach Spangler has done an outstanding team. job, and the Big South Women’s Coach of “The women did a great job, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” said VMI head coach Paul the Year award was well deserved,” said Darrin Webb, VMI director of Spangler, who was named Big South Women’s Cross Country Coach of the track and field and cross country. “This women’s team has surpassed all Year following the meet. “Hannah ran a great race, helped by a big surge of my expectations, especially considering the number of freshmen that at about halfway to seize control, and Jenna Moye finishing fourth as a make up this team. I could not be prouder of everyone on the squad. “Hannah Granger had an outstanding season, and to finish the season with freshman was an outstanding effort.” Indeed, Moye earned VMI’s first Big South Freshman of the Year the individual title is an outstanding accomplishment,” concluded Webb. Page 16, The Institute Report, December 2009


Institute Report - 12/09  

The Institute Report is published for faculty and staff members, cadets, and other readers important to VMI. The Report is published monthly...

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