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Volume XXXVIII, Number 1

August 2010

VMI Set to Matriculate More than 500 By Wendy Lovell

“With more rats, we’ve been bringing Dealing with large classes of back more upper class cadets to help incoming 4th Class cadets is shoulder the load,” said Trumps. becoming commonplace at the “We have to train and trust cadre, Virginia Military Institute, and regimental and battalion staffs, along that is a good thing, considering with all company leaders, to execute the Institute has surpassed its the training plan, and the larger goal of increasing the size of the classes provide more leadership Corps of Cadets to 1,500. With opportunities for the cadre corporals 510 men and women expected to and sergeants.” matriculate on Aug. 21 – 20 more Trumps added that each company than last year – the Class of 2014 will have two more cadets in its rat will be the largest in Institute platoon than last year, with an average history. of 55 cadets in each platoon. He said Members of the incoming he is confident that the regimental class were selected from among operations center is well-resourced 1,795 applicants. More than 80 Sgt. Maj. John Neel finishes unpacking his office in the newly renovated with talented cadets who can keep are children of alumni, 60 are commandant’s suite. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington. the nine companies on schedule women, and nearly 60 percent of the incoming rats are from Virginia. Twenty-nine cadets who will matriculate throughout matriculation week. “The QMD is really who is put through the test with all the uniform issues are transfer students. The completion of barracks construction and renovation will ease the and sizing,” added Trumps. “Everyone leans forward and just works hard transition into a new academic year, said Col. Thomas Trumps, commandant during the nine days of matriculation.” of cadets. All of the new cadets will live on the fourth and fifth stoops, which While the incoming cadets can expect the same Spartan conditions as every other class in recent years, they will experience newly furnished cadet can accommodate more than 550 cadets. Please see page 4

Coveted Firearms Collection Finds Home in VMI Museum By George Abry

When he was a cadet, Henry M. “Hank” Stewart Jr. ’35, would spend hours in the VMI museum, analyzing old rifles and pistols. He was captivated by man’s quest to get more than one shot, to go beyond the plodding singleshot muzzle loader. “Stewart was fascinated by the revolving cylinder, and it stimulated something in him to pursue a lifetime study of it,” said Col. Keith Gibson ’77, executive director of the VMI Museum. Stewart left VMI with a civil engineering degree. Over the next 50 years, he would establish himself as an authority on 19th-century American and European firearms, amassing an antique gun collection coveted throughout the world. The Smithsonian, the National Rifle Association, and leading military museums in Europe had hoped to one day house Stewart’s firearms,

but Stewart bequeathed his 800-piece collection to VMI. For a long time, the VMI museum didn’t have space for all the weapons, so only a small number of them were displayed. The entire collection – the Henry Stewart 19th Century Antique Firearm Collection – goes on display this fall, however, in the newly renovated 100 level of the museum. Stewart, who died 1988, considered his collection an educational experience. That’s because Stewart was not just a gun collector; he was also a historian of early weapons manufacture who studied and researched and wrote like a scholar and who was always eager to share his vast knowledge with the public. It was Stewart’s own research that exposed the myth that Samuel Colt invented the revolver, when in fact Colt, an avid 19th-century inventor and promoter, put his major efforts into long arms, Please see page 4


Page 2, The Institute Report, August 2010

Lab Named in Jamison’s Honor More than 300 alumni and friends joined retired professor Donald K. Jamison ’57 and his wife, Priscilla, for a ceremony held last spring announcing the naming of a fluid mechanics laboratory in Jamison’s honor. Gen. J.H. Binford Peay ’62, superintendent, made the announcement recognizing Jamison’s service to the Institute. Jamison retired in 1992 and has continued to be active at VMI in academic advising for intercollegiate athletes. - VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.

Faculty, Administrative Staff Appointments Made Lt. Col. Keith A. Kline, associate professor of psychology, was appointed director of undergraduate research June 1. A member of the VMI faculty since 2005, he is the 2008 recipient of VMI’s Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award and the current president of the Virginia Social Science Association. Kline succeeds Patricia Hardin, who was acting director following the appointment of the program’s founding director, Col. James E. Turner, as head of the biology department last summer. Also changing status is Lt. Col. Jon-Michael Hardin, who became head of the department of mechanical engineering after Col. Timothy Hodges stepped down. Lt. Col. Sarah Jones, who was director of disability services, is now director of counseling. Col. William Grace is now inspector general, and Maj. Tom R. Panko is head of technical services in Preston Library. Faculty promoted to lieutenant colonel and associate professor are as follows: Samuel K. Allen, economics and business; George M. Brooke IV, physics and astronomy; Dennis Foster, international studies; Daniel McCain, chemistry; and Charles D. Newhouse, civil engineering. Also, Alexis Hart

Correction The graduating cadet shown in the photo accompanying “Marine Sees Multiple Tours of Duty en Route to Graduation,” which appeared in the June 2010 issue of the Institute Report, was misidentified. Shown in the photo with Gen. J.H. Binford Peay, VMI superintendent, was Samuel Dobbins ’10, who received a bachelor of arts degree in economics and business.

was promoted to commander and associate professor of English and fine arts, and William S. Oliver, associate registrar, was promoted to lieutenant colonel. New faculty appointments include Maj. Joyce K. Blandino, assistant professor, mechanical engineering; Maj. Randall Cone, Maj. Geoffrey W. Cox, and Maj. Nathan Axvig, assistant professor, math and computer science; Maj. Tim O. Moore, assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering; Maj. Mary Beth Pennington, assistant professor, English and fine arts; and Maj. Timothy E. Sykes, assistant professor, physical education. The following recently retired members of the faculty were appointed to emeritus status: Col. William D. Badgett, English and fine arts; Col. Thomas C. Lominac and Col. Michael J. Tierney, math and computer science; and Col. John H. Page, civil and environmental engineering. The following armed service officers have joined the faculty in the ROTC departments: Lt. Michael Teninty, assistant professor, naval science; Sgt. 1st Class George Adams, instructor, military science; and Capt. Gregory Hickerson, assistant professor, military science.

Institute Report Office of Communications and Marketing Col. Stewart MacInnis – Director Sherri Tombarge – Editor Burton Floyd – Publications Coordinator Contributors: Wendy Lovell, George Abry, Scott Belliveau, 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, August 2010, Page 3

Distinguished Service Award Recipient Named By Scott Belliveau ’83, VMI Foundation

Donald M. Wilkinson ’61 has been selected to receive the VMI Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award, the Foundation’s highest honor. The award will be presented by Walter C. Perrin II ’62, Foundation president, on Nov. 11 at the annual Founders Day Convocation in Cameron Hall. Wilkinson began actively serving VMI more than 20 years ago, when he was a volunteer with VMI’s Sesquicentennial Challenge in the late 1980s. In 1989, he joined the VMI Foundation’s Board of Trustees, serving two full four-year terms. Appointed to the Institute’s Board of Visitors in 1999, he served in that role until 2007. During that time, he was chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee for four years and was devoted to fostering academic excellence at VMI. From 2000 to 2005, he was the vice chairman of VMI’s latest capital campaign, Reveille: A Call to Excel, which raised more than $200 million. He also was instrumental in the establishment of the Jackson-Hope Fund in 2002 and has been a member of the Fund’s Board of Overseers. In April 2009, Wilkinson addressed the Corps on the sources of the current financial crisis as part of The John W. and Jane M. Roberts Lecture Series, a program that brings leaders in American free enterprise to Post. More meaningful to him, however, was the speech that he gave to the Corps on March 20, 2007, about the life of his Brother Rat and his friend, Jonathan Daniels, after whom VMI’s Jonathan Daniels Humanitarian Award is named. When asked for his reaction upon being told that the VMI Foundation would present him with the Distinguished Service Award, Wilkinson joked initially, “My first thought was, ‘How many people have turned this down?’” On a more serious vein, he continued, “VMI is such an extraordinary institution, especially in this day and age. To be honored by it, therefore, is a wonderful achievement. It is an unexpected honor, and I could not be more pleased and

Donald M. Wilkinson ’61

proud.” Wilkinson graduated from VMI with a bachelor of arts degree in English and then spent a year in Spain, studying at the University of Madrid. He served in the U.S. Army as an air-defense artillery officer from 1962 to 1964. After his Army service, Wilkinson attended the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, receiving a master of business administration degree in 1966. During the next six years, he was a partner in New Court Securities Corp., vice president of Tsai Management & Research, and Latin American debt analyst and portfolio manager of the Keystone International Equity Fund. In 1972, he co-founded Wilkinson O’Grady, a global investment-management firm, in New York City. He was president of the firm from 1977 to 1994 and currently holds the position of chairman and chief investment officer. The firm manages investment portfolios and provides investment advice for individuals, families, and organizations. As a cadet, Wilkinson was involved in many activities. He was the editor of the 1961 edition of The Bomb and The Bullet, a member of the staff of The Cadet, and the editor of his class’s

Ring Figure magazine. He also was a member of his class’s Ring Committee and Ring Figure Committee and was involved in the Timmons Music Society and the R.E. Dixon English Society. In his 1st Class year, he was a cadet captain and commanded Company A. Wilkinson’s success in the world of finance certainly was foreshadowed by his history in The Bomb. Its writer describes him as “V.M.I.’s John Maynard Keynes” often found “sitting at a desk which must have come from the ChaseManhattan Bank ... reading the market reports and rapidly initialing papers.” In his informal picture in The Bomb, he is doing something very much like that at a table on which a copy of Forbes is prominently displayed. Besides his business activities, Wilkinson has been heavily involved in charitable affairs. For example, he served as the president of New York Hospital’s Children’s Blood Foundation from 1978 to 1983 and a member of the Battle Abbey Council of the Virginia Historical Society. He is a trustee of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society. He also has served The Darden School, as the chairman of its Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2003, the Board’s vice president from 1999 to 2001, and the chairman of The Campaign for Darden, the $100 million fundraising effort for The Darden School from 1996 to 1998. “Don Wilkinson has worked tirelessly and selflessly to advance VMI’s academic program,” said Perrin. “He deserves, therefore, no small part of the credit for the great strides forward that VMI has made academically. His record of service to VMI also provides a model of dedication to VMI for all alumni and friends. It is no surprise, therefore, that the VMI Foundation’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of his nomination. I heartily congratulate him on this well-deserved honor, and I am very much looking forward to presenting the award to him in November.”

Foundation Fund Increases Donors and Dollars in FY 2010 By Scott Belliveau ’83, VMI Foundation

In recent years, one of themes associated with new cadet recruiting and fundraising at VMI has been “Don’t Do Ordinary.” In the realm of recruiting, it appeals to prospective cadets to consider an education that is markedly different from that offered by almost every other college and university. In regard to fundraising, it reminds alumni of the strong tradition of support of the Institute for which VMI alumni are famed. In fiscal year 2010, VMI’s alumni, numerous parents, faculty, staff, and

friends of the Institute again proved to be extraordinary in their support of VMI and its Corps of Cadets. At a time when many colleges and universities are reporting declines in the amount of money donated and the number of donors, more members of the VMI family – led by alumni – made a gift to the Foundation Fund. Furthermore, these donors gave more money to the Foundation Fund than they did in the previous year. Specifically, the Foundation Fund received $2,555,091, an increase Please see page 6


Page 4, The Institute Report, August 2010

Firearms Collection Finds Home in Museum Continued from page 1 not handguns. “This isn’t the largest collection, but in terms of the quality of its focus, and the fact that some pieces are the only examples we have, it ranks as one of the finest in the country,” Gibson said. The Stewart exhibit interprets the history and evolution of multi-shot revolving firearm technology. Gibson said it can be viewed from a number of perspectives: the rarity and quality of the arms, the artistry of some of the weapons, and the business side of 19th-century arms manufacturing. Several hundred pieces in the exhibit are original U.S. government patent models, including the Artemus Wheeler flintlock, which represents the first U.S. revolver patent, granted in 1818. Many of the weapons are in mint condition and feature intricately detailed cylinder engravings, such as those found on Colt’s Paterson series of rifles produced between 1836 and 1842. On display is a factoryengraved first model of a Colt Paterson .44-caliber rifle Col. Keith Gibson adjusts the placement of a Colt Paterson First Model rifle in the Henry that Sam Colt personally presented to Mexican President Stewart 19th Century Antique Firearm Collection. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington. Valentin Canalizo in 1844. A 17th-century matchlock revolver from India, a four-shot .46-caliber with other artifacts. These items will be kept at the VMI Museum and made gun, is the earliest piece. A 1856 Stanton revolving rifle shows an unusual available to scholars and military historians. vertical hanging chamber, but perhaps the most noteworthy piece in the Other new permanent collections on the lower and upper levels of the collection is the Isaiah Lukens air rifle carried by Lewis and Clark during VMI Museum are in the works. A VMI Heritage exhibit, which will occupy their 1803 Northwest Expedition. most of the upper level of the museum upon its completion at the end of The new exhibit should appeal to casual visitors, history buffs, and 2010, will chronicle the history of VMI from 1835 to 2001. The heritage academics. In addition to firearms, Stewart assembled an extensive and firearms exhibits will be complemented by the VMI Citizens & Soldiers reference library, which includes early auction catalogs, U.S. patent papers, exhibit on the 100 level. Opening in 2011, this exhibit will focus on and patent models for more than 300 early 19th-century firearms, along distinguished alumni in military and civilian life.

VMI Set to Matriculate More than 500 Continued from page 1 rooms thanks to completion of the barracks renovation, said Trumps. All Brown added that with 40 standardized stations, the obstacle course cadet rooms have been refitted with new desks, chairs, cabinets and shoe will eventually accommodate not only cadets involved in Rat Challenge but shine stools. With all three barracks fully occupied with new cadets on also all cadets during physical training time, PTT. New six-foot-wide gravel the fourth and fifth stoops, for the very first time the Institute will have an paths will connect obstacles on the course, which should help eliminate expanded operating environment that involves all of the courtyards and injuries. “Once complete, the new leadership training grounds will be a great barracks. Trumps’ staff has moved into a renovated and expanded suite of offices addition to post,” said Trumps. “The opening of the rifle range this fall that includes a new conference room and an additional level. Work on the will give us the opportunity to train Fourths on M-9s and M-16s.” obstacle course on the Military and Leadership Field Training Grounds will The Class of 2014 matriculates on Aug. 21 and will take the Cadet Oath at be complete in August, and firing range improvements will be finalized by a ceremony at the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park on Sept. 5. There the cadets will recite the cadet oath and charge across the battlefield October. “The military academies won’t have what we will in our leadership in homage to the cadets who made the charge May 15, 1864, during the training grounds,” said Lt. Col. Dale Brown, director of construction. “What Civil War. Following the charge, the new cadets will have the opportunity we will soon have exceeds what they have in quantity and quality. There to picnic with their parents. They can visit with family again during Parents are expansions to our obstacle course, as well as additional obstacles.” Weekend, Oct. 15-17.


The Institute Report, August 2010, Page 5

Superintendent Virginia Military Institute

Dear Alumni and Friends:

On June 30, 2010, the VMI Foundation and the VMI Keydet Club finished their fundraising

efforts on behalf of the Institute for Fiscal Year 2010. The results of their work were impressive: a grand total of more than $16.6 million in gifts and pledges from 6,651 donors.

For this exceptional generosity, our alumni and friends deserve the special thanks of the

entire VMI Family. Our country continues to face challenging economic times. In spite of this, however, these people demonstrated their loyalty to the Institute by making a considerable financial sacrifice in support of it. Behind every donor’s decision to support VMI and the Corps of Cadets, there is a unique story. Whatever their reasons for supporting VMI in this past fiscal year, all of our donors have the same common goal: that VMI continues to produce honorable, purposeful, courageous, and determined leaders to serve our communities, states, and nation. Our alumni and friends are committed to making certain that VMI will never shrink from its share of this critical task. Because of this generosity, such as we witnessed in Fiscal Year 2010, the Institute unquestionably will continue to fulfill its mission in this academic year and well into the future.

The staffs of the Foundation, the Keydet Club, the Parents Council, and the Alumni Association

deserve special recognition, too. They established close relationships with all of the VMI Family and worked diligently to keep us informed of the needs of the Institute. Their stewardship of these gifts and pledges ensures that VMI will enjoy the benefit from every dollar given.

I thank all of you who made Fiscal Year 2010 such a success in terms of raising financial

support for VMI. By aiding the Institute at this important time in its history, you have helped ensure it will enjoy an ever-brighter future.

With special thanks,

J. H. Binford Peay III ’62 General, U.S. Army (Retired)

Superintendent


Page 6, The Institute Report, August 2010

Cadets, Administration, and Parents Plan for Scheduling Challenges By Sherri Tombarge

Members of the VMI community planning to take part in the Class of 2012’s Ring Figure activities and the Class of 2011’s graduation events will want to note revised schedules and recommendations associated with the two events. Approximately half of all local hotel rooms may be reserved by those attending Washington and Lee University’s undergraduate reunion Thursday to Saturday, May 12 and 14, 2011. Family and friends coming to Lexington for VMI’s Institute Awards ceremony, Graduation Parade and baccalaureate on that Saturday should make hotel reservations as soon as possible and may find that they must stay outside Lexington. “Looking at the numbers, it’s going to be a little tight,” said Col. Jeff Curtis ’79, VMI chief of staff. “Back in my day, we didn’t have near [the number of] the hotels we have today.” Parents often stayed in hotels in Staunton or in the Roanoke area, he added. More hotel rooms may be available by Sunday, when commissioning ceremonies and the New Market Parade will take place. The commencement ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Monday, May 16. Another W&L event, parents weekend, conflicted with Ring Figure. The schedule for Ring Figure was adjusted in a cooperative effort among the Class of 2012 leadership and cadets and the VMI administration. “Planning Ring Figure was no easy task for the Ring Figure Committee and the 2012 GC,” said Daniel Fiasconaro, 2012 class president. “Weekly meetings with members of the commandant’s staff helped tremendously, showing us the options we had available.” Discussion took place online and in class meetings. Events will begin on Sunday, Nov. 21, with the ring presentation ceremony from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Jackson Memorial Hall, Old Yells in barracks at 3:45, the superintendent’s reception from 6 to 7, and the Ring Figure Ball from 8 to 11. Cadets in the Class of 2012 will be excused from morning classes, breakfast and supper roll calls, and physical training time Monday, Nov.

22. The class supper will take place in Marshall Hall that evening, from 5:30 to 7:30, followed by the class hop from 8 to 10 in Cameron Hall. Second Class cadets will attend class Tuesday, Nov. 23, with the rest of the Corps before departing at close of academic duty for Thanksgiving furlough. The schedule allows for dates and family to travel on Saturday, and it’s an open weekend, so cadets may make plans to spend Saturday evening with them. Monday’s hop, Fiasconaro noted, will give the cadets more time with their dates after the formal events, allowing them the “enjoy the festive spirit of Ring Figure.” “Essentially, we start our break two days early, enjoying the events of Ring Figure with our dates, family, and closest friends,” he said. Col. L.E. Hurlbut, deputy commandant for cadet life, said the schedule keeps the focus where it should be, on the class ring. “They wanted parity with what it’s been in the past,” said Hurlbut. “We as a committee understood that getting every idea into the planning and design was not possible, but we feel that now the majority of the class is more than happy with the design and the events,” said Fiasconaro. “In the end, the committee has truly designed the best overall Ring Figure possible with the cards we were dealt,” he added. Curtis said VMI is working with W&L on scheduling, but that there are a number of considerations, since both schools like to schedule events on home football game weekends and the Virginia Horse Center also brings crowds to town several weekends each year. “The relationship between the two schools is very good,” he said. “We live in a wonderful town that does its best to support two colleges,” said Curtis, “but it’s not a huge city with mass transit and an abundance of hotel rooms. “I’d rather go to college in a small town than to a university planted in a big city,” he concluded.

Foundation Fund Continued from page 3 of more than $127,000 over the amount the Fund received in fiscal year 2009. Indeed, 141 more donors made a gift to the Foundation Fund than did last year, boosting the number of donors from 4,115 to 4,256. The success of the Foundation Fund every year is important to the continued success of VMI because the money donated to the Foundation Fund is unrestricted, that is, without any designation as to its use. VMI uses money from the Foundation Fund and unrestricted endowments to meet its most pressing needs as well as to support the people and programs vital to reinforcing the advances made by VMI. For example, in the current academic year, VMI will use $855,000 in unrestricted money to supplement faculty salaries and another $480,000 to provide financial aid for cadets. Many people can claim a share of this success, said Brian S. Crockett, chief executive officer of the VMI Foundation. “The Foundation’s annual giving team, led by Pat Webb, again turned

in a magnificent performance throughout the year, taking the message of the importance of the Foundation Fund to the VMI family. Our class agents urged their Brother Rats to participate in this critical effort, and, often, the case they make for supporting VMI is the most persuasive. We received some excellent support as well from numerous people on post. “That said,” continued Crockett, “the vast majority of the credit for the Foundation Fund’s excellent year goes to our donors, the alumni, and friends of VMI who decided to support VMI. In a time of sustained economic uncertainty, these people came to the aid of VMI because they believe that VMI’s mission of educating leaders of high ability and deep character is important.” “I thank them for their generosity toward the Institute as well as for providing an example of dedication in support of VMI and the Corps of Cadets,” concluded Crockett.


The Institute Report, August 2010, Page 7

21st-Century Residence Has 19th-Century Style Maury House Renovation Restores Historic Appearance and Parade Ground Presence By GeorgeAbry

It might be an understatement to say that the recently renovated Maury House has had a remarkable history. Over the past 150 years the house has been burned, rebuilt, dismantled, moved, amended, and inhabited by a host of eminent commandants of cadets, deans, and VMI faculty, most notably its namesake, Matthew Fountaine Maury, a 19th-century VMI professor nicknamed the “Pathfinder of the Seas” for his contributions to global navigation. Maury also pioneered the study of oceanography. Following a year-long, $1.2 million restoration project, the Maury House is now quarters for Col. William J. Wanovich ’87, professor of military science in the Army ROTC detachment, who lives there with his family. Wanovich recalls that he used to see the house all the time when he lived in the barracks as a cadet. “Did I ever imagine I would live there? No.” The house became the residence for commandants of cadets in the mid-1960s, when the prior commandant’s quarters was demolished to make way for the former Lejuene Hall, itself later torn down to make way for Third Barracks and the current Lejeune Hall. The last commandant of cadets to live in the house was Col. Eric D. Hutchings ’77, currently VMI’s athletic chief of staff. The house, with its two-story octagonal tower and three-story square turret, is hard to miss. It anchors a string of architecturally significant Gothic Revival faculty residences on the northern edge of the Parade Ground. Built in 1853, the Maury House is the earliest remaining residence at VMI designed by A.J. Davis, who was hired in 1848 to develop a longterm design plan for the Institute. Perhaps the most prominent architect of his day, Davis helped popularize the Gothic Revival style throughout the United States, and his use of the “battlemented” style for the barracks and officers quarters established VMI’s enduring military atmosphere. Not long after Davis designed it, VMI was destroyed in Hunter’s Raid of 1864. In an 1866 photograph, the Maury House – known as the Gilham House when it was first built – has no doors, windows or roof, and the exterior masonry looks like it might have been shelled. The interior is gutted by fire. The house was rebuilt during the 1870s and re-inhabited by 1880. Over the years the house has weathered other serious changes. In 1914, the house was carefully dismantled so the Parade Ground could be expanded. The house was then reconstructed where it is now, over a basement, using original house materials, but with new floors, new exterior stucco, bathrooms, and a rear kitchen addition. In 1956, electrical and plumbing systems were upgraded, and the building got new overhead light fixtures, bathrooms, and kitchen. The entry was moved to the octagonal ground floor room, and the double-leaf, diamond-pane door was replaced with an entry door. The former entry was converted to a bathroom, and the signature octagonal room was changed from living to circulation space. Most significantly, the front porch was removed, which upset the asymmetrical, Gothic style of the house and deprived it of a major characterdefining feature. When it came time for the 2009-10 restoration/renovation project, which was completed this summer, a number of considerations arose. Should the building remain residential? It would. And it was decided that the house’s original, mid-19th century character would be reinforced. “We don’t expect future residents to live as if it’s 1855; it’s not a house museum,” said Col. Keith Gibson ’77, executive director of the VMI Museum. That meant accommodating any number of systems that Davis made no

With the new front porch, Maury House conforms once again to its original scale, proportions, and silhouette, seen at top about 1900. – Photos courtesy of Lee Brauer Photos and the VMI Archives.

provisions for. “Finding discreet places to run air condition ducts and cables for data ports are things that Davis didn’t have to worry too much about.” So the goal was to restore the building’s historic appearance – to respect the spirit of Davis’ design – while updating its electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, which were dated or no longer useful. Lt. Col. Dale Brown, VMI’s director of construction, said one of the biggest challenges from a construction standpoint was the tight site. “A lot of the contractors around here are not used to working in really tight spaces,” Brown said. “Here we had a situation where we did additions to a house, demolition, abatement, a total restoration, all inside the fence.” The result is a 21st-century residence, with modern conveniences carefully woven into building’s original fabric. A screened porch on the rear of the house was removed to make way for an addition that can be used as a family room. The 1956 bathroom was taken out, a double-leaf, diamond-pane door was put back, and the turret was returned to a sitting room. In addition to a period-appropriate interior paint scheme, Gibson said, the bathrooms in the house have a turn-of-the-century flair. Original moldings, window casings and fireplace mantels from the 1870s were preserved. The most significant part of the exterior restoration is the return of the front porch, which also restores the house’s scale, proportions, and silhouette as Davis intended. “The house now makes a much grander statement on the Parade Ground,” Gibson said.


Page 8, The Institute Report, August 2010

Cadet Intern Gets Close Look at U.S. Supreme Court By Wendy Lovell

2010 Truman Scholarship finalist, Gray First-class Cadet Sharif Gray is a member of the Institute Honors spent the beginning and end of Program, Omicron Kappa Delta, and his summer training with the the Pre-Law Society and is an academic U.S. Army. Sandwiched between mentor. He also has founded a book the two experiences was a threeclub for cadets, faculty, and staff that week internship in a very different will begin this fall. environment. Gray, who plans to become an attorney, served as a While Gray has a resume that marshal’s aide at the U.S. Supreme is impressive in its own right, he Court, where he soaked in the stumbled upon the job thanks to the culture and day-to-day operations VMI network. The Fairfax resident of the nation’s highest judicial had lunch with Cadet Brian Blincoe body. ’11 and his mother on the way home “The U.S. Supreme Court is to the Washington, D.C., area for a extremely formal, and, much like break. One of Justice Samuel Alito VMI, it has a chain of command,” Jr.’s assistants, she suggested Gray said Gray. “The marshal’s office apply for an internship and helped handles the administrative aspects Intern Cadet Sharif Gray pauses in the main reading room of the U.S. make it happen. of the court. My job was to help Supreme Court library. – Photo courtesy of Sharif Gray ’11. “In visiting every chamber, I’ve where I was needed and run learned that each one has a different errands, so I’ve been in all nine chambers and have been exposed to every culture – some don’t use computers,” said Gray. “I’ve also learned that each aspect and angle of the court.” justice has his own stance on issues and they are almost predictable.” Gray was impressed by the level of education and experience of all of Gray also appreciated time spent with retired Army Maj. Gen. William the employees he encountered throughout his internship. Suter, clerk of the court, who served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. “The other interns all come from good schools and are at the top of Gray hopes to one day serve in the JAG Corps as well, and Suter shared their classes,” he said. “Many of the employees have law degrees and his thoughts on the benefits of that legal path and about applying to law impressive resumes. One of the librarians has even written a book, and school. he works 80-hour weeks.” “This has been a great experience for me,” said Gray. “It’s furthered my As one of the top students in his own class, Gray fit right in. He maintains a understanding of how the legal process and a court works, and I will draw 4.0 in his major, international studies, and is minoring in Arabic and writing. A upon it in my role as a prosecutor for the Honor Court this year.”

Employees Receive Service Awards Forty-four employees were recognized for service to Virginia Military Institute at the Institute’s 49th annual service awards presentation held at the close of the 2009-10 academic year. Elizabeth R. Nicely, intercollegiate athletics, and Martha C. Potter, admissions, were honored for 35 years of service, the longest of anyone recognized at this year’s ceremony. The breakfast event was held in Crozet Hall. Other awards are as follows: 30 years – John K. Camper, physical plant; Belva K. Drain, laundry; Sandra W. Ewald, human resources; Lori R. Parrent, superintendent’s office; and Jimmia R. Short, comptroller’s office. 25 years – Quintin E. Merchant, physical plant, and Donna M. Runkle, tailor shop. 20 years – Mary B. Deyo, international studies; Larry A. Hickman, physical plant; and Patricia R. Vest, laundry. 15 years – Richard H. Lee, Barry L. McDonald, and Donald T.

McGowan, physical plant; Katherine F. Shanks, laundry; and Betty E. Skillman, VMI Museum. 10 years – Sandra R. Canellas and Wilma I. Sensabaugh, laundry; Erlinda Y. Gordon, James “Butch” R. Lawhorn, and Michael A. Wilhelm, physical plant; Mary Ann Harden, infirmary; James W. Hudson, military store; Patricia M. Mountain, chaplain’s office; David L. Somers, information technology; and Charlene S. Wilson, purchasing. 5 years – K. Blaine Bane, military store; Danny L. Bowyer, S. Nicole McClure, John “Jay” W. Painter, and Rohit B. Pandya, physical plant; Patricia Ann Camden and Deborah S. Shifflett, laundry; K. Brooke Higgins, protocol; Leslie H. Joyce, undergraduate research; Amber V. Mann and Chad R. Phillips, New Market Battlefield State Historical Park; Marsha B. Mayhew, comptroller’s office; Megan H. Newman and Gwen B. Sichol, Preston Library; and Donna G. Smals and Geneva W. Thompson, tailor shop.


The Institute Report, August 2010, Page 9

Bollards now keep the formation area in front of barracks free of traffic. Old, New, and Third barracks are also free of barricades as barracks construction and renovation projects are now complete. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.

Writing Contest Award Recipients Announced The Institute Writing Program has announced winners of the 2009-2010 Academic Writing Contest. Faculty judges selected cadets and their mentors for outstanding work produced across the curriculum during the academic year, said Col. Christina R. McDonald, Institute director of writing. The winners are: First-year Composition: Cadet Justin Klein ’13 (International Studies), “The Dangerous Illusion of ‘Gun-Free Campuses.’” Instructor: Mrs. Sue Coleman-Croushorn. Writing Across the Curriculum (Capstone Courses and Departmental Honors Theses): v 1st place to Cadet Joshua Dixon ’10 (International Studies major with minors in mathematics and in science and security), “Iran: A Nuclear Power: What Ahmadinejad will do with a Nuclear Bomb.” Instructor: Brig. Gen. Charles F. Brower IV. v 2nd place to Cadet John Curtis ’10 (History major with minors in philosophy and science and security), “A Man of Many Faces: Saint Paul and Early Christianity.” Instructor: Col. Rose Mary Sheldon

Writing Across the Curriculum (Writing in the Disciplines): v 1st place to Cadet Tanner Sewell ’10 (Psychology major with minors in philosophy and writing), “Thomson’s Defense of Abortion: The Responsibility Objection and the NonExistence Problem.” Instructor: Dr. Duncan Richter. v 2nd place to Cadet Jessie Rende ’11 (English major with a concentration in writing), “Marriage and Power in Shakespeare’s King Henry V.” Instructor: Col. Emily Miller. Undergraduate Research Initiative: v 1st place to Cadet Saif Vazquez ’10 (International Studies major, 2010), “Defense of the Dominican Military? An Examination of the Dominican Military’s Role in Its Present Society and the Case for Disbandment.” Instructor: Col. Richard Kilroy Jr. v 2nd place to Cadet Gerald Popko ’10 (Physics major with minors in astronomy and mathematics), “Imaging Polarimetry: Towards Mapping Galactic Magnetic Fields.” Instructors: Lt. Col. Daniela Topasna and Lt. Col. Greg Topasna.

v 3rd place to Cadet Luke Leichty ’11 (English major with a concentration in writing), “Beowulf: Medieval and Modern.” Instructor: Col. Alan Baragona. Institute Honors Program Senior Thesis: v Humanities/Social Sciences to Cadet Even Rogers ’10 (English major with a concentration in writing), “The Postmodern Pilgrim: Portraits from the Road to Santiago.” Adviser: Col. Robert L. McDonald. v Science to Cadet Dominik Wermus ’10 (Double major in physics and applied mathematics with minors in astronomy and writing), “The Effects of Stochastic Variables in the Startup of an Nd-YAG Laser.” Advisers: Col. John Thompson and Col. Troy Siemers. v Engineering to Cadet Christopher Dommert ’10 (Civil Engineering major), “Low Budget Arsenic Treatment for Lesser Developed Countries.” Adviser: Brig. Gen. R. Wane Schneiter. The Academic Writing Contest Awards are made possible by Robert S. Spilman ’96 and Robert S. Spilman, Jr. ’28 Fund for Excellence in Writing and the B. Drummond Ayres 1916 Award in Writing Excellence Fund.


Page 10, The Institute Report, August 2010

Leadership Center to Facilitate Major Conferences in 2010-11 By Wendy Lovell

The Virginia Military Institute is no stranger to playing conference host, but with a fully staffed and completely finished Center for Leadership and Ethics, serving as host for major events has become an easier task. This year, the CLE will bring together members of the VMI community and beyond to focus on leadership, Eastern and Western relations, and the environment. The facility offers an ideal setting for a wide variety of topics and audiences. “We have been discovered as a facility and are booking events into 2012,” said Capt. Susan Rabern, acting director of VMI’s CLE. “Faculty who have not been able to offer a forum for conferences for organizations they’re involved in now have one. Most importantly, we want to offer a robust program at the CLE, and we want to make sure that the conferences we choose to host highlight the themes of leadership and ethics.” More than 200 participants are expected in Lexington Oct. 4-6 for “Answering the Nation’s Call for Leaders of Character,” the inaugural VMI Leadership Conference, which will take place biennially. Among the confirmed speakers and panelists are Dr. Edward Ayers, president of the University of Richmond; Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr., commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth; author and Army veteran Craig Mullaney of the U.S. Agency for International Development; and retired collegiate and National Football League coach Bobby Ross ’59. While other speakers are being finalized, the CLE has nailed down a format Rabern thinks will build excitement for next leadership conference in 2012. The CLE is planning a series of workshops on cyber warfare, cheating and honor systems, and leadership and dissent on Monday afternoon before the conference officially begins. The keynote address Monday evening will focus on the urgent need for leadership in America. Conference targets include faculty, students, and business leaders, and the plenary panel, breakout sessions, and addresses are designed to share a variety of experiences and perspectives so that conference-goers can learn from one another. “We came to the theme of the conference in response to the crisis of leadership in America today,” said Rabern. “We didn’t want to limit the conference to the academic arena; we wanted to include leaders who are receiving our graduates in the workplace, too. For instance, a plenary panel of college leaders and corporate CEOs will discuss the challenges of selecting leaders in today’s society.” In the spring, the CLE will shift its focus to the global arena when VMI hosts “711-2011: East Meets West” March 23-25. This cross-cultural conference will focus on themes including literature, religion, history, language, politics, pedagogy, and Islamic-Christian amity. The conference is timed to help mark the 1,300th anniversary of the historical circumstances that brought the Eastern and Western worlds into contact and will provide discussion on the legacies and ramifications of that historical event. The conference is funded in part from a grant VMI received in 2008 from the U.S. Department of Defense to enhance its Arabic studies program

and provide opportunities for cadets to study the language and culture. Col. Kathleen Bulger-Barnett, head of the department of modern languages and cultures, will assist the CLE staff as program coordinator for the conference. “This conference gives us the opportunity to go beyond what we see on the news each night to talk not about war but about the culture and beauty of these two parts of the world,” said Rabern. “This event will give us a chance to celebrate the blending of Eastern and Western cultures. We plan a call for papers to allow the academic side to be represented, but as with the leadership conference, we want to involve the business community by inviting Fortune 500 firms who are involved in the Middle East to attend as well.” VMI will play host April 5-7 to the 22nd annual Environment Virginia Symposium, a conference it has facilitated for years but which now has a new home in the CLE. Last year’s conference was the first for which Marshall Hall served as the main venue, and the facility received high marks from conference-goers. “It was great to have all major activities under one roof and to have such excellent audio-visual and a beautiful atmosphere,” said Maj. Amy DeHart, acting deputy director of the CLE. “We are looking forward to beginning work on the next Environment Virginia Symposium later this month.” While the three major conferences planned for the current academic year are keeping the CLE staff busy, Rabern said her staff is looking forward to future events, such as a conference on the United States, Africa, and China in November 2011 and Virginia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Conference in March 2012. Both are conferences that will place VMI in the national spotlight and will further strengthen the CLE’s mission of developing leadership qualities in VMI cadets.


The Institute Report, August 2010, Page 11

Summer Science Programs Help Recruit Cadets By Wendy Lovell

For the past 20 years, professors in the chemistry department have given a week of their time each summer in a program to introduce perspective students to their department. Known as Chemistry Boot Camp, the program seeks to build an interest not only in majoring in chemistry but in studying chemistry at VMI. “We want to show prospective students that we are an energetic department where learning happens in the summer as well as during the year,” said Lt. Col. Dan McCain. “We also want to show them the close student-faculty interaction that happens at VMI, and the students join our research laboratories for a week, so they get to observe and participate in this first hand.” Members of the department promote the program to perspective students and parents who tour the chemistry department at admissions open houses. To strengthen the overall experience, last year’s program had participants staying in barracks for the first time. Of the 12 campers in the 2009 program, seven enrolled in VMI last August, and four of the five who were rising high school seniors matriculate on Aug. 21. The seven campers who attended the program this past June are all rising high school seniors. This summer, Chemistry Boot Camp participants worked together to conduct experiments such as synthesizing biodiesel fuel, making polymers, and purifying DNA from strawberries. They also worked on individual projects as part of their introduction to joining a faculty research lab. The students presented the results of their independent projects at the end of the week to their parents and the entire chemistry

department. The departments of mathematics and computer science and physics and astronomy got into the boot camp act this summer by holding the first summer program for computer science, mathematics, and physics. Fifteen participants attended; 13 are rising high school seniors, and the other two matriculate with the Class of 2014. According to Lt. Col. Troy Siemers, head of the mathematics and computer science department, the inaugural program was a success. Participants worked in groups of five on a project in each of the three fields, and they learned about potential careers in each field as well. Alexander Ortwine of Oilville, Va., is matriculating in August after taking part in the program in June. He learned about the camp at a VMI open house and plans to major in math as well as business and economics. “I think the rising [high school] seniors got the most benefit from the camp,” said Ortwine. “However, it did give me the Lt. Col. Merce Brooke, opportunity to meet associate professor of with Lt. Col. Siemers physics and astronomy, and request that he h e l p s b o o t c a m p be my academic participant Alex Ortwine solder electronic adviser.” O r t w i n e a l s o components onto a enjoyed the chance circuit board, part of a to work with Col. project to build and test M a c B a k e r o n a temperature measuring a p r o g r a m m i n g circuit. – VMI Photo by project that involved Kevin Remington.

adding a ghost to a mock Pac-Man program and learning about the significance of fractals with Maj. Meagan Herald, who showed the campers how to build fractal patterns both on the computer and manually. A rising high school senior from Leesburg, Nelson Sanchez also learned about the program while visiting VMI during an open house last year. He was intrigued by the opportunity to live in barracks for a few days and to learn more about VMI’s science program. “The most beneficial aspect of this camp was the ability to meet the outstanding faculty and prospective cadets,” said Sanchez, who plans to major in physics and business. “We explored the functions and applications of waves, and we also had the opportunity to use the observatory at VMI and see different celestial bodies, such as the moon and Venus. I plan on attending VMI, and the faculty was a major decision in my choice.”

Lt. Col. Dan McCain, associate professor of chemistry, demonstrates to chemistry boot camp participants how to perform gel electrophoresis, a technique for analyzing DNA. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.


Page 12, The Institute Report, August 2010

Class of 1960 Reunion Fund Representatives of the Class of 1960 present the initial proceeds of the class’s 50th Reunion Fund – $8,199,360.60 – to VMI at the Reunion Parade April 24. Presenting the check were George G. Phillips Jr. (holding microphone), co-chairman, Class of 1960 reunion campaign and committee; S.M. Henry Brown Jr. (left of Phillips), reunion committee co-chairman; and J.H. Tumlinson III (right of Phillips), reunion campaign co-chairman. Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62 (far right), VMI superintendent, and Richmond P. Lykins Jr.’73, president of the VMI Alumni Association, accepted the gift. The Class of 1960 completed its 50th Reunion Fund campaign on June 30, the end of fiscal year 2010. All told, 80 percent of its 178 members made gifts and pledges totaling $8,496,022.42. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.

Post Briefs Sheldon Addresses High School Latin Achievers Col. Rose Mary Sheldon, professor of history, participated in the 25th Governor’s Latin Academy July 5 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. The Academy – which this year took its motto, “Nullum saeculum magnis ingeniis clausum est” or “No generation is closed to great talent,” from Seneca’s “Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium,” – draws the highest achieving high school Latin students in Virginia for an intensive residential academic experience in classical studies. Students participate in seminars, field trips, a film series, and cultural immersion exercises. Sheldon’s talk, “Intelligence Gathering in Ancient Rome,” was part of a lecture series designed to enhance the students’ understanding of the ancient world and to introduce them to intellectual inquiry at the collegiate level. Cadets Summer Abroad in Record Numbers A record number of cadets, 63, spent part of this summer abroad, including 23 in VMI’s program in Morocco, also a record number. Nearly all of the cadets in the Morocco program received U.S. Department of Defense Critical Language Scholarships, which covered most of the cost of the program. Two new programs developed by VMI faculty drew 15 cadets, 10 to People’s Republic of China and five to Germany. In addition, six cadets went to Hungary, four to Japan, seven to Oxford, and eight to other countries.

Return from Active Duty Anticipated Six cadets who have been on active duty in Iraq have been or are expected to be released this month: Kyle Francis ’05, Joseph Cunningham ’09, Nicholas Harrelson ’09, Matthew Ferguson ’12, John Crowder ’08, and David Downing ’09. Three more may be released from duty this spring: Daniel Jones ’08, Michael Lund ’10, and Bradley Harvey ’08. Lt. Col. Gary Bissell ’89, who had been associate registrar, returned in June from a 13-month mobilization at the Army Operations Center at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He is now assistant chief of staff. Capt. Brian Quisenberry ’81, associate director of financial aid, is expected to return in October from a year in Iraq. To ease the transition back to cadet life, cadets returning to post from active duty will be invited to meet with the superintendent, the chaplain, and members of VMI staff including counseling, the infirmary, advising, financial aid, commandant’s office, and ROTC. Among the ongoing efforts on post to support those on active duty abroad are a program run by Bissell to present VMI flags signed by faculty, staff, and cadets to cadets serving abroad. Also, VMI’s knitting club has sent handmade items, including 20 washcloths, 14 helmet liners, and one hacky sack, as well as soap and snacks, to soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan.


The Institute Report, August 2010, Page 13

VMI Joins Team to Study Benefits of ePortfolios By Wendy Lovell

The Virginia Military Institute has been chosen as one of 12 institutions to take part in a three-year study of the impact of ePortfolios on student learning and educational outcomes. Conducted by the Inter/National Coalition of Electronic Portfolio Research, the study involves more than 50 institutions that are exploring a variety of areas that pertain to electronic portfolio learning. As a member of Cohort VI, VMI will focus on how the ePortfolio genre affects assessment issues. “At this point in the implementation of the VMI ePortfolio, the vetting of our model by fellow portfolio practitioners will undoubtedly prove a valuable resource for ongoing development and enhancement of our prototype and implementation strategies as they pertain to its role in the development of the ‘whole cadet,’” said Col. Mary Ann Dellinger, professor of modern languages and cultures. “As a resource, cohort collaboration will prevent us from having to reinvent the proverbial wheel over and over again. From a publicity standpoint, it will afford the VMI ePortfolio unparalleled visibility within multiple contexts of instruction and assessment.” Cohort VI participants will apply a set of criteria to ePortfolios from each campus in a field test of the viability of both concepts and rating practices. This developmental work will prepare for subsequent activity aimed at comparisons across institutions. Since the Institute implemented the ePortfolio Project in 2009 as a way to help cadets capture their academic experience, the tool has been adopted by the departments of modern languages and cultures, civil engineering, English and fine arts, mathematics and computer science, psychology and philosophy, international studies, and history. The biology department will offer courses that use ePortfolio this semester.

“Beyond a showcase of academic progress, the VMI ePortfolio is the cadet’s digital story of his or her cadetship,” said Dellinger. “During their initial training, first-year cadets do not even hear the word ‘assessment.’ Rather, they are introduced to their VMI ePortfolio as their ‘academic Facebook,’ which they will use to tell their story and to network in academic and professional environments.” Dellinger added that ePortfolio gives cadets a new self-image as professionals-in-training and that users often remain in the computer lab beyond the stipulated training period held on Saturdays to continue building on their stories’ foundations. Dellinger, Col. Christina McDonald, and Col. Ken Koons will attend the first meeting of Cohort VI in September in Indianapolis, Ind. They will be assisted in their work in the study by members of the Core Curriculum Oversight Committee and other faculty experts in instructional technology. After examining the range of ePortfolio exhibits used at participating institutions, cohort members will create a set of criteria responsive to such exhibits. In a second iteration, participants will apply a set of criteria to ePortfolios from each campus in a field test of the viability of both concepts and rating practices. This developmental work will prepare for subsequent activity aimed at comparisons across institutions. In addition to the Institute, Cohort VI includes Bowling Green State University, Curtin University of Technology (Australia), Goshen College, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Lamer University, Northeastern University, Portland State University, University of Georgia, University of Michigan, University of Mississippi, and Westminster College.

Textbook Rental Saves about Half By George Abry

Cadets hoping to save money on textbooks this semester now have an additional option: renting them. Under the new textbook rental program, the VMI bookstore will let cadets rent books for half of what it would cost to buy the book new. “It’s just another option for cadets,” said Col. James “Jim” Joyner Jr. ’67, VMI director of auxiliary services. “Some people might want to keep a book forever; others might want a rental if they have no other use for it once the course is over.” The VMI bookstore will continue to offer new and used textbooks. Rented books can be highlighted and marked within reason, but must be returned to the bookstore in good condition at the end of the semester. Not all textbooks can

be rented, and a list of books available under the rental program can be found on the VMI bookstore Web site. “Rent Me” stickers will

identify rental books on the shelf. “So far we have gotten a few rental orders; it seems to be something people want,” said Pat Ruley, manager of VMI’s bookstore. Ruley said many standard textbooks at VMI should be available for rental at a significant savings. For example, a leadership textbook that sells for $196 new, or $147 used, can be rented for $88. The rental program will avoid books that tend to become obsolete with updated editions. VMI is among dozens of colleges across the country that have joined Barnes & Noble’s textbook rental program. The bookseller test-piloted the program in 2009 at three of its 636 campus bookstores, according to the company’s Web site. The program now includes 25 campus Barnes & Noble bookstores.


Page 14, The Institute Report, August 2010

Preparing cadet uniforms for fall semester are tailors (front to back) Donna Smals, Margaret Sorrells, and Kathy Clevenger. – VMI Photo by George Abry.

Tailor Shop on Overtime Preparing Uniforms for Record Numbers By George Abry

Over the years, the women in the tailor shop have learned not to expect a typical day, because there aren’t any. In anticipation of the largest matriculating class ever and changes to uniforms for all returning cadets, they have been putting in overtime. “We all get along; we have a great bunch of girls, but the biggest challenge this year is going to be getting the upperclassmen fitted into the ‘regular-rise’ trousers while we’re still working with the rats,” said Cindy Dudley, VMI’s tailor shop supervisor. “When school starts, the rats are our number one priority, and they will need trousers too.” This year the tailor shop is altering its schedule to accommodate a larger than normal workload. During the week of matriculation, the tailor shop will operate in Building 45, next to Kilbourne Hall, instead of in its usual home in the 400 level of the Infill Building facing onto Daniels Courtyard. “This way the cadets can carry away as much as they can themselves, and it just makes the cadets responsible for their own uniforms,” Dudley said. “It also saves us a lot of running

back and forth because we will be down there, instead of up here in the shop.” Starting this semester, cadets are being issued four pairs of ducks and four pairs of regularrise new white trousers. The white ducks will continue to be worn with the coatee, while the new white trousers, which have belt loops and a regular-rise waistline, can be worn to class. Dudley said the white trousers, which were tested for two years and required minimal alterations, would pay for themselves in the long run. And since the white trousers are not 100 percent cotton like the ducks, they won’t wrinkle as easily with everyday wear. “They are going to save VMI a lot of money,” Dudley said. One reason the tailors have been putting in overtime is because so many of the minor details of a cadet uniform, such as chevrons and academic stars, must be hand-sewn on an ever-increasing number of garments. It’s no small accomplishment when you consider that 12 women handled 22,481 garments from March of 2009 through March of 2010, and 1,419 of those garments were

processed on a “while you wait basis,” with anxious cadets standing over the tailors’ shoulders. This year the number of rankers in the Corps of Cadets has jumped to 374, up from 300 rankers back in the 2005-2006 academic year. With chevrons being sewn by hand on four separate garments, that means 1,496 separate garments will get chevrons for the coming year. So before they can even think about matriculation, the tailors have had to finish the overcoats, coatees, duty jackets, and two blouses that began coming in to the tailor shop in March, which means examining every button, lining, and hem on more than a thousand uniforms. Other changes include a continuous waist band for new duty jackets and temporary name tags for 4th Class cadet jackets. Dudley welcomes the return of the round academic stars to the sleeves of the gray blouse and the collar of the coatee. She said the round star is not only easier to stitch than its five-point cutout star predecessor, but it also represents a return to a more traditional VMI appearance.


The Institute Report, August 2010, Page 15

Cadets Serve as Role Models in Summer Program By George Abry

When he was in high helping participants prepare school, Ali Ghazi Ali ’13, for SAT testing and assisting with was thinking about college, exercise drills and workouts. but wasn’t sure if he was Cadet Johnathan Pope, a COW ready. graduate from Hoover, Ala., Ali, a resident of Odenton, came to VMI on a wrestling Md., had heard about VMI scholarship. He will graduate from his sister-in-law, with the Class of 2011. Why did whose father graduated in he want to be a COW counselor? the Class of ’53. She told Ali Pope said at one point in his life about a summer program he wasn’t sure if he would ever at VMI that helps students go to college, and he wanted to prepare for college. So let youngsters know that it’s OK in the summer of 2007, to dream big. Cadet Ronald Ellsworth ’11 (in black shirt) accompanies COW participants Ali applied for the College “A lot of these guys have never in a climb up House Mountain. – Photo courtesy of Eugene Williams ’74. Orientation Workshop. pushed themselves,” Pope said. “Through the demanding “So we try to push them so they academics and physical training, I learned that no goal is unreachable,” can learn to push themselves.” Ali said. “The COW program transformed me from a troubled kid to Cadet Ronald Ellsworth ’11, a psychology major from Newport a man with a goal of becoming a commissioned officer in the United News, Va., also is serving as a counselor this summer. Ellsworth said States Army.” he understands what a difference a good role model can make in the Ali said the COW program not only helped him refocus his goals, lives of youngsters. but made him want to attend VMI. Ali said two cadets who were COW “With the right leadership, a lot of people can change, and they counselors, Rob Brown ’09 and Joe Taylor ’09, inspired him. really look up to us,” Ellsworth said of his COW charges. The College Orientation Workshop is a privately funded scholastic As a cadet counselor, Ellsworth said he avoids getting too involved program that encourages disadvantaged or at-risk minority males with personal issues participants might bring with them to VMI. to go to college. Each summer about 20 high school students from “Instead of trying to focus on their problems, we try to focus on around the country come to VMI, where they live on post and interact things that they can bring back home with them that will help them with cadets who serve as role models. adapt: core values, morals, teamwork.” Eugene Williams, a 1974 VMI graduate and former Board of Williams said the COW program is supported mostly by VMI alumni Visitors member, started the COW program 24 years ago. As a and other private donors. It receives no state or federal funding and former cadet, Williams knew many youngsters could benefit from has never been used as a recruitment tool for VMI. Williams said the VMI experience – with its emphasis on high personal standards some high school students who attend the COW summer session like and expectations – even though some might not be ready to make it what they see and decide they want to attend VMI. at VMI academically or physically. This fall, the VMI Corps of Cadets will include four graduates of Because of the need to prepare participants for many aspects of the COW program; two of those will be new cadets. cadet life, cadet participation has remained a hallmark of the COW One of this year’s incoming cadets was a COW student during the program and COW participants are expected to observe the VMI honor summers of 2008 and 2009 and spent this summer on post in the system during their four-week stay on Post. Summer Transition Program. He considers his experiences in COW “A lot of these kids come here without having had a lot of male and STP as “stepping stones to a bigger challenge,” the one he is guidance,” Williams said, noting that many minorities who participate preparing for at VMI. in COW were raised in single-parent households. “We have to do “COW gave me better study habits, perseverance, determination, more than just tell them that this is what we want them to do – we made me a better leader,” said the new cadet, who is thinking about have to show them and teach them how to work hard.” pursuing a commission when he graduates in 2014. “I want to see This summer two VMI cadets worked as COW counselors, how far I can go as a person and a leader.”


Page 16, The Institute Report, August 2010

To the ‘Political and Economic Heart of China’ New Summer Abroad Program Takes Cadets to Shanghai By Sherri Tombarge

VMI cadets and professors Col. Mark Wilkinson (center) and Maj. Howard Sandborn (far right) gather on the Bund in downtown Shanghai. – Photo courtesy of Col. Mark Wilkinson.

In a summer program designed by VMI history professor Col. Mark Wilkinson and international studies assistant professor Maj. Howard Sanborn IV, 10 cadets saw the People’s Republic of China from the inside out and the outside in. This study-abroad program took the cadets to many of the monuments and sites often visited by tourists and into classrooms where the two professors shared their insights in two classes that meet VMI’s core requirement for civilizations and cultures. It also offered the cadets immersion in the international hub of Shanghai and that region of China through a stay at Donghua University, lectures by Chinese professors, free movement throughout the city on Shanghai’s “phenomenal” subway system, and day and overnight trips to other locations. “What I hope they would take away from it is an ongoing curiosity about China and a recognition that it’s a far more complex place than what we get through the standard media outlets in this country,” said Wilkinson. “I’d like them to see the connection between the historic past and the contemporary situation.” The change in perspective began, apparently, as soon as the students’ feet hit the ground. “When I got off the plane in Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, perhaps the first thing that struck me as out of place was the lack of visible signs of the totalitarian government that we always hear about in the West,” said Tom Schirra ’11, a history major. “Even more odd was the fact that the Chinese people were not the oppressed masses that I expected to see, who feared their government. On the contrary, they genuinely loved their country.” Introducing the cadets to Chinese culture in Shanghai was relatively easy, said Sanborn, because the city’s history of interaction with foreign visitors and settlers makes it more accessible than other places in China. Street signs and announcements, for instance, are in English as well as Chinese, and the subway system took the group anywhere in the city in minutes. Wilkinson and Sanborn designed the program themselves, rather than using an outside provider, to achieve greater quality and variety at a lower cost, said Wilkinson. Both know the city well. Wilkinson, who teaches modern East Asian history and in 2000 participated in a Fulbright scholarly exchange program in China, has made about 10 trips to China since 1988, with some stays as long as six months. Sanborn has also made several trips to China, including a three-month stay. Both speak some Chinese. In the classroom, Wilkinson taught the history of Shanghai from 1850 to

2000 while Sanborn covered political and economic reforms since 1980. Chinese guest lecturers addressed topics including current issues in China, the history of Shanghai, and China’s place in the world. “I learned much about African-Chinese relations, which was an eyeopener in a big way,” said Annie-Marie Ngotho ’12, an international studies major who said she may make the issue her concentration in political science. Among the sites the group visited were the terracotta army in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province; the capital city of Beijing, including Tiananmen Square; the Great Wall; and perhaps most memorably, a memorial concerning the Nanjing Massacre. The memorial honors the memory of 300,000 victims, according to Chinese government estimates, of a massacre that occurred during Japanese occupation in 1937. The memorial, which Wilkinson compares to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., includes a viewing area where skeletal remains of victims unearthed during excavation of mass graves can be seen by visitors. “In both,” said Wilkinson, “there is an emphasis on innocent people who were victimized by a ruthless enemy. And the bones, the skeletal remains, are seen by the Chinese as one way of making this reality very stark, very concrete to the population.” Ngotho noted especially the forensic descriptions of the deaths. “It’s moving and creepy,” said Sanborn, who added that the memorial attempts to convey human pain through music, lighting, and sculpture as well. “They think of it almost as art.” In fact, an understanding of the human connection between the American and Chinese cultures may be one of the most significant outcomes of the cadets’ experiences in China. “I learned that the Chinese people are a viable ally and friend if we can put aside our ideological differences and work toward a common goal, whatever that may be,” concluded Schirra. “China’s going to be an important power in the 21st century,” added Sanborn. “The cadets got to see the political and economic heart of China.” As for the future of the program, Wilkinson would like to see it run every other summer and, someday, include a Chinese language component. Chinese, he said, is a strategically important language. “The hardest thing for the cadets was that they didn’t have any Chinese language skills,” he said. “I could help them get around, but if they could do that for themselves, that would be a quantum leap for them.”


The Institute Report, August 2010, Page 17

New Uniforms Capt. Derick J. Screen ’04 and Capt. Kathy Aldrich, assistant directors of admissions, wear the new Army uniform as they prepare to film a recruitment video. Faculty members on post began wearing the Army Service Uniform Aug. 2. – VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.

VMI Names New Lacrosse Coach By Brad Salois, VMI Sports Information

Brian Anken has been named the new head coach of VMI lacrosse. “We are excited to move forward in our lacrosse program with the hiring of Brian Anken,” said Donny White, VMI athletic director. “He has proven himself to be a winner at both Mars Hill and Lycoming. We desire to compete for a conference championship, and I feel Coach Anken will put our program in a position to do that.” “It’s a tremendous honor to become a part of the VMI family,” said Anken. “VMI is a special place that expects excellence both on and off the field and offers one of the most unique lacrosse experiences in the country. I’m excited for the opportunity and look forward to helping the VMI lacrosse program achieve a new level of success.” Hired by Lycoming College in July of 2006, Anken implemented offensive and defensive strategies for the team. He also supervised the assistant staff and was responsible for a large amount of fundraising, which helped subsidize the team’s travel and equipment expenses. After posting a 4-10 record in his first year at the school, Anken’s team went 10-6 in 2008, earning him his second conference Coach of the Year honor; the other he had earned when at Mars Hill College in North Carolina in 2004. The team then went on to post records of 11-5 and 11-6 in his final two years, including a share of the conference regular season title in 2009, giving them a 32-17 mark over Anken’s

final three seasons in Williamsport, Pa. Prior to working at Lycoming, Anken had been the head man at Mars Hill, where he helped the team post a 5 ½ game improvement in the standings during his final year, 2006. He earned conference Coach of the Year honors in 2004. He was also the founder and director of the Lions Lacrosse Camp and handled game and event management as well. Anken broke into the coaching ranks with Pfeiffer University in 2001, where he was the program’s top assistant. There, he was responsible for the defensive side of the ball, along with goalies. He also handled recruiting in Maryland, New York, and New Jersey before leaving in 2001 to join the Rochester Institute of Technology, where again he handled the defense and goalies. During his three years in Rochester, Anken was also an assistant to the school’s athletic association director of development. In his career, Anken has coached a pair of NCAA Division III statistical champions. He has also mentored two conference Freshman of the Year and one Player of the Year, and in seven seasons as a head coach, he has had 21 all-conference players and an All-American. Anken is a member of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s Rankings and All-American committees, as well as being a part of the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee.


Page 18, The Institute Report, August 2010

Cadets Explore Options in Summer Cruise By Lt. Jeff Lambeth, Naval ROTC

After a demanding first year at VMI, 22 cadets from the class of 2013 the cruises for the cadets in the classes of 2011 and 2012 were no less enrolled in the Navy ROTC program headed off to summer cruise in interesting. Each cadet in these classes chose a platform, from submarines either Norfolk or San Diego to get familiar with life in the fleet. They to aircraft carriers, and spent a month with the ship or squadron learning about a specific community. More than 48 cadets spent four weeks observing a wide spectrum of participated in everything from SEAL training in Little operations. Creek, Va., to cruising with a submarine out of Pearl The first week was spent with the surface warfare Harbor, Hawaii. community at sea on a destroyer or frigate. The Rising 2nd Class Marine-option cadets participated in cadets ate, slept, and participated in evolutions Mountain Warfare Training held in Bridgeport, Calif., on board the ship while speaking with members where they learned advanced techniques and tactics of the crew to gain perspective on Navy life. The for conducting warfare in a difficult environment while second week gave cadets a chance to fly with an getting hands-on experience with new weapons and area aviation squadron, either fixed or rotary wing. equipment. The experience solidified for many the desire to Most cadets consider summer cruise to be an essential become naval aviators upon commissioning. step in determining their career path within the Navy Next the cadets had the opportunity to dive with and Marine Corps. These cruises provide a wealth a submarine and experience life beneath the sea. of experience and firsthand knowledge that cannot be They operated the equipment required for various found in the classroom or other academic setting. By evolutions and even got a chance to speak with the providing cadets with the opportunity to participate in crew about the operation of the nuclear reactor that areas of interest before they commission, the Navy and propels the ship. Finally, both Navy- and MarineMarine Corps ensure that their officers make informed option cadets moved to a Marine base, where they trained in the field, shot weapons, and learned Cadet Carolyn Kenaley ’11 prepares decisions regarding their community choices, giving for a flight during summer cruise. them the best chance of having a satisfying and successful about life in the Corps. – Photo courtesy of Naval ROTC. career. Though not as diverse as their classmates’,

Cadets Complete Officer Candidates School at Quantico By Maj. Steve Craig, Naval ROTC

The VMI Corps of Cadets continues to be heard from in the United States Marine Corps, specifically at Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va. This summer, VMI’s officer candidates set the tone for achievement at OCS both on an individual basis and at the Naval ROTC unit level, with 39 cadets successfully completing training this summer. Three 2010 graduates completed OCS and will soon receive commissions, while five cadets from the Class of 2013 completed the platoon leaders class junior course. The Class of 2011 provided the most cadets, with 31, and will be the largest Marine class to graduate from the Institute in recent years. The mission of Officer Candidates School is to educate, train, evaluate, and screen officer candidates to ensure they possess the moral, intellectual, and physical qualities for commissioning, as well as the leadership potential to serve successfully as company grade officers in the operating forces. Through the training received within the NROTC unit and the VMI Corps of Cadets, the VMI officer candidates were fully prepared for OCS, which grades candidates in multiple events in three categories: 50 percent leadership, 25 percent academics, and 25 percent physical fitness. The majority of the VMI cadets finished with average overall scores above 90 percent.

Cadet Patrick Terhune participates in Marine Corps martial arts program training at OCS. – Photo courtesy of Naval ROTC.


The Institute Report, August 2010, Page 19

VMI Cadets Excel at Warrior Forge 2010 By 2nd Lt. Hunter Cantrell, Army ROTC

patrol training exercises. Ninety-three VMI cadets attended the Leadership The cadets are graded Development and Assessment by commissioned and nonCourse, Warrior Forge, at commissioned officers of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord U.S. Army. On each graded just outside of Seattle, Wash., leadership dimension in each this year. Warrior Forge is of the positions to which they designed to test the leadership are assigned, the cadets can abilities of cadets under score an N, meaning not stressful situations. satisfactory; an S, meaning satisfactory; or an E, for In the program, a series of excellent. This year five VMI tests given over approximately cadets finished with an overall 30 days assesses the cadets’ E, and six cadets attained mastery of knowledge they the highly coveted Recondo are expected to have learned award. The 13th and 14th during their ROTC careers. regiments had yet to finish at The program also tests the press time. cadets’ ability to adapt, overcome, and improvise Stefan Stark ’10 was among eight cadets from VMI’s Army ROTC department to Eight cadets from VMI’s when they are placed in commission at the end of Warrior Forge LDAC training. – Photo courtesy of Army ROTC. Army ROTC department commissioned at the end of situations which they have never before experienced. Other activities include an Army Physical Warrior Forge. They received their commissions during the regimental Fitness Test – one of the toughest that they have taken thus far – day graduation ceremony on the last day of the program. and night land navigation, a leadership reaction course, and squad/

Three Cadets in Summer Free Fall Training By Cadet Matthew Lowe ’11, Air Force ROTC

VMI’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 880 sent three rising 1st Class cadets for injuries that may occur during training or jumps. Air Force Academy cadets choose glider this summer to the Air Force Academy Free training or free fall school during the summer Fall Professional Development Training at between their freshman and sophomore Colorado Springs, Colo. Cadets Jamie Bost, years. In contrast, ROTC cadets must apply Matthew Lowe, and Justin Simmons were for either program under the Professional selected for temporary duty at the 98th Development Training process and compete Flying Training Squadron during the June against Air Force ROTC cadets from all over and August training sessions. the nation to be accepted. The free fall class is authorized to Over the course of training, the cadets allow students to perform unassisted free underwent a 32-hour ground instruction fall delays on their first jump, and each block, learning everything from putting on consecutive one, without any prior jump a harness to “standing in the door,” and experience. Training is carried out by cadets from the Academy’s competitive jump team, VMI cadets Jamie Bost and Matthew Lowe (second and ultimately how to guide a parachute to the the Wings of Blue, and active duty Military third from the left) pose with their training element and correct drop zone. After completing five Free Fall-qualified jumpmasters supervise jumpmaster (in blue flight suit) before their fifth and safe, video-critiqued jumps, cadets are the training. final jump at Air Force Academy free fall training. – Photo awarded the Department of Defense’s Basic Cadets arriving at the program undergo a courtesy of Cadet Keli Kaaekuahiwi of Point Loma Nazarene Parachutist badge. The only other way to earn this badge is at the Army Airborne School in physical fitness test the first morning, and a University. Fort Benning, Ga. daily PT regimen is observed to keep watch


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VMI Wins Fifth Big South Sportsmanship Award Courtesy of the Big South Office of Public Relations.

VMI was named the winner of the Big South Conference’s annual Institutional Sportsmanship Award for the 2009-10 athletic season. VMI has claimed the honor all five years of the award’s existence. The overall winner is determined on a system recognizing the highest percentage of the maximum possible points an institution may achieve for each team award. The team awards were voted on by Big South student-

athletes following each conference championship. Voted top sportsmanship team in women’s cross country, football (cowinner), women’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, and baseball in 2009-10, VMI was tops overall among Big South members with a percentage of 35.64. Liberty University finished second with 30.87, followed by Gardner-Webb University at 26.58.

2010 VMI Football Schedule Sept. 4 Sept. 11 Sept. 25 Oct. 2 Oct. 9 Oct. 16 Oct. 23 Oct. 30 Nov. 6 Nov. 13 Nov. 20

Lock Haven...............................................................................1:30 p.m. Fall Reunion #1 at William & Mary.........................................................................7 p.m. at Virginia.............................................................................................TBA Presbyterian.........................................................................1:30 p.m. Homecoming/Fall Reunion #2 at Stony Brook....................................................................................TBA Liberty........................................................................................1:30 p.m. Parents Weekend at Charleston Southern.....................................................1:30 p.m. at Army................................................................................................Noon coastal carolina................................................................1:30 p.m. Military Appreciation Day at Old Dominion..................................................................... 3:30 p.m. at Gardner-Webb...................................................................1:30 p.m.

Coach Sparky Woods and the Keydets will open their 2010 season Sept. 4 at home versus Lock Haven. Order Tickets Online at: www.vmikeydets.com. All times Eastern and subject to change – Photo courtesy of VMI Sports Information. Page 20, The Institute Report, August 2010

Institute Report - August 2010  

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