LEXINGTON, VA. – On Friday, VMI announced the list of people who will pick the school’s next superintendent. And those in the Roanoke Valley may recognize one name on that list, Michael Hamlar.
Virginia Military Institute in Lexington is one of Virginia’s most storied traditions, but it’s undergoing a big shakeup right now that many hope changes its future. Michael Hamlar is a local businessman and civic leader in the Roanoke Valley.
“I consider it an honor to be on this committee, and the Institution is very unique. It’s not like any other Institution or college because it has a military aspect," Hamlar said.
Hamlar is on the Board of Visitors and was selected to the 12 person search committee for the next superintendent.
“It’s going to be full transparency, so the whole process is going to be online, it’s going to have updates for the general public and everybody can just go on to see that it is a transparent process," Hamlar said.
General J.H. Binford Peay resigned last month after Gov. Ralph Northam announced a probe into allegations of “relentless racism” at the school. Hamlar’s not involved in that part of the story, but as an African-American man, has his eye on equity.
“You know representing African-Americans, people of color, we really want to stress all persons that are there and make sure its beneficial for everybody," Hamlar said.
The Governor proposed a million dollars for the investigation at VMI and the Institute is removing its Stonewall Jackson monument on post. The search committee is hiring outside help and with the new superintendent expected by spring, Hamlar trusts the process.
“These things have come up and we’ve been addressing them one by one, and just trying to do what we can to make sure everything is transparent, out in the open and done fairly," Hamlar said.
You can submit your feedback on the process at firstname.lastname@example.org