Cadets celebrate 181 years at Virginia Military Institute

On November 11, 1839, the first cadet took guard for the first time at VMI

Veterans Day coincides with VMI's Founders Day.

LEXINGTON, Va – One of the nation’s top military institution’s Founder’s Day just so happens to coincide with Veterans Day.

Despite the rainy weather, dozens of cadets came together to celebrate nearly two hundred years of tradition at Virginia Military Institute.

On November 11, 1839, the first cadet took guard for the first time at Virginia Military Institute.

Nearly two hundred years later, celebrating Founder’s Day is one of the institution’s oldest traditions.

“Certainly, we were founded long before Veterans Day was established but the fact that, you know, we’ve, we’ve produced 10s of thousands of individuals who’ve gone on to serve our countries and have become veterans is very appropriate for VMI to share our birthday with veterans,” VMI Spokesperson Col. Bill Wyatt said.

Although VMI typically hosts a parade around post, the rain caused this year’s festivities to move indoors. This is a change that has never happened before.

“We had all 10 companies plus the band represented the officers of each company were here as well as five cadets from each company,” Wyatt said.

VMI has certainly changed and faced challenges over the years, but cadets and faculty believe the institute is moving in the right direction.

“You know, we talked a lot about integrity and honor and civility and discipline here., and so I think it’s fitting that we do this parade today that that exemplifies all of those virtues. And we continue to move forward,”

VMI is currently in the search for a new Superintendent.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.