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Virginia Military Institute to remove Stonewall Jackson’s name from buildings

VMI begins interviews for next superintendent
VMI begins interviews for next superintendent

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Virginia Military Institute is set to remove Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s name from several buildings across campus in an effort to foster a more inclusive environment.

On Monday, the institute’s Board of Visitors voted to remove Jackson’s name from the front of Old Barracks and is looking into possibly giving the archway a new name.

Jackson’s name will also be removed from Memorial Hall, which is also up for a new name.

The board also voted to remove the attribution to Jackson for the quote, “You may be whatever you resolve to be,” which is on the second stoop of Old Barracks. A plaque will be installed in its place inside the arch that attributes the quote to William Alcott and the Rev. Joel Hawes, who both included the quotation in publications in the 1800s.

At the board’s next meeting, the Commemorations and Memorials Naming and Review Committee will propose new names for Memorial Hall and possibly for the front of Old Barracks.

In addition to removing Jackson’s name, the board also decided to expand the symbolism of the Virginia Mourning Her Dead sculpture to honor all former cadets who died in wars and military conflicts since 1839. It also voted to preserve the Clinedinst mural located in Memorial Hall for public display with additional context.

About the Author:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a digital content producer in July 2018.