Virginia Military Institutes first Chief Diversity Officer sets goals for inclusion

Dr. Jamica Love started her new role in July

Virginia Military Institute’s first-ever Chief Diversity Officer has a clear vision.

LEXINGTON, Va. – Virginia Military Institute’s first-ever Chief Diversity Officer has a clear vision.

“If you’ve got to change a culture, and when I say change, it just means make it better doesn’t mean changing the great foundation VMI has, but that takes real institutionalized impact,” Virginia Military Institute’s Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Jamica Love said.

Love started as the first-ever Chief Diversity Officer last month.

She comes in after an unprecedented year, following the resignation of its former superintendent, a months-long investigation into its procedures, and reports of racism and sexism on post.

“Institutional cultural change takes time so I don’t expect the bones in the foundation of the institute to change. We are doing some excellent things right now where we are and I don’t want that to ever leave,” Love said.

In her new role, Love wants to aim to make the state’s oldest military school a place where everyone can feel welcome.

“I get to be the first to put my stamp on it, to put my perspective and breathe life into that vision,” Love said.

Love says she is looking forward to establishing more programs surrounding diversity and inclusion for cadets and staff members.

“I want to make sure that they know that this is a place that is supporting them, supporting their identity and welcomes them,” Love said.

While love knows change won’t happen overnight, changing the culture at VMI will not be a small task.

She feels her presence will make the school a place where cadets can be themselves and grow for decades to come.

“I think this is a critical time in the institution’s history to be here with the Major General wins taking the helm I’m really happy to work with him in work with this team to make sure that VMI just gets better. One corps, one VMI,” Love said.

Cadets are expected to start returning for the academic year in the coming weeks.

About the Author:

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