Gov. Northam urged corps of cadets to continue to embrace change in message to VMI

‘Never say die, that’s the spirit of VMI,’ said Northam

Gov. Ralph Northam had a message for his alma mater, Virginia Military Institute, where he graduated in 1981.

LEXINGTON, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam had a message for his alma mater, Virginia Military Institute, where he graduated in 1981.

The governor honored VMI leaders and corp of cadets in his remarks, recognizing their “ongoing work to embrace change, look to the future, and sustain the Institute over the long term.”

“I am tremendously proud to be a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, and I’m sure you all are proud of what it means to be here as well—what it says about your capacity for honor. For discipline. For integrity. For being part of a very tight-knit family. And for doing what is right, even when it’s not easy,” Northam said.

He also said he spoke to Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin about his transition into this new role, commenting on how he is “confident” Youngkin will serve Virginia well.

Northam highlighted the changes VMI has made in the past year, saying the campus community should be “confident that VMI is positioned for a stronger future.”

“Gone are the statues that glorify rebellion against the United States. In place are new provisions for privacy and safety for all—especially women. The Institute has now stated a commitment to diversity, and to making certain that all cadets, faculty, and staff, feel safe and welcome,” he said.

He urged the community to continue to make post an inclusive place for all.

“Keep your heads up, do good things for others, learn from your mistakes, and take care of each other and your families. Never say die, that’s the spirit of VMI,” he said in his final words to corp of cadets.

Click here to read Northam’s full statement.


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Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.