VMI no longer names expelled students during ‘drum out’ ritual
LEXINGTON, Va. – The Virginia Military Institute will no longer name expelled students during their middle of the night “drum out” ceremony. The over 100+ years old ritual involved waking up the entire corps of cadets to the sound of beating drums. Part of that ritual has been the naming of recently expelled cadets. Campus officials tell WSLS 10 News the ceremony is meant to remind students of the honor code they have agreed to follow. VMI would not tell us the last time a “drum out” ceremony was held – citing the privacy of cadet disciplinary matters.
‘I get to be an example’: VMI’s first African-American superintendent ushers in era of change
Change is in the air at VMI: masks on cadets, a controversial statue removed and new leadership at the helm. Now interim superintendent Wins was once Cadet Wins. His decision to leave Maryland and come to VMI was based largely on the opportunity to play Division One basketball. I think that I was asked to come down and at least begin the implementation of the right change,” Wins said. That’s something he hopes to instill in cadets, leading by example at a school under the spotlight and creating change.
Virginia Military Institute removes Confederate statue
Crews prepare to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson from the campus of the Virginia Military Institute on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, in Lexington, Va. (AP Photo/Sarah Rankin)LEXINGTON, Va. – The Virginia Military Institute removed a prominent statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on Monday, a project initiated this fall after allegations of systemic racism roiled the public college. But “VMI does not define itself by this statue and that is why this move is appropriate,” he added. VMI said the statue will be relocated to a nearby Civil War museum at a battlefield where dozens of VMI cadets were killed or wounded. But he said it would not remove the statue of Jackson, who owned enslaved people, or rethink the names of buildings honoring Confederate leaders. In 2015, VMI did away with requiring freshmen to salute the statue each time they passed it, Wyatt said.
New VMI superintendent begins tenure following allegations of racism at the school
Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins has started his tenure as VMI’s interim superintendent. Wins graduated from VMI in 1985 and recently retired after more than three decades of service in the Army. VMI will soon be investigated by the Commonwealth of Virginia for allegations of ongoing racism at the school. Wins’ predecessor, General J. H. Binford Peay III, resigned after 17 years when the allegations intensified in October. “You’re going out into a world that’s diverse.