Presentation to Governor Kaine
14 January 2010
Governor Kaine, Ms. Holton, … Mr. Slater, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen of the Corps of Cadets.
Four years ago today, on a rainy, bitter cold day in Colonial Williamsburg, the VMI Corps had the honor of participating in the inaugural parade of Governor Tim Kaine. The event was special in that he was the first Governor to take the oath of office in Williamsburg since Thomas Jefferson. Since then, VMI has welcomed Governor Kaine to the Institute on four occasions. He addressed the Environment Virginia Conference in April 2006, he was our commencement speaker in May 2007, he addressed the Commonwealth of Virginia Energy and Sustainability Conference in October 2007, and he participated in the dedication of the renovated Kilbourne Hall in April 2009. Today, we welcome him on his fifth and final visit as Governor of the Commonwealth…, this time to be honored by the Corps of Cadets who proudly serve under him as our Commander in Chief.
Governor Kaine has served the people of Virginia well and with compassion during an especially difficult time in the life of the Commonwealth. A year after assuming the office as the 70th Governor of our State…, the Commonwealth…and the nation…were shocked by the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the nation’s worst campus shooting incident. “He took a very special interest in each and every one of the families,” the mother of a slain student is reported to have said. “It was almost as if he hurt as much as we did.” He has guided the state through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, an economic challenge that has not yet ended but which appears to be on the mend. Despite tough times, Virginia has remained at or near the top of national rankings for its management, business climate, and education outcomes. His energy and environmental initiatives are well known…were on display during numerous State Conferences at VMI…and they have advanced the health of our state in energy sustainability and protection of its lands and waters for years to come. Much of the credit must go to the hard work and the intelligent, a thoughtful, courageous decision-making of Governor Kaine.
And, from the very beginning of his administration, Governor Kaine has placed high priority on making sure that Virginia’s public school and colleges move forward. As a result, our schools and colleges are routinely ranked among the nation’s best. Here at VMI, the nation’s oldest state-supported military college, we are especially grateful for his support of the many capital programs that have truly “transformed” this post during his years in office and of his interest in VMI’s unique mission to prepare Citizen-Soldiers. He has been a true friend of the Institute and has always spoken fondly of VMI in public settings.
As a sign of our respect and deep appreciation to Governor Kaine for his four years of service in this high office, VMI and the Corps of Cadets wish to honor him here today. As a token of that gratitude, Mr. Tom Slater, President of the VMI Board of Visitors…on behalf of the assembled Corps of Cadets, will make the following presentation.
Governor Kaine and Mr. Slater, would you please come forward… I ask the distinguished visitors and the Corps of Cadets to rise for the presentation. “Attention to Orders”…