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Class of 2012 Makes Record-Setting Graduation Gift

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 On May 14, at the change-of-command ceremony in Cocke Hall, Joseph Munno ’12, president of the Class of 2012, and other leaders of the class presented a facsimile check to the Superintendent with the following words, “The Class of 2012 is pleased to make this gift to VMI, indicative of our loyalty and commitment to the Institute. General Peay, I am proud to announce the Class of 2012’s gift in the amount of $18,024.32.”

As with all previous Graduation Gifts, the gift represents most significantly the results of the First Class Campaign with a small, residual amount realized from the Class Fund.

The Graduation Campaign culminated a four-year program to explain the role of alumni in advancing VMI and the enduring importance of “giving back” to VMI in the form of private support. The Class leadership—Joseph Munno, class president; Richard Luck, class vice president; Troy Warcewicz, class historian; Tyler Griffith, class secretary, and the Class Agent, Bruce Howard—led the cultivation of the important idea of “giving back” to VMI to their Brother Rats and solicit their support of the Institute.

“These alumni formed themselves into the Graduation Gift Committee by May 2011,” explained Brian Scott Crockett, chief executive officer of the VMI Foundation. “Therefore, when we met with them in September to discuss the Graduation Campaign’s progress, they already were already well-organized and they had a coherent message to take to their Brother Rats.”

This situation was the result of the education effort known as the Barracks Program, a sustained effort to engage cadets throughout their time in Barracks with the aim of helping them understand the importance of private money to VMI and to all cadets. “It also stresses,” according to Colonel Patrick Webb, Vice President of Annual and Reunion Giving for the VMI Foundation and who is the Program’s manager, “the Institute’s expectation that, as alumni, they will do for those who follow them into Barracks what thousands of alumni had done for them: make financial gifts to improve VMI’s education.”

The Class of 2012’s Graduation Gift Committee worked diligently to engage their Brother Rats. In early May, they finished with a result of $15,524.32, a new record for the Graduation Campaign. They hit a record participation mark of 27.24%.

When asked to explain the class’s success, Mr. Munno said, “Bruce Howard, who is our Class Agent, took charge of this campaign, and he did a fantastic job. Furthermore, our success shows our understanding of the value of this education and how much we owe VMI. It also demonstrates our maturity as a class.”

“The participation rate of the Class of 2012 is phenomenal,” said Mr. Crockett. “It is the best, by far, of any graduating class. It is better than some classes have had with their 10th and 25th Reunion Funds. Often, younger alumni look to more senior classes for examples of leadership in support of VMI. Now, all alumni can look at our youngest alumni class of alumni as well.”

“The entire VMI Family should thank the Brother Rats of Class of 2012 for their generosity to VMI,” concluded Mr. Crockett. “They also should thank the class’ leaders for their determination to ensure a successful effort.”