Display Honors Alumni Decorated for Valor
LEXINGTON, Va., Nov. 15, 2012 – A ceremony yesterday marked the completion of a project to recognize the 71 VMI alumni who are recipients of the nation’s second-highest award for valor through a display of citations in Kilbourne Hall.
Kilbourne Hall houses ROTC detachments from all of the services.
Forty-four alumni received the Distinguished Service Cross for service in the U.S. Army, five received the Air Force Cross, eight received the Navy Cross, and 14 Marines received either the Navy Cross or the Distinguished Service Cross.
The project, which took six years to complete, was funded and organized by John Bolling Williamson ’60, who received a citation for his efforts and then addressed those gathered for the ceremony. Col. Keith Gibson ’77, executive director of the VMI museum system, worked closely with him to complete the display.
“This project required an enormous amount of research on the part of Bolling Williamson,” said Col. Mike Strickler, assistant to the superintendent. “Each individual plaque has a replica of the medal with either the full citation or information regarding the act of heroism which led to the honor.”
Three of the eight living recipients, Arthur B. Nunn Jr. ’43, Norman M. Bissell ’61, and Robert S. Beale ’55, attended the ceremony, and both Bissell and Gen. J.H. Binford Peay ’62 III, VMI superintendent, spoke.
Each of the three received a photograph of the display honoring his award.