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2012 Institute Society Dinner Draws More than 520 Guests

On November 9, the VMI Foundation hosted its annual Institute Society Dinner in the Hall of Valor in Marshall Hall. This year, it welcomed more than 520 guests to the event.

Since 1974, this formal event is another of the many ways that the VMI Foundation recognizes the hundreds of alumni and friends who are leaders in support of VMI through the Foundation Fund, a major source of unrestricted money for the Institute’s academic and co-curricular programs. For many years, the VMI Foundation also has used the Dinner to honor the classes that, in the previous fiscal year, celebrated their 50th and 25th Reunions and gave to VMI through their respective reunion campaigns. This year, the Class of 1986 and the Class of 1962 were recognized.

After the Posting of the Colors and the playing of the National Anthem by the VMI Color Guard and the VMI Herald Trumpets, respectively, the VMI Foundation’s president, Walton M. Jeffress, Jr. ’68, welcomed the guests. Sean P. Noll ’13, the First Captain, also made welcoming remarks, thanking the attendees for their support of the Corps of Cadets.

After dinner, Mr. Jeffress thanked the members of the Institute Society for their generosity to VMI and recognized the two reunion classes. He had special praise for the Class of 1962, which set a new record for money raised by 50th Reunion Campaigns, $20 million. General Peay then addressed the audience, describing VMI’s remarkable progress over the past decade and outlining the plans that the Institute has to continue its progress and thereby retain its position in the front rank of American higher education. He also spoke of the enduring importance of the partnerships between VMI and the thousands of donors who have made often sacrificial gifts to help VMI.

At the end of his remarks, General Peay introduced a short video that focused on the transformative nature of the VMI education and how critical private support is to VMI’s present and its future. This inspiring video now is available on the homepage of the VMI Foundation’s website. The evening closed with a selection of songs performed by the always popular VMI Glee Club followed by a rousing rendition of “The Spirit” and “The VMI Doxology”.

“I always highly value the Institute Society Dinner because it gives the VMI Foundation an opportunity to give much deserved thanks and appropriate recognition in a public manner to the men and women, alumni and friends, who are true leaders in support of VMI,” said Mr. Jeffress. “Just as important, however, it also gives these special people the chance to hear first-hand from someone like General Peay about the incalculable value of private money to VMI and to see and speak to the ‘products’ of VMI’s remarkable education, our cadets. Our guests come away fully aware of how vital their support truly is to VMI and ready to take that message to other alumni and friends.”