Roberts American Free Enterprise Program
The mission statement of the Virginia Military Institute defines
as our purpose to train cadets to become “advocates of the American Democracy
and free enterprise system.” The John W. and Jane M. Roberts American Free Enterprise
Program has been an essential component in achieving this mission. Established
in the department of economics and business in 1998, the program is made
possible by the generosity and support of Mr. and Mrs. John Roberts, founders
of the Solite Corporation.
It is a demonstrated historical fact that free markets
have created higher standards of living for the greatest number of people than
any other economic system yet devised.
We believe that it is in the national interest that the citizenry be
imbued with an understanding of the importance of maintaining and defending the
role of free markets in our American way of life. The Roberts Fund has been
instrumental in supporting the department and its unique degree program that
combines the conceptual framework of an economics degree with the business
applications that are common to a degree in business administration. With an
economics and business faculty that has a bent toward teaching free market
economics and business applications, we are among the few colleges and
universities that have the free enterprise system at its central core.
One of the main purposes of the Roberts Fund was to support the
department in gaining wider recognition for the work we do. Because of the
support of Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, the department is now accredited by AACSB –
International, the principle accrediting body for business programs in the
world. As a wholly undergraduate program, VMI is among a very select group of
schools that have achieved this distinction.
The John W. and Jane M. Roberts American
Free Enterprise Program is made possible because of the unswerving
support of Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, founders of the Solite Corporation.
Established in the department in 1998, the program supports:
- 2 Institute Professorships
- The John W. and Jane M. Roberts Institute Professorship in Free Enterprise Economics
- Current holder: Col. Floyd H. Duncan
- The John W. and Jane M. Roberts Institute Professorship in Free Enterprise Business
- Current holder: Col. H. Francis Bush
- The John W. and Jane M. Roberts Lecture Series
- Departmental Internships
- Funds for Faculty and Cadet Research
- Resources for Departmental Awards
In recognition of the important role that Mr.
and Mrs. Roberts have played in our department, our highest award for cadet
achievement, the Roberts Medal Academic Achievement Award is presented each
year to the top ranking cadet in the graduating class. The award consists of a
medal and a cash prize.