We must count the diverse nature of the Corps of Cadets among VMI’s chief virtues.
Our time-honored mission is to produce educated, honorable men and women who will serve the nation and their communities as leaders in their personal and professional lives. Perhaps more today than ever before in our nation’s history, the capacity to understand, accept, and motivate people of diverse backgrounds and cultures is integral to successful leadership.
The VMI regimen is demanding and intensive, designed to instill both the spirit and the skills of teamwork. Living, learning, and working together—unified as one Corps—some of America’s finest sons and daughters learn to set self-interest aside for a common good. Many from other countries of the world join us, too, because they seek the values inherent in the VMI experience. Regardless of their backgrounds, no matter their homes or pasts, all of our cadets begin their four-year journey here on common footing. Wearing the same uniforms, they grow together, learning to rely upon each other, their Brother Rats, as they pass together through a crucible that will literally change their lives both collectively and individually.
Race, national origin, gender, social class – none of these sets a cadet apart at VMI. Here, differences blend to enrich our perspective on the world that VMI’s citizen-soldiers will enter following graduation. Let there be no doubt that One Corps comprises Virginia Military Institute, and that our cadets are strengthened by cooperative efforts to sort through differences in search of commonalities.