Notice: The Adams Center will accept submissions for the 2019 "Not for Fame or Reward" scholarship until 1600 hours, Friday, April 5, 2019.

The John A. Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis is pleased to announce a $2,500.00 scholarship for a VMI cadet during the 2019–2020 academic year. The Adams Center will present the “Not for Fame or Reward” scholarship to the cadet who writes the best essay on the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program)—and its utility as a model for U.S. foreign assistance in the twenty-first century. History, International Studies, and Economics majors are strongly encouraged to enter the competition. All majors are welcomed to participate. 

The scholarship is funded through an endowment created by the late Albert Z. Conner, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (B.A., history, 1966) and Georgetown University (M.A., government, 1981). He served in the U.S. Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency—and worked as a member of the Adams Center advisory board for over a decade. The name of the scholarship is derived from Conner’s scholarly project entitled “Not for Fame or Reward: VMI’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors.” 

The scholarship encourages cadets to learn about the Marshall Plan through primary and secondary sources at the George C. Marshall Research Library in Lexington. (See key documents online at In doing so, cadets should consider the lessons of the past for current and future U.S. policymakers. The winning essay will describe and analyze the European Recovery Program. It will also identify a region of the contemporary world in need of a twenty-first century Marshall Plan. A meaningful part of the essay should advocate for U.S. aid to that region. Cadets should bridge history, economics, and international studies in their submissions. 

Prize: $2,500.00 scholarship toward tuition, room, board, or fees during the 2019–2020 session. 

Eligibility: All second, third, and fourth-class cadets. The contest winner must be enrolled at VMI during the 2019–20 session to receive the scholarship. 

Essay Requirements: Papers submitted for consideration must be an original historical research projects undertaken by the cadet. The essay should not exceed 12 double-spaced pages. Submissions can be produced as a work-for-grade assignment in a course at VMI, or as an independent research project. Essays must employ primary source material, such as archival documents located at the Marshall Library, Preston Library, or other repository. All papers must include footnotes or endnotes to indicate the location of the cited source material. Cadets should consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, for guidance regarding the format of their submissions. All interested cadets are invited to consult with Adams Center director Bradley Coleman during the research and writing phases of the exercise. 

Submission Procedure: Interested cadets should email a 200-word abstract/summary of their essay to the Adams Center director by Friday, 8 March 2019, the day before Spring Furlough. Final essays should be sent electronically to the Adams Center by Friday, 5 April. Please deliver the essay as a Microsoft Word document. A panel of judges from the VMI faculty will review all papers. The Adams Center director will announce the winner in May 2019. 

200-word Abstract Submission: Friday, 8 March 2019 

Final Essay Submission: Friday, 5 April 2019 

Email abstract and essay submissions to:

Questions to: 

Colonel Bradley Lynn Coleman, Ph.D.
Director, John A. Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis
Department of History
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 464-7447


Major David Sigler
Deputy Director of Financial Aid
302 Carroll Hall
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA 24450
302 Carroll Hall 
(540) 464-7184 

Online at:

On Facebook at: