Alpha-Gamma-Mu Holds Virtual Induction Ceremony

LEXINGTON, Va., April 10, 2021—On April 8, VMI’s Alpha-Gamma-Mu chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, inducted 31 new members, including:

Among the inductees was USMC Major General David Jeffrey Furness ’87. MG Furness majored in History while at VMI and is currently the Assistant Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policy and Operations. In his address, MG Furness spoke highly of the value of a History degree to his successful military career. Keeping a 2000-book personal library, he believes that the reading habits he cultivated as a History student played a crucial role for sound decision-making in leadership positions.

“When I want new ideas, I read an old book,” MG Furness told the attendees. When asked by a cadet about the most valuable skill he developed at VMI, MG Furness said that “it is the ability to convey complex ideas and communicate them effectively in writing.”

To join the society as a full member, our inductees had to meet high expectations: at least 12 semester hours (four courses) in History with a minimum of 3.10 GPA in those hours, and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. The chapter regularly organizes activities such as movie and discussion nights with pizza, presentations at top-notch professional conferences such as the Society for Military History annual conference, and with the generous support of the John Adams’ Center for Military History and Strategic Analysis, an annual applied history trip to Washington, D.C., where cadets have in the past engaged with professional historians of the Pentagon, the Smithsonian, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Screenshots of Phi Alhpa Theta Induction Ceremony 2021

Screenshots of the Zoom event provided by Dr. Qingfei Yin


AY 2019-2020 InducteesAY 20-21 Inductees

David Jeffrey Furness – HI (Class ’87; Major General USMC)

Joshua David Austin – IS (Class ’20)

Madeleine Sophie Barrett – IS (Class ’20)

Mark Joseph Peake Jr. – HI (Class ’20)

Garrett Evan Smith – IS (Class ’20)

Thomas Jordan Wetherell – HI (Class of ’22, Cadet-in-Charge)

Casey Ian Allen – HI (Class of ’21)

Alan Patrick Burkett – HI (Class of ’21)

Cole Brian Curtis – CS (Class of ’21)

Raymond Relano Dua Jr. – IS (Class of ’21)

Daniel Thomas Hamner – CH (Class of ’22)

Katherine Anne McCommons – EC (Class of ’21)

William Miller IV – HI (Class of ’21)

Harrison Quinn Peglar – HI (Class of ’22)

Darren R. Pitts – HI (Class of ’21)

John Paul Riedel – CH (Class of ’21)

Brian Anderson – IS (Class of ’22)

Benjamin J. Bennett – HI (Class of ’21)

Wesley Cline – HI (Class of ’24)

Chris Cocoris – HI (Class of ’23)

Robert Curma – HI (Class of ’22)

Will Nolan Facques – IS (Class of ’21)

Michael M. Hoffmann – HI (Class of ’22)

Bridget Ann Hughes – IS (Class of ’22)

Christopher Michael Hulburt – HI (Class of ’22)

Jacob Owen LaMountain – HI (Class of ’21)

Elliott S. Madden – HI (Class of ’22)

Robin Newcamp – HI (Class of ’22)

Francis Scout Ripley – HI (Class of ’23)

Derek Tanner Shockey – IS (Class of ’22)

Christopher Hsien-Leon Soo – MC (Class of ’22)



Qingfei Yin, PhD & MAJ Jochen Arndt
Assistant Professors, Department of History

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