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Statement by the President of the Board of Visitors, Sept. 15, 2020

Today, the VMI Board of Visitors had a candid and comprehensive discussion on the “Way Forward” as set out in General Peay’s July 29, 2020, letter. While we have achieved measurable success, we believe that there is more we can do to better support our African American cadets and alumni; and all other cadets and alumni. VMI is a place of diversity and inclusion with an atmosphere where everyone is treated fairly and the same.

The Board fully endorses the goals set forth in the plan. We recognize that some aspects of the plan can be quickly implemented. Other aspects, such as diversity hiring, will take longer to put in place. The Board will continue to work with the school’s administration to address the social issues we face today and will closely monitor our progress in meeting the goals of the plan. And, we will continue to engage in civil and meaningful dialogue with the VMI family, our many interested constituents, and the public. Each of the five pillars of the plan (education, cadet life, commissioning, symbology, and alumni inclusion) will be regularly evaluated by the Board to ensure that they are designed and implemented to meet our goals. Like any good plan, ours has built-in flexibility.

Before our January 2021 Board meeting, we expect to review from the administration a detailed plan of executable items designed to achieve our intended purpose.

In time, no doubt, there will be modifications, changes, and additions as we continue to meet our mission of producing citizen-soldiers prepared to serve our state and nation in times of peril and peace.


Mr. John W. Boland
President, VMI Board of Visitors

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