VMI, Character and the Blessings of God

by Carmen Villani

At the conclusion of sporting events, the Corps of Cadets, players, and alumni join as one in singing the VMI Doxology. It ends with – “God Bless our team and V-M-I!”

During its nearly 182-year history, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) has aligned itself with Judeo-Christian values, emphasizing character and servant leadership.

God calls upon us to not be of this world, yet the VMI leadership is making changes to align VMI with the world. Driven by the mantra of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” “Don’t do ordinary” is on the verge of becoming “We do ordinary.”

The Bible speaks of one body and how it consists of many parts, yet the VMI leadership wants the focus to be on the many parts, otherwise known as DIVERSITY.

The Bible speaks of how each of us is blessed with gifts and that we are to use those gifts to glorify God, yet the VMI leadership is focused on EQUITY, which diverts attention from those gifts that we are endowed with.

The Bible speaks of the inclusiveness of Heaven and experiencing eternal life provided you believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins. Honor, self-reliance, perseverance and the Brother Rat spirit defines VMI’s INCLUSION, yet the VMI leadership believes that is insufficient.

Are we now going to change the VMI Experience in a manner that departs from those core values?

I don’t believe God has any plans to depart from His requirement to make Heaven more inclusive.

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) describes the VMI Experience: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”

If a young man or woman can endure the rigorous four-year VMI Experience, then he/she can go forward being confident in the hope of achieving success in his or her life.

The Bible speaks of how God used flawed men and women to carry out His plans. As with every other institution of higher learning, VMI is flawed but continues to make great contributions to society.

The VMI leadership, however, just can’t bring itself to vigorously defend our alma mater and the alumni. Instead, it acquiesces, and allows the politicians and media to portray us as racist and sexist. In times of “deepest peril “ – words on the VMI Parapet – the blessing we ask for in our Doxology will only come if we align, not depart from, Judeo-Christian values.

Carmen Villani graduated from VMI, class of 1976..