Alumni and Friends of VMI:
Cyber Corps Numbers: 552
Special to Air on VMI Civil Rights Martyr: If you remember, Jonathan Daniels was a member of the VMI class of 1961.
Special to air on Episcopal civil rights martyr (ENS) The Episcopal Media Center recently announced its cosponsorship of the hour-long program,"Here I Am, Send Me: The Journey of Jonathan Daniels." It will air on February 25, at 10:00 p.m. (EST) on Odyssey Cable.
This documentary, which is narrated by actor Sam Waterston, is about Jonathan Daniels, a white Episcopal seminary student who found a sense of community working side by side with African-Americans in the South and who lost his life in the civil rights struggle.
It was the spring of 1965, when Daniels, a student at Episcopal Theological Seminary, heeded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's call to march from Selma to Montgomery and help register African-American voters in the South.
Daniels wrote, "I think it was when I got teargassed leading a march in Camden that I began to change. I saw the men who came at me were themselves not free. It was not that cruelty was so sweet to them (though I'm afraid sometimes it is), but that
they don't know what else to do. Even though they were white and hateful and my enemy, they were human beings too. I began to discover a new freedom in the Cross: freedom to love the enemy. And in that freedom, to will and try to set him free."
Just minutes after being released from jail for his participation in a demonstration, Daniels was shot to death by a deputy sheriff. His last act was to push Ruby Sales, an African-American girl, out of the line of fire.
His death prompted outcries from many including Dr. King who said, "One of the most heroic Christian deeds of which I have heard in my entire ministry and career for civil rights was performed by Jonathan Daniels."
The film will be available on video, after February 25, for $29.95 plus $3.50 shipping through The Episcopal Media Center, Atlanta, Ga. Call (800) 229-3788 or visit their website at www.episcopalmediacenter.org.
Some Great News:
Judge ends federal oversight of VMI
Friday's ruling officially ends a nine-year legal battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
By MICHAEL HEMPHILL
THE ROANOKE TIMES
The civil rights lawsuit that prompted Virginia Military Institute to end its 157-year heritage as a male-only institution was dismissed Friday by a federal judge.
In his decision, U.S. District Judge Jackson Kiser ruled that VMI has fully complied with a 1996 court order that it open its ranks to women, and thus no longer requires federal oversight.
"We feel like we've done a very good job of assimilating women here," said Col. Mike Strickler, VMI's spokesman. "The cadets did a great job. It was up to them to do the job right, and it will remain up to them to do the job right."
Friday's ruling officially ends a nine-year legal battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And VMI hopes the battle won't ever be sparked again.
"We will obviously continue to monitor the situation here," Strickler pledged. "It's something at the forefront of our mind."
The U.S. Department of Justice filed the lawsuit in 1990 in U.S. District Court in Roanoke after a female high school student from Virginia complained that the military college refused to admit her because of her sex. The lawsuit claimed that the school had violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, because it received federal taxpayer money, but barred half the population from admittance.
Kiser sided with VMI in dismissing the lawsuit a year later.
"VMI is a different type of institution," Kiser said in his opinion. "It has set its eye on the citizen-soldier and never veered from the path it has chosen to meet that goal. VMI truly marches to the beat of a different drummer, and I will permit it to continue to do so."
Kiser got a chance to revisit the case in 1994, after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his original decision and directed VMI to go private, admit women, or come up with an alternate parallel plan.
Against objections from the Department of Justice and women's groups, Kiser approved a VMI proposal that provided for a publicly funded women's leadership institute at private Mary Baldwin College in Staunton.
In 1996, it was the U.S. Supreme Court's turn to weigh in. By a 7-1 majority, the justices ruled that if the state of Virginia chose to bar women from the "premier training" that VMI affords, it would have to do so without federal funding, which amounted to almost half the school's
Faced with that reality, the VMI board of visitors, in a 9-8 vote, agreed to admit women in the fall of 1997. Thirty were admitted that year and 34 in 1998.
Strickler said the concerns many alumni had about women entering the school have been allayed.
"The main thing we did not want to do was change the basics of VMI," he said. "And women have not come here to do that."
Officials with the Department of Justice and the National Women's Law Center, which fought VMI's male-only admissions policy from the beginning, couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
But The Department of Justice Says, "Not So Fast":
Wednesday, February 03, 1999
U.S. judge had ended court supervision
VMI effort to be coed isn't over, feds say
VMI has been required to file quarterly reports updating the government on its efforts to assimilate women into the school.
By MATT CHITTUM
THE ROANOKE TIMES
The Justice Department isn't ready to let go of Virginia Military Institute yet.
Justice Department attorneys have objected to U.S. District Judge Jackson Kiser's Jan. 15 order releasing VMI from court supervision of its efforts to assimilate women into its corps of cadets.
It's too early to tell if VMI has remedied its constitutional woes, the government claims in a motion filed last month in federal court.
Besides, government attorneys didn't get to have their say before Kiser made his decision, according to the motion.
Kiser admonished the government for taking too long to respond in an order he filed last week. He entered his ruling nearly a month after the Justice Department knew he was considering the matter, and the motion was "becoming stale."
Nevertheless, he ordered VMI to respond within 20 days to Justice Department requests for information ranging from financial aid and admissions statistics to physical fitness testing and sexual harassment.
VMI is "gathering some general data" in response to the request, spokesman Mike Strickler said.
Kiser consistently ruled in favor of VMI during the seven-year court battle over whether the state-funded Lexington school's all-male admissions policy was unconstitutional. It was Kiser who ruled that setting up a separate all-female military leadership program at Mary Baldwin College kept VMI within the onstitution. The U.S S upreme ourt overturned that ruling 7-1 in June 1996.
Since then, VMI has been required to file quarterly reports updating the government on its efforts to assimilate women into the corps of cadets. Kiser's January ruling, which released the school from court supervision, dismissed the 1990 lawsuit.
The first 30 women arrived at VMI in August 1997, with 22 completing the year. Another 34 women matriculated this year. So far, eight have dropped out.
Except for some suspensions and some sexual contact between male and female freshmen, the assimilation of women has been largely without incident.
After two years of reporting to the government, VMI asked Kiser to dismiss the case in December.
The Justice Department claims it wrote a letter to Kiser saying it would respond to VMI's motion by Jan. 20.
In the order he entered Friday, Kiser said neither he nor the court ever received the letter. He dismissed the case Jan. 15.
Five days later, the Justice Department filed its motion asking him to reconsider. VMI had failed to provide sufficient information to prove it was in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling.
Kiser's dismissal was premature because VMI's conversion to co-education is still in its inception, the motion said. The government cites, among other things, statements by a female cadet in The Roanoke Times that while women have been admitted to VMI, their admission has not necessarily been embraced.
If, after VMI's response to the government's request for information, either party wants a hearing on the matter, Kiser said he will hear arguments and decide whether to grant the government's request to reopen the case.
More News On the Legal Front:
From The Rockbridge Weekly:
Late Breaking News.........
Honts Dismisses Suit Against VMI Brought By Former Football Coach...
Today's Top Story
Wednesday, January 20, 1999
The Rockbridge Weekly - Lexington, Virginia
"Sauce Good For Goose, Is Good For The Gander"
Rockbridge Circuit Court Judge George E. Honts, III uses a homey phrase to remind plaintiff Bill Stewart that he chose not to avail himself of due process rights offered him by VMI - and thus, dismissed his lawsuit.
By David Grimes
Rockbridge County Circuit Court Judge George E. Honts, III recently dismissed a million dollar plus lawsuit filed against VMI by its former head football coach, William L. Stewart.
In a letter dated December 28, 1998 to the counsel of each party involved, Honts wrote:
"This action comes on upon the demurrers of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Josiah Bunting (Bunting), David Babb (Babb), and W. E. Landsidle (Landsidle) to the claim of the plaintiff, William E. Stewart (Stewart), alleging a lack of due process in his dismissal as head football coach at VMI.
"Stewart, as football coach, was investigated for statements made by him regarding a successful play in which a player "high-stepped" his way to a touchdown. Stewart chastised the player, saying in effect that the player should not conduct himself in such a fashion as to cause himself to be called "a nigger" or putting the coach into a position of being called "white trash." Stewart alleges the investigation was conducted "in secret," which we infer to mean, without his knowledge.
On December 10, 1996, Babb advised Stewart he was "in trouble." On December 11, 1996, Babb advised Stewart he had two options, resign, with pay, or be fired. Apparently Stewart made some indication he would resign, but did not do so. Stewart was presented with a letter of resignation which he declined to sign. On December 12, 1996, it is alleged, VMI announced Stewart's resignation, and coupled that resignation with some indication of the racist nature of his comments.
Stewart's contract and VMI policy provided for a pretermination hearing upon demand. Demand must be made within 30 days of termination, and the aggrieved party has the right to representation by counsel. Stewart never made such a request or demand for hearing.
Thus, Cleveland Board of Education v. Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532 (1985) is the controlling case. Loudermill states in part "the tenured public employee is entitled to oral or written notice of the charges against him, and explanation of the employer's evidence, and an opportunity to present his side of the story..." at 546. Such a hearing is not necessarily a definitive resolution of the correctness of the discharge, but is a safe guard against unfounded decisions.
Such a hearing, then, is a safeguard both to the employees and the employer. Here, VMI, then in the throes of a gender-bias action of considerable magnitude, is faced with comments that are racist by innuendo, if not outright so, and whether acting out of "political correctness" or in conformity with a policy against racial discrimination, was not in a position to ignore.
"If the allegations were untrue, or if, by some means, the words uttered were taken out of context or misunderstood, both VMI and Stewart would benefit from such a pre-termination hearing. Stewart had only to request or demand that he be given the "opportunity to present his side of the story." He chose not to do so. (italics ours)
As the quaint saying goes, "what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander." For Stewart to complain now that his due process rights have been violated when he chose not to exercise his own due process rights to a pretermination hearing is without merit.
Accordingly, the demurrers of VMI, Bunting, Babb, and Landsidle are sustained. The Office of the Attorney General is respectfully requested to prepare an order in conformity herewith.
Stewart had filed the suit against VMI, Bunting, Babb and Landsidle in September of 1998, asking for $1.3 million dollars in damages.
Col. Mike Strickler, Director of Public Relations at VMI, told the Rockbridge Weekly "this was a good ruling and we're glad that this matter is now behind us".
VMI Basketball: It's Always Great to Beat El Cid: Keydets are 10 - 11 overall and 7 - 4 in the conference. Next up is ETSU today (home) at 1:00 PM.
Keydets Top Bulldogs In a Barnburner
Tuesday, February 2, 1999
From Staff, Wire Reports
VMI 74, THE CITADEL 72
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Jason Bell scored 21 points, including a free throw in overtime, to lead VMI over The Citadel in the Southern Conference.
Bell's final foul shot came after Jonathan Kunz had hit a 3-pointer to bring The Citadel to 73-72.
Bell made his free throw with 3.4 seconds to go in overtime, and Travis Cantrell's 20-foot jumper was off the mark at the buzzer.
VMI Wrestling: Yet another win over The Citadel.
From The AD Web Site:
V.M.I. 19 - THE CITADEL 18
149 Dan Wilson (V.M.I.) dec. Tony Nguyen (Cit.), 4-3
157 Robby Bell (Cit.) wb fall over Stuart Patterson (V.M.I.), 3:59
165 Gill Decher (V.M.I.) dec. Tommy Bell (Cit.), 9-4
174 Bobby Stew-art (Cit.) dec Brian Toney (V.M.I.), 6-4
184 Michael Regner (Cit.) dec. David Budlong (V.M.I.), 8-1
197 Isaac Moore (V.M.I.) wb technical fall over Ed Knote (Cit.), 25-9
285 Leslie Apedoe (V.M.I.) major dec. Chad Stephenson (Cit.), 14-5
125 Oliver Ruiz (V.M.I.) major dec. Justin Gainey (Cit.), 17-6
133 Chris Ellis (Cit.) dec. Tremayne Austin (V.M.I.), 6-4
141 Anthony Brooker (Cit.) dec. Frank Lucero (V.M.I.), 6-4
Wrestling Home Page
VMI Tennis News:
From The SC web site:
February 4, 1999
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE ANNOUNCES PRESEASON TENNIS COACHES' POLLS East
Tennessee State Top Men's Poll, Furman Favored by Women's Coaches
Asheville, N.C. Furman women and East Tennessee State men were favorites in the 1999 Southern Conference tennis coaches' polls released today. For the first time in league history, conference tournament champions will receive automatic bids to the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Tournaments.
On the women's side, Furman was the unanimous choice for the top spot. With freshman Megan Dunigan (#22 in Southeast) playing first singles this season, Furman will be favored to repeat as tournament champions this spring. UNC Greensboro finished second in the poll with Chattanooga, Davidson and College of Charleston close behind. East Tennessee State was tabbed sixth followed by 1998 regular-season champion Georgia Southern. Wofford, Appalachian State and Western Carolina round out the poll.
East Tennessee State's men's garnered eight of the 11 top picks after finishing the fall ranked 13th in the region. Last season's tournament champion Chattanooga received two first-place votes to finish second with UNC Greensboro placing third with the remaining top selection. Spartan Alex Lehnhoff returns for his senior season as the favorite at No. 1 singles, after playing for Guatemala in Davis Cup competition last summer. Furman, who finished the 1998 regular season undefeated, finished fourth in the poll, followed by league-newcomer College of Charleston, Davidson, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern. The Ciatdel, Wofford and VMI rounded out the poll.
This year, the Southern Conference Men's Tournament will be held at Wofford College on April 15-18, while the Southern Conference Women's Tournament will be at Furman University on April 15-18.
Southern Conference Preseason Coaches Men's Tennis Poll
1. East Tennessee State (8 first) 107 points
2. Chattanooga (2 first) 103 points
3. UNC Greensboro (1 first) 81 points
4. Furman 73 points
5. College of Charleston 70 points
6. Davidson College 64 points
7. Appalachian State 51 points
8. Georgia Southern 49 points
9. The Citadel 29 points
10. Wofford 20 points
11. VMI 12 points
For Those Who Yearn for the Dark Ages: Here's the web site with a photo taken by Kathryn Wise...it is marvelous. http://www.erols.com/thigginb/calendar/1998cal.htm
VMI Cyber Corps Logo: Thanks to all who provided feedback regarding the Cyber Corps Logo. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I recently spoke with a rep from VMI's Athletic Department and he's sending me the requisite paperwork for trademark stuff. I'm hopeful that polo and t-shirts will be available shortly. Stay tuned. Who knows...this may be the next fashion statement.
That's it for this week.
Yours in the Spirit,
RB Lane '75
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