Alumni and Friends of VMI:
Cyber Corps Numbers: 551
Dedication of Neikirk Hall: I recently received the following memorandum from Jim Adams '71, EVP of the VMI Foundation.
It has long been recognized that Mr. Joseph D. Neikirk '32, the first Executive Vice President of the VMI Foundation, needed to be honored for his long and tireless service to VMI. On Marhc 26, 1999, the new facility which will house the VMI Foundation offices and those of the VMI Keydet Club, Neikirk Hall, will be dedicated at 11:00 AM, followed by a reception and luncheon.
Cyber Corps Grad Bag: Couple items on which to follow up. As far as I know Gordon Liddy will be the commencement speaker at this year's graduation. If anyone knows anything differently, let me know.
Rats areg geeting closer to breaking out. Appears Marine Crucible-like exercises and march to New Market (about 20 miles?) are still in the works. I had heard rumblings about a make-up session for those that do not participate (basketball players, wrestlers, etc.), but I do not believe there will be any sort of make-up session. Again, if anyone knows anything different, let me know and I'll pass it along.
Keydet wrestlers win crowns
FROM STAFF REPORTS
VMI teammates Leslie Apedoe and Matt Erwin won individual titles Saturday at the All-Academy Wrestling Championship in Annapolis, Md.
Apedoe beat Chad Stephenson of The Citadel 19-7 in the finals of the heavyweight class. Apedoe, a senior, is ranked fourth in the nation in his weight class by Amateur Wrestling News.
Erwin, a freshman, beat Norwich's Keith Parent 5-2 in the finals of the 157-pound division.
VMI finished third out of eight schools in the team battle.
Monday, February 8, 1999
Teams -- 1. Navy 171, 2. Air Force 134, 3. VMI 105½, 4. Army 90½, 5. The
Citadel 80, 6. Norwich 56½, 7. Coast Guard 33, 8. Merchant Marine 8½.
Virginia Military Institute Keydets 1998-1999
Current Record: 9 - 11
Date Opponent Time
Mon 02/08 at Charlest. SC 7:15 pm
Sat 02/13 APPALACH.ST 12:00 pm
Mon 02/15 NC-GREENSB. 7:00 pm
Sat 02/20 CHATTANOOGA 1:00 pm
Home Games represented in all caps
All times are Eastern
VMI Basketball: Next game is today at Lexington (1:00PM) against Appy State.
Cougars put away Keydets
Tuesday, February 9, 1999
By RICK NELSON
Of The Post and Courier staff
Jody Lumpkin looked like he had just gone 10 rounds with a heavyweight. His left eye was black. There were four stitches in his cheek. An ugly scratch curved around the side of his neck.
But Lumpkin was the one dishing out the punishment Monday, scoring 25 points and grabbing 15 rebounds to lead No. 20 College of Charleston to an 85-59 blowout of VMI before 3,522 at the Johnson Center and a local television audience.
"They came out very aggressive in the first half," Lumpkin said of the scrappy Keydets, who combined with the Cougars to commit 42 fouls. "But this is our home court, and we don't want to get pushed around by anybody."
The Cougars (22-2, 13-0 Southern Conference) overcame a ragged first half to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 19 games. Top-ranked Duke, which had been tied with Charleston with 18 straight victories, was idle Monday.
VMI (10-13, 7-6) used constant full-court pressure and quickness to disrupt the Cougars in the opening half, which ended in a 36-36 standoff. It was only the third time during the streak that Charleston was tied or trailing at intermission.
"VMI may be the feistiest, most aggressive team we've played this season," Cougars coach John Kresse said. "Their pressure bothered us and forced turnovers in the first half, and we were unable to defend their cutters to the basket.
"But everything - shooting, defense and rebounding - picked up in the second half. And they had no answer for Jody Lumpkin."
The Keydets inched ahead 43-42 with 16:53 left in the game, but that's when the Cougars showed once again that they can turn it on almost at will.
With their perimeter shooting gone cold, they began pounding the ball inside to Lumpkin and Sedric Webber. Lumpkin, who got some of his wounds Saturday in Charleston's 60-39 rout of The Citadel, sparked a decisive 26-9 run with successive dunks. He scored 10 points - including a powerful rebound and put-back between three defenders - and Webber added six during the spurt.
Webber finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, giving the Cougars dual double-doubles for the first time in four years. The pair helped Charleston to an overwhelming 54-33 advantage on the boards, which marked the school's highest rebounding total in five years.
Jermel President and Jeff Bolton chipped in 10 points each for the Cougars, who connected on 65.5 percent of their shots in the second half and 50.8 percent for the game.
The Cougars, with a loud sellout crowd urging them on, used a stifling man-to-man defense to set up the scoring burst. They switched to a zone later to slow the pace against the speedy Keydets, who tried to push the ball up the court as much as possible for the full 40 minutes.
"I think the whole team takes a lot of pride in the defense," said Lumpkin, who had four of Charleston's 14 blocked shots. "That's kind of our trademark."
VMI shot just 22.2 percent in the second half - hitting only one field goal over the final 7:50 - and 27.7 percent for the game. Jason Bell, the SoCon's leading scorer, paced the Keydets with 17 points on 4-of-14 shooting and Nick Richardson added 14.
"I felt like we missed some easy shots," VMI coach Bart Bellairs said.
"We lost our composure some in the second half."
Alumni Chapter Web Sites: A couple alumni
chapters have their own web sites. It was brought to my attention
that the DC area chapter (Potomac River Chapter) has a web site
that provides a calendar of events. For those interested you can
go to the VMI Alumni Agency web site (www.vmiaa.org) and click on
the Alumni Office Chapter Pages. Or you can go directly to the
chapter web site at: www.vmiaa.org/potomac.htm.
Cyber Corps Membership: Over the past several weeks I've received e-mails from cadets wanting to be included on the Cyber Corps distribution list. In all cases I have chosen to graciously (at least I think I was gracious) declined to do so. I want to clarify my rationale on this. I've always thought that the running of barracks and the Corps is best left up to the First Class. I even think that some alumni tend to try to get too involved in the running of the Corps. If we had cadets as part of the Cyber Corps I'm just afraid that cadets would want to use this forum as a sounding board with an expectation that I'd pass along their thoughts, solicit responses, get alumni involved, etc., etc. I see such an arrangement as being potentially damaging. And, there are other ways for alumni to get involved if they so choose. Maybe I'm just being overly conservative about this, but as the country song says, "That's my story and I'm sticking to it!" I welcome any and all comments.
Update on the Former Southern Seminary: I recently saw this article in the Richmond Times Dispatch. An interesting update on what used to be Southern Seminary (now Southern Virginia College).
A unique college thrives / 'Chemical-free' campus attracts many to small private school
Sunday, February 7, 1999
BY CALVIN R. TRICE
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer
Under most circumstances, taking over a financially unstable two-year college with declining enrollment would be a daunting venture.
It was even more of a challenge for the people who assumed control of Southern Virginia College almost three years ago with the idea of attracting a coed student body to a small private, four-year school whose obscure reputation was made as an all-female junior college.
The organizers, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints often called Mormons, also wanted to pitch the institution as a chance for a unique college experience: One that's "chemical free," where alcohol, tobacco and even coffee and tea are strictly prohibited.
With such conditions, many of the nation's high school seniors might disqualify the new Southern Virginia as a college environment at all.
The planners had an idea, however, that they could count on prospects like Gordon Mills, a 24-year-old senior and Latter-day Saints member who arrived in fall 1997 from a junior college in Utah.
"I didn't think I'd end up coming here," said Mills, who's majoring in general studies with a business emphasis. He'd heard about the new Southern Virginia College by word-of- mouth, he said.
"After my visit, I fell in love with the place and decided that this is where I wanted to come," Mills said. "I've loved it. It's been the best experience for me."
To students like Chris Gladding, a 19-year-old freshman transfer from Mount Airy, Md., SVC's booze-free campus was a draw, not a drawback.
"It's fantastic," said Gladding. "It cuts down on a lot of the problems you run into at other colleges."
The new leaders of Southern Virginia College have been filling the school's dorms and classrooms largely by catering to a ready-made clientele -- Mormon students wanting to learn in a Mormon environment -- administrators say.
Likewise some of the faculty, such as philosophy and Greek professor John M. Armstrong, wanted the chance to teach students they can connect with on a spiritual as well as intellectual level.
"I wanted to teach at a college where I would have students who have values similar to mine that I could relate to with personal experiences more deeply than I could with the average student at a state college," Armstrong said. "We can talk about [Latter-day Saints] themes when they come up."
In recent years, the nation's classes of college-bound students have included about 100,000 from Latter-day Saints households, Southern Virginia officials said. Brigham Young University, the church-owned flagship in Provo, Utah, accepts approximately 4,600. About another 5,000 to 6,000 get into the two other colleges affiliated with the Latter-day Saints in Idaho and Hawaii.
SVC, the first successful predominantly Mormon college on the East Coast and the only one not officially or financially affiliated with the church, began with 74 students in fall 1996, months after the change in the school's leadership. This school year, its third, the college has a student body of 286 -- 99 percent of whom are Latter-day Saints members, officials say.
About 31 percent of students hail from Virginia, with Utah, the base of the Mormon church, representing the second-highest share of students with 13 percent, according to SVC statistics. Of the students from all over the nation who came to attend the college in Buena Vista, 40 percent listed as their main reason the chance to study in a Mormon culture.
Latter-day Saints families are generally eager to send their children to Mormon colleges to have them maintain church values, said Johnell Swan, SVC's director of public relations.
Students who do so are more likely to go on two-year missions abroad, marry within the church and have strong families and successful marriages, Swan said.
"Especially to maintain those four elements, families want kids to meet people with values similar to their own," Swan said. "The kids also want to come here to meet people with the same values."
True to form, 20 percent of the student body got hitched last year, Swan noted. SVC officials attribute about a third of the "attrition" rate to students leaving for missionary work.
For Buena Vista, a city of about 6,000 residents, SVC's renaissance has paralleled and contributed to its own, a city official said. The college overlooks the town from the southeast in a converted resort hotel with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.
Community service is central to Mormon doctrine and required at SVC. Students last year logged an estimated 4,500 service hours in Buena Vista, Swan said.
Dan Collins, the city manager, said the success of the college is one of the top three things Buena Vista has going for it right now, besides the construction of a 2.5-mile flood wall and an industrial park.
"The city's had a very good working relationship with the administration and the students," Collins said. "Some nice things are happening to Buena Vista right now, and I think the school's a big part of that."
As part of SVC's remodeling, the school has committed itself to what it calls a technology-enhanced liberal arts education. Plans to have a curriculum based on the "great books" were scrapped because it proved to be too narrow a focus for recruiting students, officials say.
The college confers bachelor's degrees in 11 majors and four associate degrees. Sixty-five percent of the faculty hold Ph.D.s. Typical of most small colleges, student-teacher ratio at SVC is a remarkably low 15 to 1.
The old school, known as Southern Seminary for most of its 132-year history, had kept up a distinguished intercollegiate horse-riding program since the 1960s. The new administration brought in a riding expert who has expanded the instruction to two styles.
The curriculum stresses computer competency, beginning in an intensive computer application class required of all freshman. Students "drag-and-drop" assignments into their professors' restricted access files on an SVC computer network, and teachers grade and correct them electronically.
All students must set up and activate World Wide Web home pages that include an electronic portfolio of their work at SVC, which they are required to present to instructors and other students.
C. Curtis Fawson, a college executive vice president and provost, said the exercise is intended to combine computer competency with life skills.
"It gives the students the opportunity to get up in front of people and practice their presentation skills," said Fawson, who came to Southern Virginia last year after 25 years at Brigham Young. "We think it'll pay off."
The success of the school's athletics has astonished even SVC officials. The school's president, David W. Ferrel, said he expected to have about two or three club-level sports competing by this time. What they got instead were two cross-country national championships in National Small College Athletic Association competition and a first-place finish in women's soccer last fall.
The men's and women's basketball teams are ranked in the NSCAA top 10.
"This has been a real surprise for us," said Ferrel, noting that the college hasn't made an effort to bring in athletes. "We recruited them and found out that they came with these capabilities."
Although the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia authorized Southern Virginia to enroll students and grant degrees, the school didn't become eligible for accreditation until after it graduated its first class, which it did last year. SVC awaits official sanction by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Swan said.
Glade M. Knight, chairman of the school's board of trustees and head of Cornerstone Realty Income Trust in Richmond, projects SVC to grow to about 600 by the fall 2002. A three-year fund-raising campaign will kick off Tuesday to raise $50 million for an endowment that would support that number of pupils.
"I think we'll be very successful with it," said Knight, who helped lay the groundwork for the school after officials with the old SVC approached him in spring 1996 to take it over. "That really would put us on good footing for 600 students."
Persons of any faith are invited to attend SVC, but the leadership is committed to a student body that's at least 90 percent Mormon. And the pupils must be 100 percent committed to the college's moral as well as academic standards, officials said.
"That's the reward -- the students," Knight said. "We do it for their benefit and for their lives. They can get a great education and learn that life is service, that service is really their crowning achievement."
That's it for this week.
Yours in the Spirit,
RB Lane '75
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