Alumni and Friends of VMI:
Death in the VMI Family: I recently received the following e-mail. Please keep Jay and his family in your prayers.
I wanted to pass this along, especially for the class of '70:
I learned yesterday that the wife of Dr. Jay Tice ('70) died quite unexpectedly on Saturday, March 14. I understand that there are some memorial funds which donations can be sent to if anyone desires, but I have not received any specific information. I'll forward that information when it I receive it. Just wanted to pass this along so we can all keep Jay in our prayers.
Ray Lawson, '81
Rats No More: Well, I guess we've all read some account of the recent rat breakout. Heck, I was in San Francisco earlier this week and the local paper out there contained an article about it. Here's an e-mail from someone at VMI who witnessed the breakout.
I've just come from Breakout, and from what I could see, it was a great success.
We all wondered if it would be held today when we awoke to find it snowing this morning! Fortunately, the snow stopped, but it was cold and remained cold all day. (Remember, too, that the Rats had a forced 12-mile march last night).
When the Corps reached breakout hill, there was some question whether the hill could be sprayed down with water because of the low temperature, but after some discussions a fire truck arrived -- to the cheers of all the upperclassmen -- and the Lexington fire crew began to wet down the hill and the approach to the hill.
About 1:30, A Company and Band Company Rats arrived and the now-familiar ceremony began. I've seen a number of breakouts, and this was no different than any of the others -- perhaps a little more difficult because it was so cold. And, as you all know, this one included women Rats.
The Rats crawled through the "lake" approaching the hill -- with upperclassmen making every inch of the way difficult -- and then they wormed their way up the hill. Some made it only to be pushed down to start again: doggedly and with determination. Little by little the waves of Rats ascended the hill.
At the top was a large pool of water, through which the Rats had to pass. And then up to the very top. There they were greeted by their Dykes, Brother Rats, friends, etc. in the wild enthusiasm that accompanies these events.
The Rats had their faces washed from a mobile water tank -- you know how mud-covered they are -- and then were directed to a "warming tent." Everywhere Rats and Dykes and others congratulated eachother. It seemed as if every cadet had one of those little "throw-away" Kodak cameras, and mud-covered but proud of what they had accomplished, cadets ran here and there taking photos of each other.
As I left, the Rats were off to the showers to clean up and prepare for this evening's formal ceremony and meal.
I know others will give you more and better details of this event, but I just wanted you to know that it took place, to this onlooker, went well.
The press was there filming and photographing it, and I am sure there will be some stories in tonight's TV news and tomorrows newspapers.
Rats No More - Part II: Breakout, like anything else, is in the eye of the beholder. Here's part of an e-mail that presents a slightly different perspective.
"_________" said the breakout hill was not as wet as in the past. The upper classmen were not happy. Many of them did not stay for the entire breakout. It took about 2 hours.
From Where I Sit: So...the breakout, the first involving women, is over. In trying to assimilate women into VMI I don't believe everyone will be 100% satisfied. So be it. However, since this co-ed class matriculated last August I've had an opportunity to hear from and talk with many down at VMI and many who have visited. Overall reports were favorable from what I could tell. I think the administrator deserves a great deal of credit in terms of preplanning and assimilation. Many folks were waiting for VMI to fail at all this. One year certainly isn't a long enough track record from which to conclude success or failure, but I think VMI is off to a pretty darn good start. OK, for those who disagree...you have my e-mail address!
Alleged Hazing Update: I just received the following copy of an AP article concerning the hazing charges filed by a rat who departed several months ago.
VMI Cadet: No Hazing Charges Filed
.c The Associated Press
LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) - Three Virginia Military Institute seniors suspended for spanking freshmen with a belt and hanger will not be prosecuted, according to one of the students who was beaten.
George Wade Jr., who dropped out in December, said Saturday that Rockbridge County Commonwealth's Attorney Gordon Saunders told him an assault charge would be difficult to prove because he could be seen as a willing participant.
Wade, 20, said he and five other freshmen were beaten on the buttocks about three times a week from September to mid-October, leaving them with welts and bruises.
Wade said he endured the beatings because he felt he had no choice.
Wade said the prosecutor told him a hazing charge cannot be made without a complaint by VMI. School officials, who suspended the seniors for a semester, said the beatings were not hazing.
Last month, three of the freshmen who were struck challenged Wade's account, saying the beatings were horseplay.
Wade said he plans to ask the Justice Department to investigate.
More on the Football Recommendations: I continue to receive some scathing e-mails about the 17 football related recommendations the external consultants proposed. Some folks (both in the "for" and "against" camps) have asked me for Gen Bunting's e-mail address. Here it is: BuntingJ@vmi.edu
This address and other faculty/admin addresses are available at the VMI home page.
Some folks have sent me e-mails expressing their opinions about the football recommendations. And, I think some would like me to post their comments in our updates. However, I've decided against that for a couple reasons. In some cases the language used is inappropriate. In some other cases the e-mails are simply too long. From time to time, and based on editorial discretion, I may pass along portions of e-mails as I have done in the past. As always, if you have strong feelings either way, you need to share them with the administration.
Upcoming Alumni Association Meeting: Next meeting of Alumni Association will take place on Saturday, April 4. Committee meetings will be held the afternoon of Friday, April 3. Schedule of Events is as follows:
Friday, April 3
11:45 AM Buffet lunch - Activity Room - Moody Hall
1:00 PM Executive - Library - Moody Hall
1:00 PM Academic Affairs - Board Room - Moody Hall
1:30 PM Placement - Carroll Hall - 2nd floor - Room 314
2:00 PM Nominating - Paul Maini's Office - Moody Hall
2:00 PM Alumni Affairs - Executive Dining Room - Moody Hall
2:30 PM Admissions Assistance and Marketing and Public Relations -
Science Building - Room 400
3:00 PM Co-Curriculum - Board Room - Smith Hall
3:30 PM Legal Committee - Upstairs Lounge - Moody Hall
3:45 PM Committee Reporting Session - Board Room - Moody Hall
6:30 PM Cocktails and Dinner - Location TBA
Saturday, April 4
7:15 AM Finance - Executive Dining Room - Moody Hall
7:45 AM Continental Breakfast - Moody Hall
8:30 AM Board Meeting - Board Room - Moody Hall
As always, I encourage all alumni to attend a Board Meeting at some point in time. If you'd like to attend, be sure and let the Alumni office know by giving them a call at 1-800-444-1839.
Job Opportunities: In the last update I mentioned that Paul Van Doren '74 provided some information about career opportunities with SAIC. He provided me some additional info since that time. It's rather lengthy, but provides a good overview of SAIC. If you'd like, send me an e-mail and I'll forward you the additional info.
Cyber Corps T-Shirts: A couple folks sent in some suggestions re: a Cyber Corps T-shirt. Specifically, they provided ideas re: the logo. Here's what it make look like: VMI spider with the word Cyber above it (kinda like the shape of a frown) and the word Corps below the logo (in the shape of a smile). Also, there will be a lighting bolt going through the spider entering the spider at the upper left and exiting the spider at the lower right. I'm going to try and find some company that does T-shirts to see if they'll make one up for me to see what it'll look like. I'll also get a price. Stay tuned. You can be the first on your block to own one.
That's it for this week.
Yours in the Spirit,
RB Lane '75
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Last Updated: October 11, 2009
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