Alumni and Friends of VMI:
Cyber Corps Numbers: 375
A Fitting Tribute: Thanks to John Doyle '88
for providing the following editorial.
Richmond Times Dispatch - Editorial
Tuesday, April 29, 1997
Into History . . .
Over the weekend, at a VMI alumni reunion, the last all-male Corps on parade was left to its own devices. The administration apparently didn't know what was afoot, in one of those ways young men have of doing what they choose -- to their own delight, and to the surprise of Those in Authority (which heightens the delight all the more).
And what did the Corps do? An anonymous alumnus, who was there, describes it -- and leaves nothing more to say. . . .
''At Saturday's parade for the reunion classes the announcer presented a statement from the Corps saying it had devised a tribute to the all-male classes of the Virginia Military Institute.
''Whereupon the officers stuck their sabers in the ground, took off their shakos, put them on the sabers, and, bare-headed, passed in review and marched into history.
''They left the parade ground empty except where the officers had stood, the plumes fluttering in the breeze like flags on so many sad tombstones. Or like uplifted middle fingers stuck in the face of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Or maybe both, which is what made it so exquisite.''
In addition to the above editorial, the following messages were posted on the Alumni Association web site page under Electronic Turnouts. These messages provide more detail about last weekend's parade:
Tue Apr 29 15:52:22 1997
Ladies and Gentlemen: Hammond '57 reporting. On Saturday, 26 April, at the Alumni Review on the Parade Ground at 1030, a statement written by First Captain Brian Bagwan '97 was read to the assembled throng. The First Class President, Ad Hagan '97, showed the statement to the Supe just as Adjutant's Call was sounding (cadet timing is marked by cleverness, as always !!) and goy Si's permission to have the statement read. Even Si did not know that the First Class had planned a dignified, moving, fitting gesture to accompany the words. After they were read, all Officers to Company XO level, on command and in unison, took one step forward and palced their sabers in the ground, point down, and hung their shakos on them. They then passed in review bareheaded and weaponless ... it was in some ways reminiscent of Appomattox ... but it was a reasonable, dignified, touching gesture which brought tears to many eyes. What it was NOT, was "the last great act of defiance," or the middle finger raised to Justice Ginsburg as an anonymous alumnus suggested to the Richmond paper. Ladies and Gentlemen, it was lovely, and it was the only such gesture needed ... it came from the Corps, and nothing more need be said or done to mark the transition. For your pleasure, I copy the words of what has variously been titled "A Brave New Mission," or more jocularly, "The Bagwan Manifesto:"
Tue Apr 29 16:11:15 1997
(Still Hammond ... I punched the wrong button ... here comes the statement): "
GENERAL BUNTING, DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
The Officers of the Corps this year would like to commemorate the passing into history of VMI's all-male Cadet Corps. We recognize that VMI is about to undertake a brave new mission with the assimilation of women beginning with the '97-'98 academic year. In facing this opportunity, we believe that VMI will succeed in that mission and will show the country just what the VMI community is capable of. The officers, in speaking for the Corps at large, would also like to commemorate the 157 years of VMI as an all-male military college. These 157 years will always be in the Institute's history and it is only right that we, as cadets and as future alumni, recognize this fact and show pride in it. We wish to commemorate and pay tribute to VMI's history as an all-male military college and especially to the alumni who came before us, who have supported VMI wholeheartedly during the last few years. The days of struggle are over ... VMI will be the most successful military college to assimilate women into its Corps of Cadets ! Gentlemen, we salute you and the Institute which you all represent. We do the following to recognize the bright future ahead of VMI and at the same time, to recognize and to remember ... the last all-male military college in the United States, our beloved Institute. Thank you and Rah Virginia Mil
!" Then came, "Officers Post" ... the sabers and the shakos. Then came a rousing
spine-tingling Old Yell for the Old Corps by the entire Corps and most of the spectators.
Then came "Pass in Review" And then came the alumni, led by the sole remaining member of the Class of 1922, here for his 75th Reunion, who, aided by his family, walked the length of the Parade Ground into the Old Courtyard, followed by the Classes of '27, '32, '37, '42, '47, '57, '67 and '77. You should have been here. It was awesome. It was right. It was enough. Together we will triumph, and we were shown the way by the Corps ...again. Roy Hammond '57, Vice-Chair Assimilation Executive Committee
Pretty powerful stuff, I'd say.
Looking for Legal Assistance: Paul Van Doren '74 asked that I pass along the following message:
The student government of the George Mason University needs a lawyer to defend it in a law suit. Of course it would have to be pro bono. A student is suing them for violating his freedom of speech when the student government banned his election related poster. As reported to me the complaining student had printed lies and slander in his posters. The school had nothing to do with the SG action and is not named in the suite nor will it help the SG. The thought is one of our legal beagels might be enthralled with freedom of speech issues and want to take this on.
The principle POC for this is an Ellen Rubin, who is the President of the Student Senate. I personally have little sympathy with the student movements that historically have been rarely concerned with facts, that having won elections, then use the acquired powers to restrain those who do the same or worse in turn. But then I haven't heard all the details.
If anyone would like to contact Ellen Rubin, she can be
Citadel in the Media: Charlotte Cole e-mails to say that Turning Point will air an hour long segment on May 22. It will include an on-campus interview with Cadets Mace and Lovetinska.
Burlington Free Press Article: My BR Joe Rizzolo (an instructor up at Norwich) faxed me a copy of an article that recently appeared in the Burlington Free Press. The article reported on the fact that 6 Norwich cadets will be exchange students at VMI during the next fall semester. The article quoted Norwich's commandant as saying, " I think VMI is very committed to doing the best job and making this as positive an experience as possible. We can help them."
Cyber Corps Participant Web Sites: Paul
Whitmore '94 e-mails that he has set up a couple web sites. The
first web site, which is more a personal site, can be found at:
The second web site, which when fully constructed will contain
numerous photos of VMI, can be found at:
So, why not bookmark these for future reference?
Speaking of Future Reference: This will be the last update for at least a couple of weeks. I'm taking a sabbatical of sorts, but should be back in a couple weeks. But, in the meantime, keep those e-mails coming so I'll have something to write about when I return.
In the meantime, I remain...
Yours in the Spirit,
RB Lane '75
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