More than 460 individuals, including cadet-athletes, donors, fund representatives, and special guests, attended the Keydet Club Scholarship Banquet, held in Marshall Hall Oct. 29, 2023. The annual scholarship banquet is held in recognition of alumni, family, and friends who give to the annual and endowed scholarships supporting VMI’s cadet-athletes.
This year, approximately 180 donors and their guests joined 290 cadet-athletes for a meal; the presentation of the Three-Legged Stool Award; remarks by Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85, superintendent; and a welcome from Andrew Deal ’12, Keydet Club chief operating officer and Alumni Agencies chief development officer. “The Keydet Club Scholarship Banquet is essential to our mission. Today, our scholarship program exceeds $7 million to over 290 cadet-athletes,” said Deal. “Being able to celebrate and directly connect the philanthropic support of our fund representatives is inspiring.”
As members of the Corps and competitors at the highest level of college sports, NCAA Division I, cadet-athletes pursue holistic excellence at the Institute. Every year, however, only one cadet-athlete is presented with the prestigious Three-Legged Stool Award, named by Giles Miller, Class of 1924, in reference to the Institute’s policy of educating “the whole person” through an education that balances academics, leadership development, and athletics. Cadet Kate Taylor ’24 was the 2023–24 Three-Legged Stool recipient.
Taylor, a civil engineering major with Chinese language and Asian studies double minors, is a member of the VMI women’s swimming and diving team and is VMI’s first cadet chief of staff. As an athlete, Taylor holds multiple team records and swam key legs on the record-breaking 400 freestyle and 200 medley relay at the 2023 America East Championships, as well as two other relays that achieved all-time No. 2 rankings in program history. Taylor currently ranks No. 4 all-time in program history in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle. Additionally, she qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championship meet multiple times.
As well as an outstanding competitor, Taylor is also an exemplary student. She maintained a cumulative dean’s list GPA for her entire cadetship and has worn academic stars for the past two years. Among her many achievements, she is an American Society of Civil Engineers member, Society of Women Engineers president, and a recipient of the John Bowie Gray 1867 Award.
In his remarks, Wins noted the impact his full scholarship as a cadet-athlete had on him, and the opportunity donors provide. “Without scholarships, many of us would not have matriculated to VMI,” said Wins. “[Donors] are providing an opportunity for these cadets. These opportunities are not taken for granted.” Addressing the cadet-athletes directly, Wins said, “I want to congratulate you on your hard work and challenge you to persevere. You face the challenge of being a Division I athlete while pursuing a cadetship at VMI … I want you to consider what a great opportunity you have been given by the alumni and friends of VMI.”
In the last fiscal year, the Keydet Club raised over $8.5 million, its third highest year in the history of the organization and, today, stewards an athletic endowment of $84 million.
Video courtesy VMI Athletics.
Mattie Montgomery Assistant Editor
The assistant editor assists the editor-in-chief in various tasks relating to the production of quarterly and monthly publications, as well as prepares written materials for publication. The assistant editor serves as liaison between class agents and chapter presidents and the Agencies’ publications, as well as provides backup photography for events.