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Join the Quest for a Fully-funded VMI

cadets march in front of barracks

VMI thanks you! Academic, leadership and athletic programs are benefiting from the robust philanthropic support of VMI alumni and friends. At the midpoint of the fiscal year, Annual Giving has exceeded $2.7 million in gifts from 3,144 donors – 2,500 of whom are alumni.

The progress of VMI Annual Giving – largely unrestricted support from annual gifts – shows that donors believe in the value of these components of VMI Annual Giving: The Foundation Fund, the Keydet Club Scholarship Fund and the Athletic Operations Fund, as well as the scholarship funds that provide grant-in-aid to cadet-athletes on specific teams.

A relatively small percentage of VMI alumni – 23% overall and 11% for NCAA athletics – support the Institute. Our challenge and our opportunity is to inspire more alumni to view supporting VMI as a compelling and worthwhile investment. Imagine a fully funded VMI. Imagine the Institute with the ability to pursue academic research and initiatives, provide scholarship support for many more cadets, to fully fund cadet-athlete scholarship opportunities and recruit and retain an esteemed faculty and staff poised to prepare the country’s future leaders. These possibilities are all attainable with 30%, 40% or 50% alumni participation. While these participation percentages seem lofty, VMI has always embraced challenges. What if we led the nation? Imagine the impact.

“Of course, Annual Giving is not the entire story of philanthropy at VMI,” said Meade King ’85, chief operating officer of the VMI Foundation and the VMI Keydet Club. “This year, as in years past, donors will give generously to endowments that support scholarships, specific pieces of the academic program and other elements of VMI’s amazing education.

“However, Annual Giving is important, because it helps VMI meet long-standing priorities. The Keydet Club Scholarship Fund, for example, expands the amount of money available to support our cadet-athletes, which helps VMI close its athletic ‘scholarship gap.’ The Foundation Fund generates unrestricted money that the Institute can use where it will have the most impact on its academic and co-curricular programs, to include direct support of professors and staff. These funds provide for the education of cadets.”

King continued, “The Annual Giving funds of $2.7 million raised thus far have a financial power equivalent to an endowment valued at about $65 million.”

Patti Cook, director of Annual Giving and reunions, expressed her appreciation to those who made an Annual Giving donation since July 1, 2019. “All of them have enhanced the extraordinary opportunities and experiences that make up the transformative education that our cadets receive, and I cannot thank them enough.”

Cook hopes those generous alumni who do make regular gifts to the Institute can encourage fellow alumni to begin supporting VMI. For alumni who do not give to VMI, she asks them to consider supporting not only the Institute but the young men and women facing the unique challenges only fellow alumni can truly understand.

If you are a donor, consider rallying your brother rats to join you. If you are not a current donor, join the quest for a fully-funded VMI.