More than 400 scholarship benefactors, cadets and members of the Keydet Club Board of Governors gathered in the Hall of Valor in Marshall Hall for the annual Keydet Club Scholarship Banquet Jan. 18, 2020. The night began with Steve Maconi, VMI Alumni Agencies chief executive officer, greeting the crowd, along with an invocation offered by Cadet Samantha Franklin ’20. Andre Thornton ’98, guest speaker, moved the crowd with his inspiring speech. He touched on his unique experience while at VMI and stressed the importance of relationships and expanding your network.
The Three-Legged Stool award was presented to Franklin. She was joined on stage by Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, superintendent; Brig. Gen. Bob Moreschi, dean of the faculty; Dr. Dave Diles, director of intercollegiate athletics; Col. William Wanovich ’87, commandant; and Meade King ’85, Keydet Club chief operating officer. Franklin’s remarks reflected her appreciation to the countless people who helped her along her way, stating that if she could break the award into pieces, there are others who are just as deserving.
A term originally coined by the late Giles Miller, Class of 1924, one of the Institute’s most beloved sons and ardent athletic fans, the Three-Legged Stool represents the fullness of VMI’s educational philosophy – that each cadet might thrive academically, athletically and militarily. Since its founding, VMI has endeavored to ensure that cadets receive the training and encouragement necessary to successfully balance each leg of this stool as they become educated and honorable difference-makers.
The VMI Keydet Club is especially pleased to sponsor this award, recognizing the 1st Class cadet-athlete who has excelled throughout his or her cadetship. Franklin is a four-year starter and team captain of the women’s soccer team and was named to the 2019 SoCon All-Tournament Team. She holds a 3.78 GPA as a double major in modern languages and cultures and international studies. Franklin currently serves as the SAAC president and has been active in the community working with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Read Across America and RARO Soccer. Upon graduation, Franklin will commission in the U.S. Air Force. She currently serves as the regimental S-7 captain.
Andrew Deal '12 Senior Vice President
The senior vice president of the Keydet Club is a productive, pace-setting major gifts fundraiser chiefly responsible for generating charitable support of athletic scholarships and other Institute priorities. The senior vice president inspires Keydet Club visibility at events as a funding priority, and with collaborative focus on the management of leadership-level donors. The senior vice president is keenly involved with Keydet Club finances as related to funding VMI's NCAA program, as well as a positive advocate for VMI, its athletic program and cadet-athletes, the Alumni Agencies, and the Keydet Club.
Micalyn Miller Creative Content Manager
The creative content manager is responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for the VMI Alumni Agencies social media sites to ensure optimal engagement and a positive image for the Institute. The creative content manager regularly evaluates the success of social media marketing efforts and develops new strategies as needed. The manager is responsible for photography and graphic design for publications and social media platforms.