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Board of Visitors Approves 2024–25 Tuition and Fees, New Officers

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The VMI Board of Visitors approved tuition and fees for the 2024–25 academic year at their spring meeting May 2–4. Tuition and fees will increase by 2.8% next year, representing an overall increase of $882 for Virginia cadets and $1,772 for out-of-state cadets.

At an earlier meeting of the Virginia Council of Presidents, Gov. Glenn Youngkin had urged schools to keep any tuition and fee increases to no greater than 3% or the rate of the Consumer Price Index, whichever was smaller. VMI’s Board of Visitors chose to keep all increases to tuition, fees, and room and board below the 3% guidance.

“This is not a decision the board takes lightly,” said Tom Watjen ’76, Board of Visitors president. “The board spent a great deal of time trying to understand the continually rising costs of providing a world-class education while always trying to minimize the cost to our current and future cadets and their families.”

Costs to operate the Institute are rising in almost every expense category because of inflation and state-approved salary increases. VMI and other institutions of higher education are required to contribute to the cost of General Assembly-approved employee pay raises. Additionally, the cost of goods and services provided to the Institute has risen more quickly in the wake of record inflation.

The VMI Board of Visitors wrapped up its three-day meeting by electing John Adams ’96 as board president for the upcoming year. Watjen, Thomas Gottwald ’83, and Damon Williams ’90 will serve as board vice presidents. Kate Todd will serve as the non-alumni member of the board’s Executive Committee. The new slate of officials will take office July 1, 2024.

The election of Adams as board president marks the end of Watjen’s three-year tenure as president.

“I’ve been fortunate to have served as the president of VMI’s Board of Visitors these past three years, and I am very proud of what our board has accomplished during this time,” said Watjen. “It’s clear to me, though, it is time to pass that responsibility along to the next generation of board leadership, and I fully support the board’s decision to elect John Adams ’96 as our next president. I look forward to serving the remainder of my term on the board and supporting the Institute in any way possible.”

Adams understands there is much work ahead for the Board of Visitors. “It is a great honor to serve as the next president of the VMI Board of Visitors,” Adams said. “This is an important time in the life of the Institute, and I look forward to working with my fellow board members and the administration to build upon our previous successes and to pursue excellence in all aspects of the execution of VMI’s unique and vital mission.”

Youngkin appointed Adams was appointed to serve on the VMI Board of Visitors in June 2022. Adams is a partner with McGuireWoods LLP, where he represents corporations, boards, and executives facing significant legal and reputational risk in criminal, regulatory, civil, and congressional proceedings.

After earning his degree in economics and business at VMI in 1996, he served as a surface warfare officer in the Navy, deploying to the Middle East and Central and South America until 2000. He then attended the University of Virginia School of Law. Adams served as a law clerk for Judge David Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Associate Justice Clarence Thomas at the U.S. Supreme Court.

He also served as associate counsel to President George W. Bush at the White House and as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Adams previously served as the secretary of the VMI Club of Richmond and spent 10 years on the VMI Foundation Board of Trustees.