Call to Duty

Call to Duty: Millie Lister ’27

Millie Lister '27

Name: Millie Lister ’27

Hometown: Anderson, South Carolina

Service Branch: U.S. Space Force

Major: Civil engineering

Path to VMI

“I decided I wanted to go into the military in the eighth grade. I’ve had family members in the military. And I always liked the idea of the structure and … camaraderie in the organization part of the military.”

Financial Challenges

“At one point, I was deciding between The Citadel or VMI—did I want to go down to Charleston and stay in state, or did I want to come up here to Virginia and Lexington?

“So before the Call to Duty Scholarship, my decision truly would have to have been The Citadel because it was much more cost-effective with being in state. But with the Call [to] Duty, I was able to pick VMI because that’s where I wanted to go, and I was able to financially afford it.”

“With the Call [to] Duty, I was able to pick VMI because that’s where I wanted to go, and I was able to financially afford it.”

Cadet Millie Lister ’27 Call to Duty Scholarship Recipient

Finding Out about Call to Duty

“I think we got an email about it. And then we spoke with her about it, so [Lt. Col. Shannon Eskam, VMI financial aid director] kind of explained how it was a new scholarship … that it goes to people who have an ROTC scholarship and that it covers the room and board. And we were very thrilled about it because this meant there was only the quartermaster fee to cover, and this meant that VMI was much more available for me to even actually consider as a possibility.”

Why Call to Duty Matters

“I think it’s very important for VMI to continue the Call to Duty Scholarship. College, in general—no matter where you are—is expensive, and it always helps lift that burden off, especially for the out-of-state students. This could open the door, like it did for me, to be able to consider VMI because then it’s one less piece of a financial burden.

“The only thing I have to worry about for the financial side is keep my grades up, keep physically active, and make sure I don’t do anything to compromise my contract with the scholarship. And then I don’t have to worry about what job I’m going to find over the summer to [pay for it]. Because that’s what my parents had to do.”

Support cadets who want to serve.

Learn More about Call to Duty Scholarships
  • Mary Price

    Mary Price Development Writer/Communications Specialist

    The development writer plays a key role in producing advancement communications. This role imagines, creates, and produces a variety of written communication to inspire donors to make gifts benefiting VMI. Utilizing journalistic features and storytelling, the development writer will produce content for areas such as Annual Giving, stewardship, and gift planning.