For many alumni, there is a person in their life who extolls the many virtues of a VMI education and encourages them to at least consider applying to the Institute. They can be friends, neighbors, or relatives, and often they are not among the Institute’s alumni.
When Andrew Green ’18 was considering colleges, he had one relative who urged him to consider a military education: His aunt, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Linda L. Green. But Linda wanted Green, her only nephew, to attend the U.S. Military Academy. “She was a career Army logistics officer, and she actually taught U.S. history there for several years,” he said. “For as long as I can remember, her goal was for me to attend West Point.”
Green, however, had other plans when it came to college. “After touring several colleges and after spending overnight in barracks at an open house,” he recalled, “I knew I wanted to attend VMI. I was attracted by the history, tradition, academics, and truly unordinary lifestyle of the Corps.”
His aunt’s reaction to his decision? “As soon as I received my acceptance letter from VMI, she was just as thrilled and over the moon.”
She also offered some guidance. “Her main advice to me was to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, learn to deal with situations when they don’t go your way, keep your head on a swivel, and just do the right thing—plain and simple.”
Judging from Green’s recounting of the lessons he learned as a cadet, he heeded his aunt’s advice. “Probably more than anything, I learned how to deal with adversity on all levels—physically, academically, emotionally—especially during the Rat Line. I also learned the meaning of true loyalty and brotherhood; my best friends to this day are still from VMI. And then lastly, to never be content with where you’re at and to keep pushing yourself for new challenges.”
Green certainly is no stranger to taking on new challenges. After working for Bloomberg LP’s data analytics department for three years, he recently became an associate for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Asset Management in New York City. In that role, he helps manage day-to-day cash flows, portfolio rebalancing, performance reporting, and other tasks for more than $150 billion in assets under management for the company’s U.S. equities division.
In May 2018, Green’s aunt, then age 70, drove from her home in Alabama to Lexington for his graduation. “Over the course of my four years at VMI, she worked tirelessly to be able to fit into a brand-new set of dress blues to wear on post and during the ceremony.” She was successful in her effort, and wearing the uniform provided her with a wonderful experience. “I distinctly remember her sheer amazement at the respect she was shown by everyone on post, notably by the cadets, saluting as they would walk by her.”
After her Army career, Linda devoted much of her time to writing. Besides textbooks about logistics, she produced books that were the product of her genealogical research. “Her way of documenting and archiving her research was through writing books,” said Green. Many of them were historical references or genealogical in nature. However, “her pride and joy was being able to trace our family’s genealogical history back to the Civil War and beyond and use what she uncovered to publish a book, ‘First, For the Duration: The Story of the Eighth (8th) Alabama Infantry.’”
Linda died in late 2020 and left Andrew an inheritance: The royalties from her books. Not long after learning what she had left him, Green decided to direct those royalties exclusively to VMI. When asked what drove this decision, he replied, “Since my matriculation, my aunt regularly donated to VMI. After learning about her consistent support—with her only connection to VMI really being me—I felt it would be proper to continue some sort of donation to VMI in her honor.”
Green decided to direct whatever money is generated by the royalties to scholarship support of the Corps of Cadets. “Pretty much every alumnus I’ve met has said the same thing: ‘Find a way to pay it forward.’ As a cadet, I was able to benefit from some scholarships—which means the generosity of alumni and friends. … If it helps some cadets in any way at all, I know my aunt would be proud.”
Scott Belliveau '83 Communications Officer - Executive Projects
The communications officer supports the strategy for all communications, including web content, public relations messages and collateral pieces in order to articulate and promote the mission of the VMI Alumni Agencies and promote philanthropy among varied constituencies.