Featured Article

New Board of Visitors Appointees

flagpoles from behind Marshall statue, cadets lined up on Parade Ground

Gov. Glenn Youngkin appointed retired U.S. Army Col. James Inman ’86, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jim Joustra ’76, retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Terence McKnight ’78, and Nancy Williams Phillips to four-year terms on the VMI Board of Visitors.

Leaving the board are Lara Tyler Chambers ’03, Michael Hamlar, David Miller ’70, and Gene Scott ’80.

“I am excited to work with the new members and look forward to their contributions,” said Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85, VMI superintendent. “Each individual brings a unique set of skills and experiences that will help us continue to move the Institute forward.”

Inman, a resident of Moseley, Virginia, serves as Afton Chemical Company’s director of planning and logistics. A U.S. Army veteran with over 27 years of service, he saw combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and during Operations Desert Shield/Storm. He also served as U.S. Army Cadet Command chief of staff, where he oversaw the functioning of all senior (college) and junior (high school) Army ROTC units in the nation.

Inman’s last active duty assignment was commander of the National Capitol Region Warrior Transition Brigade. In this capacity, he was responsible for all wounded, ill, and injured soldiers in the region.

His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, and Purple Heart. From 2013–21, he served as VMI’s chief of staff. In this position, he was responsible for coordinating the actions of the Institute’s primary staff officers and ensuring integration of all organizational and post operations, events, and issues.

Inman matriculated from Lebanon, Tennessee, and served on the VMI Honor Court during his cadetship. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from VMI. He also holds two master’s degrees, one in liberal arts from Louisiana State University and another in national security strategy from the National Defense University. His military education includes the Command and General Staff College and the National War College.

A resident of Orlando, Florida, Joustra is managing director with Triangle Healthcare Advisors, a business broker and advisor company working mainly with the healthcare services industry. He has served as chairman of LocatorX, a cloud-based technology company focused on asset management, and as director of mergers and acquisitions for Walgreens Boots Alliance. In that capacity, he handled M&A responsibility for $30 billion in acquired, merged, and divested companies. He also has extensive experience with start-ups, including Walgreens’ mail-order pharmacy business, which he led from inception to approximately $1 billion in sales. He has served as an operations manager for Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals USA and Bristol Myers Squibb.

He matriculated from Lockport, New York, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from VMI. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Niagara University. Joustra is also a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the FEMA Course/UN Officer Qualification Course.

He served in the Army Corps of Engineers from 1977–80 and in the Army Reserve from 1980–2001.

Joustra’s extensive record of service to VMI includes having served the VMI Alumni Association for approximately 20 years as a chapter president, regional director, and director at large. He is a life member of the Military Officers Association of America and the Association of the United States Army.

Retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Terence “Terry” McKnight ’78 of Fairfax Station, Virginia, is vice president of customer relations for CAES, a defense firm. His 30-year Naval career had several highlights, among them serving as the 85th commandant of Naval District Washington, the oldest continuously operated Navy installation in the nation, and deputy commander of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region.

Prior to that, he commanded USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) from January 1995 until November 1996 and USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) from July 2002 until December 2003.

In September 2007, he assumed duties as commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, and served as the first commander of Task Force 151 for counterpiracy operations in January 2009.

His personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Navy Meritorious Service Medal.

In 2012, he wrote his first book, Pirate Alley: Commanding Task Force 151 off Somalia, which was named Naval Proceedings “Notable Naval Book” of 2012. Additionally, he has written several articles on maritime security that have appeared in a variety of international and domestic newspapers and magazines. He continues to lecture extensively on the issues of global maritime piracy.

In addition to his service on the VMI Board of Visitors, McKnight serves on the State of Virginia Defense Advisory Board. He matriculated from Norfolk, Virginia, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from VMI. He holds a Master of Arts degree in international relations from Salve Regina University. In addition, McKnight graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 1994 and also attended the national security seminar at Syracuse University in 2001.

A resident of Blacksburg, Virginia, and a longtime business leader in her community, Nancy Williams Phillips has been the president of Legacy Builders NRV Inc., a small firm delivering custom homes, since 1997. She has also practiced real estate with Coldwell Banker Townside Realtors Inc. since 1989.

Phillips earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College), where she served as president of the honor court her senior year. In addition, she earned a master’s degree in education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.

Phillips comes to the Board of Visitors with extensive family connections to the Institute, as three members of her family are alumni. They are the late Thomas C. Phillips ’50B, her father-in-law; retired U.S. Army Reserve Col. John Phillips ’87, her husband; and U.S. Army Capt. Luke Phillips ’17, her son. Ranked the No. 1 Army ROTC cadet in the nation during his 1st Class year, Luke Phillips is now stationed at Fort Liberty, North Carolina.

  • 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.