About the Peay Endowment for Academic Excellence

The Peay Endowment

The Institute, long known for its pursuit of excellence, currently enjoys a national reputation for an academic and leadership program that best prepares leaders of character. This success is due to the dedication of Institute leaders, faculty and staff as well as the vision and generosity of VMI alumni and friends.

Excellence comes with a cost. Prestigious colleges and universities like VMI compete for the most qualified professors, the very best students, and the private funding necessary to maintain distinguished academic programs. The financial investment by families for college degrees across our nation is significant. The need to enhance our current program – even from a position of strength – remains constant.

We pride ourselves on providing a personalized education for all cadets. VMI maintains a student teacher ratio of 10:1. This is a core-strength of the academic program that contributes to the unique success of the VMI graduate. The faculty student bonds forged in this environment result in a commitment to life-long learning and confidence in their careers of choice. To this end, VMI has not allowed financial pressures to increase class sizes and therefore has continued to build momentum for our long-standing tradition of success.

There is a plan to build an endowment that secures the very best individuals our nation has to offer while not shifting from our winning formula. There is a well-thought, long-term plan to ensure that VMI is able to maintain academic excellence, through private support, as we compete for faculty and students in an innovative way.

Working from a concept put forth by alumni volunteers, supported by the Institute and the VMI Alumni Agencies staff members, the General J.H. Binford Peay III 1962 Endowment for Academic Excellence was established. This bold program consists of four elements, each of which is important to VMI’s academic future: merit scholars, chairs, fellowships and operational resources.

This opportunity will transform the Institute’s academic program and therefore the contribution that VMI graduates make to our nation for many years to come. Please consider your role in ensuring the endowment’s success.

The need to enhance our current program – even from a position of strength – remains constant.

Resolution by the Board of Visitors of the Virginia Military Institute Jan. 28, 2017

RESOLVED, That the Board of Visitors of the Virginia Military Institute has established the General J.H. Binford Peay III 1962 Endowment for Academic Excellence. The mission of the Peay Endowment is “to inspire the continuous pursuit of academic excellence in the service of the Virginia Military Institute.”

The General J.H. Binford Peay III 1962 Endowment for Academic Excellence was established in 2017 by the Board of Visitors. It honors General Peay for the exemplary qualities of character and leadership he demonstrated through a lifetime of selfless service, beginning as a VMI cadet, sustained through a distinguished career in the United States Army, and perpetuated as the 14th Superintendent of VMI.

General Peay’s devotion to excellence as a cadet was evident when at graduation he was awarded the Cincinnati Medal for excellence of character, efficiency of service, and all-around performance as a member of the Corps of Cadets. While at VMI General Peay was a quarterback on the football team, served on the Honor Court, majored in Civil Engineering, and was a battalion commander in the Corps. His leadership qualities formed at VMI and later tested in senior staff and command in the United States Army, resulted in advancement to the rank of four-star General and the highest levels of responsibility as Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command and all U.S. forces in the Middle East. …

THEREFORE, Be It Further Resolved, That there could be no finer tribute to General Peay, nor one more meaningful to him, than the establishment of the General J.H. Binford Peay III 1962 Endowment for Academic Excellence. His passion for the enduring virtues of the VMI experience is evidenced by his unprecedented achievements as our 14th Superintendent, and by the quality of the graduates VMI delivers to our Nation.

Excerpt: Resolution by the Board of Visitors of the Virginia Military Institute 28 January 2017

Learn about the four pillars of the Peay Endowment for Academic Excellence.

The Four Focuses