VMI Alumni Association Annual Meeting of its Members

Published: Feb. 22, 2024
Updated: March 13, 2024

In accordance with the By-laws of the VMI Alumni Association (“VMIAA”) public notice is provided of the Annual Meeting of the Members of the VMIAA to be held April 6, 2024, beginning at 8 a.m. Eastern Time in the Moody Hall Activities Room located at Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA. The record date established by the Board of Directors for this meeting is the date of the first publication of this notice, February 21, 2024.

Members will be provided electronic voting instructions by email on or around March 25, 2024 and have until April 6, 2024, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time to submit their vote. For those attending the meeting in person on April 6, VMIAA staff will be available to assist you in casting your electronic vote. For additional questions contact Ed Johnson ’79, Chief Operating Officer, 800-444-1839, ext. 230.

William C. Collier ’06 graduated from VMI with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He was then commissioned in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant of transportation. Collier spent his platoon leader, executive officer, and initial command and staff time at Fort Eustis, Virginia, in the 7th Sustainment Brigade. Collier was then assigned to the 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas, and served as the assistant division transportation officer. From February 2012 – March 2013, Collier commanded Delta Forward Support Company, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. Following command, Collier was assigned as a contingency contracting officer in the 926th Contingency Contracting Battalion, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. Collier held this position until November 2014. He then joined the U.S. Army Reserve, 915th Contracting Battalion, 658th Contracting Team in Ohio and was medically retired in March 2018.

Collier then went to work for Omya, Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the logistics operations manager for North America. Omya is a leading chemical distributor with an emphasis on calcium carbonate (ground limestone). His duties included managing all the operational activities of motor carrier and intermodal transportation, warehousing, terminal, and transfer operations, providing efficient and effective logistics operations services in support of current business, as well as future business development. Additionally, he was responsible for implementing and overseeing all company shipping activities. Collier oversaw controlling motor carrier and related operations, which has an expense exceeding $30 million annually and overall logistics expense exceeding $90 million annually.

In February 2020, Collier accepted a position to be the vice president of the supply chain for RelaDyne, a leading fuel and lubricant distribution and specialty services company in the United States. He managed and oversaw all activities involved in the identification, acquisition, production, and distribution of the company’s products and services. He was also responsible for developing best practices and processes to align with the overall company goals and objectives while ensuring company systems requirements were maintained. Through constant communication and data review, the supply chain team was able to reduce the company’s nationwide inventory by more than $26 million in 96 days to meet ever-changing business demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collier then became a contract manager for American Rheinmetall Munition, Inc., in February 2021. ARM is headquartered in Stafford, Virginia, and produces small to medium caliber munitions. Collier provides on-site advice and direction to ARM business/client units, the U.S. government, and ARM project management teams regarding the status of ARM contracts. Collier initiates, tracks, and monitors contract changes, deliverables, correspondence, and risks and maintains associated documentation. He also fosters the management of all company contracts in accordance with company policies and procedures, applicable laws, and customer requirements.

His military education includes the Transportation Officer Basic Course, the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course, the Army Acquisition Fundamentals Course, and the Basic Contracting Course.

His civilian education includes his Bachelor of Arts in history from VMI and a Master of Science degree in management with a concentration in contract management and procurement from the University of Maryland University College.

Collier’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (one oak leaf cluster), the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (three oak leaf clusters), the National Defense Service Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Meritorious Unit Citation. Mr. Collier is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Contracting Level II certified and the International Society of Logistics, Demonstrated Master Logistician certified. He is also a proud graduate of Woodberry Forest School and an Eagle Scout. His professional organization memberships include USA Lacrosse, Sons of the American Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, AUSA, the National Eagle Scout Association, and Military Officers Association of America.

Collier serves as class agent for the Class of 2006 and is part of a legacy VMI family, along with his father, William C. “Bill” Collier ’72, and brother, U.S. Army Maj. John C. Collier ’09.

Collier currently lives in Stafford, Virginia, with his wife, the former Karen O’Donnell; their son, William (8 years); their daughter, Ann Caroline (4 years); and their 2-year-old German Shepherd, Lucy.

Man smiling.Mr. Coupland is the vice president of municipal sales for Republic Services, responsible for partnerships with approximately 2,000 municipalities across 44 states. His team provides consultative support to municipal partners to understand and navigate changes in the industry, as well as emerging technology and methods to improve sustainability and achieve climate action plans.

Coupland joined Republic Services in 2015, following a 20-year career in the defense industry with Fortune 100 companies including General Dynamics and Motorola.

Coupland received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Military Institute and a Master of Business Administration degree from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Coupland is a third-generation VMI graduate (grandfather, Maj. Gen. Richard C. Coupland, Class of 1915, and father, Richard C. Coupland Jr. ’50B).  He is a member of the VMI Class of 1991 and the Kappa Alpha Order. He has served as the Arizona Chapter president for over two years before being voted to the VMIAA Board of Directors to represent Region I.

Wyatt Durrette ’61 arrived at VMI in August 1957 as a football recruit before the Rat Line began. He was elected president of his class in 1958, earned letters in football and track and field and was All State and All Southern Conference in the later. He was chosen among a dozen others in his class to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, a distinction he also earned in law school at Washington and Lee University. He graduated from VMI with a degree in mathematics and from W&L, cum laude, in 1964. He was also president of his class at W&L, wrote for the law review, won the Burke Oral Argument Competition, and was chosen as chairman of the Moot Court Team. While in law school, he taught algebra for a couple of semesters at VMI. He won a Gilman Fellowship to attend Johns Hopkins University, where he received a master’s degree in political science with honors in 1966.

Durrette then served a three-year stint in the U.S. Air Force as a JAG officer with the final year at Udorn Air Base, Thailand. He began his law practice in Fairfax County, Virginia, in 1969. His interest in political science led him into politics, and he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, serving three terms before choosing to pursue statewide office. He was the Republican nominee for attorney general in 1981 and governor in 1985, after which he returned to law practice.

Meanwhile, his family moved to Midlothian in 1983. He and his wife, Cheryn, had eight children, 17 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. After a divorce, he remarried in 1993, and he and Monica, a licensed clinical psychologist, established her practice in Urbanna, Virginia, where they relocated in 2014. With Monica came her daughter, Sarah.

Durrette has had a varied and successful career. In the late 1970s, he was one of the founders of American Defense Systems, Inc. and served on its board of directors until it was sold in the mid-1980s. He taught various courses in political science at George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Christopher Newport University. He has been involved in numerous charitable activities, including past service on the boards of directors of Project Concern, Inc., Virginia FREE, and Comfort Zone Camp. He currently serves on the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at CNU Advisory Board. He chaired the business litigation sections of the Virginia and American Trial Lawyers Associations. Most recently, he chaired the committee that drafted what became after public referendum the constitutional amendment creating an independent redistricting commission.

As a lawyer, Durrette has been recognized by all the leading surveys choosing the outstanding attorneys in their field, such as Super Lawyers (naming him one of the top 100 lawyers in Virginia), Legal Elite, and Best Lawyers in America. He is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. He was named in 2007 as one of the Leaders in the Law in Virginia, and in 2018, he was selected for the first group of 33 honorees to be inducted into the newly created Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.

Adrian A. Garcia ’87 matriculated Aug. 17, 1983, as an NROTC scholarship cadet. He was a private in Delta Company. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history with a minor in English from VMI, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix, a Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies from the College of Naval Warfare at the U.S. Naval War College, and a Master of Science in Management degree from the University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business. He has also completed a leadership development program held at Jacksonville University’s Davis College of Business.

Upon graduation from VMI, Garcia was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy. Upon completion of the Surface Warfare Officer’s School, Division Officer’s Course, and Steam Engineering Officer of the Watch Course, he reported onboard the USS Canisteo (AO-99), where he served as gunnery officer/cargo ordnance officer and assistant first lieutenant until the vessel was decommissioned in September 1989. In November 1989, he reported onboard the USS Vreeland (FF-1068) as communications officer. During his tenure, he also served as electronic maintenance officer and assistant operations officer. In addition, he coordinated the decommissioning and transfer of the vessel to the Hellenic Navy (Greece) as the frigate Makedonia (F458). While onboard USS Vreeland, he also participated in several operations, most significantly Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Shield, and Operation Desert Storm.

He transitioned to the Reserve component in July 1992. He was assigned to various units, including NR Naval Control of Shipping Office, Jacksonville, Florida; NR Naval Control of Shipping Office, South America; NR Advanced Base Functional Component, Headquarters Unit; NR Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (COMUSNAVCENT) 108; and NR Military Sealift Command Expeditionary Port Unit 109. During his tenure with COMUSNAVCENT, he supported various joint exercises, along with a contingency deployment to Naval Support Activity Manama, Bahrain, in 1998 in support of Operation Desert Fox. He has had the honor of being selected for command of NR USS Spruance; NR Atlantic Ordnance Command Yorktown, Deployable Ammunition Reporting Team; NR U.S. Naval Activities United Kingdom 408; and NR Sealift Logistics Command, Atlantic.

While in command, his units earned three Leo V. Bilger Awards for Command Excellence. In 2000, he served on extended active duty as flag aide/executive assistant to the deputy commander, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia, (JTF-SWA), Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in support of Operation Southern Watch. From August 2009–August 2011, he served on the staff of the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet, as the director of logistics/commander, Task Force Forty-three (CTF-43), where he led a team responsible for the Navy’s operational logistics effort in support of Operation Unified Response. He also served as director of the Maritime Operations Center Training and Assessments. In August 2011, he was mobilized to serve as the officer in charge, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Forward Headquarters Kuwait/Qatar, in support of Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom. Garcia retired from the Navy as a captain (O-6) in March 2015.

Garcia has executive and operational level experience, having led overall strategy, execution, and management of operations for a variety of organizations within the private sector. As a people and mission-focused leader, he has developed expertise in various program/project management disciplines, including business analysis, strategic planning and analysis, leadership and management, financial controls and analysis, staff selection and development, and logistics. He has had great success in diverse professional environments ranging from business/operations management to residential real estate sales and mortgage financing to construction materials sales and production management.

Garcia’s VMIAA support activities/participation include being an active member of the NE Florida Chapter and the NE Florida Chapter’s past president. In addition, he has supported the Institute’s visibility at college fairs and meetings with several potential candidates, coordinated/assisted in the coordination of NE Florida Chapter rat send-off outings, served as a member of the Class of ’87 35th Reunion Committee, and has been actively involved in regional/local brother rat gatherings (’87 mini reunions).

Garcia and his wife, Kathy, have been happily married since July 3, 1993. They reside in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Garland Gray III ’10 graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from VMI and is a 2015 graduate of the University of Richmond School of Law, formerly T.C. Williams School of Law at University of Richmond. He is a real estate attorney with a practice focused on commercial and residential transactions and related matters. Gray joined the VMI Club of Richmond as director in 2015 and continued his involvement with the Club through 2020 when he served as president. Gray has served as the Central Virginia Region XII regional director for the past three years. As a cadet, he competed on the VMI track and cross country teams his rat year and was a four-year private.

Gray lives in Richmond with his wife, Valerie, and their sons, Garland and Elmon, and daughters, Florence and Edith.

Patrick J. “Pat” Griffin ’80 graduated from VMI and entered the Navy, where he served on active duty as a surface line officer until 1983. When Griffin left active duty, he entered the Naval Reserve and later retired from the Naval Reserve as a commander.

He began his career with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in May 1987 at the OSHA office in Waltham, Massachusetts, as a compliance officer.

In January 2000, Griffin was selected as the first compliance assistance specialist in New England. In this position, he was responsible for outreach, training, technical assistance, partnerships, and alliances.

In April 2006, Griffin was selected as the area director for the Providence, Rhode Island, OSHA Area Office, where he oversaw all safety and health for the state of Rhode Island. Griffin retired from OSHA in June 2018 after 31 years with the agency.

Griffin currently works in the construction industry as a safety and health consultant.

In addition to his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from VMI, Griffin also holds a degree in labor relations from Antioch University.

Griffin served as the New England Chapter president from 1990-96 and again from 2006-15. He was elected to the VMI Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2015 as the Northeast regional director. He chaired the Outreach Committee while on the board of directors. Upon completing his term in 2021, he was appointed a special appointee to the VMI Alumni Association Board of Directors to continue his work on the Networking Committee.

Griffin also serves as a member of the VMI Parents Council and on the board of the VMI Research Laboratories.

Griffin has two sons, Michael Griffin ’17 and John Griffin ’21.

William R. Shannon ’10 is a dive medical officer in the U.S. Navy and is currently stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He previously completed a transitional year internship at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he also served as program class treasurer.

Before entering medical school and joining the Navy, Shannon served for five years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry officer, deploying twice.

During his cadetship, Shannon was a member of the Honor Court, a battalion commander, and participated in the Institute Honors program. He is a distinguished graduate of VMI who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics and a minor in modern languages and cultures (Arabic). He was also a Distinguished Naval Graduate.

He completed the post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at the University of Virginia and earned a Doctor of Medicine degree in 2019 from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. His published research pertains primarily to the treatment of orthopedic injuries among service members.

Since graduation, he has done his best to maintain a high level of involvement with his local VMI alumni chapter and maintain close connections with brother rats.

Charles H. “Chuck” Story Jr. ’91 is a native of Lynchburg, Virginia, and has 30 years of experience in banking, finance, and the security and network infrastructure industries. He has been active with the Lynchburg Chapter for more than 30 years, ever since his rat send-off. He has been involved with other chapters as well since graduation, attending many events and supporting as a volunteer for various rat send-off events and other support as needed. He currently serves as co-class agent for his class.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies from VMI.

Story and his wife, Vicky, live in Forest, Virginia, and his youngest son, John Ian Evans, is a member of the Class of 2025.