It had been three years since the often-anticipated VMI Legislative Reception was held in Richmond. Due to issues related to COVID-19, the reception has been on hiatus since it was last hosted in 2020. Always a successful event, there was some concern that the audience might not return to the Library of Virginia Feb. 16, 2023, in the numbers once enjoyed, but those concerns were quickly dashed by the sheer volume of responses to the invitations. “Within a few weeks, we received more than 420 positive responses from members of the Virginia General Assembly, leaders of the state government’s executive branch, their staff, and alumni,” said Anthony U. Moore ’78, VMI Alumni Association president.
As it has done for decades, VMI held the event to give alumni, cadets, faculty, and staff a chance to recognize the members of the Virginia General Assembly for the financial support and guidance they provide the Institute, as well as to acquaint them with VMI’s long record of service to Virginia and the country and the transformative power of its extraordinary education.
Hundreds of VMI supporters made their way to the event, as did many cadets and members of the faculty and staff. Numerous senior leaders of the Institute were there, including Maj. Gen, Cedric T. Wins ’85, superintendent; Brig. Gen. Dallas Clark ’99, deputy superintendent for finance and support; Brig. Gen. Robert W. Moreschi, Ph.D., dean of the faculty and deputy superintendent for academics; and Col. Adrian T. Bogart ’81, commandant of cadets. Several members of the VMI Board of Visitors and the VMI Alumni Agencies’ senior staff also were at the event. “The cadets were the shining stars of the day and the event,” said David Prasnicki, VMI Alumni Agencies chief executive officer. “Not only did they win over the day when they visited legislators on the hill, but there is no better opportunity for alumni and members of the General Assembly to hear directly from cadets regarding what is happening at VMI and the strength of the Corps of Cadets, ready to serve.”
Among the members of the General Assembly who were present was Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears, who presides over the Senate of Virginia and serves on numerous state boards, commissions, and councils, including the Virginia Military Advisory Council, which maintains relations between the state government and the leaders of the federal military installations in Virginia. A former enlisted Marine, Sears was, according to one attendee, “very positive about VMI,” and took the time to talk with several cadets.
Wins provided opening remarks. In them, he welcomed everyone to the event and thanked the members of the General Assembly in attendance for their generous assistance to the Institute and stressed the importance of that support and the enduring relationship that it represented.
Then, Wins invited Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr. ’68 to speak. Norment was first elected to the Senate of Virginia in 1991 and is currently the Senate minority leader, responsible for leading the Senate’s Republican members. During his remarks, Norment spoke of the need to lean into the work of VMI, its stellar cadets, and its impressive national rankings, and he assured the attendees that the Institute is as strong as it ever has been and talk of discourse or division is out of place. He also noted that he now is the only VMI alumnus in the General Assembly and stated plainly that he wants to see more alumni in the legislature.
Ed Johnson ’79, VMI Alumni Association chief operating officer, said, “I am grateful for the advancement services team, under the leadership of Christina Cummings, for organizing and executing another successful legislative reception. It gave us the opportunity to thank our legislators for being such strong partners with the Institute but also introduce them to staff, alumni, and especially cadets who provide ample evidence that every dollar the Commonwealth sends to VMI is a wise investment in the future of Virginia and the country.”
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.