On Matriculation Day, 491 incoming cadets entered the Rat Mass of 2024+3. The Rat Line for the new academic year began Aug. 19, 2023, which marked the Institute’s 184th year.
The day included a fair in Cocke Hall where the new cadets and their families were able to meet with various VMI agencies, local bankers, churches, and other community organizations. They got fitted for their uniforms, completed paperwork, met department faculty, and signed the Matriculation Book. In the afternoon, the chaplain’s prayer, an optional nondenominational prayer session for matriculants and their families was held in Memorial Hall, followed by the superintendent’s welcome in Cameron Hall.
Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85, superintendent, addressed the incoming matriculants and their families, and the matriculants then took the cadet oath during a ceremony. With hugs, cheers, and a few tears, they bid goodbye to their families, formed up with their companies for the first time, and marched to barracks where they met their cadre.
Members of this year’s Rat Mass comes from 39 states and five foreign countries, with 57% from Virginia and 43% from out of state. Seventy-one are female, and 176 are recruited NCAA athletes. Forty-nine percent have selected a major in the STEM disciplines, and 51% chose a major in the liberal arts.
During Matriculation Week, cadre led the new arrivals in military drills and physical training, culminating with the Rat Crucible Aug. 27. Members of the Old Corps returned Aug. 27, and classes began Aug. 29.
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Editor's Note: Story originally published by Virginia Military Institute.