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Josh Sneed ’12: Why I VMI

Josh Sneed ’12


As a high school football player from Atlanta, Georgia, Josh Sneed ’12 fielded a lot of interest from different colleges. However, one big incentive made VMI possible: Private support. “The full-ride scholarship is the sole reason I went to VMI,” said Sneed. “I believe if I had to come from out of state and pay tuition … I don’t think it would’ve happened.”

During his time at the Institute, Sneed took full advantage of the three-legged stool—balancing NCAA athletics, rigorous academics, and intense military training. “Outside of the tremendous education that you get at VMI in the classroom—which is bar none, really—it is the intangibles that VMI has taught me,” said Sneed. “It is the punctuality; it is being audible-ready at all times. I have a career where I have to speak in high-pressure situations very often, and I think that high pressure cooker I was in for four years at VMI has really set me up for success.”

The relationship with his scholarship donor, Walter Perrin ’62, also facilitated Sneed’s later success. “After I graduated from VMI, he was somebody who took the time, met with me,” Sneed said. “We had meals together. We talked about my career, where I wanted to go, where I was, and how to get there.

“So it was really great having somebody that I could really confide in and talk to about where I was as a young professional.”

Even though Perrin passed away in 2017, his legacy of philanthropy continues through Sneed. He said Perrin’s generosity inspired him to give back right away, even if he couldn’t give much.

“I tried to give what I could. Obviously, over the years, as I’ve grown in my career, I’ve been able to donate a little bit more. And I see that trend continuing to grow,” Sneed said.

He said his gift, no matter the size, has the potential to change somebody’s life for the better.

“Like me, if they are offered a scholarship to go there, they may take a second look. And that second look could be a life-changing experience,” he said.

  • Christian Heilman

    Christian Heilman Director of Digital Content

    The director of digital content is responsible for creating original video and multimedia materials, as well as developing and editing web and digital content. The director is responsible for platform coordination and troubleshooting, to include the VMI Alumni Agencies’ primary websites, digital newsletter and other digital platforms.