Virginia Military Institute
Statement by President of the Board of Visitors and Superintendent
VMI’s mission is to produce educated, honorable cadets and graduates imbued with characteristics and traits long admired by our great Nation. We produce leaders of character who are prepared and ready to serve our communities, our states, and our Nation in times of peace and in times of war. That is our singular objective. As the oldest state supported military college in the nation and a national historic landmark, VMI has produced leaders that fought in the Civil War, Mexican-American War, Spanish-American War, World War I, defeated fascism in World War II, marched for civil rights in the ’60s, fought in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf, and has seen its alumni as the best of leaders across the spectrum of industry, medicine, the law, politics, religion and business. Like the United States itself, who we were in the past only defines in part who we are today. Hate, bigotry and discrimination are wrong, do not represent the values of the Virginia Military Institute, and will always be addressed decisively. We will learn from the past and take the best from our predecessors in shaping our cadet citizen-soldiers for today and tomorrow. We achieve this objective through the Institute’s challenging and demandingly unique education structured in a military environment that has served the Nation well for more than 178 years.
We will continue to learn from our history, yet be ultimately guided by our best judgment in how to achieve our mission. The safety of our cadets, faculty and staff, our Post and our community is always present in our mind. That is why, today, the VMI Board of Visitors endorses continuing to acknowledge all those who are part of the history of the Institute. We choose not to honor their weaknesses, but to recognize their strengths. We will continue to learn and not to repeat divisions. We strongly encourage all to move forward together in the defense and advancement of our Nation.
This detailed mission statement recognizes the past, present, and future of the Institute. Not shying away from any past that might be conceived as controversial, VMI presents itself as acknowledging its past and the ability to incorporate all its history into a higher education institute that produced, produces, and continues to produce leaders in all endeavors of society. By providing a mission statement such as this, I find VMI a desirable Institute to be employed as a professor. History, diversity of education, focus on education that provides leaders and not just workers instills VMI professors, staff, and students with a sense of personal and societal pride that provides a community outside of the campus. Many universities claim to provide identity, I quickly refer to the Hokie Nation, but VMI provides a clear call to history and progress as building its identity. This may seem lengthy compared to the other University recognized on this blog but it seems typical for an American University. VMI does present itself as a state funded military institution with a deep history.
To deliver inspirational education and research in a supportive, creative and exceptional environment in Wales.
Aberystwyth is considered to be the founding institution for international studies. Although it has not existed as long as VMI, it does have a deep history in academia. The mission statement is short and to the point. It does not teach students but provides an inspirational education. It does not teach but supports the efforts of its students in their academic pursuits. This presents an image of open research interests in which any student desiring to pursue specific personal interests can do so with the support of a university with a strong tradition. The mission statement is somewhat vague and might present a challenge to matrices of success. By this, it may be difficult to measure the success of the university at upholding its mission statement. But, I think they measure their success at placing highly skilled and knowledgable people into the world and all of them can claim with confidence they studied at Aberystwyth. As a research institute in the UK, the short mission statement founded on research seems common. This is a distinguishing characteristic between American and British universities.