Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, VMI!

I know, another off-topic blog post, but this should the last one for a while!

The Virginia Military Institute was established on 11 Nov 1839, having originally been an armory manned by unruly troops. The armory was turned into a school, with the idea of having the students/cadets (or "keydets") guard the armory. The daily changing of the guard existed while I was there, and exists today.

Something old is shed and something new is added with each era. VMI started as a single barrack, and when I was there, I lived all four years in "New Barracks". This passed April, while visiting during my 20th reunion, I got a look into the "third barracks", which stands on the spot where LeJeune Hall, the cadet canteen, stood while I was there.

I did note that the cannon balls were still present in the wall of Old Barracks nearest Mallory Hall. To see other changes, check out Brother Rat, filmed in 1938, and starring Ronald was filmed, in part, on post at VMI.

VMI has a great tradition and a number of notable alumni; Chesty Puller attended, as did Patton. Dabney Coleman attended VMI. Perhaps VMI's most notable graduate is George C. Marshall, 1901, who went on to become the Chief of Staff of the Army (5-star general), Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State. He is also a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the "Marshall Plan" for the restoration of Europe after WWII is named for him.

Happy Birthday, VMI, and Happy Birthday, Brother Rats!

No comments: