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Virginia Military Institute, Lexington

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Educational Site · Tourist Spot
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Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is a public senior military college in Lexington, Virginia. It was founded in 1839 as America's first state military college and is the oldest public senior military college in the United States. In keeping with its founding principles and unlike any other senior military college in the United States, VMI enrolls cadets only and awards bachelor's degrees exclusively. VMI offers its cadets strict military discipline combined with a physically and academically demanding environment. The institute grants degrees in 14 disciplines in engineering, science, and the liberal arts, and all VMI students are required to participate in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC).
While Abraham Lincoln first called VMI "The West Point of the South" because of its role during the American Civil War, the nickname has remained because VMI has produced more Army generals than any ROTC program in the United States. Despite the nickname, VMI differs from the federal military service academies in many regards. For example, as of 2019, VMI had a total enrollment of 1,722 cadets (as compared to 4,500 at the Academies) making it one of the smallest NCAA Division I schools in the United States. Additionally, today (as in the 1800s) all VMI cadets sleep on cots and live closely together in a more spartan and austere barracks environment than at the Service Academies. All VMI cadets must participate in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) of the United States Armed Forces programs, but are afforded the flexibility of pursuing civilian endeavors or accepting an officer's commission in the active or reserve components of four of the U.S. military branches upon graduation.
VMI's alumni include a Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Army, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, 7 Medal of Honor recipients, 13 Rhodes Scholars, Pulitzer Prize winners, an Academy Award winner, an Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner, a martyr recognized by the Episcopal Church, Senators and Representatives, Governors, Lieutenant Governors, a Supreme Court Justice, numerous college and university presidents, many business leaders (presidents and CEOs) and over 290 general and flag officers across all US service branches and several other countries.
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Virginia Military Institute reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
464 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Loved it and the buildings were breath taking. My family “The Payton’s of course have huge history there and so as I walk the grounds I’m honored. Unfortunately there was a used “c#%^{m” in the... 
    Loved it and the buildings were breath taking. My family “The Payton’s of course have huge history there and so as I walk the grounds I’m honored. Unfortunately there was a used “c#%^{m” in the...  more »
  • So my husband and I showed up on a Tuesday. Apparently they are normally closed on Tuesday, the museum is. But this particular Tuesday they were open, the gift shop was open, and we were given a... 
    So my husband and I showed up on a Tuesday. Apparently they are normally closed on Tuesday, the museum is. But this particular Tuesday they were open, the gift shop was open, and we were given a...  more »
Google
  • We had a wonderful time there and met the future of our generation. Thank you for the great hospitality. Operation Enduringwarrior .org
  • Great college!!!!

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