About the Circle
Virginia Military Institute Circle members are drawn from the exceptional leaders found among the VMI Corps of Cadets, faculty, staff, alumni, as well as the many friends of the Institute. Inductions are held early in the fall semester, with the expectation that new members will have the time to contribute to the activities of the circle over the course of one to years. These activities include service work tied to the National Day of Service in April, efforts to interact with the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics’ Leader-in-Residence and Leadership conference every year, and joint discussions with W&L Circle members about the pressing issues of the day..
Every Fall, the Circle inducts roughly thirty members in a ceremony held in the Hall of Valor of the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics. Recent speakers include Dr. Paul Hebert, winner of the Jonathan M. Daniels ’61 Humanitarian Award, and Brigadier General Jeffrey G. Smith, Jr., former deputy commander of the U.S. Army Cyber Command and Dean of the VMI Faculty.
Leadership Dinner and Lecture
The VMI Circle has recently begun an annual dinner and lecture series, tied to the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics Leadership-in-Residence program each spring. In 2015, the Circle hosted Rebecca “Becky” Halstead who spoke about the kinds of personal relationships that leaders possess and how these connections influence decision-making. In addition to gaining the wisdom of recognized leaders, the VMI Circle also uses this event to bring the various members of ODK across Lexington together, including the W&L Circle and the ODK National Headquarters.
Joint VMI/W&L Discussion and Dessert Sessions.
Over the last several years, the VMI and W&L Circles (and Johnson Scholars) have held a series of “Discussion and Dessert Sessions” to give students from both schools a chance to interact and discuss major issues of the day. The Circles typically organize their discussions around articles from The Atlantic magazine. In addition, they debate the arguments of noted scholars in advance of their visits to Lexington, including public figures such as Andrew Bacevich and David Brooks.
Honors and Awards
2018 Maurice A. Clay Leadership Development Initiative Grant
2017 Circle of Distinction
2016 Superior Circle
2015 Superior Circle