Lexington, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Virginia Military Institute
The Nation’s First State-Sponsored Military College
Virginia Military Institute was founded in 1839, becoming the nation's first state-sponsored military college. Consistently ranked among America's best undergraduate liberal art colleges, VMI educates the citizen-soldier by offering a rigorous academic program set within a military framework and governed by an unparalleled honor code. All cadets participate in the Reserve Officer Training Corps, choosing Army, Marine Corps, Navy, or Air Force. Typically, about half of each graduating class accepts a commission.
Initially, VMI took up residence in the state arsenal located on this site. In 1850, prominent architect Alexander Jackson on this site. In 1850, prominent architect Alexander Jackson Davis introduced the Gothic Revival architectural style and thereby created the distinctive look of the Institute seen today.
Maj. Thomas J. Jackson, later known as "Stonewall" Jackson, arrived in 1851 to teach physics. During the Civil War, the Corps of Cadets was called to service more than 15 times, and the Institute itself was subjected to bombardment. After the war, as the Institute rebuilt its buildings it also rebuilt
Noted VMI alumni include General of the Army George C. marshall, Class of 1901, World War II Army chief of staff, architect of the Marshall Plan, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient; Adm. Richard Byrd, Class of 1908, who received the Medal of Honor for his explorations of the North and South poles; and Jonathan M. Daniels, Class of 1961, murdered Civil Rights activist of the 1960s, declared a lesser saint of the Episcopal Church for his sacrifice.
The Corps of Cadets numbers approximately 1,700 men and women from around the country and several foreign nations.
Erected by Virginia Military Institute.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Military • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1839.
Location. 37° 47.302′ N, 79° 26.284′ W. Marker is in Lexington, Virginia. Marker is on North Main Street (Business U.S. 11) 0.1 miles north of Maiden Lane, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 325 N Main St, Lexington VA 24450, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of The Hall-Poindexter House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Diamond Hill Neighborhood (within shouting distance of this marker); The Knights of Pythias Building (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Virginia Military Institute (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sigma Nu Fraternity (about 500 feet away); Cincinnatus Citizen-Soldier (about 600 feet away); The Cabell House (about 600 feet away); Virginia Military Institute: A National Historic Landmark (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington.
More about this marker. There is a duplicate marker located at Letcher Ave & VMI Parade
Credits. This page was last revised on August 23, 2023. It was originally submitted on May 9, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 88 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 9, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.