Given the precedent of classes before us and with the encouragement of many of our Brother Rats, a Reunion Campaign Fundraising Committee was formed. When this Committee met in Lexington in October, we were able to gain from General Peay' s outstanding presentation a reinforced sense of the legacy VMI represents today, both for us and our nation-. It is a truly unique institution. Thanks to his leadership and the support of alumni such as ourselves - we have been able to sustain and build on the values VMI has always strived to represent - honor, integrity and self-discipline.
As we look to preserve this legacy, one of the greatest challenges is finances, pure and simple. In today's world, preservation of a school of such unique character and of such a small size (Corps of 1700 cadets), presents a great challenge and even more so in an increasingly competitive environment to stay among the top colleges in the country. State support for higher education has decreased from nearly 50% of VMI's budget in our day to approximately 17% today. Hence, to sustain our institution and make it affordable and attractive for future generations of cadets it is the VMI Alumni who must work to enhance the Institute's financial resources through the VMI Foundation and the VMI Keydet Club.
At VMI, the 50th reunion is an appropriate time for us to reflect on what the Institute means not only to us and our country, but also what it contributed to our lives over these 50 plus years. We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge perhaps VMI's greatest contribution to our lives- our Brother Rats. We have no doubt there will be few of us who have not faced life's challenges without a Brother Rat at our side. Sadly, the challenges ahead will not diminish but our BR support will ease those burdens.
Our goal: $9 Million.
The Results: $10.2 Million