Virginia Military Institute marks the 25th anniversary of women being admitted while also welcoming new cadets

ROANOKE, Va. – At the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Matriculation Day marks the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of cadets and their families. This can be an emotional moment for everyone involved.

It is the day when a new class of “rats” or cadets will officially be accepted, but at the same time, this moment symbolizes a “key” part of their history.

This year’s Matriculation is particularly noteworthy since it coincides with the 25th anniversary of the day in 1997 when women were granted admission for the first time.

Many women have joined since then, and many have even reached the highest levels of leadership.

“I am very grateful to everyone who’s come before me. Men and women because the men and those women changed a lot of perspectives. And now I’m able to be here I’d be in leadership positions and developing myself and it’s just I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities that I have because of them,” said Margaret “Maggie” Beckman a cadet in the class of ‘23 at VMI.

Now, dozens of cadets, including both men and women, will carry on time-honored traditions while also marking a significant milestone in their history.

Col. William “Bill” Wyatt, who is the director of communications and marketing at VMI, mentioned that “this time of year is very exciting to bring in a class of cadets to see our first-class cadets who have gone through this process and take over the responsibility of training these cadets and being the leaders that they’ve been trained up to be.”

The month of September will mark the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of women being admitted to VMI.

The Matriculation ceremony will be held on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

Live coverage of the ceremony will be made available online in case certain family members are unable to attend in person.

Gayle Gordon

As a college student, making an extra buck now and then was very important. I started as a part-time reporter since I was 19 yo, and I couldn’t believe it might become a long-time career. I'm happy to be part of the Virginian Tribune's team.

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