VMI votes to move Stonewall Jackson statue
LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The Board of Visitors at Virginia Military Institute voted Thursday to move the college’s Stonewall Jackson statue.
The decision came after accusations of racism on campus by Black cadets.
After those allegations were made, the university’s superintendent, Ret. Gen. J.H. Bindford Peay III, announced he would resign.
The Board of Visitors released the following statement:
The VMI Board of Visitors today took bold and unanimous action to move VMI forward. The Board ordered the statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson moved from the front of the historic barracks to an appropriate location, perhaps the Battlefield at New Market. The VMI administration will handle the orderly movement of the statue. Additionally, a permanent diversity officer will be appointed at VMI and a permanent diversity and inclusion committee will be established on the Board of Visitors. The Board has also established a search committee which will be led by board member Gene Scott to identify VMI’s next Superintendent. In other action the Board:
- Created a permanent diversity office
- Established a building and naming committee
- Created diversity initiatives to include a focus on gender
- Directed the adoption of VMI hiring practices and a diversity hiring plan
J. William “Bill” Boland, President of the Board of Visitors, said, “I am proud of the commitment by the VMI family to continue fulfilling our mission. VMI, like all aspects of society, must honestly address historical inequities and be intentional about creating a better future. We care deeply about the individual experiences of all of our cadets and alumni. Our mission is just as important today, and tomorrow, as it has been for 181 years.”
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