VMI Graduation Ceremony 2019

VMI Graduation Ceremony 2019

November 5, 2019 6 By Stanley Isaacs


Please remain standing for the playing
of the national anthem by the VMI Regimental Band and the invocation by the
Institute and Corps chaplain, Chaplain Robert Phillips. Good morning. Please join me for the
invocation. Our father God, today we gather in an atmosphere of
excitement and celebration, pride and success, and we rejoice with these 301
soon-to-be VMI graduates and their families. Today, the dream comes true. The
goal is accomplished, and the milestone is surpassed. The ring on their finger,
the diploma in their hand will forever symbolize the work, sacrifice, sweat, and
tears, bonds and memories that have comprised their VMI experience. But today
they begin a new journey, a new race. Lord, let them run this new race with
endurance. May they pursue excellence, exemplify servant leadership, and may
they always stand firmly on the principles of truth, faith, honor and
integrity. Grant them success, guard their course, and protect their way. May they
discern the things that are right and just and fair. May your wisdom into their
hearts and your knowledge be pleasant to their souls. May they have discretion
that protects them, an understanding that guards them. Grant that they might be
bold and confident in their endeavors. Allow them to attain the potential that
you have designed for each of them, but above all else give them a faith that
would never fail. We ask this all in your Holy Name. Amen. Good morning. Mr. Boland, members of
the VMI Board of Visitors, members of the academic board, faculty and staff, family
and friends of today’s graduating cadets, and members of the Corps of Cadets,
welcome to this commencement ceremony, the climax of four years of diligent
study and hard work by the class of 2019. Graduation from VMI is a great personal
achievement, but certainly it is an achievement that cannot be reached alone.
Many others have contributed to the success of today’s graduates: parents and
grandparents, guardians, brothers and sisters, friends, brother rats, faculty,
staff, coaches, host families, to name but a few, and VMI is particularly grateful to parents and grandparents for encouraging
and sustaining their sons and daughters, their grandsons and granddaughters, and
others throughout these cadet years, so may I ask the parents and grandparents
to please stand and receive our thanks. This is certainly a proud day for you. Universities and colleges are many
things to many people, but at the heart of any great institution, I have always
felt, of higher education is its faculty. They are the ones who teach, guide,
counsel, and encourage our cadets on a day-to-day basis. I include in this group
our military staff and those who coach our athletes, for at VMI we
believe that the academic, disciplined military structure and physical aspects
make for a full and complete education. Please join me in expressing our thanks
to the Institute’s faculty. The class of 2019 matriculated in August
2015 with an official strength of 495, and today will graduate 291 cadets and
adding graduates from other classes today’s ceremony will see 303 cadets
cross the stage and receive the VMI diploma. Counting the 157 members of this class who were commissioned yesterday, by the end
of this summer, a total of 162 members of the class of 2019 will have been
commissioned. This means that 54 percent in peace and war, 54 percent of the
graduating class have met or will meet the high requirements for
commissioning in the armed forces. Others will also be commissioned upon
completion of the individual service Officer Candidate School programs in the
late fall. These numbers are especially commendable and reinforce VMI’s historic
mission of producing citizen-soldiers. A number of VMI cadets, staff, and
faculty have been called to active duty in support of the current and long,
long war on terror, thus placing their lives and cadetships temporarily on
hold. In addition, there are parents and family members and others in the
audience this morning who are currently serving or have served, so would all of
you veterans please rise and receive our appreciation for your important service. It is now my pleasure to introduce the
valedictorian for the Class of 2019, cadet Joel Matthews Thomas from
Lincolnton, North Carolina. The valedictorian at VMI is peer elected by
his classmates, and it is truly a high honor. Mr. Thomas majored in biology with
concentrations in biochemistry and molecular biology and minors in
philosophy and literary studies. He served as vice president for the Officer
of the Guard Association and president of the VMI ethics and debate team his
1st Class year, providing high character and principled leadership to
his responsibilities and to his duties. In October, he will attend the University
of Oxford, seeking a master’s of science degree in clinical and therapeutic
neuroscience. Mr. Thomas. Before I start, I have to realize that
several members of the class are looking a bit rough. It’s, you know, Bud Light
food poisoning will get the best of us. it’s truly an honor to be up here. I
didn’t expect to be here and to speak with with General Peay and Eli Facemire,
two of probably the best people I know. It’s truly an honor. It’s like having
the mayor and the preacher and then sending up the village drunk to talk
with them, so it’s truly an honor to be here. So General Peay, General
Moreshi, General Clark, family, friends, loved ones, Corps and members especially
of the Class of 2019, valediction in Latin means roughly to say goodbye, and
so today I’m not speaking to family or friends or even the distinguished people up on the stage with me, but I’m speaking to you, my
brother rats of the Class of 2019. Captain Henry Wise, writer, poet, and a
professor in our very own English department, once told a class of mine that
it takes an incredible amount of idealism to come to VMI, a belief in
something that is almost unfathomable, and throughout this time together, we
have spent four years, and we have come in with a belief in something. It is with
this belief that we came here and we were imbued with an idea of what VMI is
like, what we would do, how we would handle its many rigors. VMI still existed
for us then, as it does on recruiting materials and websites, how it’s shown off
to gullible youngsters on weekends. Four years later, that view of VMI has
faded. For many of us, our view of VMI may be a severely jaded one. The ceremonies
and parades have become tedious. The extra work piled on by academic and
military commitments crowds an already hectic schedule. We have learned not to
trust Crozet fish, anyone who went to a dance with
your BR, and anyone who uses the phrase “training value.” It is a land on the worst
days for us where it seems like colonels acts like corporals, the rules are made
up and you don’t matter. Some of us might be wondering even now what the point of
all the sacrifice, sleepless nights, wasted hours, and panic was. Was there
even a point? If we are to judge ourselves and our experience by the
picture of VMI we had coming in, then we come up severely lacking. However,
fortunately, we should not judge ourselves by that picture, the VMI of our
imaginations in the promotional material, but by the VMI that we have lived, our
VMI. Dear brother rats and other members of the Corps who are graduating
today, the VMI that we have known and experienced is not a place, though it is
intimately tied up with this physical place, but a living, breathing entity, made
of people and experiences, hopes and memories, disappointment and fulfillment,
sadness and joy. We have come through a system, and it has changed us. Our VMI is
something that no one who has not experienced could fully understand, and
no pamphlet could fully explain it. It hasn’t been the same for any of us, and
we have learned our own lessons from it. It stretches wherever we are, and there’s
been such diverse places during our tenure here such as the Alhambra. Our
brother rats in Taiwan and Taipei, Tokyo, Budapest, and even our dear brother rat
Logan Amico, who deployed to Qatar. It is the VMI that is made of us, the Class
of 2019, that we have experienced here, and that we will carry with us. This is
what will remain, after all the memories of all-nighters and tender talks with
Sergeant Echevarria have faded away. This is the real VMI, and
always has been. It is this VMI that will remain in our memories.It is one
that has had its fair share of dark moments. We lost our brother rat Sean Hoang early in the Rat Line. We have seen the
departure of dear friends, sometimes under less than honorable conditions. We
have all had our share of disappointments and failures. To say
otherwise would be a lie. We have all been in situations that have tested our
moral and ethical fiber, have called into question who we are as people. Some of
these situations we’ve handled with distinction. Others will forever stand as lessons learned the hard way. No one who has ever
faced their cadetship with courage and wagered worthwhile stakes has come out
of VMI without their fair share of regrets, of things that they would change if
they could go back. We have learned that decisions have lasting consequences, some
of which will follow us for the rest of our lives. We’ve come up against our
limitations and often been found wanting. Through these struggles, though, we have
gained something. We have changed from a motley crew of cocky high schoolers to
even motlier crew of future officers, doctors and lawyers, pilots and
a major revenue source for distilleries nationwide. We have mentored an entire
class through the Rat Line and into their careers as cadets, and we will always
be proud of the class of 2022. We have consistently come together in times of both
triumph and tragedy. Some of us have already achieved notable things, such as
John David Hatgas going into medical school paid for by the Navy, Annika Tice,
a Fulbright scholar who will teach in Cote d’Ivoire, Alec Hoopes becoming the
top Army cadet in the nation, even Carter Johnson from the class of 2020 is
going to Virginia Tech for his MFA and creative writing. Emory Lieber is already well on his way to becoming the most interesting man in
the world, and Colin Smith has continued to neglect his modeling career in order
to go to dental school. Furthermore, for the first time in the Institute’s
history, over 50 percent of the Rat Disciplinary Committee has learned to read, and Skyler
Willis, Bryan Munoz and the
rest of the Virginia Beach crowd have learned that there’s an entire world of
beaches beyond their beloved 757. We did not achieve this on our own, however. We
owe a lot firstly to each other, and the consistent support we have given each
other over the years. We owe our presence here to our families, loved ones,
supporters, professors, and mentors over the past four years who have shown us
what to do or in some cases what not to do. We also owe a class-wide debt of
gratitude to Hong Kong’s unofficial ambassador to Lexington, Virginia, the
Honorable Mr. Hoy Tong, retired proprietor of the Tong Dynasty,
whose creative interpretation of the legal drinking
age led to our class’s loss of privileges several times. We also owe, on
a more serious note, we owe a sincere debt of gratitude to Eli Facemire,
Benjamin Dixon, and the rest of the class leadership, as well as John Keefe of the
honor court, and I can say, having had the privilege of watching them work up close this
year on the OGA, they have done work that would challenge people of 20 years’
experience and have made gut-wrenching decisions with truly exemplary
discernment and moral courage. On a personal note, I would like to thank my
family for making my VMI experience possible and supporting me even when
they were sure I had lost my mind. Especially, I would like to thank my
grandmothers, Sarah Matthews Holmes and Laura Lemon Thomas, as well as my
grandfathers, departed but still with me in spirit—Elmore Holmes III and
Ronald Buford Thomas Senior. I would also like to thank my professors, especially
my advisor in the biology department Lieutenant Colonel Lilly, and Colonel
Rob McDonald of the dean’s department, as well as the English department
crew has supported me throughout my years here, especially Colonel Miller and
the two-man philosophy team of Dr. Duncan Richter and Reshef Agam-Segal. I would
also like to thank my roommates throughout the years, John Jeff Lebowski,
Tyler “the gnome warden” and rat roommates Ben Dixon, now regimental
commander—I didn’t see that coming—and and football star [inaudible]. I would also like to thank my brethren in Charlie Company and the
esteemed group of cadets going under the name of Electric Boogaloo. These and more
people than I can name right now have helped me make the most of four long
years in the salt mines. This is not the end, however. If it was and we’d peaked at
VMI, we might as well all walk over and put in our applications at the Commandant’s
Office. But it isn’t. But it isn’t, and hopefully we
haven’t. We have a charge laid on us by those who have come before us, and
especially by our sacrifice here, and we have a duty to each
other and ourselves. We have the responsibility of continuing the
struggle we have begun here. The pages stick together. This is extraordinary, but
there we go. We must, as Kipling said, fill the unforgiving minute with 60
seconds of distance. We have the duty of relentlessly refining ourselves, of
making the hard choices and sacrifices, of pushing ourselves to the limit again
and again, in order to become not who we are, but who we have the potential to be.
To quote Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, we were not made for comfort
but for greatness. We have the responsibility to never be comfortable,
sacrificing our potential for the comfortable present. When life throws its worst at us, things that make our struggles here look
insignificant in comparison, we have both the ability and the obligation to attack
it with the same force as it has attacked us and to come out all the
stronger for it. I don’t believe in talking about changing the world, and I
certainly hope the future nuclear weapons officers among us don’t,
but we can change ourselves and do the brotherhood we have formed here proud. We can choose to continue to honor our allegiance to each other throughout our
lives. We can choose to conduct ourselves with the basic VMI values of wisdom,
courage, honor, and strength, every day and when we come to the shores at the end of
this life, we will be beached as we must be, old, broken in, infirm, but beached
leviathans, nonetheless. The author Cormac McCarthy once said, you don’t know what
worse luck your bad luck has saved you from, but I know for certain that the
luck that has brought me to VMI has saved me from the terrible fate of
never knowing you all. Ladies and gentlemen, brother rats, to
call it an honor would be an understatement. It has been a pleasure.
Rah one-nine! Thank you, Mr. Thomas. At this time, the
president of the 1st Class, Cadet Eli Facemire, psychology major from Radford,
Virginia, will provide short farewell remarks to his class. Mr. Facemire. General and Mrs. Peay, distinguished guests, family and friends,
good morning and welcome to the graduation of the Class of 2019.
My name is Eli Facemire, and I’ve had the honor of serving this graduating
class as their president for the past three years and look forward to doing so
after graduation. In a brief moment, I will introduce today’s keynote speaker,
but before I do so, I’d like to take this opportunity to address my brother rats
one final time before we enter the prestigious ranks of VMI alumni.
Therefore, please bear with us as we enjoy our final moment together. Brother
rats, I promise not to get too sappy or somber, as I often have been known to do,
but I also promise to not hide the feelings I have for you guys and which I
know we all have for one another. We’re crazy for each other, I know. Even if we
haven’t admitted it yet due to any resentment we may have towards the
system, we all have at least a small desire to remain forever within shouting
distance of 300 of our closest friends. But why is that feeling so strong? I know
it’s a cliche to explain it as being the result of shared suffering, but that is
indeed what has led us to this oneness we experience today.
More than that, the suffering we endured was, compared to most recent classes, felt
on a level beyond the physical. Our suffering was felt beyond any courtyard
sweat party, any frozen turf field, any late-night cram session, or even the
injuries acquired from a class-wide fight club. While at VMI, our class experienced something most classes don’t encounter
until they are well removed from the 16th of May. The loss of our BR Sean Hoang
on 21 September 2015 did shake us deeply, but ultimately it
became the essence of the spirit of our class, the spirit of one-nine. Suddenly we
realize that no one is guaranteed another day on this earth, no matter how
young, and that we, like Sean, must live life fully, holding nothing back in our
work, our relationships, ensuring that if the day we were in should be our last, we
too could depart with contentment. This spirit which we have boasted in and in which we shall continue to boast displayed itself in our work, play, and
goals. Rat year we drank out of the fire hose of VMI wisdom, in a somewhat
vain effort to prepare ourselves for the cadetship ahead, not expecting that it
could get any worse. Then third class year arrived, and as impure gold enters a
fiery furnace, we entered the loneliest year of the Institute. Our dykes were
gone and everyone, even the rats, thought we were still rats. Second class year,
we began to arise from that furnace. We proudly received the gold VMI
class ring, with which we could then begin to physically identify with, as we too
were only steps from purification. After recovering from our ring figure
celebrations we underwent a season of final pruning, in which our class lost
some members who had lost touch with the spirit of one-nine, and in which we as
individuals began to experience enlightenment as to what this grand
experience of VMI is trying to accomplish. As dykes this year, we
conveyed this newfound wisdom to our rats, and even though these lessons
didn’t always yield immediate results, we took heart that some day, as was the case
for us, they too would recall everything their dyke had preached and exemplified.
And finally, here we are. We have every cause to celebrate. Our time as cadets
may be over, but the spirit of one-nine will never pass away. I love you BRs, and I trust that our love from one another will only continue to grow from
now until forever. Thank you. Members of the graduating class of 2019,
it may have seemed to you that as you were going through your four-year cadetship at VMI that the years were progressing slowly, especially during the
dark ages of winter and other demanding times, but now I am willing to wager that
you’re thinking that the years actually seemed to have passed very, very quickly.
At VMI, as the years passed by, certain moments, as mentioned by the previous two
speakers, stand out as important markers or milestones along the way, such as
taking your cadet oath at New Market or the day you broke out of the Rat Line,
which in your case was clearly the coldest, most bitter Breakout weather in
VMI’s long history, and you did it very, very well, and then you became to be
known as the class affectionately says, the one-nine, or maybe the special memory
was your Ring Figure and receiving your coveted ring. Perhaps a great party at
Zollman’s or a special hop. You participated as the largest marching
unit in two inaugural parades: one for President Trump, the other for Governor
Northam. You were present as the nation passed the important milestone of
America’s entry in the First World War, and now in this year, the hundredth
anniversary of the peace negotiations that ended that war. You were diligent in
your duty to running a most professional Rat Line, running the military class and
honor systems, and your class was particularly proficient in the classroom,
performing with academic excellence. As a sign of the excellence of your classes
previously mentioned, you produced the top Marine Corps OCS graduate and the
top Army ROTC cadet in the nation, and a classmate was selected as a Fulbright
scholar, among many other class and individual honors this year. Small note,
your class, impacted by weather, marched the fewest parades this year in recorded
VMI’s history, and clearly the Corps rain dances overrode my weather machine’s
predictions. Now you have reached the final milestone of your time at the
Institute, commencement. Each of you will have his or her own personal milestone
to remember and to celebrate and you take them with you as you depart for the
last time. Today you celebrate your success in meeting the challenges and
requirements of a VMI education. Now you set your sights on new goals. There is no
fixed formula for achieving success, of course, but what I can say with some
certainty is that success is a matter of knowledge, of skill, of hard work, of
learned wisdom, and yes, luck. The first two, knowledge and skill, are closely related.
Knowledge is something that you acquire through life experiences and education.
Skill is what you’re able to do and do well with that knowledge. Skill is doing,
built on a firm foundation of knowing. You will build a reputation for your
competency at each important phase of your life’s journey, and particularly I
would stress competency in your early years as you depart the Institute. As your past educational experiences have demonstrated, you can
develop knowledge and skill. There are things that you can acquire through
careful attention, through study, perseverance. Thus continuing education
for the rest of your life and honing your skills over these periods are
important requirements for your future. I continue to believe that despite some of
the current social declarations today, hard work in America, hard work in
America is still a competitive advantage, as it has been throughout our history
from our nation’s earliest days. You know it brings excellence, and
it brings intangibles. Hard work brings a steadiness to life, and joy to
accomplishments and success. It is also a bedrock. Hard work is a bedrock of wisdom.
Wisdom, you know, there’s a story about an old general being interviewed at the end
of his career by a young reporter who asks the old man to what he attributed
his great achievements and successes, and the general thought for a moment, and he
barked his reply, “Good judgment.” And the reporter, who was a bit taken aback by such
abruptness, followed quickly with another: General, well then, general, to
what do you attribute your good judgment? And the general, with a hint of a smile and
a little bit of a wink, replied, “Bad judgment.” Given that standard, I’m
certainly I’m in a good position to say something of value to you this morning,
for you see, I have the wisdom of many, many errors. Many, many errors.
Perhaps the immediate lesson is that when you get knocked down, get up. You have already experienced that through your four years here,
whether in the Rat Line, the classroom, the military or on the athletic field, and
recall that this year’s leadership conference’s theme was “Grit and the American Character.” Thank goodness I have had leaders who
allowed me to learn from my mistakes. Hard work and gaining wisdom are
important requirements for your future. Luck, on the other hand, is largely out of
our control, is not something we consciously acquire. It happens or it
doesn’t happen, and usually it does happen to us. As you know, the idea of
luck been around for centuries. The Greeks and the Romans had gods who are
the personification of luck. These gods were usually pictured as veiled or blind,
and that is why we speak of blind luck. Some have used the term chance, and
others have called it fortune, as in the wheel of fortune that stops no one knows
where. Some speak of it as being in the right place at the right time, or how
about just the opposite—being in the wrong place at the wrong time,
and recently people have contemporarily described luck as sometimes you bite the
bear. Sometimes the bear bites you. But is luck entirely out of our control?
There are many messages that you take from VMI, particularly the speakers
these past two days, but if you leave the Institute with no other message, I hope
it will be this: to a great extent you can make your own luck, particularly
through hard work and learned wisdom, and here’s what I mean. Having succeeded in
four years of VMI, you have already started down that road of making your
own luck. You’re prepared, morally mentally, and physically to meet many
challenges of life. You have learned how to organize, manage time, break down a
problem, think under pressure, exercise leadership, and always with honor. You
have a great institution at your back. You may not know that today or tomorrow,
but trust me, you have a great institution at your back. But beyond that
now, you must cultivate the ability to recognize new opportunities when they
arrive and the ability to alter your plans to head and new in unexpected
directions. Keep your eyes open. See the possibilities. Now, does this mean that
you should sail through life without a compass or no life plan? Absolutely not. Remain steady on course, but do not get locked in to one path or one outlook. The
world is truly an uncertain place today. Today we know people change careers
three or four times in a lifetime, and they change jobs as often. Many say
that the new 60 years is 45 years. Should you chase every flicker of
opportunity? No, but keep your eyes open for those flickers, and as that wonderful
Boy Scout motto says, be prepared. I urge you to keep yourself open to new ideas
and new directions. Take time to reflect. Take time to reflect. Now that’s a little
bit different than smelling the roses, and smelling the roses is also important,
but reflect on where you are and where you’re going, and always continue to grow.
Work for really good, decent, high character leaders. Work for really good,
decent, high character leaders. My experience is that they will work you.
They will critique you. They probably will be demanding, but they care, and they
will prepare you early in your career for the near-term challenges of where
the rubber meets the road today, and they certainly will grow you for much greater
responsibilities that will be on your plate much sooner than you can ever
envision this morning. For, you see, great leaders care deeply about their
subordinates, and they get their greatest satisfaction from their successes, read
your successes. Now, your instincts are the first cousins of wisdom. Trust them.
Take the initiative. Be bold, not reckless nor fear. Think before you act.
Listen, as we have talked these four years—listen with your eyes and your
ears. Our country has lost that important trait. We talk too much. Keep your eyes on
special leaders and learn from their successes and their mistakes, and finally,
be an out front, thoughtful, caring, quiet thinking leader who turns luck to
your advantage. Be a leader who brings good luck to others, and when you have
setbacks or when bad luck visits you, as happens to all of us, learn from your
failures, and no matter what you think and no
matter how dark the situation, opportunities and possibilities are
always out there. Grab those opportunities. Knowledge, skill, hard work,
learned wisdom, and luck—together, in many ways, they make up life. In many ways, they
are foundational now for the world that you’re entering. That world is full of
promise, as well as today, certainly, great dangers and threats. We live in an era of
traumatic change, social upheaval, and knowing cynicism. Many question the
fundamental values that have guided our nation and our people for over two
centuries. Many complain about problems, while doing little to solve them. Many
sit, wait, and just hope that things will turn out well, and this is not the first
time in our young history’s nation that we have faced such challenges, but we
must reject such passive attitudes. We must stand firm in the conviction that
America possesses the physical, the intellectual, and the moral strength to
be an inspiring, strong, and respected leader in the world community. America
has what it takes to promote a safer, freer, and more prosperous world, and
while we cannot solve every problem or right every wrong or respond to every
natural or man-made disaster, we certainly as Americans cannot ignore our
global responsibilities and remain true to our national values, so as you leave
today, make it your mission, your objective to ensure that your families,
your communities and our nation remain secure, faithful to its ideals, a
beacon of hope for the rest of the world, and capable of building a bright future
for your families and for the rest of America. Each graduating class has heard
me say this now over the past 15 years. Hold on your concept of honor, the very
bedrock of VMI. People will hold you to a higher
standard because you are a VMI graduate. This high expectation cannot be avoided.
As they say, it comes with the ring, the commission, and the diploma. Embrace it
now as the heritage that has been passed on to you, and always strive to preserve
and enhance it. The class of 2019 now goes into the VMI history book with
demonstrated pride in its faithfulness to the Institute’s high ideals and from
a historical perspective and a legacy, a splendid, splendid reputation.
Congratulations. I join the VMI faculty and staff in wishing each of you the
very best of all that life has to offer. The open road now awaits you. Godspeed,
class of ’19. Let’s all give this great class a round of applause. It is now my pleasure to present the
awards for highest achievement to members of the graduating class. Will
cadets whose names are called please come to the steps as they are announced by
General Moreschi, our dean. The first Jackson-Hope Medal for highest
attainment in scholarship, accompanied by the Commander Harry Millard Mason
Academic Proficiency Award, a cash prize to the recipient of the first Jackson-
Hope Medal, is presented to Cadet John Kerry O’Donnell. Cadet O’Donnell is a distinguished
graduate with Institute Honors majoring in economics and business with
concentrations in global management and financial management and a minor in
mathematics. The second Jackson-Hope Medal for second
highest attainment in scholarship, accompanied by the Colonel Sterling
Murrray Heflin 1916 Academic Proficiency award, a cash prize awarded to the
recipient of the second Jackson-Hope Medal, is presented to Cadet Anthony
Joseph Sposato. Cadet Sposato is a distinguished
graduate majoring in civil engineering with a minor in mathematics. He
commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and is a
distinguished Naval graduate. The Society of the Cincinnati Medal is
awarded to that member of the graduating class who has distinguished himself or
herself by efficiency of service and excellence of character while at VMI. The
Cincinnati medal is accompanied by two cash prizes: the Richard J. Marshall Award
and the Sumter L. Lowry Award. The 2019 Cincinnati medal is presented to Cadet John Kerry O’Donnell. Cadet O’Donnell is a distinguished
graduate with institute Honors majoring in economics and business. The recipient
of the 2019 Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States
Leadership Award, this year he served as regimental S1 captain and captain of the
VMI lacrosse team. Will all the candidates for graduation
please rise? The academic board has presented to the Board of Visitors 175
candidates for the bachelor of science degree and 128 candidates for the
bachelor of arts degree, all of whom have been certified to have completed the
requirements for graduation from the Virginia Military Institute. General Peay. By
the authority of law vested in the Board of Visitors and faculty, I confer upon
each of you a diploma in testimony of your being a graduate of the Virginia
Military Institute and award you the bachelor’s degree appropriate to your
major field of study. Institute Honor graduates and graduates distinguished in
general merit will be called first and receive a distinguished graduate
certificate. Please be seated and come forward to the platform as your course
groups are called. We are pleased to recognize 17 cadets who have been
certified as distinguished graduates with Institute Honors. This honor is bestowed
only on those who have earned at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average while
completing the requirements of their majors and minors, as well as the
additional requirements of VMI’s Institute Honors curriculum. This would
be a rare achievement in any college or university but is particularly
noteworthy here, given the co-curricular demands placed on cadets
by the very unique VMI educational system. We’re also pleased to take
special note of 49 graduates who have been been certified as distinguished
graduates. These cadets have completed their curricula with a cumulative grade
point average in excess of 3.5—again, a remarkable achievement. Distinguished graduates with Institute
Honors, Demetra Joanne Protogyrou, bachelor of science in applied
mathematics, minor in physics. Shang-Cheng Su, bachelor of science in applied
mathematics, minor in Spanish, ensign, Republic of China Navy. John David Hatgas, bachelor of science
in biology, concentration in biochemistry and molecular biology. Joel Matthews
Thomas, bachelor of science in biology, concentration in biochemistry and
molecular biology, minors in philosophy and literary studies. Meredith Claire
Jaroneski, bachelor of science in civil engineering, minor in chemistry. Kirk
Charles Kalian, bachelor of science in computer science,
second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Brian Gabriel Hill, bachelor of science
in electrical and computer engineering. Clayton Douglas Penney, bachelor of
science in electrical and computer engineering, minor in mathematics. Robert Lee Fricke II, bachelor of
science in mechanical engineering, minors in German and mathematics, ensign, United States Navy. Timothy Scott Hayes Jr., bachelor of
science in mechanical engineering concentration in aerospace engineering,
minor in mathematics, second lieutenant, United States Air
Force. John Kerry O’Donnell, bachelor of arts in economics and business,
concentrations in global management and financial management, minor in
mathematics. Carter Davis Johnson, bachelor of arts in
English, concentrations in literary studies, philosophy, and rhetoric and
writing, honors in English. Quinn Eileen Conrad, bachelor of arts in international
studies, double major in modern languages and cultures, minors in Asian Studies
and national security, second lieutenant, United States Army. Eleanor Brigitta Hendren, bachelor of
arts in international studies, minor in national security. Calvin A. Lawson,
bachelor of arts in international studies, minor in economics, second
lieutenant, United States Army, distinguished military graduate. Emmanuel James Mendoza Ocampo, bachelor of arts in international studies, double major in modern languages and cultures,
minors in Middle Eastern studies, national security, and history, second
lieutenant, United States Army, distinguished military graduate. William
Post Reeves, bachelor of arts in modern languages and cultures, minors in Middle
Eastern studies and national security, second lieutenant, United States Air
Force. Distinguished graduates. Justin Tyler Moore, bachelor of science
in applied mathematics, ensign, United States Navy. Evan Oliver McCuaig, bachelor of science
in biology. Daniel Taylor Chisner, bachelor of
science in chemistry, honors in chemistry, second lieutenant, United
States Marine Corps, distinguished Naval graduate, Marine Corps. Colton Jacob Curry, bachelor of science in chemistry, honors in chemistry,
second lieutenant United States Army, distinguished military graduate. Wei-Che Hsieh, bachelor of science in chemistry, minor in mathematics,
second lieutenant, Republic of China Army. John Tyler Fedison, bachelor of science
in civil engineering. Logan Christian Hall, bachelor of science
in civil engineering. Alec G. Hoopes, bachelor of science in civil engineering,
minor in mathematics, second lieutenant, United States Army,
distinguished military graduate. Patrick William Murphy, bachelor of
science in civil engineering, minor in mathematics, second lieutenant, United States Air Force, distinguished Air Force graduate. Jacob Louis Paladino, bachelor of science
in civil engineering, second lieutenant, United States Army. Anthony Joseph
Sposato, bachelor of science in civil engineering, minor in mathematics,
second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps, distinguished Naval graduate,
Marine Corps. Corey Angelo Taylor, bachelor of science in civil engineering. Tyler Austin Thacker, bachelor of science
in computer science. George Leonard Hempt II, bachelor of science in
electrical and computer engineering, minor in mathematics. Kishan Satish Patel, bachelor of science
in electrical and computer engineering, second lieutenant, United States Army. Drake Logan Singh, bachelor of science in electrical and computer engineering. Kevin J. Bishop, bachelor of science in
mechanical engineering, concentration in nuclear engineering, minor in mathematics,
second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Jonathan Terkelsen Chamberlain,
bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, concentration in nuclear
engineering, minor in mathematics. Adam Gai Crum, bachelor of science in
mechanical engineering, concentration in nuclear engineering, minors in
mathematics and physics, second lieutenant, United States Army,
distinguished military graduate. Reese Reese Michael Laferriere, bachelor of science
in mechanical engineering, minor in mathematics, second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Joseph Bradbury Lewers, bachelor of
science in mechanical engineering, concentration in nuclear engineering,
minor in mathematics, ensign, United States Navy. Alexander
Robert Royston, bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, concentration in
nuclear engineering, minor in physics. James Evans Seal, bachelor of science in
mechanical engineering, minor in mathematics, ensign, United States Navy. David Doyle Smith, bachelor of science in
mechanical engineering, concentration in nuclear engineering, minor in mathematics. Alexander Peter Spiro Dedousis, bachelor
of science in physics, minors in mathematics and nuclear engineering,
ensign, United States Navy. Sarah Michelle Dolitsky, bachelor of science in
psychology, minor in rhetoric and writing, honors in psychology, second lieutenant,
United States Army, distinguished military graduate. Cameron Michael Jones, bachelor of
science in psychology, honors in psychology. Sohrab Ahmad Shaikh, bachelor
of science in psychology, honors in psychology, second lieutenant, United
States Army. Nicholas Edward Williams, bachelor of
science in psychology, honors in psychology, ensign United States Navy ,distinguished Naval graduate. Caroline Anna Wojtas,
bachelor of science in psychology, minor in exercise science, honors in
psychology. Samuel Joseph Green, bachelor of arts in economics and business,
concentration in global management, minor in Arabic, second lieutenant, United
States Air Force. Zachary Nicholas Herring, bachelor of
arts in economics and business, second lieutenant, United States Army,
distinguished military graduate. Tara Ann James, bachelor of arts in
economics and business, ensign, United States Navy, distinguished Naval graduate. Wongtawan Langkafa,
bachelor of arts in economics and business, concentration in financial
management, honors in economics and business, second lieutenant, Royal Thai
Army. Robert Austin Rash, bachelor of arts in economics and business. Ethan Westcott Smith, bachelor of arts in
economics and business. Reid Miller Vincentz, bachelor of arts
in economics and business, concentration in financial management, minor in
international studies, second lieutenant, United States Army. Yuri James Panchik, bachelor of arts in
English, concentrations in literary studies and rhetoric and writing. Madden
Andrews Chapman, bachelor of arts in history, concentration in military
history, minor in rhetoric and writing, honors in history,
second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps, distinguished Naval graduate,
Marine Corps. Andrew Maxwell Hunt, bachelor of arts in history, double major
in English, concentrations in rhetoric and writing and military history, honors
in English, second lieutenant, United States Army. Andrew James Schifalacqua, bachelor of
arts in history, concentration in military history, honors in history,
second lieutenant, United States Army, distinguished military graduate. Joshua
Kosti Shirvanian Wolfe, bachelor of arts in history, concentration in military
history, minors in philosophy and Spanish, ensign, United States Navy. Henry Francis Cascella, bachelor of arts
in international studies, second lieutenant, United States Army. Jordan Mastin Farmer, bachelor of arts in
international studies, minors in national security and Spanish, second lieutenant,
United States Army, distinguished military graduate. Carter Thomas
McCausland, bachelor of arts in international studies, minors and
national security and history. Kristian Alexander Perez, bachelor of arts in
international studies, minors in history Middle Eastern Studies, and national
security. Dillon Michael Sirbaugh, bachelor of arts in
international studies, double major in modern languages and cultures. Benjamin
William Muir Armstrong, bachelor of arts in modern languages and cultures, double
major in international studies, second lieutenant, United States Army. Tyler Edward Hamilton, bachelor of arts
in modern languages and cultures, double major in international studies, minors
in national security and Asian studies, second lieutenant, United States Army,
distinguished military graduate. The bachelor of science degree in applied
mathematics. John Mackie Chase, second lieutenant, United States Army. Mu-Chi Lu, with distinction, second
lieutenant, Republic of China Army. Barry James Thaxton Jr., second lieutenant,
United States Army. Dolan O’Connor Walsh, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Jacob William Wentworth, with distinction,
minors in astronomy and physics, second lieutenant, United States Air Force,
distinguished Air Force graduate. Kuan-Wei Yu ,with distinction,
second lieutenant, Republic of China Air Force. The bachelor of science degree in
biology. Tyler Matthew Bernero, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Taylor Morgan Callahan, second lieutenant,
United States Army. John Joseph Cicala Jr., minor in chemistry, second lieutenant,
United States Air Force. Mason Lee Dermott, minor in exercise
science. Brady Scott Gannon. Mark Cole Green, with
distinction, ensign, United States Navy. Heath Cole Hylton, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Charles Hunter Martin, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Grant Hunter Morgan, with distinction, minor in chemistry. Angela Elizabeth Mullins, with
distinction. Thomas Andrew Nicholson, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Chase Randall Wheeler Orrell, with
distinction, second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Zachary Taylor Pawlikowski, with distinction, minor in psychology, second lieutenant, United
States Army. Christian Chiang Vaccarro. The bachelor of science degree in
chemistry. Cecilia Rose Keppeler, minor in mathematics,
ensign, United States Navy. Colin Dennis Smith, with distinction, second
lieutenant, United States Army. William Allen Wampler, with distinction, second
lieutenant, United States Army. Christopher Kevin Webber, with distinction,
minor in physics, honors in chemistry. The bachelor of science degree in civil
engineering. Miguel Alejandro Arrate Garcia. John Reynolds Bove, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Austin Lee Burke. Noah Spencer Cote, minor in mathematics, second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Brandon Alexander Crespo. Aaron Christopher Cusick, second
lieutenant, United States Army. Benjamin Christopher Dixon, with distinction,
ensign, United States Navy, distinguished Naval graduate. James John Gill II, with distinction, ensign, United States Navy. Brian William
Halpin. Zachary Alan Hering, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Brian Keith Johnson, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Army, John Buckley Keefe Jr. Ryan Matthew Kilgus, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Corey Tristan Kite. Stephen Edward Kochy, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Uzoma Ikenna Kpaduwa. John Steele Lamade II, with
distinction, second lieutenant, United States Army,
distinguished military graduate. Robert Walter Massie IV. Zachary
Hudson McBride, with distinction, second lieutenant, United States Army. Brandon Charles-Robert Morgan, with
distinction. Seamus William O’Connell, second
lieutenant, United States Army. Abdihakim Mohamud Omar, with
distinction. Michael Patrick O’Neill Jr., with
distinction, ensign, United States Navy. Luke Cullop
Patterson. Charles Stephen Pitchford, with distinction, minor in mathematics. John
Paul Reed Jr., with distinction, second lieutenant, United States Army. Campbell Robert Rutherford, with
distinction, minor in mathematics, second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps. Jessica Layne Slakman, with distinction. Corbin David Stynes. Thomas Nelson Tavenner. Zachary William Thoele, minor in
mathematics. Kyle Michael Walsh, second lieutenant,
United States Marine Corps. Derek Montana Wilson, with distinction,
ensign, United States Navy. Matthew Aaron Zwiren. The bachelor of science degree in
computer science. Luke Howard Boyd IV, second lieutenant, United States
Air Force. Peter William Boyle, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Roger Dale Causey, with distinction, minor
in cyber security, second lieutenant United States Army. Madison Mae Curran. Eric Andrew Deloriea, with distinction,
minor in business. Oladokun J.A. Oluwasean Ekundayo, with distinction, minor in cyber security.
Juliet Jewel Esnardo. Kerrie Anne Lightfoot, second lieutenant, United
States Army. Jamie Madison Lindsay. Harena Marly Ly, minor in mathematics. Joshua Adam Miller, minor in psychology,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Craig Alen Miranda. Christopher Luke Perdieu. Charles Craig Remig, second lieutenant,
United States Air Force. Ryan L. Russell. Robert Carlson Starling. Jeybriel Taven Townsend, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Jonathan Patrick Turney. Nikolos Alexander Van Leer,
ensign, United States Navy. Anthony Jared Walton, with distinction,
minor in physics, second lieutenant, United States Army,
distinguished military graduate. Isaac Isaac Gage Wampler, second lieutenant, United States Army. The bachelor of science degree in electrical and computer engineering. Aaron Richard Bartoe. Kori Beth Hadinger, with distinction. David Michael Hair, with distinction. Gerald Patterson Hempt, with distinction. Oscar Enrique Lloyds, with
distinction. Jonathan Andres Martinez, second lieutenant, United States Army. Luke Alexander Ridenour, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Theodore Castelli Ryan, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps. Bret Michael Tomajczk, with distinction. Johnathan Quocnghi Tran, with distinction,
minor in mathematics, ensign, United States Navy. Benjamin
George Wagner, minor in mathematics. The bachelor of science degree in
mechanical engineering. Logan Cole Adams, with distinction,
concentration in nuclear engineering, minor in mathematics. Andrew Stewart
Arlint, minor in mathematics, ensign, United States Navy. Nathanael Isaac
Bailey, with distinction, concentration in nuclear engineering, minors in
mathematics and physics, second lieutenant, United States Army. Stephen Luke Hillman, with distinction,
concentration in nuclear engineering, minor in mathematics,
second lieutenant, United States Army, distinguished military graduate. Bradley
John Mihalec. Caroline Nguyen, concentration in nuclear
engineering. Logan Wayne Palmer, concentration in
aerospace engineering, minor in mathematics, second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Jackson Blue Price, with
distinction, concentration in nuclear engineering, minor in mathematics,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Colin Edward Rice, with distinction,
concentration in nuclear engineering, minor in mathematics,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Corey Jacob Smith, concentration in
nuclear engineering. The bachelor of science degree in physics. Kevin Atkinson Bromberger, minor in mathematics. Jack Thomas Casey, minor in
astronomy, second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps. Matthew Henry Cotton. Gunnar Wolfgang Eichler, minor in
mathematics, second lieutenant, United States Army. Lucas Lake Hidalgo, minor in mathematics,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Jake Kent Johnson, minor in astronomy. Lane Patrick Kieler, with distinction, minors in mathematics and astronomy, second lieutenant, United States Marine
Corps. Michael Xavier Meier, minor in astronomy. Jonathan Rockford Murray, with
distinction, minor in mathematics, second lieutenant, United States Army. Sean Devin Newton. Jeremiah Edwin Nu’eau Norman,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Joshua Pride Stacy, with distinction,
minor in mathematics, second lieutenant, United States Army,
distinguished military graduate. Nicholas James Zimmermann, minor in mathematics,
second lieutenant, United States Army. The bachelor of science degree in psychology.
Megan Elizabeth Ayers, minor in art history and visual culture. Jeremiah Seth Brown. Cole Stuart Brummitt. John Joseph Camarella. Eli Bishop Daniel Facemire. Clayton Nathaniel Hogge. Nathan
David Kirk, second lieutenant, United States Army. Patrick Martin Layman. Amber Marissa
Nicole Levy, with distinction, minors in philosophy and rhetoric and writing,
honors in psychology. William Gray Morris. Brian Anthony Munoz, with distinction
second lieutenant, United States Army. Alex Christopher Oden. Yun Yeong Park,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Abigail Ruth Schlemmer, second lieutenant,
United States Marine Corps. Adrian Paul Garcia Sison, second
lieutenant, United States Marine Corps. Stevan R. Smith. Thaddeus Stevenson-Panchisin, second lieutenant, United States Army. Norman Garrett St. Laurent. Robert Austin Vereen, minor in exercise
science. Montana Carrington White, with
distinction, minor in rhetoric and writing, honors in psychology. The bachelor of arts degree in biology. Stevie Joshua Cooke. Samantha Rae Fuller. Emily Christine Kirk, concentration in
ecology and organismal sciences, minor in art history and visual culture. Leslie Carter Lentz. Nathan D.Andre Mumford, minor in rhetoric
and writing, second lieutenant, United States Army. Julio Angel Negron-Ocasio, minor
in psychology, second lieutenant, United States Army. Tiffany Grace Quick. Brenea Elysse Thomas, second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Virginia Curran Villani, with
distinction, minor in exercise science. The bachelor of arts degree in economics
and business. Michael Anthony Banholzer, second lieutenant, United States Marine
Corps. Timothy Frank Barile, concentration in
global management. Tyler Hunter Brock, concentration in
global management, minor in leadership studies, second lieutenant, United States
Air Force. Tristan John Capes-Davis, with
distinction, concentration in financial management. Samuel Coffman Coleman,
concentration in global management. Jameson Harper Donahue, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps. Ryan Vaughn Edsall, with distinction,
concentration in global management, minor in philosophy, second lieutenant,
United States Army, distinguished military graduate. Jacob Salvatore Ferraro Patrick Michael Fowler, with distinction, concentration in financial management, minor in computer and information sciences. Clayton Gardner. William Shapard Gehl, concentrations in
financial management and global management, second lieutenant, United
States Army. Jahir C. Hill, with distinction. Jacob D. Huggins. Austin Marshall Hughes,
minor in leadership studies, second second lieutenant, United States Army. Bennett McDowell Johnson, with distinction, concentration in financial management. Adam Willis Josephson, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Army, distinguished military graduate. Dustin Levi Kanney. Keniya Ashanti Lee. Thomas Jackson Mitchell Jr., with distinction, concentrations in financial management
and global management. Carson D. Motley. Vincent Isaiah Parker, with distinction,
minor in psychology. Andrew Chesterman Pearson, with
distinction, concentration in global management. Cody Walker Peregoy. John Heydt Philbeck Jr., second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Ryan Charles Smoot, with distinction. Kevin James Spears, with distinction,
double major in history, concentration in global management, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Alexander Morgan Tucker, second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps. Skyler Benjamin Willis. Mason Rives Worsham, with distinction,
minor in leadership studies, second lieutenant, United States Air Force,
distinguished Air Force graduate. The bachelor of arts degree in English. Lee Burton Adams, concentrations in literary studies and rhetoric and writing. Michael Jarren Bertram, concentrations in literary studies and rhetoric and
writing. Benjamin McLemore Outland, with distinction, concentrations in literary
studies and rhetoric and writing. Nicholas Paul Schweers, concentration in
rhetoric and writing. The bachelor of arts degree in history. Graham Wyatt Ellison, second lieutenant, United States Army. Lynwood Chase Buchanan, minor in
psychology, second lieutenant, United United States Army. Caleb C. Cabello, with distinction,
concentration in military history, second lieutenant, United States Army,
distinguished military graduate. Blake Elizabeth Liberty Cashin. Kyle Eric Coons, second lieutenant, United
States Army. John Cabell Gorman, minor in rhetoric and writing. Steven Kyle Hylton, double major in
modern languages and cultures, second lieutenant, United States Army. Cameron M. Jones, with distinction, second
lieutenant, United States Army. Patrick Francis McPartlin, with
distinction, concentration in military history, minor in international studies,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Ian MacKenzie Morris. Sean Conner Rhodes,
second lieutenant, United States Army. John G. Ryan. Dylan Dennis Sharanweber. Tyler Wilkins Topping, with distinction,
concentration in military history, minors in international studies and rhetoric and writing. Richard Donald Wilson, with distinction, concentration in military
history, minor in rhetoric and writing, second lieutenant, United States Army. The bachelor of arts degree in International studies. Peyton Hargis Bembry, minor in
French. Cole Francis Bloomer, minor in Arabic. Conor William Ward Bremer, minor in
history, second lieutenant, United States Army. Timothy Carter Butt, second
lieutenant, United States Army. Coleman Lee Callaway, minor in Asian studies. Joshua Lamar Chapman, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Richard Benjamin Cordle. Olivia-Aman Ijeoma Cotton, with
distinction, double major in modern languages and cultures. Alec Tobias Daniel, minor in Arabic. Eric Hudson Farleigh, with distinction, minor in philosophy. J. Owen Finley, second lieutenant, United
States Army Joseph Arthur Flynn, with distinction,
minor in Spanish. John R. Forehand Jr., second
lieutenant, United States Marine Corps. Hannah Margaret Gillan, with distinction,
minor in national security, second lieutenant, United States Army,
distinguished military graduate. Nikko Andryan Gouw. Sydney Morgan Hays,
minor in Spanish. Bryce Holden, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Maxwell Louis Horowitz, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Joseph Kevin Johnson, with distinction,
minor in Asian Studies, second lieutenant, United States Army. Blake Osborne Jones,
second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Harry Clayton Leib. Steven Paul Midkiff, with distinction,
minor in Arabic, ensign, United States Navy. Riley Joy Neary, with distinction, minor
in literary studies, second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps. Merit Abraham Patterson, minor in history, second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps. Cody Bryan Rainey, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Liam Philip Patrick Hayes McCollum
Roden, with distinction. Andrew Ryan Rundquist, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Air Force. Thomas Michael Smith Jr. Trevor Samuel Smith. Brody Andrew Taylor, with distinction,
second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps. Adam Michael Trice, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Ryan Matthew Uher, with distinction,
minor in Spanish, second lieutenant, United States Army. Ryan Eric Uzzell, double major in modern
languages and cultures, second lieutenant, United States Army. Jacob William Van
Dyke, with distinction, minor in national security and Asian studies,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Isela Teresa Vazquez, with distinction,
minor in Spanish, second lieutenant, United States Army. Tyler Harrison Warden. Andrew Zhang, with distinction, minors in
Asian studies and Spanish. The bachelor of arts degree in modern languages and cultures. Jacob Dean Drake, with distinction, second
lieutenant, United States Army, distinguished military graduate. Emory Allen Lieber, second lieutenant, United States Army. Nolan James Lipscomb, with distinction. Samuel Gray Norman. Alexander Cage Schalton, second lieutenant,
United States Army. Annika Kristyl Tice, with distinction, double major in English,
concentrations in rhetoric and writing and literary studies, honors in English,
second lieutenant, United States Army. Joseph Michael Wilkins. Josiah Steele Womack. Ladies and gentlemen, please remain
seated while the chaplain pronounces the benediction, after which the Virginia
Military Institute Regimental Band will play the VMI Spirit. The new regimental
commander, Cadet Austin William Stansberry, will then publish brief orders,
after which this commencement ceremony is adjourned. One-nine, I’d like to share with
you the blessing that Chaplain Park shared with your dykes in 2016. May the
Lord give you the vision of Francis H. Smith. May he give you the faith of
Stonewall Jackson. May he give you the wisdom of George C. Marshall. May he give
you the compassion of Jonathan Daniels, so that the Institute will be heard from
in your day. May God bless the Class of 2019. Amen.
Go out and make a difference. Leave of absence until 2200 25th August,
2019, is hereby granted to all cadets. Cadets returning from furlough must
register at the guard room before that time. The Class of 2019 is hereby
relieved from duty.