The Cadet Foundation is an IRS approved 501c3 Public Charity completely independent of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) itself and the VMI Alumni Agencies with a goal to support aspects of the Virginia Military Institute’s mission “to produce educated, honorable men and women, prepared for the varied work of civil life, imbued with love of learning, confident in the functions and attitudes of leadership, possessing a high sense of public service, advocates of the American Democracy and free enterprise system, and ready as citizen-soldiers to defend their country in time of national peril.” 

The Cadet Foundation was formed and will remain completely independent of the Alumni Agencies and VMI, as any independent organization should. While we will maintain strict separation from the VMI Administration and the Alumni Agencies, our operations and the programmatic decisions will be completely independently and governed by current cadets and alumni participants.

The Cadet Foundation fully supports the power and authority of the Corps to run barracks, the Class system, the Ratline, and, especially the Honor Code and system. The Cadet Foundation serves the interests of Alumni and cadets using our proprietary approach, some of which we are sharing with you here to explore our desire to work with the Alumni Agencies where these goals and objectives may align.

As we expand operations and programs furthering the goals and objectives of our mission, we will operate using an Advisory Board consisting exclusively of cadets and alumni. The alumni members of The Cadet Foundation will be determined by all supporting alumni rather than limited to just those who are able to and do appear in person at an annual meeting. Cadet representatives will be selected by the Corps. All participants commit to the following tenets:

Practice good stewardship - Be especially careful and responsible in the conduct, supervision, and management of The Cadet Foundation in a manner that serves the interests and concerns of all alumni and current cadets.

Ensure transparency - Execute all operations, functions, policies, and decisions following a thorough, open, and shared dialogue with all alumni and cadets.

Ensure stability - Use sound business practices and deliver through a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) paradigm. This includes providing timely communication with alumni and cadets of all matters affecting the Institute including information which may constitute “bad news”.

Maintain unity of purpose - Unite all alumni and cadets in a singular purpose to preserve, improve, and share the VMI experience.

Build trust – Establish confidence in The Cadet Foundation by alumni and cadets with respect to the reliability, truth, ability, and strength of the organization.

Maintain organizational independence – As “a conscience of VMI,” we will maintain an "arm’s length," but balanced [neutral] relationship with the VMI Administration through the application of performance-based metrics that ensure accountability and productivity of alumni and other funds invested in VMI, only supporting projects that support the Corps, as determined by the Advisory Board that includes current cadets.

Ensure accountability - Drive ethically based decision making to ensure fiscal, moral, and ethical responsibility in all endeavors. All major expenditures or obligations are reported, and listed on the Cadet Foundation webpage, accessible to all alumni and cadets.

Maintain dedication to the mission – Follow a “One Mission, One Team” approach to management, reflecting the love of the Institute and the desire for the preservation and fostering of an ever-improving VMI experience for all.

Serve as a voice for the alumni while fully supporting and defending freedom of speech for the Corps - Build consensus through credibility and transparency, leading to a confirmed and trusted voice serving alumni and cadets for all relevant matters including ensuring cadets retain editorial control of The Cadet and it remains one of the oldest independent college newspapers in Virginia.

Use civility, fairness, and respect in all endeavors - Adhere to a strict and unwavering Code of Conduct, for which nothing less is expected as representatives of VMI, cadets, and alumni.

Maintain unquestioned integrity - Adhere to the Honor Code and the VMI ethos in all things, without exception.

Transparency and accountability are paramount to The Cadet Foundation. The Cadet Foundation was formed and will remain completely independent of the Alumni Agencies and VMI, as any independent organization should. While we will maintain strict separation from the VMI Administration and the Alumni Agencies, our operations and the programmatic decisions will be completely independently and governed by current cadets and alumni participants. Only those who have truly lived the VMI experience can completely appreciate it and so our goal remains that all leadership and major operational positions within the Foundation come strictly from the VMI Family through Cadets and Alumni. We have a VMI alumnus as our endowment and fund manager; the financial advisor and all of The Cadet Foundation’s leadership and its proposed Advisory Board are, and will continue to be, exclusively VMI Alumni and current cadets. As we expand we’ll add a VMI Alumnus-owned accounting firm and others as required. Current cadets are also on our Board. In addition to implementing annual independent financial reviews and regularly scheduled audits when funds reach appropriate levels, The Cadet Foundation’s published annual reports will not only include funds expended at the program level but associated Measures of Performance (MOP) or Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) using detailed metrics and performance measures as a means to demonstrate our impact.

Restarting and continuing independent publication of The Cadet newspaper with cadets retaining editorial control was accomplished by by cadets and alumni as the independent voice of the corps of cadets and alumni. Establish in 1907 and later abandoned for years, The Cadet was one of the first and the oldest independent college newspapers in the United States.

In short, The Cadet is the independent the voice of the corps and alumni

Through a collaborative effort between the cadets and alumni with positive help from those who share our mission and goals The Cadet serves to enhance the academic, military, and intellectual experiences of its cadet members interested in careers in journalism or related fields. This opportunity will enhance cadet professional development and offer leadership opportunities to practice academic, military, and personal skills. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Open Mindedness. 
  • Ethics.
  • Persistence.
  • Research Skills.
  • Technical Skills.

The Cadet will work with alumni who are Journalists and experienced in other fields as well as other private sector volunteers in assisting participants to not only develop these skills but put them to practice. Participants will develop the skills and traits necessary to make them successful to include, but not limited to, experience in reporting, layout, critical thinking, research and analysis, unbiased reporting, online and print media design, advertising, photography and a myriad of other areas.

On behalf of The Cadet Foundation and the increasing number of VMI Class leads, individual alumni and cadets participating in this initiative, we truly look forward to the opportunity of working with you in support of our beloved Institute!

The Cadet Foundation and The Cadet newspaper are committed to following the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association of Healthcare and Philanthropy (AHP), Council for Advancement and Support of  Education (CASE), and Giving Institute Donor Bill of Rights and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Code of Ethical Standards. These are provided for your review with permission from AHP at the links provided.

View the Donor Bill of Rights here

View the Code of Ethical Standards Here