Graduating Into Leadership From VMI - - ABC13

Graduating Into Leadership From VMI


Reporter: Sally Delta

Lexington, VA - The Virginia Military Institute sent out another group of leaders into the world Wednesday.

The 2012 graduating class started out with a little more than 400 and a little more than 200 walked across the stage in Cameron Hall to get their diplomas.

Carol Wild came all the way from New Jersey to see her grandson graduate from VMI. She couldn't help but brag.

"He's smart he's very smart."

But you had to have a lot more than just smarts to see it through to this day, like making it through hell week, living in barracks and being yelled at by your superiors.

"This place is frustrating for a reason. To put it mildly, you know how to deal with more adversity than pretty much any college student in the country," said John Alerding IV, the valedictorian in his speech.

A military discipline many believe our world would benefit from.

"The workplace needs somebody with some moral character and knowing right and wrong, and I think the world will benefit from these distinguished people," said Sara Carty, whose daughter graduated from VMI.

The Class of 2012 heard from State Senator Thomas Norment Jr., the Majority Leader in the Virginia Senate. Norment graduated from VMI in 1968.

"In my world, a leader is someone who marches out of step when everybody else is marching to the wrong tune," said Norment Jr.

The fact that Wild's grandson is part of such a distinguished group of leaders is a very big achievement.

"Excited and emotional, very emotional, I'm so proud of him," said Wild.

"Never, ever, ever, ever, ever stop dreaming because if you are determined enough you would be amazed at the dreams that can come true if you pursue them," said Norment.

More than 100 cadets have already been commissioned into the armed services. Wild's grandson was one of them. He will be entering the Marine Corp with hopes of becoming a lawyer.

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