Virginia Military Institute names first Black superintendent

The Virginia Military Institute said Thursday that it has voted in a new boss: retired Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, who was tapped to serve as interim superintendent last November after the previous superintendent resigned amid allegations of pervasive racism.

He will be the first Black leader to serve in the role.

“Maj. Gen. Wins has distinguished himself as a leader whose dedication to the Institute’s mission and to the Corps of Cadets has endeared him to many during his brief time as interim superintendent,” John William Boland, president of the VMI Board of Visitors, said in a release.

“VMI’s mission, Honor Code, and regimental and class systems are vitally important to the future success of our institution. There’s no question that Maj. Gen. Wins is the right person to preserve and advance VMI’s unique system of education moving forward.”

Wins is a 34-year veteran of the U.S. Army, and a 1985 graduate of the institute.

VMI was the last public college in Virginia to integrate. According to The Washington Post, about 8% of VMI’s 1,700 students are Black, and many of them are athletes.

Virginia lawmakers recently approved $1 million to investigate the allegations of racism at VMI, which received $19 million in state funds in fiscal 2020.

WTOP’s Anna Gawel contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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