The Virginia Military Institute has found the right man to lead the institution through a turbulent time. After being named interim superintendent last fall, retired Major General Cedric T. Wins has taken the leap to become the institution's full-time superintendent. With this hire, Wins becomes the first Black superintendent in the school's history.
“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,” VMI Board of Visitors President John William Boland said.
“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 and a member of VMI's 1984 graduating class. He returns to his alma mater at a turbulent time. Last year, VMI graduate and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam approved a $1 million budget to investigate allegations of racism at the school. These allegations ultimately led to the resignation of Wins' predecessor, J.H. Binford Peay III.
"[I have] deep concerns about the clear and appalling culture of ongoing structural racism," he wrote in a letter to the school.
"Black cadets at VMI have long faced repeated instances of racism on campus, including horrifying new revelations of threats about lynching, vicious attacks on social media, and even a professor who spoke fondly of her family's history in the Ku Klux Klan — to say nothing of inconsistent application of the Institute's Honor Code."
As a graduate of the institution, Wins believes he has what it takes to create meaningful change at VMI.
“I am excited to return to VMI, a place that had an extraordinary impact on me as a leader and person,” Wins said.
“Now, more than ever, the lessons and values of VMI are needed in the world, and I am humbled to be a part of making that happen. I most look forward to leading the cadets and ensuring we have a safe and successful conclusion to the academic year, hit the ground running during the spring sports season, and continue fulfilling our vital mission of producing educated and honorable men and women.”
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