VMI Announces Plans For Fall Term

4 p.m. - Virginia Military Institute announced today that it is planning to bring cadets back to school this fall for largely in-person, traditional instruction.

Cadets will be subject to strict protocols for face coverings and social distancing. They will also be returning to school in phases, and returning cadets will be asked to self-quarantine before returning to Lexington and all cadets will generally be restricted to the post through September.

The full press release from VMI is as follows.


The corps will return to Virginia Military Institute this fall after their longest separation from post in the 181-year history of the institute.

In the Fall 2020 Return to Post and In-Person Classes Operations Plan, VMI detailed a five-phase return plan for cadets. Some NCAA cadet-athletes will be on post July 11-24 while the vast majority of cadets will return over several weeks in August. Cadets who serve as EMTs will arrive between Aug.1 and Aug. 7 while cadet cadre and leaders will return Aug. 8-9. Rats will matriculate on Aug. 15-16 and the remainder of the corps will arrive Aug. 25-26. Returning cadets will be encouraged to quarantine for 14 days prior to their return to post.

The operations plan in its entirety will be posted on the VMI fall 2020 web page later today at (www.vmi.edu/fall-2020). It will be updated regularly throughout the fall semester.

“VMI’s mission is unlike any other in higher education,” said Gen. J. H. Binford Peay III ’62, VMI superintendent. “It is vitally important to producing citizen-soldiers and tomorrow’s leaders that our corps of cadets be physically present on post. Providing a rigorous academic curriculum in a military setting cannot be achieved virtually.”

Cadets will be subject to strict protocols regarding face coverings, social distancing and personal hygiene. Their movements generally will be restricted to post through September and they will be required to conduct a daily self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms. Those cadets who present with symptoms will be evaluated by the VMI Infirmary. Isolation and quarantine protocols and locations have also been identified.

The academic offerings will see emphasis continue to be on providing traditional, in-person instruction. However, some courses will be in an online environment or in a hybrid in-person/online manner. Many Saturday mornings will be used to accommodate increased ROTC and commandant instruction.

The fall semester typically plays host to many large-scale, public events. The new cadet oath typically held Labor Day weekend each year at the New Market Battlefield in New Market will not be held this year. Arriving freshmen (rats) will take the new cadet oath at matriculation. Other events such as Parents Weekend, class reunion weekends, VMI open houses, and football tailgates are still on the calendar but are tentative. VMI plans to have a full NCAA athletic program this fall with adjustments to attendance and seating parameters. Decisions on those events will be made on a rolling basis, a minimum of 30 days in advance of the event and will be based on the latest guidance from our health and government partners as well as the Institute’s assessments of the health and readiness of the corps.


The fall 2020 calendar is as follows:

Aug. 1-8- EMT cadets arrive

Aug. 8-9 - Cadre return

Aug. 15-16 - Rats matriculate

Aug. 25-26 -Old Corps returns

Aug. 31 - Classes begin

Sept. 19 - Football vs. Princeton (public attendance/tailgating tentative)

Oct. 2-4 - Parents Weekend (tentative)

Oct. 3 - Football vs. Furman (public attendance/tailgating tentative)

Oct. 9-11 - ROTC Fall Field Training Exercises

Oct. 24 - Football vs. ETSU (public attendance/tailgating tentative)

Oct. 31 - Football vs. Citadel (public attendance/tailgating tentative)

Nov. 11 - Founders Day (no classes)

Nov. 20 - Ring Figure (tentative)

Nov. 21 - Football vs. Mercer (public attendance/tailgating tentative)

Nov. 25 - Thanksgiving Day (no classes)

November 26 - Friday of Thanksgiving (no classes)

Dec. 11 - Last day of classes

Dec. 12 - Reading Day

Dec. 14-18 - Final exams

Dec. 18 - Commissioning

Dec. 19 - Class of 2020 Commencement


VMI employees have largely been teleworking since March. The operations plan calls for employees to return to work beginning July 20. Employees will be required to conduct a COVID-19 symptom check each morning prior to their arrival on post. Flexible work options are available to those employees who may be particularly vulnerable to the virus.