Fall 2020 Operational Updates

The ongoing pandemic has posed many challenges at every turn making this semester one unlike any other. As we pass the midterm mark, I am proud of the spirit, resilience, and perseverance of our Corps of Cadets for rising to the challenge. Additionally, I’d like to thank the many faculty and staff who have worked so diligently to care for all cadets but particularly the isolated and quarantined cadets.

Significant updates to the operations of VMI were communicated to cadets, families, faculty, staff, and the VMI community on October 15, 2020, and Gen. Peay’s full statement is available: Letter to the VMI Community, Oct. 15, 2020.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the Institute has been assessing the health of the Corps, current local and regional trends related to COVID-19, and best practices in higher education. VMI also recognizes that, in making these decisions, families need time to make the necessary travel arrangements for the return of their cadet(s).

Beginning Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester will be conducted fully in an online environment, and details regarding this shift can be found below.

Communications from August-October, previously hosted on this page, are still available for reference. You may also download a copy of the entire Return to Post/Fall 2020 Operational Plan. This plan has been reviewed by the State Council of Higher Education and has been found to be compliant in containing the required components of the ‘Higher Education Reopening Guidance,’ which was developed in consultation with the Virginia Department of Health.

Though this transition to an online environment is just over a month away, we know how quickly things can change during this pandemic. We must continue to work together to deliver on our mission. As we navigate the remainder of this semester, our ability to control the virus depends on the entire community’s continued adherence to the COVID-19 protocols.



COVID-19 Information

Line icon of COVID-19 molecule and warning signThe VMI Pandemic Task Force and Institute leadership continue to monitor the latest information regarding the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Increased cleaning and sanitizing protocols have been implemented across all aspects of cadet life, and leadership has identified key areas for social distancing enforcement to maintain safety throughout the course of physical training and activities required of all cadets. Full details regarding COVID-19 protocols, as well as case status, are located on the COVID-19 Info Portal.


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Wear Face Coverings

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Wash Hands Frequently

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Maintain Social Distancing

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Monitor Your Health

Cadets, faculty, and staff are all expected to utilize the LiveSafe Daily Health Check app each day to track and report symptoms prior to arriving on post or attending events.

Note: For questions or more information, contact coronavirus@vmi.edu.



Post & Building Access

To ensure the health and well-being of cadets, faculty and staff, and visitors to VMI and in keeping with state and CDC recommended protocols, the Institute has implemented policies for accessing post and the buildings therein. All post buildings will remain closed to the general public in order to prioritize cadet access while following social distancing guidelines. Tailgating on post is not authorized until further notice.

Access by the public to post buildings is by appointment only. Visitors should contact the VMI faculty or staff member with whom they have an appointment to gain access to a building. Any member of the community accessing buildings is required to follow VMI COVID-19 protocols which include social distancing and face coverings at all times while inside VMI buildings.



For Cadets

 UPDATE:  VMI Policy on Fall 2020 COVID-19 Related Refunds

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Institute's decision to move instruction off-Post, VMI is issuing account credits to cadets representing a pro-rated amount of the Fall 2020 charges for Room, Board, Laundry, and Haircut Fees.  VMI calculated that most cadets should receive credit for these fees for 24% of the semester, totaling $1,250.  Cadets who remain at VMI through the end of the semester will only be credited a portion of the Laundry fee paid as other services (room, board, haircuts) will continue to be provided. 

Staff from Financial Aid, Comptroller’s, and Treasurer’s offices developed a methodology for calculating the funds payable to cadets, and for certain Institutional financial aid payable to the aid source.  This methodology balances the desire for equity and fairness while ensuring an administratively feasible process that can be accomplished within a reasonable timeframe.

Under this policy, Federal Title IV (Pell, SEOG, Loans) aid will not be proportionally adjusted, nor negatively impact the amount due back to the cadet.  This is in compliance with guidance provided by the Federal Department of Education.

State aid (VGAP) will be treated similar to Federal aid; it also will not be proportionally adjusted, nor will it negatively impact the amount due back to the cadet.  This is because the State aid cannot be used to fund room and board costs, and these costs constitute the majority of the amount of the credit.  This policy assumes that the State aid was used to fund other charges, primarily tuition, that were not refundable.

Other sources of aid will also be treated like Federal Aid and will not be proportionally adjusted within this policy:  This includes Outside Awards, ROTC Scholarships, Bristow, Kellam, Hagan, and National Guard assistance.

Institutional aid (primarily from the VMI Alumni Agencies, VMI’s endowment, and tuition revenues) will be proportionally adjusted to reflect the Institute's contribution toward the fall 2020 charges.  The portion of the credit amount deemed to have been paid by institutional aid will be returned to the aid source rather than being refunded to the cadet.

In Summary:

  • Cadets who received no financial aid will receive the full $1,250 refund.
  • Cadets whose aid came fully from non-Institutional sources (i.e. Federal Title IV, State, ROTC, Outside Awards, etc.) will also receive the full $1,250.
  • Cadets who received Institutional aid that covered a portion of their charges will receive a refund reduced by the proportion of their charges that was covered by Institutional aid.
  • Cadets whose charges were fully paid by Institutional aid (full athletic scholarships, etc.) will receive no refund; instead the full credit amount will be returned to the aid source.
  • Refunds will be provided in the form of a check mailed to cadets’ home address.

You may also download a copy of the VMI Policy on Fall 2020 COVID-19 Related Refunds.

Cadet life continues to undergo a wide range of adjustments to schedule and location. Up-to-date, detailed information is available for all VMI cadets in the VMI Portal. Adjustments include, but are not limited to:

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 UPDATE: Academic instruction has moved to a 100% online environment as of Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Distance learning resources are available.

Past information about courses and instruction through Nov. 20, 2020 can be found in the Fall 2020 Parent Academic Letter from Brigadier General Robert W. Moreschi, Deputy Superintendent for Academics and Dean of the Faculty.

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 UPDATE: All VMI Support Services will offer only digital sessions for cadets.

Cadets are encouraged to contact individual offices for specific guidelines and offerings. This includes services where parents and other stakeholders would need to be involved in meetings.

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For any cadet remaining in barracks through the end of the semester, the wearing of masks outside of assigned rooms, restricted visiting of other cadet rooms, elimination of large stoop gatherings, controlled lavatory and shower access, as well as frequent cleaning and sanitization of those same areas will be required. Increased noise restrictions will be in effect during the day to facilitate academic study due to the shortage of classroom space caused by social distancing. Stairwells in barracks will be designated as “up” or “down” stairwells. Also, cadets will not sleep head to head. Various levels of cadet leadership will ensure these new practices are maintained.

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Crozet Hall will no longer offer self-serve / buffet- style dining. Six serving lines have been created where Parkhurst Dining staff will serve cadets. Individually wrapped packages of disposable utensils and cups will be provided, along with individual condiments, milk, and juice. No refillable containers will be permitted, but as always, we encourage all cadets to come back for seconds. Tables and chairs have been spaced further apart and seating location availability will be adjusted to reduce the number of cadets in the hall at a time. Face coverings are to be used at all times except when eating. A grab-and-go lunch option will be available. Options for updates to the PX are in development. Cadets can find more details in their e-mail, dated July 21, 2020.

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Physical Education courses and ROTC physical activities will be modified in terms of scheduling, number of cadets participating at any one time, and location. Access to weight rooms, training facilities, and fields may be adjusted on a daily basis to allow for proper cleaning, sanitizing, and social distancing. Physical training will be conducted outdoors when possible. Temperature and symptom checks will be implemented during VMI and ROTC training sessions.

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Cadets will be notified by coaches and leadership regarding any changes in location, time, or format of practices, training, and competitions. Up-to-date information regarding competitions can be found by visiting the VMI Athletics website: https://vmikeydets.com/. Activity locations and schedules for all extracurricular activities will be adjusted to comply with social distancing requirements and Institute directives. 



Barracks and cadet support services will remain open through the end of the fall semester for those cadets who have extenuating circumstances such as a family member at home who is at-risk or those with internet connectivity issues. International cadets and designated cadet-athletes will stay in barracks through the end of the fall semester. Cadets who are approved to stay in barracks through the end of the fall semester will be required to stay on post during that time (including Nov. 26-29). The cadets remaining in barracks through the end of the semester or until they have met CDC requirements to depart will be required to complete the LiveSafe app daily and follow guidance produced by the survey.

Information for Students and Staff from Colleges and Universities who are Returning Home for Holidays or Extended Breaks from Virginia Department of Health


Important Updated Fall 2020 Dates

Date(s)Name of Event
Nov. 11, 2020 Founders Day - No classes
Nov. 20, 2020 Ring Figure Class Dinner (2nd Class cadets only)
Nov. 20, 2020 Departure of Rats and 1st class cadets as well as cadets being transported by 1st class cadets
Nov. 21, 2020 Ring Presentation Ceremony (limited attendance)
Nov. 21, 2020 Departure of 3rd Class Cadets (morning)
Nov. 21, 2020 Departure of 2nd Class Cadets (afternoon)
Nov. 23, 2020 All academic instruction moved to online environment
Nov. 26, 2020 Thanksgiving Day - No classes
Nov. 27, 2020 Friday of Thanksgiving - No classes
Dec. 11, 2020 Last day of classes
Dec. 12, 2020 Reading Day
Dec. 14-18, 2020 Final Exams
Dec. 18, 2020 Commissioning – information forthcoming
Dec. 19, 2020

Class of 2020 Commencement – 

UPDATE: VMI will produce a virtual graduation ceremony that will be broadcast at 11 a.m. via vmi.edu.

More details are available on the Commencement page

For Employees

The Office of Human Resources is the main point of contact for all potential exposure notifications and questions regarding return to post for all VMI employees. 

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To uphold health and safety measures and limit risks, the physical Human Resources Office will remain closed, except for specific services outlined in the full plan, and will limit traffic by implementing appointment-only measures for other services needed by faculty, staff, or cadets. If any employee feels that he or she is in one of the identified high-risk categories, the Human Resources director will work with the employee to take particular care to reduce their risk of exposure while making sure they are able to perform their job duties, and that VMI complies with relevant laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination Employment Act.

All VMI employees will continue to follow plans and protocols while on post:

  • All state employees will be asked to continually monitor their health for signs of COVID-19 symptoms. They should immediately report to their health care provider if symptoms manifest themselves.

Job-specific and location-specific information will be disseminated by individual supervisors. Support services, Preston Library, and other locations where employees normally interact with cadets face-to-face will have individual and specific precautionary measures put in place such as moving meetings and appointments online, installing plexiglass barriers, and limiting or eliminating seating areas.

Line icon of identification badgeFaculty, staff, and all employees are expected to maintain social distance and wear face coverings when in public or communal spaces. In most cases, building access will be restricted by badge access, so it is imperative that all employees keep their VMI ID on at all times and contact Human Resources with any new badge or lost badge requests.


For Parents & Families

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Parents and families are encouraged to bookmark this page, connect with the Parents Council, and follow VMI's official Facebook page for timely updates and the event decisions, which will be posted in the table below.

Our mission remains the same, to educate young men and women and to mold them into honorable citizen-soldiers needed by the military, private enterprise, the commonwealth, and the nation. To accomplish this in a COVID-19 environment, we have made modifications to the delivery of the academic program while creating an environment in compliance with evolving public health guidance.


For the Community

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At this time, VMI buildings and facilities on post are closed to the general public to allow for maximum social distancing. Please refer to Post & Building Access above for more specifics regarding events and appointments.

Off-site museums will follow their own protocols in regards to opening hours, capacity, etc. Please visit each museum's webpage for specific details. Athletic competitions and other events will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. The Institute calendar will have the most up-to-date information for the public regarding all athletic events. 

VMI Facility Status

Cocke Hall CLOSED to the General Public
Corps Physical Training Facility CLOSED to the General Public
Cormack Hall CLOSED to the General Public
George C. Marshall Museum UPDATE: The George C. Marshall Museum is now open. Their current hours are: Monday through Friday, 1 – 4pm.
Preston Library CLOSED to the General Public
Stonewall Jackson House UPDATE: The Stonewall Jackson House Museum Store, Orientation Exhibits and Garden are open free of charge Thursday through Monday, 9am-5pm. Tours of the house have resumed as of October 2, 2020. 
VMI Museum CLOSED to the General Public
Virginia Museum of the Civil War UPDATE: Open seven days a week, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

VMI Event Cancellations & Status Updates

Name of EventDate(s)Sponsor
New Cadet Oath at New Market - CANCELLED - Cadets will be sworn in at Matriculation Sept. 5, 2020 VMI
Football vs. Princeton - CANCELLED Sept. 19, 2020 Athletics
Parents Weekend - CANCELLED Oct. 2-4, 2020 VMI
Football vs. Furman - CANCELLED Oct. 3, 2020  Athletics 
Football vs. ETSU - CANCELLED Oct. 24, 2020  Athletics 
Football vs. Citadel - CANCELLED Oct. 31, 2020  Athletics 
Football vs. Mercer - CANCELLED  Nov. 21, 2020  Athletics 
Winter Commissioning - Limited attendance – details to follow Dec. 18, 2020 VMI
December Graduation - Limited attendance – Details available Dec. 19, 2020 VMI
Stonewall Jackson House 2020 Events - CANCELLED Various Stonewall Jackson House


Previous communications, schedules, and notices are available.