Notice: The Adams Center will accept submissions for the 2020 "Not for Fame or Reward" scholarship until 4 p.m., Friday, April 3, 2020

The John A. Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis is pleased to announce a $2,500 scholarship for a VMI cadet during the 2020–21 academic year. The Adams Center will present the “Not for Fame or Reward” scholarship to the cadet who writes the best essay on the historical aspects of contemporary national security or foreign policy challenge. Essays should include policy recommendations based on the lessons of the past. All majors are strongly encouraged to enter the competition.

The scholarship is funded through an endowment created by the late Albert Z. Conner '66, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (bachelor of arts in history) and Georgetown University (masters of art in government, 1981). He served in the U.S. Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency—and worked as a member of the Adams Center advisory board for over a decade. The name of the scholarship is derived from Conner’s scholarly project entitled “Not for Fame or Reward: VMI’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors.”

The scholarship is intended to encourage cadets to think about the historical dimensions of contemporary affairs. Addressing historical issues, students should engage and employ primary and secondary source materials available at Preston Library, George C. Marshall Library, and other repositories.

Prize: $2,500 scholarship automatically applied toward tuition, room, board, or fees during the 2020–21 session.

Eligibility: All second, third, and fourth-class cadets. The contest winner must be enrolled at VMI during the 2020–21 session to receive the scholarship.

Essay Requirements: Papers submitted for consideration must be original research projects. The essays should not exceed 12 double-spaced pages. Submissions may be produced as a work-for-grade assignment in a course at VMI—or as independent research projects. All papers must include footnotes or endnotes to indicate the location of the source material. Cadets should consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, for guidance regarding the format of their submissions. All interested cadets are invited to consult with Adams Center Director Col. Bradley Coleman during the research and writing phases of the exercise.

Submission Procedure: Cadets should email essays to the Adams Center by CAD, Friday, 3 April 2020. Please deliver the essay as a Microsoft Word document. A panel of judges from the VMI faculty will review all papers. The Adams Center director will announce the winner in May 2020.

Essay Submission Deadline: CAD, Friday, 3 April 2020 

Email essay submissions to 

Questions to: 

Col. Bradley Lynn Coleman, Ph.D.
Director, John A. Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis
Department of History
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA 24450


Maj. David Sigler
Director of Financial Aid
302 Carroll Hall
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA 24450
302 Carroll Hall