VMI names Wins new superintendent
Cedric T. Wins has served as interim superintendent since November 2020
Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins was named Virginia Military Institute’s new superintendent by the VMI Board of Visitors on Thursday. Wins, who has served as interim superintendent at VMI since November 2020, is a 1985 graduate of the state-supported military college in Lexington.
“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,” said John William Boland, president of the VMI Board of Visitors, in a statement. “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’ appointment to the post comes after Gov. Ralph Northam announced an independent investigation into allegations of racism at VMI last October, following exposés in The Washington Post and The Roanoke Times. VMI’s then-superintendent, retired U.S. Army Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, resigned following the announced state probe. He had served in the position for 17 years.
According to a news release, Wins spent much of his first three months as interim superintendent assessing VMI’s culture, policies and procedures.
Wins previously held many leadership and staff assignments during his 34-year career in the Army, including in the Army’s Headquarters Department and the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with One Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Bronze Star Medal. His final command was as the first commanding general of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command.
He holds two master’s degrees, one in management from the Florida Institute of Technology, and one in national security and strategic studies from the National War College.
“If someone had told me a year ago that today I’d be the superintendent of my alma mater, I would have told them they were crazy,” Wins said in a statement. “However, the interactions that I’ve had over the past six months with VMI’s outstanding cadets and dedicated faculty have been some of the most rewarding interactions of my career. The fact of the matter is I believe in the honor, integrity, civility and sacrifice that we instill in our cadets. I’m excited to once again be a part of that and am looking forward to leading this next chapter of the institute’s history.”
Founded in 1839, VMI has been called “The West Point of the South,” and is the oldest state-supported military college in the country. During the Civil War, the Confederacy called on cadets to take part in military engagements, including the Battle of New Market, in which 247 members of the VMI Corps of Cadets fought.
Famous VMI alumni include naval officer and explorer Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr., General of the Army George Marshall Jr., and Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, the most decorated Marine in American history.
VMI was the last U.S. military college to admit women after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 7-1 decision in June 1996 that it was unconstitutional for a school supported by public funds to exclude women.