UPDATE: Gov. Northam’s office issues statement after Virginia Military Institute superintendent resigns

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(Photo: Courtesy Virginia Military Institute)

UPDATE 12:31 p.m.: A representative from Gov. Ralph Northam’s office shared the following statement with WFXR News in response to the resignation of VMI’s superintendent, Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III.

As the nation’s oldest state-run military college, VMI has the opportunity to counter-balance a long legacy with a clear-eyed view of the future.

Change is overdue at VMI, and the Board of Visitors bears a deep responsibility to embrace it. Diversity is a fundamental commitment. Without this recognition, VMI cannot properly educate future citizen-soldiers nor live up to its values of honor, character, and service.

The Governor is committed to ensuring all Virginia institutions of higher education are sustainable, successful, and welcoming to all students, faculty, and staff. He wishes General Peay well and is grateful for his decades of public service.

Alena Yarmosky, Press Secretary for the Office of Gov. Ralph Northam

LEXINGTON, Va. (WFXR) — The superintendent of Virginia Military Institute has resigned.

In a statement to WFXR News, the Board of Visitors said Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III served as VMI superintendent for more than 17 years.

The resignation comes days after Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) ordered an investigation of systemic racism allegations at VMI leveled in a Washington Post story.

“Today, our Superintendent tendered his resignation to the Board of Visitors. We accepted it with deep regret.

“General Peay has served VMI as superintendent exceptionally well for more than 17 years. General Peay is a great American, patriot, and hero. He has profoundly changed our school for the better in all respects.

“General Peay and his wife Pamela serve as a model of dedicated service to our nation and the Commonwealth.

“We wish them well in their future endeavors.

“The Board of Visitors must immediately turn its attention to the search for our new superintendent. In doing so, we will stay focused on our mission of preparing citizen- soldiers from all walks of life. I ask that our alumni remain focused on the positive mission and support the Institute and Board as we secure a future in which the Institute continues to contribute in unique and vital ways to our nation and state.”

Virginia Military Institute Board of Visitors

A letter from VMI addressed to the governor denied the existance of systemic racism.

“However, systemic racism does not exist here and a fair and independent review will find that to be true,” John William Boland wrote in the letter, which a school spokesman provided to The Associated Press and WFXR News.

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