Rites of Passage — known as “Rites” or “Breakout” around the Mary Baldwin University campus — represent the culminating exercise of the nULL experience in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership and lead to formal recognition of freshmen cadets as full members of the Corps of Cadets. Rites occurs when the young class of freshmen has proven its unity and sisterhood and signals the official end of nULL-ship. During Breakout, nULLs complete intense physical exercises over a period of many hours. It began this year at 3 a.m. and lasted for eight hours.
Breakout ends with a formal ceremony welcoming freshmen cadets as full-fledged members of the corps. During which, they ascend through the ranks to receive congratulations from President Pamela Fox and other dignitaries and take their place within the corps.
Upon completion of Rites, freshmen no longer walk the nULL line, are addressed as “cadet” instead of nULL, and earn the privilege of wearing the VWIL crest on their epaulets.