Mary Baldwin University is pleased to announce that it has received a $200,000 grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation for the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL).
VWIL is the nation’s only all-female corps of cadets and proudly celebrates 20 years serving the best interests of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia. VWIL is the nation’s premier college leadership development program for women, integrating academics, fitness, leadership development, ethics, and military training.
“The VWIL Corps of Cadets directly impacts the professional development of our future leaders in the military, public service, and private sectors,” said George Irish, eastern director of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. “VWIL significantly helps our nation by developing leaders with courage to adhere to standards and the ability to lead in dynamic environments.”
“This tremendous leadership program demands of cadets a great deal beyond the ordinary. Our educational value is stronger than ever, and we produce exceptional citizens and military leaders,” says Brig Gen Terry Djuric, U.S. Air Force Retired and VWIL commandant of cadets. “Funding the VWIL leadership program through scholarships and improved operations will have a positive and measurable effect as we grow the VWIL Corps of Cadets from 115 cadets in 2015 to 175 in 2020. VWIL is very proud of our partnership with former Staunton Military Academy (SMA) cadets, staff, and faculty through the SMA Alumni Association which generously funds annual merit scholarships to our top performing cadets.”
VWIL is a public-private partnership of the Commonwealth of Virginia in its 20th year of operations at Mary Baldwin University on the former SMA campus. Graduates of the four-year leader development program have the knowledge, skills, character, and experience to assume positions of leadership in the military, public service, and private sectors in the United States and around the world. VWIL uses a living-learning environment where truth, duty, and honor — core values shared with SMA — are governing standards. Our vision for VWIL is to be recognized as the premiere college-level leadership program for women by combining military leadership training with civilian approaches that highlight ethical rigor, intense challenges, mutual respect, and high achievement.
The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations working in the fields of culture, education, health, and social services. The Hearst Foundations identify and fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive, and inspiring lives. Philanthropist William Randolph Hearst founded The Hearst Foundation, Inc. in 1945 and the charity that would come to be known as the William Randolph Hearst Foundation in 1948. Both foundations are guided by the same charitable mission, which reflects the philanthropic interests of their founder.
VWIL will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with a scholarship parade at 3:30 p.m. on April 22 at 120 Tams Street, Staunton, Va. The event is free and open to the public. A military ball will follow at 7 p.m.
Mary Baldwin’s VWIL House is located at 215 N. Market Street in Staunton. For more information call 540-887-7140 or visit https://go.marybaldwin.edu/vwil/. Additionally, the SMA and VWIL Museum is located at 227 Kable Street in Staunton. Hours are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 1–4 p.m. Admission is free; for more information call 540-885-1309 or visit https://sma-alumni.org/museum.htm.