Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year during the pandemic, the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) at MBU has found strength in the characteristics that have defined the corps since its first class of cadets in 1995.
“Our core values are particularly important to me, as they have so many facets and pertain to just about every part of my life: honor, courage, and commitment,” said Isabelle Ross ’21, who serves as the VWIL safety officer while pursuing a business major.
As with the entire MBU community, VWIL put the focus on safety, modifying their operations and carrying out health protocols, including face coverings, physical distancing, temperature checks, outdoor settings, reduced group size, virtual participation capabilities for students who were feeling unwell, strategic COVID surveillance testing, and more.
Even while navigating this pandemic semester, the values that Ross mentions hold true and inspire VWIL to move forward together, one day at a time.
“Every time the cadets come together, they say it’s a point of pride,” said Brig. Gen. Terry Djruic, VWIL commandant of cadets. “Every Monday morning as we begin the week playing the National Anthem and every Friday evening when we play taps for retreat, the cadets understand we’re symbolically demonstrating, even through the pandemic, the corps will live on for 25 more years and beyond.”