- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 9, 2001

LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) Maj. Gen. Josiah Bunting III, who oversaw the court-ordered integration of women into formerly all-male Virginia Military Institute, announced his retirement as superintendent of his alma mater yesterday.
Gen. Bunting will relinquish day-to-day duties at the end of this academic year, then focus on VMI's $175 million capital campaign until his contract expires in July 2003, he said in a written statement distributed at the institute's board of visitors meeting.
The U.S. Supreme Court declared VMI's men-only admissions policy unconstitutional in 1996, a year after Gen. Bunting became superintendent.
The state-supported military school enrolled its first female cadets in the fall of 1997. U.S. District Judge Jackson L. Kiser ruled Thursday that Virginia and VMI fulfilled their obligation "to formulate, adopt and implement a plan that conforms with the Equal Protection Clause," according to the Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The decision ends the court's supervision of VMI, alma mater of many military leaders.
"This decision is a vindication of many years of dedication and hard work by hundreds of members of the VMI family," Gen. Bunting said. "We are pleased we were able to conclude this case without compromising the Institute's core values."
Samuel B. Witt III, president of the board, said the assimilation of women "was perhaps the greatest challenge to face the institute since 1865," when the corps disbanded for six months at the end of the Civil War.
"With the benefit of General Bunting's leadership, VMI has entered a new century poised to become stronger and more cohesive than anytime in recent history," Mr. Witt said.
Gen. Bunting graduated from VMI in 1963 and received a master's degree from Oxford University. He joined the Army in 1966, served in Vietnam and taught at the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval War College.
After 10 years as president of Briarcliff College in New York and another decade as president of Hampden-Sydney College, he served as headmaster at Lawrenceville School in New Jersey before returning to VMI.

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