By Associated Press - Tuesday, May 4, 2021

LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Military Institute’s board has voted to erase the name of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s name as the author of a quotation on a plaque in the student barracks.

The Washington Post reports that the college’s Board of Visitors voted Saturday to erase Jackson’s name as the author of a mantra that cadets and alumni memorize and has been engraved in class rings: “You may be whatever you resolve to be.” The quotation added to the barracks in the 1950s will remain, but Jackson’s name beneath them, implying that he wrote them, will be removed.

William Alcott and the Rev. Joel Hawes included the words in publications in 1834 and 1851. A plaque will be installed attributing the phrase to them and noting that Jackson kept the phrase in an inspirational quote notebook, according to the college.

The board also voted to strip Jackson as the namesake for the campus’s memorial hall and one of the arches leading into the barracks. The board said it will decide about the possible new names in September.

Last year, VMI, the nation’s oldest state-supported military college, was pressured to remove a statue of the Civil War leader, a former professor at the college who owned six enslaved people.



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