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VirginiaHistory
Virginia Military Institute Museums & Archives

Virginia Military Institute

In 1818 the Lexington Arsenal was created in Lexington, Virginia to store weapons intended for use by the state militia. In 1839 the Virginia Military Institute was founded as the first state-supported military college in the nation. Small at first, the institute grew and is currently home to approximately 1,700 cadets. VMI offers four year undergraduate degree programs in liberal arts, science, engineering, and social sciences requiring its students to maintain an academically and physically rigorous schedule that is intended to prepare them for roles as citizen soldiers.

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