‘I Love VMI Because of What it Stands For’
Says Austin Brockenbrough, To Build Great Character, It Takes a Great Institution
For Austin Brockenbrough III, supporting VMI is a natural outgrowth of his belief in the Institute and its mission.
Generations of Brockenbroughs have attended VMI, beginning with Brockenbrough’s great-grandfather, John Mercer Brockenbrough, Class of 1850. Another cousin was one of the cadets who fought at the Battle of New Market. And just last fall, the auditorium in Nichols Engineering Building was dedicated in memory of Brockenbrough’s father, Austin Brockenbrough Jr. ’21.
“My father loved VMI,” said Brockenbrough. “There’s nothing that [my father] would have liked more than being honored at VMI.”
Throughout his lifetime, the elder Brockenbrough was a generous donor to VMI. He also nurtured a love for the Institute in his son, bringing him to Lexington regularly for home football games.
“I got a sense early on of what VMI is about,” said Brockenbrough, who runs his own investment management company in Richmond. “Being a Virginian, it’s hard not to run into VMI one way or the other. It happens all the time.”
Today, that early exposure manifests itself in an unwavering commitment to the Institute.
“I love VMI because of what the school stands for and what it instills in its graduates,” said Brockenbrough. “It builds a sense of honor, and a sense of duty and a sense of hard work and a can-do attitude, esprit de corps. It’s like the Marine Corps.”
Brockenbrough believes that that ability to produce citizen-soldiers is what sets VMI apart.
“It takes a great institution like [VMI] to build a great character,” he said, adding that he considers George C. Marshall, Class of 1901, to be one of his heroes.
“I believe VMI is one of the great schools in America.”