“What with everything going on in this country today, we need the kind of graduates that VMI produces.”
That’s how Walter C. Perrin II ’62 explains why he believes in VMI. The VMI experience, he believes, produces a vitally needed product – a young man or woman tested by the rigors of the Rat Line and the regimental system, unquestionably trustworthy, and committed to putting forth his or her best effort every day.
“The graduates [of VMI] are unique and well-trained,” said Perrin, an Atlanta resident who retired in 2006 after a 40-year career in the health-care industry. “They have the credentials to be successful. They learn discipline and honor, … do what you say you’re going to do, tell the truth – all of those basics.”
When he came to VMI, Perrin was following in the footsteps of his father, David Baldwin Perrin ’25. Like his father, Perrin majored in electrical engineering, a course of study that the younger Perrin found quite demanding.
“Coming to VMI taught me discipline,” said Perrin. “You had to be very organized and use your time wisely. That’s a life lesson.”
Perrin credits the discipline he developed at VMI for much of his success in the business world – and because he believes in VMI so strongly, he’s made it a priority to give back to the Institute. He’s a past president of the VMI Foundation Board of Trustees and a current member of the Board. Over the years, he’s seen VMI’s needs grow, and he believes the level of giving must keep up with that growth.
“If people would just give a little bit and give consistently, it would make a huge difference,” Perrin said. “Participation is critical, and we want the whole team to play.”