Events and Traditions

Cadets enjoy major events, traditions, and social occasions throughout the year, including Homecoming Hop, Midwinter and Ring Figure formal dances, movie nights, concerts, and more.

VMI cadet marching band performs during retirement parade 2022


Parades showcase the professionalism of the Corps of Cadets, who  conduct dress parades most Friday afternoons, some Saturday mornings, and for special occasions when VMI is in session.

Cadets in gym shorts and shirts line up to enter building during matriculation week


Matriculation Day is a special occasion when matriculants, known as “rats”, are welcomed into the VMI community. After signing the matriculation book, incoming rats attend ceremonies and begin their training.

Cadets in white uniforms and family members sit in the stands at a sports match during Family Weekend 2021

Family Weekend

Families and cadets reconnect during a memorable weekend of interactive educational events and entertaining activities designed to welcome everyone to the VMI community, Lexington, and surrounding areas.

VMI mascot Moe leads the Keydets football team onto the field during Family Weekend Game Day 2021

Game Day

Keydets fans, family, friends, and alumni arrive early on Game Day to view the pageantry of the Corps and build the anticipation for a great day of athletic competition and VMI camaraderie.

Cadets look at their class rings with white gloves and admiration during Ring Figure

Ring Figure

The most anticipated event of the cadetship besides breakout and graduation is Ring Figure, typically held in November during the second class year. During that weekend, cadets receive their class rings.


Cadets smile while seated during 2022 Commencement


Graduation celebrates the achievements of cadets completing their journey at VMI when they become military officers by taking their oaths during Commissioning, and when they receive their diplomas during Commencement.