Events and Traditions

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

Cadets march with rifles on shoulders during a fall parade at VMI.


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.

Newly sworn in rats line up in barracks for review by elite cadet leadership known as Cadre at VMI.


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.

Football players carry flags and run past cadets and cheerleaders at VMI Alumni Field.

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.

Members of the Corps of Cadets dance under the lights at a cadet event at Virginia Military Institute.


VMI cadets have a number of opportunities throughout the year to attend dances on post, whether with their fellow cadets or with dates and special guests.

Cadets and family members gather on the Parade Ground.

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.

Members of the Corps of Cadets march in a Founders Day parade at Virginia Military Institute.

Founders Day

Founders Day marks the anniversary of the Institute's beginning in 1839. Events include a parade, Founders Day convocation, and the Institute Society Dinner.

Cadets paint a cannonball on post to display their class ring design.

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.



Cadet raises diploma towards a cheering crowd in Cameron Hall at VMI during 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.


VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders