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Date: Sep 08 2004 Major: History/Histories (art history/etc.) (This Major's Salary over time) VMI is unique in remaining faithful to the widespread 19th century belief in the citizen-soldier and the value of military instruction for the formation of sound character. These constants, and the single sanction Honor Code, are the Institute's lodestars through all of the various changes over the 35 years since I was a cadet. Academically, the standards are those of the better class of liberal arts colleges, and there has been less grade inflation at VMI than almost anywhere else.VMI challenges you physically in obvious ways, but the mental challenges are far more varied than in most colleges: in addition to the intensity of the academic work, you need to develop, or perhaps find within yourself, the mental toughness to succeed in an adverse environment.VMI is not for everyone. Those who are up for the challenge will find it the best of colleges, those who are not will leave promptly.