On August 18, Erin Claunch and twenty-nine other women will do what no other women have done before. They will report for classes at the previously all-male Virginia Military Institute. VMI had to change its all-male policy because of a Supreme Court decision in June 1996 which ordered the school to admit women or become a private university. The Board of Trustees announced its compliance with the Court’s decision in September. The school named Claunch an Institute scholar, which gives her a full four-year scholarship to the VMI. Claunch wants to attend the school because of its rigorous academic program and military structure. “I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” she said. “I’m anxious to test my limits and see how far I can go.”
The school has made some necessary changes, including modifying bathrooms and athletic facilities. VMI also hired female professors and advisers to assist the female cadets.