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Description: No Diplomas in Sight Faculty of Virginia Military Academy Stands Firm Students Must Pay the Penalty Graduating Exercises Without Graduates Thirty-six Students Pay Dearly for New Years Day Pranks

Date: June 23 1899

Newspaper published in: Washington, DC

Page/Column: Page 4

No Diplomas in Sight Faculty of Virginia Military Academy Stands Firm Students Must Pay the Penalty Graduating Exercises Without Graduates Thirty-six Students Pay Dearly for New Years Day Pranks

Lexington, Va., June 22. Thirty-six students of the Virginia Military Academy, members of the first or graduating class, are still waiting for the award of their diplomas. They will be obliged to wait a long time. In fact they must spend the summer without the title of graduate, though it is hoped that by dispensation of the faculty, they will be given the cherished sheepskins on September 1.

The cause for this unpleasant situation goes back to the last New Years Day, when the ire of the faculty was aroused by an escapade on the top barracks in which some two score of military students indulged. The culprits were detected and dismissed from school. They were subsequently reinstated with severe penalties, one of which was to the effect that the glory and the eclat of the regular graduation exercises would never be theirs.

During the last few weeks many efforts have been made to induce the faculty to reconsider this decision, but the last ray of hope has now died away. Capt. G. A. DERBYSHIRE was offered his diploma, but he refused to take it, saying that he preferred to receive it with the rest of his classmates.

The thirty-six students who must undergo their penalty are:

Gail Hamilton Alexander, Danville, Va.
James Buchanan Ayers, Big Stone Gap, Va.
Stephen Field Denby, Washington, DC
George Audley Derbyshire, Richmond, Va.
Henry Schley Ervay, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Philip Denny Ewing, Uniontown, Pa.
Frank Davie Griffin, Galveston, TX
William McKendry Gwin, San Francisco, Cal.
Albert Arista Hoge, Staunton, Va.
Fontaine Jones, Buena Vista, Va.
Joseph Cloyd Kent, Wytheville, Va.
Herbert Julius Kremer, Columbus, Ohio (did not return after dismissed in January.)
Louis Knight Leake, Licking, Va.
Morris Ernest Locke, Cincinnati, Ohio
James Jones Marshall, Markham, Va.
Vardry Echols McBee, Norfolk, Va.
Stephen Halsey Meem, Mount Jackson, Va.
Robert Warwick Miller, Woodville, Va.
Aristides Moreno, Panama, Central America
Hugh Graham Morison, Gate City, Va.
D. Otey (? Name Unreadable), Lynchburg, Va.
James Keith Payne, Warrenton, Va.
John Marvin Peters, Norfolk, Va.
George W. Pohl, New York, NY
Armour Cantrell Polk, Galveston, Tex.
Llewellen Powell, Alexandria, Va.
William Dodds Scott, Fredericksburg, Va.
Harry Linden Shaner, Lynchburg, Va.
Daniel Byerly Shaver, Rockingham, Va.
Frank Allison Sullivan, Elkton, Ky.
Samuel Greaner Talbott, Richmond, Va.
David Thomas Williams, Danville, Va.
William Scott Wood, Bristol, Va.
James William Yates, Markham, Va.
Neil Young, St. Clairs Bottom, Va.
William Louis Zimmer, Jr., Petersburg, Va.

It is not known how they will eventually get their diplomas. Everything pertaining to the matter is a state secret, and will probably be known later on. The boys bore their humiliation with good grace, and appeared to better advantage in showing their true manliness. The board of visitors refused to make reference to the matter of diplomas; as the President of the board stated, the penalty had been imposed by the board in January, and they had nothing further to do with it nor would they.

The closing exercises took place in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hall at 11 oclock before a large gathering. The distinctions of the second, third, and fourth classes were announced according to former custom. The degree of civil engineer was conferred on special student A. C. FREEMAN, Norfolk, Va., a graduate of the class of 97. A report expressing the regard of the board for the faithful services of Col. John M. BROOKE, who is about to retire, was read. Owing to illness of Hon. Thomas G. HAYES of Baltimore, the speaker for the commencement could not be present, and no speech was delivered. After the closing of the exercises in the memorial hall, the battalion was marched to the parade grounds. The playing of Auld Lang Syne concluded the exercises there, and the battalion was dismissed by the acting commandant, Maj. B. B. MORGAN.

Submitted: 09/27/08

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