You May Be Whatever You Resolve To Be—Sort Of

As a Stonewall Jackson fanboy, I admit I was disappointed to learn today of news that the Virginia Military Institute will be removing Stonewall Jackson’s name from the campus’s Jackson Memorial Hall and the Jackson Arch, which spans the passageway into the cadet barracks (see here for details). This comes in the wake of the removal of Jackson’s statue from the head of the parade ground last year and in the midst of other considerations the Institute is making about its Civil War history.

Remaining on the Arch-formerly-known-as-Jackson’s will be the legend “You may be whatever you resolve to be.” It was an aphorism Jackson once collected and which has since become closely associated with him. VMI says it will better contextualize the quotation with a plaque in the archway explaining the aphorism’s history and its relationship to Jackson, but it will remove Jackson’s name from beneath the quote, which suggests the quote is attributed to him.

Honestly, “You may be whatever you resolve to be” is some of the best inspirational advice I’ve ever heard, and in my own family, I’ve touted it as a guiding principle for all three of my children. Back in 2016, with a new year about to dawn, I reflected on the quotation, its history, and its value as good advice. Please, take a read if you feel thus inclined. You may read whatever you resolve to read.


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8 Responses to You May Be Whatever You Resolve To Be—Sort Of

  1. Katy Berman says:

    I am also very disappointed. What good is actually being accomplished?

  2. Tony Robertson says:

    I have some hopefully less objectionable suggestions:

    “This Space For Rent”

    “Question Authority”

    “Reserved for Future Generations’ Fashionable, Progressive, Less Offensive Aphorisms”

  3. Ralph J Siegel says:

    Virginia is 20% Black but the student body at taxpayer-funded VMI is under 7%. Does the adulation of the “Rebel” general possibly play a role in that pattern?

    • Lyle Smith says:

      Is 20% of the University of Virginia’s student body black? I’ll answer for you, it was less than 7% in 2019. No doubt if they bulldoze down every building Thomas Jefferson had a hand in more black Virginians will attend that school.

      Taxpayer funded HBCs in Virginia will also have another thing coming if they ever have to strive to match the state’s racial makeup. They are literally taxpayer funded public institutions of racial segregation. Of course that was how white Jim Crow Virginia designed it. Today though? What’s the point?

      There is so much work left to do, but by whom?

  4. John Pryor says:

    Such a petty act. Makes you hold the commandant in contempt.

  5. jazzdoc1 says:

    Yes, it’s inspiring. Thanks. Keep them coming.
    Norman Vickers

  6. Alton Bunn says:

    They’re being a bunch of gutless wretches. I’m glad my grandfather, class of 1933 isn’t here to see it.

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