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.