LEXINGTON — Annika Tice was in her senior year at Chatham Hall in Pittsylvania County. She was planning on visiting Washington and Lee University, but the bus driver ended up passing VMI instead.
For the remainder of the tour, Tice thought about the barracks she saw at VMI.
When she went home, she shared her interest in VMI with her mother. They both went to visit before Thanksgiving break. After that, her mother knew that was where she was going to be.
On Thursday, Tice will be graduating from VMI as an English and French major, and on Wednesday she was commissioned into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant.
Tice, who is 22 years old, was the first woman to be elected to VMI’s honor court and was the first female cadet in the school’s history to receive a Fulbright award. In October, she will travel to the Ivory Coast to instruct English and write curriculum with the U.S. Embassy.
Tice enrolled in VMI four years ago after graduating from Chatham Hall. As a woman, she was in the minority on campus. The first year was extremely difficult for her, but it paved the way for future success.
In her second year, Tice was elected to the honor court, a group of students who enforce and educate their fellow classmates about the honor code: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do.” She was the first female cadet to be elected to this position since women were permitted to enroll in the institute in 1997.