Preserving our Past for the Future
The uniform was produced in 1897 and worn by Col. John Samuel Adolphus Johnson, an 1898 graduate who went on to become the Commandant of Cadets and Chair of the University’s Mechanical Arts Department for more than 25 years. It is an important piece of University history because it marked the University’s name change to Virginia Polytechnic Institute from Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1897. It carries the letters “VPI” in embroidered script on the collar — a design that has never been repeated on the iconic blue dress uniform still worn by cadets today. Once restored to its former glory, the uniform will have a prominent space in the new Corps Museum planned for the future Corps Leadership and Military Sciences Building on Upper Quad.