John Lee Buchanan became president of VAMC on March 1, 1880. However, his tenure as president was very short. Montgomery County State Senator J. E. Eskridge initiated a movement in the General Assembly to have the affairs of VAMC investigated. The legislature approved a resolution removing the board of visitors, effective June 4, 1880, and directing a new board to meet three days later in order to remove the faculty and officers of the college. The clean sweep was effective on June 12.
The new board of visitors offered Buchanan the job as president once again, but he refused the position. The board then elected Lt. Colonel Scott Shipp as president and appointed him professor of mental and moral philosophy.
Shipp graduated from Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1859 and from Washington College (today's Washington and Lee College). He had been commandant of cadets at VMI since 1862, and he was a professor of various branches of military tactics at VMI. He led the VMI cadets in the Battle of New Market during the Civil War.
Shipp accepted the appointment as president of VAMC on August 12. On August 24 when he and his faculty met with the executive committee of the board and discovered that the board and not the new faculty would be in charge of the details of the scheme of college's organization, he resigned. His tenure as president of VAMC lasted from August 12-25, 1880.
After his resignation, Shipp returned to his position at VMI. He became VMI's second superintendent in 1890 and held the rank of brigadier-general. He served on the board of visitors of the United States Military Academy and as president of the board of the United States Naval Academy. In 1907 he resigned as VMI's superintendent. He died in 1917.
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Tamara Kennelly, University Archivist
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Last updated May 10, 2010