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Books by Mayling Elizabeth Simpson

  • Lives Guided By Honor: How VMI Shaped the Class of 1968

    Since 1839, the Virginia Military Institute has sought to produce graduates of honor and integrity, citizen-soldiers, and leaders. Graduates have had extraordinary success in landing jobs throughout the decades, becoming military officers or gaining acceptance to graduate schools.


    After wondering for decades why her husband chose to attend a military college, Mayling Simpson began a quest for answers. Lives Guided by Honor reveals the secret formula of VMI’s success by focusing on VMI’s Class of 1968. Simpson examines the history of VMI through an anthropologist’s lens, along with the architecture and art of the post (campus) and the Institute’s changes through time, to explain how VMI uniquely influences and forms its students. Lives Guided by Honor is for historians, history buffs, alumni of military colleges, educators, and prospective students.

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Mayling Simpson is a cultural anthropologist who has conducted original research in Ireland, Iran, the Philippines, and Serbia on public health issues and served as a senior technical officer to the World Health Organization. Her previous published works include A Paper Life: Belgrade's Roma in the Underworld of Waste Scavenging and Recycling; Ecological Sanitation; and Mrs. Nickle Pickle, winner of an Aspen Times short story contest. She earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her BA in biology from Longwood University in Farmville, Va.