Michael A. Shafer, of Westminster, graduated from Virginia Military Institute on May 16 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business, with a concentration in financial management. He was one of only 14 cadets honored as a Distinguished Graduate with Institute Honors, having completed a cross-disciplinary honors curriculum including writing a research-based honors thesis.
Shafer also received the John W. and Jane. M. Roberts Award, a medal recognizing outstanding performance and the highest grade point average by a cadet in the Economics and Business Department.
Shafer graduated academically in the top five percent of his class.
The previous day, Shafer was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the U.S. Army Reserve Finance Corps. The corps is responsible for the Army's payroll, contracting and other financial operations. Shafer's first duty assignment will be at Fort Jackson, S.C., attending the Basic Officer Leader Course for Finance Officers.
Cadets at VMI live and learn within a regimented, military framework governed, commanded and administered largely by upper-class cadets. During his first class (senior) year, Shafer served as lieutenant within the Corps of Cadets, and during his second class (junior year) as a staff sergeant helping to plan, organize and carry out events that promoted morale within the corps.
Shafer took advantage of other unique opportunities while at VMI. He studied at Oxford University in England during the summer of 2010, and also spent a semester at the Virginia Capital in Richmond, serving as an intern to Del. Kirkland M. Cox, majority whip of the Virginia House of Delegates.
Shafer served as president of Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honors Society, and was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society, Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society and Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honors Society.
Shafer is a 2008 graduate of Winters Mill High School and is an Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 393.
He is the son of Larry and Pamela Shafer, of Westminster.