Kilbourne, Charles E. (Charles Evans), 1872-1963
Lieutenant General Charles Evans Kilbourne (b. 1872 d. 1963), an 1894 VMI graduate, had a distinguished career in the U. S. Army before returning to his alma mater as the sixth Superintendent. He entered the volunteer Signal Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, and received the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action in the Philippines in 1899. He received his regular Army commission in 1899 and served in China during the Boxer Rebellion. During World War I he was Chief of Staff of the 89th Division and was wounded in action in France. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1928 and was assigned to the War Department's War Plans Division. He received his promotion to Major General in 1935 and retired the next year. He was the first person in American history to hold simultaneously the nation's three highest military awards: The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, and the Distinguished Service Medal. He became Superintendent of VMI on October 1, 1937 and retired on June 20, 1946, having guided the Institute through the challenging years of World War II. He died on November 12, 1963.
Found in 1 Collection or Record:
Scope and Contents One certificate presented to VMI Cadet H. Franklin Phillips in May 1943. This "three year testimonial" was presented to each member of the Class of 1944, in lieu of a diploma, when the class members were called to active duty in May 1943. It states that Phillips successfully completed three years at VMI and was signed by VMI Superintendent Charles E. Kilbourne and others.