From August 12th through the 15th, I had the privilege of representing our class at the annual West Point Alumni Leaders Conference very generously sponsored by the Class of 1967. There were over 300 people in attendance. There were presentations by the Superintendent, the president of the AOG, the Dean, Coach Monken, and panels of faculty members and cadets. There were also separate breakout sessions for Class leaders, Society leaders and Parents Club leaders each afternoon. The slides used by all of the presenters contain a wealth of information and can be found at https://www.westpointaog.org/document.doc?id=6907 .
I will only highlight some items that may be of interest to the class.
The five year fund raising campaign, ForUSAll, will end on 12/31/2015. The goal was $350M; thus far $390M has been contributed. This money goes to support Margin of Excellence programs in 718 accounts and 281 endowments. Just one of those accounts, Cadet Activities, supports over 200 separate activities. The percentage of alumni who support their alma mater is one factor (about 5%) considered by US News and World Report, Forbes, and others as they rank colleges and universities. So, if you've not already contributed in 2015, now would be a good time to do so.
The Supe's briefing was excellent, but similar to that which we received in May, so I won't comment.
The Class leader breakout sessions were great, not only for the information that the staff presented, but for the opportunity to exchange ideas and "best practices" with other classes. Some examples:
1) The class flag held by the AOG can be used at funerals held at West Point. A classmate can pick up the flag at Herbert Hall and return it after the ceremony.
2) A small parcel of land in the USMA Cemetery (left of the Old Cadet Chapel, called the Margaret Corbin parcel), if approved and funded, would accommodate 338 in-ground burials and 132 in-ground inurnments extending the life of the cemetery through 2024. The longer range solution may be a parcel around and/or containing the old service station. The would extend the cemetery's life through 2057.
3) Fifteen classes have used the AOG "Gold" reunion support package to manage their reunions as we did last May. Every comment was highly complimentary, saying it was well worth the cost.
I met separately with the USMA Chief of Staff and the President of the AOG concerning our previous request to reserve spaces for inurnment in a Class of 1955 section of the columbarium. I learned that the Supe was aware that we are presenting a formal request for reconsideration and the basis for our request. I was told that it would be considered; but no promises.
The Memorial Terrace at the Tennis Center looks great. The president of our affiliate class, 2005, and I agreed that one of his classmates recently assigned to WP and an ex-member of the women's tennis team would look at the terrace every few months and report any need for maintenance to the newly hired AOG projects person.
I met with the manager of the Hotel Thayer who assured me that they would be able to accommodate us for the 65th reunion. (Statistically we can expect about 45-50 classmates.) The room accommodations, banquet rooms and meeting rooms certainly appeared adequate to our needs. No more long bus rides!
If you have questions or would like further information please e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call at (859) 294-6670.