Class Gift Update







     Ballots for the class gift selection were mailed in mid-June 2000.  Voting closed officially on 15 Sep 00 though votes received up to the date of the reunion were tallied.  Of the 829 ballots mailed, 211 were returned which is a slightly higher level of response than most classes.  Not all classmates were sent ballots.  Some classmates are "lost" to the AOG and some have indicated that they do not wish to receive mailings from the AOG or class.  The voting results:

MSAC Halftime Room                             42 votes     19.9%
Domestic Affairs Forum Endowment  23                10.9%
Center for Enhanced Performance      37                17.5%
Competitive Sports Endowment          41                19.4%

Bicentennial Unrestricted                     60                 28.4%
Other                                                           8                   3.8%

     The class gift committee has worked hard through the spring and summer to develop a slate of gifts for consideration by our class.  To be up front, none of the gift options provides a large, visible structure.  This can be attributed to three things -- the vision of the current Superintendent, the timing of our gift selection, and realistic expectations on the amount of money we can raise.
     To start a gift concept from scratch, the class must develop a concept, get that concept approved by the West Point Installation Planning Board, and then get the concept blessed by the Superintendent.  It's a long process, particularly if the proposed gift does not meet the Installation Design Guides, does not fit with the existing Installation Master Plan or falls outside the Supe's vision.
    What exactly is the Superintendent's vision?  From his articles in Assembly and the e-mail messages, one can see that LTG Christman is focused on overcoming years of neglect to the infrastructure at West Point, to achieve top tier facilities for our major athletic teams (recruiting tool), and to ensure our cadet sports, academic and interest clubs have a reasonable level of funding (when I was OIC for the Astronomy Club, we received $45 per year which hardly buys a book for the club much less pay for new equipment).  Don't overlook the O&M budget plus up he has achieved for the next 10 years - $20 million per year.
     For the infrastructure, LTG Christman has received the commitment from the Secretary of the Army and Congress to buy off the maintenance backlog.  His e-mail of 10 August 2000 cited the Mahan Hall renovation ($50 million) and new Arvin Cadet Development Center ($77.5 million) as examples.
    The Bicentennial fund raising campaign is the Supe's efforts to fix the second two areas.  He developed a list of projects to meet this vision and currently he is accepting only gifts that supports the vision.  The choices offered by the Gift Committee are their best effort to give a diverse group choices yet still be meaningful to us as a class.  Perhaps we can donate our gate or cemetery entrance as a 30th or 40th anniversary gift.  We still have time to immortalize our class.  I hope we rise together, meet our goal this time around and begin the process to get our "brick and mortar" legacy for our next gift.