50th Reunion Class Gift

March 19, 2024 – Update from the Class Gift Committee

Dear Classmate!

It’s been a few weeks since my first email and I wanted to update you on the progress our team has made since that time. There are many considerations to the gifting process and we’ve created sub-committees focused on Communications, Finance, and ‘The Gift’ within the team to help divvy up activities and move things along efficiently.

The team is unanimous in the belief that our gift must leave a lasting legacy for our great class while making a significant, positive impact on the lives of midshipmen and their development as officers in our Navy and Marine Corps. Our intent is to select a “gift that keeps on giving” (self-sustaining and in perpetuity). You can be assured that any initiative we bring before the class will be focused on USNA, the Brigade of Midshipmen, and graduates. We are busily exploring ideas with the Naval Academy Foundation to better understand the needs and priorities of the Naval Academy and how they align with our class values and gift intent. As we committed at our Reunion Class meeting, we expect to have those ideas in front of you shortly. Your comments and input at that time will be invaluable.

We also recognize that many of you are ongoing contributors to the Naval Academy and the Foundation for programs near and dear to you. We applaud this generosity and hope that this will extend to what the class decides as our 50th reunion gift. To foster this, and give significance to everyone’s contribution, our goal will be to try and design a gift that resonates with you and is singular and impactful in nature. In the spirit of transparency, any donation to the 50th reunion gift will be separate from other ongoing annual giving but the total amount you donate will count towards our overall class contributions. Please enjoy the coming of Spring and expect another update in a few more weeks. More to come!

Go Navy!

This was what we had to memorize as Plebes. Read the note at the end. We did not have that (as you recall, Vietnam was just ending).


1. I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

2. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.

3. If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

4. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information, or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

5. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am bound to give only name, rank, service number and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

6. I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

Note: Prior to the Vietnam Conflict, violation of any of the above code elements could result in trial by Courts Martial. After learning of the atrocities inflicted on our personnel held prisoner in that action, it was determined that requiring strict compliance to such a demanding code was not always possible. It should stand as a guide to personal conduct but enforcement as a point of law is questionable.

This is the Sailor’s Creed that is currently in Reef Points.

I am a United States Sailor.

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.

I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.

I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage, and Commitment.

I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.

February 6, 2024 – 50th Reunion Gift Committee Initial Communication

I am writing you regarding our 50th reunion Class Gift. Yes, we are just starting the process but I wanted to reach out to all classmates to communicate our intent and provide some background. Yes, we just finished contributing to build the new permanent Class recognition on the gate of the new Fleugel Alumni Center – thank you so much; looking forward our 50th is four years away. I was deep selected to head the ’78 Class Gift team and there are 11 classmates, many whom you know. If you were at the 45th class meeting, you may recall that there was an outcry regarding what we should support; we heard your concerns and are proceeding accordingly. We are looking to fund initiatives that will make us all proud. It has been a tradition that each class fund a significant gift for its 50th and I can assure you that you will have an input in what is ultimately decided for ‘78. Our process will be as transparent as possible and we anticipate fostering two-way communication via surveys and comments. You are kindly encouraged to participate. I, as a representative of the committee, will be periodically reaching out to you regarding our work as it progresses but wanted to provide this initial note following our 45th.

Very Respectfully and GO NAVY,

John Semcken

Team Members: John Rudder , Maurice Tose, Kevin Grinch Lynch, Charles Chip Jones, Dave Buss, Frank Behm, Ray Kwong, John Young, Bill Levis, John Kovalcik, John Semcken

Can you still recite the answers to these two questions?

How Long Have You Been in the Navy?

All me bloomin’ life, sir! Me mother was a mermaid, me father was King Neptune. I was born on the crest of a wave and rocked in the cradle of the deep. Seaweed and barnacles are me clothes. Every tooth in me head is a marlinspike; the hair on me head is hemp. Every bone in me body is a spar, and when I spits, I spits tar. I’se hard. I is, I am, I are!

How’s the Cow?

Sir, she walks, she talks, she’s full of chalk. The lacteal fluid extracted from the female of the bovine species is highly prolific to the (approx. number of milk glasses remaining in carton) nth degree!

April 17, 2023 – Presentation on Class of 1978 Gift for the new Alumni Center


Attached is a slide presentation of our Class Gift for the new USNA Alumni Association Center along King George’s Street. Notice there will be two areas of recognition for our Class: 1) Gate 2 and, 2) a plaque along the pathway on the front side of the building. Thanks to a large gift from a classmate, a final accounting shows our Class gifted $1,931,924 in support of our new Alumni Center. Gifts were given by 257 classmates, and we had 67 plankowners, third most among all classes.

Thank you all for your generous support on this first half of our Class 50th Reunion gift. We will provide details about the second half of our 50th Class gift during our 45th Reunion in October. Hope to see you all in Annapolis this fall.

Fair winds…


Glen Woods

President, USNA Class of 1978

Alumni Center Headquarters Building Project Update