Season’s Greetings, Classmates!
I had the pleasure of spending most of last week in Annapolis where I attended the Alumni Association’s Fall Board of Trustees meeting. I am no longer a member of the Board, but I have been asked to remain on the Membership and Alumni Services Committee as a non-voting trustee. I will complete a three-year tour and then roll off the Board committee. Below is a summary of some things we discussed that I think you will find interesting.
First, here is an early Holiday present. Vince Balderrama and I met with Alumni Association staff to work on a schedule for our 40th Reunion next year – mainly, what we do if there is no home football game. As many of you know, we did not have a game scheduled on our selected weekend. That’s right, DID NOT have. Miracle on King George Street! As we were wrapping up our conversations, Vince learned from the Naval Academy Athletic Association that the Lehigh game has been moved back to September 15, 2018. So, here is a quick summary of the 40th Reunion.
- We will be headquartered at the Westin Hotel on West Street. You can make reservations now by calling the Annapolis Westin.
- We will be sharing part of the hotel with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society (CMOH) who is in Annapolis during that time. Although the society has their own planned events, I expect we may have encounters with them.
- We will play golf.
- Parade likely on Friday.
- Tailgate in the stadium banquet room followed by a Navy victory over Lehigh.
Our reunion committee will put out more detailed information in January, but mark your calendars now.
First update – the Alumni Association and Foundation (USNA AAF) has been working on building a new Alumni Center. Currently, USNA AAF is located in 5 separate, outdated facilities. This makes it difficult to bring staff together, as well as, for alumni to meet with staff. The new location, which will be leased from the Navy, was just approved by the Navy in the recent Defense Authorization Bill. The new Center will be located along King George’s Street (Hwy 450) outside the Yard and across from the baseball field where the Navy still has mail and hazardous materials facilities. These Navy facilities will be relocated starting next year and construction on the new Alumni Center will begin sometime in CY2019. There also will be parking for visitors! The new Alumni Center on the shores of College Creek will be a major upgrade for all alumni.
Update #2 – Stay tuned as the NHL will be playing a game at Navy Marine Corps Stadium on March 3, 2018 – Toronto vs. Washington. This should be fun to watch!
Update #3 – From the Supe’s brief: Our Midshipmen continue to impress. Princeton Review rates USNA as the #16 most involved in the community through such groups as the Midshipman Action Group (25 years strong); Mids for Kids (sponsoring/tutoring in local schools); food drives; coats for the homeless; and more…
Update #4 – continued from Supe’s brief:
Stats on the Class of 2021
- 92% varsity athletes/ 74% varsity team captains
- 1 in 8 are Eagle Scouts
- 62% top 10% of high school class/ 86% top 20%
- 5% from enlisted ranks (yes, seems low number, but remember there are a lot of ways now-a-days for enlisted folks to become officers)
- 7% legacy
Update #5 – continued from Supe’s brief:
Overall retention at USNA = 89.4%. Less than 1.5% “non-voluntary” separations. Why?
- Bringing in better prepared students
- Better faculty: 600 professors, half civilian with PH.Ds. Unlike many universities, professors are there to teach, not do research.
- Center for Academic Excellence: Some hired tutors, but most are faculty and Mids volunteer to tutor their shipmates. Center averages 40,000 visits a year; 1180/week. Who uses the center? Men 62% / Women 78%; Minorities 71%; Prep School 74%; Direct Entry 64%; Varsity Athletes 67%. Overall Brigade QPR = 3.1
Final Update: I believe our Alumni Association is doing a great job supporting our alumni and providing a margin of excellence to our Naval Academy. Our support to USNA in FY2017 was over $31 million dollars. Over $16.5 million went to support academics (visiting professors, academic chairs, study aboard, etc.); $6.6 million supported athletics and the physical mission; $4.6 million supported Character-Leadership Development; and, the remainder supported Admissions and an Unrestricted fund the Superintendent can use to support programs such as summer international programs for midshipmen. To all of you that have donated to our 40th Reunion Gift, thank you. You can see in the list above that our class is having a direct impact on the Brigade through the four areas our gift focuses: support to Admissions, Character & Leadership Development, Athletics, and Unrestricted funds that gives the Superintendent flexibility to fill gaps where needed. For classmates who have not supported our 40th Reunion gift, there is still time. Our participation rate is still around Fleet average, 27%. Our goal is for 100% participation regardless of size of gift. It is also tax deductible…
Seems I got a little long winded, so I will sign off.
Happy Holidays to All,
President, USNA Class of 1978