Naval Academy Alumni Center Dedicated


This morning I open my copy of the Annapolis Captial Gazette and on the front page is a great article about the dedication ceremony for our new Alumni Center. I thought you might enjoy reading it as you prepare to watch Navy beat Wagner in football today (See article below). Thanks again to all of you that helped make this happen. If you have time during our 45th Reunion activities, stop by and take a look around. The Center is located off King George’s Street across from the baseball field.

If you have not signed up for the reunion yet, please do so. Prices increase in early October to cover last minute additions, so Sign Up Now!

Fair winds…


Glen Woods

President, USNA Class of 1978

A ‘nerve center’ for future generations
Naval Academy Alumni Association unveils state-of-the-art facility

Megan Loock/CapitAl gazette 
By Megan Loock

Nearly eight years ago, the Naval Academy Alumni Association announced it had outgrown its offices at Ogle Hall and would seek a new home.

On Friday, the organization made good on that promise by cutting the ribbon on the new Fluegel Alumni Center, a sprawling, state-of-the-art, 65,000-square-foot facility overlooking College Creek.
In March, the organization announced the facility would be named after Frederick “Rick” Fluegel, a 1961 academy graduate, and his wife Donna, who donated funds to the project.

“It warms the cockles of my heart,” Donna Fluegel said about the ceremony. “I believe that the young men and women who are just graduating probably have no idea how the academy has impacted them. As they pursue their path in life, they will start to understand why people give back and it’s important and for me, it makes my heart sing.”

The Fluegels love for the U.S. Navy had always been evident. Both are children of fathers who served in the Navy during World War II. Giving back to Rick’s alma mater was only natural.

The Fluegels had undertaken a few philanthropic ventures for the academy before, Donna said, but a visit to the Naval Academy grounds in 2016 changed everything.

The year before, the alumni association announced it would seek new office space. Ogle Hall, the stately Annapolis mansion and a colonial home for Maryland governors, was too small for the group’s 80 or so employees, who were forced to work in offices scattered throughout the city.

The new alumni center is situated on a little more than 3 acres along College Creek, across King George Street from Max Bishop Stadium. The project consolidates five buildings on and off the Yard into one location, allowing staff to serve a larger number of alumni and community partners and host more events.
The building includes 17,000 square feet of indoor event space, two banquet facilities and another 7,200 square feet of outdoor deck space. The site features 100 on-site parking spaces and 700 feet of shoreline.

The ceremony drew many of the Naval Academy’s leading figures including U.S. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and acting Superintendent of the Naval Academy Rear Adm. Fred W. Kacher. Other dignitaries included Adm. Bill Moran, chairman of the Alumni Association and Foundation Athletic & Scholarship Program, and Adm. Mark Ferguson, chairman of the board of directors of the Alumni Association and Foundation.

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley also attended and spoke to the academy’s impact on the greater Annapolis community. “What I love about the U.S. Naval Academy is that it never leaves you no matter where you go in the country or the world,” he said. “You never forget Annapolis.”

More than 3,500 alumni, including 37 graduating classes, raised a total of $36 million in contributions to build, equip and operate the center. Those donors include 1,200 plankowners, or former crew members, who contributed at least $12,500 each. Their names will be featured along one of the corridors in the new facility.

“This building is far more than a physical space a venue or an office,” said Jeff Webb, Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation president and CEO. “It is already the nerve center of our alumni community and the vehicle through which we will organize political support to the Naval Academy for generations to come.”

One of the building’s defining features is the center’s lobby, which was designed to emulate Memorial Hall, located at the heart of the academy. The lobby is designed with a modern twist with the academy’s coat of arms greeting visitors as they walk in. As they move inward, a marble staircase leads visitors up three staircases to what is called the bridge.On the bridge, visitors are met by a glass window overlooking College Creek, above which the text reads, “Don’t Give Up The Ship” in navy blue.
“That legacy component combined with this link to the Naval Academy is special,” Webb said.

This defining feature is a favorite of Ben Scarbro, senior project designer at Perkins Eastman, a New York-based architectural firm that helped design the building. “Every aspect of the lobby was something we had to go over and over to make sure we put forth the absolute best in that space,” Scarbro said.

Scarbro, an Annapolis native, said the best part was being able to give back to a community with which he has deep personal ties. Scarbro’s grandfather was a Navy submariner during World War II; his father taught at the Naval Academy and coached its baseball team; and his brother is an academy graduate, naval flight officer, and Top Gun graduate, who will also begin teaching at Annapolis in a few years.
“I am a Navy kid through and through,” he said. “So when this project came up, it felt like home for me.”