Good afternoon, Classmates:
Here are some news items and status reports as we move into the summer:
- 50th Reunion – As you may know, our 50th Reunion will be October 22-25, 2020. Reunion Headquarters will again be at the Loews Annapolis Hotel – recently renamed the Hotel Annapolis, and soon to be renamed again as the Graduate Annapolis. Our block of rooms has already been booked. We have a contract with the Crowne Plaza for additional rooms, but the hotel will not accept reservations for our reunion until November 22, 2019. The Reunion is being planned by our Reunion Committee, and we can expect the same schedule of events as in previous Reunions – although the locations of some events may change.
- Check your profile at usna.com – Please check your profile at usna.com. We will be using this database to communicate Reunion information to you, and to register for the Reunion. You do not have to join the Alumni Association to have a profile.
- RealID Act – Yard access – The RealID Act takes effect on October 1, 2020. Under this Act, federal government facilities (like the Naval Academy) are prohibited from granting access to those who do not have an identification that is compliant with the Act. A military ID Card is compliant. So is a valid U.S. Passport. Other compliant forms of ID can be found at DHS Real-ID. If you do not have a compliant form of ID, you may have to go to your local Department of Motor Vehicles and apply for an upgraded drivers license. Just to find out what that would take, I decided to apply for an upgraded license. I looked in my “important papers” file and found that I did not have a copy of my birth certificate, and that my passport had expired. It only took a few days to get a birth certificate, but it took six weeks to get a new passport. Bottom line: Don’t wait until the last minute!
- Class Rings – lost, stolen, or strayed -Occasionally, we have seen Class Rings offered for sale on eBay, at yard sales, in pawn shops, etc. Unlike West Point, the USNA Alumni Association does not have a program for retrieving these rings. If you see a ’70 Class Ring offered for sale, please try to get as much information about it as possible. Provide that information to me and to Holly Powers (email@example.com). If the ring has been reported as stolen, the Alumni Association may be able to take action to retrieve it. Our names are inscribed inside of our rings, and if the seller is unwilling to provide the name in a ring, then there is something very wrong. If you lose your ring, or if it is stolen, be sure to file a report with the local police.
- 2020 Distinguished Graduate Award – Nominations for the 2020 Distinguished Graduate Award will be accepted starting on July 1. Nomination packages (always hand-delivered by yours truly) are due to the Alumni Association on October 21, 2019. We currently have five Classmates who have received this prestigious award, and there are others who deserve to receive it. So, if you want to nominate someone, the details are at USNA DGA. The nomination process is straightforward, but it is time- and labor-intensive. So, begin now.
- Class Officer Elections 2020 – According to our Class Bylaws, our current Class Officers’ terms will expire at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2021. That may seem far in the future, but there are a number of things that must happen before that – like developing a slate of candidates and holding an election in the spring or summer of 2020. The newly elected/reelected Class Officers will be announced at our Reunion in October 2020. So, start thinking now about whether you would like to run for Class President, Vice President, Membership Secretary, or Treasurer. Watch for a forthcoming email for details on how to proceed.
- Annual Class Business Meeting – Our Annual Class Business Meeting will be held during our tailgate on October 5, just before we crush Air Force. We will be providing updates on the status of the various programs the Class is involved in, and we will be voting to ratify amendments to the Class Bylaws. If you have any item or issue you would like covered, feel free to send me an email.
- American Veterans Center Conference and Dinner – Normally, we hold our Annual Class Business Meeting during Homecoming Weekend. We decided to move it to October 5 because Homecoming Weekend is also the weekend of the American Veterans Center (AVC) annual Convention and Gala Dinner. The mission of the AVC is to guard the legacies and honor the sacrifices of all American veterans. Through oral history preservation, educational programs and civic events, AVC preserves the stories – and lessons – of veterans past and present, from which future generations can learn. For several years, the Class of 1970 has been funding Midshipmen participation in the AVC annual Conference, and this year the Class of 2020 (our Link In The Chain Class) will be participating. While not an o0fficial ALITC event, the Dinner provides us a great opportunity to interact with 2020. Also, Classmate Barry Steelman will be recognized by AVC for his years of service on the AVC Advisory Board. The Class of ’70 will receive a 50% discount for the dinner -- $250.00 per person. I encourage all members of the Class of 1970 to consider attending this gala event. Details to follow by separate email regarding due dates for reservations and payment, but it’s not too early to save the date.
- 50th Reunion – We are in the process of planning our Army-Navy football tailgate. Be on the lookout for a survey regarding that event in the near future.
- A few Items about A Couple of “F-words” – The first “F-Word” I want to address is Funerals. We are not getting any younger, and like it or not, our funerals are not too far in the future. Best to be prepared, so as not to impose additional hardship on our loved ones. Procedures for interment/inurnment at the Naval Academy and at Arlington Cemetery are published on our Class Website under the heading "Class Info". If you wish to be laid to rest elsewhere, and wish to avail yourself of military or veterans’ benefits/ceremonies, your survivors must provide a copy of your DD Form 214. Make sure your family knows the location of your DD-214 and your wishes for interment/inurnment.
The second “F-Word” is Fundraising. It often seems we are being “fundraised” to death. And I know: Some see the subject “Fundraising” on an email, and delete the email without reading it. But our Naval Academy relies on donations from alumni and other “friends of the Academy” to function. Without those donations, there would be fewer (or no) club sports teams, fewer (or no) endowed professorships, no Alumni Hall, no Akerson Tower, no Physical Mission Center (currently under construction), no future Alumni Association and Foundation Center, fewer (or no) international programs, and reduced funding for the Midshipmen Welfare Fund. So, we continue to ask you for money. Three years ago, we began our 50-year Reunion Gift Fundraising. This is the last time the USNA Foundation will ask us for a Class Gift (nice to know there’s something good about getting old!). We set an ambitious overall goal of $1,970,000. The good news is that we have exceeded that overall goal. The not-so-good news is that we still have not met three of our specific goals for support of cyber operations, athletic excellence, and leadership/ethics. We will continue our efforts, but will shift our emphasis from mass emails to one-on-one phone calls and meetings. More on this in the near future.
More on the second “F-Word” – This year’s All Academy Challenge runs from May 30 through June 3. We will be competing against the other four Service Academies to see which of us can submit the highest percent of donations. The focus is on number of donations, not total amount of dollars donated. Minimum donation is $5.00. Last year the Class of 1970 came in seventh of all USNA classes, with 131 donors (the Class of 1965 was first with 248 donors). I know we can do better this year. Look for several emails from me on this topic between now and June 3.
Well, that’s about all for now. BEAT ARMY!!
Michael J. Novak
President, USNA '70
Updated: May 19, 2019
Curator: Ed Moore