Good morning, Classmates:

Just passing on some odds and ends as we enter the new year. Mostly, I want to thank a number of people who have done much to support our Class over the past year.

  1. 50th Reunion – Our 50th Reunion will be October 22-25, 2020. Headquarters will again be at the Graduate Annapolis Hotel (formerly Loews Annapolis). Thanks to Barry Steelman and Bill Farris, who renegotiated our contract with the hotel – resulting in significant cost savings. Many thanks to Gary Knight and the Reunion Committee for their hard work in putting the Reunion together. Additional information about the Reunion will be provided in separate “Reunion Gouge” messages.

  2. Annual Class Meeting – Our Annual Class Meeting was convened during our tailgate on October 5, just befobeating Air Force. Reports on the current status of the treasury, membership, and deceased classmates were provided. The Corresponding Secretary’s report urged us to keep the cards and letters coming. Class fundraising, 50th reunion committee, 50th reunion hotel, home game tailgates, Army tailgate, Capstone, and ALITC reports were provided. Distinguished Graduate Award update was provided.

  3. Revision of Class Bylaws – Our Class Bylaws have been under review and revision for about a year. The final document is currently under legal review by Barry Steelman. After Barry finishes his review, the document will be posted on the Class web site, and the Class will be asked to vote (a simple “Yea” or “Nay”) to ratify the revised Bylaws.

  4. Class Officer Elections - A cording to our Class Bylaws, our current Class Officers’ terms will expire at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2021. Our Nominating Committee (Dan Bowler, Lou Buck, and Brock McMunn) is developing a slate of candidates and we will be 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. (Remember: According to our Class Bylaws, these officers must reside in the Annapolis, Baltimore, DC area – or be willing to travel to attend meetings, etc., in support of Class programs and activities.) Watch for a forthcoming email for details on how to proceed.

  5. Home Game Tailgates – Many thanks once again to Gino and Kathy Marchetti for coordinating our 2019 home football tailgates. Grant and Kathy Thorpe and Dave and Ciel Martin were also major contributors to these events. if you are not already on Gino’s tailgate email list, and if you wish to receive home game tailgate information, contact Gino at gino9824@yahoo.com. Look for some changes in form and format of our tailgates in the coming years.

  6. Navy-Army Tailgate – Thanks to Lynn Widener for coordinating our tailgate at the Navy-Army Game in Philadelphia. BRAVO ZULU to Lynn for his hard work. Attendance at this tailgate has been dwindling over the past few years (we aren’t getting any younger, and the trip to Philly seems to be getting longer and longer). So, we are wondering how long we are going to be able to continue this tradition. Stay tuned.

  7. Another Link In The Chain – Thanks to Gary Knight for his coordination of our interaction with the Class of 2020. In May, a number of us attended 2020’s Ring Dance and in November we attended the Service Assignment dinner where Dan Bowler was the keynote speaker. Next on the agenda (January and February) will be a series of Battalion Receptions at Alumni House, where the Class of 2020 will become acquainted with the benefits and services offered by the Alumni Association. Later in the year, some of us will donate our dress swords to the Class of 2020. On May 22, the Class of 2020 will graduate, and a number of us will be on hand to present the new Ensigns and Second Lieutenants with their “butter bars.”

  8. Capstone – The Class of 1970 continues to provide financial support to the USNA Capstone Seminar in Moral Leadership. This seminar, mandatory for all First Class Midshipmen, is a day-long interactive series of sessions that introduce midshipmen to moral and ethical situations that they might encounter as junior officers. We also were afforded the opportunity to provide Table Facilitators for the seminar several times a year. Thanks to Gary Knight for coordinating our support and participation in the Capstone Seminar. But, alas, all good things must come to an end. The Capstone Program staff conducted a comprehensive review of the Program and determined that in the future Table Facilitators will be limited to USNA graduates between their 10th and 40th years after graduation.

  9. Hopper Hall Support – The oil painting of Admiral Grace Hopper for the entrance of Hopper Hall, and a plaque indicating the portrait was donated by the Class of 1970, have been delivered to the USNA Museum, awaiting completion of Hopper Hall. We have also procured a battle ensign from USS Hopper (DDG 70) for appropriate display in Hopper Hall. Thanks to Bob Sonnenberg for coordinating these efforts. We expect Hopper Hall to be completed in the spring, ready for classes in the fall, with a suitable dedication ceremony sometime in the fall (but probably not during our Reunion weekend).

  10. CG 70 and DDG 70 Support – This was a precursor to the support for Hopper Hall. Since commissioning of USS Lake Erie (CG 70) in 1993 and USS Hopper (DDG 70) in 1997, the Class of 1970 has sponsored an annual leadership award (plaque) for the outstanding Junior Officer and Petty Officer of each ship. In 2019 we replenished the supplies of plaques for the ships. Thanks to Jerry Farrell, Guy Knieriem, and Jim Suhr for making it happen.

  11. Class of 1970 Senior Enlisted Member Leadership Award – The 2019 Award was presented in April to EMNCS (SW/AW/IW) Jose E. Garabis, USN, 15th Company Senior Enlisted Leader. (Been away from the Navy for a while? Don’t recognize “EMN?” Neither did I. It is Electrician’s Mate Surface Nuclear.) Thanks again to Clint Adams for drafting the governing Instruction and shepherding it through the inner workings and hidden mechanisms of the Bancroft Hall administration processes.

  12. American Veterans Center (AVC) – For several years the Class of 1970 has been providing funding for midshipmen, as a part of their leadership education experience, to attend the annual AVC Conference and Banquet. That has all been coordinated by Barry Steelman who, along with Ed Giambastiani, serves on the AVC Advisory Board. The mission of the American Veterans Center is to preserve and promote the legacy and experiences of America's veterans and active duty service personnel from World War II through today. This year’s AVC Conference included recognition of Barry for his service on AVC’s Advisory Board. Also, this year was the Class of 2020’s opportunity to participate in the AVC events, and while not an official ALITC event, it gave some of us a great opportunity to interact with members of the Class of 2020. Dan Bowler moderated one of the panel discussions.

  13. Distinguished Graduate Award – Nominations for the 2020 Distinguished Graduate Award will be accepted starting on July 1. Nomination packages are due to the Alumni Association in late October. So far, five Classmates 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.com/DGA. The nomination process is straightforward, but it is time- and labor-intensive. So, begin now. Questions? Contact Jim Perry (jimperry706@gmail.com), our Class Trustee who manages this program.

  14. Fundraising – I know you don’t enjoy always being asked to give more money to the USNA Foundation. So I won’t do that. Just a few notes about our fundraising: We have surpassed our overall 50-year gift goal of $1,970,000.00. That is due to some very generous donations to the Naval Academy Fund portion of our gift. But we are still behind in our specific goals in the areas of Athletic Excellence, Cyber Program Support, and Leadership & Ethics. Once a donation has been placed in a fund, it cannot be reallocated to another fund. We can, however, reallocate unpaid future pledge payments: For example, if we initially designated our pledge to be allocated equally among the four funds, we can tell the USNA Foundation to allocate our future pledge payments differently. Just call or email Dan Quattrini (952-210-5533, dan.quattrini@usna.com) at the Foundation and he will make it happen. Thanks to Leo Williams and Grant Thorpe for their hard work on this program.

  15. New Alumni Center – Some are probably aware of the Alumni Association and Foundation’s project to design and build a new Alumni Center. Some preliminary work has already been done, like refurbishing the seawall, and ground will be broken for the building itself in the summer or fall of this year. The Center will be on King George Street on the creek across from the USNA baseball stadium. The new building will house the offices of the Alumni Association (currently in Ogle Hall, 49 House, and The Cottage), the offices of the Foundation (currently in the former pharmacy of the old USNA Hospital), and the Foundation Athletic and Scholarships Program office (currently at 25 Maryland Avenue). In addition to housing the Alumni Association and Foundation offices, the new Center will serve as a venue for receptions, meetings, and other events. And there will be parking! Once this center is up and running, The Alumni Association and Foundation will not be in a financial position to operate and maintain its current holdings. Accordingly, the plan is to sell Ogle Hall, 49 House, The Cottage, and 25 Maryland Avenue.

  16. Class Merchandise – The Online Class Store (http://www.usnaclasstore.com/70store.html) is temporarily closed and will reopen as our 50th Reunion approaches.

  17. Chapel Dome Relics – Those who have visited the Yard recently have noticed the scaffolding around the Chapel Dome. A couple of years ago, the Dome began leaking and the Academy set out to conduct repairs. It was discovered that the Dome was a constructive total loss and needed to be completely replaced. What to do with all that copper? Rather than selling it for scrap, the Academy will convey it to the Alumni Association. The Association has contracted with a vendor to fabricate various artifacts (commemorative medallions, picture frames, and other things TBD). Details are being worked out.

  18. Class Rings and Miniatures – Class ring/miniature lost, stolen, or strayed? Stone loose, cracked, or gone? Need resizing? Worn down? As with previous reunions, we will have a Balfour representative at our 50th Reunion. But if you don’t want to wait that long, the Balfour point of contact is Henry (Skip) Wittich, 410-321-4433 X-302, hwittich3@verizon.net. If you bought your ring/miniature from Balfour (Didn’t we all?), the company has a data base with all the details (color, finish, stone, etc.) of our original rings/miniatures.

I guess that’s about all for now. Eiko and I wish you all the best in 2020.



Michael J. Novak
President, USNA '70       

Updated:January 10, 2020
Curator: Ed Moore