The history of the United States Military Academy at West Point and its graduates truly goes hand-in-hand with the history of the United States of America. From the War of 1812 to the more recent Global War on Terror, West Point graduates have played an integral part ─ and in all probability have been on the front lines ─ of defending our nation and democracy, both in the U.S. and abroad.
One of the ways in which the West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) serves its graduates is to foster ways that generations of alumni can “Grip Hands” with each other. In the spirit of providing a way for you to Grip Hands with past generations of West Point graduates and this organization that represents them, we are providing this historical portal.
We are proud to honor our history and credit our formation to Brevet BG Robert Anderson (1825), who believed that an “Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy” was important. Anderson wrote Brevet BG Sylvanus Thayer (1808) in January 1869 and outlined the concept of forming an association, “to see what should be done to perfect and perpetuate this truly national institution.”
Thayer wholeheartedly agreed with this proposal and on May 22, 1869, fifteen graduates gathered in the office of Dr. Horace Webster (1818), President of the College of the City of New York, to turn Anderson’s idea into a reality. Among other business, the group resolved that the Association was to be “formed purely for the promotion of social and fraternal intercourse.”
Today, the West Point Association of Graduates holds true to the original ideals of this group, providing opportunities for Grads to gather in societies, on Founders Day, during reunions, at tailgates and at a host of other activities held around the world. We continue to strengthen the bonds of the “Long Gray Line” through communications and services. We also prepare for the future by building relationships which support current cadets…our future.
Click the images below to read the online timelines featured in West Point magazine.
The mission of the West Point Post Cemetery is to deliver the FINAL SALUTE to those members of the US Corps of Cadets, its Faculty, Staff, and those West Point Graduates who have dedicated their lives in the service of this nation. We strive to commemorate and memorialize these Graduates and to care for their final resting place in perpetuity. May it be said, “Well done; Be thou at peace.”
West Point Notable Grave Locator Map
Historical Documents / Research
WPAOG Timeline & West Point & WPAOG Highlights
By J. Phoenix, Esquire 150-2011
The Healing Years 1869-1962, David Pinder ’86
Two Decades of Change 1970-1990, COL (R) Robert Lamb ’49
West Point Register of Graduates & Former Cadets
The West Point Register of Graduates & Former Cadets was WPAOG’s oldest publication, dating back to 1850, when the first Register was compiled by George W. Cullum, Class of 1833. It is an indispensable treasury of military history. Search for individual entries recording the names, classes, and careers of every West Point graduate from 1802 to the present.
Search for an Individual Register Entry (you must be logged in and a Graduate, widow, or ex-cadet)
The Register of Graduates was a unique publication with roots that go back to 1846. At that time, as the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United States Military was approaching, a graduate of the Class of 1833 stationed at West Point, George W. Cullum, began to compile a listing of those who had attended the Military Academy. His first effort, published in 1850, was called a Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy from 1802 to January 1, 1850. Shortly afterward, he took ill, and then duties elsewhere and the Civil War took priority. Returning to West Point in 1864 as superintendent, he served until 1866, when he was assigned other duties.
In 1867, however, he was able to publish his Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from its establishment on March 16, 1802, to the Army Reorganization of 1866-67. The New York Times heralded it as a “contribution to the military history of the Nation so rich in invaluable data and so essential to the future historian or student of American history.” The first volume covered the first 1,058 graduates through the Class of 1840, while the second volume ended with the 2,218th graduate in the Class of 1867. An additional volume followed, in 1879, updating the biographies of the earlier volumes and adding more recent graduates. This periodic updating continued, all financed by a generous bequest made by Brigadier General Cullum upon his death in 1892. Afterward, volumes appeared at regular ten-year intervals until the 1940-50 volume, when the bequest proved insufficient to sustain publication. This earlier Register is available online as a historical reference document at the U.S. Military Academy Library website: http://library.westpoint.edu/ In 1946, however, deeming it impractical to wait ten years to update the document, the West Point Alumni Foundation published its first annual Register of Graduates. In 1972, this effort was transferred to the Association of Graduates and by 2002, the Bicentennial of the founding of the Academy, the Register was made available online to graduates.