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Class Notes

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50-Year Affiliate Class of 1970 Grip Hands with 2020

The Class of 1970—the 50-Year Affiliate class of the Class of 2020—has been with the new graduates at many of their West Point milestones over the past four years. Beginning on R-Day, Class of 1970 graduates have accompanied their affiliated cadets at significant Academy events such as their March Back, CFT Graduation, Cow Affirmation Ceremony, Ring Weekend, and Branch Night.

And while the Class of 2020’s last year at West Point ended a bit differently than they had anticipated, members of the Class of 1970 were with the firsties at their graduation in spirit while watching on their laptops and TVs. For graduation, the Class of 1970 also continued the tradition of presenting engraved 2LT bars to each member of the Class of 2020.

During the ceremony, members of the Class of 1970 shared video messages of congratulations and encouragement to the new second lieutenants as they leave the Academy to begin their Army careers.

Although they couldn’t physically grip hands, the Long Gray Line connection linking the graduates of yesterday with the new graduates of today continues unbroken and remains just as strong as ever.  SEE PHOTOS ON FLICKR

The gift bag included engraved 2nd Lt. bars donated by the Class of 1970, the 50-year affiliate class; silver dollar coins, coins for their first salute donated by USAA; a selfie stick and car window decal from the Class of 1996, which couldn’t host the first-class social this year; a grad guide, donated by the West Point Association of Graduates; a card from WPAOG that symbolizes the collective congratulations of the entire Long Gray Line; and a personalized letter from members of the Class of 1970 to each and every member of the Class of 2020.


A Class of 2020 graduate shows off his 2LT bars. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Class of 1970 was not able to present the bars in person, but each cadet received a personal letter from Class of 1970 members.

The bars and letters were part of a gift bag provided by the West Point Association of Graduates and distributed graduation week.