The Class of 2024 unveiled their class crest on Friday, March 5, 2021, during the annual Plebe Banquet at Washington Hall.
Ring and Crest Chairman Cadet Sayana Lopes, shared how the Class of 2024 honored their 50-Year-Affiliation Class of 1974 in the design.
“To honor those who came before us, our fifty-year affiliate class, Class of 1974, is represented on our crest. The Olive Branch in the eagle’s mouth was designed in a style that mirrors the oak leaf that is seen on the Class of 1974’s crest. This mirroring embodies the unity and legacy that the Class of 1974 has and that we will honor and carry forward with the Class of 2024. The olive branch not only bridges our connection to the Class of 1974, but also symbolizes the peace that exists within the Long Grey Line itself.” – Cadet Sayana Lopes (Ring and Crest Chairman).
Class President Cadet Kijana Knights also thanked COL (R) Jim Loy ’74, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, for attending. Dr. Loy is a member of the 50-Year-Affiliate Class of 1974 and could participate because he is also a faculty member at West Point.
This year’s guest speaker was COL (R) Greg Gadson ’89. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant of Field Artillery in 1989 from West Point. He has served in every major conflict of the past two decades, from Operation Desert Shield to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Gadson’s greatest challenge came in Iraq after he was injured and lost both of his legs. But he remained on active duty until 2014, inspiring others and advocating for veterans and those with disabilities.
The banquet ended with the Class of 2024 presenting COL Gadson with a signed football from the Black Knights to show their appreciation.