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WPS of Hawaii Celebrates Founders Day

The West Point Society of Hawaii celebrated Founders Day in Paradise on March 29, 2018 at the Hale Koa Hotel. 304 Alumni and friends of West Point joined for a rollicking good time, making this year's event the best attended anyone could remember. The Society recognized the long-time contributions of Meghan Hostler (spouse of Dutch '68), Gil Tam '70 and Jan Medusky '72. LTG Robert Caslen and spouse Shelly were the Guests of Honor. The Guest Speaker was MG Ron Clark '88 CG of the 25th ID. The oldest or as he likes to be called most mature grad was Ken Bailey '54 and the Youngest Nicole Carter '17. Erin Whitney '96 the state Admissions Field Force Rep introduced five prospective Cadet Cadets who with their families attended the dinner as the Society's guests.

WPS of Central Florida Celebrates Founders Day

The West Point Society of Central Florida (WPSCF) celebrated the founding of the United States Military Academy at Shingle Creek Resorts in Orlando Florida, on Saturday, March 17th. The evening included guest speaker, the Honorable Robert A. McDonald, the 8th Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The oldest graduate was Jack Halsey, LtCol, USAF Retired, Class of '58; and the youngest graduate present, 1LT Karlos Febus '14.

The President of the Society, James L. Young '78, kicked off the evening with introductions of the special guests attending the dinner before turning the evening over to the Master of Ceremonies, Mike Genetti '75. The Honorable Robert A. McDonald's talk on the state of the Academy included information on graduates in action, The Davis barracks dedication, the Margin of Excellence Program, the 6th Annual McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character and more. The talk was very well received, and the evening proved to be a great success. Photos from the evening can be seen at https://wpscf.org/gallery/index.php?/category/10.

Photo: The Honorable Robert A. McDonald '75 with Jack Halsey '58 and Karlos Febus '14

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Comradery with USNAAA

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Comradery with USNAAAThe West Point Society of Upstate South Carolina partnered with the United States Naval Academy Alumni Association (USNAAA) Palmetto Chapter for a picnic on April 28, 2018. This was their second picnic together and has grown into a yearly tradition for the two groups of alumni to get together, connect, tell old war stories, and enjoy some good food. Of note, they made sure to remind their Blue & Gold wearing friends, who won the football game back in December.

Photo: Tom von Kaenel '77 and his wife Doris

WPS of the Tennessee Valley Founders Day Dinner

This year the West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley (WPSTV) celebrated the founding of the United States Military Academy at Valley Hill Country Club in Huntsville, Alabama, on Saturday, April 7th. The evening included guest speaker, Superintendent, LTG Robert Caslen '75. The Supt, supervised as the youngest grad, 1LT Megan Coley '14, and oldest grad, Wood De Lueil '56, cut the cake. The evening was presided over by WPSTV president, Gary Stewart '66. Todd Browne '85, West Point AOG President and CEO, provided a brief AOG update prior to introducing the Supt, who gave a State of the Academy Address. The evening also included a very successful silent auction to raise money for West Point's Margin of Excellence programs.

WPS of the Mid-South Celebrates Founders Day

The West Point Society of the Mid-South celebrated the 216th Anniversary of Founders Day on April 6, 2018. With a record of 125 attendees, the Society was charged with enthusiasm as the keynote speaker Superintendent, Lieutenant General Robert Caslen, Jr. '75 led in a spirited Rocket!  Following the reminiscences of the Oldest Grad LTC(R) Robert Wheaton '55, the Youngest Grad CPT(R) Keiven Wright '10, set the stage for the Superintendent to expound on his unique exploits as a deer hunter at West Point a few years ago. COL(R) Todd Browne '85, President and CEO of the AOG, primed the assemblage with news of the 150th Anniversary of the AOG, spoke of strengthening the Academy through donations, and pledged the continued support by the AOG for each member of the Long Gray Line. After 50-Year Affiliation graduate LTC(R) Ron Scott '72, congratulated the new cadet candidates of the Class of 2022, the Oldest Grad closed the evening leading in the singing of the "Alma Mater". As the order was given to "Fall Out", they all agreed that 2018 is another great year to BEAT NAVY!!!

The WPS of Connecticut Celebrates Founders Day

The West Point Society of Connecticut dedicated its Founders Day celebration to the life and legacy of General Benjamin O. Davis '36. In keeping with that theme, the event was held at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT. Kicking off the evening was Sherman Fleek LTC(R), the USMA Command Historian. In addition to being a professional historian, LTC Fleek was an Army Aviator and he shared with the guests a brief history of Army aviation and the major role of West Point graduates as they dined amid a broad collection of military aircraft. Capping off the evening as the featured speaker was Connecticut native, Doug Melville, the grandnephew of General Davis, who shared some personal stories of life with the General. The oldest graduate present was Al Paulekas ’53, an Army Athletic Hall of Famer and the youngest was Emma Dugas Class of ’15 – a span of 62 years between the two!

To view photos of the event, click here.

The WPS of Upstate South Carolina Founders Day

The West Point Society of Upstate South Carolina celebrated Founders Day with their annual dinner on March 24 in Greenville, South Carolina. The guest speaker was the Superintendent of the United State Military Academy, Lieutenant General Robert Caslen '75. He was introduced by his classmate and football teammate Chuck Baker '75. The evening also included the hand-over of the President duties to Tom Sullivan '08, and Vice President duties to Stephen Astemborski '09. WPSUSC would like to thank Tom von Kaenel '77, for his three years of service as President. His impact was enormous and Tom and Steve are excited to carry the momentum he created forward.

Photo: L-R Chuck Baker '75, LTG Caslen '75, Dave Phelan '70, Kris Belanger '91, Royd Lutz '84, Terry Meyer '96, Caroline O'Sullivan '08, Tom von Kaenel '77, Stephen Astemborski '09, Tom Sullivan '08

The WPS of the Middle East Celebrates Founders Day

The West Point Society of the Middle East celebrated Founders Day on March 16, 2018 at Café Milano, Four Seasons Hotel, Abu Dhabi, with over 130 guests in attendance. The guest list included nine retired flag officers, fellow service academy graduates, military veterans, and numerous distinguished business leaders.

The Society's President and co-founder, Jarat Ford '99 remarked, "This was our eighth Founders Day celebration in the United Arab Emirates and also the eighth anniversary of the Society. I'm truly humbled where we are today as our first Founders Day dinner had only ten guests and owe a debt of gratitude to Lieutenant General (R) William G. "Fuzzy" Webster Jr. '74 who gladly accepted to be our keynote speaker this year and who also greatly raised the profile of the Society."

Setting new Founders Day dinner standards at every level from the venue to the quality of the food to the caliber of the speakers, the West Point Society of the Middle East defined excellence at every turn. Founders Day dinners are truly defined by the quality of youngest and oldest graduate speeches. This year's line-up was hard to beat.

The youngest graduate speech was delivered by Captain Hamid Nasir '13), a 2012 Truman scholar and 2018 recipient of the Paul and Daily Soros Fellowship. The oldest graduate speech was delivered by Major General (R) Rick Olson '72, former USMA Commandant and commanding general of 25th Infantry Division. General Olson, an inspiring leader and speaker, rallied all the West Point and fellow service academy graduates present, and highlighted how remarkable it was to have graduates spread across five decades coming together for Founders Day dinner in Abu Dhabi.

In addition to the 35 West Point graduates at the dinner the RSVP list also included 8 US Navy Academy graduates, 2 US Air Force Academy graduates, and over 20 graduates from other commissioning sources. Click here to see photos from the event.

Photo: Front Row L-R: Rear Admiral(R) Jack Prendergast, Mimi Prendergast, Lieutenant General(R) Joseph Peterson, Hall Delano Roosevelt, Janice Roosevelt, Captain Hamid Nasir '13, Lieutenant General(R) William G. "Fuzzy" Webster, Jr.'74, Franco Nuschese, Major General(R) Rick Olson '72, Brigadier General(R) Albert Bryant Jr. '74, Rear Admiral(R) Frank Ponds, Brigadier General(R) Paul Laughlin, Jarat Ford '99, Michael Dishman '86

WPS of Hong Kong Founders Day Dinner

WPS of Hong Kong Founders Day DinnerThe West Point Society of Hong Kong celebrated Founders Day with a Dinner at Crown Wine Cellars on April 14, 2018. The venue was the former British Military ammunition and weapons storage depot, the last location to fall to the Japanese in WW2 and a UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Site, which is now a wine storage facility run by American Jim Thompson. This year they extended an invite to the British veterans in Hong Kong, who had welcomed the American veterans to their Trafalgar Night dinner last year. There was no keynote speaker this year as they figured their oldest and youngest grads were interesting enough. The Oldest Grad was Russael Johanys '70 who traveled from Guangzhou for his first ever Founders Day and John Bonds '11 was the Youngest Grad.

WPS of the Mid-Hudson Leadership & Character Conference

WPS of the Mid-Hudson Leadership & Character ConferenceSeventy high school junior students from 14 area high schools reported to Ike Hall on April 11, 2018 to take part in the West Point Society Mid-Hudson Region (WPSMHR) annual flagship event, the Leadership & Character Conference. The conference was led this year by Glenn Goldman '84 of the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE).

The WPSMHR's L&C Conference seeks to introduce achieving high school juniors to the benefits of living an honorable and righteous life. The hope is that the students will return to their schools and spread these ideals among their classmates as they go forth through high school, college, and beyond.

Cadets and Major Mat D. Kilgore '02, the Society president, conducted break-out sessions to discuss case studies where the easier wrong was chosen over the harder right with unfortunate results. The conference lasted from 8:30 until 2:00 with breakfast and lunch served.

WPS of the Tennessee Valley Host WP Exhibit

WPS of the Tennessee Valley Host WP ExhibitThe Huntsville Museum of Art, with the help from members of the West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley, hosted a preview party for the exhibit Duty, Honor, Country - Highlights from the West Point Museum Collection. The night began with opening lectures on the history and culture of West Point from David Reel, Executive Director of the West Point Museum and John Zierdt, Jr. '66. Following the introductory lectures, attendees, which included several Tennessee Valley Society members, were afforded the opportunity to view the exhibit. The exhibit includes paintings and drawings of prominent artists and former cadets, cadet uniforms, rifles, swords, a Gatling gun, a Confederate torpedo, and other artifacts. The exhibit will run through July 8, 2018. If you are in the Huntsville, Alabama area, you should consider stopping by and visiting the exhibit.

WPS of the Mid-South Mentorship Panel

WPS of the Mid-South Mentorship PanelThe West Point Society of the Mid-South held a mentorship panel on April 3, 2018. Four members of the West Point Society of the Mid-South: MG(R) Rob Williamson'73; MG(R) Paul Hamm'73; LTC(R) Ron Scott '72; and CPT(R) Elise Hackstall '04 teamed with two other officers from the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) to provide a panel of experienced officers to help round out the development of the graduating senior cadets as they prepare to enter Army service in the Active, Reserve, and Army National Guard components. This is the first time for the University of Memphis ROTC program, the ROA, and the West Point Society of the Mid-South that Army officers from the greater-Memphis community, including active, reserve, and retired, have teamed together to mentor graduating Army ROTC Cadets to more effectively prepare them for service to the Nation.

WPS of Denver Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of Denver Celebrates Founders DayThe West Point Society of Denver Celebrated Founders Day on March 3, 2018 at the Denver Downtown University Club. There were over one-hundred-fifty people in attendance. The oldest Grad was Amos Mathews '49, and the youngest was Bill Dorner '12. The Speaker was Brigadier General David Hodne '91, Deputy Commander, 4th Infantry Division. There were six class of 2022 cadet candidates, appropriately hazed by their 50-year affiliation class, the class of 1972. Also attending the celebration was a Denver Navy League official ('69 USNA) and three AFA grads, balancing out the affair.

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Crew BBQ

The West Point Society of Upstate South Carolina hosted a BBQ for the Army Crew Team on Lake Hartwell in Clemson on March 16. Eighty-one cadets and thirty-five local grads and friends of West Point enjoyed an evening of Gripping Hands and camaraderie. Russell Street '59 was the project officer and Bill Malouche '51 led the "Zowie, Zowie, Zowie" call.

WPS of Central Pennsylvania Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of Central Pennsylvania Celebrates Founders DayThe West Point Society of Central Pennsylvania celebrated Founders Day on March 23. There were ninety people in attendance. Ty Seidule was the guest speaker, he challenged everyone and was quite informative. A raffle was held and they raised enough money to donate to the AOG and pay for the prizes. There were door prizes and toasts and four new members from the Class of 2022. The food was enjoyed and a great time had by all. Click here to see more photos.

WPS of the Philippines Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of the Philippines Celebrates Founders DayThe West Point Society of the Philippines (WPSP) celebrated Founders Day on March 17, 2018 at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Officers Clubhouse, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The Keynote Speaker was retired Consul-General Santiago Busa '76. Former President Fidel Ramos '50 was the oldest grad. More than thirty people were in attendance, two-thirds of whom were grads. Click here to see more photos.

The new Society Board was also inducted during the Founders Day dinner. The new set of officers whose tenure will be from FD 2018 - FD 2021 are:

Siegfred Mison '87 - President | Eugene Henry Cabusao '97 - Vice-President | Mark Andrew Posadas '04 - Secretary | Apollo Agcaoili '91 - Treasurer | Teodorico Sanchez Jr '80 - Adviser | Dencio Acop '83 - Adviser

They took over from the outgoing Board whose term was from 2015-2018:

Dencio Acop '83 - President | Napoleon Taas '84 - 1st VP | Siegfred Mison '87 - 2nd VP | Eugene Henry Cabusao '97 | Secretary Mark Andrew Posadas '04 - Treasurer | Teodorico Sanchez Jr '80 - Adviser

WPS of the Tri-State/Chattanooga Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of the Tri-State/Chattanooga Celebrates Founders DayThe West Point Society of the Tri-State/Chattanooga celebrated West Point Founders Day on March 23, 2018. Command Sargent Major Tim Guden was the guest speaker of the evening. It was a great event and everyone had a wonderful time hearing the latest news from the Academy.

WPS of Paris Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of Paris 2018 Founders DayThe West Point Society of Paris (WPSP) held its 2018 Founders Day Dinner at the historic École Militaire in Paris on March 17, 2018. As it does every year, the WPSP hosted the cadets who are in France on the French Department's Semester Abroad Program as their guests for the Founders Day Dinner and were delighted to have eight cadets in attendance. This year, for the first time, they invited other European West Point Societies to the event. With great response they had a total of 80 alumni, cadets and guests, a 60% increase in attendance over last year.

The evening began with a champagne get acquainted reception which was appropriate with the 'out of town' guests. Once the "Take Seats" order was given, they had the traditional toasts and a very brief annual meeting of the WPSP Board where Andy Harvell '72 was welcomed as the new Secretary, and said a very special thank you to Chuck Benardo '70, outgoing Secretary - a major force behind this year's Dinner.

During an excellent multiple course French dinner and wine, the oldest grad BG(R) Jim Dickey '63 and youngest grad 2LT Natalie Herbert '17 gave speeches. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the arrival of US Forces in France in World War I, Lillian Pfuke '80 gave a fascinating, informative and very appreciated presentation on the origins, evolution and current activities of the many American Cemeteries in Europe - the final resting place for many of America's fallen from the two World Wars. Lillian worked at the American Battle Monuments Commission and has established the non-profit American War Memorials Overseas organization. The evening closed with the singing of the Alma Mater.

WPS of Michigan Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of Michigan Celebrates Founders DayShortly after the Civil War ended, West Point alumni began celebrating annually, the founding in 1802 of the U.S. Military Academy by President Thomas Jefferson. Like other West Point alumni societies around the World, the West Point Society of Michigan (WPSMI) stages a Founders Day Dinner every year. The recent 216th anniversary event attracted 190 guests to the Auburn Hills Marriott Pontiac on March 17, 2018.

Guest speaker was Detroit native MAJ(R) Pat Locke, author, motivational speaker and teacher, and the first African American woman to graduate from West Point in 1980. Since retiring from the Army, she has dedicated her live to improving life skills of the youth. Following an introduction by event chair Jim Suhay '66, Pat described how, as a child, she was impressed by the appearance and demeanor of the 82nd Airborne Division soldiers camped near her home, during the summer of 1967 Detroit riots, which led to her decision to join the Army. She went on to describe her leadership of West Point's program that teaches middle and H.S. students valuable Leadership, Ethics and STEM skills through a workshop piloted in Detroit in 2011 and presented annually by WPSMI and other West Point societies around the country.

The evening was filled with traditions and toasts including one, in absentia, to the fallen soldier for whom a dinner place was set, a video message from the West Point Superintendent and remarks from the oldest and youngest grad in attendance, MG Jim Pocock '57 and Caleb McCullum '08. WPAOG's Mike White '82, gave an update as we move toward the 150th Anniversary of the WPAOG. The traditions and messages made a big impression on future members of the West Point class of 2022 in the audience (20 of them), who were cheered as they were introduced. The evening was quite lively with numerous shouts of "Beat Navy" whenever references were made to football, especially the 14 - 13 Army victory over Navy in December 2017—its 2nd victory in a row over Navy after a long drought.

Len Dixon '73 was awarded the WPSMI Distinguished Member of the Year award for his multi-year efforts in support of West Point recruiting, LEADS and numerous other Society activities.

A unique feature of this year's dinner on St Patrick's Day was provided by its President and MC, Tom Lynch '82, who entertained guests with his Irish jokes, and in typical military fashion, concluded the dinner on time.

WPS of Columbia Celebrates Founders Day

L-R Mrs. Lindsay Boland, CPT Shalela Dowdy '11, 1LT Emily Bye '14The West Point Society of Columbia celebrated Founders Day on February 24 at the Capital City Club in Columbia, South Carolina. The event was well attended by local Academy Graduates, members of the West Point Parents Club, and cadet candidates for the class of 2022. Over 80 guests, from youngest graduate, 1LT Emily Bye '14, to oldest graduate, LTC (R) Wayne Smith '49, attended and much positive feedback has been received regarding the event. Charlie Eadie '07, President of the WPS Columbia, filled the role of Master of Ceremonies.

Following opening remarks, Dr. Richard Conant, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at USC and his wife, delivered a moving a cappella performance of the Nation Anthem. Those gathered were then led in a collective reading of the Cadet Prayer by Chaplain (MAJ) Light Shin '99. Guests participated in traditional toasts, including one given in remembrance of our fallen service-members. For their guest speaker the Society was honored to have BG Cindy Jebb '82, Dean of Academics at USMA, give a very energetic talk about how West Point is preparing tomorrow's leaders to solve undefined problems. Before concluding the event, those assembled joined voices and sang the Alma Mater.

The society would especially like to thank CPTs Josh and Chelsea Linvill ('08 and '11) for their tireless effort in coordinating this year's Founders Day brunch.

Photo: L-R Mrs. Lindsay Boland, CPT Shalela Dowdy '11, 1LT Emily Bye '14

WPS of The San Francisco Bay Area at Army Rugby vs Cal

WPS of The San Francisco Bay Area at Army Rugby vs CalThe West Point Society of The San Francisco Bay attended the Army Rugby team in Berkeley, CA playing against Cal Rugby on Sunday, March 11. Lots of West Point grads and parents were out to cheer on Army. One grad hosted a dinner for the entire team, as well as parents and local grads. It was a great day! The "resident" West Point grad photographer, Nick Sebastian '70 took some great pictures of the game and of West Point Society members cheering on the team.

WPS of Annapolis 32nd Annual Founders Day

The West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) held its 32nd annual Founders Day celebration Saturday March 3, 2018. The event was held at Hellas Restaurant in Millersville, MD, attended by thirty-nine WPSOA members and guests, including two local New Cadet Candidates. Prior to the event, COL Brian Reed, USMA Brigade Tactical Officer, and the WPSOA jointly hosted a reception for the New Cadet Candidates and their families. Both New Cadet Candidates have accepted their appointments to USMA.

Prior to introducing the Distinguished Guest Speaker, WPSOA President, Steve Heinecke discussed the status and purpose of the WPSOA and introduced the eldest (Bruce Marshall '65) and youngest (Logan Gallagher '03) grads, who presented amusing stories and active duty experiences. Steve then introduced COL Reed who provided an update on the Corps of Cadets, including daily schedules, as well as sporting and training opportunities. Following COL Reed's presentation, he fielded questions and was presented with a WPSOA "thank you" gift.

WPS of Columbia January Benny Havens

Picking back up after the holiday season the West Point Society of Columbia had its first Benny Havens of the year. Attending were six graduates and family from year groups ranging from 1977 to 2007. In a surprise twist of the night a member of the Capital City Club pleasantly joined them - Columbia board of governors, COL(R) Vic Robertson, whose son graduated from West Point in 1979. They also met Dr. Richard Conant, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at USC, who agreed to sing the National Anthem at their upcoming Founders Day brunch. As the hour unfolded connections were made, ties were strengthened, and reminiscences shared.

Photo: L-R, Jim Morris '77, Society Treasurer; Kelly Hynes Morris, MD, PhD, Dan Beatty '90, former Society President; Charlie Eadie '07 (behind camera), Society President; Jack Poole '87, Admissions Chair; Vic Robertson, West Point Parent

WPS of Denver Yound (Old) Grad Happy Hour

Earlier this month the West Point Society of Denver had a Young (Old) Grad Happy Hour at Jagged Mountain Brewery. Grads from '95-'12 attended, while everyone had the opportunity to catch up as well as make new friends. WPS of Denver plans on hosting a few of these events every year to help foster community amongst the Long Gray Line, along the Front Range. This summer they are planning on organizing "Bikes'n'Brews", a group bike ride and then beer afterwards.

Young Old Grad Engagement Officer Mike Euperio '03

WPS of the San Francisco Bay Area Honors Hallett III '01

WPS of the San Francisco Bay Area Honors Hallett III '01The West Point Society of the San Francisco Bay Area was represented by ten members at the Dedication Ceremony at De LaSalle High School for CPT John L. Hallett III '01, KIA in 2009 in Southern Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom and for SrA Jonathan Vega Yelner, United States Air Force. The Contra Costa Blue Star Moms arranged for the memorial stone and the dedication.

Photo: L to R: MAJ Matthew Fix '01, Marcus Cunningham '01, Rod Smith '84, Nathan Grant '01, Demetrius Ball '02, Nina Leslie, Rob McMahon '02, Paul Blanton '02, Dave Weinerth '88, Denny Lenhart '61

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