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WPS of South Texas Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of South Texas Celebrates Founders DayThe West Point Society of South Texas (WPSST) had it Founders Day celebration on March 23, 2019 at the San Antonio Country Club. The Deputy Commandant of Cadets, COL Jason Halloren was the guest speaker. There was a great turnout with approximately 200 people in attendance.

WPS of Columbia Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of Columbia Celebrates Founders DayThe West Point Society of Columbia celebrated Founders Day on February 23 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. Over 90 guests, from youngest graduate, 2LT Taylor Gaff '18, to oldest graduate, LTG(R) John F. Wall '56 attended and much positive feedback has been received regarding the event. Charlie Eadie '07, Society President, filled the role of Master of Ceremonies.

Following opening remarks, Dr. Richard Conant, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at USC delivered a moving a cappella performance of the Nation Anthem. Those gathered were then led in a collective reading of the Cadet Prayer. 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 CSM Jack Love, the 20th Command Sergeant Major 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. A special thanks to 1LTs Brian Hapeman '15 and Alex Jensen '15 for their tireless effort in coordinating this year's Founders Day.

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Founders Day

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Founders DayThe West Point Society of Birmingham and Central Alabama held its annual Founders Day celebration on Friday April 5, 2019. There were 108 grads and guests in attendance to hear COL Greg Boylan '94 discuss the future construction plans for the Academy. Congressman Gary Palmer was on hand to congratulate the 24 Marion Military Institution Cadets on their appointments to West Point. LTG Charles "Chick" Cleveland '49 was the Oldest Grad in attendance and they heard from Mr. Alex Farinelli '10 the Youngest Grad

WPS of Central Ohio Founders Day

WPS of Central Ohio Founders DayThe West Point Society of Central Ohio celebrated Founders Day with a brunch at the Worthington Hills CC on Sunday, 24 March. The guest speaker was BG Steve Gilland '90, the 77th Commandant of Cadets.

Six Cadet Candidates and their parents attended the pre-brunch Meet and Greet with BG Gilland and WPSCO Members. In addition to USMA Graduates and family members, there were graduates of USNA, USAFA, and several Parents Club members and Friends of West Point, totaling 112 people, in attendance. Dr. DeBow Freed '46 was the oldest graduate in attendance, while 2 members of the Class of 2010, James McKinney and Phillip Baweja, were the youngest.

After the Benediction by Nelson French '48 and the traditional toasts, WPSCO President Don Kopinski '79 gave an update on the Society's past year. Dr. Freed then shared some thoughts with the group.

After brunch, BG Gilland provided an excellent update on the current state of affairs at West Point. He discussed how West Point is modernizing an infrastructure that dates back to the late 1800's through a series of construction projects, some of which are funded by the Army and some by donor funds. He also shared the variety of opportunities available to Cadets today, many due to private funding. He highlighted how these opportunities are creating outstanding future leaders.

After his presentation, BG Gilland and Don Kopinski inducted Ben and Barbara McVay, parents of Sean McVay '17, as Friends of West Point. The Founders Day celebration ended with the singing of the Alma Mater, and a rousing "BEAT NAVY!"

WPS of the Mid-Hudson Region Holds Its Founders Day at West Point

The West Point Society of the Mid-Hudson Region located at West Point held its Founders Day celebration of the 217th birthday of the founding of the United States Military Academy on Friday evening March 29. The event was held at the Herbert Hall Alumni Center in the Great Hall. About 70 graduates and friends of USMA attended for a wonderful tradition-filled evening. All enjoyed the entertainment of the Knight Caps contingent of the Cadet Glee Club (pictured) as well as some great food and drink.

The speaker was Mr. Daniel Milton, Director of Research for the Combating Terrorism Center located at the Academy. All were riveted with his eye-opening address. Pat Ortland '82 presented an informative tribute to the Association of Graduates on our 150th anniversary.

In attendance were some incoming members of The Long Gray Line as they welcomed the Class of 2023.

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Hosts Army Crew BBQ

The West Point Society of Upstate South Carolina hosted the Army Crew Team for a Barbeque during their trip to Clemson, SC for spring break training on March 12. The Barbeque was a very successful event. There were ten grads plus a handful of wives and a daughter attendance. The cadets were all very thankful for the society providing the Barbeque. One cadet even remarked she was looking forward to the Barbeque to get some southern sweet tea.

The Cape Fear WPS Celebrates Founders Day

The Cape Fear WPS Celebrates Founders DayThe Cape Fear West Point Society held its annual Founders Day celebration on March 16 at the Surf Club, Wrightsville Beach, recognizing the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point's founding in 1802. Addressing the Society members was guest speaker Brigadier General Jennifer G. Buckner '90, currently the Director of Cyber, Electronic Warfare, and Information Operations, Headquarters Department of the Army. As a career intelligence officer, BG Buckner has held command and staff positions across all levels of the Army with assignments in the United States, the Republic of Korea, Puerto Rico, and Iraq. As an additional segment of the program, the members celebrated the 150 Year Anniversary of WPAOG.

Pictured is BG Jennifer Buckner receiving a Cape Fear Area remembrance, presented by COL (R) John R. Thomas, President, Cape Fear West Point Society.

WPS of the San Francisco Bay Area Founders Day

WPS of the San Francisco Bay Area Founders DayRecently the West Point Society of the San Francisco Bay Area celebrated Founders Day. The dinner was held at the Claremont Country Club and 190 people attended. The Guest Speaker was Mark McLaughlin '88, Vice Chairman of Palo Alto Networks. Mark did an excellent job speaking of Cyber Security. He was introduced by Ken Gonzalez '91, who is also in the Cyber Security industry. The comments of the Youngest Grad were made by Allison Ellerson '16, and the comments of the Oldest Grad were made by Jack Hug '60. Ken, Mark, Nina, Dave and David | Youngest (Allison Ellerson '16) and Oldest ( Jack Hug '60)  Grads.

WPS of Annapolis 33rd Annual Founders Day Celebration

WPS of Annapolis 33rd Annual Founders Day CelebrationThe West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) held its 33rd annual Founders Day celebration on Saturday March 16, 2019. The event was held at Café Mezzanotte, Severna Park, MD, and was attended by 52 WPSOA members and guests, including three ladies from the WPAOG and two local New Cadet Candidates. During the Benny Havens Hour preceding the dinner, BG Omar J. Jones IV '92, Chief, US Army Public Affairs, and the WPSOA jointly hosted a reception for the New Cadet Candidates and their families.

Prior to introducing the Distinguished Guest Speaker, WPSOA President, Steve Heinecke '77, discussed the status and purpose of the WPSOA and introduced the eldest (Bob Stroud '68) and youngest (John Brengle '00) grads, who presented amusing stories of their active duty and cadet experiences. Nicole Vitale, WPAOG, then spoke about the 150th anniversary of the WPAOG. Steve Heinecke introduced BG Jones who provided an update on the future of the US Army, as well as discussing changes in the Corps of Cadets. Interestingly, BG Jones was an exchange cadet at the Naval Academy in the Fall of 1990. His son, Ben '20, was also in attendance and spoke of his cadet experiences as well as his experiences as an exchange cadet while at the Naval Academy this past Fall. Following BG Jones' presentation, he was given a deck prism as a WPSOA "thank you" gift.

WPS of the Bluegrass Founders Day Dinner

The West Point Society of the Bluegrass held its annual Founders Day dinner at Portofino in Lexington, KY on Friday March 15, 2019. Forty-nine people attended including two accepted candidates for the Class of 2023 and their parents. The festivities began with a Benny Havens cocktail hour and a slide show of photos of the attendees as Cadets or while in the Army.

After the usual round of toasts, the group watched a video from the Superintendent, followed by dinner. Click here to view the program.

Colonel Andrew Cecil '06. DCO, Army Reserve Aviation Command, Ft. Knox was the guest speaker. His remarks included his time as a Cadet and his limited knowledge of the Reserves when he joined the Army. He went on to explain the vital role of the Reserves to the TOTAL ARMY, followed by the importance of graduates continuing their service as a Reservist to maximize their experience and contributions to national defense.

Frank Cannavo '70 was presented a Bronze Star medal for his Vietnam service which he never received, because of subsequent reassignments and ultimately leaving the Army. The professionals at HRC at Ft. Knox checked his personnel records and located the award order and issued the medal. Jerry Cecil '66 Society president and CASA presented the medal to Cannavo on behalf of Secretary Esper.

The evening concluded with a raffle for football tickets provided by the AOG and the singing of the Alma Mater.

Photo: The oldest and youngest grads Charles Williamson '46, and Jason Halligan '05

More photos: L-R Jerry Cecil, '66, Sue Cannavo, Frank Cannavo '70 and Jason Halligan '05 who read the citation for Frank's Bronze Star | Jerry Cecil '66 and Frank Cannavo'70 | Colonel Andrew Cecil '96 guest speaker

WPS of Taiwan FIRST Founders Day

WPS of Taiwan FIRST Founders DayThe West Point Society of Taiwan (WPST) held its first ever Founders Day Luncheon on March 9, 2019 at the American Club in Taipei, Taiwan. In attendance at WPST Founders Day were a diverse group of seven Taiwan graduates, seven U.S. graduates, five Class of 2020 cadets in the Semester-Abroad Program, and two former P's.

WPS of Mississippi Sponsors Diversity Conference

WPS of Mississippi Sponsors Diversity ConferenceThe West Point Society of Mississippi was proud to serve as a proud conference partner for the West Point Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity Conference on Friday 1 March 1, 2019. The conference was a huge success. Approximately 300 Jackson Public Schools (JPS) JROTC cadets and educators participated in several exercises where they were challenged with ethical and moral dilemmas. The enthusiasm and engagement throughout the day clearly made this a worthwhile outreach event.

WPS of Denver Army Navy Watch Parties

The West Point Society of Denver watched the Army Football team BEAT Navy on December 8, 2018. The society has joint viewings with their Navy counterparts at two locations: The Sports Column in Denver – where about 350 people were present an at the Budweiser Center near Fort Collins – where about 150 showed up. While all had a great time, as the USMA '83 demonstrate in the photo, jointly the group collected over a $1,100 and a boxful of toys to support the local Marine Toys for Tots annual program.

WPS of the Mid-South Host the Glee Club

On the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, the West Point Glee Club traveled to Memphis, TN, to pay tribute to community veterans of all U.S. military services. Proudly hosted by the West Point Society of the Mid-South and their Parents Club, the Glee Club actively sought to achieve their motto: "No fun without music, no music without fun!"

While in Memphis (when they weren't studying) they were constantly on the go, singing for the FedEx Headquarters, visiting the famous Beale Street and the Pyramid overlooking the Mississippi River, recording at a local studio, signing their names on the stone fence at Graceland, stopping by the National Civil Rights Museum, and performing the National Anthem for the professional basketball game between the Memphis Grizzlies the Philadelphia 76ers.

On Veterans Day, under the direction of Director Connie Chase, the West Point Glee Club performed a phenomenal concert. They inspired an audience of 800 with their professional versatility, musical talents, and patriotic enthusiasm. The highlight for many an Old Grad was the invitation to join the Glee Club on stage to sing the Alma Mater. The Society's oldest grad in the Memphis area Robert Wheaton '55, a former Glee Club member, helped the group sing the first note. At the end of the concert, thunderous applause was amply rewarded with a tremendous encore. Later that evening, the local CBS Channel 3 News TV station provided excellent coverage of the Glee Club's performance.

Every volunteer who supported the Glee Club tour enjoyed making life-long connections with "their" cadets. The Glee Club cadets, as exemplary ambassadors for the Academy, helped to convey the finest image and ideals of West Point and the United States Army to thousands of veterans and other citizens throughout the Mid-South. Their positive impact on national security will be felt for years to come.

WPS of Annapolis Hosts 31st Annual Winter Social

WPS of Annapolis Hosts 31st Annual Winter SocialThe West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) hosted its 31st Annual Winter Social on December 2, 2018. Approximately 32 attendees, including six exchange cadets who are completing their semester at the Naval Academy, gathered at the Severn Inn, Annapolis, MD. In addition to the fellowship that good company, food and drink bring, the highlight of the evening was the signing of WPSOA's "Beat Navy" banner by the exchange cadets, a remembrance tradition that has continued for 23 years.

Photo: Eexchange cadets after signing the "Beat Navy" banner

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