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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

WPS of Tennessee Valley Supports The Wall That Heals

WPS of Tennessee Valley Supports The Wall That HealsThe Wall That Heals (TWTH), a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, visited Huntsville, AL, from October 30 to November 1 and drew a crowd of over 10,000 visitors from Alabama and southern Tennessee during that 4-day visit. The visit provided a most memorable experience for many while also providing a great historical reflection on the Vietnam War. Many classes of school children visited the wall and learned the history of the War from those who participated in it. Many members of the West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley supported this visit by donating their time to serve on several support teams that worked to make this visit such a great success.

Photo: WPSTV Members & Vietnam Vets at TWTH - Thames ’65, McLaughlin ’66, Stewart ’66, Sendak ‘66

WPS of Annapolis 30th Annual H.S. Leadership Awards

WPS of Annapolis 30th Annual H.S. Leadership AwardsThe West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) held its 30th annual High School Leadership Awards Brunch on November 11, 2018. The brunch formally recognizes outstanding local high school seniors for their academic, athletic and community service leadership accomplishments. This year, seniors from 8 local high schools were recognized at a brunch held in their honor at Hella's Restaurant, Millersville, Maryland. John Nicodemus '73 presided over the event which was attended by approximately 35 people, including the recipients, their families, school representatives and WPSOA members.

Photo: The 2018 West Point Society of Annapolis High School Leadership Award recipients

WPS of Birmingham & Central Alabama Beat Miami (OH) Viewing

WPS of Birmingham & Central Alabama Beat Miami (OH) ViewingThe West Point Society of Birmingham and Central Alabama held a Beat Miami (OH) viewing at On Tap at the Galleria. On hand for the event were: Peyton Ligon '66, Luis Berdecia '85, Paul Howell '85, Scott Myers '74, Bill and Sandy Wolf '79, and Bryan Coleman '95 with Matt and Molly Coleman. This opportunity allowed four generations of Grads to share their experiences with a new generation of potential grads. This group gathers at various locations around Birmingham each weekend to cheer the Army team on to victory. The WPSB is a small closely-knit group that enjoys each opportunity to gather for camaraderie and fellowship.

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Football Watch Party

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Football Watch PartyThe West Point Society of Birmingham and Central Alabama had a watch party for the Army at San Jose State game this past weekend. They had a great time of fun and fellowship with grads and families with the great victory. The party was hosted by Matt Bacik '02 and his wife Deborah. Grads in attendance were: Jay Patton '87, Ed Rowe '62, Ed Whatley '00, Paul Howell '85, Luis Berdecia '85, Rex Blair '97 and Michael Andrzejewski '97.

WPS of Connecticut Officiate Affirmation Ceremony

WPS of Connecticut Officiate Affirmation CeremonyThe West Point Society of Connecticut recently had a great event at the Coast Guard Academy. They completed the Oath of Affirmation Ceremony for four USMA exchange cadets from the class of 2020. Brigadier General (Retired) Ed Kelly '70 was the guest speaker for the event and the 50th Year Affiliation Representative. Joe Dubyel '76 did a great job organizing the event and Terry Stewart '77 also as impromptu photographer. CAPT Wester, the Commandant of the Academy, joined for welcoming remarks.

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Watch Party

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Watch PartyThe West Point Society of Upstate South Carolina gathered to lift their glasses and cheer on the Army team against Duke on August 31. While the outcome of the game was less than desirable, it was a great event. They had about 30 people attend to include graduates, family, and friends of the West Point team.

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Support the March Back

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Support the March Back

The West Point Society of Upstate South Carolina gathered on August 11 to march 12-miles together to show support for the new cadets making the march back a few days later. There were about 20 attendees to include graduates, family of new cadets, and one Cow home on leave. This event is one of WPSUSC flagship events and they hope other societies will take their lead and plan their own march backs. Any society looking for advice can contact Stephen Astemborski at 518-378-7865 or stephen.astemborski11@gmail.com.

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Academy Night

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Academy Night

The West Point Society of Birmingham and Central Alabama had a great showing at Congressman Gary Palmer's 6th Congressional District Academy Night. There were 66 high school students along with seven USMA grads: Ed Rowe '62, Bill Wolf '79, Julie King Knotts '89, Bryan Coleman '95, Michael Andrzejewski '97, and Clint Speegle '03. Clint gave the West Point speech to the crowd of 150 and did a great job of telling the candidates and their parents the honest and clear truth of what getting into the academy will take.

WPS of Annapolis & the Class of 1970 Facilitate Oath of Affirmation

WPS of Annapolis & the Class of 1970 Facilitate Oath of AffirmationOn September 4, 2018 the West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) and members of the Class of 1970 (50-year Affiliation Class) conducted an Affirmation Ceremony for the seven exchange cadets from the Class of 2020. The exchange cadets are at the USNA for the fall semester and were unable to join their class in their Affirmation Ceremony held at West Point. The ceremony took place at O'Brien's Oyster House and Restaurant in Annapolis. WPSOA President Steve Heinecke '77 began the ceremony by explaining the significance of the Affirmation Ceremony. Bill Taylor '70 then introduced his classmate, COL Frederick Lough, who the addressed the assemblage on the difficulties the Army faced during the late 60's, and how the classes from the late-60s through the mid-70s rose to the challenge by rebuilding and transforming the Army into the Army of today. COL Lough then administered the Oath of Affirmation to the exchange cadets, which was followed by members of the Class of 1970 congratulating the cadets and presenting them with their Commemorative Coins. The assemblage then congratulated the cadets and shared a special 50-year affiliation cake presented by the Class '70 and the WPSOA.

Photo: COL Lough administers the Oath of Affirmation

WPS of Annapolis Annual Welcome Picnic

WPS of Annapolis Annual Welcome PicnicOn August 26 the West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) hosted its annual Welcome Picnic at the Fairwinds Community Pavilion, Severna Park, MD, to welcome the fall exchange cadets to the Annapolis area. The seven exchange cadets, all from the class of 2020 will spend the fall semester at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Of particular note, BG Omar Jones '92, Chief of Public Affairs for the Army, was in attendance. BG Jones was an exchange cadet at the USNA in the spring of 1991, and his son, cadet Ben Jones, is an exchange cadet this fall. In all, more than 35 guests attended the event and welcomed the cadets who enjoyed a picnic consisting of bratwursts, hamburgers, salads drinks and desserts. WPSOA President Steve Heinecke addressed the assemblage, commented on the society's 32-year history and its recently being named a Distinguished Society for the 20th consecutive year. Steve then explained the annual picnic tradition and asked the cadets to introduce themselves before hitting the buffet line. A great time was enjoyed by all attendees.

Photo: L-R, Cadets Ben Jones, Seth Shields, Nate Buss, Daine Van de Wall, John Gray, Nick Franck and Kevin Rinkliff

WPS of New England Silent Auction

WPS of New England Silent AuctionThe West Point Society of New England held a silent auction during its Founders Day celebration. The Society's Board of Governors selected Honor Flight New England as the beneficiary of the event.' Pictured are Joe Byron, Founder and Executive Director of Honor Flight New England and Dale Kurtz, President, West Point Society of New England as Dale presents a check for $8,200.00 to Honor Flight.

Honor Flight New England (HFNE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring America's most senior veterans. HFNE joined with the national organization Honor Flight Network in the Spring of 2009. HFNE transports our heroes to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at their memorials memorials at no cost to the veteran. Top priority is currently given to the WWII Veterans and Korean War Veterans, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. HFNE has launched 52 flights serving 1902 veterans.

Joe Byron stated, "Honor Flight New England has learned a lot over these last nine years, most notably that our veteran heroes aren't asking for recognition. It is our position that they deserve it. Our program is just a small token of our appreciation for those that gave so much."

Kurtz said, "WPSNE is proud to support Honor Flight New England and the great work they do to honor and recognize our most honorable veterans. It is a privilege to help our veterans receive the recognition they so much deserve."

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Bid LTC Graves Farewell

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Bid LTC Graves FarewellThe West Point Society of Birmingham and Central Alabama bid farewell to LTC David Graves '98 last week as he moved to Ft. Bliss to command the 1st BN of the 289th Regiment in a training support role for all active duty units going overseas to continue the war on terrorism. They were joined by Chris Tanner '06, George Meighen '51, Jay Patton '87, David Graves '98, Jeff Martinez '98, Paul Howell '85, and John Shults '80.

WPS of New England All Academy Golf Challenge

WPS of New England All Academy Golf ChallengeThe West Point Society of New England sponsored the All Academy Golf Challenge, The Ken Kronlund Classic in June. The charity event is named for Ken Kronlund '52 who started the event 26 years ago. The golf outing was attended by graduates of each of the four service academies, veterans and friends.

The event raised $4,400.00 for Homes For Our Troops in Taunton, MA. HFOT provides specially adapted housing for disabled veterans at no cost to the veteran. HFOT had their 260th "Key Ceremony" in August marking the 260th house donated to a veteran.

Photo: Dale Kurtz '73, President of the West Point Society of New England presenting the check to Bill Ivey '75, Executive Director of Homes for Our Troops. Other members of the HFOT Development team also joined in the ceremony held on August 9th at the Headquarters of HFOT in Taunton

WPS of CT Summer Networking and Charity Roundtable

WPS of CT Summer Networking and Charity RoundtableOn Sunday August, the West Point Society of Connecticut held their summer networking and charity roundtable at the Mohegan Sun. They kicked off the evening with presentations from Society members on a wide variety of charitable activities. These ranged from the Johnnie Mac Soldiers fund, the Pat Tillman Foundation, the Kurdistan Women's Global Alliance, APK Charities and the Colt Heritage Center, just to name a few. The purpose was to increase awareness of the many different philanthropic efforts that members are involved in, and to provide an opportunity for networking, sharing of lessons learned and to explore possibilities for mutual support. The host of the evening was COL(R) Kevin Brown '87 and Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council. Kevin shared the many initiatives at the Mohegan to support veterans – the most visible of which is the "Vets Rock" program held to bring together and provide resources to veterans, this year's event will be on Friday, November 2 at the Mohegan Sun. Following presentations, they enjoyed a buffet dinner and continued conversations. After dinner, they had the unplanned opportunity to watch country artist, Luke Pell '07, perform at the Wolf's Den lounge just outside the meeting room. A great evening, and something they look forward to building upon as a regular event in future years.

WPS of the Tennessee Valley HMA Reception

The West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley (WPSTV) hosted a reception at the Huntsville Museum of Art (HMA) earlier this month. Roughly 100 society members and guests attended the event and viewed the HMA exhibition "Art of West Point" on loan from the West Point Museum. This art exhibition has been on display at HMA since March of 2018 and returned to West Point shortly after their visit. Several West Point cadets on summer Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) training at Redstone Arsenal also attended the reception as guests of the society.

WPS of Denver Gives Out Their SLE Award

WPS of Denver Gives Out Their SLE AwardThe West Point Society of Denver selected Paul Budoff as the 2018 recipient of their USMA SLE (Summer Leadership Experience) Scholarship. The society has been awarding the scholarship for several years and bases its selection on an essay submitted by SLE attendees from the greater Denver area. The scholarship generally covers the tuition for the SLE.

Photo: David Jackson '73, Society Treasurer, presenting Paul with the Certificate and Scholarship money

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama B'Ham Barons

 WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama B'Ham Barons The West Point Society of Birmingham and Central Alabama enjoyed a great outing. Mike Ford '75, Bill Wolf '79, Tom Bowen '81, James Knickrehm '84 and his wife Cathy along with their grandchildren, Dexter McFarlin '94 and his family, Charlie Saunders '96, Nathan Hancock '97 and his family - all the way from Tuscaloosa, and Frazier Hull '11 and his family. Joining the group from Military Saves - Ashley Floyd. And the Barons Won!

We all know the Army is a small family, but these are examples of exactly how small a family we are: James was a plebe in I-4 in 1980, Tom was a cow in I-4, neither had seen each other in 37 years, James recognized Tom immediately, it took Tom a minute. Dexter was in the G7 office under Tom, who was the G7 and neither had seen each other since. Several connections through classmates between Bill, Charlie, and Nathan. Tom is getting married in 3 weeks and the society is looking forward to meeting his new bride and welcoming her to Alabama. Congratulations to Dexter on his new job! Paul Howell '85 visited Matt Savage '13, and would like you to keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers, he is battling a lot.

WPS of Fort Bragg/Sandhills Monthy

WPS of Fort Bragg/Sandhills MonthyThe West Point Society of Fort Bragg/Sand Hills enjoyed their monthly First Monday get-together at Logan's Roadhouse here in Fayetteville, NC,… a good time was had by all. About 35 grads, spouses, and several Friends of West Point (FOWP) gathered to Grip Hands, dine, share stories, and generally advance the Black, Gray, and Gold spirit locally. Grads represented Classes stretching from 1949 (COL (R) Jack Cox – Army Footballer extraordinaire) to the normal reinforced squad of young officers from recent Classes. Several members of the Class of 1979 are planning a pregame function for the Army-Duke football game Friday August 31, in Durham, NC. Details to follow. They also spoke on visiting WPAOG website to learn how to draft their memorials.

WPS of Fort Bragg/Sandhills CTLT Reception

WPS of Fort Bragg/Sandhills CTLT ReceptionThe West Point Society of Fort Bragg/Sandhills was privileged to host a number of Cows and Firsties currently engaged in Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT) on July 14… and a good time was had by all. This was the second of three CTLT receptions they will host this summer. Speaking of "… a lifetime of selfless service," Society President Mike '79, and Nancy Karaman have been hosting these affairs for years. About twenty-five old grads shared Iron Chef Karaman's broiled filets mignon, salmon steaks, burgers, hotdogs, and gourmet-caliber side dishes with the cadets, who clearly welcomed the break. These youngsters are performing serious junior officer functions in a wide variety of XVIIIth Airborne Corps units, many of which are in pre-deployment final stages. One important lesson the Society has learned from these years of CTLT interactions: the best way to neutralize "The Corps has …" Syndrome is to simply spend time with cadets, they are always polite and interested in what happened forty years ago.

Photo: Brad Rotondi '19 and Vanessa Chen '19… enjoying a brief break from CTLT

WPS of Northern California Founders Day

The West Point Society of Northern California celebrated Founders Day Event on Friday, March 23, 2018. Speaking at their event was the Commandant of Cadets, MG Steve Gilland. The Oldest Grad, yet again (and fortunately) was Bruce "Carsdaddy" Carswell '49. He told more funny stories. Most memorably, he spoke about a pet frog he and his roommate had that, they found out after the frog died, their Tac has always known they had. The Youngest Grad was James Blackwell '08. He gave a talk particularly poignant and relevant to the several candidates in the room. His talk focused on how his West Point experience prepared him for life.

WPS of Northwest Florida Present Certificates of Admission

WPS of Northwest Florida Present Certificates of AdmissionWest Point Society of Northwest Florida President, Chuck Merkel, and Society Treasurer, Chris Beam, presented Certificates of Admission to Matthew Hawkins and Ally Woodard as they prepare to become New Cadets with the Class of 2022. In the photo Matthew is flanked by his parents, Jennifer and Brad, who are members of the Class of 1992 and his brother, Michael, just graduated with the Class of 2018, proving that West Point is truly a family affair.

WPS of Northwest Florida Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of Northwest Florida Celebrates Founders DayThe West Point Society of North West Florida celebrated Founders Day on March 18 at Fort Walton Yacht Club. Past Presidents Jerry White, Dick Secord and Chris Beam, along with current President Chuck Merkel celebrate the Society's 15-year designation as a Distinguished Society with members during the annual Founders Day dinner. During its Founders Day dinner celebration, the members of the West Point Society of Northwest Florida welcomed 98-year-old LTC Sam Lombardo as a "Friend of West Point" and he was joined at the podium by fellow Friends of West Point members BG (Judge) Patt Maney, who read the certificate and Dr. Bill Spain. Society President Chuck Merkel officiated at the ceremony and his pin was affixed to his uniform by his daughter Michele. Sam is a World War II veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and he wore his World War II "pinks and green" uniform to the dinner. Active duty members of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) could not wait to have their picture taken with him thus providing a living link between the soldiers of the past and present.

WPS of Northwest Florida Advocates for USMA

WPS of Northwest Florida Advocates for USMADuring the year members of the West Point Society of Northwest Florida supported several college fairs to make sure students within the society's congressional district were aware of the benefits of a West Point education and to provide a synopsis of the steps required for admission. Buck James, Jennifer Hawkins and Chuck Merkel set up booths at the Rocky Bayou Christian School and Northwest Florida State College and spoke with many interested candidates. The proof of the quality of their efforts is demonstrated by the fact that a steady stream of highly qualified candidates from the First District have joined the Long Gray Line over the years and this year three more candidates were accepted as members of the Class of 2023 and one candidate received an appointment to the USMA Prep School.

WPS of Hampton Roads Celebrates 243rd Army Birthday

WPS of Hampton Roads Celebrates 243rd Army BirthdayThe West Point Society of Hampton Roads (WPSHR) celebrated the 243rd Birthday of the United States Army with a Norfolk Tides outing, picnic, and Class of '22 Meet & Greet at Harbor Park, Norfolk, Virginia, on June 14, 2018. Cadet Candidates and their parents were invited to the event and the Norfolk Tides baseball team invited them onto the field prior to the game. Following a brief tribute to the U.S. Army, they were introduced to the crowd. A Society picnic followed the on-field introduction. The grayest graduate present - Bob Alexander '68 – and the greenest graduate present – MAJ Charles Seitz '07 – had the honors of cutting the cake using a cadet saber.

Photo: L-R Thomas Gover, Blake Stevens, RipTide (Norfolk Tides Mascot), Kaitlyn Schwarting, Mary Arnold

WPS of Hampton Roads Ironclads Staff Ride

WPS of Hampton Roads Ironclads Staff RideThe West Point Society of Hampton Roads (WPSHR) hosted a Staff Ride with renown historian Dr. John V. Quarstein (Friend of West Point) in Newport News, Hampton, and Fort Monroe, VA. The topic of the staff ride was "The Battle of the Ironclads." They conducted the staff ride at sites of Civil War historic interest related to the engagement between the Union Fleet, the CSS Virginia (also known as the USS Merrimac), and the USS Monitor. They visited sites in Newport News and Hampton were sunk or severely damaged. They also visited the Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe, VA to view civil war exhibits related to the Battle of the Ironclads. The battle between the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor was essentially a draw but was historically significant for several reasons. It was the first battle in history between two Ironclad warships and led to the obsolescence of wooden warships. It also contributed to the failure of the Peninsula campaign which may have ended the war had the Union captured Richmond before it was heavily defended.

WPS of Hampton Roads Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of Hampton Roads Celebrates Founders Day The West Point Society of Hampton Roads (WPSHR) celebrated Founders Day with a luncheon on March 24, 2017 at Fort Eustis, Virginia. Guest Speaker for the event was RADM Michael Shelton '67, the only West Point graduate promoted to Flag rank in the Navy. He reminded everyone that Duty, Honor, Country is relevant in the age of political correctness, and challenged them to seek excellence, set high standards, communicate effectively, and accept nothing less than the whole truth.

Society President Bob Alexander '68 was the Master of Ceremonies. Harry Johnson '78 provided the Invocation. The Grayest Graduate, Bill Walker '52, offered the first toast. Bill has spoken as the oldest graduate for several years, so Bob Alexander '68 filled in with as the Grayest Graduate speaker this year. WPSHR Vice President Michael McGurk '85 spoke on The History of the Empty Plate. It took on a personal nature this year, as Michael's personal friend, French Gendarme Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, had been killed days earlier when he heroically swapped himself for a female hostage and was executed by the terrorist who was holding the hostages. Michael had trained with Arnaud years ago, which made it a very somber moment for all.

Boyce Buckner '01 had the honors of being the Greenest Graduate. Boyce spoke about the 4th Class System and how West Point had prepared him for the past seventeen years of global war against terrorists. "His speech was probably the best Greenest Graduate speech we had ever heard. Well Done!" said Rich Naigle '77.

WPS of Richmond Attends Memorial Day Ceremony

WPS of Richmond Attends Memorial Day CeremonyMembers from the West Point Society of Richmond (WPSR) attended the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial and participated in the Wreath Laying ceremony that followed. After the ceremony, WPSR members relocated to a bar to toast fallen comrades and have lunch.

WPS of Richmond Celebrate Founders Day

WPS of Richmond Celebrate Founders DayThe West Point Society of Richmond had a great Founders day. Major General Malcomb Frost '88 was the guest speaker, he delivered a superb and relevant speech regarding the readiness of our military (among other items). MG Frost currently serves as Commanding General, Center for Initial Military Training, United States Army, Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Eustis. There were over 140 guests in attendance, including more than 10 Naval Academy graduates and their spouses. They also held their annual Silent Auction, which netted over $2,000. The proceeds will assist the WPSR in supporting its mission and serving the community. Carl Grunow '84 took home the Mule Award for his exemplary dedication to the WPSR this past year.

Photo: Terrell Daniels '99 and Jack Seville '02 with their spouses

WPS of Richmond 19th Annual WPLA Reception

WPS of Richmond 19th Annual WPLA ReceptionThe West Point Society of Richmond hosted the 19th annual reception for West Point Leader Award (WPLA) honorees on June 17, Father Day. The Award was presented at 41 area schools this year thanks to a great team effort on the part of the Board Leadership, six Area Coordinators, and 25 Presenters. The WPLA provides a great way to inform rising Seniors about our Academy while recognizing those who represent excellence in living up to the ideals of Duty, Honor, Country. The Richmond Times Dispatch provided a superb venue at minimal cost allowing for interaction with a group of 60 Awardees, Parents, and supporters. The Program included the approved Academy Admissions video, an excellent Showtime mini-clip on R-Day, and Q&A. Some of the most valuable interactions took place during the informal reception.

Photo: Students that attended

WPS of Williamsburg 2018 Founders Day

WPS of Williamsburg 2018 Founders Day The West Point Society of Williamsburg celebrated Founders Day on Saturday March 10, 2018 at the Governor's Land at Two Rivers Country Club located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Guest Speaker was Major General Bill Hix, Special Assistant, Director of the Office of Business Transformation, Office of the Undersecretary of the Army. More than 125 Graduates, Ex-cadets, family members, and friends of West Point from the Williamsburg and Fort Eustis community attended the Black Tie event. Special guests were two Cadet Candidates of the incoming USMA Class of 2022 and their family members. The Oldest Grad was Mr. Jack Miley '46 and our Youngest Grad was Mr. Mike Hendrix '03.

WPS of New Jersey Celebrates Founders Day

Guy Swan 76 - at WPS of NJ 2018 Founders DayThe West Point Society of New Jersey celebrated Founders Day on Saturday March 24, 2018 at the Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. The evening started with a meet and greet session for all attending incoming members of USMA Class of 2022, followed by the traditional Benny Havens Hour. The Guest Speaker was LTG(R) Guy Swan '76, Vice President, Association of the United States Army (pictured). A total of 125 Graduates, Ex-cadets, family members, and significant others attended the Black Tie event. Special guests were 16 Cadet Candidates and their family members, representing the incoming USMA Class of 2022, the Society sponsored them. The Oldest Grad was Mr. Vincent "Jerry" Longo '57 and Youngest was Mr. Anthony Ciaffone '07.

WPS of Western New York Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of Western New York Celebrates Founders DayThe West Point Society of Western New York celebrated Founders Day on March 24. The event was held at the historic Buffalo Club, founded by the 13th president of the United States, Millard Fillmore. Over the last year, the "716" chapter has grown not only in numbers, but in structure as well. They have set left and right geographic limits, stepped into the 21st century with a Facebook page, and brought in additional leadership to better serve local graduates.

This year's Founders Day was the largest by far, with an approximately 20% jump in graduate attendance over previous year. COL Scott Halstead '91 was the guest and gave his remarks on the state of the Corps, everyone left with a sense that the Corps is truly in good hands. The oldest graduate was Ross Kenzie '53. Over the years, Ross has been the oldest graduate several times and has given his thoughts – from serving with Elvis Presley, to how Old Grads really feel!

The youngest graduate Dan Heim '02 an officer of the 716 chapter, is a frequent youngest graduate '10, '11, '13, '14, '17, '18), and has had plenty of time to hone his skills about the "true state of the Corps." While this year's "true state of the Corps" will be lost to the annals of history, the important takeaways are that the Corps has! (a common theme among oldest and youngest grad speeches), we again Beat Navy, but most importantly, that the Corps and our Army are in good hands through the contributions to our country of our cadets and graduates.

WPS of Mid-South Supports Operation Stand Down For Homeless Veterans

WPS of Mid-South Supports Operation Stand Down For Homeless VeteransThe West Point Society of the Mid-South teamed with several other local military veteran and faith-based organizations in Memphis, TN Saturday 9 June 9, 2018 to support the annual community service project entitled Operation Stand Down. This community service event, created by retired Army SFC William Jones and hosted by the Veterans Administration, has sought to assist local veterans with housing, employment, benefit counseling, and resolving other veteran-specific issues. Society members Fred Spano '03, Seth Palmer '04, Ron Scott '72, Don Blane '73, and Rob Williamson '73, not only supported veterans who needed wheel chair assistance, but they also directed traffic in mid-90-degree Mid-South heat! Friend of West Point Rick Clausi, who serves on the Board of Directors for Operation Stand Down, also made sure his volunteers were well supported too. Provided with delicious Southern BBQ and music from talented local entertainers, more than 200 veterans received needed assistance, and more than 50 of them acquired housing. Society members enjoyed getting to know veterans from all Services and particularly enjoyed "sparring" with Navy veterans! The Society volunteers gained much more than the veterans they served and look forward to returning next year.

Photo: Scott and Blane with other Volunteers

WPS of Mid-South Supports Send-Off Event for Class Of 2022

WPS of Mid-South Supports Send-Off Event for Class Of 2022On Sunday, June 10, 2018, Ron Scott ’72, made a special presentation to Cadet Candidate Kirk Ruaro for the Class of 2022, during a Send-Off gathering at the home of Lu and Mark Sprout. The Sprouts lead the Parents Club for the West Point Society of the Mid-South and are the parents of Conner Sprout ‘20. During the social event, the Sprouts, as well as graduates and their wives shared a lot of “helpful hints” with Kirk Ruaro and his parents in anticipation of “R-Day” on 2 July! The other two Cadet Candidates from the Memphis area, Jane Yan and Jacob Suppiah were not able to attend. The highlight of the event was a personal presentation of a unique Dog Tag to Cadet Candidate Kirk Ruaro by the Society’s 50-year Affiliate Ron Scott. Ron began the presentation by showing the CBS video that preceded the “2017 Army football victory over Navy” that depicted the similar feelings of exhilaration and solemnness experienced throughout the respective histories of both academies by future cadets and midshipmen when they received their letter of appointment. He then explained to attendees the significance of the 50-year affiliation between the two classes and the bond that the entering Class of 2022 will share not only with the Class of 1972 but also with the entire Long Gray Line. Ron further stated that each Cadet Candidate will personally receive a similar Dog Tag that is stamped with the Cadet Candidate’s name and the inscription “1972 to 2022”, which will be worn next to their own Dog Tag. Ron dried up the moistened eyes with a rousting “GO ARMY! BEAT NAVY”! Congratulations, Class of 2022!

WPS of the Bluegrass Meets with Prospective Cadets

WPS of the Bluegrass Meets with Prospective CadetsJerry Cecil ’66 recently met Cadet Dalton Carter '21, "Cadet Candidate" Nick Dennis '22, and prospective candidate, Will Henry, for '23 for breakfast. Cadet Carter explained to Dennis what to expect when he arrives on R-Day this summer for Beast Barracks. Since Dennis was unable to attend Congressman Barr's sendoff ceremony, Jerry presented Dennis the certificate on behalf of the Congressman. Will Henry, a rising high school senior has expressed interest in applying to West Point to join the Class of 2023. Cadet Carter went to Clark County H.S. for two years and then moved to Mt. Sterling. Dennis lives in Clark County and works for his family's kennel/training business, but attended Lexington Catholic to play lacrosse and finish his high school. Will Henry goes to Clark County H.S., plays football, is a solid student, and has the values and drive to succeed at West Point. Thanks to Bob Farquhar '76 their local Military Academy Liaison Officer (MALO) and all the work he does to help in attracting young people to look at the service academies...many others assist in this effort as well by supporting the annual Academy Day at Bluegrass Airport in the fall.

WPS of Monticello Supports the Third Annual “Seas the Day”

WPS of Monticello Supports the Third Annual “Seas the Day”The third annual Seas the Day event for veterans took place on Saturday May 12, 2018 at the Thomas Temple Allan Boat House in Earlysville, VA - home of the University of Virginia men's and women's rowing teams. The West Point Society of Monticello supported the event both financially and with member volunteers helping to coordinate the various event activities.

The main purpose of Seas the Day is for veterans to have a carefree, fun-filled day for the whole family and to become acquainted with a host of veteran-related organizations that had information stations staffed with knowledgeable volunteers. Over 120 veterans and their family members attended the event, which was free for all attendees and included a lunch donated by Mission BBQ.  Attendees enjoyed numerous activities and games, mostly centered on water sports (rowing, kayaking, and fishing). Children of all ages had plenty to see and do, and the Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Department, providing EMT services, brought a shiny fire truck for everyone to explore.

James Kuiken, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), was the main speaker, and he explained the life-saving experience of partnering with his service dog, Freedom.  Freedom and James were united by K9s for Warriors, a charity that turns rescue dogs into service dogs. Many of the attending veterans, like James, live with PTSD and brain injury or other service-related trauma. Seas the Day gave them a small boost in facing their challenges with strength and success.

WPS of Monticello Supports the "4 Our Freedom 5K Race"

WPS of Monticello Supports the "4 Our Freedom 5K Race"The 8th Annual 4 Our Freedom 5K race occurred on Saturday morning, June 2, 2018 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The race benefits several local nonprofits that provide services and support to members of the military, veterans, and their families in the local area. On average, around 1,000 runners and walkers participate, and the race, which is managed by ParadeRest, includes many unique aspects that specifically celebrate and honor veterans and the military. Over the past 8 years, thanks to all the runners and the generosity of many sponsors, the race has raised well over $700,000 to benefit military causes.

One of the service missions of the West Point Society of Monticello is "Service, to Service Members and Veterans."  WPS of Monticello has supported this race for the past five years with a $500 donation. Additionally, in return for their annual donation, they get 10 "free" registrations each year, and over the past five years several dozen Society members (and family members) have participated in the run.

Photo: Rich DiMeglio '93, Bob Lamb '78, and Marcus Grimes '97

WPS of Monticello Hosts an All-Academy Spring Golf Outing

WPS of Monticello Hosts an All-Academy Spring Golf OutingThe spring combined services golf outing hosted by the West Point Society of Monticello was held at Old Trail Golf Club in Crozet, Virginia on May 9, 2018. The 34 players consisted of 12 Army, 14 Navy and 8 Air Force participants. The format was a two-person scramble with each foursome representing two services. This allowed for great inter-service banter throughout the round of golf. The outing concluded with a BBQ lunch. Awards were then presented to the best-scoring teams, four closest-to-pin competitions and a straightest drive winner. Great weather and priceless camaraderie marked the event. The WPS of Monticello hosts this event twice each year, in the Spring and Fall. The next outing is tentatively scheduled in September 2018.

WPS of Monticello Founders Day Celebration

WPS of Monticello Founders Day CelebrationThe West Point Society of Monticello held its 30th annual Founders Day Celebration on Sunday, March 25, 2018 on a beautiful afternoon at the historic University of Virginia Inn at Darden. They were honored to have the Command Sergeant Major for the United States Corps of Cadets, CSM Thomas Kenny as keynote speaker. CSM Kenny was accompanied by Staff Sergeant Bryce Richey. CSM Kenny provided the unique perspective of a senior noncommissioned officer on the development of cadets and their mutual relationship as career soldiers in the active Army. The gathering included 63 graduates, spouses and guests and was held on a Sunday for the first time, which was well received by all.

The Cape Fear WPS Founders Day Celebration

The Cape Fear WPS Founders Day CelebrationThe Cape Fear West Point Society celebrated its annual Founders Day Celebration on Saturday, March 10, 2018 with a 'Cadet Style' Luncheon at the beautiful Surf Club located 100 yards from the Atlantic Ocean in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

The Society was blessed to have as its Honored Guest Speaker, Retired Lieutenant General Dell Dailey '71. As the former U.S. Ambassador for Counterterrorism and the current Distinguished Chair of West Point's Counterterrorism Center, General Dailey was a wonderful source of timely information about West Point and national defense.

Along with the traditional aspects of a quality Founders Day Celebration and in an effort to encourage social interaction, members and guests were randomly assigned to tables and with the biographical information of a recognized West Point graduate about which that member shared with their tablemates.

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