Update Your Profile

Stay up to date with all West Point news and stay connected with fellow grads


Update your Register Entry

Cullum Files

historical records

Class Notes

login required, available to graduates & widows

THE 50-YEAR AFFILIATION PROGRAM 1963-2013

A Complete 4 Year Overview

R-Day, 29 June 2009

On the day the Class of 2013 reports to West Point, about 24 members of the Class of 1963 with their spouses/guests meet and greet families and friends of the incoming class in the ’63 Club (Benny’s) in Ike Hall. Several classmates also are in the official party during the oath ceremony at Trophy Point.

New Cadet March Back, 9-10 August 2009

Members of the Class of 1963 participate in the new cadet march back from Camp Buckner at the conclusion of Cadet Basic Training (“Beast Barracks”). As the Honor Class, we are looking for at least 63 “63’ers”to participate in either the entire 12-mile (full) route or the final two-mile portion from the ski slope to the Supe’s house.

Acceptance Day, 15 August 2009

    • Parade - A senior member of the Class of ’63 and representatives of the three other 50-year classes affiliated with the current classes in the Corps of Cadets are part of the official reviewing party when the new cadets are accepted into the Corps.
    • Picnic – A few members of the Class of 1963 and their spouses/guests meet and greet families from the Class of 2013 after the “A Day” parade at an AOG-hosted picnic on the Plain.

Class of 2013 Crest Unveiling, Spring 2010

At least two members of the Class of ’63 attend a dinner and ceremony in Washington Hall that features the unveiling of the crest of the Class of 2013.

Yearling Flag Ceremony, July 2010

Class representatives and guests present the Class of 2013 with their class flag at the end of Cadet Field Training at Camp Buckner. The ceremony is followed by a lunch with the yearlings.

Affirmation Ceremony, August 2011

The night before the start of the academic year, the new cow class reaffirms its commitment to military service by collectively taking the oath they took on R Day. Our class commemorates this event by presenting each member of the Class of 2013 with a coin emblazoned with both class crests. A member of our class speaks at the ceremony; other classmates are recognized and attend a post-ceremony reception in Thayer Hall.

Class Ring Memorial Program, March 2012

Classmates and families of deceased class members who choose to participate in this program donate class rings that are melted with gold from previous melts and incorporated into the gold for the rings of the Class of 2013. At the Melt ceremony, the biographies of those who donated rings are read aloud and a family member or classmate represents each donor.

Ring Weekend, August 2012

Two or three members of our class and their spouses or guests attend the various events of Ring Weekend, including the Ring Presentation Ceremony and the Ring Banquet. Class representatives and ring donors sit on stage and are acknowledged at the Ring Presentation Ceremony.

Branch Night, November 2012

Several members of the class attend the Branch Night ceremony to distribute “First Brass” to the Class of 2013. A distinguished member of our class speaks to the assembled Class of 2013 in Ike Hall about the significance of their branch assignments. Firsties receive their branch assignments in sealed envelopes and repair to branch receptions where classmates present them with branch insignia.

First Class - Leadership Dinner, February/March 2013

Representatives of our class attend a dinner with class officers of the Class of 2013 and the senior leadership of the Academy and the AOG.

Graduation, May 2013

At the graduation ceremony, four-six members of the Class of 1963 present each member of the Class of 2013 with of 2LT bars, on the backs of which are engraved 63-13.

Click here for more information

 


A "QUALITY"RECEPTION DAY (R-Day)
29 June 2009

 

Bright and early – 0530 bright and early! - on 29 June, the Class of 1963 kicked off its participation in the 50-Year Affiliation Program. Embracing our Affiliation Program motto – “Grip Hands” - sixteen classmates reached out to the Class of 2013 and their parents and friends. It was a long but very rewarding day!

John Ahern, Lionel and Trina Ingram, Rudy Ehrenberg, Bob Bruce, Gary Sausser, Bob and Jeanne Farris, Curt Esposito, Hi and Biah Warder, Bill Clark, Bill Cooke, Norm and Agnes Beatty, Karl Schwartz, Bob and Chris McGrath, Will and Barbara Wilson, Ty and Judy Tyler, and Mary and Ken O'Sullivan staffed the Parents’ Welcome Lounge in the ’63 Club in Ike Hall. Visitors flooded the lounge throughout the day, thanks to the cadet speakers in the auditorium who encouraged parents and friends to visit us after their “90-second farewell.” Our reception was also featured in the schedule of activities provided to parents by the Academy.

Our visitors came looking for a cup of coffee, a snack, a place to sit down, a table to use to write those first letters to their new cadet son or daughter, and sometimes a shoulder to cry on. Each of our classmates provided information, advice, and words of encouragement as we circulated through the crowd. Each of us has one or two precious memories: the father from North Dakota with tears streaming down his face because his daughter would be so far away, the mother who said goodbye to her oldest of eight as she cradled the youngest – three months old – in her arms, and the couple who alternately worried about the size of the bag that their daughter brought with her and praised all of us “greybeards” for our service to our country.

Superintendent Hagenbeck brought Secretary of the Army Pete Geren to the lounge to meet and greet the Class of ’63 and thank us for our efforts. BG Linnington, the Commandant, was actually our first “official” visitor; many others, too numerous to recount, popped in as well. All were generous with their praise and thanks, as were the many parents who dropped by.

We owe the Association of Graduates many thanks for their support in putting this event together: procuring the luggage tags and bumper stickers that parents and friends eagerly grabbed; staffing the mail table all day; and ensuring publicity for the class through a panel on the display outside the lounge, a classy banner inside the reception area, and lots of flyers posted throughout Ike Hall. The Directorate of Cadet Activities also provided excellent service and kept the coffee pots full and the snacks coming all day.

At 1500, classmates who remained after their duty shifts moved to the Ike Hall auditorium to hear the Supe’s briefing to parents. Among the first slides in his presentation was our class crest and motto -’63 Quality – and we were singled out for recognition and thanks.

The weather cooperated all day and the view from Trophy Point was spectacular as we gathered for the Oath Ceremony at 1800. Again, we were thanked by BG Linnington for our efforts and the two flag officers present, Bill Clark and Gary Sausser, were acknowledged as special guests at the ceremony. The two grandpas with new cadets in the Class of 2013, Karl Schwartz and Ty Tyler, also were in the official party and felt pretty special themselves as they saw their grandson and granddaughter, respectively, take the oath.

A small but hearty bunch of ‘63’ers repaired to Cornwall for refreshments at the end of the day. All of us were bone tired but still exhilarated by the events of the day! Photos taken throughout the day are available on the photo page of this website.

Bob Foley will cap off a great week for the Class of ’63 with a 4th of July address to the Class of 2013.

 

MARCHBACK
August 9-10 2009

All 30 members of the Class of ’63 who participated in the Marchback with the Class of 2013 on 10 August made it through alive and well! Some a bit more sore than others but all were still standing at the end!!!

Many activities throughout the Marckback weekend were captured in photos, and all participants received a hard-copy photo magazine from the Association of Graduates. Classmates figure prominently in many of the candid shots, and the back cover features our class with Affiliation Banner approaching the Supe’s house. Noel Brown also put together an on-line photo album - I have included that link and several other on-line photo links at the end of this posting.

Summary of Activities

Activities connected with the Marchback began on Saturday evening, 8 August, as several “early arrivers” gathered in the Thayer Hotel Lounge for some adult beverages and good fellowship. The next morning, more classmates and their families gathered for a bountiful Sunday brunch at the Thayer; all found it a great way to reconnect and fuel for the work ahead. Then it was time to head up the hill to check-in, obtain our gear, and drop off clothes for the next day.

Registration for the Marchback began at Herbert Hall at noon. Many of us hung out there the entire afternoon as we met up with classmates, looked at pictures from our own Beast Barracks, swapped stories, and checked out the march route. The weather was overcast and humid as many “63’ers and their guests boarded buses at 1600 for a ride out to Lake Frederick, a sack dinner and Talent Show hosted by the Class of 2013. The weather didn’t cooperate but the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the ‘63’ers nor the Class of 2013. The evening culminated with the presentation of the Class of 2013 motto: “Defending the Dream” and a bus ride back to main post area for grads and families.

Morning came ‘way too soon for those who opted for the longer route; rendezvous was 0230 at Buffalo Soldier Field but many were up and about much earlier as severe thunderstorms pounded the area. By the time the buses departed for Lake Frederick, the storms had ended and there was just a light drizzle. Breakfast took place shortly after arrival and Old Grad marchers joined their very soggy New Cadet Companies about 0415. Each platoon had about five embedded Old Grads. The first companies stepped off at 0440; by then, the weather had cleared – humid but reasonably cool!!!

The march was divided into three sections with two 20-minute rest stops to rehydrate and refuel. The pace was manageable – about a 20-minute mile. Old grads had ample opportunities throughout the march to engage new cadets and cadre in conversation. From remarks made by our classmates, the interaction with current cadets was a highlight of the weekend.

      • The first section was predominantly uphill – the grade varied from six to nine percent – and lasted about 75 minutes.
      • The second section had less elevation, was evenly divided between uphill and downhill, but was considerably longer. It lasted about one hour and 45 minutes. That section ended at Round Pond.
      • The third and final portion of the march was an hour-long trek to the Ski Slope on blacktop. At the Ski Slope, new cadets took off their socks, cleaned their equipment, slept, and otherwise readied themselves for the last leg into Central Post Area.

Old Grads repaired to the Ski Lodge for coffee, drinks, donuts and pastries, and a reunion with their classmates for the final leg of the march. At 1115, after all companies had arrived, the Class of ’63 unfurled its banner – just as the Class of 2013 had done the night before. We posed for pictures with classmates and moved to an area just inside Washington Gate to form a Reviewing Party. We clapped and cheered as the Supe, the Comm, and the Dean lead the Cadet Basic Training Regiment past us down Washington Rd. to the final reviewing stand in front of the Supe’s house. Each New Cadet Company passed before us as well and was greeted with our loud huzzahs.

After our arrival at the Supe’s house, we repaired to Arvin Gym for showers and a change into dry clothes, and then made a short walk to Ike Hall for a well-deserved lunch buffet and laudatory remarks from the Supe for our participation. Although tired and challenged, all of us were thankful for the experience and acknowledged that we enjoyed every bit from start to finish. All participants relished getting involved with cadets and many expressed a desire to get more involved in follow-on Affiliation activities in the coming months.

We Welcome Back Our New Cadets of 2013.” This site includes links images.

 

ACCEPTANCE DAY
15 August 2009

The members of the Class of 2013 were officially accepted as cadets at the United States Military Academy on a brilliant August day.Bill Boice stood proud and tall in the reviewing party with the Supe, the Comm, and the Dean, along with representatives of the Classes of 1960, ’61, and ’62, to welcome the newest members of the Long Gray Line.Other members of the Class of ’63, including Ken O’Sullivan, John Ahern, Norm Beatty, Ty Tyler, and Karl Schwartz were present to “grip hands” with our newest brothers and sisters.It was a proud day for all – especially for Ty and Karl, who had grandchildren on the Plain being accepted into the Corps, just as they had been 50 years earlier.

The weather cooperated beautifully – that is, if you like sunshine and 90 degree temperatures.It really was an ideal day for the event and a sharp contrast to five days earlier when the “new cadets” started out the Marchback from LakeFrederick soaked to the skin.Classmates who were present helped staff the two large picnic tents erected by the AOG to give parents and friends a place to get out of the sun, have some refreshments, and wait for the call from the new cadet that they had been released for the day.

Classmates from ’63 met parents and friends from Irvine, CA; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; St. Louis, MO; Richmond, VA; and on and on.All thanked the Class of ’63 repeatedly for our efforts to reach out to their sons and daughters and to them as well.Many approached us, specifically to say “thanks” for being there on R Day and for the good advice re where to stand/sit to see a son or daughter pass by during the Marchback. Many marveled at seeing the same fellows who passed by them on Monday show up again on Saturday to welcome their sons and daughters.

Many thanks to the classmates who helped and their wives as well:Agnes Beatty, Linda Schwartz, Judy Tyler, Andrea Ahern, and Mary O’Sullivan.All of us represented the Class of ’63 very well.

CLASS OF 2013 CREST UNVEILING
23 APRIL 2010

The Class of 2013 unveiled its Class Crest on Friday, 23 April, at a dinner in Washington Hall that also honored the families who have sponsored this Class during its Plebe year. Karl Schwartz and Norm and Agnes Beatty represented the Class of ’63 at this ceremony. During the course of the evening, the Class of 2013 recognized them as special guests and mentors.

Karl reported that it was a special evening for him as his grandson is a member of the Class of 2013; moreover, Karl learned that his grandson’s sponsor had served with Karl’s son in Iraq. Small world!!

Norm commented that he was particularly impressed with the speech given by 2013 Class President Orlando Sonza and the thought given to the design of the crest.The crest features the class motto: “Defending the Dream.” That motto reflects the class’s dedication to defending the United States of America and what it stands for. The shield protected by the eagle’s wings represents the Class of 2013’s choice to protect not only the United States but mankind and to stand for America’s values. The crossing of the Officer Saber and Cadet Sword represents the class’s connection to the Long Gray Line and the traditions and values it upholds.

For additional candid shots of the ceremony, go to www.westpointaog.org.There are additional pictures of the evening available by clicking on the Picasa icon in the lower left hand side of the AOG webpage.

Affiliation Activities
Summer 2010
Yearling Flag Ceremony

On 22 July, the Class of ’63 presented the Class of 2013 with their official class flag.The flag features the 2013 class crest and is used at various ceremonies throughout the class’s three remaining years at the academy.After graduation, the flag will be displayed in Herbert Hall and available to the class for reunions and other official activities.

Ty Tyler and Karl Schwartz, both of whom have grandchildren in the Class of 2013, and Ken O’Sullivan, 50-Year Affiliation Program Chairman for the Class of ‘63, participated in the ceremony.They presented the flag to Class of 2013 President Orlando Sonza during the awards ceremony marking the end of Cadet Field Training at Camp Buckner.After the ceremony, the ’63 representatives attended a barbeque with the Superintendent, Commandant, Dean, CFT award winners, and officers from the Class of 2013.

Acceptance Day

On 14 August, Bill Boice was part of the official reviewing party at the Acceptance Day parade for the Class of 2014.He was joined on The Plain by representatives from the Classes of 1961, 1962, and 1964 along with the USMA Command Group.Rudy Ehrenberg, Director of ’63 Participation in the Professional Military Ethic Education (PME2) Program at USMA, and Ken O’Sullivan were in the parade stands as well.The night before the parade, they joined Bill and Class of 2013 officers at a formal dinner marking the end of the USMA Annual Leadership Conference..