The 50-Year Affiliation Program is a program that formally connects the entering cadet class with an alumni class that is fifty years its senior. Over the next four years, the graduates will accompany their affiliated cadets at significant Academy events (e.g. Cow Affirmation Ceremony, Ring Weekend, Branch Night).
The purpose of the program is to strengthen the ties between the graduates of yesterday and the cadets of today as both groups work together to strengthen the Long Gray Line as it serves our nation.
The program began in 1999 when the Class of 1949 presented the Class of 1999 with engraved 2LT bars at graduation. It has expanded since then and includes eight ‘main’ events.
Generally, classes spend around $40,000 on the Affiliation Program. The preferred source of funding is the class Admin Account. However, if the class does not have sufficient monies in their Admin Account, a class can choose to use its Gift Account. Please see the 50-Year Affiliation Funding Policy for further information.
We encourage classes to begin preparing for their affiliation at their 40th reunion. In order for the class to be better informed about the program, the Director of Class Services can brief the class during its class business meeting at the reunion.
The answer to that question varies by event. For instance, only two 50YAs (and their guests) can attend the Crest Unveiling dinner, but many 50 YAs are encouraged to participate in the R-day, Affirmation, and Branch Night events.
No, all expenses (travel, lodging, meals. etc.) are the responsibility of the individual and not the class or WPAOG.
Please click here for more detailed information about each event.
Start early (at your 40th reunion). Most classes have one overall lead (or POC) for the Affiliation Program. This POC works closely with WPAOG’s Class Services (in the Office of Alumni Support). It is recommended that in addition to the overall POC that your class also have POCs for R-day, March Back, Affirmation, and Branch Night). Read the 50-Year Affiliation Program Poopsheet that was created by the Class of 1969. It can be found here.
Many classes do choose to connect with the Cadet Candidates that are at the Prep School. This Affiliation program, however, is managed by the Army staff at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School and are subject to change. Class Services at WPAOG can also answer general questions about their Affiliation Program.
Many 50 YA classes choose to work with the Academy’s Admissions Office and Parent Clubs to welcome the Cadet Candidates and to introduce them to the 50 YA program. This welcoming is often done in the forms of certificates and letters that are mailed or given out to each new Cadet Candidate. You can find more information about these certificates here.