U. S. Naval Academy

Class of 1979

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Latest Letter from Dave   


26 Feb

Greetings '79!

Thanks to the efforts of our classmate VADM John "Fozzie" Miller, the first four Class of 1979 challenge coins are available to purchase at the link below.  As time goes on, more items will be loaded on the website to include challenge coins with Techumseh or John Paul Jones and a Christmas ornament, paper weight, picture frame and keepsake box.  

Here's the link:  Class of 1979 Chapel Dome Memorabilia

Thanks Fozzie from all of us for making this happen!




Greetings Ď79!

Welcome to the Dark Ages.  Remember that sinking feeling Plebe year when you returned to Bancroft Hall after having a fun winter break with family and friends?  I know that COVID has many of us in a funk, but nothing was as bad as that feeling Plebe year.  I hope that many of you have received a COVID vaccine and that you're able to breathe easier.  For the rest of us, I hope that the vaccine distribution gets sorted out ASAP!

Midshipmen have returned to the Yard to begin their Dark Ages.  They had a longer than usual winter break and are just coming out of two weeks of quarantine (assuming they have a negative COVID test).  Classes have been held virtually since 19 January and each class will go live if COVID protocols can be observed (distance and masking).  USNA Staff have started to receive the vaccine, to be followed by Faculty and then Midshipmen.  Spring sports schedules are still in a state of flux as the Patriot League continues to sort through COVID.

This semester I was selected to participate in the Stockdale Associate Fellows program.  The class includes faculty, staff and coaches from across the Yard.  It is a leadership development program, injected with events to give participants a taste of the Midshipmen and Navy/Marine Corps team experience.  Last week we were supposed to do the 10 meter tower jump, but that has been rescheduled by COVID.  I remember as Midshipmen when we did the tower jump and actually jumping was the easy part Ö it was climbing up that rickety ladder with others above you that really sucked.  Now Midshipmen climb stairs to a proper diving board.  I will keep you posted as I do events that will include running the obstacle course, Gettysburg battlefield walk, visit to Norfolk and Quantico and a five day backpacking trip with NOLS to Canyonlands, UT (https://www.nols.edu/en/coursefinder/courses/canyonlands-backpacking-leadership-expedition-GYLE/)

We are close to having the Class of 1979 Chapel Dome momentos available to purchase.  Iíd like to thank John (Fozzie) Miller for his efforts in making this happen.  You will have the option of purchasing challenge coins with various inscriptions on the back (Naval Academy logo, chapel dome, or front doors of the chapel), or have the class crest inserted in picture frames, keepsake boxes or Christmas ornaments.  Iíve attached a picture of an example of the challenge coins.  Hereís a link to the store:  https://usnachapeldome.com/collections/custom-orders

You may have received an invitation last week for a brief by the Alumni Association on the new Alumni Association and Foundation Center.  The brief will be on 4 February at 1100.  The new Center will be on King George Street, across the street from the baseball stadium.  It will be a 68,855 square foot building that will have spaces for alumni to gather, including 

  • 300+ person main level conference center
  • 110 seat upper level multipurpose room
  • 100 person lower level bar/multipurpose room
  • On-site or nearby parking for > 100 vehicles

The project is on schedule to open in 2022.  The project cost is $36M, of which $29M is in hand.  There are opportunities to be a Plankowner for those that donate a gift of $12,500 (payable over five years) or more.  We already have had four classmates graciously donate a total of $20k to the Center.

There is also an opportunity to have the Class Crest displayed in the Center if we donate at one of two gift levels, $100k or $250k.  Any individual gift made by a classmate counts towards the Class Crest project.  I think itís important that the Class of 1979 Crest be displayed in the Center and would like to hear your thoughts Ö just reply to this email or drop me a note at dajaxn79@gmail.com 

Finally, attached please find two pictures for your viewing pleasure.  They were taken outside my office at the Cutter Shed.  Please stop by when things return to normal.

Thatís all for now.  Please continue to stay healthy and safe.

All the best,


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