Greetings Class of 1979,
New Year 2019! This is the year we have been awaiting since 2014
as the Class of 1979 will once again muster in Annapolis for a
monumental reunion of noble Patriots! Yes, as I have been
extolling for quite some time now, the 40th
Anniversary Reunion of the Class of 1979 will be held in
September on a weekend still to be determined. It is my fervent
hope that we gather in the largest numbers since July 7, 1975.
All members of the Class of 1979, both graduates and
non-graduates, plus the widows and children of our fallen
classmates are welcome to attend; indeed, strongly urged to
attend and celebrate the many achievements of our class.
Reunion Committee will meet (virtual attendance should be
possible) this month to build a preliminary schedule and make
other decisions so that when a date is selected, we are ready to
move forward immediately.
case you haven’t been paying attention, the date of the Reunion
will be selected upon release of the 2019 Navy Football
schedule, which will occur in late February of early March and
is driven by the American Athletic Conference (AAC). I fully
expect a suitable home game will be scheduled on either the 14th,
21st, or 28th of September 2019. Our
Reunion will then be held beginning the Thursday of that weekend
and running through Sunday, with a busy agenda planned for each
Reunion Committee is looking at such innovations as not having a
headquarters hotel, but blocking rooms at various hotels in and
near Annapolis. Check-in may be at a downtown venue, like
McGarvey’s. Our big dinner could be in Ackerson Tower at the
Stadium, and our “Tailgate” in the N-Star Room at the stadium.
All of this is unofficial, but when details are confirmed I will
get the gouge to you ASAP.
Another big event this year will be the election of Class
Officers (President, Vice president, Secretary, Treasurer, and
Battalion Representatives) who will hold office from January 1,
2020 through December 31, 2029. The process, as spelled out in
our Class By-laws, will involve the appointment of a
three-person Nomination and Election Committee by the Class
Officers, probably in June 2019. The Class will then have the
opportunity to nominate eligible candidates to the committee,
who will vet them, and place them on the ballot if qualified.
The actual election will be conducted, likely through a survey
program on-line, during a two-week period within a month of the
Reunion. Results will be announced at the Quinquennial Class
meeting at the reunion.
majority of the Class f 1979 will turn 62 years of age this
year. Some will turn 65. In any event, time marches on for each
of us, so the opportunities to gather as a Class are becoming
precious commodities. During the last four or five years leading
up to our 50-year Reunion in 2029, we will be fully engaged
through the “Another Link in the Chain” program with the Class
of 2029. Those future Midshipmen are currently eleven or twelve
Finally, December 31, 2019 will be the last day to make pledges
or donations to our 40-Year Class Legacy Project. To refresh
your memory, our Class pledged to raise $500,00 toward three
specific targets: Academic Excellence -Trident Scholar Program,
Athletic Excellence (Both at $187,0000) and the Annual Fund
($125,000). As 2018 wrapped up we were in very good shape,
having smashed the initial $500, 000 goal. The following
summarizes our end-of-year status:
Academic Excellence –
Trident Scholar Program: Goal: $187,000; Current Raised or
Pledged Funds: $168,951.10; Delta - $18,048.90 in the red; From
Athletic Excellence: Goal: $187,000; Current
Raised or Pledged Funds: $360,566.15; Delta - $173,566.15 in the
black; From 172 Donors.
Annual Fund: Goal: 125,000; ; Current
Raised or Pledged Funds: $613,040.47; Delta - $488,040.47 in the
back; From 306 Donors.
two things on this report pop out at me: First, we need to close
the $18,048.90 gap in support of the Trident Scholars. Second,
the vast majority of our living classmates, grad and non-grad,
are not stepping up to give back to the Naval Academy. If we
just had 100 of these classmates step up and pledge $1,000 each,
we would be in great shape! Expect a more targeted message on
funds don’t end there either. As I pointed out previously, we
also have Class Funds going to support of the Brigade
Commander’s Plaque in Bancroft Hall, operating expenses for the
Class Tailgates and Website, and seed money for reunions (among
other things). During the upcoming year the Class Officers will
discuss how best to sustain our operating funds, plus establish
a new fund to support the Link-in-the-Chain program. We will
also discuss support and sponsorship of CVN 79 (the JFK), and
DDG 79 USS Oscar Austin.
have some sad news to pass along. George Welch, who coached Navy
Football from 1973–1981 and earned a 55-46-1 record in that
time, passed away on January 2, 2019, surrounded by his family.
He was 85 and had been in declining health for a while. Coach
Welch will be missed by his players at Navy, including our great
Navy Football classmates who were guided by the coach to wins
over Air Force and Army in three of our four years, and a big
win over BYU in the inaugural Holiday Bowl our Firstie year.
Coach Welch went on to great success at UVA where he eventually
retired. As I understand it, his services were private.
that is a look ahead at this new year. May it be filled with
many joys and blessings to you and your families. We look
forward to seeing EVERYONE at the Reunion!
a Happy New Year!