Tuesday, September 27, 2016

2016 Leadership Conference Report

West Point Alumni, Friends and Families:

Last month I, along with two other Denver Society Board members attended the annual West Point Alumni Leaders Conference (sponsored every year by the Class of ’67).  A total of 54 out of approximately 130 worldwide societies were represented, along with 46 class presidents, 24 parents club presidents, 62 Admissions Field Force members, 13 AOG Board members and others for a grand total of about 250 attendees.

Once again as a result of our level of activities and support of West Point, the Denver Society was named a Distinguished Society, something we have achieved for over 25 consecutive years.

The conference opened with a welcome form AOG Chairman Larry Jordan, LTG (Ret).  He mentioned the great success of our "For Us All Campaign" which ended last December, raising $420M, $70M more than the campaign goal of $350M.  With this and other efforts our AOG is "financially strong...with sound investments and solid reserves".  Our AOG is working through a new five year strategic plan, while keeping in mind 150 years of history as the AOG will celebrate its sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary in 2019.

Our new AOG President & CEO, Todd Browne '85, spoke to us about the strategic look ahead.  Todd previously served as COO of the AOG, under recently retired Past President Doug McClure '76.  Todd stated the focus of AOG is on services to the Long Gray Line, including:  1) the West Point Connect program (expanding IT and other connections from a class and societies focus, to include teams, clubs and other WP interest groups); 2) improving post-military career services; 3) Rockbound Highland Home Program (a more welcoming institution for returning alumni); and 4) increased outreach to cadets, parents and surviving spouses.

The conference also included the usual updates from the Superintendent, Dean and a senior representative form the Commandant's office.  Listed below are Conference Highlights, covering other subjects discussed at there conference, including the SUPT's priorities.  I must acknowledge my colleague, Stover James '76, President of the Pikes Peak Society, our sister society in Colorado Springs, who meticulously compiled this list of Conference Highlights below.  Stover and the Pikes Peak Society have been great partners and team mates as we plan and share joint alumni activities here in Colorado.

Don't miss a list of upcoming Denver activities at the bottom of this e-mail.

West Point Athletics/Competitive Clubs:
  • National Championships:
  •  Sprint Football/2016
  •  Men’s Boxing/2016
  •  Judo/2016
  •  Karate/2016
  •  Tae Kwon Do/2016 Men’s Team Handball/2016
  •  Women’s Team Handball/2016
  •  Women’s Rugby 7’s/2016
  •  Orienteering/2016
  •  Pistol/2016
  •  Speech & Parliamentary Debate/2016
  •  Parachute/2015
  •  Triathlon/2015
  • Patriot League/Conference Championships
  • Men’s Tennis
  • Gymnastics
  • Men’s Golf
  • Women’s Basketball
  • Other West Point Intercollegiate Athletics Notable Achievements:
  • Best overall winning % in 20 years
  • Men’s Rugby: USA 7s Bowl Champions
  • Nissen-Emery Award Winner (the College Gymnastics equivalent of the Heisman Trophy)
    • Recent College Rankings:
  • Forbes/2016:
  • #1 Public College in the Nation
  •  #6 Liberal Arts College
  •  #14 College overall in the Nation (Note: USNA #24, and USAFA #35)
  •  US News & World Report/2015
    •  #2 Public Liberal Arts College
  •  #3 Best Undergrad Engineering Programs
  • Princeton Review/2015
  •  #1 Most Accessible Professors
  •  #2 Best Health Services
  •  #3 Best College Library
  • #9 Everyone Plays Intramurals Sports
  • HP Enterprise Security/2014: #11 in Cybersecurity (Only Service Academy in Top 12)
  • Business Insider/2015: #13 Best College Campus (Only Service Academy in Top 20)
  • College Choice/2016: #14 Undergrad Engineering Degree Program (USAFA #17; USNA #18)
·  Class of 2016
·  26 Class of 2016 Cadet Scholarship Winners, including 1 Marshall; 3 Fulbright; 7 MIT Lincoln Lab; 2 Draper Lab; 2 GEM; 1 Rotary; 3 Schwarzman; 1 Churchill; 6 Other
·  20 Class of 2016 going to Medical School.
·  5 Women from the Class of 2016 branched Infantry.
·  SUPE’s Priorities:    
·  Leader Development (Preeminent leader development institution in the world)
·  Honorable Living
·  Sexual Harassment/Assault/Command Climate
·  Winning Culture
·  Diversity
·  Standards and Discipline
·  Force Protection
·  New York City (Continue to build our partnership with New York City to enhance cadet development and enrich our connection with the American People)
·  ·         SUPE’s Additional Comments:
·  Security is being tightened as protecting Cadets and Faculty is now a major concern (BTW, many buildings now have swipe card access).
·  Ask: Where does mediocrity exist?.....Cadets deserve better; they will lay it on the line.
·  Pursuit of Excellence
·  Winning IAW Values, not win at all costs.
·         West Point now has a Cadet Creed:
                                   “As a future officer, I am committed to the values of Duty, Honor and Country.
I am an aspiring member of the Army Profession, dedicated to serve and earn the trust of the American people.
It is my duty to maintain the honor of the Corps.
I will live above the common level of life, and have the courage to choose the harder right over the easier wrong.
I will live with honor and integrity, scorn injustice, and confront substandard behavior.
I will persevere through adversity and recover from failure.
I will embrace the warrior ethos, and pursue excellence in everything I do.
I am a future officer and a member of the Long Gray Line.”

  • The number and type of Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD - Study Abroad, Exchange, Cultural Immersion, Research, Internships, Projects, etc.), Military Individual Advanced Development (MIAD - Sapper, SERE, Airborne, Air Assault, Combat Diver, Jungle, Mountaineering, Commando, etc.) opportunities, both domestic and international, for cadets are truly impressive.
  • Class of 2020 Beast Barracks:
  • Tougher this year; attrition higher
  • New Cadets spend 2 WEEKS in the field @ Lake Frederick.
  • PT: 7 days/week
  • Camp Buckner Summer Military Training:
  • 4 weeks long for Yearlings. 7.5 mile run back from Camp Buckner at end of training; synchronized so that Yearlings running back from Camp Buckner meet/pass the New Cadets marching out in the opposite direction towards Lake Frederick.
  • 3 weeks for Firsties. 18-day FTX, modeled after the Camp Darby Phase of Ranger School. Firsties must pass patrols to graduate. There have been late grads who had to return to Camp Buckner because they did not pass this graduation requirement the first time.
  • Biggest change in military training @ West Point: How much cadets are actually in charge.
  • West Point Centers
  • 21 Research Centers
  • 2 Partnered Research Centers
  • Class of 2020 (very diverse and very high-achieving):
  • 14,830 Applicants
  • 4,103 Nominated
  • 2,520 Qualified
  • 1290 Admitted (8.7% of Applicants)
  • SAT Average: 1264
  • ACT Average: 28
  • 119 Valedictorians
  • 113 Class Presidents
  • 840 Team Captains
  • Women: 21.8%
  • African-Americans: 14%
  • Hispanic-Americans: 9.4%
  • Asians-Americans 9.1%
  • Soldiers: 6%
  • Recruited Athletes: 19.7%
  • 10 Combat Veterans
  • 15 International Cadets
  • Significant on-going construction
  • The $165M new Davis Barracks (Building #720 is gone; changes the landscape) is projected to be completed by December.
  • $150M renovation of other barracks after Davis Barracks is ready for occupancy.
  • Lacrosse Center scheduled for completion this month (August 2016)
  • Bartlett Hall: 4-year renovation plan
  • Cullum Hall: Beautiful new Memorial Room renovation, honoring all the West Point Graduates who have fallen in battle, and the 74 West Point Graduates who have been awarded the Medal of Honor.
  • Prep work has started on the new Malek Visitor Center; Groundbreaking next month (September 2016)
  • Numerous required/needed infrastructure improvements
  • Longer Term:
  • Malek Soccer Stadium
  • Academic Building Upgrade Program
  • Multi-Purpose Academic Center
  • Army Cyber Institute (Spellman Hall)
  • West Point now has a Parents’ Weekend for all classes (like USAFA); this year it is 21-23 October.
  • Very impressive brief and work by the West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC).
·         Very impressive brief and work by the West Point Center for the Advancement of Leader Development and Organizational Learning, including the Cadet Learning Challenge Program.

  • WPAOG:
  •                 73,395 Total Graduates 1802-2016; 51,922 Living Graduates from 81 Classes.
  • Mid-point of the living Long Gray Line is in the Class of 1990; the mid-point of all Graduates since 1802 is in the Class of 1979; many of us may be surprised to realize how far along we are on the “sunset” side of those mid-points.
  • Oldest Living Graduate is LTG William J. Ely, ’33 (104 Years Old).
  • 139 West Point Societies, including 12 overseas.
  • Highly successful For US All Fundraising Campaign!
  • $420M raised, 120% of $350M Goal
  • Endowment grew 153%
  • 61% of donations were restricted; 39% unrestricted for use by SUPE.
  • Donors
  • 63% Grads
  • 17% Friends
  • 16% Parents
  • 3% Widows
  • 1% Corps of Cadets/Other
  • All Academy Challenge (Annual Service Academy Fundraising Challenge Competition):
  • $150K Donated to West Point
  • 7.4% Grads Donated
  • 14% First-Time Donors
  • WPAOG Status/Way Ahead
  • Financially Strong
  • Sound Investments
  • Solid Reserves
  • Endowment: $233M
  • Total financial portfolio under WPAOG management: $311M
  • Want to build on momentum from highly successful For US All Campaign.
  • WPAOG Strategic Plan based on one key upcoming event: 2019 will be the 150th Anniversary of the WPAOG (the WPAOG Sesquicentennial for you Hives). The WPAOG started on 22 May 1869 in New York City.
  • Nation: 240 Years Old
  •  Army: 241 Years Old
  • West Point: 214 years Old
  • WPAOG: 147 Years Old
  • Priorities/Areas of Emphasis:
  •  Make ”The Grip” stronger
  • Continue the momentum of philanthropy
  • Career Services
  • Support of Societies
  • Memorial Services Support
  • Reunion Support
  • “Rockbound Highland Home” Program
  • WPAOG needs to touch all Grads more; Connect/Outreach Programs with Cadets, Parents; Widows; Widowers; Non-Class/Shared Graduate Interest Groups (e.g., Grad Groups in addition to Class Years, such as the strong Glee Club Network)
  • WPAOG GOAL: Most highly-connected Alumni Body in the world through meaningful engagement that increases affinity.

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