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WEST POINT LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE UPDATE

As President of the West Point Society of Denver, I was privileged to attend the annual West Point Alumni Leaders Conference (sponsored by the Class of ’67) 13-16 August 2014.  About 150 attendees representing over 60 societies, 50 classes, AOG Directors/Advisors/staff, Parents Club Presidents and Admissions Field Force participants were immersed in three days of all things USMA, including updates from the AOG Chairman, AOG President, SUPE, Dean, Director of Admissions and Director of Cadet Activities.  The new COM was given a stayback, since he had only reported to West Point two days earlier.

I have attached the SUPE’s presentation slides for anyone interested in more details.  In addition, I am pleased to report the following summary of Leadership Conference news:

1.  DISTINGUSIED SOCIETY – As a result of our numerous activities and substantial admissions work, the Denver Society was once again selected as a Distinguished Society, a distinction earned each year since before the earliest memories of existing Society Directors.

2.  SIZE OF THE CORPS – Despite the dramatic drawdown going on throughout the military, and unlike USAFA, at this time there are no plans to reduce the size of the Corps from its current full strength of 4,400.

3.  SIGNIFICANT CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY – An amazing amount of activity is still taking place at USMA, despite painful budget cuts throughout the Army.  Some projects, determined to be a military necessity, are funded by DOA and others by contributions to AOG:

A.  $165M new barracks in place of the old Building 720 (boodlers for really old grads) – in process;

B.  $150M renovation of Scott Barracks (Lost 50s) – in process;

C.  New steam pipes through much of the system – Central Area is all torn up.

D.  New Visitors Center to break ground soon – to be attached to the Museum.

E.  Arvin Gym Annex – near the old Field House, for use by teams that compete below the Plain.

F.  Bartlett Hall – the renovation is more than half completed;

G. Cullum Hall – a new Memorial (“Valhalla”) Room, listing all grads KIA’d by War/Campaign;

4.  CYBER WAR INSTITUTE – The Army is in the process of creating a Cyber War Institute at West Point, to be staffed by 70 employees.  In addition, the Army is standing up a new Cyber Warfare Branch, the first six officers of which are all West Pointers.

5.  FUND RAISING: The AOG’s “For All Of Us” campaign has already reached its $350M goal and still has through December 2015 to go.  52% of the Long Gray Line has participated so far.  The SUPE and AOG leadership are encouraging us not to stop and be all that we an be.

6.  ATHLETICS – We know we have a football problem, but we can celebrate the following:

A. 11 reigning National Champions:  Sprint Football (undefeated); Men’s Boxing; Women’s Boxing; Fencing; Judo; Karate; Orienteering (12th consecutive year); Men’s Team Handball (8th consecutive year);   Women’s Team Handball; Parachute; and Triathlon

B.  In addition, West Point won the Patriot League Championships in Baseball, Men’s Tennis, and Women’s Basketball; achieved a 18-13 record vs. Navy; the Men’s Soccer Team earned its first post-season bid since 1996; the Lacrosse Team was ranked #20; and, West Point won the highly competitive annual NSA Cyber (One of the Dean’s Teams) Competition.

C   West Point Club Teams beat Navy and Air Force 80% of the time.

D.  The Army Rugby Team is back on the field as a NCAA varsity sport;

E.  A Women’s Lacrosse Team is standing up.

7. SUPE’s LEADERSHIP PRIORITIES –

A.  Sexual Harassment/Assault;

B.  Honorable Living;

C.  Winning Culture;

D.  Diversity (The SUPE has established an Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity)

E.  Leader Development;

F.  New York City Area Integration/Partnership

G. Beat Navy

8. SUPE’s STRATEGIC VISION/PRIORITIES:

A. Academy Scholars Program;

B. Athletic Team Endowments;

C. Center for the Study of Civil-Military Operations;

D. Cyber Research Center;

E. Cadet Activities:

F. Diversity Initiatives;

G. Lacrosse Center;

H. Cadet Semester Abroad;

I.  Visitors Center;

J. Arvin Gym Annex.

9. ADMISSIONS – The Admissions Office is working hard to rebuild the Military Academy Liaison Officer program.  From a low of 9 serving reservists throughout the nation, we are back up to over two dozen, with about another 70 prospects in line.

The Class of 2018 was the most diverse ever:

  1. 1212 Admitted (8% of Applicants)
  2. SAT Average: 1270
  3. Women: 21.8% (up from 15.9%
  4. African-Americans: 13.9% (up from 9.5%)
  5. Hispanics: 10.1%
  6. Asians: 7.8%
  7. 17 Combat Veterans

10.  AOG TRIVIA –

A.  2019 is WPAOG’s 150th Anniversary  – formed on 22 May 1869 in New York City

B.  71,371 Total Graduates; 50,736 Living Graduates.

C.  Mid-point of the living Long Gray Line is in the Class of 1988; the Mid-Point of all West Point Graduates since 1802 is in the Class of 1978.

D.  Oldest Living Graduate is BG Robert Tripp, ’33 (102 Years Old)

E.  New Register of Graduates due in December 2015 (1802-2015) – in print or electronic.

As always, it was good to return to West Point and be inspired by the accomplishments of our institution and reinvigorated by its values and ethos.  My next communication will cover upcoming Society activities for the fall and winter.

Let this be the year that we BEAT NAVY.

Bob Walcott ’78
President, West Point Society of Denver
303-727-8400
walcott78@aol.com

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