August 2021 update: Class of ’72 Plank-Owner Campaign Project

Posted: 8/29/2021

My last memo was in April when I reported that we had raised $215 K of our $750 K goal to get our name displayed within the new Alumni Association and Foundation Center (AAFC), which has so far raised $3.5 Million of the $7 Million still needed (total cost $36 Million). Much preparation work has been done, and the official ground-breaking for the new center will take place September 1st with an anticipated completion date in late 2022/early 2023.If we can raise the funds, our $750 K will go toward: (1) A class naming opportunity ($500 K) for a conference room AND (2) a $250 K class major “plank-owner” plaque that would be displayed with other class plaques in the North Garden Terrace. Here are 3 representative images (the AAFC, a conference room and the donor wall):

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(this report’s historical nautical origin teasers: (1) footloose and (2) dressing down. Answers at the end).

So, how’s the Foundation and our class doing so far? The Foundation has 27 classes running campaigns to raise $8 Million (so far, $3.5 million raised). We’re 1 of the 27, and our $750 K campaign has so far raised $341 K from 33 classmates (so, we’re not quite halfway there). We’ve raised enough for our “plank-owner” plaque…but not enough to fund the ’72 conference room. This campaign runs through December 31, 2022, so we still have 17 months to reach our goal. “Pledges” then run from 2023 to 2027 (can be designated for any one of those five years…or pledged in equal (or unequal) instalments across the entire five years). Our last campaign set a goal of $5 Million, ended up raising $7 M, and will end next year (2022).

Many of you have been historical donors and continue to have a sincere interest in continuing to support USNA going forward. Some of you may have limitations regarding your capability or perhaps the timing of your support, so here’s some ideas I’m asking classmates to consider as we go forward:

  1. For those of you that pledged to our last successful campaign, that last pledge will be in 2022. Please consider extending that pledge to this new campaign from 2023 onwards. Here’s a link to our class pledge form for this new campaign, which can be filled out online, saved, and sent directly to USNA via e-mail:
  2. Some of you are fortunate enough to have IRAs to help fund your retirement but may find you don’t really need to draw down the full required minimum distribution (RMD) which will begin soon. This RMD will be counted by the IRS as income, meaning you’ll need to report it for both state and federal taxes. Please consider using a portion of your RMD as part of a qualified charitable deduction (QCD), allowing you to avoid paying taxes on the amount being donated, even if you file the short form. Here’s a link with more information on the QCD:
  3. Of course, there’s always the option to send in a one-time check or VISA donation via the link above.

My point is, if you are interested in participating in this new class campaign but have not yet gotten around to filling out the pledge form, please consider doing so now by clicking on the link provided. If you have an IRA, please consider saving yourself the income tax “hit” by using the QCD tool to donate directly from your IRA.

That’s my summer update. This is our last official fundraiser. Please consider joining us prior to next year’s 50th reunion, where I’ll report our results. Our class is currently recognized with a plaque on the new Sports & Rehabilitation Center. Ideally our class can achieve two additional naming opportunities on display at the new Alumni Association and Foundation Center.

Let me know if you have questions or need further info. Contact me @

Thanks, Jeff Beard