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50th Reunion Legacy Campaign Update & Request

Posted: 1/15/2021

Hello vaccine, goodbye pandemic

I hope 2021 finds you in good health and safe as we all seek to line-up for the “over 70’s” priority lane for our COVID vaccine shots. I’m optimistic that ALL of us will be able to physically get together in the fall of 2022 for our 50th reunion!

My reason for writing is two-fold: (1) to provide you with an annual progress update on our 50th Reunion Legacy Campaign, now entering its 4th year (it will expire, more or less, at the end of 2022 as we celebrate our 50th); and (2) to check the interest for those classmates that have outstanding pledges for our class campaign if they would consider redirecting and extending their pledge to support funding for the new Alumni Association and Foundation Center, which needs $7 Million in additional funding in order to be completed. I’ll explain all this later in this memo.

Regarding our progress on the campaign-front, through the first three years (2018 => 2020) we continue to inch forward as more classmates have joined in, or otherwise made contributions to the Naval Academy Annual Fund, which count. Bottom line, what’s been either donated or still in the pledge pipeline now totals $ 6.34 Million, crushing our $5 Million goal and remaining the highest amount of money ever raised in Naval Academy class-giving campaign history! Here’s the latest breakdown:

January 2021 Update

  • Exceeded $5 Million goal by $1.34 Million: “matching” challenge of anonymous classmate met
  • Many classmates used 401K & IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) option
  • Participation rate around 46%…highest ever!
  • 50th Legacy Campaign is our last “official” campaign…going forward fundraising will be “opportunity-based”

                                                                                                                             Amount:   % of goal

USNA Annual Fund:                                                                                           $ 1.31M      (175%)   (goal: $.75M)

1972 Athletic Facility & Excellence Fund:                                                       $ 2.50M      (100%)   (goal: $2.5M)

(Class of 1972 name displayed within the Sports & Rehab. Centre – see below)

1972 DMP for Character Development Fund:                                                  $ 1.78M      (178%)    (goal: $1M)

1972 Project-Based Learning Fund:                                                                 $   .75M      (100%)    (goal: $.75)

TOTAL                                                                                                                  $ 6.34M      (127%)    (goal: $5M)

Regarding the $7 Million the Foundation needs to complete the new Alumni Assoc. & Foundation Center, there’s a unique opportunity for us to extend our class’s recognition by becoming a “plank-owner.” In the words of the Foundation: We are pleased to offer a unique opportunity for class recognition as part of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation Center project, which will be displayed in perpetuity in the North Garden Terrace located on the front side of the building for all guests to see, in addition to any vehicular traffic on King George Street. This recognition is focused on two levels of class support, $250,000 and $100,000. Enclosed are some wall illustrations regarding how the class plankowners might be recognized.

So how, you may ask, might this work for the Class of 1972?

  • Instead of having your pledge expire at the end of 2022, we ask that you redirect and extend it four more years until 2026 (the Foundation’s five-year goal runs from 2021 => 2026).
  • Example: if the class collectively pledged $25K a year for these four years, that would count as a $100,000 plank. If we pledged approx. $63K for the four years, the class receive a $250,000 plank.
  • Many of you have already been lifelong donors to USNA and might otherwise be seeking some way to continue that pattern for something worthwhile to both the Academy and the Class. I was impressed with the enthusiasm the class demonstrated for the naming opportunity for the Sports & Rehabilitation Center project in which we raised $2.5 Million (see photos). Could we extend this enthusiasm to the new Alumni Association & Foundation Center?
  • Finally, there’s a very real “tax tool” some of you could utilize (for those that already have tax-protected IRAs) by donating a portion of your RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) THAT YOU ARE ANYWAY GOING TO BE FORCED TO BEGIN DRAWING DOWN TO AVOID A 50% PENALTY BEGINNING AT AGE 72! Two examples:
    • Retired Navy Veteran W.T. Door, a graduate of the USNA class of 1972, has $100,000 in his IRA that he so far has been safeguarding and not withdrawing as he has been reluctant to pay the FULL INCOME TAX on his minimum required distribution. He’s 70, and knows the law says that, by age 72, he MUST begin that withdrawal. He consults the IRS tables and finds that the IRS Uniform Lifetime Table gives him a factor of 25.6 (remaining years to live). He does the math ($100,000/25.6) and realizes he must withdraw a minimum of $3906 in 2022. Since he’s in the 24% tax bracket, he will pay the IRS $937, meaning he’ll only pocket $2969. He further realizes that for the four years extending to 2026, he’ll have to withdraw almost $15,624 and pay Uncle Sam $3750 in taxes, leaving him net only $11,874. He’s bitter but “it is what it is” as W.T. Door would often say.
    • Door’s next-door neighbour and former retired Navy Captain, B. T. Crunch (yes, Captain Crunch) was also a ’72 classmate, and has the same problem. Same IRA level ($100,000); same age (age 70 but will be 72 in 2022). Same math (minimum $3906 withdrawal in 2020), but Crunch decides to donate his entire RMD for that year and beyond to 2026 to USNA’s new Alumni Association & Foundation Center He directs his IRA manager to send the USNA Foundation $3906 per year for four years ($15,624) and signs the pledge card. The Foundation sends back an official letter, and B.T. is able to DEDUCT the full $3906 from his federal taxes, saving him $937 per year in reduced federal income taxes, or $3748 over the four-year pledge period. Crunch is pleased with his decision and thinks about it every time he visits the new Alumni Center and sees the ’72 class crest prominently displayed on the front side of the building.
    • So, bottom line, W.T. Door nets $11,874 after paying Uncle Sam $3750 in taxes while Captain Crunch & The Foundation net $15,624 AND Crunch gets an $3750 tax deduction that he gets to apply to his taxes!

The point is, if you are anyway going to be contributing to or donating to USNA, you might as well capitalize on (for those that have them) the IRA savings that you’re anyway going to need to draw down and use…and pay tax on that withdrawal…or you can donate all or part of it to USNA and realize the full tax savings!

So, here’s my request: for those of you that think you might be interested in being part of this new Class of ’72 fundraising effort, could you please drop me an e-mail to indicate your interest as well as the amount per year (2022 => 2026) that you might be willing to sign on for. I’ll tabulate the results and see how that translates into the number of “planks” our class might be able to sponsor. I’ll also provide more detailed information regarding on how to make the pledge. Additionally, I realize the entire RMD thing and the tax issue is a bit complicated to fully understand, but the examples give you an idea, and we’ll be able to provide more specific detail if that’s the road you want to go down.

Please send your response to my e-mail:


Jeff Beard

Board of Trustees’ Update re: Special Committee on Alumni Culture, Diversity and Inclusion

Posted: 12/11/2020

From: USNA Alumni Association <>
Sent: Friday, December 11, 2020 12:50 PM
To: Comiskey, Stephen (PWM) <>
Subject: Board of Trustees’ Update re: Special Committee on Alumni Culture, Diversity and Inclusion



This message was sent to class, chapter and SIG leadership as well as members of the Board of Trustees. It will be sent to all alumni on 18 December.


Dear Members of the USNA Alumni Community:

It is my privilege to provide an update to our alumni on the work of the Board of Trustees and the Special Committee on Alumni Culture, Diversity and Inclusion (“Special Committee”).

On Thursday, the Board of Trustees met virtually to conduct regular business of the Board and discuss the Special Committee’s Final Report. I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Special Committee. Their work has set the tone and certainly the path to make our Alumni Association a more inclusive and mission-focused organization. They met their tasking and have provided meaningful information and recommendations for the Board to consider and carry forward.

The Board unanimously approved a resolution to create an Ad Hoc Committee on Alumni Culture, Diversity and Inclusion to continue the work of the Special Committee as well as provide a reporting mechanism directly to the Board of Trustees. The Ad Hoc Committee will be comprised of Board and committee members as well as members of the Alumni Association.

The Ad Hoc Committee will work to integrate Special Committee recommendations into current Board processes and structure and Alumni Association programs and policies. As part of this effort, a survey will be launched in late January to gauge interest, support and feedback on the Special Committee recommendations. The report will be posted publicly on or about 18 December to help inform alumni feedback for the upcoming alumni survey. The analysis and review by the Ad Hoc Committee will provide the Board with both qualitative and quantitative data to inform next steps. I thank you in advance for your survey participation. Should you have comments or questions before the survey is sent, please direct them to

While 2020 was not the year we all envisioned, I am proud of what we were able to accomplish with the Alumni Association, for our community and in support of the Naval Academy. We continued our work as volunteer leaders, reimagined engagement and events with additional reach around the world, shifted meetings to virtual environments without missing a beat, and launched and furthered programs in support of our alumni and the Academy. May you have a safe and happy holiday season.

Go Navy! Beat Army!


ADM Samuel J. Locklear ’77, USN (Ret.)
Chair, U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees

U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association
247 King George Street, Annapolis, MD 21402
(410) 295-4000 |


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Class Legacy Gift – Rehab Center

Posted: 10/22/2020

Attaching photos that shows our part of the results from Class Legacy Gift to USNA.  Got to admit, pretty proud of what 1972 has stepped up to sponsor!!! – Bob Leib, Class President



Bonds of Gold Ceremony

Posted: 10/18/2020

The Bonds of Gold Ceremony for the Class of 2022 which was postponed from this past Spring due to the Coronavirus outbreak, was held in Memorial Hall on October 5, 2020.

Bob Leib, Tal Manval, Gary Coyle, and Skip Kohler were honored and proud to attend the ceremony and present the Class Rings from our Classmates to be melted down and joined in the bonds of gold with the Class of 2022.






Classmates and families donating Class Rings for this momentous bonding were:

  • Robert Byrd                                        3rd Company
  • Richard (Rick) Gutekunst                   29th Company
  • Terrence S. Kennedy                           3rd Company
  • Daniel G. Hawthorne                            7th Company
  • Douglas (DK) Rush                             25th Company
  • Edward Sievers                                   19th Company
  • John D. Blosser                                   21st Company
  • Gary Coyle                                           27th Company










USNA Class of 1972 Fund

For many years, the Class of 1972 Class Fund was a designated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, approved by the IRS, and designated to profile financial support for Naval Academy and Class of 1972 project activities.  This allowed any individual, and particularly, USNA Class of 1972 graduates, to make tax-deductible donations to support projects that either supported the US Navy’s or the US Naval Academy mission.

At some point in years past, our non-profit designation lapsed, and in order to avoid tax liability issues for classmate gifts totaling almost $124,900, the Class Board of Directors transferred the funds to the US Naval Academy Foundation, a designated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and approved by the IRS to provide financial support for the Naval Academy.  After consultation with the Foundation it was determined that these “funds” could be applied to any project or area that has already been endorsed or approved as part of the Superintendent’s Strategic Priorities.

While there were numerous opportunities to choose from, the Board of Directors selected those projects that had been discussed at recent class officer meetings, previously endorsed and/or approved by the Class or, have been impacted due to the Coronavirus outbreak and its impact on funding support.

After extensive deliberations the Board of Directors has directed the Foundation to allocate the $124,900 of Class funds as follows:

  1. USNA Musical Activities Fund                $60,000
  2. The Parachute Team                       $21,900  ($7000 to procure (1) new rig to be a “Link in the Chain/Class of 2022 rig) and $14,900 “seed money” to support the eventual hiring of a “team coach.”
  3. The Centre for Experiential Leadership Development (ELD)$43,000

The Class owes a huge thanks to our Treasurer, Dan Weaver who thoroughly researched the options available to us to avoid tax liability issues for Classmates.  Also a BZ goes out to Jeff Beard who was our point man working with the Foundation to ensure our efforts were in alignment with the Superintendent’s Strategic Priorities.

Well Turned Pens – update

Posted: 7/29/2020
“Thanks to those classmates who have purchased pens, we just received our first “royalty” check for $330.  These funds go directly into our class treasury.  An $825 contribution was also made to NMCRS.   John Muncie has 12 blanks engraved and ready to go, so if you haven’t yet ordered your pen; or need a quick turn on a gift pen, you can place your order at”

USNA 72 – Well Turned Pens

Posted: 7/8/2020


For the past year John Muncie (USNA ’71) has been making commemorative pens for his class’s upcoming 50 year reunion.  All proceeds have been donated to his class and most recently toward COVID relief.

He has made us an offer we can hardly refuse.  John has been making and selling ballpoint, rollerball, and fountain pens since 2011, and has offered to make pens for us, engraved with our class crest.  But here is the best part of the deal!  For every pen you buy, John will make a $10 donation to our class fund and a $20 donation to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.  The funds John keeps will go to cover his expenses.

John is offering two styles of ballpoints: a Gatsby with either rhodium or titanium gold accents, and a more upscale Sierra Elegant Beauty with either platinum/black titanium or black and gold titanium accents.   You can see samples of his pens at,

The Gatsby normally retails for $60 and up, and the Sierra Elegant Beauties for $70 and up.  Your cost for one of these pens is just $55 or $65 respectively, plus shipping.   Each pen is individually hand crafted, carries an unconditional lifetime warrantee for workmanship, and comes with a top of the line Parker-compatible refill and a protective felt sleeve.

Bob Leib, Bill Boniface, and I have seen samples of John’s work and can attest to its quality.

You can order your pen today at  Click on the USNA Class of 1972 menu option at the top.  In anticipation of our 50th reunion celebration, John suggests engraving the pen with our class crest and the inscription, 50th REUNION 1972 – 2022.

Once John has your order and payment, his goal is to have your pen in the mail within two weeks.   However, note that he is a one-man operation (no mass production capability) and is already making pens for his classmates and their own 50th class reunion.  With your order you should stipulate whether you would prefer blue or black ink and if the intended user of the pen is a right or left-handed writer.

If you have any questions, John’s email is You can also view his work at

Tried and True with ’72!

Chapel Heirlooms

Posted: 5/17/2020

Classmates – The chapel dome is undergoing much needed refurbishment and USNA is making pieces of the old dome available through a unique offer.  Please see the attached flyer for further information.  This is an opportunity to own a piece of our history.  Go Navy!

See this flyer, USNACustomizedFlyer

or go to


50th Reunion

Posted: 3/17/2020

Looking forward to seeing you at the 50th reunion October 28-30, 2022 – more information to come (with 30 months to go!)

Gary Besaw built this amazing image for our 50th. Many thanks Gary!


Class Legacy Campaign Update: 4th Company takes top participation prize

Posted: 2/16/2020
Last September, I sent an e-gouge around to thank the 306 classmates that had participated in our 50th Reunion Campaign, and put a challenge out to anyone that had not yet participated if they would consider sending in a minimum contribution in order to get our participation rate up closer to our goal of 50% (we stalled out at 44%). The goal was to see if we could get some of the lower participating companies to improve their ranking…with the incentive that the winning company would receive for each of their participants (besides bragging rights) one of our 1972/2022 “link-in-the-chain” coins that we gave to each member of the class of 2022 during their plebe summer!
We used the company reps to help facilitate the effort, and said we’d run the campaign through the end of the 2019 calendar year (December 31st).
Well, the company reps did a great job…we’ve now pulled together the year-end data, and the result was an increase in participation to a new total of 340 classmates that have now participated in the campaign, which increases our overall rate of participation to 46%….awfully close to our goal! Regarding the winning company, congratulations go to 4th company, which zoomed up (from 7th place) to 1st place with 26 classmates, followed by 12 other companies that achieved double digit participation results. Very impressive!
In my recent e-gouge, I provided the final standings for the top 13 companies that broke through the double-digit participation level….and I’m happy to provide the final standings for any other company if anyone is interested. The 26 classmates from 4th Company will all receive one of our “link-in-the-chain” coins as a token of our class’s appreciation.
I’m including a one-page summary of our campaign’s status, as we now enter its third year. We should all consider this latest “participation” campaign as a “win-win” as we’ve had, in total, greater participation in this final campaign by our class than in any previous campaign that we’ve ever run! We blew through the (what we thought) unrealistic goal of $5 Million, and our totals now exceed $6 Million ($6.11 Million to be exact). THIS IS A RECORD – NO OTHER CLASS IN USNA HISTORY HAS RAISED THIS MUCH FOR A CAMPAIGN! My thanks to all of you (and especially our anonymous donor who set a “matching” goal of $2.5 Million that we all met). Our collective effort has allowed us to contribute to the moral, mental, and physical dimensions of midshipmen development through the funding of four separate projects, which are listed on the slide below:
Jeff Beard

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