News, Events & More

FINAL CALL – Class of 1972 Legacy Gift Campaign

Posted: 7/13/2018

(FOR ’72 EYES ONLY)“Sir, you have five minutes until noon meal formation…time, tide andformation wait for no man. I am now shoving off. You now have five minutes, sir!”

My “last call” of two weeks ago needs a follow-up “final call”, thus I turned to a “chow call” as a way of alerting those still on the fence to come on over.

You guys have really been coming through in the crunch as we’ve raised about $500,000 since my last note saying we were wrapping up the active solicitation phase of the campaign by the end of the week of July 13th…. but we’re still a bit short. We stand at $4.7 Million, a little less that $300,000 to our goal of $5 Million! We’ve raised $2.35 Million, and with the match from our anonymous classmate. We need another $150,000, which, when “matched” will get us there. Here’s the breakdown, by project:

  • Distinguished Military Professor for Character– Goal: $1 Million (goal achieved!)
  • Sports & Rehabilitation Centre(with our class name) – Goal: $2.5 Million (goal achieved!)
  • Naval Academy Fund – Goal: $750,000 (goal achieved!)
  • Project Based Learning– Goal: $750,000 (to-date: $453,000 – (short of goal by $297,000)


So, as we wrap up this month’s active solicitation phase (you won’t hear from me again after this), here’s my plea:

Finally, since we’re also below target on our participation goal, here’s the number of participants, by company and their totals. Congratulations to 11thCompany with 13 participants and $149,000 in pledges. 23rdCompany is at the bottom with zero participants and zero pledges. In all, we only have 187 classmates participating. Can we ask those companies at the bottom of the list to try and get your numbers up to at least five people? This would put us over 200 participants and probably be enough push us over the top.  We’ve asked the company reps to urge their company mates to improve your company’s relative standing.

I really feel confident that we’re going to blow through our $5 Million goal. I’ll tally everything up in late August and provide a final report back to you in early September.

Thanks guys!


Company Number of Campaign Participants  Total Giving
11 13  $149,065
28 9  $29,571
2 8  $31,996
4 8  $42,332
10 8  $12,102
29 8  $55,097
3 7  $19,790
7 7  $19,190
8 7  $19,432
20 7  $27,980
34 7  $83,130
36 7  $32,307
6 6  $54,230
24 6  $86,205
12 5  $24,185
15 5  $202,324
17 5  $7,974
21 5  $85,450
22 5  $115,529
25 5  $36,220
26 5  $26,454
9 4  $503,180
13 4  $8,430
27 4  $28,072
30 4  $10,049
31 4  $13,880
5 4  $67,280
14 3  $11,680
16 3  $2,280
33 3  $3,100
35 3  $112,875
1 3  $33,802
19 2  $15,080
32 2  $1,105
18 1  $125,080
23 0  0-

Total Participants = 187

Class Legacy Gift Campaign – Last Call

Posted: 7/2/2018


The active/solicitation phase of Legacy Campaign nearing end!

Last summer (2017) we raised awareness and ran a survey monkey to get your input on projects to include in the campaign. Then we showcased each component before our October reunion, and reviewed the goals at the class business meeting. Our campaign committee called the (historical) top 50 donors during the pre-campaign in late 2017, got us off to a good start, and we launched the formal campaign in March 2018 with the rest of the class.

Since then, Catapult (our vendor) has been writing letters and making calls. They’ve processed 242 prospects resulting in 68 pledges totaling $358,654. They are working on the last 368 classmates now, and intend to complete the entire class by the end of this month. By the week of July 13th, they will have chased as many rabbits as much as they can and will turn in their final report to us.

The good news – we’ve now raised just over $4 Million (with matching) and seem to have a good chance to hit our goal within the next couple of months.

The bad news – we only have a few over 200 classmates contributing to the campaign, way below our goal of 50% (plus we still have to hit our financial goal).

So, this is our last call. If you haven’t been contacted….or you have been contacted but not followed up with….or you told Catapult “no” but have now changed your mind, please click on this link to our pledge form, print it off, fill it out, and send it in to Melissa Nelson at the Foundation Office at the address on the form:

Regarding which areas to support? We’re doing well on the Naval Academy Fund and the DMP. We still need help on both Project-Based Learning AND the Sports & Rehabilitation Centre (which will bear our name if we can raise $2.5 Million).

For those of you that have already pledged – thank you! For those of you that have not yet pledged – please consider participating in this historic (and last) campaign for the Class of 1972.


Jeff Beard

Class Legacy Gift Campaign Memo 6

Posted: 6/11/2018

Weve raised $3.6 Million (w/matching) of $5 million – Largest USNA Class Gift goal ever! Our very generous classmate (who is challenging the rest of us to raise $2.5 million for our 50th Reunion Gift Campaign) is matching our donations dollar-for-dollar up to $2.5 million.  $2.5 + $2.5 = $5 million! Remember, he will only match what we give!

Over 300 classmates (out of 810 on the list to call) have participated so far, and Catapult (the group we’ve hired to contact all of you) will have the remainder of you contacted by the end of this month.

If we keep up this rate and level of participation, we should hit our goal by September!

We have four class gift initiatives. The DMP and Naval Academy Fund are projected to easily bust through their goals. Where we still need help is with the Sports & Rehabilitation Centre, and the Project-Based Learning initiatives. Here’s a reminder for both:

  • $2.5 Million raised will support the 1972 Athletic Facility and Excellence Fund. Do you remember “Misery Hall?” The place we used to go to get taped up, rubbed down, and otherwise repaired so we could continue to compete in our chosen sports. Our gift will support construction of the Terwilliger Physical Mission Center which, if we meet our $2.5 million goal, will house the 1972 Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Center (with our name on the door!) – the new ’72 Misery Hall that will serve all mids, not just varsity athletes.
  • $750,000 raised will support the 1972 Project Based Learning Fund. Our gift will support hardware and logistic costs for capstone projects required of all engineering majors. Interdisciplinary teams of mids conceive, design, build, test, and sometimes redesign, rebuild and retest autonomous land, air and sea vehicles, low-earth-orbit satellites, cockpits of the future, remote sensing systems, and other things we never dreamed possible as mids!

If you’ve already been contacted but haven’t yet received your packet with the Pledge Form…or don’t want to wait for your call from Catapult, here’s a web-link where you can print off our Pledge Form and mail it in:

Keep up the great work guys…and thanks!

Jeffrey Beard

Class Legacy Gift Campaign Update Memo 5

Posted: 5/20/2018

Class Legacy Campaign Update:

We’re about halfway through the campaign. Calls have been in progress, in tranches, to the class since April, and this will continue until the end of June and we reach everybody. Each of you get a letter, an information sheet, then a call. We have well over 100 donors thus far, and we’re making good progress on getting the participation rate to 50%.

All four project areas are being supported, with strong support to the DMP project, and the Naval Academy Fund. After that, the 1972 Athletic Facility & Excellence Project and Project-Based Learning are starting to pick up momentum. Counting the matching from our Anonymous Classmate, we stand today at a little over $3.2 Million out of the $5 Million goal…which is outstanding since we’re only now going out to the bulk of the class.

Speaking of “A.C.” (our “anonymous classmate”), here’s a short note from him:

Dear Classmates,

I am excited about our Class of ’72 50th Reunion Legacy Campaign and the support that has been shown during the opening stages of the Campaign.  There are three facets of our campaign that I find particularly appealing:

  1. Our stretch goals of raising $5 million with 50% participation will set a record for a class fundraising campaign at the Academy.  What an honor it will be for our class to lead the way, helping educate and train the leaders of tomorrow at our beloved Alma Mater!
  2. The naming opportunity for the Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Center allows our class to leave a visible legacy on the Academy grounds.  As Alexander Hamilton raps in the musical Hamilton, “I wanna build something that’s gonna outlive me!” This our chance to create something that will outlive us.
  3. Most importantly, our campaign includes four diverse components: the Distinguished Military Professor in Character Development, Project Based Learning, the Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Center, and the Naval Academy Fund.  One of these likely speaks to your heart.  Be sure to support that component!  Our participation goal is as important as our financial goal, so please participate at whatever level fits your current situation.

Remember that I will double your impact by matching all contributions dollar for dollar up to $2.5 million!  For those who are wondering, this is a true match program.  I am matching other contributions dollar for dollar and I am hopeful that match will reach the maximum amount of $2.5 million.

Thanks A.C…..for those of you that haven’t yet been called that want to go ahead and pledge now, just send me an e-mail and I’ll send you the pledge form with instructions.


Jeff Beard

Class of ’72 Fundraising Chair

Class Legacy Gift Campaign Update Memo 4

Posted: 5/12/2018

We’re now into May, and my hope is that a majority of the class has been contacted and asked for your pledge to our class campaign. I’ve featured one of the four projects within our campaign every couple of weeks. This is the last component, the Naval Academy Annual Fund, which is the lifeblood of private gift support to USNA.





Naval Academy Annual Fund– these unrestricted gifts are the lifeblood of private gift support to USNA. Besides fully funding all Foundation fundraising initiatives, it also provides unrestricted funds to the Supt. annually to support the mission of the Academy as he sees fit. Direct unrestricted support to the Naval Academy Annual Fund gifts a wide array of initiatives and emerging program needs of the Academy, providing the Superintendent the ability to “jump-start” programs in advance of government funding. Examples of recent projects and programs made possible in part by the Annual Fund include:

  • Blue & Gold Officer support for Admissions
  • Bancroft Lecture Series
  • Forrestal Lecture Series guest speaker support
  • Naval Academy Women’s Network activities
  • General Herres Distinguished Military Professor support
  • International Scholarship Interview Program
  • NAPS athletic program support

Finally, the Annual Fund supports the mission of the Naval Academy Alumni Association, providing important member services and benefits such as Shipmatemagazine; alumni chapter, parent club and class reunion support. It also provides resources for the First Gift program, First Class Battalion Receptions at Alumni House/Ogle Hall and I-Day support—all functions that foster early development of a culture of philanthropy and engagement among our newest alumni.

That’s it…. and thanks again for your support of our class campaign!

Jeff Beard

Class of ’72 Fundraising Chair

Class Legacy Gift Campaign Update Memo 3

Posted: 4/26/2018

Academic: Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning and practical design experiences are an essential part of midshipmen education. First, the sheer complexity of today’s naval weapon and engineering systems mandates a multidisciplinary, practical approach to bringing advancements in applied engineering and technology into Naval Academy classrooms.  Second, the Navy requires 65% of each Academy graduating class to major in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) discipline, and an emphasis on project-based learning is a critical aspect of attracting these students. Finally, engineering accreditation bodies are increasingly requiring outcomes-based engineering programs that culminate in a final Capstone design experience.

The Academy’s annual federal appropriation does not fund the entire range of Project-Based Learning activities. Gift funds are essential to fund the “margin of excellence” between what the federal appropriation supports and what the Naval Academy requires. Expanding the emphasis on Project-Based Learning among all STEM major programs and at all levels of the undergraduate education (from plebe to first-class year) will promote a deeper understanding and retention of coursework, enhance critical thinking skills and excite, attract and ultimately retain midshipmen in STEM majors.

Gift funds are needed to provide the hardware used for the Capstone projects that are designed, built, tested and sometimes redesigned, rebuilt and retested by midshipmen.  Examples of past projects are:

  • Sailbot – An autonomous small-scale sailboat capable of self-navigating and self-sailing from the US to the UK.
  • Several satellites that were launched during Space Shuttle missions.
  • LIDAR based autonomous vehicle (golf cart) braking system.
  • Concrete canoe for American Society of Civil Engineers competition.
  • Formula SAE Racecar
  • Human powered submarine

Thanks for your support!

Jeff Beard

Class of ’72 Fundraising Chair

Class Legacy Gift Campaign Update Memo 2

Posted: 4/10/2018

As I indicated a couple of weeks ago, I’m highlighting one of the four projects that make up our class legacy campaign. More of you should have received your letters asking for your support for our campaign, and one of our campaign reps will be trying to reach you over the coming days & weeks. To provide you with more background on each of the projects, here is the second component of our campaign, the Distinguished Military Professor for Character, a role we’ve supported for 15 years!

 Moral: Distinguished Military Professor for Character– Recently retired senior military officers are uniquely suited to educating midshipmen in the critical areas of leadership, character development, and ethics. These Distinguished Military Professors (DMPs) manage a significant portion of the Academy’s Leadership, Education, and Development (LEAD) core program, providing valuable continuity as a complement to rotating active duty military faculty, and delivering tremendous dividends in the development, execution, and assessment of LEAD courses. There are currently three DMPs, and classmate Rick Rubel continues to fill the role of the DMP for Ethics. The Class of ’72 has funded the DMP for Character (Jim Campbell) for over ten years, and we are proposing to continue to support this role (fyi…Jim is in the final year of his contract and finishes next month). Class feedback is supportive of the principle for rotating the position periodically with an emphasis in attracting candidates with recent fleet experience. We’d like to aim for a level of funding of around $1 Million, which would extend the role for 6-7 more years, after which it will be supported by another (younger) class.

Thanks again for your support!

Jeffrey Beard

Class of ’72 Fundraising Chair

Class Legacy Gift Campaign Update Memo 1

Posted: 3/27/2018

The class campaign has kicked off this month, and many of you have already received a letter or e-mail asking for your support. For those that haven’t, you’ll get yours in April, May, or June as we’re dividing the call-ups of classmates in two-week tranches.

While I realize you’ve already seen the four projects that make up our Legacy Gift Campaign, I’m going to feature each one every couple of weeks until May so that you might consider which one(s) you’d like to support. If you’re in support for all of them, you can elect to split your pledge as recommended by our class leadership: 50% (Athletic Facility & Excellence)/20% (DMP for Character)/15% (Project Based Learning)/15% (Naval Academy Annual Fund). So, to start off, here’s more detail on the Athletic Facility & Excellence Fund:

Physical: Athletic Facility and Excellence Fund (AF&E) – (The Physical Mission Center)

The Naval Academy prepares outstanding young men & women to become warriors ready to serve and lead in the Navy and the Marine Corps – a mission that makes the cultivation of athletic prowess and physical abilities a key component of the midshipmen experience. The Physical Mission Center for Academic & Athletic Excellence will celebrate the achievements of Navy’s student-athletes, recognizing the vital ways that the Academy’s commitment to physical mission helps instill qualities in these young men & women that contribute to their successful leadership in the fleet, the business world, and in service to their communities. The Center will be located in Ricketts Hall, home to the Naval Academy Athletic Association, and its close proximity to the Academy’s main entrance and the Visitor’s Center will ensure that nearly all of the 1.5 million annual visitors to the Academy will have the opportunity to learn more about the rich heritage, storied past, and promising future of Navy Athletics and its midshipmen student-athletes. Planned features include:

  • A 360-degree immersion Video and graphics gallery
  • N* Gallery celebrating Navy’s historic rivalry with Army
  • Football Hall of Honor
  • All Sports Hall of Honor
  • Legacy of Excellence Scholar-Athlete Exhibit
  • Grand Reception Hall
  • Executive Board Room
  • Catering & Event Facilities

The Class of 1972 has a specific naming opportunity within the Center if we can raise $2.5 Million for this component during our campaign. Also, this project “counts” toward the Athletic Excellence Fund for those of you that have supported this in the past.

Jeff Beard, Class of ’72 Fundraising Chair

Happy March 1st & St. David’s Day!

Posted: 3/2/2018

Our class legacy campaign will launch this month, and next week we’ll begin the process of sending out e-mails, letters, and beginning the phone calling process. The Class Campaign Committee has been busy during the pre-campaign making contact with 100 or so of the top class participants from previous campaigns. Almost all said they are planning to participate in the campaign, and look forward to the call from one of our reps. We have briefed the vendor and the reps that will be making the call, and I’d have to say they look impressive! Here’s a quick synopsis on where we stand as of March 1st:

  • We ran a behind-the-scenes pre-campaign to ensure we were on target with both the projects and our ability to hit the $5 Million goal. I’m pleased to say that both objectives were met. We’ve already been able to raise $350,000 for the “Class of ’72 Sports Performance & Rehabilitation Center”, about the same amount for the DMP, $65,000 for the Project-Based Learning Fund, and $450,000 for the Naval Academy Fund from the classmates contacted during the pre-campaign. With the match from our anonymous classmate, this puts us at almost half of our $5 Million goal!
  • As mentioned, we’ll kick off the formal campaign this month, and we hope to finish up with most of the class by the end of June. Calls to the class will be made in “tranches” with the letters and e-mails going out first, followed by the call. We hope in this way you all can be on the lookout for the call. The reps may try up to 15 timesto ensure we reach as many as we can in the class.
  • Our gift goal is $5 million – Largest USNA Class Gift goal ever! We have a very generous classmate who is challenging the rest of us to raise $2.5 million for our 50thReunion Gift. He will match our donations dollar for dollar up to $2.5 million.  $2.5 + $2.5 = $5 million! Remember, he will only match what we give! Our participation rate goal is 50% of the class!
  • Our Gift Will Support: (1) Moral (2) Mental and (3) Physical dimensions of midshipmen development
  • Our class gift initiatives:
  1. $2.5 Million raised will support the 1972 Athletic Facility and Excellence Fund. Do you remember “Misery Hall?” The place we used to go to get taped up, rubbed down, and otherwise repaired so we could continue to compete in our chosen sports. Our gift will support construction of the Terwilliger Physical Mission Center, which, if we meet our $2.5 million goal, will house the 1972 Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Center – the new ’72 Misery Hall that will serve all mids, not just varsity athletes.
  2. $1 Million raised will support the 1972 Distinguished Military Professor in Character Development. This will extend and conclude the Class of 1972’s 15 years of support for this critical position!
  3. $750,000 raised will support the 1972 Project Based Learning Fund. Our gift will support hardware and logistic costs for capstone projects required of all engineering majors. Interdisciplinary teams of mids conceive, design, build, test, and sometimes redesign, rebuild and retest autonomous land, air and sea vehicles, low-earth-orbit satellites, cockpits of the future, remote sensing systems, and other things we never dreamed possible as mids!
  4. $750,000 raised will support the Naval Academy Fund, which provides funding to be used at the Supe’s discretion to support the USNA mission. The Naval Academy Fund fully funds the operation of the USNA Foundation and helps provide the Alumni Association benefits and services we all enjoy.

Collectively I can tell you we are all making a difference. Thank you for your willingness to play your part in this impressive class campaign that will go down as the largest legacy class campaign in USNA history!

Jeff Beard

Class Fundraiser

Sponsoring the USNA Sport Parachuting Team

Posted: 1/30/2018

To update you about fundraising to help the USNA Parachute Team get Navy-themed parachute rigs for competitions and demos, first let me openly admit that I’d never be hired as a professional fundraiser… I’m sure there are rules of thumb that include not asking people for money right before the Christmas holidays, for example! But the timing is what it is. We have the Inter-Service Academy Meet (ISAM) coming in April, which will likely also include midshipmen doing a demo jump alongside Army cadets into Michie Stadium at West Point for the Army-Navy lacrosse game. We hope to have the mids outfitted appropriately for those events and you can’t buy those rigs off the shelf at the last minute, so that has to serve as my excuse for the poor timing!

A big “Thank you” to those of you who’ve contributed so far. I addressed the club and team mids (nearly 50) in Rickover a couple of weeks back, and I can’t overstate how much they appreciate the alumni support.

Bad timing or not, we are just short of halfway to our goal with about $19,950 to date at last count. Right now, it looks like two parachute containers are set to be embroidered with class numbers: Class of 1977 and Class of 1979 (actually maybe two for them). It’s great to have “Platinum Level members,” of course, and their photos will hang proudly in the team parachute loft, but I still believe in the value of many small contributions adding up, so if you have the opportunity, please be part of this effort and put in anything you can, no matter how small. I’ve reached out to hundreds of folks now, and you can imagine what even $25-50 contributions can do with numbers like that.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, please take a quick look at the photos to the right (top – Air Force; middle – Navy; bottom (Army) and you’ll see why we’re working so hard to outfit the Navy team to – yes – look like a Navy team! Note the complete contrast to the Air Force and West Point teams. The team mids purchase Navy-style jump suits on their own (about $350 a copy), so they have at least that in common, but they won’t be able to do demonstration jumps into the stadium for the Brigade until they fully look like a team, for obvious reasons.

Thanks to great support from the front office, the team competed in the USPA National Collegiate Parachuting Championships in Lake Wales, Florida with ten other teams over the Christmas break. The return of the mids to the competition was VERY popular among both event organizers and student participants and a lot of great relationships were formed and support offered for the team’s growth. I’m hopeful when they’re up at West Point for the ISAM competition that at least one team member will be sporting a Class of 1972 rig!


Again, the USNA Foundation is doing the work for us and the easiest way to contribute is online:

Go online at and select “Make a Gift and then make sure when you put in your information, type in “USNA Parachute Team ECA” in the free-text block marked “Other.” Don’t forget that crucial step!!!! Make sure to include 1972 in the Class box to get credit for the contribution.

If you don’t like the online routine, send a check to the Foundation with “USNA Parachute Team” in the Memo line, accompanied by a short note saying you are donating this money specifically for the Parachute Team.

Address your note and check to:

USNA Foundation
291 Wood Road, Beach Hall
Annapolis, MD 21402-1254

ATTN: Class Giving Coordinator

I’ll let you know if we’re successful raising enough for a Class of 1972 rig, but otherwise this will close out my effort with the group. Thanks again to all of you for your consideration and to the Class for allowing me to use this venue one more time.

Tried and true —

Bill Boniface ‘72

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