WPAOG Annual Report

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2023 Annual Report

Fellow Members of the Long Gray Line,

West Point continues to provide a world-class education, forging the next generation of officers entrusted with the lives and destinies of valiant and diverse soldiers, while persistently teaching the immutable values of Duty, Honor, Country. To remain the preeminent leaderdevelopment institution in the world, the United States Military Academy needs the support of our alumni and your West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG).

In the past seven plus years the loyalty, generosity, and engagement of our graduates have helped us increase our assets by 74% and double the value of endowments. This exponential growth, or Arc of Progress, demonstrates the power of our highly engaged and connected Long Gray Line, as does the success of our historic Michie Stadium Preservation Project. By the end of 2023 the amazing donors, alumni, and friends of West Point, alongside WPAOG and the Army West Point Athletics Association, had tripled contributions compared to the next closest giftfunded project in the Academy’s history. This allows us to transform the iconic yet antiquated stadium into a world-class venue to showcase the Corps of Cadets; enhance the experience for families, fans, alumni, and cadets; and strengthen the Academy’s position as a premier athletics institution. We did this while continuing to support the Margin of Excellence programs that help the Academy go over and above in training leaders of character, and while supporting the Long Gray Line at key touchpoints in their lives. No wonder USMA achieved US News & World Report recognition as the #1 public university (#4 overall) for alumni giving. We invite you to join our winning team with even a small gift to beat Holy Cross, Dartmouth, and Princeton by this time next year.

In 2023 President & CEO Todd A. Browne ’85 retired. During his tenure, our WPAOG tripled the number of Alumni Support programs and increased its assets and endowments significantly. During the same period, the WPAOG has won over 25 awards from various professional organizations. We are extremely grateful for Todd’s service.

Mark Bieger ’91, the Association’s new President & CEO, will help us extend this Arc of Progress. With more than 28 years in the U.S. Army, serving as Chief of Staff of

USMA, Chief of Staff to the President of the University of South Carolina and Vice President of Strategy at Louisiana State University, Mark brings the perfect blend of insights and strategic planning experience to lead our great team.

During the last several years your WPAOG has expanded alumni programs more than 60%, focusing on the Moments that Matter in cadets’ and graduates’ lives with a Human-Centered Design approach. This past year we made considerable progress. Near and dear to my heart is the launch of our Veterans Services Program. Additionally, we expanded our awardwinning Career Services Virtual Career Fairs to include spouses, introduced the 5-year Grad Pass, increased ring donations to 67 rings for the Ring Memorial Program, and improved the quality of our 50-Year Affiliation Program that forges a strong link between graduates and cadets. I had the honor of joining “Together We Thrive” 2025, in a roundtable discussion about their vision and future class legacy and how to partner with our Association of Graduates to optimize their class’s connectedness. They are an impressive group of young leaders, reflecting the excellence of today’s Corps of Cadets, making us all proud.

Thank you for the trust you have put in me, as the Chairman of the WPAOG Board, in the Directors, and our WPAOG staff. In 2023 we worked hard to achieve our Vision and Mission, to serve the Long Gray Line and to serve West Point. We believe in uniting every link in the Long Gray Line, despite our differences and varying perspectives, and maximizing our talent pool to achieve important things together. Let us all dedicate ourselves to the ideals of West Point—Duty, Honor, Country— and continue to stand out as leaders of character inspired by values which are selfless and immutable even in changing times. Let’s rise above the fray and demonstrate the way forward as we extend our Arc of Progress in all areas throughout 2024.

Several of our Association’s notable accomplishments for 2023 are highlighted in the following pages. Each reflects the teamwork and generosity of our volunteer leaders, individual graduates, and professional staff, as well as our teammates at the U.S. Military Academy.

Alumni Support

Career Services

In 2023, the West Point Association of Graduates’ (WPAOG) Career Services office served more than 5,100 graduates through its educational resources, programming, and in-person and virtual career fairs. Approximately 500 of these graduates received one-on-one advising from Career Services’ advising professionals.

In addition to one-on-one advising, WPAOG Career Services consists of the Service Academy Career Conference (SACC), Wednesday Webinars, and multiple programs and partners.

SACC saw a 26-percent increase in USMA grads registrations in 2023 compared to the year before, and many graduates received multiple interviews and job offers during the four 2023 SACC events: Jacksonville, FL; Washington, DC; San Diego, CA; and Dallas, TX. In 2024, the SACC locations will be Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; San Diego, CA; and Washington, DC.

Last year, the Career Services team expanded its virtual career fair services to spouses of graduates, approximately 45 of whom participated. For its efforts, Career Services received accolades from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, earning the 2023 Best of District II Awards.

The weekly Wednesday Webinar program ran from February through October. Every Wednesday, a featured employer, guest speaker, or subject-matter expert


The West Point Association of Graduates won four Stevie Awards from the American Business Awards Program in the following categories:

GOLD: 2022 Entrepreneur Summit


SILVER: Organization of the Year

SILVER: 2022 Alexander R. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms—the Celebration Event

The Stevie Awards are the world’s premier business awards. They were created in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. The American Business Awards are open to all organizations operating in the United States and feature a wide variety of categories to recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace.

WPAOG was also the recipient of the following award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE):

2023 Best of CASE District II “Best of the Year” Awards: Investing in the Spouses of the Long Gray Line

In addition, WPAOG received a 2023 APEX Award for Publication Excellence for West Point magazine.

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presented a 30-minute topic and devoted 30 minutes of Q&A with the attendees.

Career Services’ programming also included the Job Search Accelerator Program and other cohort-based career readiness programs that teach and guide graduates on how to navigate and achieve success in their next career opportunity. Career Services also partnered with outstanding employers—including Deloitte, the Beck Group, R1 RCM, APi, UBS, and Purepost.

Finally, Career Services utilized WPAOG’s highly connected alumni body to help graduates receive guidance and referrals from other West Point graduates. More than 500 graduates have enrolled as industry advisors in WPAOG’s Grads Helping Grads program. These advisors actively support more than 4,000 fellow graduates.

Through the Career Services’ ability to collectively leverage its industry connections, employer partners, and subject matter experts from among the Long Gray Line, nearly 600 graduates found new careers in 2023.

Memorial Support

WPAOG has been providing Memorial Support assistance since 2008. It was originally made possible by a generous donation from Mrs. Betty Dettre in memory of her husband—MG (R) Rexford H. Dettre Jr., USMA January 1943. Their gift, along

with additional continued support from the Long Gray Line and others, enables WPAOG to provide this service to families. In 2023 we had the privilege to support 146 families and more than 5000 people who came to lay loved ones to rest in the West Point Cemetery.

Rockbound Highland Home (RBHH)

Launched in March 2017, the program was designed to welcome graduates back to West Point, and to support their connection with their “Rockbound Highland Home.” There are three components: Grad Insider Tour, Grad Pass, and Grad Perks. The Grad Insider Tour provides the insider experience—a tour for graduates and their guests of areas no longer open to the public. Popular locations include Central and North areas, Arvin Cadet Physical Development Center, the Mess Hall, Jefferson Hall, Grant Hall, Taylor Hall, and the Cadet Uniform Factory.

Depending on the nature of the group, tours can be crafted and/or amended to meet specific guest requests. Between May of 2022 (when tours opened post-Covid) and the end of calendar 2023, the RBHH program hosted over 3,300 guests while performing 432 tours.

The Grad Pass program is designed to streamline the West Point “visitor’s pass” process for returning alumni and their families. The WPAOG provides a secure online form that allows alumni to complete required background checks in advance of their

arrival at the West Point Visitor Control Center (VCC). Upon arrival, returning alumni are directed to an AlumniOnly line at the VCC, where they are expedited through the visitor’s pass process. As of mid-2023, graduates now receive Grad Passes that are valid for five years.

Hudson Valley Program

Hudson Valley Program HVP is a WPAOG effort of several initiatives focused on increasing the vibrancy and vitality of West Point neighbor communities. Like most toptier institutions of higher education, West Point and its graduates recognize there is a direct link between the prosperity of the local communities and the academic institution. Initiatives in the HVP focus on education and schools, economic development, and community engagement. After determining an important need at the local Highland Falls Intermediate School, WPAOG partnered with the school and launched an afterschool program called CONNECT. Following a pilot program in the spring, the fall saw an expansion to five days a week.

CONNECT focuses on STEM and other enrichment activities and is free for students. Local community members and cadets support the program which has grown from 80 enrolled students to over 170. In the HVP Economic Development Initiative, WPAOG plays the role of catalyst, rallying graduates and USMA benefactors to invest in Highland Falls, assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses, improving the business climate through engaging civil society organizations and local governance, and serving as a liaison between the village


Memorial Support

“We really appreciate all the support from the WPAOG Memorial Support Team...it’s a blessing to be able to talk with someone and get help with the full range of details from expectations for the ceremony to linking up with some local contacts to help with florists, video, tour, and directions. But above all we especially appreciated that smile that lets you take a breath and helps you relax in the midst of an especially stressful experience. Thanks a million.”

Hudson Valley Program/CONNECT

“This event was important to me because it reminded me that there is more to our community outside of West Point. We owe it to Highland Falls to support their children and students just as the town supports us. I think this event showed the students that electrical engineering and computer science can be fun, and that West Point cares about their education and growth.”

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and the U.S. Army Garrison-West Point. HVP success will be characterized by improving the economic and commercial environment for those who live in local communities with a commensurate increase in destination tourism visitors.

Class Ring Memorial Program

After the January 2023 Ring Melt, the Class Ring Memorial Program had forged 807 rings into gold for cadet class rings. This past year, the annual Ring Melt Ceremony was held in Crest Hall at Eisenhower Hall with over 200 in attendance. The generous endowment from the class of 1966 and the video about their class made 2023 even more memorable. 67 rings were donated. Class of 2024 Class Officers and Ring and Crest Committee members attended this special event. Selected cadets and USMA staff placed the donor rings into the crucible on behalf of the families who were not present. In 2023, thanks to the class of 1966 endowment more families were able to participate than ever before. We also livestreamed and made a video of this event so that family members who were unable to attend could witness the ceremony. In 2023 the Class Ring Memorial Program received 88 West Point rings for the Class of 2025 for their Ring Melt Ceremony in January 2024. This Ring Melt was held in the auditorium of Eisenhower Hall and the rings were melted on-site for the first time.

50-Year Affiliation Program

The 50-Year Affiliation Program has had a powerful impact through the years and continued this year to create meaningful connections in the Long Gray Line.

The Class of 1976 supported the Class of 2026, with members witnessing the Class Crest unveiling during Plebe Parent Weekend in March. 1976 then gifted 2026 with the 2026 Class Flag at Cadet Field Training Graduation. In May, members of the Class of 1973 attended the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2023, where ’73 graduates presented each ’23 graduate a set of traditional second lieutenant bars after receiving their diploma.

During the summer months, members of the Class of 1977 and 2027 began their affiliation program at R-Day, WPAOG’s Ice Cream Social, and the March Back from Lake Frederick. Members from all four affiliation classes attended the Acceptance Day Parade in August to welcome the Class of 2027 into the Corps of Cadets.

To begin the academic year, the Class of 1975 attended the Affirmation Ceremony for the Class of 2025 and hosted a reception, welcoming the cadets into the profession of arms. Prior to the ceremony, ‘75 hosted a class dinner, where the officers of the Class of 2025 were among the selected guests. The dinner culminated in the unveiling of Class History Panels on display in the Class 1963 Lounge, Eisenhower Hall.

These panels highlight a written history of the 50-, 100-, 150-, and 200-year affiliate classes.

Ring donors and representatives from the Class of 1974 celebrated with the Class of 2024 at Ring Weekend in August. In November, each branch from the Class of ’74 was well represented at Branch Night for the Class of 2024. COL Lee Van Arsdale ’74 provided remarks and congratulations on behalf of his class to the firsties on their selected Army career paths.

Alumni Events Supported

The Alumni Events team provided support for 12 class reunions at West Point and two class reunions off site in conjunction with the Army v LSU and the Army v Air Force Football games, totaling over 3,000 graduates and guests this year. Other special events included the Grad March Back, Entrepreneur Roadshows in Nashville, Seattle, and San Francisco, the Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco, and multiple USMA conferences. The Army-Navy Tailgate in Massachusetts was a huge success, hosting over 1,000 graduates and their families, friends of Army Football and raving fans from around the country.

WPAOG Awards

The 2023 Distinguished Graduate Awardees were celebrated in May. Recipients were HON James B. Peake ’66, LTG (R) David F. Melcher ’76, Mr. Richard L. Dalzell ’79, Mrs. Marene N. Allison ’80, GEN (R) Daniel (Dan) B. Allyn ’81, and GEN (R) Austin S. (Scott) Miller ’83. In


Grad Insider Tour

“I cannot stress enough how important these tours are to old grads. Being able to show friends and family the inner workings of West Point up close is critical.”

“My relatives were awestruck by the tour and the excellent tour guide. We loved getting an insider’s view of places like the gym, mess hall, library, and uniform factory!”

Ring Memorial Program

“I am so honored and grateful to be here. The ceremony was a lot stronger in feeling than I would have ever imagined. Listening to some of the personal stories of the donors, their families, and the Gold Star Families really hit home for me coming from a military family, but to see even more how intense the connection is to the Long Gray Line.” —Cadet

Class Reunions

“I had a great time at the reunion. Events were well planned and coordinated. It made the weekend easy and enjoyable.” —Class of 2018

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September, Senator Elizabeth Dole, received the 66th annual Sylvanus Thayer Award. In October, LTC McKinley Wood USAR ’01 received the 18th annual Nininger Award for Valor at Arms.

WPAOG Leaders Conference

(sponsored by the Class of 1967)

This year’s conference had representatives from 39 classes, 58 West Point Societies, and 35 Parents Clubs. Sixty-two Distinguished Society Awards and 19 Distinguished Parents Club Awards were recognized. This two-day conference included updates from the USMA and WPAOG Leader Teams and Class, Society, and Parents Club networking sessions.

Retail Operations

Retail Operations provided memorabilia support to over 20 events, including all class reunions, Grad March Back, and the WPAOG Army-Navy Tailgate. Members of the Retail Operations Team traveled offsite for four football games, and to assist in off-site reunion event execution. Memorabilia planning for 2024 spring and fall reunions and special events is in progress.

At the close of 2023, sales increased over 2022 by 7.8% and over 20% on the web. Both the online store and brick and mortar facility remain fully staffed and operational for normal business, including all home

football games with record breaking single day sales in 2023. The WPAOG Gift Shop continues to be the premier shopping destination, providing a unique and focused experience for West Point grads, cadets, parents, and friends.

Societies and Shared Interest Groups (SIGs)

Our 129 Societies serve as a vital connection to the local communities and represent WPAOG all over the world, and our six SIGs support graduates in specific interest areas with new requests being considered monthly. 36% of the graduate population is now active in the Sallyport community platform.

Societies and SIGs have also been very active using technology tools provided by WPAOG to help stay connected with their constituents.

Founders Day

This year saw great success with the return of in- person Founders Days. While people were once again able to gather, WPAOG continued to provide videos of the oldest and youngest graduates, memorial scrolls, music, and an organizational update.

Grads Helping Grads

This service expands on the concept of Gripping Hands, where graduates with resources assist graduates in need. Going beyond disaster assistance, graduates connect with each other in several areas such as veteran services, mental health and other non-transition related issues.

Spirit Events

Football spirit events remain immensely popular and continue to be a cherished tradition for alumni and supporters. These events not only serve as a powerful testament to the enduring camaraderie and dedication of West Point graduates but also exemplify the unwavering spirit and pride associated with the United States Military Academy.

Great Hall Program

Return of in-person use of the Great Hall saw an increase as well. WPAOG is making excellent use of the Hall for meetings, workspace, and parties.

Travel Program

The Travel Program is recovered from the pandemic and is back on track to hit 2019 numbers in 2024.

Brick and Paver Program

The brick and paver online mapping program includes a story feature that allows graduates, friends, and family to add stories and photographs to the online mapping of the bricks and pavers. It provides a more complete story of the recipients. An expansion project is being planned to make room for future classes in the front of Herbert Hall; delays with contractors and funding have caused this to be postponed. The temporary plan is to expand into the existing space on either the second-floor entry bridge or behind the building.

Communications & Marketing

We continue to engage with our constituents— graduates, cadets, parents/families, surviving spouses, USMA faculty and staff, and the general public, across several integrated channels. The size of our audience, engagement and media impressions continue to grow, and have increased substantially. WPAOG had a total of 8,621,712 impressions in 2023. Much of this is due to the reorganization of the C&M team and commitment to developing content that’s creative and relevant to our diverse audiences.


Leaders Conference

“The Conference is an excellent opportunity for the Society leaders to reconnect with West Point and to hear directly from the Supe, Dean and others about the state of the Academy.”

Founders Day

“The WPAOG team is incredible. Your responsiveness and resourcefulness is unmatched. We were able to get a lot of support and items for our silent auction through tickets, and gift items.…Very grateful to all of the WPAOG team for making our Founders Day and other local supporting events a success!”

Entrepreneur Summit

“Overall, great conference and I’m glad I attended. Thanks to the organizers for putting on this conference! I’m really grateful that WPAOG is providing this forum and think it could be a great resource for those of us starting companies.”

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WPAOG Publications

West Point magazine has just begun its 14th year. All graduates continue to receive complimentary copies of the magazine four times each year, as do all current cadet parents and surviving spouses of graduates. This broad distribution supports WPAOG’s overall goal of enhanced engagement with graduates, parents, and surviving spouses. USMA Admissions also purchases copies to use during their admissions process. The 2023 West Point cover stories highlighted USMA’s Defense and Strategic Studies major, the evolution of changes that have occurred at USMA over the last eight decades, outdoor resources at West Point, and how CLDT prepares future second lieutenants for combat against a peer adversary. West Point’s print circulation reached a record 239,929 copies in 2023.

In addition to West Point magazine, Communications & Marketing manages and maintains the WPAOG website (westpointaog.org). In 2023 we had over two million page views (including Sallyport visits), the most popular page being Be Thou at Peace. A new website design was launched in 2023, with an enhanced user- friendly interface.

TAPS, WPAOG’s annual memorial magazine, continues the unprecedented tradition begun in the first years of our Association. A great deal of time and care is spent with each deceased graduate’s family and/or classmates to create personalized memorial articles. The 2023 TAPS edition continued the high level of engagement and published 361 Memorial Articles. Sadly, we also

created 506 graduate Be Thou at Peace testimonial pages online. Graduate memorialization is a core responsibility of WPAOG.

WPAOG Digital/Multimedia Communication


Each year, WPAOG’s largest communication audience is effectively reached through email. We send more than 60 unique targeted messages via broadcast email per year. This enables graduates to stay connected to the Academy, WPAOG events, classmates, and fellow Society members. Our emails continue to achieve outstanding open rates, averaging over 60% in 2023. WPAOG’s twicemonthly First Call e-newsletter (sent to graduates), with a 57% open rate, and the monthly Parent Review (sent to cadet parents), with a 69% open rate, are the two most widely read regular emails we distribute. Email communications are sent through our primary broadcast email system, Blackbaud Internet Solutions. Special class communications are sent through LYRIS from department liaisons and class leaders.

Social Media

WPAOG’s rapidly growing social media audience is crucial to our communications with graduates and the wider West Point community. We work in partnership with USMA and its directorates to magnify social media communications. Growing WPAOG’s social media presence is part of our long-term strategy to expand our brand outreach, and our social media audiences are different and broader than our email, print and website audiences. WPAOG currently uses Facebook (55K followers), LinkedIn (14.2K followers), X (formerly Twitter, 18.8K followers), Instagram (16.8K followers), YouTube, and Flickr. LinkedIn and Instagram saw the largest increases in audience growth (net followers), with 18.4% and 254.9% increase, respectively. The average social engagement rate is 8.6% across our social channels.

WPAOG Broadcast Network

WPAOG Podcasts expanded to over 75 Podcasts and 39,952 all-time downloads with subjects and guests of relevant interest to alumni. The WPAOG Broadcast Network is managed by WPAOG Communications & Marketing team.

Video Content

Creating original video content to support WPAOG’s mission to connect with the Long Gray Line continued in 2023. We had 180.7K YouTube video views, a 238% increase from 2022. With short-form videos and reels becoming more popular on social media platforms, we have increased our video content output to match the trends and have seen our audience respond positively. Our top three social media platforms for video views are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Social media video examples include the Ring Melt, Founders Day, graduation, Entrepreneur Roadshows, Entrepreneur Summit, Ring Weekend and Army Navy.


Michie Stadium Restoration Project

In this project, the existing East Stands will be removed, and a new 138,000 square-foot structure will be built in its place that will include premium suite, loge, club, and ledge level seating, in addition to various hospitality options, a new fan store, upgraded concessions and amenities, and improved stadium accessibility (entry and exit). Design continues to advance while the sale of new seating is well underway. We have hired a construction manager and we expect to break ground in the Spring of 2024.

Egner Hall Music Building Renovation (Building 685)

Originally built in 1933, the Music Building renovation will provide major upgrades to the Glee Club, Band Rooms, and major building infrastructure systems and is expected to be completed in April 2024.






FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS unique targeted messages via broadcast email LINKED IN PAGE FOLLOWERS










INCREASE from 2022

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The development team performed well against cash and pledge goals in 2023. We received $62.4M in cash on a goal of $58.5M, exceeding the goal by a remarkable 6 percent. On the pledge front, we exceeded our goal of $54M by over $11.4M, concluding the year at $65.4M or 21 percent above the goal. We experienced a decline in the number of alumni making gifts in support of West Point and the Long Gray Line. Several factors contributed to that decline including political headwinds and DoD and Academy-related issues that caused some alumni to pause their giving until the direction of the Academy becomes clearer. We concluded the year with a 36 percent alumni participation rate with 18,099 members of the alumni body making gifts on a goal of 18,701 or 96 percent of the goal. While lower than anticipated, the result keeps West Point in the top 25 national liberal arts colleges in the country.

West Point Challenge

In May of this year, the WPAOG held the second annual West Point Challenge. It yielded a 26.8 percent alumni participation rate. With 13,800 graduate donors, WPAOG brought in gifts totaling $5.1 M. Over 313 different funds, including 100 Directorate of Cadet Activities (DCA) clubs, received Margin of Excellence gifts. The class competition was robust, with class representatives

submitting spirit videos and posting matching challenges. The Class of 1972 secured the highest level of participation, and the Class of 1997 achieved the greatest number of donors. The Class of 1977 had the most money raised.

Class Fundraising

2023 was another historic year for class campaigns. The Class of 1983 set a new record for the 40th reunion gift by raising a total of $5,830,000. Two other classes supported Margin of Excellence programs while celebrating their reunions back at the Academy - the Class of 1973 presented a

$2,000,000 class gift on the occasion of their 50th reunion, while the Class of 2003 marked their 20th reunion with a class gift of $502,003.

Stewardship & Events

It was a busy fall season with football game day events; donor events such as Homecoming Dinner, Parents Weekend Social, SUPT Circle Weekend; and West Point Ready Campaign Cabinet meeting. The year culminated with the annual Army-Navy donor reception, gala, and game back in Boston.


In 2023, WPAOG received contribution revenue of $80.2 million, while also granting $30.0 million to the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) and the Army West Point Athletic Association (AWPAA). In 2023, WPAOG’s net assets increased by more than $102 million, in large part due to successful fundraising for many Margin of Excellence programs at the Academy and also the strong performance of our invested assets. On December 31, 2023, our investments had a value of $610.1 million, an increase of 14% over the value on December 31, 2022. In 2023, our independent auditors issued an unmodified opinion on our 2022 financial statements. These statements, along with our tax return (Form 990), can be found on the Association’s website, WestPointAOG.org. WPAOG is currently managing and reporting on more than 900 endowments, class gift accounts and other gift fund accounts for USMA and AWPAA, as well as class administrative accounts.

WPAOG’s overall financial strength, stemming from the success of our Development efforts and the steady growth of the Association’s investments, still relies on the generosity of the Long Gray Line for support to meet the Academy’s future needs, as identified by the Superintendent.

Information Technology

In 2023 we focused on system integration projects and IT infrastructure improvements to ensure WPAOG services are incorporating all relevant and available data elements. The WPAOG integration strategy is implementing a hub and spoke model for all platforms with our Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) at the center. With the integration of SallyPort, the Celerant point-of-sale system, Army Athletics data, and the USMA Academy Management System, all software platforms update


2023 marked the third year of the nucleus fund phase of the West Point Ready $600.5M fundraising campaign for West Point and the West Point Association of Graduates—$550.5M for the Academy and $50M for WPAOG. The campaign is comprised of fifty needs approved by the Superintendent, and 10 WPAOG needs identified by WPAOG’s leadership. A 32-member Campaign Cabinet, chaired by The Honorable Robert A. McDonald ’75, was established by WPAOG in 2022 to lead the effort. Five decades of West Point graduates, alumni parents, and friends of the Academy are represented on the Cabinet. Marketing materials, which can be shared with prospects, exist for each of the needs in the campaign. As of December 31, 2023, more than $389M has been raised for the campaign, or 65 percent of our goal. The campaign will run for seven years, through the end of 2027.

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the central database. We are in the process of implanting a new software tool to simplify the creation of new integrations and the enhancement of existing integrations.

Cyber security and IT infrastructure resiliency continue to be top priorities at WPAOG. We expanded our use of multifactor authentication and upgraded all staff laptops to Microsoft Intune and Autopilot to allow greater security and control over computers not connected to our network at Herbert Hall and to simplify the provisioning and management of these assets. File storage was moved to Microsoft OneDrive to facilitate remote work and improve resiliency. We continue to be defended by the Darktrace security appliance, which uses machine learning to identify suspicious network activity and isolate any devices that may be infected with malware or ransomware. It also screens all inbound emails for phishing attempts and malicious links or payloads.


West Point AOG Preparatory Scholarship Program (WPPSP)

33 aspiring West Point cadets (28 scholar-leaders and five athletes) received scholarships through the WPAOG Preparatory Program. Recipients of WPPSP consistently graduate West Point at higher rates than all other admits, adding value to the Academy as well as the individual recipients.

Gripping Hands Endowment

The Gripping Hands Endowment was created in late 2020 by an anonymous donor who wanted to ensure that graduates were taken care of in times of severe hardship. The endowment is also available to fund the educational needs of spouses and children of graduates who died in the line of duty. In 2023, the endowment supported five USMA graduates.


Ron Johnson ’76, Deirdre Dixon ‘84, and Sally Lewis ’90 concluded their roles as Directors at the end of 2023. Ron, who joined the WPAOG Board in 2021, dedicated three years to his role and held positions as the Vice Chair of the Nominating Committee and Vice Chair of the Governance and Board Affairs Committee. Deirdre, a member since 2015, served a nine-year tenure and contributed to numerous committees, notably as Chair of the Nominating, Development, and Alumni Support Committees. Sally, who was elected to the WPAOG Board in 2018, played pivotal roles in various committees, including serving as the Chair of the Thayer Award Committee and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

This year COL (R) Todd A. Browne ’85 retired after serving in the West Point Association of Graduates for nine years, two as COO and seven as President and Chief Executive Officer. Todd’s tenure was a time

of progress in many areas. We are extremely grateful for his service.

COL (R) Mark D. Bieger ’91 assumed the duties of President and Chief Executive Officer in the fall.

The Advisory Council convened twice in 2023, in April and November, at West Point. Throughout both meetings, the council played an important role in offering key feedback to the Board of Directors, serving as their vigilant eyes and ears. In April, the council received updates from the Chairman and WPAOG staff, along with an in-depth presentation on the Cyber and Engineering Academic Center (CEAC). In November, briefings from the Superintendent, Mark Bieger, and AOG staff were followed by an interactive session, including a Q&A cadet panel and a briefing by the USMA Vice Dean for Engagement and Research. A tour of the CEAC was also provided. The November meeting marked the conclusion of terms for some council members, and the Chairman and President expressed gratitude to these members for all they have done and will continue to do for our Association.”


West Point AOG Preparatory Scholarship Program Summit

“Attending West Point is the culmination of my greatest dream of serving my country as an officer in the United States Army, learning to be the best possible leader, and receiving a world-class education. I believe that serving your country is the greatest deed one can do for their nation and fellow countrymen. With this scholarship, I will begin my journey to West Point to become the kind of leader our country deserves. Thank you to the Association of Graduates for this incredible opportunity. I am forever indebted!”

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WestPointAOG.org | Herbert Alumni Center, 698 Mills Road, West Point, NY 10996 Serving West Point and the Long Gray Line 2/2024

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