Our FAITH, our FAMILY, and our NATION, are the fundamental forces and institutions that have nurtured, guided and sustained our lives since we graduated and received our commissions. For most of us, the concept and the reality of the USNA CLASS OF 1963 is an integral addition to this list. "The Class" is both a concept and an entity which, no less than the others, has helped shape nearly every facet of our lives.
The phrase "THE CLASS OF 1963" may mean slightly different things to different members, but in the larger picture the value of the Class is much greater than the sum of the individual classmates. When we came together in July 1959, few of us had any idea as to the strength of the bond which the Class would form over the next four years and which would become even more important to us during the ensuing four decades. When we graduated, few of us had any idea that our Class would be unique in its approach to memorializing the United States Naval Academy and the individual members of the Class.
Through the Class Foundation, we have achieved a degree of success that is unique among Academy classes. We have "taken care of our own" by providing over $600,000 in tuition and other educational financial assistance to the sons and daughters of our deceased classmates. The Class also contributed $70,000 to the construction of Alumni Hall and one member of our Class has established an endowed academic Chair of Ethics. In addition, the Class Foundation has provided funding for selective activities which memorialize our classmates, e.g., the USS FITZGERALD commissioning gift, the Submarine Memorial commemorating the lives of classmates who died aboard the USS SCORPION, the service conducted at the Vietnam Memorial to honor our classmates who died in that conflict, and the maintenance of biographies of fallen classmates in the public access file of the U.S. Navy Memorial database.
The Class has now decided to continue the Class Foundation in order to "take care of our own" and to support the Academy directly, as needs arise. The Class officers, acting in concert with the officers and trustees of the Foundation, have also been authorized to establish a "Living Legacy." Traditionally, Naval Academy classes have undertaken one-time "bricks and mortar" projects, such as a donation of a monument in the Yard or a stadium scoreboard. The Legacy of our Class will be different. We are funding a Foundation that will provide future benefits that will vary over time. In a sense, our Legacy will be "a gift that keeps giving." It will not be a one time effort, project, or contribution. Rather, it will provide a continuum between the past and the future. Such a continuum has existed since the Foundation was incorporated in June 1974. The Articles of Incorporation expressly provide that the Foundation exists for the purpose of perpetuating "the history and memories of the United States Naval Academy and the members of the Class of 1963à."
The implementation of the Legacy will thus be characterized more by a concern for people, than for monuments. As a general proposition, it will favor the needs of the Class over the desires of the Academy; it will support the needs of the Academy over those of other institutions. Specific Legacy projects and programs will be identified and supported only to the extent that they are consistent with these characteristics and available funding. Legacy grants and activities will be paid for by the earnings of the Legacy where possible, and by the use of the corpus if it becomes necessary. The monies will be applied to fund multiple projects and programs as the need arises.
For the "Living Legacy" concept to become a reality, significant funding is required. The Class officers and the officers and trustees of the Foundation have established a goal of $2 million for the corpus of the Legacy. It is the intent to reach this goal by the date of our 40th reunion in October, 2003.
The funds that are raised will be used to establish an endowment for the Legacy's two-track approach. The First Track will be a continuance of our strong desire to "take care of our own" and to support each other as classmates. To that end, it is anticipated that we will continue our current and highly successful college educational assistance program to minor children of the Class of 1963 and, by having more frequent contact with widows and families of deceased classmates, provide assistance when circumstances justify it.
The Second Track will provide funding for projects and programs that promote the mission, goals and objectives of the U.S. Naval Academy, the Navy, and the Marine Corps. These projects and programs may be suggested to the Class by the Alumni Association, the Staff/Administration of the Academy, and by members of the Class.
The Foundation/Class Experience
The Foundation draws upon twenty-five years of experience in memorializing the Class and in providing stewardship of the funds that have been entrusted to it. Since it was incorporated as a tax-exempt, charitable corporation in the State of Maryland, the Foundation has satisfied all State and Internal Revenue Service requirements.
Thanks to the generous contributions of classmates, the
Foundation has provided funds that have assisted in the realization of
the dreams of higher education of the children of deceased classmates.
It has supported over seventy students. It is currently providing
substantial support to eight additional students, and it is prepared to
continue to provide educational assistance in the future to qualified students.
With the generous donations which were given during the years when personal
income was often scarce and highly valued and through the investment income
which those donations have generated, the Foundation has been able to make
tangible and valuable differences in the lives of the many young people
who have been affected.
In 1982, the Board of Trustees of the Foundation approved the selection of Cypress Capital Management, Inc., as its Investment Advisor and the manger of the growing assets of the Foundation. Cypress Capital is a professional money management firm which serves many other "not for profit" firms, in addition to the Foundation. It is headed by its Founder and President, Richard Arvedlund, a member of our Class who has devoted his career to money management. The Foundation's excellent stewardship of the funds which have been contributed by classmates over the years has been evident in the manner in which is the corpus of the funds has been managed to leverage the donations and by the extremely limited costs which have been incurred to administer and manage the Foundation's efforts. For many years, the corpus was managed very conservatively. This meant investment primarily in bonds and bond equivalents in order to generate a large income to build the corpus without incurring substantial risk to the principal. In recent years, the corpus has increased because of the fund raising efforts and the decrease in candidates for scholarships. As of June 30, 1999, the corpus totaled $298,196.94. James DeFrancia has served as the Treasurer of the Foundation for nearly 20 years. He typically retains sufficient funds to provide working capital to pay the numerous scholarship grants which the Foundation has provided. Approximately every two years, a Certified Public Accounting firm has audited the books of the Foundation.
The Legacy Fundraising Campaign
The Class of 1963 Legacy Campaign is envisioned as a comprehensive, multi-year effort with an initial goal of achieving an asset base of $2 million by 2003, the 40th anniversary of our graduation. Using a principal base of approximately $300,000 today, we intend to raise $1.5 million to achieve this goal by that time.
For the past 25 years the Class Foundation has been able to achieve its objectives largely as a result of the overwhelming generosity of you, our classmates, whose vision and commitment will forever honor those traditional values, sacrifices and ideals we share in common. As the Foundation redirects its focus toward establishing a Living Legacy, we have before us an opportunity to leave a lasting imprint on the institution that nurtured us, as well as provide a legacy for our families and all those who follow us. We can make a real difference. In that spirit, we fully expect that each classmate will continue to demonstrate the generosity that you have so clearly demonstrated in the past.
The Campaign itself will offer a wide range of giving
options. The purpose is to offer maximum flexibility to craft a strategy
for fulfilling your personal tax, estate and charitable planning objectives.
Among the options will be:
2. A five year pledge program starting in 1999.
3. For those of you engaged in estate planning, we recommend
that you consider establishing a tax advantaged trust that can be structured
to benefit both the Foundation as well as family members or other beneficiaries
named by you.
4. Future Bequests
As you can see, the Legacy Campaign is a serious effort which will require a serious commitment on your part. We are aware that you have other priorities to balance. But, the Class of 1963 is a very special group and we are now staking our claim to the future in a way that will honor us, our families, those who have gone before us.
20 Nov 2000