Class Foundation
USNA Class of 1963

To The Class
Class of 1963

October 22, 2000

Dear Classmates:

By 1974, Vietnam, the LIBERTY attack, the SCORPION sinking, and aircraft/automobile accidents had cut short promising lives. Several classmates met to discuss a means to provide a living memorial to our deceased members of our class. Many of their children knew little about their fathers or the close bond that the Class of 1963 had with them. We held in high esteem all those who began with us in July 1959 and we were concerned about the welfare of their children.

Thus began the Class of 1963 Foundation. A lot of work was required to get it organized. Early fundraising efforts raised several thousand dollars and we began our "Taking Care of Our Own" philosophy by funding special schooling for a child with learning disabilities. We then faced a problem. We had some funds and the organization, but we did not know the universe of potential recipients. We did not where they were or how to contact them. Mike Lents volunteered to track them down and over the course of a year, he located nearly all the families, thus closing the loop. His timing was good because, by the early 80's, eligible recipients were reaching college age.

Initially, we began by offering $500 a year for four years of study at a college or technical school. No questions were asked about need. We just wanted the families to know that the Class of 1963 was, in a small measure, "Taking Care of Its Own". In the mid- 1980's, college costs began escalating and we raised the annual grant, 400 percent to $2,500 a year. Even though we did not have sufficient funds in our treasury to cover the next two years of grants, we did not hesitate, because we knew that the Class would respond. And you did, year after year, when we called, you answered. At last count, we have provided grants of over $650,000 to 80 children of our classmates. Clearly this became our legacy to our deceased classmates descendants. We have shown them that we think that their fathers were great men and we missed them dearly. The letters of appreciation that we have received over the years have shown that our message has been received.

Now we move into another phase of the Foundation, as the most children of our classmates have passed the college age. We have established a continuing Legacy of the Class of 1963.

Classmates, we deserve to be proud of our support of the Foundation in the past and our resolve to continue in the future. You have accomplished a great deal and truly deserve to be called by our class motto, "Quality '63" BRAVO ZULU.

Warm regards,

James E. P. Ring
President, Class of 1963 Foundation
(703) 760-7642 (O)


   20 Nov 2000 
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