USMA graduates celebrated during alumni exercises
May 21, 2009
Some 75 years of the Long Gray Line were represented Tuesday during a day of celebration for U.S. Military Academy alumni.
Representatives from many classes from the class of 1934 to the class of 2009 gathered first for a memorial service.
Alumni first traveled down Diagonal Walk from near Jefferson Hall to the statue of Sylvanus Thayer, the father of West Point. Most marched the distance and stood in formation with part of the Corps of Cadets. A wreath of yellow roses was placed at Thayer's feet by First Captain Benjamin Amsler and retired Col. William H. Waugh Jr., class of 1934. Waugh, 99, was chosen to place the wreath with Amsler's help as the eldest graduate present.
During a review, six alumni received the West Point Association of Graduates' Distinguished Graduate Award. They were retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Hughes, class of 1946; retired Gen. Donn Starry, class of 1948; retired Lt. Gen. Robert Foley, class of 1963; retired Gen. Eric Shinseki, class of 1965; retired Gen. Thomas Schwartz, class of 1967, and retired Gen. John Abizaid, class of 1973.
Alumni served as reviewing party during the event on the Plain.
Following the review, an alumni luncheon was held at the Cadet Mess. West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Buster Hagenbeck was the speaker.
Tuesday afternoon activities included the commandant's award ceremony, alumni dinners and a concert by the Cadet Glee Club.