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West Point Association of Graduates.

How did the organization get started?

On Jan. 28, 1869, Robert Anderson (Class of 1825) in a letter to Sylvanus Thayer (Class of 1808) suggested the formation of an association of graduates to promote the welfare of the academy. The organizational meeting was held at the College of the City of New York on May 22, 1869, and at that meeting the constitution and bylaws were adopted.

The association's focus was on fraternal activities ("to cherish the memories of our Alma Mater, and to promote the social intercourse and fraternal fellowship of its graduates").

At its annual meeting in June 1891, it was resolved that the association be incorporated under the laws of New York. On Dec. 1, 1948, the association was granted tax-exempt status by the commissioner of Internal Revenue. The association's first fundraising effort, "The Superintendent's Fund," was launched in 1961, under the supervision of Chairman Lucius Clay (Class of Line 1918) and Vice Chairman George Olmsted (Class of 1922).

All graduates, beginning with the Class of 1994, became members of the association without the requirement of paying an initiation fee. Herbert Alumni Center officially opened in 1995, and the association staff moved from the basement offices in a building near the center of the campus into its new location in a building close to the football stadium near the edge of the campus.

The Bicentennial Campaign for West Point successfully concluded on Dec. 31, 2002, with more than $218 million pledged and $160 million already in hand.

What is the organization's stated mission?

The mission statement reads: "The association shall be dedicated to furthering the ideals and promoting the welfare of the United States Military Academy, and to supporting and serving its graduates."

How has the business model changed?

We began as a fraternal organization to reconcile the breach among graduates who had served on opposite sides in the Civil War and advanced through the years to become a comprehensive alumni association, providing events, conferences, support to the various classes and societies and career assistance to our graduates, as well as a foundation raising funds for specific "margin of excellence" projects for the United States Military Academy or West Point.

We now operate as basically a bifurcated, nonprofit business with two business units: an alumni association serving all of the graduates of the United States Military Academy of West Point and the fundraising partner for West Point, operating similar to a foundation.

What are some current challenges?

Our members (all graduates) do not pay dues and there are no membership fees. Therefore, our challenge within the alumni operations is to continually look for ways to increase our revenue base in order to continue to provide quality services to our graduates.

We've been successful with affinity agreements, our gift shop and our career services programs.

Also, we will be entering a public phase of our comprehensive campaign targeted to raise $350 million for West Point's margin of excellence needs.

In what areas do you seek to expand?

Among the opportunities are expanding communications efforts to our graduates and constituents; increasing affinity partners and programs; successfully completing the public launch of the comprehensive campaign; and increasing engagement of all "'Hearts in Gray" through support, services and communications. Hearts in Gray refers to all the graduates of West Point, who are collectively known as the "Long Gray Line."

Other notable information and general facts

There have been a total of 69,318 graduates since 1802. We have 49,252 living graduates. We also service 130 West Point Societies, 80 classes and four Classes in Residence.

We manage more than $200 million of investment assets for West Point and the Alumni Association and almost 1,000 projects.

Finally, we administer the Thayer, Nininger, Distinguished Graduate and Pershing Writing Awards.

Are you hiring now?

Currently, we are only filling open vacancies.

RELATED ARTICLE: THE COMPANY

West Point Association of Graduates

"Doing business as" and best known as West Point Association of Graduates, (the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy is the legal name according to the organization's bylaws).

Established: 143 years ago, dating back to the first organized meeting of West Point graduates when a constitution and bylaws were adopted.

Headquarters: West Point, N.Y.

Recent Revenue: $50 million

Company Status: Nonprofit 501(c)3

Number of Employees: 80

Website: wpaog.org

RELATED ARTICLE: THE FINANCIAL EXECUTIVE

Carl P. Moccia, CPA, CGMA

Title: Vice President and Chief

Financial Officer

How Long in Current Role: 4 1/2 years

FEI Chapter: New Jersey

Professional Summary: I began my career with Ernst & Young and then spent 17 years at Castrol North America. I then took a different direction moving into the nonprofit arena with positions at University of Medicine of NJ, Diocese of Trenton, NYU Medical Center, then to AFS-USA Inc. before going to my present position at WPAOG.

What about the organization sparked your interest to join?

To be able to work with such a prestigious organization and support West Point, whose mission is to develop leaders of character for the army and the nation.
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Title Annotation:THE OFFICE; dialogue with Carl P. Moccia
Author:Heffes, Ellen M.
Publication:Financial Executive
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2013
Words:845
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