Class of '69 Alumni Mentoring Program FAQs:

Prelude: We have received a number of questions pertaining to our planned 50th Anniversary Legacy Gift, the Alumni Mentoring Program (AMP). Classmates can refer to our Class website for a complete rendering of those FAQs. We have selected and repeat below a number of those questions for your convenience.

When we began this project over four years ago, our guiding principles were to make a gift that would (1) be truly relevant and meaningful in terms of the USNA mission and (2) create a true legacy for the Class of 1969. Working closely with the Alumni Association and up and down the chain-of-command, we have provided substantial leadership in bringing AMP to fruition. This program will further the achievement of the Academy’s mission, provide the Blue & Gold Officer program with a new recruitment advantage, enable the Alumni Association to add to alumni loyalty by responding to an expressed interest of the alumni, and connect alumni by sharing experience and wisdom and leveraging connections and relationships. AMP will proudly distinguish the Class of ’69 from all other classes. The 50th Reunion and our Legacy Gift will likely be our swan song. Our legacy will be secure: AMP will be the first step in a revitalized culture of alumni helping alumni.

1. Why did we select an Alumni Mentoring Program (AMP)?

2. Who will be the mentors and how will they be selected/qualified?

3. Will midshipmen participate?

4. Do similar programs exist at other universities?

5. What is the role of the Alumni Association in this program?

6. What happens to AMP after Class of ’69 is gone?

7. Do donations to this program “qualify” for USNAAA and Foundation President’s Circle membership? 

8. Who along the chain-of-command has vetted and supported AMP? Any objectors?

9. Do alumni want AMP?

10. What do you mean when you say “an offering by alumni for alumni?” 

11. What’s the rush, we have until 2019?

 

 


 

1. Why did we select an Alumni Mentoring Program (AMP)?
Answer: We wanted something that would help further the achievement of the Academy's mission to have more alumni ready to "assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government" as well as to improve retention in the Naval Service/Marine Corps. AMP is a bold new initiative intended to energize our culture of alumni helping alumni and will benefit the Country, Navy/Marine Corps, Academy, and generations of alumni and midshipmen. We are very excited about AMP and its potential to help our alumni make more informed decisions. Our aim is to inspire alumni to set higher goals, achieve more, and have greater satisfaction in their military service and then in selected second endeavors.

2. Who will be the mentors and how will they be selected?
Answer: Mentors will be volunteer alumni from any class who are paired with protégés by the AMP process based on criteria and profile information provided by the participants. Mentors may also participate as protégés, if they so desire.

3. Will midshipmen participate?
Answer: The Superintendent has been very supportive of AMP. He approved our offering of AMP sign-ups to the Class of 2016 in the Spring of their First Class year. The objective was to encourage and enable them to join AMP prior to graduation and over 400 Midshipman registered in AMP. We all believe that having mentors will help with their transition to the fleet and forward. The Superintendent has again approved our approaching the Class of 2017 at the same time of year and we hope to continue this on into the future. We currently have no plans to AMP-enable Midshipman earlier in their time at the Academy.

4. Do similar programs exist at other universities?
Answer: Yes, just Google “Alumni Mentoring Program.” Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, among many others, all have mentoring programs. Most are designed for alumni to mentor students; some also provide for alumni to mentor other alumni. Also, many corporations have employee mentoring programs. USNA as a taxpayer funded institution is fundamentally different than other educational institutions, thus our focus on helping more alumni to be ready to "assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government" as well as to improve retention in the Naval Service/Marine Corps. We know that a good mentoring program can help achieve these objectives.

5. What is the role of the Alumni Association in this program?
Answer: AA is a supporting partner and will be providing oversight on behalf of the AA Board of Trustees. We plan to implement, stabilize and cede AMP to AA on a turnkey basis at an appropriate time in the future. AA is actively giving us all of the help that we need to make this program a success. AMP falls under Dave Church’s (Class of ’67) “Programs and Services” department of the AA; Dave has been an integral part of our AMP team since early 2011.  Specifically, AA will provide assistance to us in marketing, branding, communications, systems integration, fundraising and program management and administration.

6. What happens to AMP after Class of ’69 is gone?
Answer: Assuming a satisfactory AMP Funding Drive, we expect to form a steering committee that will oversee AMP operations. The steering committee will be majority controlled by representatives of our class but will also have at least one Alumni Association representative and limited representation from selected other classes. Specifically, we expect we will work with the Counsel of Class Presidents to install another class (e.g., 1979, 1989) as our successor as the AMP sponsor class. Between 2014 and 2019, we expect to perfect and stabilize AMP. In 2019, the 50th anniversary of our graduation, we expect to cede AMP to the Alumni Association on a turnkey basis. Another way of saying this is…we expect to phase down as we age out.

7. Do donations to this program “qualify” for USNAAA and Foundation President’s Circle membership?
Answer: Donations to the Class of ’69 P50 Legacy Fund will count toward the Alumni Association and Foundation’s recognized hierarchy of giving levels.

8. Who along the chain-of-command has vetted and supported AMP? Are there any objectors?
Answer: AMP has been fully vetted up and down the chain-of-command. The project has been vetted with the USNA Alumni Association and Foundation, including the chairmen and president of each as well as with appropriate committees of the Board of Trustees and the staffs of both. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, together with Stephen Leaman, AMP Project Team Leader, set up and attended a meeting in the Pentagon with the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Personnel and Readiness. The program has been vetted with numerous others including other admirals, one a former CNO and a current active duty four-star Academy graduate. AMP has also been vetted with numerous active duty and civilian junior and senior alumni. All have been receptive and most have voiced strong support for the program. Virtually the only reservations or objections we have encountered appeared to have been based on (i) concerns that AMP would not be supported by the Alumni Association and (ii) to a much lesser extent, that our legacy gift effort should be something directly supporting the Academy or midshipmen. The Alumni Association is fully onboard and will be vigorously supporting AMP. As to the second concern, it is our plan, subject to the Supe’s approval, to extend AMP to midshipmen at least during service selection. Further, the Alumni Association is also interested in AMP as a vehicle to further engage alumni and build alumni loyalty by responding to alumni interest in mentoring and networking as expressed in their responses to the 2009 alumni survey.

9. Do alumni want AMP?
Answer: Yes. On the most recent alumni survey, conducted in 2009 by Fleishman Hillard, mentoring was a specific area of interest of 72%-78% of alumni graduating over the last three decades. A close relative to mentoring, that being networking opportunities, is an even higher area of interest, at 77%-92%. AMP initially will have limited networking features which we expect will be expanded over time.

10. What do you mean when you say “an offering by alumni for alumni?”
Answer: The central value of AMP is not the provision of the e-mentoring platform, even though that is how most of the Class’s donations will be used. Rather, it is the time, effort, and skin-in-the-game that the protégés and volunteer mentors will put forth to help our alumni seek higher goals and achieve more in their careers and lives. The value of these efforts will far exceed the cost of providing the e-mentoring capability…the results are potentially priceless. AMP is truly an offering by alumni for alumni that only materializes when a protégé-mentor pair is formed and mentoring occurs.

11. What’s the rush, we have until 2019?
Answer: We are attempting something that will proudly distinguish the Class of ’69 from all other classes. AMP is intended to energize our culture of alumni helping alumni and benefit the Country, Navy/Marine Corp, Academy, and generations of alumni and midshipmen. The 50th Reunion and our Legacy Gift will likely be our swan song. We need the time to do it right and shepherd it through conceptual design, implementation, and stabilization before we turn it over to the Alumni Association. We also want to see the fruits of our labor and to have time to celebrate the profound impact on our culture we are hoping to initiate with AMP as a first step.

 

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