Members of the Class of 1994 descended into Long Island, New York to reunite with classmates and dig up boatloads of memories for their 20yr reunion over Homecoming weekend at the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Nearly a full year of planning can be wrapped into a nutshell – the weekend was awesome! With 77 alumni, nearly 25 guests and 25+ children, we enjoyed the largest reunion yet. And more importantly, by every account . . . it was the best one yet.
Activities and Parties ranged from Thursday evening through Sunday morning, with Saturday being the big day.
Awards Dinner & Pub (Thursday, 10/9/14)
The weekend started with the awards dinner on Thursday evening. Our class was represented well with Dennis Jacko and Tim Green each winning awards. A few of us arrived throughout Thursday and ended up at the Midshipmen Pub Thursday night following the dinner. It was nice to see the pub in full swing, and the midshipmen report that they regularly open it every week – and it’s fully staffed by the M/n themselves – no “adult” supervision – and it seems to have worked well. Congrats Dennis and Tim!
Drink, Meet & Greet in Manhattan (Friday, 10/10/14)
The official alumni weekend kicked off Friday evening in mid-Town Manhattan at Hudson Malones Saloon. It allowed for many of us to revisit what it was like to “head into the city” via the good old Long Island Railroad, Penn Station and the crazy NYC subways or taxi cabs. We had the 2nd floor to ourselves and the setting was great. Everyone got caught up, and for the most part – saw everyone for the first time. In KP Fashion, plenty of adult beverages were consumed.
Beat Retreat, Check Presentation & Arbor Memorial for Pat Shea (Saturday, 10/11/14)
We woke up to rain, and it was 10 degrees cooler than the day before – generally pretty crappy overall. A couple of us setting up early knew however, that it didn’t matter and it was going to be worth it for everyone, including those still sleeping off the night before’s beverages.
At 0930 we headed over to the gym for the Beat Retreat and Class Gift/Check presentation. The band put on an exhilarating “beat retreat” show as always.
Following the beat retreat, we got to present our class gift / check to the alumni with all of the other classes. We had a positive showing with just over $30,000 donated and the entire alumni from 1944 through 2014 donated over $990,000.
Kings Point Regimental Band in Action
The Arbor Memorial Presentation was also held in the gym due to weather. Many of our classmates attended as we got to honor our friend and classmate Pat Shea. (Because the service was held inside, there was no “plaque presentation” or otherwise. But Wes Corbett and I got to visit the Arbor Memorial on Sunday afternoon and located the plaque we got to honor Pat.)
Rest In Peace buddy.
Lunch, March and Football Game
The keg was tapped while we were at the ceremonies and the beer was flowing nicely early on. More classmates were making their first arrival. We had a catered lunch consisting of burgers, dogs and all the fixins. The cold, wet, miserable weather didn’t deter a thing and it only brought us that much closer together as huddling in circles inside the tent was better than getting poured on outside.
But the weather was breaking and by the time we were ready to march out onto the field, the rain had stopped. At 1300hrs, we made our way out to the field for the obligatory class march on and pictures out on the field and group pictures. Following, all of the alumn were released to the stadium to watch the Mariners take on Rochester. Unfortunately, they lost, but the crisp cool air and lots of Hot Chocolate were a good reminder of autumn in Eastern NY.
Most simply returned to the museum to continue the party, some quickly freshened up back at their hotels rooms, all to be back at the tent for the main party.
The Main Event, Dinner & Party
By the time dinner started at 6:00 the clouds were breaking and we were treated with a gorgeous sunset. The kids played ball, tag or somehow found that the big propeller made for a great playground. We took the official class picture which was followed by the opening of the buffet line. The hearty spread was 110% perfect for the evening and consisted of pulled pork, brisket, mac & cheese, smashed sweet potatoes and greens. We celebrated with a phat “KP94” cake for dessert as well.
A Quick Look at our Digs
We had to “order up” a 4th keg by now and aside from the fact that it got pretty shook up from the bumpy van ride back to KP, it was good. We always invite many faculty and additional guests and this time we were joined by both Capt Hard and Professor Zaluda, both of whom gave a few words of their wisdom, albeit one was a tad longer than the other and we’ll leave it at that 😉
UPDATE: Thanks from Capt. Hard (12/2/14)
“To the Class of 1994: It was a real pleasure to see so many of you again at your 20th Reunion, and your invitation to dinner was greatly appreciated. Your many kind words were most heartwarming, but even more enjoyable was learning of your many successes. I am very, very proud of your various accomplishments and wish you much continued success! Thanks again for you exceptionally kind hospitality and fellowship. I wish you all the very, very best in the years to come, and I look forward to seeing you again at your 25th!”
~CAPT D.A.Hard, ’62.
Up A Notch
We stepped things up this year and brought in a Sound / PA system and provided a groovy mix of music during the afternoon and evening. For a list of the songs that Blake played, click here.
And the night was topped off by the showing our the long-awaited video slideshow. We put out the “Call for Pictures” only a few weeks before and due to the great efforts of many who dug through shoe boxes, scanned pages and pages of photos and sent them in, we ended up with 821 images available for the show . . . waaaay more than was expecting. It made for an incredible 25min walk down memory lane including images from Plebe Year through Graduation and even a few years post-KP.
Sunday Academy Visit
Unlike Saturday, we woke up to nearly perfect fall weather in NYC. It was a sunny, crisp Sunday morning and a couple of us found each other roaming the academy grounds since it wasn’t possible earlier due to setting up and party planning.
Wes Corbett and I roamed all around the grounds and “got in” to Wiley Hall, some of the academic buildings and marine engineering lab and down to the waterfront. I think we spotted at least a dozen “crime scenes” from all the spirit missions that took place (including the flagpole which Wes was hoisted up 24 years ago. )
We found Pat Shea’s plaque as well which was set at the arbors into a nice corner under some trees/greenery which is a perfect spot for Pat’s memory.
We ended the day by hitting up the ship’s store, then JFK.
An Overall Success
The entire weekend went off without a hitch. The immediate comments received from all of you and your guests were extremely positive and uplighting. The events and organization that the Alumni Foundation provided were top notch too.
Video Slide Show & Pictures
I will be putting up the video slideshow to view online, and make all of the 800+ images used for it also available for download. Once complete, I’ll return and update this post.
The pictures taken during the weekend were posted to Facebook to share and view. There is a high-resolution set available in a photo viewing gallery where you can also download* all of the hi-res versions.
You will be able to quickly download any single image by clicking on the download icon in the upper right of the screen when viewing an individual image. To download the entire album, click the download icon from the Album Page (not an individual image) and then enter the PIN you received in the follow-up email that we sent a few days after.
Ya can’t thank enough the folk and companies who make a financial contribution to the weekend:
- Joe Woods of ABS
- Mike Goodnight of CISD Marine
- Matt Andrews and Garret Cousineau of Quincannon Associates
Thank you again, guys!
Thanks to the Planning Committee
The planning committee spent nearly a year working out all of the details to make 1994’s party the best one of all of the classes, and attended by one of the largest number of alumni and guests. Alumni Foundation President Jim Tobin commented on the high turnout for a 20yr class. The planning committee worked extra hard to make it happen.
Chairman Chris Anderson oversaw the overall planning activities and the event as a whole. Chris also played one of the critical role in securing the museum patio for the venue, amongst other ‘requests’ (I’m refraining from using the word ‘demands’ and let me just say that we were not at the top of the Alumni Foundation’s nice list 😉 Brian Murphy led up the class giving campaign with a successful turnout of just over $30,000 and also helped with the Catering/Food and last minute “errands” that needed to be run. Tim Green sought out the sponsors, valuable connections and hookups, and helped keep everything inline with the committee meetings. Tim tapped the kegs too 🙂 John Bellissimo kept all of the finances squared away, oversaw the registration & numbers and also led up securing the take-home gifts consisting of a KP94 Hat and insulated cooler. And finally, Blake Miller oversaw the Marketing/Communications, Website and keeping everyone updated on Social Media and Emails. Blake also brought his event planning, DJ/AV and video slide show experience to the mix . . . and snapped a few pictures along the way 😉
It was a perfect mix of different talents and strengths to help the KP94 20yr reunion set the stage for others and future events.
And Finally, Thank YOU for Attending
Many of you literally travelled from around the world to join us, and the party would not have been a party without all of you. Thank you for taking the time and the resources to make the trip. As you can see from all of the pictures and postings, it was an incredible weekend. We look forward to our 25th in 2019 – Save The Date (year, at least 😉