Letter from the Chairman
It is an honor to serve as the chairman for the campaign to endow the Army
men’s gymnastics program. This endowment provides the best avenue for the
United States Military Academy to continue to be a leader in a sport that has
served West Point well and has continually ranked among the nation’s best.
Army has produced four national champions and an outstanding number
of Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference winners. Army’s letterwinners have
chosen, in numbers significantly higher than the USMA norm, to serve a full
career in the military.
For 81 years, the Army gymnastics team has been one of the more consistently
successful teams the Army Athletic Association supports. The endowment
campaign is designed to ensure that resources remain available to continue this
tradition of excellence for Army Athletics. Our hope is that you will join us in
this very worthwhile endeavor.
Major General (Ret.)
Class of ’53
(Retired President/CEO, McCormick Tribune Foundation)
(AOG Distinguished Graduate Award 2005)
(Gymnastics Letterman: ’51,’52, ’53)
(Assistant Gymnastics Officer Representative: ’61, ’62)
(Senior Gymnastics Officer Representative: ’63)
Kevin B. Anderson ........................................Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, USMA
LTG (Ret.) Daniel Christman ....................... 55th Superintendent USMA, Class of 1965
LTG (Ret.) Austin Betts ..................................................................USMA, Class of 1934
Bart Conner .......................................... Three-time Olympic Gymnast, Television Analyst
The United States Military Academy is renowned for its historic and
distinguished reputation as a military academy, and as a premier leaderdevelopment
institution in the nation. Included among the Academy’s “Long
Gray Line” of graduates are some of our nation’s most famous and influential
men: Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, George S.
Patton, Omar Bradley, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower and H. Norman
Army’s gymnastics program, which boasts 29 All-Americans, four national
champions and 62 Eastern champions, along with three Rhodes Scholars and an
astronaut, is proud to announce the start of a five-year fund-raising campaign.
The goal of the campaign is to raise $5 million by April 2010 when Army hopes
to, once again, host the NCAA Men’s Division I Gymnastics Championships.
This campaign, which marks the first time that Army athletics is looking to
endow an athletic program, is focused on generating, through donations, enough
revenue to guarantee that gymnastics remains a key part of the Army’s future
intercollegiate athletics lexicon.
You are receiving this information because, as a friend of the U.S. Military
Academy, or as an Army gymnastics alumni, we would like to offer you the
opportunity to participate. We believe the time is right to undertake this effort
and ensure that the gymnastics legacy — which began in 1926 at West Point—
Endowing the Program
Endowment appears to be the wave of the future at colleges across the
nation. One only needs to look as far as the new outdoor track and field facility,
the new tennis center, or the myriad of other world-class facilities permanently
endowed at the Academy to realize the positive impact on athletic programs and
their recruiting efforts.
Army gymnastics is permanently housed in the Lou Gross Sports Center,
a state-of-the-art gymnastics training venue made available largely through the
generous gifts of Mr. Lou Gross and
other friends of Army gymnastics.
With this superb training facility, the
time for endowing the program and
guaranteeing it in perpetuity is NOW.
photo by Jon Malinowski
Lou Gross Sports Center
photo by Jon Malinowski
Doug Van Everen, Ph.D.
Army’s gymnastics program has ascended to new
heights since Doug Van Everen took over the program in
1990. Last year, the Army mentor led the Black Knights
to their first ECAC title in 43 years, along with earning its
second straight bid to the NCAA Championships.
One of the most respected coaches in the profession,
Van Everen was chosen the ECAC and East Regional
“Coach of the Year” in 2005. It was the third time he was
recognized regionally and second time by the ECAC.
Vice Chair – Campaign Committee
MG (Ret.) John Longhouser (President, MTC Technologies Inc.) .. Class of 1965
The Endowment Campaign Committee
Lou Gross (Lou Gross Sports Center) ............................................... Class of 1954
MG (Ret.) Neal Creighton (Chairman, Endowment Campaign) .... Class of 1953
COL (Ret.) Punch Jamison (Cslt RAND Corp.) ................................ Class of 1949
Mr. Jon Aaronsohn (Consultant and private investor) ................... Class of 1961
COL George Rhynedance (U.S. Army) ............................................ Class of 1980
COL Christopher Fulton (U.S. Army) .............................................. Class of 1981
COL Jim Knowlton (Chief of Staff – Army Athletics) ..................... Class of 1982
LTC (Ret.) Barry Robella (Prof., Defense Acquisition Univ.) .......... Class of 1969
LTC (Ret.) Arny Ferrando (Prof., Department of Surgery UTMB) .. Class of 1978
Christopher Adams (Dir. Mktg. – Flight Safety Int’l) ...................... Class of 1982
Ned Crossley .....Faculty member (34 yrs.) and former Head Gymnastics Coach
Nathan Pine ..................................................................Assoc. AD/Army Athletics
William Hicks .................................................................. Fundraising Consultant
Army Athletic Association
One of the responsibilities of the Army Athletic Association is funding
intercollegiate athletic programs at the Academy. They do this largely through
the revenue generated by the program and generous donations from the many
friends and alumni of Army Athletics.
Defense budget monies are not used in any significant quantity to
fund Army Athletics.
Though Army Gymnastics is not currently at risk as one of the Academy’s
intercollegiate athletic programs, this fund-raising effort will generate the revenue
required to supplement operating costs of the gymnastics program. This will also
significantly reduce the program’s need to rely on the recurring budget challenges
facing the Army Athletic Association.
Army Athletic Association Allotment
35% of the Army Athletic Association
budget comes from USMA funds.
65% of the Army Athletic Association
budget comes from generated funds*
* Generated funds include,
ticket revenue and the Army Athletic Association gift shop
Gymnastics at West Point
Army Gymnastics sports a proud tradition at West Point that began in 1926
and remains just as vibrant and strong today.
The gymnastics opportunity at West Point has attracted a steady flow of high
caliber student-athletes. Quality gymnasts, motivated by the desire to serve the
nation, continue to choose West Point in significant numbers.
Three Army gymnasts have been
awarded a Rhodes Scholar with Dan
Helmer, USMA Class of 2003, the most
recent to be honored with his selection
in December 2004.
Army has had four national
champions in Robert Sears (USMA ’39),
Ray Belardi (USMA ’39), Jon Claybrook
(USMA ’52) and Jon Aaronsohn (’61),
along with recent All-Amercia picks
Imad Haque (USMA ’04), Ben Hayward
(USMA ’99), Dustin Greenhill (USMA
’03) and Brian Lee (USMA ’05).
2005 All-American Brian Lee
Lee was recently selected for Army’s World Class Athlete Program, where he
is training for the 2008 Olympic Trials.
A Legacy of Leaders of Character
photo by Jon Malinowski
One of the Military Academy’s mission tasks is to produce leaders of character
for the U.S. Army and the nation. Army gymnastics has certainly produced its
share as 51 percent of former gymnasts have stayed on active duty in their career
path, retiring after 20 or 30 years for a full military career, while others have
served both in and out of the military in virtually every agency and corner of the
government. Still others have become doctors, lawyers, educators, astronauts,
consultants, and corporate executives.
Additionally, the team has produced 35 general, 156 colonels, and over 190
field-grade officers of lower rank.
Gymnastics and the Army
Austin Betts (USMA ’34)
Captain of 1934 team …two-time Eastern champion … captured all-around
title and horizontal bar in 1934 … has enjoyed a highly successful military career
… built air fields and air bases in China during World War II ... became associate
director of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, birthplace of the atomic
bomb ... assigned to Army General Staff as Chief, Atomic Energy Branch, where
he led the study of ballistic missile defense ... appointed director of Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency until his retirement in 1970 ... named Senior
Vice-President/Operations at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio,
Woody Spring (USMA ’67)
Astronaut (Space Shuttle Mission) … one of first men
to walk in space … served as a mission specialist on STS-
61B, which flew Nov. 26 thru Dec. 3, 1984 … responsible
for launching three communications satellites and performed
two EVAs (Extra Vehicular Activity) … following
his retirement from NASA in August 1988, Spring spent
the next five years directing the Army Space Program Office
in Washington, D.C. … he retired from the Army in
1994 and is now an aerospace consultant.
Army Gymnasts Who Attained Rank of General
General of the Army (ret.) John Wickham ’50
General of the Army (RTA, ret.) Vichitra Sookmark ’59
Lt. Gen. (ret.) John L. Ballantyne ’54
Lt. Gen. (ret.) Austin W. Betts ’34
Lt. Gen. (ret.) Richard D. Lawrence ’53
Lt. Gen. (USAF, ret.) William Martin ’39
Lt. Gen. (ret.) Beverley Powell ’36
Lt. Gen. (USAF, ret.) Craven Rogers ’57
Lt. Gen. (ret.) James Starling ’60
Lt. Gen. (ret.) Howard Stone ’55
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Roland B. Anderson ’38
Maj. Gen. (USAF, ret.) William M. Charles ’54
Maj. Gen. (USAF, ret.) William A. Cohen ’59
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Neal Creighton ’53
President, Westminster College;
Director National Museum, U.S. Army, AOG;
Distinguished Graduate Award
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Charles Denholm ’38
Maj. Gen. (USAF, ret.) Jay T. Edwards ’54
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Waldo Freeman ’64
Maj. Gen. (USAF, ret.) Thomas R. Griffith ’63
Maj. Gen. (ret.) David Hale ’67
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Richard D. Kenyon ’57
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Roger Lilly ’39
Maj. Gen. (USAF, ret.) Harrison Lobdell, Jr. ’46
Maj. Gen. (ret.) John Longhouser ’65
Maj. Gen. (USAF, ret.) James E. Paschall ’46
Maj. Gen. Bruce Robinson ’70
Maj. Gen. (ret.) John O. Sewall ’58
Maj. Gen. Bruce Scott ’72
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Elmer Yates ’41
Brig. Gen. (ret.) David Cameron ’50
Brig. Gen. (USAF, ret.) Ralph Hallenbeck ’43
Brig. Gen. (ret.) Robert Koch ’47
Brig. Gen. (ret.) William Louisell ’51
Brig. Gen. Florencio F. Magsino
(Foreign cadet, ’51 – Philippine Army, ret.)
President ,Philippine Nat’l Defense Center
Brig. Gen. (ret.) Anthony Trifiletti ’64
Brig. Gen. (ret) George E. Wear ’44
The Endowment Process
This will be a broadly-scoped effort to raise enough money to fully endow
the program. Each contribution will recognize and celebrate the team’s consistent
record of success over the years. The campaign committee will actively solicit
donations from individuals, corporations, and other friends of Army Gymnastics
through the duration of the campaign. We strongly encourage all those interested
in the effort to contribute generously to this worthy cause – guaranteeing the
future of the Army Gymnastics program.
The Endowment Fund
A tax-exempt fund specified for the endowment has been set up through the
Association of Graduates and approved by the Superintendent. Every donation
brings us a step closer to our goal of self-sufficiency, and guarantees the Army
Gymnastics legacy in the future. Every pledge makes a difference and the
preservation of this team will ensure the gymnastics opportunity at West Point
will continue for generations to come.
Checks to be made out to: “West Point Fund”
Memo Section add: Gymnastics Endowment Account # S-500-M
Each donor will be appropriately recognized for their contribution and their
name will be displayed by the gymnastics team in an appropriate place of honor.
The Association of Graduates will place a recognition plaque in the Lou Gross
Spors Center’s award center.
Doug Van Everen
Head Coach – Gymnastics
U.S. Military Academy
639 Howard Road
West Point, NY 10996
“Army Gymnastics has a proven record of excellence in the Army and at
West Point. We have an opportunity to continue this legacy in the future. By
undertaking this effort, we will be able to keep this proud tradition alive for
many years to come.”
Doug Van Everen
Head Coach & Campaign Director
“Ensuring the future of the program depends on the efforts
and contributions of many individuals. We hope that you will take pride
in preserving the Army Gymnastics tradition and generously support the
Neal Creighton, Class of 1953
“The Army Gymnastics team is an excellent program that continues to attract
and produce great leaders for the U.S. Army and the nation.”
Lt. Gen. (ret.) Daniel Christman
55th USMA Superintendent