The USNA Alumni Association is a non-profit, independent corporation with a full-time professional staff. A Board of Trustees elected and appointed from active membership develops and oversees the policies and programs, with a President/CEO responsible for the day-to-day management and operations. The Association consists of all Alumni, Associate Members, and parents of Midshipmen. The Alumni Association provides services to alumni and advocacy for the Naval Academy through alumni.
Early in 1886, Lieutenant Commander Charles Belknap, of the Class of 1867, gathered twelve officers (on duty at Annapolis) and formed the U.S. Naval Academy Graduates Association. The first dinner was held during June Week, 1886; thereafter, meetings were held almost every year for forty years.
As with any organization, the Graduates Association incurred bills and debt. Through generous efforts of some groups or branches (Chapters) an endowment fund was established which enabled the Association to pay its debt and to eventually create a periodical, called Shipmate, which would help "bind the ties" of alumni. Shipmate was started by the Board of Trustees under the management of then Secretary, E.F. Cochrane, in 1916. During the 1920's, Shipmate was made into a more "enlarged" publication largely through the help of the Public Relations Office of the Navy Department.
The Association grew, but efforts to raise money through a payment of dues proved unsuccessful and when the depression set in an increasing number of students left the Academy and went into civilian life to make a living. Even though they did not graduate, they were devoted to supporting the Academy and the Graduates Association. So in 1931, the Board of Governors formed a new organization that would embrace in its membership, non-graduates as well as graduates. In May of that year, the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia. On October 6, 1947, the Alumni Association was incorporated in the State of Maryland.
To serve and support the United States, the Naval Service, the Naval Academy and its alumni:
- By furthering the highest standards at the Naval Academy;
- By seeking out, informing, encouraging and assisting outstanding, qualified young men and women to pursue careers as officers in the Navy and Marine Corps through the Naval Academy
- By initiating and sponsoring activities which will perpetuate the history, traditions, memories and growth of the Naval Academy and bind alumni together in support of the highest ideals of command, citizenship and government.
As unanimously approved by: The Board of Trustees
1 June 1962; Rev. 1980; Rev. 3 May 2002; Rev. 18 Nov. 2002; Rev. 7 May 2004
We are the primary source for the community of Naval Academy alumni, family and friends worldwide to maintain active lifetime links and be engaged with each other and the Naval Academy and its traditions.
As approved by: The Board of Trustees
8 December 2011