Campaign Public Launch Weekend

Daring to Lead

A public launch for a national institution.

The United States Naval Academy’s $400 million campaign, “Called to Serve. Daring to Lead” invited supporters to change the course of history. From board members and other VIP guests to alumni and friends, the public launch events, fittingly held over Veterans’ Weekend, brought various audiences to The Yard to experience the impact of private philanthropy first-hand and gain an understanding of its role in ensuring the safety and security of the nation and the world.

“Thanks again for a spectacular job. It truly set a new level of achievement for us in event management and execution. We appreciate your professionalism and expertise – it was a good and productive relationship. It is also fun to work with you all!”

William O’Connor, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, United States Naval Academy Foundation

The Educe team collaborated with Academy Foundation and Alumni Association partners to develop weekend programming that brought key stakeholder groups such as lead donors, board directors, and council of class presidents members up to date on campaign progress and how volunteer leadership might be activated during the public phase. Special attention was paid, as well, to how campaign messaging and initiatives would be woven into spoken remarks throughout the three days.

Highlights of the weekend included an interactive VIP dinner reception that took place in Dahlgren Hall, a beloved venue with historical and emotional significance for many in attendance. Called to program by the USNA Pipes and Drums and Highland Dancers, guests heard not just from Academy and Foundation leadership but also from Midshipmen who shared their own experiences and appreciation for the opportunities possible through private philanthropy.

Hands-on activities were available throughout the evening, with guests learning from faculty and Midshipmen about their latest research on cyber security, satellite and drone programming, flight simulation, leadership training, extreme survival skills, open ocean sailing – and of course, a friendly pull-up competition. The over-all excellence and well-roundedness of the Midshipmen was showcased through performances by the USNA Silent Drill Team, String Quartet, Brass Ensemble, and Gospel Choir.

The following evening was a bit more casual but just as impressive, as guests gathered in Dahlgren for a pre-basketball game Pep Rally and game watch on the “big screen.” Faculty and Midshipmen were once again on-hand to showcase their latest research and lend their voices to a traditional “Go Navy!” cheer as the 90-piece Drum and Bugle Corps played crowd favorites. Remarks by Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk and alumni basketball stars David Robinson and Becky Calder provided the perfect rallying moment.

Guests left both events feeling energized and proud – both for what the Academy is accomplishing and for their personal role in not just its success, but its future as well.