Newsletter "Four Years By The Bay" #1

 April 8, 2023

Between now we will be sending out information about Commissioning Week and its traditions. We hope you enjoy the information. Enjoy Commissioning Week and Graduation.

The "infamous' and "famous" ANCHORMAN

It is hard and dangerous to become the anchorman, as was explained to me by a member of the Class of 2022. By the end of April everyone pretty much knows if he/she will graduate. Some Mids then actually vie for the glory of being the anchorman. It seems you have to do bad things that pulls your overall ranking down just a little but not too much to take you under the ranking criteria that will mean you do not graduate. Do not cross that red line.

1955 Decatur1955 Decatur

Above is a photograph taken June 3, 1955. Roy Freeman was the anchorman, from Decatur, Alabama. Prior to the 1955 the anchorman was actually given an anchor on stage. It was large, made out of paper mache and whatever else could be mustered. There was so much applause the proceedings stopped. Finally it would be restarted. The Naval Academy, on a cue from West Point, which had the same problem, decided no longer to graduate midshipmen in the order of their class rank. Diplomas would be handed out by company, thereby hiding the anchorman. It really does not matter. The First Class all know who the anchorman is. When he/she crosses stage, there will be a loud applause--totally unexplainable.  After the ceremony, he/she receives "mucho" money. I guess the money covers the shame.

General Custer


Here is a link to an article about the 2001 ANCHORMAN, Bobbt Rashad

Rashad 2001 AnchormanRashad 2001 Anchorman


Traditionally, the class pitches in for an ‘anchor fund’ - it was a dollar per person when I graduated, iirc - that goes to the anchor man upon graduation. With around 1000 graduates per class, it’s a nice chunk of change. So it leads to a weird little competition of sorts among the dozen or so Mids who are close to the bottom of the class; do poorly enough to finish dead last, but well enough to graduate.

The anchor man usually gets a standing ovation during graduation from the rest of the class, which confuses the spectators because it’s not announced or otherwise annotated. But his classmates know. Just a little subversive celebration. After all someone has to be last in the class. And it’s sort of like finishing last in the Boston Marathon - there’s plenty of pride just in completing the task.

Andy Burns-2019 / QUORA