United States Military Academy Class of 1955

Constitution and By Laws

Pre-2000 Constitution

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Article I


SECTION 1. Name:

The name of this organization is the United States Military Academy Class of 1955, hereinafter referred to as the Class.

SECTION 2. Description:

The Class is a non-profit, self sustaining, private organization which exists solely to serve the members of the Class, and through the Class, the United States Military Academy.

The Class is not an instrument of the United States Government, the United States Military Academy, or the Association of Graduates. It shall be administered by individuals, elected and appointed, and not acting within their official capacities as Officers, employees, or agents of the United States Government.

SECTION 3. Purposes:

The purpose of the Class shall be to foster and perpetuate the voluntary association of Class members with one another and to further the ideals of the United States Military Academy.

The purpose of this Constitution is to provide a vehicle for the administration of Class affairs to include membership, financial matters, and support of the United States Military Academy, consistent with its mission and purpose. It further provides the Class a point of contact, through the Class administration, with the administrations of the United States Military Academy and the Association of Graduates.

Article II


SECTION 1. Categories of membership:

Regular membership in the Class shall include all members of the Class who graduated in June 1955.

Associate membership in the Class may be those who entered the Academy with the Class of 1955 at the time of acceptance of the Class into the Corps of Cadets, but who are not Regular Members. Associate Members must be nominated by a Regular Member and approved by majority vote of the Executive Committee. In addition, Associate Membership in the Class will be automatically extended to widows of Regular and Associate Class Members.

Honorary membership in the Class may be extended to those who have been nominated by the Executive Committee or by a petition of fifteen percent (15%) of the surviving Regular Membership and approved by two-thirds vote of surviving Regular Members of the Class.

SECTION 2. Member Privileges:

Associate and Honorary Members shall have all the privileges of participation as Regular Members except the right to vote in Class matters and to hold elected Class Officer positions.

SECTION 3. Voting:

Votes shall be cast in person or by absentee, electronic, or postal mail.

Article III


SECTION 1. Classification:

The Officers shall be comprised of Honorary and Regular Officers.

SECTION 2. Honorary Class Officers:

The Honorary Officers of the Class are those originally elected by the Class while Cadets at the United States Military Academy. These are Charles Fred Bliss, III, President; Lee Donne Olvey, Vice President; David Drew Gilpatrick, Secretary; John Autry Feagin, Treasurer; and John Phillip Lovell, Historian. Honorary Officers have no further responsibility for Class affairs unless elected to an active position. They shall hold these positions for life, and vacancies in these positions will not be filled.

SECTION 3. Regular Class Officers:

Regular Class Officers shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian, Scribe, and Information Systems Officer. These Officers are the voting members of the Executive Committee and shall perform the duties prescribed by the Constitution.

All Regular Members of the Class shall be eligible for these positions.

SECTION 4. Elections:

Terms. Regular Class Officers shall be elected to serve during the period between five-year reunions (Class Business Meetings) or until their successors are elected or unless they should die or resign. New terms commence thirty days following the close of the five-year reunion except for those specially elected in the middle years, whose terms commence upon election or appointment.

Vacancies. Vacancies resulting from the resignation or death of a Regular Officer may be filled by majority vote of the Executive Committee, and the Officer so chosen shall hold office until the next Reunion. Should the Presidency become vacant, the Vice President shall assume the office of President and the vacancy shall exist in the office of the Vice President. The Executive Committee may then fill the vacancy in the office of Vice President.


The President shall appoint the Chairman of a Nominating Committee for the election of Class Officers.

Nominees shall be of Regular Members of the Class.

Nominations will be announced via electronic and postal mail to Regular Members at least sixty days prior to any Class Business Meeting.

Additional nominations endorsed by at least ten percent (10%) of the surviving Regular Membership may be forwarded to the Chairman of the Nominating Committee no later than ninety days prior to such meeting and shall be included on the ballot.


Votes shall be cast at five-year Reunion Business Meetings in person or by absentee ballots forwarded by postal or electronic mail to arrive before the scheduled commencement of the Business Meeting.

The winner of the election shall be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast. With more than two candidates, a run-off of the top two, if necessary, will be held to determine the majority winner.

For elections and other Class matters at a Class Business Meeting, a quorum will consist of those Regular Members in attendance and those represented by absentee ballots by regular or electronic mail ballot.


The Executive Committee may authorize such ad hoc committees as it deems necessary and appropriate to perform limited tasks for the Class, such as, management of five-year reunions. The Class President shall then appoint ad hoc committee chairmen.

The Class President may appoint non-voting special assistants, such as Regional Coordinators, or Activities Coordinators, to head committees to manage mini-reunions, trips, club activities, fundraising, etc.

Committee chairmen shall appoint their own committee members with due regard for travel considerations, geographic balance and modern communications capabilities.

Duties of Officers.

1. The Class President shall:

Coordinate the affairs of the Class and preside as Chairman of Executive Committee meetings and Class functions and meetings.

Assume leadership for the business aspects of the Class, reporting at least annually to the Class, to include reunion planning, replacing Class Officers, establishing ad hoc and standing committees, attending the Class Leaders Conference of the Association of Graduates, and other appropriate Class representation functions.

2. The Class Vice President Shall:

Assist the President and preside in his absence.

Serve as Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee.

3. The Class Secretary shall:

Maintain records of the affairs and business of the Class and assist the President in any administration pertinent to the Class. Ensure that proper minutes are kept for all meetings of the Executive Committee.

Forward copies of all minutes to the Association of Graduates to be placed in Class archives and to the Class Historian for Class files.

Coordinate all Class mailings not specifically associated with reunion activities.

Conduct balloting and tallying of all voting and the presentation of results to the Class in concert with the Information Systems Officer (ISO) who will provide validated e-mail votes cast.

Be responsible for maintaining the Class Locator and a list of Class children and grandchildren attending West Point.

4. The Class Treasurer shall:

Attend to the finances of the Class and maintain records of all transactions.

Make such dispositions from the Class funds as are authorized by the Executive Committee.

Report on current balances and on income and expenditures to the Executive Committee at least annually.

5. The Class Historian shall:

Maintain the Class archives and all permanent records of significance to the Class and forward copies of such to the Association of Graduates Class archives.

Be responsible for ensuring the timely publication of Class memorial articles in Assembly magazine.

Publish a Class yearbook/summary for each reunion.

6. The Class Scribe shall:

Collect and publish appropriate information regarding Class activities in the Class column in the appropriate publications.

Forward notifications of serious illnesses or deaths to the Executive Committee.

Assist the Class Historian as appropriate in maintaining a history of Class affairs.

Assist the Secretary in maintaining the Class Locator and the list of Class children and grandchildren attending West Point.

7. The Class Information Systems Officer (ISO) shall:

Serve as Class Webmaster, establish and maintain the Class home page on the World Wide Web.

Maintain and moderate the Class Listservs for the exchange of electronic mail among the Class.

Assist the Secretary in maintaining the Class locator by acting as the focal point for e-mail addresses and changes thereto.

Establish and maintain a Class Alert Systems (CAS) using e-mail, Class volunteers and other methods of communication to expedite contact with all Class members for the conduct of Class business.

Be responsible for enhancing and improving Class communications through technology.

Article IV

The Executive Committee

SECTION 1. Membership:

The voting members of the Executive Committee shall be composed of the Class President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian, Scribe and Information Systems Officer. Non-Voting members will be those appointed by the President as Special Assistants.

SECTION 2. Committee Meeting Requirements:

The Executive Committee shall be chaired by the Class President, or in his absence, by the Class Vice President.

The Chairman will specify the time, place and agenda of the meeting.

Meetings may be held in person or by electronic means such as telephone conferencing or e-mail.

In the absence of the Class Secretary, one of the participants shall record minutes of the meeting and forward to the Secretary for filing.

A special Executive Committee meeting may be called by referendum petition of fifteen percent (15%) of the surviving Regular Members.

The Class President, Vice President or designated representative on the Executive Committee will chair the special meeting.

Motions made by any Regular Member seconded by at least fifteen percent (15%) of the surviving Regular Membership, will be discussed and voted upon by the Executive Committee at the special meeting.

Executive Committee decisions shall be by majority vote of the Committee Membership. Such decisions may be overturned by a referendum vote of the Class majority who vote in a called special election by postal and electronic mail, the quorum being all those voting within a ninety day called vote period.

SECTION 3. Duties:

The Executive Committee shall:

Exercise general supervision of the affairs of the Class between Class Business Meetings.

Make recommendations to the Class.

Organize and direct Class activities to include reunions.

Direct the use of the Class Fund, subject to the provisions of ARTICLE VI.

Promote Class unity and participation in Class business and activities by conducting Class affairs and representing the Class at official functions.

Article V


All Class business shall be conducted using the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised as governing authority for procedures to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution.

Article VI

Class Funds

SECTION 1. Class Gift Fund:

The Class may maintain a Class Gift Fund with the Association of Graduates. The purpose of this fund is to provide such gifts to the United States Military Academy as the Class may determine.

The Class Treasurer, in coordination with the AOG, shall administer the Class Gift Fund.

Dispersal of the Class Gift Fund will be in accordance with the informed consent and approval of the Class, as obtained by vote at a Class Business Meeting or referendum, and in agreement between the Class and the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy. All such agreements in effect shall be in writing and made a matter of Class record.

SECTION 2. Other Funds:

The Class may also establish one or more other Administrative Funds within the Association of Graduates or elsewhere for the administrative affairs of the Class. The Class Treasurer or his designated representative shall administer such funds.

Article VII


Unless otherwise called by the Executive Committee, the regular business meetings of the Class shall be held during each five-year reunion. This meeting shall be known as the Class Business Meeting and shall be for the purpose of electing Officers, receiving reports of Officers and committees and for any other business that may arise.

Article VIII

Adoption and Amendment of the Constitution

SECTION 1. Adoption:

This Constitution shall become effective upon approval by two-thirds of the votes cast at the 45th Reunion of the Class in person or by absentee electronic or postal mail ballots.

SECTION 2. Amendment:

This Constitution may be amended at any duly constituted Class Business Meeting if the amendment and ballots have been made available to the entire regular Class membership at least thirty days prior to the vote.

Amendments may be proposed by any Regular Member to the Executive Committee, which will determine by majority vote whether the proposed amendment will be voted on at the next Class Business Meeting.

A two-thirds majority of the votes cast is required to amend the Constitution.

Article IX


SECTION 1. Initiation:

A Class referendum on any Class business or action shall be initiated by the Executive Committee or by a petition to the Executive Committee endorsed by at least fifteen percent (15%) of the surviving Regular Class Members.

SECTION 2. Procedures:

The referendum by the Class shall be conducted by the Executive Committee within sixty days of the Committee’s announcement of the referendum, or within ninety days of receipt of the petition.

SECTION 3. Voting:

In all cases, sixty days shall be allowed for voting to be completed. Such voting by the Regular Class Members may be accomplished by electronic or postal mail.

Article X


Upon the death of the last surviving Regular Member of the Class, the Class shall be dissolved, and all assets remaining shall become the property of the Association of Graduates.

Article XI

Adoption & Approval

The foregoing Constitution and By Laws for the West Point Class of 1955 were duly adopted and approved at the 45th reunion of the Class, September 8, 2000.

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