Minutes of EXCOM Teleconference

(22 OCT 2008)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Date sent: Mon, 10 NOV 2008 21:10:47 -0500
To: usma55bus@west-point.org, usma1955-c1@west-point.org
From: -w "wwelter@cox.net"
Subject: usma55bus: MINUTES OF ’55 EXCOM TELECON, 22 OCT 2008

In an EXCOM effort to "get the word out" and encourage class feedback/input the below Minutes were prepared/coordinated and sent to the class in 19 days. Please send Feedback/input either directly to EXCOM on the the Business Net (usma55bus@west-point.org) or to me (wwelter@cox.net) and I will copy to Business Net.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Stay tuned, -w



PARTICIPATING: Carl McNair, Rich Cardillo, Dan Ludwig, Bill Street, Bill Welter, Charlie Johnson, Chuck Rhoads (EXCOM Members) Don Hilbert, Ted Gay, Jim Ryan (Committee Members)

-Carl McNair opened the conference at 1500 hours and welcomed all participating.

-Minutes of the 19 July meeting were approved.

-Treasurers Report: All figures are preliminary because the AOG is just now working up the totals for the Third Quarter (ending 30 SEP 08).

--The class gift account balance is $115,580.65. This is within a few thousand dollars of the balance provided at the last EXCOM meeting. In February of this year a donation of $136,660 was made to the Coach's Housing Project from funds raised by Bob Strati. These funds do not appear in the Gift Account, but were identified separately by AOG. To date in 2008, we have spent $900 on Memory Pages for the nine classmates who have died this year. That leaves $33,400 in the special fund for Memory Pages that was set up in 2006 as a result of an agreement Carl McNair negotiated with AOG. With 335 living classmates, we are short $100 needed to open a Memory Page for our last surviving classmate!

--Class Administrative Account balance is $87,972. Of this amount, $71,014 is in the Memorial Fund which is used for the $200 expense for flowers/charitable contributions when a classmate dies. Recently, a total of $6,161 has been added to the Admin Fund through contributions to the class Caring Fund. The AOG only keeps track of the total in the Admin Fund, and it is up to the class treasurer to keep track of the amounts in the Memorial Fund and the Caring Fund. In August of this year a check for $10,226 was deposited into the Admin Fund Account from the Austin Mini Reunion. Bill Street’s records show a total of $11,220 in uncommitted funds in the Adman Fund, but he is not certain that all of the recent contributions to the Caring Fund yet appear in the balance. If not, the amount of uncommitted funds could be as high as $17,000, but the Caring Fund dollars remain restricted for that purpose.

-Caring Fund Report: 47 classmates contributed $6,611 to this fund. Contributions ranged from $55 to $500. The balance in the account is presently $5,738.

-Coach's Housing Status Report: Approximately $250,000 has been contributed which means we are about half way to our goal. Bob Strati has a letter going out 10 November to those classmates who have previously contributed or who have indicated a desire to contribute.

-55th Reunion Status Report:

--Rich Cardillo provided the names and function of those classmates who are involved in organizing the reunion. Chair; Vitty, Finance; Bates, Class Gift; Strati (Gay and Hilbert), Transportation; Bergen, Broadway Show; Pat Vitty, Decorations; Dienst, Hospitality; West, Memorial Service; McCrillis.

--Discussion is underway with West Point authorities to determine if the memorial service will be held in the Cadet or Catholic Chapel. Since the class will also be honoring Father Oscar during this special service, the consensus is that the Catholic Chapel would be more appropriate. In earlier years, our Memorial Services have been held in the Old Jewish Chapel and the Cadet Chapel, but never in the Chapel of the Holy Trinity.

--Reunion Books will be published after the reunion rather that before as in previous reunions. As during earlier reunions, a professional photographer will take photographs throughout and the focus of the book will be on those activities coupled with summary data on the class through the 55th year. Bios and photos will not be solicited from classmates in advance as has been done for some of the earlier reunion books. Books will be published and distributed after the reunion as opposed to passed out at registration.

--The Texas mini-reunion group in its after action report suggested that consideration might be given to having the 55th reunion in a location other than West Point. It was the unanimous opinion of the EXCOM that alternate locations for reunions be considered only for off-year reunions and informal get-togethers.

--Details on the class gift and recognition for Father Oscar at the 55th are still being worked by Don Hilbert and committee.

--Charlie Johnson was detailed to keep track on the condition of the Tennis Center Memorial Patio to insure it will be ready for the class visit and remembrance ceremony thereon during the reunion.

--Rod Vitty has provided the following information:

Mail outs: There will be two mailouts. The first in March 2009 will go out E mail and Snail mail. It will be informational with a schedule of activities. The second will go out in February 2010- hard copy. This will request reply's and commitments to attend the 55th. Costs and activities/schedules will also be included. Input from others will be included in either or both mailouts. I will get with Dick Worgowski and get his input, re: widows.

Estimated attendance; Based on an estimate of 225-250 attendees we have 126 rooms set aside at the Hotel. Rod believes 250 is a good number.

Memorial service: We are currently on the list for both the Cadet and Catholic Chapels, with priority for the Catholic Chapel. We will not know for certain until January 2010 which Chapel and at what time we are provided. (There are other more senior Classes ahead of us..not many!)

Mementoes Ladies: A "Make- Up type box with a WP charm selected by Rod's Committee

Classmates : A yellow dress shirt embroidered with crest.. to be worn with blazer and gray trousers at Alumni Parade. And a "Pith" helmet (Rod calls it a golfing hat) to be worn at Safari Night ...second night of the Reunion.

-Awards/Recognition Committee Report: Recommendations for classmates to be recognized for their accomplishments are forthcoming.

-Scribes Report: Chuck Rhoads was complimented on his continuing great efforts in producing the class roster. He plans on making a visit soon to AOG to attempt to coordinate their roster with the one he produces. It has been noted on a few occasions in the past, particularly in sending out death notices, where there have been conflicts. Chuck will also attempt to clarify the future status of The Assembly publication.

-Historian’s Report:

--Dan Ludwig reported there are 335 living classmates, having now lost 135 since graduation. Our average age is now 76 yrs and 5 months. Since this EXCOM came into office at the 50th reunion, 3 ˝ years ago, we have lost 22 classmates, eight in 2008 thus far. The Class President has written 22 letters/cards of condolence and note were made of the quality of each of these letters, copies of which are archived in the class records.

--Dan also reported that he still has a few Reunion Books from earlier reunions, and they are available for anyone who would like to have one. During his tour(s) as the class historian, he has accumulated two file cabinets of material on the class, and it will all be provided AOG at the appropriate time. Carl McNair will forward to Dan the many notes of appreciation he has received over the past three plus years on class activities including notes/letters from spouses/widows concerning class support in time of need.

-Memorial Articles Report: Articles have been completed on Ted Bishop (Exact status TBD) and Billy Chance (to be published in Taps Jan/Feb issue). Three additional articles have been completed, McGrevy (publication date TBD), Domeck (to be published Jan/Feb), Lenio (exact status unknown).

-Widows Support Program: There are seven or eight addresses still needed. Updates continue to be provided to the Field Reps, along with all class info reports. There are seven remarried widows who have indicated they want to continue to receive copies of the class roster. Cmte is working on plan to offer to provide assigned escorts for coming reunion.

-ISO Report: Bill Welter addressed the following needs for class communications: (his quote)

“1. Reduce the time required to coordinate EXCOM Meeting Minutes for both Conference Call and Face to Face meetings. The purpose of a shortened Minutes process time is to report out to the class in an expeditious manner. EXCOM Meeting Minutes are a good source of information to ’55 troops about class activities. The following schedule was recommended;

Seven days for Secretary to prepare draft minutes.

Fourteen days for EXCOM to coordinate final minutes.

Seven days for ISO to send final minutes to class via Business and Super Quiet Nets.

All agreed that such a schedule for getting Meeting Minutes to the class is doable.

2. Need to utilize the Leader’s Net (55ldr@west-point.org) when sending EXCOM message traffic, instead of sending message traffic direct to individuals. Message traffic sent on Leader’s Net is archived. Message traffic sent direct to individuals is not archived.”

-Class Feedback: Essentially, there seems to be only positive feedback from the class concerning what the EXCOM is doing for them these days. Jim Ryan reported that this was particularly true for the “Williamsburg Group”.

-New Business:

--A question arose as to status of nominating cmte actions in preparation for election of the next slate of officers. Carl McNair reiterated action taken at last meeting that Ed Trobaugh, as immediate Past President, had been requested to chair the Nominating Committee and had accepted. Ed is now developing the membership, schedule and plan and we anticipate that he will provide more detail at the next meeting.

--There was no further new business. Meeting was adjourned at 1630 hours.

Next Meeting: 7 February 2009. Carl McNair’s office, Falls Church, Va.

Respectfully submitted,

Charlie Johnson, '55 SEC

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Date sent: Mon, 21 APR 2008 20:59:25 -0500
To: Business Net "usma55bus@west-point.org"
From: -w "wwelter@cox.net"
Subject: usma1955-c1: Quarterly Report - USMA Class of 1955

At 04:59 PM 4/21/2008, Carl H McNair "cmcnair2@csc.com" wrote:

MEMO FOR: All Members/Spouses and Family Members of the Class of 1955

SUBJECT: Quarterly Update on Class Actions and Information - April 21, 2008

MINI REUNION TIME: On the eve of our biggest mini-reunion ever, with 92 (27%) of our living graduates (and over 100 of family members) scheduled to gather in Austin, TX, April 22-26, I wanted to provide a brief update on some of the information and key activities underway which will be discussed at the class meeting on Thursday afternoon.

CONDOLENCES: But first, let us offer our condolences to the families of those who have departed our ranks in this first quarter of 2008, Chuck Domeck, Co C1, and Bob Chapman, Co C2. Chuck was interred in Sandusky, Ohio, and Bob Chapman will be interred at the West Point Cemetery this Friday, April 25. Our SOP on Response to the Death of a Classmate was updated on March 15, 2008, in keeping with the provisions of our new Memorial Fund and is attached to this message. The Local Classmate Assistants, Mike Stevenson for Chuck Domeck, and Phil Enslow for Bob Chapman, have been a great assist to the family members and we encourage you to file the SOP below with your personal papers so that your family will know this special assistance is available to them from the class.

MEMORIAL FUND: Thanks to Bill Haas and his Finance Committee, the Memorial Fund Campaign, begun on April 3, 2007, with a target of $200 to be escrowed for each of our then living 346 classmates was a great success and concluded on target before the mini-reunion. We now have $70,875 in the Class Administrative Account to provide a $200 memorial wreath or charitable contribution in memory of each and every member of the class - until the last has passed. There were 215 (62%) of our living members, five class widows and two associate members who contributed to this effort so that our last living classmate, decades from now will be remembered just as the first, in keeping with our bond, "No classmate will be left behind". Two questions emerged over the campaign. Is the money invested? Yes, it is invested in the WPAOG Short-term pool, which returned 5.6% net of all fees for CY2007. So, as inflation comes, the amount of the memorial can be increased over time (Remember the Flower Fund began with a $100 earmark and went to $200 within three years, so we have provided for such increases without further collections. Second question, would associates be included? Yes, the two associates active in the class who desired to participate in the campaign are included in the Memorial Fund. Thanks to all who participated, it was a great effort and we are the first USMA class to have developed such a program.


Administrative Fund: $77,796.56 (includes Memorial Fund and Caring Fund)

Uncommitted balance - $7,771 (plus deposits for 55th Reunion and mini reunion)

Gift Fund: $97,767 ($136,660.70 transferred to Coach's Housing Project in February) (Contributions to Gift Fund in lst Qtr - $39,901) (Total Contributed to Coach's Housing Project to date: $237,059.75)

Memory Pages Escrow: $34,000 (Established in June 2006 with $35,000 from Gift Account to provide $100 Memory Page entry for each classmate) ( Ten classmates have died since June 1966, with automatic opening of Memory Page from AOG Endowment Fund)

'55 Memorial Terrace $59,688.33 current balance on account of $55,555.55 to maintain Tennis Center Memorial Terrace in perpetuity. Endowment Fund: 2007-08 AY endowment distribution - $2,196.70 to be used as recommended by Danny Dienst Memorial Patio Committee

WIDOW'S SUPPORT PROGRAM: Dick Wargowsky and Marcia Cathey continue to report progress on this new and vital program with regional coordinator positions now filled as follows:

West Region Bob Hinrichs and Marlowe Viney

Northeast Region Pete Fikaris

Mid-Atlantic Region Dick Wargowsky and Marcia Cathey

Southeast Region Ed Zaborowski and Maggie Miller

Southeast Region Dave Wheeler and Carol Riggs

Coordinators have requested assistance in locating some of the widows whose mail has been returned. Three from the West whose addresses are missing: Helen Brown (Mrs. Robert B. - M1); Rita Vulgas (Mrs. Edward - I-2); Eunice Floyd (Mrs.Leland - L-1). Let Bob Hinrichs know if you are in touch with them.

CARING FUND: Caring Fund balance at the beginning of 2008 was $1800. One request for support has been received from a widow this year to settle a classmate's affairs. The fund provided $1650 to satisfy this need. The Committee will advise the class when they feel a request should be made for additional funds for future needs.

MEMORIAL ARTICLES: Jim Ryan and Roy Thorsen are moving articles on schedule. Article on Joe Grubbs, D-1, appeared in the last edition of TAPS. Three more are ready to be submitted.

CLASS COMMEMORATION FOR 55TH REUNION: Don Hilbert will lead a discussion at the mini-reunion on a commemoration initiative for classmates to offer memorabilia for permanent display in the lobby of the Tennis Center. Nostalgic or historic items would be illustrative of our generation and years of service. Suggested are those no longer available or part of cadet life - e.g. "A" pin, Engraved Napkin Ring, Miniature, Hop Card, Class Godson baby cup, etc; Literature of the era, Pointer, Howitzer, 100th Night Show Program (1955), Graduation Dinner Menu, Graduation Program, etc; memory article of first classmate killed in Vietnam conflict, POW, MIA, etc. If such a program is oversubscribed with memorabilia for display, committee would determine which would be first displayed in the Tennis Center and others could be presented to the West Point Museum for rotation into the display case over time. The suggestion already made to display the class poem written by John Lovell expressly for the 1955 Howitzer would fit in such a motif described.

LONG GREY LINE: Hope that each of you reviewed the summary data on the net of '55 offspring who are West Point graduates - Forty-one total (37 sons and 4 daughters), not to mention four grandsons. Hergenroeders have had four sons graduate, Churas two sons and Olveys two sons, what a contribution and what proud parents. John Sloan also has a daughter in-law graduate. Suspect that it will not make our class records, but our oldest granddaughter, age 21, will marry an Airborne - Ranger - Infantry graduate in the Class of 2008 on JUN 21, 2008. They will follow our career path through Benning and on to Fort Hood - so hope that will give us some constructive credit. If others have not responded to Bill Welter's survey, please do so, think the list will become much longer just as we experienced with the query on "Who in the class had written a book?" Would you believe the spectacular results and the number of authors in '55?

TRAVEL CLUB TRIPS YET TO COME: Rod and Pat Vitty have some excellent trips coming up - so please note:

2008: JUL 21 - AUG 4: Galway, Killarney, Cork, Waterford, & Dublin - Ireland (13 days - $2845 including airfare)

OCT 30 - NOV 13: Tuamotus, Marqueasas, & Society Islands - M/S Paul Gauguin - Polynesian Cruise (15 days - $4650 including airfare)

2009 JAN - Feb: Ski Club Trip - Vail, Colorado

Spring: Volga River Cruise



JUL 18-19: Summer EXCOM Meeting - Falls Church

OCT 9-11: Homecoming at West Point - Army vs. Eastern Michigan (ESPN)

NOV 1: Army vs. Air Force Football - at West Point (ESPN)

DEC 6: Army vs. Navy Football - Lincoln Financial Field - Philadelphia (CBS)

DEC 7: Class of 1955 Christmas Brunch - ANCC - Matt Schepps - Chairman


MAY 21-26: Class of '55 - 55th Reunion - Park Ridge Marriott - Rod Vitty - Chairman

KUDOS: Seems there is seldom a day that goes by that someone in our class expands their "CLAIM TO FAME", and the EXCOM is advised that broad recognition should be given - NOW!!!! SO --

Tom Sims For his extraordinary efforts in assembling a world class website of 1955 Photos - absolutely unmatched and unparalleled

Bill Welter Patience and perseverance, discipline and diligence in keeping our class nets up and running

Dan Ludwig Quietly working behind the scenes preserving the class history and archives - an excellent two pager for the mini-reunion "Class of 1955 - 53 Years Later" - read it and remember nostalgically

Chuck Roades Faithful and fearless scribe, writing six major reports per annum and keeping the class rosters (living and deceased) current and cogent

Charlie Johnson Faithful Secretary - official '55 liaison to USMA AOG ( his son is the Deputy Commandant of Cadets - would you believe - no more quill for Charlie - and no more B-aches to the Comm?)

Jack Campbell Chairman and trail boss for the Biggest Mini Reunion yet


- It has been yet another busy quarter for '55 and a real jumpstart on 2008, so stay tuned for future information being exchanged at the class business meeting in Austin on Thursday. While my original plans had been to attend the entire reunion week, I must leave early to participate in ceremonies at Fort Rucker on Thursday and Friday, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Army Aviation Branch.

- Rich Cardillo will preside over the Class meeting with the agenda including a brief report from each of the Committee chairs, providing for open discussion and feedback from the class. We would also like to hear from those of you who are not in attendance, should you have ideas or initiatives for EXCOM consideration. Be assured each of your suggestions are discussed at our meetings and feedback provided.

- Our Annual report scheduled for release on April 1, has been held until MAY since we felt there may be emerging items from the mini-reunion that others would like included in the report. So, stand by for the annual mailout which should reach your mailbox next month.

FINALLY -------



Grip Hands,


Carl H. McNair, Jr.
President, Class of 1955

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

West Point 1955 Home Page

Personal Web Pages

All rights reserved © West Point Class of 1955