A meeting of the Elected Committee and others selected to conduct the business of the West Point Class of 1955 (EXCOM) for the period June 2010 – 2015 (including the 60th Class Reunion) took place by teleconference on September 20, 2011.
The President (Charlie Johnson) called the meeting to order at 1500 EDST and, having determined there was a quorum present, made general remarks. Participating were the President, Vice President Jim Drummond, Treasurer Jim Bergen, ISO Jack Campbell, Scribe Jim Ryan, Historian Dan Ludwig, Secretary Don Andrews and other persons selected/appointed by the President: Phil Enslow and Ted Gay (Major Awards Committee), Dick Wargowsky (Widow Support Program) and Bob Strati (Advisor). Memorial Articles Representative Lee McKinney was not in attendance.
The Secretary outlined steps the EXCOM now follows developing its minutes, from initial recording of meeting deliberations, through circulation of dated "Rough Drafts", followed by a dated "Draft" (which is posted on the Home Page) and culminating in a dated approved final version which replaces the preceding "Draft" on the Home Page.
The Treasurer presented the status of Class funds as of 20 September 2011 in the various fund categories: AOG Memory Pages ($30,700 – in escrow with AOG), Memorial Fund ($64,471.50), Caring Fund ($5,292.81) and Administrative Fund ($13,870.08); the latter for working capital. This latter amount includes a prepayment to the 60th Reunion Committee (hotel deposit) which will be reimbursed. Lastly, the Class has a sizable Class Gift Fund remaining.
In the absence of the Memorial Articles Representative, the Secretary (who represents 1st Regt in this endeavor) reported AOG now accepts shorter articles (400-500 words). Thus, two articles could possibly be combined on a single page. He has written about a dozen unpublished articles that meet the shorter criterion. Further, he also pointed out that, in accordance with AOG rules, if, after a diligent and conscientious effort, no family member can be found to approve an article, the Class President can do so.
The Scribe emphasized that AOG will no longer (effective 11 October 2011) publish class notes in the Assembly, publication of which has been discontinued. He will continue to place notes on the Class web site . A lengthy discussion took place about mailing notes to classmates not on the web. The EXCOM supported making these mailings. The Secretary pointed out that our Constitution assigns him the responsibility to coordinate Class correspondence excepting that associated with reunion material.
Details for future mailings will be worked out. The Widow Support Program Coordinator asked if mailings would also be made to widows not on the web. The Secretary volunteered to coordinate such an effort. The Coordinator also mentioned that letters are periodically sent by his Committee to update widows on Class activities. One such letter was sent in June and a Fall letter is being prepared to be sent soon. Finally, he wanted to thank Region Coordinators for their outstanding work maintaining contact. Maggie Miller and Ed Zaborowski in the Northeast, Marcia Cathey and Dick Wargowsky in the mid-Atlantic, Carol Riggs and Dave Wheeler in the Southeast, Dick Baker in the Central and Marlowe Viney in the West.
Phil Enslow and Ted Gay addressed the Distinguished Graduate Award nomination of Rod Vitty which the Class will make. If he is selected, ceremonies will occur 15 May 2012.The final draft is completed. Several of the many supporting endorsements are highly supportive. The packet requires a cover letter which the President will sign and hand-carry to AOG. 3 November is the deadline.
The President reported the Academy cemetery is nearly exhausted of space for in-ground burials. Consequently, AOG is expected to conduct a fund raising campaign in the near future to remedy the problem; however, details of this campaign are not yet fully clear. The President will follow the issue as it develops, to include identifying the possibility of individual or Class-wide participation. He and Bob Strati will have a 4 October 2011 meeting on the issue and the Class will be kept fully informed.
Tommy Bell's son has contacted the President regarding the Class's possible support for his father's nomination into the Academy's Football Hall of Fame. The idea drew the EXCOM's support and considerable discussion occurred. The EXCOM will explore the situation more thoroughly, to include steps to be followed and the possibility of generating outside support.
The President reported the Academy has sufficient funds to pursue building five more houses for Coach's but, the start is being held up by "paperwork".
Classmate John Feagin recently visited the Academy and gave the President some observations. Some of them need clarification but, others are clear and valid and deserve our attention. The President will follow up.
The President met with Bill Haas who, with the help of classmates, is leading the way for the Birmingham 2013 Mini Reunion. The former is very impressed with the Group's preparations and thoroughness. He also learned that 27 classmates had originally expressed interest in attending but, had not followed through. (NOTE: our Home Page reflects 120 persons now signed up).At Bill's request, the President and other EXCOM members sent these classmates information Bill had prepared, accompanied it with a strong personal note encouraging them to quickly follow up and attend.
Fred Pirkey, who will head the 60th Reunion, and the President have gotten together. As is required, AOG has been informed that it is our intent to hold the Reunion at West Point.
The ISO reported Home Page usage is about 95 visits a day; a figure which is above past average. However, some classmates are dropping off some nets and overall traffic has not grown. The President complimented Tom Sims for his many contributions supporting our net as well as for the nature of some of its contents.
The next EXCOM meeting will be a face-to-face meeting in Austin, TX with suggested dates of 2 March (arrival), 3 March (meeting) and 4 March (departure). The ISO has arranged the meeting place and provided suggestions of places to stay. It was also mentioned that it is the EXCOM's tentative intention to hold a face-to-face meeting in Birmingham the day prior to the Mini Reunion there.
There being no other business, the meeting adjourned at 1647 EDST, 20 September 2011.