The Executive Committee (EXCOM), USMA Class of 1955, met 2 June 2014 via teleconference . The meeting was called to order at 1500 EST by President Charlie Johnson. The following persons participated:
Charlie Johnson (President)
Ed Anderson (Vice President)
Jim Bergen (Treasurer)
Jack Campbell (ISO)
Don Andrews (Secretary)
Jim Ryan (Scribe)
Dan Ludwig (Historian)
Bob Strati (Advisor)
Dave Wheeler (representing Fred Pirkey, Chair, 60th Reunion Committee)
A quorum was determined to be present.
A motion was made and seconded to approve minutes of the 30 October 2013 teleconference which had been posted on the Class net. Approval was unanimous.
60th Reunion Report - Dave Wheeler reminded attendees AOG is assisting the Class to organize and manage the reunion and will charge a fee of 12% of the reunion's cost (excluding the amount paid the hotel). AOG will send out the next planning letter, expected to be in August 2014, with latest details. Another letter will follow in January or February giving costs to individual attendees and additional details. The Committee expects the target minimum fee will be $600/person. Respondents will be asked to submit this non-refundable amount which will provide for certain transportation, meals at West Point and attendance at activities and events as detailed in the AOG letter. Participation in Sunday activities such as a boat ride in the Supe's boat and round trip bus transportation to NYC to attend a Broadway play will be additional expenses. Tickets to a play must be individually arranged and paid for. Further, anyone needing special transportation for wheelchairs etc. will incur an additional cost. Charlie Johnson has arranged for a volunteer DJ for the Tuesday evening banquet at no cost over travel expenses.
Treasurer's Report - Jim Bergen presented the Report shown below:
AOG Memory Pages (escrow with AOG): $28,200.00
Memory Fund: $59,471.50
Caring Fund: $ 5,292.81
Class of '55 Memorial Terrace Endowment (escrow with AOG): $77,482.90
Admin Fund (working capital): $16,964.56
----- 60th Reunion Advance: $ 2,187.15*
-----Class Flag Contributions: $ 1,600.00
-----Class Flag Cost (est.): ($ 1,450.00)
* (accounts receivable for cash advance of $2,000.00 to 60th Reunion Committee and paid to Park Ridge Marriott & $187.15 reunion postage).
Jim's additional comments were: 1) the Caring Fund has not been used in quite a while (2) Co D-1 classmates (and Ed Anderson) contributed funds to design and purchase a Class flag which will be presented at a Herbert Hall ceremony during the reunion. Charlie Johnson applauded D-1's (and Ed's) initiative and generosity. Additional flags should be available at a lower cost than the original.
ISO Report - Jack Campbell presented the following report. WP-Org servers went down on May 2 and our nets were off line a week, but our Class web site remained fully available. The problem was traced to data storage equipment that had to be replaced and reloaded. All is now operational. Jack discussed another problem called the Yahoo-AOL issue. As a defense against email being hijacked, Yahoo, AOL and several others stopped accepting email from Yahoo or AOL addresses that did not come from their own server. This affects any email sent to '55 nets from a Yahoo or AOL address, because it is then forwarded to '55 net members from the WP-Org mail server rather than from a Yahoo or AOL server. The quick solution is to get another email account for use on '55 nets. He recommends Gmail.
As a result of the two problems, net traffic is slightly down. The Forum gets about 12 messages a day; the Business net about 10/month and the Quiet net about 1/month. Class Home Page visits are slightly down this year compared to 2013. The Class did its part on the WP-Org fund drive. Class donations averaged $55.02/person. The drive is now over. Charlie Johnson said that, in his conversations with other classes, ours is said to be the best connected. He thanked Jack Campbell and Tom Sims for making that happen.
Scribe's Report - Jim Ryan reported two problems. AOG has changed formats for placing reports on a class net. Memorials are now placed at a second location. Additionally, AOG requires an individual sign in which probably discourages potential readers. Charlie expressed his frustration over the reasoning behind this requirement. Further frustrating is the need to sign in to read notes of other classes, which quite a few persons do. Jim said he will mail notes to classmates not on the net.
Historian's Report - Dan Ludwig will not prepare a Reunion Book for this reunion as he has for many others. Instead, he will prepare and distribute a CD at the reunion which contains classmate's stories received in response to the query "How I Got to West Point" to which about 65 responded. The cost of production is very low. He is considering sending the CD to all other classmates and will advise concerning the additional expense. He will contact the Widows' Committee to see if there is interest in including them in the distribution. Dan also described another method, cheaper than the CD, to accomplish this same task.
Proposed Next EXCOM Slate - This report was presented by Charlie Johnson and Jack Campbell. The Nominating Committee has been chaired by Pete Fikaris and Charlie reviewed the slate of proposed officers. Jack reviewed the chronologic sequence required by our Constitution to inform the Class of the Committee's proposed slate including what must occur at each stage and the opportunity for adding names to the proposed slate. Jack said the newly elected slate will not be seated until 30 days after the election primarily to allow time for current officials to finalize business.
Miscellaneous - Charlie Johnson gave an update on various actions of Class interest.
- There are 17 homes in the Coach's housing area. Possible additional building may occur because women's lacrosse has been designated a new corps squad. Charlie will research and respond to Jack's question as to whether housing is assigned to specific sports or to the Athletic Department as a whole to determine occupants.
- AOG's plan for location and design of the columbarium project has changed. There are now 27 separate sections, the last of which is expected to be completed by this November, certainly by our 60th reunion. Plaques at each section will indicate the donating class. There is about one year left for in-ground burials and little land room left for expansion in the immediate area. Our donated section should be located just outside the Old Cadet Chapel but, we have no priority on interment there or elsewhere.
- Athletic Hall of Fame Recommendations. Non-selection of Tommy Bell to the Hall of Fame is a big disappointment but, Tommy wants no further efforts to be made on the matter. Charlie will encourage him to attend the 60th reunion and proposes an "album" be put together for presentation to Tommy.
- Feagin Room at Hotel Thayer Ceremony. This was a tremendous success lasting over an hour. John's supporters represent a broad spectrum of people with very diverse backgrounds. Those attending included our President, Charlie Johnson, and Trudy Hall, Dan and Donna Ludwig, Mike Stevenson and daughter , Joe and Connie Franklin, Pete Fikaris with son and grandson, Roy and Sandra Lynn and Dave and Caye Wheeler. Dave reported the following (which your Secretary has taken the liberty of condensing). Over 75 of John's family and friends gathered 25 April to honor John in ceremonies dedicating Room 311 at the Thayer to him. Participants included members of his family, friends and protégées from all phases of his life. Those assembled reflected on their good fortune to have travelled part of their life journey with John, Of side interest is the words of Dr. Gus White (now of Harvard Medical School) who worked with John in the 85th Evac hospital, RVN. He said once John got the 85th running right, he adopted a Vietnamese leper colony a short distance away run by nuns. The 85th took care of the nuns and lepers for the next year.
- Class Cruise. This event has been proposed by Matt Schepps and Tom West for 3-4 days in the April-May 2016 time frame. They will present their proposal at the 60th reunion business meeting. Charlie Johnson will recommend to Matt that he touch base with Rod Vitty who has been organizing and conducting class travel for several years.
Motion was made and seconded to close the meeting since all required business had been conducted. Unanimously agreed upon at 1600 EST 2 June 2014.