EXCOM Teleconference - 20 NOV 2014

(Approved - 12 MAY 2015)

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The Executive Committee (EXCOM), USMA 1955, met on 20 November 2014 at 1500 EDT via teleconference . The meeting was called to order by President Charlie Johnson who determined the following other persons were present:

Jim Bergen, Treasurer

Jack Campbell, ISO

Don Andrews, Secretary

Dan Ludwig, Historian

Ed Anderson, Vice President, had been excused

It was determined a quorum was present. The minutes of the last two meetings were approved.


Oscar desires to attend the 60th Reunion but, in view of his assignment situation with the Jesuits in Mexico, cannot afford the trip and asks for Class support. Through emails, Charlie sought volunteers to find an answer. None stepped forward. Carl McNair offered suggestions as did Joe Franklin. Charlie met with Joe prior to the Army-Air Force football game and discussed the matter. He asked Joe not to refer to it as a Class Project because, it is unlikely the Class, itself, could fund the trip estimated at $1300. Jack Campbell and Joe subsequently had a meeting in Austin and, the following plan was agreed upon:

1. Joe Franklin will serve as the coordinator for Oscar's reunion attendance. He will raise funds and coordinate Oscar's travel to and from the reunion.

2. Dick Baker will be the "Banker" for the funds raised. He will use the bank account (West Texas 55 Central Texas) set up for the Austin Mini-reunion.

3. Jack Campbell will post messages on the Business net for Joe's fund raising efforts.

As of the date of the EXCOM's meeting, thirteen classmates had responded.


Jim Bergen reported the Class financial situation remains the same as reported at the last meeting (10 September 2014 teleconference). Charlie mentioned that many classes "cash out" their funds, specifically "administrative funds", and give them to the Supe for his use. Charlie will talk to AOG to determine its expectations and bring the issue up at the next EXCOM meeting. Charlie asked EXCOM members pass their ideas to him after Christmas on how to use the administrative funds. Jack remarked that we have 274 living classmates so he believes it is too early to terminate the fund. Bergen said these are really petty funds and some were needed after the 50th Reunion to pay for overrun costs. He believes we should wait until after the 60th to see what to do. Everyone was reminded that there was a decision at the 50th to not conduct any more fundraising. Bergen mentioned the Caring Fund has not been used for eight years. Without a vote, there was general agreement on Bergen's proposal.


The new columbaria are being erected in the cemetery behind the Old Cadet Chapel. The one donated by our Class is the second one competed and will be marked with a plaque. Charlie has spoken to the AOG staffer responsible for the cemetery who indicated columbaria are not yet available and how to apply for a space has not yet been determined. Charlie will stay on the issue. He will discuss it with Todd Graham whose has an interest due to passing of his wife, Sue. Details/restrictions include inscriptions.


At its last meeting (teleconference on 10 September 2014), the EXCOM approved names of persons after whom remaining homes will be dedicated with a plaque. Names have been forwarded to Lou Gross who will have plaques prepared. A date for formal presentation of the entire housing area has not yet been set. Charlie has heard some complaints about the names approved by the EXCOM but, he is satisfied with the results .


Details/procedures for elections are contained in the Constitution. The ISO will accomplish necessary actions at appropriate times. See item below regarding 60th Reunion about the election of new EXCOM members. For the benefit of present EXCOM members, Jack mentioned that the present EXCOM continues to serve for a short period beyond the election.


Charlie reported that a thorough updating of the Widow Support rosters had recently been coordinated by Dick Baker who manages the Central Region and also maintains the data files for the Committee. Dan confirmed that the program is serving well to maintain the location information of all Class widows and complimented Dick's efforts in this regard.


Charlie has spoken to Fred Pirkey, Reunion Committee Chair. Fred will soon send out a second letter. Main topic will be costs for attendees. He is trying to keep cost low (hopefully, an administrative fee under $600) by offering an "ala carte menu" by which everyone signs up for only what they want to do. The time/date and location of the Class meeting as mentioned in Fred's initial letter has to be changed from West Point to the hotel because some persons may not be at West Point but will want to vote. Coordination with the hotel is necessary to arrange for the meeting room. The Vittys have volunteered to arrange for a play in NYC for those that might be interested. Dave Wheeler will handle the memorial program at the Cadet Chapel. Jim Bergen will have discussions with AOG regarding the breakout of class funds, specifically the administrative fund. Solution will affect the cost AOG will charge for its work on the reunion on behalf of the class.


Message boards are running well. A few widows have passed away and have been deleted from the Class nets.


The Scribe was not present on the teleconference net call. Jack said Lee McKinney , responsible for memorial and Taps articles, is not well. Jim Ryan, Scribe, volunteered to take over until Lee is back.


In response to a question, Dan said he's been Historian since 1985. While visiting West Point in late August, he noticed that the entrance area at the Tennis Pavilion was cluttered with many trophies that the cadet tennis teams have amassed. The tennis coach indicated to Dan that he needs a case to store these trophies, but he does not have the needed funds. Dan advised the EXCOM that the Class has an endowment with the AOG for maintaining the Class Memorial Terrace from which we could request funding if approved by the AOG and Academy Superintendent. Charlie indicated he would follow up on this issue.


There being no further business to conduct, Jack motioned for adjournment. Jim seconded. There was unanimous agreement and, the meeting adjourned at 1605 EDT.

Respectfully Submitted,

Don Andrews

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