Tom Horst - President
Jim Bergen - Vice President
Tom Phillips - Secretary
Norm Blahuta - Treasurer
Jim Ryan - Scribe
Dan Ludwig - Historian
Jack Campbell - ISO
Rich Cardillo - Chair, Memorial Articles Committee
The 1 April 2016 teleconference of the USMA Class of 1955 Executive Committee (EXCOM) was called to order by President Tom Horst at 2:00PM EST. All members of the EXCOM were in attendance, so a quorum was obtained.
MINUTES: The reading of the minutes of the teleconference of 28 October 2015 was waived, and the minutes as earlier submitted were approved.
CLASS FUNDS: The Treasurer's Report as sent out in mid March 2016 was approved as submitted. All Class Funds are in good shape.
Tom Horst reported that the current plan is to have the plaques for the coach's housing, along with the monuments, to be installed on 4 April 2016. Paul Magliori (AOG) will send a final report of plaque installation . Horst will, in turn, forward the report to the class, with a summary of how the houses were named. Lou Gross has suggested that we hold a formal dedication of the area this coming spring. After discussion, the EXCOM agreed that it would be more appropriate to hold such a dedication during the 65th Class Reunion, if Gross still desires.
65TH REUNION: Jim Bergen reported on the progress of planning for our 65th Reunion, as follows: Overall plan is to keep it simple. Activities, other than Alumni functions, will focus on meeting with classmates and guests, limiting bus ride time, some excursions, only as desired, to local points of interest and touring new facilities on post.
Reunion dates: Arriving Sunday, 17 May 2020, and departing Wednesday, 20 May 2020. Some may desire to arrive on Saturday, the 16th.
Lodging: Thayer Hotel at West Point, NY. There are meeting rooms, dining room, lobby, bar, and terrace to accommodate all the socializing we would want to do while we are at the Thayer.
AOG Support: We have contracted for the WPAOG Enhanced Reunion Services as was done for the 60th Reunion. These services include corresponding with the Class, conducting surveys, managing registration, assembling reunion packets, negotiating contracts, printing requirements, staffing the reunion from start to finish, etc. For these services, the AOG receives 12% of all reunion monies processed. AOG reunion support teams have an impressive reputation for service.
Planning timeline from now until 17 May 2020:
1. July 2016. Initial arrangements made with Thayer Hotel. No action required from Class.
2. June 2018. Contract with Thayer Hotel signed. Message to Class on "Save the Dates". Survey of Class on attendance plans and ideas from Class on activities that could be on the Reunion agenda.
3. June/July 2019. Draft Reunion agenda sent to Class. Hotel block of rooms opened for reservations.
4. November 2019. Agenda finalized. Preliminary data on attendees' plans and preferences known.
5. January-February 2020. Class contacted and registration opens.
6. 17 May 2020. Reunion begins.
Chairman: Jim Bergen
Finance Officer: Phil Enslow
Activities Officer: TBD in 2018
Dining Officer: TBD in 2019
2016 LEADERS' CONFERENCE: Norm Blahuta has agreed to represent the Class at the 2016 Leaders' Conference at West Point. Any one else who wants to go is welcome, as well.
MEMORIAL ARTICLES: Rich Cardillo has recently agreed to chair the Memorial Articles Committee, and presented his report on the progress. There are currently 136 deceased classmates for whom a memorial article has not yet been written. The concern is that we are already behind the power curve, and the situation will only get worse unless we somehow are able to get ahead of the curve. To that end, he suggested that we all write our own articles to be presented when we pass away, or at least have the data all put together for a classmate or family member to assemble into a memorial article. It was pointed out that an obituary is usually a good start for a memorial article. The already existing Obituary Committee may be a good start to create the obituaries, which can then be used as the basis for an article. The next issue of "TAPS" is 2017, and the deadline for submission of memorial articles for that issue is February 2017.
Jack Campbell recommended that the Class recognize Kitty Millard and Martha Steinman for all the effort they have expended in locating obituaries for our classmates and spouses who have passed away. After the teleconference, Tom Horst and Jack Campbell proposed that the Class purchase for each lady a polished pewter picture frame (4"x6") through the West Point Gift Shop, suitably engraved, and present it to each lady. The cost would be just under $150. 00 each. This proposal was submitted to EXCOM members by email for approval, and was subsequently unanimously approved by email.
ARCHIVES SUMMARY: Dan Ludwig reminded us all that he had sent out a summary of the contents of the Class Archives in March 2016. He also suggested that a set of the 2nd Lt bars presented to the members of the Class of 2005 be displayed in a display case at the Tennis Center. Norm Blahuta to check out.
OTHER NEW BUSINESS:
1. At the last meeting, the possibility of consolidating funds to create an additional gift to West Point was discussed. It was suggested that the AOG civilian scholarship program might be a good candidate. Another way to raise more funds for a potential additional gift that was suggested would be to reduce the amount the class contributes to the AOG for a deceased classmate's memorial page from $100 to $50 or $55. It was pointed out that we are one of the few classes to have such a memorial page for each classmate, and that the AOG will not create a page unless a contribution is made. That page is now on the web instead of paper pages at AOG. Blahuta to draft a letter from Horst to AOG.
2. It was announced that the class has now achieved Emeritus status, meaning that we have passed the 60th Anniversary of graduation. As such, we are permitted to name a representative to the AOG Advisory Council, who will be allowed to attend Advisory Council meetings, but will not have a vote. A volunteer from the class is sought.