Class of 1958
The Executive Committee [EC] met on Wednesday 8 April 2009. EC members present: McGrew, Hruby, Smith, Serchak and Raymond, others in attendance: Lawton and Downing. Jack Bradshaw participated via cell phone. The major topics for discussion: (1) the class data base, (2) opening of EC membership to those who reside outside the DC area, (3) feasibility of providing a class flag as a permanent gift to the families of deceased classmates and (4) modifications to improve on-line communications within the class.
Class Data Base: Jack Downing, present in his capacity as CINC Obits, made the case for the value of the data base currently maintained by West-Point.org. This database, a class historical asset was originated for the 50 Year History Project. As the project is now concluded the disposition or further use of the database is unclear. Downing proposed that the EC as the class representative body manage the database. While there was general agreement as to the value of the data base and its potential beyond that of a resource for memorial articles, the Committee took notice of the fact that maintenance (upgrade) and monitoring of the base represents a task of some magnitude. It was pointed out that some entries are restricted and that for some classmates data is virtually non-existent. Acknowledging the difficulties, technical and otherwise, the Committee agreed to assume control with the details to be ironed out at a later date.
EC Membership: As currently stated in the Class By-Laws, "the EC will be composed of at least five classmates located in or near the class headquarters (currently Wash, DC)." While it was the sensing of the Committee that the Class has been well served by the current arrangement, and to date it has received no specific complaints, it was aware that in light of developing communications technology there may be value in eliminating the existing residence requirement. Several classmates have responded positively to the suggestion that we open EC membership to classmates outside the D.C. area. Accordingly, the committee agreed to look at the Class Constitution and Bylaws and propose changes as deemed appropriate. The Secretary was charged with coordinating this effort and preparing the recommended change(s) for submission to the Class.
To a related issue, the committee discussed the proposal to include a widow on the EC. While there was unanimous agreement that the presence of a widow as a non-voting member of the EC would be very useful, a consensus did not develop on the idea of including a widow as a voting member. The committee agreed to review the matter in future meetings.
Class Flags -- At the last class luncheon Dick Schonberger mentioned the possibility of providing a class flag to the widow/family of deceased classmates as a permanent gift. He provided a copy of the flag that the 101st Airborne Association uses for this purpose. The cost of the flag to (expected to be in the neighborhood of $10) makes it an attractive option to our practice of providing a flag (subsequently returned) for funeral services. Dale Hruby agreed to do some further research on the matter and provide a recommendation by 8 May (note: the suspense was subsequently extended to 8 June).
Class Communications -- It has been suggested that a review of our online communications procedures may be warranted. Specifically, the committee discussed the possibility of amending the current procedures for operating the Class nets. While it is difficult to argue against the value of improved communications, the problem was identified as one of details. The committee recognized the primacy of the class net and was unanimous in its belief that significant change to the way we currently do business could jeopardize what has taken years to develop. There are, in short, some thorny issues involved. The committee noted Dick Buckalew’s outstanding service to the class as the net monitor. Palmer McGrew indicated that he has been working with Dick on this issue for some time and it was the committee's decision to let him continue. In the interim, the committee approved the use of a survey provided by George Lawton to determine the class’ interest in expanding or amending current communications procedures.