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December 1998 Newsletter

Dear Classmates, Families and Friends,

I usually try to mail this end-of-year newsletter out between Christmas and New Years, thus avoiding the Christmas cards glut and beating the tax materials from the IRS. However, the first two topics discussed below are time sensitive items, which suggest that it might be better to mail this letter out a few weeks earlier than usual. Before I get into these two topics, however, let me wish all of you a very happy, holiday season from all of us on the Executive Committee.

Again, best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season. Send any contributions you may wish to make to the Perpetual Fund to Ed Weckel NLT 28 December, get your reservations in ASAP to in-barracks reunion, and help get obits on our classmates completed.

Warm regards,

George Lawton

Perpetual Endowment Fund

Thanks to the efforts of 209 classmates, parents and wives of USMA 1958, the Perpetual Endowment got off to a great start. Everyone who contributed should be proud of the success of the initial fund drive. To date, a total amount of $59,672 has been received. The number of contributions by company follows:

How is our money invested? Seventy-five (75) percent was invested in Fidelity's Growth Pool (1610.922 shares), and 25 percent in Fidelity's Equity - Income Pool (535.907 shares). Total value of the endowment as of 29 November 98 is $66310.

Fidelity requires that any additions to existing accounts must be in bundles of $1,000 or more (donations from individuals can, of course, be less than this amount). To help us achieve this requirement, we will establish two "windows" each year to receive contributions. However, individual contributions of $1,000 or greater will be accepted at any time and deposited in the Fund immediately. These windows will coincide with the semi-annual class letter. All contributions received in this solicitation will be held and mailed to Fidelity by Express Mail on 28 December. Contributions received after that date will be returned to the sender. Therefore please mail your contributions early.

You are reminded that in most instances our Endowment qualifies for matching gifts from your corporate or other sponsor. This is a great way to multiply your contribution. Just have your corporate "giving office" fill out the appropriate form and mail it along with your contribution.

One last note. All of the funds contributed to the Perpetual Endowment have been invested in the Endowment. Nothing has been kept aside to handle administrative expenses. Such expenses have either been covered by the EXCOM or borne by the members of the Provisional Endowment Board. Therefore, 100 percent of your contribution is working for our Class and the Academy. If you want to make a contribution now, please make your checks out to Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund and mail them to Ed Weckel, 120 Regent Drive, Bel Air, MD 21014, so as to arrive NLT 28 December 1998.

In Barracks Mini Reunion

All of you should have received a letter we sent last month by E-mail or snailmail providing you with the details and typical schedule for the 1999 "graduate Enrichment Seminar" (USMA's term for the in-barracks mini) from 14-17 June 1999. Enclosed herewith is the reservation form that you need to send into West Point ASAP. Although accommodations and the seminar are limited, there should not be a problem in handling all of us, if you get your reservations in early. West Point will begin promoting this program to other classes on 1 January, so if we get ours in before then, we be OK. The Academy will only be able to accommodate the guys in barracks, so we reserved 10 rooms for the ladies in the name of "the Class of 1958" at the West Point Motel in Highland Falls. These rooms are on a first come, first served basis at a discounted price of $66.60 (including tax), per room, per night. To make reservations call (914) 446-4180 and ask for the 1958 rooms to get the discount. We had also checked with the Hotel Thayer. However, they wanted $150.00 per night and couldn't guarantee that the rooms would be ready, because of the ongoing renovations of the hotel. Please send in your reservation form and deposit for the mini into West Point now!

February Ski Trip

It's still not too late to sign up for the MOAST (Mother Of All SkiTrips)--this winter's class ski trip to Keystone, Colorado. Dates are 7-12 Feb 99. The event is being organized and hosted by Bob Moscatelli and Herb Johnson. Given the commitments thus far of 32 classmates, 21 wives and 10 family members, it's obvious that Bob and Herb have planned an enjoyable and exciting menu of events for skiers and non-skiers alike. If you'd like to join the gang for fun in the snow at Keystone in February, or if you'd like to learn more about the trip, contact Bob Moscatelli on E-mail at or call him at (970)-668-4952. Alternatively, contact Herb Johnson at or call him at (303) 670-3912. Class Art Displayed on Home Page

The Art Committee (Lee Miller, Ceda McGrew and Audrey Webb) has been selling Howitzer Prints at Class functions and Founders Days for the past three years. The colorful Prints are copied and enlarged to appropriate sizes for framing and come from 1904 to 1945 Howitzers. The profits from this effort go to our Class Fund and will eventually go to the Academy for some worthwhile project.

The Art Committee desires to increase the exposure of the eight current offerings. The committee with the help of Pete Trainor has developed an Art Web Page to display and sell the Howitzer Prints to our class and all the classes of the Long Gray Line. You can view the Howitzer Prints and order them for mail delivery through the Class Store on our Class Home Page or by going directly to the Art Web Page at http://www.west- Visit our Art Web Page and order these nostalgic prints off the Web. Tell your friends about this project. These vintage prints make great Christmas and birthday gifts.

Class Pins

At the 40th reunion, each couple (or single, if attending alone) was supposed to receive a class pin (a small round pin about inch in diameter with the helmet and inscription on it that read "1958 in 1998, 40th Reunion). Unfortunately a bag of pins was misplaced resulting in some people not receiving them. We've identified 33 couples/people who did not receive a pin, but believe there may be others. If you attended the reunion but did not receive a pin, please contact Karl Oelke who can send you one. Beginning 1 March 1999, we will sell any remaining pins via the class store on the class home page.

Changes to the Class Constitution and By-laws

The class overwhelmingly voted to approve the two sets of changes to our constitution and by-laws and to fund the Walker Award that we recommended. On the first series of changes (dealing with class officers and the functions of the class executive committee, the amount of time required to vote changes and the means by which we send out the annual financial reports), the vote was 105-1. The one classmate who voted, "No", agreed with all the proposed changes except for the one dealing with changing the time to vote from 90 to 30 days. In retrospect, we should have had separate votes on each provision that we proposed to change, rather than bundle them all together. We're still learning!

On the second set of changes (to not require the Executive committee to obtain class approval every time it deems it necessary to change how the class operating fund assets are invested) which was detailed in a special August letter, the vote was 147-0 in favor of the change proposed. We promise you that we are not going out now and invest in any risky ventures. However, we felt we needed more flexibility to be able to move funds in a timely manner to obtain better returns on investments.

The proposal to fund the Walker Award was approved 106 to 0.

AOG Nominations

The Executive Committee submitted the nomination of Jim Castle to be reappointed as Trustee of the Association of Graduates for a three-year term beginning 1 July 1999. We also nominated Mr. Zachary Fisher for the Thayer Award. He is the top private donor (philanthropic) to our Armed Forces. He has built 27 houses on the grounds of military and veterans hospitals to temporarily house families of seriously ill military patients. He has funded scholarships to military families, provided money to the families of military victims killed in the line of duty and paid for the restoration of the aircraft carrier Intrepid and turned it into a museum in New York City's harbor. Just this past summer, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civil award. He is a great American and a true friend of the military.


I hate to keep bringing this subject up, but we still have 22 memorial articles on our deceased classmates, which have not yet been written. A number of the volunteer writers of these articles have been promising for years to complete them "soon". In it least one case, the writer died without completing his assigned task, resulting in yet another memorial article having to be written. I am asking for a renewed cooperative venture between classmates and writers. I ask classmates and others to help the writers; it is not an easy task. If you served with the deceased, roomed with him, competed with him on an athletic field, etc., share these memories with the writer so the article captures the human side of our classmate. I ask the writers to gather this info and complete your article as soon as possible. Please allow me to show substantial progress in the June newsletter. Jack Downing and I implore you writers to get moving.

Future Mini's

For your planning purposes the following is the schedule for our next reunions:


1. In-barracks reservation form (TBP)

2. Class Social Calendar (Washington area addresses only)(TBP)

June 98 - Executive Committee Newsletter

Dear Classmates, Family and Friends,

The 40th reunion is history. It hardly seems like it was 44 years ago that we all came together as a class and friends. For those who were at the reunion, it was great to see you all even if we didn't get a real chance to visit. Some of what is to be said in this letter is a repeat of what was discussed at the reunion, but there is some new, updated information, and we need your vote on a couple issues (see write-ups below and ballot at end of letter). For those who were not able to be there, we missed you, and hope you will be able to attend the next get-together.

Lastly, we handed out a new class roster that I'd be glad to mail to you if you did not get one at the reunion. Until next time,

George Lawton


Class Executive Committee

In-Barracks Mini Reunion

The next mini will take place from 14-17 June 1999 at West Point. We call it an in-barracks mini, but USMA terms it a Graduate Seminar, perhaps in keeping with its educational mission. Even if you were just at West Point for the 40th, this get-together will be quite different from any other you have attended. First of all, we'll be staying in barracks, which presents some opportunities for fun. Mark Sigurski, Jack Tierney and Will Roosma have volunteered to lead the 1st Memorial "Over-the-Wall" Night Tour of Highland Falls and surrounding pubs for all who are interested. The ladies will be billeted at the Thayer but can either participate with us in each day's activities or do something else on their own. The program will consist of lectures, tours, electives, and question-and-answer sessions plus social hours and dinners. Many of us have lots of questions about if, when, andwhy various changes have taken place. This get together will give us the time and opportunity to ask and get in-depth answers to all our questions, participate in guided tours of the various facilities that USMA needs private money to build, renovate orrepair, and otherwise have a great time. Mark your calendars now to reserve these dates. You will be getting information from West Point to make your actual reservations.

Thanks to the Reunion and Cruise Organizers

There were 93 classmates, wives and significant others who went on the cruise to Bermuda and 479 people (246 classmates) at the reunion. Everyone knows these events don't just happen, but took a lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated people. The Executive Committee would especially like to thank Garry Roosma as "Prime Mover" for putting on this great bash. Everyone we talked to had a great time. We'd also like to thank Betty Puscheck who organized the cruise to Bermuda and who will donate a substantial portion of her net income to the class fund. Others who deserve special thanks are: Karl Oelke and Paul Vanture for taking and recording reservations and a myriad of other details; Palmer McGrew for his role as producer, director, and lead writer in the "Camp Illumination II" show; Clark Bailey for procuring those fabulous hats; Mary Jane Lawton for setting up and running the Boscobel tour; Bill & Nona Shepard for organizing and decorating the class dinner dance; Dan Brockwell for printing the memorial programs; and all the classmates who helped with registration, the show at Buckner and other details too numerous to mention. Whenever called upon, '58ers come through in spades.

Class Business

a) The Annual Financial Statement for the class for CY 1997 is at enclosure 1. In looking it over, you may believe that we are $5,000 poorer in the class operating fund than last year, but this isn't correct. Don't forget we used $5,000 as a deposit for the reunion dinner cruise plus $500 more to hold the hotel, for which we hadn't been reimbursed yet at the end of 1997. The Art Fund might appear to have broken about even, but it still has inventory to sell so it's definitely in the black. You should also note that our class gift fund with the AOG has more than $76,700 in it at the end of 1997. IAW the results of the vote taken this past winter, we authorized the Cadet Activities Officer to purchase and install an 8-channel satellite TV system in the First Class Club at a cost of $8942. As those of you who were at the reunion saw and heard, the cadets love it and appreciate our generosity. Even with this expenditure, there is plenty of money ($81,250 as of March 1998) in our AOG gift account to do fund the Walker Award, as we advocate below. All in all, a good year.

b) Bill and Edna Mae Serchak presented the Capelle Award on 21 May at a ceremony at the USMA Prep School. Cadet Candidate Omar H. Bilal, the company commander of the winning cadet candidate company in intramurals, received the award. The annual pizza party for all the members of the winning company was rained out, but was held the following evening.

c) The resurrected Malone Award was presented on 24 April for the first time by Larry's widow, Joyce Del Re, who flew up from Florida, and by BG Royal Reynolds, who funded the initial award years ago. John Herren deserves our thanks as the prime mover not only in initiating and bringing this award to a successful conclusion, but also for arranging our part in the Georgetown University dinner presentation to the outstanding ROTC Ranger Team Captain, CadetMark Liu. As a result of your generous contributions this past winter, we collected and invested about $3100. This money will endow this award and cover the costs of a dinner for the presenter each year.

d) Tom Carpenter has concluded negotiations on our behalf with the Social Science Department and the Superintendent on the new Walker Award. We mutually agreed to provide $8,000 from our AOG gift account to endow the purchase of a set of books each year to two outstanding cadets on the debate team in George's memory. We also agreed to provide $3,000 to purchase brass plaques for the Debate Council and Forum Room, which will be renamed for George Walker, and for a bookcase to house some memorabilia of his. Tom has also notified and secured the Walker family approval. Although we have some details to clear up with the AOG, we recommend and solicit your approval IAW article VI of our class constitution for us to expend about $11,000 from the class gift fund for this purpose.

e) Ed Weckel discussed a plan to establish a USMA Class of 1958 Perpetual Endowment Fund. After the presentation all the classmates present voted to implement this plan to honor the Class of 1958 by providing a unique gift to the Academy. The gift is truly unique in that: (1) it is designed to last in perpetuity, and (2) large gifts will be available to the Academy in future years by employing the principle of the tax free compounding of money over time.

It is assumed that class funds can compound at 8 percent annually. Two scenarios were examined. In the first, an initial investment of $10,000 was allowed to grow untouched, except that 25 percent of the balance in the account was distributed to the Academy every ten years. Under these conditions, the account balance after 200 years would be $204 million, and distributions to the Academy would have totaled $82.5 million. The second scenario was similar to the first, except that no disbursements to the Academy were made until 2058, the 100th anniversary of our graduation. Then, and every ten years thereafter, 25 percent of the balance in the account would be donated to the Academy. Under these conditions, the balance in the account would grow to $862 million and previous distributions would have totaled $347 million. All this can be accomplished with a modest starting investment of $10,000. Obviously the greater the amount we start with, the larger the potential contributions to the Academy.

Three options were examined to accomplish the above. First, the AOG was contacted. Unfortunately it was not possible to implement this plan through the AOG since their procedures require all class funds to be turned over to the general fund after the death of the last member of the class.

Second, it would be possible to accomplish the above with the fund set up under the provisions of Section 501c (3) of the IRS code, but such provisions are complicated and expensive, and would impose administrative burdens on trustees after the class joined the ghostly assemblage.

Third, Fidelity Investments has a Charitable Gift Fund, which will enable us to accomplish our objective of letting our money grow over extended periods of time, with minimal administrative burdens. Based upon the above, the Class voted to employ initially the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund.

A USMA Class of 1958 Endowment Board will administer the fund. The composition of the board, the term of office of its trustees, and other details are still under discussion. When these matters are decided, classmates will be invited to submit names of nominees for trustees. When the Board is seated, a fund raising drive will be undertaken to establish the fund.

f) Palmer McGrew briefed a new effort, the Class History Project, which is already getting underway with Alan and Florence Salisbury at the helm. The primary goal will be the creation of a capstone product for our 50th reunion, the exact form of which (whether a book, a CD-ROM, or some combination) will be determined downstream. As a part of the project, all classmates will be solicited for participation and contributions, including such things as "war stories," anecdotes, key biographical information, etc., with some guidelines to help organize and stimulate contributions. Oral or video histories will be solicited as well as written materials. The scope will include our cadet years, our military careers, and our civil lives. Some materials are already being sent in, so it's not necessary to wait for details if you already have material you want to contribute. Another important goal is to have ALL classmates represented, irrespective of their career paths (military or civilian), rank or position. As a collateral part of the project, we are establishing a USMA Class of 1958 Archives, which will be an open collection and repository for any and all materials that classmates would like to contribute. These archives could not only support the 50th project, but also could provide a wealth of information for otherresearchers and writers who may want to profile the class, study special topics of interest or support other historical efforts. All items received will be catalogued and a database of available materials will be developed. More information will be provided as the project develops. Alan will be contacting those people who already expressed an interest in this project. If anyone else desires to get involved or has material to send in, contact Alan or Florence at or at 2605 Geneva Hill Court, Vienna, VA 22124-1534.

g) Pete Brintnall discussed some changes we recommend should be made to our constitution and by-laws to bring them into the modern age and conform to what we are already doing in some cases. These changes deal with class officers and the functions of the Executive Committee, changes in the amount of time to vote these changes, and the methods we use to send out the annual financial reports. These changes are at enclosure 2. Please send your vote on them ASAP but NLT 3 October 1998 to George Lawton via email at, or by snail mail to 4317 Guinea Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3803.

Death Notifications  

Jack Downing, CINC Obits, is working with WP Org, our class e-mail server, to prefect an updated death notification system. When a classmate dies, this new system will allow those of you who have e-mail capability to go to a site, read the notice, find out particulars about the viewing and burial, and see a picture of the deceased. It will also have a new innovation. If you wish, you will be able to post your thoughts of the deceased and read those of others. We will announce when this system is up and running to those of you who are on our class net. This is just another reason for those of you who are not yet on the net to join us. To join send Dick Buckalew a message at

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