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,
Class Executive Committee
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.
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.
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 AlanBS58@aol.com 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 GCL58@aol.com, or by snail mail to 4317 Guinea Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3803.
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 Rbuckalew@USA.net
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