Class of 1959
January 16, 2001
A somewhat belated Happy New Year to all of you! I hope you had a joyous holiday season, and that 2001 is off to a terrific beginning.
The purpose of this letter is two-fold. First, to briefly review a number of key Class activities that took place last year, as well as to alert you to several upcoming Class activities on tap for 2001 and beyond. Of special note is the fact that we will be having our Annual Class General Membership “business” luncheon – to which everyone is cordially invited – on February 13th, in Virginia. And second, to provide you the “restated” Class Constitution and Bylaws, and to request your support in ratifying them.
Overall, this past year was a very good one for the Class. I have to tell you that I came away particularly impressed by, and appreciative of, all those who work so hard to keep us informed and help us stay connected.
Without attempting to chronicle by name each and every one to whom we are indebted, let me note some stand-outs: the reunion planners for the Carlisle mini-reunion in May – the Fishers, the Harkins, the Hilliards, the Paschalls, the Rowes and the Walshes; the reunion planners for the Houston mini-reunion in September – the Beaches, the Ferris’s and the Sundts; John Gurr, for his superb work on the Versace Memorial and Medal of Honor projects; Bob Riordan, for keeping us alerted and informed on Health issues; the two Bills – Schwartz and Luther – for the outstanding Class Ranger KIA Memorial Ceremony at Fort Benning; Tom Seybold, for his coordination and help at the Army/Navy game; and the members of the Class Committee – with special cudos for the MASTER COMMUNICATOR, Jim Walsh (“TheColJim”) – who are the glue that holds us together, and the team that provides direction and support. Finally, a special note of recognition to Joe Coreth, on completing his 40th Year as our Class scribe and historian! A collective “thank you” is due to all of them for their loyalty and commitment, and for the truly outstanding job they’ve done and continue to do!
The single most critical function undertaken by the Class last year was the Fund Raising effort for our 45th Reunion Gift, spearheaded by Jerry Hilmes, Roger Ware and their great Fund Committee.
As of December 31, 2000, the Class pledges stood at $1, 404,000.00 (88% of Goal), with 56% participation – 236 of 421. So we’re getting close! The median gift/pledge is $2,000 ($400 per yr. for 5 yrs.). The Committee recently communicated with all of you, on 2 occasions, urging those who have not already done so to get on board and help us “over the top.” We genuinely appreciate all of you who responded. Many thanks. Overall, however, the results were mixed: about half promising to commit, and the other half either skeptical, “lost” (literally), or “thinking about it.”
The fact is, we can make it, as indicated by the results in our top six companies below.
M-1 14 of 17 for 82% $58K
K-2 13 of 16 for 81% $31K
I-2 12 of 17 for 71% $39K
H-2 11 of 16 for 69% $127K
G-1 11 of 16 for 69% $47K
I-1 11 of 17 for 65% $17 K
The pace of participation increased at year end, and the committee will report complete, up-to-date numbers at the Class meeting in February. The mission is still the same: we want everybody in the Class to be a part of this capstone gift. If you haven’t joined up yet, you can still do so. (Checks should be made payable to “West Point Fund – Class of 1959 Gift Account”, and mailed to The West Point Fund, Association of Graduates, USMA, West Point, New York 10996.)
WHERE: TIVOLI Restaurant, 1700 N. Moore Street, Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: (703) 524-8900
WHEN: 1130-1400 Hours, Tuesday, 13 February 2001
HOW: Take Metro to Rosslyn. Restaurant is on 3rd floor of the Metro Center Building. If driving, there is parking under the building, on the street, and in adjacent parking lots.
The Class of 1959’s first-ever ski mini reunion is scheduled for Breckenridge, CO., from February 24th to March 3rd The plan is to build off this “charter” project to install the “Ski Mini” as an annual event. The specific dates and the location for 2002 will be decided at Breckenridge. Info is available from Howard Stiles email@example.com or by calling 207-655-4193. Additionally, Howard is establishing a 59Ski List via west-point.org and a page on the Class web site for Ski Information. If you haven’t notified him that you want to be on the Ski List do so now!
The annual A-1 and Friends “potluck” picnic for all A-1’ers and classmates in the western Maryland, Carlisle, PA area, is scheduled for Saturday, 19 May 2001 at the Walshes in Boonsboro, MD. Jim Walsh
There will be a Company A-2 mini-reunion in Colorado Springs during the period 14-17 June, 2001. An invitation for the evening event will be sent to all ‘59ers in Colorado. Vic Fernandez and Bill Pollock.
The date for the previously announced but not finalized Window Dedication at the Jewish Chapel at West Point for Bill Lehrfeld and family is still undecided. As soon as a date is determined, we will notify you by E-mail to the Class.
Midwest Mini – Dinner, golfing, Kansas City, Ft. Leavenworth, sometime in the Spring of 2001 – Stay tuned for more information – Jerry Fogel & Phil Sheaffer.
2002 - 2004
Hawaiian Mini – Mark your calendars for this one! Two weeks in Hawaii: a week at the Hale Koa Hotel at Ft DeRussy on Waikiki Beach, and a week on a newly commissioned cruise ship to the other islands of Hawaii. Tentatively being planned for February 2002. Military ID will not be required if reservations are made through our reunion committee for the Hale Koa, so plan to bring your kids. Jack Bohman, Roger Gaines, Lenny Katsarsky & John Seely.
45th CLASS REUNION
Once the football schedule is known for the 2004 season, we will be planning our 45th Class Reunion at West Point around one of the home games in the early fall. We will be looking for volunteers to help us get a good start as well as to help us in the planning of our 50 Year History Project.
Jim Walsh has been approached by several Classmates who have movies and slides covering all our years since 1955, and the recommendation has been made to make a composite video to include as a “pictorial” report along with our 50 Year Book. Some have proposed we combine the book with a CD-ROM to take advantage of technology for the convenience of the Class, and to set a “modern” example for other Classes. This is clearly feasible, but we need to call on any and all experts in the related technology areas to help us. If any of you want to contribute and help in this project, let Jim Walsh know. TheColJim@aol.com We would like to have a good proposal in place to announce at our 45th Reunion in 2004 so we can develop an outstanding product to have completed and available in 2009.
As Enclosures to this Letter (Enclosure #2 and Enclosure #3) are two items for your review and ratification: the “restated” Class Constitution and Bylaws. Steve Werbell and Pete Keogh did the lion’s share of work in drafting these documents, and the Class Committee worked through the provisions in detail so that they reflect the best thinking – and endorsement – of the Committee.
Steve and Pete took the approach of creating “restated” documents to avoid the ponderous, and inherently confusing, approach of “amending” item-by-item from the originals. This approach produces a much clearer and more easily understandable expression of what is intended as the “going-forward” underlying authority and operating basis for the Class and the Class Committee.
As all of you are well aware, through the years the nature of the activities and interests of the Class have continuously evolved. From the time we were newly graduated, busily starting families and learning what our profession was all about; through the Vietnam war years; to multiple assignments in the Pentagon and around the world; to where, today, only one of our number – Pete Stromberg – remains on active duty, and many of us are well into the joys of grandparenthood; the focus of our collective attention and interest has shifted and changed.
So, too, has the way we have operated as a Class. Following a couple of different early arrangements, and up until our 40th Reunion (a period of some 20 years), the Class Standing Committee served as the principal organizing element. Located in the Washington, D.C. area, and made up of volunteers from that locale, it steered our activities and held fiduciary responsibility for the Class funds. During our 40th Reunion meeting at West Point, another in the series of evolutionary shifts was decided upon in the structure of Class governance, transforming the Standing Committee back to a reconstituted Class Committee to oversee and support the interests and activities of our Class.
The purpose of the restated Class Constitution and Bylaws (which now require a ratifying response from you) is to provide official sanction to the way we are currently handling our Class affairs. In addition to being “procedurally tidy”, this step is more significant in that, as discussed above, we are well on the way to completing the effort to rise $1.5 million for the Military Academy as our 45th Reunion gift. This is by far the largest amount we have ever undertaken to raise and, in all likelihood, will be our “capstone” gift as a Class. For this, and related reasons, it was felt that we should get the members of the Class to officially ratify the basis on which the group making decisions on our collective behalf operates.
Traditionally, Constitutional documents have not made for compelling and “riveting” reading. The two enclosed here are no exceptions. In sympathy for the non-Constitutional-scholars among us, I have noted below their key provisions:
The Class Committee replaces the Standing Committee as the governing body of the Class.
The Class Committee remains geographically “centered” in Washington, D.C.
The Officers of the Class Committee are:
President: Pete Dawkins
Vice-President: Nick Krawciw
Secretary: Jim Walsh
Treasurer: Art Griffin
Historian: Joe Coreth
Information Systems Officer: Frank Campbell
This formulation resulted from two intentions: (1) to endorse the individuals who had been serving the Class in key functions for some time; and (2) to derive the officer-slate – to the extent practical – from the group of individuals elected as permanent Class Officers when we were Cadets.
Officers serve for 5-year terms, being reelected or succeeded at each of the future Class 5-year reunions. (Provisions are specified should the need arise to replace an Officer during the period between reunions.)
Sorry this Letter has gotten to be so long. Thanks for your patience. We would genuinely appreciate your taking the time to ratify the Constitution and Bylaws, and don’t forget to send in your reservation and check to Tom Boyle for the Class luncheon on 13 February.
I look forward to seeing many of you in Washington next month, and to everyone else my very best wishes to you and your families for a truly great year in 2001!
P.S. Over 250 of us are on the Class list server maintained and moderated by Frank Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have e-mail capability and are NOT on the list, I urge you to send your screen name to Frank or Jim Walsh and get included.
1. Ratification Instructions
2. Restated Constitution
3. Restated Bylaws