USMA Class of 1959
Minutes of Class Committee
16 February 2000
1. The Class Committee met at the Tivoli Restaurant in Rosslyn, VA prior to
a Class luncheon on Wednesday, 16 February from 1035 to 1152 AM. Present
were Pete Dawkins, Tom Boyle, Jerry Hilmes, Bob Riordan, Tom Russell, Skip
Schow, and Jim Walsh. John Gurr and Joe Coreth arrived late.
2. Opening Remarks: Pete Dawkins called the meeting to order and instructed
us to cover our reports as quickly as possible. We did not have much time
for all the items on the agenda. Jim Walsh handed out the agenda.
3. 16 November Minutes: Minutes of the 16 November meeting had been sent to
everyone on e-mail and were approved.
4. Remembrance Mementos: Jerry Hilmes provided a report from Bill
Fitzgerald on Remembrance Mementos. (Enclosure 2). Among the mementos
suggested the Class Committee chose the Glass Potpourri Jar. A letter
announcing this new policy will be sent to all class widows. Mary Clare
Haskin suggested that an individual note be sent with each memento. Pete
took both those items for his action. Tom Russell said he would look into
acquiring the jars at an AOG discount price.
5. Class Fundraising Effort: Jerry Hilmes quickly reviewed the progress to
date. The effort is off to a good start: $932,000 in pledges, 29%
participation, 47% participation by potential leadership donors (PLDs), 91%
participation by committee members. Nice growth of $80,000 over last six
weeks. Jerry handed out a status report with the breakout by Cadet Company
as of 14 February 2000. (Enclosure 3)
Jerry requested that the class be notified about and be given a
pictorial representation, if possible, of the layout of the various plaques
donating the different levels of givers. It has been proposed that the
following plaques be displayed: A plaque with the names of our classmates KIA
in Vietnam, a plaque with the names of ALL members of the Class of 1959
(Discussion is on-going of who should be included), three plaques with the
names of those who donated $250.000 on more, $100,000 or more, and $25,000 or
more. Pete took that as one of his actions and said that although it will be
years before the final layout of the Strength Development Center will be
completed, he will attempt to provide a proposed scheme for the Class plaques
in the near future. Pete made the comment that we want to make our goal of 1
& 1/2 million dollars but just as important is to have maximum participation.
6. Class Field Organization: Nick Krawciw had been asked to examine our
Regional Organization. He sent his report to Jim Walsh who quickly reviewed
it. Nick had contacted all but one regional representative. His report can
be found at Enclosure 4. He recommended that we establish a new North
Texas/Oklahoma region. Hank Larsen has agreed to be Class rep for that area.
Nick also wants to improve commo with the Regions and recommended a
"Regional News" column on the Class Home Page. Both recommendations were
approved by the Class Committee.
7. Dedication of Lehrfeld/Fisch Window - West Point Jewish Chapel: Jim
Walsh received a message from Toby Lehrfeld Fisch that on August 25th
(Tentative) a dedication of a Lehrfeld/Fisch stained glass window to honor
Irving Lehrfeld '34, Bill Lehrfeld '59 and Don Fisch '56 will occur at West
Point. Jim Walsh has notified Jewish Classmates and once the date is
confirmed will notify the rest of the class. It was moved and approved that
the Class make a donation of from $500 to $1000 for the window. Jim Walsh
will contact Toby and get the necessary information.
8. Class Mini-Reunion - Carlisle - 18-21 May 2000: A flyer (Enclosure 5)
was provided for the Class Mini Reunion in Carlisle, PA. This needs to be
sent to the Class in the next few weeks. Jim Walsh took that as his action.
9. Thayer & Distinguished Graduate Award: As a result of e-mail traffic,
the following have been proposed as potential nominees for the Thayer Award:
Bob Dole, Dick Cheney, Tom Clancy, Alan Greenspan, Sam Nunn, Admiral Zumwalt,
and Ronald Regan. Bob Riordan recommended consideration of William Perry.
To receive the award the individual must be alive and be willing to come to
West Point and accept the award. Zumwalt has died and Regan, who received
the Thayer Award in 1989, does not appear in public anymore. The Class
Committee gave strong support to Bob Dole. The next course of action is to
determine if we want to develop this proposal. There has been no discussion
on the Distinguished Graduate Award. It is not required that a nomination be
made in either category. Jim Walsh will see if the Class wants to pursue the
10. Lost Class Rings: Bill O'Neill '92 has been purchasing West Point rings
from E-Bay to return to the rightful owners. It is recommended that if a
Class of 1959 ring is purchased that the Class reimburse Bill for his
expenses. This was approved and Jim Walsh will notify Bill and classmates of
11. Military Retiree Health Care: Bob Riordan outlined the current
legislative actions on correcting the inadequate health care for Veterans.
He provided a position paper which can be found at Enclosure 6. The bottom
line is now is the time for all of us to get active and contact our
congressman to support HR 2966.
12. Social Security and Cadet Time: Bob Riordan also had a position paper
on Social Security. (Enclosure 7). Most classmates have been made aware
that for those with less than 35 years of wage history, cadet time can and
should be used to compute Social Security Retirement Benefits.
13. Class Ranger Memorialization Project: Bill Schwartz and Bill Luther had
provided a briefing to include pictures (Enclosure 8) requesting that the
Class Committee approve funds to pay for Memorial Stones and Ledger Stones to
honor our 7 classmates who were Rangers who were killed in Vietnam. Larry
Shuck who drowned in Ranger School would also be honored. The Class
Committee approved $2500.00 for this project and recommended that the
additional $2500.00 required be donated by individuals (Rangers) from the
14. VERSACE COMMEMORATIONS: John Gurr gave a quick summary of the status of
the "Rocky" Versace recognition efforts. John also brought an excellent 22
minute video made by the Special Forces Command with accompanied the MOH
Recommendation package delivered to Sen. John Warner's office on February 11.
Note: Not part of the Class Committee meeting, but John did show the video
to the Class after the luncheon. Also, Steve Versace, one of Rocky's three
brothers attended the Class Luncheon. He came to thank the class on behalf
of the entire Versace family for all our support in getting appropriate
recognition for Rocky. Johns most recent Sit Rep (SitRep #16 dtd Feb 15) can
be found at Enclosure 9.
15. Next Meeting: The next Class Committee meeting will be held in
conjunction with the Class Carlisle Mini-Reunion 18-21 May 2000.