USMA Class of 1959
Minutes of Class Committee
7 September 2001
1. The Class Committee met at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), on Friday, 7 September 2001 from 1825 to 2030 hours. Present were, Pete Dawkins, Nick Krawciw, Randy Bell, Tom Boyle, Bill Breen, Frank Campbell, Art Griffin, John Gurr, Powell Hutton, George Kleb, John McNerney, Ed Robinson, Tom Russell, Joe Shea, Joe Todaro, Jim Walsh & John Wilson. Guest were Beth Kleb & Ann Russell.
2. Opening Remarks: Pete Dawkins called the meeting to order and handed out the agenda. (Inclosure 1)
3. Approve Past Minutes: Minutes of the 17 October 2000 and 13 February 2001 meetings which had been sent to everyone on e-mail were approved.
4. COMMITTEE REPORTS
A. Treasurer's Report - Art Griffin presented the current report (Inclosure 2), which was approved. Pete questioned the approximate amount of annual fund expenditures and income. He felt we may need to augment the fund in light of the coming Bicentennial Celebration and additional expenses associated with same. He volunteered to solicit donations from selected classmates in an attempt to get the fund balance up to $25,000.
B. Fund Raising - John Wilson handed out two reports on the Class Gift Fund Status as of the end of August. Status by Cadet Company (Inclosure 3) and a listing by name of those who have and have not contributed (Inclosure 4).
Joe Shea questioned why bequest which were filled out on the original donation form were not counted as having made a contribution. Additional discussion indicated that AOG was probably not giving credit for bequest since they could not be counted in the five year fund raising time period. This discrepancy in accounting of who has and who has not been given credit may apply to others and Tom Russell volunteered to research that and get it corrected. Additionally it was requested that Tom provide more information on bequest at our next committee meeting.
(Note: Tom Russell reports that Joe Shea was the only one to give a bequest and he has been given credit as contributing.)
C. Class Scholarship Fund - Powell Hutton reported that Amy Thronsen, daughter of Dave Carrier, was awarded a $2,000 scholarship for academic year 2001-2002. See correspondence at Inclosure 5. There was some discussion as to the future of the scholarship fund and if it should be considered for the next generation and include our grandchildren. Pete Dawkins raised the point that we should begin to list a series of things that the class would like to do in the future and this is one to consider. It was decided that the class would continue the current policy of considering scholarships for sons and daughters in the immediate future, but will revisit this and as well as other future policies and goals for the class at our 45th reunion.
5. REPORTS ON NEW INITIATIVES
A. 45th Reunion - 2004 - Jim Walsh expressed concern that we need to pick a date and establish an organization in order to begin planning our 45th reunion. After some discussion, it was decided that a committee consisting of Bill Breen, Tom Russell, Joe Todaro and Jim Walsh would "flush out" three potential options - one in the spring of 2004 and two in the fall of 2004 - one with a football game against the Air Force on Saturday, November 6, 2004 and one on a non-football weekend. They were to develop the pros and cons of each option and get their recommendation to the Class Committee by October 15. The Class Committee would comment and refine this recommendation in time to go to the Class as a whole with it's recommendation by November 20th. We want the class to have enough time to consider it and come up with a final decision so we can have a date and begin planning by the next Class Committee meeting.
B. Honorary Class Membership - John Gurr discussed class recognition for outstanding service both for members of the class and non-class individuals. (Inclosure 6). It was decided that the class wanted to purse this and a committee consisting of Randy Bell, John Gurr, and George Kleb will develop a proposal on what criteria will be used to consider one for this recognition, the procedures to be used to process and approve the nomination, and the benefits and award the selected recipient will receive. Their initial report is also due on October 15.
C. Versace Medal of Honor Ceremony - John Gurr reported that the Medal of Honor Ceremony for our classmate Rocky Versace is still at least 3 to 4 months away. Some classmates have expressed interest in wearing uniforms to the ceremony. Initial inquires on this subject indicate that uniforms are authorized, and once the date for the ceremony is finalized additional information to include what uniform is recommended will be provided.
D. Rose Parade Contribution - Charlie Tennant, President of the WPSLA, has arranged for a contingent of cadets to lead the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, CA this coming January. This is in conjunction with celebrating our Bicentennial Celebration. He recently sent out a message requesting donations to help support this operation. After a short discussion the Class Committee approved that the Class would donate $1,000 to support this event.
E. Versace Endowment - Tom Russell has recommended that the plaque that West Point displays for all Medal of Honor winners will, when given to Rocky Versace, be displayed in the Catholic Chapel. In addition Tom proposed that a $1M endowment in Rocky's name be given to the Catholic Chapel. The Class Committee approved the overall recommendation, but elected to defer the fund raising for the endowment until after the current fund drive is complete. Tom Russell was requested to provide a presentation on the endowment and be prepared to discuss it at the 45th reunion. (Inclosure 9)
F. Memorial Ceremony at the "Wall" - Phil Gibbs provided a fact sheet on the RVN Wall '59 Remembrance Proposal. It outlined the history of this ceremony by the classes of '56 & '58. After a short discussion, the Class Committee recommended we pursue this and look toward recognizing our first classmate to be KIA in Vietnam, Bill Train, sometime in late March or early April 2002. It was felt that this ceremony should be held in conjunction with our annual membership meeting which traditionally has been held in February. John McNerney and Tom Boyle volunteered to research this and report back to the Class Committee with their recommendations by the next meeting. (Inclosure 10)
6. OLD BUSINESS
A. Archives - Jim Walsh reported that he is prepared to initiate the establishment of an archive for the class. After a short discussion Frank Campbell volunteered to be assistant Archivist. Jim will contact Mike Faber of Paxton Record Retention and be prepared to brief the Class Committee in detail on the Class Archives at the next meeting.
B. West Point Preparatory Scholarship Program - Tom Russell, as a result of a request from Jim Walsh looked into the scholarship program that the class had endowed in 1989 at it's 30th reunion. Of the many West Point Preparatory Scholarships, there are currently two of these scholarships in effect connected to the Class of 1959, ours and one as a result of a bequest by Carolyn Chappell in memory of her husband and our classmate Jim Chappell. (Inclosure 11)
C. Last Farewell - Jim Walsh recommended that as a handout at our 45th reunion, a summary of our Last Farewell policy as well as information on burial at West Point and Arlington National Cemetery be provided. This was approved.
D. 50 Year Book - Jim Walsh stated that he had recruited Bill Cohen, Gil Dorland and Tom Russell to assist in the class history. They as well as others will provide a good handout with specific guidance to be given to all classmates at the 45th reunion to begin work in earnest on our Class 50 Year Book.
E. Reunions - Jim Walsh reminded everyone of the successful Company reunions by both A Companies last year. These should publicized and other Company's encouraged to have reunions.
7. NEW BUSINESS
Reunions - Jim Walsh reminded everyone of the two reunions currently scheduled:
Ski Mini (23 Feb - 2 Mar) and Hawaiian Mini (19 Oct - 2 Nov) in 2002.
8. Pete briefly mentioned the Leaders' Conference that he attended at West Point in August and asked the committee to think about and consider for discussion at the next meeting the following:
A. What are the 3 most important things the Association of Graduates (AOG) should be focused on to support the Academy and its graduates?
B. What are the 3 most important things the Classes (and the Societies) can do to support the AOG in its efforts?
8. Next Meeting: Pete announced that the next Class Committee meeting would be held at IDA in Alexander, VA on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 1800 hours.
9. The meeting was adjourned and most of us, some of whom were joined by their wives, crossed the street and had dinner at Clydes. A surprise birthday party was held for Bill Breen.
JAMES E. WALSH, JR.
Inclosure 12 - Mid-Year Letter to the Class 7/12/2001
Inclosure 13 - Class of 1959-O'Meara, Malek, Dawkins-Strength Development Center
Inclosure 14 - Notes on Leader Conference - 8/22/2001