USMA Class of 1959
Minutes of Class Committee
16 January 2002
1. The Class Committee met at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), on Wednesday, 16 January 2002 from 1810 to 2000 hours. Present were, Pete Dawkins, Frank Besson, Tom Boyle, Frank Campbell, Joe Coreth, Art Griffin, John Gurr, Mary Clare Haskin, Powell Hutton, John McNerney, Tom Russell, Bob Riordan, Skip Schow, Joe Todaro, Jim Walsh & John Wilson. Guest was Ann Russell.
(Note: Prior to the Class Committee meeting, Pete Dawkins, Mary Clare Haskin, & Jim Walsh met to discuss ways to enhance the communications with the "Women," wives and widows, of the Class of 1959. One item which was mentioned and is in the process of being implemented is a List Server for the "Distaff" element of the class. Frank Campbell is collecting e-mail addresses of those who want to be on the server and Susan Breen has volunteered to be moderator for the list serve.)
2. Opening Remarks: Pete Dawkins called the meeting to order and handed out the agenda. (Inclosure 1). He quickly mentioned some key events experienced by the class to include the death of our classmate Bud Steinberg and our contacts and follow-up with Ida Steinberg. He told the Committee that he had been in contact with Fred Malek and that Fred had volunteered to host our Fall Function in the DC area in the fall of 2002 with details and dates to be determined.
3. Approve Past Minutes: Minutes of the 17 September 2001 meeting 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.
B. Fund Raising - John Wilson handed out a report showing the status by Cadet Company of the end of December. (Inclosure 3) Pete discussed the challenge of a cash flow problem facing the fund raising effort. It was mentioned that a reminder to classmates to accelerate their pledge contributions and/or attempt to keep them on schedule was needed. (Note see Message dated 1/16/02 Inclosure 4).
C. Class Scholarship Fund - Powell Hutton provided an update on the '59 Class Scholarship program. (Inclosure 5) It has been a successful program with 20 recipients since '82. Although applicants have been fewer it was agreed to keep the program alive while continuing to review it on a periodic basis. One technical change was approved to modify eligibility wording on the charter from "dependents" to "children" of classmates.
(Note: It was agreed that the scholarship would NOT extend to Grandchildren)
D. Honorary Class Membership - John Gurr, who had headed a committee consisting of Randy Bell and George Kleb, and who had sent a draft of their proposal via e-mail to the Committee discussed their current proposal. The purpose of the proposal is to develop Class recognition for outstanding service both for members of the class and non-class individuals. Discussion and further research indicated that the original proposal was too cumbersome and the following changes were recommended and then incorporated in the final document which was approved via e-mail.
(1) It will take only four concurring classmates instead of 10 to nominate someone for "Honorary Class Membership," and the nomination can be approved simply by 2/3 vote of attending Class Committee meeting (the earlier requirement that it also be approved thereafter by 2/3 of all responding classmates has been dropped as too cumbersome and expensive, postage-wise).
(2) It will take only two instead of five classmates to nominate someone for "Friend of the Class of 1959."
(3) The "Nomination to the AOG of Friend of West Point" category has been dropped.
(4) However, given the attractive perks included in the AOG's "Friends of West Point" program, and the fact that those multiple perks might mean as much or more to most non-graduates than a plaque from USMA1959, we have included nomination to the "Friends of West Point" program as a second perk (the first is a plaque from us) to non-grads whom we designate as either a 'Honorary Member of the Class' or a 'Friend of the Class of 1959.' " Grads, of course, don't need to be made "Friends of West Point."
E. Memorial Ceremony at the "Wall" - John McNerney reported on his visit with the Class of 1956 and his experience with their "Wall" ceremony. The Committee approved that we conduct our own ceremony and elected to recognize our first classmate to be KIA in Vietnam, Bill Train, on Sunday April 21, 2002. This will be followed by our annual membership meeting which traditionally has been held in February. John McNerney will pursue the arrangements with the Park Service for the ceremony at the Wall and Tom Boyle will contact the Fort Myer Officers Club and make plans for us to hold our annual membership meeting while attending their Sunday brunch.
Note: John McNerney reminded us that our Classmate Ralph Wensinger, former member of the Class of 1958 would be honored by that Class on 19 May and we are invited and encouraged to attend.
5. 45th Reunion - 2004 Jim Walsh reported on the results of the e-mail and letter sent to the class requesting their preferred options of having the reunion at the following times.
1. In the Spring of 2004
2. Air Force Football Game Weekend - Nov. 6 2004
3. Late September Weekend with or without football game - 2004
120 Responses were received with the following results:
Late September = 65, Air Force Weekend = 37, Spring = 18
The Committee agreed to follow the wishes of the class and look to late September as the dates for our 45th Reunion. It had been pointed out to the Committee that Yom Kipper would be taking place the weekend of 24-26 September so we elected to have our reunion from 17-20 September 2004. Many task our required to be accomplished as we plan our reunion and Pete asked Jim Walsh to come up with a list of requirements and send them to the Committee before the general membership meeting on 21 April so we can begin our preparations in earnest.
(Note: Joe Todaro volunteered to initiate the dialogue to acquire a contract for our lodging. As of this date, 2/6/02, Joe had contacted the Park Ridge Marriot and is in the process of negotiating our contract.)
5. OLD BUSINESS
A. Versace Medal of Honor Ceremony - John Gurr reported that the Medal of Honor Ceremony for our classmate Rocky Versace is still months away. For those who are interested in wearing uniform, it was announced the uniform will be Class A or better. Business attire is appropriate. John expressed concern that Steve Versace has been essentially rebuffed in his efforts to inform the White House that over 300 friends and family want to be invited to the MOH presentation ceremony. A large presentation site must be selected. John and others are working to get the White House military liaison folks to call and communicate with Steve on this looming logistical problem (Note: Fred Malek agreed on Feb 5 to call the WH on this matter). Frank Besson pointed out the outstanding support received from GEN. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps; GEN Jones wrote an eloquent letter to GEN Shinseki on April 28, 2000 urging award of the MOH to Rocky.
B. Rose Parade Contribution - It was pointed out to the Committee that Charlie Tennant, President of the WPSLA, who arranged for a contingent of cadets to lead the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, CA in January did an outstanding job.
6. Next Meeting: Pete announced that the next Class Committee meeting would be held at in conjunction with our Class General Membership meeting to be held at Fort Myer following the ceremony for our classmate Bill Train on Sunday, April 21, 2002.
7. The meeting was adjourned and many of us crossed the street and had dinner at Clydes.
JAMES E. WALSH, JR.
Inclosure 7 - End of Year Letter to the Class 12/16/2001
Inclosure 8 - Calendar of Future Events for USMA Class of 1949 1/23/2002