USMA Class of 1959
Report of Class Committee Meeting
17 February 2005
1. The Class Committee met from 1430 hours until 1730 hours at the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) on February 17, 2005. Members of the Class Committee present were: Pete Dawkins, Frank Campbell, Joe Coreth, George Day, Art Griffin, Powell Hutton, Jerry Jervell, Nick Krawciw, Bob Riordan, Skip Schow, & Jim Walsh. Other classmates in attendance were Bill Breen, Mike Faber, Bill Fitzgerald, John McNerney, Tom Roberts, Ed Robinson, & Joe Todaro.
Prior to the start of the meeting an agenda was handed out by Jim Walsh. (Incl. 1.)
2. OPENING REMARKS: Pete Dawkins called the meeting to order. Pete commented on three items he thought of interest. He mentioned that he and Judi, in their numerous travels, had the opportunity to visit and have dinner with Pete and Ann Stromberg in Dubai, UAR. Joe Coreth reported that the Stromberg's had recently been on a 2-week visit to the States and had spent the night with them. He also said the Pete greatly enjoys his job and has recently signed a 5 year extension to his contract. Pete also reported that the AAA and the Army Football Team is working to get Bob Novogratz nominated for and selected as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, IN. He expressed optimism for that effort and we all are hopeful it will prove successful. Pete handed out a letter of recommendation for Sandy Beach to be appointed to a third term as Trustee-at-Large for the AOG. (Incl. 2.) Due to the change in Governance procedures for the AOG, it is not sure what the future holds for Sandy, but we are all hopeful he will find a place as a member on the new Board of Directors.
Before going to the meeting agenda, Pete mentioned that he would like the Class Committee to address the question of "Who is a member of the Class of 1959?"
Jerry Jervell would like that expressed by the Class Committee so he will feel comfortable in approaching former classmates as he develops the Class History.
After a discussion of the question, it was decided that anyone who at any time during our 4 years at West Point was a member of the Class of 1959 is now considered a member of the Class. Jerry Jervell sent his definition of this to the members of the editorial staff of the 50CYB and in order to remain consistent I will copy it below.
I. The USMA Class of 1959 is defined to consist exclusively of the following persons:
(1) Persons that were admitted to USMA, and who took the Oath of Office at Trophy Point July 5, 1955; plus
(2) Persons that were turned back to join our Class during the period 5 July 1955 to 3 June 1959; plus
(3) Persons that the Class has identified and has accepted as “Honorary Classmates;” plus
(4) Persons that the Class may identify and accept in future as “Honorary Classmates.”
II. No person having been designated as a member of the Class of 1959, in accordance with I above, shall lose membership in the Class for any reason whatsoever, now and in perpetuity.
Subsequent to the meeting Jerry recommended that for the purpose of our Class History and for internal Class use we should refrain from the term "EX" when referring to anyone who was a member of our Class, since by our definition they are still members.
It was further recommended that they be referred to as members of the Class of 1959 (NG) for those who did not graduate, and as members of the Class of 1959 (G60) for those who graduated in 1960.
It was agreed by all present that this definition basically conforms to our practice over the years and there was no need to announce it to the Class.
An additional item not on the agenda was raised by Jim Walsh. A couple of classmates had recommended the Class pursue the possibility of getting a MOH plaque at West Point for our former classmate Roger Donlon. Jim inquired about this to West Point and got the following reply from Gus Fishburne, Director, Alumni Affairs at the AOG.
Donlon MOH Plaque. Doubt that this would ever get approval. There are 7 other X Cadets who were awarded MOH. Decision was made years ago to only include graduates. If he got a plaque only equitable that all get a plaque.
After a short discussion the Class Committee recommended that we not pursue this request.
Note: When this decision was passed on to one who had recommended it, his comment was, the Class should see if WP would consider an award ceremony for all 8 with their plaques appropriately placed in a central location.
3. COMMITTEE REPORTS
A. Treasurer's Report - Art Griffin presented the current report, (Incl. 3), which showed a balance as of December 31, 2004, of $25,361.27 and was approved.
Art mentioned that although the balance looked good, we were going to have to continue to ask for donations in order to meet our expected expenses associated with the anticipated affiliation responsibilities with the Class of 2009. Powell Hutton questioned what those were and I forwarded them for everyone's information following the meeting. In summary our TOTAL ANTICIPATED COST 2005-2009 = Around $100,000 or $25,000/year. We currently have 407 living classmates (Not including non-graduates). Using the figure of 400 we would be asking for a contribution of $250/person or $62.50/year/person.
B. Memorial Ceremony at the "Wall"
(1) John McNerney reported that he, through selected Points-of Contact (POCs), had contacted all relatives for this years four honorees - The POCs are Hutton (Ray), Mullen (Mansfield), Huntingdon (Versace) and Besson (Jordan). Each has done a superb job and he is confidant that all close family members have been notified and have the opportunity to attend (and most are coming).
(2) Mike Faber handed out a summary (Incl. 4) of the "Pros & Cons" for media coverage of the ceremony and after a short discussion it was agreed by all that we would approve media coverage, both TV and Print, with the caveat that the attempt be made to NOT concentrate on our MOH winner Rocky Versace and that the coverage NOT interfere with the solemnity of the occasion.
C. Scholarship Status - Powell Hutton reported that we had received 2 applications for this year's scholarship. He also handed out a summary showing the past history of scholarship and who received same. (Incl. 5.) A thank you letter from Karyn Sper (Incl. 6), our 2003 scholarship winner, was also handed out.
D. Nominations for Recognition - Jim Walsh reminded everyone that we should begin thinking about nominations for the DGA and Thayer Awards. This should start in June so nominations, if approved by the CC, can be prepared in time to meet the November suspense date. We also have to be thinking about the Class Citation for Exemplary Service Awards which would be presented in September or October at the annual Class Party at the Maleks.
E. Status of Memorial Articles - Since our 45th Reunion 1 was published - Dewitt Monroe TAPS Jan/Feb '05. 2 have been submitted & 2 more are being worked on. Current Score 45 out of 92 - Not even 50% Approximately 1 year lag time from submission until publication - We need to improve our effort to reach our goal to have them all completed by our 50th. As recommended by Powell Hutton, Rush Yelverton, who lives in Indianapolis, contacted Mr. Robert Shinn, Tom White's step father and did get his permission to have Larry Minnich submit Tom's Memorial Article to the AOG.
4. OLD BUSINESS
The 45th Reunion After Action Report had been sent out to all via e-mail and is contained in the Class Files. Bill Fitzgerald provided his personal comments on the role of Reunion Chairman and made the recommendation that we centralize a POC for the contact of Class widows and share escort duties of same. It was agreed by all that Bill and the Reunion Committee did an outstanding job and are to be congratulated on a GREAT reunion. It was further recommended that the 50 year Reunion Committee Chairman be appointed and the 50 year Reunion Committee be organized NLT June 2006.
5. NEW BUSINESS
A. Status Report on 50 Class Year Book (50CYB) - Jerry Jervell gave a brief summary of his outstanding work on the early preparations of this historical Class project. He will give a more detailed presentation at our General Membership meeting on 17 April. One item that was recommended by Bill Breen was to have sponsors provide and pay for Ad's in our Year Book with a "Then & Now" theme. After a short discussion this unique suggestion was approved. An additional strong recommendation by Pete Dawkins was to take advantage of the new digital technology and have a DVD or associated capabilities used to augment the printed history. A search for classmates knowledgeable in the digital field will be conducted and a volunteer recruited as soon as possible.
B. Flag, Flag Boxes, Guideons & Banners - Tom Roberts gave an outstanding power point presentation on his research into the Class procuring these items. Tom strongly recommended that we use the National Capitol Flag company in Alexandria, VA as our source. He reported that a Class Flag with all associated items would cost $3,632.10. Smaller 18" X 24" flags would cost $100.00 each. Flag Boxes would cost $158.00. We had a short discussion of the potential number of banners, guidons, flags and flag boxes we would eventually want and decided we would one of each immediately. We did see a potential for as many as 10 banners, 30 guidons and 20 big flags and perhaps as many as 250 small flags in the future. As more information is developed the Class will have to be canvassed to see what the actual numbers will be. We do need a banner and guidon on for the Class of 2009 March Back which will take place on 8 & 9 August 2005. If possible we would like to have a Class Flag for the Swearing In Ceremony for the Class of 2009 which will take place on 27 June 2005.
C. Affiliation Responsibilities w/ Class of 2009
(1) Jim Walsh reported that it had been recommended that members of the Class of 1959 be present at the Swearing In Ceremony for the Class of 2009 which will take place at West Point at 1700 hours on Monday, 27 June 2005. We agreed that this seemed appropriate and a search for a person to plan and coordinate this activity will be pursued.
(2) March Back - 8 & 9 August 2005 - Jim Satterwhite has done an outstanding job in the recruitment of marchers and organizing activities for this endeavor. He will be present and give a summary of his plans at our GM meeting on 17 April 2005.
D. 50th REUNION - Jim Walsh reported that he had contacted the AOG and verified that the date of the traditional reunion period was 24-27 May 2009. That would also mean that the Thayer would not be available for our use. It was decided that we would shoot for the traditional dates. It was recommended that as an option to the normal NJ hotel accommodations that we pursue the possibility of acquiring a cruise ship and dock at West Point. An immediate need is to get someone to research the possibility and feasibility of procuring a cruise ship as our accommodations for the 50th reunion. We would like to have the cruise information available for our review by the time the Reunion Chairman is appointed and the Reunion Committee organized in June of 2006.
6. OPEN DISCUSSION
Pete announced that he had to depart to make another engagement so the discussion period was greatly reduced. It was agreed that we would have a short Class Committee meeting in conjunction with the General Membership meeting following the "WALL" ceremony on April 17, 2005. It was also agreed that we would shoot for our next major Class Committee meeting to be held conjunction with the annual Malek Class party which will be scheduled at a date to be determined in the September/October 2005 timeframe.
The meeting was adjourned and 15 of us proceeded to Clyde's, a local restaurant one block from IDA, for dinner.
JAMES E. WALSH, JR.