USMA Class of 1959

Minutes of Class Committee

11 September 1999

 

1. The Class Standing Committee met at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), on Saturday, 11 September 1999 from 9:35 AM to 12:40 PM. Present were Pete Dawkins (President of the Class), Tom Boyle, Art Griffin, Mary Clare Haskin, Jerry Hilmes, Powell Hutton, Nick Krawciw, Jim Walsh, John Wilson, and Roger Ware. John Gurr arrived late. Absent were: Frank Campbell, Joe Coreth, George Day, George Kleb, Fred Malek, Tom Russell, Skip Schow and Joe Todaro.

2. Opening Remarks: Pete Dawkins called the meeting to order. John Gurr was scheduled to open the meeting with an up-date briefing on the Rocky Versace recognition efforts. Since John was late, a discussion was held on when and how many future meetings were necessary. It was decided that a meeting every quarter, alternating between a Saturday morning and weekday evening was sufficient. The use of conference calls for special topics and speaker phones for key absent members at future meetings was recommended. The next meeting is scheduled to be held at IDA Tuesday evening at 7 PM on 16 November 1999. It is to be a "Working" dinner meeting. Pete also asked Jim Walsh (See Organization) to provide a Class Committee (CC) roster with telephone, FAX, and e-mail information. Pete then handed out the proposed agenda for the meeting. (Inclosure 1)

3. 29 June Minutes: Minutes of 29 June 99 meeting were discussed and approved. Action is still pending on the date for the 45th Class Reunion pending the date of home football games that fall. Once known, the plan is to block sufficient rooms at the Hotel Thayer for that weekend.

4. Treasurerís Report: Art Griffin presented the most recent report (Inclosure 2). After a short discussion the report was approved. Art mentioned that he had acquired the 100 Class lapel pins as recommended at the 29 June meeting. 10 will be sent to the widows who have responded to the Distaff questionnaire when Mary Clare Haskin contacts them. Future recognition of and activities for widows will be discussed at our next meeting.

5. 40th Reunion Follow-Up: Those who had not submitted an after action report for the 40th reunion were requested to do so. A mailing to those who had not attended the reunion was made on August 9, 1999. (Inclosure 3)

6. New Class Organization: Pete handed out a new roster of Officers & Key Committee Heads. (Inclosure 4). He had talked to the historic Class officers and with people who had been doing actual class work in the Class Standing Committee (CSC). After some consideration, Chuck Darby stated that he would not be able to be an active Vice President (VP). Pete offered him the position of VP emeritus. Chuck accepted. It was further decided, after personal discussions with those involved, that Nick Krawciw would accept the VP position and that Jim Walsh, in conjunction with his "Web Master" role would assume the job of Class Secretary. Frank Campbell agreed to be the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO). Art Griffin will be the Treasurer and Joe Coreth will continue to serve as Class Historian. Mary Clare Haskin has agreed to remain as the Distaff Coordinator and Powell Hutton will remain the Scholarship Officer. In conjunction with our class gift, and moneys needed to provide it, a Fund Committee has been established. Jerry Hilmes, Fred Malek, and Roger Ware have agreed to serve as Co-Chairman of the Fund Committee and will also attend and serve on the Class Committee. Battalion representatives will continue to serve on the Class Committee. Thoughts and ideas to maintain and strengthen the regional representatives were requested. Pete asked Nick Krawciw to review our regional organization and be prepared to discuss it at future meetings. Nick was also appointed as the regional representative for the National Capitol Region (NCR).

7. Class Constitution: All the new changes discussed above will require us to dissolve our current constitution and establish a new one. Torry Harle has been working on drafting up a new constitution and once prepared it will be forwarded to the class for approval and officially establish the Class Committee. One item for future discussion is the question of 5 year term limits. This along with the draft constitution will be a topic at our next meeting.

8. Rocky Versace Commemoration Activities: John Gurr arrived and gave a quick report on the two Rocky Versace projects.

a. Medal of Honor: The Special Forces are slow in developing the MOH recommendation but it is on track and they repeatedly say they're fully committed to this effort. Letters of Recommendation from General Officers in our class are desired and John Gurr will be requesting these in October.

b. School Naming: The Cameron Station Elementary School naming appears to be an "up-hill" battle.

1) A natural name and one that seems to be favored by many is Cameron Station Elementary School.

2) The Alexandria City School Board reportedly promised the black community some 15 years ago that the next new school would be named after a black person. A prominent black lawyer, an activist in NAACP matters, is a leading contender, as is a former very popular Democratic Party politician.

3) "Friends of Rocky Versace" have been and will continue to be very active in publicity. GEN Colin Powell has written a supportive letter to the School Board and Fred Franks has agreed to sound him out to see if he will be our final speaker before the Board when it receives the final three name nominations on November 4. Also, LTG Julius Becton has written and may be able to speak.

4) We, the Class Committee, were requested to provide a letter to the School Board stating that we the Class of 1959, contingent on the school being named for Rocky Versace, would provide up to $5,000 for the design and construction of a display case. This was approved.

Not For Public Release: A fallback position of naming a portion of the school (gym, etc.) for Rocky was discussed. Another possibility was to name a school at Fort Belvoir after Rocky. Public efforts will remain focused on naming the whole school in Cameron Station for Rocky with the hope that it will be realized. It is our understanding that the review and naming of the school will be finalized on or about November 16th.

9. Class Fundraising Program: Roger Ware and Jerry Hilmes gave a briefing on the establishment and status of the Class Gift Campaign (See Inclosure 5). The Co-Chairs have been selected and the Fund Committee established. A letter from the AOG clarified the fact that our class gift will count "both ways," that is as a gift for the class and as part of the Academy wide Bicentennial Campaign. When the campaign is initiated all avenues are to be used to ask for and back up request for support. In addition to a letter, use of e-mail, and use of the Bn CQ's will be sought. Pete Dawkins letter requesting approval of our class gift, $5,500,000 for the Michie Stadium Athletic Complex, and the Superintendent's acceptance was reviewed. (See Inclosure 6).

10. Class Committee Goals and Objectives (draft): Pete handed out a draft list of Goals and Objectives for the Class of 1959 and the Class Committee. (See Inclosure 7). In the interest of time, it was suggested that we look these goals over, e-mail comments, and then be prepared to discuss them at our next meeting.

11. Other Old Business (See item 8 on Agenda - Inclosure 1): Again, in the interest of time, these items will be deferred until our next meeting. Jim Walsh was asked to look into the status of the submission of Fred Franks for the 2000 Distinguished Graduate Award.

12. New Business: Fall Social tonight at the Knebel's in McLean, VA.

13. The next meeting will be at 1900, Tuesday, November 16, 1999 at IDA.

 

JAMES E. WALSH, JR.

Secretary

7 Inclosures/AS