60th Reunion

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Hello All,

I hope everyone is in good health and avoiding Covid and its challenges, although I am aware of some facing other health challenges and our prayers are for you.

Two days ago (22 Jan 2021), we received word from West Point that they “regretfully were unable to host our upcoming Class Reunion this spring”. In addition, they are unable to reschedule our reunion as this is the third set of reunions they could not host because of the pandemic. They normally have about 15 classes returning each year - you can do the math.

Our Class Committee met yesterday, together with our Reunion Chairman, Gary Hyde, to discuss our options. Basically, we find it difficult to reschedule our reunion anywhere this coming year with the uncertainties of travel and large crowd challenges with governors and mayors. Gary suggested we consider meeting in Orlando early next year. The Class Committee will check with West Point to see if we are firmly closed out for mid-spring 2022 at West Point while Gary and the Reunion Committee pursue Orlando as a destination. More to follow from us in the near future.

It is regrettable, but think positive, set your sites out another year or so from today, and we hope we are all freer to come and have live socialization with classmates next year for a bigger 60th.




60th Reunion

Attached is the current registration list. Many have registered – but many have not.
Send any changes you want made to the current list.
Hotel reservations have been made for all that indicated they will or might attend.
Things are looking up for a safe reunion, so if you have not registered, do so.
If you see Classmates or widows that are not signed up, encourage them to join us.

For purposes of the registration, assume that by May it will be safe to have the reunion.
Just make your current best choice now – you will be able to make changes as time goes by.
Attached are references that explain the options and help you make your current choices.









We send a special invitation to widows – Please join us.

We ask Classmates/wives to contact close widow friends and encourage them to attend. 

Once you are ready, use the following link to access our Reunion Registration Survey 

Once you are ready, use the following link to access our Reunion Registration Survey

Fill out REGISTRATION form

 If you have questions contact us at



Your 60th Reunion Planning Committee
Bob Cairns, Gene Witherspoon, Phil Mallory, Joe Fishburne, Ed Brown, Peter Gleichenhaus


Latest 60th Reunion Information

Warm regards Class of 1961 and associates: 

Hard to believe, but we are now less than four months away from our 60th.   

In February 2019 we did an initial survey to get an early indication of interest to help plan for the 60th.  The interest was outstanding, with 300+ indicating preliminary interest in the 60th.  We used the data collected in that survey to do the planning for the 60th, including selecting the same hotel we used for the 55th.  Here is the skinny.

  *  Base Days:  Thursday 13 May - Tuesday 18 May 2021

  *  Early Arrival/Late Departure optional 


The key planning principles for the 60th flow directly from the features and attributes of the 55th.  Here are the primary ones from the 55th that will be incorporated for the 60th.

1. Reunion Plan Based on Class Preferences

a. We use internet-based surveys to survey all classmates and widows to get their inputs for planning the reunion.

b. From these surveys, we determine where attendees want to go for the reunion and when they want to go there. 

c. We learn what they liked about past reunions, what they did not like, and what they would like to see for the 60th.

2. An Outstanding Hotel for Our Preferences

a.  Marriott, Park Ridge, NJ.  This was our hotel for the 55th.  Once again, this hotel offered the best value and best met our requirements for the 60th. 

b. It offered the lowest overall price.  The service and support for the 55th was outstanding and based on the very positive responses we got it promises to be the same for the 60th.  It has been remodeled thruout since the 55th and includes all walk-in shower rooms.  Several key attributes for the Park Ridge are shown in the following table.


 Proven performance and satisfaction at 55th.

 Lowest cost option.

 Hotel size - large enough for group comfort - not too large - more intimate.

 Loading zone handles all buses at one time.

 Option to release unsold rooms 90 days out.

 Corkage fee at $8.

 2x comp suites to use as hospitality rooms.

 Comp meeting rooms for memorial room and hospitality room

 15% discount off banquet list prices

 More attractive front entrance - creek, patio, trees.

 3. More Time to Relax, Socialize, and Tour

a. For the 55th, the Class felt that past reunions’ agendas were too full and folks had to rush from one event to the next – they wanted more time to relax and socialize.

b. For the 55th we had a five-night/four-day event base period with options for extending before or after the base period, multiplying the free time available many-fold when compared to past reunions.

c. Similar plan for 60th.

4. Private Places to Meet, Relax, and Enjoy Old Friends

a. Prior to the 55th, we had no hospitality room for past reunions. 

b. For the 55th, we had four comfortably furnished hospitality rooms that were stocked with food and beverages. 

c. Similar plan for 60th.  All one can eat and drink available 24 hours a day included in their social package.

5. A Flexible Itinerary

a. Numerous options for day trips, tours, or visits – none mandatoryevery event is optional.

b. A lot of free time for attendees to pick and choose what they want to do.

6. A Streamlined Transportation Plan

a. Buses are optional.  POVs are transportation options for all events.  Attendees only pay if they use the bus.

b. Buses load and leave when full rather than wait to convoy.

c. Employ staggered departure times based on different groups’ needs – cuts down on waiting around at the destination.

7. Lower Costs

a. For the 55th, the cumulative cost savings for the Class as a whole was about $100,000 when compared to the prices for the 50th reunion for like items.  For the 60th, we plan many cost saving initiatives similar to the 55th;

b. These include: tax-free room price $10 lower than room for the 50th, breakfast buffet discount, free WiFi, hospitality rooms we stock with snacks and beverages, Class supplied wines at dinner with reduced corkage fee, 15% cost discount from posted hotel catered dinner prices, buses optional – pay only if they request a bus, classmates for photography rather than professional photographer, electronic Welcome Packets rather than hard copy, memorabilia by request only, and free hotel shuttle available all days for use within 3 miles of the hotel.

8. A la Carte Pricing

a. All items are optional.

b. Only pay for what you use 

9. A Memorial Room to Remember Our Deceased Classmates

a. This is a dedicated room at the hotel with a tribute for each of our deceased classmates on the walls of the room. 

b. It is a quiet room, separate from the hospitality room, in which folks can walk the walls and think about and remember guys they knew. 

c. For the 55th, additional items were in the room, such as the Howitzers, Registers, 50th Yearbook, cadet uniforms, tar buckets, etc.  Similar plan for 60th

The purpose of this survey is to remind everyone of the event dates and obtain updates of the preliminary headcounts.  We will do another survey about six months before the reunion to get your detailed preferences and plans.  

A “Do not plan to attend” response is important to us for planning purposes. 

Please respond as soon as you can.  Use the following link to fill out your response.


Fill out form

 If you have any questions or additional comments contact us at 61reunion@cfl.rr.com


Hard to Believe, But it is Time to Start the Planning for the 60th Reunion.

We need your help and input as soon as possible using this online survey.

The purpose of this initial survey is to begin the process for collecting your preferences for the 60th Reunion.  We need to know now whether you plan to attend. 

Based on the surveys and feedback for the 55th we are sure about many of your preferences.  Returning to West Point versus some other city was the clear preference and Graduation Week was the preferred time to come to West Point for the reunion.  So we will plan on those. 


Whether you plan to attend, do not plan to attend, or not yet sure, please take a few minutes to respond to this survey so that we can develop the best possible gathering based on the consensus of the class.


If you have any questions contact us at 61reunion@cfl.rr.com


Thanks for your help


Your 60th Reunion Planning Committee




Fill out form


Your Reunion Planning Team is Pleased to Welcome You to Our 60th Reunion

We need to plan ahead and look forward to our 60th Reunion, so please put it on your calendar:

What:  Class of 1961 60th Reunion

Where:  West Point

When:  May 16-19, 2021

This is the Alumni Weekend and immediately precedes the graduation of the Class of 2021.  Details will be coming out later as we focus on where we will be staying – likely the same venue as our 55th Reunion in the Park Ridge Marriott in northern New Jersey.  We always exceed the estimates the AOG gives us for our reunions, so we expect 130 – 150 classmates to attend, plus wives and family.  Block out the dates now.













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