USMA Class of 1961

“Second to None”

21 February 2006


Class Committee

Bob Glass

Vice President
Glen Adams

Dick Buckner

Ed Brown

Marty Ganderson

1.      Bob Glass convened the meeting at 1920 hours.  Members present were Bob, Dick, Ed, and Marty.  Glen participated by speaker phone.  Webb Kremer attended to discuss maintenance of Reconciliation Plaza.  

2.      Old Business:

      a.       Minutes of the 29 September 2005 meeting:  The minutes were approved.

b.      Reconciliation Plaza Maintenance Contract:

(1)        Webb briefed the committee on his trip to West Point on January 12, 2006 when he met with Vince McDermott, the Director of Alumni Affairs on the Superintendent’s staff, to discuss the unsightly appearance of the ground cover and the unsatisfactory maintenance being performed by USMA.

(2)        It is clear to Webb that USMA is looking to those classes who donate brick and mortar monuments (Classes of ’33, ’38, ’42, Jan ’43 monuments and Kosciuszko Garden) to provide maintenance endowments.  The rough order of magnitude for such endowments is $50,000 to $70,000 with 4% of the endowment expected to cover the annual cost to perform six maintenance tasks – police (monthly April to November); fertilize (twice); mulching/edging (twice); weed control (spring and summer); shrub pruning (twice); and tree pruning.  The contract with a vendor is released via an RFP each summer for a one-year contract.  It is expected this will enable continuous review of performance.

(3)        The committee agreed that Webb should contact Vince McDermott to pursue a contract for immediate removal of the existing ground cover and to obtain estimates for installing one of three alternatives – pachysandra, mulch or crushed stone – and subsequent annual maintenance.  The installation is to be completed by mid-May 2006 prior to Alumni and Graduation Weeks.  Separately, the committee wants to explore the feasibility of a 1- to 3-year maintenance contract.  The committee would evaluate the feasibility of a maintenance endowment after completion of this contract.

(4)   Webb briefed the committee on the steps being taken and funded by USMA to enhance security in the vicinity of Reconciliation Plaza.  An inverted cannon will replace the concrete bollard currently in place between the two inverted cannons at the entrance to the plaza.  In addition, more inverted cannons will be placed along the grassy area between the entrance to the plaza and the street.  Retractable bollards will be placed in the roadway near Mahan Hall.  These measures will restrict any vehicular traffic from approaching Taylor Hall and the cadet area.

(5)        The committee asked Webb to see if USMA will provide more trash cans in the vicinity of Reconciliation Plaza to encourage visitors not to throw trash on the ground that ultimately ends up in the area of the black granite monuments.

c.       45th Reunion Planning:

(1)        Ed provided each committee member a list by cadet company of the 200 classmates who are currently signed up to attend the 45th reunion.

(2)        Dick stated that $11,218.50 in registration fees has been deposited into the admin account and he has checks and charges to deposit that will bring the total to $18,780.

d.      50th Reunion Class Gift:

(1)        The committee acknowledges that “tradition” requires each class to make a significant donation to USMA at its 50th reunion.  Bob has contacted Bob Lenz, AOG Director of Class & Annual Giving, who is on the committee developing a list of USMA needs requiring private funding in the next five years.  The list should be available by the end of March 2006.

(2)        The committee will select a chairman for the 50th Reunion Gift Committee.

(3)        The committee and gift committee chairman will review the list and select suitable alternatives that Bob will present to the class by a letter to be sent in early summer requesting feedback on the preferred alternative.  The alternative preferred by the majority of the class will be presented at the 45th reunion class business meeting.

e.       2007 Class Cruise:  Bob notified the committee John Solomon has agreed to coordinate a class cruise in 2007.  The class committee intends to meet with John in March to develop alternatives and begin recruiting a cruise committee to support John.

3.      New Business:

a.       Treasurer’s Report:  Dick provided the following status of funds:

(1)        Class Administrative Fund:  The current balance is $37,602.50.  Of that amount, Dick reported that $11,812.50 is from 45th reunion registration fees.

(2)        Class Gift Fund:  The current balance is $172,544.90.  Dick explained that the reduction from the amount reported at the September 29, 2005 committee meeting is due to excluding pledges not yet paid (less than $3,000).

b.      Nomination of Dick Behrenhausen and Peter Boylan:

(1)        Bob reported that letters nominating Dick Behrenhausen for a three-year term as a Director of the Association of Graduates and Peter Boylan for a three-year term as an Advisor-at-Large member of the Council of Advisors of the Association of Graduates are due on March 15, 2006.

(2)        Bob will draft the letters and send them to the committee for comment within the next few days.

c.       45th Reunion Class Business Meeting:  The committee reviewed a draft agenda for the business meeting and is concerned that too many topics are included for the one-hour allocated in the draft reunion schedule.  Point papers or flyers may be distributed in the reunion packets to supplement our presentation.  The committee agreed that Bob should present the “state of the class” and a vision of where the committee intends to direct the class between the 45th and 50th reunions.

d.      Memorial Article Coordinator:

(1)        Bob notified the committee that he received a letter from Gabe Gabriel requesting he be relieved of his duty as coordinator of memorial articles for Assembly.

(2)        Bob agreed to call Gabe, thank him for his contributions over the past five years, and let him know that the committee reluctantly accepts his resignation and will seek a replacement.

e.       Other:  Ed mentioned that donations in memory of Tom Blanda, Jim Weaver, and Regi Brown were acknowledged by the receiving charities.

4.      The committee agreed to tentatively schedule the next meeting in early May 2006 depending on members’ calendars.  The meeting adjourned at 2150.

Respectfully submitted,

Ed Brown