USMA Class of 1961

“Second to None”

5 February 2003


Class Committee

Bob Glass

Vice President
Glen Adams

Dick Buckner

Ed Brown


Marty Ganderson

1.      Bob Glass convened the meeting at 1920 hours at Ed Brown’s house.  Members present were Bob and Ed.  Glen Adams participated by speaker phone.  Dick Buckner and Marty Ganderson were not able to attend.

2.      Old Business:

a.       Minutes of the 25 September 02 meeting:  The minutes of the 25 September 2002 meeting were approved.

      b.      Reconciliation Plaza Maintenance Contract:

(1)         Bob mentioned that Gus Fishburne’s 10 October response to his 20 September letter (see minutes of the 25 September meeting) stated that he is not sure the class needs a private maintenance contract because Reconciliation Plaza is in a high visibility area and will receive more USMA attention than normal areas.

(2)        Even though this may be correct, committee members who have been to West Point recently agree that maintenance of the Plaza does not meet the standard desired by the committee.  Gus stated that the class will not be able to award a maintenance contract on its own but would have to gift a maintenance endowment to USMA (at least $25,000) if the committee insists on a separate maintenance contract.  Gus’s office would be responsible for letting and monitoring the contract.

(3)         Bob has contacted Webb Kremer who will coordinate action to establish a contract to maintain Reconciliation Plaza to the standard desired by the committee.

(4)         The committee endorsed Glen’s suggestion to enlist the help of classmates in the West Point area to monitor the performance of the maintenance contractor subsequent to establishment of the contract.

c.       2003 Cruise:

(1)         Bob reported that the cruise was an outstanding success and he praised John Solomon for all of his efforts.  It was the consensus of all cruisers that an encore is desired and the committee agreed to look at planning one during the July 2004–February 2005 time period.  The committee also agreed that the class should be queried to determine preferences.

(2)      The committee recognized John Solomon for his exemplary service as the Chairman of 2003 Cruise Subcommittee.  The committee will seek another volunteer to serve as the temporary subcommittee chairman for the next cruise.

(3)          Bob mentioned John Solomon’s request that the class show its appreciation of the members of the WorldTek staff responsible for the cruise.  The committee authorized John to take them to dinner and be reimbursed from class admin funds.

d.     Donations in Memory of Hank Van Gorder, Bill Heiberg, and Barbara Lawrence:  Ed reported that donations in memory of Hank, Bill, and Barbara have been sent to the designated charities.  Acknowledgments have been received for the donations in memory of Hank and Bill.

3.      New Business:

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

(1)          Class Gift Fund:  The current balance is $35,433.96.

(2)          Class Administrative Fund:  The current balance is $48,551.71.

b.     Recognition of Deceased Widows on Class Web Site: Ed mentioned that Sam Weiss had suggested that tributes to widows who pass away be added to the Last Roll Call section of their spouses in the class web page. Gabe Gabriel thought that would be appropriate but felt it was inappropriate to open files for deceased wives of living classmates. The committee determined it appropriate to include tributes to widows in the current news section; however, the Last Roll Call section will be limited to tributes for graduates, non-graduates, and honorary members of the class.

c.      Class Historian:  The committee discussed the necessity of replacing Bill Heiberg as class historian.  The committee agreed that it sees no need to appoint a replacement for Bill at this time and will determine if the class constitution should be amended at the 45th reunion to once again combine the positions of secretary and historian.

d.     Quarterly Report - 4th Qtr 02:  Ed highlighted the following topics from Tony Ferraiuolo’s quarterly report to class leaders:

(1)        AOG Leaders Conference for 2003:  The conference will be held August 14-16.  The DC area pre-conference is scheduled for 1 May.  Ed encouraged committee members to attend if their schedules permit.

(2)         Perpetual Flowers Program:  Bob sent letters to the widows of classmates buried in the West Point cemetery advising (but not recommending) them of the program should they be interested.

(3)         Associate Membership in the AOG for Widows/Widowers:  The proposal to automatically add spouses of deceased graduates as associate (non-voting) members of the AOG will be voted on by the full membership in September since it will amend the by-laws.  Spouses will have the opportunity to decline the membership.

e.       Other:

(1)         AOG Associate Membership:  Bob pointed out that applications for associate membership in the AOG require statements from two sponsors – endorsement by the class committee is not sufficient.  He also noted that membership is subject to the applicant remitting $50 upon approval of the application.  Ed has asked Tony Ferraiuolo to clarify if widows/widowers will be required to pay the fee.

(2)         AOG Chairman’s Fund Raising Letter:  Bob notified the committee that he received a letter from the AOG chairman informing him that, effective 1 January 2003, the AOG’s fundraising charge on all gifts is increased from 10% to 15%.  The chairman stated that the increase is necessary to support AOG’s Development staff as a result of the decline in the stock market.  Any surplus fees above those absolutely necessary to support development efforts will be deposited in a contingency reserve whose purpose is to help ensure that fees will not have to be raised again.  If the contingency reserve becomes too large, excess funds will be made available to USMA for its needs.

(3)         AOG Chairman’s Football Letter:  Bob briefed the committee on the AOG chairman’s 31 January 2003 letter which notified class presidents that the AOG is fully engaged in the Superintendent’s examination of the Army athletic program in general and Army football in particular.  The chairman reiterated his commitment to the AOG strategic plan’s mandate to “Restore West Point’s Winning Tradition.”

(4)         Committee Letter to the Class:  Bob proposed that the committee periodically send the class a letter updating them on class activities.  Topics could include such items as the cruise, mini-reunions, etc.  The letter should be limited to two pages.  The committee endorsed the idea and committed to send Bob proposed topics within 30 days.  Bob’s goal is to have the first letter sent within 60 days.

4.    The committee agreed to schedule the next meeting for either 14 or 21 May depending on committee members calendars.  The meeting adjourned at 2120.

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,


                                                                                                Ed Brown