USMA Class of 1961

“Second to None”

29 September 2005


Class Committee

Bob Glass

Vice President
Glen Adams

Dick Buckner

Ed Brown

Marty Ganderson

1.      Bob Glass convened the meeting at 1905 hours.  Members present were Bob, Dick, and Ed.  Glen participated by speaker phone.  Marty was not able to attend.  Webb Kremer attended to discuss maintenance of Reconciliation Plaza.  Mick Maus participated by speaker phone to discuss 45th reunion planning.

2.      Old Business:

a.       Minutes of the 30 June 2004 meeting:  The minutes were approved.

b.      AOG Governance:  Bob highlighted the key elements of the revised AOG by-laws that were approved by the membership in May 2005:

(1)        The AOG’s purpose now includes service not only to the Academy, but also to its graduates.

(2)        A relatively small Board of Directors that has the sole responsibility for managing the affairs of the organization will govern the AOG.  In addition to the Chair, Vice Chair, and President, the Board will consist of from 12 to 16 Directors.

(3)        In addition to the Board of Directors, the AOG will have an Advisory Council, a relatively large body responsible for advising the Board on matters pertaining to the Association’s affairs.  Besides the Chair, Vice Chair, and President, the Advisory Council will consist of 18 Advisors-at-Large, 18 Class Advisors, and 18 Society Advisors.  While the Advisors-at-Large will be elected by the AOG’s membership at its annual meetings, classes and societies will select the Class and Society Advisors by processes of their own choosing.  The Advisory Council will offer the Board a large, representative body of graduates to lean on for advice and to make sure that the Board is both communicating and listening.

(4)        Both Directors and Advisors-at-Large will serve for not more than nine consecutive years.  Such term limits will help maintain the vitality of both the Board and Advisory Council.

(5)        The Nominating Committee, which will select the candidates for Chair, Vice Chair, Director, and Advisor-at-Large, will consist of two Directors and from two to four Advisors, none of them up for re-election, and from five to eight members who are neither Directors nor Advisors but who are selected by classes and societies.  This large complement of “outsiders” will preclude both the reality and the perception of “self-perpetuating” Board or Advisory Council membership. 

(6)        Although the Nominating Committee will produce an annual slate of candidates for Director and Advisors-at-Large where there is only one nominee per open position, members will have the right to place candidates on the ballot by petition.  Thus, the Nominating Committee will retain the ability to structure a slate that is optimally suited for the needs of the Board, while at the same time members can add nominees if there is sufficient backing for them.

(7)        The President will be the Association’s Chief Executive Officer.  The Board and its Chair will operate at the strategic level, while the person on the scene in the Alumni Center now has executive authority over the day-to-day affairs of the Association and the management of its staff.

(8)        A vote of the AOG’s membership is now the only way to amend the Bylaws.

c.       2005 AOG Elections:

(1)        Bob explained that, with the adoption of the new by-laws, the terms of office of all current members of the Board of Trustees, to include Dick Behrenhausen and Peter Boylan, would expire on December 31, 2005.  Accordingly, the committee nominated both Dick and Peter to serve as Directors for three-year terms.  The AOG Nominating Committee initially selected twelve Directors, four each serving one-, two-, and three-year terms, and eighteen Advisors-at-Large, six each serving one-, two-, and three-year terms.  They selected Dick to serve as a Director for a one-year term and Peter to serve as an Advisor-at-Large for a one-year term.  Consequently, the class committee will re-nominate both Dick and Peter for three-year terms in 2006.

(2)        Bob briefed the committee on a message he received from LTG (Ret) John Cushman, ’44 requesting support of a petition for his nomination for election for a three-year term as a Director.  The committee agreed to forward his request to the class without endorsement.

d.      Reconciliation Plaza Maintenance:

(1)        Ed showed pictures of Reconciliation Plaza taken in May 2005 that document the continued lack of maintenance performed by USMA.  The ground cover is infested with weeds and has been allowed to grow so that it is climbing up the monuments and the wall behind the monuments.

(2)        Bob asked Webb to take the lead in developing a program to ensure that Reconciliation Plaza is maintained to the standard desired by the committee and the class.  Webb presented, and the committee endorsed, his plan for accomplishing this.  The committee would like this implemented by the Alumni Review in late May 2006.

(3)        Ed mentioned that USMA will be enhancing security measures along Thayer Walk.  This will include hardening the bollards at the entrances and replacing the temporary concrete bollard at the entrance to Reconciliation Plaza.  The committee is concerned that such a bollard must be compatible with the cannons on either side of the entrance.  Webb agreed to look into this and check the status, but it should be considered separately from our maintenance initiative as it likely will be part of a larger contract under the Director of Housing and Public Works.

3.      New Business:

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

(1)        Class Administrative Fund:  The current balance is $26,625.32.  Expenditures since 30 Jun 04 included the reception following the presentation of the Distinguished Graduate Award to Jim Nicholson in May 2005 and donations in memory of Sam Nutt, Tom Magness, Steve Walker, Howard McCreary, Mark Silverman, and Mary Elizabeth Sergent who was instrumental in the design of Reconciliation Plaza.  Dick has requested a donation in memory of Tom Blanda from the AOG.  In addition, the committee approved a $20,000 donation to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief.

(2)        Class Gift Fund:  The current balance is $174,814.81.

b.      AOG Leaders’ Conference:  Ed provided feedback from the August 2005 AOG Leaders Conference.  Of greatest significance is the 50-year affiliation program endorsed by all class representatives in attendance.  Included in the program are the following activities:

·        R-Day Open House:  Reception and souvenirs for families of new cadets on R-Day, the day the new cadets enter West Point.

·        New Cadet March Back:  50-year class participation in the new cadet march back from Lake Frederick at the conclusion of Beast Barracks, now known as Cadet Basic Training.  (Our class will be encouraged to have at least 61 classmates march the entire 15 miles from Lake Frederick or the final 2 miles from the ski slope.)

·        Acceptance Day Parade:  Class president, or other class representative, of the 50-year classes affiliated with the four classes in the Corps are part of the official reviewing party when the new cadets are accepted in the Corps.  Class of 1961 representation will be required in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

·        Yearling Flag Ceremony:  Presentation of a class flag by the 50-year class to the affiliated class at the conclusion of Cadet Field Training, Camp Buckner.

·        Cow Affirmation Ceremony:  Presentation of a class coin to the affiliated class at the beginning of cow year when the cadets become committed to military service.

·        Class Ring Memorial Program:  Attend ceremony when donated class rings are melted and join the gold for the class rings.

·        First Class/AOG Dinner:  Cocktails for cadet class officers, senior AOG leadership, and affiliated class officers.

·        First Class – First Brass:  Presentation of branch insignia at branch selection.

·        Graduation Packet:  Miniature, laminated, pocket-sized personalized diploma and other items.

·        2LT Bars:  Presentation of 2LT bars upon graduation.

·        Total Estimated Cost – $39,000, but this is likely to rise as the years go by.  It can be funded from the class gift fund.

Bob will be getting a letter from the AOG explaining the program in more detail and at that time the committee will commit to establishing affiliation with the Class of 2011 when it enters West Point in 2007.

c.       45th Reunion Planning:  Mick Maus updated the committee on 45th reunion planning.

(1)        The following classmates have volunteered to be part of Mick’s reunion committee:

·        Treasurer                                                 Dick Buckner

·        Administration                                          Ed Brown

·        Hotel Reservations                                   Bill Mackie

·        Skeet/Trap Shoot                                     Bruce Shroyer

·        Golf Tournament &
Football Game Arrangements                Al Vanderbush

·        Transportation                                          Sam Wilder

·        Memorial Service                                     Gabe Gabriel

·        Post Game Cocktail Party                        Phil Smith

·        Men’s Memento                                      Lee Anderson

·        Ladies’ Memento                                     Lee Anderson

·        Marriott Meals                                         Bill Williamson

·        Program Printing                                      Phil Mallory

(2)        Mick has established contact at West Point with the principal points of contact for reunions, Vince McDermott, Gus Fishburne’s replacement, and Tony Ferraiuolo.

(3)        Since the starting time of the football game on Saturday, 30 September can be changed on very short notice, Mick has scheduled the evening dinner/dance for Friday, 29 September.

(4)        Ed mentioned that a warning order postcard was sent in July notifying all graduates, widows, and non-graduates of the dates for the reunion, 28 September-1 October 2006, and providing preliminary information.  If the 40th reunion model is followed, the next correspondence will be an e-mail message updating everyone on current plans and providing instructions for making hotel reservations.  A letter from the treasurer will follow in February requesting registration and payment of the registration fee.  The reunion chairman will send the event registration letter in May with a suspense of 15 August.

d.      50th Reunion Class Gift:  It is customary for classes celebrating their 50th reunion to present a final gift to West Point.  The committee expects to identify a chairman for the 50th Reunion Gift Committee prior to our 45th reunion.  Dick Buckner agreed to contact Bob Lenz to determine USMA needs for the gift committee to present to the class for consideration.

e.       2007 Class Cruise:  At the conclusion of the 2004 Alaska cruise, there was talk about having information about the next mini-reunion cruise available at the 45th reunion so that information would reach a large number of classmates and start building interest in that cruise.  The committee will establish a cruise subcommittee to initiate planning and is open to suggestions.

4.      The committee agreed to tentatively schedule the next meeting in mid-January 2006 depending on members’ calendars.  The meeting adjourned at 2105.

Respectfully submitted,

Ed Brown