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ALUMNI REVIEW 2008-Issue 3


Volume 84, No. 2

PUBLISHER The President of The VMI Alumni Association, Inc. EDITOR Hope L. Hennessey, ASSISTANT EDITOR Traci L. Mierzwa, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Brenda S. Stoner, PUBLISHING OFFICE The VMI Alumni Association, Inc., VMI Moody Hall, P.O. Box 932, Lexington, VA 24450; 540/464-7224 PRINTER Progress Printing Co., Inc. Lynchburg, Virginia The VMI Alumni Review (USPS 954-740) is published by The VMI Alumni Association, Inc., P.O. Box 932, Lexington, VA 24450. It is sent to alumni and friends of the Institute without subscription. SEND CHANGES OF ADDRESS TO: VMI Alumni Review, P.O. Box 932, Lexington, VA 24450 or PURPOSE OF THE VMI ALUMNI ASSOCIATION To organize the alumni, the better to keep alive the memories of Institute life and—by their united efforts—to aid in the promotion of the welfare of the Institute, and the successful prosecution of its educational purposes. VMI ALUMNI AGENCIES TELEPHONE NUMBERS The VMI Alumni Association: 540/464-7221 The VMI Foundation: 540/464-7287 The VMI Keydet Club: 540/464-7328 WEB SITE ADDRESSES Alumni Agencies: VMI: PHOTOGRAPHERS Kathryn Wise, Vice President VMI Alumni Association Kevin Remington, VMI Communications and Marketing VMI Sports Information Office Andre Studio

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This issue includes Class Notes covering the time period of Feb. 16 to May 15, 2008. Other than Class Notes, most stories and news in this issue were received in the February through May ’08 time frame.


A Message from the President of the Alumni Association...................................... 2 Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom: An Update.............................................. 3 O’Connor Receives Harry F. Byrd Jr. ’35 Award...................................................... 10 Pilot’s Remains Finally Come Home (Hatfield ’40) ............................................... 14 Schowalter Family Presented with Medal of Honor Flag ..................................... 16 Cadets Tour European Battlefields............................................................................ 18 Bomb Dedications......................................................................................................... 22 First Spring Reunion, April 21-22, 2008.................................................................... 24 Second Spring Reunion, April 25-26, 2008............................................................... 28


Alumni Front................................................................................................................ 32 Class Notes.................................................................................................................... 44 Births............................................................................................................................ 173 Marriages..................................................................................................................... 173 Degrees........................................................................................................................ 173 25 Most Senior Alumni.............................................................................................. 173 Taps.............................................................................................................................. 174 Directory of The VMI Alumni Association............................................................ 184 Alumni News.............................................................................................................. 186


The Institute ............................................................................................................... 192 VMI Athletics ............................................................................................................. 196 VMI Foundation......................................................................................................... 203 VMI Keydet Club....................................................................................................... 212 COVER AND CONTENTS PAGE PHOTOGRAPHY Front and Inside Front Cover: The statue of Gen. George C. Marshall ’01 by sculptor Augusto Bozzano of Mexico was unveiled opposite Marshall Arch on Nov. 11, 1978. It is the only statue erected on Post in honor of a VMI alumnus. It was made possible through a fund drive spearheaded by the late Joseph D. Neikirk ’32, the former executive vice president of the VMI Foundation Inc., as well as through the efforts of the late Adolfo “Pilo” Ponzanelli ’32, a marble industrialist in Mexico who was a friend of Bozzano. Photo Above: Alumni inside Barracks following the spring 2008 reunion parade. All photos by Kathryn Wise.


A Message from the President As summer ends, I am honored to begin my term as president of The VMI Alumni Association, Inc. and to serve more than 18,000 alumni located literally around the world. This magazine highlights the connection we share through a common set of values, an appreciation for service, duty, integrity and our VMI experience. The faces of our alumni serving overseas, the pictures of alumni as they gather together and the news of their experiences are brought to you in your Alumni Review. For many years, I served as a class agent, and I understand how important the class notes in this magazine are to our readers. I am very pleased Lykins ’73 to say that through the efforts of Review editor Hope Hennessey and her staff, the class notes are now published in a timely manner. By printing the most recent class notes updates we have, we are demonstrating responsiveness to our audience. I encourage you to share your thanks with your class agent and offer your own updates via e-mail or phone call. It’s a busy time on Post, and perhaps you are already planning a return trip. In this issue of the Review, you will see information concerning the VMI football team home- and away-game schedule. Additionally, the “Ride to the I,” a VMI motorcycle event, is scheduled for the fourth time, and we encourage those interested to join a growing column of riders returning to see their school. More information about each of these events and all chapter activities is available on the Web site ( With new buildings and a resurgence of interest in VMI, it is indeed a wonderful time to be an alumnus of this great school. One way to take part in the excitement and renew your connection is to return and see the activity and growth on Post. You can also browse through this magazine or spend some time on the Web through Webcam or News, and in doing so, see the Barracks, the Leadership and Ethics Center, and the landscape of VMI. Sharing all of this with you is a great privilege, and I will do my best to bring you timely information through our staff headquartered in Moody Hall and through the Alumni Association Board of Directors who serve VMI’s alumni. Please feel free to contact us, and let us know how we can be of service. We want to hear from you. Proudly serving, Richmond P. Lykins ’73 President The VMI Alumni Association, Inc.



On March 17, 2008, a VMI alumni group gathered at Al Faw Palace, Victory Base Complex (VBC), Baghdad, Iraq. The flag, signed by VMI cadets and administration, was sent from VMI to Cadet Ryan Spahr ’09 (front row, far left). Pictured from left, front row: Ryan Spahr, Rock Donahue ’83, Matt Plant ’06 and Mike Gantert ’01. Back row: Bill Wanovich ’87, Eric Carpenter ’90, Dave Moon ’90, Tom Kelly ’80, Ted Cusick ’88 and Steve Hall ’86. Cusick, who submitted this photo, wrote, “After the group photo, we had a ‘Supper Roll Call,’ walked to the mess hall, dined and enjoyed camaraderie and stories spanning from the two most senior alumni (Colonels Kelly and Donahue) Rat years of 1976-80 to Sgt. Spahr’s interrupted cadet year in 2007 [when he joined] in the global War on Terrorism. Thank you, on behalf of all VMI alumni and cadets based on or near VBC ISO OIF in 2008.”


Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom An Update The following alumni names have been received since the publication of the 2008-Issue 2 Alumni Review. This update does not include alumni names received after June 10, 2008. Also, once the name of an alumnus has been listed in the Review, it will not appear again, even if the alumnus is re-deployed at a later date. Not all of the alumni listed are currently serving in OEF/OIF, but they all have served at one time. Names and photographs are e-mailed to us almost every week. Because we have to have a cut-off date for each issue, your name and picture may have arrived past that date and therefore are not published in this issue; they will be published in the next issue. Please send additions, corrections and photographs to the Alumni Review staff at: VMI Alumni Review, P.O. Box 932, 2008-Issue 3

Lexington, VA 24450 (e-mail: For a complete list of the names that we have received, go to and click on the link titled “Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.”

Class of 1982 Tyminski, William B. Lt. Col., USMCR

Class of 1983 Donahue, Scott F. Col., USA McGreer, Alan R. Lt. Col., NANG

Class of 1984 Anthony, Thomas H. Lt. Col., USAR 3

Fred Hair ’01, standing in line, far right, during his change-of-command ceremony at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq, in March 2008, at which time he took over as a signal company commander.

Class of 1986 Hall, Stephen F. Cmdr., USN McCarthy, Thomas D. Lt. Col., USA

Class of 1987 Cochran, David C. Lt. Col., USA Johnson, Mark K. Col., USAF Snowden, Macon S. III Lt. Cmdr., USNR

Class of 1988 Cusick, Theodore J. Maj., USANG

Class of 1990 Carpenter, Eric B. Lt. Col., USA Moon, A. David Maj.

Class of 1992 Nguyen, Anhtuan T. Maj., USAR Ross, George L. Maj., USA

Class of 1994 Porter, Vinston L. Jr. Maj., USA

Class of 1995 Schwartz, Eric A. Capt., USA

Class of 1997 Reid, James L. III Capt., USA

Class of 1999 Forbes, Christopher E. Capt., USA

Photo at right, top: Al McGreer ’83, left, and Steve Amato ’89, right, in Qatar. Photo at right, bottom: Also in Qatar, Amato, left, with David Phillips ’83, right. As of this writing, Amato is planning to lead VMI’s U.S. Air Force ROTC program beginning in summer 2008.



Class of 2001 Harman, Thomas F. Capt., USAF

Class of 2004 Vogel, Matthew S. Capt., USAF

Class of 2005 Reinitz, Jason A. 1st Lt., USAF

Class of 2006 Baldwin, Todd M. 1st Lt., USA Petronzio, Daniel 2nd Lt., USMC Plant, Matthew E. Ensign, USN Thompson, Clinton T. 2nd Lt., USMC

Class of 2007 Rice, P. Michael Cpl., USMC Ward, Abigail S. 2nd Lt., USA

Class of 2009

Will Boulware and Charlie Benbow at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, in March 2008.

Spahr, Ryan G. Sgt.

Photo above: David Troxell ’02 in Afghanistan. Photo at right: Kyle Nordmeyer ’89, left, and Bob Merkel ’87, right, on April 20, 2008, in front of the 192nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Battalion headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. Nordmeyer is the 3rd EOD Battalion commander in Afghanistan, where he commands all Joint Service EOD Teams. Merkel is the 192nd EOD Battalion commander in Baghdad, where he commands all Joint Service EOD Teams, as well. Nordmeyer traveled to Baghdad for an operations conference and the EOD Memorial Dinner, which, as Merkel explained, “honors our fallen EOD operators.”

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Michael deMayo ’03, above and at right, wrote that he spent four years in Iraq (in 2005-06, he was an engineer executive officer in the 101st Airborne Division), after which he separated from the Army and redeployed to Iraq as a civilian Army contractor working for Honeywell. When he submitted the photos, he said he had been based since September 2007 at Logistical Support Area Anaconda (north of Baghdad) and was looking forward to finishing up his 12 months of duty. “My future plans include going to graduate school for my MBA,” he wrote.

Photo above: Macon Snowden ’87, center, in Fallujah, Iraq, March 2008. “The other two [in the picture] are USNA graduates,” he wrote. Photo at right: Josh Gonzales ‘03 in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces at Camp Victory, Iraq. Note the chandelier behind him.



Class of ’92 Brother Rats Bill Woodward, left, and George Ross, right, outside the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters building in Kabul, Afghanistan. The ISAF is a NATO-led security and development organization in Afghanistan which was established by the United Nations Security Council on Dec. 20, 2001. It consists of about 52,913 military and civilian personnel as of June 2008. Forty different nations contribute troops to this military force, including contributions from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Turkey and Singapore.

Josh Gonzales ’03, third from left, in Iraq, prior to heading out on a mission.

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Underwood ’94

and Faller ’06 Awarded Purple Heart Alumni Supporting Each Other ... VMI Bonds Are Strong The events of these stories are told here chronologically. Photo at right, top: Blake Faller ’06, at lower right, was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while leading a patrol in Iraq on Dec. 29, 2008. According to David Underwood ’94, at upper right, who submitted this photo and the others on this page, Faller has fully recovered. Joining Faller and Underwood at the Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad was Jay Morgan ’05, left. Photos at right: Col. Terry Ferrell, commander of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, pinned on Faller’s Purple Heart medal, Jan. 1, 2008, at Patrol Base Whiskey-1 south of Baghdad. Faller and his medal are also shown in the photo at far right.

Photo above, left: David Underwood ’94 lost his left hand and sustained wounds to his left leg after triggering an IED while conducting a clearing operation of a group of abandoned houses south of Baghdad. In the photo above, left, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, congratulated Underwood after presenting him with the Purple Heart at the Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Jan. 16, 2008. Photo above, right: Jay Morgan ’05 visiting Underwood at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC, on Jan. 25th. (Editor’s Note: At the time he submitted the photos on this page, Underwood was recovering at Walter Reed Hospital. At press time several months later, we received an e-mail that he sent from Disney World where he and his family were vacationing prior to traveling to his next assignment at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in San Antonio. It seems that Underwood’s recovery is progressing very well, we’re happy to say!)



1st Sgt. Luke Mercardante Killed in Afghanistan Former ROTC Instructor was Class of ’07 Honorary BR by Kathryn Wise, Vice President, VMI Alumni Association

1st Sergeant Luke J. Mercardante, USMC, of Athens, Georgia, sense of respect and admiration for each of you and those who who served on the staff of the VMI Naval ROTC unit from 2002-05, wear the VMI uniform.” died in Afghanistan on April 15, 2008, when he and another MaHe went on to say, “Keeping with the spirit of the Brother Rat, I rine were killed in action by a roadside bomb while conducting will represent you and your class at all times in the most profescombat operations in the Kandahar province. He was serving at sional and respectable manner, be an ambassador for VMI, be an the time as acting sergeant major for Combat Logistics Battalion individual that any of you can call upon at any time and wear 24 of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He was 35 years old your class ring with great pride. … This is one of the greatest and had been in Afghanistan since February 2008 on his second honors of my life after being able to call myself a Christian, a deployment in the Middle East. He had served previously as gunfather and a United States Marine.” nery sergeant at a detention center in Al Asad, Iraq, in 2006. Mercardante had been in the Marine Corps since 1992. He held the While at VMI, Mercardante was an assistant Marine officer Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars instructor (MOI) who helped train cadets preparing to be comin lieu of the second award, the Marine Corps Achievement Medal missioned as officers in the Marine Corps. Col. William R. Grace, with one gold star in lieu of the second award and the OutstandUSMC, the commanding officer of the VMI Navy ROTC unit, ing Volunteer Service Medal. He earned an associate’s degree from released this statement upon hearing of Mercardante’s death: Campbell University in 2002 and a bachelor of science degree in “As an assistant MOI, 1st Sergeant Mercardante was a superb business administration from the University of Maryland in 2005. Marine and a tremendous role model for all of us. He loved being Mercardante is survived by two children, Cailin Mercardante, a Marine and helping develop our next generation of leaders. He 13, and Luke Mercardante II, 9; his mother, Gertrude Mercarwas totally devoted to our cadets while at VMI and to his Marines dante of Bogart, Georgia; his father and stepmother, Patrick Merwhile leading them in our nation’s effort in the War on Terror. cardante Sr. and Katie of Statham, Georgia; three brothers, Frank He will be missed.” Mercardante, Patrick Mercardante Jr. and Mark Mercardante; a Mercardante’s impact on the cadets was so appreciated that the sister, Bridget Clark of Bogart; four nieces, Katelyn, Jacy, Ashley class of 2007 named him an Honorary Brother Rat. Upon hearing and Amanda Clark; a nephew, Kyle Clark; his fiancée, Kim Hull; of Mercardante’s death, Jamaal O. Walton, president of the class his brother-in-law, Harold Clark; and his sister-in-law, Olga. of ’07, spoke on behalf of the class when he said, “1st Sergeant Mercardante was buried on April 21, 2008, in Athens, Georgia. Mercardante was chosen as an Honorary Brother Rat, because VMI held a service in his memory in Jackson Memorial Hall on he was a man of honor and integrity and always rose above the May 13, 2008. expectations of his duty. He always lent a helping hand to others and had a positive impact on those who got to know him. Brother Rat Mercardante was truly a great Marine, a great friend and, most of all, a great father.” Sally Coffman Arciero, the ’07 class agent, said the class was the first that Mercardante saw matriculate and that he “grew into VMI along with us.” She further said, “I saw him making an effort to talk with and get to know all of us. It was a much appreciated effort. … I found him to be an intense man, and he supported that which he believed in with his entire being. He was an honorable man, a good leader and a proud Brother Rat.” Mercardante responded to the honor with a letter that was published in the Bomb, the VMI yearbook. He said, “Your class and this great institution [have] also played a significant role in my life, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be 1st Sgt. Luke Mercardante, right, congratulating 2nd Lt. William Harley associated with such a prestigious, honor’07 upon his commissioning in May 2007 as a second lieutenant in the able and respectable organization. From U.S. Marine Corps. (VMI photo by Kevin Remington.) the day you matriculated … I developed a

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O’Connor Receives Harry F. Byrd Jr. ’35 Award On March 26, 2008, former Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor received the Harry F. Byrd Jr. ’35 Public Service Award at VMI. The first woman associate Supreme Court justice, O’Connor was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and served for more than 24 years on the Supreme Court. The Byrd Award was established in 2001 to honor a public official, either elected or appointed, who has made significant civic contributions. (See sidebar article for more about this award.) Sen. Byrd joined with G. Gilmer Minor III ’63, then-president of the VMI Board of Visitors, to present the Byrd medal to O’Connor. O’Connor’s remarks follow: Gen. Peay, Senator Byrd, Mr. Minor, cadets and friends of Virginia Military Institute. It is a great privilege and honor to be at the Virginia Military Institute today. The beauty and history of this institution make it one of our nation’s most treasured places. To be here and receive the Byrd Award and to review a parade is the experience of a lifetime. The previous recipients have been very distinguished individuals, such as Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, former Secretary of the Army John Marsh and Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harry Carrico. I am extremely honored to be among the recipients of this prestigious award. The Virginia Military Institute motto is “by wisdom and courage.” VMI has shown great honor and great courage throughout its existence. It is an extraordinary and unique educational institution,


and it serves a vital role in our country. We are living in a time of military confrontation across the globe. We need a well trained military force — one that can cope with a different kind of conflict. In Iraq, it is not a conflict between national armies, and Iraq does not have a strong civilian government. VMI is in the business of producing leaders, and we are living in a time when we need leaders more than anything. Some of you may know that more than a decade ago, I voted with the majority of the Supreme Court in a landmark case called Virginia v. United States, in which the court held that VMI would have to admit women students. In preparing for that case, I heard a great deal about the adversative method, which the cadets of this institution undergo. Those of you who have gone through the “Ratline” must be quite courageous. The Virginia Military Institute showed great courage in defending its institution. These days, we often hear about ways in which educational institutes try to make life as easy as possible for its students. VMI, however, prides itself on teaching its students how to thrive under conditions of adversity. The teaching methods are harsh, but the graduates of this institution go on to do great things. As I look out over this crowd, I see quite a few female faces among the cadets. Like you, I was also one of the first women in my field. When I graduated from law school, I could not get a law firm to hire me as an attorney – although I did have a tentative offer of employment as a secretary. I entered public service instead, as I know


many of the cadets here will also do. In the many years since I first tary, braving the risks and the challenges of future conflicts with a graduated from law school, I have seen the numbers of female law shadowy, unidentified enemy and a war like no other we have seen. students swell from one percent when I graduated, to more than 50 Your years here are marked by where you will go afterward if you percent today. It took a number of decades, but eventually, society stay in military service: Iraq, Afghanistan or other unknown places has learned that despite the physical differences between men and to which the service calls you. As you head out into that future, you women, women are as intelligent and as capable of serving in leader- will face profoundly difficult choices. ship positions as men. You will perhaps also come across the old Roman maxim, “in Unlike West Point or other federal military academies, VMI does time of war the laws are silent.” That maxim seems almost quaint not use different physical standards for its men and its women. today. The Romans had no Geneva Conventions, nor did they have The success of women at VMI over the last decade has shown that a JAG Corps (or for that matter, a press corps). Today, law and war women can thrive under the adversative method. They have thrived seem inseparable. But there is still some truth to that old saying, under tougher physical standards than those used for women by any because to the extent that there is a law of war, it is always the law other military academy in the United States. My guess is that in time of the last war. So, there is some tension there. Today, this tension VMI may consider standards closer to those at other national service is made most clear when we talk about how the United States treats academies. After all, you are in competition with them for students. its prisoners in the War on Terror. What law governs the detention In any event, I know that the women who graduate from VMI will and interrogation of terrorist suspects? And how are you to know serve their country as well, and as diligently, as the men. what standards apply? What does wisdom tell you to do? What does I congratulate the women cadets in this audience. That you have courage tell you to do? It is hard enough to answer these questions survived this far indicates that you are truly “Brother Rats” to the but harder still when the nation’s elected leaders are themselves men in the audience. I can imagine just how difficult it has been for silent about these questions. you to be among the “firsts” at VMI. You have proven that women The Geneva Conventions and their protocols were not made for can serve alongside men in every capacity. conflicts between a state and an international terrorist network. For As I look out today and see all the uniforms, I think of my view the most part, they were drafted with traditional armies of nation from the bench in our courtroom. We justices wear uniforms of a states in mind. Some have said that we need to rethink these convensort – plain black robes. In earlier days, advocates at our court usually tions and amend them. But that is a daunting process and takes many wore formal attire – a morning coat. That former practice brings years. And what are soldiers meant to do in the meantime? For many to mind a story. Col. William Colston was a well known attorney years, the conventions have set the basic ground rules for the U.S. in Kentucky in the last century. He was counsel for the Southern armed forces in matters related to the treatment of prisoners. The Railway System for many years, and on one occasion he took the Army has devoted a great deal of effort to implementing and specifypresident of the company to Washington to watch Colston argue a ing the standards set out in the conventions in its field manuals and case before the Supreme Court. While they were waiting for their manuals about intelligence interrogation. But no one has yet written case to be heard, the client walked around the building inquiring of the book for the rules that apply when the Geneva Conventions do the court’s staff about the habits of the justices. not. That is a very difficult situation. And there has been a lot of One thing he learned from a court employee was that it was the confusion about what rules apply to whom and where. practice at the court that every male attorney wear a vest. “In fact,” As a result, military personnel from the front lines in Iraq have the garrulous attendant elaborated, “some of the attorneys go far beyond the rules and appeal to the vanity of the justices by dressing in formal attire. But your lawyer is complying with the rules by wearing only a plain business suit.” Several weeks later, the ruling of the court came down deciding the case against Colston and the railroad. Col. Colston immediately telephoned the company president to give him the bad news. “Well, we lost our case,” he said. “I know why,” was the disgruntled response. “Why?” asked the colonel. “Because you weren’t dressed right,” said the president. “Well, by golly,” the belligerent Col. Colston replied, “that’s a lot better reason than any they gave in the opinion.” Each of the Virginia Military Institute cadets here today joined the Ratline after 9/11. Each of you chose in the aftermath of that terrible September day to train in the Former Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr. ‘35, right, with former Associate Justice military tradition. Not all but many of you Sandra Day O’Connor. will go on to serve your country in the mili-

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reported, at least in the first years of that war, that they do not know now, Boumediene v. Bush, the court is considering yet another iswhat rules apply and that they have not received clear guidelines sue regarding the detention of enemy combatants. The legal issue from their superior officers.1 Some of their superior officers said that is again important but narrow: What kind of judicial review are the they were not able to get clear guidelines from people higher up in detainees at Guantanamo Bay entitled to receive? the chain of command.2 This is clearly not a good situation. When These are limited steps and decisions. Some criticized the court for soldiers are being told to go out and get intelligence but not told doing too much. But the court is bound by the Constitution and by the limits on how they may do so, they may overstep the bounds. the historical precedents of the court to do no less. Some criticized That in turn may lead to both legal and diplomatic difficulties. And the court for doing too little. But the court is naturally reluctant to if our military is not treating prisoners of war “properly,” that may rule more broadly than necessary. The court is only one branch of also increase the dangers to U.S. soldiers if they are captured by the government, and it cannot and should not give broad answers to the enemy. Often, it is the low-ranking soldiers who are blamed for the difficult policy questions that face our nation today. abuses. They, of course, have to take responsibility for their own acSo, the Supreme Court treads cautiously. An architectural feature tions, but those that would lead them also need to take responsibility. of the Supreme Court is small bronze turtles that hold up the lamp Finally, it seems to me we need a clear set of rules to reaffirm our posts in our courtyards. [The turtle] symbolizes the pace of justice: values as a nation. This is crucial in the ongoing war of ideas. We have slow but steady. And that is the nature of our wisdom and our courto demonstrate two things in particular: First, this country believes age, as members of the Supreme Court. The court moves slowly but in protecting the basic humanity of all people, and that includes steadily under the light shed by our Constitution. Sometimes that even our adversaries. Second, we will not stoop to the atrocities and light does not illuminate very much. It is an old document – and it inhumane tactics of some of our adversaries. is very short. But with good reason: It is designed primarily not to But where will we get specific guidance? Our Supreme Court has govern the people but to allow the people to govern themselves. said very little as yet about what the government may and may not The Supreme Court guards the ground rules, so that the people, do to people captured by U.S. forces on the battlefield. The Supreme through their elected representatives, can run the country. This Court takes cases that have arisen in the lower courts, which are often is where we expect Congress to step in. But Congress has done decided some years after the events being litigated. In a case in 2003 surprisingly little to date to clarify United States policy toward called Hamdi,3 we said that U.S. citizens who are being held on U.S. prisoners in the War on Terror. Recent years have seen a few good soil as enemy combatants have to be given some minimal due process changes. In 2005, Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act, of law. But we were cautious about putting too much of a burden on which forbids cruel or inhumane treatment of detainees in the the military and deciding too much. So, the command of that case is control of the United States. These changes provided some welmodest. The military must give citizens who are being detained – not come clarity for our armed forces, but to this day, there is ongoing at the moment they are captured on the battlefield but later, when criticism about whether certain interrogation techniques such as the military makes the decision to hold onto them – a “meaningful water boarding count as cruel or inhumane treatment, and you opportunity” to challenge the factual basis for their detention. It must can be assured that the debate is by no means over. tell them why they are being held and give them a fair opportunity to Justice Brandeis once said, “In most matters, it is more important contest the facts before an impartial adjudicator. We did not decide that the applicable rule of law be settled than that it be settled right.”5 if this process could be achieved through a military tribunal. We simply said that there has to be some way for a U.S. citizen who is being indefinitely detained to have some outside review – a second look if you will. In another case that we decided at the same time, called Rasul,4 we said even less. Rasul held that detainees held as enemy combatants at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base could bring an action in federal courts challenging the legality of their detention. This also was a narrow decision. It said only that in a place like Guantanamo, which is under the “complete jurisdiction and control” of the United States, prisoners who are being held indefinitely can bring a challenge to their detention. But we said nothing about what kinds of claims will succeed once the detainees get to federal court. From left, former Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, former Senator Harry F. Finally, in a case that is pending Byrd Jr. ‘35 and VMI Board of Visitors President G. Gilmer Minor III ’63. before the Supreme Court right



That statement is true in many circumstances. But this is not one of them. Here, it is important that the law be settled, and that it be settled right. So, perhaps Congress will continue to try to get the law right, and from time to time, these kinds of questions will end up back before the federal courts. Insofar as the courts have not set out with clarity the standards and the limits, it is more likely that the other branches will step in and make the political choices that, at the end of the day in their application, may return to the courts in a different form – but it takes years for most of these matters to be resolved. In the meantime, the nation has placed an enormous burden upon our armed forces. We have asked Taking review were, from left, Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, superintendent; former them to be our soldiers and our Associate Justice O’Connor; former Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr. ’35; and VMI Board of statesmen, to be our combatants Visitors President G. Gilmer Minor III ’63. and our conscience. This burden has been placed upon them with only limited guidance. But the history and honor of this institution Harry F. Byrd Jr. ’35 suggests that if anyone can bear this responsibility, it is the cadets of the Virginia Military Institute and your previous graduates. This Public Service Award institution has been producing some of our nation’s leaders for more than 200 years. It has done so during times of peace and On Oct. 10, 2001, then-VMI Superintendent Maj. Gen. Jotimes of war. It has always done so with skill and distinction. We siah Bunting III ’63 announced the establishment of the Byrd are facing military challenges today unlike any in the past. Our Award for Public Service, made possible by the generosity of nation will rely on you new, young leaders to do as you have done retired U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr. ’35. The announcement in the past – to defend our nation here and abroad, to conduct was made at a convocation at which Dr. Henry Kissinger was yourselves honorably with or without specific guidelines, and the invited speaker through the auspices of the H.B. Johnson to enable our nation to survive in some of the most challenging Jr. ’26 Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series. times we have faced. Our military personnel have had to become The award was established to honor the many civic more than soldiers. Now, they are our diplomats, our peacekeepcontributions of Senator Byrd and his family to the comers, our nation builders as well. There is much to do and no monwealth of Virginia and the nation. Byrd was a member blueprints for doing it. of the Virginia State Senate from 1948-65 and was a U.S. May I say as someone without a military background that we senator from 1965-83, elected as a Democrat and later an citizens are deeply grateful and appreciative for your courage Independent, and served on the influential Senate Armed and dedication and your educational experiences. Without you, Services Committee and the Senate Finance Committee of we would not long survive. which he was chairman of the Taxation and Debt ManageMay God bless you – each and every one. ment Subcommittee. A nine-member selection committee, including members Endnotes: of the Byrd family and state and VMI officials, choose the Byrd Award recipients. The selection committee seeks nomi1. See Final Report of the Independent Panel to Review DoD Detennations from leaders in education, state government and the tion Operations (“The Schlesinger Report”) (August 2004), pp. 13-14; news media. The Award is presented at the discretion of the Human Rights Watch, Leadership Failure: Firsthand Accounts of selection committee. Torture of Iraqi Detainees by the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne DiviPrevious Byrd Award recipients are The Honorable John O. sion, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Sept. 2005); Charles Babington & Shailagh Marsh Jr., former Secretary of the Army, who received the Murray, Senate Supports Interrogation Limits, Washington Post award in October 2002; The Honorable Harry Lee Carrico, (Oct. 6, 2004) A1. former chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, who 2. Human Rights Watch, supra. received the award in October 2003; and former Virginia 3. Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004). Governor Gerald L. Baliles, who received the award in Oc4. Rasul v. Bush, 542 U.S. 466 (2004). tober 2006. 5. Burnet v. Coronado Oil & Gas Co., 285 U.S. 393, 406 (1932) (Brandeis, J., dissenting).

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Pilot’s Remains Finally

Come Home Col. Douglas Hampton Hatfield ’40, USAF, was Shot Down in North Korea in 1951 by Hannah Northey Daily News-Record, Harrisonburg, Virginia The following article was published in the Dec. 15, 2007, edition of the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It is reprinted with permission. Fifty-six years ago, a B-29 “Superfortress” bomber leaving Japan was shot down and crashed in North Korea, killing Shenandoah, Virginia, native Lt. Col. Douglas H. Hatfield. Now, Hatfield’s remains, and his story, have come home. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007, the U.S. Department of Defense said it had identified Hatfield’s bone fragments in boxes of remains turned over to the United Nations by the North Korean government. Hatfield’s fate was intertwined with 10 other men on board the B-29 on April 12, 1951, including Captain


Richard H. Simpson of Fairhaven, Michigan, whose remains were also identified this week [December 2007]. While Hatfield and Simpson died on impact, at least three other members of the crew bailed out of the plane before crashing. Two of the men were captured and released to the U.S. in 1954, while the third crewman, who is known to have bailed out, died while a prisoner of war. The remains of four other crew members had been identified when the North Korean government turned over the remains to the U.S. in 1993. The fates of the other two men on the mission have not been determined. But for Hatfield’s family, receiving the remains has provided answers. His son, Stephan, of Westcliffe, Colorado, said he plans on scattering his father’s ashes in the Pacific Ocean, along with his mother, Margaret’s, ashes. Margaret, 84, who died four years ago, spoke of her husband often and wanted to know how her husband died. “They were soul mates,” he said. “She was looking for closure but couldn’t get it.” The Touch of War Korea was split into two countries in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II. While North Korea fell under the influence of the Soviet Union and, later, communist China, South Korea aligned itself with the United States and its allies. By 1948, both North and South Korea claimed to be the divided nation’s legitimate government, leading to growing tensions, border skirmishes and eventually, a civil war. The Western allies and the Soviet bloc then joined the fight as part of the larger Cold War. In 1950, North Korea attacked South Korea in an effort to reunify the two countries, sparking a conflict that continued for the next three years. In 1951, as the war was escalating, Hatfield and 10 crew members left the Kadena Air Base in Japan on a B-29 Superfortress to bomb targets in the area of Sinuiju, North Korea, according to the Defense Department. Enemy MiG-15 jetfighters attacked and shot down the bomber. The bomber crashed in Kujang County near North Korea’s west coast. Three years later, crew members Sgt. George Millward and Sgt. John Gant were released along with thousands of other American prisoners of war after an armistice was signed. Hatfield ’40 The third man known to


have bailed out, Sgt. Louis Bergmann, died while in captivity and his remains were never recovered, according to Larry Greer, spokesman for the Pentagon’s POW/ MIA office. In 1993, the North Korean government turned over to the United Nations Command 31 boxes containing the remains of U.S. servicemen listed as unaccounted-for from the Korean War. Those boxes included four sets of remains from the group, which were identified as crew members of Hatfield’s B-29. Still, there was no sign of Hatfield. Lingering Mysteries In 2000, a team of scientists from the United States and North Korea, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, excavated an infantry fighting position in Kujang County in North Korea. There, scientists recovered remains that included Hatfield and Simpson, Greer said. The scientists, he said, used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons to identify the men. But what was strange, Greer said, is that Hatfield’s remains were found 65 miles east of the crash site, in the middle of a battlefield where the remains of many Marines were recovered. That, he said, makes scientists think the remains were moved. “To have two

Air Force guys right in the middle of the burial site is curious,” said Greer. “U.S. scientists surmise they were moved.”

Burial at Sea Stephan Hatfield, 60, who was 4 years old when his father died, said he doesn’t remember much about him. Stephan, a retired Air Force and commercial pilot, said his mother spoke of his father and wanted closure on his death. Five years after Hatfield was declared “killed in action,” Margaret remarried but never gave up hope to find out what happened to her husband, he said. Stephan said he visited Shenandoah about 20 years ago, the town where he was living when his father was killed. Hatfield, posthumously promoted to the rank of colonel, has two surviving brothers, one in Minneapolis and another in Yorktown, some extended family in Shenandoah, and a grandson, Stephan’s son, Daniel, 24, who lives in London. Stephan plans on holding a funeral for his father with full military honors in the future, he said. Until then, a small family ceremony will be held for Hatfield this spring [2008] in California. There, Stephan said he would sprinkle his father’s ashes in the ocean where his mother was put to rest. “I’ll drop his ashes in the Pacific Ocean where I put my mother’s ashes,” Hatfield as a cadet at VMI. he said.

Hatfield ’40 Plaque in VMI’s Memorial Gardens On Sept. 26, 1981, a ceremony honoring the late Col. Douglas H. (Pappy) Hatfield ’40, USAF, was held in Jackson Memorial Hall and in Memorial Gardens. Family, friends and Brother Rats were present at the unveiling of a plaque in Hatfield’s memory in the garden. Making remarks in Jackson Memorial Hall was E.P.Y. Powell ’40 who, along with Robert H. Deaderick ’40, sponsored the plaque in their former VMI roommate’s memory. At the time of the ceremony, Hatfield’s widow, Margaret, and his son, Stephan, who at the time was a captain in the U.S. Air Force, presented his decorations to the VMI Museum. Among them were four Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Star Medals, four Air Medals and the Purple Heart.

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Hatfield was a chemistry major at VMI. During his second class year, he held the rank of sergeant.


Schowalter Family

Presented With Medal of Honor Flag

Maj. Gen. Abner C. Blalock ’70, right, adjutant general of the Alabama National Guard, presented the Medal of Honor Flag to Edward Schowalter’s widow, Bonney, daughter Lynn Schreiner and son Col. Edward Schowalter III at a ceremony in Opelika, Alabama.

by Wendy Lovell Contributing Writer, VMI Institute Report and Alumni Review

Medal of Honor Flag



ore than 50 years ago, a young VMI alumnus distinguished himself in battle in the Korean War. Despite being wounded three times while leading his platoon, 1st Lt. Edward R. Schowalter ’51 continued to issue orders and encourage his troops in the assault into the communist trenches and bunkers near Kumhwa, Korea, until the commanding ground was secured and his objective complete. A member of A Company, 1st Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, Schowalter received a degree in chemistry from VMI in 1951, just a year prior to his courageous actions in battle on Oct. 14, 1952. A year later, he received the Medal of Honor from President Dwight D. Eisenhower on behalf of Congress. It is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force bestowed upon a person serving in the armed forces. Schowalter continued to serve in the Army until his retirement in 1977. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he received the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Award, Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Honor Medal. The valiant soldier passed away on Nov. 21, 2003, but he has VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

not been forgotten. On March 29, 2008, his widow, Bonney, daughter Lynn Schreiner and son Col. Edward Schowalter III were presented with the Medal of Honor flag at a ceremony in Opelika, Alabama. The event was made more special by the fact that Maj. Gen. Abner C. Blalock, adjutant general of the Alabama National Guard and a member of the VMI class of 1970, presented the flag to Schowalter’s family. Established by Congress on Oct. 23, 2003, the Medal of Honor flag is presented to recipients or their families. It consists of a field of blue with 13 stars arranged in the same formation as the stars appear on the Medal of Honor ribbon, and it is fringed with gold. The light blue color and white stars are adapted from the Medal of Honor ribbon, and the flag commemorates the sacrifice and blood shed for freedom and gives emphasis to the medal’s status as the highest award for valor. The idea for the flag is the brainchild of retired 1st Sgt. William Kendall of Jefferson, Iowa, who created his own design for a Medal of Honor flag while working with his American Legion post. During 20 years of service in the Army Special Forces, Kendall served with several Medal of Honor recipients in Vietnam. His efforts to honor his comrades attracted the attention of Iowa U.S. Rep. Tom Latham who took the idea to Congress. After the legislation passed, a panel of armed services representatives went through a formal approval process to select an official Medal of Honor flag design. Sarah LeClerc of the Institute of Heraldry designed the official flag, which was presented for the first time to the family of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith on Sept. 30, 2006, aboard the U.S.S. Constitution.

Seven VMI Alumni Have Received the Medal of Honor Edward R. Schowalter Jr. ’51 is one of seven VMI alumni who have received the Medal of Honor, the highest and most rarely awarded decoration conferred by the United States. Other recipients are: Clarence E. Sutton, class of 1890 and a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, received the Medal of Honor for helping carry a wounded officer from the field of battle despite heavy enemy fire near Tientsin, China, on July 13, 1900. While a first lieutenant in the U.S. Volunteer Signal Corps, Charles E. Kilbourne, class of 1894, climbed a telegraph pole at the east end of the Paco Bridge and, in full view of the enemy, coolly and carefully repaired a broken telegraph wire, reestablishing telegraphic communication to the front. His actions were within a range of 250 yards of the enemy and in the face of rapid fire in the Philippine Islands on Feb. 5, 1899. Cary D. Langhorne, class of 1894, received the medal for extraordinary heroism in battle during the engagement of Vera Cruz on April 22, 1914, in Mexico. A surgeon in the U.S. Navy, Langhorne carried a wounded man from the front of the Naval Academy while under heavy fire. Aldophus Staton, class of 1899, was a U.S. Navy lieutenant when, on April 22, 1914, in the engagement of Vera Cruz, Mexico, he exhibited courage and skill in leading his men in the final occupation of the city. William P. Upshur, class of 1902 and a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, was on a reconnaissance mission in Haiti when he and his company were fired upon from three sides by about 400 Cacos (revolutionists) concealed in bushes about 100 yards from Fort Liberte. The company fought its way to a good position which it maintained during the night. At daybreak on Oct. 25, 1915, Upshur led his men forward, surprising and scattering the Cacos and aiding in the capture of Fort Dipitie.

Bonney Schowalter and Gen. Blalock standing next to a bulletin board of momentos, including Edward Schowalter’s Medal of Honor citation. In his role as adjutant general of the Alabama National Guard, Blalock is responsible for providing support to all state units in training, administration, logistics, supply, maintenance and other applicable programs and functions.

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Richard E. Byrd, class of 1908 and a commander in the U.S. Navy, courageously demonstrated in 1926 that it is possible for aircraft to travel in continuous flight from a now inhabited portion of the earth over the North Pole and back.


Standing: John Krayling ’10, Andrew Gay ’08, Anthony Korbely ’10, Mark Parton ’08, Thomas Schirra ’11, Noah Scribner ’09, Thomas Stauffer ’09, Justin Tench ’10, Phillip Wilkerson ’08, Jonathan Schmidt ’08, Erik Keirstead ’09, Matthew Lowe ’11, Hunter Davis ’11 and John La Rue ’08. Seated: Professor Malcolm Muir. Kneeling: John Douglas ’08, Carter Murray ’09, John Curtis ’10 and Jesse Burnette ’08 .

Cadets Tour

European Battlefields Over Spring Break by Doug Graves Tour Guide, Military Historical Tours Pre-conceptions about Europe started falling away almost as soon as the 20 VMI cadets landed in Paris. They were there on a week-long trip through some of the battlefields of Europe with VMI history professor Malcolm “Kip” Muir, Ph.D. The trip was organized by Military Historical Tours (www.miltours. com) based in Alexandria, Virginia, which specializes in taking clients to historical locations, accompanied by knowledgeable historians. The cadets’ first stop was Cantigny, France – a small village where the American Army’s 1st Division – the “Big Red One” – first met and defeated German forces in May 1918. It was at 18

Cantigny that VMI graduate George C. Marshall, class of 1901, first saw action. The cadets got their boots muddy on these shell-cratered battlefields, exploring damp and broken bunkers, ruined forts and gun pits. “In understanding war, there is no substitute for seeing the ground,” said Professor Muir. “The cadets [will] begin to appreciate that [World War I] was not a mere backdrop to World War II but that it represented a titanic struggle in its own right.” The Aisne-Marne battlefield was the next objective. It is five miles northwest of Chateau-Thierry. Local historian Gilles Lagin led the cadets through the Bois de la Brigade de Marine, also known since WWI by U.S. Marines as Belleau Wood. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune, VMI superintendent from November 1929 to October 1937, commanded the Marines at Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood. The forest, then blasted to splinters, has since recovered. It still conceals water-filled shell holes pock-marking the damp ground. At the wood’s edge, rock outcroppings and boulders shelter former machine gun nests and command rugged slopes where men grappled in close combat. Here, VMI class of 1917 graduate and future 20th Commandant of the Marine Corps Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. was twice wounded leading his 5th Marines platoon. After a solemn visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, the curator opened the gates to a private estate. In the stable VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

yard of long destroyed Chateau de Belleau, the maw of a bronze mastiff dog spits cold spring water into a shallow pool. Called by U.S. Marines the “Devil Dog Fountain,” it is reputed to add 10 years to any Marine who drinks the water. The future Marine lieutenants in the group – John Krahling ’10 of Stafford, Virginia; John Douglas ’08 of Birmingham, Alabama; Andrew Gay ’08 from Ridgeland, Mississippi; and Mark Parton ’08 of Orlando, Florida – all had a good drink. At Compiègne Forest, the history students saw where Germany compelled France’s surrender during WWII. After a night on the town in Reims, they drove past the Porte de Mars, a Roman triumphal arch. The cadets spent a few hours at Reims’ Notre Dame Cathedral. Built between 1211 and 1311, it is the traditional coronation site for the kings of France. Reflecting on his first few days in France, Cadet Thomas Schirra ’11 of Powhatan, Virginia, said, “The French are lot nicer than you think. They are usually thought of by Americans as being ‘stuck up,’ but they really are not. They love Americans.” A few miles from Reims, the men arrived at the Meuse-Argonne area, site of the last great battle of WWI. It is still broken by shell holes – a clear testament to the tornado of steel that ravaged the men there. The Mercedes tour bus stopped next to a granite marker with an arrow pointing to the steep ravine – the “Lost Battalion.” Elements of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 308th Infantry Regiment heroically fought there during the Meuse-Argonne offensive. The cadets scrambled down the

slope toward a small stream sparkling through the budding trees. Soon, one cadet was back, his hands full of battlefield treasure – corroded but recognizable, 30-caliber brass cartridge casings and a lone .30 copper-jacketed slug. Later, on their tour of the Argonne Mountains, Cadet John Douglas, with his father, Gilbert, stood at the foot of the massive memorial at Montfaucon. They had brought John’s great grandfather’s 78th Division shoulder patch, the Cross of Lorraine, back to the battlefield where doughboy Capt. Gilbert Douglas served as a young Army doctor. Not far from Montfaucon, the Ossuary of Douaumont commemorates the battle of Verdun in 1916. The bones resting beneath marble capstones have no names, but French widows and families paid to have the names of their missing men engraved on the interior walls and columns. The group’s guide, Chantal, pointed out the name of her grandfather chiseled high up on the curving wall: Boissonard, Charles 28-7-85 – 27-6-16. “The ossuary has an almost insane amount of bodies,” said Cadet Noah Scribner ’09 of Armonk, New York. “The artillery shrapnel made Verdun hell on earth. I have much more respect for the French military. They were fighting for four years – putting their husbands and sons through a meat grinder. They held on, fought and defended their homes.” Cadet after cadet voiced this greater appreciation of the French during the trip. “My attitude toward the French [military] has changed,” said Cadet Jesse Burnette ’08 from Marion, North

The cadets and Professor Malcolm “Kip” Muir with Military Historical Tours guide Douglas Graves and Chantal and Bruce Jones in the massive courtyard of the Hôtel des Invalides, site of Napoleon’s Tomb in Paris.

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Carolina, after walking through the Verdun battlefields. “They fought very well. It’s a misconception we have that they didn’t fight. The French have gotten a bad rap in the U.S.,” he said. “They fought hard here and were brave soldiers.” “I liked Fort Douaumont,” said Cadet Anthony “A.J.” Korbely ’10 from Armada, Michigan, after exploring one of the massive French forts protecting Verdun. “It was very impressive to see how they had to fight. I have a new admiration for the French soldier.” At the 50-acre American Cemetery in Luxembourg, several cadets retired the American flags flying from twin flagpoles at the grave site of Gen. George Patton, class of 1907. Five thousand and seventy-six Americans are buried there, most of whom died during the Battle of the Bulge. Muir’s cadets spent the next three nights in Bastogne, Belgium, their base for an extensive exploration of “Battle of the Bulge” battlefields. A Sherman tank, covered in snow by a late


spring storm, is proudly displayed in a downtown square. Several cadets reported that in different cafés and pubs they were told, “Your money is no good here. Your grandfathers saved our country. The beer is on us!” The cadets went from the “dragon’s teeth” and casements of the Siegfried Line on the German frontier to the infamous site where Germans massacred American soldiers at Baugnez near Malmedy. The cadets and their history professor tramped through snowy forests, climbed down mossy stone steps and scrambled up hillsides. The VMI cadets finished their European tour in Paris where they explored the city and enjoyed the night life. Muir summed up the experience: “A significant goal was to give the cadets a close look at three of our NATO allies – France, Luxembourg and Belgium – and to have the opportunity to interact with the people of those nations.” All indications are that this goal was successfully and resoundingly met.



Captions: Photo 1: Fort Douaumont fell to German army engineers in 1916. It cost France about 100,000 men to regain it. Photo 2: Cadet Justin Tench ’10 admired the memorial to the U.S. Army’s 1st Division at Cantigney, France. Photo 3: The cadets gathered with their new friends at the memorial commemorating the first action seen in France by American soldiers in WWI. Photo 4: Cadet Ben Curle ’08 at the scene of the “Lost Battalion’s” epic battle. Photo 5: Some of the cadets were invited to lower the evening colors at the American Cemetery in Luxembourg: Cadets Phillip Wilkerson ’08, Andrew Gay


’08 and Carter Murray ’09. Assisting but not pictured: Justin Tench ’10 and John Curtis ’10. Photo 6: Cadet Hunter Davis ’11 at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Reims, France. Photo 7: Cadet Macks Colella ’08 examined a German bullet hole made during WWII in the First World War Battle of the Marne memorial. Photo 8: Cadet Andrew Gay ’08 added 10 years to his life by drinking from the “Devil Dog Fountain.” Photo 9: Cadets planning to accept commissions in the U.S. Army posed by the Sherman tank in downtown Bastogne, Belgium: Noah Scribner, Eric Keirstead, Ben Curle and Thomas Stauffer. The bust is of Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, assistant division commander of the 101st Airborne Division. McAuliffe inspired his troops to a heroic stand that helped stop Germany’s last major counteroffensive of the war in Europe. Photo 10: Gilbert Douglas and his son, Cadet John Douglas ’08, at the scene of John’s great-grandfather’s service in WWI. They are holding Capt. Gilbert Douglas senior’s division shoulder patch, the “Cross of Lorraine.” Photo 11: The Ossuary of Douaumont contains the bones of almost 130,000 French and German soldiers. Photo 12: Resident historian Gilles Lagin, an expert on the Belleau Wood battle, gave a detailed tour of the battlefield. Pictured are Cadets Anthony Korbely ’10, Thomas Stauffer ’09, Curtis Murray ’09, John Douglas ’08, Jonathan Schmidt ’08, Mathew Lowe ’11 and Justin Tench ’10.





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B omb Dedications


or many years, I have noted with interest the individual to whom each Bomb is dedicated. These dedications indicate people who the cadets chose to thank for their influence on particular classes and on the history of the Institute. Listed below are Bomb dedications from the years 1931-49. The first two installments of dedications appeared in the last two issues of the Alumni Review. I have listed the person’s name in capital letters, along with the words used by cadets in each dedication, and then, in parentheses and in italics, my words that describe the individual’s role at VMI. This list of about 20-25 dedications will continue in future volumes of the Alumni Review until we reach the present.

1931: To COLONEL EDWARD STEIDTMANN In recognition of the years of unselfish devotion spent in the furtherance of the tradition and honor of the Virginia Military Institute. (Steidtmann was a professor of geology and mineralogy and a department head. He taught at VMI from 1923-48.) 1932: To COLONEL THOMAS A.E. MOSELEY For his humanness, for his sincerity, for his understanding, for his heartfelt interest and love for the traditions and welfare of VMI, and for his continual efforts to keep alive those finer things which might otherwise have been lost to us ... a gentleman, a scholar and a friend. (Moseley taught French and Spanish from 1919-30. From 1930-56, he was department head and a professor of Spanish.) 1933: To MAJOR GENERAL JOHN A. LEJEUNE Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, former commandant of the United States Marine Corps and a member of the class of 1933, his Brother Rats dedicate this 1933 Bomb with Respect and Admiration. (An honorary Brother Rat of the class of 1933, Lejeune was VMI’s superintendent from 1929-37. He served in combat in the Spanish-American War and in World War I, and he was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1920-29. Regarding VMI, he once said this: “As a result of personal observation, I believe that this school is unexcelled in character-building and in the making of useful, patriotic American citizens.”) 1934: TO THE CORPS AND TO ITS SPIRIT, LIVING TODAY AS IT DID AT NEW MARKET, WE DEDICATE THIS BOOK. 1935: (The editors of the 1935 Bomb recognized that the first VMI yearbook had appeared 50 years earlier. Consequently, the following statement appears on the dedication page:) In the year of 1885, a group of Cadets met to choose a staff to edit an annual for their Finals. During the meeting, barracks were shaken by the explosion of a bomb in the courtyard. When the excitement had ceased, it was thought proper to call their book “The Bomb” ... Thus by such action fifty years ago, the VMI “Bomb,” the oldest college annual in the South, had its origins. Our debt is to the past. Since 1839, great men have given themselves for developing the traditions of VMI. They have built unshakably and molded strongly that the future might profit through the works of the past. They have striven with the hope that their efforts might bring you success worthy of your training. 1936: (The following statement appears on the dedication page:)


Thomas W. Davis ’64 Professor of History Emeritus Historian, The VMI Alumni Association The Virginia Military Institute is the product of the efforts of many men. Outstanding builders there have been, and brilliant leaders, in her history. More than to the genius of any individual or group of individuals, however, VMI owes her position today to the thousands of her sons who have toiled and fought under her colors in peace and in war. The Corps of Cadets is different in personnel each year, yet the Corps itself is the most constant thing at VMI. It carries on with the same matchless morale, the very real intangibility we know as the “Spirit,” as it has always done. It is to the Corps of Cadets, and to each man who has been part of it in its splendid long career, that this volume is gratefully dedicated. 1937: To LT. COL. HERNANDO M. READ ’16 A token of the esteem which its every member holds for him as an Officer, as a Coach and as a Man. By tempering forcefulness with humor and understanding, he has made the classroom enjoyable and our training sound. On the athletic field, his congeniality and competent advice have combined to assure ready, enthusiastic co-operation. His superior common sense and knowledge, never-failing energy, and ability to get along with men command our admiration and respect. (This is the second Bomb dedicated to Read ’16, the first being in 1925. Primarily an English teacher, he also taught economics and military tactics, and he became one of VMI’s legendary head track coaches.) 1938: To MAJOR GENERAL CHARLES EVANS KILBOURNE The class of 1938 proudly dedicates this Bomb to our new superintendent, who, in his first year as head of this institution, has gained our undying admiration as a leader, our highest respect as a gentleman and our lasting esteem as a friend. (Kilbourne, class of 1894, was VMI’s superintendent from 1937-46. A veteran of the Spanish-American War and World War I, he became the first American in history to be awarded the nation’s three highest combat awards: the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal. He also received France’s Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre. In addition, Kilbourne in 1961 became the first recipient of VMI’s New Market Medal.)

1939: To COLONEL JOSEPH BUTTON It is only meet that her Centennial Class should wish to honor one who has given freely of his strength that her glory might be greater. Our search has been neither long nor difficult. In Colonel Joseph Button, we recognize a man whose devotion for this institution and whose faithful efforts in her behalf are clearly inscribed upon our record. To him we dedicate this, the Centennial Edition of the Bomb, with the certain knowledge that his accomplishments will inspire us to nobler efforts in behalf of VMI. To him we offer our highest tribute of regard and affection.


(Button served on VMI’s Board of Visitors from 1910-18 and again from 1922-43, longer than any member in VMI’s history. The Centennial Bomb stated that the Parade Ground and Jackson Memorial Hall were “monuments to his foresight and vigor.”) 1940: To LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN M. FRAY ’01 A gentleman and a friend; one who exemplifies gentleness of spirit and devotion to duty; who was ready at all times to give more than was necessary that the interests of others might be served; and whose code is chivalry in modern life. (He was a Brother Rat of Gen. George C. Marshall, class of 1901. Fray taught artillery in the Military Science Department from 1935-40 and served as commandant of cadets from 1942-46.) 1941: To BRIGADIER GENERAL FRANCIS MALLORY ’89 An officer who has served under every superintendent in the history of the Virginia Military Institute. With his retirement, the Institute loses a man and gains a tradition as fine as only the man himself could make it. The men of the Corps in the years to come will not know him, and they will be the losers for it, but VMI men of fifty classes will never forget him. (Mallory, class of 1889, is the man for whom Mallory Hall is named. He began his career by teaching mathematics, but by 1897, he had begun teaching physics. He was the head of that department from 1921-40.) 1942: ROBERT A. “BUZZ” MARR JR. ’18 To the man who has done more to further our common interest and encourage us toward a finer life than any other person. His brilliance in the classroom has strengthened our academic achievement; his practical judgment has steadied our faltering steps; and his never failing cheerfulness, humor and vivacity have never ceased to charm us. If ever we attain those standards of loyalty, devotion to profession and generosity that we have seen exemplified by him in our daily progress through our cadetship, we indeed shall have lived. Our appreciation for the rare privilege of having served under him is heartfelt and sincere. (“Buzz” Marr, class of 1918, taught civil engineering from 1920-56 and was department head for many years.) 1943: LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDWARD JAMES ROXBURY To the man who gave the strongest push to VMI’s wartime training program; who made ROTC the most important course in the books; who assigned two weeks work every two days, collected FCPs and expected every cadet to do ten points better than his best; to the colonel who was big enough to laugh with his cadets and great enough to command their respect. (Roxbury was a U.S. Army artillery officer who was assigned to VMI from 1942-43. He then served with the 83rd Field Artillery in World War II and was killed in France in August 1944.) 1944: LIEUTENANT GENERAL CHARLES EVANS KILBOURNE ’94 To the man who has done the most to preserve the traditions and uphold the standards of VMI; to the officer whose outstanding record and brilliant achievements have been a constant inspiration; to a gentleman whose sincerity and firmness of purpose have won our undying admiration; to a real friend and a true Christian; to our Commanding Officer. (This is the second Bomb dedicated to Kilbourne, class of 1894. For more information concerning him, see the 1938 dedication.) 1947: To LIEUTENANT GENERAL CHARLES EVANS KILBOURNE ’94

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Unreservedly dedicated to the retiring superintendent – who is unique in services rendered to the Institute in upholding the traditions, standards and Code of Honor which are VMI; to the officer whose entire life is a constant inspiration; to the gentleman, the friend, the man who has been the living example of the best that is VMI. We wish him the fullest enjoyment of the rest which he has so thoroughly earned. (This is the third Bomb dedicated to Kilbourne. For more information concerning him, see the 1938 dedication.) 1948: To LIEUTENANT GENERAL KILBOURNE AND MAJOR GENERAL RICHARD J. MARSHALL Two men of character whose record of devotion to duty can hardly be equaled. To General Kilbourne, for his untiring efforts to maintain the high standards of the Institute, particularly during the past war. To General Marshall, for under his guiding hand, we expect the Institute to rise to a newer and greater peak of achievement. (This is the record fourth dedication of a Bomb to Kilbourne, class of 1894. For more information concerning him, see the 1938 dedication. Richard J. Marshall, class of 1915, was Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s deputy chief of staff for much of World War II. His awards included the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He was VMI’s superintendent from 1946-52.) 1948: GENERAL GEORGE C. MARSHALL ’01 The class of 1949-A presents the Bomb of 1948 to George C. Marshall ... The greatness of George Catlett Marshall lies not in a military career, the success of which is world renowned, nor in the exalted position which he occupies in the nation, nor in his pre-eminence in world councils, but rather in the integrity of his character. His unblemished honor, fearless honesty, undaunted perseverance in ways known to be true, self-abnegation in every time of decision, unfailing wisdom, utter humility and simple goodness are those qualities which have won for him the respect of his enemies, the admiration and gratitude of his allies, and the love of his fellow countrymen. With pride we dedicate our Bomb to George Marshall, ourselves to his ideals. (George Marshall, class of 1901, is widely regarded as the Institute’s most illustrious graduate. He had a distinguished Army career, culminating with President Roosevelt naming him Chief of Staff of the Army on Sept. 1, 1939. Following World War II, he served as secretary of state, secretary of defense, and president of the American Red Cross. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. Winston Churchill said of him, “Future generations must not be allowed to forget his example.”) 1949: To COLONEL WILLIAM M. HUNDLEY A man who, throughout his thirty-three years at the Institute, has won the admiration, as a teacher and a friend, of the cadets he taught. To have had Colonel Hunley for an instructor in economics has been an experience which each of us will remember with the same fondness that we shall always feel for the colonel himself. He has made his own vast experience a part of the education of every V.M.I. cadet. (“College Bill” Hundley taught economics and political science at VMI from 1915-49.) Editor’s Note: The following correction submitted by Col. Davis refers to the previous Bomb Dedications article in the 2008-Issue 2 Review: Correction: Maj. (later Col.) Harding Polk, to whom the 1927 Bomb was dedicated, was a member of VMI’s class of 1907, but he was not a graduate. During his cadetship, he transferred to West Point, where he graduated in 1910. His grandson, Arthur H. Wilson III, graduated from VMI in 1969. This discrepancy was pointed out by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey G. Smith ’43, USA (Ret), who knows members of Col. Polk’s family.


First Spring Reunion

Above, Col. William E. Todd ’38, USAF (Ret), left, and his son, William B. Todd ’68, during Col. Todd’s 70th Reunion. Below, father and son display their VMI rings.

April 21-22, 2008

All reunion photos by Kathryn Wise.

Classes of 1938, 1943, 1948A, 1948B and 1953



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Second Spring Reunion April 25-26, 2008

Classes of 1968, 1978 and 1988 and the Honored Class of 1958



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Lykins ’73

to Steer Alumni Association by Wendy Lovell Contributing Writer, VMI Institute Report and Alumni Review

Richmond P.


hen Rich Lykins Jr. ’73 was approached about serving as a class agent, he said yes as a favor to the Brother Rat who asked him . . .


Once he began communicating with his classmates regularly, Lykins became hooked on volunteering for the Institute, and he remained a class agent for 15 years. During that time, he played a major role in the fundraising effort for his class’s 25th Reunion, which resulted in a then-record bequest to the Institute of $7.3 million. “My Brother Rats seemed to think I did a good job and appreciated my efforts,” said Lykins, a pilot for Federal Express in Memphis. “In truth, I received much more from them than I have ever given or tried to give back to them. It’s been that way since our days in the Ratline.” Despite his modesty, Lykins has given much to the Institute, and he is taking his service to a new level as he assumes the position of president of the Alumni Association effective July 2008. A former Mid South Chapter representative and president, Lykins joined the Alumni Association Board in 1998 and was elected second vice president in 2004. “I’m not a businessman or industry leader; I’m a people person,” said Lykins. “I want to build consensus and help bridge the gap between the association and the other alumni agencies. I’d like all of our efforts to support the Institute and administration to be seamless and for us to work in concert.” Chances are Lykins will be successful – his Brother Rat William H. Stephens Jr. ’73 is president of the Keydet Club, and their working relationship is off to a great start. As leader of the association, Lykins hopes to help enhance its services to alumni and to support VMI as it continues to grow and expand its facilities. In addition to working with his longtime friend, Lykins benefits from the perspective of being a VMI parent. His son, Price, graduated from the Institute in 2001. “Having my son in the Corps was a big benefit to me on the board,” said Lykins. Lykins Jr. ’73 “First, I had a better picture of current life in Barracks, and I realized younger generations have a different take on some of the VMI experiences and traditions than we in the ‘Old Corps.’ This knowledge has been helpful in new cadet recruiting efforts, and I think I have a better understanding of the needs of younger alumni, too.” A native of West Virginia, Lykins was a member of the VMI football team and graduated with a degree in history. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1974 and flew the C-130 Hercules throughout the Pacific while stationed in the Philippines, and he was an instructor in assault takeoff and landing operations at a base in Little Rock, Arkansas. For 25 years, Lykins has been a pilot for FedEx. Lykins and his wife, Jenny, live in Germantown, Tennessee. About his wife, Lykins said, “I dated Jenny while I was a cadet. So, she has been the date, wife and mother of a cadet.” Their daughter, Marisa Kincheloe, lives in Lakeland, Tennessee, and their son, Price, who also served in the Air Force, now lives in Mountain View, California. When talking about his family and connections to the Institute, Lykins is also proud to say that his grandson has a provisional appointment to VMI.




Tours VMI Construction Sites During The VMI Alumni Association Board of Directors Spring Meeting on April 11-12, 2008, members of the board participated in a tour of the Third Barracks and Leadership and Ethics Center construction. Lt. Col. Dale Brown, who is director of Construction at VMI, provided an update and details of project completion.

E. Turner Perrow ’96, engineer and president of Perrow Consulting Services and VMI Construction Office project manager (above, right) was also on hand to assist in leading the tour. Jim Spellman ’85 (photo at right, center), thenpresident of the VMI Alumni Association, was joined by Rich Lykins ’73, first vice president (photo at right, far right), and Randy Blanks ’67, second vice president (photo right, at left), as they toured the Leadership and Ethics Center. Lykins assumed the role of president and Blanks assumed the role of first vice president of the Alumni Association effective July 1, 2008. Robert Heely ’69, not pictured, is the new second vice president. Photos highlighting Jim Spellman’s farewell as Alumni Association president will appear in the next issue of the Alumni Review.

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14th Annual Legacy Day at VMI by Robert Crumpler ’07 The VMI Alumni Association

The VMI Alumni Association’s 14th Annual Legacy Day was held on March 29, 2008. Legacy Day gives VMI alumni the chance to share memories and introduce their families to Institute life. The concept for Legacy Day originated in 1994 by the late Kurt Iversen ’85, who was then a member of the Alumni Association staff. Kurt was inspired by remembering the times he spent visiting VMI with his father, Ken Iversen ’54, some of Ken’s Brother Rats and their children. Kurt knew that Legacy Day would provide an excellent opportunity for all alumni and their children to experience the same memories and feelings he had during his childhood. Thanks to Kurt’s thoughtfulness and originality, the successful and popular Legacy Day program was implemented by the Alumni Association. Legacy Day 2008 drew over 200 members of the VMI family from as far away as California and Massachusetts. Ralph Taber ’82 traveled across the continental United States from California with his son, Christopher, and claimed the prize for traveling the farthest to be at Legacy Day. Patrick Griffin ’80 brought his son, John, from Massachusetts to visit VMI and to meet with his Brother Rat Gary Fellows ’80 who brought his daughter, Nicole. The class of ’84 was the most well


represented, including 18 guests and family members of Brother Rats Steven Barsamian, Christopher Bruch, Francis Kollmansperger, Jeffrey Levenson, Daniel Liston, William Morris, Lt. Col. Andrew Petretti, Lt. Col. Peter Watling and Rodney Winebrenner. The class of ’94 was represented by Maj. Sean Dickman, Maj. Bradley Rees and Lt. Cmdr. Michael Runkle and their family members. Ramil Ibañez ’90 was on Post for Legacy Day, as well, with his wife, Karen, and three children, Ashleigh, Jonah and Joshua. Many local families of VMI staff and the Alumni Agencies attended, including Capt. Brian Quisenberry ’81 and his family, as well as

Matthew Schwarzmann ’90 with his wife and four children. As is tradition, the day began with prizes, a demonstration by the VMI Pipes and Drums and the Legacy Parade. After the legacies passed in review, there was a group photo in front of Preston Library, as well as a group photo in front of the Parapet, with alumni performing a recitation of the inscription on the Parapet from memory. Following the photos, a tour of Barracks and lunch in Crozet Hall, most alumni and families watched the VMI lacrosse team defeat Wagner in the newly renovated Foster Stadium. Lastly, legacies were given



New Cadet Recruiting. To be included on the invitation list for future Legacy Day events, please call 800/444-1839 or e-mail Robert Crumpler ’07 [New Cadet Recruiting Coordinator] at

All Legacy Day photos by Kevin Remington.

the opportunity to “Try on VMI,” donning different types of uniforms and hats for great pictures and laughs. Legacy Day pictures are available at www. At the Web site, click on

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All Legacy Day photos by Kevin Remington.

Day 2008



ALUMNI FRONT VMI Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62 met with alumni and guests of the Alumni Association’s Arizona Chapter to provide information about the Institute and Vision 2039. Members of the chapter met at the Phoenix Marriott on March 14, 2008, to enjoy a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception. The superintendent spoke to the group and shared pictures and diagrams of current progress at the Institute. Chapter President Robert Clingenpeel ’69, shown at left, welcomed the group and introduced the superintendent.

Arizona Chapter Hosts Superintendent at March Event in Phoenix

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Motorcycle Enthusiasts Are Invited to Join the VMI Alumni 3rd Annual “Ride to the I” Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008 What began as a group of riders from the Potomac River and George Marshall Chapters of The VMI Alumni Association has now grown to a multi-chapter bike event. Consider this opportunity to join Brother Rats and friends as you “Ride to the I” and park your motorcycle along the parade ground. After watching the Corps of Cadets on parade, you will join other alumni for lunch in Moody Hall. Kick-off for the football game against St. Francis is at 1:30 p.m. All riders will meet at the Lexington rally point (Tractor Supply Store on Route 11 in Lexington) at 9:30 a.m. Start points have been established as follows:

Potomac River Chapter McDonalds at Rt. 28, West of 234 Bypass 6:30 a.m. George Marshall Chapter McDonalds at Rt. 229 and James Madison Highway, Culpeper 7:00 a.m.


Richmond Chapter Windy Hill Sports Complex at Rt. 60, 1 mile past 288 (on right) 7:00 a.m. Roanoke Chapter Dick’s Sporting Goods at Valley View Mall 8:30 a.m. Lynchburg Chapter Boonsboro Elementary School 8:30 a.m. Other start points, when created, will be listed on RSVP no later than Aug. 28, 2008, at Cost: $20 per person Includes preferred parking, an OFFICIAL “Ride to the I” longsleeved T-shirt, lunch in Moody Hall and football game ticket.


ALUMNI FRONT National Museum of the Pacific War Honors World War II VMI Alumni

On March 7, 2008, the National Museum of the Pacific War (formerly known as the Admiral Nimitz Museum) unveiled a plaque recognizing all VMI alumni who served in World War II. VMI’s brave sons were honored for their contributions to the Allied victory, recognizing particularly their role in the Pacific Theater, on a plaque alongside those of other military schools including the United States Naval Academy, Texas A&M, and The Citadel, and scores of individuals, ships and units. Gathering on a cold, blustery day in Fredericksburg, Texas, alumni drove great distances to participate and pay their respects. Speaking at the event was retired Rear Adm. Charles Grojean ’45 (USNA ’46), executive director of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation; Jim Adams ’71, executive vice president of the VMI Foundation (which provided the plaque in tribute to all alumni who have served their country in uniform); and the “spark plug” for the event, 1st Lt. Chris Adams ’03 (no relation to Jim), assistant commandant at Texas Military Institute (TMI) in San Antonio. TMI provided a cadet color guard and a bagpiper for the ceremony, adding immeasurably to the solemnity of the memorial service.

Tennis Team in Richmond Paul Dickinson ’70, Massie Meredith ’79, Jack Woodfin ’91 (not pictured), Clifford Foster ’93, Bill Huffman ’00 and Tappan August ’01, who all played tennis while at VMI, continue their involvement in the sport by being members of a men’s team in Richmond, Virginia. The photo at right, courtesy of Clifford Foster, was taken moments after the team’s upset victory against Westwood, home club of Ronnie Milligan ’78, who was in attendance supporting the opposing team.

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ALUMNI FRONT Alumni at Camp Del Mar Amphibian Battalion Headquarters: At Camp Del Mar, Califor nia, on Camp Pendleton in front of the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion (AABN) Headquarters building were, from left, Lt. Col. Charles McLean II ’91, USMC, battalion commander of the 3rd AABN; Cpl. Michael Rice ’07, USMC, A Company, 4th AABN; and 2nd Lt. Dan Petronzio ’06, USMC, PLT commander, A Company, 4th AABN. At the time of this writing, Rice and Petronzio are serving together in Iraq with A Company.

You’ve Made VMI, the U.S. Army and Our Nation Proud

The Army is honoring all VMI alumni Army veterans for their service to our nation with a U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute commendation. Each Freedom Team Salute commendation package includes: • A certificate of appreciation and personalized recognition letter signed by the Secretary of the Army, and the Army Chief of Staff • An official U.S. Army lapel pin • A U.S. Army decal

VMI Army veterans, let us thank you for your selfless service!



ALUMNI FRONT Marshall Foundation Hosts George C. Marshall, Class of 1901, Army ROTC Award Seminar On April 15-18, 2008, the 2008 George C. Marshall Army ROTC Award Seminar was held at VMI in Lexington and in Natural Bridge, Virginia. The top 267 Army ROTC cadets from U.S. colleges and universities attended the seminar, which brings them together in roundtable discussions with subject-matter experts in national security issues and gives them a chance to meet and talk with senior Army, government and civilian officials. Among those senior officials were The Honorable Pete Geren, Secretary of the Army; Virginia Senator James Webb (D); and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey. Photo above: Attending a reception at the VMI superintendent’s quarters on April 17 were, from left, Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, superintendent; Lt. Col. Thomas Rahe ’85, Geren’s military assistant; Secretary Geren; and Matthew Staton ’98, Geren’s staff assistant. For more information about the Marshall Awards event, see the article in the Alumni News section of this issue about retired Maj. Gen. Robert E. Wagner ’57, a featured speaker at the seminar.

Alumni Attend Business School Classes Photo at right: At the UNC Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School Center of Excellence in Logistics & Technology (LOGTECH) were, in front, from left, Cmdr. Greg Booth ’91, USN; Van Noah ’82; Capt. Asa Page ’79, USN; and Lt. Col. Tony Marro ’91, USMC. The group connected for this photo opportunity in April 2008 while attending various courses at LOGTECH. Noah is the program director for the LOGTECH Program in Advanced Logistics and Technology and the LOGTECH MBA Program; Page is based at Fleet & Industrial Supply Center in Norfolk, Virginia; Booth is a commander at Fleet & Industrial Supply Center in San Diego, California; and Marro is with U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. The other persons in the photo are LOGTECH advanced program course participants.

Alumni Make the Grade in Pararescue Program Photo at left: Capt. Gabriel Hensley ’02, left, and 2nd Lt. Salvatore Sferrazza ’07 at their Pararescue Indoctrination Graduation. Of the 91 students who started the 10-week Pararescue INDOC program, only 23 graduated.

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ALUMNI FRONT ... ! t f le NOW e ar ns s io n bi vat a c ser w e re f y our r Ve e y k Ma

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Welcome Aboard! Inaugural VMI Alumni Association Caribbean Cruise The VMI Alumni Association invites you to take part in a first-of-its-kind voyage where the beauty and splendor of the Caribbean will be enhanced by the fellowship of Institute alumni and friends. Together, aboard the 439-foot Royal Clipper, we will explore the Grenadine Islands with ports of call including Grenada, Tobago Cays, Bequia, St. Vincent, Martinique and St. Lucia.

New Cadet Recruiting Your Alumni Association created the New Cadet Recruiting program to help prospective cadets, their parents, high school counselors and teachers to more fully understand the value of a VMI education and our citizen-soldier philosophy. To get involved, call 800/444-1839.

Our home for the week is a beautiful steel-hulled vessel that combines the romance and nautical heritage of a traditional clipper ship with the relaxation and sophistication of sailing aboard a modern-day, private, mega-yacht. Our party of 227 alumni and friends will enjoy its 19,000 square feet of open deck, three swimming pools, spa and health club, and a three-level dining room with delicious cuisine and a no-tie dress code. Because VMIAA has chartered the entire ship, we offer this cruise to our alumni at a substantial savings. For more information on this exclusive opportunity or to make your reservation today, contact the Alumni Association at 800/444-1839. Act NOW . . . There are very few cabins left!



The VMI Alumni Association’s Online Community . . .

VMI Ranks Alumni can now join the formation of Brother Rats, classmates and friends to share information or get connected. The VMI Ranks Web site functions as the central point for information about chapter events, reunions, sporting events and opportunities to meet other alumni. Join the ranks, “fall in” and enjoy the many benefits of this Web site as a resource and tool. VMI Ranks includes: • • • • • • •

Free e-mail forwarding address Online event registration Online alumni directory Class and chapter pages Alumni news The ability to manage your own profile VMI Job Board

How to Register: It’s fast and easy! Go to and click on the link “Click Here to Register or Login.”

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Jim Sherman

It’s spring ’08 and a season we eagerly look forward to annually. However, I did not anticipate the sadness these past few months have brought. Matt Gracey fell ill and was hospitalized some days later when it was determined he had pneumonia from which he did not recover, passing away on March 9 … memories that linger – in the course of every phone conversation we had, he always closed with a joke or witty remark. And I was so very saddened to learn in late March that Lalla Lee Dalton had died last Sept. 17, 2007. Let me quote from the obituary of this remarkable Sister Rat: “A member of the First Presbyterian Church of Kinston, NC, where she served as elder, deacon and president of the Women of the Church. She was a member of the Lenoir – Greene Counties Medical Auxiliary, the Lenoir Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America and the Reviewers Book Club. She served as trustee on the state board of the NC Symphony.” And I shall miss the cheerful cards she sent me. This past April, I received a note from Judith Rosch Hinds in Montpelier, VT, advising that her mother, Dorothy Starr Rosch, had passed away on February 27 after sustaining several strokes, followed by a respiratory infection. Moving from Sun City, FL, to Montpelier, VT, after Mel’s death constituted a very substantial climate change, but she adapted and found comfort at the bridge table and security in the loving care of her mother. But it was most distressing to receive a call from JoAnn O’Hara in April, advising that Meredith Urick, the seemingly healthiest among us, had fallen in his basement and suffered severe injuries. I later learned from his son, Nick, who found him there, that Meredith had spent a week in hospital at Christmas time and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. JoAnn visited him in hospital and gave me his number, but our conversation was brief as he seemed in pain and disoriented.


Subsequently he was moved to rehab and from conversation with his brother-in-law, I knew the family was highly concerned about his condition. JoAnn called back on May 9 to advise he had died that morning. I really feel blindsided – I had always looked forward to my quarterly telephone conversations with him. Meredith seemed indestructible and always humorous. The second obituary capsuling his career with the VA State Police gives such a revealing insight re his character and motivation. Altogether it has been a difficult quarter for ’35. I have just learned from the family that Mark Bane suffered a stroke in mid-March and after hospitalization was moved to rehab. While there, he developed pneumonia and was returned to hospital. At present he is back in rehab as the damage from the stroke appears confined to his arms and legs, but not his mental faculties. Leonard Todd has had some rough sledding this past winter commencing with a bad week in January and a 30-day stretch in hospital with pneumonia during February and March with wife Didda at his side throughout. He was feeling “fine” when we talked, uses a walker full time but does have difficulty with the stairs. During their absence, water leakage from their refrigerator flooded the downstairs, requiring replacement of carpeting and wood flooring but happily, covered by insurance. Let’s hope the very worst is behind them! St. John Arnold says he is spending far too much time with doctors these days. Courtesy of that gimpy left knee which has now become arthritic, he has trouble walking in spite of 10 weeks of PT. On May 12 he is having surgery on both eyes, and on May 20 expected to see his dermatologist for removal of a small growth on one ear which has reappeared after previous treatment. On the social side, lady friend Juliette Goode is in good health and their social life continues to boost his spirits. Although handicapped by health issues, whenever I call, there is NEVER a complaint from George or Clelia Freeman. Both use a walker full time, and George attends class exercises 3 days a week which include weight lifting and bicycle riding. His hearing has continued to deteriorate and the hearing aids provided by the V.A. more recently are just not that helpful. In

fact, he sums up his condition humorously: “I’m losing my hearing, I can’t see, and I can’t walk!” But he asked about every one of his BRs. Ed Arnold was enjoying a “lovely day” when I called, taking it easy in his Houston condo after a 35 min. walk in his favorite mall. And he was “pumped” after getting his drivers license renewed for two years. He has given some thought to relocating but would find it difficult to leave his condo and its appealing location. When questioned, Bob Evans responded that he “was trying to keep up with current political process” and in his professional field, attending current seminars. He continues teaching at the Yale Child Study Center and maintains his own private practice. In the entertainment field, he has been enjoying the four plays produced annually by the New Haven Repertory Theatre, and at the time of my call, was looking forward to attending a large dinner party with Ruth, his “significant other.” I would say he leads an active and well diversified life. Had an amusing discussion with our Senator Harry Byrd regarding the current struggle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s candidate for president. Harry said as things stand now, the convention in Denver will be flawed if the Party recognizes the delegates from MI and FL in spite of their unauthorized early primaries, and flawed if they don’t by limiting authorized states to 48 – an interesting conundrum! But on a matter we can all agree upon, at VMI on her 78th birthday, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner received the privately endowed Harry F. Byrd Jr. ’35 Public Service Award, presented by G. Gilmer Minor III, president of the VMI Board of Visitors and chairman of the Byrd Award Selection Committee who noted that O’Connor has given much of her life to public service. Currently she is chancellor of William & Mary College. Al Snapp is feeling “pretty good apart from routine back problems” and taking in stride the interior painting of his home currently in progress. He is looking forward to a planned family reunion in Roanoke, VA, in early August. Daughter Linda will drive him up, and he has promised to swing by Southern Pines for a brief visit


CLASS NOTES with Peggy and I while enroute. Daughter Beverly has a condo on the ocean at St. Augustine, and he will be visiting her during the spring and summer. And he told me with obvious pride that he has a 2-month-old great-grandson who is slated to attend VMI. Bob Little enjoyed a birthday celebration in late February with family members attending. He continues to follow an exercise regimen which includes a twice weekly program conducted by two lady aerobic instructors, and admits that it has him “puffing and wheezing.” And on his social calendar, he plans to attend the wedding of a grandson in June. I always find Sparky Carper in a good mood and this time planning to leave shortly for a visit with a daughter and her husband in Boston. There was recent family excitement when a granddaughter in VA celebrated her 16th birthday – can you remember yours? And Sparky continues her volunteer Red Cross work, and her social time bridge. My initial phone call to Barbara Meem was ill timed, catching her in the middle of unloading a week’s supply of groceries. She is wisely clued in to a healthy diet and one that is tasty as well – a prerequisite. So when I called back in the evening I learned she is “fine” but concerned about a niece, slowly recovering from a viral infection which turned into pneumonia. Presently she is looking forward to attending the graduation of granddaughter Becky from a CA theological seminary in late May, following which she will be working in religious education. I seem to have a propensity for calling our SRs at the wrong time. When I reached Ikey Knight she had just stepped out of her shower and was minus her hearing aid as well. But when I reconnected later I got an animated “pretty good.” Daughter Hope and husband Mac had arrived for the purpose of joining a Hospice Walk in Prince Frederick, following which they were coming for lunch with other family members. And the icing on the cake? … Ikey was looking forward immensely to the repainting of her apartment and replacement of the carpeting and all appliances scheduled for all apartments in the complex after 10

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years occupancy. And, to her credit, she is keeping up with her fitness program – three days in the pool and chair exercises on two days. And no complaints from Dora Williams, who is very happy with her situation at Cedarfield where she has many friends. Looking after her “ticker,” she not only attends exercise classes but makes a habit of climbing the stairs to her fourth floor apartment, not all three flights necessarily, but at least one flight daily. And so very rewarding, son Terrell ’74 and wife Sarah live reasonably near and visit frequently. Of course there was no need to ask – the annual family reunion will be held this summer at a VA or NCocean beach. I found Jeanette Newman sitting out a cold rainy day in Anacortes, WA, and a 40mph wind punishing the new apple blossoms, several unexpected frosts having already damaged this seasons WA delicious crop. Earlier she attended a grandson’s wedding in Cincinnati, her return flight being delayed by a huge snow storm. Once home she developed pneumonia and was hospitalized for 11 days. However she is now planning to visit her daughter in ME this summer with the promise of lobster servings daily. And then what is a girl to do? … a grandson insists he will be taking her to China in the fall. But back to business – having served 19 years in the NC Legislature, “B” Holt was tuned in on the state Democratic Party primary and attended the party’s annual Jefferson – Jackson Dinner in Raleigh with family members and was delighted to see Senator Obama whom she favors. Earlier she attended the 70th Reunion of her Agnes Scott College class in April; seven attended and “B” was the only one mobile. And she told me she still misses Clary but is pleased and proud that the Episcopal Church in Alamance County planned to honor his memory on May 4 as he had done so much for the church in the past. JoAnn O’Hara continues to do her thing at Westminster Canterbury, taking photos and preparing articles for their in-house publications, visiting patients in health care and finding time to attend

exercise classes on M, W & F, and a workout in the swimming pool when she can manage. At the February 12 meeting of the residents assn, Laurel Awards were made to seven people who had “made a significant volunteer contribution to Westminster Canterbury Richmond,” one being JoAnn who was described as “this gregarious and affable person who never met a stranger,” and goes on to encapsulate her life from childhood through her rewarding married life and eventual retirement in Westminster Canterbury. And her creed: “I am a positive thinker. I look for the humor in everyday life and the good in people.” She is indeed a very special person. Always plugging the Institute, she told me the VMI alumni at Westminster Canterbury met on May 12 for cocktails and dinner. Blanche Brown is quite satisfied with the situation in her Farmington, NM, retirement facility and is getting on well with the services included. She continues using a walker which has become a safe, helpful and vital necessity for so many seniors. And daughter Roe, who provides much love and support, lives just a short drive away and visits frequently. This energetic and competent young woman is the supervisor for human resources for three coal mines, two in NM and one in CO, all owned by the Australian conglomerate, BHP Billiton. And your class agent – well, I attended the Class Agents’ Conference April 18/19, drank in the charm now enhanced by all the new construction and remarkable improvements of existing facilities such as state-of-the-art classroom conversions, not to mention the outstanding improvements of athletic facilities including construction of new ones on acquired property behind Barracks, extending well beyond the old railroad tracks. If you can make the journey, you would swell with pride and begin to appreciate the dedication, creativity and determination of our Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62 and his vision for VMI by its 200th Anniversary in 2039, and you would realize how essential your annual contributions are to your alma mater. Bless you all, and we are now a “band of 10.” Jim


CLASS NOTES Mildred Small (John) enjoys living in Harbor Shores overlooking the water in Norfolk – she is unable to drive at this time. Nancy Worsham (James R.) was unable to continue stay in her high apartment so she is now back in her lower rent apartment which she enjoys very much and I have been having some problem with a knows so many people there. Her telelow red blood count, and so I was put in the phone number is the same: 757/423 3048. hospital for a trans-fusion on May 9 and reHer new address is: 7320 Glenroie Avenue leased early the next morning. The weekend apt. 8 EAD Norfolk, VA, 23505. was used to recover from the experience, The closer I get to 95, the worst I find my and I am better now but I was not able to do health gets. It becomes more and more diffithese notes in a timely manner. cult for me to remember and longer to do it. Earlier I had received a telephone call I admit I have to use either my cane or my from Joseph Keller who informed me that scooter (which I enjoy the most) wherever he had been in the hospital with shingles. It I go. I am still keeping in there as long as I was a “no-fun” visit because shingles cause can. Per my last doctor visit, he quite a lot of pain and don’t cure made it quite clear that I must quickly. He didn’t sound like have 24 hour care. Thank God I he could climb on the Guard have three very nice companions House to give the Old Yell for that fill that. That has been the the class of ‘36 on that day! He biggest change in the last three was really hurting! I am going months. to check back with him again On a good note, at my last docand will report back to you in tor visit I met his new associate. the next notes. She greeted me and embraced Recently I decided to call some me with a big hug and informed of the others in areas where there me that she was so very glad to had been bad weather. I called finally meet me. Her name is John Warren Cooke in Mathews, Shelley Mackall, graduate of VA, where there had been high class of 2006 and had set four winds and storm warnings on the records on track and field team Chesapeake Bay. John said the Class of 1936: The Hunter Family reunion at Mountain Lake, Virginia, in July. Charles Hunter (right) is and also a lieutenant on the batwind was howling at the time with his son, Brad ’74 (center), holding Charles’ greattalion staff. She is married Maury of my call but he was OK. He grandson, Murray Hunter Smith, and in front, left, is Pauling, also a graduate of VMI sounded real good and was in Chandler Hatfield. class of 2005, a football player, good spirits. on May 24, 2008.  Another storm was reported Yours In The Bonds, Strother The Good Lord Willing. in the Orlando, FL, area, so I though I Ann Townes (W.W.) spent the weekshould check in on John Divine. John said he had some medical problems but was do- end of the Kentucky Derby ducking the William Todd thunderstorms. ing well, and the storm had not hurt him. Dot Helfrich (Rob) is so eaten up with arthritis that she is confined to the house S. Strother Smith Jr. and looking forward to having an operation on her back very soon. 70th Class Reunion! This edition of class Frances Zimmerman (Wm) is also notes was supposed to be an extended enjoying her push scooter (as well as I report on our 70th but circumstances say do) wherever she goes. She does not get Sox Baldwin (W. Barton) was at the otherwise. Teetering medical problems, a office per Caroline, his wife, he visits there downstairs for dinner anymore. Class Agents’ Conference that I was unKitty Hastings (Dave) is enjoying living every week and is getting along nicely. able to attend, the reunion itself and plannext to her son and his family who are Bill Church sounds great. I had a good ning therefore, and last but not least, my looking after her even though she had to chat with him. move from Jacksonville leaving all of their wife, Reba’s, unexpected death. Brother Col. Lawrence Forbes died in March, Rats, the past month and a half has been closest bridge friends of 40 years. bringing class of ’37 to a total of nine




Oscar H. Adams

Brother Rats. Lori was having a difficult time getting all of the papers together for the obit having lived in TN for only six months. I was unable to contact Willie Kennon, but I understand he is about the same. Hank Mcleod is finally slowing down. Terry Taylor I hope they will contact me. Merrill Pasco is riding a little slower about Westminister Canterbury these days. Bunn Tucker is spending his time with his youngest grandson on the track team at St. Christopher’s School (same school he and I attended) who is setting all kinds of records in track and cross country across the state. Bunny is pushing me as he will be 94 in June, and I will be 95 in October.



CLASS NOTES 70th Reunion — April 21-22, 2008

Class of 1938

Class of 1938: From left, Moncure Lyon, William Todd and Bruce Cameron.

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CLASS NOTES an absolute nightmare, but I hope I can recover soon and get a good class notes in the next edition. We did have a reunion, such as it was – three Brother Rats and one Sister Rat attended. Monty Lyon, Bruce Cameron, Ruth Ann Herring and me. Our two dinners on Monday and Tuesday evenings were both delightful and entertaining with Col. Keith Gibson ’77, head of theVMI Museum speaking to us on Monday and Buddy Bryan ’71, vice president of the VMI Foundation, on Tuesday. At Monday’s dinner, I read the list of our departed Brother and Sister Rats in the past year and followed it up with a recitation of a modified VMI “Doxology.” We had an unexpected but most welcome gift from Col. Gibson - he presented each of us with a museum blanket which has the Museum VMI logo imbedded in the middle. Buddy didn’t have any gifts for us but somehow or another he started all of us on a “do you remember” bull session after dinner that lasted for over two hours. Incidentally, all of the wives, daughters, and sons who were present participated in these discussions with great glee. I, particularly enjoyed the repartee between Buddy and my son, William B. Todd ’68. It seems that Buddy was an E Company Rat when my son was the cadet captain of F Company. I gathered that my son was not too popular with Buddy and the other Rats at that time since the conversation at the table was quite interesting, particularly when they discussed the “parties” my son held for the Rats. From a class of 1938 point of view, the most pleasurable event occurred after the alumni parade when we repaired to the Barracks courtyard for the traditional Old Yell for each of the honored classes. Unfortunately Monty had to return to northern VA that morning, and Bruce was not feeling well at parade time; so, I ended up as the sole representative of ’38. Jason Webb ’08, class president graciously offered to help me lead the Old Yell for the class, and as we made the cheer, the whole Corps joined in and gave us a prolonged ovation for making it to our 70th Reunion. The Class of 1938 salutes you! I must wrap this up now, but I do have one last saddening note for the class. I had


been trying to contact Sue Taylor, Boot’s widow, for the past month and a half with no success. I mentioned this to Buddy, and he informed me that Sue had died. I subsequently found that she had passed away on Jan. 11, 2008. I have no details. Yours in the Spirit!!


Frank Parker III ’64

Col. Edward B. “E.B.” Williams sent a wonderful seven page biography describing his life’s experiences since leaving VMI. He credits Professor Col. “Buzz” Marr for getting him a job with the Virginia Highway Department until he was drafted into the Army in 1941. He attended Officer’s Candidate School and was commissioned second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery. He served in HI, Saipan, Okinawa and finally Korea. After defending HI for several years he was assigned to the engineering group responsible for the logistical planning for the occupation of Saipan in the Marianas islands. He landed on Saipan and participated in the construction of B-29 runways. He then repeated the same tasks on Okinawa and was there when the “bomb” was dropped on Japan. He was transferred to Korea as part of the occupation forces where he was for a short time before being sent home in November 1945. While he left active duty in 1945, he remained in the reserves until his retirement in 1970. He started his second career with the Veterans Administration primarily in their engineering departments at various locations throughout the U.S. With a few breaks in service working for private construction oriented businesses, he retired from the V.A. in 1973. Since retirement he has kept himself busy with church, volunteer organizations and family in Dayton, OH. If you would like a copy of his entire bio just let me know. Also, do your family and Brother Rats a great service and write or dictate your own bio. Ira N. Saxe sent me an e-mail updating us on his recovery from surgery. He has graduated from the walker to a cane and is spending three days a week in the local

sports medicine center were he is working out for two hours. His goal is to get back on the golf course soon. I visited with Ilbert D. “Bert” Brayshaw and his wife, Mary, in February at their luxury RV pad on the beach at Magnolia Beach, TX. They are still enjoying driving around the country seeing family and friends during the summers and spending the winter months here near their son, who lives in Sea Drift, which is near by. William F. “Bill” Brand writes to say Tickie is off to Greece in June, and he is doing well. He’s looking forward to his 90th in January. My Brother Rat, Henry J. “Hank” Cronin Jr. ’64 represented the class of ‘39 at the spring meeting of class agents held at The Institute while I was conflicted by business. He reports the Institute is doing well, even though the economic downturn has taken its toll. The building program is coming along and the new New Barracks’ exterior is nearing completion The bad news is that Eladio “Ruby” Rubira passed away on March 22 at his hometown of Mobil, AL. His obituary can be found in the Taps section of this Review. Marcy and I are off to France with a group of my Brother Rats and their wives. We are going to visit Normandy and other World War II historical sites. We’ve never been there and look forward to a rewarding experience. I’ll provide some reflections in the next class notes.


Robert Smith

It is very good news that Walt Edens and Dottie are moving to Albuquerque, NM, where they will have their son, Sandy, and his family living nearby. They have bought a home in the Sandia Mountain foothills, near the tramway portal, and hope to move about the end of May. Sandy is a water engineer with the State of NM, and so, he has no expectations of being transferred somewhere else. As to their other children, Jeanne lives in McLean, VA, and Susan lives in Apollo, PA, near Pittsburg. Walt and Sandy were looking forward to going, before the move, to a family reunion in


“Put the Boys In…

and may God forgive me for the order.”

General John C. Breckinridge New Market, May 15, 1864

“Put the Boys In” by Don Troiani On a drizzly May 15th in 1864, a small Confederate force risked being overwhelmed by a larger Federal unit commanded by Franz Sigel near New Market, Virginia, in the Shenandoah. Suffering the combined effects of Union muskets and artillery canister rounds, the center of the Confederate line evaporated. Confederate Gen. John C. Breckinridge quickly realized his options: repair the gap in the line or fall back. With the young cadets from VMI as his only reserve, he hesitated, but then commanded, “Put the boys in,” he stated, “and may God forgive me for the order.” The young cadets advanced, cheering loudly, with many losing their shoes in the muddy field. The cadets engaged the Federals of Von Klieser’s Battery who attempted to defend their position. Moments later, Cadet Oliver Evans jumped up on a captured cannon, madly waving the VMI flag as the cadets cheered wildly, having helped rout the Union force. Afterward, Gen. Breckinridge rode up to the young men stating, “Well done, Virginians. Well done, men.” Don Troiani, one the finest military artists of this century, has created a beautiful and arguably the most historically accurate portrayal of the VMI cadets at the Battle of New Market in his latest work, “Put the Boys In.” The original oil is an 80”x 50” masterpiece which hangs in Moody Hall. Print Size: 19 x 29 inches. Including white border, the size is 23-1/2 x 32 inches.

The Cross of Honor

Order Your Copy of Troiani’s “Put the Boys In” Today! To Order: Call the VMI Alumni Association at 800/444-1839 or send check to Lisla Danas, VMI Alumni Association, P.O. Box 932, Lexington, VA 24450. Make checks payable to: VMI Alumni Association UNFRAMED PRINT: $250 + $15 Shipping & Handling = $265.00 (VA & CT residents add $15.90) = $280.90 FRAMED PRINT: $545 + $75 Shipping & Handling = $620.00 (VA & CT residents add $37.20) = $657.20

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“CROSS of HONOR” VMI SPECIAL EDITIONS: There are only 400 “VMI Special Edition” prints of the total 950 produced. These prints, uniquely, have the “Cross of Honor” (shown above). In 1904, The VMI Alumni Association presented to each member of the New Market Corps or his descendant a bronze “Cross of Honor.” Description: Suspended from a bar bearing the words “For Valor,” is a cross which appears around the seal of the state of Virginia, “VMI Cadet Battalion, New Market, May 15, 1864.” On the reverse is engraved the name of the battle veteran. Please Note: Print numbers may vary from 1 to 950.


CLASS NOTES Pipestem, WV, a state park and resort area. In addition, Sandy has said to Walt that he will gladly accompany Walt to our 70th Class Reunion, and this pleases Walt very much, because he has such deep ties to VA and is wrenched by the thought of not being able to come back. It is great that Walt will soon be getting support for Dottie’s care from his nearby family. Jack Camp indicated that he is in good shape now as compared with the recent past years when he had to get several repairs made. He continues to work with a trainer about three days a week to keep on keeping on. He uses a stick. As we spoke at the end of April, he was about to return to his place on Figure Eight Island near Wilmington, NC. He mentioned working with Bob Deaderick on the Virginia War Memorial Building in Richmond. He plans to participate in their project to create a number of videos of WW II veteran’s experiences-possibly by contributing a clip. He also said that his mother had saved the letters that he wrote from India during the war, and he is considering giving them to the memorial. Finally, he told that his brother-in-law, the Honorable Bruce B. Cameron Jr. ’38, who lives in Wilmington and that he sees when he is on nearby Figure Eight Island, is looking forward to going to his 70th Class Reunion. This brings up a reminder that ours is coming up as well. A note from Ray Pollard’s son, Raymond George Pollard III, USMA ’65, brought the sad news that our Sister Rat Mildred M. Pollard died on March 30, 2008, She and Ray lived in Huntington, WV. With the news, her son wrote, “Interestingly, one of the last publications she was reading as we cared for her in her final days was the VMI Alumni Review, Summer/Fall 2007. She enjoyed the VMI Reunions she attended with my father and always spoke well of VMI.” Especially because Ray was my roommate, I kept up with them over the years and with her since Ray’s death. She was a great golfer and had great children. A little story – since Betty-Jane and I lived in Philadelphia at the time, Ray III used the connection with me, as his father’s former roommate, to get local dates for several of his fellow West Point Cadets for the Army-


Navy game weekend in Philadelphia. One such date, a West Point cadet class of ’67, became my son-in-law, whom I hope sincerely will look after me if I ever get old! Gene Phillippi called in March to give an update. He is doing well but has decided to refrain from driving. His daughter gives him daily support. His other relative is his sister who is in assisted living in Wytheville, VA. That is near Rural Retreat, VA, which was their hometown. He reminisced that Tony Carrington ’38 was his best man in his wedding. Evelyn Turner wrote recently sending some photos of happy scenes from our 60th reunion, which was most enjoyable to see. She said at the time that she and Andy hoped to visit their daughter Courtney in Turkey this spring, but in the meantime, they are enjoying the “good life”. Dave Smith has moved into what is described as a small, high staff ratio nursing care home, after a stroke last November. His daughter, Cass Smith, is taking calls for him at her home phone, 707/829-2119, or her cell, 707/799-4902. In addition, she gets his mail and takes it to him. Her address, should you wish to send him a note, is: 5225 Vine Hill Road, Sebastopol, CA, 95472. Cass says that he is mentally active, still reading two newspapers per day and enjoying his New Yorker magazine and champing at the bit to get back into learning and teaching. Good for him. Sol Rawls told me that even though he has sold his farm and has retired from farming, he still enjoys going out most every morning to check on the farm’s workplan for the day. The crops are cotton, corn, wheat etc. and he had over 400 acres. He no longer works and points out that he is off all boards. He will be heading soon to his cottage in Virginia Beach. He sees a lot of Harry Warner ’57 who was President of the Marshall (’01) Foundation and who lives in Lexington. Eppy (or Elliot as most all except VMI people call him) Powell told me that he is a published genealogist! In it, his family is delineated in about 225 pages, and 30 copies were made for the private printing. He has kept up with his extended family and figures he knows about 125 of them to call them by name when he sees them. His retirement place in Annapolis has about

800 denizens and is run by an association. When I called, our conversation was delayed because he was just then helping Doris into her chair so she could depart to play bridge. Eppy uses a walker. Nick Dominick was found in Ponte Vedra, FL, near the end of April, and he said he would not be heading to Newburgh, NY, for the summer as he usually does because of a fall earlier in the month that left him unable to walk. Wife Barbara said he was just going from the kitchen to the living room when it happened. He was in a rehab center, but hoped to go to his home in Ponte Vedra shortly after we talked. Bob Deaderick had put me on to the fact that Nick has been writing a family newsletter, as Bob does also, and that they had exchanged notes about producing such a publication. Somewhat to his surprise, when Nick was unable to carry on with the newsletter, his granddaughter, who is a freshman at Montana State University in Bozeman, took on the job of writing and producing it using the same format. The VMI Foundation has received two very generous contributions from the estates of our deceased Brother Rats, Staff Taylor and Bob Morrison. It is assumed that these gifts were provided for in their wills and that you all would be interested in case you are considering a similar provision. They wanted to give still another affirmation of their loyalty and the significance of VMI to their lives. On April 4, Bob Deaderick once again devotedly attended the VMI Foundation luncheon in Lexington to represent our ’40 Scholarship Fund. He has passed along most interesting correspondence relating to the supported scholars. First, Bob wrote sagely before the luncheon to Cadet Steven Rhodes ’11 saying in part: “John Cowart sent me a copy of your March 4 letter. It was good to hear first hand from a VMI cadet about both your present activities and your background and your plans. I want you to know that I appreciate your expressing so eloquently, your thanks to our class memorial fund. Your letter would do credit to a first classman. I think there are few of your age who would take the time and trouble to express such appreciation. As one who has been around the block with eyes and


CLASS NOTES ears open, I can say that the attention you pay to supposedly minor details will pay you large dividends in the decades to come. … Your granddad, John Wray ’42, is a good friend of mine whom I see often in Richmond.” (Editor’s Note: Sadly, Mr. Deaderick passed away after these notes were written. His obituary will appear in the Taps section of the next Review.) The March 4 letter Deaderick referred to from Cadet Stephen Rhodes to John Cowart is very interesting and appreciative. Here are some excerpts: “On behalf of my family and myself, I am writing this letter to thank you for your generosity which has helped me to attend this great school. ... I am actually from the Philippines. I moved here through adoption ... My mom is Anne-Marie Wray, and my dad is Stuart Rhodes. Believe it or not, my parents managed to adopt eight children from several countries. Five of us were from the Philippines, one was from Vietnam, one was from Colombia, and lastly, one was from Guatemala. ... With the inspiration of my grandfather who is actually a VMI alumnus, John Wray ’42, I decided to become a part of the VMI family. I have visited this place with him since I was a freshman in high school. ... I came to the Institute to learn something about myself and what I should do in the future either in military or civilian life. ... I have learned and experienced a lot of different things that I doubt I could find in any other colleges across the country. One of them is the ‘Brother Rat spirit,’ from which I learned the importance of looking out after each other. As of now, together with my Brother Rats, I have just made it through the Ratline. ... I am currently taking civil engineering as my major. It is a dream of mine to become an engineer, and I know that the Institute will help me to get there. My other dream, as well, after VMI is to be able to go back to my homeland with my new family and visit those who were a part of my early life, especially those who helped me to get as far as I am now. VMI has meant a lot to me in many ways. However, I would not have gotten where I am now without your support. I am in debt to your kindness, and I will promise to work harder to produce excellence in everything that I do in the Institute.”

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A copy of an e-mail from Cadet Rhodes’s mother, Anne-Marie Wray, University of North Carolina ’71, to Bob before the luncheon informed that she and her husband welcomed Steven to their family of seven other children when Steven was 15 years old. He had been living in the Philippines, and so, English was a second language. She said that Stephen wanted to be an honor graduate, that he has been a model student and that you will be able to meet a fine man. It is heart warming to learn that we are supporting such a welloriented and soundly motivated cadet. Bob Deaderick also sent an important letter from another of our scholarship recipients, Cadet Patrick G. Simpson ’10, that gives us very interesting insights into his achievements and life in the Corps – s me highlights are: “This year I have tried to be involved in as many of the opportunities offered to me as possible. I was a Charlie Company Rat Challenge Corporal. … We work on physical fitness and team unity. … I am also the Rat Book editor-in-chief for the class of 2011’s Rat Book DVD. The Rat Book DVD is a video account of the Ratline made for the Rat class. … A tasteful short film to sell to the Rat class as a fundraiser for my class’s Ring Figure this fall. This semester, I am a new cadet military training cadre (NCMT) where I teach the fourth classmen how to build effective wilderness shelters. Other aspects of NCMT include fire building, water and food safety, and this year the fourths will be qualifying on M-16 rifles and M-9 pistols ...The other main time consumer for me is the cadet newspaper. I am a sports writer this semester and would like to move up to an editor position in the fall. Most recently I joined the VMI recycling club where we compete against

other colleges in the nation for amount of trash recycled. Currently we are beating the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech for pounds per capita of recycled goods. Twice a semester I take time to help with the set up and organize our blood drives here at VMI as a member of the Blood Drive Committee. … Our class’s G.C. has also recently instated a focus group system where members of our class are welcome to meet once a week in a structured forum to discuss problems we have with current VMI structures and how to improve on them. The ideas we come up with in these focus groups are then submitted to our class’s G.C. … I am a member of the groups focusing on various aspects of cadet life such a The Honor System, Leadership Development during the Ratline, Corps Physical Standards, Corps Recreation and Moral, and VMI Merit versus Demerit System. As for academics I am an International Studies Major and am pursuing a minor in Economics. ... This summer I am seeking some sort of humanitarian work overseas and if you have any ideas or contacts I am open to any and all sorts of work. ... thank you again for your generosity, and I hope I can make you proud to be an investor in my education. ...Very respectfully (signed) Cadet Patrick Garret Simpson.” Again, this peek at what goes on and his relating of his activities provides us great satisfaction, not only with the scholars themselves, but also with the selection process used to determine those who are supported by our scholarship-funding program. Another of our scholarship recipients is Cadet Sara Hanson ’09 about whom Colonel Timothy Golden ’71, the Institute’s financial aid officer, gave the following information in April: This is her first year on

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CLASS NOTES the scholarship. She is a high need cadet who also receives an AFROTC scholarship and some merit money. A great cadet … I believe she works in the Annual Fund calling center. She has no connection to the class of 1940. She is studying abroad this semester so was unavailable for the Stewardship Luncheon. Our fourth scholarship recipient is the worthy Cadet Fletcher S. Thompson ’10, Vester’s grandson, whose activities were reported in the spring 2007 issue. The market value (estimated as of March 31, 2008) is $491,295, and the scholarships awarded in the current academic year totaled $17,680. So we can all take great satisfaction in our scholarships. Doug Cook wrote in late April, “Sorry we weren’t around to take your call. Not too much to report – had an unusually cold winter with the ever present snow – but fortunately in small doses that didn’t keep us from going out. We both are as well as can be expected with no bad colds, flu, etc. ... Did you have access to the Sunday edition of the New York Times - in particular week before last? It included a special Education supplement which featured the large Endowment Funds of major public and private colleges. On the tabulation of endowment, dollars per student basis, our old VMI topped the public college list and by a substantial amount. …” Adelaide Simpson writes in May, “I am fine after a harrowing experience with heart and pulmonary failure.” She had had a visit from Walt Edens and Dottie in Lexington and knew of Walt’s moving plans. Charley Beach wrote his appreciation for continuing communication with “Bro. Rats ... Ben Hardaway, Dan Flowers, Clint Dominick, Walter Edens, Sol Rawls, Jack Camp and many other outstanding individuals. ... I was delighted to see the Alumni Review recognize the sterling legacy of our Bro. Rat Vester Thompson. He truly was an Institute benefactor.” Bob Deaderick in reporting that he attended the Foundation luncheon on April 4, as a substitute for John Cowart concluded with “Let’s have a great 70th.” So now, we have it in writing that at least Walt, Jack, Bob and maybe me, are planning to go to our 70th. Now is just the right time to begin planning to go – Deo




Walter Richards

Changes! Changes! You just have to visit the Institute to see the physical plant changes. All to the good to accommodate the increased size of the Corps. However, The Spirit never changes. Remember Paul Shu ’40 and VMI-19-VPI -7 on November 1939 (?)

Class of 1941: Paul Shu ’40 in November 1939.

When I called, Frances White still had some copies of Warren’s book Flight Into Darkness. I didn’t get into the museum or bookstore to see if they had copies. Nash and Pat Strudwik say it is boring for Nash in their retirement facility, and he sleeps a lot like I do. Their daughter and grandson will perk him up. Here in Richmond, the group of the ’40s still meets on the first Wednesday of each month. We need more to attend. Walt Edens ’40 is departing for Albuquerque, NM. Dotty is not too well, and their kids are out there. As you may have heard, there are 38

Brothers on our roster now to the best of my knowledge. Jack Pitts passed away in February. We will surely miss his bits of humor to brighten my notes. I called Bill Wood to see if he and Helen were still traveling, and Bill said that Helen had passed away before Christmas. Please let me know of these things about Brothers and Sisters when you hear them. Keep THE SPIRIT ’41


Richard C. Horne III

Well, Brother Rats, we’ve lasted another quarter year with “minimum” losses. As far as we can afford, “minimum” should be the same as “not at all” but we know that pain of our last “minimum” loss, and it’s far too much for us; more for me, as you know what I thought of the last one. Enough of that. We “remainders” are too valuable to VMI and our friends, so tighten up and start the long haul. Our goal is an average age of 100! Our best efforts should be guarding our native land, so I’ve been running through our roster, assigning posts (in my mind!). The upper northeast is easy. The land and sea cooperation of Dave Aston (ME) and Irv Pierce Jr. of Duxbury (MA) should cover that important corner of the Nation. The mid-section of the East Coast will be watched closely by Wray Page and myself. (12 on and 12 off). Further south Dutch Strausser (NC) will keep a close eye on their beaches. South of him, SC and GA are short of active sentries. Then comes FL! Florida was a full one-half of a Corporal’s guard. Fred Love, Delray Beach; Harry Siebert, New Smyrna Beach; Lloyd Stallings, Fort Myers; Herb Thornton, Naples; and Jack Woodward, Saratoga, split the duties in their area, which in winter time, we may label it a monumental split. Joseph Stalin would have avoided security responsibility for this great state! Take a deep breath. We are jumping to TX! Frank Lee, of course, would be nowhere else and is ensconced somewhere near Wichita Falls, where he speaks the local dialects fluently. His letters reveal a


CLASS NOTES happy Texan living in TX, a state some of its residents spell Paradise, pronounced PAIR-O-DICE. I’ve learned, over the years, never to ask Jack to certify anything he states, not says, but states! Now we “jump” to El Paso, TX. Walt Woelper is usually at his post, but, as you know, he may show up on Broadway, but with Elvira, not an actress on his arm. Bob Goodman, is still in Houston, rubbing elbows with prosperous oil tycoons, who are all waiting for gasoline to hit five dollars a gallon. Bob, of course, like all of us, prefers two dollars a gallon. P.X. Geary of Camarillo is the sole representative of ’42 in the great state of CA. He is thoroughly capable of this important duty, and I am told, has the governor’s ear. Ah well, I end this report with the assurance that Jed is considering a number of likely spots for our coming program of minis and has several uppermost in his mind. I still like the idea that, “a mini per year has ’42’s ear.” Clever, isn’t it. Whatever Jed recommends has my vote before he presents it, so there’s no use in me trying to persuade you by my stands. Jed’s stand is my stand. I know you’re all surprised.


Jeffrey G. Smith

Some sad news first. We’ve lost three of our Brother Rats since my last class notes of three months ago. Ches Moyer died May 13, 2008, in Staunton, VA, just as I was completing these notes. He’d been on dialysis for two and a half years, but had tried his best to somehow, someway attend our reunion’s photo taking and parade. He had plans in place for a driver and assistors to help him, but sadly, he had to cancel at the last minute. We lost our Class President Bill McClure, on March 7, 2008 – and Paul Welles died on March 22, 2008. Their obituaries should be elsewhere in this issue of the Alumni Review. Paul, whose father you will recall, taught French and German at VMI when we were cadets. Paul had been fighting a lingering case of pneumonia for some time.

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Bill McClure, as many of you knew, had long suffered from emphysema that in recent years, had sapped his strength and stamina. Nevertheless, he remained keenly interested in our upcoming 65th Reunion. I had a particularly poignant message from his oldest son, William G. McClure III (VMI 1966), in which he referred to the weekly luncheons of a close-knit group of Richmond alumni from the classes of 1940 through 1943 (possibly some from ’44). Young Bill reported that several of the group was at his father’s memorial service. He looked across the room to see that they had found one another and “were chatting it up. While outwardly they were elderly men by any measure, at the same time I could see in their eyes they were 20-somethings again, reliving memories of barracks and other adventures. It was a special moment for me and would have been for my father.” It is also with great regret I report the March death of Waddy Bugg’s wife, Martha, in Richmond. A correction is due on my last class notes in the 2008-Issue 1 of the Review. I wrote regarding the upcoming 65th Reunion that I had written “a letter to each of our 58 surviving Brother Rats not including Bob Reeves and Hugh Dischinger who’ve asked their names be removed from VMI mailings“. Jim, of course, is our Brother Rat, not his brother Hugh, a proud and active member of the class of 1945. Hugh sent me a very kind e-mail stating that “Jim is in a retirement home, and I see him occasionally…I was class agent for ’45 for 10 years, so I know how easy it is to make a mistake.” I am certain that all join in wishing both Dischinger brothers our very best. The big event for our class – our 65th Reunion on April 21-22, 2008, – has come and gone. And by most accounts, it was quite successful. There were a few occasional showers, but nothing to cause a change of plans. Most importantly, it did not rain on our Parade! More details follow, but first a list of the 23 Brother Rats who attended, some of them bravely so despite complicating physical disabilities: Gerry and Ann Asch, Billy and Brook Bell, Brian and Jane Bowen, Dick and Barbara Catlett, Baylor and Peggy

Gibson, Bill and Helga Gottwald, John Halsey, Jim and Sally Hodgkin, Bill Johann and Ann Walls, Bill Nunn, Keith and Lucy Phillips, Bob Reveley, Jeff and Jane Smith, George and Kitty Snead, Bruce and Joan Suter, Vince and Betty Thomas, Jim and Martha Tapley, Johnny and Shirley Van Landingham, Hap Vaughan, Josh Whetzel, Charlie and Judy Willcox, Frank Williams and Bill Winter. Among the brave were Charlie Willcox, recently recovered from cataract surgery, and who’s been on oxygen 24/7 for some time; Frank Williams who needs two canes but has tremendous spirit and energy; and the determined and talented Jim Hodgkin. Several Brother Rats had sons, daughters or grandchildren as guests – and/or assistors. They all added to the occasion, fit right in and were very welcome. The Bells were driven down from northern VA by son and grandson (AK residents), Scott and Keith Bell. Hap Vaughan was up from Texas accompanied by his daughters, Anne Powell and Carol Vaughan. Dr. Bill Winter (from Austin, TX) was with his son, Dr. Bruce Winter (from San Antonio). Bruce, after graduating from medical school, took a lengthy sabbatical before practicing medicine to serve as a U.S. Navy aviator for several years! Before I proceed further, each one in our class – whether or not you attended the 65th – owes a tremendous vote of thanks to the VMI Alumni Association, in particular Mrs. Carole Green, for her superb help and advice in making the reunion a success. She provided invaluable information and administrative assistance, as well as handled many of the financial transactions for us. The Alumni Association generously paid the bill for our two class dinners and our Bus service. Another who deserves unstinting praise is Betty Haskins. She invited all reunion attendees (once again, as she has over the years) to her lovely home for lunch on the 22nd of April. As mentioned above, the weather was a bit iffy for much of our stay in Lexington. That denied Betty complete use of her beautiful yard, but she handled a full house and served a delicious lunch with grace and aplomb. By the time you read these notes, Betty might have


CLASS NOTES reluctantly left Lexington and VMI where she and Guy have lived many years. She is moving into a new retirement community in Newville, PA, currently under construction. She’ll be nearer her two daughters (one in PA and one in NJ) – something we all agree is a comfort at our age and stage. Attendance by our Brother Rats gratifyingly exceeded that of the classes of 1940, 1941 and 1942, whose 65th Reunion numbers (Brother Rats) were, according to the Alumni Office, 19, 15 and 20, respectively. Nineteen of our classmates attended every event on our busy schedule. John Halsey could only attend the opening night dinner at Café Michel on 21 April. Only days earlier, he and Judy had moved to a retirement residence, Westminster Canterbury, in Richmond. Bill and Helga Gottwald had to depart after the Parade and Old Yell in the Barracks on 22 April. Jim Hodgkin – confined to a wheel chair and recovering from a stroke that further immobilized his legs – came down from Warrenton for the day on 22 April with Sally. And the Gibsons arrived on 22 April, in time for our class photograph, the Parade and our class dinner on 22 April. The Gibsons warrant expanded mention. Close to 11 p.m., 21 April, after Jane and I returned to our hotel room following the class dinner, Sonny Litton called me from his home. Baylor Gibson had asked him to notify me that en route to VMI earlier that day, Baylor’s wife, Peggy, suffered a seizure of sorts, that they were at the Duke University hospital in Durham, NC, and that Peggy might have had a heart attack. I duly spread the word the next morning, and we all said a silent prayer for Peggy. Near 4:30 PM, 22 April, as our class was assembling for a photo on the Preston Library steps, I spotted Baylor. Peggy had recovered. There’d been no heart attack. At dinner that night, the Gibsons were among the last to be seated – to our applause – because it was not till that moment everyone knew that Peggy was fine. A truly happy ending. Others weren’t so fortunate. Three who’d registered and made hotel reservations – fully expecting to attend – had to cancel at the last minute. Sonny Litton called to report that he was just not up to the reunion physically. He sounded in good spirits but was still recovering from a heart attack


suffered a few months ago. Sonny said that he and his wife are “looking out after each other”, which is just the way it should be. Gordon Smith called on 19 April to say that he’d had a severe bout of nausea plus various aches and pains. He was not sure what it was, but whatever it was, he said, convinced him that he had to cancel. Maxine Mahone, with two daughters, cancelled for reasons as yet unknown. We missed them all – very much – and hope and pray that they are in good health. A few more details: A total of about 50 filled the banquet room at Café Michel to near capacity for our initial class dinner on 21 April. The food was superb. After dinner, the superintendent and our guest of honor, General J.H. Binford (Binnie) Peay (VMI 1962), spoke and gave us interesting and candid insights on both the current opeRations of the Institute and plans for the future. We were delighted and honored that he and Mrs. Peay could attend. After lunch at Betty Haskins’ and our class photo on 22 April, it was time for the parade. As usual, the Corps put on a great show – with the Band and bagpipes leading the way. Then came time for the march, by classes, down the Parade Ground to the Barracks, through Jackson Arch, into the courtyard for the Old Yells. The “younger” Classes led the procession, with 1953 in front. Our class was last. That position had been reserved for the class of 1938 (their 70th Reunion), but only three members of the Class attended the Reunion. Of the three, I only saw one or two at the Parade, and I didn’t observe how they made their way to the Courtyard Most of us lined up for the march down the field behind our First Captain, Johnny Van Landingham. A very few were driven or wheeled down to the Barracks. Our guidon (the one designed by Bill McClure with its many battle streamers representing our wartime service), was carried by Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major Zack M. Youngsma ’09. He will be the first captain of the class of 2009. As for the march, all I can say is that we, collectively, did our very best. We started together down the field to the beat of the drums and the sound of music. And to our great credit, we all made it into the Barracks, but no longer together – not by a long

shot. Once in the Courtyard, when our turn came for an Old Yell, Bob Reveley – dyked out in his white cheerleader’s uniform, Monogram sweater and a red, white and yellow tie – nimbly climbed temporary stairs to the top of the sentry box. With the help of a cadet atop the box, Bob led us in an Old Yell for Forty-Three. We were joined in our cheering (as were each of the other reunion classes) by the several hundred cadets who had lined the stoops. Back to our hotel after the parade and on to our closing class dinner in the hotel’s main gathering and banquet room. During our stay, that room served both for dining and as our Hospitality Room and HQS. The meal that evening was catered remarkably well by the VMI Mess Hall. Everyone with whom we dealt – from the head of the catering office, Mrs. Edith Wiseman, on down bent over backward to help. Speaking of the Hospitality Room, it was in the complete, capable and gracious hands of two of my favorite people: My fellow veteran of Company C, VMI Corps of Cadets, Keith Phillips, and his wife, Lucy. Another two people who made the reunion a success. After dinner on our final evening, we watched – on a 42-inch plasma TV screen arranged for by George Snead – a 20-minute DVD, derived primarily from 8mm movies taken during our upper class years by our Brother Rat Dr. Leland Estes. Old and in some instances somewhat faded, the films nonetheless captured faces and activities once a part of our daily lives. Leland had shown a VHS tape of his movies at our 35th Reunion, which many of us weren’t able to attend. George had a copy of the tape, suggested showing it again, and sent it to me. Courtesy of Steve Jobs, my Apple computer and the magic of digitalization, the tape was computerized. Titles, recent stills and music from the VMI Band and Glee Club at the beginning and the end were added. Presto – enter memory lane. I’ll try to send a copy of the DVD to each Brother Rat who was unable to attend. The Phillipses, the Asches, the Smiths, Bill Johann and Bob Reveley arrived on Sunday, 20 April, at our Lexington hotel (the Holiday Inn Express) to check the lay of the land. Our class had reserved


CLASS NOTES 65th Reunion — April 21-22, 2008

Class of 1943

Class of 1943: Row 1: Robert Reveley, James Hodgkin, Brian Bowen, Joshua Whetzel and Francis Williams. Row 2: Vince Thomas, William Bell and Bruce Suter. Row 3: E. Keith Phillips, Horace Vaughan, Floyd Gottwald, James Tapley, Baylor Gibson and Bill Nunn. Row 4: William Winter, Jeffrey Smith, Gerard Asch, George Snead, John Van Landingham, Bill Johann and Dick Catlett.

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CLASS NOTES and had a contract on two meeting rooms, the larger of which we eventually – and contentedly – used both as our hospitality area and for dinner on the 22d. The two rooms reserved were on the bottom floor and opposite, across a corridor, one another. On Sunday 20 April, we found to our surprise that the smaller room across the hall, which we’d planned to use for our Hospitality Hqs, was occupied by the advance party of the Class of 1948B. Unfortunately, the ‘48B folks had no contract, but had been led to believe several months before that the hotel was saving the room for them. First thing the next morning, I met old friend George Ramsey ’48B at the Alumni Office. Guided by the irreplaceable Carole Greene and the promises of the hotel management to do all possible for both classes, George and I agreed that ‘48B should stay put and that ’43 would make do – which we did famously – with the one large room. George sent me a very gracious note of thanks, giving me far too much credit. I look forward to seeing George and the class of 1948B in 2013! I received some very kind letters from several of you, expressing appreciation. And, in turn, I appreciate your sending them. I gave a copy of our Reunion Booklet and DVD to the bearer of our guidon at the Reunion Parade, next year’s First Captain, Cadet Zack Youngsma. He wrote, stating in part: “It was my pleasure to carry the guidon …Reunions always remind me of how special this place truly is. Not only is it a superb education, but the memories and Brother Rat spirit last for a lifetime. It’s amazing that many of the traditions you had some 65 years ago are still here today. I look forward to commissioning into the U.S. Army in 2009....I appreciate the video and pamphlet; my roommates and I found it interesting. If there is anything you or the class of 1943 need, please do not hesitate to contact me.” I have his regular and e-mail addresses in the event you want to contact him. Ailments prevented Jim Anderson from attending the reunion, but he e-mailed me (courtesy of his daughter) that he and his late wife, Mary, had enjoyed a dinner at Café Michel about a year and a half ago and that the class was in for a great treat. Jim’s daughter and son-in-law live with


him now. Jim wrote that an exhibit of over 100 of Mary’s impressionistic oil paintings is on display at the Cultural Center in Thomasville, GA (the Anderson’s hometown). I wish we could visit it. Settle Frank e-mailed me in early March to relate that not only did he encounter transportation problems, but when he tried to reserve a room for the reunion, all the rooms had been taken. He sent his best to all the Brothers, saying his thoughts would be with us, that it would be the first reunion in quite a while he could not attend. We missed you, Settle, but appreciate that you tried your best. Settle also wrote that he’d especially miss Denver Aleshire. Denver’s widow, Jane, lives in The Villages, near Orlando, FL, close by a home owned by VMI’s Chief of Staff, Col. Walt Chalkley ’72. Walt kindly volunteered to show Jane our Reunion Booklet and to show her the DVD when next they visit down there. Chuck Beckham e-mailed me (from Houston) on 3 April that he could not make the Reunion because of a broken hip resulting from a recent fall on the tennis court. He hoped to be back on the court soon – “mostly doubles.” Chuck is our tennis champ, and our collective hats are off to him in admiration. Presiding Judge (Retired) Don Foster also regretted in March, writing that “since my heart attack and surgery in 2004, my family feels uncomfortable about me taking trips. Best regards to you, and the Brother Rats and the Institute”. Don, lest you forget, is another of our class now residing in the PRC (Peoples Republic of California). Another Californian is Fielding (Doc) Greaves. I failed to mention in my last Class Notes an exchange of e-mails between Doc and me that began early this year. The e-mails continue and provide insight on the Islamic threat, immigration and liberal politicians. All interesting, some gripping. Fielding wrote that he and his wife are both mobile, fortunate to be generally healthy (except for the usual minor annoyances), travel occasionally, and have two fine sons and three grandchildren. The Greaves, Fielding wrote, “enjoy life in northern (San Rafael) CA, despite being in the heartland of ultra-left Sen. B. Boxer’s

domain. I regularly correspond with Brother Rat Jim Dischinger, but often regret not having kept in touch with other classmates whom I knew well in those days.” Doc was an Army BRat (as was I), and as a result of his father’s frequent moves missed studying high school chemistry. “When Rat chemistry started out with the Bessemer process, I was dead in the water, shot down in flames, a gone gosling, never to rise again, never understood it from day one.” Undaunted, he studied hard, gained admission to West Point in 1941 – and graduated in June 1944, into WW II as a FA 2d Lt. After 21 years active duty, he retired as a lieutenant colonel. Soon after, while in Italy, he became – almost accidentally – a movie actor with speaking roles in “Shoes of the Fisherman,” “Patton” and “Waterloo.” After five years in Italy, the Greaves were off to California where Doc became active in the Screen Actors Guild as well as the TV and radio performers union, all the while continuing his acting (and occasional writing) career. In future Class notes, I’ll pass on some of Doc’s reminiscences of his acting years. I found them fascinating, but in Fielding’s opinion nothing has detractrd from his time at VMI, of which he wrote, “ (it) will always be one of (my) favorite experiences.” He sent his best to all his Brother Rats. As for your humble scribe, life has been extremely busy during the past three months. Jane and I sneaked away to Puerto Vallarta on the Mexico West Coast for 12 delightful, relaxing days in the sun in late February early March. Preparing and attending the Reunion has gobbled a bit of time and then some. For those of you who were unable to attend the Reunion, I plan to send copies of the Reunion Booklet and the DVD to you. Please be patient. It’ll take time. In closing, I remind once again that the Alumni Association has our class penciled in for our 70th Reunion in April 2013. Only three members of class of 1938 attended their 70th Reunion in April 2008. Surely, the class of 1943 can do better. Make your plans now. As for mini reunions, please let me catch my breath. To all, I wish you well.




Robert P. Jones Jr.

Traci Mierzwa has joined the Alumni Review staff as an assistant editor to handle class notes submitted by the various class agents. She introduced herself at our recent Class Agents’ Conference and gave the impression of being a demon for class notes arriving in Lexington on time. As we expect to have visitors during the week just before class notes are due, I am forced to get mine in the mail early. Never get a lady upset if you can avoid it. About 10 days ago, Faye and I spent a couple of days in Lexington so I could attend that annual Class Agents’ Conference. The class agents were exposed to the usual torrent of verbal information and given a multitude of written handouts, all of which are still nearly incomprehensible to me even after spending a whole day since I’ve been home trying to digest some of the information. Having said that, I must say Gen. Peay ’62, the superintendent; Gen. Green ’67, the deputy superintendent; and Col. Trumps ’79, the commandant, gave us outstanding comprehensive reports on the Institute, the Corps, the myriad of activities involving all at the Institute, financial difficulties, the good stuff, the bad stuff and the in-between. Class agents are not a bashful group, and all three of these gentlemen responded to all the questions raised by the class agents with thoughtful, reasoned and factual answers, not obfuscated by politics or extraneous personal opinions. All three have one goal: they intend to make VMI the most prestigious four-year college and educational institution in the country and undo some of the erosion of the VMI system that has occurred with the passage of time. We had also been in Lexington a couple of weeks earlier for the annual luncheon given for scholarship providers and the cadets who benefit from their scholarships. There are almost no limits to what Faye will do for a free meal! Betty Bond Nichols was at our table with her cadet. This lad is a first classman who,

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with on of his instructors, has invented a system for locating miners trapped underground. It will give potential rescuers a good chance of only having to drill one hole to carry out the necessary rescue. He and the instructor were going to Washington, DC, the following week to start work on obtaining a patent for the system. George Tompkins and his companion, Rosa, were also at our table with his student, Jeromie Houston ’08, a 28-year-old first classman whose cadetship had been interrupted by an extended call to active duty in the military. Our student, Charles Snyder ’09, is a second classman from Pittsburgh, on the swimming team, a civil engineering major, planning to train as a med-evac pilot in the Army after graduation. Following military service, he plans a career in environmental engineering. It was great to meet these young men and get to know a little about them. Cabell and Shirley Brand were also there at another table with their student. We did get to chat a bit with them. I think he said they were heading for Dallas the following week and planned to visit with Ethan Stroud. This was a very well done social affair, and Faye and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Our two weekends in Lexington allowed us to enjoy three dining experiences with Jim Doss, Betty Bond Nichols, Scottie Haley and Ruthie Miller. On each occasion, as always, the names of many of you came up for discussion for various reasons. Invariably our servers, especially at the Natural Bridge Hotel, were completely entranced by the spirited conversational abilities of the four ladies. Their capability to all talk and listen at the same time is becoming legendary at several eating establishments in the Lexington area. Scottie Haley’s housemother duties have lessened as the KAs at Washington & Lee are on critical probation because of a hazing infraction. With only three or four members living in the house, they are open, can serve regular meals to members but no parties. On Saturday morning of our second stay we called Jim Doss to invite him to breakfast at Betty Bond’s. Jim was fixing coffee and said he’d have to get his pants

on before he could come. Betty Bond was fixing some breakfast for us and remarked she’d have to go and get her pants on if he was coming over. Now you all know one of the reasons staying at Betty Bond’s is so much fun. There’s never a dull moment! The hospitality remains of the highest caliber; again we thank you Betty B. for hosting us! We live your hospitality. Tom Hupp has completed his move to Westminster Canterbury. His new address is: 25 Givens Court, Richmond, VA 23227; and phone number: 804/200-1465. He and Juliet had visited us earlier in April and stayed for dinner in our community dining room. Tom wrote after the visit, “Juliet says she likes all my friends that she has met. I don’t know how much good that does me, but it can’t hurt.” In her “thank you” note for her birthday card I sent, Mary Stagg responded to my “be good” admonishment saying she didn’t have much choice since age seems to be removing the energy to do anything else. Mary still has downsizing and moving under consideration but has yet to reach the decision phase. I had a nice note from Barb Rush thanking me and the class of ’44 for the “absolutely glorious” flowers she had received. She was planning to dry them for future floral arrangements. A letter from Bruce and Bette Lea Bowden noted that they were hoping to get together with Dick and Fran Meade soon. The Bowdens had used the Irish Toast Bob Smothers had sent me with his Christmas card at a dinner party and said their friends loved it. It was perfect for the Phoenix crowd where people are from all over. A letter from Jack Cross announced that heir annual six-month stay in their home on Hilton Head Island would be different this year. Page is recovering exceptionally well from a stroke last February, but their house there has two stories and requires stair climbing which is still not advisable for her. He had recently talked to Bob Watt, and I told him that I had also. I didn’t note what Jack said they talked about and can’t remember why Bob had called me. Age sure gives one a good excuse for many omissions. Since incoming has been less than usual,


CLASS NOTES outgoing is shorter. You all take care of yourselves wherever you are, especially those of you with more than the usual “old goat” problems. God bless all of you, and God bless America and VMI.


John D. Williams

I regret to report that we lost our Brother Bob Gleason to a stroke on April 13, 2008, in Richmond. His obituary should appear in the Taps section of the Alumni Review. Bob Allen and his daughter, Kathy, arrived in Richmond shortly after Bob Gleason’s death; so, he joined me in a visit to the Gleason’s home when they were receiving friends, and we met his wife, Vera, and their two sons, Robert and Michael, both Class of 1945: From left: Bob Allen, Nate Adams, Jim Morgan, Joe Gantt, Bobby Moore and John Williams. VMI graduates, and many of their close friends. Bob had a great collection of both Army and VMI memorabilia, including afternoon Anne returned to Richmond with Verne Chaney as they did last year. his Shako. It had escaped my memory that Libby and Bob Moore still live in my date and me and the Allen’s continued Bob was an important officer during the Lexington where their son is a doctor, and the next day exploring Natural Bridge and Nazi trials at Nurenburg, Germany. His he and his wife, Jill, have three children. the Maury River. I must tell you, against internment has been planned for a later Bob’s wishes, the main purpose of his visit In addition, the Moore’s have three other date at Arlington National Cemetery. grandchildren who live with their parents to Lexington was for him and his daughter Bob Allen and his lovely daughter, Kathy to make a noteworthy monetary gift in Marburg, Germany. Libby and Bob Kathy Carr, spent one night with me in were in Germany in July for a granddaughto VMI. Continuing his love of geology, Richmond and Anne Addington joined ters wedding. While there, they visited Bob sent me a very carefully packed box us from Virginia Beach. The next day, Leipzig and Dresden. Bob still enjoys of “Barite Roses,” the state rock of OK. those three departed for a tour that hunting wild turkeys, fishing, vegetable They are absolutely beautiful and appear included Charlottesville, Monticello, gardening and yard work. to be perfect roses, yet of stone. In June, Luray Caverns, New Market and a visit Bill Curdts was last heard from in April the Allen’s are meeting in New York City to Jim and Carol Morrison at Luray, VA. when he was doing his charitable work and to attend one or more Yankees baseball I met them in Lexington several days raising money for a Habitat for Humanities games where they expect to meet up with later, where I had planned a mini project Home at Last in Windreunion over lunch that included ermere, FL. Several telephone conJoe Gantt, Jim Morgan, Libby versations with Dick Matheis found and Bobby Moore, Eloise and him in his old stomping grounds Nate Adams, and Buddy Bryan of of St. Louis for a brief period this the VMI Foundation office. Also, spring. It seems as though he was the honored guests at lunch was called back in as a consultant by the Malm Family from Scottsville, the purchasers of his HVAC firm. VA, and their three young sons that Dick, that’s what happens when you Bob is attempting to interest in the build up such a big business. Dick Institute. Apparently Bob became keeps mentioning that it is about acquainted with the Malms when time to consider a mini reunion, they walked into his Ardmore, OK, and I concur as it is two more full office and asked Bob to identify years before our 65th in Lexington. Class of 1945: From left: Bradley Malm, Josh some rock samples and they struck I would be most welcome to receive Malm, Suzanne Malm, Bob Allen, Kathy Allen Carr, up an immediate friendship. We suggestions regarding date and Jeremy Malm and Danny Malm. all had a most enjoyable day. That place from any and all.




Class of 1945: John Williams touring Cairo, Egypt.

open and welcome to additional contributors. Belatedly after the submission of these notes I learned that Paul Louis has passed away. He died Friday, May 23, 2008, in a Miami hospital after an extended illness. Nancy and his three children were with him at the end. We have truly lost a great Brother Rat in Paul. It saddens me extensively to send you this news. (Editor’s note: Mr. Louis’ obit will appear in 2008-Issue 4.) A week after returning from my month’s stay in Treasure Cay, Abaco, Bahamas, I left for a two-week trip to Egypt sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There were approximately 42 people on the trip that included a cruise up the Nile from Luxor to Aswan. After that we flew to Abu Simbel and then back to Cairo. Even though I was the oldest of the tour members, I kept up with all the activities in 102 degree heat and even rode a camel across the desert, far enough to get a photograph taken. Seeing something older than myself (pyramids at 5,000 years) was rather breathtaking. The Aswan Dam, although new, was almost as much of an engineering feat as the pyramids. Please don’t fail to keep me posted on any news and send appropriate photos for

On May 13th, a reception was held in PJ, is almost fully recovered from the Fredericksburg, VA, by Doug Quarles aftermath of a total knee replacement. and his family to celebrate the release of From what I hear, this operation is about their book, Founders and Keepers, about as tough as it can get. Vic, like others, is the story of Quarles Petroleum over three ready for a mini reunion. or maybe now four generations. I had Early this past spring Buddy Metz planned to attend but at the last minute inquired about a fund established by our found it impossible. Doug has promised to Brother Rat, Butch Robinson. Upon a send me a copy of their book. little investigation, this is a 1985 Athletic Charlie Bigger is still holding down Scholarship Fund of the class of 1945 and things in Baton Rouge, LA, with his wife, currently has a value of $209,000 and is Anne. Having some eye problems with reading and writing, he is having a small laser operation in the near future. So closely attuned to the academic world, in his retirement, he is teaching a class at his church to retired aged people about LOVE. One of his pupils is 94. Gene Pates is still in Springfield, VA, but in the process of downsizing in preparation for moving into her Retirement Community Home in August, but she will still be in Springfield. Her granddaughter is coaching the dive team at their local swim and tennis club again this summer. After that, she if off to Lynchburg College in the fall. Vic Bray is pleased to report Class of 1945: John Williams on a camel in Cairo, Egypt, March 2008. from McLean, VA, that his wife,

2008-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES the Alumni Review. Enjoy your summer and maintain good health.


William A. Eliason

Despite my warnings over the years, you guys have finally done it! I have no notes at all from ANYONE except Zack Dameron, and his just last week. Most of you will remember that the issue of the Alumni Review following our 60th Reunion featured a color photo of Zack’s south end moving through Washington Arch.

Class of 1946: Zack Dameron was on the cover of the summer 2006 Alumni Review, as shown above. See Class Agent Bill Eliason’s notes for more.

Well, the movers and shakers of the Alumni Association have appropriated that picture as the central feature of the VMI Web site’s homepage. I was so delighted that I sent Ann and Zack a copy as they don’t do Internet. He called me with thanks and seems delighted to have bragging rights to having the only class posterior being saved for posterity. It is also memorialized in the slide show on the wall of the vestibule to Moody Hall. Zack, we are just


as proud of your backside as you are! You will remember what I told you would happen if I didn’t get any news for my class notes; that I would resort to creative prose. And so, I will bore the h#!! out of you by reminiscing for several pages and maybe you will get the message: write (and send money)! How does one go about describing the seminal years of one’s life, 65 or so years later? After much agonizing ponderation, I came to the conclusion that the most influential facets of life of cadetship at VMI are indeed the Ratline and the Honor Court. Vital as they were and are, however, they are intangibles and, thank God, in the case of the Ratline, temporary. To me, the tangible influences were, and still are, my dikes and my roommates. Let me tell you why. Dikes first. This being a family magazine, you may have to explain the anomaly of the appellation! Inasmuch as getting dressed for parade is called getting “diked out,” the term undoubtedly comes from a Rat dike assisting the first classman in the task. I’m pretty sure that possessing dikes was, until we came along, a privilege of the first class cadets. I had no awareness of the business of diking, until I spent the night before matriculation in the Robert E. Lee Hotel and was called down to the lobby by one Don Fox ’43 from Cleveland, OH, who, after a short explanation of what a dike is and does, requested me to report to his room as such the next morning before first call. I countered that I appreciated the offer but thought I could go it alone. I don’t quite remember his words, but I do know that he made it extremely clear to me that diking was not an option. Don was a first class private and had three roommates, all entitled to dikes. When I appeared in Don’s room the next morning, I encountered somewhere around another 10 or so of my Brother Rats and the odor of a mélange of unwashed flesh. After arising, the four firsts caucused and realized that they were grossly overstaffed. The rest of the class of 1943 found themselves in the same boat: 242 Rats for 150 or so first classmen. Apparently the General Committee met and decided that the overflow would go to the highest ranking second classmen in the class of 1944.

So, the next morning I wound up as dike to the E Company First Sergeant Willie Stagg. This was my first proof of the old adage, “better a large fish in a small pond than a small fish in a large pond.” Willie was the highest ranking non-com in his class, wore academic stars, and was secondstring blocking back on the varsity football team. As I quickly found out, only one of Willie’s three roommates Rated a dike, so Jim Moss and I did the work of four in serving the entire room. The roommates were Augie Mueller ’44, Joe Ryland ’44 and “Rooster” Doss ’44. When the year was over, all four left for service in WWII, Augie and Rooster to the U.S. Army and Joe and Willie to the USMC, all as second lieutenants. Having lost all of my Rat roommates, the loss from my life of these four great guys and good friends left me feeling more alone than ever before or since. On to my roommates ... two dozen or so! Upon matriculation, I was assigned to Room 419 along with three roommates. In alphabetical order, there were Harry James Baker Jr., Walter S. Buckingham Jr. and W. James Price IV. Already I was intimidated! Two Jrs. and a IV (no less) and I had nothing after my name. Jim Baker hailed from Alexandria where his family ran a small hotel on King Street in Old Town, about four blocks from where we would live from 1976-78. Walt was from Vero Beach, FL, to which he returned after 14 days of “this foolishness.” Jim Price entered from Baltimore (actually Ruxton), MD, following in his dad’s, W. James Price III ’21 footsteps. So we had the luxury of a three-man room, and I solved the problem of two roommates with the same first name by using “Jimmy” and “Jim.” The three of us became great friends our first semester. When both Jim’s left to join the service in the spring of 1944, I never saw Baker or Buckingham again and both have gone on to walk that great Ratline on the other side. Jim Price earned a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts serving with the infantry in Europe and returned home with a shattered leg. His injury sent him to Woodrow Wilson Military Hospital outside Staunton. We quickly renewed our friendship through as many visits as I could wrangle the leave. In the meantime, my parents were relocat-


CLASS NOTES ed to Baltimore and a great friendship of the two sets of parents followed. Jim tried to re-enter VMI after he recovered and was told that he’d have to start over because he never finished his Rat year. “P-Foot” Anderson denied his request for “G” Company (veterans) status because he wasn’t an officer and they didn’t want an “ancient veteran in with a bunch of young Rats.” (I am told that Jack Senter got the same treatment. If more of you got the same, I’d like to hear from you.) So Jim went off to Yale and retired several years ago as Managing Partner of Alexander Brown & Co, the nation’s oldest stock brokerage. He was a regular guest on “Wall Street Week.” We have recently renewed our friendship and, after 60 years, it’s just like it was yesterday that we were in Barracks. After the two Jim’s left, I was alone in Room 419, and I wanted none of that. I snooped around and found that there was a space on the infamous “5th Stoop.” In a converted meeting room at the top of Jackson Arch, I moved in with three great Brother Rats; Jim Thomson, Buck Hartman and Breck Breckinridge, and we have been close friends unto this day except that Jim left us a few years back. Were we close? Breck and Jim were first cousins, so you know they were close. Buck was born in MD as was I so we had a slight bond. I roomed with them for less than a month, but we were so close that I sometimes had to move my “hay” into the narrow hallway to have room enough to sleep! All three of them went into service at the end of our Rat year. Breck stayed in for a 33-year career in the Marine Corps, retiring as a “bird” colonel with more fruit salad on his tunic than Bogus ever served in “Café Crozet.” Jim and Buck returned to VMI after the war and graduated. Jim would go on to UVa for his law degree, entered politics and became Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. Buck took his law degree at Harvard and practiced with his cousin, Ed Hartman ’48B in Baltimore and Annapolis. Now he is, of course, retired to FL where he and Joyce practice what they both love, golf. Realizing that I was excess baggage on the Fifth Stoop, I learned of a Brother Rat who was alone in a four man room so I

2008-Issue 3

asked to move in. Thus began what would be a long-term friendship from a really brief encounter. The last three months of our Rat year I roomed with French Slaughter, a Brother Rat who would be drafted and not return to the Institute. He served in Europe with the U.S. infantry earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Frenchie didn’t do badly for himself. He came home from WWII and used the GI Bill to earn a law degree at UVa. When I next met up with him in 1981, our dear daughter, Leslie, was a graduating ‘Hoo and, as Rector of the University, ol’ Frenchie was presenting her with the Distinguished Graduate Award. Next time I saw him he was being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as the northern VA Representative. He was reelected three times and served until health forced his resignation in 1991. He died in 1998. What was left of the corps was given the month of June off, and we resumed our cadetship on July 4, commencing the three semester year-round school schedule which was maintained until June of 1946. We numbered 37 from ’46, maybe a half dozen from ’45 and 16 from ’44 who constituted the first class; 12 pre-med students who were deferred to finish and then join the medical corps of the services. They included Bobby Marston ’44 who would become an Army M.D. at the Medical College of Virginia, earn a degree at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, be named director of the National Institutes of Health and finish his career as president of the University of Florida at Gainesville. The pre-meds were sequestered in the old North Tower of Barracks and mostly stayed out of Barracks life as their studies were intense and demanding. As a result, three other ’44 first classmen, who, like yours truly, were classified 4-F, and Pat Wen ’44, a Chinese national, pretty much ran things as top officers in the corps, class officers, etc. Pat would graduate and later become commanding general of the army of The Republic of China (Taiwan). Third class year brought me to Room 119 with Phil Reitz and Ben “Ears” Anderson. “Ears” hailed from Traveler’s Rest, SC, and had the drawl to prove it. Phil and I had a bit of a bond in that he

was from NY as was I; he, from Olean and I from Buffalo, about 50 miles north. If we didn’t have anything else in common, we both knew how to handle snow; lots of snow. Phil earned his M.D. at the University of Buffalo and practiced medicine in the Army, then the V.A. and finally, private practice for many years. He and his super wife, Joanne, are retired in fashionable New Hartford, NY, where they still fight 6-foot snow drifts to get in their golf games. Their only relief comes in the summer, which is the Fourth of July up there. These were turbulent times for VMI. The incoming Rats (class of 1947) numbered 186 and outnumbered the third class by 5 to 1. Fortunately the Rats never knew this as we worked hard at being everywhere at once to make the Rats think we outnumbered them. Just maintaining the discipline of the Ratline was a full time job. In fact we worked so hard at it that I got “shipped” for hazing in November of 1943. I came back in February of 1944 to begin my third class year over again, a “cheap” price to be re-admitted, this time with the class of ’47. This probably would never have happened without the assistance of many helpful alumni, fellow cadets and the cadet we had hazed, Carl Garrison, ’47 who would go on to graduate, become a full colonel in the USA Reserves and devote his career to NASA. To my everlasting gRatitude, the class of 1947, put my ferocity to their Ratline behind them and gave me a chance to redeem myself. I was required to room with ’47s even though I still had a number of Brother Rats in Barracks. My roommates were Tom Stanley ’47 and Sam Hairston ’47. It seemed to me that there was another cadet in the room and, as I typed this, I made a mental note to look up his phone number and call Sam, whom I have not seen or talked to since 1944, to see if there was and, if so, who it was. Less than an hour later, my phone rang and it was Sam! He was visiting Williamsburg for a meeting and called me to say hello. It kinda makes one believe in ESP! We had a great reunion, and he confirmed that he could not remember any other roommate that year. Sam earned a law degree at W & L and became a judge in SW VA. Tom took over the family furniture business


CLASS NOTES when his father, former Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives to run (successfully) for governor in 1953. Tom built up the Stanley marque to become an American icon so successfully that he sold the company to the giant Mead Corporation and became its president. After a semester with Tom and Sam, I moved in with “Ears” Anderson, Bill “Goose” Giesen and Jimmy Gill. Ears would do a hitch in the Army, come back to graduate with ’49A, and then off to MCV in Richmond for his M.D. Goose finished his BS at Roanoke College and also wound up taking his M.D. at MCV. Both became successful physicians. Jimmy went into the Army Air Force, came back to VMI for his degree and then was commissioned in the USAF. Mustering out after Korea, he became a top engineer for duPont. Sadly, we lost Jimmy last year. At the end of my second third class

year, I was dismissed again; this time for being academically deficient. I applied for and was accepted as a second semester member of the third class year of the class of 1948A in February of 1945. (I would go on to graduate with that class in February of 1947.) There were only two members of the class of 1946 in Barracks, and they both had one semester left of their first class year. Frank Dresser was president of our class, president of the Honor Court and General Committee, first captain commanding our single battalion of two companies of cadets, and Pat Echols. Pat was vice-president to Frank in all of his offices and was second ranking captain, commanding “A” Company. All other cadet officers were second classmen of the class of 1947. I roomed with Pat and Frank on the “Gold Coast” until their graduation in May of 1945. Pat was in civil engineering and Frank in electrical. They were the only Brother Rats to graduate on time and they

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both won Jackson-Hope medals for their near 10.0 averages. Frank had just turned 18, so he was able to enlist in the Navy. Pat, whose father, M.P. (“Red”) Echols Sr. ’19 was a colonel on MacArthur’s staff, just naturally joined the U.S. Army as an officer. After army service, Pat started selling air conditioning for York RefrigeRation. He decided that selling was not his game and dropped it to earn a doctorate in Jurisprudence from George Washington University. He was elected to the Virginia State Senate and today lives in McLean, VA, with his bride of two years or so and still serves a few clients with good advice. Both Frank and Pat stood up for me as ushers in two marriages. Frank, after a short stint in the Navy, became a cryptology expert for the National Security Agency and played “cloak and dagger” there for his entire career. I tried to find out what he was doing but he told me he’d have to kill me if he told me. Frank died from lung cancer in 2005. He and Pat will forever be the smallest class ever to graduate and the only one to graduate 100% Jackson-Hope. If you think it was easy for a dumb-choff like me to room with two genii, you’re wrong. At least it finally got me out of the third class. With the loss of Pat and Frank, I became an academic second classman yet I was homeless again. However, the war in Europe was ending and many members of the classes of 1944, 1945 and my Brother Rats started were returning to VMI finish their education. With no Brother Rats in Barracks, I opened a “reception center” for returning ’44s beginning with Stubby Grainger ’44, John Poindexter ’44 and John Irby ’44, none of whom I had really gotten to know during my Rat year. Of course they were academic first classmen so we didn’t share classes, but we still became good friends and cured my loneliness for something other than Rats. For the second half of my second class year and for the rest of my cadetship, I roomed with four of the best friends I have ever had. First to come back was Bill “Red” Hayes. Red had been in the Army in Europe and was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a form of lymph node cancer. He had undergone surgery and was sent home with six months to live.


CLASS NOTES His story is a fabulous one and if you all don’t start writing to me, I will tell it a future column. Suffice it to say, he couldn’t handle the combination of running to Richmond for a complete blood change every month, so he finished his degree at the University of Richmond. He then earned a master’s in astrophysics at M.I.T. and joined NASA. It was his job to greet the astronauts as they came out of their capsules after recovery. Retiring from NASA, he became a consultant to them and this guy who was given six months lived into his sixties! Harry “Fly-boy” Brown flew out of England with the USAAF. He earned eight (8) Air Medals softening up Der Fuehrer for D-Day. Fly-boy was in love and getting tied of running the block in his ’41 Plymouth coupe. So he left VMI, got married and went over to W&L for his BS degree. His family had been in the ethical drug business so he went to MCV for a degree in pharmacy and had a very successful career with Mallinckroudt. Harry left us in 2001, but his wonderful wife, Jean, still makes an annual contribution to our class fund. And, finally, we come to Vernon “Big Pat Patterson from Charlotte, NC.” Red Hayes gave him that appellation because Big Pat would never fail to let us know that he was a Tar Heel. In the frivolity of the day, we never failed to use the entire phrase when addressing him. A special evening parade was held in his honor when a general from the Pentagon came to Lexington to award him the Silver Star for bravery under fire by saving a bunch of his infantry buddies at the risk of life or capture during the Battle of the Bulge in Europe. “Big Pat” tried to go AWOL to miss the parade but we made him go. His reticence was due to the Croix deGuerre being awarded by a French general to “Banker” Beale ’44 at an honor parade several months earlier and Pat averred that: “No d@*$ general is gonna to kiss me!” Now, will you guys please write or call???! I’d like to be able to report recent events instead of history. Unless you respond, you’re going to continue to be bored with my less than perfect memory. Next time, make it happen. I need mail!!

2008-Issue 3


Bill Hallett

The Bugler gets little rest; “Taps” has sounded for Rufus Alfred “Bud” Harman of North Tazewell, VA. Bud died Feb. 17, 2008, in the Bluefield Medical Center. He matriculated from Grundy and after one year at VMI entered the Army and served in the Pacific with the 6th Ranger Battalion. Following WWII he was graduated from Lynchburg College and served in the National Guard and Army Reserves until retiring in 1979 as a colonel. He worked in the insurance, furniture and coal business until 2004. Bud is survived by his wife, Margaret, son Robert, daughter Jane and a brother. Richard Whiting called Sunday morning April 6th to tell me that his mother, Margaret Virginia “Maggie” Whiting, had died the night before in Hospice House, Greenwood, SC. Though Maggie had been ill with bone cancer for quite some time, she died quietly in her sleep. Unfortunately because of failing health, she was unable to attend our 60th; Richard had planned to bring her. He said she spoke often of the grand time they had at our April 1994 mini reunion in Charleston, SC. Her husband, our Bro’ Rat Charles Segar Whiting died in 1978; a bit over a year after our 30th Reunion. Charley had just recently retired from the Marine Corps as a lieutenant colonel. Maggie is survived by sons Charles and Richard and two granddaughters. Her obituary requested that any memorial gifts be made to the VMI Foundation, class of 1947. Lest we forget, 10 VMI alumni have been killed since Sept. 11, 2001. Two died that day; one in the Twin Towers and one in the Pentagon. Eight have been killed in Iraq. Bro’ Rat George Akers was killed in action near Leipzig, Germany, on April 18, 1945. Soon after his 82nd birthday, William F. “Super Bunny” Watkins took time from his “I’m slowing down” schedule to write a mighty fine letter. With only slight modification, I’ll quote directly from it: “As I get older, one of life’s pleasures is remembering the events of one’s life. A few rough times in the ’40s as Rats at

VMI and WWII, but memories of the good times far outweigh the bad. Not only did I attend VMI, but also Duke (as V-12 Navy), Hampden Sydney and UVa for law. All were great, but I know the close ties between Bro’ Rats cannot be equaled! When I was at Duke, I roomed with Dick White and also busted out of Duke’s engineering school, went to Great Lakes Training and while on liberty in Chicago drinking a cup of coffee, found I was sitting next to Joe Reynolds. Stationed aboard the U.S. Mississippi as a seaman, Mac Davis who was a Lt. JG and supply officer got me a job in the ship’s store. Was I lucky? Small world!” Super Bunny and Norma were married in 1949 and have one daughter and two sons. He retired in 2000 after practicing law in Farmville for 50 years. He also found time to serve as Farmville’s mayor for seven years and as Commonwealth’s Attorney for 28 years. The Watkins family has lived in Prince Edward County since 1754 and have been in public service for five generations. Super Bunny you’d better be at our next reunion. Each of you must have a story about Bro’ Rats you “ran into” during WWII and/or Korea or in college on the GI Bill. Skip Awalt and I enjoyed troop ship accommodations while enroute from NYC to Yokohama. Please share your story while memory still works. For another way to save your personal energy, place the recycle bin right next to your mail box. Ninety-nine percent of our mail is junk – most including address labels and requests for money for organizations (?) most of which I have never heard. May begin using those address label to wallpaper the garage. My mail to you arrives first class; please don’t discard my request for your contribution to support the Institute. In mid April, as I completed my financial confession to the IRS, I came across a shocking/sickening set of statistics. In 1985 there were 26,300 pages in the Federal tax code. In 1995 there were 40,500 and in 2007, 67,200 pages. A most discouraging trend while our country’s national debt is $9.5 trillion and growing at the rate of $1 billion each day. In March, a post card from Lynne and Roger Rosenfield sent from Rio de Janeiro. Their cruise started in Buenos Aires with a two-day side trip to Igasu Falls.


CLASS NOTES Then the Brazilian leg of the cruise aboard their ship Insignia which Roger called a dream ship (no mention of martinis), said it was great to be where it was nice and warm. One evening during the first week of April, a deer decided to make a tour of Barracks. It jumped through the first stoop window of Old Barracks, ran across the courtyard, out another window and exited through Daniels Courtyard. It was shot by one of the Post police. Since that killing took place not too far from the mess hall, there may have been venison for the quarter guard supper. Another Bro’ Rat makes a hit on Medicare. Buck Cavedo had a valve replacement and double bypass. Recovery went well, prognosis is good and he will soon be sailing in The Bay. It only took 65 years for William G. “Bill” Haughton to get around to writing. Said he first checks the Taps section and is always relieved to see that he didn’t make the list. Bill left VMI in June 1944, tried to enlist in the Army and was told that he was too skinny to carry a rifle. Then, fearing he’d have to return to VMI, managed to convince a Navy doctor to put him in the Navy because he was a good swimmer. In the Navy in 1944 and out in 1946, returned to VMI for his third class year and was swept away by the final calculus exam for which he only signed his name after having solved not a single problem. Marched off his remaining penalty tours in order to be able to resign. Said he was assigned to ’49C and didn’t know why. I checked with the class agent for that class and was told that Bill had never written or made a donation and offered to give Bill a transfer. I made no counter offer. Bill said that the one thing that he carried away from the Institute was the principles of the Honor System which followed him to Duke and throughout his life. Bill, several of our Bro’ Rats carry the ’49C designation and participate in our reunions (also write and contribute) and you’ll be most welcome at our next gathering. Certify. In 1972, Bill founded Ansa-Matic to handle communications equipment. The main source of that equipment was a Japanese company which “retreated” to Japan in 2004 thereby triggering Bill’s involuntary retirement so that he could spend more time at their place at


Alligator Point, FL. Of the 28 Bro’ Rats pictured on page 40 of the 1944 War Bomb only two were smiling; Bill was one and Dick Henson was the other. Seven tornadoes touched down in VA on April 24; one of them in Suffolk and Sarah Newsom was delighted and relieved to report no damage to her home there. About this time 65 years ago, most of us were preparing for our high school graduation and waiting for the next major life-changing event of going to VMI – a place many of us had never seen. Then on June 9, 1943, after signing the Matriculation Book, we received a warm and hearty welcome in Jackson Arch. After being led to our palatial quarters we met young men who were to become Bro’ Rats and lifelong friends. Time is a great healer but a lousy beautician. Thanks to Rives Fleming’s regular delivery of cookies, John Salley has gained a few pounds. I talked with Jean recently and she said John’s physical health is still good but his memory is going much too quickly; occasionally he will smile when she reads our class notes for him. In late February when I talked with Ann Stapleton she said there was much snow around her home in Kansas City, MO, and that it had been that way for quite a while. She was glad that the lawn service also cleared driveways. A year or so ago, it took an eight-day hospital stay for her doctors to decide that arthritis and not bone cancer was her problem. She said that although Bill came within one point of being a summa Harvard Law School graduate, over the years he continued to talk about his Bro’ Rats and the time he spent at VMI. The Institute got through to all of us. While Marty was on the gim for 10 weeks, I used knowledge gained during tours as room orderly and as one of the Institutes very few Home Ec. majors. All is now well. The sole purpose of a grandchild’s middle name is so that he can tell when he’s really in trouble. I hope you read the letter I sent on New Market Day. And I hope you decided to contribute and be generous while doing so. Since July 2007 and through March 31, only 57% of the 65 now on our mail-

ing list had contributed. Those 37 gave $27,855. The average gift being a bit over $750; that came about due to the generosity of each of five Bro’ Rats who gave in excess of $2,500. They are to be commended! I thank them and the Institute thanks them. Our widows continue to be consistent and generous in supporting VMI. Excluding one $250,000 gift, their average donation was $150. The class of ’47 has many reasons to be proud; let’s make sure that one of them is the fact that 100% of our class contribute annually in order to make Vision 2039 a reality. Let’s make it happen! The $250,000 was a gift from the Cabell Foundation to the Robert Gamble Cabell V ’47 Football Scholarship fund. Priscilla was most pleased and said donations to that fund from any of Hayroll’s teammates would be greatly appreciated. Marty joins in sending good wishes to all with the ’47 affiliation. Enjoy spring, have an enjoyable summer, please write and do your best for the Institute. Stay well, age gracefully and keep smiling. I’m waiting to hear from you!


Dale E. Wykoff

It was a great 60th Reunion of the class of 1948A, April 20-21, 2008! Attending were, Cmdr. Don Florence and daughter Debra Pianka, Lt. Col. Ed Kritzer and wife Peggy, Dora Meler, J.Y. O’Neal and son Jim, Robert Patterson and wife Anne Whittemore, Paul Stagg and wife Sarah, John Trumbo and wife Barbara, and Col. Dale Wykoff and wife Alice. Our guest speaker was Maj. Gen. James Morgan ’45. as the class grows older, medical problems begin to limit travel. Wanting to attend, but prevented by medical problems were Billy and Betty Bond, Skip and Fleet Davis, Bev and Katie Laws, Irene Salder, John and Janet Timberlake, Bill and Lamar Whitmore, and Gilly and Mary Ann Williamson. They were all much missed! Of the original 50 Brother Rats of 1948A, 14 are living and seven attended the 60th Reunion. Gen. Morgan spoke about the early


CLASS NOTES 60th Reunion — April 21-22, 2008

Class of 1948A

Class of 1948A: Seated, from left: Johnson Younger (J.Y.) O’Neal and Paul Stagg. Standing, from left: Dale Wykoff, Edward Kritzer, John Trumbo and Robert Patterson ’49C.

2008-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES days of 1948A and its place in the history of the Institute. At matriculation on Feb. 7, 1944, there were 50 of us, average age of 17 years, 5 months. Of these, 11 (22%) left within a month and finally 14 (28%) graduated over the next several years (graduating with the classes of 47, 48B and the three 49s). in early 1944 and ’45 there were many ASTP (Army Specialized Training Program) cadets in Barracks than VMI cadets. From October 4 to February ’45 there were 207 VMI cadets and 698 ASTP cadets in Barracks, whereas from February ’45 to June ’45, there were 175 VMI cadets and 348 ASTP cadets. In June ’45, there were only 120 VMI cadets, the smallest Corps in history. Both evening reunion meals were served in the executive dining room of Moody Hall and one lunch was held in the VMI mess hall alone with the entire Corps of Cadets. The food there was astonishingly varied and tasty compared to 64 years ago. However, we did note that there were only eight kinds of ice cream! With health problems limiting attendance, and with just 14 living Brother Rats, the 60th Reunion was small, but appreciated by all. Dale

sight! Now we’re involved in preparations for our annual Camp Chaos, a gathering of our multitude of children and grandchildren who join us, seriatim, for time at the beach with their antique antecedents. Larry Butler’s short note: “One of my recent adventures has been an operation on my left leg by a vascular surgeon trying to restore proper blood flow to that leg. I go back to see him about possible further operations to restore other blood flows Editor’s Note: Mr. Slayton was unable in my creaking old body. We do have to submit notes this quarter due to heath some adventures planned up at Massanutissues. He plans to submit notes for the ten Mtn. in May, elder hostel at Natural 2008-Issue 4 Review which will include Bridge and a cruise to Bermuda in August. the 60th Reunion. Please keep Mr. Slayton We plan a trip to Annapolis in June when in your prayers. our oldest son retires after 30 years in the Navy. Count every day a blessing and pray James Harrington for many more.” While you are all counting every day, make a note on your calendar for April 20-21, 2009. That’s our next reunion. Those few of us left need to look at each other one more time. Bill May will be in At this stage of our lives, most of our charge of arrangements, and we’ll share adventures of necessity are vicarious. For the Harrington’s, the latest adventure was the weekend with classes from ’39, ’44, ‘49B, ‘49C and 54. watching the US Navy’s latest nuclear atAs for Bill May, he and Dolores just tack submarine sail up the river in front of left for a coastal cruise up the Intracoastal our home, on her way to Wilmington, NC, Waterway from FL north. He’ll no doubt where she was formally commissioned as pass right by us on the way, but I doubt the U.S.S. North Carolina. An impressive he’ll stop off. I’m sure he’ll start on reunion planning when he gets home. Joe Fil got a new computer! This one apparently has instructions with it, so I’ve had not one but two communiqués from Joe. I’ve pieced them together as best I can: “We’ve had a busy time this year. We lucked out and are being audited by the IRS. At the same time as trying to get out the 2007 returns. I went for a bicycle ride for the first time in a long while and it was a struggle, but enjoyable. My cardiologist has discouraged me from doing this as he thinks I need a heart valve replacement [pig valve] but I think I do better when I stay a little active. Sue and I spent about two weeks up at the lake. I had local contractor redo part of the dock and Class of 1948A: At the 60th Reunion in April 2008 were, from left, Anne Whitbuilt a very nice covered section. I temore, Bob Patterson and Dora Meler, daughter of Ted Meler) can now fish in comfort and style.


Lee Slayton





60th Reunion — April 21-22, 2008

Class of 1948B

Class of 1948B: Row 1: Howard Smith, Bill Guin, John Eldridge, Christian Hoeser, Paul Applin and Macon Michaux. Row 2: John Boyd, Hamner, M.M. Mills, Ofus Lee Slayton and Buck Ruffin. Row 3: E. Laine, F.J. Lawson, G.P. Ramsey, L.T. Wolford, James Warrington, W.W. Bercaw and R.D. Duke.

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CLASS NOTES I installed a bunch of colored lights on it so it looks pretty at night. There is the continuing saga of household repairs going on as usual – I’m working on replacing the windows in Sue’s room and have moved in about 40 truck loads of dirt onto our lower lot. I’m trying to level this steep lot a bit and make it a little more useable. Sue and I will be going to Ft. Hood to visit with Wendy, our daughter-in-law. Joe, our oldest, will fly in from Korea where he has taken command of the 8th Army, to be present for the dedication of a memorial to those 1st Cavalry heroes who lost their lives in Iraq. Joe was the division commander during his recent tour in Iraq. Although this is a very touching event we are looking forward to being with our grandchildren and Joe and Wendy. Our son in MD came out for a few days and it was great to see him. We got together with our two local sons and their families and had a great few days together. Our nine grandchildren are all enjoying their youth and good health for which we feel very grateful. One of the nice things about this trip is that Joe and I will celebrate our birthdays together. He was born two days before mine which was a pretty nice birthday present. This is my 80th on May 25. Sue is still doing her excellent work at the V.A. Hospital in Palo Alto. She spends her time in the brain-injured ward where they are doing remarkable work with some severely injured soldiers. She was able to contact LTG Jones at Ft. Hood who put together a wonderful box of things for a 1st Cav soldier being treated for a head wound and who received the Purple Heart medal at a touching ceremony. Sue provided a dozen yellow roses for the mother. We are all very proud of Sue’s efforts in behalf of those brave young men who have sacrificed so much for our country. She finds the work very rewarding.” We can all be proud of Sue and her works for the injured troops. Congratulations, Sue, and thank you from all of us. Mrs. Ray, who is Allen Penniman’s efficient assistant, keeps Allen’s calendar current and provides regular and correctly spelled and formatted quarterly updates. Here’s the latest: “This first quarter of the year has come and gone with just the normal amount of family involvement and


keeping up with activities here in Baton Rouge. Actually, the first quarter has been quiet which I think is always the case after the activity that the final days of 2007 bring. It all goes by so quickly and I suddenly realize that we are in the fifth month of this year. May does look exciting and our activity will pick up because of numerous school graduations by our grandchildren. I feel like we are making progress in that three of them will be graduated from high school and each has selected an excellent college to attend. I consider this a very important transition. To accommodate these occasions, Joanie and I will travel to Albuquerque and Atlanta and one granddaughter will be graduated here in Baton Rouge. With a grade school graduation in Albuquerque added, we will have a full month of travel on our plates. We will also make a trip to Washington to attend the marriage of a son of our good friend here in Baton Rouge. This will be a grand occasion and visiting our nation’s capitol is always a pleasure for me. It has been a number of years since I have been there, and so I am certainly looking forward to the trip. Joanie and I continue to enjoy good health and at this point this is certainly the greatest blessing we could have. My greetings to all and I close by sending each classmate my very best regards.” We have a brief note from Margaret Anne Noftsinger, in which she confirms the plans outlined in her November news, but no new adventures: “Jim, I gave you all the news about our clan – with the end of lacrosse season for our two grandsons, we have a five-day breather before two college graduations and one wedding for a granddaughter all in four weeks. I wish I could tell you that we have trips to grandiose places but the only trip is to Lexington for the W&L graduation. Hope you all have a great summer, best to all of the 49As.” Here’s Stan Millimet’s update: “I’ve been thinking and thinking – about what to write. And I’m still at a loss. We had a pretty rough winter and stayed at home near the heating vent (so much for global warming); the spring thus far has been cool and wet (which is a good thing because they keep raising our water rate). So we’ve been watching the political scene – which

has been totally disheartening. Also did my income tax – which was totally disheartening. So we keep track of our children and grandchildren – all of whom are doing well, and read a lot, and think fondly of our Brother Rats and their families. So, we’re sorry to disappoint but that’s all there is. So I guess we’re pretty much of a pass this go ‘round, but we’ll try to be interesting next time. Our best to all.” I will close these notes with a poem written by Junior Dissek’s 18-year-old grandson. Junior’s daughter sent this to me, and I want to share it with all in memory not only of Junior but of all our absent Brothers: Rest softly little soldier boy Rest softly in the wind Many battles fought and evils sinned But now you rest little soldier boy Softly in the wind You hear the drum beat lowly stir Tapping in the wind Lay your head upon the grass As your troops say “Night, Sir” Tapping in the wind Resting softly in the field Many are prostrate and kneeled The little soldier boy takes a breath And sleeps softly in the field Love you very much Timmy Minahan Jan. 21, 2008 Thank you, Timmy. We, too, loved your grandfather.


Dan Smaw

Greg Nelson called in early February to say he and Kitty were going to Lexington to talk with Carole Green about our 60th which is now less than a year away. It is scheduled for April 19-22, 2009; the 19th is the date for early arrivals. Please be sure to put these dates down and plan to be there. Also, call or write your roommates and any other Brother Rats you have not seen at a reunion in recent years and encourage them to make the 60th our best attended reunion ever.  Dave Briggs thought Earthmole’s idea of the 50-year-old brandy for our last re-


CLASS NOTES union was a fine idea. He and Margaret are already planning for that reunion and only want to know where to pick up the bottle since it is impossible to have a reunion with ones self, Dave would like to propose to Earthmole that the last two Brother Rats open the bottle and drink from it at each reunion thereafter, or until the bottle is empty. I will be happy to share with Dave. Unless you read the last class notes, you won’t know what this is about. Ding Patton told me in February that he and Nobbie were leaving March 13 for a six-week cruise from Singapore to Southampton. They will have four days in India and four days in Egypt to take a land tour of those countries. They returned April 22 and both Ding and Nobbie said it was a wonderful trip and the time went by fast because there was a lot to do, both on board and ashore on tours. Doris Walter had hip replacement surgery February 25 which was very successful. She was weak for awhile, but was walking unassisted after three weeks and gaining strength each day. Physical therapy was to last for several weeks. Doris said Lon was a first class nurse. Earthmole Lewis called in late February to say he had had the flu for several weeks, but was then on the mend. Nothing of note was discussed during the next few minutes of talk. Tommy Bowers called in early March to tell about a few things that happened during his “hardship tour” on St. Bart’s. I don’t know how he survives each year for the two months he is there. He celebrated his 80th birthday with his children and grandchildren in attendance for the week. A week later they celebrated Pam’s birthday with a group of her friends there. Sounds like all the birthday activities eased some of the hardship usually associated with his duties. I called Ronnie Gault in March to tell him I had sent his birthday card to the wrong address and it had been returned. Ronnie said he has no leg strength to speak of and cannot walk any distance. Even though he has a pacemaker, he still experiences shortness of breath – I am probably connecting two things for which no connection exists. In any case, Ronnie is not in the best of shape, but he can still give you statistics and

2008-Issue 3

opinions on all VMI sports. Tommy Challoner wrote a long letter about the day he and Babe had on March 25. I am not going to try to duplicate it, but will hit the high spots. They were in Hampton, VA, to attend a memorial service for his 29-year-old niece-in-law who died of Cystic Fibrosis. He called Margaret Lee Overton who he considers his twin since they were separated by four hours and four miles between hospitals, and, of course, mothers. He used to double date with Nelson and Margaret Lee during high school. He and Nelson rode the train together from Newport News to the Institute in July 1945. The Overtons were burying Nelson’s ashes that day, so the Challoners attended.  Tommy’s grandson, Richmond Challoner Crawford, and his parents had an appointment at the VMI Admissions Office for the class of 2013. He has a year to decide, so maybe there will be one more ’49B grandson in the Corps. Jimmy Shepherd called in April to discuss an idea he had to add to the Charlie Walthour Scholarship Fund. Axel Bolvig was there, so we had a good conversation. Earthmole Lewis called in late April saying he was feeling good and just wanted to talk. As I recall, we talked about nothing of substance, but I was glad to hear Earthmole was doing well. Lon Walter had talked to George Dooley to ask him to present the Alonzo J. Walter Award to the outstanding Air Force ROTC cadet during the awards ceremony in May, prior to commissioning and graduation. George has done this several times, including last year when we were there. I talked to Grover Outland in late April to find out if the tornadoes around Suffolk had caused them any damage. Grover said they only had a little wind, nothing serious. He and Teancy were doing fine and looking for a visit the next weekend from Tommy Bowers. Grover said he would have to listen to Tommy’s lies, but my guess is that Tommy will have a lot of hot air to listen to from Grover. Nothing like old roommates getting together. I called Mark and Helen Casey in late April and found them packing to move May 8 to a retirement village in Novi, MI. It is in the Detroit area and, more

importantly, close to where Helen’s sister lives. Helen said Mark gets around with the aid of a walker, but his balance is not good. They both agreed it is a real job downsizing from a large house to a retirement size one. They both sounded good in spite of all the work a move brings on. We wish them well in MI. Louise and I were going into a grocery store recently and I had a t-shirt with a large VMI logo on the back and the wording “The Older We Get The Tougher It Was.” A lady said she liked that, as her father had gone to VMI. I asked what class and she said ’47. When I asked his name, it turned out to be Meade Gregory ’47. I told her I knew him, so she said she would be sure to tell him about our meeting. Ding and Nobbie Patton’s grandson, Dave (Scooter) Baber ’02, received word that his unit is scheduled to be activated in September. After several months of training they will be deployed to Afghanistan. Scooter and his unit, which is an engineer battalion, were in Iraq four or five years ago. We wish him well. Tom diZerega sent me the obituary from the Loudoun Times-Mirror about Dick Hill’s death on February 5 in Leesburg, VA. Tom did not know any details other than that he died at home and the funeral was well attended. He has one son, Andrew, of Leesburg to whom we extend our condolences. Hotz Lardon wrote that he always had a fond and humorous memory of “Little Joe.” He arrived later than some on the 2nd stoop and Hotz was visiting Brother Rats in a room near his when “Little Joe” came in and said in an Eastern Brooklyn type accent “Hey, I’m rooming with youse guys!” Betty Mae (Libby) Smith, Buck’s widow, died in her sleep February 28. She attended the lunch Greg Nelson had in Richmond January 29 to celebrate our graduation. Several Brother Rats commented on how well she looked and how she enjoyed being with the group. She was buried March 5 at Eastern Shore Chapel, Virginia Beach where Buck is buried. Survivors include two daughters, Susan and Elizabeth, a sister and numerous nieces and nephews. Louise and I attended the Class Agents’ Conference in Lexington in April.  It was a


CLASS NOTES very good meeting. Gen. Peay ’62 gave us an excellent run-down on the status of everything from construction to academics, athletics and finances. I hope all of you read the letter Gen. Peay sent in early April. He stressed the need for greater participation in giving. Participation is one of the factors looked at when schools are ranked by U.S. News and World Report. The ’49B participation is generally around 55%, but it should be a lot higher. While amounts matter, so does participation. If you have contributed, thanks. If not, do it now. God Bless America, VMI and ’49B


Stewart Snoddy Jr.

Well, there’s good news from Lexington! Heinie Henzel is now living here at Kendal. A cottage became available which fits his needs, so our VMI ranks have swollen by a count of one. His new address is: 160 Kendal Drive # 1012, Lexington, VA, 24450 (540/463-4278). With all the services and dining menus available here, Heinie’s life should become a lot easier and more enjoyable. Unfortunately the

whole facility is now one big mess with all the new construction. The apartment addition and half of the new cottages are up and some are occupied. The auditorium and new restaurant building also is coming along, and the indoor swimming pool for the fitness center is complete, except there is no surrounding building at this time. By the fall we hope that peace will come again! I’ll keep you posted – as if it really mattered. Further to the passing of Jean Wood mentioned in the last report, I received a very nice note from her daughter, Laura, along with thanks for a gift to St. Michael’s Organ Fund. She said, “Our family wants everyone to know how devoted our mother was to continue being associated with VMI after our father passed away. She loved hearing from others in the class and enjoyed the trips. We will always remember how special VMI was to both of our parents. Sincerely, Laura Wood Klutz.” The “Spirit” never dies! I “accidentally” ran into Bob and Anne Patterson at the annual luncheon for sponsors of Cadets. I thought it would be good for Heinie to represent the class of 49C Scholarship Fund and meet those we sponsored this year. He agreed to attend – until 07:00 on the day of the luncheon when he

called to say that he had been up all night suffering with the effects of a monstrous GI bug. I said I would fill in, but that I had an M.D. appointment immediately before the affair. Well, I made it to the luncheon, but it had already begun. Much to my pleasant surprise I found Bob and Anne at the table. With all the noise and the crowd, it was difficult to converse with them since they were on the far side. I can report, however, that they looked and sounded fine. Regrettably there was no time to get into details. Seated next to me was Cadet Phillip Jones ’08, with whom I was able to converse. He is (was) a history major and a reservist in the Coast Guard. He spent a year in Germany as an exchange student at the University of the Federal Armed Forces of Germany which was a wonderful learning experience as well as a chance to polish his minor in German. He will be going to the law school at Ohio State next semester. Like the other recipients of our scholarships he is very grateful for our support. Last month, we had Sunday brunch at the Country Club with Stock and Jean Fleming. It was great catching up on all our activities and the status of our medical conditions. They are doing well and enjoying life in the country. We did convince

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CLASS NOTES them to place a deposit here at Kendal. Neither of them are desirous of coming here, but we pointed out that should the situation arise where one or both of them needed to move to Kendal they would not even be considered for entry unless they previously had signed up. It’s something senior citizens have to keep in mind if they wish to avoid running into a brick wall at a critical time in their lives. At the annual spring meeting of the class agents, I spent some time chatting with Dale Wyckoff ’48A (ex-’49C) and Dan Smaw ’49B. They are both doing well and continue to represent their classes. The highlight of the meeting was the presentation by General Peay ’62 who concentrated on Vision 2039. The general noted that he personally had composed the letter which was recently sent to you. The progress made on this project has been phenomenal, but there is still much to be done. Crozet Hall and all the academic buildings, except for Chemistry/Biology, have been redone. Kilbourne hall is basically complete with work continuing on refurbishing classrooms in the original section. When one now drives down Route 11 into VMI, the sight of Kilbourne Hall, Foster Field, and Cameron Hall really presents the Institute in a most favorable light! On Post, the addition to Barracks has risen to the third floor level, and the new Ethics and Leadership Building is close to complete on the outside. When you couple this with the new baseball stadium and the soccer fields and tennis courts down by “the Nile,” VMI really looks like the first class institution we know it is. Ann and I attended a meeting at Jefferson’s Poplar Forest retreat. The restoration of the main building is proceeding very well as is the rebuilding of the wing with Jefferson’s novel roof design. George Ramsey ’48B was there, and we covered highlights of the class and VMI. It is great to have two Brother Rat classes: it helps to make up for the small size of each class by giving one twice as many Brothers. By the way, if you can spare a half day during a trip to the Institute, I would heartily recommend that you take the time to go to Lynchburg and visit Poplar Forest. Jefferson was quite the architect, builder, and generator of ideas.

2008-Issue 3

As always we are in close contact with Azalea and Jud Ellis and their adventures in the land of sea and sand. They are both doing well and said to pass on their best regards to the class. For those who like to plan ahead, please be advised that I have reserved space at The Inn at Hunt Ridge for our 60th which is now very slightly less than a year away. Wow!!!


R.R. Mandt

Jennings and Harriett Bunch are doing well, and Harriett’s shoulder is doing much better as she continues healing from the surgery she had in February 2008. The Bunches are planning a trip in June to visit a cousin in Ft. Collins, CO, and from there will go to southeast CO where Harriett’s son is a pastor. Another son of Harriett’s is an eye surgeon and her daughter is a nurse practitioner. Jennings has two daughters, one in the Pittsburgh area and the other on Philadelphia. Bill and Anne Moore are doing well, and Bill is busy getting his vegetable garden in shape. Bill and Anne will be in Baltimore for a horse race on May 15 through May 18, 2008. The day I spoke to Bill, he and Anne had just returned from a visit with Gen. Peay ’62, and they were updated on the status of the Institute and its building and expansion programs. Bill and Anne were very impressed with the appearance of the Corps. Bill and Anne are planning a trip to Nova Scotia in July 2008. The Moores will be there a week and will be joined by their daughter, Laura, and husband Stan. Bill’s grandson, Will, plans to go to VMI during the summer for a basketball camp. Elliott and Nancy Hudgins report that they are doing well, and Elliott is about 85% recovered from a problem in February 2008, when he had a bad reaction to a flu shot and was given a statin drug which was suspected to have caused some heart damage. After extensive tests, it was determined there was no heart damage, and he feels much better now. At the time I called, Elliott and Nancy were enjoying

a visit from their daughter, Corey. Corey’s daughter, Elizabeth, is a student at Coastal Carolina University and likes it very much. Elliott and Nancy’s son, Reed, is on his way to Djibouti in Africa to instruct military personnel. Reed is a major and is a 1990 graduate of VMI and has 18 years of military service. Gene Witcher reports that he has moved into a much smaller house, two doors down from his daughter, Katherine, who lives in Grapevine, TX, near Fort Worth. Gene says he is getting along very well with the knee he had replaced in February. Gene is very pleased with his new car, a BMW hard top convertible and is planning several trips in it including a trip to the International Gem Show in January 2009 in Tucson, AZ. Kenny and B.J. Stagg report that they had a wonderful trip to China in September 2007. In February of 2008, they enjoyed a memorable trip to Tanzania, in Africa, where they were housed in comfortable lodges. Future trips on their wish list include going to the Greek Isles and CA. Ken says he hears that the best time to go to Greece is September or October. Ken is busy with his vegetable garden but complains that he only has about 10% sun which makes growing things difficult. B.J. enjoys going to her yoga classes at the University of Richmond gymnasium where they have wonderful equipment and instructors.


Ralph Warren

I got the following note from Tom Eva: “I am still alive, but Julie and I have moved to Harbour Edge, a home for the aged about 15 minutes from our former residence. Fortunately I can still go back there for golf.” It was great to hear from Tom and to find out that he is still golfing. I received the following e-mail and hard copy from Bill Kelly in which he shares his remembrance of Henry Bennett. I found it very interesting especially since I hadn’t seen Henry since graduation. “Just a brief personal follow up on Henry Bennett. We of course knew one another


CLASS NOTES as Brother Rats, and at that time I had a sister living in Danville, so we could both relate to that good south side city. However, I got to know him much better, when, after graduation from VMI; we both went down to Richmond and took rooms in a lovely, old house owned by Grace Wallace Brown’s mother. Brady Brown had put us both on to that good arrangement. Henry was starting his career with the Bank of Virginia, and I had taken the post of Commandant of Cadets at John Marshall High School (following a VMI tradition at that school). Mrs. Wallace could not have been more gracious. She treated us like family, including an occasional glass of sherry in the evening, before we went out to dinner, often at the near-by Chesterfield Club, which served both breakfast and dinner to residents and outside guests. Henry and I were both very busy getting started in our first posts, but we enjoyed one another greatly. I also remember, at VMI, that he got a lot of ribbing from Col. T.A.E. Moseley whom we both had in Spanish classes. Henry was dubbed ‘Hi Grade’ Bennett for his initials, H.G.. He took it all with good grace! I shall also send you a hard copy of this note, and also one I sent you back in early October. E-mail can be so illusive! I’m sorry we could not make the mini reunion, especially after your good report, but, schedule complications made it better for us to attend the Institute Society dinner in November. That was a great event, especially with Jim Morgan ’45 as the featured speaker. He is a very special person whom I especially enjoyed when I came back on the VMI faculty, and served with him on the Tactical Staff. Then later, his daughter, Mary Jim, came to Mary Baldwin while I was president. She was, and remains, a lovely daughter! Catherine and I are off, for two weeks in Scotland. This year marks our 10-year to return to the beautiful Highlands, where, at this time of year, it is ‘lambing season.’ You see more baby lambs and sheep than you do people! The Scots are delightful people. We go to The Kenmore Club, in a village by the same name, right in the heart of the Highlands, midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow.” The class also received a thank you note


from the family of Henry Bennett with the following hand written note, author unknown: “Thank you for the donation to the Keokee Fund. It is a very good way to honor the memory of a very good man.” The donation referred to was made from our hospitality fund which has been so ably administered by Deedee Shephard over these many years. When the family requests a donation in lieu of flowers we follow their request. Marilyn and I had lunch with Bill and Helen Talbott and Mary Buchanan when we were in Lexington for the Class Agents’ Conference. Although the time was short it was great to see them again and to get caught up on the happenings in Lexington and the Institute. On April 4 the Institute hosted its annual luncheon for the cadets on Academic Scholarship. Our class of 50B Scholarship fund is providing a total of $30,740 in support of the following cadets: Elizabeth A. Carlos ’11 a civil engineering major from Great Falls, VA, Christina R. Mowatt-Larssen ’09 an international studies major from Herndon, VA, Patrick S. Pillow ’09 an international studies major from Lynchburg, VA, Megan E. Strand a biology major from Fredricksburg, VA, and Owen T. Troutman ’10 an economics major from Chesapeake, VA. As of June 30, 2007, the close of the fiscal year, the ’50B Scholarship fund had a market value of $781,527 Bob Trinkle represented the class at the luncheon and was able to meet and visit with Elizabeth A. Carlos and Patrick S. Pillow. In addition, Zachariah Kovarik ’08, Dave Kovarik’s grandson was seated at his table. Bob said that he was very impressed by the cadets that he met. I certainly can understand his feelings as I have found our cadets to be outstanding young men and women. Bob also got to visit with Pete and Susan Meredith and Mary Buchanan who were in attendance to support their scholarship cadets. Ajax Mitchell called to let me know that his son Matthew, ’02 is going to run for the New York legislature in November. Matthew is a fine young man, and I am sure will add to the character of and be a positive addition to the New York legislature. See you next notes.


John Ross

This note covers the period Feb. 11 to May 10, 2008. I had a nice chat with Maurice King on his birthday at the beginning of February. He recalled how much he enjoyed the mini reunion in Richmond. Then on Valentine’s Day the flu struck our home – Marie wound up in the hospital for five days, and I spent a few days in bed. Thankfully, we both recovered. I called Randy Thompson to wish him a happy birthday. He is fighting spondylitis, which limits his activities. He reports that his wife, Gloria, is still teaching chemistry at George Mason University. I spoke with Woody Woodward on his birthday. He is a retired patent attorney in Tyler, TX, who does not travel. As he put it, “I read a lot and watch TV with my dog.” In late February, Marie and I received a belated New Year’s greeting from Roger and Betty Little in St. Louis. They had a major construction project started in November as a result of the failure of the drainage system that runs under their house. When I checked with them in mid March the repairs still were not completed. Never the less, they were leaving on a 10-day cruise from California, which was a gift from their daughter. They are both in good health and regret missing the April mini. I had a series of telephone calls with Hank Quisenberry and Jackie checking his progress after hip replacement surgery, including birthday wishes. In my last call on April 6, he was doing well at home. Ever since I received a nice e-mail from Jim Gonzales in mid February thanking me for the class Christmas card, I had been trying to reach him. He is one of the three BRs from New Iberia, LA, that Slick Morton brought to VMI and who left after one semester. The other two were Earl Patton and George Crowson who I reported on in my last note. Jim called at the beginning of March, and we had a nice visit. After leaving VMI, he served in the Navy for


CLASS NOTES four years. He now lives in Kenner, LA, after a very successful business career. Jim referred to Earl Patton and said, “I suppose he told you, we both wish we had stayed at VMI,” which I acknowledged. I was glad to hear they are both considering visiting the Institute. I had a note from Jim Close stating he is well settled for the winter months in Naples, FL. He reports that he had a nice visit with Joe Tom and Frances Howard, and that they are in good health. Jim enclosed a post card he had received from Paul Shrader, dated Feb. 20, 2008, from Pensacola, FL. Paul wrote that he and Polly had been in the Caribbean and Europe during the previous winter months. Paul Robinson checked in to let me know that Jean and he were back in Florida, after surviving the snows of Wisconsin. I caught Rav Marshall in early March to wish him a happy birthday just before he and Sheila left for Argentina. Joe Tom Howard let me know that he and Frances could not make the April mini, as they will be cruising and visiting parts of Europe, including Oslo, Norway, where their son, a Navy captain, is stationed. Joe Tom also forwarded a very nice thank you letter from the recipient of the Howard Scholarship at VMI. George Cohen responded to my inquiring and reported no tornado damage to his Atlanta home. Nancy Bell and Marie had a nice chat. Nancy recounted that she is doing well and had a nice Easter visit with two of her daughters in northern VA. I called Jim Strickland on his birthday – St. Patrick’s Day. He reported some balance problems due to Parkinson’s. As he put it – his health is not the greatest. However, in a subsequent call in April, Jim reported he is feeling somewhat better and wished everyone well. Also on March 17, I had a call from Johnny Gray and Pat Parker with the good news they were to be married the next day. However, they requested no announcement until the mini reunion in April. Walter Ames ’52, who has been keeping me informed concerning the health status of Johnny Jordan, asked me about Dick Cole. I passed the word to Dick in Minneapolis, who is a retired engineer. He

2008-Issue 3

reported it was snowing there on March 17. Dick said he is looking forward to our 60th. He thereby joins Jim Marshall in the optimist category. I caught Bobby Guthans as he was leaving his house in Mobile, AL, for a birthday party in his honor at his daughter’s. He and Barbara Ann are in good health. I received word from the Institute on March 22 that our BR Helmut Schrader died on Jan. 31, 2008, in his home in Jacksonville, FL, survived by his wife, Leona, and four daughters. On behalf of the class I sent a note of condolence to Mrs. Schrader and the family and made a contribution for the class to the VMI Foundation in Helmut’s memory. I called Richard Chaplin in California to wish him a happy birthday. He is still teaching but Anita has retired. They are both in good health but due to family obligations are restricted in their activities. I received word on March 28 from the children of our BR Chuck Wallace, who died in 2005, notifying me that Chuck’s widow and their mother, Maxine, had died July 11, 2007. I notified VMI and sent them a note of condolence from the class. Marie called Caroline McCallum in Williamsburg to wish her a happy birthday. Caroline has been busy helping her daughter, who has moved in close proximity and is doing well. I called Jack and Barbara Lowden and confirmed they were not coming to the mini reunion, as they were regular attendees. However, they reported they were well but just could not make it. Henry Bryan called to say that he and Joan had to cancel their trip from Michigan to the Lexington mini, as Joan was not up to it. I hope to see Henry and Joan this summer when they come to Alexandria, VA, to visit his brother, Albert V. Bryan ’47. Pat Holloway called Marie to report the Holloways had another male grandchild. Marie and I visit with Pat and Duane Holloway by phone fairly regularly. I called Rufus Lazzell in Florida with birthday greetings. He and Jo Jac are still very busy with civic activities. However, he indicated interest in making the April mini. So I provided him with the details. Then on April 12, I received an e-mail from Rufus that and emergency would

preclude attendance. He did send his “best regards” and asked me to tell the BRs “that I am committed to attending a reunion before we all die.” Starting at the end of March, I have been working with Bonney Schowalter, our Brother Rat’s widow, and her son Col. Ned Schowalter, to publicize the award and presentation of the new, congressionally authorized Medal of Honor Flag to the family of our Brother Rat on March 29. Hope Hennessey, editor of the Alumni Review, has been very helpful. Ned is the only VMI modern recipient of the Medal of Honor. (See article on page 16.) After I posted the forgoing information on the e-mail net, Hobart Richey, who was Ned’s roommate for two years, contributed an e-mail anecdote concerning Ned’s toughness. I answered Joe Tom Howard’s inquiry concerning the origin of this year’s birthday card – it is circa 1891 and depicts cadets rushing through Washington Arch for formation on the bricks, while two civilian hand members are playing. Norma Robinson, assistant to the director of Alumni and Reunion Giving, did the research and deserves the credit. I talked to Sid Hannah on his birthday. He is fully retired in Cincinnati but keeps busy helping the Red Cross Disaster Services, operating a ham radio and walking five miles a day. I received kind messages from Sam Scott and Pete Philp on my inaugural class note. Jane Catlin echoed similar sentiments and noted she is installing hurricane windows in her FL apartment. I had a nice phone visit with Bill Moore (one year VMI; four years USMA) who retired to Fairfax County, VA, as a major general. He presently is a consultant to two major defense contractors. He recounted how Gen. Peay ’62 was a subordinate in Korea and remembered that Steve Meader was one of his roommates. The mini reunion in Lexington was great thanks to the planning and arrangements of Peggy Hays, assisted by our BR Willard, our headquarters was the Sheridan Livery Inn on Main St. After checking in on Monday, April 14, we assembled at 5:30 p.m. in the banquet room of the inn for drinks and a fine dinner.


CLASS NOTES In attendance were: Fred and Rose Marie Anson; Jigger and Ursula Baxley; Bounce and Sally Carstens; George and Marty Cohen; Jim and Mary Ellen Connolly; Gerry Eggleston and Phyllis Graf Johnston; Beano and Ann Graf; Johnny and Pat (Parker) Gray; Willard and Peggy Hays; Sookie and Nancy Hill; Duane and Pat Holloway; Rav and Sheila Marshall; Ed and Mary Lee May; Vic and Gracelyn Parks; Paul and Jean Robinson; Jack and Marie Ross; and Sam and Jessie Scott. Our guests were Shannon and Merlin Ikenberry ’95, the baseball coach, who presented an interesting and informative talk on VMI baseball. Gerry Eggleston, who looks great after his major surgery, led us in a toast to the newly weds – Johnny and Pat Gray. And, of course, Sam Scott led us in and Old Yell! Jigger Boxley had prepared and distributed a five-page booklet containing 20 photographs of the ceremonies honoring Gen. George C. Marshall (1901) and dedicating Marshall Arch on May 15, 1951, shortly before our graduation. Johnny Gray then distributed sections of the original bricks used in constructing part of the Barracks in 1852-56, with their provenance. These artifacts resulted from a project conceived and followed to completion by our BR Bob Nolley, with the assistance of Johnny Gray. Bob was unable to attend the mini and receive our thanks due to his medical condition. His “spirit” is truly amazing and inspiring. On Tuesday, April 15, Peggy and Willard Hays arranged a guided bus tour of the recently completed and on-going construction and renovation projects. It was informative and impressive. That evening, the hardy ones attended a baseball game, under the lights at the beautiful new Gray-Minor Stadium and were rewarded with a 6-4 victory over James Madison. Wednesday morning, we said our good byes – hopefully only to our next mini in 2009. I know someone with the spirit will step forward and volunteer. Marie and I attended the annual Class Agents’ Conference in Lexington on April 18 and 19. The purpose of the conference is to bring us up-to-date on the Institute. Thus, we were provided a thick


packet of factual and statistical data, and met and heard from various Alumni Association and Foundation officials. The 24-page financial report shows a budget based on a Corps of 1389 (440 Rats), a faculty to Cadet ratio of 11:1, and a tuition next year of $16,150 (in state) and $32,000 (non-resident). The highlight of the conference was a “State of VMI” address by Gen. Peay, which was excellent. We also heard a very informative presentation by the new commandant, Col. Tom Trumps ’79, USA (Ret.). The conference also emphasized the critical nature of private giving, which provides 37% of the operating budget. I reached Bill Dawson in Richmond on his birthday. Bill left VMI after our Rat year. He then received a BCSc from Strayer College and worked in finance for Henrico County, VA. He and Shirley have two children living close by – one a nurse and the other a Baptist minister. He is very proud of his two grandsons now at the Institute – Dawson Boyer ’08 and Caleb Boyer ’11. I talked to Gerry Eggelston at the end of April. He is still doing great and reports he will be busy for the next couple of months with house repairs. Bob Nolley also called at the end of April. He is worried about the distribution of bricks to the BRs who did not attend the mini. I told Bob how much we missed him at the reunion and how much we appreciated his “spirit.” Paul Robinson sent a nice note thanking me for some information and stating how much he and Jean enjoyed the reunion. I received an e-mail from Sam Scott informing me that the widow of our BR Gus Spotts, Joann, died April 20, 2008. I immediately notified the Institute. Homer Ambrose called in early May and reports that he still attends physiotherapy three times a week and “does not do steps.” Otherwise, he and Marie are doing well. I finally reached Taylor Hay with birthday greetings long after failing on his actual date in early February. Taylor reports that he and Joanna are in great shape and that they are looking forward to our 60th.

I received a nice e-mail from Fred Taylor thanking me for the class birthday card. As you may recall, Fred left VMI after our second-class year. After failing to reach him on his birthday, I finally made contact, and we had a nice visit. Fred, who lives in Richmond, says he keeps busy playing golf and performing all necessary house repairs. He is very proud of the accomplishments of his wife, Jacqueline, who just completed a book on the life of Polly Marshall, the wife of our famous chief justice. Fred Anson returned my voice message and I was able to extend birthday wishes. He and Rose Marie had just returned home from Columbus, OH, where they had been helping their daughter. I contacted Ed May in Richmond with birthday greetings. He and Mary Lee are doing well. I reached Don Gross at his business in Covington, VA, and wished him a happy birthday. Don was a cousin of Burrell Whitlow and matriculated from Vinton, Va. He left VMI after one year. After Army service, he received a BS from Roanoke College and a MS in forestry from Duke University. After working in forestry, he went into real estate in the mid ’70s. He goes into the office but confesses his son now operates the business. Don visits VMI and has many alumni friends. He mentioned Harrison Fridley ’61 and asked about Willard Hays. I finally reached Hap Higby in Florida to extend belated birthday greetings. Hap noted I goofed in my inaugural class note – he did not go through jump school with Roger Little but rather with Bill Ellis and Jim Coley. Sorry about that – a rookie’s error. I received a very nice e-mail from Sam Bass concerning my class agent performance, which is much appreciated by this neophyte. I was glad to hear from Sam, as I had missed making contact on his birthday. I therefore immediately responded by e-mail with a belated “Happy Birthday.” I reached Skip Parks the day after his birthday at his home in Petersburg, VA. Skip and I reminisced about the Lexington mini and how enjoyable it was. In regard to birthday greetings, I gener-


CLASS NOTES ally send out the cards once or twice a month and try to call on the actual birth date. I use the addresses and phone numbers provided by VMI. In this regard, the cards I sent Joe Stump, Pete Ames and Bob Martin have not been returned. However, I have not been able to reach them at the numbers provided. Any help would be appreciated. As I am sure most of you know, our class president, Johnny Jordan is in an assisted living facility in Virginia Beach. He has a serious blood pressure problem that has defied treatment since being hospitalized last October. Our BR Jack Evans visits him regularly and keeps me informed for the class. He even tracked me down in Lexington during the mini. Pat and Johnny Gray, while on their honeymoon, stopped and visited with Robin and John. In addition the class of 1952, which is well represented in Virginia Beach, has been very supportive of Robin and John. Walt Ames ’52 and Andy Dickinson ’52 have contacted me concerning a fund that has been created to provide financial support. I have listed the details in an e-mail report and Henry Bryan was the initial contributor from our class with a very substantial contribution. If anyone desires details – contact me. As I wrote this section of the note, Jack Evans called from New Bern, NC, where he and Joyce are taking it easy. Jack visited Johnny a couple of days ago and read him any e-mail report of the mini. He said Johnny, although not very talkative, enjoyed the news. Just before finishing this note, Paul Shrader returned my voice mail from Radford University, where he has a granddaughter. He and Polly were just leaving for VMI to attend a grandson’s graduation. Then they were headed to Maine for a grandson’s wedding. As you may know, there is a few months’ delay from the date of submission of this note to its publication, thus the news if somewhat stale. I urge you to provide me or Pete Philp with an e-mail address. In this way you will receive class news currently. In any event, keep the news coming and have a great summer.

2008-Issue 3


Nutz Navas

The following message was sent to me in March 2008 from Joan Coggins: “Dear Nutz. It is with a saddened heart that I write to inform you that Ed died on Feb. 29, 2008. Ed had three kinds of cancer and fought to stay with us until the very end. Our five daughters were a huge source of support for both of us and continue to be

Class of 1952: Standing tall with cadets is Ann Hutchinson, wife of Myles, at the class’s 55th Reunion in April 2007.

for me. Although Ed graduated from West Point and served for 26 years in the Air Force, he always thought of VMI as a very special place and talked of it often through the years. Sincerely, Joan Coggins.” I saw Coogie several times over the years while in the USAF. He was a fighter pilot and flew F-4s in Vietnam and subsequently retired as a colonel. Ed matriculated from Portsmouth, VA. His roommates at VMI were Turk Lane, Bob Nyman and Dan

Bruce Robertson. He wrote several books after he retired to Fort Worth, TX. Cooggie was a distinguished decorated officer and gentleman. Jim Miller sent in a note from his home in Tulsa. He and Pat are enjoying retirement and see their two sons and their families frequently. They have four grandchildren. Ash and Lily Harman have run into a problem trying to get Lily’s paperwork through Chinese customs. They sent in all the required data over 60 days ago and it still has not been received by our State Department’s visa office. Ash has called the visa office several times but there is nothing they can do to accelerate the process. Ash said that the recent earthquake did not affect Wuhan where they live. They received slight tremors but no damage to the immediate area. Scurvy Patton checked in recently from Pace, FL. He and Helene get together with Turk and Mary Lane for dinner in the Pensacola area frequently. Both of them have had strokes which have hampered their moving about without a walker or cane. While it is frustrating, their spirits are high because of their wives who have been very strong and supportive. Another example of the wonderful women in our lives! Bob Lambert took his whole family to Costa Rica earlier this year and had a grand time. Bob and Zeke Finney played golf at their time share resort on Captiva Island this past spring and Bob won eight dollars from Zeke. That is almost an impossible task. He said he may frame the dough. Charlie and Sharon Piper spent three months in their condo in Bradenton, FL, this past winter before returning to their home in Hill City, SD. Walter Ames, supervised by Diane, was planting dahlias when I called in mid-May. Warren Meola is working at his hobby of building railroad engines, while Helen is teaching school near their home in Marietta, GA. Her daughter, Becca, attends Pebblebrook High School which is a magnet school for arts. Warren says she is a member of Georgia Young Singers and is a very gifted young lady. His roommate, J.B. Hyatt, is involved in keeping his friends and family up to date on what is going on in the political and national scene. J.B. does not hide his concern for what is happening to our


CLASS NOTES country regarding the immigration mess we have gotten ourselves in as a nation. He has convinced me and others to contact our senators and congressmen on issues such as amnesty for illegal immigrants. Also involved in this effort from our class are Austin and Ernestine Bridgforth from their Baton Rouge, LA, home. Russ McCarthy wrote from San Antonio about the National Museum of the Pacific War, formerly known the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, TX. The museum has been expanded and modernized over the last decade. Part of the museum is an outdoor memorial garden in memory of those who lost their lives in WW II in all the armed services. Every military college except VMI had a memorial plaque. On March 7, 2008, over forty VMI alumni from all over TX were present when the VMI memorial plaque was dedicated. I hope to hear from more of our brother rats in the coming months. I will be in touch with you in the near future. In the meantime, continue to enjoy “the golden years” as best you can. Have fun and keep fit and trim.


William C. Noell Jr.

It is regretful that many of you could not make the reunion, for which I am certainly sorry. From all appearances and comments, we had a great reunion. Last count, we had 54 BRs in attendance, with 108 at Monday and Tuesday evening meals plus the Commanders or the Bagpipers. The Sunday events were not in the “Reunion Package,” and “our” reception at the house was only sent out by e-mail; so, many not on e-mail did not hear about it, although a copy of the e-mail was at the Hospitality Room when you signed in. We did have a nice gathering Sunday afternoon, before going to the early arrival dinner – which mushroomed to an unexpected 64. Judy enjoyed showing the ladies my family “crazy quilt,” made mostly of silks, ribbons and materials from hat making. We had just put it on display in the stairwell, as it has been put away since it was made by a great aunt, a milliner, in


Lynchburg around 1890-1899. Since then, it has just been passed down through the family, and it never had backing until Judy had it done a couple months ago, when we were then told it should be in the Smithsonian. It seems that all were pleased with the reunion favor this year ... the CD of the VMI Glee Club of ’52-’53 that I had transposed from my 78 rpm recordings to the CD. It was quite an undertaking, and it actually came out very good ... and the artwork also, which includes a photo of the Glee Club furnished by Warren Koontz. It took a dedicated person, who had high regards for VMI, to work right many hours to get the recordings transferred, eliminate noise and scratches, and yet not ruin the quality of the music. Added to the CD at the end, is the VMI Waltz by Johnny Long – which was played at our Ring Figure, and then the Flatjack Blues also. I will be mailing the CD to each BR that did not attend the reunion, and I hope it will bring back some good memories. Also, for anyone that might want a copy for friends, family, another class, I will be able to have additional copies produced for purchase. You should have your CD before you read about it in these class notes. The Hinman’s came the furthest, from CA, and Bill took many photos throughout the reunion. He just sent them via e-mail for those on the class e-mail distribution, to download from the Web. We had three widows in attendance ... Bobbie Baylis, Lucy Moise and Sissy Prillaman, which I acknowledged with a special welcome on Tuesday night. Joe Morrison, despite his cancer problems, was able to make it with the aid of his daughter and son-in-law (Citadel), Sherri and Tom Hanks bringing him and Margaret on a slow drive from MS. Sherri said they all had a great time at the reunion, and she was very glad she was able to bring her father back, and also see for herself the VMI he always talked about. Ellen insured that Herold Hofhimer attended, wheelchair and all ... and Herold indicated he really appreciated being at this reunion. Class President Parker Cross came with his arm and shoulder in a sling – he injured it about a month before the reunion trying to get in a quick run, before Judy and I arrived at their house in Norfolk

for a late Sunday lunch with Anna and Parker. I asked him if he was that excited, that he forgot to look down. Since then, he has been having to send out his e-mails by the slow one-hand, one-finger process. The briefing and tour of the Post construction was very enlightening to most ... the modernization, quality, costs and future plans for updating the Institute needs to draw-in this centuries potential cadets. The all day tour to New Market, personally hosted by Col. Keith Gibson ’77, the museum director, was excellent. We had over 30 BRs and wives on this tour out of the 46 that went from the reunion classes. As you know, a general summary of what was planned for the reunion was given in the past class notes, so I will not repeat this information ... however, many of us did enjoy dancing at the Country Club after dinner Monday night to the VMI Commanders ... they were great, as was the Bagpipe band on Tuesday night. Jules “Bromo” Seletz had a book signing outside the library, at the time we had the class picture. His new medical mystery book, Sentinel Event Southern Style, about a pandemic event in Lexington and at VMI, will be on sale at a book store in Lexington, and at the VMI museum, as well as through his Web address. The were some regrets sent in about not being able to attend the reunion, due to medical reasons, either themselves, or their wives. All sent comments they were very sorry that they could not attend, but to keep them in mind. These came from Wyatt Shorter, Jack Trigg, Dan Diamondidis, Wes Gray, Goose McClung, Dave Kestner, Chief Gornto, Russ Horne and Tom Colvin. They were brought to the attention of BRs at the Tuesday night dinner. I am also aware that there are some others that could not come due to medical reasons, but they did not care to divulge this, so it is not noted here. Judy and I certainly enjoyed the reunion, but kind of glad when it was over, as the planning and coordinating took a lot of time, and Judy did not think I would ever get off the computer. We certainly appreciate the great compliments on how the reunion turned out. The reunion was enhanced for us, by having house guests for the occasion; Bebe and Bob


Class of 1953: Row 1: Doug Andrews, Dan Stickley, Norris Kantor, William Noell, Arthur Moncrief, Parker Cross, Herold Hoffheimer, Ted Mariani, John Lisella and Bill Hinman. Row 2: Will Allison, Ken Perry, Jeff Bane, Buddy Skinner, John Wilson, Charles Williams, Jim Meek, Webb Maddux and Floyd Moore. Row 3: Eustace St P. Bellinger, Albert Schrichte, Reed Johnson, Jim Sutherland, Frank Spencer, William Vaughn, Joe Morison, Harry Johnston, Ernie Jones, John Gilbert, Warren Koontz and Bill Atwill. Row 4: Frank Wootton, Mickey Woodward and Bill Nelson. Row 5: Pinky Moore, Spider Evans, Bromo Seletz, Terry Davis, Warren Goddard, Bob Cheatham, Walt Sanders, Ed Brown, Jack Townes, Bob Rutschow, Foy Braswell, Paul Fortin and John Lund.


55th Reunion — April 21-22, 2008

Class of 1953

2008-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES Cheatham, and Emily and Walt Saunders. There was also a “special occasion” at this reunion; Eustis “Oz” Bellinger brought his fiancée, Jean, to the reunion, AND they were married Tuesday morning in Lexington, then attended the Tuesday night reunion dinner as man and wife. Of course, the newlyweds were introduced to the group, as only a few of us knew they were getting married that morning. Jack Trigg said that his wife, Peachy, is much better now, but not so well to drive to Lexington. Jack was going to be able to attend his UAB Chief Resident’s meeting in New Orleans. Chuck Dininger reports that he is doing fairly well since his recent triple heart bypass, but it has slowed him down, said he would have to take a rain check on the reunion. Sandy is also doing very well since her bad experience with cancer three years ago. They do hope to make it to the Institute for a football game this year. Tom Colvin said that Barbara has been in the hospital and rehab center twice since the first of the year, then came down with the flu, and of course passed it on to him. Tom said his deafness is bad, and that as he ages he is losing his hearing in his good ear ... says this is the Colvin male pattern. Due to other medical problems, his sense of balance has become pretty bad – thus no trip to the reunion. However he said “Y’all have a good time! I will be with you in sprit.” Wes Gray’s e-mail from FL says he has been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, and also prostate cancer, which they are still considering options. Wes says his golf game is about the same, and he has lost 20 pounds watching the carbs for diabetes. Wes and Elizabeth went to CA during the fall, as five out of seven grandchildren live in San Francisco area.

Wyatt Shorter was in Birmingham in April to see a facial surgeon at UAB in regard to his facial reconstruction, and the continued numbness in his lip. However, he did get a good report, so he joined Jack and Peachy Trigg for lunch at their home in B’ham, which is near the entrance to the Botanical Gardens. Wyatt said they had a great time bringing each other up to date. An e-mail from Chief Gornto said that they had planned to attend the reunion, but Louise now has serious heart problems, and thus they have recently spent a lot of time at the UAB hospital in B’ham. They have been at their lake house in AL for Louise to recuperate before heading back to FL. Chief said to give everyone his best, and regrets missing it. I talked with Dan Diamondidis on the phone, and he said that his eyesight was just too poor to come all the way to the reunion. I also talked with Dave Kestner in FL, and he stated that his back trouble has terminated his driving, and he had no way to get to the reunion, nor did he think he was physically capable. Russ Horne has been experiencing some problems with his hernia operation, but is doing much better now ... still has to wear the belly girdle for walks and doing little things, and with it can lift up to 15 pounds. Russ and Helen’s granddaughter, 21, was killed in an automobile accident in March. Page Murray sent his regrets as to missing the reunion, but said that he would be in England at the time. He has a close friend who is having an operation on the reunion date, and his friend’s wife had asked that he be with them during the operation. Fred Hauser said that they were getting ready for their month long visit to Germany with family and friends, and thus there just was too much going on to make the reunion. In

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early April, they were in Lexington looking at the Kendal Retirement Community, and while here visited with their very old friends, Tom and Eleanor Wright ’54. Eleanor is also from Germany, as is Ursula, so they enjoy getting together. An e-mail from Don Matheson said that he and Barb would not be able to make the reunion, as it turned out, he had critical rehearsals with two different orchestras during the reunion days. He is also a soloist in a choral concert, but is still playing the trombone. Don said he had hoped he could work his way around the conflicts, but he ran out of options. Frank and Ida Spencer left from our reunion for Staunton to take part in his August Military Academy reunion – thus they had a full week of reunions. Charles Williams sent me pictures and information on the dedication of the Lt. Charles L. Williams passenger terminal, at the former Williams AFB (closed in 1998) in Phoenix. Lt. Williams was Charles’s uncle, and he and Stanley, as well as his daughter, Margaret, and her husband attended the ceremony, and got to fly in the biplanes shown during the flyover. The terminal is a part of the now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Judy and I attended the New Market parade/ceremony, which was very impressive. In fact, I believe it is more impressive as an onlooker, than when you are standing there in the middle of it in uniform. Although I have been back in Lexington right many years, this was the first one that I have observed since May 15, 1953, and it was Judy’s first. Of course, we have seen many regular parades on the Institute’s Parade Ground. Finally, in closing, for those not attending the 55th, and thus not receiving the “Bio booklet” prepared by Ed Brown, here are the figures on our deceased BRs: 42 graduates in ’53, and 10 in ’54 have passed away = 52 plus 17 that attended from 1 to 3 years. I do not keep track of those attending under a year. Matriculated in ’49 = 258; graduated in ’53 = 158. Lastly, Bromo says, “Don’t Be Risky, Come To Sixty.” VMI Trivia: The VMI Glee Club CD has at the end of the CD, The VMI Waltz, played by Johnny Long and his Orchestra, which he recorded before the


CLASS NOTES time of our Ring Figure. This is the waltz that was played for our class at our Ring Figure dance. Johnny Long was considered the band that epitomizes the “Hotel” bands of the 40s, and he started his band while at Duke University in the mid-30s. He became a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity, which has its national headquarters here in Lexington, of which my son-in-law is its CEO. Long was raised on a farm in NC, gave up his band in the early 1960s due to poor health, and then taught English in WVA as a second career, until his death in 1972 at 57 years of age.


Bill Schubmehl

Well, it was a good winter. Not much snow in VA and no rain in FL and that is all to the good – unless your area happens to need rain. I certainly hope it was a good winter and spring in your part of the country or the world. Vero Beach, FL. Is losing the L.A. Dodgers for spring training but the area seems to be enjoying the presence of more Brother Rats of 1954. I am sure the local Chamber of Commerce is using that information as a selling point for the area. Jock and Bonnie Wheeler rolled in for the month February and they joined Johnny and Betty Mapp and Bill and Betsy Berry for golf, bridge, .etc. Jock and Bonnie’s daughter is in college now and this gives the Wheelers a great deal of flexibility in scheduling their travel plans. Johnny, as most of you know owns a place at Grand Harbor, and he does an outstanding job of scheduling golfing events and tee times. If you play your cards right the only thing you have to do is wait for his call every two days with information about the tee time and the course for the next day ... Beck and I rolled in mid February after a short cruise and we were joined a few days later by George and Bea Ramer. George had been a little under the weather this winter, and we weren’t sure he was going to make it. But he did and it was great to see the big man ... Paul Lamb came through for a few days which he spent with Mapps and then headed south to spend several days with

2008-Issue 3

Bruce and Nancy Gottwald. Bruce has a new toy and since the price of diesel had not yet sky rocketed, he was kind enough to sail his boat from Stuart to Vero and treated us to a few drinks on board. If all has gone as planned, there should be a picture in this Review which captures this moment for history. Bill Fulgham and his wife, Nancy, were supposed to down there with the Gottwalds but had to cancel at the last minute Swan Yerger is now in his 12th year as a senior circuit judge in Jackson, MS, and he has three years remaining on his term. Swan and his wife, Gingili, have two married daughters and six grandchildren. Their daughters and their husbands and children live reasonably close by with one AL and one in TN. Swan attended his 50th Law school reunion at UVa. This spring, he is looking forward to attending the 55th class of 1954 in the spring of 2009. Is it on your calendar? Pete Lyons is a steady correspondent with me, and he informed me that he and Margaret had lunch with Wayne and Marsha Boring in Palm Springs and after that they attended the Palm Springs Follies. What does the Palm Springs Follies conjure up in you mind! Pete said that his wife, Margaret, is still recovering from a fall she took about a year ago. She is working real hard to get her mobility back in her right arm. It was a pleasure to have lunch with Claiborne Terry and Hugh White recently. Hugh and Mary White have an 11-acre estate “in town” and Hugh spends a lot of time messing around in the yard. The Whites have three sons and four grandchildren. Two sons live in CA and one is an ordained minister and the other is an executive with IBM. The oldest son lives in Richmond and teaches at one of the local prep schools. Mary gets Hugh out of the yard occasionally to visit the gang in CA, but that is about it. Claiborne Terry’s big news was that he and Ann have a granddaughter getting married in August of this year. Claiborne has some chronic back pain but like the Energizer Bunny “he just keeps going.” Claiborne is very quiet about it, but he has made substantial support to young men who wanted to attend VMI but could not

afford it. Because of Claiborne’s support they were able to attend and did graduate. Shifting a way from the Richmond scene, I decided to see if any thing is going on in TN with BRs. I had a short chat with Jack Daniel and a long talk with Ed Garbee. Jack lives in Knoxville and had six children, three of which graduated from VMI. It would be an understatement to say that Jack was less than thrilled with the major change that took place at the Institute 10 years ago. He spends a lot of time attending Ranger reunions. After a Marine Corps career Ed Garbee retired to Talbott, TN. Which he said is near nothing. But it must be some where near Dollywood which is where Ed has worked for the last several years. When I talked to Ed, he was one month removed from triple by pass surgery and although he is feeling kind puny, he indicates that he is feeling better each day and expects to be at our reunion in 2009 and be back at his post in Dollywood. Back in Richmond, Beck and I attended R.B. Barnes ’75 the birthday part. The party was the idea and sponsored by his children. And as you can imagine it was nice. Tommy Williamson was there but his wife, Camilla, was a little under the weather and not attending. The aforementioned Hugh, Claiborne, Bruce and spouses where there ... Bruce and Nancy were supposed to in Europe with Bill and Betsy, and Mud and Frannie White, but Nancy‘s brother became ill and they had to cancel. Jack Fuller indicates that he will be at the 55th Reunion. Jack and his wife, Molly, live in Blytheville, AK, which is the city Jack was stationed while in the Air Force. It is also the city where he met Molly. The Air Force base is gone but Molly is still with him after traveling around the world for the service for 22 years. The Fullers have two daughters that are married to career military types, and they have one grandchild. After retiring and moving back to Blytheville (in case you interested it is 70 miles from Memphis) Jack worked for an S&L for eight years. After the S&L was done in by the ’80s bust, Jack moved to the local library and has been helping to manage that organization for the past 20 years. When not at the library, Jack and Molly travel, and Jack raises vegetables and plays bridge.


CLASS NOTES a practice in Orlando, FL, where he still Don Dunlap and Kay are still living in of our class mates, Bruce L. Mitchell lives with his wife, Sherry. He has two Christiansburg, VA, and seem to settling passed away on Jan. 31, 2008. Bruce children and he may have some grandeven more as they are adding additions graduated from VMI and was a Korean children, but he didn’t mention them to to their house. It is located in downtown War veteran. Bruce’s wife was deceased me. He did however mention that he is in Christiansburg and was the original as was one of his daughters. He has two Dunlap family home. Don graduated from the process of building a vacation home surviving children. and we will send in the Bahamas near Andros Island. That the seminary in 1958, and he and Kay them our condolences. is in addition to a home he uses in westjust returned his 50th Reunion of that in That’s it. Stay well and let me hear ern NC to stay cool in the summertime. school in MA. Don doesn’t have his own from you. Fennimore attended the 50th Reunion and church any more, but he does a great deal plans to attend the 55th. While up in the of substitute preaching in the summer C. Cary Jones mountains in the summer, Fennimore said time in the local area. When I talked to he runs into and plays some golf with Bill him, they had just returned from visitand Gloria Scroggins. ing their daughter who lives in SC and Peggy Trumbo sent me and e-mail is married to a career military man. Tom which talked about the great trip that she sees and visits with Tom Mayo occasionThanks to so many of you who have and Richard had taken to New Orleans. ally in Farmville and has an annual lunch reported in with news from around the When they are not raveling they spend a with Glenn Cock, who lives in FL. Don country. It’s definitely not true that no great deal of time at their new condo on also told me that Tom Webb and his wife news is good news. “the river” in Mathews County, VA. I also had moved into a very nice retirement Faithful correspondent Ben Angle received an e-mail from John Windle home in northern VA. was inducted into the Augusta Military This spring, John Knapp received his Academy Sports Hall of Fame in late in TX which was not so good news but third star with a promotion to lieutenant April, adding to his considerable laurels hopefully all will go well. John said general. A ceremony was held in Richas a great track and field man. The he was having some shoulder pain and mond, and John’s new star was pinned thought it was the usual stuff of aches and ceremony was attended by BRs Ridgely on Governor Tim Kaine and by Johnny’s and Thompson. pains that we all have but it turned out to wife, Beth. A picture of this ceremony A photo from an undisclosed location be tumor and he is now undergoing radiaappeared in the VMI bulletin and a copy shows BRs Bryan, Carstens, Davidson tion and chemo treatment in Fort Worth. of this was sent out to my internet mailand Sutherland with their youthful and He is planning to be at the 55th. ing list. This fine honor for John and charming wives. The occasion was a Sorry to close on an even lower note, recognizes the contribution he has made long weekend of golf and partying, no but I received word from VMI that one to success of VMI Bill Turner’s annual baseball trip with his children is to Yankee stadium this year to see the Red Sox play and get one last view this stadium before they tear it down. He was invited for dinner and a night at the Little Inn at Washington probably the most extravagant place in VA. I told my children about this but so far no response. I talked with James Fennimore Cooper and got updated on him and his life. He attended VMI for two and a half years and then transferred to Georgia Tech. He was known as Jim in our day but goes by Fein more now. After serving as a naval Class of 1955: From left: Ken Carstens, Dick Sutherland, Bill Davidson and Ron officer for two years, he atBryan with significant others in Mobile, Alabama. tended law school and began




CLASS NOTES surprise there, and enjoying the Mobile high spots. These guys looked so happy there must have been some laws broken. Speaking of golf, Tom Williamson checked in to report playing with Ray Collins at Augusta in a benefit for a VMI ’92 graduate’s family. Our heroes didn’t break any bones, or par, I’m happy to report. Charlie Luck stays active in many VMI-related activities, including the Jackson-Hope Foundation and the Stonewall Jackson Foundation. Geoge Scherer and Dorie attended his old roomie Logan Ritchie’s Golden Anniversary in May. Congratulations to the Ritchies. George also said that he and Dorie are about to embark on their seventh cruise, this time to the Carribean, In the last Review, we mentioned the death of BR Jack Tonkin. In case you missed it, his obituary also appeared in the last issue, Taps section. Jack came to our 50th and will be remembered for his quiet demeanor and his athletic prowess running track. I also e-mailed the sad news about losing BR Jack Sidney after a very long illness. Our sincere prayers and healing wishes go to Sherry. Another loss was Carolyn Byrd, the widow of Charlie Byrd. Dave Woolwine gave an update on his health issues. His vision is recovering after some bleeding complications, and should soon be able to drive. Let’s all keep Dave and many other BRs in our prayers and thoughts, as our sick list unfortunately grows. That includes Iggy Reynolds, Ron Coleman, Bill Cridlin, and of course Sister Rats True Luck and Mary Tyler. BR Wainwright reported that he and Boots recently visited Iggy in the hospital, and that Iggy enjoys getting cards and hearing from the BRs. His address is: James D. Reynolds, Room 330, Sentara Hospital, 3000 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA, 23666. Keep the cards and letters coming in. I hope the new system of numbering the Alumni Review issue will please those of you who keep files and use them for reference. It’s a big improvement, as is the new publication schedule. Casey Jones, Class Agent

2008-Issue 3


Richard M. Smith

It isn’t good to have to start out a new quarter report with bad news, but let’s pray that this will be the only death to report. BR Ed Burns passed away Feb. 18, 2008, after undergoing lung surgery for cancer which was discovered soon after Christmas. Ed was a lieutenant in E-company with me, and I always enjoyed kidding him for coming here from Chicago. It is uncanny that he roomed with Brawner, Schoen and McKinnon from Atlanta his Rat year and ended up living near there. His son, Brad ’82, is looking forward to having a brick in his memory. Unfortunately I just received another obituary notice from Katherine Wise informing me Jack Wiley died of cancer in Marietta, GA. March 8, 2008. Jack attended one year then went to Chicago College of Art. He was very active in the Lutheran Church. Pete and Sue Jennette went on a two-month cruise in their 28-foot sailboat on the St. Johns River in FL. They have decided March is not a good month for sailing! John Machen’s wife, Pam, passed away April 6, 2008, another victim of cancer. Ken McDonald was at the funeral. They were roommates the Rat year. Bill Tolley was in Duke University Hospital for a back operation; however complications developed with pneumonia, seizures causing him to go into a coma and had to be moved to their Durham Regional Facility. He is expected to be there for several weeks. Russ Quinlan called to inquire if we were planning a mini reunion this fall. I told him I hoped to start plans for it during my Class Agents’ Conference in Lexington. He is still putting in time with his Law Firm and still enjoys the challenges. He and Peggy haven’t enjoyed the extremely cold and snowy winter in Buffalo, NY. This past weekend I attended the twoday sessions for class agents which as always was very well attended by those representatives for each class of the past 75 years or more and many wives. The Alumni Review has now been set up to have a turn-around time of 90 days from

the delivery of our notes. That will certainly make our reports a lot more current than in the past. Use of the VMI Ranks Web site is urged for all who have computers to stay up on what’s happening and give others an opportunity to stay abreast of any changes in your lives. Contact Traci Mierzwa at the Alumni Office to assist you in getting started. Our ’56 Class Giving Totals as of March 31, 2008, including Giving from Widows was $2,199,644. This represents 48% of the class that participated and is the best showing we have had for quite some time. Gen. Peay ’62 gave a presentation updating us on Vision 2039-Focus on Leadership. He pointed out that VMI receives their operational funds from three sources, Commonwealth of Virginia, private resources donated to the VMI Foundation and the Keydet Club, and cadet revenue from tuition and fees charged to cadets. The main thrust of Vision 2039 is the construction and renovation of academic, athletic and support facilities to make VMI remain competitive with other academic institutions and enhance the history and beauty of the Institute. Over $185M has been completed or under construction in the past two fiscal years. Another $40M is expected to come from the State later this year. Of this amount so far $116.9 State (63%), $52.9 Private (29%), and $15.6 VMI (8%). To complete Vision 2039 we must raise $278M, State (206), private (66), VMI (6). We had the opportunity to tour the construction sites with the head of construction and see the vast accomplishments made so far. From my personal point of view the change since we were here is to say the least “awesome.” Spider Allison reports: “Russ Wiltshire writes that they are winding down from a very busy winter season. The Wiltshire’s are heavily involved in the Sarasota Opera and Theatrical scene. Russ is also on the board of a classical concert series. They’re getting ready for a trip to Mexico where they expect to take a three-day train tour through the Copper Canyon. Russ reports it is supposedly one of the most beautiful places on earth, and he will give us a full report in the next Alumni Review. Dave Blair says he is still looking for an airplane he can afford to buy. He sent


CLASS NOTES pictures of the type airplane he is interested in, and they are really good looking small sport aircraft. George Clark reports that life is good in Newport ,TN. He said he and Joyce are in good health and still love each other a lot. He also said that there is not a lot exciting going on in their lives, at this time, to report to the class. He promised that if Joyce announces she is pregnant we will be the first to know. I got a nice long e-mail from Tony Nicoletti. He reports that he and Maureen stay busy traveling back to NY for important family events. They are both from large families and the majority of those family members live in NY. Tony’s son, Keith, will officially retire from the U.S. Army this summer. Keith is a lieutenant colonel with 20 years service, and Tony and Maureen will be there for his retirement ceremony in Washington, DC.” Ralph Gibson forwarded the following information: “Sorry about that back, Brother; it couldn’t have anything to do with age could it? Brief news: both of my grandsons are in their last three weeks of their Rat year. I am proud of them for making it through; now we wait for grades. Both have applied for corporal and cadre – time will tell. Mary Jo is getting ready to start chemo again – cancer has returned, but we are trusting God for good results. Talked with Bill Nelson and Bill Higinbotham yesterday following the tornado in Suffolk. Bill H. and wife were not affected by the tornado, and Bill Nelson seems to be healing from the broken leg. I understand Jim Stephens is building a home somewhere in Goochland, but haven’t spoken with him. I am hoping to get the four of us together sometime this summer. I pray all is well with you.” Jack Prizzi offers the following: “My back doesn’t hurt, but my knee does. I had knee replacement surgery on April 2nd. I am ahead of the normal recovery curve and each day shows some improvement. My motto is, ‘No Setbacks!’ I am looking forward to sailing and playing golf again. Now that I live over two hours from NYC, what I miss is getting together with the VMI alumni group there. Now everything has to be scheduled. Hope all is well with you … including your back.” Don Heslep sent this note: “Dick. You


could say you are going to the leadership outing on June 6 and will be playing golf with me. Hope you can join me in this fun filled event. Have been looking at a number of drivers lately but none seem to give the distance that I am looking for.” Linda Jones sends the following: “Harry and Linda Jones had a wonderful chance to spend a few months in sunny FL on the Gulf Coast, dodging the winter in eastern PA. We enjoyed visiting with the Allison’s, Nick and Maureen Nicoletti, and seeing Linda Brophy and family during her visit with Spider and Anne Allison. On the trip home we stopped in Fairfax, VA, and had a nice visit with Mac Spears and Carol. One grandson, who graduated from the Air Force Academy in May 2007, just finished a short tour in Tampa and is now in Pensacola in flight training. Another grandson is with Marine HMX Detail – presidential security with his dog, Jambo. He recently traveled with the president to Europe, Africa and around the States. Harry’s great-granddaughter will be one year old June 1st and there’s another greatgrandchild on the way! We are so blessed! Hoppy Holsinger reports that he and Sally plan to go on the Sailboat Cruise planned for VMI people in 2009. He suggested that we promote it to our ’56 classmates.” An e-mail from Bob Morris states: “Dick, I have two more months in VA then back to FL. If any Brother Rat is in the Reedville area (Northern Neck) please come by. There are a few good golf courses in the area. Also, if anyone has a notion about FL living, let me know and I’ll show them around The Villages. We do have a VMI Club here and Walt Chalkley ’72 who works at The Institute has a home here. Not news. I was sorry to hear about Pam Machen. She was a neighbor for the four years that I lived in Mobjack, a fine Christian lady and a great neighbor too.” Jim Dillard called from NY to tell me he and Frances had just boarded the QEII sailing for South Hampton England and will visit London and Rome as well as other interesting places before flying back to DC. They plan to return to their place in Tappahannock, VA, for a few days before he returns to San Diago. They will be back in VA for several weeks in June and we hope to get together then for an update on their trip.

I received a note from Jere Real telling me he was in Lexington taking part in the “Art in the Park” show with his photo’s and watercolors. While at the Alumni Hall he bumped into Wes Foster and Marshall Mundy there to attend the Board of Visitors meeting. He had one of his watercolors selected recently in Lynchburg to be included in the permanent collection by Centera Health for the new Cancer Center. He is hoping we will have another mini reunion this fall. This concludes my input and other BRs’ for this issue, and I hope to have info for a mini. Yours in the Spirit, Dick


Clayton M. Thomas III

Dawn and I send greetings from sunny FL. April had been very dry, and now in May, we desperately need rain to alleviate the threat of wild fires. We attended the Class Agents’ Conference at VMI on April 18-19. On the drive up, we visited Elinor and Carter Fox at their beautiful home in Mount Pleasant, SC. The view from the new Cooper River Bridge was breath-taking especially for Dawn, who has a fear of heights, particularly on bridges. We had a delightful visit with Elinor and Carter and hopefully convinced them to attend the next reunion. From Charleston, we drove to Dinwiddie, VA, to visit Nancy and Milt Hargrave, arriving in time for reservations at their country club. Milt and Nancy surprised us by arranging for Pat and Buddy Saunders to come over from Petersburg. The six of us had a delightful supper. After an early departure, we arrived at Moody Hall for the beginning of the Class Agents’ Conference. A highlight of the conference was a spirited address by our superintendent, Gen. Peay ’62, on the state of VMI. The two-day conference included a hard hat tour of the Post and a retirement parade. At the parade, I sat with Harry Warner and B.D. Ayres. I also spoke to Sis Warner, Phil Peters and Ro and G.E. Murray, who came over from Bedford,


CLASS NOTES bringing their daughter, son-in-law and two grandkids. In the evening, we had cocktails and dinner with a presentation by the new commandant. The next morning we began at 7:30 a.m. with a full schedule of meetings and ended with a farewell lunch in the early afternoon. On our way out of town, we stopped for Dawn to shop and spend money. That evening after a pleasant drive, we arrived at Martha and Bill Batten’s home outside of Simpsonville, SC, for a most pleasant visit. The next day, we traveled easily and arrived home before sunset. We had driven 1,712 miles. Dawn had cataract surgery before we left, and she enjoyed her improved vision, especially seeing the vivid spring colors. Received a call from Bob Bolling in Roanoke. “Mad Dog” wanted to know if we had any information about Robert Singer. Now that is a name I haven’t heard in 50 years. I vaguely remember him. He matriculated from Brooklyn, NY, and attended VMI for seven months and 21 days. If anyone knows where he is, please drop me a line. Judy and Don Coombs sold their home in Venice, FL, and are on their way to Kerrville, TX. There, they will live at an interim address until their new home is built in the hill country in southwest TX. In March, Katie and Ken Dickinson in Merritt Island, FL, sent a get well note to Dawn after she broke a bone in her left foot, shortly after the broken bones in her right foot had healed. We joined them for lunch at the Dixie Crossroads in Titusville. Katie and Ken are still grieving the loss of their beloved Puff, a beautiful Norwegian Forest cat. He had been ill for months, and he was put to rest under their banana trees. He will be greatly missed. In the afternoons, I ride my 59-year-old Raleigh three-speed to our post office and there found a note from Belkis and Clint Glover of Antioch, IL. They stopped by here on April 15, the day before we left for VMI. We had a nice visit. They were on their way for a tour of The Villages. Then on to Tampa and Miami to visit Belkis’ relatives. We were delighted to see Belkis and Clint again. J.J. Kirchmier sent us a package with a beautiful cut glass monogram. We placed

2008-Issue 3

this VMI symbol in our front door lunate for all to see, and the afternoon sun will strike it. J.J. left Winter Haven, FL, earlier this year and returned to Portsmouth, VA, because he didn’t feel well. We hope he is feeling much better now. Found a misplaced note from Warren Richardson of Virginia Beach, VA. He wrote last fall, and I would have included it with the February notes but just found it in May. However, Skip has a philosophy of life that is timeless and should be shared in any season. He writes, “We have so much to be thankful for – a great education and inspiration from VMI, living in a really great country during prosperous times and having such great friends, family and freedoms … We have lived during the greatest time of all history.” How is that for a positive attitude! On Christmas Eve, Malcolm Smith received a call from Florida Hospital in Orlando that they had a kidney for him. That afternoon he was at the operating room in the transplant center. The operation was a success, and six weeks later he writes, “No more dialysis.” Things are looking up for Malcolm Smith in Deland, FL. Buz Snyder attended the VMI Alumni Association reception for the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond. Dick Collier, Wally McKeel, George Sydnor and Buzzy represented our class. Buzzy is happy to report that George Sydnor accepted the chairmanship for our 55th Reunion. Shirley and George live in Fincastle near Roanoke and that is a definite plus. I am delighted that George accepted the position. Keeping with tradition, Dawn and I will publish another reunion booklet. I look forward to working with George. We heard from Larry Wise, asking for the names of deceased Brother Rats. The list is in our 50th Reunion booklet, but I sent Larry a copy of the memorial service which includes all the names. Shortly after I mailed my February notes, Harry Warner phoned with the sad news that Marvin Reinstein passed away on Feb. 17, 2008, six days after his 76th birthday. Harry went to visit Marv on Longboat Key, but he was in intensive care. Harry remained with Marv until the end. Since Marv lived alone and had no family, there was no memorial service or burial. Marv

indicated he wished to be cremated, and his ashes scattered in the Gulf of Mexico. Bill Nuenke in Fernandina Beach, FL, learned of Marvin Reinstein’s death from Harry Warner also. Bill roomed with Marv all four years, and had seen him several times recently. They would have lunch together and talk about the good old days at VMI. From these visits, Bill knew that Marvin’s health was failing. Marv and Bill roomed with Park Mackall who passed away 41 years ago. Bill remembers that Marv was a very private person, “who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it … a very nice man.” In early April, Don Coombs phoned with the sad news that Tim Maier passed away on April 7th, after a courageous battle with cancer. Sue is holding up well, and the funeral was in Rochester, NY. Diane and John Paganelli attended and represented the class. Don Jamison sent flowers from the class to Sue in Fort Myers. Sue wrote thanking us for the lovely flowers. “I really appreciated the thought – it meant a lot.” Tim had many friends in the class and both he and Marv will be missed. We have lost two very dear friends.

Wes Roberts

’58 Brother Rats, spouses and friends, as I compose these class notes, our 50th Reunion was but three weeks past and the excitement of this auspicious occasion still remains with each of us. While I was not able to be present, I, nonetheless, share the happy renewal of friendships that exists within our bond of being Brother Rats. While I am sure most of you still don’t have your feet back on the ground, and are reliving, hour by hour, the events of our reunion, it behooves me to assemble these class notes and go forward. I want you to know that I have heard from many of you since the reunion and have received photographs from a few of you; the thoughts compiled below are basically mine.


Class of 1958: Row 1: W. Walker, H. Negley, W. Keefe, S. Whitehurst, John Payne, Dorsey Shipley, Bill Thomas, David Pai, Leslie Savage, C.E. Edgar, Lee McCown, E.V. Martin, T.A. Henry, Earl Bennett, Bill Gee, Jim Beamer, Walter Leach, Jan Woodman and Sam Witt. Row 2: Bill Holland, John Paganelli, Paul Davies, Duke Bishop, Art Carnevale, Duke Johnston, Jerry Paull, Bill Dunn, Jack Cunningham, Bill Rousos and Joe Gray. Row 3: Montie Rea, Frank Hancock, Cos Cosentino, Frank Boeggeman, Barney Odend’hal, Michael Smeltzer, Ken Godfrey, Warren Yaun, Larry Wootten, Tony Lash, Jim Stilwell, Jim Cowan and Flip Miller. Row 4: Darrell Rice, Bob Beale, Dave Camper, Joe Parker, Earl Talley, Stirling Williamson, Don Cuthrell, Frank Norvell, Bill Harshaw, G.S. Balderson and Bill Kump. Row 5: Onza Hyatt, Jack Sullivan, Hunter Clarke, Jim Moore, Roland Tharp, Bob Buckland, Bill Holt, Roy Palmer, Dave Pitkethly, Tony Williams, Paul Royer and Richard Robertson. Row 6: T. Smyth, J. Woodson, R. Jordan, R. Swirk, Paul Johnson, Tom Nance, George Shrieves, Sully Griffin, Julius Berman, Leroy Arthur, Gates Sykes, Jim Poteet, Leonard Rubin and Louis Farmer. Row 7: T.A. Saunders, S. Woolwine, D. Martin, H. Shepherd, R.E. Spurrier, Jack Boze, Charlie Hayes, Ron Eger, Drew Troxler, Moon Menefee, J.O. Peters, Brooke Doggett, Guy Hence and Bill Corr.


50th Reunion — April 25-26, 2008

Class of 1958



CLASS NOTES While our gathering represents the majority of our class, few having been absent, I consider it to have been a wonderful response from all members of the class of 1958. Speaking of our response, we and the Institute are duly proud of the contribution made by the class of 1958, it having been a record contribution by any class to date. Most, if not all of you, realize the many hours spent and efforts made by the members of our Reunion Committees in organizing this event. The untold hours that Bill Gee dedicated to the Reunion Book, name tags, and other products of his creativity are but an example of what your Reunion Committee did in our behalf and will not be forgotten. The organizational skills of Ernie Edgar and J.O. Peters were reflected in the final product we all enjoyed. We thank and express our appreciation to each member of the Reunion Committees for their selfless commitment of time and effort. Among the comments I have received are: “It was one of the highlights of my life.” (Dorsey Shipley) “It was the best one so far.” (Bill Gee) “We all behaved ourselves appropriately, and speaking for myself, I survived the weekend without a visit to the Roanoke hospital.” (Frank Boeggeman) The camaraderie and Brother Rat Spirit of over 50 years was at its best. Ron Swirk’s son, Francis, whom I know you all met, sent to me dozens of photographs, individual and group shots. I’ve tried to submit the more meaningful and/or identifiable photographs with no intention of ignoring any one person, group or otherwise. At the time of our organizing these class notes, we have only received photos from Ron Swirk. I am sure many of you took volumes of photos and had the best intentions of sending for submission to the AR; however, “tempis fugit,” and these notes must go to press. BR Gene Grayson, who was unable to attend the reunion sent me a note of good cheer in that he and Betty have finally been able to rent their Williamsburg house, they having been paying two mortgages for 20 months, which puts a hurt on anyone’s pocketbook. Gene had

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Class of 1958: From left: Sully Griffin, Ron Swirk, Maurice Menefee, Bill Thomas, Hunter Clarke and Ken Godfrey.

received good news from his doctor, Russ Davis ’57, and is feeling mentally better, with a healthy outlook. Speaking of BR Grayson, the Institute sent me a list of class members who had served as class agents since Larry Wootten commenced the duty in the spring of ’59. Our late BR Bob Greathead, carried the torch from 1960-63, followed by Jan Woodman, who served from ’64-68. Robby Robertson from 1968 to the spring of 1973, at which time Gene Grayson picked up the pen. Gene served a total of 17 years, handing the responsibilities off due to military obligations to Jack Tremaglio (1976-82) and Tom Nance (1988-90). I assumed these duties from 1998 to present. I include these names and dates to inform you all of how many of our BRs have served the class in this capacity. Speaking for myself, it has been an honor and a lot of fun! I would like to thank Dick Trandel ’59, for having secured our class flag from my VA residence and making it available for our reunion. You all should know that this flag was made by BR Hull Negley’s mother, and was carried by Hull in the parade. It will be proudly carried in many parades to come. Something I have heard mentioned in the past by BRs Paul Johnson and Ron Swirk, and most recently by BR Earl Bennett’s wife, Sue, is that we should establish a retirement home for the class of 1958. Good idea? There have been many suggestions for a mini reunion in the future, which I am sure will be planned; although that is the

LAST thing the committee wants to hear right now! Speaking for the class, I am personally pleased to know that Alma Jenkins and Miriam Kass (Trafton) attended this reunion in honor of their late husbands. Further, I am particularly pleased to have read the memorial submissions made by these ladies. They truly touched the heart and bought back a lot of memories. I thought it particularly meaningful for Scott Trafton to have marched in the class parade representing his father. I know this meant a great deal to Scott and Miriam. We can thank Gene Martin for suggesting that Scott be asked to do so. Gene and Peggy, in their travels, visited friends and family in VA and the Carolinas, but didn’t get to see their son who is still deployed in Iraq. George “Duke” Bishop reported that he was fortunate in being able to attend the reunion, as he was concerned that their daughter, Rebecca, might deliver before her due date, April 28. As it turned out, Rebecca presented the Bishops with their 10th grandchild, the sixth grandson in total. Little Isaac Lee will be Duke’s sixth provisional appointee. Duke’s son, Dale Bishop ’92, is living on Cudjoe Key, FL, where he is a fishing captain and has his own charter service. Duke suggests we check out Dale’s Web site at Ted Henry noted how good it was to see our BR Dorsey Shipley. He reported that he and Dorsey dyked together in the same room 54 years ago. He observed that Dorsey had a car accident just before the reunion, so he was pretty “beat


CLASS NOTES 50th Reunion Weekend April 25-26, 2008







Photo 1: Ernie Edgar and Bill Kump (bagpipes) leading the troops off the hill. Photo 2: From left: Brooke Doggett, Earl Bennett, Ron Swirk and Bill Holland. Photo 3: From left: Laura Cameron, Jan Woodman, Bob Spurrier and Paul Royer. Photo 4: Roy Palmer (left) and Jack Boze. Photo 5: Ron Swirk with Drew Troxler (left). Photo 6: Ron Swirk with Paul Johnson (right) and his friend, Cynthia. Photo 7: Ron Swirk with Guy Hence (right). Photo 8: Duke Johnston (left) and Bill Gee. Photo 9: Ann and Dave Pai looking at Ron Swirk.


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CLASS NOTES up.” (Dorsey was accompanied by his son-in-law, who pushed our BR’s wheel chair throughout the weekend.) Ever the travelers, Ted and Becky, completed a trip to French Polynesia in March, then flew to Tahiti, followed by a cruise to the Society, Tuamotus and Marquesas Islands for 14 days. He said that just prior to the reunion he received an e-mail from Sandy Yon, saying that she also just returned from the Society and Cook Islands; as she had another trip planned, she could not make the reunion. Our BR Tony Lash, announced that he spoke on May 14 to a meeting of the USNA alumni in Portland on the topic of commonality between VMI and the USNA. He thought it would be great if he could present them with copies of the Alumni Review Summer/Fall 2007 and 2008-Issue 1. The former issue contains the story of the heroism of Captain A.K. Earnest, ’38 in the battle of Midway. Tony recalled an incident in which he, Bob Hickerson, Dick Culver and Jim Cowan brewed beer in the basement of Mallory Hall. He said the beer was “damn good” although they had to move the brewery a few times to disguise the aroma. Jim Beamer shared his and Ruth’s enjoyment of our reunion. He was particularly pleased in seeing his roommate Tony Williams after 48 years. That was when Tony had a date with Ruth and they reminisced with Tony and Ann, remembering that and their four years as roommates. “Conversing with Bob and Diane Beale was very special,” Jim noted, remembering the day, 53 years ago, when Bob told him that he was going to go to West Point. They also enjoyed the company of Leroy and Sue Arthur, and planned to visit them in TX this fall. I would like to express my thanks to my Annemarie, for her typing these notes, dictated by “yours truly.” Gratefully, this “GIM Rider” has a back-up. God willing, I will be up and running soon. Know that any reunion thoughts, observations or photographs which you would still like to submit will be considered for the next class notes. Keep the Spirit. God’s Blessings, Wes

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Phillip Shepard

From outgoing Class Agent Dick Bingham: We are indebted to the following Brother Rats for their service to the class for their work in preparation for our 50th celebration: Reunion Fun Committee; Dick Trandel, chairman; Barnes, E.R.; MacGregor, H.G. Jr; Ross, J.R.; Shepard P.G.; Traylor, W.L. Jr; Tucker, S.C.; 50th Reunion Fund Committee: Bobby Ross, chairman, Mel Anderson, Robert Baillio, Eddie Barnes, Truman Baxter, Mort Eggleston, Jim Sam Gillespie, Robert Hobson, Billy Kornegay, Ralph Lawson, Rusty Loth Jr, Ron Marley, Billy Nebraska, Dick Phillippi, Phi Shepard, Lee Southard, Lloyd Thacker, Dick Trandel, Bill Taylor, Spence Tucker and Elliott Young. Eddie Fall: “Dick, a 50 mini reunion was held at VMI on Feb. 9, 2008. The basketball team was a game that involved a 17 point recovery. Very exciting! Dick, we need more news in the Alumni Review. I hope you find time to get more news about ’59.” Dave Goode: “Dear Brother Rats, my sincere thanks to all ’59 Brother Rats for the beautiful flowers and expressions of sympathy that you sent to my loving wife of 46 years, Bee Jay. A special thanks, also, to all of you who attended her visitation and funeral mass in Sarasota and her grave side ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. I can assure you that Bee Jay was always a huge fan of VMI, as well as our class of 1959. I will miss her, just as I am sure her many VMI friends will too. Again, thank you so much for you condolences and for your friendship for all of these years. Yours in the Spirit – Dave” Bill Lee: “This year has been good for us with several (never enough) times to see our kids and grandchildren. It is great fun having them visit us here at the beach. We go from the pool to the beach and back again, pausing long enough to eat and have an occasional nap. This year, Marlowe, the youngest at 14 months when they were here, was toddling around with the biggest grin – all of the time – he never stopped grinning. We also had a fabulous trip this fall. We started in Prague (a truly) Bohemian city in all the right ways). We stayed at a quaint but elegant European hotel in the Little Quarter right at the Charles Bridge, then on to Dresden (William left his camera and bag on the street car but with the help of a taxi driver got it back) then to Potsdam (stayed at Schloss Cecilienhof admittedly 62 years after Churchhill, Stalin and Truman. From there to Hamburg (absolutely amazing to see about 1,000 locals munching on

wurst and drinking beet at 8:00 a.m. when we came after a great breakfast at our hotel) and lastly to Berlin. It was marvelous to see Berlin without the wall. I was last there in 1966 and it is a vastly different place. William and I cook for and feed the homeless every Monday at our church. We have been doing this for almost two years now, and it is indeed a pleasure for us. On Christmas, (with the help of some other members) we will be serving Christmas dinner for them. Did this last year as well, but we have many more coming to us now, so expect we’ll have quite a crowd, including several families with young children. On the 26th we went to Oakland to visit Adam and his family as well as Garnett and Suzanne. Expect to be traveling some more this year in the consultant role and perhaps to some new locations. I very much enjoy these opportunities to pass on some of what I have learned in my career to these new, fresh corporate and government leaders. William is still enjoying his pre-war Lionel trains (grandkids think his layout is awesome) and reading lots. Hope this finds you all happy, we. Peace and Love, Bill” Harry MacGregor: Harry reports that his son, Lee ’92, just returned from his second tour of Iraq. “It’s good to have him back home.” Harry also looks forward to having his grandson, Chris Broderick, attend VMI, class of 2012. Class Agent Change from Dick Bingham to Phil Shepard: when we celebrated our 45th anniversary, I asked Dick Trandel to head the planning committee for our 50th, and he graciously accepted the task. Working with the Foundation, we secured the services of Bobby Ross to head up our 50th Fund Raising Committee. With that accomplished, it is time for me to stop aside as your class agent. The class may want to be more involved in selecting the class agent in the future. News for the Alumni Review is directly dependent upon Brother Rats communicating to the class agent. That is why it is important that the class agent be someone who is in more direct contact with Brother Rats. I have asked Phil Shepard to take on the task again at this time. The BRs who attended the mini reunion in February asked Shep to become the communicator for the reunion. In that task, he needs to be the class agent. I believe Shep is in more direct contact with Brother Rats, and will do an excellent job. In closing, I want to share this story as we all look to the celebration of 50 years walking In The Spirit after completing our VMI experience. IS THE JAR FULL?????? When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar … and the coffee …


CLASS NOTES A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.” The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passion-things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else – the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children; take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.” One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.” As we approach the milestone of our 50th, the future has much more to offer each of us. Life has taught us all many lessons … a great sage taught that we choose our feelings. And, it is out of the experiences of life that we choose to BE and DO what we do. What we do reflects who we are. We are the Stonewall Class … remember Stonewall … “You May Be What You Resolve To Be … and it is our doing that we show what we have resolved to BE. I look forward to our 50th Reunion … in celebration


of what we have all become. With this issue, Shep joins with his words, as we prepare for our grand celebration. He will need your input. Welcome back, Shep. Many Thanks, Dick Bingham From incoming Class Agent Shep Shepard: It’s not much fun coming back to this job after four years absence and the first order of business is to report the passing of a great guy and a good friend. Mike Maupin passed away in May, and we will certainly miss his good nature and quick wit. Just before his death I heard from Mike and although his health was failing his sense of humor flourished. I always enjoyed hearing from Mike because it improved my vocabulary; Mike always caused me to revert to Webster’s Dictionary to figure out what he was saying. Whoever thought that the top C.E. in our class would turn out to be one of those dreaded LAs? We will all miss Mike and our prayers are with Virginia and the family. A lot has happened to Ann and me since I last wrote the notes. Ann underwent that dreaded triple by-pass surgery a few years ago but is now better than ever. Been on several trips with Mel and Jean Anderson; one to South Africa where Bob Haines and his girlfriend, Monique Harnetty, joined us. I won’t bore you with the details but only say that every trip we take we find that there are so many magnificent places in this world. In March we accompanied Mel and Jean to Egypt and Jordan; what an experience that was. The Pyramids of Cheops and Sphinx were breathtaking as were the Ramses II temples of Abu Simbel. How they cut it into sections and moved it to higher ground to save it from the onslaught of the rising waters of the Nile is an engineering miracle. Jordan was equally as fascinating especially the ruins of Jerash, which rivals Ephesus in Turkey, and of course Petra, the city carved by the Nabateans into the rose-red Sharah Mountains. After returning, Ann and I set to visit our daughter and her family in Springfield, MO, after which we pressed on to Las Vegas, Nevada, NV, where we met up with Bud and Sue Mease and my brother and sister-in-law. Bud and Sue are still living in Sandy, UT, and Bud continues to get on the slopes as much as he can. During ski season their house is generally booked solid but if you’re interested in visiting them, get your reservations in early. While in Las Vegas we got together with Jack and Gail Christie. Jack is doing great. A while back he worked for Donald Trump and even “starred” in an episode of “The Apprentice” which his family really got a kick out of, but unfortunately Steven Spielberg didn’t. Jack is a consultant and slowing down a bit so he can enjoy his grandchildren. Called Larry Wood to see if they could join

us but Nancy was under the weather and they couldn’t make it but they passed their good wishes to all Brother Rats. Tommy Klemenko is living in Franklin, VA, but makes it down to FL every once in a while to visit with some “lady-friends.” We’ve invited him to stop by on his way south for a drink or a meal and hope he will do so. Cecil Young and his cat stopped by for lunch last year, but he’s having medical problems and couldn’t make it this year. Hope he’s better and we’ll get a chance to see him on his next trip down to south FL. Jack and Joy Angolia, the globe-trotters, are staying home for awhile at least until their new home is completed. He’s giving the rest of us an opportunity to catch up with them. Although relocating only a short distance from where they currently live those who have been through the house building process knows how much work is involved, but Jack says it is progressing well. They’ve selected carpet for the guest room and will be open for business after September. Ann and I are anxious to see their new home and can’t wait to see Jack’s new museum area which now contains U.S. military paraphernalia from World War II. Jack sold his collection of German military paraphernalia a few years ago. Bill and Susie Kirkland have thrown caution to the wind and are enjoying the excitement of traveling all over the world. They started with a Mediterranean cruise and Croatia was Bill’s favorite particularly the beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik. They followed this with a trip “Downunder” where they traveled to the outback, snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef, played with Tasmanian Devils, visited sheep farms and froze to death in a simulated winter storm in an Antarctic Museum. Next trip – the Panama Canal. Bill and Susie have a new granddaughter, Grace, making a total of six grandchildren. Bill and Yvonne Traylor are still traveling between FL and VA but were pleasantly interrupted by Mort and Audrey Eggelston who came to FL to spend Thanksgiving with relatives who live in The Villages, a popular retirement center north of Orlando. While in the Orlando area they stayed with Bill and Yvonne and had a grand time. While attending a meeting of the 50th Reunion Committee at VMI, Bob Baillio and Bill stayed with Mort and Audrey and had a good old fashioned get together playing the “First prevaricator doesn’t have chance” game. There were lots of laughs, stories and discussions about VMI, the economy and presidential race. Bob and Bill were treated to some wonderful southern hospitality by two gracious hosts, and all had a special time just







Photo 1: Bill Lee on Berlin-Hamburg ICE (Intercity Express) in Germany at 240 km/hr. Notice that the photo is taken at the aft driver station; Bill’s driving backwards. Photo 2: Lucy Gillespie and Bobby Ross. Photo 3: Mort Eggleston (left) and Bill Traylor got together in Winter Park, Florida, to exchange “war stories.” Photo 4: Ralph and Janice Rae Lawson in St. Lucia on a cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Brazil. Photo 5: Chuck and Margo Cotton (standing) with future Keydet Kyle Marston’s (front center). Kyle is from Shelbyville, Kentucky, and is going to VMI on a football scholarship. With them are Kyle’s parents and Greg McDearmon ’99 (left of Chuck). Photo 6: From left, Jean and Mel Anderson and Ann and Shep Shepard visited the famed Giza Plateau in Egypt where they saw the magnificent Cheops, Chephren and Mykerionos Pyramids, as well as the Sphinx. Photo 7: Gail and Jack Christie (left), Ann and Shep Shepard, and Bud Mease (behind) enjoyed an evening together in the wonderful and exciting city of Las Vegas.



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CLASS NOTES will be part of every reunion in the future.” Royall and Geri Geis travel to New York City three times a year and stay in their favorite place, the Manhattan Club, conveniently located next to Carnegie Hall and a view of Central Park. They also spent a few days in Pensacola, FL, where Royall attended a jet squadron reunion before heading to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for a short vacation; next stop, Greenwich, CT, for a high school reunion and then to Vietnam as apart of the Military Historical Tours. Royall has been part of this Class of 1959: A 59 mini reunion in Lexington, Virginia, Feb. 9, 2008, brought toorganization for years and last year gether, from left: Jim Vermillion, Lloyd Thacker, Dick Phillippi, Lucy Gillespie, Carlyn went to My Lai, Kontum, Pleiku, Carnes, Patty Myers, Jackie Baxter, Linda Phillippi, Barbara and Harlie Pate, Bet Ashau Valley, Hue, DaNang, Vermillion and, sitting, Andrea Loth. Second Row: Betty Thacker. Third Row: Eddie Marble Mountain, etc. This time Barnes, Joanne and Eddie Fall, Audry and Mort Eggleston, Cecil Young, Jim Sam they hope to go to Khe Sanh, Dong Gillespie, Marvin Myers, Truman Baxter, Mark Smith and Rusty Loth. Ha, and points in between. Jimmy Johnson bought an extra it to the Keys where they visited Dayle and Bill catching up with each other. Weeks later Bill ’59 pocket crest for his good friend Don Ulm Salsgiver ’56 who have a condo on Marathon and Yvonne had dinner with George O’Neill who he refers to as our outlaw Brother Rat who Key. Don and Carol’s son, Doug Messner ’87, who was in Orlando for a meeting and lifted a lives in the Peoples Republic of Seattle. He and his family relocated from Richmond to Riglass to Mike Maupin accompanied by an Ol’ thinks Don is the only person there who is not ner, VA, but says he can’t go anywhere without Yell; albeit quiet so as not to endanger their a member of the National Socialist Democratic encountering some reference to Virginia Tech. longevity at the restaurant. Party but none the less plans to visit there later Daughter, Diana, and her family are still in the Talked with Dave Goode a number of times this year to give some lectures at Madigan Pittsburgh area and doing well. Last winter since the death of his beloved B.J. and while Army Medical Center. Jimmy has had a recent Don and Carol had a visit from Chris and John he has his moments, he is doing much better. bout with prostate cancer, successful surgery Patane. They all made plans to rent a home Fortunately he has a daughter in Sarasota and thanks to Baylor College of Medicine and is near John’s Smith Mountain Lake home this a son in Jupiter to lean on. Our thoughts and now fully recovered and doing great. Jimmy summer. They will be joined by the whole famprayer are with you Dave. says it’s been a heck of a trip and we’re glad to ily at one time or another so it should turn out Mort and Audrey Eggleston are doing great. hear all is well ... to be a fun filled summer. Audrey rides her horses every week while Mort Bob and Lois Hobson continue to reach new Leon Elsarelli is recovering after experiencmanages to shoot a few pheasants and other pinnacles in their life every year; last year they ing some health problems earlier this year. Says game birds each season. They are still living in married off five grandsons, their oldest grandhe will be fit as fiddles come time for the 50th. Manakin Sabot, VA, and extend and invitation daughter and celebrating their 50th wedding Leon and Marge are enjoying life as a newly to all Brother Rats traveling through the area anniversary. They topped out at 21 grandkids, married couple but Leon and his neighbor to stop and rest awhile. Their daughter, Leigh, but have started into the next generation with are having a tough time making a southern lives in Camp Hill, PA, with husband, Kurt, two beautiful great-granddaughters. Lois lady out of Marge, a born and bred Yankee. and two children.  Kurt is a UVa Darden School continues to improve in her struggle to recovery I sympathize; I’ve been trying to get Ann to graduate and runs his own business.  Son, John, from knee replacement but Bob got tired of speak correctly for 48 years and have made practices medicine (surgery) just outside of her getting all the sympathy so he had a heart little progress. Richmond folks just don’t know San Francisco.  He and his wife, Malena, also a stint which came with some complications that how to speak correctly. Those who attended our surgeon, have an 18-month-old son and another hospitalized him for awhile. All is fine now and 45th Reunion recall that one of the highlights son on the way.  Life goes on for the Eggboth are looking forward to showing everyone of the weekend was the Sunday morning lestons and according to them it sure is fun.  pictures of grandchildren and great-grandchilbreakfast hosted by Leon. “The breakfast was Don and Carol Messner continue to thrive dren at the 50th Reunion. as snowbirds alternating between Pittsburgh a great success and gave everyone a chance Tex Carr continues to mold young minds and Port Charlotte but have recently become to bid a last ‘farewell’ to Brother Rats as at Auburn University and is in final preparatrue Floridian by becoming residents. They they departed Lexington.” Leon explains that tion of his fifth textbook. His son moved from traveled to Russia last year and have Scotland “since our graduation in 1959, he has wanted Modesto, CA, to Atlanta and for the time on the schedule for this year, but mostly they to acknowledge all his Brother Rats for their being is living with Tex. Tex and Hal Dayhuff enjoy their mini-trips here in the good old USA close friendship while cadets and for the are pulling information together for The 50th principally visiting friends in the north and many memorable encounters he has had since Reunion Book. Fill out the form Tex sent and friends and neighbors in FL. They finally made we graduated. Leon started a tradition which get it back to him ASAP. Don’t let Hal loose



CLASS NOTES again; he still has the cattle prod we gave him and WILL use it. Bud and Denyse Kramer report all is well in Sanford, FL. Since Bud had his open heart surgery last year he has been doing great, working out at the Y and walking several miles a day. Can’t seem to lose that spare tire but is beginning to become accustomed to it. They still work at the food pantry and get great satisfaction out of feeding the hungry. Once again they have downsized and sold their home in Deland and moved into a condo in Sanford, FL, bringing them even closer to their children. Bud’s daughter, Kelli, gave birth to their 21st grandchild; so, now Bud starts saving for Christmas in January. They are still avid RVers; recently sold the travel trailer and bought a motor home. They go out every month with at least two long trips every year. Ron and Mary Alice Marley are in Orange Park, FL, where I had the pleasure of dining with them when I passed through on my return from the VMI Class Agent’s Conference. Ron has prostate cancer, and he began his treatment a few days before our meeting. Although he was tired he was in good spirits and the outlook is positive. We keep them both in our prayers because, as you probably know, Mary Alice went through the big C scare a few years ago and our prayers helped her through that episode. Hang in there Ron. Buzz and Virginia Nowlin are in Hot Springs, VA. Buzz keeps busy as a member of the School Board of Supervisors along with Masons, Civil War activities, the liberal Episcopal Church, the Retired Teachers Association, Lions and hunting. Ralph and Janice Lawson got tickets to the Masters in Augusta for the midweek par three tournament. Ralph said it was great seeing all the young warriors gearing up for the game of their life. From Augusta they headed for their time-share in Hilton Head to attend the Hilton Head PGA golf tournament. No telling where they will go next; anywhere where there is a major sporting event you will find Ralph and Janice Rae. Keep on trucking. Rusty Loth seems to think as we enter the twilight zone of our lives the news gets less exciting and factual news is harder to come by. Not sure I agree with that but he did send news on our Brother Rats. Sonny and Nancy Eskridge’s daughter, Beth, got married in their hometown of Prattville, AL.  Harlee and Barbara Pate were in attendance. Not many of the old Richmond crowd left standing, but the faithful few Rusty, Ned Addison, Marve Myers and Mort Eggleston get together for lunch once or twice a month. I hear they solve a lot of problems and normally stay

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over until happy hour. A few months ago a few Brother Rats and their better halves gathered in Lexington for a basketball game, dinner, and camaraderie. Attending were; Lloyd and Bette Thacker, Truman and Jackie Baxter, Marve and Patty Myers, Jim Sam and Lucy Gillespie, Dick and Linda Phillipi, Harlee and Barbara Pate, Mort and Audrey Eggleston, Cec Young, Eddie and Carolyn Barnes, and Rusty and Andrea Loth. The Keydets rallied to win the basketball game, definitely a tribute to the Stonewall Class support. The group celebrated the victory with happy hour in the Eggleston’s suite and dinner at The Sheridan Livery. Billy and Sue Kornegay report they attended Bill Traylor’s birthday bash in Warrenton, VA. Bill’s daughter hosted the party and invited all of Bill’s Brother Rats in the area. Lots showed up including Bill and Yvonne Traylor, Billy and Sue Kornegay, Mort and Audrey Eggleston, Kurt and Jane Gloeckner, Jim McFalls, George and Marie O’Neill, Jim and Bet Vermillion, and Harley and Barbara Pate. Billy said it was really a great party. Lloyd and Betty Thacker live between Baltimore and Washington, DC. He sold his Exxon stations in ’04 and obtained his real estate license. He is now teaching in the high school system while Betty works in real estate. Their future plans include a trip to Aiken, SC, looking for a place to retire. Maybe Fred Cavanaugh can help them out. Fred has been the mayor of Aiken since ’92, and Lloyd says they plan to get together while there. Bud and Sue Mease send greetings from The Sticky Wicket Pub and Restaurant in Victoria, BC Canada where they enjoyed good brew, good food and cute waitresses, not that Bud noticed. Bud says it’s a far cry from having “High Tea” at the Empress Hotel across the street. They are constantly in search of sunshine and found a little while sailing through the San Juan Islands and the drive through the Sawtooth Mountains in ID.   Robert and Priscilla Martin are still in FL where Robert is serving an Episcopal Church in Plant City as well as the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Tampa. When the V.A. folks checked Robert’s Vietnam military record and saw he served as chaplain with the 101st Abn Div, all kinds of bells went off and they offered him a series of major physical exams of skin, heart, hearing, eyes and a bunch of other places he wouldn’t mention.  Seems that stuff they used to burn off the perimeter of firebases was not all that good for us which put him on the official Agent Orange Registry.  Bill and Jenny Lee grabbed their carry-on baggage and hopped around Europe by train

visiting Berlin where Bill taught the “bullet train” folks a thing or two about driving and Jen taught Berliner’s about shopping at the famous Kadawe, Prague, where they stayed in a super neat small hotel in the Little Quarter; Dresden where they walked all over the city; Potsdam where they stayed at the Schloss Cecilienhof where Churchill, Truman and Stalin met and signed the 1945 Potsdam Agreement and Hamburg where they visited the famous Sunday Fish Market for beer, wurst and rock band music. Bill recently heard from Sonny Thomas who visited a friend in Fort Lauderdale, FL, during a cold spell up north. He enjoyed the perfect weather for a week or so and it made him wonder why he was still living in “Yankeeland.” Sonny has been fighting cancer for a number of years and after keeping it in check for two years it has once again raised its ugly head and he is back under his doctor’s care. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Sonny, and hope you are able to get it back under control soonest. Mike and Karen Irvine send greetings from northern CA. Mike had the most memorable experiences of his life last September when he took his grandsons to VMI, their first visit. Michael 15, Brandon 11 and Matthew 8 all appeared to be impressed; only time will tell. Mike and Karen have done their share of traveling with a two-week cruise to the Caribbean then Melbourne, FL, where we enjoyed an evening together. This was followed by an Atlantic crossing on Norwegian Cruise Line to London and then to the Baltic. John and Pat Van Kesteren are under a medical restriction from flying so Pat can recover from surgery. The follow-up MRI looked good to the neurosurgeon and she is well on the road to recovering. Our prayers are with you, Pat. Bonnie Pomponio has pulled up stacks in Upperville, VA. She has moved to Monroe, NC, where now she can ride herd on son, Matt, his wife, Ellen, and her two grandchildren. She’s only been there a month and spends the majority of her time at Home Depot or Lowe’s where they all call her by her first name. Since moving she’s into Phillip’s heads, monkey bolts and socket wrenches but hopes to graduate to power tools in the next month or so. She thinks Art would be proud of her; she looks so good in her tool belt. Brad Willard writes from Shelton, WA; anyone interested in vacationing at his place in Saba better do it now; he’s got the property up for sale. Sadly only two Brother Rats visited his place, Billy Walker and Mike Brooks. Saba is about to be identified as a “World Heritage Site” by the U.N. and WILLARD’S of SABA identified as the highest hotel in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Get your reservations in fast to see Brad.


CLASS NOTES Bill and Connie Nebraska are doing great. Connie had a hip replacement last July which curtailed their traveling plans a bit, but she is on her way to recovery and will be able to take a Danube and Rhine Rivers cruise this year. A highlight last year was the 50th reunion of the ’57 undefeated football team. The Keydet Club and Alumni Office did yeoman service and really made them all feel very special. Bill got in a round of golf with Carl Kasko while Carl was visiting Bradenton, FL. Bill and Connie are still planning on joining Brother Rats on the South American trip next February. Chuck and Margo Cotton have been doing their part by recruiting for the VMI football team. Kyle Marston, a young man from Shelbyville, Kentucky, is coming to VMI on a football scholarship, and according to Chuck and Margo he’s a top-notch guy. He is a friend of one of Chuck’s cousins and invited them to the signing ceremony.


L. Edward Tolley

Brother Rats: We lost another Brother Rat, Jim Unger, March 8, 2008. Big Jim, a chemist, had retired from Hercules in 2000, where he held several patents for various coatings used mainly in the furniture manufacturing industry. Having been transferred from Wilmington, DE, to DeKalb County, GA, Jim adopted the southern style of living and remained there in Madison. He was an active member and elder in the Madison Presbyterian Church. Jim and Beth have two children, James Jr., and Sarah Elizabeth Hamilton. There are two grandchildren. At the family request, a donation was made to the Madison Presbyterian Church Building Fund. The Class Agent’s Conference, 2008, was held in April. For those of us who had not been trained on the use of “VMI Ranks” under www., we were given a session in hopes that it would improve use of the program, increase the rapid and comprehensive dissemination of information, and, over the long haul, reduce cost to the association. Please go to the site and try it out. You can’t break anything. You’ll find it is easy to obtain information on BRs and current news of the class of ’60 and the Institute. Beginning with this issue of class notes, you can read those notes immediately after I publish them and well before issue of the Alumni Review. By the way, the Association has taken several steps to significantly reduce the time for issue of the Alumni Review. As I write these notes there are details to be worked out regarding the inclusion of photos via the blog and class notes. For the


time being, if you have photos to be included, please send them to me. Several organizational additions have been made to assist in your use of VMI Ranks. As many are aware, Kathryn Wise has retired as editor of the Review after many years of dedicated and outstanding service. The new editor is Hope Hennessey (hopeh@vmiaa. org). Traci Mierzwa is the computer whiz who can answer any related questions (tracim@ Brenda Stoner continues as editorial assistant ( The phone number is 800/444-1839. Call me at any time at the above phone numbers or e-mail, if you need information. Jack Willard has already used the site and is impressed with it. I have spoken with my computer consultant, Hap Miller, and he agreed to review the navigation route through The Ranks and advise me of opportunities that I miss and pit falls where I usually end up. Jeep and Skip Goodwillie ’83 helped me get out of an Adobe Reader rut I was in. I’m sailing now. By the time I die I will be able to use this program to a big advantage. I’ve had troubles receiving e-mails from Jeep and must apologize for lost information and correspondence. If you have experienced the same, please do not hesitate calling. Speaking of Jeep Goodwillie III, his grandson, James G. Goodwillie V, will be entering VMI along with Joe Bananas Sisler’s grandson, as a Rat in August. That makes three J. G. Goodwillies with solid ties to VMI. Jim V is a swimmer and is working on a chemistry scholarship. Jeep ran into Herb Vaughan and Ken Scott at the golf course but tee times didn’t allow visitation time. Wonder who took who’s money. Jeep works part time at the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy and Disneyland for seniors, and, of course, plays a lot of golf ... still. Thanks for re-upping for the Institute Society, BR. Jim Seeley sent me a newspaper clipping with a picture in his thinclads included, announcing his victory in an 8K race in the 70-74 age group “Run to the Sun” in Orange Park, FL. Good news, Jim. The great news, though, is that his daughter-in-law, Pamela, is doing fine! She will come off chemotherapy in June. Carol, aka Nana, and granddaughter, Emma, are thick as mud. Jim Seeley ’86 II is in Kuwait due back from Afghanistan and ready to ford the Atlantic. Spoke with Howard Moss who is recouping from an operation complicated by post-op swelling. It was good to learn that the recent tornado that hit the south side of VA did not mess with him. Good thing, too. I can see Howard riding the tornado like Pecos Bill riding the cyclone. He and Bolling Williamson have been working on establishment of a fund in honor of Eagle Bayliss. You recall that the plaque donations were well in excess of costs to provide for

the plaque thus the idea of a memorial fund was born. Howard, who led the plaque program, has been instrumental in getting a scholarship fund originated. Several decisions need to be made before information is forwarded. As details are finalized, you will be advised. Don Duncan continues consulting for Virginia Power on three days one week then two days the next alternating basis; that is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, then Tuesday and Wednesday. How’s that for arranging your golfing schedule? His work is mainly to get a license to operate extension for a nuke plant close to Green Bay, WI. He and Liz are getting excited about a 14-days cruise to the Mediterranean in November. Don stated that he read an obituary for Mike Maupin ’59 in last week’s Richmond Times-Dispatch. G.G. Phillips advises that in late May or about, he will be sending information to ALL Brother Rats concerning our plans for the 50th. By using the new program The Ranks we will be able to communicate much more accurately and promptly. It will be used for our reunion in numerous ways; so keep tuned. Had a good chat with Martin Williams. He is retired from the accounting business and now teaches at Mountain State University in Beckley, WV. Courses he is professor for are accounting, management and whatever else they need. He and Sue are living the easy life in Beckley. As you may remember, Martin left VMI before graduation and finished at the University of Richmond. Dave Lennon had taken a grandchild to the park when I called. Carolyn says that action is in high gear at their place since remodeling is on going. Seems that remodeling is the first tasks that we retirees do to keep from sleeping in front of the TV. I caught Frank Dudley at home and got his last 45 years activities in a nutshell. Frank is retired having worked with NASA a couple years at Langley, then at the Cape his entire career where he endured the mega stresses in the programs to get men to the moon and the Space Flight program (was there when The Challenger went up). He is a biker. Has a new motorcycle that has only 700 miles on it since he had to have an ankle fused and a back operation results of an accident. The bike is now fitted with a stabilizer which accommodates the bad ankle. He has been a snow skier and parachutist during his off time. Needless to say, Frank has been living on the edge. Nettie answered my first jing-a-ling and put Bill Keens on. Bill has finally hung it up with the Department of Justice, Litigation Support Division, but he says he misses “being on the inside” of some of the big court cases, i.e.


CLASS NOTES tobacco and asbestos litigation. Keens still lives in Falls Church, a leisurely walk to Key Bridge and the Potomac River. Bill and Nettie have had some of the usual age related medical problems many of us go through. Bill has the less acute but bothersome forms of prostate cancer which he is easing through while Nettie has had a blood infecting form of bacteria that have caused concern but are being treated. Both Keens keep busy and are able to visit and work with sons who live in the not-too-distant reaches of DC. One of the sons is a custom home builder who often calls on Bill for consultation and second pair of hands. Barry “Small Man” Worst returned my call before I reported him to the “did-not-return calls” committee. He says after five or six years of getting calls, he antes up with a response. The Worsts live in Clemmons, NC. Two daughters live in Kansas City (Kansas State) and Ashville (Vanderbilt). Barry had a career in retail of imported products, home decoration items for the most part, but also a 10-year stint with IHOP. Small Man says he visited Jim and Jackie Savage (Cary, NC) when he got a little off course from Jim’s directions ending up at the home of a black man’s residence. When the owner answered the door, Barry said, “Oops, guess I messed up on the directions.” Knowing Small Man, I’m sure he and the resident had a great chat. The red, white and yellow balloons hanging on Jim’s lamp post gave Barry no clue ...? Some of you know my older brother, Bill Tolley ’56. Bill had a back problem and went to Duke University Hospital for an operation. Things didn’t turn out so well and he is still, after a two months stay, not in good shape. A reminder before I go, please go to www., register, login, and research the new program. I’m sure you will be able to find out anything you ever wanted to know about VMI and our Brother Rats. Rah Va Mil


Sal Vitale Jr.

It is May 15 and I am late with my notes. The past few weeks have been difficult with rain, high winds changing temperature, an asthma attack due to breathing air-borne wastes from demolition of the house next to me and for the past three days my computer has had a virus. Thank God they are all finally gone. I am looking forward to our class Bermuda trip relaxing and being with BRs. By the way, the class trip to AK is set for Aug. 20, 2009, and you should received all the details in July 2008.

2008-Issue 3

We have lost two more Brother Rats, William R. Tabor who spent a few months with us and Charles “Bootsie” LeFon. At Charlie’s funeral were Bootie Farleigh, Dick Jarvis, John and Anne Woodfin, Dick and Judy Youngblood, Paul Johnston, Ed Duncan ’60 and John Mills ’63. Barbara Jean’s son is a Methodist minister and he gave a marvelous eulogy. I was very saddened to learn that several members of Paul Jenkins family were killed in a tragic auto accident. Paul lost his pregnant daughter, Jennifer, and her 10-year-old daughter, Courtney. His grandson Zach and a close friend were seriously injured. Please keep them all in your prayers. Andy Myruski and Hill Browning spent some time together in Naples, FL, on Hill’s 22-foot deck boat. Hill commutes between Naples and OH, but Heather stays where it is warm. Andy winters in Naples and being an astute retired state highway engineer said that there are not as many people in Naples as he has seen in previous years and definitely not the number of RVs and motor homes on the roads. Sue and I were in Naples for two days for a company reunion. We especially enjoyed staying with Jack and Nancy Bell. Both look great and Jack is playing golf, boating and just enjoying life. Bob Coltrane is still enjoying living in bear country. Over 2,400 bears were taken last year from PA with over 200 taken from his neighborhood. No wonder Bob sits on the porch with his rife. It was nice to hear from Bud Alligood. Bud says his wife, Ginger, is doing better and one of these times he will be at a reunion. Joe Lisiecki said that Stan Boleski will be in Chicago with his motor home this summer and plans to visit Joe for three or so days. Marty Caples is a regular e-mailer. I was happy to see that he is back on the paved roads again on his Harley Road King and off the road on his dual sport bike. Jim “Peaches” Miner says that life in the Bluegrass Country is going well. Jim goes to several Cardinal games a year and sees John Miller two-four times a year for socializing and golf. Bob Polk sometimes joins them for golf. George Ward sent a newsy e-mail. George and his wife, Laura, enjoyed a week in OR for Pinot Noir tasting. George noticed that there are many wineries in VA to visit and that makes attending the 50th Reunion more promising. George’s hobby is hand-loading ammo. He and his son target shoot almost every week. His son was a little shocked dad could field strip an M-1 as quickly as he did. I was also surprised to learn that George’s dad was VMI ’28. It was also nice to hear from Paul Thompson. I was starting wonder if he was still with us. Paul is still in South Africa and some day hopes to get

back to the Institute, maybe even for a reunion! Another near lost Brother Rat, Charles Stevens will be at the class of ’61 footballers’ reunion. Charlie is happy to admit that after 50 years he still has the fondest memories of his one year at VMI, but little memory of Brother Rats. He saw Archie Ramirez and Bob Polk at their 50th high school reunion. Irv Wells is still on the road and is in Jordan of all places. He had business in Petra where portions of an Indiana Jones movie were filmed. Irv promised to have pictures of his adventures in Jordan for the next Review. In the spring Review I failed to mention that John and Irene Gangemi cruised from Venice to Greece, Turkey, Croatia and Slovenia. Guess I am just getting old. They plan to be in Lapland and Scandinavia this summer and will send me a photo that I promise not to forget to include. Howard Dyer has retired from coaching football at Brevard and is now coaching the tennis team. Howard hits with his players daily in an effort to help them and, hopefully keep Howard’s game sharp. He is looking forward to playing in the national 70s if his joints will keep working. Clayton and Rachel Smith are going to South Africa in September for a 2-3-week stay and will spend a week in the Cape Town area and visit a couple of game areas for photo safaris. Clayton has promised to take some great pictures. The joke in Virginia Beach is the Wetsel’s are never home. Larry has an insatiable desire to travel. True to form the Wetsel’s and Woodcock’s spent a month in New Zealand and Australia and had a great time. Wyatt Durrette is still making headlines. His newly formed XDL Group enjoyed a victory in its first Court foray in the Eastern District of TX as reported in the article from IP Law 360. Also in the news again is Bill Maurer as the new Wortendyke Barn curator. Bill, as you may recall, recently retired as a Park Ranger/ Interpreter at the Statue of Liberty National Monument, is the former director of the Gomez Mill House, former Park Ridge Municipal Historian and is the author of Dragoon Diary: The History of the Third Continental Dragoons. The Wortendyke Barn is a “New World Dutch Barn” which makes it different from the English-style red barn that most of us know. The barn, is located in Park Ridge, NJ and has been used continually as a barn since it construction in 1760. Most importantly the Maurer’s are expecting their first grandson from Adam and Julie Maurer ’95. Carl and Becky Hirsch spend lots of time in TX with their grandchildren. Their grandson, Travis, has taken up fencing just like his grandfather Carl. In March, they traveled to Houston for the Invitational Regional fencing tournament. While they were there they visited with






Class of 1961 Photo 1: At the April 2008 opening day for the Wortendyke Barn in Park Ridge, New Jersey, were, from left, Jim Maurer ’65, Bill Maurer and his son, Adam ’95. Photo 2: Marty Caples in Boise, Idaho, February 2008, on his Harley Road King, which he uses for long, 500-mileplus days. Photo 3:Carl Hirsch giving his grandson, Travis, a fencing lesson in Austin, Texas. Photo 4: At the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia, were, from left, front row: Cadet Holly Giacalone ’09, Cadet Angelica Arenas ’11, Judy Youngblood, Cadet Anna Defrank ’11, Stu Woodcock and Cadet Daniel Johnson ’09. Row 2: Cadet Peter Griffin ’11, Sylvia Woodcock, Pat Hoskins, Sue Vitale and Gaylia Hudgins. Row 3: Larry and Jerri Wetsel, Dick Youngblood, Willard Hoskins and Joyce Gibbings. Row 4: Cadet Richard Lee ’11, Cadet Eddie Preissen ’10, Bill Gibbings, Col. John Brodie ’92 (Honorary Brother Rat), Anna Hollowell (director of the Monitor Project) and Cadet Michael Herron ’11. Photo 5: At the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia, April 2008, the VMI Glee Club and its director, Col. John Brodie, posed on the deck of the U.S.S. Monitor replica.




CLASS NOTES Troy “L.T.” and June Jones. The Jones’s are enjoying their two grandchildren who live near by. The Hirsch’s were off again to Playa del Carmen (Cancun, Mexico) at the Royal Hacienda Resort and then to Las Vegas for a week at their time-share there. Carl said the shows were great! Becky is retiring on July one and they are looking forward to traveling more. Paul Johnston had a great year skiing. When he travels, his boot bag, which contains all he needs to ski with (except in Europe, he rents skis) are with him. Gaylia Hudgins packed her long johns and spent nine days in Jackson Hole in February. Gaylia said that Bland always wanted to go in the winter, but Gaylia is a volunteer on the elk feeding truck and also takes tourist for sleigh rides among them. The count on the Elk Refuge was 7950 elk and about 900 bison, many coyotes, 51 big horn sheep, one mountain lion and two packs of wolves. The weather has been crazy. Do you remember the tornado and resulting tragedy at Union University in Jackson, TN? Well, Harbert and Nora Alexander live there and they said it was a miracle no one was killed. Alex said that Ashby Taylor also called to check on him. What a warm feeling this gives one; after 45 years Brother Rats still look out for each other. Their home was fine. Nora and Alex continue to show their Tennessee Walking Horses on the walking horse circuit throughout TN, AL, MS and FL. (Nora rides; Alex pays for the horses!) Alex is working toward finishing a new book; this one is reflections of more than 50 years of hunting experiences, with pictures by Ralph McDonald, the Ducks Unlimited artist of the year. Another tornado set down in GA near Skip McDannald’s house. It was far enough away that all is well there. Battle Haslam has been making rounds. During his last visit to Lexington for the Foundation Board he visited with the Badgett’s. Then he was off to Covington to see Harrison Fridley. Harrison is doing well – except for the frustrating disequilibrium. Then at a basketball game, Battle saw Donnie and Kim Wise and Kenton and Sue Patrick. Donnie had openheart surgery in January and is doing fine and looks good. Richmond was Battle’s next stop where he attended a special ceremony for his brother in law Charlie Bryan ’69. Charlie stood (with Cammy) in the center aisle of the General Assembly Chamber with both Houses of the Legislature present for the honor. The clerk read a lengthy Resolution of commendation, recognizing Charlie’s 20 years of service to VHS and, indeed, VA. Congratulations, Charlie! When not cruising in his Porsche, Battle stays busy playing the piano for a number of events. The past few months have been busy for

2008-Issue 3

Sue and me. In April, we hosted a reunion for all my Vitale first cousins at the Beach. We had a ball. We even invited Bill and Joyce Gibbings so that they could see how real Italians party! (smile) Soon after we attended the Azalea Festival where Larry and Jerri Wetsel hosted their last World Affairs Council function with Larry as president. The Gibbings and Vitale’s had a great time. The next day I was off to the Class Agents’ Conference in Lexington and was very impressed with the construction activities and the Superintendents talk. He is the right man for this time and we need to do a better job of supporting him. I was also very pleased and proud to see that our Annual Giving thru March 31 was at 50% and our total number of givers was the greatest of all the decades of the 60s and 70s. Great job! I stopped by to see Jimmy Berger. Jim’s is still at the lumberyard and is in fair health. I rushed back from Lexington to have supper with Robert and Pat Williamson, Ed and Phyllis Hollowell and their host, the Gibbings. Ed and Phyllis are well, and Ed is very active with the Coast Guard Academy and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Robert and Pat have been traveling and are looking

forward to another fun boating season. The next day we went to the Mariners Museum in Newport News to hear the VMI Glee Club sing. Gibbings made the arrangements and we had a nice turn out of Brother Rats to include Wetsel, Woodcock, Youngblood, Hoskins, Vitale, and Gaylia Hudgins. The next week Gibbings and Vitale were off to the VHS Garden Party in Richmond. On the way we stopped to see John and Anne Woodfin. All is well there. At the VHS party we gathered as many VMI people we could for a picture. This is the last party that Charlie Bryan ’69 will host as he retires in December. Battle Haslam, Gibbings, Bryan Haslam ’90, Allen Gregory ’66 and Howard Cobb ’62 were in attendance. Bill Gibbings arranged a Mariners Museum trip for the ladies group “Greetings To You.” I went to help out and met a lady Pat Hubert who is the daughter of a VMI famous football coach Pooley Hubert (1935-1951). Pat was 5 years old when her dad came to VMI and the stories she told made my day. Also at the outing were Gary and Sandra Pittman ’51. Gary seemed to have no knowledge of the escapes of the teenager, Pat, but he was grinning. The second annual Richmond

Class of 1961: Above: At the April 2008 Annual Virginia Historical Society Garden Party in Richmond, Virginia, were, from left, front row: Bryan Haslam ’90, Sal Vitale, Charles Bryan ’69 and grandson, and Battle Haslam. Back row: Bill Gibbings, Larry Wetsel and Allen Gregory ’66. Howard Cobb ’62 was present but is not pictured. Pictured below: From left, Bryan and Susan Haslam ’90, Bill Gibbings, Larry Wetsel, Joyce Gibbings, Jerri Wetsel, Sue Vitale, Cammy and Charles Bryan ’69 with grandson Graham and daughter Alethea Gerding, Allen Gregory ’66 and Battle Haslam.


CLASS NOTES BRs got together was at the Youngblood’s house again and for a picnic and Durrette, Farleigh, Mabry, Russ Stone, Nelms, Woodfin and class photographer Vitale, were there. The next big event is the Bermuda cruise, and we are sure that Tom Phlegar has set up a great trip for us. I am very pleased to tell you that the “Bricks” for all the deceased 1961 BRs were ordered and placed on the west side of Barracks. I plan to do this again in 2009 for all those who have passed on since December 2007. The brick program started in July 1998. When living alumni contribute a cumulative total of $2,500 to VMI they become entitled to a brick with their name on it, and placed with the class on the west side of Barracks. Those of you, who continue to contribute, earn an “extra” brick for every $2,500. Our class had lots of extra bricks and these bricks were used to pay tribute to those who have passed on. We cannot use a brick for a living Alumnus, but we can order one for a relative. The friends and relatives bricks are placed in a special area. Again thanks to all those BRs who allowed their extra bricks to be used for others. I try to keep in touch with those who are working medical issues out and recently there have been a few. My report on the “Gimmalingerers,” a new name created by Lee Badgett for those retired BRs on the gim list is a follows. Sleepy Hollowell had his metal knee removed and is cleaning up a staph infection. He is in good spirits and by the time you read this he should have a new, clean knee and be at the football reunion. Bill Keech had a melanoma

removed from the top of his head, and a lymph node from behind his ear removed. Prognosis is great. Ray Hanlein has been busy with a cardiac catheterization, a knee scoped and a melanoma removed and the margins are clear. Charlie Brown underwent a long overdue back surgery, and he says he is doing fine. I continue to be happy to hear that Mike and Suzanne Carmichael’s son, Tucker, continues to make a remarkable recovery from his close brush with death. The doctors are working on his knees now and doing some additional tests for TBI. Lee Badgett is on the mend except for his lack of thigh muscle and no glutinous maximus on the left side. The therapist said Lee needs to stand up straight. Can you imagine some one needing to tell Lee to “Stand Up Straight!” Lee and Betsey go to PT together. Betsey is working on her bikini figure while Lee is learning to stand up straight. I had my third shoulder operation and still in therapy. Jim Harrison has had a rash of difficult times. His youngest son, Jason, is still battling cancer and Jim’s wife M.C. recently had a major stroke. The doctors removed a “peach” blood clot from M.C.’s brain. This should not be happening to one of the nicest guys in our class. Will it ever end? There are several more on the gim, but I promised not to tell you who they are. So why not call someone you have been thinking about. They may be ill. In any case, you will enjoy talking to a BR. Richard McMurry cards are returned. Does anyone know his whereabouts? That is all I have for now. Stay well, pray for those BRs and families who are in need and stay in touch. God Bless VMI and the Brother Rats of the greatest class of 1961.

Class of 1961: On May 17, 2008, in Richmond, Virginia, Dick and Judy Youngblood hosted the second annual 1961 BR get-together. From left, front row: Sue Vitale, Anne Woodfin, Caroline Mabry, Gwen Stone and Jane Farleigh. Back row: Wyatt Durrette, Bill Nelms, Russ Stone, Judy and Dick Youngblood, Oscar Mabry and Booty Farleigh.



Jerry Burnett

I am happy to report that I have not received any news of sickness in our Brother and Sister Rats since my Feb. 15, 2008, notes to you. Tony Michaels lost his mother after an extended illness several weeks ago. Tony lives in Greensboro, NC, where he retired from the corporate office of Burlington Industries. He still does some consultant work and spends time with his children, wife and grandchildren. I have received a note from Marc Muth, who was heading to Raleigh, NC, to see his son before he deployed to Iraq. His son is a professor at North Carolina State University and a Commander in the Navy Reserve. March says, “He is one of these go-at-it 100% attitude people and is taking all the training seriously. He is keeping current with his grad students he is mentoring, as well as the university.” Hopefully all of you have received or will receive the Welcome Aboard Inaugural VMI Alumni Association Caribbean Cruise March 14-21, 2009, on the Star Clipper. George Collins will join the cruise and act as the skipper. As you may know, George has extensive ocean sailing and competitive race experience. George and Maureen will host the first evening reception. I hope you will mark your calendars and join this inaugural experience. (See page 42.) I hope you all read and will respond to Superintendent Binnie Peay’s letter of April 4, 2008. Binnie is the same age as the rest of us and works from 5 a.m. to 12 midnight every day. Not only is he leading the greatest building program in the history of VMI, he is traveling to Richmond, Washington and elsewhere raising money for Vision 2039 and the Institute. It is hard to conceive the problems he faces daily as CEO at VMI. He has a dedicated staff, but Binnie is “leading the charge.” Virginia, as other states, have had to cut their budgets, and the difference at VMI has to be made up by VMI, who enjoys the reputation of having the most dedicated and loyal alumni to be found anywhere. Unfortunately, the percentage of 1962 alumni donors is 38% as compared to 50% for the class of ’61 and ’64. I hope you will respond to my May 15, 2008, mailing. Bob and Frankie Gesner are still retired and living in a suburb of Denver, CO. Their son, Mike, owns Dragonfly Game Design in Denver where he designs and develops computer games. Bob and Frankie do voluntary work, trout fish and downhill skiing. He says, “All


CLASS NOTES Brother Rats are welcome to visit with us on a trip to or through CO.” ( I appreciated a nice note from John and Cynthia Anthony. They are still in Washington, DC. Thanks to a note from Mike and Rosemary Lilge, who still reside in Lemont, IL. He reports that “they have completed a decade of friendship, fellowship and love.” They enjoy each other and have taken two trips east recently. Klaus Burmeister wrote me that our 45th Reunion “was a joy and he left with nothing but fond memories.” He says the 50th is a must for everybody.” Klaus continues to live in Regina SK and now in hibernation. (It’s time for reading a song snoozes.)” I spoke with Monty and Carol Williams recently. Monty had carotid artery surgery in February 2008 and the other side this week (May 15, 2008). He has spoken to Bob Tyson recently. Bob has moved back to his farm in GA and is having medical problems with his legs. Monty and Carol are traveling extensively, having just returned from a trip in the west and will soon be visiting children in OK and MN. Bill Mizell has taken his golf game “on the road” to Pinehurst. He and I will be playing our 13th member-guest golf tournament at Princess Anne Golf Club at the beach soon. I close this report with a letter from Tony and Judy Curtis. You will recall that they have volunteered to plan, coordinate, print, and present 1962-Fifty Years Later-2012 and distribute prior to our 50th Class Reunion. It will be as informative and enjoyable as your participation in their efforts to bring this momentous undertaking to fruition. Most of you are planning now for your 50th high school reunion. This year, you should forward this information to Tony and Judy as they are anxious to get started. “Dear Brother/Sister Rats: 46 years ago, the greatest class of the Virginia Military Institute matriculated through Jackson Arch to begin their multifaceted careers. All of us read Gen. Stonewall’s expression ‘YOU MAY BE WHATEVER YOU RESOLVE TO BE,’ and most of us have tried to apply that to our lives. In 2012, this class will celebrate 50 years since our graduation on June 10, 1962. “We want to leave a written document relating to the massive achievements and contributions our class has accomplished in our families, our careers and our communities. “1962-FIFTY YEARS LATER-2012: This document will now be available for our 50th Reunion, but we need to prepare it now. So please start and take your time to reflect and record all your worthy events since graduation in ’62. You may find it easier to recall by the decades i.e. the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s etc. The most important thing is NOT to be modest! Kathryn

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Wise, former editor of our Alumni Review, found out while writing his obituary that an alum of class of ’35 was the first commandant of the famous Tuskegee Airmen Institute! See BR Jay Sculley’s obituary on page 172 of winter 2007 Review for an excellent example. “So get going, year by year, the good, the bad and the ugly. When you’re reviewing all this, just keep asking yourself, what events was I proud of? Whether it was in the military, civilian, medical, church, politics, scouting, community, or whatever-tell us about it! This may be your biggest contribution to your own family history. Make your kids and your grandkids proud of what their VMI graduate did! “Please try to keep it to one page, keep in third person and send along a photo of you and yours (your first class yearbook entry will be at the top). Send these to: “Tony and Judy Curtis, 3121 Hillside Lane, The Villages, FL, 32162 or judyhkc@comcast. net, 352/259-4876 or 352/454-4535. “Judy majored in journalism at KSU and is the editor of the local chapter of MOAA (Military Officers of America Association) newspaper. “Any photos not previously seen, taken during our four years at VMI, send to me and our committee will try to integrate them into the ‘Class History’ part of this book! “Yours in The Spirit, Tony Curtis” Keep the letters, cards and me updated on events in your life. Jerry Burnett


Michael J. Curley

WE REMEMBER … Sadly we begin with news of the sudden death of our Brother Rat Bill Morris (Lt Col USA Ret). Bill died of a massive heart attack on April 14, 2008. He was retired both from the U.S. Army after 24 years service and Colonial Heights Schools where he taught middle school for 14 years. He also was one of seven graduates of Richmond’s Benedictine High School class of ’59 to matriculate and graduate with our class. Bill and I knew one another since 1947 as Cub Scouts, for eight years at The Cathedral School and four years as Benedictine classmates. Jo, you will always be a part of us! Also, Jay Johnson died March 27, 2008, in Dallas TX. Jay spent two years, two months and 28 days at VMI; his career was in the oil field services industry. On the occasion of Jay’s death, I sent around an e-mail stating that I, like many others, had little or no memory of Jay whatsoever. Well, the class

indeed remembered … as they always do! Pete Ippolito writes, “Jay roomed with Bill DeLeo, Davey Dibbs, and Paul Quinter our Rat year for awhile,” while Buff contributes “What a way for us to be reconnected after all these years. Now I’ve lost Hilde (Mike Hildebrand) and Jay, my two TX BRs without ever having seen either since our VMI days ...” However, it was Pat Whitaker ’64 who put things into their proper perspective “Jay was one of those Texas rats gathered by Hap Miller ’60 to dyke his room along with his roommates “Slink” French ’60, “Bananas” Sisler ’60, “Big Toot” Barr ’60. Ted Chilcote was the lone escapee … (Hilde, Jay, Chuck Weddington and I were co-dykes in the room). Jay often spoke of Jesuit High School in Dallas … I am surprised that the obit named a different one.” Fred McBride added the ever-present VMI humor with “Now I remember Jay; I played chess with him a couple of times in the PX until I figured it was no use continuing; his men were the hot knife going thru the my butter ... said his grandfather taught him a little about the game.” We also lost John Cloe’s wife, Jane, who died of cancer in Anchorage, AK, on March 3, 2008. As John’s travelling partner as well as his staunchest fan, she will be greatly missed. Finally, Bonnie Grimsley, widow of Gene Grimsley, died of cancer March 19, 2008, in Warrenton, VA, where she lived after Gene’s death. Bob and Tina Powell, lifetime friends of the Grimsleys said she fought to the very last and had planned to travel to our 45th Reunion with them. I received a wonderful note from Kent McCraney’s wife that described Bonnie perfectly: “It seems to me that the way Bonnie faced her death was exactly the way she faced life ... directly and realistically. I don’t know anyone who worked harder at the things she loved and believed in. If there are legacies to both Gene and Bonnie, they are without question Lee Ann and Heather. As a first grade teacher for many years, who knows how many little children she taught to read and helped acclimate to the school environment so that they could get a good education? Over 40 years ago, I played tennis with Gene and Bonnie. It doesn’t surprise me that she was still playing in and officiating at tennis matches up until cancer claimed her health. I will never forget how she stood by Gene throughout his long fight with cancer, and I always admired the way she chose to live her life. I feel so privileged to be able to say that Gene and Bonnie were such good friends with whom Kent and I also shared a lot of fun times. Cecelia Barton McCraney.” (mjc: We will miss them all!) Moving on to more pleasant news, the VMIAA promised its Class Agents at a meeting





of 1963 3

Photo 1: Biology major Billy Wells surveying his new home under construction in Lexington on Feb. 9, 2008. Photo 2: According to Class Agent Mike Curley, “Buff DeLeo’s grandfatherly charm spreads all the way to Iraq!” Photo 3: Ann and Artie Phaup in Gibraltar during their April 2008 travels to Spain and Portugal.


Photo 4: A bridge south of Boston, Massachusetts, is named in honor of Capt. Ted Burbank who died in a B-52 crash in Loring, Maine, on Sept. 4, 1969. Photo 5: From left: Bob Gregory, Buddy Cato, Billy Wray, Lathan Ewers and Jim Hoge at the Manakin Grill in Goochland, Virginia, on April 18, 2008.




CLASS NOTES in April that they are moving toward a policy of printing and distributing the Review within 90 days of submission of copy; in this case, May 15th notes will be published this August. That’s never happened before! This will benefit us in a couple ways. First, news will be timelier and more relevant … no more reading in the middle of winter of Beau Walker’s surfing and Hobbs Goodwin’s sailing! In fact, you will probably get to read this column right before we gather for our 45th! Second, it will most likely eliminate time spent on my part explaining something I’ve written six months earlier and before it’s in your hands. Even I’m confused after one of those sessions! As you know my job as your class agent is twofold. One part is social and includes dissemination of news among other things; the other is fundraising. For me, the first is fun; the other torture! To this date, other than the letters mailed by the VMIAA over my signature, I confess that I have not done my job as fundraiser adequately. Without going nuts, let me state that the recent Class Agents’ Conference awakened me to the scope of the work in progress at VMI, the funds needed and the bright future it will provide. You can see some of the work by coming to the reunion in September or by going to selecting “A-Z directory” to the left, then “Webcams” to the left. To view over 30 slides of the work underway, just click on “Under Construction” at lower right of the home page. As an example, let me touch on the cost of one single and simple item here, the Alumni Review. This informative, professionally edited and produced magazine costs between $35 and $40 per year, per copy to produce and distribute. (mjc: Remember it’s a four-color, slick paper publication!) When I heard this stunning figure, I thought of the number of our Brother Rats on my “Do Not Solicit” list yet they, as all other matriculates, contributors or not, receive a copy of the publication each quarter. I also thought of another Brother Rat who doesn’t contribute in any other way than ceremoniously pass me a one dollar bill each year as his Annual Giving. (Don’t even ask who it is because it would take a major gift to The Foundation to get his name!) So, with this said, wouldn’t it be nice if the nearly 60% of us who did not even give that one dollar bill were to stroke at a $40 check to the VMIAA to at least reimburse The Institute for the magazine you’re reading right now? Wouldn’t it be nice to start that habit of giving this year, too? Some of our Brother Rats seem to be moving to Lexington in their retirement. Bob and Carol Baldwin recently purchased a home with nice guest quarters and Bill and Becki Wells are building their new home with a spectacular

2008-Issue 3

view of House Mountain and the Institute. Their home is scheduled for completion late fall or early winter 2008 and also has a nice guest room with a marvelous view according to Bill. (mjc: I wasn’t supposed to mention the guest rooms, guys? Oops!) Doug Sterrett writes: “…failed ‘Retirement 101’ and went back to work at First Presbyterian in Harrisonburg for about three days a week. One of the committees I am working with is chaired by Ed Blackwell, of Blackwell Engineering. Turns out that he is Brother Rat Richard Blackwell’s son. I promise I am going to get up with Richard again and try to get him to the reunion. Right after the trip to Richmond Doris St. Clair called my wife, Rachel. They had a long talk. She seems to be getting along fine and living in the old farm house she and Hal bought. She said she just couldn’t deal with living in the apartment in Covington since she had so many memories of Hal there.” Tom and Sharon Rountree report: “Hey guys, Sharon and I just returned from lunch with Les and Mary Knowles. Had a great time and we’re planning to meet again in the near future.” Tom Whitford’s wife “Teak” aka Charlotte Grimes, Chairman of the Samuel I. Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University appeared on PBS TV February 25 with Jim Lehrer to discuss the controversial John McCain NY Times article. Teak is an ardent 1st Amendment advocate and former war correspondent with the St. Louis Times Dispatch. Peg and I enjoyed her rhetoric immensely and thought she made mincemeat of the journalist presenting the opposing view. Mike Smither alerted us to Teak’s appearance as well as his personal search for information on Ted Burbank’s widow and children. As you may know, Ted was killed in a B-52 crash at Loring AFB, ME, Sept. 4, 1969. There’s a bridge south of Boston that was dedicated to Ted many years ago. A number of us are now involved talking with one of Ted’s children about what their dad was like while he was at VMI. As an aircrew member, it certainly makes me appreciate my good fortune for the 11 years I was flying! Ted’s wife had three children at the time of Ted’s death and was pregnant with the fourth! VIRGINIA VISITORS: John Cloe made a side trip to Richmond while visiting family in Stafford, VA. Peg and I were privileged to have him spend the night with us. Pat Kelly checked in at Jan Gray’s house in Newport News on April 15th and was entertained by Frank Allison and Joe Dellapenta. Jim Hoge descended upon the Holy City April 18 and dined with local celebrities at the Manakin Grill in Goochland County, VA, right around the corner from Rudy Amos’ law office. Jim has a sister who

lives in Charlottesville, VA. In attendance were the guest of honor Jim Hoge, Bob Gregory, Buddy Cato, Billy Wray and Lathan Ewers. (mjc: So, where in the world was Rudy?) After a long absence, John Storm contributes, “I am doing business development and capture for a small disadvantaged business that does DOD/NASA logistics and infrastructure OandM … I have no intention of retiring. Wife Sandy is a world class sculptor and is currently completing the Apollo Memorial for the U.S. Spacewalk of Fame Foundation in Titusville, 12 bronze panels depicting the history of the program from the blackboard to the moon.” Update on Will Scott: Dottie reports that, “Scotty gets stronger with each day and I am learning that it is okay to let others share our journey. God has introduced us to many new situations and a lot of special people.” (mjc: We sure are hoping you guys make to the reunion!) Update on Dave Glantz: “I became a workout fanatic years ago when I took up mountain climbing to escape from studying Russian in Garmisch, no fun at age 35. After running six miles a day every day after leaving Garmisch, I was poisoned on a visit to Russia in 1992 and that ended the running. I still do 90 minutes a day on the treadmill to clear my mind, but it has become a bit more difficult as systems begin to fail, most recently a touch of arthritis from moving a mountain of book boxes from my basement to my garage and back during and after a near flood in my cellar. I did learn, however, that there are limits to what you can do, the hard way.” (mjc: We all do, Dave!) Update on Jim Taylor: “CRC Press asked me to edit another book on ultra wideband radar. This time I have writers lined up from Singapore to Calgary, Canada. The new book will have some good articles on how to use radar for medical imaging, tumor detection and patient monitoring. Volunteer work at the V.A. hospital, writing and playing with my horse keeps me busy every minute. I’ll go to the Little Bighorn reenactment again this June. My team will start out a Fort Abraham Lincoln for training and ceremonies. We’ll ride the march from the last camp to the battlefield again, and then do three days of reenactments with the Crow Indians. My Arabian steed trains me to rough ride as Gen. Custer’s staff trumpeter. Bellac loves military drill games and now responds to trumpet signals. He’s like an energetic kid who wants to play and have fun.”  Update on Pat Kelly: “Sold our Padre Island house in six days, before it was even listed in MLS. Our Realtor showed it to a single USAF Captain, who made us an offer immediately, close to our asking price … it appears closing will be in early May. So now we’re in a rush to


CLASS NOTES get everything moved out and up to Hamilton before the new owner claim it as abandoned property!” Update on Bill Pearson: “In case you haven’t heard, we are not going to be able to make the reunion. We would love to have been there but had already made plans to be cruising the Baltic and will be in Russia (or Stockholm or Copenhagen) at that time. This is our travel year. We leave on May 5 to spend a month in Europe (Germany, Austria, France, Tuscany and Venice). Then in December we are flying to Budapest for several days before we board a river cruise boat and sail the Danube to the Main, visiting Christmas markets for almost two weeks. I contacted Paul Clare, hoping we could get together while in Austria, but Graz is to h#!! and gone and it looks as if it’s going to be an impossibility. I’m really disappointed.” Update on Denver Perkins: “I’m still in Argentina. I plan to live here as long as the peso/ dollar thing stays favorable. Who knows how long that will hold out? Argentina has a history of self-destructing about every 10 years. But, I love it here; it’s a great city. Bill Klobus is in Columbia? I hope he’s making a pile of money or has met the love of his life or something. [mjc: You just have no idea, Denver!] The two countries in South America I wouldn’t go to on a bet are Columbia and Bolivia. About what’s new. The good news is nothing. That’s what I love about this retired life. Nice and calm. Thirty years of being a doctor in the Army, working nights, weekends, holidays, three conflicts, and 27 months overseas in hostile fire zones … That’s plenty. All I want to do now is read, loaf, take naps, write a little and hang out in cafes drinking this Argentine weapons-grade espresso. I probably won’t make it to the 45th. Flying from Argentina to the U.S.A. isn’t cheap, and being just one more retired old fixedincome xxxx, I have to watch my pennies.” Update on Bob Walton: “Mary Landon and I have settled-in at our home in Williamsburg, taking full advantage of the amenities associated with this historical area, including the College of William and Mary. We delight in seeing VMI alumni and cadets at VMI and W&Mts. Buddy Cato and I talk fairly frequently and get together for lunch every now and then. We met Bill Wray for lunch in Richmond this spring. I also hear from Kenny Reams from time to time and hope he and Linda will make the 45th haven’t heard from Mike Walton in quite awhile. I look forward to seeing you and others at the 45th Si and Diana Bunting replied to a casual inquiry about his current life by saying that he is married and has four grown children, one a VMI ’01 graduate. “We live on a farm


in Fauquier County, VA, and I continue to work in New York City at the HF Guggenheim Foundation. I’m still writing biography and fiction.” Asked about Fauquier County’s possible secession from the Union in a quick e-mail exchange, I received this enthusiastic answer: “We are resisting immigrant hordes from the suburban northeast who want to build tens of thousands of rows of ‘town homes’ with faked French or English names (‘Eagles Summit’ etc.) and promote legislation against fox-hunting etc., etc.” Let’s see if I can edit Dave Gootee’s first contribution to the Alumni Review a bit. Might get into a little trouble here, but we’ve got a five page limit now… “Married Ag April ’64… Lucky enough to see such friends as Gene and Bonnie Grimsley and Bob Earle”. First Baby (Clara) was born March 1965. Second Girl (Page) came in September 1966, a replay of the first. “Both were band, basketball, track and very smart.” Thirddaughter (Helen) was born 1969. “Obligatory band (also basketball and track) and if it had a reed, she played it. Made all state honors on all types of clarinet.” “My grandchildren call me doo-doo.” (mjc: Too much information, Dave!) Forth Daughter (Sarah) was born 1985, “a very delightful young lady studying to be a nurse … has a year to go. We lovingly refer to her as our geriatric surprise (obviously not to her face.)” “Agnes has turned out to be one fantastic wife. She loves her children and her family. She is also a programs analyst for the Navy and worked for both Navy and Army Aviation (with Gene Grimsley) … ended up my government service in Intelligence organizations in McLean and Merrifield, VA, and Bethesda, MD. My aerospace and aviation was good experience. After my military service, I found a hobby and avocation. So I’ve had a job, avocation, family and hobby. Guess I will never learn. The hobby was antique cars and the avocation was a paramedic on the rescue squad. I’ve probably rebuilt or helped rebuild about five Model A Fords (two were mine), a Mustang, a Thunderbird and a Camaro. Banging on metal and seeing good results relieves a lot of pressure. The rescue squad was very different. It was busy and high pressure but I stayed with it for about 20 years. I volunteered in York County, Gloucester and Manassas. I eventually ended up with the squad that did the John Wayne Bobbitt thing. (Glad I was not involved because if I had had to meet Herman Whisenant under those conditions in court, he would have had to throw me in jail to stop the laughter.) …haven’t seen many BRs and am not sure I would recognize them if I did. I hope to make it to the reunion so maybe I can get updated on what I have been missing. One last

thought. My rescue squad experience kinda’ shows what I think of people in general. No one, and I mean no one, deserves to die alone or in pain, mental or physical. I have seen the effort of the class to make the terminally ill people feel better with love and help. Keep it up; it will go a long way. See you all in September.” (mjc: Welcome home, Dave!) Bill Cowardin writes to say: “I caught this comment on my e-mail, and then read back a few days to see what my Brother Rats said about the obituary of Jay Johnson. I remember Jay, I guess because he was a friend of Mike Hildebrand, my third class roommate in Room 312. I woke at 3:30 this morning thinking of the comments of our classmates on Jay’s passing. Even though he did not graduate with us, our class was mentioned in his obituary, and we searched our consciousness for memories of him. That says a lot about the bonds which formed in our time at VMI, and which have sustained us, particularly now that we are getting closer to the finish of the race. There is something precious in our memories of each other, and you give forum to that in your faithfulness in acting as a center for our information on each other. Thanks to you and all the men of ’63 who care for each other. I look forward to seeing all of you at reunion. Not much news from me. I’m still lawyering here in Newport News, taking care of my clients and employees as best I can. Connie is teaching fourth grade at St. Andrews School. This may be her last year as full time. I hope to back off and try to travel a bit next year. We are planning a trip to Japan as entourage of a nine-year-old grandson who has become a ‘some-color’ belted, sword-bearing terror in the martial arts. Kids under 12 have never been invited to demonstrate internationally, but this grandson has. That engenders a family reaction among parents and grandparents that if he is going, so are we. Sort of like the tail wagging the dog. I am hoping to coax one more season of competitive golf out of this rapidly aging body. Last summer I placed third in the inaugural 65 and over tournament run by the VSGA. When the winner would not return from FL for the occasion, I got the call to pair with the runner up in competing for the Virginias team against WV in Bristol on the 19th of April. I sort of compare it to Billy Crystal getting the call he waited 50 years for from the Yankees. Hope I can do better than foul one off. I hope we will call to mind at reunion those of us who have fallen asleep. Jay’s obituary for some reason, I guess that it mentions the class and that some of us were not able to call him to mind sparked a reflection of what happened to us in Lexington at the beginning of the ’60s.” (mjc: Beautifully articulated, Bill … are you a lawyer or something?)


CLASS NOTES Artie and Ann Phaup are just back from their travels touring portions of Spain and Portugal. (mjc: Art, why don’t you tell us a little more of what you really did over there, the bull fighting, the wild nights at the bar…?) Fred McWane wrote a great note to Steve Riethmiller upon his retirement which we share here. “Steve, I really appreciate everything you have done for so long for the Institute and I wanted to at least be in attendance on Friday. I didn’t say anything to you afterwards because I was dressed in my ‘horse photography’ clothes and you were busy with the other dignitaries. But you did well! And it reminded me of our old ‘A’ Company days together. I think I saw a gleam in your eye when Alpha Company passed in review, although

Class of 1963: During the April 19, 2008, retirement ceremony at VMI, Gen. Peay ’62, supertendent, awarded Col. Steve Riethmiller the VMI Commendation Medal for Steve’s years of service to the Chemistry Department. Photo by Fred McWane.

knowing you, you probably would not admit it.” Wonder why Mike Smither’s contribution always ends up last? “Betty and I enjoyed especially good skiing conditions this year, with record snowfalls and a prolonged season. We’ve seen nobody recently except for brief encounters with Cindy and Charlie Peckham. At this writing I am anxiously awaiting the 45th Reunion, though have had great conversations with several BRs during the planning process, including many F Company members. I’ve spent lots of interesting time recently watching VMI’s Web cams. [mjc: Read that ‘obsessive,’ Class!] They show real-time action, including parades, athletic practices and two others show construction on post. It’s a great place to be when you’re on the phone. See you in September!”

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That’s all the news from The Holy City for now. Thanks for writing, pray for our troops in harm’s way, our departed, and those on the gim. Reach out to a Brother Rat you haven’t talked with in years … you’ll both be glad you did! Curleyrat


John R. Cavedo

What an exciting time this has been. Thirtyone of us leave tomorrow for France. Details and photos in the next class notes. Just as exciting is the cruise being planned to the Rhine River just before this Christmas. With hardly any notice, the response was overwhelming. Attending will be Tom and Carol Allen, my wife and I, W.J. and Lauranne Kitchen, Tom and Yvonne Myers, Bob and Peggy Neely, Bill Rodier and Karen Walborn, Butch and Joan Nunnally, Harvey and Delores Sargent and Walt and Karen Sykes. There are three other couples (not Brother Rats) who will be joining us; all close friends or family of our group. The price is amazing and the destinations superb. It’s not too late to join up. Just let me know of your interest. Unfortunately, we heard about the passing of another two of our Brother Rats. Dan Carney and Bruce Leve. Dan attended only through Christmas of our Rat year. Below are a few selected e-mails received about Dan. First, from Bill Black. “Dan Carney was my roommate our Rat year – mine, Al Fiorini’s, Doc Forshaw’s, and Tony Munera’s. Room 401. I remember it only too well. Dan went home at Christmas and did not come back. It was somewhat of a surprise – at least to me. We never heard from him again. The most vivid thing is that he from D C. He went to one of the private schools in the area that had a junior ROTC program and was in their drill team. That struck a chord with me because my high school had a junior ROTC program and a drill team, too. Between the two of us, we tutored our roommates in the manual of arms during the first week of our Rat year. That’s not so remarkable, except that I had the palm of my hand split open in the last football practice session the day we matriculated and it took nine stitches to close. I was excused from drill, pretending to be mortally wounded. Somewhere around our third or fourth night, Dan and I were showing off our fancy drill expertise for our roommates benefit, when, out of the blue, for reasons I never understood, the entire “B” Company training cadre burst into the room. Dan and I were in the middle of a complicate Queen Ann salute

presentation when it happened. The rest isn’t worth mentioning. I had the honor of having the attention of all of the Company’s officers and senior NCOs attention for the next hour or so. They made my four roommates leave the room so there were no distractions. It was great fun. Dan was a really interesting guy.” Second e-mail from Mike Murphy: “I went to high school in Washington, DC with Dan and we sort of decided together along with Tom Murtha to apply to VMI. Dan matriculated with us but ‘got sideways’ with a third classman our Rat year and that third made it his mission in life to run Dan out of VMI, and that third got his way: Dan left after Christmas our Rat year. I saw Dan maybe a half dozen times since we graduated but he never sounded bitter about his leaving VMI. Dan was a good, loyal person. He died on Feb. 12, 2008, in Beaufort, SC. He was retired from some capacity with the U.S Treasury. I spoke to his sister, Pat, and she said Dan died of colon cancer after begin diagnosed with it in 2006. Here is his obituary from a local, SC paper: Some Class Agent editing ... “Daniel Francis Carney Jr. ’65, of Beaufort, formerly of Reston, VA, died February 12. Dan is survived by his wife, Maggie O’Sullivan, of Beaufort, five sons, one daughter, seven grandchildren, one sister and one brother. Dan attended the Virginia Military Institute and Assumption College. He served in the U.S. Army as a member of the 1st Air Cavalry during the Vietnam War. He enjoyed a career in public service including the Peace Corps, state director for SC in VISTA and as the director of Human Relations for the Department of the Treasury. He was awarded multiple meritorious service awards at all of his positions. In recent times, he was enjoying his retirement in Beaufort.” Regarding Bruce Leve, Bill Garber, in response to the news of Bruce’s death, wrote that Bruce had been the company XO in F Co our first class year. “As a football player, he wasn’t around much the first semester, but he was always a good supporter and friend. Actually, I got to know him better a couple years later when we were both in the Army in Germany. Bruce was a squadron S2 in the 14th Cav in Fulda. I was on a field exercise and had a chance to visit with him. He gave me the official border briefing, and we proceeded to his quarters and drank and told jokes all night. He introduced me to a drink called a Nicoloshka (sp?). Had me eating coffee grounds on a lemon slice and chasing it with cognac. I think I got to know him better that evening than I did in four years at VMI. He was a good man who will be missed by many.” Fred and Char Segesman were close to Bruce. It was Fred who first advised us of Bruce’s




Class of 1964 3 Photo 1: Sherrel Cavedo, Frank Parker and John Cavedo in Hilton Head, South Carolina, March 2008. Photo 2: Frank Parker (left) and Jack Trossback at Jack’s home in Florida, March 2008. Photo 3: Jan and Paula Rudinoff and Sherrel and John Cavedo gathered at the Rudinoff’s house in Lihue, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai, in March 2008. Photo 4: Andy Tucker, Tom Myers, Callie Tucker and Butch Nunnally gathered at Tucker Ranch in Rockledge, Florida, fall 2007. Photo 5: Bill Black (left) and Bill McVey at the National Museum of the Pacific in March 2008. Photos 6 & 7: Bill Rodier and Karen Walborn (6) and Dan and Sandy DeForrest (7) joined eight other members of the class of 1964 on a Panama Canal Cruise, February to March 2007. Photo 8: Bill and Dina Gaffney in Bronson, Florida, in March 2008.








CLASS NOTES death. It turns out Fred has had a really tough year with cancer. It started out with what appeared minor and ended up much more serious. Fred said that if it hadn’t been for a determined doctor (who refused to believe a couple of negative CAT scans) that he might have died. But, due to the doctor’s drive to find the reason for Fred’s complaints, the cancer was caught in time to be treated with surgery and the usual chemical/radiation. Fred is mending nicely and expects a full recovery. Jake Kleinschuster wrote that he roomed with Bruce Rat year. He described him as a talkative and full of life individual. With the deaths of both Dan and Bruce, several Brother Rats made contributions to VMI in their names. As always, letters of condolence were sent to the spouse or next of kin noting those contributions and reflecting on how close is our kinship. This serves as a reminder to all of us to let our spouse/next of kin know to contact VMI. It’s important to both us and them that we pull together in those terrible moments of pain and loss. On to much more positive news. Hugh Fuller was among our BRs who had been out of contact a long time. He left VMI mid-way through the third class year. He wrote that after taking a year out to grow up a lot, he entered American University in Washington, DC, where he finished in the fall of 1965, just in time to be called for a draft physical. He was classified 3-Y because of an eye injury as a boy. He graduated with a B.A. in American History and gained a wife, Georgia Elaine, whom he married in 1967 just after she received a degree in Spanish. Huge then started a career with Securities and Exchange Commission, where he has been ever since. He’s a financial analyst in the Division of Corporation Finance. He went on to say that “I will reach my 40th anniversary with the Federal Government on May 3, 2008, and am planning to retire shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, Georgia has earned a master’s degree in Linguistics from A.U. and then a Ph.D. in Socio-Linguistics, a cross-disciplinary study of how language is learned, especially how second and third languages are learned, from Georgetown University. We have one son, born in 1973, who graduated from The College of William and Mary and works for Georgetown U. as a computer systems engineer. He is married and they have three children, a boy of 7, a girl of 5, and another boy of 2. Happy Grandparents!! We also adopted a war orphan from El Salvador in 1989 when she was 3. She is now 21 and finally beginning to learn that we are not going to abandon her as her parents did (in her infant’s thinking). The condition that she is finally

2008-Issue 3

beating is called Reactive Attachment Disorder and it can be a very nasty one. But she is doing well, and we keep praying for her. Upon retirement, we are planning to go to Java to visit the family with whom Georgia stayed as an American Field Service Exchange Student for the 1962-63 school years. They risked a lot to have her, as it turned out that they were on a death list at the time of the October 1965 communist coup attempt in large part for hosting her. They did survive largely because Papa Soediarto was a very much-loved man in the city of Semarang in Central Java. In January 1963, Minister of Education Subandrio called all eight American Exchange Students into his office in Jakarta, presented them with hand-written diplomas from their various high schools, and told them that, since they were no longer students, their student visas had been revoked and that they must be out of Indonesia within the week. It turned out that Subandrio was also head of the Indonesian Communist Party and that the American students were doing too good a job of winning friends for the U.S.A. That was why they were kicked out. Of course, he went down with the rest in 1965 when they misjudged the reaction of the Indonesian people to what the Indonesians saw as a terrible betrayal.” Hugh went on to say that he is trying to locate Brother Rats who have an interest in a specific age of history, particularly in living history/re-enacting The Age of Migrations from the late Roman empire through the battle of Hastings. Anyone sharing that interest might contact him directly at fullerh@sec. gov, or call him on his cell at 703/447-4844. Pete Mitchko wrote that he is still working up in the NJ area for the U.S. Treasury as a bank examiner for the Office of Thrift Supervision. He has a daughter who is a freshman at Cal. State in Fresno, so he’s still paying tuition bills. Hopefully she will let him retire one of these days. Lang Palmer, in a phone call, told me he had open-heart surgery the end of January 2008. He had to have an aortic root replacement. He’s just now recovering with a long way to go. He’s semi retired and has a fledgling business with his own recipe for Bar-B-Q sauce. He also wants to get back to riding his motorcycle. He didn’t mention if was a Harley. His father was class of ’34. He has two uncles, one class of ’31 and the other ’39. Phil Tucker wrote, “I’m enjoying second retirement from coaching high school football and teaching community college courses in American history and European civilization, although the latter may be an oxymoron. Had the great pleasure of putting a number of young men in to college football over the years. Never could get anyone to consider VMI. I only retired

last year, and I have many friends in the NV coaching community. I wouldn’t mind being a “bird dog” for VMI in NV and northeastern CA. There are some exceptional kids out here who are a tad too small for D-1 or 1AA, or maybe a step too slow, but could make a contribution at D-2 level. In fact, I know a kid who plays for a bitter rival with a superb coach – he’ll be a junior next year as a QB and an outside backer. What a combination! 6’1” 195 as a soph. Was the division offensive player of the year as a soph. Wants to go in the military. No recruiting interest yet, but that will start next year. He’s a big, tough running QB. I think he wants to go to the AF Academy but has a vision problem. Went to USC’s QB/receiver camp last summer. Not only can he run, I helped them prep for a late round playoff game last November and the kid threw for 346 yards when the other team stopped the run.” Class agent input. Sherrel, my sister and I spent 11 days in Hawaii in late March. While there we had a really nice visit with Jan and Paula Rudinoff. They live on Kauai. Jan is retired, but still acts as a fill-in priest for his and other Episcopal churches as well as being heavily involved with various veterans’ efforts. They were preparing for a month long visit back to the “mainland” and other destinations. Since the two of them are died-in-the-wool Democrats and my sister, wife and I are right wing Conservatives, we had some lively discussions. They have several children, two of them living in the islands. We saw two of their beautiful granddaughters while there. Tom Davis e-mailed that both he and Helen were just back from a two-week trip to NM, where they had a really good time. They focused on southern NM, with such sites as the White Sands National Monument. And they heard lots of Billy the Kid stories, since that part of NM was one of his favorite haunts. Tom asked about posting the dates of our 45th Reunion (for which he is the coordinator). The dates are Sept. 4-5, 2009. Gary Spoden dropped a note in a postcard. He had been in Naples, FL, and had stopped by to see Don and Francis Giles in Lynchburg on his way home to Arlington. Don and Francis were off to the Caribbean the next day where they planned to be with Denny and Edna Vaughan. Also to be with them was Ray Snead ’65. Gary promised more news later. Frank “Mo” Parker reports that he visited with his roommate Jack “Sleepy” Trossbach and golfing buddy William “Bill” Gaffney on a recent auto trip to the East Coast. Sleepy and his wife, Judy, live in a lovely home in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Sleepy is finishing up his second career as a civilian employed at Eglin


CLASS NOTES busy in her role as school board member and AFB in the AMRAM program. Judy, a Fort and me at the Class Agents’ Conference in chairman of the policy committee taking on Walton Beach native, is a Master Teacher April. Hank has always assisted the Class some big challenges in updating policies that with several years before retirement. Their Agents, and this time filled in for Frank were many years old. She really enjoys being passion has been traveling to many foreign Parker who represents the class of ’39. Both involved in the community and is open to places over the years. In anticipation of of their dads were Brother Rats of that class. seeking continued elective office. retirement they have purchased a brand new Let me close these class notes by encouragBob and Cathy will vacation in Maui in condo on the shore of the bay, which has a ing more of you to keep me aprised of your April; then in May, we have rented a house marvelous view of the entire area. comings and goings. I’m happy with an eon the outer banks for a big family get Bill and his wife, Dina, are retired and livmail containing only two or three sentences. together. ing in Bronson, FL, near Dina’s family. Bill However, I can always use more photos. Bob finished by writing, “I am continuhas had a history of major heart problems. He There should be several included in the ing to work as a marketing representative can personally testify as to the effectiveness Alumni Review, but we would enjoy more. (traveling salesman) for TEC Inc. We spend of an implanted pacemaker/deliberator-not In the Spirit, John the summers cutting acres of grass and bush only once but five times! However, he is doMickey Finn hogging the meadows on our property that we ing well in large part due to the V.A. medical someday hope to convert to a campground. system, which seems to finally have his heart We have another project planned for the under control. He gets about and is looking spring and that involves enclosing a large great. deck on the back of our house to convert it Bob Warren let it be known that, “This into a four season’s room. has been the year in which the last of three It is finally May and beautiful in the yard Bill Black and Bill McVey attended the children graduated from high school and again. I sure wish this global warming thing unveiling of a plaque dedicated to VMI headed off to college leaving the nest empty would come back. Tired of these late springs. alumni who fought in WWII. The event took for Cathy and me. David’s graduation was I like the cool evenings, not the cold ones, so place at the National Museum of the Pacific memorable. His brother, his grandparents welcome to May from the Carolinas! in Fredericksburg, TX. The plaque is in the and his uncle all came up from VA. His Charlie Russell, Bob Deaderick, and same location as others from West Point, the mom, who had recently been re-elected to Granny Amos attended the Rotary Club of Citadel, Texas A&M and the Naval Academy. the school board had the honor of presenting Fredericksburg to hear Gen. J.H. Binford 1st Lt. Chris Adams ’03 was instrumental in him with his diploma. David chose Plymouth Peay III ’62 speak. Charlie was also inducted obtaining funding for the plaque. State University which is only about an hour into membership thus cementing his tie to Chuck Sawyer sent a note from Richmond. south of us. After considerable deliberation in his newly adopted hometown. I understand He indicated he would be interested in some choosing a major he appears to have settled they used a hook to shorten Bob’s glowing future mini reunions; especially if someone on adventure education. In addition to other presentation on the Institute and introduction is interested in New Zealand/Australia. He’s standard subjects he will be doing mountain of Binnie. Note to Bob: Get your chin in. To travelled quite a bit lately; Canada, England climbing, backpacking, canoeing, rafting Binnie we will always be Rats and sucking up and Europe. He has a married daughter who and other extreme activities. Because of the will not change that! will soon present Chuck his first grandchild. prolonged winter in NH he will be required What a delight to return home after a brief He doesn’t get e-mail, but would welcome a to extend his academic year for an additional trip to CO and have a voice message from call from any Brother Rat. 804/285-4226. month and a half to take advantage of better Bill Donsbach. Of course I called him back Hank and Elizabeth Cronin joined Sherrel weather in the spring for many of his classes. right away, leaving the unpacking of our One of the things Dave enjoys bags to my beautiful bride, Jane. about Plymouth State is its prox(After 42 years I still love to say imity to three great snowboarding that!) Bill has retired to Murels venues. He has a pass that covers Inlet, a small town just south all three mountains and any day of Myrtle Beach, SC. He and there are no classes he and his his wife are enjoying living in buddies are off to the slopes. This a beautiful golf community and past summer, Dave worked as a being near their daughter. After a counselor for the local recrelong banking career in Pittsburg ation department and during the he realized (as some of us have Christmas break he is instructalso) that the weather south of VA ing snowboarding at the Bretton is indeed very pleasant. We talked Woods ski resort about 10 minutes of many things and agreed to get from our home.” together during the summer. Bob also sent information about Janie and I just love Wilmeach of his chilren and the amazington. We do miss our friends ing credentials they’re racking up. of nearly 34 years in Loudoun He has a lot of pride in daughter County, VA, but are making new Kelly and their son Rob (with ones. We have joined a near by Class of 1964: Don Jones (at far right in back) and board three of Bob’s grandchildren). church and become active in our members of the Concours d’Elegance in June 2007. Bob’s wife, Cathy, is extremely adopted community of Porters




CLASS NOTES Neck. We are always open to visitors, especially Brother Rats! My mother, Miss Helen, is 90 and living in assisted living less than a mile from our home; so, we see her often. I continue to work, now for Harris Corporation, doing business development in support of the U.S. Army. I enjoy working with the Army, and they in turn make me proud of my country. I plan to continue to help support our great country as long as I can contribute and help make a difference. Janie is enjoying retirement, wishes I were home more but is looking forward to a short cruise to Nassau in May and a long cruise in March of 09 with the VMI Alumni Association. If you haven’t, check it out at: and join us and Bill and Carol Ryan as we sail around the south central Caribbean. Speaking of Bill Ryan, he is recovering nicely from back surgery and working with the Army helping train the troops for their upcoming deployment. June will find him performing that service in Ft. Bragg, NC. As I fly around the country in support of Army requirements I will be trying to call/visit those BRs in the area as time permits. The very best way to reach me is by e-mail at or on my cell phone at 703/929-9930. Memory is a wonderful thing and there is nothing wrong with mine except that it sometimes is shorter than I would like so whenever possible send an e-mail and I will get it right! I have chosen to not use my business e-mail as things get lost/ deleted (witness my missing class notes several issues ago). I carry an iPhone so my e-mail is always with me. Janie is raising two young girls – Molly and Muffin – our “Yorkies.” They are litter sisters 6 months old. Molly is now 7 Lbs. and Muffin a robust 3 Lbs. They love visitors so come by and be licked to death! I have been writing these notes in a Starbucks while waiting to meet with my boss, Denny Lewis, West Point class of ’74. He is a great guy and the one responsible for convincing me to continue to serve and support our Army. I know, sounds strange from a Marine. Hooah! is different from Oooah! – Ask a soldier or a Marine – they will be only to happy to explain. At 8 a.m. today Charlie Russell and I will be working together on an effort to support the Army Reserves. Imagine, a former Marine and Air Force officer helping a sister service! Charlie’s job normally finds him in support of our Navy in Dahlgren, VA. Not a lot of news coming to me this spring so I took the opportunity to ramble a little. I hope you did not mind. Please let me know what you are doing and how you are because everyone wants to know. And always remember, ’65!, ’65!, ’65!

2008-Issue 3


Albert Conner

Again sad news must lead the report as BR Ralph Eckert passed away at the end of April in Pompano Beach, FL. Ralph had been suffering for some years with COPD/emphysema complications from a Teflon related accident in 1992. He had been in the real estate business there. His wife, P. J., contacted me (which was much appreciated) via reading the last published Alumni Review and we were able to contact as many BRs as possible via e-mail. We had several nice conversations reminiscing. My own memories of Ralph go back to our going to the Columbian PrepaRatory School in DC in 1961-62 both hoping (along with Bob Broom and Joe Gesker) to get into “a place called VMI.” And, along with Jay Adams, Ty Bland, Mike Burton, Ralph and I were in the same platoon at ROTC camp at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA, in the late-Neolithic period of 1965. All those memories are of a fine guy and great Brother Rats. A number of BRs also responded with some good insights. Ken Petrie wrote: “It was with great sadness that I read your e-mail about Ralph. Although it’s been many years since we last saw each other, we were good friends when we were cadets. Ralph was in Band Company and a great favorite of everyone. I can’t think of anyone … thirds included…who had a bad word to say about him. He was also a terrific musician and was always willing to help others in the wind section. Funny, but I was just thinking about Ralph this past week as I was going to and from GWU Hospital in DC. Ralph grew up in Cheverly, MD, and I guess it was the proximity to that area that kicked off the memories.” Speaking of BR Jay Adams, he was featured here locally in Fredericksburg’s The Free Lance-Star (“For local distiller, HBO series is all in the family,” Business, April 6, 2008). This article, which features a photo of Jay declaring “Jay Adams, president and CEO of [A. Smith] Bowman Distillery is a direct descendant of John and Abigail Adams,” links his maternal side to Massachusetts folk, including the two presidents of the U.S. I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember Jay claiming such Yankees as kin in his VMI days (which the paper alludes to in its discussion). Maybe they confused Jay with Connecticut-Yankee Doug Adams of the same fine class? That’s funny as I also heard from Doug. Their son, David, was a Rat this past year and Doug and Lee Ann enjoyed being VMI parents. Lee Ann has been

struggling with medical issues and they were happy that they could both pick-up David at the end of school in May. I attended the Class Agents’ Conference at VMI in mid-April. I sent a lengthier version of this out as an e-mail; if you want it let me know and I’ll e-mail or mail it to you. If not, count yourself lucky to be getting the shorter version. Here are the highlights from my perspective. By the way, the Institute looks great and the buildings are steadily rising. The academic building renovations are coming to fruition. The sports facilities are spectacular and the stuff that impacts on cadets is everywhere improved. The most significant thing I can report to you is that, during our meeting with him, Gen. Peay ’62 – who after all is in the midst of the greatest building, rebuilding and renovation program in VMI history – referred us to his letter to all alumni expressing his honest consternation over the fact that VMI’s famously loyal alumni were only giving at the 36 percent level annually. While this might look good among America’s other colleges and universities, it obviously troubles him and should be considered below standard for us. After I got over my unfulfilled urge to stand on my chair and cheer aloud about the class of 1966, which has exceeded the norms by so much for so long, I recovered in time to put my “all alumni” hat back on. It is best seen as a continuing challenge for us to keep giving as much as we can and, most importantly from my standpoint, to give in as great numbers (meaning percentages) as we have in the past and try to do better. Now, what is our money “buying.” First, we’re helping defray a seven percent reduction in state funding this FY08-08 budget “with more to come.” Revenue sources now break down as 24 percent state-provided; 37 percent alumni-and friendsprovided; and 39 percent tuition/fees/salesprovided. Certainly the cadets aren’t part of the problem as tuition and fees will go to $17,000 a year for VA cadets (55-58 percent) and $33,898 for non-VA cadets. The corps strength is now 1,389, headed toward 1,500 when the Barracks, etc. are finished. This is somewhat mindnumbing; but, we should also recall that 75-80 percent of cadets are getting financial assistance – many from VMI Foundation sources. If this prompts you to want to establish a scholarship, the current costs are: $25,000 for an unrestricted, endowed scholarship; and $50,000 for a restricted, endowed scholarship. I can tell you that, given the experience of the past 12 years, it was the best investment I ever made. You should meet the terrific kids who have been helped a little by the Cheryl Lithgow Conner Scholarship. They are impressive in academics, athletics, military and early maturity. Unlike a


CLASS NOTES lot of places, vast amounts of VMI’s money are actually going to improve academic instruction and things that impact on the cadets. The Undergraduate Research Program is increasingly spectacular with our cadets being selected for major presentations in a national forum. And the Foundation is a good steward for all of this – they’re spending only 11 cents/dollar on fundraising, far below most schools. A few other things may be of interest to you, the new Leadership and Ethics Center is well underway as a site for leadership conferences training, and related speakers. The Institute is reemphasizing (my term) math and science academics – most cadets are in widely expanded liberal arts majors. (Nobody asked me, but I think math and sciences are wonderful – if taken in moderation.) Commissioning Rates are steadily climbing upward to a current 51 percent (25 percent in 1998 and increased every year since). The regimental staff now has nine cadet captains. The New Cadet Training now consists of Ratline from August to January and practical military training from February to May (weapons, rifle and pistol qualification; first aid, navigation and survival training; and fourth class FTX – survival exercise). On the humorous side, I really enjoyed the give and take at the evening meal with the commandant as speaker. He was ticking off things which had changed in Barracks-related discipline and regulations and the general difficulty in corralling cadets these days. Well, with wine flowing through hardened arteries, the conversation crossed the “Old Corps” time-warp and melt-down was threatened. I just had to point out that my study of VMI’s early classes (1842-1873) revealed the same concerns, and I definitely had to quote the Board of Visitors member who spoke to us in 1964: “Gentlemen, the Old Corps isn’t what it used to be … and it never was!” I’ve heard from a number of BRs who have sent in new e-mail addresses in the eternal struggle to keep the communications lines open. Thanks to Phil Valenti, Bill Gore, X. Parsons, Bob Watson, Carl Rhodes, Bobby Cooper, Woody Sadler, Paul Wagner, Carl Rhodes, Guthrie Smith and perhaps others who’ve now been merged into the 13 address books on AOL which comprise our class. Thanks also to Pat Kearney, who sent in his new residence address. Pat is happily now residing next door to his daughter and grandchildren. These additions compensate for the 11 or so BRs who’ve dropped from sight into the ether abyss and I can no longer contact. Currently AWOL from e-mail lists are Butch Herbaugh, Glenn Baumgartner,


Herb Green, Nick Mager, Nick Hoskot, Bob Poland (who we also share with ’67) and Nick Nicodemus. I can only add: “BR, phone home!” Let me put it this way: when you switch e-mail providers, as some of you seem to do weekly, I can’t contact you any more! Please think of me, when you change and let me know. Phil Valenti also mentioned that he was glad to see in earlier notes that Bernie Halloran had given us some info about Scotty Dotson. Phil added, “I knew that he had flown F-100s but did not know that his was a very hazardous duty until I read the book, Bury Us Upside Down by Rick Newman and Don Shepperd, published in 2006. It is a good account of the “Misty” operation. Scott is mentioned in the book. He and Lee Gourley were lost on August 9, 1969 and the Misty program was terminated on May 12, 1970.” The class recently heard – through the good offices of Mike Curley ’63 -- from the association of Misty FACs that they were in need of family contact information for Scotty as they were planning a commemoration. Before I leave Phil’s notes, he added, “Betty and I are doing well. Our son, Chris, his wife and son were recently here for a short visit. He is lives in Richmond but it looks like he will be relocating, as his company is moving to St. Louis. Thank you so much for the information (on Marty Delaney’s passing, but also appropriate about Ralph)...we are now at that stage of life where instead of getting together to celebrate weddings or births, we meeting to celebrate life. It brings home how important things like family and friends are in our lives. A life well-lived is certainly a strong legacy.” Ian Ackroyd-Kelly sent a newsy update. He’s going to retire this fall, having again been summoned from the classroom to be acting dean at East Stroudsburg U. and he is looking forward to a new career, described as only A-K could: “I am in my final months here at the university with retirement anticipated just prior to the start of the fall term (being in education all these years, I have come to think of years beginning in September rather than January) … My next career? Stable hand, or as I prefer to caption it: Equine Fecal Transfer Associate Specializing in Hydraulic Replenishment. If you cannot have a great job, you can have a great job title! Two years ago we purchased a horse farm in upstate NY that is now being run by my daughter, and I shall trade the academic regalia for a pair of Carharts.” Well, best wishes, BR, for a well-deserved retirement. BR Dave Pinkus writes: “Carol and I are still living at Cedar Creek Lake a small lake

(34,000 acres) by TX standards and love the lake life. I still work and probably will as long as I can as I can’t see myself playing more than two – three rounds of golf a week.” I can only say, “Yipee!” and have a great retirement, whenever you get to it. Also heard from Bill Edmunds who provided an interesting twist on 21st Century life. While he was writing his e-mail to me, he noted: “I was just interrupted by an IM conversation with my son in Afghanistan. He (William Wilson Edmunds III) was VMI ’97, went Air Force, and is now on the ground with the Army in the mountains near Bagram. Interesting duty.” Instant messaging from the combat zone – a little different than writing letters marked “Free” and hoping to mail them in a week or so and then waiting a week for them to get where they were going. Not to forget, waiting a week for them to be answered. And we certainly wish Bill’s son and the other younger alumni in the combat zone the very best of luck Sic semper tyrannis. Woody Sadler told me that “Pat Chang-lo just under went a triple by-pass in San Francisco. He is going to recover in CA before returning to China. He is in good spirits and his wife and son are with him.” We all wish Pat a solid recovery process and add only that he should take it easy and use this opportunity to wind down a bit. Had a nice phone conversation with Jack Cooper. He and his wife have a nice vacation home at Wintergreen where they enjoy camping and observing the wild life – by which I assume he means the critters as opposed to the neighbors. Jane and I spent part of our honeymoon there, thanks to Stafford neighbors Bill and Cessie Howell, so I can support Jack’s enthusiasm. BR Pete Farley, when last heard of, is still a vital link in the Wintergreen resort, so you can all join in the fun by contacting him. I don’t believe I mentioned before (it’s getting harder to search through the large number of old class notes submissions), but there is a VMI class of ’66 Marines brick at the National Marine Corps Museum where my son Owen works. Owen recently took BRs Reyn Young and Al Carr on a private tour and they all had a great time while I was getting chemo. If any of the other BRs are interested in touring the museum, let me know and I’ll try to link them up with my inside contact. Received a wonderful e-mail from Dick Daugherity. Dick mentioned his wife, Kathy, had been struggling through cancer treatments since last September (just because I do that doesn’t mean you all have to do it). We’ll keep Kathy in our prayers as well (see be-


CLASS NOTES low). He adds that he had “completely retired” three years ago and “I have done nothing other than keep up with four grandchildren and my black lab (Ben), volunteer, travel, play golf and work on projects around the house. It has been wonderful and I highly recommend it for those not quite there yet.” Once the medical treatments are over, they are planning to “get back to the important things in life – helping others and sharing our time with family and friends. I hope to get back to the Institute sometime this summer to see, first hand, the new developments.” Actually, Dick, it sounds like you’ve got plenty on your plate right now. Finally, Bobby Cooper wrote an e-mail raising a couple of issues I want to share with you all. He wrote: “...thanks for the additional information on Marty Delaney’s death. I also appreciated the update on your situation and was glad to hear that things are moving in the right direction. You are and have been in my prayers. I would very much welcome being part of a BR prayer chain as I know how powerful it could be. My situation with my urinary bladder is the same ... still not emptying apparently due to severe nerve damage, so I catheterize, which has become pretty-much routine. I am very thankful that it is something that I can live with and that otherwise, I’m fairly healthy. Hope to hear from you regarding the prayer chain ... a great idea! Take care.” I had mentioned in an e-mail that I wished we had a class prayer chain in order to pray for those BRs who are going through medical and other life struggles. Several BRs wrote supporting the idea. So, here’s the plan. Let me know via e-mail (address above) that you’d like to participate in the prayer chain. I’ll set up a special address book. If anyone (in or out of the prayer chain) has a prayer request, just e-mail me and I’ll send to the prayer chain group. If you have been in something like this, I don’t need to tell what a positive experience it is. If you haven’t, I can tell you how wonderful it is to know that people are praying for you. I can also tell you how good it feels to pray for someone else. Please take some time to contact a Brother Rat that you haven’t talked to in longer than you’d like. I’ve heard and read so many “I wish I had” over the past few years that I feel obligated to say that. In this job I’ve learned that the Brother Rat bonds run deeper and stronger in our class than I would have ever imagined. At the same time, there’s still an element of procrastination and hesitation which creeps in. Don’t miss an opportunity to catch-up and, if I can be of the slightest help providing contact information, please don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance.

2008-Issue 3


Jan Abernathy

I start these notes with the last message received from Wayne McDermott. He has retired a second time and has taken on his dream job (his words). He will join the Disney World team in a couple of weeks as a truck driver on the ride through the Wild Kingdom in Orlando. He says he cannot wear any VMI logo items but his ’67 ring should be visible to all. Is there anyone else who has retired to take on a “Dream Job?” Wayne Marshall has his. It is “fish to live and live to fish.” He and Dot spent the night with us on the way to three months in FL (boat and all) and stayed with Tom and Lucy Gritzmacher in Lexington on the way back to NH. There seems to be a lot of BR visiting going on. Doug and Carole Ann Mills are visiting family in the east and will visit with Bob and Peggy Flynn sometime in late July. The Mills and the Flynns are planning to spend a weekend in north GA with the Abernathys. Chuck Krebs regularly checks in with info on naval happenings. A recent one included a photo of the new U.S.S. New York made partially from steel from the twin towers. Bob Klink sat with John Gupton at the VMI-Coastal Carolina game in early February. VMI overcame a 17 point deficit at the half to win the game. Bob said he and John are waiting for a work stoppage memo from Tubby Wilkinson in order to plan retirement. J.I. Orrison started his annual baseball commentary back in February. Amanda Rose Orrison graduated from high schoo. She is enrolled at Hofstra for the fall semester. Bob Poland has too much time on his hands as he sends me several e-mail “funnies” every month. His political humor forwards are great. If you are not easily offended, ask him to include you in his e-mails. Mike Hall was in Atlanta recently. He was presenting some of his miniature model work AND judging for the Atlanta Military Modelers Association. Jim Fromm sends news from Tucson. He is still working at the University of Arizona as the facilities manager for the libraries. They are just finishing a construction project that involved about 125,000 square feet of remodel and addition. Polly is selling real estate and doing very well. Lane Kelly checked in looking for an address for Tom Tomlinson. Bob Poland (now a corporate pilot for a group that supports the NASA Space Shuttle program) recently visited with Tom and Pam Tomlinson while on business in the DC area. Pat Conley says he and Marie have combined households (each sold their own

houses) and now are in their dream house. Mel Wright writes: “I will be retiring from clinical practice the end of April after 31 years of pediatrics. Everyone wants to know what I will do. Travel, yes. Probably do some volunteer work locally. I would like to audit a class or two at the local college. Some how I think I missed some things at VMI. Maybe I will even learn to spell without Spell-Check! Lynn gets a little anxious when I talk about going to the Richard Petty Driving School so I can take some laps around Charlotte.” A note card from Don Brown was a photo of his personal rebuilt/refurbed plane – the type and size I cannot recall as I type this. He flies for Falwell Industries out of Lynchburg. He said he would be glad to give any BR a ride over the mountains to see VMI from the air. George Elmore is enjoying retirement and has taken a computer class and it has covered most of the basics; Windows xp, word, power point and excel. He was the oldest student by about 40 years and said the rest of the class looked and acted like they had had been born with a keyboard in their hands.” George repeated his interest in finding something else to do if “it is something I want to do.” He also said he wanted to be part of the planning committee for our next reunion. Tom Coughenour spent the night with the Abernathys in March. We attended a performance at the Fox theatre where the Coldstream Guards band and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards pipe band were featured. We did have a good time and toasted ’67 later in the evening as we exchanged stories of our time on Post. More from Wayne Marshall: “During our Rat year, we were restricted in what we could have in the room for electrically powered equipment. Do you remember the heavy, four legged green tables that were in all of the rooms in Barracks? There was always a story floating around about one of our Brother Rats who built the circuits of a transistor radio set on his favorite channel into one of the table legs, with a small hole drilled into the table top over the leg. Inserting a common pin into the hole completed the circuit and the radio played. Removing the pin shut it off. We always were an enterprising group of cadets. I don’t know if this transistor radio is an urban legend, or part of our class history, but after all of these years, there are still a bunch of unanswered questions: During our Rat year, before we were recognized as having a class, someone painted the large numerals 67 on the walls of the 4th floor GC room and we all sucked a lot of crap for that. Who did this? Was it a third or one of us? Over a period of years, the 350 lb cannon ball outside of Jackson arch was painted green for St. Paddy’s day, orange for Halloween and like a Christmas tree


CLASS NOTES ornament for Christmas. Does this still happen? [Class Agent’s note: Yes, it does and it is also painted for Ring Figure to match the new rings. It is now welded big time into concrete to keep Cadets from taking it to the fourth stoop and rolling it into the courtyard grass.] On one memorable Christmas, the statue of Stonewall Jackson got a red coat with white trim and a laundry bag full of gifts in a parody of Santa Claus. Any admissions? Finally, on one Valentine’s Day, the sentinel box in the old courtyard was painted with little red hearts. I seem to remember that this one got caught, but I can’t remember who it was. Who will step forward? I hope that these memories bring a smile to you, as they do me in remembering them. Wayne” Terry and Beth Moore still have their house in Germantown, TN, on the market with hopes of a move soon to Daphne, AL. They have the new house partially furnished. Meanwhile they were planning a trip to Disney as soon as their 2 ½-year-old grandson was released from a full body cast after breaking his leg. Terry was hoping to get in some deep sea fishing on the FL trip. Chuck Shorter sent me his thoughts on the various bills before various legislatures that would allow ROTC Cadets on campuses to carry weapons. There is some irony here as I recall, as does Chuck, that we carried weapons (ok, no firing pins) and ROTC cadets still do carry them. I also recall there were some among us when we were on Post that definitely should not have been allowed to have a loaded weapon. Not from ’67 of course. I expect a full obituary for John Foret is in the Taps section of this issue. However, I received this from Mary: “John passed away on March 12, 2008, of prostate cancer. He was diagnosed a year ago with stage four cancer. He fought a good fight and never lost hope but the cancer was very aggressive and spread to his bones and lymph system. He died very peacefully in our home. Thank you so very much for keeping in touch. Fondly, Mary.” From Jan: “When we were Rats, John, Neil Schlussel, Chip Chafey and I were four scared trombonists. Frank Frosch ’04, (an actual musician – so was Neil) went out of his way to keep us grounded. John was a very private person. I spoke with him by phone infrequently over the years but had not seen him since graduation. As thirds we cut off our Lance Corporal stripes together with a bayonet after it became clear a mistake had obviously been made. I remember him as having a continuous slight grin that made me think he knew something the rest of us did not.” Paul Bouis adds: “John was my roommate along with Dan Jordan our first class year and you said it all about both of them being very private individuals. Living


in PA I was determined to show up at John’s door one day but just never got around to it. My loss.” Jan’s note: “Many wrote to express your feelings about John. His loss belongs to all of us. A check was sent in John’s name to the ’67 Scholarship fund from the class of ’67 checking account.” Neil Schlussel, his brother Kent ’70, and sisterin-law Judy have been cruising again, this time visiting western Mexican ports. They met James Burket ’02, who is the chief security officer on the Vision of the Seas. Each year I am asked to attend an awards luncheon on Post where those who support various scholarships get to meet the recipients of those funds. Tom Gritzmacher represented ’67 this year. The young man who benefited from the ’67 fund this year was Mr. Karl Karlson ’08, a psych major. Our next semester’s recipient, an incoming Rat, is a young man whose father recently died. Bob Klink wrote a letter of recommendation for him, and he was an early acceptance applicant. I received a request from Ted Mervosh for contact information for Gretchen Fox. He and Carol were glad to receive the information I recently printed on Gretchen. They used to visit her and Sonny in Boston. John Bennett said he spent his birthday with two old friends, Mr. Sirloin and Jack Daniels. My mention of a possible colonoscopy in my future brought no end of comments. John May sent my favorite which included a video on how to enjoy the process. Dennis Telzrow suggested there was some benefit to being “knocked out.” Jake DeSteiguer gets the last word: “On the colonoscopy end (no pun) I put it off until age 58. Mine was normal, and I got a clean bill of health for 10 years. The anxiety of not knowing is not worth it. I understand the prep has gotten a lot simpler, no gallon of plastic polypropylene anymore. Plus you get a nice nap while things play out. To all BRs, don’t be a wimp! It makes for interesting conversations. They even give you a Polaroid of your perfect colon.” Wow, sign me up in a hurry!! Continuing on the health subjects at the encouragement of Bob Hess: His organizations’ Web site is http: // Bob is now a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Digital Future at the Annenberg School, University of Southern California. You will find Bob’s thoughts on the Web site above, as well as links to actual medical sites. “I’m now a patient advocate for the American Society of Clinical Oncologists and the American Urological Association. Our goal is simple: reduce prostate cancer deaths by convincing men to detect it while it still is treatable, which means beginning testing well before the age of 50 – the current standard medical guidance. Bob” Bob has created an annual prostate cancer

fund/awareness raiser on the Skyline Drive in VA. The inaugural event will be in memory of John Foret and will be held Aug. 8-10, 2008.  Full details at Bob also suggested we publish the PSA numbers for any who would volunteer: Paul Bouis is 0.3, mine is 0.6, Andy Anderson says his remains at 0.0 13 years after his treatment, Chuck Krebs is 0.4. Jake DeSteiguer is 2.48. Tom Coughenour is 0.7. Richard Stanard: “Wow, I thought my PSA was good at and Paul put me to shame. Anyway, just had it checked again yesterday for about the 15th time over the last decade including the requisite ‘finger wave’ as the MD called it. My bonus last month for my second go-round (switch topics here to his colonoscopy) was the doctor was a great looking black-haired young lady by the name of Sultana who had a nice sense of humor. She talked with me before the procedure and asked me if I had any questions so I asked her if was her first patient. After that it was lights out … expect this to be nothing but a ‘piece of cake’ as Ted Mervosh would say.” Jo Stafford and Bill Teveri sent information on tributes for Memorial Day and the Vietnam Virtual Wall. Wayne Marshall has the Vietnam Traveling Wall, 3/5ths size, coming to Freedom, NH, where he will deliver the speech remembering our service men and women. He has scheduled a VMI bagpiper, Nate Wahlgren ’04, to play “Amazing Grace” as part of the tribute. You will recall Nate as the piper on the Alumni Review cover three years ago when he marched with the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery where he played for his fallen Brother Rat Luke Wullenwaber ’04. Jim Goodgion: “I finally got around to seeing Nicholas Cage’s recent film, ‘National Treasure: Book of Secrets.’ As you may know, it’s a sequel to Cage’s earlier Indy Jones-style ‘National Treasure.’ The film’s ‘bad guy,’ played by Ed Harris, is described by another character as a Civil War buff with a degree in history from Virginia Military Institute, where he graduated in 1978. To relieve any fear that VMI produces evil-doers, Ed’s character is heroic at the end and apologizes for any wrongs. Since Ed’s character traces his lineage back to a confederate general, I suppose it was a coin toss for the scriptwriter between VMI and the Citadel.” There were several e-mail exchanges on the subject of state military cadet colleges and their participation in the civil war. Ray Irvine and I recommend reading The Young Lions written by a VMI grad back in the 1980s. He chronicles several instances of various corps’ participation in organized fighting. Not as spectacular as New Market but there are some parallels. Ray asked if I knew of any general


CLASS NOTES officers of note who fought for the South that were Citadel men. Does anyone want to answer his question? Ray Gosney asked for Linda Rountree’s e-mail after a tornado hit AK. I gave it to him along with a report of “all is well” with Linda as I had spoken to her. A late note from Terry Moore says the house is sold and they are off to AL. Bob Klink sent in the following: “Eight of us got together this weekend at my place for a golf outing. Joining me were John Holt, Tom Gillette, Dave Neel, Ted Mervosh, Tubby Wilkinson, Lane Kelly and John Goode. John, Lane, Tubby and myself walked 18 holes. The other four rode, and we won the bet. We haven’t been paid yet as there is a scoring dispute under review. Afterwards we all came back to my house, sat out on the deck, cooked steaks, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. As always John Goode emceed the evening. You can just imagine. We did come to realize that out of the eight of us Goode is the only one who was invited to attend late night RDC meetings!” Tom Rhodes: “Suzy and I had a great time at the reunion. It was great to see Sid Thomas and Bob Ayers and their wives. Sid and Kathy have now moved to Lexington. Who would have guessed?! Some Brother Rats who seemed to have disliked the Institute the most are drawn back to that beautiful part of the country. I did not know about the countryside of VA being on confinement most of my Cadetship and having only two dates my entire time at VMI. I called Mr. and Mrs. Watt Ellett on their 65th wedding anniversary and Hill Ellett himself was visiting his folks. He has retired from flying for Norfolk Southern after 30 years and 22,000 hours of flight time. He lives in Virginia Beach and has two grown children. He promised to be at the next reunion. It is getting to be that time of year when we start competing in our aerobatic flying competitions again. The first contest is in LA in April. Real Estate in TX is doing well. Three of our four sons have joined my office here in Dallas. Hello to all our Brother Rats, Tom” There is more news than I can give full space to with the new page restrictions. But Dick Stanard has a new powerboat, Mike Ingelido supervised the National Lotus Car Club in Aspen last year, Bob and Carol Green spent time skiing at their second home in Vail, Fred and Judy Smith had a great vacation in HI and watched lava flowing on the big island, the Van Notes made another of their marathon trips – this time to Sardinia, Austria, France and Germany, Carter Melton retired from the Rockingham Memorial Hospital (Carter served for years on the VMI Board of Visitors) and Stan Waskiewicz is back to work after cancer surgery removed one of his kidneys. In all fair-

2008-Issue 3

ness more info and news comes in than can be put into the Alumni Review. I e-mail around 180 in the class with regular information. Please accept this request to send me your best e-mail address. Especially if it has changed. I will close this set of notes with a message from Chuck Krebs that is not about sailing or the sea or ships. Well part of the message anyway. It is a lesson on how to get your toilet really clean. You must own a cat for this to work – or borrow one from your neighbor. “First, lift both lids and put in a ¼ cup of pet shampoo. Pick up your pet and soothe him as you quietly walk into the bathroom. Then, quickly …” Use your imagination from here on. And don’t be a stranger. It is always great to hear from you and your wives.

Tom Hickey


Ron Gallagher

In mid-March, my standing Google search for all things VMI provided a link to the Staunton Web site where it was reported that John Hart (Staunton, VA) is running for the Staunton School Board. John was quoted, “It’s just time for me to contribute. I’ve been a public employee; now it’s time to do a little civic duty outside of that.” His philosophy on education borrows from the image of a threelegged stool (an image with which VMI alumni are likely familiar), “One leg’s academics, one leg’s athletics and the third leg’s civic duty.” In late reporting, though, it appears that John was edged out for the last spot on the board in the early-May elections. Dion Johnson (Humble, TX) responded to the reunion Big Toot e-mail with, “I’m in Guam …” I’m sure the weather was better there than it was in MD in early March. Harvey Sadow (Paducah, KY), formerly of Fort Lauderdale, FL, sent a note in midMarch reporting, “I am now the director of the Paducah School of Art, in Paducah, KY.” He wanted to know about nearby Brother Rats. As best I can tell, the closest was Doug Schnabel (Nunnelly, TN) at 148 miles. John Warburton (Middletown, VA) sent an updated e-mail address with the noted, “I have decided to retire from ENSCO.” Bert Butterfield (Mechanicsville, VA) sent his regrets for the reunion but made some amends by providing an update. He wrote, “Linda and I were presented with a grandchild,

Ava Brayden Carter, last May 27, 2007. She is a real doll. We spend quite a bit of time with her (and we are not complaining!). It’s great to watch her grow. I retired Jan. 1, 2008. All my friends ask how I like retirement? I reply I have no idea, my wife, Linda, has kept me so busy I have no idea what retirement is supposed to be. We are remolding a rental home we have owned for 35 years and a mountain cabin we purchased a little over a year and half ago. Deadlines, deadlines! I like the coffee mug I received at my retirement party – ‘What Deadline?’ We try to keep up with Jack Ferguson (Richmond, VA) and Leah, and we do talk periodically but we should spend more time together. Jack has been involved with my family from the beginning and is like an uncle to my daughters.” Rev Jones (Prosper, TX) sent along pictures of him and a very gray bearded John Van Landingham (Eugene, OR) (I too know something about gray beards). They are shown together in Rev’s Red White and Yellow VMI golf cart. What’s especially touching is that they are both wearing their VMI ’68 fleeces from our 35th Reunion, Rev in bright red, and John in bright yellow. I imagine there’s not another cart and fleece combination in TX that can compare to it. Jim Polley (Stafford, VA) added to the list of folks pulling out of the fast lane of life when he reported that he is retiring from his job at NDAA. Heard from David Wagner (Englewood, CO), our USAFA graduate Brother Rat. He said his roommates were Tony Aveta (Ashburn, VA), Doug Schnabel (Nunnelly, TN), and Bill Davis (High Point, NC). He also hung around with Mike Sartori (San Antonio, TX), Bill Flavin (Carlisle Barracks, PA), and Benny Hicks (Sterling, VA) (our USNA graduate). When he wrote, he was hoping to make it to the reunion – the first time back at VMI in 40 years – but a potential conflict was developing that ended up keeping him from attending. Paul Hebert (Nairobi, Kenya) was also considering coming to the reunion when he wrote me in mid-February. He wrote, “I have just transferred to Nairobi, where I am supporting the U.N. and partners response to the current crisis here. Things are getting a little better, but still quite tense in the country-side. Plans are to retire from the U.N. at the end of May, and then after a few months holiday, I will be moving into some other endeavors, likely with a continued humanitarian focus.” Gerald Jones (Hingham, MA) responded to a Happy Birthday e-mail with, “All is pretty good in Hingham, MA, land, kids are working (which is good in today’s economy), playing hard, trying to do good and well. My wife, Linda, has fully retired from her many good years of Parenting Education with a Cambridge, MA,


Class of 1968: Row 1: Steve Powers, Phil Lanier, Bill Boyer, Joe Petitta, Jack Bagby, Paul Simmons, Bob Sagnette, Paul Hebert, Gil Piddington, Tom Hickey, Hal Hostetler, Chips McCallum, Krita Kritakara, Buck Miller, Rick Eades, Mike Gompf, Mike Michelson and Leigh Edmunds. Row 2: Dixon McElwee, David Law, John Lane, Hal Switzer, Joe LeVine, Frank Pinizzotto, J.B. Timmons, Dave Clark, John Hart, Clay Thompson and Steve Vaughan. Row 3: R.S. Wise, Bill Welsh, Steve Hubbard, Skip Roberts, Bill Cloyd, Paul Quillen, Don Lynch, Bob Yurachek, Pete Farmer, Creigh Kelley, Val Sledd, Tayo Leduc, Rob Steele, Billy “Mike” Seargeant, John Van Landingham and Roddy Delk. Row 4: Jack Ferguson, Howard Chapman, Mike Smythers, Rick Siegel, Kit Tyler, Andrew Bradley, Tom Ricketts, Richard Wallach, Herb Brasington, Bill Cobb, Kevin Henry, Mike Sartori, John Warwick and Bob McDowell. Row 5: Berry Wright, Dean Kershaw, Jim Fleming, Marvin Thews, Wes Padgett, Dion Johnson, Mac Smith, Bryan Barton, Kerr Kump, Jim Burns, Dick Wood, J. Reeves, John Royster and Reverdy Jones. Row 6: Jim Polley, Bill Bragg, John Lester, Bob Westbrook and Skip Anders. Row 7: Walton Jeffress, Bill Millan, John Crim, Guy Drewry, Ned Harris, Ron Gallagher, Larry Ryan, Joe Smith, Barry Archer, Pete Goldman, Kent Underwood, Dave Gehr, John Warburton, Bob Waldron, Jim Henry, Bogart Holland, John Kemper, Billy Davis, David Avery and Bruce McGlothlin. Row 8: Jay Slaughter, John Griffin, Herb Laine, Bill Waldo, Roy Dornsife, Terry Bowers, Fred Rencsok, Steve Wilson, Buzz Sprinkle, Gordon VanHoose, Howard Donald, Les Martin, Tom Jeffrey, Tom Arensdorf and M.L. (Mel) Buchanan. Row 9: Chandler Williams, Guy Wilson, Lew Yeouze, Bill Todd, W. John Andrews and Jim Haney.


40th Reunion — April 25-26, 2008

Class of 1968



CLASS NOTES based non-profit, called Families First. She is now devoting more time to ‘private’ parenting coaching. I have slowed down the commercial side of my life, not because I can afford to, it’s just that I feel compelled to give back to those more needy than I; so, I am doing lots of non-profit work (on boards and free consulting) and just doing what needs to be done – and I am happy doing it. Goodness knows our government has lost sight of what’s really important.” In early April, Clay Thompson (Salisbury, MD) wrote, “Imagine my surprise when my brother, Forest C. Thompson Jr. ’55 called and informed me of the picture on page 20 of the latest Alumni Review [2008-Issue 1]. On the far right, third row up (looks like he is sitting and has a ‘weed’ in his left hand) is my father, Forest C. Thompson. I remember that picture hanging in my parent’s den when I was in high school and at VMI. After dad and mom died (1971 and 1975) the picture seemed to disappear. It’s nice to have a copy of it again.” In mid-April, Ken Pennington (Amelia Island, FL) wrote, “As I mentioned in past conversations, it is tough for me to make these events. However, I would love to be playing golf with Howard Chapman (Charleston, SC), Dixon McElwee (Boca Raton, FL) and John Kemper (Richmond, VA). It would be great to see my 1st class roommates, Rick Siegel (Bethesda, MD) and Paul Hebert. So, please so hello to all, and wish everyone a great reunion. In January, Barb and I sold our Atlanta home and moved to Amelia Island, FL. We would welcome a visit from anyone heading in this direction.” In late April, Ron Gallagher provided an update on his son, “Ira 2009 is just being a typical cadet. What his first class year holds for him is still unknown. It was a better picture before the Number 3 and loss of his rank this spring! VMI teaches the toughest lessons, early.” In early-May, Rick Brothers (Steamboat Springs, CO) sent along the following update, “The future Keydet has landed (grandson Alden Riddick Hunsinger was born May 8, 2008!!!!)! Sorry I couldn’t make the 40th, but had too many irons in the fire. Have sold the practice, sold the building and look forward to June 30, the last day of full time doctoring for this Urologist. It has been 36 years of practicing medicine and now it is time to do something else!! Don’t know what I’ll do when I grow up!!! Maybe I’ll have time to make a VMI football game!” Sorry about these notes being so short this time but reunion planning took a lot of time. Back in the saddle in mid-May 2008.

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Walter Judd

Greetings, members and friends of the great VMI class of 1969. It is springtime in eastern VA and tornado activity in the area has been grabbing all the headlines. After not seeing anything worse than a hurricane or two for many years, this area was suddenly the victim of many tornado touchdowns. Suffolk and other southside communities had damage mirroring what we were used to seeing in the stormy midwest U.S. Let us hope this activity stays away for many more years from now. News of the class this period includes a report from Corporate Pilot Paul Curs flying over the Middle East and a Virginia Legislature commendation to Charlie Bryan on the announcement of his retirement from the Virginia Historical Society. In late March, Drew Brantley sent out the call and many BRs responded for the VMI baseball game against ODU in Norfolk on April 2nd. We first gathered at Fellini’s Restaurant in Ghent and then moved over to the ball diamond six or eight blocks away on the ODU campus. Drew and Carol Brantley, T.O. Palmer (with son Richie and brother TIP), Tom and Nancy Catlett, Bob and Lush Heely, Bob Waldo, WIP Priest, Gene Beale, Skinny Baker and Dick Hamlet ’70 joined me for pizza and beer. Later at the game most of us joined John Sebrell, Gary Mackey and John Ishon on the cool, brisk evening. VMI scored early and won the battle that evening. News that night was about the coming Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta. Bob and Lush Heely were planning for their Monday visit while Tommy and Nancy Catlett expected to be there for the Friday play. All reported later they had fun walking the hallowed grounds and seeing the best male players in the world. In fact we may get to see some “green jackets” later on these BRs. Not “that” green jacket but one looking very similar. I get to report I saw the best lady golfers play in Williamsburg at Kingsmill on Mothers’ Day. Someone named Annika won that day. From Larry Lenz came the following good news in early May: “Everything is on schedule for publishing the book in the fall. [From a note last summer: “The working title is: Power and Policy: America’s First Steps to Superpower 1889-1922.”] Also early results for the new chemo: my marker came down from 5,800 to 3,300 ... normal is 38, but it is a good start.” We look forward to reading the next book from a member of our learned class.

L.R. and Barbara Williams, Preston and Janice Painter, Jimmy and Beth Long, and Paul Maini ’66 played golf on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27, in the Lexington area. L.R. reported, “Barbara and L.R. attended Friday’s baseball game with Ron Wall and wife Betsy but waited as the game was delayed 2.5 hours due to rain. Saturday’s game was rained out and, as the double header was played on Sunday, we missed as we were golfing. We had two good meals at Tuscany and the Sheridan Livery Inn. [Please ask me about restaurants in Lexington. I now have several good ones to recommend.] We had no problem finding rooms [in spite of the three or four class reunions going on at the same time] and noted the new addition coming along fine on the Barracks. Can’t believe they tore down Lejeune Hall after only 40 years of use. We saw the nice new science building. See all in spring ’09 if not sooner.” From retired airline pilot and now newly contracted corporate pilot Paul Curs: “I got [to new job location] on the 16th of April. Flew in from Frankfurt over the ‘heel’ of Italy, Adriatic Sea, Greece, Egypt, the Red Sea and into Jeddah. It was a big adjustment when I got here. Passengers started changing into all white ‘wraps’ (men only) as Mecca is SE of here (they must drive … no airport there) and they come in to do their one mandatory pilgrimage. Customs were slow and plodding, and I was in a solid state of jet lag. As we drove in the compound where many westerners live and we have our offices, we drove around concrete barriers and by rolls of concertina wire and net-covered machine gun posts. I must admit it took me back to my arrival in Vietnam 37 years ago … like Country Joe McDonald used to say back in the ’60s … it was a ‘Mind (Blower) of all time.’ Seven pools in this big compound, weight room, restaurant, grocery, etc. Nice setup. My first flight was to Cairo. Saw the Pyramids out the left window on base leg. Saw the Sinai where so much spiritual history took place for the world’s religions. Could ‘see’ Moses leading the people. Saw the Suez Canal. My first left seat leg (we take turns in the left seat and do all flying from the left seat) was the flight back to Jeddah from Cairo. I had never flown this particular ‘BBJ’ model (it has different flight instrumentation from CAL) and used some different procedures. I got my first flight and first IOE with the top owner on board that leg. Landed at night back at Jeddah … first real 737-700 landing since 9/07. Got lucky and greased it on. Breathed a sigh of relief. Good thing I had my eyes closed. Next day we went to Dubai, Riyadh and back to Jeddah. Saw the ‘Palm Islands’ and the ‘World Islands’ off the coast of Dubai … as mentioned on the Discov-


CLASS NOTES ery Channel or Modern Marvels TV shows. Took some of the Royal Family back from Riyadh to Jeddah. Next, we fly to Dumman on the east coast then Riyadh for an overnight. Nice to be busy. I am enjoying this … it’s a great end of career ‘adventure’ I can enjoy before I stop flying. Kathy is very supportive which makes this possible. ‘Captain Paul of Jeddah.’” Some days it is just plain fun to be a VMI alum. I headed in March to Huntsville for a business meeting and passed through the Charlotte airport for a few minutes on the way. While there in my VMI jacket, I was approached by a young man who asked “what year?” Joseph Campisano ’83 introduced himself and off we went on a quick five-minute conversation. Joe introduced me to his fiancée and gave me a quick summary of his life since the “I.” Later we exchanged e-mails and had a good laugh at the chance meeting. Doug Marks is a lucky man. His daughters are delivering grandbabies, and he is welcoming his growing family with much glee. He is “Pop” and his wife, Janet, is “Tibi.” Those are certainly lucky kids to have such with-it grandparents. Doug also helps to administer his family trust funds and contributes to VMI as one of their chosen charities. As Doug explains it, “The Camp family has had long-term and close ties to VMI. Several sons of Paul D. Camp attended, as did a number of cousins, grandchildren, and … a great-grandson! Various members of the Camp family set up charitable trusts upon their deaths. The members of the various boards decide each year how the funds from those trusts will be distributed. VMI is always included in those distributions.” Thanks, Pop, for the consideration each year. (Don’t you just love to hear what grandkids call their grandparents? There is certainly some creativity in selecting those names!) Serious announcement coming now: I am pleased to announce that Bob Heely has recently been elected second vice president of the VMI Alumni Association. Bob has worked through the years in many jobs with the Association and was recognized for his good effort as chairman of the New Cadet Recruiting team. He also served as our class agent for several years. It will be great having one of our own in the alumni leadership. Bob will serve two-year terms as second and first vice president before assuming the president’s responsibilities. Bob Slay wrote at the end of April: “Doing well: was on Discovery channel three times, acting as myself, in ‘Mystery Diagnosis.’ Am now chief of staff at Marina Hospital, as well as chief of the emergency room (for past 10 years). Working about 2-3 days/week. Playing tennis


in our backyard about 4 times/week, with my son, Tyner, 26, who graduated with a Business Degree from USC and is about to launch his own healthcare business with some other partners and investors locally. My daughter, Cararayne, lives in Newport Beach, CA, and works as an assistant Fashion Designer, for the Surfing Co. ‘O’Neill,’ doing beach clothes, etc. She loves it. She graduated with a B.S. from USC, in public policy and planning. Has nothing to do with fashion, oh well. My wife, Gayne, cardiac anesthesiologist, still works at Kaiser, Los Angeles. We’re still married after 33 years. Went by pretty fast! Thankfully, we have nothing to complain about health wise. Plan to attend our VMI reunion September 2009, for sure! Best to everyone! [Bob, dates for this next reunion are in April 09.]” In January on the VMI Alumni Association Web site, Courtney Apperson updated his profile and noted several items were out of date. He wrote “Subsequent to Betty’s death in January 2006, I remarried. On Oct. 7, 2006, I married Pam Hansel. We have moved in November 2007 to Lake Murray just outside of Lexington, SC.” Thanks, Courtney, for the update. The only way we get news like that is from you, so keep on updating! As reported in my last notes Charlie Bryan entertained a bunch of us at the Virginia Historical Society’s Richmond facility on January 12 and gave us an excellent tour of the Lee – Grant exhibit and the rare books vault at the Museum. While there for the tour, many of us heard from Bomber Hudson that Charlie had been honored by the Virginia Legislature for his years of service to the Commonwealth. You may read that resolution and a complementary bio of Charlie at the following Web site: www.vahistorical. org/about_cfb.htm. Charlie’s commendation concludes with the following words: RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend and congratulate Dr. Charles F. Bryan Jr., for his outstanding service to the Virginia Historical Society and the citizens of the Commonwealth; and, be it RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare copies of this resolution for presentation to Charles F. Bryan Jr., and to the Virginia Historical Society as an expression of the General Assembly’s gratitude for his many contributions to the preservation of Virginia’s rich and diverse history and best wishes for a long and fulfilling retirement. Congratulations from your BRs, Charlie, on a long and successful career in the service to our Commonwealth and the heritage of our nation. Don Mercer may have retired from his insurance business in northern VA but he has remained very active in fishing and writing activi-

ties. I got a really neat card with photos of him and his “girls” (wife Noreen and three grown daughters) fishing and catching fish. Seems one of his daughters knew what he liked and had the cards printed up. He is the round man with the big beard! Don was invited to participate in the Sixth Triennial Vietnam Symposium at the Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center in March, and he prepared a disturbing monograph with the title The Buy Out and Sell Out of Our POWs and MIAs. In succinct, damning prose Don weaves his research into the fate of many unreleased POWs from the War in Southeast Asia. His conclusions are disturbing but not startling as he shows the politics of that era in a much more personal cast. Check with Don for a copy of the paper. Time for an update on our 40th Reunion next April. April 24-25, 2009 are the dates for our next gathering in Lexington. David Bush of Wytheville, VA, will lead our planning effort again this time with lots of help from other BRs far and near. If you want to volunteer to assist Dave in some way, contact him at the following: He could also use some support in touting the benefits of VMI sports on some sports talk chat pages. For those planning well ahead, we will again host golf and tennis activities on Friday and activities on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning. If you want to come early, look for BRs on Thursday evening checking out the night life of Lexington. We will share the spring reunion weekend with the classes of ’59, ’79 and ’89 with the 50th Reunion class getting top billing. It is interesting to me that the VMI Foundation starts counting our gifts and donations from the 40th Reunion on as contributing to the 50th Reunion Fund. That allows our class a 10 year period to amass a large number for our “big check” to be presented at our 50th Reunion parade. I know it appears really early to talk about such stuff but it will take us that long time to prepare for the big event. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit the Post in recent days, there are many changes coming to the look of the place as it prepares for the 2039 bicentennial celebrations. Lejeune Hall disappeared to the wrecking ball a couple of years ago and the new Third Barracks began taking shape. At first it was just a deep hole cut from all the blue rock between the New Barracks and the Commandant’s house. Now one can see the building completed at the back and nearly finished in front. A new arch has appeared and a very different look to the Barracks has erupted across the parade ground. The plan is for the Third Barracks (nice original name, right?) to be completed this summer and used in the fall of ’08. When that new


CLASS NOTES area is open, the original and new Barracks will then undergo restoration activities. Somewhere around 2010 or 2011, the Corps population will be increased to close to 1,500 students all living in new or updated Barracks rooms. Other significant changes are not so easy to recognize. Most of the old classroom buildings have been restored within and updated. J.M. Hall has undergone restoration with air conditioning added. The VMI Museum now occupies several floors below the main J.M. Hall auditorium. The mess hall has been expanded and updated and, while the same from all external looks, is much more modern and functional inside. New parking lots have sprung up in various places around Post, including one next to Crozet Hall above route 11. The football stadium has a new look and fine scoreboard. Next to the stadium there have been major renovations done to the ROTC buildings with a new connector building added between Kilbourne Hall and the old stables. Building and Grounds sheds and buildings are now completely off-Post in nearby areas. Two other updates are worthy of mention: the baseball stadium complex and the new Leadership Center. Bunny Paulette and Art Bushey teamed up to provide a new locker room complex for baseball and soccer players. That facility adds to the state-of-the-art baseball stadium down in the valley in what is called North Post. New seating, lights (for night games) and a modern scoreboard all make the baseball stadium a great place to visit. The Leadership Center is immediately behind the Smith Hall administration building and Moody Hall. This complex is expected to be ready by our reunion weekend and will be an excellent venue for all the conferences, dinners and reunion events that VMI hosts each year. Bottom line to all above: VMI is updating its infrastructure but maintaining its general appearance. Today’s cadets will still have the “privilege” of living in the Barracks with all the military traditions but will also have much more modern tools and facilities to help them further their education. Please consider updating your e-mail address and residence information at the VMI Alumni Association’s Net Partners site. We hope to do a lot of passing of info and collecting of fees for the reunion on the Web site. Also note the pictures that change at the home page of the site. Ex-Keydet Club President Weas Chapman smiles at you in one. Out of the blue trivia question: how many of you still have your VMI laundry bag and for what do you use it? Evidently Jim Long and Preston Painter still use theirs regularly. Do you remember your laundry number? It is time for all this trivia to come out and get on the tip

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of your tongue in preparation for the 40th! In the Spirit, Walt


Bill O’Connor

Hi to all from rainy wet Richmond, VA. The past month must have set some type of record because all it has done in Richmond is rain. Hope everybody had a good spring and are gearing up for the good old summer time activities. This past quarter I have heard from a lot of BRs (for which I am eternally grateful) so lets’ get started. Spoke with Lee Moon in February when he accompanied the University of Alabama – Birmingham basketball team to Richmond to play VCU in the opening round of the NIT. Lee is the number two man in the athletic director’s office and travels quite a bit with their athletic teams. Lee’s oldest son, Brian, is moving to Richmond this summer to do his residency at MCV and Paul Dickinson will be helping him find a house. Lee said he’d like to get back to Lexington this fall for a game but it is difficult in his position. He wishes all BRs well and is looking forward to the 40th. Lenny McClure and his wife Brenda were in town earlier this year to attend the funeral of his dad, William McClure Jr. ’43. Mr. McClure was a very popular, long time devoted VMI Alumnus who lived a very interesting life. He will be missed by many. Attending the visitation were Tom and Jill Cooke, Ralph Costen and Paula and I. Lenny and Brenda live in FL where Lenny is a business consultant. His job requires extensive travel both domestically and international so he is constantly on the go. He is eyeing retirement but is not quite ready to pull the trigger. As is Lee, Lenny is looking forward to our next reunion. Kent Schlussel wrote that he and Judy had attended the wedding of Mike Ferrari’s daughter in Puerto Ricco last July (2007). Kent and Mike roomed together all four years at VMI and have stayed in touch with periodic get-togethers. Also last July, Kent and Judy welcomed their third grandchild into the world, Miss Hannah Abigail Warschaw. First thing Kent did was to get her a provisional appointment to the Institute, class of 2028. Kent and Judy continue to live in Charlottesville where Kent continues to teach calculus part-time at Piedmont Virginia Community College in addition to his full-time job. The Schlussels got together with Bob Copty, Bill Huffman, Dewey George, Tom Zarges and wives for the annual Institute Society Dinner and as always, a good time was

had by all. Thanks Kent for the update. Fellow Charlottesville resident, Ben Dick writes that he recently ran into Jud Collier in the Albemarle County Circuit Court. Both Ben and Jud continue to practice law and as Ben says, have become “old” lawyers. Ben recently fell at home and broke his ankle in two places. He is now in rehab mode. Ben’s son Tyler will be entering UVa this fall and his daughter has become a professional singer. We wish you well, Ben, and a speedy recovery. Got a short note from Dick Cheatham who continues to stay very busy. As you will recall from the previous Alumni Review, Dick had a very active and interesting role in the Jamestown celebration with his living history company and now will be speaking on John Tesh’s cruise later this summer. Dick met Tesh in 1995 when he was host of “Entertainment Tonight” and was doing a piece on Disney’s film “Pocahontas.” He set Dick up to debate Mel Gibson and Russel Means on the merits of the film. Don’t know how the debate turned out but my money is on Dick regarding history. “Tricky” Dick Knight sent the following note from Nashville: “Our daughter, Elizabeth, returned from Rome, Italy, three years ago after a four-year ‘vacation’ and graduated May 12 from Emory Law School (Atlanta). She has accepted a position with a Dallas law firm. At long last, Linda and I are free of tuition payments. Our older daughter graduated from Vanderbilt Law School six years ago, and practices securities law in Nashville. Since selling the healthcare company I co-founded five years ago, I have spent quite a bit of time working on genealogy. I was recently elected the Tennessee Society governor of two organizations: The Jamestowne Society and The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America. I also joined the Society of the Cincinnati this year. I enjoy genealogy very much. Linda and I spent a delightful evening with Cameron and Mary Seay, who were in Nashville this spring.” In addition to all of Dick activities, I think he also finds time to teach on a part time basis. Congrats from finally being free of those seemingly never ending tuition payments, and congrats to the Knight family for having the first that I know of, all lawyer family. Another Nashvillian, John McLemore checked in saying that recently when he returned to his office from lunch that he had a status slip on his desk from none other than Ed Trinkle. Seems Ed was in town on Norfolk and Southern business and stopped by Johns’ office to take him to lunch. Unfortunately, he missed him by a couple of minutes. As the saying goes – there is no such thing as a free lunch. Last month, I received a request from Kathryn



Class of 1970: Kent Schlussel reported that the class of 1970 was well represented at The Institute Society’s annual function last November (2007) with Dewey George, Bill Huffman, Kent Schlussel, Bob Copty, Tom Zarges and wives. The cocktails were great, the food superb and the old stories priceless. Wise of the Alumni Office inquiring about the status of Jim R. Nelson. Apparently some Institute correspondence came back from Jim’s last known address as “Addressee Deceased.” Kathryn wanted to know if I could confirm it. I got in touch with a couple of Jim’s former roommates, Ash Ormes and Chad Lash, to see if they had any info and they sent the following updates: From Ash: “I’m afraid I have not seen Jim ‘J.R.’ Nelson for some time. Jim left VMI our second class year, as I recall, and joined the Air Force. He specialized in the computer field and the last time I saw him was here in northern VA in the early 1990s. He was working for one of the technology companies doing contract work for the government. I lost track of him again after that. I heard that he had been at either the 20th or 25th reunion (I was overseas both times and I didn’t make it myself). Jim J.L. Nelson was also in E Company along with Jim J.R. Nelson, which was a source of constant confusion our Rat year. Upperclassmen were inevitably mixing them up and they inadvertently got one another in trouble from time to time. J.L. was at the last reunion, but, as your note said, Bill, I don’t think he had kept up with J.R. either. It’s very sad to think that Jim may have passed away without any of us knowing it. In addition to Chad, Jim, and me; Rick Balderson and Don Wills roomed in 448 our Rat year. Don is in Australia, and I hear from him from time to time, and Rick was at our last reunion. Rick is the only other person I can think of who might know something about Jim. Chad, it would be great to get together sometime. Our sons have grown up and left home, so Ran-Hui and I moved closer in and we now live between


Falls Church and Tysons Corner off route 7. I’ve been in civil service since retiring from the Army in 2000, working, in turn, for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the POW/ MIA shop, for DIA, and currently, for the Director of National Intelligence.” From Chad: “Gosh, Bill. No, I have not spoken with Jim since graduation, probably. I have seen Ash a couple of times, but actually my wife, Caryn Wagner, has seen more of him in her intelligence community career (along with Kent Schlussel). I am a bit of a lazy BR … sigh. The alums I see most often are Buck Harrison ’73 and my father-in-law, Bob Wagner ’57. I hope you can consolidate some news about Jim. And thank you for telling me about Bob Tannen. No, I did not know. I really liked that guy. I am strangely back in northern VA teaching senior English at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax. I love it … exactly where I belong. I say strangely because, until I met Caryn, my intent was to move back to southern AZ, where I was once stationed, and teach there following my military retirement. But love made me want to support Caryn’s aspirations, so here I am, living in Arlington and teaching in the huge Fairfax system. It works for me! I saw some notes about Waite Rawls in the last Review and we, too, have been treated to his excellent back-room tour of the Museum of the Confederacy. Being such an excellent raconteur, he is spellbinding as he shows of the treasures not on general display, such as Jefferson Davis’s son’s VMI dress uniform – which he wore before getting boned out! All of our BRs need to avail the opportunity before the collection gets scattered in coming years. Ash, Caryn and

I have spoken frequently about having you, Joe Jenkins and Al Johnson over for an evening of wine and lies! I’ll get off my dead a$$ and arrange it. Thank you for the note, Bill. Please keep me informed on any information you gather. Perhaps we can tip a brew or two soon ourselves.” Thanks guys for responding and sending in an update – it was great hearing from you. Also Chad, if you guys do get together with Joe Jenkins and Al Johnson, drop me a line and send some pictures. I received a nice surprise note from Phil Jornlin who I have not heard from for years. Phil has got to be the closest thing we have to James Bond in our class. He has had an extraordinary career since graduation. The following is the note he sent: “Long overdue greetings! Have enjoyed your class notes over the last editions. Thought I’d bring you up to date on my activities I’m presently beginning a second year as the Senior Security Advisor to the Special Security Service of Liberia. This is a Department of State, Anti-Terrorism Assistance initiative. I’m the senior advisor of a 5-man team embedded with the SSS. This is primarily to professionalize the Security Service protecting the Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She is the first elected woman president in Africa. Will do this for a second year, and after that we’ll see. I retired from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (U.S. State Department) in 1999. Had nine overseas postings (China, Philippines, Hungary, Tanzania, Philippines again, London, Hanoi and Beirut) and lots of TDY visits to innumerable places. In ’99, I worked on contract with the State Department’s Overseas Buildings


CLASS NOTES Office until early 2007, as site security manager for Embassy construction projects in Uganda, Tunisia, Angola and Rome. As a side note in Monrovia, upon arriving last year, I went to one of the local banks at the recommendation of the embassy, to set up a company account. I meet the chief operating officer of the International Bank, and am struck by his ring, which was definitely familiar. Turned out it was Tom Jeffrey ’68. Not only were we in the same VMI Company F, but also in the same platoon. Small world … Tom has been there 12-14 years and been through some of the worst of times in the Liberian Civil War. Hope you are doing well. Keep up the good work. Best regards.” Thanks Phil, it was good to hear from you. Be sure to make the 40th Reunion, I want to hear some of your stories. Tom Clingerman checked in from IA with some good news. He had a medical scare with an initial prognosis from his doctor that he had prostate cancer. After a long series of tests and a couple of months of sweating bullets he got a clean bill of health. GREAT NEWS. He also reported that his Marine son returned safely from his tour in Iraq and will be getting out of the Corps are heading off to college. Cling – please give Mike our best and thank him for his service. Tom has decided that he will retire from Rockwell Collins at 62 but between then and now will celebrate his 32nd anniversary, watch his younger son graduate from college, celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts, continue flying his Warrior airplane and attend our 40th Reunion. Bruce ‘Artie” Bates reported in from Memphis where he continues to enjoy the retired life style and running with the younger crowd. Bruce sent some pictures of the Gore Gore Girls band, and I envy him. He had a good response from the VMI Track and Field scrapbook he put together last year and has heard from Bob Grossman, Will Huntley, Ben Dick and Tony Rolfe. Tony retired in Maine and seems to be loving life. He apparently personally built is retirement home and Bruce said from the picture he sent him that it was ‘very impressive.’” Thanks, Bruce, for the info and don’t “wear yourself out!!” Cameron Seay checked in from Charlottesville where he continues to be a college professor. As such he was invited to attend a conference in Nashville at Vanderbilt University where he hooked up with Dick and Linda Knight for dinner. After catching up with one another and telling the usual VMI stories, Dick told Cameron the story when he met the then president elect, Ronald Reagan. Seems Dick was at a luncheon where Reagan spoke and after the lunch Dick had the opportunity to

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shake his hand and tell him that he was a VMI graduate and enjoyed Reagan’s performance in “Brother Rat.” He said that Reagan simply responded: “But you are a real Brother Rat.” Reagan was always a class act. Cameron said that recently he was attending church and after the service was over opened his VMI umbrella on the way to the parking lot when a young man came up and asked him what class he was in and when he responded with class of ’70, the young man said that was my dad’s class. Turns out the young man, Gifford Taylor, is Taz Taylors’ son. Small world. Jerry Nickelsburg writes from the left coast that he continues to live in Malibu doing research and teaching at UCLA while doing some private consulting. Jerry recently brought a ranch out in the mountains of CO and is building a new retirement home on the property which he hopes to finish this summer. He has a son who will be graduating from law school and business school this spring and who is a former Marine. Jerry also has three grandchildren. One of his hobbies is SCUBA diving ship wrecks, and last year, he took a dive trip to Guadalcanal where he explored the warships which were sunk in the slot. He said that it is an amazing feeling to see these ships that are frozen in time since their sinking in 1942. Hopefully Jerry will send us some pictures of the wrecks. Thanks, Jerry, for the update. “Generals born and generals bred!!”

Class of 1970: Jerry Nickelsburg preparing to dive on the suken warship, the U.S.S. Aaron Ward, off the waters of Guadalcanal. Carl Strock writes from Houston that he joined Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals after his retirement from the Army last June. Carl is project director on a large liquid natural gas terminal in LA and now is learning what it is like dealing on the other side of the table. Carl

and Julie brought an old house in Essex County, VA, that they hope to restore and move into one day. Peel Dillard who lives in nearby Tappahannock, surveyed the property for the Strocks. Carl said that Kelly Sutton stopped by to say hello while checking his duck hunting grounds which are close by. Julie is staying busy with a number of activities among them serving on the Board of the Boys Home where she works with Donnie Wheatley. Thanks, Carl. Col. Bob Spore was recently recognized by Gen. Peay ’62 with the VMI Achievement Medal in recognition of the excellent manner in which he preformed his main duties as director of human resources at VMI. Bob has been with VMI for a number of years and has done a super job. Well done Bob. Gary Weishaar, Herb Braun and Roger Hart ’71 have announced that they are in the process of merging their engineering company – R. Stuart Royer and Associates into Malcolm Pirnie, a 1,700 man company headquartered in White Plains, NY. Gary, Herb and Roger have owned R. Stuart Royer & Associates for a number of years and feel that the time is right and the prospective merger partner is the right fit. All three will stay with the company for various periods of time. Good job guys – you done good!!!!!!! Gary and Lynn Weishaar are trying to spend a little more time at their lake house in Clarksville. Their youngest son, Nick, a third at the Institute, continues to tarnish Gary academic legacy at VMI. Nick (who is a super young man) recently received the MG Richard C. Coupland 1915 award for the VMI third classman with the highest academic average in the electrical engineering department. Good job, Nick. Gary’s oldest son, Kurt, is also a VMI CE and works for R. Stuart Royer. The Weishaars see Chuck and Penny Wills fairly often and Gary reports that Chuck has donned the nursing uniform tending to Penny as she recuperates from some back problems. Speaking of donning nursing duds – get ready for this – Ralph Costen has become Nurse Nelly to Marsha. Ralph and Marsha spent a good portion of the spring traveling to various resorts culminating with a trip to Switzerland. While in Switzerland, Marsha stepped off a curb wrong and severely broke her ankle. After a medical ordeal she made it back home and was operated on and is now in a 9-12 week rehab. Enter Nurse Nelly. Ralph is now the woman of the house. You had to see it to believe it. He found out where the kitchen was, learned to butter bread, and now wears non ironed skivvies. Ralph’s main duty however is to take care of Marsha and by all accounts he is doing a pretty good job. The old adage “pay back is hell” may be true.


CLASS NOTES Jimmy Mawyer recently turned Review has increased its staff, and 60 and as a reward for making they have dedicated themselves to 60, his family gave him a trip to publishing notes in a much more Wednesday practice round at the timely fashion than we have been Masters. Jim and son Todd went used to in the past. The personnel down to Augusta and enjoyed the there have really been great to work experience. As Jimmy said, every with, and I have much appreciated golfer should experience Augusta their cooperation and assistance. With the exception of the ones who – it truly is unique. Jim recently have been class agent, it is hard for spoke with Will Huntley who is you I’m sure to know what a job it teaching history in Florence, SC. is to get a lot of info from you guys. Will reported that he had visited But my job is to keep on trying and with Larry Guthrie in Salem not to “never say die.” to long ago and had a great visit. Class of 1970: While on a cruise visiting western Mexican ports, Judy and Kent Schlussel met James Burket Here are the things that I’ve heard Larry left VMI after our third class ’02 when coming back on board after a port stop. Since recently, not necessarily in chronoyear and now manages a Kroger Kent was traveling with his brother, Neil Schlussel logical order. grocery store in Salem. During the ’67, a picture was in order. James Burket is the chief Jim and Jane Westbrook travwinter, Jimmy and Ralph Costen security officer on board the Vision of the Seas cruise eled out West for a tour of several refereed Upward Basketball games ship. From left: Neil Schlussel ’67, James Burket ’02 tourist attractions and were guests at their church and it must have and Kent Schlussel. Photo by Judy Schlussel. at Jerry Acuff’s beautiful home in been a sight to behold – two old Scottsdale, AZ. They swapped and men trying to run with first and deavored to do. Fund raising is an integral part enhanced old war stories. According to Jim, second graders. Both Jim and Ralph were of keeping VMI what it is. Our class has always they have both become legends in their own popping extra strength Tylenols like they were stepped up, but lets’ try to step it up another minds. M&Ms. At our age the saying better living notch. The dollar amount is not as important I heard from John Caulfield who is still workthrough chemistry is truly an axiom. as the act of giving. If you have been a donor ing with Northrop Grumman. He told me that Neil Steverson reports that he and Dee are please continue to do so and increase it if you while he still enjoys working that he is looking enjoying their first grand child immensely. They can. If you are not presently a donor, please forward to the time when he can pursue other are planning on taking son, daughter-in-law and think about making a contribution. Again, the interests. He and Debby have been doing and grandchild to Myrtle Beach for a vacation in dollar amount is not as important as just giving. planning a lot of travel including FL, CO and June. Neil runs into Herb Braun at the gym on That’s it – please do what you can. CA. The children have been working in some a frequent basis. Neil figures that Herb is more Thanks for all the news, you all have a woninteresting, as well as dangerous, jobs for the sculpted than he is because Herb is eating all the derful summer, and be careful. Take care and government while Debby has been active with fish he catches. Neil says that if ice cream swam may God bless our country. church as well as teaching English as a second in the sea then he would look the same. OUCH language to the many people in their area who Paula and I just returned from a trip to Ireland James Kelly need her assistance. where we took our kids to meet their Irish Speed Patterson has been working to help cousins. My grandfather was an immigrant, and he left us lots of family in Ireland. It was truly a fun trip. I strongly recommend that if you want a very satisfying experience, trace your roots Best wishes to everyone as we have gotten and tract down your relatives. I must say that through the winter season and look forward to as class agent I read about all the grandchildren the summer ahead. These notes cover the period we have in our class, and I am happy to say that from February ’08 until May ’08. Things here Paula and I will soon be grandparents for the in Pulaski have started to improve, but I have first time. Our daughter Elizabeth is expecting still been a little hesitant to begin too much on August 18, and we can’t wait. flower gardening. Last year we got so burned Now for the business. In April I attended with cold weather that was so late in the season. the annual Class Agents’ Conference for an Since I have been retired, gardening and golf update on the Institute and it was an eye opener. have been two of my favorite pastimes, and The post has never looked better; the capital it takes some weather at least in the 70s to do improvements are truly amazing. The new those things. I hope that each of you have at Barracks is scheduled to be completed during least gotten a start on the things you enjoy most the summer. The academic buildings have been during the warmer seasons. completely updated and renovated and are first Thanks to e-mail, I have been blessed to hear class facilities. The academics continue to rise, from several of you in the last few months. It as do the athletics. Guys, we attended a unique Class of 1971: Roland Tiso (left) is so helpful to get messages from you and it college and the older we become the more and Jim Kelly got together for lunch enables me to get a lot more information to we can see it and appreciate it. Our class has and a chat on March 8, 2008. include in our class notes. Plus the Alumni always been a leader in everything we have en-




CLASS NOTES businesses to be in compliance with Global Fiduciary Standards (no clue what that means). He travels a lot to Richmond and DC and sees Scott Miller and Ron Lewis on occasion. He has also been to visit John Zirkle several times. John is now in an assisted living facility in Elkton. He can be contacted there at: Journey’s Crossing, 102 North Stewart Avenue, Elkton, VA, 22827. Speed also let me know that his wife, Edie, has been chosen to be the executive director of the Virginia Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs. They serve seventy-two thousand young people each year with an annual budget of $12 million. Speed also indicated that he would like to once again consider the idea of a booklet that would feature the lives of our classmates over the years … perhaps as a reunion project. Let me or Speed hear from you about this possibility. I know that many reunion classes publish such a book. Sam Kirby wrote to let me know that the “Richmond Club” gathered recently for a lunch outing. Attending were John (Wahoo) Heisler, Jim Westbrook, Burt Tuxford, Tom Martenstein , George Robbins and Glenn Cox. In addition to the usual banter, someone recalled how Cox had attended our 5th Reunion on permit and in a cadet uniform. Of course after a Navy stint he returned to VMI to graduate in ’77 and followed that with a distinguished Navy career.

As most of us know, Ted Wachtmeister has been struggling with a very rare disease known as Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM). Treatment has been unsuccessful so far, owing largely to an almost total lack of understanding of the disease. Ted is going this summer to New Delhi, India and will undergo treatment involving embryonic stem cells. His doctor is one of the only people in the medical profession to be doing such research. I know that all of ’71 is going to be pulling for Ted and hoping for some positive results. After working for Sturm, Ruger & Company for 28 years, Steve Sanetti has decided it was time for a change, As of May 1, 2008, Steve will assume the duties as president and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation in Newtown, CT, an organization with 4,000 members dedicated to the promotion and protection of all the shooting sports. We wish you the best, Steve. However, due to the popularity of Sporting Clays in this area and at our last reunion, we are wondering if you can still bring along a dozen or so shotguns? Please contact Metzger and Littleton with the latest news. They are still determined to win the coveted coon skin cap. Bill Ginder was up to DC recently and stopped by Lexington for a visit with Jim and Donna Adams. Bill told me he was sorry

Class of 1971: Standing, from left, were Kelly family memebers Kristen, Rick, Kathryn, Jim, Mike ’73, sister Judy Tewksbury, Steve ’77, Jeff Tewksbury, Pat (Mike’s wife) and Cindy (Steve’s wife). Seated: Parents Bill and Edith Kelly.

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about the recent increase in gasoline prices but related that it just makes for great things in the Houston economy. He also sent me a photo of his newest grandchild. Bill says he will become the seventh generation of the family to attend VMI. I can only assume that a Provisional Appointment has already been arranged. From Tampa Bay, FL, I got an e-mail from Lew Rea. He and Angie are planning a trip to Germany to visit old friends, family and “romantic haunts.” They are also going on a church mission trip to Nicaragua in July. Lew also said that he and Angie had 9.3 (?) grandchildren and wondered if any of us could top that. Does that include 2.5 dogs as well? Rich Stegemerten was spotted by Lanny Gault at a Kroger store in Richmond. Lanny says Rich looks great and is still teaching and coaching. Lanny also reported that the close knit group of room 139 already had plans for getting together at the VMI – Charleston game in Charlotte this coming fall. The second annual Don Brown Invitational (DBI) was held in April at Don’s palatial estate in North Myrtle Beach, SC. Buddy Bryan and Jim Gearhart were invited to participate. Buddy tells me that the scores are still being tallied and that no winner has yet been declared. I am prepared to submit score cards to see if I can qualify for future events. Heck, I would even caddy for a few days at the beach. I have played enough with Gearhart that he can certify that I have a little work to do before making the cut at the DBI. Al Davis wrote from Raleigh, NC. Sadly his dad recently past away, but Al suspects that he is now happily duck hunting in the hereafter. Al’s youngest son is planning to be married in Costa Rica this November and his oldest son is moving to Charlottesville this summer. Kathryn and I were in Lexington in mid April for the annual Class Agents’ Conference. The agents got quite an earful of information about several aspects of VMI. Much of this information will come to each of you in some form or another, but I thought it might be helpful to provide you with at least a capsule summary. Budget wise, VMI has suffered the same kinds of losses that any of us in the stock market will surely understand. Plus the funding from the state appears to have been reduced by about a million dollars. The Institute plans to overcome these shortfalls by reducing some budgets and reallocating resources in order to keep the Vision 2039 projects on schedule. Our very own Jim Adams did a superb job of detailing the op-


CLASS NOTES World Report. This magazine, like it or not, is very influential to many people who are making a decision about where to send their children to college. I will be the first to thank and salute all of you who have been faithful in contributing to Annual Giving over the years. But consider Class of 1971: The Virginia Museum of the Horse the fact ‘that even (VMH) and the Virginia Thoroughbred Association though we have (VTA) held the 38th Anniversary Foaling Celebration been leaders among early. Those in attendance were, from left, Glenn Petty our peer groups, we (executive director of the VTA), Heidi Stirrup, (trustee, have much more that VMH) and Dabney Oakley (chair, VMH Board). we do. We had 82 donors last year. So where are the other erations of the VMI Foundation. He answered couple of hundred? If VMI meant something some very tough questions and never gave in your life and you believe that the VMI anything less than the impression that he is experience can benefit others then please on top of our money situation. We are lucky consider a donation this coming year. I get to have Jim there. no prize, the class gets no prize but wouldn’t Updating the construction projects, we it be nice if ’71 truly became the leader in learned that the renovations and updates to percentage of donations by any single class? I the classrooms and labs at Nichols Engineerknow it is not always easy and often forgotten ing Hall and Mallory Hall are complete. Also to send in a check. For that reason, Kathryn Jackson Memorial Hall (including the muand I have set up an automatic fund transfer seum), the baseball stadium and the football each month. We don’t have the means to give field are completed. Three major projects still great sums of money but we love and support underway include the expansion of Barracks VMI and I urge you to at least consider this and Kilbourne Hall as well as the construcoption. tion of the Center of Leadership and Ethics. Gentlemen, I know I may have gotten on The VMI Foundation continues to be a a little bit of a soapbox, and for that, I am major source of funding for the operations of not sorry. The class of ’71 contains the finest the Institute. This year alone the Foundation group of men I have ever known. I just wish has provided nearly twelve million dollars to we would step up to the plate a little more VMI thanks to the generosity of alumni and than we have. Many of us have been really friends of the Institute. great supporters, but we all know that we Athletics continue to be an integral part of have not yet reached the number one status the “three legged stool” at VMI. But sadly that we are capable of doing. Any amount is my friends we are sorely lacking when it helpful and each donor helps our percentage comes to supporting the Keydet Club. Only to be even greater. Guys, it is really not very 25% of our alumni are contributing to this difficult to kick in the price of a meal at a fast fund. Many cadets have gotten through VMI food place, a six pack of beer, a movie ticket as a result of athletic scholarships (including and on and on. If you have not given to VMI many members of the class of ’71). It is past even $10 dollars a year yourself, then ask time for each of us to consider this important yourself why have I not done this thing that I aspect of cadet life. A good number of our know is right and can be so beneficial to the Brother Rats contribute at the very highest men and women of today’s Corps? Consider levels to the Keydet Club but the rest of us as well, that the very publication you are readneed to help out as well. ing and the other mailings. Hope you have a The agents were also told about the great summer. Chuck, Veronica, Lauren (’26) importance of the percentage of giving by and Ryan (’27) as well as Kathryn wish you alumni with regard to our national rankings all the best. with publications such as The US News and Let VMI be heard from today. Jim



Larry Houseworth

Brother and Sister Rats, progeny, fans and hangers-on – These notes cover mid-February through New Market Day; if all goes according to schedule, you’ll be reading these in late summer. This is due to the MONUMENTALLY OUTSTANDING job done by Hope Hennessey and the Alumni Review editorial staff. A little background information – the magazine you’re holding in your hands is the product of many writers but just 4, that’s right – 4, production people. At 150+ pages, it’s twice the size of West Point and Annapolis’ Reviews and three times the size of Duke’s and W&L’s; each of which has a staff of roughly a dozen. Yet, Hope, Brenda Stoner, Traci Mierzwa and the stalwart Kathryn Wise provide you with this full-color, photo rich production four times a year – FREE. If you like what you see and read, won’t you consider dropping the Review staff a note of thanks? And – a simple donation of $30-50 to Annual Giving would be the equivalent of covering its production costs to you for one year; that’s well less than most newspaper and magazine subscriptions and it will benefit the Institute for years to come – thank you.

Class of 1972: Larry Houseworth with the Martins, Joe IV, Joe III and Donald, were standing tall with the class of 1972 at the 35th Reunion.


CLASS NOTES The tributes to Bo Wierzbicki were heartfelt. Doug Davenport reminisced about a “…restaurant dinner with Bo and Pat in Talkeetna, and he was the same guy across the table, slapping his hands and laughing, leaning forward to talk about a history book, or a stock tip. His eyes were bad, but his heart? You should see him do the 60 pushups every night, or watch him box. Good guy. Dearly remembered. Lived a good life. Relished it. Salute…” Bob Ward wrote “… he was a wonderful guy. A fellow Charlie Company private, Bo was always fun to be around, even when the Ratline had us down. I had the pleasure of meeting his son who also graduated from VMI, through my daughter, Abigail ’07, and he was also a fine young man with solid values and a great attitude. I am sad that Bo has left us, but he has left us with some great legacies. I guess that’s all any of us can ask of our lives.” Buzzy Chacey wrote saying “…I was so sorry to hear of Bo’s passing. He was a great guy. I just had my heart checked the other day – we are getting to be that age…” Also sharing thoughts were A.J. Fojt, Bob Benson, Mary Martin and Mike Bordwine. Remember Pat and the Wierzbicki family, and all of our widows and families in your prayers, BRs. Speaking of Mike Bordwine; our long-lost BR writes from Columbia, SC, saying – “It has been a long time since we have talked and you may not even remember me. I spent the first two years with you at VMI, leaving after our third class year. I am sorry I could not make the recent reunion but we had a new grandbaby due about that time and were preparing for a trip to Israel … I will give you a little update on myself … I currently live in Columbia, SC (I finished my schooling here at the University of SC ), and work for an IT company. We do all kinds of IT serving and support. I mainly function as the director of business development, but also function as a project manager and occasionally as a business analyst (small company, so we wear many hats). I am quickly approaching my 34th anniversary to my lady-wife, Cindy. We have four children, three married, and three granddaughters.” I forwarded some alumni and class contacts in Raleigh as he was inquiring for a friend. You can reach Mike at KamTech Systems, LLC, 803/ 407-1411. And, speaking of Bob Ward; I got a quick response to a quick inquiry about the family saying he was “…a nervous wreck…” because they had just bid daughter Abigail ’07 adieu as she was bound for Iraq with the 10th Mountain Division. I’m losing count but that’s over a half dozen ’72 progeny in harm’s way – remember them all in your prayers. I got a wonderful Easter note from the Wilk-

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erson’s and a twisted one from Rob Murray’s dog Ranger – don’t ask. Moon Mullen – yes that Moon – sent a quick note. He’s now his own operation – Mullen Engineering – in Manassas. His note bemoans advancing age, son Josh’s wedding not withstanding. After the recent Tidewater Tornado, I got “All Rights” from Bill Smith and Roger Hart. Bill did say that the twister set down near his in-laws and near to Phil’s home but that all were OK. “Zirc” Bailey sent a simple note sharing his “raison d’etre.” Check out the smiles in the photograph of grandpa and granddaughter Roxy.

Class of 1972: “Zirc” Bailey and his granddaughter, Roxy, in spring 2008.

Bob Patrick shared this in response to his birthday card – “HOUSE – Thanks for the birthday card … special. Thanks for remembering. I guess that I owe you some information on what’s up. Thing One – my eldest – is a freshwoman at W&L. Now a Mink in the family. She partially redeemed herself by falling in love with a cadet (met him at our reunion), but he graduated before she could completely sink in the claws. Thing Two is making the college rounds. It’d be convenient if he went to VMI, but he has absolutely no interest in denying himself of any of life’s pleasures while in college. The closest I might get him is VPI. I see Sterling Spencer from time to time—we have lunch and a few beers—he lives about 15 minutes away. Deborah and I are making plans to semi-retire in Lexington at some time— probably when Thing Two is safely put away in some college. Who knows? It may just happen. Bump and I can be neighbors. Or, perhaps George.” Perfect note – thank you, sir. Zeno (“The Fox”) Henninger gets “small world” kudos with this – “Hey there Mr. Class Agent and Loyal Successful English Major.

Maybe we were the most ignorant class in Barracks but I think we enjoyed depressing our GPAs to heighten the fear that we might not graduate (I did not know until Thursday before graduation that I made it thanks to Col. Morrison’s Econ Dept.) Anyhow, I have encountered one of our memorable Tac Officers. Francis C. Porter ‘Pistol Pete’ now known as Frank Porter teaches at Kaiserslautern High School 80 miles south of me. He really has not changed that much. But as our first class history states, even Peter Porter’s attitude improved amazingly or something like that. Just a bit of trivia. I might take a day of leave to go strain the Zoomie. Happy Spring, Zeno.” To quote Zeno’s favorite Cadre Sergeant, Glen Kuntz ’70 – “You think that’s funny, Rat??” I think it’s hysterical – sorry, Glen. A “David vs. Goliath 72, 72, 72” to Cam Fine! April first’s Wall Street Journal article “Lobbyists, Small Banks Plan for Markets” addressed small banks and state officials reactions to the “…Bush administration’s sweeping plan to overhaul the nation’s financial regulatory system.” I quote, “…(I)t reads like amateur hour and it’s because none of these guys ever worked in a regulated, chartered bank,’ said Camden Fine, president and chief executive of the Independent Community Bankers of America, a Washington trade group representing small banks, referring to the authors at Treasury. ‘A bunch of guys from Wall Street decided this was going to be their proposal.’” The article points out that “…groups such as Mr. Fine’s community bankers, representing the smaller end of the spectrum, hold considerable sway in Washington.” Cam’s organization, credit unions and state prosecutors oppose the plan because it would force them into a structure dominated by traditional banks, favor big players over small and create a national insurance regulator with limited oversight. In a letter to his membership, Cam writes “…let’s bring sanity back to our American financial system and stop allowing the creation of these behemoths that are too big to fail, too big to punish, too big to regulate, and too big to manage.” Well stated, BR – we salute you. A call from A.J. Fojt prompted me to contact the Redmonds. I spoke with Denise who’s home recovering from major surgery to correct an ophthalmologic infection that’s tortured her immune system for 16 years; the infection arose from an allergy to the petroleum-based cortisone and arythromysin used during sinus surgery. Her April procedure was performed by a 10-member team led by the head of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University; and she says she’s feeling great – thanks to Ralph’s TLC and walks around the cul-de-sac with


CLASS NOTES their German Shepherd. While Ralph cares for his mother, who’s recovering from a diabeticprompted infection, Gramma Denise is off to visit the grandchildren – life is good, indeed. Bob Bailey is working with Phil Clayton to take advantage of Phil and Ava’s gracious offer from the Reunion. Bob writes “…I have passed the information about Phil’s …beautiful log cabin called Hawkridge Cabin, to the SOF Warrior Foundation in hopes that there will be the opportunity for our Special Ops Wounded Warriors and their families to take advantage of Phil’s great offer. As a business enterprise for Phil, the log cabin is normally rented out to those wanting to enjoy our beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Phil’s offering to make it available for a free getaway cannot but help with the healing process.” (See the Special Operations Force Warrior Foundation at ) Doing God’s work, gentlemen. I hope each of you received the link to the truly magnificent essays by Rob Murray entitled Breakdown 1969/Breakeven 1972 and The Tribunes of 1969 (at robmurray; thanks again to George Kosovic). These two pieces are part of a memoir project The Road from Ruff Creek. I’ve found these pieces to be profoundly moving, particularly Rob’s recollections of Vietnam’s effects on the class of ’69. For me, the pieces shed new light on the trauma that was coursing through the class of ’69 and its effect on us, our Breakout, and our class culture. I now fully understand and have a renewed sense of respect for our dykes – and for the motivations of the administration. Prompted by the nostalgia of Rob’s writing, I called Jack Hornberger after re-reading his Valedictory Address linked to his foundation’s Web site ( We shared some great memories, good laughs and old-guy insights. I found Jack’s words prophetic then and no less relevant now. Throughout life and its changes great and small, we have not only endured, but flourished while grounded in “… tolerance, reliability, the willingness to accept responsibility, and – most important – …the value of placing honor above self. And ladies and gentlemen, you’re looking at individuals who have also learned the importance of not accepting things merely as they exist. We have learned to seek the wrong, and when we find it, to ask, Why? When the answers are not sufficient, we know the value of change” because, quoting Abraham Lincoln, “…to sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards of all men.” Brother Rats – whether our protests are directed toward a society ungrateful for sacrifice, a government agency’s ill-advised intrusions,


slipshod medical care, or simply railings against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune – they are delivered with honor, integrity, and fortitude. “Come gather ‘round people, Wherever you roam; And admit that the waters Around you have grown; And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’... ” – Bob Dylan God bless you and keep you BRs Rah Virginia Mil, Larry


Mike Kelly

Well, I think spring is beginning to arrive. There are a few warm days, then it will get hot, then back cool, but I think we are going to be into summer before long, and then we’ll be complaining about the heat. And it is New Market Day, which has always been (well for 39 years now) the actual spring/summer celebration event for me. Pat and I have had a busy spring. I had a meeting in Las Vegas in April, so we went out and spent some time with my son and his wife and the grand kids, and went into UT to explore the national parks, then attended my meeting. Great trip – vacation, business and a chance to see the family all in one. The next weekend, we were in Lexington for the Class Agents Conference. Beautiful weekend – and the changes continue to take place. You’ll be amazed at what all is going on at the Institute. In March we also had a trip to my sister’s place in Tampa where we celebrated my dad’s 80th birthday. All of my brothers and their wives made it in for the party, so we had a little VMI reunion as well. A real highlight of that trip was the opportunity to see Roland Tiso and to meet his wife, Judie. We were able to spend some time together and have lunch. It was great finally meeting the lady that made a domesticated guy out of Roland! And the following weekend after getting home, I got a call from my other roommate, Terry Howlett. Terry and Nina had been to Radford, VA, to visit his parents and were coming through Raleigh on their way to visit his brother. Unfortunately, our schedules did not allow a visit. (We were on our way back from Lexington.) However we did have a great chat about old times, and

hopefully all of them will be at our reunion. Things are beginning to take shape on the reunion. I received a lot of great ideas from many of you, and it looks like we’ll have a pretty good turnout based on the responses I’ve been getting back. Scott Lingamfelter was delighted in the fact that his son, John Scott, graduated May 16 in the VMI class of 2008 with a degree in Business and Finance! Congratulations to both of you guys. Rick Gribling and John Pinner both sent a note to say they had been extremely lucky with the tornadoes that went through the Suffolk area this month and had not suffered any damage. However, John said that the storms came within one-half mile of his house, and that more than 140 homes had been damaged or destroyed within a mile of their home. John and Ann had just moved to their new home a few months ago, so they felt very lucky. Rick and Rebekah also felt blessed and said they were getting along just fine. Danny Williamson sent me an updated e-mail address for Rick as I was having trouble with one he had given me before, so I was able to connect with them OK. Danny said he was doing great, and that he sees Rick occasionally as they do some work together. Stuart Seaton, Darrel Rickmond and G.G. Gray live across the river from Suffolk, and all acknowledged excitement about the upcoming reunion. They also are eyeing the weekend before (September 13) to perhaps have a “warming up” get-together since the Keydets will be playing William & Mary that Saturday. Stay tuned for details! In the last issue, I mentioned I had heard from Ray Burton and Bob Poynor. Ray has taken a job with BCBS of TN and moved to Soddy Daisy, TN, which is not far from Chattanooga. He really likes it there, and doesn’t seem to miss the Pittsburg area very much. Ray says he finally can get good cornbread and greens. He is collecting old Land Rovers as a hobby and is looking for a SAMS (Scottish American Military Society) group in the Chattanooga area that he could join. Sounds like he’s adapting well! Bob still works for the Air Force at Maxwell AFB. He has been busy trying to complete a re-write of some Air Force Doctrine documents, but has been pulled off of that to rewrite the Air Force’s nuclear operations doctrine. Good luck with that! Bob isn’t sure if he’ll be able to come to the reunion because he is having some trouble with his eyes and may need cataract surgery this summer. Hope that goes well and you’re able to get to Lexington. I had not heard from Doug Basham for awhile, so I sent a note to Beth. (Hey, I know


CLASS NOTES how to get to you guys!) Beth said that Doug had changed jobs last year and was working for Oakwood/Clayton Homes and actually spending more than an hour per day just commuting, as well as a longer than normal work week. And on top of that, they are working on weddings that are taking place this spring and summer. Doug’s oldest daughter, Laura, is getting married on May 31 and Catherine, his youngest is tying the knot August 16. Wow—no wonder you’re staying so busy. Besides working full time at a primary job, Beth is also working in a couple other jobs so their free time is limited. They plan to be at the reunion and probably will be more than ready to kick back and relax by then. Donald Reisch said they had gotten through their son Jake’s wedding in October. Jake is VMI class of 2004. Don was pleased that Rich and Jenny Lykins as well as Bill and Judy Boland were able to attend the wedding, and they had a fantastic time. Don and his wife, Beth, still live in the Nashville, TN, area (hey, there’s a Nashville, NC) where he has completed 35 years of service with DuPont. They plan on coming to the reunion. I heard from Rich, who sent me some pointers about reunion planning, and Bill Stephens also sent me some information. Bill’s staying really busy as president of the Keydet Club, and is doing a great job. Rich takes over as the Alumni Association president this summer. You guys are representing us well. Dave Northcraft has been busy working the Midwest for VMI recruits, especially with the athletes. He just spent time at a college football night for high school coaches (paid the entrance fee himself) in hopes that he could raise the awareness of VMI sports and get some interest from the major conferences in his area. Dave said he had also been in contact with Gary Shope to see if he could get Gary’s son, a high school student, interested in the Institute. Dave’s son, Daniel, class of 2004, and his wife, Jennifer, are still in Thorton, CO. Daniel’s “Rat” Dan Rickmond ’07, just completed his CIT and is working for URS Engineering in Virginia Beach. Apparently Dave and Susan have been to FL as well. M.B. Adelson sent me a note saying that they had had a visit from the Northcrafts, and Dave had some “amusing” comments about his big windows and corner office? M.B. is planning to attend the reunion and is going to drive his MG-B up. He has spoken to Michael Burke and Hugh White who are going to link up in St. Louis and drive up as well. M.B. enjoys his law practice and is doing some teaching on the “lecture circuit” around the state for the National Business Institute. He also talked

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again about the great program VMI has for sponsorship of graduate students. The Adelson’s “sponsor” Jamaal Walton ’07 and Chris Gilliland ’06, who are both in graduate school at FSU, and have really become great friends. M.B. said he did not make the annual spring Alumni Rugby game, and that Buck Harrison apparently had strained an ACL - not sure if it was at the game or not? I haven’t heard from Buck. However, M.B. did say that he and Mary planned a trip this May to China. His sister’s husband works for Dow Corning and lives in Shanghai, and his niece is graduating from high school at the American School there. Sounds like fun! Look forward to hearing about the trip in September. The China trip, however, means that he’ll miss his Regimental S-1 niece’s graduation from West Point. M.B.’s other sister, Terry, is married to Russell Jackson ’75, and one of their daughters graduates from West Point, and another is graduating from the Merchant Marine Academy. That is a lot to be proud of. Congratulations, all. Bill van Deusen has been hard at it the past couple of months. Although he is a registered real estate agent in NC and VA, he apparently has been enjoying some time off and going fishing. He sent me several pictures of fish that he, his son and grandsons had caught about 70 miles offshore! Nice. A couple of the fish were close to being world record size. Bill has a place near Nags Head, NC, and really enjoys the coast. Bill had recently visited VMI and had an interesting story regarding a Tervis Tumbler with the VMI logo inside; seems he had found one at the Virginia Tech book store, but they were nowhere to be found at VMI. I’ll let him fill in the details! He also said that he is getting his four-year-old grandson “hooked” on VMI because every time he comes over to Pawpaw’s house, he wants to watch the VMI band in the Rose Bowl parade. His grandson will watch it over and over, bobbing his head and tapping his foot to the music. Rah Virginia Mil! Bill is also getting excited about the reunion and has requested that Don Caldwell and Jim Davidson provide a demonstration on the proper use of bayonets and cleaning rods. Now that could be interesting. Dave Schwab also sent a message to say he was doing well and that he could probably still give a good play by play of the demonstration by Don and Jim. We may have to work this into the reunion program. Had a short note from Doug Huthwaite saying that he and Patti were doing well, and that in spite of the economy, Patti’s real estate business is doing pretty good. Patti is teaching some real estate classes at night. I also had acknowledgements about the

reunion from Ed Gibson, John Riding, Tom Linn, Gary Shope, Steve Chadwick, Milt Salter, Steve Lane, Glenn Younes and Larry Cerruti. I certainly hope that all of the suggestions and comments are indicative of a good turnout!! I’m looking forward to it. Although today is New Market Day, when you read these notes, it will probably be August, hot and sticky! But that will mean only a few more weeks before the reunion. I really hope you guys can make it. Unfortunately, my Army Reserve career kept me from coming to some of the reunions, as military service most likely kept some of you away; however, as we are now retired or retiring, it should be easier to plan. There is a lot going on with the Institute today; I know you get mailings and general information about the Vision 2039 projects, yet you really need to be there to see and experience it. If you aren’t able to make it to the reunion, there are six home football games this fall, so check out the schedule and try to get there at least one of those weekends. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Take care. I hope to see all of you soon.


Snookie Parker

Greetings, Brother Rats. School is about out for most (for those who still have kids in the house) and vacation time is upon us. Time flies when you are having a good time. Note that these class notes are an addendum to the notes you received by snail mail back in May. Proud moment for T.J. Wilson and clan. Quote for the newspaper, “By the time of the ceremonial swearing-in Friday afternoon as a circuit court judge in the 26th Judicial District, Judge Thomas J. Wilson IV already had heard his first cases at the Rockingham County Courthouse. Wilson, who previously served as a substitute General District judge, took on his new mantle in a ceremony viewed by a packed courtroom.” Judge John Prosser ’64, former guard on VMI SC Championship Basketball Team of 1964, conducted the ceremony. Tommy and Mollie Anderson and Donnie and Barbara Ross were in attendance. Wife Kerri says all is well Harrisonburg. Daughter Madison and son John are looking forward to summer. T.J. is working diligently at his new job, and she is gearing up for an election, running for another four-year term on the Harrisonburg City school board. You go girl!!! T.J., I speak for the entire class when I say we are all very proud of you


CLASS NOTES and your accomplishment. Rah Virginia Mill … T.J., T.J., T.J.!!! Rob Fulks sent a classic picture of his 1959 190 SL Mercedes. Here is the story:

Class of 1974: 1959 190 SL driven by Rob Fulks’ son, John – a VMI cadet in the making.

A few years ago Rob was looking for something he and his son John could do to spend some “quality time” together. While on a business trip in OK, Rob ran across a 1959 Mercedes 190 SL just like the one Col. “Dodo” Dillard used to drive around post. I’m sure most of you remember Dodo’s car. The car was almost as memorable as his Shakespeare classes. It took several years but Rob and his son ended up with a beautiful show car. And by the way, Rob has just ordered an antique license plate from the TX DMV that reads VMI ’74. I think

Dodo would be proud. Rob writes that he and wife Vivian are doing well but are frazzled lately while in the process of building their “dream house.” They bought some acreage on a beautifully wooded golf course near the little town of Pinehurst, TX (near Magnolia outside Houston) seven years ago and are finally breaking ground. Commutes are a wash. Vivian works out of the house for G.E. Sensing. Rob’s office with Weatherford re-located near Bush Intercontinental Airport north of town so his commute will remain about the same. Rob says all BRs are welcome to visit beginning in ’09 and by the way, bring your clubs. Fulks family news: Alice, their oldest daughter, moved to Hollywood in October to attempt to break into the entertainment business. Lindsay, their middle child, is graduating with a degree in interior design from the Houston Art Institute and will commence her commercial career in Houston. In the meantime, she is helping with the new dream house. John, their youngest, is graduating from high school and is considering attending VMI. Rob is in touch with BRs Rick Remensnyder, and Weldon Neal, and occasionally with Mike Dugan. Rob and Vivian are looking forward to next year’s 35th Reunion and hope to see many BRs in Lexington. Rob, 1959 190 SL Mercedes – nice ride. Look forward to seeing you at the reunion. Would be a treat if you showed up in your ’59 Mercedes.

Class of 1974: The VMI class of 1974 Potomac Area Breakfast Club gathered at the Silver Diner in the Springfield Mall, Springfield, Virginia. From left: Bob “The Ambassador” Trost, Charlie Gardner, Bill “The Judge” Minor, Don Kilcullen, Jim Cottrell, Scott Fraser, Snookie Parker, Chuck Ward, Charley “The PABC Grand Pubah” Banning and Steve Orr. Arnie Leonard was the photographer.


Pat Flynn travelled to NE to assist daughter (soon to be a first time mother) Kate with her move to St. Augustine, FL, to assume duties with the Florida National Guard. Her Air Force pilot husband will join her in FL when he returns from deployment. Pat and Sue are putting down some deep roots in St. Augustine, FL, with all the family close by. Red Undercoffer informed John Smithey via e-mail that he was back in the mountains of northern Iraq having arrived in early May and over jet lag from his recent visit to the family in Lexington. Red noted that his two older boys are currently studying engineering at Tech. His two younger children are in middle school waiting their turn. Looks like Red will be there for at least another 12-15 months or more. Congrats to BR John McLaren!!! “The Army Chief of Staff announced that Maj. Gen. John P. McLaren Jr., vice commander for the Joint War fighting Center and vice director for Joint Training, U.S. Forces Command, Norfolk will be the Commanding General (Troop Program Unit) of the 80th Training Command (Total Army School System) Richmond.” Well done John!!! We are all very proud of you!!! U DA MAN!!! Terrell Williams was glad to report that the VMI Auction in Richmond in May was a huge success. It was attended by more than 400 people and lots of money was raised for The Keydet Club. Terrell reported that the scavenger hunt that he and the class of ’74 sponsored for the auction was the second highest revenue generator in the live auction. The winner paid $7,000 for it!!! The purpose of the effort was to have the Keydet Club be the beneficiary of the full $7,000 bid price. For all those who donated on behalf of the class, Terrell and I say thanks! Any BR who would have liked to donate but had not, contact Terrell: R. L. Terrell Williams, vice president, BB&T Insurance Services, Inc., 804/678-5014, rltwilliams@ Block your calendars: Reunion Dates: Sept. 4-5, 2009. See you there! That is all the news for now. CLASS AGENT PLEA! Please forward any news regarding births, deaths, illnesses, marriages and other significant events concerning your family and/or careers. Brother Rats are interested and do care. I know e-mail addresses have a half-life of about six months. Keep us current. Send your updated e-mail address to me, Charley Banning or Kevin Nettrour (our Web Master) nettrour@accessus. net. Check out the Web site. Send me a note. Yada, Yada, Yada and Yaba Daba Dooooo! Warm Regards, Snookie




Robert Mills

Greetings, My Brothers: Your cheerful correspondent has received repeated assurances that this edition of the notes written in May 2008 will be published no later than August. If that is true, then I hope that everyone had a wonderful summer and that I will get to see many of you in the fall. It has been a busy spring for yours truly with lots of jury trials and other inconvenient distractions. One of the more pleasant diversions came in the form of an invitation from Dr. Larry Hendry for a summertime cruise aboard one of the grand coastal yachts that he enjoys designing, building and selling. These are essentially floating palaces, noted for the lush appointments appropriate to a lavish lifestyle. You can check out Larry and his latest venture at FantasySouth. com, and if anyone is in the market for a yacht that ranges between 65 and 85 feet I am sure that Larry will be glad to hook you up. Mike Garten finally surfaced and was full of apologies for not communicating sooner; as well as a theory that sending e-mails from a secure location in the District of Columbia to a subversive like myself was the inevitable cause of this delay. There must be a bit more to this theory since I have had no difficulty receiving communications from secure locations in various war torn and otherwise sensitive regions, but Mike is hanging onto his theory. Mike retired from NCIS in September 2007 after 28 years of service and relocated to Albuquerque, NM. Thereafter he began teaching for the Department of Defense in Elkridge, MD, one month on and one month off. He finds that work engaging given that many of his students are headed for Iraq and Afghanistan. He was able to get together with his brother Jim Garten ’74 to attend a VMI function out in Phoenix where Gen. Peay ’62 was the guest of honor. Bernie Cobb, president of Taylor Chemical Company and Reactamine Technology in Lawrenceville, GA, was able to get together with our roving golf pro, Jerry DeWaters, in Atlanta during the first week in April. They were joined by Guy Conte but were interrupted by some bad weather that confined them to the driving range, where Jerry was able to demonstrate his prowess nonetheless. Also in that part of the world professor Rich Mines was appointed the director of Master of Engineering and Associated MS Programs for the School of Engineering at Mercer University. This did not prevent him from completing his 55th marathon out in Salt

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Lake City during the third week in April. Rich is confident that with only 26 states left to go he can reach his goal of becoming a 50-state marathon veteran. I’m really not sure what Rich is using to keep his body in such splendid condition. It could be that he’s engineering some bionic joints and sinews down there in Mercer. Andy and Mary Love Dearman were able to get together with Rob and Sandy Taylor as well as Dave and Tana Schuyler and Mike and Sloane Hunter for the VMI-UNC Asheville basketball game. Evidently this was a pretty potent combination as they were able to root the Keydets on to a conference victory. Andy and Mary Love have been logging a lot of bleacher time watching young Drew with his AAU and varsity basketball and football. Andy reports that Mary Love has been able to dominate the local tennis/social circuit by adapting a variation of an old VMI credo. “If you can’t beat them on the court – make sure you out drink ’em after the game.” The Mary Love variation on this methodology is to make sure that she masters her opponents at both! Andy had been in touch with Charlie Hoon after learning that they had only just missed one another by a few days and several hundred miles in the TX hill country while Andy was shooting deer and Charlie was blasting away at turkeys. The two of them are planning to get together to assassinate some pheasant up at Charlie’s place in ND when time and season permit. Charlie had just returned from fly fishing on the Colorado River where he enjoyed both the trout and the scenery. He followed this up by visiting Disneyland with his three daughters and gloating as he watched them chase his two grandchildren around the grounds. Bob O’Connor revealed that he had been staying in touch with several of our long lost Brother Rats, Dave Powers and Chris Smart. Bob reported that he is also somewhat apprehensive about the welfare of our BR Randy Robertson whom you may recall is the director of Public Works for the MD town of Bel Air. According to Bob the word from the barbershop is that there are a number of business owners, armed and dangerous, who were none too pleased about the current condition of Main Street in light of several engineering projects that have the main corridor looking like a war zone. Bob knows something about this type of pressure since he has been heading up a group of geotechnical engineers designing, constructing and maintaining the infrastructure that supports highways, bridges and airports around the country, including the I-95 corridor from Richmond to Wilmington, DE. This includes field trips to places like MS to replace bridges destroyed by hurricanes and several years of

working on the I-95 Woodrow Wilson bridge project where his geotechnical counterpart in the Virginia Department of Transportation is Ashton Lawler ’71. He compares this experience to Col. McDonough’s Sandbox 101. Also putting his engineering training to good use is Ken Miller who works for Raytheon as a senior principal software engineer designing algorithms and software systems for newly developed weapons programs. Ken takes his mind off of this work in southern CA by continuing his Ham radio hobby. This landed him a spot on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and his team took first place in the ARRL International DX Contest, 2007. This is a competition where U.S. Stations try and contact as many non-U.S. Stations as possible during a 48 hour period using Morse code. He is also competing in the NRA High Power Long Range Shooting Division and even built a rifle that helped him get to the top rung of the competition. He then wrote an article describing this endeavor. The Link for you sportsmen is: gunweek085.html. Ken is still married and has five children and 10 grandchildren and would really like to hear from some of you guys as he is really having trouble filling all of his spare time. Doug Harvey has been happy to be back out on the gridiron this spring where he had the opportunity to officiate two football scrimmages at the Institute. Doug also worked the William & Mary spring game and says that the Keydets looked good (but small) and that he is impressed with the new coaching staff. Doug plays in the same softball league in Richmond with Chip Louthan and Nat Hamner. He says that the principal object of these contests is to avoid injury (particularly to the beer drinking elbow) in which case some of these athletes have been known to become switch hitters. By the time you read this, Russ Jackson will have attended two separate college graduations. Although this would portend a substantial “pay raise” for most parents the same is not true for Russ. His eldest daughter, Kate, will have graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy where she served under the watchful eye of Commander Dave Mund. Youngest daughter, Ashley, will have graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and Russ and Terry are justly proud, despite being deprived of the inestimable pleasure of paying tuition for all these years. One of our class attorneys, Jim Mesnard, has been in communication with Sam Crim who is still happily married to Kay and has two children and two grandchildren. Sam is working with Hydro-Engineering Solutions, LLC, a civil engineering firm, doing mostly erosion and sediment control. Sam’s mother still lives in Lexington so perhaps we’ll


CLASS NOTES run into him someday. This is not as unlikely as it sounds since I can report that I walked right smack into the long lost Glen Furr. Glen is living and working in Lexington where he plays racquetball with various members of the VMI faculty, and it shows since he seems to be in fine fighting trim. Stu Fleming is vice president of Bankers Insurance, LLC in Lexington and was on hand to watch the Keydet baseball team put yet another fanny whipping on the Virginia Tech Nine back in April. The game ended in a score of eight to seven and we owe it all to Stu! (Things must be going better with the goats since Stu did not mention them.) Close by in Roanoke, Artie Nunn attended the VMI basketball team awards dinner with Dave and Tana Schuyler and said that Dave is looking forward to the end of the school year, something he usually begins looking forward to around mid September. Artie had been exchanging e-mails with Randy Frank and advised that Randy and Terry would be traveling to Israel in the spring to visit their son who is studying abroad for a semester and assiduously avoiding his father’s advice to avoid being quite so casual in his trips around the West Bank. Artie’s son is also in that part of the world, serving aboard the U.S.N.S. BRIDGE as part of the Lincoln Strike Group in the Persian Gulf. Artie laments that his son is just as cocky as Randy and Terry’s son, Sam, and just cannot seem to understand where all of this comes from. Artie also learned that Mike Fleenor has been battling myeloma which was detected early and is responding well to treatment at Duke University Hospital. Artie says that Mike has been characteristically optimistic and determined and that he would love to hear from any or all of you. Greg Diamontopulos proudly reports that his son, Peter, recently met the requirements of Eagle Scout in April 2008. As part of his Eagle Scout service project, Peter planned and produced a car show which raised nearly $7,000, all of which was used to purchase international calling cards for service men and women deployed in harm’s way, typically in Iraq. Speaking of which, Chuck Wohlrab reports from Kabul that he continues to be fit and fine and looking forward to meeting his family in Chicago for a U.S. visit which will include trips to VA and KS. Chuck has been joined in Kabul by Les Walsh ’80 whom he sees a few times a week. Chuck’s son, Phillip, will be attending training for combat medics, and Chuck thinks he may be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan in December. Chuck’s daughter, Kirkland, is still working in Lexington. Your humble correspondent had the opportunity to see Reggie Williams ’08 in action at the PIT (Portsmouth’s Invitational Tournament)


a showcase for college athletes with NBA aspirations. Reggie made the All Tournament Team and also won the Sportsmanship Award. Watching Reggie play in this all-star environment was a real thrill, particularly since many of these players had just returned from their national television appearances at the NCAA Tournament. Simply put, no one could stop Reggie and all of his offensive skills were on display. The two of us got to hang out a little bit back at the hotel between games and you heard it here first. Reggie is a sterling example of the VMI student athlete and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the professional game. I also got to see Matt Murrer ’08, former center for the “Running Roos,” pitch a one-run inning in a victory over Old Dominion University here in Norfolk. Matt is pondering banking as well as basketball in Europe as potential career options. Also, in April I had the privilege of being the guest of Rob “Jelly Bear” and Sandy Taylor at their beautiful woodland estate just outside of Richmond. We were joined by Ron “Bongo” and Kim Bongiovanni and their son, Bryce, who were in town to do a bit of fishing on the Taylor Estate. The next night they were joined by Al and Sandy Morgan and a good time was had by all. Bear and Bongo took turns grilling, and I don’t need to tell you that it was a very toothsome feast indeed. I also had the chance to spend some time with Bill Robson and his son, Chris, and gave them a tour of our humble facility here in Norfolk. Bill and Edith are both doing well following Edith’s donation of one of her kidneys to Bill which has kept him working on various projects for the Department of Defense where he recently ran into Gen. Bo “Bone Crusher” Temple. Bo has been busy traveling to Afghanistan, Iraq, Japan, Alaska, and Germany and all over the United States overseeing his 20 billion dollar construction budget for various base improvements. Nancy has just completed a two-year term as president of the Army Engineer Officer’s Wives Club, and they both enjoy having their son, Peter, and daughter, Meredith, close by in Richmond. Dr. Keith Frey and Melanie have only just celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary and you may recall that they have dated since our second class year. The two of them are leading busy lives in Scottsdale, AZ, where they moved from Olympia, WA, in 1999 when Keith was recruited as the medical director of information technology at the Mayo Clinic Arizona where he also practices and teaches family medicine. He is also engaged in various missions and ministries connected with the Scottsdale Bible Church. Their daughter, Michelle, was married in January and is living nearby in Phoenix. I also got to talk to Lane Pritchard who has been

busy doing property appraisals and other related tasks at his real estate firm as well as coaching his 7-year-old daughter, Mary Dale, in soccer. In addition, Lane has been making a martial arts comeback and attempting to regain his former prowess. According to Lane, the multiple training sessions per week necessary to maintain this exalted status is fun but also means that he is unable to walk like a normal human between sessions. So you see, even Lane is not completely immune to the deprivations of advanced age! Rob Slaughter, Oscar Richardson and I got together in early May for a short libation and to hear Rob tell about taking his family on a tour of Central Europe which included Vienna, Prague and Budapest among other hard scrabble destinations. Oscar was preparing to spend part of his summer sharing his arboreal expertise in southern Lebanon assisting with various tree planting efforts before joining his wife, Anna, in India. If anyone can bring some stability to that troubled region I suppose it just might be Oscar. On that cheerful note I will end these reflections and implore all of you to be more like Lane Pritchard. In other words, if you can’t stay young, at least be brave, ambitious and foolhardy!


William Bhatta

Brother Rats: Unfortunately, the May 15 notes are short. Everyone must be out enjoying the great spring weather. By the time you read them, we’ll be half way through the summer. Time flies when you are having fun! Since I have plenty of class note space, I want you to know how you can help VMI and how you can stay informed. How can you help? I hope you received and read my letter about alumni giving and our poor class participation rate. To those giving generously every year to The VMI Foundation, the VMI Development Board, the VMI Keydet Club or elsewhere – thank you very much! It will help VMI educate and train cadets to be leaders, ready to work and prepared to serve. To those that do not participate, please reconsider. Giving to VMI is an opportunity to express your pride in the Institute and your gratitude for all it did for you. The amount is not important, but if you could donate $19.76, that would be outstanding. $19.76 for 1976! How can you stay informed? Here are useful Web sites you can review. You should obviously visit the VMI Web site at It was redesigned, has a great new look and


CLASS NOTES contains valuable information on current news, activities and alumni events. You also need to check out the latest construction pictures and updates at aspx (click on “Construction Home”). You will be amazed at the transformation taking place on the Post. Do not forget to check the class of 1976 Web site at vmi/. I always post the latest class notes there. It also has a link to the Vision 2039 video if you have not seen it, or want to see it again. Please keep all of your personal contact information (mailing address, email address, phone numbers, etc.) up-to-date at the Alumni Office. If you are a member of VMI Ranks,, you can update it yourself. If not, I can update it for you if you send me the information. E-mail is an easy way to keep in touch with everyone, so keep your e-mail address current. If you send it to me I will maintain it in a class e-mail distribution list. Now the notes: Patrick Barnum sent his last update from Wheeling, WV. His latest is from Christiansburg, VA. Here is what happened in between: In the latter part of 2004 Pat went to work for himself, met his future wife and got married. In June 2005 he worked as a contractor for Northrop-Grumman on an IT project for Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation and began full employment in September 2006. Pat’s wife, Linda, was working at a local toner manufacturer as the lead chemist in R & D. In June 2007 she started a new job working for Luna Innovations in Blacksburg, VA. So now Pat is in the heart of ‘Hokie’ country. He works from home as a financial analyst handling hardware and software procurement for Northrop Grumman’s IT data centers. Pat took Linda to VMI for her first visit last September. Now she has a better perspective and appreciates Pat’s war stories. Greg Speaker returned to work at The Citadel in April after finishing his second year of retired recall duty. Greg had two great jobs during his recall period. The first year he was the Special Operations Liaison to a Polish Division at Ad Diawania, Iraq. The unit was comprised of Polish, Latvians, Ukrainians, Albanians, Bosnians, Slovaks, Mongolians and “others.” The last year he was the ceadquarters company commander at the Airborne Test Board at Fort Bragg – possibly the oldest company commander in the Army! Mack Curle and Clyde Furr passed along these notes: Keith Dickson will commission Benjamin Curle ’08 at Fort Lewis, WA, this summer. Keith also administered the oath for John Furr when he was commissioned in 2006. John deployed with the 1st Armored Division

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to Iraq in April. Unfortunately Morgan Furr’s May wedding plans were disrupted by the Army. Her fiancée (CPT Morgan McDaniel) was not allowed to come home on R&R to get married, so the wedding will be at the end of his current tour in August. Clyde said Katie was a little upset at first – I’ll bet – but rolled with the punch and will be ready when Morgan returns home. Here are the latest kids, college and wedding update from Mike Tate. Mike’s younger daughter, Kelli, got married last September at Sunset Beach, NC. She planned the wedding to coincide with the half time of an Ohio State football game – a die-hard fan evidently. She graduated from OSU in 2004. She married an Army reservist who has completed two tours in Iraq. Mike and his wife, Marilue, will celebrate 32 years of marriage in June. He met her at a Baptist Student Union conference in Lynchburg, VA, - Bill Toney (President of the VMI BSU chapter) asked him if he wanted to go. Mike said he’s Catholic, but “…I’d have gone to a Hare Krishna conference to get out of VMI for a weekend!” Marilue graduated from the Virginia Baptist School of Nursing in Lynchburg; so, Mike spent many weekends there his first class year. And now, the ’76 BR Minute: There is still time to make last minute plans for attending the 12th Annual Hunter’s Hope Memorial Golf Tournament & Auction (and class mini reunion) September 19-20. Contact me if you need information or any assistance with reservations. It’s a small world - after my daughter shopped at a pottery shop in Roanoke, VA, her e-mail address was added to Pam Berberich’s customer e-mail list. The Richmond BRC Club convened in April at a new BRC location – McLeans – in Richmond, VA. Mack Curle, Lee Bradshaw, Bob Gleason, Lee Godsey and Jim Mallon attended. The club instituted new BRC operational security measures by changing restaurant destinations several times in one day to confuse potential infiltrators. Keep your fingers crossed – Jim Brown plans to ascend Kala Pattar in Nepal! He plans to send us a picture of him holding a VMI flag on top of the mountain with Everest in the background. Along with good news, there is also sad news. In February and March we suddenly lost two BRs. Nelson Jeffers passed away on Feb. 18, 2008. I was able to attend the funeral in Portsmouth, VA, along with Maury Gatewood, Jim Mallon, Rich Matthews, Mark Sculley, Tom Turlip and Carmen Villani. And Scott Kasler died at his home unexpectedly in South Bend, Indiana, on March 27, 2008. I never know what to say when we lose a BR so early. I think Jeff Wall summed it up in an e-mail he sent me: “We are diminished.”

That’s all for now. Take care! I look forward to hearing from each of you. Hope to see everyone at the mini reunion in September.


Bland Massie

Rah, Super ’77, Rah, Rah, Rah… In the movie “Misery” (no, not a story about life in the Old Corps) the author would have a cigar after finishing his books. Well, Moe has decided to have the cigar and scotch before and during this writing. That should spice things up and make for a great excuse if any facts have been altered. So this is the story and he’s stickin’ to it. There have been some comments made about Moe being in so many pictures in the class notes section (mainly by those less fortunate in the ‘good looks’ department). If you want your mug in print send me some pictures! No, Tommy Cole and Ralph George not the ‘candle dance’ kind. While we are on that subject some information from any BRs wouldn’t hurt either. No excuses accepted from past class agents for not contributing you have already proven you can write. The basketball season ended in the first round of tournament play at Liberty. Eric Hutchins and Moe did their best to get a victory without success. I’m not sure where Paul Seufer and Bill Cross were. Paul did send an e-mail saying he wasn’t sure how he became trustee of the Falwell Foundation and keeper of the ‘eternal’ flame on the mountain but promised something scandalous about Bill Cross soon. I’m sure he will need plenty of ink and paper for that story. Mike Meise e-mailed to say Bob Atkinson and India (aka Fred) have officially moved to Roanoke two blocks from the Meises. Now we might see and hear more of those boys from ‘Big Lick.’ See if you can get Jim Bradshaw, John Cutright, and Wes Naff to chip in and show up. George Kalaris wrote to say he and his wife, Sally, live in Daphne, AL, and own Sugar Beach Resorts in Robertsdale, AL, (two RV parks one about 30 minutes from Gulf Shores and the other 30 minutes from Jacksonville, FL). Sally teaches the fourth grade at a local private school. Their daughter, Sarah, is a senior at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, GA. Years ago while still in the army, he had crossed paths with Larry Martin at Fort Knox and Mike Korolevich at Fort Riley. George has kept in touch with Eric Letendre (financial advisor) and Rich Benavides who is a M.D. in Dothan,


CLASS NOTES AL. George hopes to make our next reunion and renew old friendships. He also says any BRs can stay the first night at either of the RV parks for free. George, maybe you can get the BRs listed above to give a shout before the next notes are due. Bob ‘Harts’ Hartzell e-mailed to say Jim Anderson hosted a ‘Roommates Weekend’ at his place on the Outer Banks in January 2008. Present and accounted for were Jim, Paul ‘Boomer’ Farrell, Bill ‘Bull’ Cross, Paul ‘Shorty’ Seufer and Harts. He says Jim’s place “Diggin Life” is truly magnificent. They all had a blast playing cards, shooting pool, watching movies in his movie theater and touring around the local countryside. The only dirt from the weekend was that Boomer Farrell went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. There has been talk of changing his nickname to ‘Shorty’ after getting out of that cold January water. Maybe you guys could send some pictures of your weekend if they are not too incriminating. Jim sounds like ‘Diggin Life’ would be a great place for a mini class reunion. Harts is with CSC supporting OSD and the Navy in manufacturing technology development. Moe will plan to visit Harts tailgate again this fall. Robby Robertson who was a partner at Kirkland and Ellis, L.L.P. law firm in Chicago has returned to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission as a trial attorney. Robby had been with the Commission in 2002-05. He serves as their senior litigation counsel. Sounds like Chris Nash might need Robby and Kimber Latsha on speed dial. Well they are two lawyers we can all trust. At this writing Kip Hamilton reports life is looking up. His wife, Beth, was in her final treatment for breast cancer and only one more surgery. She was doing great with an excellent prognosis. She will continue to be in our prayers. Their #1 son, Matt, graduated from Penn State in May as a software engineer. He will be working for NSA at Ft. Meade. Kip hopes Matt will be able to support Beth and him soon. Their #3 son went to the Maryland State High School wrestling tournament at 160 lbs. his junior year. He had won county and regional events to qualify. He placed eighth in state. He told Kip he wanted to carry on the family tradition and go to VMI. We would love to see him wrestle for us after his senior year. Keep us posted on his progress, Kip. Ralph George let Moe know that at 06:49 hours he was the first BR accounted for at our class Web site formation. He said, “God it took me 30 years, but I’m finally the first one present for duty.” Great job Ralph, Moe looks forward to some juicy news as only you and John Marshall can write.


Jose Molina sends news that he is serving as a Ready Reservist in the Navy. Hopefully we can get more information soon. Buster Pace wanted Moe to know that he has been e-mail bantering with Rick Greene. Buster wrote from Russia with love (isn’t that a movie) where he is chasing Rick around the world. Hey, Rick, at least James Bond had beautiful women chasing after him it doesn’t speak well for you that Buster is your pursuer. Buster wanted Moe to say it in his exact words, “Rick Greene being a much stronger golfer when he’s playing with too many handicap strokes in his back pocket than when he’s under pressure playing level up. Somehow that boy has Alzheimer’s and thinks he won the golf at reunion heads up! I recall paying you boys some side bet $$$, but also spotting you a bit too much candy in that negotiation process … and while you (Moe) were a Georgia gentleman and an innocent bystander, I caved a little with Mr. Chromedome as I didn’t care to debate with an ex-tennis player who’s been sipping on too much maple syrup over the years!” Moe is sure there will be more to this feud later. Stay tuned! Moe also saw Buster at the first Keydet Club auction in Richmond. More on this later. John Murray is teaching surveying at the community college after a 25-year career in land surveying. The governor of DE recently appointed him to the Board of Professional Land Surveyors. Congratulations, John. Richard Howell sees Mark Hunt on a regular basis and has been in contact with John Esada in AL. Maybe he can get me Esada’s contact information. John you might look up Kim Rose in AL – I know it’s a very big state! Tommy Cole did e-mail asking how to get on the class blog. Moe hasn’t figured out how to do all this computer stuff yet. Maybe it is just as well if Cole is getting fired up on the blog. After Moe masters the blog, he hopes to use some of the info for the notes. Of course, he will need to run it through a BS filter first. Tim Thompson is still teaching Karate, he has retired from the Navy, lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, two sons and three granddaughters. His Ryoshin-Kan Karate School, Dragon Force National Karate Team and RMAA Organization have been doing great. They have won the National Karate Championships 10 times including last year. They are the first Karate team to win the World Cup Martial Arts Championship three years in a row. Recently they won the 2008 U.S.A. East Coast Martial Arts Championships. Any BR needing a bodyguard should

contact Tim. Moe’s glad he is through with Rat wrestling – wouldn’t want to take on Tim. Boxing no problem – Moe’s specialty. Pat Gibson (Keith’s wife) was kind enough to send Moe some news. Glad to know one of the Gibsons is living in the present. She writes that ’77 BRs should visit the museum as they take back over the 200 level (which was the old museum space). Keith is working on an exhibit which is a tribute to Fallen Brother Rats of our current struggle both at home and abroad. Little Sorrell has been cleaned and given a new halter and has been preserved for another 130 years. Keith in addition to his museum duties is also busy as the preservation officer on post, TV appearances, speaking engagements, co-author of the book Ezekiel, and musical performances with Pat. She also told me that Keith’s nickname among cadets MOE-POD or Col. POD (Master of Evil – Prince of Darkness). Maybe Keith has a secret life or an evil twin we didn’t know about. Thanks Pat, that last part was almost TMI (Too much information). Chris Nash wrote to let Moe know about ’77’s first college Dean. No, not Chris, he is only a James Dean want-a-be! Nash is more like a Jimmy Dean (Sausage Man) or Dizzy Dean (baseball announcer). But Shelton Rhodes, Ph.D., SPHR, is the founding dean for the newly formed School of Business and Leadership at Villa Julie College. The school is building a 60,000-square-foot building and it is scheduled to open for fall semester. Sheldon and his wife, Brenda, live in northern VA and have two daughters. OK, Sheldon let us hear from you before you are the schools president and too busy to contact your BRs. Thanks for the heads up, Chris. Barton Pasco wrote to tell Moe the misprint in the previous notes cost him. His wife Bettie was printed as Betsy and Barton had to take her to Maui to make up for it. Gosh Barton, there are probably some BRs that would like to cash in on a trip like that for some of your previous indiscretions at the “I.” Once again in early April, Moe made his annual pilgrimage to Augusta National where Freddie Allner and Billy Hupp tried to corrupt him. Unsuccessful in their efforts left them no choice but to corrupt each other. We had a great time and didn’t get into any trouble so we were able to spend the bail money on dinner. Moe had dinner one evening with Billy ‘Harpo’ Holzgrefe when he was in Lynchburg. Billy was planning a two-week motorcycle trip into Canada this past July – can’t wait to hear about your trip Harpo. Billy also planned a motorcycle trip with Max Floyd


CLASS NOTES while in TX but the business trip was shortened. They did get together for dinner. Max is an E.E. in charge of the power plant for Shell Oil in TX. Billy also frequents Covington, VA, and sees Steve ‘Dog’ Bryant from time to time. On one of his trips there he ran into Mike Davis. Small world isn’t it! On May 9 the Keydet Club had their inaugural fundraising auction in Richmond to benefit academic and athletic excellence at VMI. ’77 was well represented by Bruce Cann, Chris Nash, Buster Pace, Hope and John Marshall, Meg and Bert Deacon, Billy Hupp and Diana, Ellen and Buzzy Northern, and Jane and Bland Massie. Buzzy was the M.C. and did a nice job. Lang Meem ’76 provided the music. Fun was had by all at the Super 77 table and over 100,000 dollars was raised for the cause. What better than music, food, drink, BRs and over 350 VMI supporters? The next day was the continuation of the White Hat/Black Hat golf rivalry. J.J. posted the following in the class update section, “Huppster and I (aka the White Hats) played golf against Buzzums Juke and sidekick Busta Chop (aka Black Hats) the other day and those boys musta 3-jacked 14 or 15 greens … just pitiful. Naturally the White Hats prevailed for the 23rd time in the last 24 matches. I am starting to wonder if we really need to play this event every year…” Moe was there to witness the foursome coming off the 18th green. J.J. must have confused the outcome and had changed the facts to protect the guilty. The Black Hats looked happier than the White Hats. What rings in Moe’s ears is the Black Hats telling the White Hats to PAY UP and something about bragging rights for another year. Bert Deacon had Moe as his guest at the same course (Kinloch) to witness the event. Moe had never used a caddie before and could see how one could get used to that kind of treatment. It was nice being around the rich and famous for a day. Moe attended the Lynchburg Chapters’ pig roast and picnic the next weekend at Sarah and Tray Petty’s ’93 farm in Lynchburg. It was well attended but no other ’77 men. Coach Sparky Woods (our new football coach) spoke. Everyone there liked what he had to say and with VMI football starting later this month Moe hopes to see a lot of BRs there. Hopefully for some wins and plenty of tailgating fun. The first home game should be the ‘Ride to the I’ event. With the fall season these notes should be easier to get the certified stories. In the ‘Stump the Chump’ section does anybody know when Red, White and Yellow became VMI’s school colors? Keith Gibson

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may know this one. In 1895 -96 the colors were Black and White. They were changed to Red, White and Orange in 1897–99. If you guessed 1900 you’re right and as Col. Riethmiller would have said, “give that man a cigar.” Speaking of Col. Steven Riethmiller ’63 he has just retired after 27 years of service to VMI cadets. He is Moe’s choice for the ‘Man among Giants’ section. He and his wife, Peggy, have been very active in VMI life since Moe was a cadet, not only in the chemistry department but also in cadet lives and at athletic events. He deserves to retire and pursue other interest. No doubt VMI will continue to be one of those interests. Moe better remembers Col. Riethmiller’s other frequent saying, “close but no cigar.” If only Moe had a nickel for every time he heard that one. In the ‘DuMass’ section (must be some French word, ask Craig Forbes) it goes to a lady ahead of Moe in the drive through lane at Dairy Queen. She asks the voice in the electronic order box “do you have milk shakes?” Moe was laughing too hard to yell out the window “Duh, it’s a Dairy Queen!” Moe’s still not sure which was funnier; her question or all the VPI (VA Tech) stickers on the back of her car. Go figure. In the ‘Booty Call’ section, Moe finally saw Bill Talley’s ’03 booty at the class agents’ conference in April. No, not Bill Talley IV ’77 but Bill Talley V ’03. Bill IV better report to VMI this fall for a football game or he may need some of his own insurance. Health insurance that is! Moe can get fired up about someone missing a ‘Check Formation’. ‘Poop from the Stoop’ is Gen. Peay ’62 reupped for five more years. It’s good for VMI because Moe predicts most of Vision 2039 will be completed 26 years ahead of schedule. Now you can understand why he wears four Stars! Speaking of Vision 2039 amazingly as you read these notes third Barracks, the Leadership and Ethics Center and Kilbourne Hall are 95% to 100% complete. You need to check them out. ‘You Da Man’ section honors my Rat Dyke Col. Dennis Jacobs ’80 who is in Iraq at this time. We all pray that he returns safely after his tour. In Moe’s book, he and all those who have served are heroes. Maybe we should name Third Barracks, Veterans Barracks or Memorial Barracks after all our VMI heroes. Something to consider. Well Moe’s out of steam and ink. Look forward to hearing more from our BRs. Don’t forget to ‘Get Your Own Brick’. See you this fall. Go Keydets! …Rah, Rah VMI whole da*# class. In the Spirit of VMI. Never Say Die! Moe


Tom Brown

Editor’s Note: These notes were submitted by the previous class agent, Glenn Dallinger. By all accounts, our 30th Reunion this past April was a complete success. Believe it or not, exactly 78 BRs officially registered, an admittedly smaller group than we are used to, but a spirited one nonetheless. I was one of those that could not make it; I began a new job just weeks prior to the reunion and just could not arrange any time off. There were many other late cancellations; otherwise, we would have been well over 80 BRs in attendance. I need to give another huge thanks to Ronnie Milligan, recently appointed entertainment director for life. Ronnie’s efforts in securing the evening entertainment as well as the hospitality tent at the hotel were very much appreciated by me as well as all at the reunion. I understand the comedian/juggler put on a good show Friday night, with Ned Riester playing a big role. I heard something about Ned wearing a diaper on his head while the juggler shot something off of it ‘William Tell’ style ... details are somewhat sketchy unless you were there, but it sounded like a good time! Saturday night we had a three-piece combo in Moody Hall, and I heard they were very good. Based on pictures I have seen, there was much dancing and carrying on, including one very special dance between two BRs! Guess that is what 30 years and a few drinks will do to you. The hospitality tent proved to be very popular with everyone as well. Ronnie, don’t make any plans to go anywhere during the summer of 2013! Another big thanks from me goes to Bob Eagle. Bob attended the Saturday morning activities and was good enough to videotape them. About a week after the event, a package arrived in my mailbox and inside was a DVD from Bob, showing the Memorial Service, the parade and activities in Barracks afterwards. Let me also thank Robby Burke and Bill Morris for the very nice Memorial Service; you did a terrific job, and I’m sure everyone appreciated it. The cadet bugler playing “Taps” was also a nice touch. I also have to thank the two Class Agents For a Day, Tom Brown and Jay Hutt, who acted as host in my absence. I don’t have a ton of news this time, but some guys gave me some final items to publish. Matt Schell attended his first reunion in a while, coming in from the West Coast with his son, Christopher. Matt made the most of his long


Class of 1978: Row 1: Matt Schell, Anthony Pileggi, Michael Bragale, Bill Morris, Larry Fluty, Mike Oelrich and Bill Dunn. Row 2: Mike Moore, Mark Seely, Russ Johnson, Tim Pishdad, Paul Campbell, Martin Welsh, Tom Brown, Paul Mitchell, Mark C. McKissick, Dave Lucado, Tom Tanner, Joe Morelli and Robby Burke. Row 3: Jim Macklin, Tim Berkhimer, John Gregg, Pete Manoso, Dac Colden, David Mecredy, Bob Eagle, John Tucker, Tom Ferguson, Danny Thornton, Greg Gearhart, Harry McClellan, Jay Branscome and André Gibson. Row 4: Ned Riester, Richard Meredith, Ed Little, David McEwen, Rick McDonald, Joseph Bright, Mark Lambert, Rob Parker, Jay Hutt, David Colonna, Jim Simons and Gary Snyder. Row 5: Wads Bugg, Drew Faulconer, Bob Simpson, Garry Brumback, Donald Robey, Sam Saunders, Tom Sliwoski and Bil Greg. Row 6: Bill Hardy, Jeff Yates, Ronnie Milligan, Bill Grove, Bob Longwell, Basil Smith, Mike Freeman, Bob Kirby and Tom Shaw. Row 7: Steve Oddi, Harry Seipp, Stu Gitchell, Bill Way, Bill Robertson, David Gray, Bob Jenvey, Jerry Placzek, Keith Barber, Chip Schelhorn, Anthony Moore and Allen Moore.


30th Reunion — April 25-26, 2008

Class of 1978



CLASS NOTES weekend in Lexington, getting to meet Gen. Peay ’62 as well as the new football coach, athletic director Donnie Ross ’74, Keydet Club point man Greg Cavallero ’84, as well as Bobby Ross ’59 and Gil Minor ’63 at a baseball game. Matt, you sure do get around! Prior to his trip to Lexington, Matt visited with Bob Beaver, another West Coast BR that unfortunately could not attend the 30th. Catch you next time, Bob. Jay Hutt sent me some tidbits from the weekend: Don Robey is still in the railroad business and now heads up a team that maintains about 28,000 miles of track; enjoyed having lunch with Bill Morris and his wife, Colleen; was impressed with the performance of our rugby players, Billy Way, Bob Simpson and Mike Witter; incidenClass of 1979: Mark Day, Larry Adams tally, our own Bob Simpson was awarded Georgia, February 2008. the alumni player of the game jersey!; Garry Brumback is still as funny as ever; really As always, please do me a favor and provide enjoyed seeing Chip Schelhorn; Anthony me with updated e-mail and home addresses. I Moore still has his home in Richmond, but will make sure the Alumni Association gets the lives in Crystal City in conjunction with his corrections and your desires to be contacted just job in environmental policy with the governby me, other BRs or others at the Institute. Also ment; Mark Lambert says the steel business please note that class notes have been restricted is booming; Basil Smith is now in Lebanon, in length so I will do all I can to get in as much TN, near Nashville, still an orthopedic surgeon. information that you send me as possible. If I Jay, I think you have a real knack for this class miss you this time I will try and get your notes agent thing... in the next edition. That’s about it for the news this time. Hard Hank Chase writes that he and his wife had to believe this is my final class notes. It’s been their first child, Libby 18 months ago. Hank 14 wonderful years serving as your class agent, sees Anthony Pais with some regularity. Tony is I’m so glad I took this job. Now I can join the senior Marine at the National Defense Uniformer class agents, Dave Wrenn, Bert Loflin, versity, teaches a bit and is doing well; “looks Bruce Mason and Jay Hutt in ‘retirement.’ the same, never changes.” Great group of guys right there; thank you all Great news from Mobile, AL … Amy and for your past service to our class. Tom ‘E.Z. Vester Jay Thompson III, are pleased to anBear’ Brown will take the helm, beginning with nounce the birth of Vester Jay IV on March 14, the next issue, and I know he will do a fantastic 2008. He is Jay’s third child and first son. Jay is job and serve us well in his new role. Please a very proud dad and his uncle, Fletcher Thompkeep him updated with your latest personal son ’81, has already submitted young Jay IV information, especially your e-mail address! for consideration for a provisional appointment, And please don’t forget about Annual Giving, class of 2030! Another Jay … I don’t know if the the place needs us more than ever! Institute can handle another one! See you at the 35th, if not sooner. E.Z. Bear,  Mike Thomas checks in with long over due take it away! word. Asa Page and Mike had the privilege of meeting Mike Ditka, former Chicago Bears Michael Ogden coach and current ESPN football commentator, at the Navy Supply Corps Birthday Ball in VA Beach February 28th. Asa lined-up “The Coach” as the keynote speaker for the event. Coach Ditka wanted to volunteer his May 2008. Hope this finds everyone well and time to support the men and women serving enjoying spring. Work continues on our upcomin the military. Asa and Mike mentioned that ing 30th Reunion. You should all be getting they were VMI grads and even Coach Ditka regular updates via both the mail and e-mail. If lamented VMI’s long losing record in football. not, please write or e-mail me so I can ensure (Sigh) Mike has spent the last 20 years working you are properly accounted for. Drop me a line in Richmond as a lawyer for the Virginia State should you have any suggestions.


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and Allen Higginbotham in Atlanta, Corporation Commission. After law school, he lived in the Museum District in Richmond, aka west of the Boulevard, but moved out to the country when his wife opened an office in Tappahannock for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Mike gets to see Meade Spotts on a regular basis. Mike’s 13-year-old son is a provisional member of the VMI Cro-Magnon Society – Greater Richmond Chapter. Meade usually calls a meeting of the Society twice a year at the West Broad Street location of the family restaurant known for its hot wings and owl motif. At the last event, Meade arranged a photo opportunity with son and two of the servers – Mike’s son was mightily impressed. Mike also sees Jim Leavitt on a regular basis. Jim got Mike back into SCUBA diving with his Big Jim’s Cayman Islands Dive Adventures. If you are going through customs and immigration in the Cayman Islands, just mention his name and they will give you head of the line privileges as FOJ (Friend of Jim’s). Mike also ran into Eric Nost recently at the Whitestone Waterfowl Show. Eric is enjoying life on the Northern Neck of VA and offered to guide a goose hunt for Mike and his son in the fall. Mike is suggesting a Zolloman’s Party for our 30th, but fears our wives would not be impressed with our inability to party like it was 1979. Al Higginbotham checks in reporting that he sold his business in San Diego. He went on a long road trip this winter around the country with his wife, Vicki, visiting family and friends. They covered 28 states in 31 days, not as hectic as it sounds though, including a stop in Atlanta for a visit with Larry Adams and Mark Day. They had a nice dinner together, and Larry put them up for one night at his place. Vic and Al



Class of 1979: Rear Adm. Andy Brown ’80 (left) and Capt. Asa Page ’79 (right) hosted NFL Hall of Fame Inductee and former Chicago Bears Head Coach Mike Ditka (center) at the Norfolk Naval Station on Feb. 29, 2008. Coach Ditka had an opportunity to meet with over 150 naval personnel deploying overseas to participate in the War on Terror. Brown and Page had an opportunity to introduce Coach Ditka to several naval operational units, which culminated in a high speed boat ride aboard a Navy MK V special operations craft with members of the U.S. Navy SEALs.

Tom Trumps and had a short conversation with him before he had to leave to go to DC for a meeting. Tom indicated that any BRs that are in Lexington should drop by his quarters and share a cold beverage with him. Dave Riedel reports in from Washington, VA. Dave has one of those “Dream Jobs” working as the Facilities Manager for the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, VA – 3,200 acres of pasture, forest and historic buildings. The commute is tolerable at 15 miles down U.S. 522. A great change over from the commute to Quantico he did for eight years with Rich Reisch (although the density of VMI people at Quantico is comparable to Lexington, VA). Last year, Dave’s oldest son graduated from VMI, and is now at VA Tech, pursuing a master’s degree in environmental engineering. His second son is also at Tech as an undergrad in the Natural Resources School. John Colonna reports that Dolphin Overton and his wife are expecting their second child since their marriage a few years back. John cannot even imagine what it must be like to going back to changing diapers, etc. at our age. Dolphin says he is planning to attend the 30th. John had a nice phone conversation with Dan Foster a couple of weeks ago. He and Patrice are doing very well in Richmond. Dan’s oldest daughter is a freshman at UVa. His oldest son is getting ready to start looking at colleges. John hopes Dan is more successful than he has been at convincing his son that VMI is the place to go. John is 0 for 3 and son Daniel is the last hope for a 5th generation Colonna!  Meade Spotts saw BRs Chip Humphrey and

plan on a grander tour via Military Space Availin the Marketing Division. Like myself, at our able planes, going to try and get around the 25th, Mal may just be getting sentimental, but Pacific first, followed by Europe later. he is looking to get “back in the game” and is I run in to Ed Johnson every few months. He planning on attending our 30th! It will be great writes that his daughter, Kate, who has been to see him. teaching at the Virginia School for the Deaf in Bart Cramer and his wife, Susan, visited LexStaunton, is starting a Ph.D. program in the fall ington for a weekend back in March and took in at Michigan State. Other than that, things are part of the VMI vs United States Marine Corp about the same. Ed’s wife, Judy, is working at rugby match (which we won). They ran into the public library in Old Town Alexandria. Ed is still working on the Navy staff resourcing submarine simulators. RJ Bartol, a first time class notes submitter, writes that his son, Joe, is a 2nd this year at VMI (class of 2009) and has just been picked to be the 1st Battalion S-3 for next year. Joe is also in the Army National Guard and plans to commission as an Army Infantry officer. Needless to say, R.J. is a proud Dad! R.J.’s daughter, Jennifer, will be starting at the UVa next year. Another first time class notes submitter, Mal Grimes confesses he has been out of pocket since the day we graduated. Mal has been back to the “I” a couple of times, but he doesn’t know that he’s ever written back to his class agent. He retired from the Air Force in 2005 and now Class of 1979: Coach Mike Ditka, Asa Page and Miek Thomas. works for a private energy company



CLASS NOTES Dave Jeter at the VMI Cro-Magnon Society reception at Code Orange recently. All’s good with them and they tipped the wait staff well. They are thinking about a mini reunion in Richmond as a warm up for our 30th, provided the authorities/wives don’t get wind of it first. Noel Harris is being kicked out of CONUS by his Air Force handlers and will soon be back in Italy with his wife and two daughters. They look forward to late night unannounced visits by visiting and slightly intoxicated BRs. Brad Jones is now considering opening a vineyard at his farm in Cumberland County – what next, a fern bar? He still has frequent visitors such as the likes of Staff Taylor (NC), Steve Powers (AL) and Jim Elliott. They say they’re hunting, but we don’t ask. Meade is scheduled for a short sail with BR Mark Powell this month on the Bay. Col. Bob “Uncle Stosh” Morris continues to persecute anyone within range in the Tidewater area, and still excels in inflicting collateral damage. Currently has a busted leg (probably still healing from his legendary New Year’s Eve parties) so it’s a good time to stop by Yorktown and give him grief. Meade talked with Brian Tollie several months back – he’s living in “Occupied Virginia” but gets down to the “Holy City” on occasion. Bill Drewery likewise called when passing through town and seems ready to put the boxing gloves back on – glad some of us haven’t aged! Jeff Curtis retired from the AF in October of 2006 and is spending time between Papillion, NE (outside of Omaha), and FL. His wife (Betsy) is an AF pilot working full time for the NE Air National Guard. As for “work” Jeff hasn’t even done a resume. He’s been spending time doing little mini construction and landscaping projects in and around the house. Jeff Goldhardt shared a room at Moody Hall with Jeff Beeby during Environment VA at VMI. Jeff almost looks the same, except his hair is a different color, and he has one of those retired Navy beards. They both have not been back much and had decades to catch up on. His daughter received a Provisional Appointment to the class of 2013 and is expressing interest. She is a high school junior and great in tennis and field hockey. Hopefully the “I” will get a women’s tennis team going. Pete Underwood and wife will be leaving RI and will be back in the Norfolk area this spring. Pete had a very small, private retirement ceremony. Maj Vince Bryan ’93, the CO of the Providence I&I, presided and Tom Bright’s brother, Col(S) James Bright ’87, who is a student at the War College, was also there. Pete also has been in touch with John Kailey, and he passes on that John has been recalled to active duty by the Army and will soon be deployed.

2008-Issue 3

James Gede sends a quick update. His son, Nathan, graduates in May of this year from VMI. Nathan recently received the Garnet Andrews award for his History honors thesis (best part of that is that it involves a cash prize – pretty rare that you get money back from VMI). His daughter is about to begin college at Carnegie Mellon University. In September, James will be spearheading the opening of an office in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates. Mike Burton’s oldest daughter is soon to be a Va Tech graduate, the middle daughter is matriculating at Sweet Briar in the fall of 2008 and youngest daughter will finish high school in 2009. Mike has explained the provisional appointment program to his daughters as a fall back option if they struggle with acceptance to other universities of their choosing, which has (he thinks) inspired them to work very hard. Mike’s youngest is a challenge, as her tennis game gets more aggressive, and he gets slower, but he will “never say die.” Jane has been the penultimate volunteer (like most of our wives) and is finally stepping down as president of the high school booster club. Mike will be glad to see more of her, but will miss cooking hundreds of hotdogs at the Friday night football games. They still live in Warrenton but spend as much time as they can in the Northern Neck and would love to hear from anyone that lives in that area. Grady (Andy) Andrews attended the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance (VTCA) Conference in Hampton, VA, from April 1-4, 2008. While attending the conference, he had the opportunity to see and talk with a few of our Brother Rats; Jeff Minnix, Bill Hamlin, Rich McDonough and Jeb Burton. Numerous other VMI grads from classes before and after us were also in attendance. They all caught up on how their families were doing and talked a little about the upcoming reunion. Jeff informed me he is a grandfather to a wonderful granddaughter. Man we are getting old! Gleb Taran gathers regularly with Charlie Sachs and Rich McGruder for most weekends. Charlie is a colonel in the Air Force currently stationed at the Pentagon. Charlie made the big leap in November 2007 and finally got married to his long-time sweetheart, the beautiful Jacqueline, down in San Antonio, TX, (a Texas A&M “Aggie” at that). Think Charlie holds the record for the most recent, longestdelayed, first-time matrimonial leap of our class. He had the longest flash-to-bang time of anyone I know in our class! He deserves some official recognition! Rich is a senior executive with the Department of Homeland Security in DC. He worked

with Gleb at the Department of State for 10 years before moving on to bigger and better things at DIA, before landing DHS. Rich has retired from the U.S. Army Reserve, and as a farewell tour spent 18 months in the garden spot of the Persian Gulf – Qatar! Rich’s wife, Dawn, has a burgeoning accounting practice in Fairfax. She gives a “Brother Rat” discount for any BRs who are looking for first rate accounting services and need to stay ahead of the IRS. Gleb regularly talks with Tim Cordle who lives in Williamsburg, and they meet at one or two football games in the fall and at New Market Day in Lexington. Tim keeps his finger on the always developing political – economic pulse in VA as well as events, good and bad, at the Institute. Gleb is still with the Department of State, in the real estate development arm of the department, planning new embassies in countries where we have diplomatic missions. He is currently working on projects in Kyiv, Ukraine; Monrovia, Liberia; Juba, Sudan and another new office building at the embassy compound in Moscow. Since the bombings of U.S. Embassies in Africa, the State Department has embarked on a major, multiple year, many billions of dollars building boom replacing obsolete, outmoded diplomatic missions in all corners of the world. Lots of work for engineers and architects! Between working in the DC home office and travels to these distant places and participating in the school and athletic events of his two sons (10 and 13); most of his time seems to be accounted for! Jeb Burton’s son, Jeb V, will be matriculating this fall at the “I”, and his other two teenage boys are at E.C. Glass H.S. Jeb communicates regularly with Bill Hamlin and Al Soltis, as they are all in the road building industry. Also, Bruce Pearson is building a new house down the road from him. Bill Hamlin, Dave Jeter, brother Doug ’80 and Jeb will be making their annual trek to Wachapreague, VA, on the Eastern Shore in a few weeks to go flounder fishing. Life on the Eastern Shore continues well. Renee is still working part time for Northampton County, and I continue work as the N9 Assistant Chief of Staff at Strike Force Training Atlantic in Norfolk. James, the eldest, recently got out of the Marines (combat tours in Fallujah and Ramadi and a Med deployment in three years was enough!) and is settling in Wilmington, NC, where he is planning on picking back up with college at UNC Wilmington. We just helped move Matt, his younger brother, from VA Beach to join him. Stay well.




John Gibney Jr.

Hello, Brother Rats: These notes cover the period February 16 through May 15, 2008. Our class notes have often begun with an apology and this set opens by apologizing for omitting from the last set Christmas cards received from three of our BRs. Thanks to Tracy Wilson for the card that he and Jennifer sent from northern VA. Frank and Deborah Borsi sent a year-end news card from the Lucky Fortune Ranch, their home in Baker, FL. The card included an update on their daughters, Jennifer and Jessica, and pictures of their “friends,” two dogs, two horses and five cats. Finally, Kim and Brian O’Neill sent a card from their home in Virginia Beach with a photo of their five children and a full page summary of 2007. Among their trips last year, Kim and Brian stopped in Worcester, MA, to visit Bruno and Janet Loefstedt. Kelly, 21, is a senior at James Madison who will graduate in May. She plans to remain at JMU for another year to receive her master’s degree. Ryan, 19, is a sophomore at JMU working toward a degree in Bio-technology. Tim, 16, is a junior in high school who is now a licensed driver. Kirsten, 13, is in eighth grade. She’s active in dance and field hockey. Brendan, 11, is in fifth grade. He’s in the chess club and a soccer goalie. Brian is a retired Navy Captain working for Northrup Grumman Newport News and on numerous home improvements. And, Kim volunteers with various school activities. The period began with an e-mail from Larry Avery announcing that his retirement from the Air Force had been rescinded, and he was deployed to Baghdad. Photos and Larry’s message are posted to our class page (www. Thanks, as always, to Andy Ludlum for his assistance and support, including maintaining the Web site. Walt Wood sent a message through me to all of us on the subject of turning 50, an age most of us attain during 2008. Andy has posted this as well. And, Steve Andrews sent a message with an interesting history of Kilroy. March began with e-mail messages from Tuck Masker and Steve Andrews with very funny attachments and a poignant attachment


to an e-mail from Tom Gelles. Are you golfing with us in October, Tom? Dennis Hackemeyer sent an e-mail with an attached photo taken at Kenny Baybutt’s surprise 50th birthday party. The party was organized by Kenny’s wife, Carol. The photo shows all four roommates, Walt Kreitler, Ken Baybutt, Dennis Hackemeyer and Steve Ikenberry, together for the first time since graduation. Frank Hilton sent a message after reading the posting on the Web site about Larry Avery. Then, Mary Sayre (Scott is still fuming over my accurate but somewhat embarrassing commentary on his breakfast attire) sent a message with a Frank Hilton attachment. Frank, an attorney in Harrisonburg, was named to Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite. The press release should appear in the Alumni Review. Congrats, Frank! Tom Bersson, a Navy Captain stationed in Norfolk, sent a message that he and Amy were bringing their youngest daughter, Beth, to NYC for spring break. Patti and I hosted them, we dined in an Italian restaurant and the Bersson family visited me in my office. They also saw several Broadway shows. Walt Wood sent a “Bucket List” e-mail. On March 15, Walt knocked off one of his items by completing a marathon. Walt also wrote that he’d be traveling in VA in April and planned to stop by VMI. I spoke with Hugh Fain who turned 50 in March. Hugh said that he met Rob Quarles in the Richmond airport and they shared a flight to Atlanta. Rob is with Buckman Labs in Memphis and was traveling on business. Hugh was passing through Atlanta on his way to Orlando for a Disney vacation with Renee and the girls. So I opened the e-mail message from Matthew Keys with the subject line that read “NYC Brother Rat needs help.” Matthew and Tanya relocated to NYC from Staunton last year and are now purchasing a co-op apartment in lower Manhattan. They needed a letter of reference. They were approved and will move into their apartment later this year. Brig. Gen. Joe Brown sent a message from Turkey. Joe left Belgium at the end of 2007 for a remote one-year tour in Eskisehir. Sue and Emily remained in Belgium where Emily is a senior in High School. They will return to the States this summer, probably to VA where they have a house. And, Dan is at UVa. Thanks to Anne Alerding for the electronic invitation to John’s 50th birthday party. Due to a conflict, I was unable to attend. Gary Levenson was also invited and conflicted. Gary did suggest that we make Alerding run the belt line the next time several of us are in Lexington.

And further congratulations to John and Anne Alerding on the acceptance of Johnny into VMI. Johnny will be a Rat in August. Gary Levenson, VMI’s deputy commandant, sent an e-mail after bumping into Pat Griffin and Gary Fellows in the mess hall during Legacy Day. Pat, who lives in MA, was attending with his son. Gary, who lives in NOVA, was attending with his daughter. March closed with lunch in New York with Rob Quarles. Rob was attending a conference in NYC. Rob and Elizabeth live in Memphis where their children attend school with Phil Altizer’s children. Rob told several BR stories including SCUBA diving with Gary Levenson, living in DE near Ray Joinson and trips to Atlanta to visit Marty Fedenko. And, each year a group of our BRs, including Rob, spend a weekend in Lexington for a round of golf and to attend a football game. The plan for 2008 is to visit Lexington the weekend of October 10th. Other expected attendees are Don Bradshaw, Mickey Cole, Marty Fedenko, Larry Hupertz, Mike Luning, Jay McConnell and Preston Vock. April was a relatively quiet month during which I visited Washington, DC for the Enrolled Actuaries conference and traveled to VMI for the annual Class Agents’ Conference. In DC, Patti and I had dinner with Ray and Carla Joinson who have built a retirement home in TN. Ray, a colonel in the Air Force, also took us on a tour of the Pentagon. In Lexington, I played a round of golf with Robby Jones and smoked a cigar with Gary Levenson on his porch. Walt Wood knocked off another Bucket List item when he joined us for a cigar and discussed his work in Peru. Walt also sent a “Team Peru” newsletter containing photos and an update on their ministry. Congratulations, Col. John Hughes! John sent a note saying that the USAR 06 Colonel’s List released in February had his name on it. John is recovering from his fifth surgery related to his OIF injuries. John will be on the General Staff at the 89th Regional Readiness Command in Wichita, KS. Kevin Davis sent a message announcing that he’s a certified Virginia Contracting Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of General Services. Dave Hageman, Craig “Weennie” Wilson and Steve Andrews sent e-mail messages with interesting attachments. Harold Mayton, did Gary send you a reunion hat? Rob Quarles followed our lunch with an update on some of our BRs listed above. Frank (Jay) McConnell lives in Alexandria.


CLASS NOTES He is a defense contractor who works mostly in the Middle East. Mike Lunning lives in Norfolk. He’s an environmental engineer who also stays busy with his and Melissa’s horse business in Suffolk. Don and Karen Bradshaw live in Richmond. Don is the director of facilities management in Fort Lee. Larry and Vera Hupertz live in the Cleveland area where Larry is an Attorney and Vera a Doctor. Marty Fedenko lives in the Atlanta where he runs the largest Budweiser distributor in the region. Preston Vock lives in Pittsburgh where he has returned to work for Westinghouse. Sadly, Rob also wrote that Larry Hupertz’ mother recently passed away. So I am interviewing a candidate for admission into The University Club when the conversation turns to my class ring. The candidate then asks if I know Bob Cadmus, who he worked with some 20 years ago. I doubt that he believed my response – that we were roommates at VMI for three years. Where are you Cadmus? The period closed with a flurry of communication. Elliott Wolffe called from New Orleans where he is now fully relocated and playing a lot of golf. Gary Levenson called form Norfolk where he was serving his two-week tour with the Guard. Gary ran into Tom Bersson on the Naval Base. More specifically, they met in the liquor store (it figures, right?). Tom claimed to be on his way to celebrate with Dixon Tucker. Don Bradshaw sent an update after meeting my cousin Jerry and his wife, Katie, at a NASCAR race in Richmond. Don’s VMI Rugby hat prompted the interaction. Don also wrote that he is recovering nicely from having a severely damaged disk removed. The back surgery kept Don from playing in the Alumni Rugby Match in April. Don and Mickey Cole had dinner with Mike Flinn who was passing through Richmond. And, Don and Mick participated in the Monument Avenue 10K. Don wore both a VMI hat and a kilt! Dennis Jacobs sent a message saying that he was deploying to the Middle East. I accidentally permanently deleted the message, but I’ll ask Andy to post information as it becomes available. Jonathan Ives sent a message and a photo from Afghanistan on New Market Day. Thanks to Wade Stinnette for the phone call on the second anniversary of my turning 49. I’ve asked Andy Ludlum to post a number of messages to the class page including those from Joe Brown, John Hughes, Frank Hilton, Walt

2008-Issue 3

Wood, John Ives and Tom Bersson. Again, thanks, Andy, for maintaining our Web site. Since these notes opened with apologies, they’ll close with apologies First, an apology to Ed Bower for not returning his phone call. It’s still on the to-do list. The fact that Ed reported that Robby Jones spelled Steve Chace’s name wrong on the trophy Steve received for winning the Pup Cup did make the notes. And, an apology to Hugh Fain, who also called on the second anniversary of my 49th birthday. He called while I was walking the dog. I had to put Hugh on hold twice to obey the law and pick-up after Nadine. Enjoy your summer, Brother Rats!


Gerald Manley

Brother Rats, I hope this edition of the Review finds everyone happy, healthy, and well! It is the middle of May, as I type these words, and so very hard to believe that spring has come and nearly gone. Last write up, I focused a bit on the overwhelming Brother Rat Spirit from our class that was shown in support of John Dixon and his bypass surgery. (Johnny is doing extremely well, by the way and will share more on him in a bit.) Well, that same Spirit has once again been evident in support of those BRs in need. There was great support shown for Brother Rat Ken Herbert during a time of loss and sorrow. Ken was touched by the many e-mails and prayers offered for his beloved father, Charles Herbert, who passed away peacefully on May 4th. I was honored to attend the memorial service and reception with Grover Outland and Dave Openshaw. I was extremely impressed and humbled by the strength of our Brother Rat, Ken, which can only come from true faith in God. Ken stood before all those assembled at the mass to honor his father on behalf of his entire family. Ken’s mother, Erna E. Herbert, also showed incredible strength and grace during this time of loss – she is a true angel and any one of us could only hope to match her energy and poise. With Ken’s permission, and to honor his father, I am including just a few outtakes from the tremendous eulogy he shared. As one could offer, there is a message there for us all. Words from Ken to his family about his father, Mr. Charles Herbert: “I believe, that in his 74 years of life, his greatest chapter took place during the last decade. This is the chapter where Dad faced many critical life-threatening health challenges and he couldn’t face them alone; they

included every one of us. Through Dad’s journey of forgiveness, love, laughter and joy, I think of two scripture verses that sum it up for me: John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ And Matthew 6:14 and 15: ‘For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’ This legacy enabled the family to learn the path of forgiveness and the importance of sticking with family through thick and thin. So, at the end, with his family around him, he showed us how with faith in God and total acceptance of His will, how peaceful and joyful death can be ... as one last life lesson for us to learn.” For Ken, our thoughts and prayers remain with you, your mother, Erna, and the rest of your family as you continue with this life’s journey. With that, I will segue to other brief words of thanks for the class. As most of you know, Corky Mitchell underwent extensive back surgery to correct long standing pains. Corky came through the surgery like the champ that he is and received many calls, e-mails, and prayers from BRs. Corky shared a great e-mail to all on the class distribution list; to summarize, he was truly touched by all of the support and well wishes from the class. If Corky will allow, I will call out special BRs like Bruce Gitchell and Dan Dorsey, both of whom have provided great support and comfort to Corky. I know personally that Dan has gone the extra mile with everything from hospital visits to kitchen repairs to grocery runs and more … though rumor has it that Dan’s support stopped short when Corky asked Dan to take his place for a scheduled sponge bath from the “rather formidable Mennonite nurse” – but that is just rumor. As of this writing, Corky is doing extremely well, though he has found that the recovery period for such a major procedure may take a bit longer than desired. By next Review, I hope to report that Corky is 100%! (Special

Class of 1981: Jeff Adler and John Aulbach met at the VMILiberty University football game in Lynchburg, Virginia


CLASS NOTES note: Corky’s brother, Gerry, is still facing a number of medical challenges. Please also keep him in your prayers!) On to other updates: Johnny Dixon continues with his healing and his blessings! He shares that his son, Bobby, aka Robert Marshall Dixon, has a provisional appointment with the class of 2016. Johnny has already done the math and calculated that we will be celebrating our 35th Reunion in 2016! John also ran into Les Martin ’68 who was preparing for his class’s 40th Reunion at the time. Les was an infantry officer in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He owns “Martin’s Gallery” in Hanover, PA, where he works for his wife, Pat. John reports that they specialize in P. Buckley Moss paintings and prints and custom framing. Per Johnny, they have a very nice gallery, and it is worth the stop if we are ever ‘passing through.’” Rob “Cos” Costello shot me a quick update on the VMI Alumni Party at Ocean View Fishing Pier. Per Cos, we got our “butts kicked by ’80” as they had six members of their class to our five (Mark Kanter, Ralph Northam, Jim Waring, Ed Brown and Cos). Cos wanted me to make sure that John Holloway understood that we only lost because he was a no show! Cos reported that it was a great time with good chow. Speakers were Doug Burdett ’82, president of the Norfolk Chapter, Paul Fraim ’71, mayor of Norfolk, and Ralph Northam, our own Senator from the class of ’81. (Yes, Senator, we are claiming you, sir!) Cos also reported that the class of ’09 (or as he calls them “The square root of ’81”) was also well represented with Ian Costello ’09 (son of who else but the Cos), Chris Brown ’09 (son of our very own Eddie Brown), Casey Brown ’09 (son of ADM

Andy Brown ’80), and Alex Kari ’09. Received a great note from John Cawthorne. John is still an active duty Air Force colonel and assigned as deputy director, Installations and Mission Support HQ Pacific Air Forces, Hickam, HI – read “living in Paradise!” Ken Pierro is going to join John on Island this summer with his assignment to a joint command on Oahu. Ken has been doing incredible things for the Coast Guard and his talents and skills, coupled with his selection for promotion, have forced a rather short tour in the Williamsburg area. Ken and his wife stopped by HI for some house hunting, and John and wife Lisa hosted the Pierro’s for dinner at THE original Tiki bar, ‘La Mariana,’ in Honolulu. Per John, La Mariana is a hoot - food is ‘OK’ but he likes the “garish decor and ambiance … it’s like stepping back in time to the ’60s, a place where Don Ho could show up any minute to sing Tiny Bubbles.” Ken and John had a great time, killed off a few ‘Longboard’ ales and yucked it up. John also shared input on two other BRs. Jim “Fish” Frishkorn was recently hired as the Reservist Individual Military Augmentee to John Cawthorne’s command and reports to John’s boss, the director and HQ PACAF/A7. Funny thing, John was put in charge of hiring for that position but he “certifies” that Fish was the best qualified and that the three-person board selected him as such. Interestingly enough, though, the three-person board also contained a ’78 grad, too … so we all know the selection was above board! :-) In all seriousness, congrats to Fish who is a colonel in the USAFR and has been serving full time at the Air Force Civil Engineering Support Agency, Tyndall AFB, FL. Fish and his wife (also his Ring Figure date), the lovely Mei-Ling, are job hunting for

Class of 1981: Mike and Tonya Hatfield (center) are surrounded by their daughters and sons-in-law: Katharine and her husband, Michael (left), with Elizabeth and her husband, Brent (right).


Jim to get back to his Civil Service career … hopefully in HI where Mei-Ling is from! (With John, Ken, and Fish all in HI, I am feeling some “road trips!”) John also ran into the Honorable Chip Johnson while they were both passing through the Phoenix airport last Fall. As always, Chip remains a class act and is doing great things from his judicial bench in NM. Greg and Ann Wolven have been staying in touch. Greg has been traveling a lot between family support with the kids and work. Their daughter, Katie, had her high school basketball team go to Semi-State, and they were in the top four teams of more than 100 across the state! Greg was in CA when they went to the SemiState, but he was able to be with the family the night Katie’s team won Regional’s (first time since 1981). It was an exciting season for Katie and the family. Katie’s traveling volleyball team has also kept the Wolven’s busy, running to St. Louis numerous times as well as Indianapolis. At the time of their e-mail, there were planning on going to Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville for volleyball tournaments in April/ May. They are also in the college search mode, though Ann reports that VMI may not meet Katie’s “dress” code! Their son is still playing football at Tri-State University in Angola, IN, and majoring in engineering. Specific to Greg, he is still director of engineering for WIN Energy REMC, Vincennes, IN where he is in charge of staking, mapping, system planning, AMR, and telecommunications. Greg was the first engineer to ever work at this company in its entire history. He was the catalyst that led the company from four-computer peer-to-peer network to a fully integrated wide-area-network while getting them involved in international standards organizations. WIN Energy REMC

Class of 1981: Chet and Terry Thompson and family.


CLASS NOTES was one of the first two co-ops to adopt a his nephew, A.J. Betts ’08, receive his “sheep Training Center and preparing to re-join the MultiSpeak interface and was awarded the skin.” Best of luck, A.J., as you step out and fight overseas. (Our prayers are always with MultiSpeak First Adopter Award in 2001 for begin forging your own very successful career! you, Adrian!) integrating CIS and staking. Greg was recently Dave Openshaw wrote to share that his oldest I heard from Scott Falls. Scott is still workappointed to the National MultiSpeak Advisory daughter graduated high school and will be ing for the FBI and will mark 22 years with Board. heading to Johns Hopkins University to study the Bureau come November. (Tremendous Jim Waring shares that his request for retirebiology on an Army ROTC Scholarship and career, Scott!) Over the years, Scott has been at ment from the Army was approved for Dec. 31, a slot on their Division III field hockey team. Oxford, MS; New York City; and Hot Springs, 2008. Jim will have his retirement ceremony Dave also shared that he has moved into an AR where he has been since September 1997. in October of this year. So like Gunny Olson, ownership position at Ligon & Ligon, Inc., an Scott was TDY to the FBI Academy for a John Haithcock, me and possibly some others, underground utility construction company in month this past January and got to spend a Jim will have to go out and find a “real” job. If Baltimore. weekend visiting with Ed and Cathy Lawless. I didn’t include it in a past Review, Jim finally Clarkson Meredith shares that he and bride Jim Holloway also dropped by and joined them returned to VA last summer after his last overDenise have been keeping a hectic pace this and they all went to visit Jeff Carter for a true seas tour in Germany moving to Chesapeake, spring, with four kids playing sports (3 lacrosse mini reunion (was the first time Scott and Jim VA, where he works at USJFCOM in Suffolk. and 1 power tumbling), plus Clarkson coaching. had been together since graduation!) Jeff was The Waring’s truly enjoy the unfortunately laid up at the Chesapeake area and plan on time with a knee injury but staying if his follow-on career was reportedly in great spirits! allows. Since he has been back (Jeff, we hope and pray you he has run into Mike Denton are fully recovered, BR!) in Williamsburg at the VMI Vince Wood had sent me W&M basketball game back in a few short notes and has December, and John Haithcock been a true support to many. when John did a “drive by” to Vince shared that he was in Jim’s office in February. Lexington this past April and Mark “Gunny” Olson is now played in the Alumni Rugby working as a financial advisor match. About 25 alums teamed with First Command Financial with the first classmen to beat Services in Colorado Springs. the underclassmen. While All seems to be going well for Vince reports he was near the Mark in his transition to civilian top, he was not yet the oldest life. He says he is growing his on the field. A few guys from hair, but I suspect that is because ’78, such as Billy Way ’78 Class of 1981: Dave Saunders, Jerry Manley and Chet Thompson on the VMI Parade Ground in November 2007. he still has his head in that and Mike Witter ’78 took Marine Corps jar! At the time that honor. Chris Schrichte of his writing, he was hoping ‘82 also joined the event. to see Adrian Bogart and Paul Andrus he set To Denise’s chagrin, she has become somewhat Bob “Gator” Underwood was also there and up house from his move. (Hope you guys conthe lacrosse widow. Clarkson’s son, Clarkson, cheered the alums on and helped officiate the nected, Gunny!) wrapped up a successful season for high school game. Several more members of ’78 watched John Haithcock writes that he will have his and, with a little luck, will play on the same and cheered for their BRs as they sat and drank retirement ceremony on May 30 at Fort Sill. lacrosse team with Bruce Kitchen’s son, Brett, at Moody Hall as part of their 30th Reunion Hope to get an update and pictures from the this summer. festivities. Vince shares that he may take the even, John! This will be a full blown pass and Paul “C.P.” Davis is president of a mid-size Moody Hall route next year. From Vince: “It review for John and others celebrating retireseafood distributor in Charlotte (Poseidon). C.P. was a fun event and seems to be gaining in ment that day. John is looking to get back to the continues to serve as an operating partner for popularity. Nothing like have a kid less than East Coast. We wish you well, John! Hunt Private Equity (Poseidon is part of Hunt’s half your age, run by you so fast that you could Bob Silverman has been keeping in touch investment portfolio). C.P.’s oldest son, Tyler, not tell what color his jersey was! Oh well, I and shared some great e-mails with me. Bob will attend University of Alabama this fall. With hope to be off of the pain killers by the time the is up in the NY area, and I can’t thank him three more “kids,” C.P. remains hopeful that next Review comes out.” enough for his communications and for helping one or more will head to Lexington over the Received a short note from Mike Hatfield me connect with other BRs such as Ken Pohlig next several years. Paul stopped by the “I” in along with a great family picture. Mike reports and Laszlo Szebelledy. (For Ken and Laszlo, early May and stayed at the Alumni Hall while that things are well in FL, where he and Tonya I now have you guys on the class e-mail distro the cadets were all preparing for exams. have been here since January 2004. Mike list – welcome aboard, BRs!) Bob has also been Steve Tennant is doing well in Leavenworth, became a partner at Weiler Engineering in staying in touch with Dan Pere, who I believe KS, and shares that he recently closed on a new January of 2007 and runs all of the operais running around somewhere in FL. (Shoot me house and hopes to move in by mid-June. tions for his corporate office in Port Charlotte. an update, Dan!) Adrian Bogart shot me a note from the Mike’s daughter, Katharine, and her husband, Joe Moan shot a note just as he returned middle of a sand storm in the Mohave Desert. Michael, are now living close by while daughter from VMI graduations this past spring to watch Adrian was then on work-ups at the National Elizabeth and husband Brent are in Richmond,

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CLASS NOTES KY. Mike has not seen any BRs since our last reunion (road trip to FL?) and has asked to put out a call for Manson Massie. I don’t have Manson’s contact info, so, if you are reading this, Manson, please give Mike or me a call! As for me, I retired from the Navy after 27 years. Official date will be July 1, 2008 but held a formal ceremony on April 11th in the Navy Yard, Washington, DC. Had a great showing of Brother Rats at the ceremony and can’t thank you all enough for the well wishes I have received. Those that could make the ceremony, reception and/or other socials that weekend included Grover Outland, Robert Digby, Gary Morgan, Tom Albro, Billy Stamm, John Ferry, Reg Ridgely, Ricky McCue, Clarkson Meredith, Trip Lloyd, Dave Saunders, John Driscoll, Mike Denton, Mike Shupp, and Dave Openshaw. I am indebted to you all for making the ceremony and weekend even more memorable! In closing, I will add a personal note of thanks to so many of you that have extended your prayers, e-mails, and support for my brother, Jack Manley ’83, as he continues to fight pancreatic cancer. Those of you who have known Jack over the years will certainly agree with me, his biased brother, that he is one of the finest VMI has ever produced. I will add that Jack has two other BRs that have been waging war on cancer, as well, his Brother Rats, Ben Contrel ’83 and John Dodge ’83. Please keep them all in your prayers. I will share updates on Jack with you all but please know that your prayers are felt and truly appreciated. I would also like to extend my appreciation to all of Jack’s BRs in the class of ’83 for their love, compassion, support and caring for him and his immediate family. It means the world to Jack and for that I thank you all and the entire class of ’83.

Class of 1981: Greg Wolven and daughter Katie the night her high school basketball team won the regional championship.


Regret that my writings may be a bit disorganized this submit. Just a hectic time … but truth be known, probably pretty damn good for a civil engineer! Please keep me posted on contact information – e-mail, mailing addresses and phone numbers. Hope to hear from each of you in the coming months! In the bonds, Jerry


Charles Kause

Alright, already! Give a BR a break. Will Council grew tired of writing War and Peace-sized novel class notes. So, during the 25th Reunion Weekend he started buying my drinks at the social activities, all the while whispering in my ear about the glories of being a class agent. Basking in the beer – and bourbon – fueled down home bonhomie that is a VMI class reunion, my will to resist his entreaties weakened by the glass. So, somewhere around the Chocolate Mousse during the banquet and dance in Cameron Hall, I found Will and tearfully told him I would be a good BR and relieve him of his duty. It was the least I could do, considering he carried the flag proudly and boldly for so long. I figured I could have some fun, strike up conversations with my BRs, get invited to their homes, eat their chow, drink their booze, and tell stories of the Golden Era of the Corps of Keydets; when Class of ’82 personally shepherded in An Age of Enlightenment in the Barracks and throughout the Civilized World. But it was not to be. My first clue as to my fate was when Will would not look me in the eye as we parted company on Sunday morning. He mentioned mailing me his records, promised to pass on my points of contact to the Alumni Association and hurriedly got in his car to go searching for hay for his livestock … all the while singing at the top of his lungs as he sped away “Free at last, free at last! Thank God Almighty, Free at last!” My second clue was a terse e-mail from Harry Bitzberger, who welcomed me to my new thankless world, the way a grizzled lifer welcomes fresh meat in prison. Other than professing his support, he wanted me to add this bon mot: “I was at VMI last week for our 25th Reunion and saw Chuck Kause ... he looked extremely handsome and well fed.” Thanks, Prez. I do not recall if Harry ever mentioned in previous notes that his family moon bounce business, MBA/Fun Services, was voted “Best of Philly 2006” by the read-

ers and editors of Philadelphia Magazine. So, I figured now that I am an important figure in the VMI Community, I might as well start participating in more local alumni chapter events. You know … meet and greet, find a BR or two, shake them down for info. So I went to a combined Potomac and George Marshall Chapters Founders’ Day Dinner. It was in a dimly lit restaurant in Tysons Corner. As I was standing alone nursing a drink, a shadowy figure greeted me by name and called me his BR. I had to blink several times to discern who this elegant, cultured gentleman was, as he was without nametag. Turns out it was Steve LeVan. My compliments to the protocol mavens at Foggy Bottom for turning a gangly looking lad from the nether reaches of suburban Lynchburg into one suave, debonair diplomat! Steve then introduced me to his date that evening, a most exquisite, Vogue-worthy lady named Miss Robin. Steve had done a couple of tours in the Army as an artillery officer before going into tech consulting. But he could not resist the siren’s song of government service. Over dinner, I gently chided him over the news that some of his colleagues were actively resisting postings in Iraq. “Well,” Steve sniffed. “I do not know what they are complaining about. I did my time in the sand!” BR Darryl Horne was the guest speaker that evening. He had just finished two terms on the VMI Board of Visitors and spoke of all the changes that are taking place at the “I.” If you did not make it to the reunion or have been to Lexington recently, you will be amazed at all of the updates to the buildings, facilities and academic and extra-curricular programs. Darryl’s engineering firm, Horne International, is doing gangbuster business in the VMI way, and is always looking for qualified and motivated candidates to help grow the business. Shoot. If I had only passed calculus the first time, maybe he would hire me. Right before Thanksgiving, I got a call from Will Council telling me Dan Clymore was gravely ill. All of a sudden, the network fired up and any BR who got word wanted to help. Qzzie Belcher, Dan’s old roommate and now next door neighbor, took charge of ensuring Dan’s family was taken care of and stood watch in the hospital. Dan suffered what was thought to be a leaky blood vessel in his brain while at work in Springfield, VA. He was rushed to INOVA Fairfax Hospital where further scans revealed the source of Dan’s pain. For reasons I am not still yet clear over, Dan was placed in the Intensive Care Unit until his surgery. The procedure involved inserting a catheter into his femoral artery and snaking it through the heart and up into his brain. An embedded camera


CLASS NOTES located the leak. I assume a stent or caulking/ bonding device was placed on the leak and the catheter was withdrawn. When I finally got to see Dan looked like he was recovering from a three day drunk, but was awake, alert, and in fine humor. We caught up with one another’s lives, and he told me the real miracle was getting from the emergency clinic near his office in Springfield to the hospital in the ambulance in seven minutes. Of course, this occurred during Thanksgiving Eve rush traffic at the I-95/I-495 Mixing Bowl. Right before publishing this rag, I called Dan to see how he was progressing and was informed by his mother-in-law that he had taken the family to Paris, France, for a vacation. So, I assume all is well. More details will follow, especially when Dan takes me out for a beer or two, like he promised me when he was sedated. The moribund network also became active with the news that Darren McDew has been selected for the rank major general in the USAF. When last we saw Darren, he was in fine form at the reunion and was the vice commander of the 18th Air Force out of Scott Air Force Base in IL. But, shortly thereafter, he snuck into Washington to assume his current position as the director of public affairs out of the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. Did his class agent know this? BR, you are head of Air Force PR. A little change of address note would have been nice, even if one of your minions penned it. One of the “joys” of being a class agent is sending out Christmas cards to all the BRs. Jeez! I never realized we had so many. Of course my lovely family graciously declined to help me send them out. So, I sat at my dining room table, late at night writing pithy notes and licking envelopes and stamps until the wee hours of the morning. The good thing was, I actually got some nice cards from BRs, as well as a few e-mails and phone calls. Very few. But one pleasant surprise was communication from my old F Troop buddy, Terry Belden. Terry is working logistics for Dell Computers out of TN. He took early retirement from the Army after Somalia and is now a civilian slug like most of us. Says he missed the 25th Reunion, as he was climbing a mountain in Mexico. Apparently, he still needs a thrill or two every now and then, as he really passionate about high altitude glacier climbing. He is also passionate about his fiancée, Robin, an applied mathematics whiz. She is in the Chicago area, so the romance is long distance, but worth it. Perhaps by the time this is published, he has moved to Chicago. But where are the mountains and glaciers in that prairie town? Fortunately, Will Council, ex-novel writer and peripatetic correspondent always comes

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through with BR gouge. He traveled to Richmond over the New Year to visit family and got to drink a beer or two with Jeff Modisett and Macko Tabb. Jeff was going crazy with closing out of $18 million business project that has been going on for several years. They were trying to beat the end of year tax deadline to allow the client to re-coop several million in historical tax credits. Jeff said he had only had off Christmas day over the past several weeks. Macko was also busy with work and was really looking forward at the time to being out early the next morning to begin demolition of an exterior building wall on the MCV campus. These were the two coldest days of the season so far, and he was going to be out in it with his men. Macko was also pleased to report his “littering” ticket that he was “awarded” in September during the reunion was not going to be as painful as was feared. Unfortunately, while Will was gallivanting with his BRs in the Holy City, Susan, Will’s wife, had to deal with a dead battery in his car, a dead battery in his tractor, and two separate incidents of broken water lines in their green house because of that cold snap. “Will, where is the water cut off valve!!!!!” was the actual message left on his phone. To top it off, Susan got a flu like bug! Needless to say, Will’s traveling days were severely curtailed. He has little room to roam at the end of his leash in the dog house, and can barely make it to the mail box. Speaking of Richmond, I was invited to attend a VMI reception in honor of the General Assembly this past February. Things really have changed for the better at the “I.” Talk about a good deal for cadets. Go to Richmond. Wander the Capitol in your uniform. Shake hands with members of the General Assembly and thank them for their support. Go out on the town. Chat up alumni and friends of VMI at primo reception in the Library of Virginia. Eat shrimp and dead cow under a red lamp until you are stuffed. Then go out on the town. I don’t ever recall such a good deal when we ran the place! While at the reception, I ran into Bob Louthan working the crowd hard. Turns out one of his clients at his venture capital firm is Chris Schrichte, who was also present. Chris has started up a software company, now called TeraDact Solutions, which provides integrated delivery of information intelligence solutions for companies. Chris is trying to break in to the government market, as well. Thus, his presence in Richmond. And by the looks of it, he and Bob were successful in working some legislative magic. For a government geek like me, it was sheer poetry to observe the sausage being made (reference to Otto von Bismark for you History majors). After the reception, Chris and I linked up in

a bar (of course) where he informed me Holt Evans was in New York City, representing Jennifer Lopez during Fashion Week. Now I was tired from a full day of work, the Hegira to Richmond, the meeting and greeting, and with the noise in the bar, so I never fully understood how Holt wound up in New York with J.Lo. We made several attempts to call him, but Chris’ cell phone service was lousy, the bar was noisy, and it sounded like a lot of thumpety thump music coming out of NY. But I distinctly recall hearing Holt’s voice. We made several calls and several queries to discover just how callipygian her posterior really is. But alas, the phone died and we never found out. Perhaps Holt will arise and defend himself. Also out of the Richmond reception, I met Joel McBroom’s dyke from ’85, Jack Emerson. Jack informed me that Joel has now retired from the Marine Corps, lives in Jacksonville, NC, and is currently a teacher in the Onslow County Public Schools system, teaching special education children. If I am not mistaken, BR John Holmes has the very same second career in the same school system. Now I am not saying there is any nepotism involved here, but that is what we in the intelligence profession call an ‘indicator.” Still, who best to teach kids about the ways of the world, as well as the 3 Rs (Readin’, Ritin’, and Reconnaissance) than two grizzled, retired Marines! Best of success to you guys. During the Reunion, I dined with Paul Pendorf and was fascinated by his Horatio Alger tale of triumph. Paul, as you may recall, left the “I” before graduating, but completed his degree at ODU in ’84. He found his groove in insurance and financial consulting and has now made his home in Laguna Niguel, CA. Paul is now an Independent Adviser Representative and independent insurance agent. He met his lady, Maripaz, through his church, St. Catherine of Siena in Laguna Niguel. Both of them kept the table in rapt fascination as they described their lives and successes. Despite being an avowed East Coast denizen, I know there is a special magic to life in Laguna Niguel and was happy to discover Paul found his niche. Ken Yates also graced our table that evening, and I had not seen him since we parted ways at graduation. FL has treated Ken gently, and he appeared hale, hardy and deeply tanned. Since Ken is ever the scientist and technologist, supporting Air Force development activities in Eglin AFB, I knew better than to query him on his work. Now here is a story I really love. Fred Mock has now retired from the USMC. Rather than do the typical second career gig as a Beltway Bandit, Fred chose the quieter life in rural MS. He is now the associate director for facilities


CLASS NOTES and maintenance, which is under the Department of Housing and Residence Life at Mississippi State University in Starkville. Fred really beamed when he relayed how great his staff was and how happy his family enjoyed life in the rural South when I queried him before the big parade during the reunion. He even looks good in maroon and white, though my eyes started to glaze over when he went into a dissertation on the glories of SEC football. Ron Mecredy and I have been on and off colleagues and cohorts since we left active duty in 1994. Ron is still with Booz Allen Hamilton, helping his client in the National Reconnaissance Office enter the Net 2.0 Age. I always found it odd that a hard core Liberal Artist and Bio major could find fulfillment in a high tech government organizations, but we seem to have found homes. Ron, ever the IT aficionado, has a blog. You can find it at http://vmi1982. He also does the Facebook and the Linked In. Apparently several BRs are “Linked In,” as well. Ron and his wife, Belinda, spend time together on the weekends as volunteer Paramedics in Sterling, VA. I guess Ron’s biology degree is finally coming into practice. Ted Clarkson appears to be Linked In, though he is not in the habit of regularly checking it. Ted is still supporting the Joint Strike Fighter program office within its Interoperability IPT. He is able to escape the confines of the Beltway now and then on trips to NATO nations and around the U.S. Ted has gone green by purchasing a Prius and discusses its merits with Ron Mecredy, who is happy with an old Honda Civic he bummed from Darren McDew. Don’t you find it odd that an old Naval Flight Officer of Intruders would wax poetic on his gas mileage? Ted’s son, appropriately named “Ted,” is a second classman at VMI. I ran into him during his Ring Figure weekend during that atrocious Citadel game. Ted Junior’s class ring was enormous and worthy of serious Rapper Bling. Did they get matching gold chains and watches? Given the price of gold these days, did they have to promise Balfour or Josten’s their first born child as collateral? Bill Burnette wrote of very good news. His wife, Tammy, was not able to join us for our 25th Reunion due to chemotherapy following surgery for ovarian cancer. They are happy (ecstatic may be more appropriate) to report that her post treatment (six months worth of poison) CAT scan shows clear. No indication of cancer. So they are into the watch and wait game. The thoughts and prayers came through loud and clear and were very much appreciated. Now that Miss Tammy is better, foxhunting


season found the happy horsy couple out every weekend through mid March. Bill says that a Foxhunt club is more like a drinking club with a riding problem, and he is proud to report he is holding up his end quite well! He offers a standing invitation for anyone who wants to come watch a hunt near Bowling Green, VA. Do they allow non-equestrians to participate in warding off winter’s and spring’s chill? You may notice this epistle is more short story than Will Council’s weighty tomes. How could I even hope to match Will’s capacity? Of course, it helps to have a captive crowd, like at the reunion! But there are now new sheriffs in the Alumni Review office and they have lowered the boom on this poor class agent to provide succinct letters. Will’s effusiveness ruined it for everyone. Five pages or less or we are cut off. They are also most strict on meeting deadlines for submission. Will set the standard, and I quivered with performance anxiety as I dithered over the last issue. Then I got a nastygram from Lexington, stating I was late in submitting and would therefore suffer the shame of a blank page. Sorry, boys. I am now over my writer’s block and have found the secret to getting gouge on you. I now rely on the more garrulous BRs, dykes, wives and girlfriends to dish the dirt on you. If you wish to set your story straight, call me, write me, invite me to dinner or drinks to ensure you are described in a most favorable light. I will also use big words in my letters to confound you engineers just to demonstrate my Liberal Artist superiority. Don’t make me call you! Cheers to all, - Chuck


Jim Outland

By the time you read these notes, our 25th Reunion will be but a few weeks away. Hopefully you have made plans to attend and have received a variety of communications about the big event. If you still need details, just contact me ASAP, so I can bring you up to speed. Recent health issues faced by BRs Jack Manley, Ben Cottrell, John Dodge, and Todd Miles have reinforced for me and others the strong bonds we have and the need to maintain these bonds in an ongoing manner. So get with the program! Our 25th Reunion is exactly the place to reinvigorate these bonds! Not only can our unity be a source of strength and pride it also gives non-VMI friends and family considerable cause for bewilderment. As an example, consider the items some of us are still holding from our cadetship. I’m sure the following is merely the tip of the iceberg:

a VMI Hay (signed with owners last name, first and middle initials), a Shako (missing the dong), our third class room assignments (on originally submitted 3 X 5 cards), an old laundry bag (“still useful, but it’s hard to find a truck to toss it into every Monday morning”); a rubber rain cape, original issues of the VMI Cadet newspaper, a VMI NROTC tee shirt, a Rat tee shirt, a long-sleeve Lacrosse tee shirt, a Wet Beaver tee shirt (of course…), a Ring Figure tee shirt, a Rat bible (“tattered and torn though it is”), a piece of Marshall’s statue, a muddy “Bird Col” epaulette, and A “Special Letter of Concern” addressed to The Class of 83 (concerning the statue piece and epaulette). Even though these items evoke plenty of memories, it is still great to get first hand accounts from BRs such as Mark O’Neill who, even though he moved on to the “FRatline” at Auburn after our Rat year, still maintains a keen sense of humor. After joining the BR banter on the VMI83 Yahoo group, Mark quickly proved the clarity of his memory by helping us to identify the perpetRator of the infamous “Commandant’s Wife’s Shoes Debacle” which occurred during our Corps trip to UVa’s Scott Stadium in the fall of ’79. If any of you were still trying to recall the culprit who caused all of the sweat parties that followed, BR O’Neill confirms: “Yes, it was BR Chris ‘Gator’ Murray and he was the only member of the nascent class of 1983 to become inebriated during the Ratline. PS: He also had an incredible head of hair before the clippers got to him on Day 1.” Besides Mark, I’ve also enjoyed catching up with Maj. David Phillips who was also with us for Rat year before moving on. In David’s case it was to enlist in the USAF where he finished his BS degree in electrical engineering. Since rejoining the USAF after 9/11, David has been

Class of 1983: Natalie Lily Roltsch was born on March 8, 2008, to Mark and Aor.


CLASS NOTES a Medical Service Corps Officer (Medical Administration). He was recently on duty at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, where he met with BR Col. Steve Amato. During our Rat year, David and Steve were members of Cold Steel Charlie with David rooming in New Barracks corner room 472 with Jay Williams, Frank Kalesnik and Chris Pfefferkorn. David also recalls being next door to Scott Donahue and Joe Leonard. His unforgettable Rat year experience included having Jim Lunsford ’80 as his dyke. Despite all of this history at VMI, Dave was nevertheless recently selected to attend a Medical Plans and Operations Fellowship at U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill AFB and will soon be chief of Medical Plans for Special Ops Command Central. Another BR also serving our country is Lt. Col. Al McGreer. Al also met up with Steve in Qatar while on deployment as a citizen airman with the Nebraska Air National Guard. Al is a crewman on an RC-135 aircraft. In other military news, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bob Kerecz checked in with a quick note about being on the 2007 O-6 List that was released in April. Bob is currently stationed at Fort Dix, NJ (from whence your class agent ETSd), and is slotted to take over the Task Force that conducts battle command staff training and validation CPX’s for units deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. Bob’s group also works with units mobilizing and deploying out of Fort Bragg (which is another fine summer memory for your class agent…). Congratulations to you Bob and thanks for your service. Another active-duty BR I’ve enjoyed catching up with is USMC Col. Brent Dunahoe. Brent, Lisa and family are currently stationed in Kansas City where he is with the 24th Marines. The Dunahoe’s will transfer this summer, however, to Charleston, SC where Brent will take over as the Professor of Naval Science at The Citadel. This exciting news prompted Mark Benvenuto, professor of chemistry at University of Detroit Mercy, to paraphrase John Lennon’s famous “Imagine World Peace” with his own “Imagine Brent in Academia”…. Indeed, the concept of BR Dunahoe at the Citadel brings to mind a variety of tried and true RDC methods he may wish to employ as “student-motivators.” With BR Amato assuming command of VMI’s USAF detachment and Brent squaring-away The Citadel, The class of 1983 will definitely be heard from in the Ivory Tower. Mark has also let me know he sees Brett Allen who now lives in the Detroit area and that Brett and his new wife are also planning to make the journey to attend the reunion. I’m looking forward to catching up with Brett and

2008-Issue 3

hopes he sees these notes. Another BR hoping to make the trip back to Lexington this fall is USMC Col. Dave Hall. Dave is currently commanding officer, Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, CA, and tells me “snail mail” is an appropriate moniker to describe the U.S. mail service at his remote and isolated duty station. The good news is Dave and wife Kate are excited to be moving back to Camp Lejeune, NC, in late Summer. Their plans to attend the reunion are dependent upon work and possible deployment, but they hope to be able to join us in September. If the Halls can make it, this would be their second reunion with us. Andy Jones chimed in with a note from Thailand to say he will make the big journey back to Lexington this fall, thus eliminating any excuse from domestic BRs who plan on telling me Lexington is too far away for you to travel to attend our reunion. Andy has been in Thailand for some time now; so, I’m looking forward to face-to-face catch up with a fellow Ghetto-corner alum. Andy may also get a chance to see BR Trace Jones in Thailand before our reunion. The Jones-meet-Jones reunion is possible because Trace is scheduled for a brief deployment to Vietnam as part of his USAF Doctor duties and is trying to work Thailand into his schedule. I was a little concerned when Trace told me he was going to ’Nam (“Hey Jim, need anything from the Ho Chi Min trail?”) but I’m sure he will engender considerable goodwill by using his medical talents and thus not be in a position to initiate any international incidents. The Air Force is certainly sending Jones to a variety of places. During his deployment to Balad, Iraq, last year, he was able to meet and brief Gen. Petraeus. BR Andy Jones also offered to assist me in tracking down our Thai BRs Sompodh Sripoom, Somsak Roongsita and Chiewcharn Narathong because I want to make sure these guys know about our reunion. As of this writing, we have been unsuccessful in communicating with any of them so if any of you all can help, please let me know. BR Trent Boggs sent me a link to a terrific article about Sompdh which appeared in The Nation – Thailand’s largest Business Daily Newspaper. After leaving the Thai Army in the mid-90s and and serving as the operations director of the Bangkok subway system, Sompodh was offered the top job at Thai Tap Water Supply Company. His firm supplies tap water to consumers in Pathum Thani province. Under Sompodh’s leadership the company is about to be listed on the Thai Stock Exchange. Besides business success, Mark Roltsch

informs me there are developments on the “reproduction front” with the arrival of baby Natalie Roltsch. Mark was exhausted by the birth last March, but reports he and the baby are doing fine now. Oh yea, Mark’s wife, Aor, made the delivery without any pain meds, and she is doing OK too. Mark is with the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD. On the older side of the kid-spectrum, John Manning shared with me that his son has been elected by his BRs to be president of the class of 2011 – a fine honor indeed. Also on the “kid front,” a couple of the Gottwald brothers placed well in Virginia’s end of season wrestling tournament with both Ted and Clarke Gottwald winning state titles (160 and 171 lbs) down at Va Beach. Teddy Gottwald reports he is seeing lots of VMI connections in the VA Wrestling community: Andy Protogyrou ’84, Duke Pritchett ’86 and John Munno ’84 all had sons in the same tournament. John’s son Joe will also attend VMI next year on a wrestling scholarship. In addition to Munno the incoming Rat mass will include Skip Goodwillie’s son, James, who is planning to join the VMI swim team. A fine young man, I enjoyed meeting him at VMI’s Legacy Day a few years ago. With three Junior National Record Times to his credit, James is bringing a lot to the table and should give the team a good boost. Skip says he told his son to expect a ton of pushups between now and graduation, but as a third generation VMI matriculant I believe James already has an idea of what is in store. Skip’s take on the big news? “Less than four months until Staci and I are ‘empty nesters’ … not that I’m counting” Speaking of athletic supporters, I received a great note and a picture from BR Cubby Fox who is with the school system in Charlottesville. In his spare time Cubby referees lacrosse games and recently called a college

Class of 1983: Cubby Fox (left) is a teacher in the Albemarle County, Virginia, school system and a lacrosse referee. He recently refereed a game for his old VMI coach Mike Pressler (right). Mike was VMI’s first varsity lacrosse coach.


CLASS NOTES have been in pretty good shape. Even ran a the Navy. Jerry updated me on Jack’s status game involving our prior VMI head lacrosse few marathons and stayed active with 10Ks. and also let me know that the American flag coach, Mike Pressler, who is now with Bryant That all changed about a year ago … after presented to Jerry at his retirement ceremony University. After his first head-coaching job at two bouts with pneumonia I went and saw had been flown over the VMI Parade ground VMI in 1983, Mike went on to be an assistant a specialist for lungs and the diagnosis was on Jack’s birthday, March 11, 2008. coach at Army and later to be the head coach for made … I’m looking to have a lung transplant As part of the Brick for Jack fund raising 16 seasons at Duke. False accusations and other done in the fall at Duke, but am not on the effort and as news was breaking about our injustice forced his resignation from Duke, but list yet for a transplant. I have a great support other stricken BRs, I received a call from Bryant University had the guts to stand up and group here in Charleston with my church and Bruce Cohen in Dallas where he lives with hire him. Jack Emmer, the NCAA’s all-time winfriends. I just want you to know that it affects his wife and two children. Bruce is an atningest lacrosse coach (and prior coach at W&L 40,000 people a year, and just because you torney with Verizon, focusing on Wholesale and Army), said the following after Bryant hired Telecommunications law so we had a great Mike: “Mike Pressler could very well be the think you may be out-of-shape you may wish time catching up as well as talking about best lacrosse coach in the country. He is a man to have it checked. Caught early it can be artelecommunications stuff. I also had a great of great character who stood up for his players rested with meds (somewhat).” Our thoughts back and forth with Bob Mednikov. John when they needed him. He is a very demanding and prayers are with you Todd, so please let Preston also called me to get the update after and dedicated coach with high principles, and I us know how we can help. We all have a variBen’s aortic aneurism and subsequent cancer know his players at Bryant will come to love and ety of contacts and networks to draw on. treatments and a number of you also inquired respect him as they did at Duke. Bryant UniverTodd’s closing comment said it best: “As about John Dodge’s sudden colon cancer sity has stepped up to the plate and recognized we get on in years, it is good to have friends surgery, which, as of this writing, seems to be Mike’s outstanding coaching ability and in time from the ‘I’ to support us.” John Dodge also successful. they will reap the benefits.” captured it in his Caringbridge journal “We The CaringBridge sites set up for each of Another lacrosse referee I’ve seen here in have a bond that is difficult to explain, but these guys has been a great vehicle for BRs Richmond is former team-mate Tim Spivey stronger than Kevlar.” My hope is we continto express their support and to get updates. ’86. Tim was our goalie during his Rat year ue to rally as a group to support each other as Google “caringbridge” to link to the Web and is currently a police officer with Chesterwell as VMI. Our 25th Reunion promises to field County. Like Cubby, Tim is a Lax Ref in site, then click on the “More ways to visit” be a great chance to renew these friendships, link and enter the BRs first and last name. his spare time. Anyone who knows lacrosse have fun and reflect on the impact of the VMI When things were moving very quickly in understands the special skills required to experience. I hope you all will be there. Jim Ben’s case, Becky Cottrell did a heck of a defend the goal from an extremely hard ball Hank Selman job in keeping us all posted. Like Becky, flying toward them at 90+ mph. I believe Anne Manley and Linda Dodge have also similar courage (and more) is needed by been through incredible hardships, yet have today’s police officers. Tim and I had a great continued to show their love and support, time discussing the game, waterfowl hunting both to their husbands as well as to all of us and training Labrador Retrievers. who seek to help. And finally in the lacrosse arena, I recently Todd Miles also updated our VMI83 Yahoo read an interesting article in the VirginianGreetings, BRs. I am happy to announce group about his on-going battle with the lung Pilot newspaper about the rapid growth of to you guys that the Alumni Reviews will disease Pulmonary Fibrosis. “I have been the sport in the Tidewater area. Lacrosse is be coming out on a more regular basis in pretty active since leaving the Institute and definitely seeing tremendous growth not only the future. This should make for a timelier in VA but also in several other update section as well. I bumped parts of the U.S. I was pleased into a bunch of you at the recent to see our BR Franklin Keydet Club auction in Richmond Hudgins taking a leadership in May. Eric Jolly reports that role as well as being quoted his son is doing well at UNC and in the article about innovative will continue to start for them at ways to help make lacrosse offensive tackle this fall. We had a varsity sport in public a great turn out at this event and schools, specifically Maury around $100,000was raised for the High School where Franklin’s VMI athletics. Dr./Col. Bill Hunt son, Christopher, plays. was there regaling us with stories Despite some great updates of pulling teeth and conducting in these notes, the on-going root canals in a war zone. Bill health issues affecting BRs had recently returned from Iraq. Jack, Ben, John and Todd I briefly saw Bill Janis as well at have been difficult. Although the event but for some reason he I wish the circumstances sneaked out early. There was even Class of 1984: The regular Bob Evans ’84 breakfast gang had been different, it was a Wilson Enochs sighting that in Richmond were, from left, Steve Hupp, Keith Mangum, nice catching up with Jerry night. Wilson looked great and Joe Irby ’84 +1, Steve Barsamian, Steve Reardon, Tom Manley ’81, Jack’s brother, was proudly displaying his readHigginbotham and Kemper Wharton. who retired this spring from ing glasses around his neck.




CLASS NOTES Keith Mangum has a new Judy is in her final year of high hip and is already skiing on it. school and is quite the social butHe also just received an M.S. terfly. She is extremely active in her in Information systems from youth group and takes advantage VCU. As part of his research, of every opportunity to be with her he was forced to go to Sweden friends. and Demark for several weeks. Cristina is 11 going on 16! She Mango mentioned that it was continues to be active in soccer tough duty but someone had to and her church youth program and volunteer for it. He told me that makes us laugh each and everyday. he bumped into Gene Sampey We are so grateful for our girls who and his wife, Susan, the other keep us amused and entertained day at a local eatery, and Gene even on those days when we are a has committed to join our little tired of the struggles we face breakfast crew as a regular. in ministry and life in general. I also received an amazing Living in Chile this past year and update from Mark Briesmaster a half has been intense in so many Class of 1984: From left: Jamie, Joseph (class of 2012) who is down in Chile doing ways – spiritually, emotionally, and John Munno at the Keydet Club auction in May missionary work: “Greetings mentally, linguistically, socially, 2008. from the land flowing with lava culturally and educationally. Thanks and contaminated water! Once to your prayers and support we are churches. He is particularly blessed to be able moving forward and excited by the opportuagain Chile makes the news for geological to put to use his academic training in educareasons. This latest tragedy took place about nities and challenges that the Lord presents tion. He enjoys doing theological education a week ago in Chaiten, which is a town south us with each day. Remember that we are here field research and not just to write articles of us in a remote part of northern Patagonia. representing you and working to fulfill the for some obscure educational journal that just Plumes of smoke rose more than 30 km. Great Commission in this region of the world. sits in some damp library somewhere, but he into the sky and forced the evacuation of Missionary work is not some romanticized gets to analyze the data and share his findthousands to Puerto Montt a city to the north. adventure you might see in the movies. It’s ings with pastors and other church leaders. Churches all over the country have been busy hard, and there are days when the pressure Pray for his continuing desires to organize sending food, clothing and others necessigets to us. But I will also say that knowing the right people to work toward the vision of ties to these folks. Along with your prayers you are behind us and that God is on our creating a Christian university here in Chile. and gifts for the victims of the Myanmar side, keeps me going and keeps all of the Gloria continues to stay very busy running the Briesmasters going. So, pray for us and keep disaster, the tornados in the U.S., and the retreat center here in addition to all the other recent Chinese earthquake, please remember in touch. Your letters, e-mails and packages domestic tasks associated with being a wife these Chilean folks as well in your devotional mean more than words can express.” and mother. She is really quite amazing in that times. Gracias!! I also saw Kemper Wharton recently, and she gets it all done. She also loves to handle May was a big birthday month for us. I he told me that he took his son up to VMI last the administrative part of our rural seminary (Mark) turned 46 and officially entered into month for a school visit. He was even given SCRIM and also teaches a class on Worship. his midlife crisis years. Gloria turned 49 (and a ticket by one of VMI’s campus policemen, Pray for strength and perseverance as she faces holding) and also celebrated Mother’s day. but after much negotiation was able weasel her never ending daily responsibilities. Mark continues to teach, preach and visit his way out of it. Kemper was also at the Keydet Club auction in May, and he was generous enough to sponsor a table and invite a lot of his BRs to attend. This explains why I bumped into Jeff Levenson at this event. Next time, Jeff, it might be a good idea if you eat something during the evening. If you get a little food in your tummy the event might not wind up being as costly. Jeff did mention that he took his son, Max, up to Legacy day at the “I” this spring, and he saw Chris Bruch and his daughter up there as well. Ok guys, please send me a note, and keep posted on what’s going Class of 1984: At the Keydet Club auction in Richmond, Virginia, May 2008, were, on. from left, Jeff Levenson, Hank Selman, Kemper Wharton, Greg Cavallaro, Frank Kollmansperger, John Munno, Mike Locher, Wilson Enochs and Hal Hamner. I hope to see y’all in Lexington this fall.

2008-Issue 3




John Eckenrode

Editor’s Note: There are no class notes from the class of ’85 in this issue.


Clint Hubbard

This edition is being written on New Market Day. With the aggressive new publishing timeline for the Alumni Review, you should be reading these words about the time the new Rats are matriculating in August. As a veteran of the publishing industry, that is a remarkable turnaround time when you consider the AR staff is comprised of three people. Let us commence this edition with a tale of two Mad-dog Delta boys. Two guys are in Delta Company together for four years; they actually live next door to one another for our last three years at VMI. Fast forward 22 years, and they’re both standing in line at a Circuit City in Virginia Beach, VA. Former Cadet A spies former Cadet B who is wearing a hat with the VMI logo. He asks the question: “Did you go to VMI?” Former Cadet B answers “Yes.” The follow-up: “What class?” Reply: “1986.” Then, as smooth as a Brillo pad, former Cadet A says, “No _____; who are ya?” This scenario actually played out between BRs Remi Thompson and Matt Baker. Remi called to tell me about it, and we had a good chuckle; I asked Remi if he and Matt had

changed that much to the point that they really didn’t recognize one another. Remi admitted he had gained about 125 pounds since graduation, but he couldn’t get Matt over to the scales to weigh in. This scenario reminded me of the fall of 1983 when we returned to the “I” as thirds and everyone’s Rat haircut had grown out. According to news forwarded to me by Jake Spivey ’85 (thanks, Jake!), our BR Dave Spears has assumed the rank of captain in the Navy Reserves. You may recall that BR Spears was recalled to active duty and deployed to Africa, but I believe he may be back in San Diego by now. Well done, Dave! Undoubtedly, we still have some BRs deployed in troublesome spots around the world. Tom McCarthy checked in from Saudi Arabia where he is currently serving at the behest of the U.S. Army. I think he went from Kosovo to Saudi Arabia … not exactly garden spots. Keep safe, Tom! Who else is out there “off the beaten path?” Although he isn’t in the military (unless you consider Ducks Unlimited a military organization), Wayne Fuller might be headed to Afghanistan. It seems that Bob Scaglione and Fuller are ‘putting the band back together.’ They worked together several years ago with a company called Perigon Engineering. Perigon disbanded their VA operations and everyone went their separate ways. Bob started a oneman engineering firm that has grown much larger, and now, Wayne is back at work with him. By a stroke of good fortune, they landed an immense project through the Department of Defense in Afghanistan and BR Fuller might be the ‘boots on the ground’ guy for a few months. In preparation for the assignment, I joined

Wayne at several stops on the gun show circuit and can report that he is now armed and ready for deployment. His only requirement was that he be back in VA before the fall hunting seasons commence. Bryan Amsel checked in this quarter with an update. Bryan and his family moved from Lynchburg to Pulaski (VA) last summer; so, we could be closer to his job at the Radford Arsenal where BR Amsel works for the Federal Government as a contract administrator. In February, Bryan was recalled to active duty for the Air Force working the initial preparations for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC, and he will be there until August of 2008. BR Amsel says that DC politics are very “interesting,” and he is glad he is just at the “worker bee level” (his words). Sister Rat Amsel (Caroline) is staying at home with the kids while Bryan is gone. Bryan and Caroline’s oldest, Brandon, is finishing up his freshman year at Emory and Henry College. BR Amsel says he tried to get Brandon to VMI, but he and Caroline obviously raised a smart young man as Brandon didn’t want anything to do with all of those rules. On the other hand, their middle child, Christopher, cannot wait to matriculate at VMI, even though he is just in the 10th grade. Their youngest, Katie, is in second grade. Thanks for the great update and best wishes on the commute to DC each week. Stay away from that bunch of miscreants at the Pentagon and in Crystal City … namely Inman, J.P.; Grimm, D.K.; and Gitchell, C.L. Speaking of commuting, Michael Lakos checked in to advise that he was TDY while attending some advanced higher education at

Class of 1986: Jim Taggart (far right) is a member of the Duke Merrick Band which played at Jenna Bush’s May 2008 wedding rehearsal dinner in Salado, Texas.



CLASS NOTES Langley AFB in Hampton, VA. I’ve been waiting to hear of a VA State Police report as some of you veteran readers may recall BR Lakos’ lead foot when Officer Jim Daly of the Arlington County Police pursued him several years ago. By the time this is in print, BR Lakos will have rejoined his family in Europe where he is serving the USAF. Wayne Mason sent in a great update on the last 22 years. His story is a tale I’ll warrant is likely unrivaled in the annals of Keydet skirt chasing. BR Mason started off with the news that he and his bride, Mary Lee, would be celebrating their 22nd anniversary in June of 2008. The great story is that Wayne and Mary Lee met at Radford University when we were thirds and BR Mason had joined the skydiving club as a means to get off Post since he was under the confines of academic probation. So, BR Mason takes up skydiving in order to wangle his way off Post and ends up 22 years later married to a girl he met when he was just trying to get away from VMI for the weekend. I don’t know about you, but I’d say that’s Divine Providence at work! Wayne and Mary Lee have two children – daughter Aubrey is 19 and just finishing her freshman year at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. Son Josh is finishing his junior year in high school. BR Mason was an Army artillery officer for nearly 21 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in June 2007. The Masons still live outside of Fort Hood, TX. Wayne is now gainfully employed by an oil and gas drilling contractor, Grey Wolf Drilling Company L.P. and currently working out of Houston, TX. He stays in a corporate apartment there, but goes home most weekends. Wayne and Mary Lee plan to relocate to Houston as soon as Joshua graduates from high school in 2009. BR Mason says he’s having a great time at Grey Wolf currently serving as the project manager for the construction of two land based drilling rigs and putting together the company’s preventative maintenance program. He’s also helped the company put together a recruiting program focused at hiring young soldiers transitioning out of the military and spends time interviewing junior military officers for admission to Grey Wolf’s management development program. Among his military assignments, Wayne served a three-year hitch as a psychological operations officer (at Fort Bragg and in Sarajevo), three years as an observer controller at the Army’s premier training center in Hohenfels, Germany, and my last job as an Effects Officer for the 4th Infantry Division during its November 2005 to November 2006 mission to Baghdad, Iraq. BR Mason received a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. As if all that’s not

2008-Issue 3

enough, Wayne also finished up his master’s degree in business Administration from the University of Phoenix last November; that’s not too shabby for a guy who spent time on the dean’s ‘Other List’ at VMI. Wayne closed by asking for any contact info on BRs John Hairr or David Wallace. (Hey, John or Dave, feel free to send an update to BR Hubbard sometime!) Thanks for a super update, Wayne, and well done on your successful Army career and your second burgeoning one with Grey Wolf. I still stand by that story of going skydiving and finding a wife as one probably unrivaled although if it is to be rivaled, my bet is on Cadet Ultra Private Gordon McKinley. Think about it; McKinley got boned for hosting unauthorized women drinking unauthorized alcohol in Barracks, and he served about three weeks confinement before Governor Chuck Robb granted amnesty. You’d think that would have been enough to make BR McKinley a Democrat for life. Speaking of TX and politics, many will recall that President Bush’s daughter Jenna got married in May 2007. What you probably don’t know is that the band that played the rehearsal dinner was a group out of Charlottesville, VA, called “The Duke Merrick Band.” Some of you veteran barflies may remember them as ‘Duke Merrick and the Millionaires’ as they were known a few years back, and you may further recall that our very own Jim Taggart plays guitar and mandolin with Duke. (Jim has played with Duke for over 25 years and Duke’s dad is Thomas Merrick, VMI Class of ’45.) Can you believe that? Our Brother Rat Taggart played the rehearsal dinner for the Bush-Hager wedding! Jim said it was a great experience and a wonderful wedding and party. He offered that President Bush cuts a mean rug on the dance floor with the First Lady. BR Taggart said George W. actually gave him a ‘thumbs up’ after one of their sets which is of course always preferable to the alternative finger that folks usually show Taggart. The other part of the story about how Sister Rat Paula Taggart held up the Presidential motorcade will have to come in a future edition. Finally, in early May, the Keydet Club hosted a silent auction and fundraiser in Richmond at the Science Museum of Virginia. It was a lovely affair and since the men of ’86 always enjoy a party, we had a grand turnout including Jay Ball, Mikey Calkins, Wayne Fuller, Brett Hayes, Phil Howard, Clint Hubbard, Gordon McKinley, Gordon Poindexter, Tim Spivey, Frank Trice along with our adopted BR Richard Hewitt ’83. There were a multitude of guys from other classes in the ’80s as well. It was surely a good time and if it is repeated, I highly recommend attending.

Well that’s about it for this episode. In addition to John Hairr and Dave Wallace, where oh where are Roman Malavet, Craig Harris, Rob Nentwig, Dale Powell and Jim Pingree? Don’t make us have BR Spivey fire up that police missing person computer program on you. Take care Brother Rats and send some news when you can.


Ernie Edgar

Brother Rats, as I write this for submission to the Alumni Review, New Market Day is just around the corner, marking the end of another academic year at VMI. In April, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Class Agents’ Conference and learn more about the state of our beloved Institute, what cadets are up to these days and what challenges lie ahead for them and for VMI. I came away from the conference both encouraged by the caliber of today’s VMI cadet and the kind of academic, athletic and military program each must complete to graduate. At the same time, I learned more about the challenges – both fiscal and programmatic – that VMI now faces. More than anything else, I think, the administration, faculty, staff and the cadets themselves need to know that VMI alumni as a body still care about what goes on in Lexington and still support what VMI is all about. And if our class is any indication, it is about undertaking a lot of different things all over the world. Beginning with our own member of the VMI Board of Visitors, Mike Maxwell has been making the rounds. Jack Avis, Jack McCarthy, Reid Garst and Doug Messner all saw Max at the Roanoke chapter meeting in February. Doug put it this way: “Reid and I saw him at the reception in Roanoke and noticed the name tag. He confirmed that it was not a joke.” Gerry Tertychny checked in from Valley Forge Military Academy where he is the Professor of Military Science. He had dinner with Scott Jones in February. Scott was the area on business and we got together and “laughed about the old times.” Gerry also ran into (literally) Neil Robinson while he was at Fort Monroe not long thereafter. “I was out for a run, and he was walking his dog. I hadn’t seen him in 21 years!” Neil is in the Air Force and stationed at Langley. Gerry also met up with Gray Wooten who is in the Navy and stationed at Norfolk. Bob Merkel checked in again from Baghdad where his 192nd EOD Battalion continues the counter-IED fight. Bob reports that his troops are busy and working hard and continue to have


CLASS NOTES to MN so she could be near her parents. Charles success in their difficult mission with support Reunion! Thanks again to Hugh and Adam for proudly reports that they have “two beautiful from the local residents. Bob’s soldiers have putting together a great event! One week after daughters, Sarah (14) and Emily (13), neither of the reunion, I was fortunate enough to attend worked alongside Virginia Army National which will go to VMI!” Charles is the managing the retirement party for John (A.J.) Williams. Guard engineer soldiers, many of whom are partner of a civil engineering design/marketing on their second tour in Iraq. Bob reported that Like many of our Brother Rats, John served company based in the upper Midwest. Outside these citizen-soldiers were absolutely profesour country for 20 years. Congratulations and a of work, Charles is pretty much a physical stud sional and how much he enjoyed being around heart-felt thank-you all of our BRs celebrating competing in the triathlon, mountain biking, soldiers from all over VA. 20 years in the military! Many of our BRs will road cycling and ultra-marathon races. “I guess Vernie Reichling also checked in from be retiring this year and in need of job opportuAfghanistan where he commands the 70th Engi- the rigorous life at VMI called me back to that nities. Let’s not forget the strength of our VMI neer Battalion. By the time you read this, Vernie kind of thing.” Now that’s an understatement! ties and leverage our relationships to help these As I wind this up for another edition of the and his troops will be home again – the 70th men make the transition into civilian life. To Alumni Review, please keep in touch with all Battalion to Fort Riley, and the Reichlings back those BRs who have hit the 20 year mark and the details of the things you are doing and the in the DC area. Like Bob, Vernie reports that are still going strong … God bless you and your places you are going. I look forward to passing his soldiers are succeeding in their counter-IED families! As I sat down to write this update, it all that on to our classmates! fight. They are all looking forward to coming dawned on me that May 15th was the 20-year Ernie home, and Vernie reports that he and his batanniversary of our graduation. Where has the talion leadership are working hard to keep them time gone? I have a 19-year-old son who will Drew McKone be applying to VMI for the 2009 class and an focused and safe until then. Jay Pennington lives in CO where he is the 18-year-old daughter preparing for her Senior president of his own company, The PenningProm. Someone’s getting old! ton Group, LLC. After doing some security I traded e-mails with Andy Andres, and he services work, Jay reports that his company reports that his son, Josh, graduates from the We’ve had a very eventful few weeks for our has gone back to his first love in the oil and gas Naval Academy this spring and will be going class! First we had a very successful 20-year industry. While that has gone well, and Jay is to BUDS in April of 2009. As a warm up for excited about the work, he has also had BUDS, Josh will be going to Ranger a couple of close calls on the highway. School in July. The apple certainly Fortunately, the safety systems in his car doesn’t fall far from the tree! Congratudid their work, and he came out of both lations to Andy and his wife for raising accidents on his own two feet. such terrific son! I look forward to future updates and for the update from the H. Byrne is officially retired from Wilson Cup! the Army as of March 1st. As he put I received the following from Dave it: “After seven trips to Iraq and one to Pitts’ wife via Hugh: “Since my hubby Afghanistan and working for SOCOM is so busy I’ll send you our notes. Well, in most of the other countries in the we tried to make the reunion. UnforMiddle East, I retired at 20 years to take tunately we didn’t. Going anywhere this awesome position as president of East from Peoria on a plane is nearly Bell Pottinger Communications USA.” impossible! We did manage to make it H divides his time between Tampa to Legacy Day where our three, Chaz, (where he lives) and his office in DC 10, Brandon, 9 and Catherine, 6, had a every week, “but also spends time in great time seeing all the places Daddy London, Dubai and other places in the lived and breathed for four years! Even Middle East, still contributing, albeit in Biscuit, the dog, got to see VMI! Dave a different way, to our efforts in the war is still with Caterpillar, Inc. having fun on terror. So if you or any BRs should working. He’s been traveling quite a bit find yourselves in Tampa, give me a to the West Coast. I think it’s secretly shout!” H has fairly regular contact with to escape the cold weather here! He Rob Susnar who is partner in a Club in managed to bring home that Midwest Vegas. H says Rob also divides his time earthquake last week! He had just come between LA and Vegas these days, “livClass of 1988: Dave Williams, who served as home that night!! I didn’t find it funny ing the high life!” a class officer, officiated in a brief memorial as I didn’t like them when we were in Another captain of industry, Charles service, during reunion weekend to honor deceased members of the class of 1988. Bricks CA either. He managed to get in a great Allgood, checked in from suburban were unveiled during the ceremony that memoski trip to CO at the end of January. Minneapolis. After VMI, Charles went rialized the names of those who are deceased. He was wonderful and let me escape to the University of Florida and earned Anonymous members of the class ensured that to Cancun with a few friends the week his Master’s in Civil Engineering, and donations were made so that the bricks could before spring break. Good thing as I then worked as a geotechnical engineerbe placed as a part of the class’s 20th Reunion. arrived home at 7 p.m. and left the next ing consultant for a while in fl and MN. Pictured to the left of Williams is Hugh Brien, morning by 10 to head to FL. We loaded He met his wife, Diane, in Naples, FL, class agent. up three kids, one dog and enough stuff and after they were married they moved




Class of 1988: Row 1: Greg Rollins, Richard Stone, Tom Schumacher, Curran Bowen, Roscoe Davis, Jim Tuemler, Drew McKone, Hugh McMenamin and Hugh Brien. Row 2: Mike Bryant, Ron Kindley, Thorpe Whitehead, Greg Gooch, Rob Campbell, Mark Bristol, Lance Pickering, Ted Wagner, Don Calder, Adam Volant, David Williams and Mark Arboneaux. Row 3: Eric D’Anna, Scott Miller, Tom Reimann, Andy Gillespie, Jeff Dixon, Michael Wood, Ed Wetherell, Tim West, Ed Page, Bo Baik, John Gillespie, Sam Tate and Tom Taylor. Row 4: Rusty Sloane, John Bordelon, John Ryman, Chris Goff, Joe Swider and Mike Owen. Row 5: Richard Pitts, Dave Sullivan, Chris Goerner, John Doyle, Ted Cusick, Dave Carter, Mike Pannell, John Ancona, Carl Mitlehner, Hugh McGloin, Tony Putre and Rick Blocker. Row 6: John Scarpino, Chris Starling, Mike Coleman, Bill Reagan, Dan Shrimpton, Frank Del Barto, Al Cuellar, Matt Koloseike, Dave Omstead, Slick McGraw, Chris Long, Chris Demmons, John Williams, Charlie Cayce, Scott Stachelek and John Keppeler.


20th Reunion — April 25-26, 2008

Class of 1988

2008-Issue 3



Class of 1988: Members of the class of 1988 gathered together in Bangkok, Thailand, in May for a mini reunion. From left: Col. Thongvit Noonpackdee, Michael Mcgraw, Brian Hatheway and Col. Kultawat Vaijai. for winter/spring/summer in all the states in the South into my Suburban! We had a blast at Disney World with all the family. From there we headed to VA for Legacy Day. We would’ve been the farthest traveled if not for our friends from Anaheim Hills, CA. Wouldn’t you know they were in VA for spring break, so they won! We finally got back home on Sunday – and we’ve been hard pressed to get back in the car for much of anything since. When we travel to VA we always make a stop at VMI. Maybe some time we’ll catch up with some folks. We’re here in Peoria if you ever find yourself here! Oh, we have new e-mail Chris Beck writes: “Sorry to say, I’m overseas (OEF) and cannot make the reunion. I am still a SEAL and working quite a bit lately ... I’m stationed at NSWDG in Virginia Beach, so if anyone wants to send me a note to get together at the end of the year when I’m back stateside that would be cool. This was the big one I was really trying to make; hopefully I can make the 25-year. Take care. Tip a beer to our brothers in arms around the world who stand on the wall everyday to make this country great.” Lew Sigmon checked-in from Germany to say that the family is doing well, and he regrets missing the 20-year Reunion. Lew – we look forward to seeing you at the 25th … if not before! Semper Fi! That’s it for the updates! I want to give each of you a heads-up that the 25th will be a fall reunion, and it will be the first time we present a check to the “I.” I’ll be communicating primarily through e-mails. If you have not received an e-mail from me since the reunion, it means I don’t have your e-mail address. Please send it to me ASAP … Thanks! Drew



Class of 1988: Chris Goerner and his wife, Terry, and two boys visited Jackson Memorial Hall before parade on reunion weekend.

Andrew J. Tunnard

Dear Brother Rats, I am writing these notes on the eve of our 19th anniversary of graduation from VMI. Yup …19, guys. That means next year is our 20th Reunion. Please mark your calendars with April 24 & 25, 2009, for the big weekend. I could use some guys to step forward and help plan the weekend. Please contact me via e-mail if you can help organize some activities. You know “many hands make for light work.” The alumni agency has started an on-line alumni networking system. I encourage everyone to check out and sign up at https://vmi. In March, I got together with several Brother Rats for a little going away celebration for Peter Catalano. Peter and his family will be heading to Turkey in the summer of 2008 where he will be the Naval Attaché. So, before time slipped away too much, Bill Miller organized a nice dinner in the Washington, DC, area for us to roast Peter a little before his next adventure. In attendance were Ned Cox, Gordy Fox, Dave Brown, Steve Warren and Peter Tunnard ’90. As far as roasts go, Peter got off pretty light. It was one of those nights, however, where we all laughed for several hours straight and were pretty exhausted from the frivolity. We wish Peter and Allison all the best as they represent us in Turkey for about three years. In January, I started a new job in Jersey City, NJ. I work in a rather big, non-descript office building with many other companies and firms. One morning in late April, I was walking

through the lobby after picking up a cup of coffee and thought I recognized a rather important looking individual all dressed up with brief case and polished shoes. He looked at me, and we instantly started howling. Mike Mezzecca was arriving to take a deposition of someone at an attorney’s office in our building. Well, we rode the elevator together and were trying to cram about 10 years of life into two minutes and decided we needed to continue over lunch. After Mike finished grilling some poor soul, we met up and had a couple of beers and laughed out loud as we rattled through updates of guys from VMI. Speaking of attorneys … I received a nice note from BR Lloyd Bell in April. Lloyd is a personal injury attorney in Atlanta. He is also married with three little ones (2 boys and 1 girl). Lloyd updated me on a couple of other guys. He said he does stay in touch with Eric Buchanan who is also an attorney in Chattanooga, TN, and Brian Cefalu who is a family doctor in NC. Finally, Lloyd heard from Bill Oxtoby who is still in the Army and now stationed in Omaha, NE, after a tour in Iraq. Thanks for the update Lloyd. Mike Banigan saw my last set of notes where I mentioned my father’s passing. He was kind enough to remember my dad through the foundation he founded. Mike is also the chairman of a company called DiseaseTrak located in Frisco, TX. As a native NJ guy, Mike is planning to be back in the great Garden State for the Forth of July festivities where he and I hope to meet up. Van Trumpore checked in from mile high country; CO. Van works for a high-end residential new home and remodeling company in the Denver area. He freely admits he will never be able to afford the homes that he builds. Other than work, Van and his wife, Lisa, stay very


CLASS NOTES busy running after their three boys; Michael (11), Patrick (9) and Riley (7). Van promises to make the 20-year Reunion next year … even if he gets called to another high profile trial, he is not missing another reunion. Finally, Ned Cox and wife Sharon are doing their best to form their own little platoon. They were blessed on May 13 with their fourth boy, Hatcher Hill. Ned claims to be done, but I would bet Sharon might get the urge for a little girl to round out the basketball team. Time will tell. Gentlemen, that is all for this set of notes. Again, I am looking for some volunteers to start planning the reunion weekend. Take care and we’ll hear from you soon.


R. Hunter Trumbo

Howdy BRs, I hope everything is well with you and yours. I’ve had the opportunity to spend a little time in Lexington recently, and the construction is progressing at an impressive pace. A lot of my time has been spent in the Mallory Hall (where we Computer Science geeks hung out with the Math and Physics majors), and it’s unrecognizable on the inside after the remodeling. When you walk in the familiar heavy oak doors everything else is different, starting with a small exhibit of science tools used for teaching at VMI over the last hundred years. It is a little scary that it includes some of the computers that we used almost 20 years ago. Ley and Jen Havird dropped me a note to let me know that Carolyn Reese was born in January, and that she’s been a great addition to the family. They have been living in Little

Class of 1990: Carolyn Reese Havird was born on Jan. 18, 2008, to Ley and his wife, Jenn. Here Carolyn is pictured with her 2-year-old sister, Avery.

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Rock AFB, AR, where Ley has been the 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, and is destined for Travis AFB, CA, where he will become the Deputy Group Commander of Maintenance for the 60th. They have been looking forward to the move, but understandably are also a little nervous about moving a dog, an infant, and their daughter Avery (2) half-way across the country. Jen seems pretty organized, and I’m sure she’ll be able to keep Ley and the rest of the family straight for the move. Lt. Col. Chris Whittaker sent me an update and some photos of his change of command ceremony. Is it just me, or does it seem amazing sometimes to think that our classmates are getting to the point where they’re senior officers? In April, Chris took command of the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, TX. His logistics organization provides direct support food, fuel, ammunition, medical, general supply and transportation to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in January 2009. Chris included pictures of him receiving the battalion colors and of the mounted Cavalry. Our BR Bill Madison and his

family were able to make the ceremony too. Steve Fitton and I had a quick chat about his most recent adventures. He’s been playing the never-ending role of stay at home dad for the last year to help take care of his daughter, Charlotte Louise. Steve said that she’s a handful but mostly well behaved. He had touched base to get contact information for a couple of our classmates. In case I haven’t plugged it for a while, the Alumni Association has continued to expand the functionality of and is making it easier for us to keep in touch with each other. If you haven’t registered for an account, it’s pretty painless. Once you log in click “My VMI” on the menu to see things specific to our class. And let’s not forget also that Rick Neff is continuing his great job of keeping up the content on Ramil Ibanez touched base to let me know that he had attended Legacy Day at VMI where he ran into Matt Schwarzmann and Terrence Kerner. Legacy Day is an event put on by the Alumni Association for alumni’s children to spend some time at VMI and get to see what it’s all about. Matt and Ramil had the distinction

Class of 1990: Victor Sabino was recently awarded the Medal of Valor by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Department. See notes for more details.


CLASS NOTES of having the youngest legacies in attendance. Ramil has been working with Wachovia Securities – AG Edwards in Richmond, and is likely going to be relocating to St. Louis either this summer or next. He’s the current president of the VMI Richmond Chapter, but still says it’s hard to find time to get together with our BRs. (I completely understand what he means!) I managed to chase down Chris Pratt after finding an old e-mail from him in my work account. He’s in VA Beach with his much better half, Michelle (his words), and daughters Emily (12), Elizabeth (10), and Sarah (8). He’s just hit 18 years of service – it’s a long way since the days of hanging out in Pensacola right after we graduated. Chris is on the CNO staff under the chief of Navy Reserve as a deputy CIO, but in Norfolk versus DC. He caught up with Pete Mantz who is also back in the Tidewater area earlier in the year, and planned to attend Pete’s change-of-command ceremony where he takes over as the commanding officer of HCS-28. Apparently the Navy doesn’t know the real story about Mantz … I wonder if those pictures I have are worth anything. Chris also said that Jim Dufford had just returned from cruise and was in the area. The last update I received for this set of notes was from Las Vegas, where Victor Sabino is now an instructor at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Academy (please feel free to insert your own sarcastic joke here). Now that he’s behind a desk, Vic is being forced to learn how to use a computer, and he’s also a proud papa. He and his wife, Ellen, a school teacher, are busy with Evan (3) and Isabella (2 months old as of this writing). Vic recently received the LVMPD’s Medal of Valor for performing “an extraordinary act of heroism which extended above and beyond the normal call of duty, and performed at great risk to his own safety to ensure the safety of his fellow officers.” In the specific event, while under fire Vic shielded another officer with his body and returned fire until additional officers responded to the scene. Yes folks, he’s a real-life hero with a certificate to prove it! While Vic’s computer skills are still under development, after a couple of tries he was able to send me a picture of the ceremony. Vic has kept in close touch with Matt Hemenez, who is now working for Surefire. Matt was recently in Las Vegas for a convention and he and Vic were able to spend some quality time together. Apparently there’s also a rumor going around that Mike Mullori, Chris Schinstock, Chip Chenery, and John Lanzillotta are trying to get Vic and Matt to come to DC to run the Marine Corps Marathon. Guys, please let me know so I can come cheer you on.


That’s it for this round. Please keep the e-mails and phone calls coming in, and let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. Cheers, Hunter


George Petty III

Spring is here and love is in the air. Congratulations to John Jeter who recently wed Penni Marie; the Jeters will continue to live in TX. Welcome to the class, Penni. Wedding bliss will also soon be had for my dyke Mike Eason ’94. He and his fiancée Tamara will be married on Oct. 11, 2008. Mike just finished his master’s degree. Thanks to the GI Bill, he not only gets paid to blow stuff up (he’s XO of an artillery battalion), but he also gets paid to learn how we used to blow stuff up. I received a card from Lynn Whitacre, what a strapping lad is his son, Nicholas. The Whitacres make their home in MD. Tom Austin checked in, actually I think it was his wife, Lana, who sent the picture and letter, but hey, it’s good to hear from folks. Tom, Lana and the children moved last year from the Beltway DC area to near Huntsville, AL. Apparently there is a bit of culture shock happening, but Tom has a shorter commute, likes his job, and they say that everyone should

come down for some BBQ at Gibson’s in Huntsville. Tom Heffern sent a lengthy e-mail. Charles “Ed” Fuller and he celebrated the 20th anniversary of Breakout by running together in the San Diego Mud Run event. This is a 5k run through a clay course that has been soaked heavily with water from fire trucks. Sound familiar? Tom included a great picture of them in their VMI Picnic-Dyke after the run. Hopefully this picture will be included, but if not, they look winded, happy, holding a VMI Pennant, and Ed’s shirt actually looks like a reproduction. I don’t recall a Nike swoosh on the PT shirt, you’re boned Misto! Oh yeah, Tom has the same amount of hair as he did Rat year. Things really don’t change do they? When they are not playing in the mud, Tom and Ed spend time fixing up old cars. Ed has a 1970 Cougar, and Tom has a 1964 Chevy truck. Tom reports that he saw his roommate Billy Canedo for a couple weekends before Billy shipped to Iraq. Chip McLean was in 29 Palms recently also. Chip is the Battalion CO and was visiting the lovely 29 Stumps with one of his companies. Pat Kiely lives down the street from Tom. Pat must feel out of sorts as an Army man on a Marine base. Although they live this close, they rarely see each other since Pat is training grunts. Hmmm, Army guy with no time because he is training grunts. As a sidebar this reminds me of being a Rat and hearing ’90 say, “If we

Class of 1991: Tom Heffern and Charles Fuller commemorated 20 years post-breakout during the San Diego “Mud Run” in spring 2008. Tom’s boys and Charles’ godsons are, from left, front row, Joseph, Caleb, Daniel and Noah.


CLASS NOTES didn’t know our XXXX, we did pushups. We did pushups all the time!” So, Tom, are you saying that grunts don’t know anything or that the Army can’t teach anything? Tony and Christine Marro were briefly spotted by Tom, but they moved to FL as previously reported; so, Tony could work to death at CENTCOM. Jim Kendal was also at 29 Palms for a time. Chris Gideons is at Camp Pendelton with a battalion. Tom is working with a UAV squadron whose incoming CO is Jay Frey ’92. Jay had been working with Craig Streeter at HQMC (headquarters Marine Corps); Craig is now CO of a helicopter squadron. Craig is being lobbied by Tom and Jay to design a new squadron patch, since folks still think Craig’s drawings are “dang cool,” but it is true, Craig has some serious drawing talent. Tom was supposed to be Jay’s XO, but turned down the opportunity, opting instead for orders back in VA. George Schreffler ’94 stopped by to say hello to Tom, and to snag some gear. Did he remember to put it on the sign-out sheet Tom? Tom signed-off by commenting that VMI guys are all over, they pop up where you least expect them. When you don’t meet a VMI product, you meet people who have worked with them. Tom says: “In almost every case, when other Marines, Sailors or Soldiers talk about VMI guys, they know’ it is almost always accompanied with the statement ‘he is the best darn officer I have ever know’ ... that is a consistent theme. (Of course there are a few, far and between ... ‘He is the biggest boob I have ever known.’) I hope that we all strive to live up to that every day, setting the standard high for generations to come.” Well said, Tom. I ran into Joey Jones ’90 a few days ago. He lives not to far from me in Raphine, VA. We made some of those sketchy plans to get together sometime and shot the bull about stoop antics. Joey is working with some of the guys at his church to bring Rats down to Raphine on Sundays, much like churches and alumni did during our Rat year. However, there seems to be a decreased interest from the Rats. At the Class Agents’ Conference this disinterest was touched upon by Col. Trumps ’77, the new Corps of Cadets Commandant. He laments the demise of Saturday classes and stick checks. These two thorns seem to have combined to wreck havoc on the training schedules at VMI for inspections on the bricks, SNIs and the like. TACs are no longer roaming Barracks and fewer alumni are faculty (but hey! Our dear class president Dan Joseph is a math professor in Mallory Hall. Yeah, Dan!) which together mean fewer folks to pass on the VMI culture in loving, caring and thoughtful detail, errr I mean bone the living crud out of them and put a boot up their collec-

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tive backside. Can I print that? We’ll see. Col. Trumps seems like perfect choice for Commandant: a little bit of Weird, a touch of Sgt. Maj. Hockaday’s HOOYAH- Feed EM!, some of Col. Dabney’s heroics, and a lot of 1/c Pvt. mischief. As a former 1/c Pvt., he should know all the tricks. He bodes well for the Corps. Andy Collier has now arrived in Monterey, CA, for his language school. Give him a shout at His dyke Craig L. Dietrich ’94 sent me an e-mail to say hello and extend an invite to those passing through Houston. Todd King came over the mountain from Richmond a couple of times. We were actually sitting in the sunroom drinking a beer or three when the I-64 shootings happened. We thought the police and traffic stopped were for a bad wreck on Afton Mountain, but sadly, it was yet another person being stupid. Fortunately, none of the shots seriously injured anyone. Todd has finished his first step for a VA teacher’s certificate. He is now on the lookout for a teaching position this fall. OK, another shameless plug for the VMI Ranks follows. The VMIAA now has a faster internet connection, but the login process is still a bit slow. Be patient and give it a try. Go to to register. After waiting about 48 hours, you will have full access to the site. Once logged-on, you can update your address, find another BR’s contact information, make yours private and participate in the class blog by posting comments and messages. Take care, Bless you all, and let’s keep those updates coming!

Chris Bergen


Andy Tate

Hope this edition of the class notes finds everyone doing well as we head into summer. Just as an update, the Alumni Review has sped up the publication process. In the past when we submitted notes, they were generally published two editions later – now those updates will appear in the next edition (provided you get them to me in time). My due dates are the 15th of February, May, August and November for your reference. I’ll start off with my own update. At the end of March, Jason Troxell came into town (northern VA) and through the wonders of e-mail rounded up Doug Vincent, Matt Lough, Jon Jeffreys, Dave Womack, Chia-Jung Fan and myself for a night out. Matt hosted us at his home, and we spent the better part of the afternoon and evening re-telling old stories, bringing out new ones and generally laughing a lot. Jason lives in Philadelphia, in banking. Dave is currently working at Army Personnel Command as a detailer / monitor (depending on your service), Doug is on the Joint Staff, Matt works for CISCO, Jon is a Navy JAG, and Chia-Jung is attached to the Taiwanese embassy. It was a great Saturday.

Class of 1992: William Owen Weatherman (W.O.W.) joins his big brothers, Jack (10), Charles (8) and Andrew (5), in the Weatherman home in Staunton, Virginia, on March 18, 2008.


CLASS NOTES Carney Taylor wrote in from Greenville, NC, to report in that his wife, Sarah Jane, gave birth to their third child, Liza,who joins big brothers Marshall and Hudson. Congratulations! John Brodie is still living the hi-life at the Institute. He just passed his 20th year at the institute where he continues to build on each year’s success with the Band and Glee Club. Marc Orgain sent along a picture of James Cherry dressed for the birthday of his goddaughter Hannah Grace Engstrom. Also at the party were Marc Baush, Mike Richardson and Carl Engstrom (of course). Marc wrote that he is leaving Pensacola for a staff job with the Chief of Naval Aviation Training (CNATRA). Marc was just promoted to commander and is looking forward to his new duty station in Corpus Christi, TX. Marc also said that Jeff Zeigler got a mention in the Richmond newspaper for opening up a branch of his computer-recycling firm in Ashland, so it sounds like Jeff is doing well. Lastly, Chuck Weatherman sent in a photo and update of his family, which just had a new edition, William Owen Weatherman (that’s W.O.W. if you didn’t see it right off the bat. William joins his three older brothers Jack (10), Charles (8) and Andrew (5) in their home in Staunton. Just imagine – if he goes into Golf Company he could put his initials and company in his hat like one of our BRs did (sorry – couldn’t pass up the Rat Year Golf Co. reference that Chuck and his roommates will get). That’s it BRs – hope you all are doing well. Let me know how you’re doing.

Class of 1992: James Cherry at the birthday of his goddaughter, Hannah Grace Engstrom, in February 2008.



Paul Ackerman

Dear Brother Rats, Our reunion is scheduled for October 3-4, 2008, and will be here very soon when you get the hard copy of these notes. I also post a copy of the notes on the VMI Ranks Web site the same week I submit them; so, for those of you who like realtime news, I now have a better opportunity. I need all BRs to register on VMI Ranks if you wish to continue to receive e-mails from me. The Web site makes it a lot easier for me to send mass updates and post news. The speed of the site is getting better very quickly, and by the time reunion is here, everyone should be able to access the Web site easily. I am still working on the plaque for Tom Miller. This task has taken me to long but it will be erected well before our reunion. We are planning to have a formal dedication for Tom Miller and Paul Syverson during the class reunion, and I hope to have their families attend. I have already contacted the VMI Foundation about establishing a memorial scholarship. I should have more information as we approach the reunion about the scholarship options. Lora DeVarona sent me a note that Alex’s unit was returning in mid March. I had prepared a care package from the class for Alex but by the time I planned to ship it Lora mentioned that the unit would be on the way back home; so, with her encouragement I sent it with a group of packages going to deployed cadets. Lora let me know that they hope to visit Lexington soon. John Perry called me to let me know that the family is doing well. He and Adele are still in MS with their sons, Cameron and Andrew, and daughter Kathryn. John hopes to make it up North a few times to get some skiing in next year. Creg Matthews wanted to catch up on sending some updates and officially report the birth of his two sons. “Our first son, Jackson Fountain Matthews, was born July 21, 2004, and Carter William Matthews on June 10, 2007.” Creg also let me know that he and his wife, Kristin, enjoy reading the notes. Creg is currently working for Morgan Stanley in Roanoke, VA.  Speaking of kids, David Hurst, let me know that on June 15, 2007, at 3:55 p.m., Eleanor Mae Runnals Hurst was born. She weighed 9lbs 9ozs. After a 3-day hospital stay both mom and daughter came home. His wife, Jennifer, took the summer off for Mom duty but has been working on her dissertation data and will be starting a one-year internship at the Veteran Administration Medical Center in Durham this summer. David

is looking for “any BRs in the Durham, NC, area who can provide information about the local area i.e. where to rent and where not to rent, and what to do in and around Durham. Currently, David works for the Virginia Information Technologies Agency providing end user support for all technologies (computers, printers, server support, video teleconference, phones, etc). Mark Schroeder sent me a quick a note, “I’m going to be graduating in May from the University of Toledo with a Master of Public Administration. I’m still doing recruiting overseas; so, I’ll make sure I look up Brian DaRin when I’m in Hong Kong in the fall. I’ll also be in the Middle East and possibly India, but aside from the combat areas, I don’t know of any other BRs overseas.” “Hello, Brother Rat!! Do you remember a crazy, curly head, dude named Witts, C.M. back in 1990?” Yes, BRs Chris Witts, dropped me a note that he is doing well and hopes to get back on post to see all the changes. Chris said that his Ratline and KEYDET football experiences with his BRs were some of the BEST in his life. I hope to get Chris back here for the reunion. The same week Boo Lassiter called me on the phone to let me know he enjoys the Review and was definitely keeping an eye out for the reunion. Boo, I lost my phone note, but I think you said you were living in VA Beach, so correct me if I am wrong. Boo stays busy with Nine Kids! How do you do it? I am trying to talk Boo into bringing the whole family up in October. Bryan Van Deun, is on a two-year assignment for the government in Lagos, Nigeria. “My son Barrett turns 3 in late April and my daughter Ainsley just turned 1 in March. We’re here until July 2009. In October, we plan to see Kevin and Becky

Class of 1993: On June 15, 2007, Eleanor Mae Runnals Hurst was born to David and Jennifer.


CLASS NOTES Smith and kids (Germany) on a Europe vacation.” Ken Feeley, contacted me for some reunion information. “I’m still working for Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ. I’m leading an engineering team for the Standard Missile 3 used by the Navy AEGIS ballistic missile defense. It was pretty neat being involved with reconfiguring the SM3 for the satellite shoot down in February. I got to spend some late nights in the lab that month. Other than work, I spend my free time with my wife and two children. I ran into Sean Farley at an alumni get together in Phoenix last month. It was an enjoyable evening listening to Gen. Peay ’62 along with other alumni. Hope all is well back there on the east coast.” I ran into Harold and Amy Stills ’92 at a VMI Lacrosse match. The Stills plan to come back for Fourth of July and a few football games. I also saw Mike Peters but did not get a chance to catch up with him. Mike’s father, aka Col. Peters, has retired from VMI but still lives in the area. Guy Berry woke up on May 15 in Philadelphia, PA, and decided to come to Lexington to watch the New Market parade. Guy tracked down two VMI facility employees who tracked me down about 50 yards away. I gave Guy the nickel tour and then we hit the Palms for a late lunch. Guy decided to stay in town over night and will attended graduation with me. Note to other BRs – I always say if you are in town, look me up. Guy found me in about 15 minutes after the Parade. Just proof that I am easy to find when you all come to Lexington. Mike Wallace sent me a New Market greeting. I have not had the chance to catch up with Mike and Susan this year, but Mike has a tradition of sending me a New Market greeting every year and has stayed right on time. Mike is looking to the reunion. As always, look me up when you visit VMI. I also need some volunteers to help with the reunion and fund raising. BR Matt Eads has already stepped up to help, and I will be calling on more. More news to come. In the Spirit, Paul


Class of 1994: Dave Underwood attended the opening game on March 30, 2008, of the Washington Nationals in the team’s new stadium as a guest of President George Bush and Laura Bush, the first lady.

Christopher L. Doyle

Hello, everyone. In my last edition of class notes, I informed you that I heard Dave Underwood was injured in Iraq. I was able to get in touch with him at Walter Reed. Dave lost his left arm to an IED. He was on a dismounted patrol and stepped on a pressure plate that activated an IED in a window he was near. The window blew out and shot down the left side of his body. He was able to finally get his soldiers

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to calm down, and together, they coordinated his evacuation. He has finished his rehabilitation at Walter Reed and has moved back to GA. This summer, Dave will move to San Antonio so he can continue to master his prosthetic and pursue his master’s degree. Dave is going to stay in the Army. Phil Starling and I had dinner with him and his wife, and they are doing very well and have great attitude. He knows he is lucky to be alive and knows that had it been his driver that set off the IED, he would be dead.

You are a credit to the Institute and the class, Dave. You have made us proud. Will Gorman announced that his wife, Rebecca, is pregnant with baby number three. His two daughters, Caroline and Catherine, are very excited. Congratulations! Mary Helen Story wrote from Knoxville. She is teaching part-time this year at Christian Academy of Knoxville, where Rebecca and Stacy attend school. Mary Helen is taking the kids down to Disney World in early June.


CLASS NOTES Kevin Vermillion and his wife recently had their third son, Luke Alexander Vermillion. Kevin recently returned from an assignment in Iraq where he worked with Omar Land ’91 and Jim Hewitt. Kevin said that George Karavetsos is currently the Deputy Chief at the U.S. Attorneys Office, Southern District of FL.  George recently prosecuted a major cocaine kingpin who was responsible for smuggling thousands of pounds of cocaine into the U.S.  Mike Eason wrote from Fort Sill, OK. Mike is back on active duty and is the XO for a Basic Training Battalion. Mike was recently engaged to Ms. Tamara Stephens of Oklahoma City. They will be getting married in November. Congratulations, Mike and Tamara. Mike said that Andy Blair is still living in South Korea, teaching at a college (business, English) in Busan. Jim Mitchell moved to the Dallas area for a couple of years, but was forced to move back to San Francisco due to his job. Alex Morgan is doing research for the U.S. Government. Chris and Liz Gibson are rotating back to southern CA from Korea. Chris is going to be the Executive officer for 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. Chris previously served with 2/5 in Iraq in 2004-05. Chris has two daughters, Alie and Adie, and son, Eyan. Mark Shropshire has moved back to Richmond after spending five years in CT. He works for Wachovia Securities but will be leaving when they move their headquarters to St. Louis. Mark said Matt Fedowitz is living in Williamsburg and travels often. Mark also runs into Dave Bruce. I talked to an Army officer at the Pentagon who informed me that Mike Rezabek is married and has a daughter and another baby on the way.  Mike is in the Army and is currently an XO for a Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell. John Campbell is busy running his mortgage company and recently started a land development company and a modular home dealership with some partners.  John recently attended an annual hunting trip in TX with Rusty Stein, Stu Copenhaven, Tim O’Boyle, and Ro Browning.  Jake Stenner is working for McKesson Medical-Surgical in Richmond. He recently finished his Six Sigma Blackbelt. Jake recently ran into Brian Collins while in San Diego. Brian is a Battalion XO. He is scheduled to go to either Iraq or Afghanistan in January.   Jimmy Bratina is moving to Charlotte for a new position within Newell-Rubbermaid. Hernan Barrero is headed to Quantico this summer.  John Cunningham announced his engagement to Ms. Aimee Gagnon. The wedding will be in Orkney Springs, VA, on the 18th of October. John is managing two manufacturing operations in MA and CT.


Rick Killmeyer


Dan Williams

I am writing these notes on May 15th with a proud heart. Today marks the anniversary of the Battle of New Market. It was 144 years ago when Gen. John Breckenridge said, “Put the boys in and may God forgive me for the order.” The Corps fought with bravery, and 10 VMI cadets died on the field of honor. Their deaths forged a bond of brotherhood in each of us. It was 17 years ago when we marched across the field of lost shoes as Rats. I can remember it as if it happened last week. Dan and I have very little to report. I spoke with Marlin Ikenberry via e-mail after the VMI baseball team beat the Virginia Tech Hokies 8 to 7. All is well with Marlin and his family. He continues to prove that VMI baseball is first class! Minor field is a fantastic sight. It is a must see the next time you visit post. Charlie Branch and I are playing phone tag. The last time he and I spoke, his wife had a baby. I spoke to Mark Wysong this morning. Mark and his wife, Carolyn, live is Charleston, SC, and are the proud parents of four children, a boy and three girls. Mark and his dad own and operate Everest Surgical Instruments. My neighbors in Conshohocken, PA, Brian and Dana Williams are expecting a baby in July 2007. I received an e-mail from my old roommate, Jeffrey Clifford Lord. Lord, J.C. is living in Seattle and spends a great deal of time studying Eastern philosophy and history. Ryan Feeney and his wife had twin girls. Addison Kate and Brooke Ryan were born April 9, 2008. The twins were born three weeks premature, Brooke was fine, Addison had a little trouble breathing so they kept her at the hospital. Both babies are happy, healthy and are doing well at home. Ken Jambor and his wife recently had another baby. Ken recently completed his pilot certification with Delta Airlines. This June, Ken will transition hubs from Atlanta to Los Angeles where he will fly Boeing 767ER’s. Most flights will be to HI or South America. Ken continues to pilot C-17 aircraft in the Air Force reserve. Dan and Jodie Williams are plugging away in the NE. Raising their daughter, Aubrey, Dan is back to work at Booze Allen and continues to serve as a U.S. Army Reservist. Tom Brashears is the VP of operations for VMI

Class of 1995: Ryan “Dawg” Feeney feeding 3-week premature daughter Brooke. Alumni Association, Potomac River Chapter. I spoke with Kevin Price recently. He is currently living in Richmond. About a year a go when the housing market changed his company downsized, and he was let go. Since June 2007 K.P. has been staying busy in the U.S. Army Reserves. K.P. is looking to get picked up as a Virginia State Policemen. K.P. gave me the scoop on the following BRs. Brad Moses is currently deployed to Afghanistan and will return this summer to assume Company Command in the 3rd SFG (Special Forces Group) at Fort Bragg, NC. K.P. also ran into Drew Bissell in the fall who was attending a conference at Fort Bragg. My Rat roommate, Dave Fleck, is plugging working for a small entrepreneurial lending firm in Charlotte, NC. Finally, I just got word from Dan that Chip Rex had a baby girl on New Market Day. That’s it for now, please write and give us an update. Our BRs would love to hear how you all are.

Class of 1995: Chip Rex with his new daughter, Isabelle Mary, born New Market Day 2008.




Rusty McGuire

It was great to hear from so many BRs this time and I am happy to say that we are expecting our 2nd child who will probably be born when this edition is published. We will have to get used to sleepless nights again. We are not the only one with Children on the way. This update is probably the record of new child announcements for the class of 1996. I heard from Wallace Inge who said: “First and foremost, my wife Kristie and I had our second child, a son, Charles Thomas Inge. We call him Tommy after my dad, Tommy Inge ’59. Tommy was born December 17. Tommy’s big sister, Grace, loves kissing, hugging, touching her little brother, just not changing diapers or waking up in the middle of the night for his feeding. Tommy’s Uncle John and Aunt Aimee, John and Aimee Buchanan, arrived in town from FL the day after his birth and stayed through Christmas. John is currently at Fort Maxwell in Montgomery. John told me that Randy Shyu is also there. Our time was mostly taken up with family, baby duties, our daughters, Santa duties, and the like, but we did squeeze in a couple of beers with Dan Hoover before he headed off to Blacksburg, home of his new alma mater, for Christmas with the Hoovers. On New Year’s Eve Grace and I stopped by the home of Brady and Heather Crone to visit with Matt and Astrid Howell and Shelly and Eric Michalski. Matt and Astrid recently

had a baby boy named Cole Gregory, named after Greg Wright ’95. Erik and Shelly also had a baby recently, their second, Madison. And, Brady and Heather also had their second girl this summer, August 28th Ella Crone. The old New Year’s Eve parties are a thing of the past, as this one was full of children and babies and talk of the same. We did drink a beer or two though. However, I did get home long before their traditional singing of “The Spirit” in underwear or less at midnight. I heard, though the tradition continues, the guys still don’t know all of the song. Slackers! In addition to the Hoovers, Crones, and Michalskis, we run into the Brockmans, Buerleins, Lanes, and Moores from time to time. I hear Chris and Molly Oakey had a new baby and all is well. I also spoke with Paul Dickenson’s wife Allison; they recently had their second son. Lots and lots of babies!!! In other news, my roommate Brad Burrus is in the process of moving from Virginia Beach, where we moved together in 1996, back home to Pulaski County. Brad and Shelly are excited to get their family situated there and for Brad to grow his business. Word on the street is that another one of my roommates, Matt Modarelli, is back in northern VA after some time on the West Coast and a lot of time in Iraq. Matt is still in the Air Force and I hear working at the Pentagon. I got an email from Stew Holt. He is in Kuwait teaching “military stuff” for a few months. On his way home he hopes to spend some time in France, where he hopes to link up with Jon Dano, and return to the States in June. Stew wrote that Phil Alicea is now a

detective with Jacksonville PD and part of the Gang Federal Task Force. I also heard from Andre Johnson. He and his wife just had a newborn girl; they are calling “Ajay.” On a side note, I plan on running the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach this March in memory of Greg Wright and to benefit Brother Rats Run to Remember, an organization founded by our Brother Rats to help fund an on-Post memorial for those VMI men lost in the Global War on Terrorism. The group has raised over $2500 thus far, with approximately 18 runners participating in marathons in DC, Chicago, and Richmond. Personally, I’m proud to say that I ran three (Marine Corps Marathon and the past two Richmond Marathons) in 12 months for the cause. If anyone wants to help, tell them to give me a call or shoot me an email.” I also heard from Spike Solovey who told me that he recently (through a partnership with Evolution Ink & Art in Fayetteville) had a customer request to have his entire print tattooed on his back. After 8 tattoo sittings, the tattoo was complete and Spike was then asked to come into the shop and sign the customer’s back. His Web site,, has now been updated with the images under the print itself. Out of all the commissions and requests thus far in his art career, this was by far one of the more unique experiences he said. Wyndham Buerlein said his little man, Anderson, was born weighing 7 lbs 1 oz. Anderson is a family name on Amy’s side but will call him Chase. He and Amy are doing great but trying to adjust too little sleep again has been a little of a challenge. “Amy started

Class of 1996: Ryan Olson married Ms. Annie Fitzgerald on March 29, 2008, in Islamorada, Florida. Present were, from left, Rusty Parrino, Tom Perrault, Coach Doug Bartlett (former VMI lacrosse coach), bride and groom, Chris Feltmann, John Michael Ripley and Andrew Beard ’09 (the bagpiper).

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CLASS NOTES showing signs of labor early Fri of Nashville, Tennessee, and I morning around 3:45 and everyspend a good amount of time thing happened a little faster than with Mike Bernard ’95, he lives we had anticipated. We got to the right down the street from us hospital (St. Francis) around 5:30 and our families spend a lot of and had him an hour later. Because time together. I also heard from it happened so fast she was not Paul Dickinson who said we able to get the epidural but took it have a son, Taylor Bridger, born like a champ (although a little scary December 11th. Its great liv’n for me). She was up eating breakfast the dream! Doug Bartlett said and walking around at 7:00. Kayton my wife and I moved back to is adjusting well to being a big Boulder, CO, last year and life sister but I don’t think the reality of is good. I’m still with Covidien it all has quite set in yet. Shannon as the VP of Marketing for their Hume said that Pete Ehlers is now Patient Monitoring division. stationed here at SOCOM with me. Covidien is well represented I am scheduled to PCS to Quantico with BRs, with Tom Danielsen for ILE this summer. Jim Tinguely, and Jim Tinguely both doing Class of 1996: Colin Boynton in April 2008, making sure Bill Stearman and I are planning well too. Ran into Eli Wahesh that no foreign subs sneak up on the U.S.S. Nimitz. a deep water fishing trip for the and Spike Solovey in Raleigh a summer once I get up there. That’s few months back, and we had a the big news. heck of a time.” been asked to go back to a high leadership Brandon Porter said that his wife Dinah Crazy Chris Kavanaugh, who has spent position) – I’m really proud of Joshua and all and recently had a little boy on December most of his time since graduation overseas the other boys in harm’s way fighting for our 7th, 2007. Silas Josiah Porter is doing great says: “I’m still in Afghanistan with KBR freedom and protection. He’ll be Gen. Keesal and growing like a weed. Delaney is 7 and working with a task order for facilities some day. I spoke with Carter Mackey now and playing softball, Cassidy is 5 and and logistics support. I’ve been accepted to a the other day as well, and he and his wife, finishing up Kindergarten and Sadie is 3 and school in Berlin, Germany to earn a BrewmasAshley, are doing great and they’re still living ter certification in 2009; so, I plan on leaving finishing up preschool. He spoke with Joshua in the Richmond area. I’m still serving as a Keesal the other day and he is going back here in early December to come home for a pastor at The People’s Church in the outskirts overseas (he’s a Green Beret and had just couple weeks before heading back to Germany around New Years to begin the course. The job here is good but it’s time to try something new and fun. After I’m done with that in Germany and Denmark around September I have no idea what is next … Curt Bourn says that his son, Cameron, is almost 2 years old now and into pretty much everything. Laura and I are still living in Jax, where I’ve been flying the 737 for the Navy reserves for about 2 years now. When I’m not chasing my son around the house or doing the Navy gig, I’m up in Atlanta, where I’m currently based with Delta Air Lines ... also flying the 737. Haven’t seen too many VMI alums lately, but one Citadel guy I saw in the airport did give me thumbs up for the gigantic VMI spider decal I’ve got on my flight kit. Jared McCormick is still in Iraq and says I am the advisor to the National Police Sustainment Brigade Transportation Battalion (the only one of its kind). It is a trying job since the Ministry of the Interior won’t give them any resources, but it is amazing what they can still do with what they have. I go home for R&R in about two weeks, and will be home for Conor’s 1st Communion, as Class of 1996: A Spike Solovey artwork fan (right) arranged to have a well as my and Molly’s 10th anniversary. They copy of Solovey’s work, titled “All Seven,” tattooed on his back. The fan are doing well; Conor is playing machine pitch then asked Spike to sign it. In the photo above, Solovey (left) is holding the baseball this year in addition to cub scouts and original framed work. is loving both of them. Haven’t heard from



CLASS NOTES anyone else from the “Mother I” except Chris Noe, and occasionally Chris Kavanaugh. Looking forward to getting back to the states and hopefully making up to the “I” next fall or spring. Hope all is well with you and your family.” I also finally heard from Karl Renne of TCFC fame who says: “My wife, Jennifer, and I recently had our first child, Kira, in March. She is a wonderful little girl and without a doubt a blessing. Jeff Bradford lives out near me, and he and Cindy had their fourth daughter in January. I’m still working at the Pentagon as a civilian so nothing really new there.” I heard from Lee Freeman who said that: “I am enjoying life in Colorado Springs, CO. The wife and kids are enjoying the changes in the weather from winter to spring and back again (usually on a weekly basis). I deploy again for Iraq (number 4) but this time only for a short period (one of the benefits of being a staff puke at 10th Group). Drew Bissell ’94 is also in my unit. His dad was here a couple of weeks ago. I ran into John Adams in DC a few months back randomly on the street before a Capitals game. I was there TDY and he was coming / going to a function (had a VMI tie on).” Thanks, Rusty

Class of 1996: Jared McCormick and Perfect Angels.


John Duckworth

Summer is fast approaching, and I hope it will provide many opportunities for us to get together with the BRs whom we haven’t see in a while. I look forward to hearing from anyone who may find themselves near the northern VA area. There is not much new for me to report. I am still living in northern VA and commuting to DC everyday to do computer forensic work. I have recently returned to competitive shooting and have been competing frequently

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in Practical Shooting matches in the area. I plan to travel to the Raleigh area in July and then to Fort Benning, GA, in December to compete in matches there. If you think you’ll be in the area let me know. So here’s the news … Paul Bickford and his wife, Elizabeth, are expecting their second child in November. Josh ‘Big Irv” Smith wants everyone to know that things are going well in Corpus Christi, TX. He is still in pharmaceutical sales and enjoying life on the Gulf Coast trying to make a living and catch a few fish. Josh has been hanging out with the “Third Coast” Alumni Chapter, which is mostly a bunch of alums from the ’60s and a few transient pilot trainees. His wife, Jen, just had their third child, Jessa Leigh, on April 3. Josh talks with Adam Letts occasionally; Adam is still hanging out in WV. Max Hopkins wrote in to say that the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit is finally on their way home after a seven-month deployment with a 30 day extension. Max is now serving as the assistant operations officer and fire support officer for the MEU CE. His next stop is Perth, Australia, then Hobart on the Island of Tasmania in Australia, and finally Pearl Harbor before arriving in San Diego. Upon his return, he will PCS to the 75th Ranger Regiment for a Joint Exchange billet. His family is well. Max’s wife, Jamie, will change ships from the U.S.S. Higgins (DDG-76) to become the operations officer on the U.S.S. Bunker Hill (CG-52). Little Max is enjoying swim lessons and is as curious as a three and a half-year-old can be. Ed Bonham is getting married on May 17th in Richmond to Jessica Lynd. Rev. Jared Wood will be performing the ceremony. Joe Cofer, Matt Smith and Rush Brown ’00 took Ed to New Orleans for a St. Patrick’s Day bachelor party weekend. While there on Bourbon Street, they bumped into Joel Kusterer, Charlie Ayers, Tripp Costen, Jason Gruse, Scott Saunders, Troy Mosby and Bill Stagg who were down for Joel’s bachelor party. What are the odds? Ed says he heard that Doug Baker was back in Iraq and that Tony Bobb was still in CA. Ed is currently going through a promotional process for lieutenant with the fire department. Gary Compton and his wife, Melissa, have been busy with their second child, Ben. Gary is still at Estes in their leasing division handling commercial trucks. Charlie Ayers and his wife, Lois, are doing well in Richmond with their dog, Bodhi. The Architectural and Engineering Design business is as busy as ever. Charlie’s boss, Irwin McCumber ’65, retired in 2007. Charlie he took over for him, and it’s been a whirl wind ever since, but he’s really excited about the

opportunity. Charlie keeps in touch with Johnny Weekes and Garrett Field. Johnny is still down in Fort Lauderdale practicing law. He has his own firm and is doing well. Garrett just went back to Afghanistan about a month ago for his second tour. He was at Fort Lee this fall for riggers school and then bought a house down in TN where he’ll be stationed upon his return. My old roommate, Brian Keslick, is doing well. He is still living outside West Chester, PA. Brian’s wife, Christy, gave birth to their first child, Makayla Kennedy, on April 10. Brian is going back to school again this summer to get his Principal certification and is exploring Ph.D. programs in his area. He was recently promoted to department chair of History at Church Farm School and is now looking to hire two more full time teachers. So, if you know any of our BRs who are looking for work, let him know (N.E.B and Mallory Hall riff-raff need not apply, ScottShip Scholars only! :>) Brett Ogletree just took a job working as a contractor at the Federal Reserve in Richmond. If all goes well, he’ll convert to a full-time employee in a few months. Sara and Dave Short have been back in the states for about a year now stationed at Hill AFB just outside of Salt Lake City. Dave is back into aircraft maintenance on fighters in the depot and is already planning to move to another job this summer. They are enjoying their time in UT and had a lot of snow this past year. At one point he had over three feet in his back yard. They traveled to India back in November (and missed the reunion). Their biggest news is the birth of their daughter, Anya Michelle on April 7. Tyler and Betty Chase just celebrated their son Cooper’s 1st birthday in April. Tom Curran will be staying with them for a night or two in June on his way out to Bolder, CO, for a six-month (perhaps permanent) stay to train for two Iron Man competitions he will be doing later this year (one in Germany, the other one here in The States). Channing Powers and Tyler plan to meet in Lincoln, NE, for the Husker-Hokie football game. If anyone else is flying out, let them know. Brian Martin dropped me a line to say that he continues to enjoy the bachelor’s life, working hard during the week and partying on the weekends. I had the pleasure to see Donnie Hasseltine, Joe Klapatch, Joe Kmiecinski, Noah Slemp and David Witherspoon the other evening. Donnie was in northern VA for some training and regaled us with tales of his antics in his new assignment as commanding officer of Marine Corps Recruiting Station Albuquerque. Joe Klapatch is settling in at the Pentagon, where he works as a liaison for the Navy’s submarine


CLASS NOTES forces. Joe Kmiecinski is still working for a construction contractor and living in Warrenton, VA. Spoon and his wife are enjoying family life in MD, north of Baltimore. Noah is still with a defense contractor working on communication projects for the Marine Corps and very happy to report that his wife, Ashley, recently participated in the Avon 2-Day 39-mile Walk for Breast Cancer and raised over $4,000. I got a call the other day from Andy Staich. He is doing very well out in CA and has recently slowed down a little on the skydiving to spend time finishing up his degree. Matt Spencer is still a Sergeant with the Norfolk Police Department, assigned to the Office of Professional Standards (Internal Affairs). His wife, Jennifer, is expecting their second little girl, Campbell Elisabeth, in June. He hears from Jamie Reid every once in a while. Jamie and his wife, Kristen, are living in Richmond where he is working in sales for Milwaukee tools. Matt reports that Allen Williams, his wife, Lori, and their daughter, Kate, are doing well and moving into a new home. Allen is still with the Virginia State Police as a Sergeant in Isle of Wight and South Hampton Counties. That’s all I have. I hope you all have a wonderful summer. Please drop me a line and let me know what you’re up to. Stay Safe. In The Bonds, John


Hamel Reinmiller

It is truly an honor to serve as your class agent, and I can’t describe how wonderful it is to get back in touch with so many of our BRs that I have lost touch with over the years. I recently attended the Class Agent’s Conference in Lexington and was very impressed with the progress and shape that the “I” is taking. For those of you who have not been back to post in some time I encourage you to stop by during your travels. As General Peay’s ’62 Vision 2039 program begins to take shape a variety of renovations to buildings on post and improvements to cadet, faculty and alumni life are coming to fruition. As I am sure all of you know, our 10-year Reunion is scheduled for October 3-5 in Lexington, and I look forward to seeing you all there. I encourage each of you to visit the alumni website at, join the VMI Ranks, update your profiles and visit our class Web site. It is through this Web


site and the contact information in that database that I am able to get updates to everyone on the details of our reunion. A number of our BRs have stepped forward to participate in Reunion Preparation over the course of the next few months. The VMI 1998 Executive Committee is comprised of Todd Boykin (Secretary and Scholarship Committee Chairman, Mike Lorence (Reunion Fundraising Committee Chairman), Jeff Taylor (Reunion Activities Committee Co-Chairman), Gardner Mundy (Reunion Activities Committee Co-Chairman), Marc Schweigert (Technical Director) and Ernesto Sampson (Financial Director). The Reunion Activities Committee is comprised of Jeff Taylor (Co-Chairman), Gardner Mundy (Co-Chairman) and Pat Roberts. The Reunion Fundraising Committee is comprised of Mike Lorence (Chairman), Bill Beard, Todd Boykin, Brian Bowes, Chris D. Craft, Jason M. Fye, Lee Guill, Josh Metcalf, Hamel Reinmiller, Ben Schultz, Dan Smith, Eric Smith, Tim Trant, Tom Warburton, Langston White and Steve Pruitt. You will be contacted by one or more of these committee members over the coming months as we attempt to get word to every member of our class, plan for the reunion activities, and encourage each of you to join us in contributing to our class donation that we will present to the “I” in October. I hope that anyone wishing to participate in one of these committees will let me know so that we can get you involved. I heard from Trey Mangus who is currently deployed to Iraq with the USMC and will probably not be able to make the reunion, but wanted to report that he ran into Brady Gallagher at Fort Polk prior to his deployment. Both are doing great. I also got a note from Bill Beard who is helping out with our RFC and looking forward to the reunion. Bill is living the dream in Buena Vista with his wife and three children. Sean Williams checked in to let me know that plans on attending the reunion and that he is alive and well in the Richmond area and working with the Virginia National Guard. After retiring from his duties as Class Agent, Mike Baumgardner wrote to check in and see if I had forgiven him yet. Mike is looking forward to the reunion on October 3 in Lexington and is hard at work up in the PA area with the FBI. Between his G-man responsibilities and his lovely wife and children, his time is completely consumed. Chad and Chrissy Flansburg have been helping me get organized for the reunion and

are looking forward to seeing everyone. I had an occasion to visit Todd Boykin in from the Greater Richmond area for our annual trip to the Richmond International Speedway. Todd and Christina are expecting their second (Sara Grace) by June 1. Saddler Reese Boykin (their first) is about 2 and ruling the house! Todd is still working with R. Stuart Royer in Richmond and has been a tremendous help as we prepare for our Reunion. Pat Roberts has left the Richmond City Manager’s office and is now working in the private sector. He and his lovely wife just moved into a new home outside of Richmond. Pat has agreed to help organize the first annual Ryan K. Betton ’98 Charity Golf Tournament on Friday prior to the reunion in Lexington. Tim O’Bryant checked in from Ramadi, Iraq, where he was deployed with the 3rd ID. Tim is permanently stationed at Fort Stewart, GA and as of May 2007 is happily married to Morgan Gallo Obryant and plans to attend the reunion. Justin May was in the wedding in Charleston, SC. Nick Wilk checked into to announce his reunion attendance and offer to help keep Fye straight on the Fundraising effort. Without the unbelievable effort from Mike Lorence the Reunion Fundraising Committee would organized with the precision command and control that we have all come to expect from Mike. Mike is living the post USMC dream in MS with his wife and kids. On the side Mike has two start-up companies in addition to the one that pays the bills and his part time job helping me prepare for the reunion. In all seriousness, we are all forever indebted to Mike for his service. Mike Harris surfaced in Hickory, NC, and has pledged to help the RFC attain its goals of 75% participation and gather its monetary goal of 350 K to un-seed the class of 1997 as the highest donating class in recent 10-year Reunion history. Mike is working in marketing and procurement for a grocery wholesaler / distributor. He reports that Tirvis Dixon, Jason Crowder and Ben Schultz are in touch often and are doing well. Mike’s brother is now on the coaching staff at VMI and is working to improve the VMI Football program in honor of our attendance at the Richmond game during our reunion in October. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mike Runyan who has been a tremendous help getting the class treasury in order. Matt Bertsch is still with the USAF but has recently been stationed in England. His lovely wife, Emily, and he are planning to attend the reunion with their son, Jack. I think


CLASS NOTES they may very well be in the running for the largest commute to a VMI Class Reunion. After a drought, I finally heard from Jordan Clark who has recently moved from Salt Lake City, UT, to Chicago and is traveling a lot for his job as the East Coast Sales Manger for a Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer. Jordan and I are both still single with no Children. Aaron Sims wrote in to alert me of his “retirement” from the Marine Corps and that he has moved back to Birmingham with his new wife, Carla. I did hear from Cesar (Bull) Perez who is living in Rockbridge County in Fairfield. Bull is a consultant for SYSCO in Harrisonburg and travels the east coast regularly. Marc Clemente wrote from Sheppard Air Force Base to announce the he plans on attending the reunion and catching up with as many people as possible. Joey Bates was recently married to a lovely young lady named Tori on April 19 in Puerto Rico in front of about 50 friends and family. Tori is a Michigan State graduate and after a stint working for the state legislature is now a wine sales rep in the Charlotte area. Joey and Tori may be making an appearance on the HGTV show “Hidden Potential” due to some recent remodeling of their home. Joey is in NC working for a grocery conglomerate while having an interest in a couple of night clubs in the area. Dale Paxton was in the wedding party and apparently required some stitches in his foot following a poolside incident at the “Keydet Style” reception following the ceremony. Dale is now work-

ing as a deep cover Redneck for the Federal Wildlife Commission. Both will be attending the reunion. Brian Lylerly and his lovely bride are living in southern VA and planning on attending the reunion in October. Brian Kurtz wrote in from Dell City, OK, which is just outside of Oklahoma City. Brian is working in manufacturing as a Process Quality Engineer for Aftermarket Technologies. I was amazed at how close we are will get more info from Brian when we get together soon. Brian Bowes announced that he is a proud father of a little girl named Karissa. She was born on February 1. He will be attending the reunion in October and looks forward to catching up with everyone there. Jabarr Bean wrote in to announce that he is out in HI with the Marine Corps and also is managing a Home Depot Store on the Island. I think that is all for now. I have been in touch with so many of our BRs that I am hoping and praying I didn’t leave anyone out. If I did, please forgive me and re-send an update so that I can include it the next edition of our class notes. Thanks to everyone who has gotten in touch with me to provide an update on their lives. Book your rooms in Lexington at the Wingate Inn or Comfort Inn for our reunion, and don’t forget to announce yourself as a member of the class of 1998 for their special rate. I hope that each of you has a chance to update your contact info on the alumni Web site at, and I look forward to seeing you all in October. In the bonds, Hamel B. Reinmiller ‘98


Brad Wineman

Firstly, a few thank yours to those BRs helping out your wayward class agent. Thanks to Matt Hart who has been diligently manning our Facebook site and slowly pulling in the various lost sheep of our class. We have over 60 members now, and Matt has been instrumental in keeping me up to date on several folks. I would also like to thank Josh Frank who filled in locally for me at the Class Agents’ Conference in April. Much appreciation for representing the class and listening to a barrage of propaganda and Ratline stories. Also still in the Lexington area is Nick DeVincenzo, who gave me a call a few weeks ago. He is back with Enterprise and enjoying life still in Lex Vegas. Down in Roanoke, I’ve been keeping in touch with Chris Copenhaver who is enjoying his work with the government and his beautiful family. Another Roanoke family that just got larger is Pat Henderson’s. He and his wife, Heather, just welcomed a son, Luke William, into the world on February 5. Congrats to you both. Up in the DC metro area, Conor Powell is still reporting for Channel 8 news and occasionally hits us up for help with his muckraking stories. Be sure to tune in. Bill Steinbach has relocated to the area to work for Booz Allen and consult for the Army. Just down the road, Lee Rees is still working for the Culpepper Police Department pulling

Class of 1998: At the memorial service for Ryan Betton were, front row, from left: Christina Boykin, Emily Bertsch (holding Jack Bertsch), Matt Bertsch, Andrea Betton (holding Ian Betton), Dave Nash and Mike Baumgardner. Back row: Todd Boykin, Brian Pearson, Aaron Simms, Hamel Reinmiller, Matt Baldwin and John Wright ’99.

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CLASS NOTES extra time with the SWAT and forensic teams. In Richmond, I got an update from Wes Barrow. He’s still recruiting for Ernst and Young while keeping up with his IT consulting on the side. He keeps up with Brandon Howle and Marshall Luck for the occasional golf game. Also got a note from Matt Irving, checking in from Richmond where he keeps an eye on Jake Britt and Mike Wilson. Chris Magee just sold his business in Richmond and has entered into what he calls “semi-retirement.” This definitely does not help his “old man” reputation among the class. Chris keeps tabs on Jochen Dunville and Ryan Debouchel in northern VA who are both doing well with their families and work. Around the country, I heard from Corey Kearse who just passed the state bar in AL and just took a new job with a law firm in Birmingham. Got an e-mail from Joel Christenson who is about to pursue his Ph.D. at West Virginia University this fall. After months of “secret squirrel” training, Chris Varner is now working for the FBI temporarily stationed in CT. Out in KY, Greg McDearmon is doing excellent with his family and contracting business which somehow keeps making money in spite of the housing crisis. Chris O’Toole and wife Jill just welcomed their first child, daughter Ella, in April in NC. I also have been keeping up with Jon Rogers out on the West Coast in Seattle. Our class continues to rotate Marines through the OIF. Chris McGuire most recently arrived as a company commander in 4th Marines in Al Anbar Province. Jason Berg also deployed around the same time to Fallujah as a transportation company commander. Above the ground, Cliff Ford is on his way back to Iraq for the third time with his helicopter squadron. I also got a nice letter from the mother of Rich Hallett. Rich is still flying Cobras out of Camp Pendleton and heading back to Iraq for his third tour. She also says Rich keeps up with Dave Janeka and also Brian Long who lives in Fredericksburg. BT, if you read this, e-mail me, brother. On the Army side, I got a note from Barry Williams down the road at Fort Riley where and the family will be moving out to Fort Campbell. John Wilcox is still out in language school in CA, but he and his wife, Nellie, just bought a new house outside of Fort Bragg. Aaron Bush is about to head out on his fifth deployment with Special Forces shortly but is enjoying life with his wife and son Aaron, who just turned 2. Charles Gallion is still out at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin with his wife, Parry, and little boy Charlie. Other members of our distinguished Army are back home shaping the officers of the future (scary as that may be). Mike McDermott is a tactical officer at West Point mentoring all of the VMI dropouts while


working on his master’s degree at Columbia. Robbie Trent is back in VA on recruiting duty in the Lynchburg area. And, most importantly, VMI is getting one of its own back, as Eric East will be serving on the AROTC staff in Kilbourne Hall this fall. My only Air Force update comes from Charles Faulkner who is stationed at Goodfellow AFB and returning to Washington in July where he and Emily are expecting a baby in October. And in joint-service news, our world traveler John Holmes has deployed with the Navy as an augmentee for the Army on a civil affairs mission to Baghdad this summer. A good chance to use your new Polish language skills, right John? And finally, in international updates, I got a few notes from BRs overseas. After passing the PE as a civil engineer, Van Carson and his wife are moving out to Vincenza, Italy, for three years where they will also have their first daughter in September. Quite a year. His only competition for a better year comes from Aaron Hamilton who is still living in Australia. He proposed to his fiancée, Erin, on the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and then discovered his roommate won several million dollars in the Australian lottery. Hard to beat that. I apologize for the brevity of these notes, but I did not hear from many folks this go-round. I encourage all of you to check in with me to update your contact information. I think many of my e-mails are out of date. A special thank you to all the mothers and wives who keep me updated for the handful of you who are too busy or too lazy (I’m looking at you Jake Abell) to keep in touch with the class. Again, I encourage you to check out our class page on Facebook (and yes, you can register on the site even if you are a Republican, McGuire). Thanks everyone.


Christian Arllen

Jim Boatright is still living in Atlanta with his wife, Emily, daughter Madeline Louise and new son Jackson Whitaker; all are well. The word on the street is that one of young Master Boatright’s namesakes is known to hunt a good bit and make regular treks through Atlanta to his various hunting adventures. Jim reports that Whit Johnston, Scott Johnson, and Will Warthen are doing well. Jim has been busy building places for folks to have fun and finished up his master’s degree in Building Construction from GA Tech last year. Jay Mogge is also in the construction industry working out of Birmingham, AL, and was recently engaged. Congratulations, Jay!

Beau Mason is doing well and ran into Ryan Mitchell recently. They are both in Iraq where Ryan is flying Blackhawks. Beau is a company commander for an engineering company. When stateside, Beau lives close to both Will Ward and Joe Segar. Congratulations go out to Beau on the birth of his son last summer. Tony Cerella is heading to Iraq on a MiTT team assignment about now, and Bethany is setting up the abode in Monument, CO. Luckily. Bethany will be close to family during this deployment. Brad and Becky Allen are stationed out at Travis AFB where Brad is toying with C-17s. David and Sarah Hoffman are stationed at Edwards AFB. Michael Gereau is doing well in Panama City, FL, where he flies MH-53E and the HH-1N with the Naval Surface Warfare Center PC DIV. He has been training for a couple marathons and building planes in his spare time. Sounds like Ptown is the place to be. Tom Boyer moved to Seattle recently and reports that the place it amazing when the weather clears. Tom caught the trail of Charles Bryan in Tacoma a while back. Danny Boyers married Doris Shambora from Wilkes-Barre, PA, on the 29th of December and they are expecting. Congratulations on both counts! Danny is in the midst of a masters program at Liberty University. Both Danny and Doris are teaching 6th grade in Lynchburg, VA. Eric Adams is a contractor in Richmond and is having a blast restoring homes and fishing. He will be fishing is some tournaments soon and traveling to Ireland for a week of fun with Vern Dooley and J.D. Longest ’01. John Stewart is attached to a Shore Detachment in Jacksonville, FL. He and Jessica are expecting a second kid this summer. Kelley and I are well and since the rest of you are popping out kids like it is going out of style, we thought we would join the fad and expect to start sleeping a lot less in late August. I took a trip down to the “I” in April for the Class Agents’ Conference and even though the X is gone the place hasn’t really changed. There are renovated buildings and the facilities have been improved, but the cadets are still being stacked like cord wood in Barracks. Ah that brings back fond memories. I spent an hour on the 4th stoop hanging out with pre-strains and the 4th class. Funny how so many of their gripes mirror ours through different times. To those of you in harms way I pray that you will make it home safely; to the injured physically and mentally, I pray you will heal quickly and fully. To all who serve now and in the past, know that you are treasured, and we are thankful for you and your families. Faithfully yours, Christian




Jason Whitaker

tor for a few years. His deployment was cut a few days short as he was able to make it home in time to see the birth of his twin baby girls, Lindley Kathryn and Elizabeth Faith. They were born on April 18, 2008, and weighed 5 lbs. 7 ounces and 4 lbs. 15 ounces respectively. Both girls were healthy, yet a little premature so they spent a couple of weeks in the hospital. Both girls are at home now and doing well. Wil said his world, as he once knew it, has officially ended, but he couldn’t be happier! He heard from Todd Anthony a couple of times and plans to see him when comes to town for a few days. Wil stated “it seems these days, I run into more VMI alum in Iraq then I do in the states.” Wil hopes that will change a little as he moves back to the east coast in September. Seth Ford and his wife, Sarah, still live in Columbia, SC. Seth is about to finish his ophthalmology residency in July 2009 from the University of South Carolina Department of Ophthalmology. They are planning to settle somewhere in the southeast but have yet to decide exactly where as of yet. Randy Hager has been a Richmond (VA) City Police officer for two years and also is a lieutenant in the National Guard. Randy believes he is probably the only commissioned officer from our class who is still a lieutenant. And plans to go for the record as he will have been a lieutenant for seven years in August. Randy was married on June 2, 2007 to Karla Tolentino Durante, a Brazillian native. His best man at the wedding was John Niederhaus. Randy stated Hassan Grari got married to a Texas girl and believes he is living in Houston, Dallas or San Antonio. Hassan was also in Randy’s wedding. Randy occasionally sees Harry Fitzpatrick at work

Greetings to everyone from Woodbridge, VA. Dawn and I have spent the past couple months preparing for this moment, and we finally have moved into our house. I even ran into Stu Patterson while at Home Depot this past weekend. Stu and his wife also live in Woodbridge. I’d like to first congratulate our newly married couples such as to Wil Felvey and his wife, Laura, who got married on March 22, 2008 in VA, and Oscar Alfaro and his wife, Chihui Seo, who were married in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on March 26, 2008. Howie Cook recently completed Army Warrant Officer’s Candidate School and is in the process of starting flight school, which means he’ll be at Fort Rucker, AL, for at least a year. Charlie Benbow is currently assigned Class of 2001: Oscar Alfaro and to 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company his wife, Chihui Seo, following their (ANGLICO) and recently returned from a tour wedding in the Dominican Republic in Iraq. Charlie stated Josh Kling ’99 is also in on March 26, 2008. 2nd ANGLICO. While in Iraq, Charlie ran into Craig Giorgis ’00, Chris McGuire ’99 and Will Boulware. Will is flying CH-53s in Iraq, and said he’s a pretty good police officer who and Charlie said when it was time for his unit serves on specialized units netting drug dealers to return to Al Asad from Haditha Dam, he and not suffering on the beat like him. was flying the helicopter that picked them up. Chris Butera finished his time at a Catholic Congratulations also to Charlie and his wife, seminary in May 2007 after entering into the Stephanie, who got married in June 2007. seminary right out of VMI in the fall of 2001. Charlie and Stephanie are living just outside Chris said he was in for six years and that’s the of Camp Lejeune, NC, and will move to Fort short-term because he already had a bachelor’s Benning, GA, in the fall so he can attend the degree. According to Chris, guys who don’t Maneuver Captains Career Course before have a bachelor’s degree have to do four years going back to one of the Marine Divisions to be a company commander. David Gray is in Bagram, Afghanistan, serving as an Infantry Company Commander in the 101st Airborne Division. David said life is good, and he talks to Howie Cook and Chris Gaddy pretty often. Dave reported that Chris is a full fledged biker in CA working at a medical supply facility. Will Boulware just got back from Iraq in early April following his third deployment there. He was stationed at Al Asad Air Base during each of the three deployments flying CH53E’s for the Second and then Third Marine Air Wings. Thankfully it was a safe and successful deployment, and his last for a while as he will be Class of 2001: From left: David Russell, Todd Anthony, Will Boulware, Will Alley, moving from sunny San Diego to Stuart Curcio and, the bride, Kerry Mathis Boulware. Pensacola, FL, to be a flight instruc-

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CLASS NOTES of college seminary and then four years of theology plus a year in-between known as a spirituality year that is dedicated not to academics but prayer and spirituality for a total of nine years. Chris’ first year was spent studying in what they call pre-theology where he received an equivalency of a philosophy degree and then onto the spirituality year and then four years of theology. During his time in the seminary the Army transferred him into the Inactive Ready Reserve in the Staff Specialists branch. Chris said life at his parish is great, busy, exciting and fulfilling with a lot to do. He is stationed with Monsignor John Murphy and they have a congregation of 10,000 people that makes up about 3,500 families. So needless to say, he never wakes up thinking that there’s nothing to do. His parish is one of the largest parishes in the Diocese of Allentown, PA, and they have the largest grade school in the Diocese with 650 kids (grades kindergarten through 8th grade). Mark Bauserman is back in Luray, VA, working as a 6th and 7th grade Social Studies teacher. He and his wife, Aude, are approaching their five-year anniversary this June. They just purchased their first home a year ago and are still working to get the “little” challenges of buying an older home worked out. Justin

Class of 2001: Brad Leigh on patrol in Oaxaca Pass in the Gila Mountains just west of Yuma, Arizona.


Salmaan Khawaja

’02 Class of 2001: Will Boulware’s twin girls, Elizabeth Faith and Lindley Kathryn. Walksey is living and working in Greensboro, NC, and reported he married his ring figure date, Andrea, in November 2002. Dan Stock is a Navy lieutenant stationed in Groton, CT, attending Submarine Officer Advanced Course with orders to report to the U.S.S. Maine in Bangor, WA, as the Strategic Weapons Officer. Dan will graduate the course on June 6th and then he and his wife, Jennifer, will move to Washington. Once there, he will have to attend another month and a half of classroom training and complete about three months at sea on another ballistic missile submarine in preparation for his next assignment where, if all goes well, he will be for three years. Jim Gleason was scheduled to return from Afghanistan after a 15-month deployment. Jim has spent a collective 52 months overseas while in the U.S. Army. Upon his return, Jim plans to depart the Army in August and will begin interviewing with companies in the mean time. Doug Hoffman is the U.S. Army active reserve program and currently living in Houston, TX, but plans to move to Baltimore in July. Mike Conlan reported he graduated from Hampden-Sydney and in a weird twist of fate, married his uncle dyke’s (Will Kump ’98) little sister. Mike said he still gives periodic donations to VMI and full credit to the “I” though for making him the man he is today. Mike wanted us to know that despite not having a sheep skin on the wall from VMI, and not being able to take part in the camaraderie among Brother Rats from the class of 2001, he still truly enjoys seeing what is going on with the class. As you can see our class is spread out and working hard. I appreciate the e-mails and messages I have been getting so far and look forward to continued service to the class. God bless our service members overseas and at home and to all our classmates as we strive to exemplify what it is to be a VMI citizensoldier.

Matthew Thompson

Greetings 2002 Brother Rats! I hope that this edition of the Alumni Review finds you and yours well. As you may know, the VMI Alumni Association has worked very diligently to make the lengthy and arduous process of putting the Alumni Review together more efficient and more importantly more time sensitive. They have done a fine job, and you will hopefully notice that the class notes you submit to me show up quite soon in press. Many of you have contacted me about the status of our Brother Rat James Howard, who sustained a severe spinal cord injury in a swimming related accident on Feb. 16, 2007, while in FL. I would also like to direct you to http:// for information and updates pertaining to James’ progress and also for information on how to contact him. He is in all of our thoughts and prayers, and I am sure that he would love to hear from you. Jerry Whitlock contacted me to let me know that he received his master’s from WVU in civil engineering in 2003 with an in progress Ph.D.

Class of 2002: Matthew Brooks with his son, Henry Daniel.


CLASS NOTES – ABD. Jerry is currently employed by Cherry Hill Construction, in Jessup, MD, working as a project engineer. Jerry is also a LT (reservists) with NMCB 23 (Seabees) stationed out of Fort Belvoir, VA, where he serves as Legal Officer and Company Commander. On March 24, 2007, Jerry and his wife, Amber, welcomed their firstborn son – Zachary Aiden. In December 2007, Jerry received his PE license for the state of VA. Jerry is now beginning an MBA program through IU and UNC-Chapel Hill. He and his family are currently residing in Odenton, MD. I was contacted by David Troxell’s wife, Rebekah, who kindly provided updates on David’s status as well as some pictures as he is still deployed in Afghanistan. Rebekah let me know that David graduated EOD school in April 2007. The family has been at Cannon AFB since May where he is the EOD Flight Commander. Since December of ’07 he’s been in Afghanistan as the EOD Flight Commander there. At Cannon he won the CGO of the Wing Award for the final quarter of ’07 and at Bagram won the Top CGO Performer of the Group for February.  First Lt. Jared Conrad reported that his National Guard unit has been activated the second time and that he finds himself in Kuwait these days, and hopes to be back stateside this summer. He has bumped into quite a few VMI grads while overseas and wrote me about some of his recent contacts. Jared let me know that Capt. Blake Witherell is currently engaged and finishing up another tour in Afghanistan. They plan to marry when he comes home.

Capt. Steve Ward was recently injured in a vehicle rollover in Afghanistan. He has been in a hospital for several weeks now, but is finally showing signs of making a complete recovery. He also just got married prior to his current deployment. Ours thoughts and prayers are with Steve as he continues towards what we hope to be a full recovery. Joe Williams has been out of the Marine Corps for a couple years and has done really well on the civilian side. He is currently settling down in the DC area working for INS. First Lt. John Leake is over Kuwait as well as Jared writes that John “has done a phenomenal job … I can easily see him being a senior leader in the Virginia Guard someday.” Jared also came across 1st Lt. Jude Lau is also in Kuwait. Jared writes “in terms of his assignment, he has had the biggest ‘leadership challenge’ of all us in the unit, but has done remarkably well, and the Institute should be proud of him.” Jared also wrote that also serving with his guard unit is 1st Lt. Brian Andrew ’03, 1st Lt. Thomas Claytor ’03 and 1st Lt. Chris Mision ’03. Lindsey Moran recently graduated with honors from the University of Baltimore School Of Law. Her proud family let me know that Lindsey passed the bar exam on her first try and is now the senior attorney for the Women’s Law Center Of Maryland, which is located and Baltimore and represents victims of domestic violence. Matthew Brooks wrote me and let me know that he’s still in the Air Force and was transferred to Vandenberg AFB, CA, for six months training. Since October 2007 Matt has been up

Class of 2002: Jerry Whitlock, his wife, Amber, and first-born son Zachary Aiden.

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in the “Northern Tier,” Minot AFB, ND, working as a missile-er, operating the Minuteman III ICBM. On July 10, 2007, Matt and his wife, Krista, had their first child, Henry Daniel. Matt says that Henry has gotten used to the cold of ND pretty well. Andy Tsarukyan wrote in and let me know that he currently lives in Burbank, CA, and for the past four years, has been working for UNUM as a legal assistant and attending law school in the evenings. Andy has recently graduated from law school, and he will be taking the CA bar exam in July. Jim Cowardin has returned home from his service in Iraq and is looking to settle in the private sector in the Washington, DC, area. That’s all the news I have for this edition of the Review. Please e-mail me with information and pictures for future editions of the Review! In the spirit, Salmaan

William Talley V


Phil Kerns

Editor’s Note: Thank you, Doug Warner, for all the hard work you and your Brother Rats put into updating the class. Please note the class agents are Bill Talley and Phil Kerns. In an effort to get the class of 2003 up-todate on what everyone has been up to since graduation, the class notes have been divided up according to company, with a designated company representative to serve as a pointof-contact. Hats off to Matt McQueen and Doug Warner for the initial brain-child of this endeavor (it’s amazing how the combination of cigars, booze and old VMI war stories can stimulate the brain … or so I’m told). Many thanks also go to Bill Talley, who continues to serve diligently as our class agent and has been very supportive of this initiative in an effort to get more members of the class involved in alumni/class activities. In addition, the class of ’03 would like to collectively thank the Alumni Association for allowing us a one-time exemption on the traditional five-page class notes limit so we could update everyone before our 5th Reunion. Last, but definitely not least, I would like to thank all the company representatives: Bill Talley (Bravo), Blake Traina (Delta), Matt McQueen (Echo), Doug Warner (Golf), Rob McLean (Hotel) and Steve Nakazawa (Band).


CLASS NOTES As for Alpha and F-Troop, we are looking for worthy volunteers. And without further adieu, on to the notes! To prevent duplication of efforts, I’ll pass on some brief updates on some Brother Rats who aren’t covered in the below company writeups. Derrick Brown recently left the Army, where he did two tours in Iraq (I think?) as an intel officer, and is now working in DC for defense contractor SAIC. Will Belmont lives in northern VA and recently married Sarah Sigurdson in 2007, and as of this submission, is expecting his first child sometime at the end of May. Rich Eytel is still serving in the Navy and is currently assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Also of note, Rich is just recently engaged. Josh Hillsman is living in the Richmond area working as a self-employed contractor. Josh is married and has several young ones. Greg Harris tells me that he is currently working for the USG and living just down the road in Reston, VA. Trey Guy is still in the Army, recently married and stationed at Fort Benning, GA. Justin Vorrasi is living and working Warrenton, VA, and in June he will move overseas to work for the Army. Mike Lokale is well on his way to being a doctor. Mike is married now and still hopes to go back to Kenya to work in the medical field. Mark Carr is doing well coaching soccer at the collegiate level, originally at Elvira College in NY, but has since moved on as the assistant coach at West Virginia University. Dermot Gavin attended Basic Training and OCS last summer and is now an Army Infantry Officer. Shortly thereafter, he married Tara McBride, and they are now happily living in New York State. As for myself (Phil Kerns), I’m currently living in Sterling, VA (just outside Washington, DC). Since graduation, I’ve been working for the Government – most recently as a counterterrorism analyst. For now, I will be serving as the defacto editor for our class notes, so please feel free to reach out or send me updates. My e-mail is ALPHA Company: No notes were submitted for Alpha Co., so if someone is interested in being the company rep, then please e-mail Phil Kerns at BRAVO Company: Bill Talley (company rep.) I live in Petersburg, VA, working in my family’s insurance firm. Amie-Anne and I are married, and we have a daughter, Savannah, who will be 4 in September. We are always at VMI football games and usually tailgate right in front of Moody, so feel free to come by if you are up for a game. Also, I still like to get up at 5 a.m. on Tuesday’s & Thursday’s for Rat Tours with my dogs and grade Rat Bible quizzes for the institute in my spare time. Please send


updates and information to me at the following e-mail address: Nate Smith completed a tour with the USMC in Iraq, and the last I heard, he had been offered an instructor position at Quantico. I believe he is now stationed in ME. Stuart Chambers is now a Navy recruiter in VA, where he enjoys running in various races throughout the VA and Outer Banks areas. Andrew Marsh completed a tour in Iraq with the Army. He lives in Fort Lewis, WA, and is married to his wife, Kara. They have no children - other than their Great Dane! Joe Ingram earned a master’s in engineering from WVU. Sadly, Joe was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2006. He is now living and working in his hometown of Franklin County, VA. His spirits are good and his willpower is amazing! Joe was using a wheelchair and elbow crutches when we got together for dinner last time, but he didn’t let that get him down – he was burning rubber and popping wheelies all around us! I know that Seth Ostlund went to FSU and was working on his graduate degree. Chaz Wagner lives in NOVA and works for an engineering firm. Matt Brady got married right after graduation and is living in Chesapeake, VA. He was last known working at his family’s furniture company, and I believe he and his wife have a child now. Steve Johnson is still in the Marines and is doing well. He is currently residing in the Roanoke area. Vicki Ortiz is living in the NOVA area, but I’m not sure where she is working. Rick Reid is living in NOVA and working for Booz Allen Hamiltion. Matt Bartles is still serving in the Navy, I believe, but I’m not sure where he is stationed. Dan Whitehall was working in FL for a while, but now I believe he is working in NOVA for a banking/investment company. It is my understanding that Danny Goldberg went back to the great state of TX and went to law school. I’m not sure what Ray Mckay is doing, but he is still mad about having Matt McQueen’s picture over his name in the Bomb. Andy Biesterveld commissioned in the Navy and went to grad school in Monterey, CA. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Roosevelt for a tour of duty, and in April ’08 he got out of the Navy and is residing in Jacksonville, FL, with his wife, Jessica Gerkensmeyer. Josh Bandy was deployed to Kosovo from November ’06-’07 as an infantry officer in the VA ANG. He currently works for Case Heavy Equipment in Roanoke, VA, where he lives with his wife, Kim, whom he married in May 2006. Jim Crews is married and living in VA somewhere. John Tamborino commissioned in the Army and is probably somewhere having a drink with Ed Donahue. I saw Melissa Ward at the Marine Corps Marathon in 2006, just before she was sent to Iraq with her Marine

Corps unit. She was back at VMI in 2007 for her sister’s graduation; you may have seen a picture of her commissioning her sister on the VMI Web site. For those of you I didn’t have information for, please send me an e-mail and I will provide your updates for the next edition of the Alumni Review! CHARLIE Company: Brandon Matthews (Company Rep.) – After leaving VMI early in 2003 I went to work for Henrico Police just outside of Richmond, VA. The last two years I have been on their SWAT team. Still single and with no kids, I decided to buy a Harley … so Brandon, Chip and everyone who likes to ride – call me! Please send Charlie Co. updates to: Jon Lowery moved back to Richmond and is now working as a police officer for Henrico County, along with myself and Grady Orr ’04. Jon married Sara Anthony and they have one son, Jackson. Frank Saul is getting married this September, and Chris Huff is getting married in the fall as well. Mike Piernick is still in the Air Force and is stationed in Italy, finally enjoying some time with his wife, Jenni Hendricks, who is a VWIL graduate serving in the Army. Robert Osypowicz is serving with the Polish Army in Bosnia and is doing well. Dave Bull is in the Army and is stationed in Daegu, South Korea, currently serving as a Chaplain’s assistant. That’s all the notes that Jon Lowery and myself could gather on Charlie Company, but please e-mail me your updates and pictures – thank you! DELTA Company: Blake Traina (Company Rep.) – After graduation, I worked in the VMI admissions office for nine months. Since then, I have been living in NOVA and have been working for the Army G-3. In June 2007, I married Jennifer Potts, and we now own a house in Sterling, VA. Please send Delta Company updates to me at Jon Anderson was married on Sept. 16, 2006, to his, and I quote, “Smokin’ hot wife” Mandy McRee. After two deployments in Iraq, Jon was offered a great deal for his next assignment – serving as an ROTC instructor at the University of Georgia. After this, he is considering becoming an Army Chaplin, but in the meantime he is enjoying all the opportunities he has right now to share the word of God. He should be back in the U.S. around December 2008. Brendan Barclay is currently at the NTC and preparing for his second deployment to Iraq. After this deployment, he hopes to find a civilian job in the CO area. Aaron Campbell is now an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond. He also just bought a house last year in Church Hill that he is renovating. Ed Donohue has had two tours in Iraq and one to Haiti. A year ago, he got out of the Marine’s and is now






Photo 1: Tommy Baldwin married Tammy McDaniel on Nov. 6, 2004, in J.M. Hall at VMI. From left: Billy Schaller, Kyle Padgett (top) and Brian Gardner. Photo 2: 2nd Lt. Dermont Gavin married Tara Ann McBride on Aug. 25, 2007, in East Durham, New York. Holding the bride were, from left: Doug Warner, Kyle Padgette, the groom Gavin and Jason Harr. Photo 3: Blake Traina and Jennifer Potts were married near Leesburg, Virginia, in June 2007. From left: Phil Kerns, Doug Warner, Dan Clark, Blake Traina, Brandon Matthews, Dan McNair, Wes Swank, Bill Talley and Brian Yannetti ’06. Photo 4: Capt. Jon Anderson and Amanda Grace McRee were married in Lake Blackshear, Georgia, on Sept. 16, 2006. Jon is the grandson of Robert H. “Cotton” Warren III ’45 and great grandson of Robert H. Warren Jr. ’16. Photo 5: Tailgating at the VMI-Citadel, football game in November 2007, were, from left, standing, Dan McNair, Jon Sastri ’75, Dave Woody ’73, Phil Kerns, Andy Onello, Doug Warner, Josh Gonzales, Brandon Matthews, Dave Woody, Brian Wacker and Dermot Gavin. Kneeling: Blake Traina and Chaz Wagner.


Class of 2003

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CLASS NOTES working for an electric company in Boston, MA. Dan McNair is currently working as a Program Analyst for SOCOM. He is also attending Georgetown University and is in the second year of his MBA program. Chris Gromadski is currently deployed to Iraq working with a Military Transition Team. After graduation he got married and now has a baby girl that is on the way, due in June. Chris Mision just finished his second deployment with the Army – the first to Afghanistan (Infantry) and then to Kuwait (Intel). During both deployments he was fortunate to have a number of VMI guys in the Battalion with him. He spent some time with T.J. Claytor and Brian Andrew on these deployments as well as guys from ’02 and ’04. When not serving with his National Guard unit, he works with a contractor at the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, but wants to move to DC and work for the National Guard Bureau or with the Intel community. Cullen Monk attended IOBC in 2003-04. After this he had a few surgeries on his knee and then worked as an XO. Due to the surgeries, he had to leave the Army and work for the National Defense University. Currently, he works for the DoD at the Pentagon. Andy Onello became a Fairfax County Police Officer for about three years but decided to change career paths and start working for AOL’s IT Security program. Currently, he works for Booz Allen Hamilton as a Senior Consultant, working on a DHS contract in DC. Mike Poliquin left the Marine Corps last June, after serving for four years. He was stationed in Hawaii for three years and during that time he deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. He currently works with Border Patrol and plans to live in Yuma, AZ, with his wife Beth who’s expecting (a girl) in early August. John Roche was married on Jan. 31, 2004. The army has since then decided to bounce him around from Korea to Fort Leonard Wood, to Fort Hood, and now he is in Iraq. He should be returning to Fort Hood early next year at which time he is looking at getting out of the Army. His wife is currently living in northern VA and working with Tim Burke ’02. Vadim Simakhov commissioned after graduation and spent some time as a Gold Bar at VMI from Jan to


Class of 2003: Photo above: VMI at the South Pole: Jordan Fox conquered the South Pole for VMI! Photo below: VMI at the North Pole: Patrick Schaerrer conquered the North Pole for VMI and, more specifically, the class of 2003!

Mar 2004. He then attended OBC and Airborne school and is currently a captain in charge of a MI detachment. He is now on his third deployment to Afghanistan. Also, he is now married to his wife, Lindsey. When he is not deployed he tried to spend time with A.J. Schmaus, Cullen Monk and Dave Burdette. Vadim plans to move to AZ in January ’09. Brian Wacker married his long time girlfriend/fiancée Andrea, in June 2003, and they have a daughter, Kylie Cecilia, who will be 3 in October. He started working for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office after graduation and has been working there ever since. He currently lives in WV. Dan Zhang dropped me a quick note to let me know he just recently left the Air Force and is now job hunting and going to school. ECHO Company: Matt McQueen (Company Rep) – I am currently living in the DC area. After graduation, I worked a few years with Homeland Security until 2006 and now do project management on port security solutions for the East Coast and overseas. I’ve been fortunate enough to do some traveling, so if there’s anyone living along the coast – let me know – that’s always a reason to finagle business travel! Please forgive me if I’ve missed you, but I am looking forward to receiving updates in response to these submissions (matt03notes@gmail. com), as well as seeing everyone at the upcoming reunion! Chris Adams has been serving the Great State of TX while serving as a teacher, varsity baseball coach, and as the assistant commandant of Cadets at Texas Military Institute for the past five years. After the loss of our fellow VMI and Echo Company brother, Luke Wullenwaber ‘02 in November 2004, Chris decided to commission as an Infantry officer in the Texas National Guard in December 2005. In the summer/fall 2007, he ran into Colin Wheel while at Airborne. Chris is a Company XO, and plans to either deploy or go to Ranger School this summer. In March 2008, Chris co-headed a project with the VMI Foundation, with the help of Jim Adams ’71 and Red Taylor, in which they dedicated a memorial plaque to all VMI alumni who served in the Pacific Theater of WWII. This took place at


CLASS NOTES the National Museum of the Pacific War (WWII) in Fredericksburg, TX, at the former home of Admiral Chester Nimitz. The plaque reads the following: “Commemorating the WWII service of the Virginia Military Institute Citizen-Soldiers who, in time of deepest peril, came to the aid of their country. More than 4,000 served, 185 gave their lives. On the sea, in the air, on the land, in every branch, in every rank, in every theater, they served.” Over 20 alumni attend the ceremony, which was a great success! Thanks to Chris and the VMI Foundation – we salute you all! Andrew Alissandratos is difficult to reach, given his new found hobby – surfing! I know, never in a thousand years, but from what I’m told, he’s pretty darn good! He is living in San Diego with his wife, Catherine, and their two German Shepherds, while serving in the USMC, flying CH-46s (currently in his second deployment to Iraq). David Barkocy is serving in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division and is now stationed at Fort Polk with the Joint Readiness Training Center. John Bocek is living in DC working as a Financial Consultant. Upon graduation, John worked with a series of defense contractors in the DC area, and pursued a few investment opportunities in Baltimore, before finding himself at his current spot. Patrick Botlero worked with an investment firm in New York City upon graduation and has recently relocated to Sweden for continued business ventures. I ran into Rob Bowman on Halloween ’07 and found he was living in the DC area, and attending law school at Catholic University. The last I heard of T.J. Claytor was that he was in Southside/Petersburg area working with law enforcement and continuing his service with the Army National Guard. I caught up with Erik Figueroa for Thanksgiving in Houston during his flight training with the Navy in Corpus Christi in 2004-05. Fig completed training around 2005-06, but I’m not sure of his current status. Nick Foster graduated from USAF flight training in 2005 and just returned from a tour in Afghanistan where, by chance, he ran into Mike Haag at Ramstein AFB in Germany. Nick currently resides in the Raleigh, NC, area. Mike is enjoying his new posting in England with the USAF, which he says is considerably nicer than his two tours in Afghanistan. Sean Griffis is living in Richmond and working for a lobbying firm. Craig Guiliano got a job with a DC-area think-tank for foreign policy studies after graduation, but now is working as a civilian employee with the Defense Department. After graduation, Juan Sanchez moved back to northern VA to work for the Army as a civilian, and has been doing that ever since. Juan also continues to coach high school wrestling during

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his spare time. Spencer Robbins ran into Keith Heindal in Baghdad on Christmas day, ’06. Keith was serving within an Army Transportation unit as its Executive Officer. Spence is in DC now on transition leave (after two tours in Iraq) and will separate from the Army on 31 May 2008. Spence is currently looking for a civilian job in the NOVA area. Phil Kerns is living in the DC area, and he now devotes his passion towards Echo-style flag football, paintball and distance running. Last October, Phil completed the Marine Corps Marathon on a dare from his girlfriend, and now he says he’s hooked – he is currently preparing for the 2008 MCM. He lives in Sterling, VA (just down the road from Blake Traina) where he continues to work for Uncle Sam while spending his time with his new found loves – his girlfriend, Angee, and his dog, Karma. Returning to the Institute in ’05, Kennon Kincaid worked for the Alumni Association, while also assisting with the cadet boxing team. In ’06, he began working as a project manager for Northrop Grumman in DC, and in December ’07, he landed a long-sought position with the U.S. Foreign Service, Department of State. Sometime in summer ’08, Kennon and his wife, Sarah, will be moving to Abuja, Nigeria, for their first overseas posting. Dave Woody ran into John Komaromy in 2007, who was also serving at Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Sam Newsome is living in Stafford, VA, and when I paid him and his brother (Saul Newsome ’05) a visit, we enjoyed cigars, Cuban rum, and a few exaggerated stories to include the whereabouts of Bocephus; who, by the way, is scheduled to make an appearance at the reunion despite previous efforts of F**Troop. Sam served two tours in Iraq, and now is an instructor at The Basic School in Quantico, VA. He is married to his wife, Tai, and they have two little ones; Samson – 2 years old and Eliana – 1 year. Gary Pembleton is still in the Navy and recently was stationed in Japan. His next planned assignment is either Norfolk or Jacksonville. Will Ragland served on a deployment to Haiti with the Peace Corps, and recently I heard that he was living in the DC area working on Capitol Hill. After graduating, Pat Schaerrer went to work in the family business in Dubai while paralleling a security company that operated primarily in Africa (now closed). In 2007, he earned his MBA from George Washington University in DC, at which point he returned to the family business and is now happily engaged. Since graduation, Pat’s adventures include: walking to the North Pole in 2006 climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2008, and soon-to-be conquered will be a 60-day walk across Antarctica to the

South Pole in January ’09! We congratulate Pat, who was awarded U.S.-Citizenship in 2008! After graduation, Joe Voorhees moved to Orlando for a year, but decided to move back to Virginia Beach to work as an Account Rep for RR Donnelley. In September 2007, Joe married his wife, Amy, and they recently bought a new house in VB. Brian Ward is now living in Detroit, MI, where he is working at Chase Bank. He is now married to his wife, Trisha, and they have a new 7-month-old daughter. Congratulations, Brian! I caught up with Dave Woody and his wife, Denise, when they visited the WV home of Bryan Wacker. Dave and Denise married in October 2004, sometime between his Ranger and Airborne training at Fort Benning, GA. He is stationed at Fort Campbell, serving as a platoon leader for both a recon platoon and later a sniper/mortar platoon in the 506th BCT’s dismounted Infantry Reconnaissance Company. After his deployment to Iraq in 05-06, he was assigned as XO of his company. Although now on another deployment, he will be home for the birth of his and Denise’s first child, just before the move to the Captains’ Career Course. Lastly, I came across a posting by Dennis Drinkwater who saw Karen Wheeler in Charlottesville in 2007. Karen’s been working through a M.D./Ph.D. Program at the University of Virginia and is no doubt doing well! Well, it was great hearing about you all and let me know if anyone has updates on folks not included above such as Boggess, Burt, Lambert, Phelps, Rakes, Rickel, Rios, Shallcross, Spellman, and Weaver. See you in October. ‘Till then – Rock On. F-TROOP: No notes were submitted for Foxtrot Co., so if someone is interested in being the company rep, then please e-mail Phil Kerns at GOLF Company: Doug Warner (Company Rep.) – After graduation I moved to northern VA and began work as a background investigator for the Department of Defense. For nearly three and a half years I lived with Blake Traina, Dan McNair and Phil Kerns, in what became a sort of virtual “VMI Boarding House.” The last few years, I have been working as a civilian for the Department of the Army. I serve as one of the vice presidents of the northern VA Potomac River Alumni Chapter, as well as the Chapter’s representative to the VMI Alumni Board of Directors. Please send Golf Co. updates to me, as well as any other questions, comments, pictures, etc., at the following: In November 2004, Tommy Baldwin married his longtime girlfriend, Tammy, in a J.M. Hall ceremony conducted by Chaplain Park. From November ’06-’07 he was deployed to Kosovo as an infantry officer (1st Lt.) in the VA Army


CLASS NOTES National Guard. He is still in the Army National Guard, and he and his wife are small business owners in Washington, VA. Chris Bluhm is an Army Captain (Infantry), and after serving in Iraq in the GWOT, he moved to Washington, DC, for a brief hiatus as a government contractor. Since then, Chris has gone back on active duty and is about to finish the Captain’s Career Course. Soon, Chris will be meeting with his new company, and then deploying again to Iraq. Dan Clark is living in Buffalo, NY, where he has been teaching freshman chemistry and advanced organic chemistry at the U. of Buffalo. While teaching, he is simultaneously working on his Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. He will receive his Ph.D. in August 2008, and will then have a post-doctoral position at the Max-Planck Institute in Mulheim, Germany. Joe Darin is living in Atlanta, GA, and is engaged to be married on July 11, 2009. He was the general manager of the Original Pancake House, but after two years realized he didn’t like pancakes anymore. He now enjoys free beer on a daily basis in his new job at Gordon Biersch Restaurant and Brewery, and is up for promotion soon to assistant general manager. Joe also said that Phil Harris has been down to visit him a few times in GA, and he was able to hang out with Mark Davis while Mark was in helicopter training for the Army. Mark Davis pursued his Army career post-graduation. After completing his training, he became a Chief Warrant Officer in the Army. The last I heard he was having fun flying helicopters in Korea. Josh Gonzales is now out of the Army and is living in northern VA working for the Dept. of Homeland Security. Prior to this, he was a Military Intelligence officer in the Army (Captain), serving in Iraq from 2005-’06 – where he received the Bronze Star, before completing his active duty service requirement. Kyle Haire married Julie Worrell (daughter of Norman Worrell ’72) in December 2003, and in Nov. 28, 2007 they had a baby boy named Taylor Mark. Kyle completed USMC flight training, earning honors as the Top Graduate for his flight class in July 2005, and is now a weapons systems officer in F-18 Hornets. They are stationed in Beaufort, SC, and Kyle, now a Captain, is currently deployed to Marine Air Station Japan. Phil Harris is living and working in Lewisburg, WV, for his family’s business. I’ve seen him at a number of the VMI football game tailgates since we’ve graduated. He seems to be doing well and is very successful in his business ventures! Jimmy Hitch is living in Savannah, GA, working as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Pan-Am Dental, Inc. James Kuhn and his wife, Holly, were married in December 2006 and are about to move to OK, where James plans to pursue his Seminary


degree while his wife finishes her residency in medical school. Since graduation, James has been living and teaching at a small Christian school in Martinsburg, WV. Arthur “Bubba” Matthews moved to Charlotte, NC, shortly after graduating. The last I heard, Bubba was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, and had served on numerous overseas deployments. Kyle Padgett and I attended Dermot Gavin’s wedding in August 2007 in New York. Kyle has been living in Norfolk, VA, but works in NC as an EMT/Fire Paramedic and is taking pre-med classes. He is engaged to Katie Mackintosh and is getting married in August 2008. Paul Quinn is in the USMC (Captain) working as an OCS instructor at Quantico Marine Corps Base in VA. He and his wife, Lindsey, were married in June 2003, and they currently live in Fredericksburg, VA. They are the proud parents of their 6-month-old daughter, Haven Ann, and are expecting their second daughter in September of this year. Rob Sarver (Golf Co. ’03 and USNA ’04), is graduating from the U.S. Navy BUDs training in June 2008. At that time, he will pin on the coveted SEAL trident, becoming a member of the U.S. Navy’s elite Special Forces, and will then be deploying to parts unknown. Billy Schaller graduated from Seton Hall University in 2005, earning a master’s degree. In May 2006, he was married to Brinda, his high school sweetheart. He currently lives in northern NJ, working in pharmaceutical marketing and market research, while in his spare time he volunteers as a wrestling coach for a youth recreational program. Wes Swank attended Stanford Business School after graduation to pursue his MBA. After graduating from Stanford in May 2005, Wes and his girlfriend Allison moved to New York City where he worked for a mergers and acquisitions group of a major investment bank. Recently, Wes has taken a new job working for a hedge fund, and he and Allison have moved back to Dallas, TX. Dave Tavenner was teaching and coaching football at Fork Union a couple of years ago according to Kyle Padgett, but I’m not sure what he is up to these days. I was unable to get info on the following Brother Rats, so if anyone knows where they are or what they are up to, then please let me know! Will Diaz, Matt Dixon, Aric Gerke, Taylor Goodall, Alia Hamad, Peter Hugger, Jared Hull, Pat Lavoie, Andy Reel, Chris Walsh … better yet, if those of you listed could e-mail me at the above e-mail address, I will be sure to get your info in the next edition of class notes!!! HOTEL Company: Rob McLean (Company Rep.) – Since returning from Iraq with my National Guard unit in 2005, I have been working as an investment banker in New York City.

This fall, I am headed to the Darden School at UVA to get my MBA alongside none-otherthan Hotel Brother Rat Joe Pederson. Please send Hotel Company updates to me at rob. Garth Best has been at law school in Nashville and will graduate Memorial Day weekend 2008. In August, he will be married to Ms. Sharon Hopkins, daughter of Hugh Hopkins ’69, in Chattanooga, TN. Jason “Bonch” Boncher will be his best man, and his groomsmen will include Rob McLean, Matt Keck, Evan Szymanski and Danny Goldberg. “Bonch” has been working and living in the Baltimore, MD, area as a shipping manager at a restaurant distribution company and getting into trouble with his Rat roommate Kyle Pfeiffer. Kyle has been working as a contractor for a pharmaceutical company in DE and is also getting married in July. After spending several years in Brooklyn, NY, as a writer, Evan Szymanski moved to Atlanta with his wife, Sophie Wackenhut, and is now working as a teacher. We are proud to report that Evan’s 1-year-old son, Hudson Baird, is already starting to display his dad’s proclivity for wise crack antics. Matt Keck recently began working for Abbot Labs as a pharmaceutical rep after a long tenure as a banker with Wachovia in Roanoke. Matt is marrying Ms. Komal Dhillon of Roanoke this June at Smith Mountain Lake. Rob McLean will be his best man and his groomsmen will include Garth, Bonch and Danny Goldberg. Joe Pederson recently got out of the Marine Corps and now resides in CA. Soon, he will be joining me at UVA’s Darden School to pursue an MBA. Danny Goldberg graduated from law school last December and has started up his own law practice in Houston, TX. Derek Overstreet is living in Richmond and has worked as a bridge engineer for the last three years. Last year, Derek was married to Ms. Kelly Trevillian, and Daren Williams was his best man. Daren is living in the DC area with his wife, Valerie, and working for Turner Construction. Allen Maxey is currently finishing up his medical internship at Fort Lewis, WA, and will be relocating to Fort Richardson, AK, this summer. This May he will be marrying Ms. Shelley Grigsby, sister of Mark Grigsby ’02. Will Johnson will be Allen’s best man. Will is out of the active Army and enjoying his National Guard Annual Training as this is being written. Cliff Cook, who will be attending the wedding, is finishing up his Ph.D. in materials chemistry at George Washington University. Scott Ferrebee has been living and working in the suburbs of DC and will be marrying his fiancée this June in Budapest, Hungary. Scott still keeps in touch with Dave Narcum, who is currently working in DC for the FBI and was married in 2006.


CLASS NOTES Tom Bliss is currently in VT finishing up a finance rotation at GE and will be heading to Asia this summer. Tom will be meeting up with Chat in Thailand for a good time I’m sure. Jason Lambert is living in Cherry Point, NC, where he has decided to stay on with the Marine Corp. Jason is also getting married in July. Ben Booth is living in Winston-Salem, NC, and working for Volvo Penta. Ben was married to his wife Jessica, a resident doctor at Wake Forest, in 2006. Mark Klassen recently received a master’s degree in International Relations and Defense Studies and works for the Department of Defense in DC. Mike DeMayo recently got out of the Army and is back in Iraq as a contractor with KBR. A few weeks ago Mike ran into Jon Simrak in the chow hall. Jon is finishing up his second deployment in Iraq. Dave Walker is an assistant wrestling coach at Salem High School in Virginia Beach. Dave will be attending Regents University next fall. BAND Company: Steve Nakazawa (Company Rep.) – I have lived in NOVA since graduation, and currently work as a management consultant focusing in project management solutions, while also pursuing my MBA at George Mason University. I’ve also become very active in the VMI Alumni Association (I seriously never saw that one coming), and I currently am serving on the VMIAA Board of Directors as one of the DC Metro Regional Directors, and I’m a VP in the local Potomac River Chapter. Please send Band Company updates to me at steve.nakazawa@gmail. com. John Noonan is living in Cheyenne, WY, working as an ICBM Missile Combat Crew Commander with the Air Force, but plans to be back in the DC area by next year to start grad school. Jason Boatright went to Navy Flight School in August ’05, served a tour in Iraq from February ’06-’07, then transferred into the Navy Civil Engineer Corps in May ’07. He was sent to Bahrain in August ’07 and will be transferring to a construction battalion in CA in August ’08. He recently became engaged to a woman he met in Bahrain named Cosette. Brandon Naughton started work as a project manager for a car navigation company in Detroit, so if you have a Delphi unit in any GM 06-08 model, Brandon built your navigation radio! While in the Cyber Corps program at the U. of Tulsa, he worked with the Tulsa Police Cyber Crimes unit, and spent summers with the U.S. Secret Service. He graduated in May of 2006, and since then has worked in Charleston, SC, for Space and Naval Warfare in their Network Modeling and Simulation group. Brandon is currently in Camp Victory Iraq supporting Enterprise Operations at the Joint Network Control Center, and will be there at least until

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September. Jared Swanson has been living in Richmond working as a Healthcare Consultant, and moonlighting as an entrepreneur in the construction industry, where he has various rental projects in the works. In his spare time, he’s active in the Richmond Mountain Biking community, volunteering for trail work and riding. Jordan Fox graduated from the U. of Tulsa with a MSCS in 2005, and commissioned in the Navy as an Information Warfare Officer (Reserves) in 2005. He moved to Charleston after graduation, and recently just moved back home to Omaha, NE. He’s currently an Adjunct Instructor at ITT Technical Institute, and looking for full time employment in the Omaha area. David Burdette tells me that he is doing well in Atlanta. He purchased his first home a year ago and is dating Blair Coin UVA ’05. David works in private equity and although that keeps him very busy he still finds time to golf and hunt upland birds. He was recently appointed the social chair of the Atlanta Chapter and is planning events with Paul Holland ’90, Dave & Heidi Nagel of ’01 and ’02. Sam LaGrone has been a metro reporter for The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC for the last four years. In April, a story he wrote on a high-school marksmanship team being barred from a state-sponsored competition was selected as the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action’s, “Outrage of the Week.” Curtis Nieboer went to the Navy’s Nuke School from June ’03-’04, and then went to Submarine OBC from July-September ’04. Curtis reported to U.S.S. Maine (Blue) in Kings Bay, FA, October ’04; changed homeport to Bangor, WA, in November ’05, and has been there ever since; he will be reporting to the Office of Naval Intelligence in DC in May ’08. Elizabeth Davis spent some time in Harrisonburg, VA, after graduation, and then decided to enlist in the Army, ending up as an Intelligence Analyst at Fort Gordon, GA, for about two years. She graduated from Officer Candidate’s School and became an Air Defense Artillery Officer stationed at Fort Bliss, TX. As of now, she’s spending 15 months deployed to Kuwait and will be returning approximately May 2009. Greg Shpunder owned and operated a contracting business in NJ for three years. He recently decided to move into business to business sales for Cintas. He can be found playing bagpipes at bar and wedding functions a few times a year for special occasions. Drew Murphy received a MS in Mechanical Engineering from UVA, and then attended the University of Pittsburgh where he received an MBA. He’s currently working at Westinghouse, and has recently traveled to China where his company

is building some nuclear power plants. He will also be going to Italy for three months to do some training with one of his subcontractors. He bought two motorcycles and is looking into buying a hot rod shop with his brother. Mihaela Froehlich (Guberovic) tells me that after she graduated from VMI, she went on to Duke University for a Ph.D. in Mathematics. Along the way in 2005 she earned a Master’s of Arts degree in mathematics and this year will be defending and finally obtaining that Ph.D. title. In December 2003, she was engaged to Paul Froehlich, and they were married at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Lexington on June 25, 2005. He is serving as Army Physical Therapist and with him she has moved from San Antonio, TX, to Columbia, SC, to now Fayetteville, NC, while commuting to Duke. While he is in Iraq, she is home with their baby, Mila Eileen, who was born on Father’s Day, June 17, 2007. After Paul returns they are hoping to move closer to her home in Europe. Colin McElroy is currently stationed at Fort Riley, KS, and just returned from being the MP Company Advisor for an Iraqi Army Division. He tells me that within a few months, he will be taking command of a Company. He has been married for almost five years and has an adorable 2 ½-year-old daughter, Melanie. David Mayo earned a MS in Aerospace Engineering (Propulsion) with a minor in Aerodynamics and Mathematics at the U. of Alabama in Huntsville. He will be attending the U. of Maryland in the fall for doctoral studies in the field of Aerospace Engineering (Helicopter Aerodynamics). He is also doing an internship at the Army’s Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center this summer. Chris Noah was married in 2007 to a woman in his doctoral program, and will graduate from grad school in May with a PsyD. He received an internship with the Air Force and will be stationed at Andrews AFB in DC. Adam Monteleone is currently attending Adelphi University in New York where he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Secondary Education. His day job is working for a Disability office where he helps accommodate students with disabilities (Autism, Dyslexia, physically disabled, etc.) Brian Sinkule commissioned in the Air Force, and has been stationed at Mountain Home, ID, as a munitions officer, and has had one tour in Afghanistan. We hope you enjoyed reading the updates about all of our Brother Rats from ’03. Oh, and there is a rumor going around that a bunch of “cocky, foul mouthed drunks” are showing up for their 5-Year Reunion in October ... we hope to see you all there!  Rah Virginia Mil!!!




C. Justin Roberts

In mid-April, I attended the annual Class Agents’ Conference in Lexington. If you haven’t made it back to post in a while, I would encourage to do so and definitely start making plans to attend our 5th Reunion in November of 2009. As I find out more information I will pass it along according. First off, I want to thank everyone who has emailed me back and provided an update. Ryan and I are doing the best we can to keep up with everyone as you continue to settle into your careers and for many of you deploy in support of OIF/OEF. I want to include everyone as much as possible, so your participation is greatly appreciate. I would encourage you to visit the VMI Ranks site and join up, as this is an invaluable tool for me to get in touch with you.

Deployed Brother Rats have been checking in from all around the world and many of their spouses have so great as to provide an update during their deployments. I recently heard from Mike Scott who is in the Kirkuk proving, serving on a MiTT team from Fort Riley, KS, and hopes to return to the states sometime in June after a year-long deployment. He will then head off to Field Artillery Advanced Course in September. Justin Biernes was recently promoted to captain and is currently deployed in support of OEF with the 101st Airborne Division. Justin and his wife, Kari, are stationed at Fort Cambell and welcomed Madilynn to the family on November 8. Jimmy Palmer just returned from a deployment with the National Guard and married Sanja. They are now expecting a baby girl sometime in May. Jimmy is preparing to head out to Fort Huachua, AZ, for captain’s career course in Military Intelligence and then return to the National Security Agency. Joe Montagna has been stationed out in CA and just deployed in support of OIF. Joe is a CH-53 pilot and will do a 7-month tour. Rod James is flying the F-15E for 389 at Mt. Home AFB and is also deploying in May. He recently got married this past October to Michelle Schneider of NY, who he met through Brother Rat Joe Doane. Rob

Wilson finished his AF CRO (Combat rescue officer) training and just PCS’d to Okinawa, Japan. Chip Saterlee finished up his studies at Liberty University and is now deployed to Afghanistan as a chaplain. I briefly got to enjoy a visit with him in Lynchburg before he left with his Rat, Drew Wade ’07. Ryan Koziol is currently a EA-6B Prowler pilot stationed out of Whidbey Island, WA, but is deployed to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Ryan and his wife Katie welcomed daughter Avery in on March 22. Matt Vogel is in Iraq with the Air Force and plans to return to AR and get married in August. BRs Drew Hardin, Kevin Strait, Sean McElroy and Gary Cutler are assigned to the same battalion at FOB Rustamiyah in Iraq. Sarah Johnson is also deployed to Iraq and hoping to return to the states sometime this fall. Thanphisit Noom Phongsai (Bob) checked in his last day of Unit Logistics Course and was headed back to Bangkok. Ben Hassell just got back from a 15-month deployment, and he and his wife, Jessica, are expecting their first child in December. Josh Montero has served with 11th Marines in Camp Pendleton, CA, and has recently extended his contract in order to be assigned to Inspector Instructor Duty in Fort Worth, TX, with 14th Marines to work for and with the

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CLASS NOTES reserves. He is also engaged and will be getting married October 10th in Dallas, TX. Tim Price just got back from his deployment to Iraq in December. He is now assigned as a company commander to a basic training company in Fort Benning. I was fortunate enough to meet up with Tim, Lisette, Adam Zimmerman and Derek Wiley for a night on the town in Lex Vegas. Adam Zimmerman is doing well, working in Fredericksburg as a civil engineering and continues to play hockey for the Fredericksburg Men’s Hockey. Derek Wiley is also doing well and living in Botetourt County. Fortunately, I ran into Andy Hickman and wife Elisa in Farmville, VA. Andy and Elisa are doing well working in Farmville and getting ready to move to the Roanoke Valley. They have been doing some amazing things and traveling to Istanbul teaching. George Cushman, Frank Toomey and Nate Cincala have all began their Advance Course in the Army. Derek Raymond is at Fort Bragg for Special Forces training. Noah Diehl just got a slot at the VMI AF ROTC Dept.  He is moving back to Lexington in May.  His wife is expecting their second daughter in August. Bree Adams is still the Navigator of the U.S.S. UNDERWOOD (FFG 36) out of Mayport, FL, and deployed for a 6-month deployment doing oil plat defense off of Umm Qasr, Iraq.   In July, she is transferring to Washington, DC, working at the pentagon for the N3 Staff Operations for the CNO and working on her master’s degree with the University of Maryland in Biotechnology: BioInformatics. Scott Campbell received his commission back in August and is at Fort Knox for armor OBC. He continues to work as a police officer for the Richmond Police Department when he isn’t conducting his reserve duty. Kent Monas is an aviator and currently stationed at Fort Bragg. It is that time now, while many of our Brother Rats are deployed we have reached that marked, where many of our Brother Rats commitment in service is coming to a close. I want to thank them on behalf of our class for their service. Libby Olson just finished up her four-year commitment in the Navy and moved to State College, PA, and works at Starbucks as a Shift Supervisor. Frank Brinkmoeller got out of the AF late last year, moved to the Cincinnati, OH, area and is working as a project manager for a construction firm, HGC Construction. Frank and his wife are expecting their first daughter in August. Winston Harrell just finished two years of service in the Peace Corps in Bolivia.  While in Peace Corps, he started a recycling program and taught local children about recycling and the environment.  He also started an Internet Cafe and got his town hooked up

2008-Issue 3

to Internet for the first time. Right now he is traveling through South America and will be back in the States in mid-June. Craig Hamilton also just finished his commitment in the Marine Corps and is on terminal leave. Many BRs are also in grad school, finishing up with grad school, and getting married. Matt Mikula is at William and Mary Law School, with Lawton Way ’05 and Matt Kurz ’05. Ryan Walker just finished law school at Florida State last May and passed the VA bar in October. He will begin his new job this may with Cantor Arkema this May. Jason Dorn will finish up law school in New York City this July and is getting married in October to Ryan Brady. He recently attended John Berg’s wedding in October along with Landon Winkelvoss and Sean Duggan. Landon just got married to Jacqueline Bass in February and took a job in Alexandria. John Berg got married last October to Gina Manke and is currently working at a mechanical engineering firm in Raleigh.  Landon also recently went to Boston and hung out with Sean Duggan and Eric Damon.  Sean is working for the trial courts of MA, and Eric recently returned from a second tour in Iraq with the Marine Corps.  He also runs into Terrell Jackson and Maurice Pipkin on a monthly basis.  They are both project managers for Ryan Homes in Annapolis and Terrell is engaged to Jessica Ronan and due to marry next April.  Cyrus Kump lives in Winchester, VA, and works for a civil engineering firm. I recently ran into Tony Peters and his wife, Manu, in Lexington. Tony is a Navy Nuclear Submarine Officer and getting ready for another float soon. John Ginder is working in Orlando, FL, for Weingarten Realty and is planning a trip to Lex Vegas this summer for J.B. Rossen’s wedding. John Casper is still working in Admissions at VMI and invests a lot of time along with his wife, Lauren, into the Cadet Ministry Program with Chaplain Park. Recently Jason Quash came back to Post in November and the three were baptized in the freezing Maury River on Founders Day. Jason also got the chance to speak to a group of third classmen and imparted his wisdom and battle experiences on to them. They were also joined by Craig Hamilton and Chip Saterlee. John also confirmed that BRs Special K and Dan Ropp have been seen back at the Institute and both are doing well. Dave Bruton and his wife, Stephanie, are expecting their second child at the end of May. They have a 19-month-old girl, Sadie. Dave is going to have his hands full with his second daughter, but the family is enjoying life back in their hometown of Roanoke Rapids, NC. Mariah Green is getting her doctorate and will be getting married to Doug Goodall in October. 

Erica Ardolino is working for the government and is in AZ right now. Frank Russell recently got married to Laura Ison in July of 2007. They are currently living in Chattanooga, TN, where Frank is working on becoming a history teacher. He recently ran into Charlie Keessee who was on R&R from the Army, and now deployed to Iraq. Tim Felts is working for Danaher Motion in Radford, VA, as a Design Engineer. (Anyone looking for an Engineering position, let me know!)  His wife, Denise, son Conner (future Keydet), live in Wytheville, VA, currently. Tim’s younger brother, Ben Felts ’09 is currently in the EE program at VMI and loving life as a second class EE. Daniel Cragg, Joel Andrus, Mike Gregory, Charlie Munn and John Noonan ‘03, recently had a mini reunion in Vail, CO, in March. The skiing was really choice, and a good time was had by all. Joel is still a lobbyist in Richmond. Charlie is some kind of government consultant in DC, and “Officer” Gregory is the scourge of every drug dealer in Harrisonburg, VA. Dan is finishing up his second year of law school, and starts a new job as a Summer Associate with Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon & Vogt, P.A. in Minneapolis, MN. Rob Metz recently got a new job with Contract International and is going oversees in most likely June of 2008. Brandon Boor recently married this coming weekend to Erin Kavanaugh. Tommy Walton moved back to Richmond and lives with Harrison Gregory and Nate Gilbert. Mick Uranko is working for Alfred Benesch & Company as a civil engineer, is the 369th Fire Fighters DET Company Commander in the Army Reserve, and a volunteer city fire fighter for Pottsville.  He is still very into working on cars, and I am a member of WR TEAM.  The team won Best Team in the Nation last year and in 2005, and we are also featured in the video game “Hot Import Nights Juiced 2.” (For more info you can check it out at Jonathan Dumas is living in MA working for an electro-optical company specializing in submarine/surface ship imaging. He and his wife are celebrating their second wedding anniversary in June and welcome their daughter, Lilly, to the family last June. Clark Laster is working as the program director ad the Middlesex family YMCA. He wanted me to note that on April 26, which the class of 2004 chose him as the sole representative of the Alumni vs. Cadet Rugby game and even though his body killed him for the first time since 2001, they won the game 63-42, in an amazing defeat of the cadets. As for me, I am working in Roanoke, VA, at the federal building in downtown Roanoke and working on my MBA at Averett University with Kris Sandlin ’01.




Jonathan A. Proctor

Editor’s Note: There are no class notes from the class of ’05 in this issue.


Will Davis

Greetings, BRs, hope this edition of the Alumni Review finds everyone healthy and happy. I have quite a few updates unlike I have had in the previous Reviews. I hate to start with bad news, but I must report it, Gunny Sgt Mercardante who was an Honorary Brother Rat for the class of 2006 was killed by an IED on April 15 at 2230. He is survived by his ex-wife Cija and his 9-½-year-old son. He also had an 11-year-old step-daughter by Cija as well; our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. Thomas Stevenson and Chris Stone are still in the 5th Bde, 2nd Infantry Division (SBCT) and should be getting to Iraq late next year sometime. Nate Parsons and Clark Moncure are going to be flying C-130s in the world’s greatest Air Force. Parsons will get his wings July 3, 2008, and Moncure will get his a few months afterward. After getting their wings, they’ll be off to Little Rock for phase two in the fall. Ryan Loucks got T-38s and is still at Vance AFB. Ryan and Rachele, his wife, came down for a weekend to my place in OK about a month ago, and we had a good time. He is doing well, and Rachel likes the Air Force life. Henry Zhang is currently stationed at Fort Riley, KS. He is in Delta (should be in Tiger Echo..grrr!) Company, 1-18th IN, 2nd BDE 1ID. He is currently a platoon leader in a tank company and his unit is fixed to deploy end of this year. Clint Edwards is stationed there also but he is with 5-4 CAV as a platoon leader as well. Lt. Walton just had his unit reflagged to 1 CAV, 2/12 CAV. Walton is still at the beautiful Fort Hood, and he is proud, because now he can wear the Cav Sombrero. He is going to JRTC this week and will be there till early April. After his return, he will pack up and ship out to Iraq. They are deploying sometime early June to Tallil and the surrounding area. Fort Rucker holds Bill Keller who is finally in the Blackhawk course tracking for


a Medevac unit at Fort Drum, NY, sometime in August. Heather Miras is in Blackhawks somewhere, but I do not have a solid location. Shawn Driver and Derek Behney are still in initial flight training and Nick Franck ’07 is at Fort Hood in a VMI frat house. Smith is about halfway done with the Apache course, prepping for nights and NVG flight the next few weeks. Flying with the NVG system in the day time. The way Zhang explained it, it does not sound fun. The good stuff doesn’t start till they get into gunnery in May. Smith is hoping to graduate and pin on his wings by August, still no idea where he is going but he is hoping for 159th AVN BDE at Fort Campbell now since they are slated for OEF. Lt. Pasquale reported that himself, Chovanec, Canceran and Maxwell are in Kuwait with 1BCT 4ID. They have been there for about a week and leave in a few days. They will be in Baghdad for 15 months. He is still a platoon leader and will probably be for the remainder of the deployment working EOD security/PTT/MT. Lt. Stone said it is awesome to hear what everyone is doing in Iraq. He is at Fort Lewis until at least February 2009 at the earliest, and there is no way he will deploy as a PL, maybe XO if he is lucky. Stone is loving the Stryker, and Cav, but he want to go SF as a captain, but he still wants to deploy somewhere and actually do something soon. Stone has been trying to work angles to get out of this unit and get to Iraq but has been stonewalled everywhere. Stone said that Fort Lewis is a great post but it isn’t Iraq. Lt. Jones is still operating in East Baghdad, about 4 km south of Sadr City and the surrounding area. Things have been hectic over the past few months. He is still a company FSO for Death Dealer 2-69 AR and has had the blessing to have done some tank missions. Currently, he is an Infantry platoon leader while another lieutenant is on the mend. That has been a great experience, and he is loving what he is doing. Not much face to face combat since the ceasefire which has been great, but the snipers and IED/EFP threat is frequently a reminder of where we are. They’ve lost a few too many from his company and that is always hard. On the tactical side, they’ve captured over 35 high value targets and actioned multiple caches. His kinetic movements are rapid and precise, and so are the company’s projects. On top of all of his tactical stats, they are also able to get out and contract school renovations and supply drops. Up until two weeks ago, Jones was living among the people in a outpost, but now he has moved the platoons back to

work out of the FOB until redeployment (late May). He is excited to get home and is ready for a little rest. Lt. Kennedy says his BN’s area has really picked up in the last week or so. His unit and 1st Lt. Dolberry’s unit are both in pretty heavy contact now a days, and JAM has figured out how to mortar his FOB pretty well. Our COP is still pretty safe, but now days the INPs are being targeted by the extremists they we’re starting to get some mortars his way too, but his footprint is really small so he doesn’t think it will be too much of a problem. As far as his platoon goes, he got in his first fire fight the other day, his gunner got someone with a PKC with our COAX and then they suppressed these guys in a house while an Apache dropped a hellfire missile which ended up getting six enemies KIA and found a pretty good weapons cache. So far both his wing tanks have taken EFP hits, but the M1 is doing its job and all his guys have been RTB. Lt. Wolf says for those of us keeping track at home, poor foreign policy resulted in a long term middle-eastern conflict which resulted in a fancy little counterinsurgency. However, he digresses as a military intelligence officer having been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to a quaint place called Camp Echo, outside the city of Ad Diwaniyah in Qadisiyah Province. On the big map of Iraq he is roughly halfway between Basrah and Baghdad, so he doesn’t see much on the whole. He had the pleasure of watching the majority of Iraq’s 8th Army roll down south to Basra as his convoy moved north from Kuwait. It has been an unusual experience to see the news report on things that he has seen with his own eyes or tracked via intelligence reports. To be honest, living conditions are actually a slight improvement over life in Barracks at VMI, and because his base is under coalition control, things are fairly relaxed (for a warzone anyway). Currently, he is working with Polish, Lithuanian, Georgian, Romanian, Armenian, Turkish and Mongolian personnel; time will tell what other groups might show up. Lt. Searles has finally gotten into theater. He is headed to Salman Pak which is SE of Baghdad and should be there in about two weeks. Lt. Pasquale has been in Baghdad now for about a month and has been going on patrols everyday basically and has been in a couple engagements so far, none of his guys have been hurt thankfully. Mike hates EFPs by the way. He is on the same FOB as 1st Lt. Dolberry, and he gets to hang out with Zhang on down time. Lt. Chovanec is at a JSS east of


CLASS NOTES Falcon, heard he’s doing okay. Faller stopped by there to hang out with him for a day. For the Army dudes, it looks like it’ll remain a 15-month deployment. Keep up the great works fellas’; we are proud of you!!! David Bhatta’s a dad now, not sure how long though. Mark Searles just got to Iraq at the beginning of last week and are replacing Matt Jones’ brigade. Kelton is in Afghanistan, been there since December some time. Last time Mark Searles was home was for New Year’s, he hung out with Todd Wilson, Dan Petronzio and Bobby Mcgraw in DC and had a drunken blast; big surprise! Bobby McGraw actually came to Germany a few weeks ago before Mark left, so he stayed with him a couple days, and they drank good German beer. Searles talked to Paul Welsh and John Anderson a fair deal, and they’re both in flight school along with Matt Plant and Nick O’Connor. They had a few drinks on the beach for a few weekends in Pensacola before Mark came to Germany. Mark has talked to Carney a lot, and he’s an air marshal in New York City, living in Queens. Chris Eaton is stationed at the same base as Searles in Germany, so Mark sees him a good deal around town – no change on him from being a cadet. James Woodard is out in a whole in the ground somewhere working in a missile silo going on alert all the time and, “waiting to push the button...” Kyle Fricke is working with Afton Chemical Corp as a research and development chemist developing new petroleum additives. He really likes it and is happy living a simple life and just bought a house. Kyle has run into Jimmy Wicker, Nick Mazzenga and Greg Quillen. Kyle said that Jimmy is getting married in late July, go Jimmy! Nick is graduating from UVa with a master’s in engineering, and Greg is now in the Coast Guard with the honor guard in DC. Greg will also be getting married in early October. Phil Lacey just finished his second year of teaching English at Fishburne Military School, and Justin Huggard, his roommate, is now running the Woodstock, VA, branch of Dominion Power. Lacey also completed Chemical OBC last year and is now a PL with his old unit, 229 Chemical Company, Virginia National Guard. According is Garth Williams nothing new has happened to him or Aaron Hawkins at Wright-Patt, but he did tell me that Brian Hunt is having his second, I repeat, second kid soon. Way to go Brian!!! John Everiss just got back from eight months in Iraq at Al Asad Airbase. He was with Jeff Butwell the whole time, but he was there with

2008-Issue 3

the 82nd. Everiss also managed to randomly bump into Todd Baldwin and Tommy Collins as he passed through Kuwait. John had several guys from our dykes’ class deploy with him, Tom Claytor ’03, Sungi Kim ’03, Chris Mission ’03, Brian Andrew ’03 and then a whole lot of guys from several other classes. Everiss says that the actual deployment as convoy security in the Al Anbar province is a pretty quiet job. He sends his best. Curt Ivans is currently at CSC Scania halfway between Baghdad and Kuwait. He is about three weeks shy of the one-year mark now. He is working Cavalry Intelligence and loves it. Wolf is about an hour south of him at Camp Echo, he hopes to run into him soon because they swap intel daily. Butwell is with his Brigade down at Tallil Airbase but Ivans hasn’t seen him since they left Bragg last year. Things are good with Ivans, but they are ready to go home (this summer hopefully), one of the lieutenants in his tent is from VT so Ivans’ VMI flag is hanging up next to his VT one, good competition. Good friendly competition, even though there is not competition. Blake Faller said that, and I quote, “I got enough shrapnel in my body to set off metal detectors.” He has a nice little scar on his foot from a 7.62, and a lot of metal and rocks in his head and neck. He just hit the 13-month mark and requested to stay another eight months with Frank, but he was denied. Dan Frank commissioned in the Marine Corps in November 2007. Matt McGonegle is living and working in Virginia Beach, VA. He works for Coastal Training Technologies Corp., and is managing an international sales force. He leaves on March 29 to travel to the Philippines for a training and development trip to Coastal’s Manila office. Another VMI guy traveling the world and doing the dew. Chris Stolle is currently on his second deployment but their deployments are only six months. His ship continues to float off the coast of wherever they are needed. Before deploying, he hung out with Bobby Mcgraw in Norfolk and Dan Petronzio as he passed through the area. Andrew Dernovsek wrote from Africa where he is a Peace Corps volunteer in Ketane, Lesotho (2007-2009), working as an HIV/AIDS advisor to the Lesotho Catholic Bishops Conference (LCBC). He lives 10 hours from the capital in a mud hut. His primary project is to help people suffering from HIV/AIDS, encourage positive living of those who have HIV/AIDS, and to educate communities in prevention of HIV through

abstinence until marriage and faithfulness thereafter. He serves 20+ villages which are located as near as his front steps and as far as 30KM. When he is not visiting a village he teaches English, Science and Math at Nohana Secondary School. He also works on many other projects throughout the villages which focus either on income generation or improving the quality of life. He is also doing extensive work with irrigation and the teaching of proper farming techniques. Kyle Schriefer is currently deployed in support of OIF with 1st Brigade Combat Team / 82nd Airborne Division. He is stationed at Combat Outpost 9 in the Dhi Qar Province of Southern Iraq and is entering into my 12th month over there. My brigade is scheduled to redeploy back to Fort Bragg, NC, in late July. The Alumni Association sent me some cool info about a VMI Alumni cruise that they have set up, and it looks really fun. The dates of the cruise are March 14-21, 2009 in the Caribbean. This appears to be the first of many to come, so if you can’t make it this one, there will be other times to go. It would be really good if we could get a strong class representation on one of these cruises, not necessarily this one, but one in the future. The total capacity of this ship is 227 people, and as of April, there were 80 people signed up. Alright, the details of the cruise: it is on an old sail boat, not a modern cruise ship with masts, sails and all the other boat stuff. The cruise leaves from Barbados on a seven-night cruise and they stop at Grenadines, Grenada, Tobago Cays, Bequia, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and Martinique. On the ship, there are laundry and dry cleaning services, three swimming pools with several bars. On the ship they offer snorkeling, SCUBA diving, sunfish sailing, banana boating, water skiing and windsurfing. It is a tad pricey for us young folks, ranging from $800.00 to $3,995.00 per person. If you want more information about the cruise, contact me, VMI or www. for more information about the cruise. I was unable to attend the April Class Agents’ Conference, but Clark Dudley went in my place. If you have any questions about that, contact Clark. I hope everyone stays happy and healthy until you hear from me again. Please continue to send me information and pictures from what you all have done and if you know anything about anyone else. I had a good turnout for this edition and please keep it up; the class likes to hear from everyone.




Sally Coffman Arciero

Editor’s Note: There are no class notes from the class of ’07 in this issue.

Robert Hill

’08 Class of 2007: A group who graduated from the U.S. Army Ranger School on May 2, 2008, were, from left, Liam Gilroy, Mike Fager, Brandon Price, Rob Thompson, Matt Burton and Bill Doyle.

Editor’s Note: There are no class notes from the class of ’08 in this issue.

Perfect, personal and unique gifts for graduation and alumni!

VMI “Keeping Box”

Our famous Virginia “Keeping Box”, similar to English keeping boxes found in colonial homes, is now available in solid walnut or cherry with the VMI spider or seal with the graduate’s name/class year laser engraved into the wood. This can serve a variety of purposes in the home or office and makes an ideal gift for graduates that will be seen and used for many years.

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VMI Alumni “Plaque”

We now have available, an award plaque with the VMI seal, name and graduation year laser engraved. These are available only in cherry because this offers the best contrast between the laser engraving and the natural wood’s beauty. This VMI alumni plaque really looks magnificent displayed proudly in your office or home! A portion of the sale proceeds of each VMI plaque will be donated to the VMI Alumni Association. Only in solid cherry $34.95 + S&H See website for more options Actual size: 7” X 9”

The VMI Alumni Association c/o Hal Woodworking, 9475 Big Island Hwy. Bedford, VA 24523 Lt. J. N. Henderson, USNR VMI ‘97, Boardmember


Order online at or call toll free 800-755-8546 email:


CLASS NOTES FELVEY – Laura Catherine Chaffe to William T. Felvey ’01 on March 22, 2008.

BIRTHS BADE – A son, Carter Andrew, to Darby Anne and Jason A. Bade ’97 on Sept. 12, 2007. KESLICK – A daughter, Makayla Kennedy, to Christy and Brian S. Keslick ’97 on April 10, 2008. SHORT – A daughter, Anya Michelle, to Sara and David R. Short ’97 on April 7, 2008.

KASTELBERG – Elizabeth Grace Smith to William F. Kastelberg IV ’04 on April 19, 2008.

DEGREES Randall C. Eads ’99 J.D. Law Mississippi College School of Law Jackson, MS May 2007

SMITH – A daughter, Jessa Leigh, to Jen and Josh I. Smith ’97 on April 3, 2008. BOATRIGHT – A daughter, Madeline Louise, born on Oct. 19, 2006, and a son, Jackson Whitaker, born on Dec. 11, 2007, to Emily and James A. Boatright ’00.


DEGREES James A. Boatright ’00 Building Construction Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA May 2007


W. Scott Chalkley ’02 Business and Organizational Security Management Webster University St. Louis, MO December 2007


The VMI Bookstore Looking around for just the right gift? Outgrown your old VMI sweatshirt? Address: Manager, VMI Keydet Bookstore, 300 Crozet Hall, Lexington VA 24450 Phone: 540/463-4921

GRAY – Pat Parker to John S. Gray ’51 on March 18, 2008.

VMI’s 25 Most Senior Alumni According to the records of The VMI Alumni Association, the men listed below constitute the 25 senior alumni of the Institute. Please contact the Alumni Review to report any errors. William E. Cantrell ’26 Prentis P. Smith ’29 Richard D. Schmitz ’31 Ernest C. Johnson ’29 Kenneth W. Chapman ’30 Thomas M. Zeledon ’30 William B. Walshe ’32 Richard C.Wight Jr. ’30 H.H. Finlayson ’34 John A. Chambliss Jr. ’31 Richard D. Calhoun ’33 Howard J. Bell ’33 William R. Landrum ’34

2008-Issue 3

Oct. 17, 1905 May 19, 1906 Feb. 24, 1908 May 19, 1908 July 27, 1908 Dec. 21, 1908 Nov. 30, 1909 May 26, 1910 Oct. 2, 1910 Oct. 21, 1910 Oct. 30, 1910 Nov. 25, 1910 Dec. 3, 1910

James Heine ’34 E. Lane Whitley ’34 Paul deWitt ’33 William R. Vivian ’32 Wayne C. Weaver ’33 Emmett J. Heerdt ’34 William H. Kulp ’34 John D. Todd Jr. ’34 Richard H. McCormick ’34 Robert R. Rust Jr. ’34 Jack N. Flanagan ’35 Thomas St. John Arnold ’35

Mar. 18, 1911 April 1, 1911 June 5, 1911 Aug. 3, 1911 Dec. 6, 1911 Feb. 27, 1912 May 19, 1912 June 30, 1912 Dec. 4, 1912 Jan. 4, 1913 June 21, 1913 Sept. 8, 1913


TAPS TAPS Ross B. Nelson Jr. ’33 Ross Burton Nelson Jr. ’33 of Shreveport, Louisiana, died on Feb. 21, 2008. He was 96. Nelson matriculated from Shreveport and attended VMI for one year. While at VMI he held the rank of B Company corporal. After leaving VMI, he transferred to the University of Oklahoma with the intent of pursuing a degree in petroleum engineering. His father’s poor health caused him to return to Louisiana to assist with his family’s business interests. He subsequently earned a bachelor of science degree from Centenary College of Louisiana in 1934. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-57. He attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal. While in the Navy, as a principal of the Army-Navy Petroleum Board he was responsible for coordinating supplies, equipment and personnel for the construction of pipelines and refineries in Alaska, Panama and the Persian Gulf. He returned to Shreveport following the war. As president of Flenniken Construction Company he paved many roads and streets in and around Shreveport and throughout the state of Louisiana. He had been a member of the First Baptist Church of Shreveport since 1921. He was also a member of Kappa Alpha Order, Alpha Iota Commission (Centenary College), and the Associated General Contractors of America. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Jean Irvin Klepper Nelson of Shreveport; two stepsons, Charles J. Klepper and his wife, Lisa, and Ray D. Klepper III; Charles Klepper’s daughter, Emily; a stepdaughter, Brittany; a brother, John Gardner Nelson and his wife, Louise Lee Nelson, and their children, Laura Nelson Streicher and her husband, Christoph, and Ross Barton Nelson III, M.D., and his wife, Lisa, and their children, Katherine, Emily and John Henry; a niece, Nancy Crawford of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; a nephew, John Crawford of Houston, Texas; and several cousins. His first wife was the late Margaret Crawford Nelson.

Bill R. Brown ’35 Lt. Col. Bill Roe Brown ’35, USAF (Ret), of Farmington, New Mexico, died on Sept. 16, 2007. He was 96. Prior to coming to VMI, Brown attended


St. John’s Military Academy in Salina, Kansas, and Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri. He matriculated at VMI from Denver, Colorado, and graduated in two years with a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts. He was a member of the football team for two years and was the intramural boxing champion during his second class year. At the time of his graduation, he was awarded a Reserve commission as a Brown ’35 second lieutenant. He then served in the Civilian Conservation Corps for three years in Cody, Wyoming, and worked for United Airlines for two years as a dispatcher. A veteran of World War II and Korea, he began his military career with the 22nd Infantry before transferring to the Army Air Corps at Patterson Field, Ohio (now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base). His service with the Army Air Corps and ultimately the U.S. Air Force included tours of duty as the B-29 Group Exec in Okinawa and Iwo Jima during World War II and as the Air Base Wing Exec in Korea during the Korean War. His numerous other assignments included tours of duty at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C.; Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland; Wright Field, Ohio (now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base); Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the San Francisco Air Reserve Center; and the Denver Air Records Center. His last assignment was as counsel for the Physical Evaluation Board, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama. He retired in August 1961 at Maxwell. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Soldiers Medal. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Blanche Brown of Farmington; four children, William, Judith, Angela and Roe; and a grandson, David.

Matthew Gracey ’35 Matthew Gracey ’35 of Delray Beach, Florida, died on March 9, 2008. He was 93. Gracey matriculated from Augusta, Georgia, and attended VMI for one year before transferring to the Georgia Institute of

Technology, from which he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army from 1940-45 in antiaircraft artillery. He attained the rank of major. Following the war he joined his father, Frank P. Gracey, brother, Robert, and uncle, Matt, in Gracey Brothers Real Estate and Insurance (now Danna-Gracey Inc.) on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. He was an active member of the Delray Beach Library Association, the Kiwanis Club of Delray Beach and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Delray Beach. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Barbara Gracey of Delray Beach; three children, Barbara Gracey Backer and her husband, Ron, Susan J. Gracey and Matthew Gracey; five grandchildren, John G. Backer, David C. Backer, Katherine G. Backer, Ian T. Gracey and Stuart H. Gracey; a sister, Judith Gracey Haskell of North Augusta, Georgia; and many nieces and nephews. His brother was the late Frank P. Gracey Jr. ’33.

Lawrence G. Forbes ’37 Col. Lawrence Gordon Forbes ’37, USA (Ret), of Jackson, Tennessee, died on March 13, 2008. He was 90. Forbes matriculated from Loomis, California, and attended VMI for two years. He graduated in 1940 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was active in the USMA Amateur Radio Club and served as its cadet-in-charge (president) from 1939-40. He earned a master of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1948 and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Arizona. A veteran of World War II, he served as the commanding officer of the 25th Signal Company from 1942-43 and as a signal officer with the 25th Division from 1943-45. He was a member of the staff and faculty at West Point from 1948-51, and from 1951-55 he served with the Ordnance Corps as a signal officer with the Department of the Army. He served at the Satellite Command Agency, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, from 1960-63 and at Special Operations Headquarters, 8th Army, from 1963-64. He was Deputy J6, Strike Command, from 1964-65 and served with the Defense Communications Agency from 1965-66. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal,


TAPS two Legions of Merit and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. It is thought that his survivors include his wife, Delores Forbes of Jackson; a son, Gordon Scott Forbes; a daughter, Lissa Ann Forbes; and a stepson, Bruce Benzel. His first wife was the late Phyllis Garlick Forbes.

Robert B. Dixon ’38 Robert Blackwood Dixon ’38 of Sumter, South Carolina, died on March 9, 2008. He was 92. Dixon matriculated from Lexington, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI, where he was a B Company sergeant and a member for one year of the gym team. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1938-42, on active duty from 1942-46, and in the Reserve again from 1946-76, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was a retired city engineer and assistant city manager for the city of Sumter, and also served for a number of years as an engineer for Sumter Machinery Company. He is survived by twin sons, Robert Marshall Dixon ’67 and Raymond Capers Dixon ’67 and his wife, Kris Dixon, all of Sumter; a granddaughter, Kristie Raye Dixon of California; two nieces, Deborah L. Coakley of Bluffton, South Carolina, and Lydia Unsworth of Conway, South Carolina; and a nephew, Cody P. Palmer Jr. of Charleston, South Carolina. His wife of 65 years, Frances Zemp Dixon, died on Oct. 17, 2007.

pervisory engineer for the Mobile District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His work as a design engineer and as assistant chief of the Design Branch involved the design of navigation locks, dams, hydroelectric plants, military facilities and aerospace testing projects. He was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He is survived by a daughter, Maria Rubira Carpenter and her husband, Danny K; two sons, Eladio Rubira II and his wife, Nita, and Marcos Rubira, all of Mobile; five grandchildren, Lisa R. Hanlin of Destin, Florida, Marcos Rubira Jr. and Chad Fitzpatrick Rubira, both of Mobile, Jessica Carpenter of Washington, D.C., and Sarah Oaks and her husband, Shane, of Atlanta, Georgia; and three great-grandchildren. His wife, Mary Jones Rubira, died on Nov. 1, 2005, and his cousin, Robert Herndon Radcliff Jr. ’40, died on July 13, 2006.

John L. Pitts III ’41

John Lee Pitts III ’41 of Delray Beach, Florida, died on Feb. 26, 2008. He was 88. Pitts matriculated from Montclair, New Jersey, and held a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from VMI, where he was an A Company corporal. He was a member of the track team for four years, the football team for three years and the VMI Commanders for two years. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1941-46, attaining the rank of major. After graduatEladio Rubira ’39 ing from VMI he entered flight training Eladio (Ruby) Rubira ’39 of Mobile, Ala- and, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, bama, died on March 22, 2008. He was 90. became a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot. He Rubira matriculated from Mobile and served with the 8th Air Force-England, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil the 12th Air Force-North Africa, and also engineering from VMI. He was a member served as commanding officer of the 4150th of the cheerleading squad during his second Base Unit, Boca Raton, Florida. Ultimately, and third class years and was elected head he completed 58 combat missions with the cheerleader as a second classman. He was 97th Bomb Group, and lost only one of his a member of the swimming crew to enemy fire. team for three years, the gym Pitts was awarded the Air Medal team for four years and the with 11 oak leaf clusters and the Monogram Club for one year. Distinguished Flying Cross. During his second class year Upon returning to the United he was on the business staff of States from the African Theatre the Cadet newspaper. of Operations, he was assigned to A veteran of World War II, he the Boca Raton, Florida, airfield served in the U.S. Army from by the Army Air Corps to com1941-45, attaining the rank of mand a flight test group which lieutenant colonel. developed night fighter tactics, He retired in 1975 as a sutesting and improving almost all Rubira ’39

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known Air Corps aircraft and testing the then secret “G” suit for jet aircraft. Upon leaving the Air Corps in 1946, he began a car rental business which he would own and operate in Delray Beach for the next 50 years. A Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts, he served as chairman of the Boy Scout Council, Pioneer District. He was a Delray Beach city councilman, a senior warden at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, president Pitts ’41 of the local Kiwanis Club and chairman of the Civil Service Board. He was a Community Chest Colonel and the leader of a harmonica band that played at local hospitals and homes. He was a member of the City Board of Adjustment and a Governor in the Historic Preservation Society. Pitts was a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature in Redding Ridge, Connecticut. He is survived by his wife of nine years, Bernice McNeece Pitts of Delray Beach; a son, John L. Pitts IV, and his wife, Patricia; two grandchildren, Dagney Pitts and John L. Pitts V ’99 and his wife, Anne; and two great-grandchildren, Aurora Pitts and Bryn Pitts. His first wife of 33 years, Marjorie Anne Gibbs, died in 1977. His second wife of 19 years, Ann Detwiler Pitts, also is deceased. His father, John Lee Pitts ’16, died in 1984; a baseball player at VMI, he was inducted into the VMI Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. Three of Pitts’ cousins, all of whom are deceased, were Charles R. Dorrier Jr. ’34, John P. Dorrier ’39 and James L. Dorrier ’42.

J. Keith Rose ’41 Second Battalion Commander Julian Keith Rose ’41 of Matthews, North Carolina, died on Nov. 28, 2007. He was 87. Rose matriculated from Arlington, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree, with distinction, in chemistry from VMI. During his first class year he was a cadet captain and second battalion commander; a member of the Honor Court; a member of the General Committee; and a photographer for both the Bomb and the Cadet newspaper. Rose worked for 25 years as a chemist in Charleston, West Virginia, and Greensboro,


TAPS North Carolina. Then, with his wife’s encouragement, he retired in 1974 at the age of 55 to pursue his passion for art in all its forms, including painting and writing. A watercolor artist, he taught that art and served as president of the North Carolina Watercolor Society. One of his pictures hung on display at the Smithsonian Institution. Following his death, a month-long exhibition of his work took place at the Weaver Cooke Construction Art Gallery in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Elizabeth (Betsy) DeGruyter Rose of Matthews; three sons, Robert Keith Williams and his wife, Jennette, Stuart Tappan Rose and his wife, Tracie, and John Dudley Rose and his wife, Brenda; a daughter, Dabney Chilton Rose and her husband, Jay Ross; nine grandchildren and triplet great-grandsons, Jeannie and Patrick Skarka and their sons, Mason, Tyler and Ryan, Julie, Jackie and Jessica Williams, Diane and Hank Adams, Daniel Rose, Rachel Rose, and Rose and Spruce Feinstein.

Davis M. Howerton Jr. ’42 Davis Monroe Howerton Jr. ’42 of Louisville, Kentucky, died on March 7, 2008. He was 86. Howerton matriculated from Ashland, Kentucky, and attended VMI for one year before transferring to Centre College, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and graduated in 1942. He graduated in 1951 from the University of Louisville School of Law. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943-47. He served in the 425 Night Fighter Squadron in France under Gen. George S. Patton ’07. He was shot down in March 1945 and was held briefly as a POW. He attained the rank of captain. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal and 10 Air Medals. Following the war he was in the private practice of law for 25 years. He was a trial attorney and served as assistant district counsel for the Veterans Administration during the last 13 years of his career. He was a member of the American, Kentucky and Louisville bar associations and of the American Trial Lawyers Association, and was a Presbyterian. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Martha Floyd Howerton of Louisville; a son, John E. Howerton; and a grandson, Davis Allen Barr, who was the son of his late daughter, Leslie Howerton Barr.


Arthur D. Lynn Jr. ’42 Arthur Dellert Lynn Jr. ’42, Ph.D., of Upper Arlington, Ohio, died on March 6, 2008. He was 86. Lynn matriculated from Portsmouth, Ohio, and attended VMI for one year. He transferred to the U.S. Naval Academy, from which he resigned in 1940, and then attended The Ohio State University where he earned four degrees: a bachelor of arts degree in 1941, a master of arts degree in 1943, a J.D. degree in 1948 and a Ph.D. in 1951. While at Ohio State he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. A veteran of World War II, he served with the 27th Division Artillery on Okinawa and in Japan. He retired in 1986 as professor emeritus of public policy and management and associate dean emeritus at Fisher College of Business at Ohio State. He is survived by four daughters, Pamela Wardlow Lynn and her husband, Jon Benson, of Acton, Massachusetts, Constance Karen Lynn of Columbus, Ohio, Deborah Joanne Lynn of Columbus and Patricia Diane Lynn and her husband, Paul Steltz, of Haddonfield, New Jersey; six grandchildren, Wardlow and Martin Benson, Katherine Lynn Huntley, Patricia Claire Huntley, Jennifer Pauline Steltz and Kelly Lynn Steltz; his partner, Jane M. Werum; and a sister, Margaret Lynn Koegle of West Chester, Ohio. His wife of many years, Pauline Wardlow Lynn, died in 1995.

William G. McClure Jr. ’43 Class President William Granville McClure Jr. ’43 of Richmond, Virginia, died on March 7, 2008. He was 86. McClure matriculated from Richmond and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI, where he served as president of the class of 1943. During his first class year, he held the rank of first lieutenant and, later, captain and Regimental S-2 on the Regimental Staff. He was president of the Honor Court and the General Committee during his first class year. He was a member of the track team for four years, the Monogram Club and the Glee Club. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps with the 11th Regiment, 1st Marine Division in the Pacific Theatre from 1943-46. He survived amphibious landings on Okinawa and Peleliu, where he received the Purple Heart. He also served as part of the China Occupation with the First

Marine Division. He attained the rank of captain and was a reservist. From 1946-81 he was an executive with the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company (of AT&T Company). He served in various roles throughout the commonwealth of Virginia, in Washington, D.C., and in New York. Following his retirement after 36 years, in 1982 he incorporated a company, Virginia Stamp Services Inc., for stamp collectors. He also was a customer representative for Virginia Federal Savings and Loan. In 1957, while serving as district traffic manager for C&P in Culpeper, Virginia, McClure was named Culpeper’s Outstanding Young Man for 1956 and was presented the Jaycee Distinguished Service Award. He was very active in the Culpeper community, where he served as a member of the official board of the Culpeper Methodist Church and was a certified lay preacher. He was twice president of the Parent-Teacher Association, served as chairman of the Culpeper Memorial Hospital Steering Committee, served on the board of directors of the Lions Club and was active in numerous Jaycee projects. He was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Richmond, where he led a Bible study class and lent his bass to the choir. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jean Carey Mann McClure of Richmond; three sons, William G. McClure III ’66 of Richmond, R. Leonard McClure ’70 of Heathrow, Florida, and Dr. F. Daniel McClure, Ph.D., of Charlottesville, Virginia; five grandchildren, Kathryn, Mollie, Brandon, Jessica and Carey; and three great-grandchildren, Gray, Miles and Owen. In 1991, Bill and Jean McClure’s sons established the William G. and Jean M. McClure Fund at VMI. This unrestricted fund was founded in recognition of the McClures’ lifelong commitment to the ideals upon which the Institute was founded, and included special recognition of Jean McClure, who, it stated, “shared William’s dedication to the Institute and, in her own way, instilled in all of her sons its ideals.”

Paul Welles Jr. ’43 Paul Welles Jr. ’43 of Raleigh, North Carolina, died on March 22, 2008. He was 87. Welles matriculated from Lexington, Virginia, and graduated with distinction with a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts. He was an E Company sergeant during his second


TAPS class year, and as a first classman he was circulation manager of the Cadet newspaper. He was a member of the Turn-Out business staff for three years and also was a member of the Lectern Club and the Officers of the Guard Association. Welles’ father, Lt. Col. Paul Welles, taught German and French at VMI from 1930-49, and died in 1950. During World War II Welles served in the Connecticut State Guard and later in the North Carolina State Guard. He then worked for Aetna Fire Insurance Company for a number of years before starting a business with his brother, the Welles Company. Welles owned several businesses, including the residential summer camp for boys and girls, Camp Triton, at Lake Gaston, North Carolina, that he built and operated and which was accredited by the American Camping Association. The camp emphasized sailing, swimming, water skiing and horseback riding. In 1972 he and his wife turned the property into a subdivision for summer homes. In 1975 he got into the sailboat business full time in Raleigh in association with Skippers Corner, which was the oldest sailboat dealership in North Carolina, and in 1979 he started Triton’s Cove to sell windsurfers as a sideline. In 1983 he and his son, Paul Welles, founded Triton Yacht Sales, which is now owned and operated by Paul Welles, and which is now based in Oriental, North Carolina. He also co-owned, with his wife, Triton Stables, in Raleigh. A member of Christ Episcopal Church in Raleigh, he taught Sunday school there for 14 years and served as a lay reader. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Raleigh and raced his Flying Scott (with one or two of his children acting as crew) in sailing regattas for many years. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ellen Mordecai Welles of Raleigh; six children, Lane Welles Elkin and her husband, Barry, of Littleton, North Carolina, Elizabeth Galt Welles of Auburn, Alabama, Ellen Mordecai Welles of Asheville, North Carolina, Paul Welles III and his wife, Nancy, of Oriental, North Carolina, Shepherd Faison Welles of Raleigh, and Jeffery Gault Welles of Brewster, New York and Wellington, Florida; four grandchildren, Carl Bilton Hammond Jr. ’00 and his wife, Rachael, Amanda Lane Hammond, Caroline Welles and Jacqueline Welles; one great-grandson, Carter; and a brother, Francis Raymond Welles.

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His brother, Roger G. Welles ’45, died in 2005. His cousins were Brig. Gen. William H. Cocke, class of 1894, who served as VMI’s superintendent from 1924-29 and died in 1938, and William D. Alexander III ’34, who died in 2003. It was through Cocke’s donation of $100,000 toward its cost that VMI’s Cocke Hall was built in 1927, and Mrs. Cocke gave Memorial Garden to VMI in 1928. In 1939 Mrs. Cocke gave the Memorial Garden sculpture, The Spirit of Youth, to VMI in memory of her husband.

Blinn B. Rush ’44 Blinn Blaine Rush ’44 of Clarkston, Michigan, died on Jan. 21, 2008. He was 86. Rush matriculated from Allen Park, Michigan. He left VMI to serve in the U. S. Army during World War II from 1942-45. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and two Purple Heart Medals. He returned to the Institute after the war and earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. He retired at age 65 after a career in the electrical contracting field. He is survived by his wife, Barbara (Barb) Rush of Clarkston; three daughters, Catherine Rush of Clarkston, Barbara Rush and her husband, Dr. Bill Pavlik, of Clarkston, and Elizabeth Rush of Waterford, Michigan; and seven grandchildren, Sarah Wallace, Lindsey Wallace, Melissa Pavlik, Sam Pavlik, Blaine Winans, Yale Winans and Autumn Winans.

Huntington T. Block ’46 Huntington Turner (Bucky) Block ’46 of Washington, D.C., died on Feb. 25, 2008. He was 83. Block matriculated from Washington and attended VMI for six months before joining the Army. He served in the field artillery in Europe and participated in the battle for Bastogne. Following the war he graduated from Princeton University. He worked for an insurance company for several years before founding an insurance agency that wrote policies for museums and art collections for six decades. He established his firm in 1961 and it became a leading insurer of art throughout the country. He focused on the niche trade of insurance for professional associations, nonprofit groups, corporate and private art collections, commercial art galleries, fine art and antique dealers, auction houses, museums and large international art exhibitions. He sold his firm, which had grown to 135 employees, in 1991,

and worked for several years as a consultant before retiring in 1992. His firm is now owned by Aon Corporation. He volunteered as president of Tudor Place, an historic museum house in Georgetown, and was president and director of the Sconset Trust, a land preservation group on Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he had a summer home. He is survived by four children, Huntington M. Block of Westport, Connecticut, Bonnie Block Levison of Greenwich, Connecticut, William B. W. Block of New York and Amie Block Ratajczak of Brooklyn, New York; a brother, Roger W. Block of Washington, D.C.; and seven grandchildren. His wife of 54 years, Amie Willard Block, died in 2006.

James F. McCone III ’46 James Francis McCone III ’46 of Novato, California, died on March 22, 2008. He was 82. McCone matriculated from San Carlos, California, and attended VMI for four-andone-half months. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army from 1943-47, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. He served with the 1st Philippine Scout Battalion in Mindanao and Manila, and was decorated by the Philippine president with the Military Merit Medal. He served with the 34th Engineer (C) Battalion during the Korean occupation from 1946-47. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor of arts degree in economics in 1949. Following the war, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency and concurrently worked at Pacific Far East Lines as an executive and corporate officer until 1974. He served as CEO with West Coast Express (air freight) and other transportation organizations until retiring in 1993. He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA (the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). He was affiliated with the Army-Navy Club in Washington, D.C., the World Trade Club and the American Club of Hong Kong. A friend of Bill W., McCone was an addiction counselor and maintained a private practice until his death. He is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth McCone Burton and her husband, Christopher; two sons, Alexander McCone and his wife, Dawn, Matthew McCone and his wife, Stephanie; five grandchildren, Courtney, Kendal, Wesley, Bradley and Connor; and a sister, Sue McCone MacMillan.


TAPS J. Rawles Fulgham Jr. ’48B Class President; VMI Foundation Board of Trustees, 1984-90 John Rawles Fulgham Jr. ’48B of Dallas, Texas, died on Feb. 22, 2008. He was 80. Fulgham served as a member of the VMI Foundation Board of Trustees from 1984-90. Fulgham matriculated from Windsor, Virginia, and held a bachelor of arts degree in English from VMI, where he was the A Company captain and served as president of his class during his third class year. He was a member of the Glee Club for four years and of the Executive Committee for two years, and at the time of his graduation he was designated a Distinguished Military Student. Following graduation he was inducted into Kappa Alpha Order, Beta Commission, at VMI. Fulgham matriculated in 1944 with the class of 1948A. A year later he became an instructor at the Signal Corps School. He then returned to VMI, where he graduated with the class of 1950B. He was commissioned into the U.S. Marine Corps by thenMaj. Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. ’17. He served in the Marine Corps from 1950-53, attaining the rank of captain. He later earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University. In 1954 he began his banking career in Dallas as an officer trustee with the First National Bank, which became the largest in the South and Southwest. He rose through the ranks and was elected president and co-chief executive officer in 1973. In 1976 he was named vice chairman of the board and director of its holding company, First International Bancshares, later known as InterFirst. In 1981 he was named InterFirst’s vice chairman of the board, chief administrative officer and director. He retired from First National in 1982, and from 1982-98 he served as senior advisor of the Investment Banking Division of Merrill Lynch & Company. While with First National Bank, Fulgham was the first recipient of the “First’s Finest” award, which is voted upon and extended by employees of the bank. Through the years, he served on the boards of several public companies: Global Indus-


trial Technologies Inc., as chairman of the board and chief executive officer; BancTec Inc; NCH Corporation; Dorchester Minerals Management, GP LLC, as manager and an Advisory Committee member; and Dresser Industries Inc. (before its merger with Halliburton) for 23 years as a member of the Executive Committee of the board. He was appointed by President Ronald Rea-

Fulgham ’48B

gan to the Executive Committee of the Grace Commission, where he served on task forces of the State Department, the United Nations, the Agency for International Development and the U.S. Information Agency. He was awarded a Presidential Certificate of Appreciation for his work on those task forces. Fulgham was a past chairman of the boards of Children’s Health Services of Texas and its major subsidiary, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, where he served for 22 years. He was a director of the State Fair of Texas and of the Washington Legal Foundation. His many professional organization memberships included the Association of Registered Bank Holding Companies, the Association of Reserve City Bankers, the American Institute of Banking and the Financial Executives Institute. Among his many civic activities, he was

a director of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, president of the Dallas Central Business District Association, director of the Texas Association of Business, chairman of Sustentation, Southern Methodist University and chairman of the board of trustees of the Texas Presbyterian Foundation. He was a long time member of the Preston Trail Golf Club and the Dallas Country Club, and was a member of the Petroleum Club and the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. He was a member of Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where he served as a deacon and as president of the Men of the Church. He was a past chairman of the board of trustees of the Texas Presbyterian Foundation. Fulgham represented both VMI and SMU in the academic procession held during the inauguration of the president of Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Betty Berger Fulgham of Dallas, whom he met while she was attending Mary Baldwin College; three children, Emily Ann Fulgham McCullough of Alexandria, Louisiana, Virginia (Ginger) Fulgham Askew of Dallas, and Janie Rawles Fulgham Bell of Dallas; 12 grandchildren, Betty Brown McCullough Gootee of Alexandria, Louisiana, Leland G. (Grae) McCullough IV of Alexandria, Louisiana, Hallye Sue Fulgham, a student at SMU, John R. (Jack) Fulgham IV and Samantha Fulgham, both of Tyler, Texas, Rawles Garrison Askew, a student at Denver University, Anna Marie (O.E.) Askew Soderberg of Denver, Colorado, Janie Rawles Askew, a student at Denver University, Benjamin Clayton Bell III, a student at Texas A&M University, Rawles Fulgham Bell, a student at Texas A&M, William Graham Bell of Dallas and Betty Fulgham Bell of Dallas; a sister, Ann Fulgham Wilroy of Ahoskie, North Carolina; a brother and sister-in-law, William M. Fulgham ’54, D.D.S., and Nancy Fulgham of Suffolk, Virginia; a daughterin-law, Wendy Hightower Fulgham Walker of Tyler, who is the widow of the Fulghams’ late son, John R. (Son) Fulgham III; three sons-in-law, Leland G. McCullough III of Alexandria, Louisiana, Ronald G. Askew of Dallas and Benjamin C. Bell Jr. of Dallas; a sister-in-law, Sharon Summers Fulgham of Dallas, who is the widow of Fulgham’s late brother, Eldon Charles Fulgham; two grandsons-in-law, Dave Soderberg of Denver and J. J. Gootee of Alexandria, Louisiana; and numerous nieces and nephews.


TAPS Rufus A. Harman ’47 Rufus Alfred Harman ’47 of North Tazewell, Virginia, died on Feb. 17, 2008. He was 81. Harman matriculated from Harman, Virginia, and attended VMI for one year and one month before entering the U.S. Army. He served in the 6th Ranger Battalion in the Pacific and Japan from 1944-46 during World War II. He served in the Army Reserve and the Virginia National Guard and held the rank of colonel when he retired in 1979. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Lynchburg College following the war. He worked in insurance, furniture and coal as a salesman until his retirement in 2004. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Peery Cover Harman of North Tazewell; a son, Robert Ashworth Harman, M.D., of Princeton, New Jersey; a daughter, Jane Stacy Holloway of Decatur, Georgia; two grandsons; one granddaughter; a brother, Dr. John N. Harman IV of Longwood, Florida; and four stepsons, Arthur Byron Cover II of North Ridge, California, Dr. James Peery Cover of Northport, Alabama, Dr. William Hurt Cover of Escondido, California, and Jesse Reece Cover III of Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Harman’s first wife was the late Jane Gertrude Sherman Harman.

Richard E. Hill ’49B

Richard Edwin Hill ’49B of Leesburg, Virginia, died on Feb. 5, 2008. He was 79. Hill matriculated from New York City, New York, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI. He held an LL.B. degree from Washington and Lee University. He practiced law in Leesburg in the 1960s and later, until his recent retirement, in Washington, D.C. Hill served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-53 and in the Reserve until 1968, attaining the rank of captain. He was a member of the National Rifle Association and the Republican National Committee. He is survived by a son, Andrew M. Hill of Leesburg. His wife was the late MaryLou Isenberg Hill.

Henry G. Bennett Jr. ’50B Henry Grady Bennett Jr. ’50B of Danville, Virginia, died on March 14, 2008. He was 79. Bennett matriculated from Danville and held a bachelor of arts degree in history from VMI. A member of the tennis team

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for four years, he was its captain during his second class year. Bennett served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952-54 as well as in the Reserve, attaining the rank of captain. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. He graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1957. He retired for the first time as senior trust officer from the Bank of Virginia, after which he served for 15 years as Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee for the Western District Bankruptcy Court. He was a member for many years of the Main Street United Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday school and served as chairman of the board of trustees and on the administrative council, as well as on numerous committees. After the close of Main Street Methodist he joined the Church of the Epiphany. He was a long time member of the Mental Health Association, where he served as treasurer for 20 years and was named Volunteer of the Year. He was a member of the Virginia State Bar, the Danville Golf Club and the German Club. He was a former member of the city retirement board, the estate planning council, the Stratford House board and the Kiwanis Club. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Barbara Napier Bennett of Danville; two daughters, Todd Bennett Compton and her husband, Betterton Wayne Compton, and Rangeley Bennett Thornton and her husband, Thomas Harrison Thornton; two grandchildren, Elizabeth Claire Compton and Grayson Bennett Compton; and a sister, Rose Bennett Love.

Helmut Schrader ’51 Helmut Schrader ’51 of Jacksonville, Florida, died on Jan. 31, 2008. He was 78. Schrader matriculated from Rockaway, New Jersey, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI, where he was a sergeant during his second class year and was a member of the rifle team for four years. A veteran of Korea, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1951-53 and was awarded the Air Medal. He was president of Schrader-Meier Inc. He is survived by four daughters, Sally of Jacksonville, Susan and Heidi, both of Venice, Florida, and Wendy of Newton, Florida; two grandsons, Brett and Christopher; and a granddaughter, Amanda.

James C. Moore ’53 James Cummings (Curly) Moore ’53 of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, died on Dec. 20, 2007. He was 75. Moore matriculated from Abingdon, Virginia, and held a bachelor of arts degree in English from VMI, where he was a member of the Turn-Out staff for two years. He earned a master’s degree from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia in 1958. He served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1955 and worked for AT&T. He was a member of the Sierra Club and the Washington County Historical Society, and was affiliated with the Daughters of the American Revolution, of which his mother was a member. He is survived by his wife, Linda Foster Moore of Doylestown; a daughter, Hillary Moore of Goochland, Virginia; and two sons, Christopher Moore of Havertown, Pennsylvania, and Ryan Moore of Boston, Massachusetts. His VMI relatives included numerous cousins, among them the late James L. White, class of 1853, who served on the VMI Board of Visitors from 1902-07; the late James L. White ’25; William W. Alexander ’56; and Wyndham R. White ’56.

Robert V. Roberts Jr. ’53 Robert Vernon Roberts Jr. ’53 of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, died on March 18, 2008. He was 76. Roberts matriculated from Fort Lauderdale and attended VMI for one year before transferring to the University of Florida, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in business administration and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. A member of ROTC while at Florida, upon graduation he entered the U.S. Air Force. He earned his wings as an Air Force jet pilot and separated from the Air Force in 1954 when he returned home to Florida to care for his ailing father. He took over the family business, Roberts Furniture, and when he closed that store he opened his own insurance agency, Bob Roberts Insurance Inc., in Fort Lauderdale. He then became co-owner and president of Gulfstream Insurance Group, in Fort Lauderdale, a position he held until the time of his death. Roberts was a member of the Lauderdale Yacht Club and served for many years on the City of Fort Lauderdale Insurance Advisory


TAPS Board. He was a past president of the Broward County Chapter of the University of Florida Alumni Association. He is survived by three children, Robert V. Roberts Jr., Terri Stafford and Paul Roberts; four grandchildren, Dianne, Mark, Brian and Keith Roberts; and two sisters, Dorothy Gross and Elizabeth Leonard.

William P. Aycock ’54 William Pannill Aycock ’54 of Midland, Texas, died on March 7, 2009. Aycock matriculated from Fort Worth, Texas, and attended VMI for one year. He graduated in 1957 from the University of Texas with bachelor of science and master of science degrees in petroleum engineering. He then was employed by Humble Oil and Refining Company. He left Humble to begin a 40-year career as an independent petroleum operator and was a partner in Sipes, Williamson and Aycock, Consulting Engineers. A reservist in the U.S. Army, he was honorably discharged with the rank of first lieutenant in 1966. He is survived by two brothers, Charles L. Black Aycock and his wife, Claudia, of Houston, Texas, and Edward S. Aycock and his wife, Jan, of Lewisville, Texas; and a niece, Charlotte Cherry Aycock of Houston. His wife was the late Marilyn Weed Aycock.

Wista F. Bane Jr. ’54 Capt. Wista Frederick Bane Jr. ’54, USA (Ret), of Hampton, Virginia, died on Feb. 12, 2008. He was 75. Bane matriculated from Phoebus, Virginia, and attended VMI for 11 days.

Edwin A. Burns ’56 Edwin Alden Burns ’56 of Marietta, Georgia, died on Feb. 18, 2008. He was 73. Burns matriculated from Chicago, Illinois, and held a bachelor of arts degree in English from VMI, where he was an E Company second lieutenant. He served as the literary editor of the Turn-Out and was named a Distinguished Military Student during his last two years at VMI. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956-59, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. He had a long career as a sales manager with Aluminum Extrusions Inc. He is survived by his wife, Mary Beth Burns of Marietta; two sons, Bradford A. Burns ’82 of Niantic, Connecticut, and Daniel Cady; two daughters, Stacy Burns


Szucs and Lee Anne Schiltz; a sister, Dolores Groch; and eight grandchildren, Alden, Page and Eric Burns, Shelby and Stevie Szucs, and Trey, Anna and Kyle Cady.

ana and Alexander Miner, Christopher and Nicole Maier; and a step-grandson, Calvin Fowler; and nieces and nephews.

Jack P. Wiley ’56

James Girard Unger ’60 of Madison, Georgia, died on March 8, 2008. He was 69. Unger matriculated from Granville, Ohio, and held a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from VMI, where he was an F Company sergeant and was named a Distinguished Military Student. He was a member of the Floor Committee for three years. A four-year member of the cadet chapter of the American Chemical Society, he served as its vice president during his first class year. He served in the U.S. Army from 1961-63 as a tank platoon commander in Korea and at Fort Ord, California. A reservist, he attained the rank of captain. Following his service in the Army he went to work as a research chemist for Hercules Research Center in Wilmington, Delaware. He received several U.S. Patents for various coatings used in the furniture manufacturing industry. He then spent nine years in Atlanta with Hercules, after which he returned to Wilmington in 1981 as business manager, Nitrocellulose. In 1985 he was named national sales manager, Coatings and Graphics. He retired from Hercules in 2000. He was an active member and ordained elder of the Madison Presbyterian Church and was involved with the Friends of the Morgan County Library. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Adah Elizabeth (Beth) Witsil Unger of Madison; a son, James G. Unger Jr. of Greenville, Delaware; a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Hamilton, and her husband, Kip, and their two children, Maggie and Quinn, all of Los Angeles, California; a sister, Mary Nave, and her husband, John, of Reno, Nevada; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

Jack Page Wiley ’56 of Marietta, Georgia, died on March 8, 2008. He was 74. Wiley matriculated from Miami, Florida, and attended VMI for one year. He was a member of the Glee Club, the football team and the track team. He also attended the Chicago College of Art. A veteran of Korea, he served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army from 1954-56. While in the Army he was a radio operator. He worked as a salvage diver for the Panama Canal Company and was an award winning salesman and national sales manager for a number of companies, selling a variety of furnishings to the U.S. Government. A member of Faith Lutheran Church in Marietta, he sang in the church choir, taught Sunday school, led Bible studies, was a lay reader and lector, and presided over numerous church committees. He helped establish Lutheran Men in Mission in several states, was a Stephen Minister and was active for many years in Lutheran Cursillo and Via de Christo spiritual renewal weekends. He is survived by his wife, Virginia Wiley of Marietta; a son, John Wiley; a daughter, Cynthia Allen; three stepdaughters, Elizabeth Lively, Catherine Dornbos and Christian Leerssen; seven grandchildren; and a brother, Thomas Wiley. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Theodore M. Bremer ’72 of Marietta, and a nephew, Theodore R. Bremer ’10 of Marietta.

Timothy I. Maier ’57 Timothy Ivan Maier ’57 of Ft. Myers, Florida, died on April 7, 2008. He was 71. Maier matriculated from Rochester, New York, and held a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from VMI, where he was a member of the baseball team for three years. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1958-61, attaining the rank of captain. He moved to Ft. Myers upon retiring as an engineer with Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne Maier of Ft. Myers; three children, Deborah Miner, Timothy Maier and William Maier and his wife, Bernadette; four grandchildren, Di-

James G. Unger ’60

Charles A. LeFon ’61 Charles Alfred LeFon ’61 of Montross, Virginia, died on April 4, 2008. He was 69. LeFon matriculated from Richmond, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI, where he was the D Company first lieutenant and was named a Distinguished Military Student. He served in the U.S. Army from 1962-65, attaining the rank of captain. He was president of Eastern Utilities Spe-


TAPS cialists Inc. in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Jean LeFon of Montross; a son, the Rev. David A. LeFon and his wife, Conni, of Palmyra, Virginia; a daughter, Cathy A. LeFon of Middleburg, Virginia; three granddaughters, Rachael Belle Allen, Rebecca LeFon and Allie LeFon; a sister, Robyn L. Koerschner; and two brothers, James C. LeFon Jr. and Carter C. LeFon.

Jay R. Johnson ’63 Jay Robert Johnson ’63 of Dallas, Texas, died on March 27, 2008. He was 66. Johnson attended VMI for two years and three months. He spent his career in the oil field services industry in various places, both in the United States and abroad. He was the vice president of sales for Cana-Tex Corporation. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Sue H. Johnson.

the Reserve from 1970-94, retiring with the rank of colonel. He was awarded four Army Commendation Medals, the Air Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. He worked for the Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, in various managerial and enforcement capacities for 37 years. After Sept. 11, 2001, building upon his years of experience in military and civil service, he served as a senior special assistant for security for the Department of Homeland Security. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Mary Foret of Gettysburg; three sons, Paul Foret of Huntersville, North Carolina, Philip LeFon of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and Stephen LeFon of Harlerysville, Pennsylvania; five grandchildren, Hannah, Miles and Isabelle LeFon of Hunterstown and Gabriella and Amelia LeFon of Newtown Square; and a sister, Margaret Foret Odom of Owings Mills, Maryland.

Daniel F. Carney Jr. ’64

Boguslaw J. Wierzbicki ’72

Daniel Francis Carney Jr. ’64 of Beaufort, South Carolina, died on Feb. 12, 2008. He was 65. Carney matriculated from Abington, Virginia, and attended VMI for four and one-half months. He also attended Assumption College. He was a member of the 1st Air Cavalry during the Vietnam War and served in the Peace Corps, as state director for South Carolina in VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and finally as the director of human relations for the United States Department of the Treasury-Savings Bond Division. Among his survivors are his wife, Maggie O’Sullivan Carney of Beaufort; five sons; one daughter; seven grandchildren; a sister, a brother; and three nieces and one nephew.

Boguslaw Jan (Bo) Wierzbicki ’72 of Palmer, Alaska, died on April 21, 2008. He was 57. Wierzbicki was born in England and matriculated at VMI from East Trenton, New Jersey. He held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI, where he was a C Company corporal and was named a Distinguished Military Student. He was also a member of the wrestling and boxing teams. He served in the U.S. Army from 1972-77, attaining the rank of captain. He moved to Alaska in 1975 and had worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District, since 1977. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He is survived by his wife, Pat Wierzbicki of Palmer; four daughters, Stasia of Anchorage, Alaska, and Helena, Ewa and Anna, all of Palmer; a son, Jan K. Wierzbicki ’03, and his wife, Kathryn, of Salt Lake City, Utah; a granddaughter, Ann Martin of Cortez, Colorado; his mother, Stanislawa Wierzbicki of Trenton, New Jersey; a sister, Heidi Miranda, and her husband, Jose of Trenton; and two nieces, Fawna and Michala, both of Trenton.

John B. Foret Jr. ’67 John Bert Foret Jr. ’67 of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, died on March 12, 2008. He was 62. Foret matriculated from Vienna, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from VMI. He also held a master of science degree in technology of management from the American University in Washington, D.C. Following graduation from VMI, he served in the U.S. Army from 1968-70. He served in

2008-Issue 3

Roy W. Heiderman ’74 Roy William Heiderman ’74 of Oviedo, Florida, died on Feb. 10, 2008. He was 55.

Heiderman matriculated from Arlington, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI, where he was a member of the track team for three years. Following graduation, Heiderman started his career as a construction engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation. Over the years he worked as a civil engineer for several well-known engineering firms, culminating as a senior project engineer with DMJM Harris Engineering. He had been the lead project engineer on various highway and railway bridge construction projects since his transfer to Florida in 2005. He was a registered professional engineer in Virginia, Maryland and Florida, among others. He served in the Virginia National Guard from 1974-89, attaining the rank of major. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Barbara Braden Heiderman of Camp Spring, Maryland; a son, Stephen William Heiderman; two daughters, Lauren Michelle Heiderman and Kristen Heiderman; his mother, Carol Heiderman of Las Vegas, Nevada; and a sister, Lynne Burns of Los Angeles, California.

Nelson A. Jeffers ’76 Nelson Allen Jeffers ’76 of Chesapeake, Virginia, died on Feb. 18, 2008. He was 54. Jeffers matriculated from Chesapeake and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI, where he was a member for two years of the International Relations Club, the VMI Firefighters and the rugby squad. He was a civil engineer and construction project manager for the U.S. Coast Guard. He was a member of the Church of the Resurrection, the Portsmouth Boat Club and the Cork Club. He is survived by his wife, Cindy Jeffers of Chesapeake; his mother, Janet Nelson Jeffers; a sister, Karen Jeffers; and two brothers, Robert Eric Jeffers and Christopher D. Jeffers and his wife, Susan.

Scott H. Kasler ’76 Scott Herbert Kasler ’76, D.D.S., of South Bend, Indiana, died on March 27, 2008. He was 53. Kasler matriculated from Niles, Michigan, and held a bachelor of science degree in biology from VMI, where he was named to the Dean’s List for four years, was Academically Distinguished for four years and


TAPS graduated with distinction. He received the Third Class ROTC Award for excellence in the study of military history, and was a member of the Pre-Medical Society, the Regimental Band and the Pep Band. He earned his doctorate in dentistry from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor Dental School, from which he graduated with honors. He served in the U.S. Air Force in Germany, attaining the rank of captain,

before returning to practice dentistry for many years in Niles. He is survived by his mother, Phyllis Kasler of Niles; and a sister, Kathy Keller, and her husband, Mike, of Lake Mary, Florida.

John L. Hodges ’78 John Lyon Hodges ’78 of Columbia, Missouri, died on March 29, 2008. He was 51. Hodges matriculated from Columbia and

attended VMI for four and one-half months. He later earned a degree in English from the University of Missouri and a degree in business from Columbia College. Hodges is survived by two daughters, Leslie Jane and Katherine Lee; their mother, Sue Popkes; his life partner, Faye Nowell; his father, Raymond Hodges; and his siblings, Lynn Lanier, Bill Hodges and Alice Revard.

Deaths in the VMI Family as chairman of several committees with the Southern Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He was Thomas A. (Tom) Joynes, former public a charter member of the Virginia Sports relations director and athletic director at Hall of Fame board of directors. He was the first recipient of the Commonwealth VMI, died on Sept. 11, 2007. He was 79. Joynes was VMI’s public relations direc- of Virginia’s College News Associations’ Distinguished Service Award, tor from 1986-92 after having which is now an annual citaserved as the Institute’s athletic tion. He was a member of the director from 1971-86. VMI Sports Hall of Fame. The Newport News native came Joynes was a veteran of the to VMI in 1950 on the day he U.S. Army. He was an elder graduated from the College of in the Lexington Presbyterian William and Mary. He served as Church and a past president of VMI’s sports publicity director the Lexington Kiwanis Club for 10 years, leaving in 1960 and the Lexington-Rockbridge to join the New York Yankees Chamber of Commerce. He baseball organization. He was served on the boards of the the assistant general manager of Joynes Lexington Golf and Counthe Yankees’ Richmond, Virginia, try Club, the area Industrial AAA Club for three years. He then spent a year as general manager of the Development Committee, the Lexington Baltimore Orioles’ Elmira, New York, AA Downtown Development Association and team. He left professional baseball to work the Lexington Youth Services Citizens for the Hickok Electrical Instrument Com- Committee. He was well known for his sense of hupany in Cleveland, Ohio, for four years. Joynes returned to VMI in 1968 to become mor, which even showed in the obituary inassistant athletic director and sports public- formation that he had written and submitted to VMI. He noted that he would be donating ity director. his body to the Medical College of Virginia, He retired from VMI in 1992. Mike Strickler ’71, who succeeded Joynes “just to give the students a few laughs. “When they get my body, they’ll put in a as VMI’s public relations director and is now executive assistant to the superinten- whole new curriculum,” he added. dent, described his longtime friend and He is survived by his wife, Jeannette mentor as “one of a kind. His contributions (Cozy) Joynes of Lexington; a son, Russell to VMI through intercollegiate athletics Joynes of Buena Vista, Virginia; a daughter, and publicity are both legendary and im- Mollie Baker of Suffolk, Virginia; a sister, measurable.” Lida Griffith of East Moriches, New York; During his tenure at VMI, Joynes served and eight grandchildren.

Thomas A. Joynes Former VMI Public Relations Director and Athletic Director


Larry I. Bland, Ph.D., Editor of the Papers of Gen. George Catlett Marshall ’01

Dr. Larry I. Bland, Ph.D., editor of The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, historian, author, and teacher, died Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007, in Lexington, Virginia. He was 67. Generally recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the life and career of George Catlett Marshall, Bland was working on the sixth volume of the Marshall Papers when he died. The Marshall Papers is the principal publications project of the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington. In addition to the Papers, Bland also edited George C. Marshall Interviews and Reminiscences and George C. Marshall’s Mediation Mission to China. He was the author of numerous articles and monographs on Marshall and Marshall-related topics, such as the Cold War, the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine and Averell Harriman. Bland was an engaging and sought-after lecturer. In October 2007, he was the keynote speaker at the dedication of the new George C. Marshall Conference Center at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Bland’s remarks “insightful and relevant.” Earlier in 2007, Bland gave a series of lectures on the Marshall Plan in Turkey at the invitation of the State Department. He frequently spoke at professional meetings, both in this country and abroad, historical societies, government conferences and civic groups. In addition to his work at the Marshall Foundation, Bland served as managing editor of the Journal of Military History for 19 years.


TAPS Bland was also active in local history affairs, serving as a trustee of the Rockbridge Historical Society and as the editor of the Proceedings of the Rockbridge Historical Society and News Notes. He also prepared the maps and edited Winifred Hadsel’s two books, The Roads of Rockbridge and Streets of Lexington. The recipient of many regional and national awards, Bland most recently received the Victor Gondos Memorial Service Award for long, distinguished and outstanding service to the Society for Military History. An avid theater buff, Bland was a volunteer technician, set builder and gofer for his wife, Joellen, who has served for 25 years as director of the Theater at the Virginia Military Institute. Like George Marshall, Bland was also a committed and gifted gardener. He was especially known for his deft touch with dahlias, mint, and other difficult plants and flowers. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Bland received a bachelor of science degree in physics from Purdue University and his master of arts degree and doctorate in diplomatic history from the University of Wisconsin. After teaching at colleges in North Carolina, Bland accepted a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He was recommended for the Marshall Foundation position in 1977 by Edward M. Coffman, a distinguished historian from the University of Wisconsin. Bland is survived by his wife of 45 years, Joellen Bland of Lexington; two sons, Neil Bland of Boulder, Colorado, and Ryan Bland of Lexington; his mother, Emma C. Bland of Indianapolis, Indiana; and two sisters,

Jerry E. Ruley Sr. VMI Purchasing Officer

Jerry Elson Ruley Sr. of Lexington, Virginia, died on Sept. 22, 2007. He was 56. Ruley was employed at VMI for 23 years as a purchasing officer, holding the rank of major.

James H. Schaub, Ph.D. Conquest Chairholder, 1986

James H. Schaub, Ph.D., of Gainesville, Florida, died on Feb. 11, 2008. Schaub held the Conquest Chair in the Humanities at VMI in 1986.

Sture G. Olsson VMI Board of Visitors

Sture Gordon Olsson of West Point, Virginia, died on Sept. 10, 2007. He was 87. Olsson served on the VMI Board of Visitors from 1958-62.

Bland Juanita Bower of Mesa, Arizona, and Janice Bland of Plainfield, Indiana. A memorial service was held at 11 a.m., Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, at the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington.

Diane Thompson VMI Alumni Association Employee

Diane Alvine Thompson of Plano, Texas, died on Aug. 30, 2007. She was 66. Thompson worked as a data processing supervisor for The VMI Alumni Association Inc. from 1974-85.

Troy Lee Wimer VMI Security Police Officer

Troy Lee Wimer of Raphine, Virginia, died on Nov. 5, 2006. He was 83. Wimer was retired after a 30-year career as a VMI security police officer.

Joanne Conner B&G Executive Secretary

Joanne Mary Bono Conner of Buena Vista, Virginia, died on Dec. 23, 2007. She was 61. Conner was retired after 20 years of service to VMI, most recently as the VMI Buildings and Grounds executive secretary.

E.W. Bosworth, M.D. Post Surgeon, 1958-63

Elam Whitrow (Tom) Bosworth II died on Jan. 10, 2008. He was 86. Bosworth served as VMI post surgeon from 1958-63, while also maintaining a medical practice in Lexington.

William A. O’Hara Head Basketball Coach, 1950-52

William A. (Bill) O’Hara died on Sept. 26, 2007. He was 89. O’Hara served as VMI’s head basketball coach from 1950-52.

The Taps section of the VMI Alumni Review is researched and written by Kathryn A. Wise, vice president, The VMI Alumni Association. For those who wish to contact her, she may be reached via telephone at 800/444-1839 or by e-mail at

2008-Issue 3



Richmond P. Lykins Jr. ’73 1882 Elmhurst Dr. Germantown, TN 38138

First Vice President Randolph M. Blanks ’67 4773 Charter Ct. Woodbridge, VA 22192

Second Vice President Robert A. Heely ’69 507 Westover Ave. Norfolk, VA 23507

The VMI Foundation, Inc.

Executive Vice President


Walter C. Perrin II ’62

Adam C. Volant ’88 P.O. Box 932 Lexington, VA 24450


— Far West Robert D. Clingenpeel Jr. ’69 Region II — Midwest

Fredrick J. Lehman ’91

Region III — Northeast

John R. Gibney ’80

Region IV — Mid Atlantic

Grover C. Outland III ’81

Region V

— Southeast Guy F. Conte ’75


James L. Adams ’71

The VMI Keydet Club, Inc. President

William H. Stephens Jr. ’73

Executive Vice President

Thomas W. Davis ’64

Immediate Past President

James F. Spellman Jr. ’85

Directors at Large Terms Expire June 30, 2009 Michael C. Zirkle ’97 Heidi F. Nagel ’02

Region/ Regional Director Chapter Region I

Executive Vice President

Gregory M. Cavallaro ’84

Terms Expire June 30, 2010 Rick F. Hall ’79 Michael L. Soares ’75 Terms Expire June 30, 2011 Kenneth C. Herbert ‘81 Douglas N. Burdett ’82

Chapter Chapter President Representative Russell S. Takata ’74

Hawaii Los Angeles New Mexico N. California (San Francisco) Pacific Northwest Rocky Mountain, Colorado San Diego Inland Empire Alaska Arizona Las Vegas

Russell S. Takata ’74 Matthew R. Hemenez ’90 F. Judson Leech ’55 Todd E. Arris ’87 James R. Farmer ’68 Charles G. Decher ’00 Jay C. Wegrzyn ’66 Andre J. Gibson ’78 Trent L. Boggs ’83 Robert D. Clingenpeel Jr. ’69 Kenneth S. Krynski ’89

Alamo (San Antonio) Centex (Austin, Texas) Chicago Kansas City, Missouri North Texas (Dallas-Ft. Worth) Rio Grande, Texas Southeast Texas (Houston) Southwest Ohio St. Louis, Missouri Detroit, Michigan Little Rock, Arkansas Bluegrass (Kentucky) Third Coast (Corpus Christi)

Robert R. Costigan ’70 Jimmie V. Thurmond ’56 Jeffrey L. Minch ’73 Jeffrey L. Minch ’73 Jeffrey T. Golden ’99 Donald A. Noschese Jr. ’92 Todd J. Jacobs ’90 Timothy S. Feagans ’90 Alexander E. Woelper ’80 Walter E. Woelper Sr. ’42 Joseph J. Leonard, Jr. ’83 Steven P. Weiss ’86 Mike A. Demers ’80 Mike A. Demers ’80 Harry W. Gore Jr. ’72 Robert C. Polk ’61 David C. Hagemann ’80 Mark A. Benvenuto ’83 James F. Dittrich ’76 Gregory G. McDearmon ’99 Hugh R. Hill ’85 Walter J. Kleine ’63 M. Douglass Payne ’73

Greater Rhode Island New England (Massachusetts) New York City/Long Island Westfair (Connecticut)

Patrick L. McGuire ’85 Matthew L. Camfield ’94 John R. Gibney Jr. ’80

Patrick L. McGuire ’85 John W. Wainwright ’82 John R. Gibney Jr. ’80

Maryland Central Keystone (Pennsylvania) Delaware Valley (Pennsylvania) W. Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)

Owen J. Curley ’87 Duane E. Williams ’66 John D. Kearney ’73 Allan R. Berenbrok ’80

Thomas J. Hickey Jr. ’68 Lester C. Martin ’68 John D. Kearney ’73 Robert A. Lane ’75

Augusta Appalachian Atlanta, Georgia Coastal Georgia/S. Carolina Mid South (Tennessee) Nashville

Terence L. Bowers ’68 Thomas N. Daniel Jr. ’60 Paul W. Holland ’90 John R. Savage ’74 Richmond P. Lykins Jr. ’73 Parker W. Duncan Jr. ’64

Raymond R. Lawson ’81 Campbell C. Hyatt III ’65 Paul W. Holland ’90 John R. Savage ’74 Richmond P. Lykins Jr. ’73 Charles S. Sanger ’82

Robert W. Edwards ’83 Raymond C. Saunders III ’66 Todd E. Arris ’87 James R. Farmer ’68 James R. Greathead ’60 Nathaniel P. Ward IV ’65 Peter H. Lyons ’54 Marcus B. Paine ’81 Thomas D. Kelly ’50B John D. Christie ’59



Chapter President

Chapter Representative

Region VI — Carolinas Charles L. Toomey ’74

Club of the Triad John R. Fisher ’89 Cape Fear Charles L. Toomey ’74 Central North Carolina (Raleigh) Michael J. Tutor ’96 Charlotte, North Carolina James A. Sharp ’93 SE N. Carolina/NE S. Carolina Palmetto, South Carolina Coastal Carolina, South Carolina Donald P. DeLuca ’62

John R. Fisher ’89 Charles L. Toomey ’74 Jonathan D. Atkins ’98 E. Hugh Daughtry III ’83

VII Region — Deep South James G. Joustra Jr. ’76

Birmingham, Alabama Central Florida (Orlando) Mobile, Alabama Northeast Florida (Jacksonville) Southern Florida (Miami) Tennessee Valley (Alabama) West Coast Florida (Tampa) Southwest Florida (Ft. Meyer)

William H. Cather Jr. ’65 James G. Joustra ’76 C.M.A. Rogers IV ’83 Michael T. Fellows ’95 John A. Weekes Jr. ’97 Herbert U. Fluhler ’77 Larry L. Fluty ’78 Bradford T. Herrell ’01

William H. Cather Jr. ’65

New River Valley Lynchburg Roanoke

William A. Madison ’90 John T. McCarthy ’87 W. Ware Smith Jr. ’62

William A. Madison ’90 Bland Massie Jr. ’77 W. Ware Smith Jr. ’62

Region VIII

Virginia — Southwest Edgar James T. Perrow Jr. ’96 Region IX — Shenandoah Valley Thomas E. Jenks III ’67


Northern Shenandoah Valley Charlottesville Blue Ridge Rockbridge County Allegheny Highlands Stonewall Jackson Chapter

Region X — Tidewater Eastern Shore Robert A. Heely ’69 Norfolk Peninsula J. Sills O’Keefe ’93 Virginia Beach Western Tidewater Region XI — Metro D.C. Sean P. Boyle ’91 Steve J. Nakazawa ’03

George C. Marshall Potomac River

Region XII — Virginia Central

Robert P. Louthan ’82 Richmond Tri-Cities Christopher L. Ratchford ’94

Region XIII — Rappahannock Eric F. Nost ’79

Fredericksburg/Quantico Rappahannock Williamsburg

W. Douglas Thomas ’65 James E. Duncan ’98 G. Wayne Eastham ’76 Thomas E. Jenks III ’67 T. Troy Barbour ’89 Roger A. Jarrell II ’91

John H. Friend III ’82 Grafton D. Addison III ’82 Christopher R. Jones ’72 Raymond J. Pietruszka ’77 Andrew M. Neff ’79 Brett R. Martin ’00

Kevin J. Callanan ’78 Mark H. Bryant ’77 R. Edward Duncan ’60 Lewis V. Graybill ’62 Harrison L. Fridley Jr. ’61 Roger A. Jarrell II ’91

Robert W. Leatherbury ’80 and David G. Tyler IV ’86 Douglas N. Burdett ’82 Edward M. Plucinski ’86 Gary J. Haste ’77 John L. Rowe Jr. ’66

Thomas F. Wilson ’80

Sean P. Boyle ’91 Joseph E. Blanks ’94

R. Rucker Slater Jr. ’88 Douglas B. Warner ’03

Ramil B. Ibanez ’90 William H. Talley IV ’77

Michael C. Denton ’81 Augustus Robbins III ’47

Carl J. DeBernard Jr. ’94 Richard A. Duke ’90 Peter J. Kokolis ’96

Region XIV — Pacific Rim

Thailand Taiwan

Lt. Gen. Vaipot Srinual ’72 Ching-Pu Chen ’85

— Italy

Lt. Col. Steven G. Cade ’87

2008-Issue 3

Karl L. Klinar ’54

James A. Parsons ’80 David J. Trenholm ’70 H. Ali Mahan ’80 Oliver D. Creekmore ’66

R.C. Thompson III ’74 John M. Townes ’53 John J. Kokolis ’96 Lt. Gen. Vaipot Srinual ’72 Ching-Pu Chen ’85


ALUMNI NEWS ALUMNI NEWS On April 28, 2008, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, left, promoted John W. Knapp ’54, center, to lieutenant general in the Virginia Militia with the assistance of Knapp’s wife, Beth, right. Knapp, who retired from the U.S. Army Reserve with the rank of major general, served as superintendent of VMI from 1989-95 and was appointed superintendent emeritus upon his retirement. After active duty and a period in industry, he returned to VMI in 1959 and served on the faculty until his appointment as superintendent. He served for 10 years on the Lexington City Council, the final eight years as mayor. In the same period, he headed a military task force for the Jamestown 2007 Commemoration, and he currently is serving as a director and vice chair for the Virginia National Defense Industrial Authority. Knapp and his wife live in Lexington, Virginia. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor.

Retired Maj. Gen. Robert E. Wagner ’57 addressed the nation’s top Army ROTC cadets. See article on page 188. In March 2008, George J. Collins ’62 received a distinguished service award from Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Baltimore for his longtime service to the organization. During six years of service as a member of Catholic Charities’ board of directors, Collins served on the executive committee for the organization’s capital campaign, and he chaired an ad hoc subcommittee to explore the feasibility of relocating a hot meal program to a day shelter for homeless women and children. Thanks in part to his support, the Our Daily Bread Employment Center, the nation’s first comprehensive resource center for the poor, opened in 2007, and My Sister’s Place Women’s Center will open in 2008. Collins graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in history and earned a master’s degree from American University. The former president and CEO of T. Rowe Price lives in Fisher Island, Florida. Retired Army Maj. Gen. Carl A. Strock ’70, a project director with Bechtel Corp. and former chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was selected in April 2008 186

by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to receive the Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research. The award recognizes an individual in the design and construction industry who has helped increase industry participation in research and in efforts to bring innovations into practice. About the award, ASCE President David G. Mongan said that Strock’s lifetime contributions to the profession and his dedicated leadership embody the spirit of the Michel Award. As project director, Strock oversees the Sabine Pass Liquid Natural Gas Terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Prior to joining Bechtel, he served in the U.S. Army for more than 36 years, retiring in 2007 as the chief of engineers and commanding general of the Corps of Engineers. Among his numerous military awards and decorations, Strock received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two Army Distinguished Service medals, two Legions of Merit and two Bronze Star medals. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from VMI and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Mississippi State University. Stephen L. Sanetti ’71 has joined the National Shooting Sports Foundation

(NSSF) as president and chief executive officer. Well known throughout the firearms industry, Sanetti spent 28 years with Sturm, Ruger and Company as an executive and general counsel, and he has been a member of the NSSF Board of Governors and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute Board of Directors. In addition to his legal and executive experience, Sanetti brings strong communications skills to the position, having written numerous articles and given many interviews defending the lawful and responsible ownership and use of firearms. He has spoken on 60 Minutes, ABC News Nightline, CNBC, National Public Radio and before various federal and state legislative bodies. Sanetti is an avid hunter, target shooter, firearms collector and amateur gunsmith who was a three-year member of the VMI rifle team and later the team’s coach. Sanetti matriculated from Hicksville, New York, and was a distinguished military graduate with a bachelor’s degree in history. He received his law degree from the Washington and Lee University School of Law and served in the Army as a captain and chief of criminal law for the First Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

ALUMNI NEWS Jock R. Wheeler ’54, M.D., left, and Richard H. Dean ’64, M.D., right, were honored at the annual School of Medicine reunion weekend reception and awards presentation held on April 11, 2008, at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV). Wheeler, a 1958 MCV graduate, received the Caravati Service Award, which is presented to an alumnus who displays uncompromising service to the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, the MCV Alumni Association and the local community. The Tidewater resident served as director of the medical division of the MCV Alumni Association as well as on the Medical School Advisory Council, the MCV Alumni Association Board of Trustees and as past-president of the Humera Surgical Society. A Distinguished VMI graduate, Wheeler matriculated from Hampton, Virginia, and majored in biology at the Institute. A 1968 graduate of MCV, Dean was the recipient of the Outstanding Medical Alumnus Award, which is presented each year to a physician who is nationally recognized by leaders in his field for his distinguished contributions to health care. As the former president and CEO of Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Dean led that medical center to a premier position in medical education, with national rankings by U.S. News and World Report as well as the National Institutes of Health. He also has served as chairman of the board of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and as chairman of the board of the Piedmont Triad Research Park, an economic development initiative. Dean, who matriculated from Radford, Virginia, graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

In February 2008, Charles F. Bryan Jr. ’69, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Virginia Historical Society (above, standing, with red tie), was presented with a commending resolution by the Virginia General Assembly that recognized his outstanding service to the Virginia Historical Society and the citizens of the commonwealth and for his many contributions to the preservation of Virginia’s rich and diverse history. The VMI history major will retire in December 2008 after 20 years as president and CEO. After receiving the general assembly resolution and returning to the VHS, Bryan was amazed to find trustees, staff, friends and family cheering on the portico steps (right). A banner, placed at the front of the building while Bryan was at the Capitol, featured his photograph and read, “Charlie Bryan Welcomes You!” Moved by this gesture, Bryan said, “This day will rank as one of the best days of my life.”

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ALUMNI NEWS Star and multiple awards of the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device, as well agner ’57 as awards for heroism bestowed by the Addresses Nation’s Top Republic of Vietnam. Wagner was accompanied at the Army ROTC Cadets event by his wife and VMI Ring by Paul Kotakis Figure date, the former Charlotte Chief of the Public Affairs Division Rose White. of the U.S. Army Cadet Command The symposium brought together Army ROTC cadets to discuss naAt the invitation of the George C. Marshall tional security issues in a roundtable Foundation, retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. discussion format led by experts in Wagner ’57 addressed an assemblage of the top the field. It also gave them a chance to Army ROTC cadets in the nation who attended the meet with senior Army, government 2008 Marshall Leadership Symposium in April. and civilian officials, including Pete Wagner’s remarks were presented to a full house Geren, secretary of the Army; Gen. Wagner ’57 at the 2008 George C. which included the top cadets from each of the George Casey Jr., Army chief of staff; Marshall Leadership Symposium. nearly 300 Army ROTC battalions around the Sen. James Webb (D-VA); and Gen. Photo by Forrest Berkshire, U.S. nation, as well as retired Gen. Edward C. Meyer, Army Cadet Command. William Wallace, commander of the former chief of staff of the Army, and other miliTraining and Doctrine Command. tary and civilian dignitaries. Topics of discussion included peaceIn his address, Wagner explored the challenges and opportunities keeping and the U.S. military, homeland security, terrorism and that await those entering the profession of arms as junior officers. the role of the platoon leader and non-commissioned officer. Drawing upon his own personal experiences, which included three years in key combat leadership assignments involving direct contact with the enemy, Wagner had a powerful impact on the audience with his talk. Wagner spoke passionately of the sacred trust bestowed on those privileged to be Army officers. “Those of us who follow the profession of arms bear a sacred trust to defend those values that make our nation great,” he said. “Upon hearing Gen. Wagner’s speech, I was greatly impressed by how much he had accomplished in his military career,” said Jonathan D. Roland ’08, a native of Finksburg, Maryland, who graduated from VMI with a degree in international studies. “What was even more impressive was his ability to closely relate to our situation as aspiring junior officers in an Army that has most decidedly changed greatly since his time of service. I believe every 2008 Marshall Award Winner benefited from Gen. Wagner’s remarks. My only reservation is that more cadets couldn’t come and listen to this incredible man give such an inspiring and motivating lecture on challenges we will definitely face as junior officers.” In introductory remarks, Maj. Gen. W. Montague Winfield, commanding general of the U.S. Army Cadet Command who benefited from Wagner’s leadership in the 2nd Armored Calvary Regiment, said there would be no Cadet Command were it not for Wagner. In addition to developing the concept of Cadet Command, the Army’s largest single source of commissioned officer leadership, Wagner served as its initial commanding general for four years. Winfield lauded Wagner for his efforts to create the Army Junior ROTC Leadership Symposium and his sharing of an encyclopedic knowledge of the command with all newly assigned ROTC and Junior ROTC instructors, efforts that earned Wagner the DePuy Award, the Cadet Command’s top honor. Winfield spoke of Wagner’s record of heroism under fire which Photo of ROTC cadets in Lexington by Patrick Hinely. resulted in five separate decorations for gallantry, including the Silver




ALUMNI NEWS Charles F. “Chuck” Cayton engineering. After receiving have two daughters and live in northern ’74 has joined HNTB Corporahis commission as a second Virginia. tion as vice president and office lieutenant in the U.S. Army leader for the firm’s Hampton Corps of Engineers, he was In late 2007, Charles F. “Frank” Hilton Roads, Virginia, office. He based at Fort Meade, Mary- ’80, an attorney with Wharton Aldhizer & brings more than 30 years of land, until leaving active duty Weaver PLC in Harrisonburg, was named experience in project managein May 1978. one of the Virginia Business magazine’s ment, as well as engineering McLaren most recently served Legal Elite in the area of civil litigation planning, design and construcas the commander of the Iraqi and in personal injury defense, medical tion projects. In his new role, Assistance Group at Multina- malpractice. Only 750 out of a possible Cayton ’74 Cayton will be responsible for tional Corps in Iraq. 27,000 active and licensed Virginia atdirecting a variety of transporHis military education in- torneys, or 2.7 percent, make the Legal tation projects with HNTB municipal, cludes the Engineer Officer Elite list. Hilton was also instate and federal clients. Also, he will Basic and Advanced Courses, cluded in Super Lawyers, an be responsible for the establishment and the Infantry Advanced Course, annual publication that lists growth of HNTB services in the Hampton the Command and General Staff five percent of attorneys in the Roads region. College and the Army War Colstate who are included in their Before joining HNTB, Cayton served as lege. Also, he holds a master’s select list. In addition to these vice president of The Business Advisory degree in strategic studies from two listings, he was listed in Group, providing technical and manage- the Army War College, and the 2008 edition of Best Lawment services to both public and private he is a registered professional yers in America. This referral sector clients. Prior to that, Cayton served engineer in the commonwealth guide identifies lawyers in the as senior vice president and operations of Virginia. United States based upon peer Hilton ’80 manager of the southeast region for recommendations. Parsons Brinckerhoff. He has held the Shelton P. Rhodes ’77, Ph.D., Hilton, who received his law positions of project manager or lead en- has been selected as founding dean of degree from Wake Forest University, has gineer on a wide variety of infrastructure the newly-formed School of Business nearly 25 years experience as an attorney, projects. and Leadership at Villa Julie College in and more than 21 at Wharton Aldhizer & Cayton is a member of the American Wa- Maryland. Formerly, he was chairman of Weaver PLC. ter Works Association, National Society Bowie State University’s department of A distinguished VMI graduate with a of Professional Engineers and American management, marketing, economics and major in history, Hilton matriculated from Consulting Engineers Council of Virginia. public administration. In his new role, Newton, North Carolina. He is a registered professional engineer in Rhodes will bring together the college’s Virginia, Georgia and Kentucky. business, paralegal and information techIn February 2008, Capt. Anthony Todd Cayton matriculated from Richmond and nology programs under one umbrella. Zimmer ’86, a senior engineer with the graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s Villa Julie announced the creation of Environmental Protection Agency’s Office degree in civil engineering. the School of Business and Leadership of Solid Waste and Emergency Response in November 2006. A 60,000-square-foot in Cincinnati, was named the National Maj. Gen. John P. McLaren Jr. ’74, building for the school currently is under Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) USAR, has been named commanding gen- construction on the college’s Owings Mills 2008 Federal Engineer of the Year at an eral (troop program unit), 80th Training campus. It will include state-of-the-art awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Command (Total Army School System) in information technology facilities and a Of the 91,000 individuals identified by Richmond, Virginia. high-tech mock trial courtroom. the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau Previously, McLaren served as vice Rhodes matriculated from Elizabeth- of Labor Statistics as federally employed commander of the Joint Warfighting Cen- town, North Carolina, and graduated from engineers, only 33 were nominated, and ter and deputy joint force trainer at U.S. VMI with a bachelor’s degree in history. Zimmer was one of 10 finalists selected Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM). As He holds a master of public administra- for the award. deputy joint force trainer, he helped lead tion degree from the Howard University Zimmer has more than 20 years of the USJFCOM joint force training effort Business School and a doctorate in urban experience in protecting public health to conduct and support the development services management from Old Domin- and the environment through emergency of capabilities that train the individual ion University. He earned his graduate response, engineering control research and services to fight together as a team. degrees during his 18 years in the U.S. engineering leadership. Shortly after the He matriculated from Wheeler Air Army, from which he retired at the rank World Trade Center attacks, he was sent Force Base, Hawaii, and graduated from of major in 1995. to provide occupational safety and health VMI with a bachelor’s degree in civil He and his wife, Brenda Seldon Rhodes, expertise to workers at Ground Zero, 2008-Issue 3


ALUMNI NEWS and on three occasions, he assisted with hurricane recovery efforts in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. Zimmer now works to protect the transit systems of several cities against terrorist attacks by serving as the technical working group chair of a large multi-agency task force. He also is well known for his research, including a groundbreaking look into airborne nanoparticles leading to an agency-wide recognition of the importance of the unique health hazards associated with inhaling these particles. His research assisted in the founding of the Nanotechnology Research Center within his division, facilitated significant interagency and academic research collaborations, and resulted in a fundamental reevaluation of current workplace standards for nanoparticles. Zimmer matriculated from Mechanicsville, Virginia, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees in environmental engineering from the University of Cincinnati where he is a visiting professor. He is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Society of American Military Engineers, American Mensa and the Commissioned Officers Association, among other organizations. Gregory J. Hall ’88, the principal-in-charge for the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Clark Nexsen, has been elected to the firm’s board of directors. As one of eight members of the board, Hall will be responsible for setting strategy and policy and establishing and updating the firm’s business plan, as well as helping determine the firm’s future direction and goals for the long and short term. Hall has more than 20 years of professional experience which encompasses project management and lead electrical engineer responsibilities in addition to responsibilities in managing the Raleigh office. He is a registered professional


Hall matriculated from Rockville, Maryland, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science. Steven D. Boyd ’89 has been named associate vice president of retail for BenQ America, a global provider of liquid crystal displays and DLP® projectors. In this role, Boyd manages all aspects of BenQ’s retail channel, including brand development, pricing and program management, product selection and in-store merchandising. Zimmer ’86 and his wife, Julie, at Prior to joining BenQ, Boyd served the awards luncheon. as chief executive director at HollinsSchechter, one of the largest engineer in 10 states and a law firms in its area, and registered communications director of sales for Giant Bidistribution designer, which cycle, Inc., a top global brand recognizes his expertise in the of specialty bicycles. Boyd telecommunications field. began his career at Lawee, As a Leadership in Energy Inc., the former owner of the and Environmental Design Univega brand of specialty (LEED) accredited professional bicycles, where he was a sales through the U.S. Green Buildrepresentative throughout the ing Council, Hall ensures that southeastern United States. Hall ’88 sustainable design practices Boyd, who graduated from will be employed for projects VMI with a degree in history, within Clark Nexsen, an award-winning holds a master’s degree in business from architectural, engineering, planning and Pepperdine University’s Presidential/Key interior design firm. Executive Program.

Henry J. “Hank” Amato ’89, center, chief of the operations division at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia, has been promoted to colonel. Attending the ceremony were, from left, Col. Son Minh Le ’82, Maj. Rory B. “Brian” McCormack ’90, Amato, retired Col. William L. “Bill” Faistenhammer ’74 and Lucien K. “King” Von Schilling ’65.

An article on Aaron B. Hickman ’94 recently was published in County Connections, the newsletter of the Virginia Association of Counties. As information technology manager for Cumberland County, Virginia, Hickman is credited with upgrading the county’s radio system that now connects all county agencies. Also, he has implemented a geographic information system that ties many of the county’s databases together and presents the records visually. Hickman is a distinguished VMI graduate who holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a doctorate from Colorado State University.


ALUMNI NEWS The members of the Newnan Construction Office project (Georgia) Rotary Club got a manager and, as of this writing, firsthand account of a soldier’s is working on the Leadership life in Iraq from Maj. Robert C. and Ethics Center. Davis ’95 when he spoke to the He graduated with a bachelor’s club in February. An in-depth degree in civil engineering and article on his talk was featured has been a member of The VMI in The (Newnan, Georgia) TimesAlumni Association Board of Herald in February 2008. Directors since 2006. Attached to the 48th Infantry McDearmon ’99 Perrow is the son of Edgar J.T. Brigade of the Georgia Army Perrow ’70 and his wife, FlorNational Guard, Davis was deence Adams Perrow. His grandployed to Iraq in 2005 for a one-year tour father is the late John B. Adams ’36, and his in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. uncle is John B. (Jay) Adams Jr. ’66. With his background as an artillery officer and advisor on the large-caliber weapons Gregory G. McDearmon ’99, director of used in the brigade’s armored vehicles, Multifamily at NTS Development Company, Davis was reassigned to the Illinois was named the company’s 2007 Chairman’s Army National Guard’s 2-130th Infantry. Award winner. Each year, the award is given Overseas, he served as a civilian military to the individual who produces the highest operations liaison. quality work, delivers outstanding perforDavis matriculated from Newnan and mance, exhibits a positive attitude, maintains graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s composure and provides innovative soludegree in English. tions to challenging situations. The recipient must be nominated by a fellow employee, In May 2008, E. Turner Perrow Jr. ’96, and the winner is selected by a committee engineer and president of Perrow Consulting of previous award winners. Services, won Lynchburg’s Ward IV City McDearmon oversees the operations of Council seat, running as an Independent. 16 apartment communities throughout KenPerrow, who lives in Lynchburg with tucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia for his wife, Holly, and daughter, is the VMI NTS Development Company, a full-service,

diversified real estate company operating in the southeastern United States. McDearmon matriculated from Burnt Hills, New York, and graduated from VMI with distinction and as the Distinguished Naval Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering. He served as a Navy officer for five years and obtained his master’s degree in business from Auburn University. He and his wife, Stephann, have three children and live in Louisville, Kentucky. Christopher B. Lambert ’03 has joined the workers’ compensation practice group of the Sands Anderson Marks & Miller law firm in Blacksburg. He is one of eight attorneys who defend workers’ compensation claims for employers across the state before the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission and state appellate courts. To Sands Anderson, Lambert brings experience in bankruptcy, business disputes, domestic relations, personal injury, real estate disputes and workers’ compensation claims from previous general litigation work. Lambert, who matriculated from Christiansburg, Virginia, graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in history and earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Book Announcement Organization and Insignia of the American Expeditionary Force 1917-1923 by Robert J. Dalessandro ’80 and Michael G. Knapp ’80 Schiffer Books, Ltd., 2008. ISBN: 978-0-7643-2937-1 Organization and Insignia of the American Expeditionary Force 1917-1923 is a comprehensive and detailed treatment of the origins, designs and symbolism for each organizational shoulder sleeve insignia of the American Army in World War I. It covers the organization, combat history and battle participation of the combat forces (armies, corps and the regular, National Guard and National Army divisions), supporting organizations of the Services of Supply and the special troops, including the Army Air Service and the Army of Occupation. About the Authors: Army Col. Robert J. Dalessandro is director of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, who has a lifelong passion for military history and the material culture of the American soldier. He has held a variety

of Army leadership and staff positions including time as a platoon leader; command at company, depot and battalion levels; and staff assignments ranging from battalion through Department of the Army levels. He is widely published on the life ways and material culture of the American soldier in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and he is editor of the Army Officer’s Guide. Michael G. Knapp is a military historian for the U.S. Army Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and he is a lifelong student of World War I. As an archivist with the National Archives and Records Administration, he worked extensively with the records of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) and the 20th Century Army. He has published articles on AEF records and research, as well as Army history. At the time of this writing, he is serving with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard after returning from an assignment in Afghanistan.

The Alumni News section was prepared by Wendy Lovell, contributing writer for the Institute Report and the Alumni Review.

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Slater ’66 Elected President of VMI Board of Visitors Thomas G. Slater Jr. ’66, a partner in the Richmond law firm Hunton & Williams, was elected president of VMI’s Board of Visitors at the board’s meeting on May 3, 2008. Slater’s term began on July 1st when he stepped into the position formerly held by G. Gilmer Minor III ’63, chairman of Owens & Minor Inc., a Richmond-based Fortune 500 distributor of medical and surgical supplies. Minor was elected president of the board three years ago and has been a board member since 2000. Slater has been a member of the board since 2003 and has been active in VMI alumni organizations since his graduation, including service as president of The VMI Alumni Association from 1985-87. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from VMI in 1966, Slater attended the University of Virginia School of Law where he received his LLB in 1969. At VMI, Slater was on the dean’s list and was co-captain of the varsity football team in 1965, a letterman in varsity football in 1963-65 and president of the Monogram Club in 1965-66. Slater has been with Hunton & Williams law firm since 1969. He became a partner in the firm in 1976 and is currently co-head of the firm’s Litigation-IP and Antitrust Group (approximately 300 lawyers). He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, American Bar Foundation

Editor’s Note: The articles in the Institute section of the Alumni Review are provided by VMI Communications and Marketing, including the following: Lt. Col. Stewart MacInnis, Sherri Tombarge, Bob Holland, Wendy Lovell and Lori Stevens. Production assistance: Burton Floyd. Photography: Kevin Remington or as noted with photo.


and Virginia Law Foundation. He is a past president of the Bar Association of the city of Richmond and served on the Executive Committee of the Virginia State Bar from 1996-98. He is also a director of Tredegar Corporation and a trustee of the Virginia Historical Society. Slater is married to the former Martha Scott Newell (Scottie). The board also elected three vice presidents: Paul D. Fraim ’71 of Norfolk, Virginia; William A. Paulette ’69, of Richmond, Virginia; and James E. Rogers ’67 of Richmond.

Slater ’66

Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62 congratulated Col. Bob Spore ’70 after presenting him with the VMI Achievement Medal. Looking on, at right, is Col. Bob Gilbert, who also received the award. Spore, director of Human Resources for VMI, received the medal in recognition of the excellent manner in which he has performed his primary duties and for other contributions he has made to the Institute. Gilbert’s award recognized his contributions as comptroller, his service to a professional organization and his service as a member of the Rockbridge County School Board. VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.



Sixth Annual Research Symposium Features 120 Presentations Depending on his or her location, a visitor to Post on April 3, 2008, could have mistaken VMI for the Department of Homeland Security, a medical laboratory, an engineering firm or the floor of Congress. From national security issues to West Nile virus and HVAC systems to the war in Iraq, topics of discussion during the sixth annual VMI Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) were both stimulating and reflective of top-of-mind issues faced by U.S. policymakers, scientists, business leaders and philosophers today. Funded by a grant from the JacksonHope Fund, URS is one of the primary programs developed by the Undergraduate Research Initiative to encourage cadets to learn by conducting scholarly inquiry under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The day-long event featured 120 presentations in the form of posters and papers. “With record participation, such strong representation across the disciplines and the integration of exciting highlights from ongoing classroom research activities, this year’s URS is a sparkling testimony of the Institute’s full embrace of undergraduate research,” said Brig. Gen. Charles F. Brower IV, deputy superintendent for academics and dean of the faculty. “Cadets working with faculty in open-ended academic inquiry has indeed become a hallmark of a VMI education.” Directed by Lt. Col. Jay Sullivan, associate professor of mechanical engineering, URS included a few additions to this year’s program. Seven members of the Lexington Sunrise Rotary Club with professional backgrounds served as URS judges, and presentations of mechanical engineering students’ senior design projects were added to the program. “I received a lot of positive feedback from our external judges regarding the quality of our cadets’ research and their 2008-Issue 3

presentations,” said Sullivan. “They enjoyed being part of URS, as did underclassmen who viewed some of the presentations as part of their regular classes. They likely would not have attended the presentations on their own but were excited by the possibilities of what they will do later in their cadetships.” Cash prizes of $500 were awarded to first-place winners, $300 to second and $100 to third.

Three Faculty, 27 Cadets Attend NCUR The Undergraduate Research Initiative sponsored the attendance of three VMI

faculty members at the 22nd National Conference on Undergraduate Research, at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland, April 10-12, 2008. Maj. Sam Allen, assistant professor of economics and business; Col. Rick Kilroy, professor of international studies; and Maj. Leah Lantz, assistant professor of mathematics, accompanied 27 cadets, who shared their research with the more than 2,800 student scholars and faculty attending. About 350 colleges and universities and 50 disciplines were represented at the event, which included presentations, poster displays and four plenary speakers.

Retirement Ceremony, April 2008 At their retirement ceremony on April 18, 2008, were, from left, Col. James O. Tubbs, Air Force ROTC commander; Col. William Grace, Naval ROTC commander; Col. C. Dale Buckner, professor and head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Capt. Ronald A. Erchul, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Col. R. Meredith Bedell, professor of English; and Col. Steven Riethmiller ’63, professor of chemistry. Also retiring, but not pictured, was Brig. Gen. Michael L. Bozeman, head track coach. (See article about Bozeman in the Athletics section of this issue.) In addition, Dr. Robert Bedell (not pictured) received a certificate of excellence for 10 years of service as an adjunct professor in the Department of English and Fine Arts and for 20 years as a teacher with the College Orientation Workshop. Photo by Fred McWane ’63.



Leadership and Ethics Center Takes Shape “The Leadership and Ethics Building is starting to get dressed up,” said Lt. Col. Dale Brown, director of Construction, describing the look of the project. The distinctive VMI crenulations are taking shape over the main entrance as precast stone goes up. Most of the roof work is already done, including the auditorium and the pre-function space. Applying stucco, an involved process, has commenced. “Now we can actually see the size and configuration of the building, which is quite different from looking at an artist’s rendering,” said Brown. “We have to determine how it will be operated and who will use it. There’s a lot to discuss to smooth the startup and transition,” Brown added. The Leadership and Ethics Working Group, headed by Col. Walt Chalkley

’72, chief of staff, has been created just for this purpose. The group, which meets biweekly, has already had a tour to familiarize members with the physical layout of the building, so they can determine how the space can be best used. “We are working on bringing the building to life, from cleaning to programming,” Chalkley explained. “The building is cadet-driven,” added Maj. Dallas Clark ’99, Institute planning officer. “It has been designed with Corps use in mind.” One issue the group has discussed is whether cadet meetings, which historically have been held in Jackson Memorial Hall, should be moved to the new building. “We want to be careful not to change the culture of VMI,” said Chalkley. The group is also discussing the involve-

ment of the Physical Plant, which will be in charge of setting up and storing tables and chairs for functions. “We are identifying potential challenges and trying to come up with the right solutions,” said Chalkley. Parking should not be an issue for the new building. There are over 100 spaces in the West Maiden Lot, and for evening functions, the Parade Ground will be available as well. “We have plenty of parking on Post, although some requires walking,” said Clark. For events like Environment Virginia, the shuttle will also be available. As of this writing, the building is completely on schedule and holding to the budget. “We have lots of irons in the fire,” admitted Brown.

Scheduled for completion in December, the Leadership and Ethics building is taking shape. Photo courtesy of the VMI Construction Office.




Architectural drawing of the Center for Leadership and Ethics

Operational Planning Begins for Leadership Center As of July 1, 2008, Brig. Gen. Charles F. Brower IV assumes his new role as acting director of the Center for Leadership and Ethics at VMI. The new, $21 million facility will enable the Institute to enhance its focus on leadership and ethics for cadets and offer a facility for conferences and retreats. Scheduled for completion in December, the building will feature a 500-seat auditorium complemented by break-out rooms, media rooms, storage space and offices for the center’s staff. Its dining and catering capability will be able to accommodate 1,000 people. Brower said staffing eventually will include a center director, assistant director and administrative assistant, as well as four visiting chairs. To facilitate conferences, personnel will include a conference coordinator, two associates, a technology technician and custodial support. The first conference could take place as early as spring 2009, and the center will 2008-Issue 3

be used by VMI for leadership symposia, admissions open houses and various conference and Institute Society dinners. “While many in the VMI community are thrilled to have this new, state-of-theart facility on our campus, what’s most exciting is the potential the center has for enhancing the leadership experiences for our cadets,” said Brower. “Although topflight facility and conferencing capability are necessary to the center’s success, the distinguishing element must be a leadership and ethics program of the highest quality.” To that end, the Institute will focus its attention on finding the right person to lead the center and developing the structure necessary to bring the program to life. “At VMI, we do a great job of creating experiences for leadership, but we could do better in helping our students make sense of those opportunities and bring meaning to them,” Brower said. “As part of the leadership and ethics program, four

visiting professors will be embedded in departments across Post, and not only will they enhance conversations about leadership but also enrich our community with a variety of perspectives.” The challenge for Brower and the new director will be to determine how to integrate and synchronize these experiences across the four major influences for cadets – academics, ROTC, athletics and the regimental and class systems. “These coordinating tasks are a hallmark of Vision 2039 and are one of its most important and central strategic elements,” Brower observed. “This is a truly significant opportunity for VMI. Not only will our cadets benefit from the center’s programming, but also from external audiences that will periodically hold their events at VMI. Our initiatives will promulgate a national reputation with the best of conferences and events, and it will give our cadets the chance to interact with varied audiences.” 195

ATHLETICS ATHLETICS VMI and Reggie Williams Claim Second Straight Basketball Scoring Titles

Reggie Williams ’08 completing a free-throw during the VMI-Winthrop game at Cameron Hall on Feb. 20, 2008. This photo, by Ronnie Coffey, appeared in The News-Gazette (Lexington, Virginia) on Feb. 27th.

For the second straight season, VMI basketball has placed its name atop several national statistical categories in the final stat rankings. The final NCAA statistical reports dated April 7, 2008, show that VMI led NCAA Division I in scoring offense, steals and 3-pointers made per game for the second straight season. Senior forward Reggie Williams also joined an elite group of players in NCAA history by leading the nation in scoring for the second consecutive year, averaging 27.8 PPG. Using an up-tempo style of play once again, VMI paced the nation in 2007-08 in scoring offense (91.3 PPG), ahead of North Carolina (88.6), Texas State (83.6), Duke (83.2) and Duquesne (82.3). The Keydets also generated 12.7 steals per game, outranking Robert Morris (9.9), Pepperdine 196

(9.9), Clemson (9.8) and Austin Peay (9.6). In 3-pointers made per game, VMI topped the charts with 11.6 per game, followed by Houston (11.0), Troy (10.8), Belmont (10.5) and Lafayette (10.0). Williams averaged 27.8 points per game in 25 games in 2007-08, edging Niagara’s Charron Fisher who averaged 27.6 points. The Prince George, Virginia, native and psychology major became the ninth member of the elite club to lead Division I in scoring multiple years, placing his name alongside legendary figures such as “Pistol” Pete Maravich (LSU, 1968-70) and Oscar Robinson (Cincinnati, 1958-60). “I am very proud of our guys and what they have been able to accomplish the past two years,” said VMI head coach Duggar Baucom. “They have truly bought into our system and have achieved some national recognition for their hard work and unselfish play.

“Reggie is a very special player,” continued Baucom, “and he is in elite company being able to lead the country in scoring for two consecutive years. I am very proud of him and what he has been able to do during his career at VMI.” In 2006-07, VMI led the nation in scoring offense (100.9 PPG), 3-point goals made per game (13.4), assists per game (14.8) and steals per game (13.4). As VMI again led the nation in scoring offense, including the player who claimed the scoring crown, it marked the sixth time in the last 51 years that a team led the nation in scoring and individual points per game. VMI has accomplished this feat the past two seasons. The Keydets finished with 14 wins in 2007-08, securing back-to-back season win totals of at least 14 victories for the first time since 1977-78. VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

ATHLETICS VMI Track and Field Coach Mike Bozeman Retires Concludes 37-year Coaching Career Mike Bozeman, who has guided VMI track Coach Wade Williams, and I feel I have given and field as head coach for the past 23 years, my best efforts to continue the great tradition retired at the end of the 2008 outdoor season. of VMI track and field and cross country.” “Mike Bozeman has had a terrific run as One of Bozeman’s assignments was to help VMI’s head track and field coach,” said Ath- build a viable women’s athletic program at letic Director Donny White ’65. “The program VMI. The first women’s sport was cross counhas enjoyed great success during his time here. try which started in 1997. A year later, indoor VMI is indebted to Coach Bozeman for that, as track was added, and in 1999 outdoor track bewell as for his outstanding leadership. We will gan competition. In 2002, Mildred Cooper ’05 miss Mike, but we are confident in the direction of our track and field program as we move forward to name a successor.” Bozeman has directed VMI’s track and field program since 1985, a run that included 12 conference championships and 13 Conference Coach of the Year honors, as well as the 2005 Big South Co-Coach of the Year award. He also coached numerous all-conference honorees, including the Big South Conference 800-meter record holder, current team member Felix Kitur ’11, as well as two NCAA All-Americans. During his time at VMI, Bozeman’s diverse skills and expertise were called upon by the Institute in many ways. He was Corps commandant from June 1994-July 1996, and he was VMI’s interim athletic director from January-May 1998. “Mike Bozeman has been a wonderful track coach at VMI for over two decades, sustaining a program which has a history of excellence here,” said VMI Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62. “He has served the Institute well in this capacity and also as commandant of cadets for two years. We will miss his leadership.” “I am indebted to VMI for the opMike Bozeman, left. portunities they have given me during my tenure here,” said Bozeman. “Carol and I have called this our home for 23 years, became the first female conference champion and we will continue to remain in Lexington at VMI, winning the shot put at the Southern during our retirement. During my time here, Conference outdoor championships. Cooper the greatest satisfaction for me has come from was recently named to the SoCon’s 25th Anniworking with the young men and women in the versary Women’s Indoor Track and Field Team. track and field program, as well as in the Corps Bozeman’s efforts were also instrumental in of Cadets. It has been an honor and a privilege getting VMI membership into the prestigious to follow in the footsteps of Col. H.M. ‘Son’ Intercollegiate Association of Amateur AthRead [class of 1916], Coach Walt Cormack and letes of America (IC4A) Conference, where the

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team has had outstanding success since joining. In 2004 and 2005, two Keydets, including Garrett Brickner ’05 in the high jump, captured IC4A titles. Bozeman also helped initiate the VMI women’s team’s acceptance into the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Before his arrival at VMI, Bozeman spent the previous six seasons as the field events coach for the University of Florida. Sixteen Gator athletes were named All-SEC during Bozeman’s tenure, and 15 participated in the NCAA Championships, with four attaining All-American status. A 1967 graduate of The Citadel, he opened his 37-year coaching career at South Carolina, where he was an assistant coach from 1970-73 while earning his master’s degree. In addition, he coached at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, where he was named Coach of the Year on three occasions. Four of his athletes were named All-American including Ernest Marvin, who in 1978 was the number four high school triple jumper of all time. Bozeman has been heavily involved in numerous activities promoting the development of amateur track and field on all levels. He helped start the South Carolina High School Track Coaches Association and edited the track and field honor roll for many years. He was a charter lead instructor in the Athletic Congress Certification Program for coaches and conducted many clinics throughout the country. He has been a leader in decathlon development in the U.S. and has led U.S. squads to international competitions in Cuba, Japan and Germany. One of his former athletes, Jim Wooding, was a member of the 1984 Olympic team. A retired brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserve, his awards and decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Ranger Tab. He is also a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Army War College. After commissioning in 1967, he spent three years on active duty including a year in Vietnam, where he served with distinction as a platoon leader and commanded a long range reconnaissance patrol unit. He and his wife, Carol, have two children, Gioia and Robert, a son-in-law, John Giltz ’89, and four grandchildren: Luke, Wade, Caroline and Reilly.


ATHLETICS Men Finish Third at Big South Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Kitur, Lawson, Harris Earn All-Conference

The track and field men completed competition on April 19, 2008, at the 2008 New Balance Big South Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, being held in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The VMI men earned 92 points to place third, which was their best finish in the past three years. The team posted 10 seasonal bests on its way to the third-place finish. The Keydets were led by three individual allconference honorees, as Felix Kitur ’11, Chad Lawson ’11 and Anthony Harris ’08 all earned the distinction. In addition, Kitur was part of the 4 X 400-meter relay, which finished third to earn an additional all-conference nod. Harris, competing in his final Big South Championship, came home third in the 1,500-meter run, an event in which teammate Donnie Cowart ’08 mostly led and finished sixth. Harris also finished fifth in the 800-meters, an event won by teammate Kitur. Kitur, the standout freshman from Eldoret, Kenya, won the 800-meters and in doing so, was able to claim the honor of winning the event at both the indoor and outdoor conference championships. The freshman’s winning time was 1:52.45, as he just edged Jeff Williams of High Point. As mentioned above, Kitur also competed in the 4 X 400-meter relay, an event in which VMI finished third. The squad of Kitur, Hamid Abdurrahim, James Alexander and Jared Balsor finished in a time of 3:18.34 to claim six important points toward the team scoring. Lawson, who has had an impressive string of finishes in the throwing events, continued that by finishing second in the discus 198

Kitur, the standout freshman from Eldoret, Kenya.

Kevin Sullivan ’08 received the Big South Conference George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence. See the article about Sullivan on the next page.

throw. The Virginia native earned the runner-up finish, thanks to his 46.48 M toss (152’6”), immediately behind the thrower currently ranked number one overall at the NCAA Division-I level, Liberty’s Clendon Henderson. Lawson also placed 10th in the javelin throw. Lawson was not the only thrower to find success on the day, as fellow freshman Erik Kuster placed fourth in the discus. Kuster tossed the discus 45.26 M (148’6”) to come up just shy of being named all-Big South in the event. Freshman Dennis James had a strong showing in the high jump, as the Chesapeake, Virginia, native cleared the bar at 2.05 M (6’8-3/4”), and placed fourth. The 4 X 100-meter relay team had a respectable outing, earning four points toward team scoring, thanks to its fifth-place finish. The team of Jared Balsor, Hamid Abdurrahim, Terrance Green and James Alexander crossed the line in 42.85 seconds to complete the event. Abdurrahim, in addition to competing in both relays, also earned points for VMI in the 400-meter hurdle finals. The junior just missed an allconference finish by placing fourth, as he completed the race in 55.61 seconds. Another Keydet to earn points was Matt Sagar, who placed sixth in the 5,000-meter run. The sophomore traversed the distance in a time of 15:12. In addition, Tyler Tucker followed up his top-five decathlon finish with his pole vault performance. Competing in his specialty – an event he won at these championships last season – the junior finished in fourth place, clearing a height of 4.45 M (14’7-1/4”) to earn the finish.

Editor’s Note: Unless stated otherwise, the articles and photos in the Athletics section of the Alumni Review are produced by the VMI Sports Information Office.


ATHLETICS Sullivan Earns Big South Conference Top Academic Honor Track and field athlete Kevin Sullivan ’08 has received the Big South Conference George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence. Sullivan, who graduated in May 2008 with a degree in computer science, received the honor thanks in part to his 3.987 GPA. The award is given to one male student-athlete and one female studentathlete who attain the highest GPA during their college careers and are graduates of a Big South member institution during the past year. “The Christenberry Award is the highest academic honor awarded to Big South student-athletes,” said Big South Conference Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander. “We congratulate all of this year’s recipients for their accomplishments in the classroom and on the

field of play. Their careers truly exemplify the highest ideals of the Big South Conference.” Sullivan was an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic AllAmerican Second-Team honoree in 2007 and earned two Academic All-District distinctions during his time at VMI. The distance specialist was voted the Big South’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year for Indoor Track twice (2006, 2007) and was the Outdoor Track Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2007. A three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll member, Sullivan received VMI’s Distinguished in Academic Merit honor, which is given to approximately 80 junior and senior VMI cadets per year. He also was named to the Dean’s List multiple times, including at least once during every academic year he attended the Institute. The award is named for George A. Christenberry, the former president of Augusta College (now Augusta State University) and one of the founders of the Big South Conference. A member of the Big South Hall of Fame, Christenberry served as the league’s first president from 1983-86.

Keydet Women Earn Program-Best 42 Points at Conference Championships The Keydet track and field women had a historic day on April 19, 2008, as they wrapped up competition in the 2008 New Balance Big South Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Rock Hill, South Carolina. The VMI squad earned 42 points and more than tripled their total from this season’s indoor championships, thanks to eight top-eight finishes by the 10 VMI competitors. The total was a new record for the VMI women’s program. In addition, those eight top-eight finishes featured seven seasonal bests, and the only one to not achieve that distinction, senior Ania Najda in the 800-meters, broke the school record in that event. The Keydet women were led by the standout distance runners, freshman Hannah Granger (shown in photo at right) and junior Kelsey Stafford. Stafford followed up her second-place, all-conference effort in the 3000-meter steeplechase by finishing fifth in the 5000-meter event. The junior from Charlottesville clocked in at 18.06:79, which would have been Stafford’s second VMI record of the weekend, had it not been for Granger’s efforts in the same race. Granger, the Radnor, Pennsylvania, native who has posted multiple VMI records already during her young career, was part of a three-runner breakaway at the mile mark of the race, as she, two-time defending champion Carol Jefferson of Liberty and Coastal Carolina’s Diane Jepchirchir pulled away from the remainder of the field. Granger led late in the race but ultimately was passed by the other two runners and finished third with a new VMI record of 17:49.19. The time, which blistered the previous VMI best, earned the VMI women their second all-conference honor of the weekend. Senior Najda competed in both the 800- and 1500-meter events and earned crucial points in both to close out her final conference championship. The veteran ran a 4:48.31 to place sixth in the 1500 and posted a seventh place in the 800-meters after breaking the school record. Also concluding her in-conference career was senior Ashley West. West, who competed in her final individual event at a conference championship earlier, competed as part of the 4 X 100-meter relay team. The senior was joined by Chandale Williams, Zipporah McCann and Shannon Sellers, and the squad clocked in sixth with its 51.82 time. Williams also competed in the finals of the 400-meter dash one day

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after breaking her own school record. The Florida native earned three valuable points for the Keydets, as she finished sixth with a time of 57.83 seconds. Finally, the Keydet throwers also found success. In the javelin, school record holder Michelle Feole just missed an all-conference honor, as the sophomore finished fourth. The Raleigh, North Carolina, native threw the implement 36.76 M (120’7”) to earn the corresponding five points, while freshman Hope Hackemeyer placed sixth with her 35.78 M toss (117’5”).


ATHLETICS Hill Leads VMI Lacrosse in Breakthrough Season Kevin Hill ’08 has been named the 2008 Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference Lacrosse League Offensive Player of the Year. In addition, the Keydets’ Tim Moran ’10 was named to the all-conference first team. With Hill’s Player of the Year award and the resultant first team honor and Moran’s first team award, the three honors mean that this year is the most successful year – awards-wise – for the Keydet lacrosse team. Prior to this, 2003 was the only season that two Keydets received all-MAAC honors, when two team members were voted to the all-MAAC second team. The Keydets wrapped up the 2008 campaign in exciting fashion by earning their first berth in the

MAAC tournament and advanced to the title game with a thrilling 9-8 overtime win over Providence. VMI’s quest for an NCAAbid fell short as the Keydets fell to Canisius, 13-5, in the championship game. Hill is the first VMI player to ever receive a conference Player of the Year award. The senior is first in the conference and 15th in the nation in points per game (3.54). In addition, Hill is currently fifth in the MAAC in goals per game (1.77) and second in assists (1.77). The Rockville Centre, New York, native has placed his name all over the VMI record books, including ranking second all-time in assists, fifth in total points and tenth in goals scored in Keydet history. Sophomore Moran tied with Hill for the team lead in goals, with 23, and posted 18 assists during the season. He was named MAAC Offensive Player of the Week twice and was a key factor in several of VMI’s conference wins. Another season highlight: The 2007-08 allAcademic team featured six Keydets, two from all three of the eligible classes – sophomores through seniors. Matt Turner and Brett Whitsitt were the senior class representatives, while Will Carlton and John Collier were the junior members. Dave Padgett and Sean McCoy were the VMI sophomores named to the squad.

Hill ’08

Rifle Team Takes ROTC Division in MAC Championships The rifle team closed out its 2007-08 campaign by defeating Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in the ROTC division smallbore competition, outscoring IUP 2215 to 463. This competition was part of the MAC Championships held March 1, 2008, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Junior James Leenhouts was VMI’s top point-winner in smallbore with a score of 566, followed by senior John Nikiforakis (563), junior Chelsea Kosecki (548) and freshman Thomas Graybeal (538). In other competitions, VMI fell to the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP) 2102-1995 in varsity smallbore – sharpshooter competition. Sophomore Travis Travis led the Keydets with a total score of 516, followed by sophomore Jason Morgan (504), sophomore John Michael Krahling (490) and sophomore Anthony Korbely (485). In smallbore individual competition, Michael Thompson ’11 fired a 492 for a fourth place finish, and Vinh Do ’11 scored a 483 in air rifle individual competition which placed fourth.


VMI Fares Well at Inaugural CCSA Championships The VMI men’s and women’s swimming teams wrapped up their inaugural Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Championships, with the men’s team placing fourth out of six competing teams, while the women’s squad came in 11th of 12. Additionally, sophomore Jeff Turner took co-Diver of the Meet honors after winning the one-meter diving event. The Keydet men (354 pts.) placed behind champion College of Charleston (846 pts.), Davidson (741 pts.) and Gardner-Webb (670 pts.) and ahead of Florida A&M (251 pts.) and Howard (176 pts.). On the women’s side, Davidson won the title with 660 points, just ahead of Florida Gulf Coast with 634 pts. and Gardner-Webb’s 620.5 pts. VMI (49 pts.) finished 15 points behind 10th-place North Carolina A&T and ahead of scoreless Florida A&M. On the third day of competition, the men were led by a seventh place finish by sophomore Will Rowcliffe in the 100 freestyle (48.13) and a ninth place finish from senior Chris Beyer in the 1650-freestyle (18:07.42). Rowcliffe’s preliminary time of 47.92 in the 100 freestyle marked his third career-best of

the championships and was less than seventenths of a second slower than the school record in the event. Senior Jason Webb’s 200-backstroke time of 2:04.63 placed him tenth in the competition, as did junior Stephen Russell in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:20.28, a career-best by 13 seconds. Sophomore Tristan Euritt placed eleventh in the 200 butterfly with his career-best 2:11.85 clocking, while the 400 freestyle relay team of senior Hank Lee, Rowcliffe, junior Alex Brush and Euritt placed sixth with a time of 3:22.29. In the women’s competition, junior Ateala Tuff placed nineteenth in the 1650 freestyle (23:44.78), while junior Stephanie Ortiz (1:09.55) and senior Alexa Bernas (1:15.40) each swam career-bests in the 100 freestyle. Freshman Chelsea Nugent’s 2:24.96 in the 200 butterfly bested her own school record in the event while placing her nineteenth in the competition. To wrap up the day, the 400 freestyle relay was disqualified. However, Nugent also broke the school’s varsity and Rat records in the 100 freestyle with her 57.94 leadoff leg on the relay.


ATHLETICS Wine Wins Southern Conference Wrestling Title

Freshman Josh Wine (photo at left) became VMI’s first Southern Conference heavyweight champion in nine years, as the third-seeded Fredericksburg, Virginia, native pinned his first opponent before winning a two-point decision and a one-point decision at the 2008 SoCon Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee, March 8th. Wine knocked off sixth-seeded Charlie Wolff of Davidson, pinning him just before the first period ended to begin his run. He then knocked off second-seeded Matt Lettner of Chattanooga with a 2-0 decision, before capturing the final championship bout of the evening with a 4-3 win over top-seeded Ryan Hsu of UNC Greensboro. Wine, who also plays on the defensive line for the VMI football team, had wrestled only seven matches this season before entering the championship, and Wolff was the only opponent that he faced during the regular season. Wine is the first Keydet freshman to win a SoCon title since Sam Alvarenga ’07 won the 149-pound title in 2004. Leslie Apedoe’s ’99 title in 1999 marked the last time a Keydet heavyweight won a SoCon championship. A pair of Keydet seniors placed in their final collegiate competitions at the SoCon, as David Metzler took third place at 141 while Tyler Anthony placed fourth at 133. Metzler, who was seeded third at 141, began his day with a pin of The Citadel’s Kip Thompson at the 2:37 mark, before dropping a 10-3 decision to ASU’s Marcus Cox in the championship semifinals. Metzler then rebounded with a 10-1 major decision over Davidson’s Vitaly Radsky to reach the third-place match, where he posted a 7-0 decision over UNCG’s Ben Wilmore. Anthony, meanwhile, knocked off The Citadel’s Anthony Easter 3-1 before dropping a 5-2 decision to UNCG’s Jeff Hedges, the eventual champion at 133. Anthony bounced back with a 5-1 defeat of Davidson’s Alex Radsky, before dropping a 3-1 decision in overtime to Chattanooga’s second-seeded Steve Hromada. Wine advanced to the NCAA National Tournament in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 20-22. He posted a win over Charlie Alexander of Oregon with a 3-0 decision before being eliminated in the heavyweight division and completed his freshman year with a 9-4 mark.

The baseball team, led by Coach Marlin Ikenberry ’95, has produced more exciting moments at Gray-Minor Stadium this past spring. At the time of this writing in early May 2008, VMI had a 23-22 overall record and was 11-7 in the Big South Conference. The Keydets had won seven games in their final bat including a walk-off three-run homer by red-shirt sophomore Brian Sandridge (shown at right) against Radford in April. VMI also knocked off Virginia Tech in Lexington, 8-7, for the first time at home since 1969. A complete wrapup of the baseball season will appear in the next Alumni Review.

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VMI Football 2008 VMI Football Schedule September 6 - St. Francis (Pa.) 1:30 p.m. September 13 - at William and Mary TBA September 20 - Chowan 1:30 p.m. Reunion Weekend #1/Keydet Club Weekend September 27 - at Ohio University TBA October 4 - Richmond 1:30 p.m. Reunion Weekend #2-Homecoming October 11 - Coastal Carolina 1:30 p.m. Parents Weekend October 25 - at Gardner Webb TBA November 1 - at Charleston Southern TBA November 8 - Liberty 1:30 p.m. November 15 - at Stony Brook TBA November 22 - Presbyterian 1:30 p.m.

Photo above: During spring drills in April 2008, new VMI Head Football Coach Sparky Woods got a first look at his team on the field. “We’ve probably made more progress than I thought we would at this time; so I’m encouraged by that,” said Woods toward the end of the practice session. “We have to continue to battle every day to make sure we get better.” VMI opens the season on Sept. 6 at home against St. Francis (Pennsylvania). Photo at right: Junior slotback Zach Collins scored one of his two touchdowns during a VMI scrimmage in April.




Helps VMI Meet Financial Challenges As of April 30, 2008, it appeared that the Foundation Fund, which provides unrestricted financial support for VMI’s academic and co-curricular programs, is enjoying what could be another record year. With two months left in the current fiscal year, alumni and friends donated $2,098,632 to the fund, an increase of $181,719 or almost 9.5% over the $1,916,913 the fund received by the same time last year. Last fiscal year, the Foundation Fund received a record-setting $2,560,605. If donors continue to give at the current rate, then the Fund could beat that record in Fiscal Year 2008. “It now is almost a given that the struggling economy will mean tough times for VMI during the next academic year,” said Jim Adams ’71, executive vice president of the VMI Foundation. “At times like these, in order to keep its programs strong, VMI will need more of what the Foundation Fund provides it: unrestricted money for its academic and co-curricular programs. We are heartened by the generosity of alumni and friends to the fund this year.” The number of alumni donors who have participated in the Foundation Fund – 2,787 – is almost exactly the same as the number who had made a gift by April 30, 2007. “This means that to meet the number of alumni donors who gave to the Foundation Fund last year – an impressive 3,404 – we will need to hear from about 620 more alumni in the next two months,” Adams continued. “Considering that the overall number of donors to VMI in Fiscal Year 2008 has increased by 3.6% over the number who had donated by this time in Fiscal Year 2007 and that May and June traditionally are among the strongest months for fundraising on behalf of VMI, this is not an impossible goal. “To some, posting another record for the Foundation Fund and increasing the number of alumni donors to it at a time of some economic uncertainty might seem daunting goals. The figures regarding money received and donor participation, however, show that these goals are within our grasp,” said Adams. 2008-Issue 3

VMI Foundation Hosts Annual Stewardship Lunch

Christian Dolbey ’10, the Andrew Jackson Montague 1864 Scholarship recipient, chatted with Robert Montague at the annual Scholarship Luncheon April 4, 2008, in Moody Hall. Montague’s daughter, Gay Montague Moore, established the scholarship. VMI photo by Kevin Remington.

On April 4, 2008, the VMI Foundation hosted a full house of some 180 people at its annual Stewardship Luncheon at Moody Hall. Established in 2003, the event brings together donors of scholarships and academic chairs (or their representatives) with the cadets and the members of the faculty and staff. “At the luncheon, the donors can see who is benefiting from their generosity and see for themselves the benefits that their support means in the lives of VMI’s cadets, faculty and staff,” explained Jim Adams ’71, executive vice president of the VMI Foundation. “Furthermore, a cadet who receives a scholarship or a faculty member who holds an academic chair can thank the person who made it possible.” Almost 60 donors sat down with approximately 65 cadets and 55 members of the faculty and staff. “It is crowded, but no one complains. They are too busy talking with each other,” said Adams. This year, the attendees were welcomed by the VMI Foundation’s president, Walter B. Perrin II ’62, and addressed by Brig. Gen. Charles F. Brower IV,

the dean of the faculty. They also were treated to a presentation about VMI’s burgeoning intellectual property program by Cmdr. Mike Sebastino, VMI’s director of Grants, Contracts and Intellectual Property; Cadet Mario Capuozzo ’09; and Cadet Bradley Simpson ’09. The presentations provided excellent illustrations of how far VMI’s academic program has come in the past decade and how much better prepared our graduates now are academically. “Although the event does not last long, it gives the VMI family on Post, especially cadets, a glimpse of the importance of private support. We hope that, through this experience, cadets will get a sense of their responsibility to help VMI in the future. For our faculty and staff, this luncheon demonstrates how many people off Post are devoted to helping them become better at what they do: teaching and preparing our cadets. For the donors and their representatives, the event is an opportunity for them to receive our sincere thanks for what they have done for VMI,” concluded Adams. 203

VMI FOUNDATION, INC. High School Alumni Group Creates Scholarship at VMI From 1915 to 1971, Richmond, Virginia, the John Marshall cadet corps who pursued a as Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover, Goochland was home to an extraordinary educational college education. Even in this activity, the and Powhatan Counties during their years at institution: John Marshall High School, a VMI connection was strong as many of the VMI.” With the consent decree allowing this public high school with a Corps of Cadets. scholarship’s recipients used it to support transfer issued in September 2007, the John The school’s cadet corps bore a striking their education at VMI. Marshall Cadet Alumni Association and represemblance to the Corps of Cadets at VMI. As vital and as vibrant as the collective loy- resentatives of the VMI Foundation developed Cadets wore a grey blouse; first-year cadets, alty of the John Marshall alumni is, in 2006, a memorandum of understanding that would also known as “Rats,” were subjected to in- they were forced to confront the fact that the officially establish the John Marshall Cadet tensive training; the cadets also were subject corps’ disbandment in 1971 meant that the av- Memorial Scholarship. to an Honor Court; and cadets often served erage age of the alumni body was increasing Like the original trust, the scholarship to escort and otherwise welcome prominent and that illness, age and death were culling the honors the 76 alumni of the John Marshall visitors to the capital of Virginia. number of alumni who could remain active High School Corps of Cadets who fell in the According to Richard Barrett, the current in administering the scholarship program. In defense of the United States and provides president of the John Marshall Cadet Alumni May 2006, therefore, the John Marshall Cadet educational opportunities to qualified young Association, the resemblance is no coinci- Alumni Association embarked on an effort to people from the Richmond area. “We are,” dence. When the cadet corps was established find a third party to accept the trust as well as said Barrett, “remaining true to the mission in accordance with a federal law meant to determine the legal requirements for doing of the John Marshall Corps of Cadets of encourage military “preparedness” before the so. Richard Collier, a former John Marshall which we were – and are – proud members, United States entered World War I, the VMI cadet and a 1957 graduate of VMI, initiated because VMI agreed to select as recipients connection was established. “The first com- contact with the VMI Foundation on behalf of the scholarship young people who demonmandant of the John Marshall Corps of Cadets of the association. strate the traits noted in the original indenture was Edwin P. Conquest, VMI class of 1914,” “We were aware, of course, of the many in 1952: ‘academic merit, good character, said Barrett. “Although he served a relatively connections between the John Marshall Corps leadership and physical ability.’” As to a short time as commandant before leaving of Cadets and VMI,” said Warren J. Bryan long-term goal, Barrett stated, “We are hopefor service in World War I [see note below], ’71, vice president of the VMI Foundation, ful that, in time, the scholarship will support Conquest left an indelible stamp on the cadet who served as the Foundation’s representa- one cadet in each class at VMI.” corps, giving it a strong similarity to VMI tive in the discussions. “They are connections Jim Adams ’71, executive vice president that lasted until the corps was disbanded.” that include the many VMI commandants of the VMI Foundation, said of the gift, Conquest’s original influence was reinforced as well as the many John Marshall cadet “All of us at the Foundation were touched by the fact that, from the corps’ establishment alumni who came to VMI and who went on by the confidence that John Marshall High to its disbandment, 13 of its 16 commandants to stellar careers, such as Lt. Gen. Withers School cadet alumni have in VMI and in the were VMI alumni. (Note: Conquest served as A. Burress, class of 1914, who served as VMI Foundation. They have asked us, in esa field artillery officer during the war, eventu- VMI’s commandant in the late 1930s and sence, to be the repository of the legacy of ally serving on the front lines in France and commanded the 100th Infantry Division in their corps and their association, as well as being promoted to captain.) World War II. Thanks to this long and close to continue the almost 60-year effort to meAlso like VMI alumni, the John Marshall relationship, the association soon decided to morialize their fallen alumni. It is no small Corps of Cadets alumni were renowned for pursue the transfer of the trust to the VMI responsibility, but certainly everyone at the their service to the country, especially in Foundation.” Foundation and at VMI is looking forward times of war, and were ardently loyal to their “Basically,” explained Barrett, “we needed to to meeting it. We also are indebted to our respective alma maters and their classmates. petition the court to allow the trust to be moved friends in the John Marshall Cadet Alumni Perhaps the most tangible demonstration of to the VMI Foundation and there, to be used to Association for this new source of financial that loyalty as well as the common pride support young people from Richmond as well support for the VMI Corps of Cadets.” that the alumni had in those who had fallen in the country’s service was the establishment of the John Marshall Cadet Memorial Scholarship Trust in December 1952. The trust was conceived as a tribute to the more than 70 former cadets who had been killed in action in the two World Wars and Korea and The John Marshall Cadet Corps on parade in 1944. provided scholarships to alumni of



VMI FOUNDATION, INC. VMI and the John Marshall Cadet Corps The following VMI alumni were commandants of the John Marshall Cadet Corps from 1915 to 1962:

Years Alumnus of Service Edwin P. Conquest ’14 1915-16 Withers A. Burress ’14 1916-17 B. Drummond Ayres ’16 1917 Marshall G. Munce ’17 1917-18 Hugh Stockdell, class of 1897 1918 John L. Guest ’18 1918-19 Raymond P. James ’18 1919-21 Jasper W. Knapp Jr. ’21 1921-23 Edward C. Franklin ’23 1923-25 James C. Anthony ’25 1925-42 1946-47 Robert L. Williamson ’48A 1948 Charles J. Schaefer ’48B 1948-50 1952-57 William W. Kelly ’50B 1950-52 Howard T. Moss ’60 1960-61 Roger W. Spencer ’61 1961-62 Three of these men – Jasper W. Knapp Jr. ’21, James C. Anthony ’25 and Charles J. Schaefer – were members of the John Marshall Cadet Corps, graduating in 1917, 1921 and 1944, respectively. The former president of the VMI Board of Visitors, Robert H. Patterson Jr. ’49C, also was a member of the John Marshall Cadet Corps. He graduated in 1944 and was the Corps’ first captain. The fathers of two superintendents were members of the John Marshall Cadets Corps. Jasper W. Knapp Jr. ’21 is the father of John W. Knapp ’54 – VMI’s 13th superintendent, a retired major general in the U.S. Army Reserve and a lieutenant general in the Virginia Militia (Unorganized) – and James Henry Binford Peay Jr. ’29 is the father of the current superintendent, J.H. Binford Peay III ’62 – a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army.

Samuel Sorrells Joins VMI Foundation Lexington native Samuel Sorrells has joined the staff of the VMI Foundation as the assistant director of Alumni and Reunion Giving. In this position, his primary responsibility is running the call center from which cadets contact alumni and friends of VMI to thank them for their financial support of VMI and to encourage them to give. Prior to coming to the VMI Foundation, Sorrells spent 14 years working as a manager with Mohawk Industries in Glasgow, Virginia. Before that, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 22 years, retiring at the rank of gunnery sergeant. As a Marine, he was a specialist in aviation ordnance and avionics and directed the Marine Air Wing Weapons Unit, a school that trained U.S. and foreign students. Sorrells holds three degrees, including a master’s in education from Virginia Tech and a master’s in business administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He currently is working on a doctorate in business from Capella University. Besides his educational work with the Marine Corps, Sam also has authored two college courses, one on time management and the other on process improvement, which are used by Virginia Tech. Of his work with cadets, which started in February 2008, Sorrells said, “It is very motivating to be around cadets. They are a great bunch of young men and women. Their intelligence, energy level and respect for authority are truly impressive.” Patrick Webb, the director of Alumni and Reunion Giving, said, “Sam is an excellent addition to our staff, someone who brings a wealth of experience in business as well as substantial experience in education and leadership. The call center, which is the center of our efforts to contact alumni on behalf of VMI, will improve its performance under his management.”

Photo at top: The resemblance between the Corps of Cadets at VMI and John Marshall High School is obvious in this photograph of Albert L. Loth Jr., the first captain of the John Marshall Cadet Corps in 1944, and VMI’s first captain with the class of 1948B. Photo at center and below: A custom of the John Marshall Cadet Corps was that of “sponsors.” Each semester, the commanders of the corps’ companies and battalions chose a girl to act as a sponsor. According to Dick Barrett, an alumnus of the corps, sponsors would act as a hostess for company parties and events. The companies would show their appreciation by “pinning” with ribbons bearing each company’s colors at an annual parade. Above, a girl is shown receiving a ribbon from a cadet at the 1950 Sponsors Day parade.

2008-Issue 3



Foundation 301: Supporting the VMI Cadet Investment Group

Over the past two years, the VMI Alumni Review has featured two series of articles that described the background of the VMI Foundation, its current missions (such as the raising of unrestricted financial support) and how it executes those missions. Through these series of articles – known as Foundation 101 and Foundation 201 – the VMI Foundation has attempted to provide the Institute’s alumni and friends with more information on its critically important work on behalf of VMI, the Corps of Cadets and all other members of the VMI family. Some aspects of the VMI Foundation’s work – the maintenance of scholarship endowments and the management of the Jackson-Hope Fund – are well known to the VMI family. Starting in this issue of the VMI Alumni Review, a new series of articles, Foundation 301, will examine some of the missions of the Foundation that are probably known to a relatively few number of alumni, friends, faculty and staff. The first article addresses a cadet activity, the Cadet Investment Group. Even if their children are in college and seem otherwise mature, some parents might hesitate to give their children the keys to their new car. After all, the high spirits of youth can cause some young people to drive on a suburban road as if it were the course at Le Mans. The law often takes a dim view of the responsibility of college-age people; indeed, it prohibits young people under a certain age from drinking so much as a glass of beer. Every year, however, for more than two decades, the VMI Foundation has entrusted a small group of cadets with more than $200,000 in real money and let them make all sorts of decisions on how to invest it. Since 1986, the cadets in the Cadet Investment Group (CIG) have divided into two teams and been given the responsibility of investing approximately $100,000 – provided by the VMI Foundation – in the stock market. The goal: to allow cadets to gain real-world experience dealing with the challenges intrinsic in the worlds of finance and investment. The other goal: to have some fun and to encounter some interesting people. “Many people at other colleges are surprised to learn that the Cadet Investment Group is something like a club and that its membership, while selective, is open to cadets who are not majoring in business,” 206

said Col. Robert Moreschi, a professor in the Department of Economics and Business and one of the group’s two faculty advisers. (The other is Col. Clifford West, another professor in the Department of Economics and Business.) “At other schools, it is a formal course restricted to business majors, and students are graded on their performances. While cadets don’t get a grade for their work in the group, they find it more enjoyable because of the lack of pressure on grades.” With no grades awarded and with no prospect of keeping the money for themselves, what keeps the members of the CIG focused on its work? Moreschi thinks competition has something to do with it. “Every year, the group is divided into two teams of 15 voting members, each headed by a president and a vice president and with the cadet who is the chairman joining one of the teams,” explained Moreschi. “Each team is provided with a portfolio of stocks of roughly equal value, one that consists of ‘large cap’ stocks and one that consists of ‘mid cap’ stocks. The teams then compete to see which one can realize the greater returns on the portfolios.” Each team’s portfolio typically has 20 or more stocks, none of which can represent more than 5% of the portfolio’s value. More-

over, no more than 15% of a team’s portfolio may be invested in any one industry. “Of course,” admits Moreschi, “if a certain stock does become a real winner, we allow it to ride a little bit.” Another restriction is that the team’s portfolios must be as fully invested as possible. “We want them to learn about investing. Therefore, if the teams sell any stock, they convert any cash realized from the sale back into strong stocks.” Identifying which stocks are strong and therefore worthy of investment is the responsibility of cadets, as is the monitoring of their portfolios’ performances. To do so, cadets must take on the task of analysis and do so using various stock-rating services, such as Morningstar which now is available at Preston Library. A recent reform of the CIG’s activities helps cadets learn even more about longterm investing. Until 2005, the portfolios were liquidated at the end of each year. Now, they are retained by the VMI Foundation over the summer and returned to the CIG at the beginning of the new academic year. “Thinking about the successes enjoyed by the cadets over the years,” said Moreschi, “if we had retained the stocks from year to year, we could have a very sizeable amount of money in the overall portfolio.” The reform helps focus cadets on the demand of managing a portfolio, according to Col. Moreschi, who before coming to VMI was in private industry as an equity analyst as well as a manager in two brokerage firms. “If they want to make a career in the field, this gives them a management experience that is more valuable than they would get from just picking a stock.” For cadets, membership in the CIG represents an opportunity to become closely acquainted with the world of investing and the challenges associated with it. Rhys Williams ’07, the chairman of the Cadet Investment Group for the 2007-08 academic year, was a member of the group for three of his four years in Barracks. He was attracted to the CIG because of some earlier experiences and a family connection. “I was involved in an investment competition, without any money, as an eighth grader, placing third in the city of Houston. In addition, my brother owns a wealth management firm, and my interest in investing was fostered by him.” As to his experience in the group, he said, VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

VMI FOUNDATION, INC. “I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about finance from the officers, advisers and guest speakers hosted by the group. Perhaps the most salient of experiences, however, is the opportunity to research and invest real money.” Besides experience in portfolio management and equity analysis, thanks to annual support from the VMI Foundation of approximately $10,000, the Cadet Investment Group offers opportunities for cadets to travel to student investment conferences and to New York City to meet with alumni who are involved in finance. “The alumni in New York, for instance, are fantastic in their support of the cadets,” said Col. Clifford West, the group’s other faculty adviser. “This past year, alumni helped arrange visits to a private equity firm; Bloomberg Financial Services; AllianceBernstein, a mutual fund company; and TM Capital, an investment bank. All of them are places where the cadets could see real-world investors at work and to compare their ideas with those who are in the field.” Alumni involvement in the Cadet Investment Group is not just limited to meeting cadets in New York, however. Cadets also

have opportunities to meet frequently with members of the VMI Investment Committee, a group of alumni who are responsible for the decisions regarding the investments of the many endowments that provide the bulk of private financial support to VMI. “The members of that committee really take an interest in us,” observed West. “They allow some cadets to listen to their discussion. Watching professionals involved in money management work is a great experience for cadets. This year, we started something new in which the spring meeting of the Investment Committee coincided with the end-of-the year banquet for the Cadet Investment Group. So, the whole group was able to meet the Investment Committee’s members in a social setting. It was great. Moreover, the group’s officers made a presentation to the Investment Committee about the CIG’s portfolios. That’s invaluable experience for anyone who wants to embark on a career in investing. Without the support of these alumni and the alumni who are active in business, the Cadet Investment Group could not do what it does year after year for cadets.”

Rhys Williams echoed West’s gratitude. “My overall experience with alumni through the CIG has been amazing. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to meet numerous alumni like Greg Robertson ’65, Conrad Hall ’65, William Schubmehl ’54 and the late J. Robert Philpott ’68. I have been truly inspired by this group of VMI graduates. They each exude the qualities that VMI hopes to instill in its cadets, and their unselfish support and love for VMI is apparent for everyone to see.” “Without a doubt, the support that the VMI Foundation provides the Cadet Investment Group is a sound investment indeed,” said Jim Adams ’71, executive vice president of the VMI Foundation. “Cadets are able to translate what they learn in the classroom into hands-on experience with the research and the buying and