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ALUMNI REVIEW 2010-Issue 1

The Institute Society Dinner

November 11, 2009




This issue includes class notes covering the time period of Aug. 16 to Nov. 15, 2009. Other than class notes, most stories and news in this issue were received in the August through November ’09 time frame.


Founders Day Convocation


Allen ’62, DSA Award


Institute Society Dinner


Granger ’11 and Granger ’25


The Greens ’67 and VMI


Powell ’99 in Afghanistan


First Fall Reunion, Sept. 4-5


Second Fall Reunion, Oct. 2-3



ATTENTION POSTMASTER: Send changes of address to: VMI Alumni Review, P.O. Box 932, Lexington, VA 24450


OEF/OIF: An Update


Association/Chapter News


Class Notes

148 Most Senior Alumni 159 Alumni News


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.

540/464-7221 540/464-7287 540/464-7328


President’s Letter

157 Association Directory 162 The Institute 166 VMI Athletics

2010-Issue 1

Periodicals postage paid at Lynchburg, VA.

VMI ALUMNI AGENCIES TELEPHONE NUMBERS The VMI Alumni Association: The VMI Foundation: The VMI Keydet Club:

149 Taps

175 The Keydet Club

PUBLISHING OFFICE The VMI Alumni Association, Inc., Alumni Review Office VMI Moody Hall, P.O. Box 932, Lexington, VA 24450; 540/464-7224

The VMI Alumni Review (USPS 954-740) is published four times yearly in fall, winter, spring and summer 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.


170 The Foundation

PUBLISHER The President of The VMI Alumni Association, Inc.

PRINTER Progress Printing Co., Inc. Lynchburg, Virginia

146 Births, Marriages, Degrees


Volume 85, No. 4


ON OUR COVER Outside Front and Inside Back Covers: New Barracks (aka Third Barracks) and its tower clock on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, during the Second Fall Reunion Weekend. Photos by Kathryn Wise. Inside Front Cover: Some of those who attended the 2009 Institute Society Dinner. Photos by Kevin Remington.


A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT We’re into a new calendar year – 2010 – and the momentum is already picking up. I am privileged to serve as your president and also proud of the service and involvement of our alumni. The Review allows us to share that message and the heritage we enjoy as alumni of the Virginia Military Institute. Please take a moment to read in the following pages about Sgt. Ryan Griffith ’03, USA, who was killed in action on Oct. 27, 2009. His death marks the 12th since the beginning of the War on Terror and is a sober reminder of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. In this issue, you will see an article describing the Lykins ’73 publication of the 2010 edition of the Register of Former Cadets, a comprehensive project we have endeavored to complete every five years. The Register will be offered in both hard- and soft-cover editions and certainly is a valuable tool for all who are interested in our history. Due to the hardships caused by the current economic downturn and in order to cut expenditures and increase support to VMI, a decision was made to allow alumni to purchase the Register, as opposed to giving it as a premium for financial support. When considering options, we had only two: this arrangement or no Register at all. I hope that our direction in this matter meets with your approval. For those who do not wish to purchase the Register, keep in mind that, at no cost to you, we provide access to alumni contact information and records via a searchable database on Simply log in to VMI Ranks, and find the information you need about Brother Rats, as well as other alumni. In order to provide the most current online alumni database and Register, we are beginning the process of updating alumni records. We’ve chosen PCI, a specialty company from Dallas, Texas, as our partner in this project. PCI will be in touch with you via postcard and e-mail asking for your latest information. Collection of this data is critical to the work of the Alumni Agencies and VMI, so please offer your assistance in this process. Looking forward to the remainder of this new year, I wish to reaffirm our focus on the primary purpose of the 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 welfare of the Institute and the successful prosecution of its educational purposes. To summarize, we are here to serve you and VMI! In the bonds,

Richmond P. Lykins ’73, President The VMI Alumni Association, Inc.



Pictured above are the VMI Alumni Club of Field Operating Base Orgun-E, Afghanistan, OEF 08-09, Task Force Pirate. From left: 2nd Lt. Arthur Taryan ’08, Capt. Dave Baber ’02, Capt. Ryan Thompson ’99, Maj. Chris Doss ’94 and 1st Lt. Jessee Kopczynski ’07. Photo courtesy Thompson.


Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom The following alumni names have been received since the publication of the 2009-Issue 4 Alumni Review. This update does not include alumni names received after Nov. 15, 2009. 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.

Class of 1985 Bernet, Victor J. Col., USA, M.D.

Class of 1990 Brethour Jr., John R., USAR 2010-Issue 1

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, Lexington, VA 24450 (e-mail: For a complete list of names that we have received, go to and click on the link titled “OEF/ OIF,” or go directly to

Class of 1995

Class of 2002

O’Day, Buckley E. III Maj., USA

Bennett, Brandon J. Capt., USA

Class of 1998

Class of 2003

Pearson, Brian J., USAF

Szvetitz, Patrick J. Capt., USA 3

Class of 2006

Jones, Matthew A. Capt., USA Keller II, William J. Lt., USA Lennon, Brian T. 1st Lt., TNANG

Class of 2007

Daniel, Marcus R. 1st Lt., USA Hancock, Anastasia (Kovarik) 1st Lt., USAF Schluge, John B. 1st Lt., USA Woloshuk, Jonathon M. 1st Lt., USAOn

Photo above: Class of 1993 Brother Rats Matt Williams, left, and Pat Shuler at Headquarters, 2nd Brigade, 1st Calvary Division, Field Operating Base Warrior in Kirkuk, Iraq, October 2009. (Editor’s Note: The lower resolution of the original photo prevented us from enlarging it.)

Photo right: U.S. Marine Cpl. Nate Salatin ’09, left, and Sgt. Jay Witt ’99 at Camp Ar Ramadi, Iraq, in August 2009. Salatin and Witt serve together in Charlie Company, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, 4th MARDIV out of Lynchburg, Virginia. The VMI banner in the background is especially significant, since it was signed by Salatin’s Brother Rats. (Editor’s Note: Due to the original photo’s low resolution, it could not be printed any larger than the size shown.)

Photo above: Class of 2001 Brother Rats Charlie Benbow and Dave Bain with Lt. Col. Emad of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, pictured center.

Photo right: In the Afghanistan Wardak Province, June 2009, were, back row, far left, Maj. Brad Moses ’95, USA, C Company commander, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (SFG) and Capt. Jim Bourie ’01, USA, back row, second from left, Operational Detachment commander (ODA) C Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd SFG. The remaining men are Afghan soldiers known as “guardians.”



Officer Awarded the Joint Commander’s Commendation By Amanda Kim Stairrett Killeen Daily Herald, Killeen, Texas Editor’s Note: The following article featuring Capt. W. Brent Harrington ’00 appeared in the Oct. 29, 2009, issue of the Killeen (Texas) Daily Herald and is printed below with permission of the publisher.

soldiers,” said Maj. Peter Little, the 1st Cavalry’s British exchange officer. Harrington deflected credit from himself, saying it was a joint effort by Bravo Company, British investigators and Iraqi Security Forces. This operation highlighted a wider partnership between the American and Iraqi forces and the U.S. and British armies, he added. “It’s not just an American show; it’s everybody out there,” Harrington said. Rouse talked about that friendship and how it has contributed to a significant level of cooperation and team spirit around the world. British combat forces left

The British army honored a former 1st Cavalry Division officer for his and his former company’s work in capturing those responsible for the deaths of six soldiers. Six from a Royal Military Police detachment were killed by a mob on June 24, 2003, while working with newlyrecruited Iraqi forces in al Majarr al Kabir, according to information from the 1st Cavalry. More than six years later, those responsible were detained and are set to be tried for the deaths in an Iraqi court. In the fall of 2008, Multinational DivisionSoutheast began Operation CORRADE to identify suspects in the case. It was a United Kingdom operation, according to information from the division, but “success fundamentally rested on the motivation of the U.S. Army commander of the Forward Operating Base in Majarr al Kabir.” Capt. W. Brent Harrington ’00, third from left, with members of his military unit. That commander was Capt. Brent Harrington [’00], who led the 4th Brigade Combat Team’s Bravo Iraq this year, but more than 9,000 British soldiers are Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment. He was fighting in Afghanistan, he added. “We will fight together given the Joint Commander’s Commendation by British with you until that mission is successful,”Rouse said. Col. John Rouse, assistant military attaché to the Brit- Arresting the suspects also shows families of the fallen ish Defense Staff in Washington, D.C. Rouse presented soldiers that the British army hasn’t forgotten about the award on behalf of the British Joint Commander of them and recognizes their sacrifices, Rouse said. Operations. Harrington added later that it wasn’t about him or the The brigade returned this summer from a year in Iraq. soldiers standing in formation by the 1st Cavalry Museum Harrington recently moved from the 1st Cavalry to First but about bringing closure to the families. Army Division West’s 120th Infantry Brigade. First Lt. Richard Hedgecock led Bravo Company’s 1st Platoon. “This award acknowledges the great debt of gratitude He said the soldiers were motivated to take part in the operation. that the U.K. has for the efforts of Capt. Harrington and “If it had been us, we would want the same thing,” Hedgehis men to pursue those suspected of killing the British cock said.

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Sgt. Dale R. Griffin ’03, USA Dies in Afghanistan


Sgt. Dale R. Griffin ’03, USA, died on Oct. 27, 2009, while serving in the Arghandab Valley in Afghanistan, when he and six other soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb that struck their vehicle in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. He was deployed with the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington. Griffin was 29 years old. Griffin, who was from Terre Haute, Indiana, graduated from Terre Haute South Vigo High School, where he was captain of both the wrestling and football teams. Griffin attended VMI for three semesters beginning in the fall of 1999. During his Rat year, he won the unusual honor of being named the most outstanding wrestler in the 2000 All-Academy Wrestling Championship at the U.S. Air Force Academy in which he also won his weight class. “He was a tough kid,” said John S. Trudgeon, VMI’s head wrestling coach. “To win, particularly in that tournament, as a true freshman and to be named outstanding wrestler for the tournament as a true freshman, he had to be tough.” He enlisted in the Army in January 2005. He was certified as a Stryker vehicle commander. He completed many courses, including Combat Life Saver, Combatives Level 1 and Warrior Leader CRS, and graduated from Jump School (Airborne). While at Fort Lewis, he studied Arabic for 10 months and Pashto for 6

two months in the Language Enabled Soldier Program (LES). The director of the Foreign Language Training Center said of Griffin, “He was a serious student of language and culture. He was intellectually curious and worked diligently in his language training. He was a quiet leader in the class – a role model for his fellow students.” At the time of his death, he was completing his degree in finance at St. Martin’s University of Seattle, Washington. An article published in the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute at the time of Griffin’s death reported that he “loved the Afghan people, especially children. He would ask his mother to send him crayons and paper that he could give to young Afghan

Luckett of Terre Haute; a grandmother, Reba Griffin of New Bern, North Carolina; four aunts, Laura Hamilton of New Bern, Nan Barker and her husband, Gary, of Bridgeton, North Carolina, Kim Williams and her husband, Buddy, of Maysville, North Carolina, and Michelle Webber and her husband, Kevin, of New Bern; one niece, Nyah Luckett; and four nephews, Nigel Luckett, Elijah Griffin, Jackson Griffin and Alexander Griffin. Visitation was held on Nov. 10, 2009, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints in Terre Haute, followed by funeral services on Nov. 11, 2009 – which, in addition to being Veterans Day, was also Founders Day at VMI – in Terre Haute South Vigo High School

From left, President Barack Obama, Maj. Gen. Daniel V. Wright, USA, and Brig. Gen. Michael S. Repass, USA, render honors as a team of soldiers carry the remains of Sgt. Dale R. Griffin ’03, USA, during a dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on Oct. 29, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jason Minto.)

children.” The article went on to relate that he “was planning to seek a master’s degree and a law degree after leaving the Army.” He is survived by his parents, Gene Griffin and Dona Lichtenwalter Griffin of Terre Haute; two brothers, Blake Griffin and Clint Griffin, and his wife, Melissa, all of Terre Haute; a sister, Cali Griffin-

and burial in Highland Lawn Cemetery. Col. David J. Sutherland ’73, USAR (Ret), attended. Institute flags were flown at half-staff until the time of Griffin’s funeral. Flags were also flown at half-staff at Terre Haute’s city hall and at all public buildings and grounds within the Terre Haute city limits. VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

VMI Founders Day

Remarks by General J.H. Binford Peay III ’62 Superintendent On Nov. 11, 2009, VMI Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62 began the Founders Day Convocation, held in Cameron Hall, with the following remarks: Mr. Allen, distinguished guests, faculty and staff, and ladies and gentlemen of the Corps of Cadets: Welcome to this morning’s convocation, marking the 170th anniversary of the founding of the Virginia Military Institute. Mr. Allen, in a few moments, the VMI Foundation will present you with their highest award, the Distinguished Service Award. On behalf of the entire Institute community and the board of visitors, I express our warmest thanks to you for your devotion to VMI and congratulate you on the high honor you are about to receive. Before we begin these proceedings, however, a few words relevant to this day in the history of VMI and about the founders and their vision for the Institute are in order. Since becoming superintendent, I have taken this opportunity to briefly highlight some aspect of J.T.L. Preston’s well-known statement that appears on the Parapet in front of Washington Arch. Those words have stood the test of time as a statement of the vision, mission and goals of the Institute … words as inspiring and as valid now as they were when Preston wrote them in 1837 in defense of establishing VMI. Over Peay the years on this special occasion, after an initial review in 2003 of the statement in its entirety, I have focused on such elements as Preston’s vision of “youths pressing up the hill of science” … and the key to VMI’s distinction, the preparation of “fair specimens of citizen-soldiers.” Today, I turn to another key element in his statement and in the life of the Institute, the vision of “a crowd of honorable youths.” The commitment to personal honor as a necessary part of life at VMI was shared by all the founders. It first appears in Preston’s statement, “a crowd of honorable youths,” but it was also a constant theme of VMI’s first superintendent, Francis H. Smith, and of others across the years. For example, Smith wrote, [and I quote], “This it is which serves to establish and maintain in this institution, as a military school, to a higher degree, perhaps, than in any other, a tone of public opinion among the cadets, a code of

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honor, which constitutes the unwritten law for the inner life of a cadet, no less potential than the specific rules of the institution itself. Dishonor on the part of one who wears the uniform of a cadet touches the reputation of all.” [end of quote] Honor remains a cornerstone of VMI and will continue to be so into the future. I think it is important for us to note that Smith spoke of the cadet code of honor as an “unwritten law for the inner life of a cadet,” written more on the mind and the heart than on a document. Years later, the VMI Honor Code was codified and published for the edification of all who wore the uniform, and an Honor Court was established, but in essence, the concept of personal honor remained “unwritten.” A reflection of this can be found in the fact that today’s Honor Court, under the leadership of Cadet Weston Whitcomb, insists that “honor is a lifestyle.” Honor at VMI is far more than a list of rules, do’s and don’t’s; it is a commitment to living an honorable life within an honorable community. Sadly, society doesn’t speak of honor much these days, and honorable behavior seems scarce. Even here at VMI, the definition can occasionally shrink to the formula that “a cadet will not lie, steal, cheat or tolerate those who do.” But that is not a definition of honor; it is a statement of what honor is not. And so we gladly return to Mr. Whitcomb and the III ’62 court’s broader definition: “Honor is a lifestyle.” In the nineteenth century, honor determined a person’s reputation in a community. The cadets and officers who lived in this place 170 years ago were deeply concerned with “public repute.” This is why Smith spoke of “the tone of public opinion among cadets.” When people described honor back then, they spoke of “moral uprightness,” “high mindedness,” “virtue,” “character,” “integrity,” “gentility,” even “self-restraint” and “self-discipline.” Some of those words may seem old-fashioned to us today, but the underlying concepts are as fresh and as important today as they were 170 years ago. Furthermore, ancient concepts of honor associated with military valor guided and inspired them then and guide us today. Our nation’s highest military decoration is the Medal of Honor. Honor, then, is much more than a list of proscribed actions. Honor is a cluster of ethical rules by which behavior is accepted


by a community. Honor determines a person’s membership in a community. Honor is the cement that holds the community together. Honor is based on trust. Honor resides in the individual and determines where he or she belongs in society. This is the concept of honor that guides us at VMI. There are many material signs of an individual’s success at VMI. The VMI diploma attests to the acquisition of an education and training for life’s work. A commission testifies to an individual’s commitment to service to the nation. And the VMI ring indicates a person’s ability to meet a daunting challenge and emerge stronger for it. But there is an even more important sign, and it is not a material

one. It is an inner sign, the sign of an honorable individual. It is the life-long commitment to personal honor, reinforced and deepened by the VMI experience. This sign is revealed in a graduate’s behavior and activities in the family, in the workplace, in society and in the larger community of mankind. It is a sign that shines forth every day in small or great measure. In today’s world, honor appears to be in short supply, but this Institution is committed to being a community of honor, a national beacon on a hill. When VMI cadets graduate, they take honor into the world along with knowledge. Remember, always – by this sign, this inner sign, people will know you to be VMI graduates.

During the Founders Day Convocation, the VMI Foundation presented John C. Allen ’62 with its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. After receiving the award from VMI Foundation President Walter C. Perrin II ’62, Allen made the following remarks: Mr. Perrin, thank you for those kind words. The board of trustees John Allen ’62, right, displaying the Distinguished Serof the VMI Foundation, Gen. Peay, the VMI family, distinguished vice Award with his Brother Rat Walter C. Perrin II ’62, guests and the Corps of Cadets: president of the VMI Foundation. I humbly accept the Distinguished Service Award which you have bestowed on me. This is a great honor. When news broke that VMI was honoring me with this award, my of action on my own. I did not even tell my parents until VMI had friend, David Hardesty, asked me, “John, what did you do to win accepted me. the VMI Distinguished Service Award?” I told David, “My Brother In making my decision to enter VMI as a Rat, I decided to stay Rat Walt Perrin heads up the Foundation, with the class of ’62 and graduate with my and my Brother Rat Binnie Peay is VMI’s Brother Rats. superintendent. How could I lose?” I knew about VMI through my father. My father, James F. Allen, class of 1933, I visited Lexington many times with my received the Distinguished Service Award parents. I grew up in Clarksburg, West in 1987. My father and I worked together in Virginia, so I knew about Gen. “Stonewall” business for over 40 years. As close as Dad Jackson. After all, Jackson was born there. and I were for all those years, my joining him And of course, I knew about Gen. George C. as a recipient of this award makes me feel Marshall, class of 1901. He was general of even closer to him. I wish that he were still the Army in World War II. alive so we could celebrate this day. I was two years old when Pearl Harbor was In 1957, I enrolled in West Virginia Uniattacked. My family was living at Fort Bragg. versity. During the 50s, WVU graduated My father was a captain. He was in charge of three Rhodes Scholars. The legendary Sam building new barracks and training facilities. Huff led the football team. The legendary Pearl Harbor Day was special for my family in Jerry West led the basketball team, and another way. By coincidence, that Sunday was I joined Beta Theta Pi fraternity – a fine my parent’s sixth wedding anniversary. group of fraternity brothers who have I also knew about VMI from meeting other In his speech, Allen touched on many excelled in life. VMI men. Men like Jack Lanford, class of However, I felt that WVU was not my true topics, including why he decided to ’52. Jack is a lifelong friend, and he is also alma mater. So, in the spring of 1958, I de- attend VMI and the important lessons a recipient of the Distinguished Service he learned as a cadet. cided to transfer to VMI. I took this course Award.



Photos by Kevin Remington, VMI.

John C. Allen ’62 Receives Distinguished Service Award

Before coming to VMI, I knew Joe Neikirk, a biology major. Col. “Doc” Carroll was head Distinguished class of ’32. Were it not for Joe, there would of the department. Service Award Citation be no VMI Foundation. Were it not for Joe, Doc was a crusty man. He had one arm Presented to John C. Allen ’62 there would be no Distinguished Service and chewed tobacco all day long. Award. Joe Neikirk was “Mister VMI.” If Doc Carroll were here today and learned WHEREAS, JOHN CRILE ALLEN of The more I thought about VMI and the of my receiving this award, he would most Coalton, West Virginia, who graduated VMI men I had met, the more I wanted to likely say, “There must have been two John from the Institute in 1962 with a bachelor go there. So, I packed my bags and headed Allens in the class of ’62.” He was gruff, but of science degree in biology and the illustrifor Lexington. he was a great teacher and mentor. He was ous rank of first-class private; and There were times during my cadetship when an inspiration. WHEREAS, after graduation, MR. ALI questioned my decision to go to VMI. My Over the years, I have stayed in contact LEN joined his family’s highway construcfraternity brothers at W&L had invited me with my Brother Rats. I have many fond tion firm, J.F. Allen Company, and was to attend their parties. And, as a “Third,” my memories of our reunions. The brotherinvolved in its many projects related to roommates and I were, at one time, all within hood that we began in September 1958 is modernizing the highway transportation a demerit or two of getting the boot, but still strong today. systems of Virginia and West Virginia; and somehow, we all squeaked by. WHEREAS, after becoming the I still remember my Ring Figpresident of J.F. Allen Company ure. That was the day when I unin 1974, he led the company into derstood why it was so important many new fields of endeavor that for me to enter VMI as a Rat and included heavy construction projects for the U.S. Army Corps to know my Brother Rats. of Engineers; and I was a first class private and WHEREAS, under the leaderproud of it. I could not have lived ship of MR. ALLEN, J.F. Allen a monk’s life at any college. Company has earned recogniI did learn the lessons of tion from the governor of West self-discipline that VMI taught Virginia and the U.S. House of so well. I embraced that selfRepresentatives as well as nudiscipline when I entered the merous awards from industry After being presented with the award, Allen addressed the business world. and civic groups for its profesCorps of Cadets, faculty, staff and guests. Though I have built roads for sional accomplishments and a living, my first career choice civic involvement; and was that of medical doctor. I was WHEREAS, MR. ALLEN and his wife, Many times, I have met VMI men in JOYCE, have been involved closely in phifaraway places, and the result has allanthropy in West Virginia for many years, ways been the same. Once you say you especially in the fields of higher education are from VMI, there is no more need of and public health, and have received nuintroduction. merous high honors for their leadership My wife, Joyce, has been a wonderful in service; and friend and partner for 40 years. I could not WHEREAS, MR. ALLEN has served VMI have been as successful without her. She as the class agent for the class of 1962 from cares for VMI as much as I do. Joyce, I thank 1992 to 1997 and as a trustee of the VMI you from the bottom of my heart. Foundation from 1994 to 1998; and WHEREAS, he helped continue his famOur children, Peter, Braxton, Susan and ily’s tradition of supporting VMI, as estabJohnny, as well as my 10 grandchildren, lished by his father, James F. Allen, class of have given me a thousand smiles of pride 1933, by generously donating to the James when I have seen their accomplishF. Allen ’33 Scholarship and establishing ments. the John C. Allen ’62 Distinguished ProfesBefore closing, I would like to recognize sorship in Chemistry in 1998; my two special West Virginia friends who THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that are here today: David C. Hardesty, who is the board of trustees of the VMI Foundaa Rhodes Scholar and former president tion, Inc., recognizes this record of profesof West Virginia University, and retired sional accomplishment, active citizenship Gen. Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong, former and superb service to the Institute by president of Mississippi State University presenting JOHN CRILE ALLEN with its and former commander of U.S. Air Forces highest honor, the Distinguished Service in Europe. Award; and I also want to recognize my brother, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Allen received congratulations from David, class of ’71, who was unable to be board extends its best wishes to his wife, Thomas G. Slater Jr. ’66, president of here today. JOYCE, and their children and grandthe VMI Board of Visitors. (All award Thank you, VMI. I will always cherish this children. photos by VMI, Kevin Remington.) award.

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The Institute Society Dinner 2009

Remarks by Thomas G. Slater Jr. ’66, President, VMI Board of Visitors Nov. 11, 2009 Good evening. Great to be with you to celebrate VMI’s 170th birthday. Thank you for that kind introduction. First, let me extend a warm welcome to the Institute Society from the board of visitors. We thank you for your loyal support which has allowed VMI to maintain and improve its reputation as one of our nation’s premier colleges. Let me also thank the Foundation Board of Trustees, Investment Committee and staff for all they do for VMI. When I was asked to address this distinguished group by Brian Crockett [VMI Foundation CEO] some weeks ago, I responded that you can do a lot better than have me address the Institute Society. Brian replied in a very honest way that this was, of course, true, but all of the others he had asked had conflicts tonight and were unable to attend. Before accepting, I told him I had to ask two people. First, I wanted to clear it with Gen. Peay ’62, our 14th superintendent, and second, I wanted to clear my speaking tonight with my wife, Scottie. To my surprise, they both said I was cleared to speak on one condition: Keep it short. So, I promise to keep my remarks short. As one of my colleagues remarked, “It’s better to leave


The VMI Foundation thanks all those who attended the dinner for making the evening memorable, as well as all members of The Institute Society for their generosity to VMI. the banquet table a tad hungry than over-stuffed. So, a little less rhetoric may be more satisfying than too much.” What is my message [or] theme tonight? Let me put it this way: If I do nothing else, I hope to leave you with the great sense of pride and confidence that the board of visitors has in the state of VMI today. VMI has never been stronger, but we have some challenges to overcome.

Institute Society Dinner photos by Kevin Remington, VMI.

On the evening of Nov. 11, 2009, more than 500 alumni and friends attended the 35th Institute Society Dinner. This year, the dinner was held for the first time in VMI’s new Marshall Hall, specifically the Hall of Valor. Given annually by the VMI Foundation to recognize those people who are leaders in support of VMI, the Institute Society Dinner is one of the highlights of VMI’s calendar.


As we have in the past, we will meet these challenges, thanks to the great team leading VMI today, headed by Gen. Peay. Let me begin by giving you a quick report on all of the positive things that have been happening over the last eight years at VMI that, in my judgment, have propelled us into the top rankings of such prestigious publications as U.S. News and World Report and Forbes Magazine. In case you did not see it, several months ago, Forbes ranked VMI 10th in the nation among all public colleges, just behind UVa and William & Mary. And yes, we were ranked ahead of VPI, JMU and George Mason and all of the other state colleges in Virginia. Tenth in the entire nation – truly, VMI is being heard from today! In its annual edition, Best Colleges in America, U.S. News and World Report ranked VMI third among all public liberal arts colleges. Our engineering programs were ranked as one of top 20 programs in the entire country. Of course, just last year, we had our 11th Rhodes Scholar, Cadet Greg Lippiatt ’09, who is studying history at Oxford before reporting for duty in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. While we are on subject of commissioning, let me note that 56% of VMI’s class of 2009 commissioned in Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force, up from just 30% a few years ago. The citizen/soldier concept is alive and thriving at VMI! Another statistic that I think you can take great pride in is the fact that among all Virginia colleges and universities, public and private, VMI has had 11 Rhodes Scholars, putting us just behind UVa with 14, but ahead of William & Mary, W&L, University of Richmond, VPI and all other state colleges. A remarkable performance when you consider our relatively small size compared to UVa and William & Mary, who admit 10 to 20 times more students than we do. We truly are a premier college and our graduates receive an education for life, far more than simply academics. Let me tell you about the Corps of Cadets, starting with this year’s Rat class. With almost 490 cadets, it is the largest class in VMI’s history. We had over 1700 applications. The metrics for this year’s class are extremely strong. Average GPA was 3.4. The middle 50% of the class had SAT scores that ranged from

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1060 to 1210. Almost 50% of this year’s Rat class have selected science or engineering as their major. Applications this year are up again for the fifth year in a row! Not to be outdone our upper classmen are performing extremely well. One example: Just last spring, one of VMI’s undergraduate research teams was selected to compete in a national competition hosted in Boston by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for Innovative Projects. Only 10 teams were invited. The VMI team was led by Cadet Brad Simpson ’09, an economics and business major, and Cadet Mario Capuozzo ’09, an EE. Their project was an underground seismic communication device which is now the subject of a patent application and is expected to be approved by the U.S. Department of Mining for underground mining safety. In addition to VMI, MIT, Johns Hopkins, University of California at Berkeley, Penn State all competed, and VMI came in fourth among some of the nation’s best colleges and universities. The VMI entry was made possible because of the wonderful support provided by the Jackson-Hope Fund that has provided the funding for our undergraduate research program since this fund was established in 2002. Jackson-Hope has also been the source of funding for many of our new faculty members. We have to compete with the other top colleges for the best and the brightest faculty. State funding does not always allow us to compete favorably. In the


last eight years, five VMI faculty members have been selected by the State Council of Higher Education for its “Outstanding Faculty Awards.” Think of that – out of the literally thousands of college professors at all of Virginia’s four-year public colleges, all of which are considerably larger than VMI, we have had five of our faculty selected in the last eight years as the best in the commonwealth. These top faculty members cut across most of our majors: chemistry, psychology, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, international studies. Another little known fact about our faculty is that 97% have Ph.D.s in their field, and they all teach. If you go to UVa, William & Mary or Virginia Tech, graduate students typically teach the undergrads; students rarely see a Ph.D. No wonder our cadets are performing so well. Let me mention culture … specifically civility, professionalism and honor and how these are stressed in all aspects of the VMI experience by Gen. Peay and his team. Starting with the Ratline and the class system that governs Barracks, Gen. Peay constantly stresses, “You are on parade 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” You have to be good role models. You have to treat all other cadets with respect and civility. The meanness and pettiness have been removed from Barracks and replaced with professionalism. Does this mean VMI has gone soft? No, quite the contrary. VMI is harder today than probably at any time in its history. You have to be in good physical condition to succeed, and you have to be strong academically and morally if you hope to stay at VMI. A word about the Honor System: It is strong, and this year’s Honor Court led by Cadet Whitcomb, its president, is the best I have seen in my almost seven years on the board of visitors. Mr. Whitcomb and his fellow Honor Court members are committed to inculcating in every cadet the time honored tradition that a “cadet shall not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.” As Gen. Peay


reported at the convocation, Cadet Whitcomb stresses “Honor” as lifestyle. I submit to you that the Honor System is strong and is being diligently enforced by the Corps of Cadets. Let me close on this topic by saying the administration is constantly evaluating each of these critical components of culture here at VMI – civility, professionalism and honor – and constantly striving to improve each by going from “Good to Great.” I submit VMI could not have achieved the many successes I have identified without the Strategic Plan that has come to be known as “Vision 2039” which was submitted to the board of visitors in 2004 by Gen. Peay as our blueprint for success. [The Vision 2039 resolution reads as follows:] “Whereas General J.H. Binford Peay III, superintendent, has prepared a Strategic Plan for the Virginia Military Institute that supports ‘Vision 2039,’ strongly emphasizing Leadership Development: BE IT RESOLVED THAT The Virginia Military Institute Board of Visitors confirms ‘Vision 2039’ and its proposed direction and focus areas for the Institute.” The board of visitors further enforced the superintendent’s concept and his proposed approach to the Capital Project Funding Program, currently estimated at $100-150 million. Since the adoption of Vision 2039, we have seen infrastructure improvements and additions that have truly revolutionized the Post. These have provided the Corps of Cadets, faculty, staff and coaches with a quality environment to study, to participate in ROTC training and to participate in sports, be they NCAA sanctioned or club sports. In just the last seven years we have seen: 1. Crozet Hall transformed into a first rate dining facility. Even the cadets say the food is pretty good. 2. Kilbourne Hall has been turned into one of the country’s top ROTC training facilities, and while we are on Kilbourne, let’s not forget the transformation of the stables into the QMD and the transformation of VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

old Rt. 11, thanks to the storm water drainage project. 3. The renovation and modernization of all of our academic buildings have been exceptional. As examples: Nichols: Those of you who spent your years working slide rulers in the Nichols Engineering Building will not believe the state of the art laboratories and lecture rooms now in that building. Mallory: Of course, the same can be said for Mallory Hall which houses physics, mathematics and computer science. Athletics: The third leg of the three-legged stool has also undergone tremendous improvement, to include Gray-Minor baseball stadium and of course Foster stadium which has become a top notch Division IAA football and outdoor track facility. Although our record does not reflect it, our football team is better and very young. We will succeed in football – I predict – as we are in basketball, baseball, and track and field. Barracks: Third Barracks lets us expand the Corps to 1500. New Barracks has been renovated, and Old Barracks is in process of being renovated. Who would ever believe that VMI’s PX would become a favorite spot for W&L students to savor their favorite sandwich? Well, it is true. With the completion of Third Barracks this past summer and opening of the bookstore and new Quizno’s sandwich shop, we have had an invasion of Minks! Marshall Center: Of course, this beautiful new Marshall Center for Leadership and Ethics was just opened this year, and it has already become the centerpiece of three outstanding conferences of national caliber. North Post: Ground breaking for this $15 million state of the art Military and Leadership Center occurred a few months ago and is expected to be completed next summer. All of this tremendous improvement, upgrade and expansion of our facilities totaling more than $200 million could not have happened without your loyal and generous support along with the support from our friends and alumni who serve in the Virginia legislature. Obviously, it could not have been accomplished without the strategic planning, vision and persistence of Vision 2039. Lest we think our mission is completed, let me briefly remind

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you that we face tough times economically, and this means a reduction of state funding for our operating budget. Just seven years ago – 2002 – 30% of VMI’s operating budget was funded by the commonwealth of Virginia. Today, it’s below 20%! Accordingly, approximately 80% of today’s Corps is receiving some form of financial aid. South Post: Another project that is critical to our success is South Post. This remains to be done, but it is vitally important for VMI to remain competitive in track and field, as well as swimming, to have up-to-date facilities, so that our cadets can compete successfully against other colleges and universities. When many of us were cadets, “The Pit” was one of the best indoor track facilities in the South. Today, it is sub-par, at best. Our Corps and faculty also need updated cardiovascular facilities to train and maintain a high level of fitness. You will be hearing more about South Post in the months to come. Another critical part of Vision 2039 is relationships with grad schools. [At this time], there are three in place: MCV, Florida State and the National War College. We are working on at least a dozen more in law, engineering, chemistry and medicine. It goes without saying that to maintain and hopefully improve our position as one of our nation’s premier undergraduate colleges, we need to continue and complete Vision 2039. I hope my remarks have given you the same sense of pride and confidence in the state of VMI today as we on the board of visitors have. This did not just happen. Rather, as I am sure you know, VMI is being led by an incredibly dedicated superintendent whose planning and careful assessment gave us Vision 2039 – our blueprint for success. I ask you to join me in a standing ovation for Gen. Peay and his team who have made all of this a reality for our Corps of Cadets. Gen. Peay, I salute you and your dedicated team for all you have done to propel our beloved VMI into the ranks of our nation’s top colleges.


Cadet Granger ’11 Follows In Great-Grandfather’s Footsteps Robert L. Granger ’25 loved the Institute so much that he wanted one of his three sons to share in his experience. When none of them did, he looked to his six male grandchildren to follow in his footsteps, and he even offered them a free ride to attend VMI. Much to his disappointment, all of them chose other colleges. However, the Granger legacy continues in great-granddaughter Hannah, a member of the class of 2011. The oldest of seven children from Wayne, Pennsylvania, Hannah Granger was interested in entering the military following college and thought a service academy might be a good choice for her education. Her other interest was being part of track and field

Hannah Granger discovered more about her greatgrandfather, Robert L. Granger ’25, by reading about him in his yearbook, the 1925 Bomb.

and cross country teams, and she sought a school that would foster a sense of teamwork. She found just that at VMI. “I had been accepted to West Point and was still looking at colleges,” said Bomb photo of Robert L. Granger. “My dad sug- Granger ’25. gested we visit VMI and The Citadel. I didn’t like the Institute at first; however, after giving it some thought, I decided a small school might be a good fit since I was homeschooled, and the track and cross country program sold me on VMI.” Granger has made her mark on the Institute as a distance running standout. During her fourth-class campaign, she broke seven VMI cross country records and set five records in track and field. The following year, she reset several of the records she posted during her freshman year and became VMI’s first women’s conference champion in a running event at the Big South Outdoor Championships. Last fall, she led the Keydets to a second-place finish at the Big South Cross Country Championships, the team’s best result at a conference championship meet, and she captured VMI’s first individual conference title in women’s cross country and the Runner of the Year award. (Continued at the top, left-hand column of the next page.)

Celebrity Dabney Coleman ’53 Escorts Cadet Granger to Ring Figure Cadet Hannah Granger might not have her great-grandfather’s class ring (see article above), but memories of her Ring Figure Ball are special nonetheless. Granger’s choice to walk her through the Ring was celebrity and actor Dabney Coleman, who matriculated with the class of 1953 and graduated from the University of Texas in 1954. Granger first contacted Coleman during her Rat year when athletes on scholarship were asked to reach out to their sponsors, thanking them for their generosity. Several months later, Coleman followed up with Granger, and the two have communicated a few times each semester ever since. “When the time came to think about who was going to walk me through the Ring, I made a list of people who were the most influential in my life and have had the most impact on where I am today,” said Granger. “My father and Coach [Michael] Bozeman were up on that list, but neither was able to attend. I thought of other important figures, and it hit me, that without the extreme generosity of Mr. Coleman, I wouldn’t even be at this school and enjoying so many opportunities and successes.” Granger added that she had been thinking of a way she could show Coleman how she appreciates what he has done for her with the scholarship and the confidence he has given her to perform at VMI. Asking him to escort her through the Ring seemed like just the right way. For an actor who typically plays the role of a selfish, patronizing, self-absorbed authority figure, Coleman has been quite the opposite in his relationship with Granger and in his support of the Institute. In both television and movies, he has a well deserved reputation as a fine character actor. (Article provided by VMI Communications and Marketing.)


Dabney Coleman ’53 and Hannah Granger at the Ring Figure Ball.


Granger ’11 Follows In Great-Grandfather’s Footsteps (continued) “I’m amazed at how some of the other teams we compete against treat each other,” said Granger, the cross country team’s captain. “They don’t have the family feeling we do, and that’s really special.” While she’s found her own stride at the Institute, she is mindful of the Granger who came before her at VMI, and she’s proud to be a legacy. Curious to learn more about her greatgrandfather, Granger looked him up in the Bomb and discovered that they have a few things in common. Both hail from Pennsylvania’s Main Line, both are F Troop cadets, and both studied German and were corporals in their third-class years. “I even live in the last remaining part of Barracks that is the same as it was in the ’20s,” said Granger. “The radiator in my room is likely the same type as my greatgrandfather’s. On a side note, my room in Barracks was once a classroom that Stonewall Jackson taught in.” Like the athletic program, Granger has embraced VMI’s traditions, and she was thrilled to reach the milestone of Ring Figure last fall. “I’d really like to have my great-grandfather’s class ring,” she said. “I’d like to have mine engraved like his, although mine is much smaller, I’m sure.” While Granger’s father, John, bypassed VMI for the University of Chicago, he enjoys visiting his daughter at the Institute his grandfather loved so much. “I confess to enjoying the history and architecture of the place – and that it played such a part in my family’s history in the last century and again today,” said John Granger. “Thinking of Hannah walking in Gen. Jackson’s footsteps and in her great-grandfather’s collapses a great deal of past time into the present. It is that atmosphere of crystallized time and of lives focused on honor and courage that I enjoy when I visit.” Editor’s Note: See the sidebar article on the previous page about Granger and celebrity / actor Dabney Coleman ‘53. Also see the Athletics section of this issue for details on the Big South Cross Country Championships and Granger’s award. 2010-Issue 1

The Greens See VMI As Their Extended Family Many alumni who return to work for the Institute find it to be a labor of love. That’s certainly the case for Brig. Gen. Robert L. (Bob) Green ’67, deputy superintendent of finance, administration and support. However, he’s not the only Green on Post who is devoted to the Virginia Military Institute. His wife, Carole, may not wear “The Ring,” but she’s as much a part of the VMI fabric as her husband. Carole Green’s first visit to VMI was for Bob’s Ring Figure Dance in 1965. The couple married a week after his graduation in 1967, and they returned to Post where Bob was hired to teach in the Civil Engineering Department until his military orders came through. Carole got a job, first as the receptionist in Lejeune Hall and then with the Admissions Office. Their yearlong stint in Lexington was a magical time for the newlyweds, and it gave Carole a sense of belonging at Bob’s alma mater. Following his service in Vietnam, Bob got his master’s degree in engineering from the University of Virginia and joined the Lynchburg, Virginia, consulting firm of Wiley & Wilson. He rose in the ranks from a project engineer to president of the company, an experience that well prepared him for his current role at VMI. When the couple purchased land in Lexington in the early 1990s, they Gen. Bob Green, deputy superintennever envisioned working for the Indent of finance, administration and stitute, but when The Mother I called, support for VMI, and Carole Green, they answered. vice president of alumni activities for The VMI Alumni Association, benefit Shortly after being named president from each other’s perspectives in of consulting engineering firm Wiley their respective jobs. (continued on next page)

Photo at left: Bob Green and the former Carole Britt (Green) pictured in their Churchland (Virginia) High School yearbook as the reigning Mr. and Miss Churchland. Photo at right: Carole Britt (Green) and Bob Green at Bob’s Ring Figure Dance.


The Greens See VMI As Their Extended Family (continued) & Wilson in 1987, Bob was asked to serve for a year as a visiting professor and holder of the Wachtmeister Chair in Science and Engineering. Ten years later, he heeded the call once again and returned to VMI as the acting director of Cadet Life. Carole was asked to help with the assimilation of the first women at the Institute, and she accepted the position of deputy assimilation officer. “At the time, I thought if I didn’t give the job a try, I’d kick myself later,” said Bob Green. “Several years later, I was named deputy superintendent, and I have never looked back. It is such a privilege to serve the Institute and work with the caliber of people we have on the VMI Board of Visitors and on our staff and faculty.” Bob Green got to know the board especially well when, in 2003, he served as acting superintendent until Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62 arrived to become VMI’s 14th leader. All the while, Carole Green was making her own mark on the Institute as vice president of alumni activities for The VMI Alumni Association, a position she’s held since 1999. Both agree that they benefit from each other’s perspectives in their respective jobs. Bob appreciates the relationships Carole has with alumni – he says she knows many more than he – and she considers what he does in many of the decisions she makes in her role with the Alumni Association. “With the jobs we have, we are busy all of the time,” said Carole Green. “We enjoy going to functions on Post – and between us, there are many. We both feel fortunate to have started out here together and to have ended up here together.” What began as Bob’s school is now as much Carole’s, and they view the Institute as an extension of their family. Both have touched the lives of students and alumni and the Institute itself, and both are happy to call VMI home.


Powell shooting video on the streets of Kabul, spring 2009.

Conor Powell ’99 Relies on Taking Chances: Fox News Journalist Reports from Afghanistan Conor Powell ’99 likes a good challenge. That’s what compelled him to attend VMI and in early 2009 to drop everything and head to Kabul, Afghanistan. The move was a good one for the freelance journalist who now reports regularly for Fox News. “From a journalistic standpoint, it’s a great place to work,” said Powell. “Afghanistan is a massive story of historical importance that means a lot to Americans. Every journalist wants to cover the big, front-page story. This is it many days, but it is a difficult story, as well.” Working in one of the poorest countries in the world can be tough, he added. Few of the roads are paved, Internet access is limited, and the power supply is problematic and dangerous. Bombings within a mile or two of his home occur frequently, and because of the time difference, he often works until 5 a.m. to get his stories filed back in the states. As a journalist with no formal training, Powell has had to rely on taking chances to become successful, and in some ways, not having a journalism degree has paid off. “I have a lot of outside work experience that most newsrooms lack,” said Powell. “While news directors don’t want a newsroom full of people like me, I’ve landed a couple of jobs because of my unique background. The greatest challenge for me has always been just getting an opportunity.” Following his graduation from VMI, the international studies major worked for the Virginia Information Providers Network, the commonwealth’s Internet arm. He then earned a master’s degree in political science from Cambridge University and went to work for Forrester Research, a technology and market research consultant. In 2006, Powell decided to give journalism a shot and took a job at the NBC affiliate in Yakima, Washington. The pay was minimal, and the hours were long, but the experience has proven to be invaluable. “It was the most challenging job I’ve ever had,” said Powell. “Five months into the job, the station laid off everyone but five reporters – no news director, no producers, no directors – we did everything. We were all there to learn and get better, so we spent a lot of VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

time ripping each other’s work apart. TV can be a very humbling business, and VMI definitely taught me how to take criticism and use it to improve.” Two years later, Powell landed a job as the Capitol Hill/political reporter for Washington, D.C.’s, NewsChannel 8, a key beat in an election year and one in which the housing and financial crisis dominated the headlines. While watching a debate over the surge in Afghanistan between then-candidates Barrack Obama and John McCain, Powell decided he wanted to get in on the action. Throughout the fall of 2008, he contacted everyone he could find who had worked in Afghanistan. The day after Obama’s inauguration, he gave NewsChannel 8 his notice, and he hasn’t looked back. “CNN already had a bureau in Kabul, but CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox did not,” said Powell. “Before I left, I reached out to several networks and said I was moving to Kabul on my own dime and would be willing to work as a cameraman, producer or reporter. Fox was really interested, and after a couple of months on my own in Kabul, they picked me up as a full-time freelancer.” Taking the chance that going to the story would lead to a job was a good one for Powell, but it’s not one he would recommend to all journalists. He credits his experience at VMI for his ability to stick it out in tough situations and to persevere. He’s also grateful for the background he acquired as an international studies student. “The IS Department opened a ton of doors for me,” said Powell. “Aside from encouraging us to think about the world outside our

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borders, I also was lucky to spend a summer at the Thai military academy through a program created by Col. Pat Mayerchek. This was my first real opportunity to travel in the developing world and see a culture so very different than the one I lived in, and it fueled my fire to travel.” He’s benefited from the curriculum, as well. “I still remember reading The Clash of Civilizations in 1999, a full two years before 9-11,” he said. “We were being asked to think and write about a major theme like terrorism years before much of the Washington establishment.” Powell plans to remain in Afghanistan through the fall of 2011 and return to the U.S. to cover the 2012 presidential election. However, he’s open to adventure and the next challenge that might come his way. It’s a philosophy that has served him well so far, and it’s likely there will be many more good challenges ahead of him. Photo below: Powell on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in April 2009. Photo below, inset: On the Fox news set in Kabul, Afghanistan, during the Afghan elections.


First Fall Reunion

Sept. 4-5, 2009

Reunion photos by Kathryn Wise.

Classes of 1964 and 1974 and the honored class of 1984



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Second Fall Reunion Oct. 2-3, 2009

Reunionn photos by Kathryn Wise.

Classes of 1994 and 2004 and the honored class of 1999

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Western Tidewater Chapter

Holds Annual Event for Incoming Class of 2013 On Aug. 8, 2009, the Western Tidewater Chapter held their annual reception for local matriculates (class of 2013) at the creek-side home of Barbara and Phil Smith ’72 in Portsmouth, Virginia. The reception, a catered cookout organized by a committee headed by Chapter President John Rowe ’66, attracted close to 100 guests, including 19 matriculates, many of their parents and guests, and alumni and their wives from 17 VMI classes. For further details, see the ’46 class notes in this issue, written by Class Agent Bill Eliason ’46. (Photos courtesy Eliason.)

Photo above: At the cookout, the group of 19 Tidewater matriculates enjoyed one last fling before the Ratline.


Western Tidewater Chapter Event Photos 1. Class of ’66 Brother Rats, from left: Ollie Creekmore, Warren Channel, Ronnie Ayres, John Rowe and Larry Swann. Rowe is president of the Western Tidewater Chapter and headed the committee that put the cookout event together. 2. Ben Booth ’03, the youngest alumnus present, and his brother, Johnathan, incoming class of 2013. 3. In front, Barbara and Phil Smith ’72 hosted the cookout at their home in Portsmouth, Virginia, on Aug. 8, 2009.

Also pictured are Al Cuellar ’88; Dennis Lewin ’75; Vern Beitzel ’72, head of VMI Admissions; and Mike Strickland ’71. 4. Hal and Brenda Hostetler ’68 at the cookout. (Photo provided by John Rowe.)









Western Tidewater Chapter Event Photos (continued)


5. Jean and Bill Oast ’50B, right, celebrated their wedding anniversary at the cookout along with Ann and Jack Nurney ’50B, left, best man at the Oast’s wedding.


6. During the event, Class Agent Bill Eliason ’46 read his essay, “What VMI Has Meant to Me.” 7. Mark Kanter ’81, left, with Robert Kanter, matriculate.


8. The class of ’77 was represented by Mike Conaway, left, a U.S. Navy four-striper, and Gary Haste, right, one of two twin brothers in the class. Conaway and the Haste brothers live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 9. Art Brandriff ’59, pictured with his wife, Jenny, retired in 2008 after 38 years as principal of Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. 10. Bob Heely ’69 and Vince Thomas ’43. Heely, who is second vice president of The VMI Alumni Association, lives in Portsmouth, Virginia. Thomas, who was president of the Alumni Association from 1969-71, is the long-time, now-retired mayor of Norfolk, Virginia, and was the senior alumnus at the cookout.

Work on the 2010 Register of Former Cadets Has Begun The VMI Alumni Association is in the process of creating the 2010 edition of the Register of Former Cadets. Alumni should expect a postcard and e-mail inviting them to make a toll-free call to check data and update records. Partnering with the Alumni Association to accomplish this project, PCI is a specialty publication company with expertise in updating

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alumni information and printing directories for leading colleges and universities. When complete, the Register will provide the names of all alumni who have matriculated at the Institute and provide updated contact information, based on survey responses. The actual book will be produced in hard and soft cover and will be available in late 2010.


ASSOCIATION NEWS VMI New Cadet Recruiting Accomplishes All-Time Highs Tough Times Haven’t Prevented Success by Robert Crumpler ’07 It’s nothing new to hear about the tough economic times, including effects on the business community and centers for higher education across the country. It seems that for the past 18 months, articles on every page of a magazine or newspaper contain the words “economic recession” or “budget cuts” in the first sentence. VMI is no different than most other businesses. So, logically speaking, the effects of tough times should apply to all aspects of VMI, especially in regard to recruiting and admissions; right? Take a close look at the following statistics

and the common misconceptions that could be made about the incoming class of 2013: Misconception 1: VMI had a down year in the number of cadets that wanted to attend VMI. Actually, the VMI Office of Admissions brought in a record 488 new cadets on Matriculation Day. That number was about 40 students higher than anticipated. Also, the total number of applications increased to 1,725 total applicants, which is equal to the standard increase from years before.

Misconception 2: Since VMI’s out-ofstate tuition is much higher than in-state tuition, there were far fewer out-of-state applicants this year. In fact, the number of out-of-state applications was 945 this year. Also, 45% of VMI’s incoming class are from outside the state of Virginia, which is 1.5% higher than the year before. Misconception 3: With fewer applicants, VMI had to “lower” admission standards to accept the same number of students. As stated in misconception 1 above, applications increased – (continued, next page)

VMI Alumni Association Past Presidents Discuss Policies and Procedures In concert with the 2009 Fall Board of Directors Meeting of The VMI Alumni Association, Inc., the Past Presidents Council was convened. Described in the corporation bylaws, the Past Presidents Council is comprised of all past presidents of the corporation and meets to consider the policies and procedures of the corporation. The council

transmits its conclusions and recommendations to the board of directors through the chairman. The meeting was held at the Westin Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. The attendees represented decades of service to the Institute and a lifelong commitment to serving its alumni.

Past presidents of The VMI Alumni Association, from left, front row: Tazewell Ellett III ’44, William A. Hallett Jr. ’47, Harry G. Lee ’47, Robert H. Patterson Jr. ’49C and Grover C. Outland Jr. ’49B. Back row: C. Douglas Marechal ’62, Robert B. Newman Jr. ’73, Nathaniel Beaman IV ’74, Felix E. Deacon III ’77, Hugh M. Fain III ’80 and James F. Spellman Jr. ’85.



ASSOCIATION NEWS not decreased – this year. Furthermore, the class of 2013 had an academic profile showing a high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.41, which sets a record as the highest GPA for an incoming class. Also, the SAT range stayed the same as the year before, and the average ACT score went up 1 point to 26. Other than academics, this year’s Rat class includes more team captains, student body officers, National Honors Society members, athletic participants and Eagle Scouts than any other year. At the time of this writing in October 2009, the Alumni Association’s annual season of New Cadet Recruiting Receptions is coming to a close. We are pleased to report

that there have been more prospects attending receptions this year than any year before. In addition, we have accomplished this record-breaking season with only 25 receptions held nationwide, compared to an average of 30 in previous years. In summary, the best way to describe the remarkable increases we have seen across the board is this: The economic recession which caused state budget cuts for higher education did not negatively impact recruiting for a school of VMI’s caliber, due in large part to the dedicated alumni we have working for us across the country and a New Cadet Recruiting team devoted to bringing students of the highest quality to VMI each year.

There’s Still Time to Add Your VMI Recipe! In the 2009-Issue 4 Alumni Review, the Alumni Association announced a project to produce a cookbook for the VMI family. Tentatively titled Tastes of VMI, the book will include recipes from family, friends, alumni, widows, spouses, Institute officials and all those involved in our unique educational experience. The association believes that this will be a useful way to further bond and draw together the VMI family and also allow family members to share their unique stories and Institute facts, which will be woven throughout the cookbook. There is still time to add your recipes and anecdotes to this first-ever cookbook. The association has established a Web-enabled, user-friendly method to submit recipes at Once at the Web site, enter your

VMI Ski Weekend Planned If you have an interest in skiing at a renowned winter resort, join alumni, guests and family at Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort on Feb. 27-28, 2009, for a fabulous winter excursion. Alumni and guests will be given a discounted rate, bundled ski and lodge packages, and the opportunity to meet other alumni on the slopes. As a premier winter get-away location, Snowshoe offers equipment, classes and ample recreational options. Further details about the VMI Alumni Ski Weekend are available at

name and then the group login: keydets. Then, enter the password: vmi1839. At that point, you will be logged into the site and can add and edit recipes. The project, which has been underway since November 2009, is being carried out in partnership with Morris Press Cookbooks, the nation’s leading producer of cookbooks for groups of all sizes. Submissions must be entered at the site by March 15, 2010. Plans are to complete the cookbook in June 2010. Please take a few moments to share a recipe, as well as your Institute-related memories and anecdotes, with others who are enjoying being a part of this unique project. At press time, the final cost of the book is not yet established but will be included with updates at If you have no recipes to submit, be among the first to order your copy of the cookbook when it is available.

Bluegrass Chapter Enjoys Fellowship and News from VMI Members of the Bluegrass Chapter met on Oct. 24, 2009, at the Aero Club outside Bowman Field in Louisville, Kentucky. Chapter President Greg McDearmon ’99 organized the event that included alumni representing four, class-year decades. Everyone enjoyed the meal and fellowship. Alumni Association Executive Vice President Adam Volant ’88 met with the group and presented an update on the association, as well as the latest news from the Institute. The Bluegrass Chapter has been an active partner in the New Cadet Recruiting program and frequently sends alumni volunteers to college fairs on behalf of VMI.

2010-Issue 1


ASSOCIATION NEWS The VMI Alumni Association: Young Alumni Committee Be a Part of the Best Young Alumni Group in the Nation! The goal of the VMIAA Young Alumni Committee is to proactively serve and support alumni who are within 15 years of graduation from VMI. Based on the unique perspectives of young alumni, the committee encourages participation in chapter and Alumni Association activities.

Membership Benefits • • • •

Cost: FREE Stay in Moody Hall - Cost: FREE* Use Moody Hall for functions - Cost: FREE* The only fee requested is YOUR involvement!

*For information and reservations regarding Moody Hall, contact Carole Green at or 800/444-1839.

Young Alumni Committee Members Chair: Steve Nakazawa ’03 Sam Stocks ’90 – Jamel Lynch ’94 – Jonathan Atkins ’98 – Dallas Clark ’99 – Tony Esteve ’00 – Kelly Sullivan ’01 – Cy Dekeyser ’02 – Doug Warner ’03 – Phil Hampton ’03 – Jackie Briski ’09 –

Get in touch with your Class Agent! 1995 - Rick Killmeyer 1996 - Rusty McGuire 1997 - John Duckworth 1998 - Hamel Reinmiller 1999 - William Steinbach 2000 - Chris Arllen 2001 - Jason Whitaker 2002 - Salmaan Khawaja 2003 - Billy Talley 2004 - Ryan Shealy 2005 - Tim Johnson 2006 - Will Davis 2007 - Salome Coffman Arciero 2008 - Robert Hill 2009- Ian Williams Class Notes due to Alumni Review: Feb. 15, 2010; May 17, 2010; Aug. 16, 2010; and Nov. 15, 2010

The VMI Alumni Association’s Online Community...

VMI Ranks -Free e-mail forwarding address -Online event registration -Online alumni directory -Class and chapter pages -Alumni news -Ability to manage your own profile -VMI Job Board 28




Jim Sherman

Unlike Sinatra’s song, “It was a very good year … ,” ’09 has not been a rewarding period for ’35. First, it was the death of Bob Little this fall, whose health had been declining for some time. And now I have learned of the unexpected passing of Leonard Todd who choked while eating dinner at his book club, was hospitalized, developed pneumonia and died on Oct. 6th. Upon reading his obituary, I was most impressed with his civic contributions to the city of Greensville, SC, before and after his retirement. (Editor’s Note: Both Bob Little’s and Leonard Todd’s obituaries appear in the Taps section of this Review.) These losses have reduced our numbers to seven BRs, so it is time for the rest of us to shape up and steady on – back to oatmeal and low fat diet! Ed Arnold in Houston, TX, was cheerful and positive. He continues his mall walking, says his paces have lengthened and one 75-year-old who joins him refers to it as “a tough routine walk,” with a chuckle. Ed quotes his cardiologist, “At 95, you’re wearing out!” He manages on two prescription drugs, is happy with local temperatures70 to 75 degrees and had just enjoyed a brief visit from one of his three sons. Bob Evans, who had been suffering from an infection more recently, said he was “feeling pretty good,” but had not gotten his energy back. Currently, he is hoping to restore that by engaging in a program known as dalmatic physical therapy, twice a week, under the supervision of an expert in the field. And happily, he is looking forward to a two-week vacation in Florida with Ruth Lord, his significant other. Our BR George Freeman presently remains in Seaside at Atlantic Shores but has made great progress in his recovery. George and wife Clelia have lunch and dinner together daily and look forward to his return to their apartment, though the authorities prefer that they move to a health care unit where help is immediately available when necessary. Recently, both went on a bus trip across the bridge to Eastern Shore, and George, who was the 2010-Issue 1

Corps of Engineers’ district engineer at the time of its construction, provided the bus passengers with a running account of that experience. When I checked on Al Snapp, daughter Linda advised his general health had declined somewhat, but he enjoyed visits from friends who dropped by on his birthday in September. A nursing assistant visits daily, and Al walks a little in the house but needs a wheelchair outside. Linda endeavors to keep him as comfortable as possible, and he accepts his condition and is grateful for her care. Thankfully, JoAnn O’Hara has gotten over the heart ablation she experienced in July. She had suffered with the problem for some time and underwent a study to determine the cause. Since surgery, she has continued to improve, and I found myself talking to the active and happy person I have known for years. She is now back to her normal pursuits of photography and interviews with her fellow residents at Westminster Canterbury in Richmond. As expected, Barbara Meem says she is just fine and continues her program of exercising at home with the guidance of a physical education instructor. From her home in Santa Fe, NM, she has an excellent view of the mountains, presently with their first fall of snow. Daughter Debb, who teaches graduate students at the Univ. of Cincinnati, is coming for a week’s visit in early Dec., so that will be their Christmas together. When we talked, St John Arnold was “feeling poorly” and still experiencing stomach upset and jaundice which fortunately has not affected his appetite. As for that Korean War damaged knee, he has had a cortisone shot, but it still hurts, as arthritis has developed. However, when I enquired about his relationship with his lady friend, also a patient in the same facility, Saint brightened right up and said they really enjoy each other, have lunch and dinner together, plus the movies shown in the evening. As she is in her late 50s, I said, “Saint, you are a cradle robber!” He agreed with a very happy chuckle. Son Tom has been on daily radiation treatment for prostate cancer but had to be taken off, as it upset his system. Dora Williams who continues living at Cedarfield, a delightful retirement facility

in Richmond, is very content with her lovely two-room apartment, having LR, BR and bath. At 96, she leads a happy quiet life and enjoys the presence of two sons and a daughter who live in the area. As is always the case, the late summer family reunion at the ocean was a most rewarding and happy occasion. Her devoted and talented friend, Carolyn, still works for her and has written and published a play. I met her several years ago and was very impressed by her warmth and dedication. Sparky Carper has holiday planning all worked out. She is going to spend Thanksgiving with her daughter and son-in-law in Boston, and later, Christmas with her son and family in Reston, VA – two busy areas but she is a seasoned traveler. As expected, Ikey Knight says she is “just fine” and as usual, has been a busy girl, recently attending daughter Jill’s birthday party at Chesapeake Beach. Her own birthday, 9/11, was celebrated on the 7th for weekend convenience at daughter Hope’s home in Scottsburg, VA. She is quite happy at her retirement home and enjoys the meals, which include new offerings and the old standbys. Ikey has a lot of friends and plays a variety of card games twice a week. Her facility has about 400 residents, and assisted living and health care are provided when they become necessary. Blanche Brown is quite settled and comfortable in her assisted living retirement home in Farmington, NM, and with her daughter, Roe, and son-in-law, Sam, living relatively nearby, though currently on vacation in California. Farmington had recently experienced a 4-inch snowfall, the first of the season. Comfortable indoors with her walker, Blanche did not venture out. However, she brought me up to date on Bill’s military education which included St. Johns Military, Kemper Military, one year at Denver Univ. and then two years at VMI. Now I am wondering whether he was treated as a Rat when he joined our second class year. I found Jeanette Newman trying to shake off a cough and sticking close to home in Cap Sants Court Retirement Center in Anacortes, WA, looking forward to return of son Douglas from Czechoslovakia. In the meantime, she has had visits from one daughter in Cincinnati and another from Maine; the other three live in her own area. In the course 29

CLASS NOTES of her rather limited visits to the gambling casinos of late, no significant wins, but she has remained ahead of the game – anything else would be shocking, indeed! Undoubtedly, all of us are familiar the popular radio and TV personality Frank Staccio, who invited our “B” Holt for a one-hour interview on his one-hour radio program, Monday, Nov. 2nd, at his Durham, NC, public radio base. To be expected, her son and daughter cautioned her not to be long in her responses! “B” was only happy she “didn’t goof up!” She is in the senior section of the NC Bar Association (“bunch of old guys”) and attended a three-day meeting in Henderson, NC, in late October, where it was “four hours of education daily, then just have fun.” She still lives by herself and sees a good deal of daughter Harriet who lost her husband. Had an enjoyable conversation with our Senator Harry Byrd who remains dedicated to Virginia, our federal government and the state of the union. Having served 18 years in the Virginia Senate and then 18 years in the U.S. Senate, he is ever abreast of their current efforts. Harry was pleased with the outcome of the governors’ race in Virginia but quite concerned about the heavy spending of the federal government, seemingly that we can spend our way into prosperity. He emphasized that our national debt has doubled in five years and tripled in 10. Additionally, the Democrats, who hold the majority in both houses, remain divided in both the Senate and the House, so Harry finds the current situation most depressing. Thankfully, our second youngest BR continues in good health. Peggy and I both have been losing ground as we age, mine at a faster pace, courtesy of my advanced years. I am bonded to a cane and battery powered cart. Happily, there is one machine in our well equipped exercise room which I can use without making things worse, so I get a reasonable workout at least five days a week. Peggy walks a great deal and attends an exercise class which keeps the bounce in her step. We have a lovely campus and excellent healthcare support and facilities, including a beautiful swimming pool which unfortunately, I can no longer use. But hey, God has blessed us in so many ways, and I remain eternally grateful. Bless you all, Jim 30


Frank Parker III ’64

Happy New Year! I hope these notes find you all well and prosperous. 2010 portends to be an exciting and sometimes interesting year. Bill and Tickie Brand are doing well and were looking forward to Christmas and Bill’s 91st birthday. Tickie had an excellent report from her cardiologist. Ira Saxe reports that his January ’09 hip replacement has finally healed to the point that he is playing nine holes of golf twice a week. He isn’t quite back to shooting his age and has not added to his total of six holes in one but is working on feeling strong enough to play 18. I talked to Bert Brayshaw who is doing fine, but Mary has Alzheimer’s, which is not only trying but also demanding of his time and energy. He is in the process of selling his beachfront property and then moving to Florida to be near his great-grandkids. Howard Golladay is doing very well. His new knee has finally come around, and he is back to his normal activities. He just had some work done on his house and still enjoys driving around his part of San Diego. Jennifer, his granddaughter, still lives with him and is a real help around the house. Our honorary BR, Max Hopkins, is still in San Diego and doing well. Many in the class of ’39 served in WWII

Class of 1939: John Chiles’ medals displayed on the VMI Wall of Valor.

or Korea or Vietnam or in more than one conflict. I have talked to several who have served in all three! Consequently, I know many of you have a collection of medals gathering dust in some box somewhere. Well, now is the time to find them. VMI needs them for the Institute’s Wall of Valor. The medals are arranged in order of class, so all BRs will be in the same place. Your medals will speak not only to your individual valor, but just think what a statement the class of ’39 will be making to generations to come. The citations accompanying the medal are also very important documents for relatives, friends and historians. If you need help, let Kathryn Wise (800/444-1839) or me know. I also understand that the Institute museum staff is developing expertise in researching medals awarded to class members. This will be especially helpful for those families and friends of our deceased BRs. Finally, we can obtain copies of lost medals if we can put our hands on appropriate paperwork. My BR, Tom Davis ’64, helped us by taking the picture of John Chiles’ medals already on the Wall of Valor. (See photo accompanying these notes.)


Robert Smith

Niccolo Machiavelli of Florence, 14691527, admonished us to “make no small plans, for they have no power to stir the soul,” and that tells how we must address our plans (and schemes) for the reunion next April 19 and 20! Walt Edens just told me that he is planning to march on the parade ground if he possibly can, and moreover, he is quite sure of his intentions to climb up that ladder to the top of the guard house to lead us in an “Old Yell.” With such inspiring leadership, every Brother Rat will be there in body or in spirit, one way or another. Walt’s son Sandy Edens ’72 with his intended, Diane, are planning to accompany Walt. Frazier Baldwin and Jinny are contemplating a leisurely motor trip down from Delaware to Lexington, perhaps stopping overnight in Charlottesville or some other nice place. Frazier’s description reminded me of Earnest Hemmingway’s “Long Hot VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES Summer” when they drove all through John said that is supposed to be good, but us all great satisfaction that our class is Spain stopping at beautiful country towns, usually that status is used to extend the eli- making this contribution to the VMI. to sample the local cheeses and wines on gibility of a player for a fifth year and results Our class has suffered tremendous their way to the next bullfight. It is wonin a “Fifth-year Senior.” How that applies is diminishment in the loss of Nick Dominderful to live exciting lives graciously. a puzzle, but A.J. is working out and, I sup- ick on Sept. 10 and Charley Beach on Dan Flowers and Jeanie will come with pose, as happy as a Rat can be. Nov. 11. You will all have received details their namesake, son Fort, who is a Georgia Sol Rawls is coming, of course, and he directly before this issue reaches you and Tech and MIT graduate. Their grandson, expects to be accompanied by his son, no doubt there will be more in the Taps the third of the name, Daniel Fort Flowers, Waite Rawls ’70, who will be preparing section. (Editor’s Note: This issue’s Taps is considering VMI but may not be able to for his reunion a week after ours. When we section contains Nick Dominick’s obitutake off from high school for the reunion talked, Sol was concerned not only about ary, but notification of Charley Beach’s trip. To give you an idea of how well he is, the tremendous loss of jobs in his town of death occurred after the input deadline. Dan was still at his office when I called, Franklin because of the paper mill’s closTherefore, his obituary will appear in the and Jeannie said he often stays until 5:30. ing, but also about the damage that was be- next Review, 2010-Issue 2.) Both had such Doug Cook and Barbara and their ing caused at the time by a tropical storm distinguished careers that nothing said here daughter, Jennifer, are expecting to come. with very heavy rains. Sol takes an active can further illuminate their images as we Congratulations were given for their celrole in civic affairs and felt personally remember them. We must take such solace ebration of their 64th wedding anniversary involved in addressing these problems. as we can from knowing that they fulfilled on the 9th of November, right our shared ideals, formed in before we talked. Doug menour early lives and cadet days, tioned that Al Carr’s son, Vann, in every way with caring, aclives in Lexington and said that complished and constructive he would speak to Vann about lives. Memorial gifts have been joining us for one of the dinners. sent to our class scholarship Doug had talked recently to Bud fund in their names, as one Irwin about Bud’s birthday, more way that the ties between which was Veteran’s Day on each remaining member of the Nov. 11. They reminisced that, class and those who leave us coincidentally, the same day is can be remembered. also Bob Rain’s birthday, and it Ben Hardaway was in notawas Vester Thompson’s. When I bly good spirits when I spoke called Bud, his wife, Ruth, spoke with him, since he had recovfor him because he has a hard ered somewhat from whatever Class of 1940: With the late Vester Thompson, seated, time hearing on the phone. She are his two sons and two grandsons. Standing, from left, had been ailing him. He consaid they are already discussVester Thompson III ’79; Franklin Russell III ’04; Fletcher tinues to be very pleased with Thompson ’10; and his father, E. Fletcher Thompson ’81. the nearby National Infantry ing their plans. Two of their daughters, Courtney and Kathy, Museum and this time, talked are committed to accompanying about the fine work that was them, but their third daughter has not yet John Cowart is hoping and determined done in its design and construction. I had decided. to get to the reunion. We just learned from to break the sad news of Charley Beach’s Jack Camp had just gotten back from Evelyn Turner that he is in the care center death. Ben had just written him a note Lexington when we spoke. He had attended section of his retirement place, so it will be kidding Charley about the general, who a reception and dinner where he and others difficult for him. Faithful to duty as ever, had pinned on Charley’s stars when he first met the new head of the VMI Foundation John wanted all of us to know the latest inmade general, not remembering him. at the Founders Day Convocation honoring formation about our class scholarship fund. Kathryn Thompson has sent us a members of The Institute Society. Jack is John has sent a copy of a report letter wonderful note full of news about the intending to come to the reunion but has not dated Sept. 3 from Buddy Bryan ’71, VP Thompson family with photos. One of the yet made plans. of the Foundation, which tells us that the photos, not published here, is of Vester J. John Augustine was at the convocation, as principal balance of the fund is $447,237 Thompson IV who is now two years old well. He and June are coming to the reunion and that $20,400 has been awarded this and is slated to be in the class of 2030! and likely will again ask their son, John year. Our scholars are the new appointee Vester knew it was to be a boy named after Augustine IV ’68, who lives in Arlington, replacing Sara Hanson ’09, who is Berley him but never saw the baby. to drive them down from Dulles, as he did L. Rister III ’10, plus the ongoing apEppy Powell’s health will not support his for the convocation. John’s grandson in the pointees: Patrick G. Simpson ’10, Fletcher coming to the reunion, as he now sees it. Corps was seen on their trip, and they learned S Thompson ’10, Stephen W. Rhodes ’11 We talked a little about his books that have that his football status is that of a “redshirt.” and James G. Goodwillie V ’12. It gives been published, in addition to the one we all 2010-Issue 1


CLASS NOTES appreciate, “55 Years On,” about our class. There have been several, and he described the thrill of the first $1,000 check that was earned. He is both surprised and pleased by the scholarship achievements of two of his grandchildren who are graduating from Georgia Tech and Bucknell Summa Cum Laude. Chuck Wilson thinks that the journey from Texas to Lexington is a bit far. He no longer drives, and wife Teeny couldn’t easily manage it. Their daughter, Annabelle, lives in Pineville, near Alexander, Louisiana, and their son, Marc, lives in Seattle. So, the distances are formidable. We had a good talk about life, though. He is a fan of the TV minister, Joel Osteen, and subscribes to the value of the positive by trying not to have any negative thoughts or to say anything negative. We also talked about the early days of aviation, remembering the airport called Wings Field in Richmond near the homes of both of us, where barnstormers put on shows and would take one up for $3.00 to fly around the field. Both of us used to go there as children to watch. He once got lifted off the ground by ropes from a blimp and even took a bi-plane ride. I didn’t go up, and my excuse is “my mother wouldn’t let me.” Art Wadsworth III was in good spirits, and we talked about the naming protocols in his family. His and his father’s and grandfather’s middle name is Leonard, but his son’s is Lawrence, and his grandson’s is Lee. So, the later generations escaped being A.L Wadsworth IV and V. He and his son are planning a trip to Maryland soon, which will be a trial for seeing how well he can travel. The decision on coming to the reunion will follow. Betty-Jane Smith tells that the plans are for her and Bob’s daughter and son-in-law, Pamela and George Dials, USMA ’47, to drive them and come with them. Bob is very busy these days with the unexpected burden of being thrust into running the Heritage Library Foundation since the president had to resign. B-J hopes he gets operational things under control and raises lots of money soon. The opportunities are fascinating and include trying to get a commemorative history park built, where the center of Hilton Head used to be in ante-bellum days, and trying to get much researched and discovered history information digitized and online. 32

They recently had their 66th Anniversary and Bob’s 90th birthday combined party in the clubhouse at TidePointe where they live. Hyatt’s catering made it very special for the crowd of attendees. Someone sent a riddle called “The Saga of VMI Room 439” which goes like this: In the fall of 1936, two young boys, barely 17 years old, undistinguished graduates of the small 11-year high school in the town of Franklin, Virginia, entered VMI as Rats. They roomed together for four years and held the rank of private for all four years. Both were in “A” Company and were chemistry majors. They both graduated in June 1940. One was next to last in his class, but the more persistent one achieved last in his class. Their VMI achievements include: one was president of The VMI Alumni Association, one was president of the VMI Foundation, one was president of the VMI Board of Visitors, two got Distinguished Service Awards and one got the New Market Medal. Does anybody know who these wretches are? Briefs: Evelyn Turner says that she and Andy are planning to come to the party in spite of the health problems Andy has. He has been in a rehab facility recently but is really trying hard to get home. Bob Barnes may not be well enough to come … five months’ passage of time will give the answer, and of course, Seattle is a long way away. Dr. Earl Brown could not say if he might come, since his daughter in Raleigh has yet to commit, and he really needs the help he gets in assisted living. Matt Friedlander was found at his home in Atlanta and advised he would not be able to come. Gene Phillippi and his daughter have not yet made their decision about coming, but Gene certainly wants to. Jerry Totten reports that his activities are very limited. He and Mary, who were married in 1942, live in a high rise apartment building in San Antonio with restaurants, so that they get along quite comfortably. Adelaide Simpson has sent a note offering to do anything she can by phone or mail to help with the reunion – she is using a scooter/walker now. In closing, it was surprising how many of us are planning to come to Lexington next April. I think almost all who are not unable to travel are saying that they are coming. That really shows the Spirit. For those not

able to come, I ask you to please send a few recent photographs of you and your family so that we may enjoy the chance to share them and talk about you while we are together in Lexington. Remembering absent Brother Rats will add much to the occasion.


Walter Richards

An “Old Yell” for the Ladies of ’41. They have gotten us this far and are seldom recognized. So, here goes a little recognition: Mrs. Charlotte Adler, Mrs. Walter F. Arnold (Alyse), Mrs. C.M. Bache (Beth), Mrs. Jack L. Balthis (Anne), Mrs. Thomas G. Bennett Jr. (Vangie), Mrs. G.P. Blackburn (Betty), Mrs. Edmond B. Bradford (Phoebe), Mrs. Lillyann (Sosbee) Brannon, Mrs. P. Allen Brauer (Vera), Mrs. Dominick Buonanno (Audrey), Mrs. Edgar F. Carney (Monte), Mrs. W.C. Coakley (Ces), Mrs. John H. Cochran, Mrs. William F. Cuozzi (Dolly), Frau Waltrud Dale, Mrs. Hugh M. Davisson (Emily), Mrs. Robert J. Doland (Frances), Mrs. Charles A. Earnest (Nan), Mrs. Douglas C. France Jr. (Pauline), Mrs. Edward W. Galloway (Gessner), Mrs. Hugh R. Gantt (Sarah), Mrs. Francis J. Gasquet (Ione), Mrs. Lawrence D. Goldsmith (Jackie), Mrs. Luther F. Gordy Jr., Mrs. David F. Gott (Michie), Mrs. Tiry Harrod (Fay), Mrs. Lucius D. Hill III (Torrance), Mrs. Seth G. Hobart (Mary), Mrs. Robert H. Ingle Jr. (Irma), Mrs. William M. Jackson Jr. (Harriett), Mrs. John W. Laningham (Betty), Mrs. Marion D. Lucas Jr. (Finley), Mrs. William R. Maxson (Ruth), Mrs. Henry F. McCredy Jr. (Ginger), Mrs. Alvin F. Meyer (Grace), Mrs. Charles E. Moore (Mary Katherine), Mrs. Richard Moriarty (Marge), Mrs. Albert B. Morrison (Jane), Mrs. Andrew L. Nelson (Jenny), Mrs. Ernest J. Oglesby (Dutchy), Mrs. Herbert D. Oliver (Doris), Mrs. John C. Palmer (Nita), Mrs. Frank Paxton Jr., Mrs. Beverly M. Read (Suzanne), Mrs. George B. Richmond (June), Mrs. Elbert L. Rison (Opal), Mrs. J. Keith Rose (Elizabeth), Mrs. John Rudulph (Charlotte), Mrs. Calvin VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES Satterfield III (Maria), Mrs. Howard L. Satterwhite (Mary Jo), Mrs. George Shelhorse III (Belle), Mrs. Sydney W. Smith (Dorothy), Mrs. F. Nash Strudwick (Pat), Mrs. Richard E. Traver (Dinny), Mrs. Warren T. White Jr. (Frances), Mrs. Carter Beamer (Madeline), Mrs. Joseph H. Conduff (Kitty), Mrs. Gordon L. Early (Betty), Mrs. Allen J. Ellender Jr. (Ligia), Mrs. William K. Goolrick Jr. (Martha), Mrs. J. Ed Hensley (Katie), Mrs. Fred Kaiser (Ann), Mrs. Frank G. Louthan Jr. (Marilyn), Mrs. Robert C. Maling (Mila), Mrs. Joseph Parrish (Grace), Mrs. Carl N. Payne (Alberta), Mrs. W. Trent Ragland (Anna), Mrs. Walter Richards (Gladys), Mrs. Alfred J. Rooklin (M.J.), Mrs. Stuart M. Seaton (Virginia), Mrs. Ralph Seigel (Sara), Mrs. Robert L. Spear (Betty) and Mrs. William A. Willis (Catherine). A new address for Frank Kirby: Harbor’s Edge, #1 Colley Ave., Apt. 10106, Norfolk, VA 23519. Frank “Bunny” Baldwin is now at 1600 Broadrock Rd., Richmond, VA 23224, an assisted living facility. Doug Green from Hawaii now lives in the continental U.S.A. at 12024 Roseglen, St. El Monte, CA 91732-1634. “Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.” Keep The Spirit ’41

Richard C. Horne III


Charles P. Wilson

Editor’s Note: There were no notes received from the class of 1942 for this issue.


Jeffrey G. Smith

Dear Brother Rats and Other Readers – I’m very sorry to report that Bill Johann’s wife, Mary Jane, died 26 Oct. 2009 in Richmond. The Johanns had been married 66 years. Mary Jane had been seriously ill 2010-Issue 1

in a nursing home for the past 11 years. On the brighter side, I can once again write that since my notes of last August, our surviving Brother Rats are holding their own, tenaciously hanging in there. I spoke recently with my class agent predecessor, Jim Hodgkin. He has fully recovered from the stroke he had several months ago, and he sounded his usual upbeat self. He and Sally were expecting their son to arrive on 13 Nov. from Ohio for a birthday celebration. As I began to write this portion of my notes on 13 Nov., the rain is pelting down for the third straight day – the still bothersome remnants of Tropical Storm Ida. I tried all that day to call Vince Thomas and tell him that he and Betty missed a fine evening at VMI’s Founders Day Institute Society Dinner on 11 Nov. However, all communications were down for the count. The Norfolk area was hard hit by the storm. On the 14th, I made contact. Vince said the streets had been flooded, and there had been numerous power failures, but Norfolk took such storms in stride, and the cleanup was underway. Betty sounded fine but on her way out the door. Vince sounded as chipper, upbeat and busy as ever. However, as with so many of us, arthritis and various aches and pains torment him from time to time, causing him to find a “walker” a useful aid. Nevertheless, he vows that Betty and he will do their best to attend a Spring Mini Reunion. Vince (mayor emeritus of Norfolk) is the active chairman of the board of the “Future of Hampton Roads, Inc.” Other than that organization’s broad effort to coordinate major projects and governance improvements in the various municipalities of that key and vital part of Virginia, the immediate focus is to gain high speed rail between Washington and Norfolk. Vince said that the Thomases had dinner recently with Frank and Indie Bain Bilisoly at the retirement residence on the Norfolk waterfront where they all live. Frank is reportedly trying to persuade one and all for permission to move back to the Bilisoly apartment but has yet to convince the powers-that-be in the nursing wing that his balance has sufficiently stabilized. Vince said Frank looks great and is quite popular, unsurprisingly, among all those in the nursing facility.

Charlie and Judy Willcox live in that same waterfront retirement residence. Vince sees Charlie fairly often and said that he’s holding his own despite his problems with emphysema. We all join in wishing Charlie the very best. Dick Catlett, as reported by several of our classmates, continues to be blessed by a caring wife, Barbara, and fine children and grandchildren. He remains a straightdown-the-fairway golfer and in good health and spirits. Midday on 11 Nov. (year 2009, lest you wonder), Jane and I drove to VMI from the Alexandria area. Thanks to Tropical Storm Ida, it was beyond doubt the most harrowing three and a half-hour drive that I have experienced in my numerous VMI comings and goings (with the exception of taking the Corps (in a column of busses) over the mountains in a heavy snowstorm for President John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration in January 1961). This year’s 11 Nov. had a steady, wind-driven rain (not so bad in itself), but Lexington is now reached by interstate highways, on which, at times, huge semi-trailer trucks seemingly outnumber passenger cars. The trucks threw up a constant, heavy curtain of rain and road debris. Forward visibility was often little more than a truck’s length. Well, the trip was well worth it. The Institute Society Dinner was a grand, heartwarming affair. VMI – by that, I mean the superintendent, the staff and faculty, the VMI Foundation, the Alumni Association and, above all, the cadets – did a superb job despite the horrendous weather. This year’s affair took place in the VMI’s newest jewel in its crown, Marshall Hall, home of the Leadership and Ethics Center. The hall is behind Moody (Alumni) and Smith (HQ) Halls. Jane and I had been in the new facility last March, but since then, a Hall of Valor and other enhancements have been added. The dinner was held in the largest (by far) of several rooms on several floors. The older VMI classes were seated in a large room (which could accommodate about two, perhaps three, basketball courts). In the foyer, a staircase leads to a wide, commodious balcony which overlooks that large room. Those in the younger classes sat at tables spread along the balcony. The balcony outer walls are virtually covered 33

CLASS NOTES by framed cases in which are displayed been, with mixed feelings, trying to sell her unsuccessfully to call Keith on 13 Nov.) the combat related decorations received lovely home in Lexington. Many of us have Bill also said that Frank Williams, by each former cadet. Each individual enjoyed the hospitality of the Haskins, both despite his leg problems, is busy, active, honored has a dedicated display case. The Guy and Betty, over the years. Lexington in good health and spirits. Georgia Lee cases are grouped by VMI class, in alphahas not been immune from the real estate Litton, Sonny’s wife, told Bill that Sonny betical order. A brochure was given each woes of recent years. Betty loves Lexington (who has now finally retired) has slowed guest, and I quote from part of it: and VMI but wants to move to a retirement down somewhat. (Haven’t we all? And at “In 1998 Mr. William McClure, president development in the Harrisburg, PA, area to our stage and pay grade, shouldn’t we all?) of the class of 1943, arranged for his class be near her daughters. George Snead called me a few days to purchase all authorized medals for his Johnny Van Landingham looked in before the 11th to state that Kitty and he Brother Rats, to have 100% representation great shape, swims several times a week had to cancel attending this year’s event. for the class of 1943 in the Hall of Valor. and plays (weather permitting) a bit of George has a bum hip (treatment yet This initiative stimulated an effort repeated golf. Johnny also reported that he’d lately to be determined) and Kitty, I believe, by alumni of every class, with Mr. McClure seen John Halsey – and that John looked some back trouble. It would have been a coordinating the project. By the time of his and seemed well. miserable trip in the weather we had – to death in 2008, the project of researching Bill Johann, too, was as erect and trim say nothing of aching at dinner and the and purchasing duplicates for all valor as ever. He handles his near-blindness discomfort of an unfamiliar bed. However, medal recipients had been completed.” (macular degeneration) with grace and they both sounded chipper (on the phone) As many of you may recall, two of our aplomb – and is greatly helped by the loyal and I’m certain will be much improved Brother Rats received the Distinguished attentiveness of fellow Richmonder, Ann soon. They are enjoying their smaller, Service Cross, second only to the Congres- Walls. I and several of our Brother Rats more convenient digs where they’ve long sional Medal of Honor for valor: Arthur B. deeply appreciate Bill’s frequent telephone been residents at Lynchburg’s Westmin“Bill” Nunn and John R. Armellino (who calls. As I have written before, he is our de ster Canterbury. The Sneads have many died in September 2004). facto class agent in many respects. Among reasons to be proud of their grandson who While we were on the balcony, Waddy his many pieces of recent information, he is in flight training after his 2009 graduaBugg’s son (Wadsworth Bugg III ’78) in- said that Keith Phillips is doing well detion from the U.S. Naval Academy. He’s at troduced himself. He’s a fine looking young spite his neuropathy (a true cross to bear) the top of his class in flight school and on man. He reminded us that his father’s funeral and counts on a mini-reunion to be. (I tried his own, qualified (in civilian aircraft) as a service was a year ago to the day multi-engine pilot. (Founders Day 11 Nov. 2008), From the great state of New A NEW VMI TRADITION remarking that it had been a Jersey whose citizens recently great date to honor both his followed Virginia’s lead by father and VMI. switching allegiance and electLast year, our class was reping a Republican governor, resented at the dinner by Vince Bruce Suter called to tell me Made in New Hampshire by skilled and Betty Thomas, George and that Joan and he are well, happy artisans, these distinctive clocks will Kitty Snead, Shirley and John and content. What more could make a great graduation or retirement gift. Van Landingham, Bill Johann one ask? He’d recently spoken Jefferson I – $129 Clocks are made of cherry wood and Jefferson II (chiming) – $179 and Ann Walls, Jane and Jeff with Hap Vaughan (as I had a Dimensions 11.5"h x 8"w x 4"d available in either burgundy cherry Smith, and Betty Haskins and few months before). Hap looks (dark) or antique cherry (light) finish. her guest. This year, only the forward to a mini-reunion and is To order a clock, visit us at Van Landinghams, the Smiths, already thinking of travel plans. or call 800-808-9871. Bill Johann and Anne Walls, Bruce keeps up with Billy Bell and Betty Haskins attended. As who has now completely recovan old soldier, I tend to think in ered from the corneal transplant terms of casualty rates, and a I reported in my August (2009) Winchester I – $119 33+% drop off in our class’s notes. Billy said that the most Winchester II (chiming) – $169 Dimensions 10"h x 8"w x 4"d attendance took a bit off the harrowing time was waiting to bloom of what was an enjoyable open his eyes after the doctors Alton – $80 occasion. had done their job, all the while Dimensions 10 .5"h x 10 .5"w x 2"d Betty Haskins was as attracwondering whether he’d be Lexington – $199 tive and gracious a representaable to see. (His other eye is/ Madison – $72 (PERSONALIZED Lexington Regulator (chiming) – $249 tive of our class as one could was blind.) Well, he can see, and Dimensions 5"h x 10 "w x 2"d PLAQUE IS OPTIONAL) Dimensions 23"h x 13"w x 3"d hope for at the dinner. We were enjoys playing the violin and life The VMI Alumni Association receives a generous delighted she could attend. in general at Falcon’s Landing in royalty on each clock sold! As reported before, Betty has Loudon County.

Handcrafted Clocks



CLASS NOTES I received a very welcome letter from Jim Dischinger in September. He’d read my mention of the capes the first classmen used to wear and reminded me of a few things. I quote: “They were few [new or used capes] in our first class year. One used [cape] was shared by three full rooms on my side of Barracks. Scarcity was not the cause; economics was.” I recall that my cape was a used one. I kept it after graduation, and my wife wore it for a few years with the red side out and tailored a bit shorter. I’ve no idea of what eventually happened to it. But more from Jim: “Not long ago, I was contacted by phone … [by] the daughter of a VMI [Robert A. Nolan, class of 1910] graduate and a former date of our classmate, Bevy Blackburn, in Harrisonburg. I remembered her well, as Bevy and I double-dated many times our first class year at then-Madison College … Her call was to tell me that she had a pristine VMI cape and a copy of the 1943 Bomb and offered them to me. I declined and referred her to the VMI Alumni Office. I don’t know the aftermath.” (Note: On 16 Nov., I spoke to Mrs. Ann “Penny” Nolan Decherd, now widowed and living in a retirement residence in Bridgewater, VA. She still has the cape (which was her father’s!) and the yearbook (which she bought in an antique show) but intends to mail them to the VMI Foundation. I spoke to Buddy Bryan ’71 at the Foundation, and he’ll be on the lookout.) Jim also recounted a story about his brother Hugh (Dischinger ’45) who went to war shortly after we graduated and became an Army Air Corps fighter pilot. Hugh returned to VMI and graduated with the class of 1950B. He delivered the valedictory address in J.M. Hall in civilian clothes. As a former commandant, I admit to having a qualm or two about the “uniform,” but I nonetheless admire Hugh’s accomplishments (as I do Jim’s) and enjoy Hugh’s frequent e-mails. I close with three comments: (1) A mini-reunion in mid May 2010. By the time these notes are published, all will be notified of plans and prospects for such. I will do my best to arrange a good and enjoyable one. (2) I wrote at relative length about the Institute Society Dinner in Marshall Hall. I am not at all sure whether there would be a 2010-Issue 1

Marshall Hall or a new Center for Leadership and Ethics – or whether they would be as impressive as they are – without the generosity of the Gottwald family, led by our loyal Brother Rat Bill (Floyd D. Jr.) and his equally loyal brother, Bruce (VMI 1954). (3) I’m certain that many readers observe that I mention only a relatively few of our surviving Brother Rats. It would be my joy to write about each and every living classmate, but it is beyond me to seek each of them out. I would hope that each classmate (or wife) might find a time, once every three months (or every six, for that matter), to drop me a brief missive about self, wife and/or family. It would be a great help to me, but more important, of great interest to our Brother Rats.


Robert P. Jones Jr.

Editor’s Note: Please see the end of the Class Notes section for Bob Jones’ notes.


John D. Williams

These notes are being assembled in mid November, and the fall foliage has been magnificent here in Virginia. I have had several auto trips through central and western Virginia, and they have been most enjoyable. First, I went to Dillwyn, VA, to meet Joe Gantt who is working with Jim Morgan and me on our 65th Reunion plans. The little town of Dillwyn happens to be about half way between Richmond and Lynchburg. Joe is holding up quite well and really looks great. This week, Mary Ballou and I went to Lexington to attend The Institute Society Dinner, which was a most inspiring evening with the “National Anthem” being presented by the VMI Herald Trumpets and dinner entertainment given by the VMI Glee Club. For the first time, this event was held in the new Marshall Hall, Center for Leadership and Ethics, a 20-plus million dollar building which is by far the most beautiful on the Post. Jess Reed was the only other representative from our class, and he really looks

well. He had driven up alone from Montgomery, AL, into Pennsylvania to visit his sisters and then back to Lexington for the dinner. When I inquired as to our having breakfast together the next morning, he informed me that he was leaving to drive back to Alabama at 5:00 AM. However, Jim Morgan and I had a 9:00 AM breakfast at my motel and discussed various aspects of our upcoming 65th Reunion next April. In the not-too-distant future, we will be sending out a tentative schedule of events and an approximation of the costs. We are most hopeful that many of our surviving widows or Sister Rats will be in attendance. The real highlight of this lovely dinner was at the end when a young man came up to our table and introduced himself as Lou Louis ’94, son of Nancy and Paul Louis. As I have previously reported, he is a renowned cardiac surgeon. I called Nancy today, and she had already heard about our get-together. At present, it is Nancy’s intent to attend our reunion. She is still working full time in the law office, and I know that they couldn’t get along without her. She was thrilled to tell me that she was expecting her first granddaughter in April from her other son, Dore, who works in this law firm, and his wife. A nice note from Giles Upsher reveals that he thinks his brain cells are shrinking, and he leans on his dear wife, Claudia, to help with his memory. He is completing a test of experimental medication – 50% genuine and 50% placebo – and believes that he is on the placebo. Giles says there is a controversy as to whether brain cells can be restored or whether it’s a matter of slowing down the loss. It seems as though his daily walk of a mile and a half is keeping him in pretty good shape, and he is planning to attend our reunion in April 2010. Sarge Wise reported in from Rochester, NY, but the bad news is that he will not be able to attend our reunion, as his left hip is a real problem, and Kitty is beginning to have trouble with her legs. They don’t roam very far from home, and their children and grandchildren prefer to visit with them. They send their best to everyone. An e-mail from Vic and P.J. Bray finds them both in very good health and enjoying life to the fullest, including keeping their golf skills honed to a razor’s edge 35

CLASS NOTES by regular visits to their local golf driving range. This fall, they visited their youngest daughter in northern Vermont. Their family handles the Vermont winters by possessing three snowmobiles and a tractor large enough to accommodate a snow plow which clears the way to the public roads. The Brays are anxiously awaiting our reunion. Bob Allen is a very faithful correspondent, and he stays extremely busy in his travels and his geological pursuits. Bob and daughter Kathy were in New York City in September where they visited with Verne Cheney and attended a Yankees baseball game and also visited with a grand-daughter who is in law school in Albany. More recently, Bob and his daughter, Diane, have been to Fresno, CA, to attend a reunion of the 1255th and 138th Engineer Combat Battalion, his old outfits in WWII. On April 11, 2010, about a week before our reunion, Bob will go to New Orleans, LA, where he will receive the 2010 Special Award given by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. This association has over 30,000 members located in 116 countries, truly a worldwide organization. This is not an annual award, and one of the past recipients was the first geologist to land on the moon and study its geology. Congratulations, Bob, and what an honor! See you at our reunion. Please continue to send some news, and very soon we will give you our tentative format and pricing for the great 65th Reunion. God bless our Great Class of 1945 and VMI. Hope to see many of you in April 2010.


William A. Eliason

You have read my last soliloquy on why I need better cooperation to make these notes of interest. Since my last notes, I have received only one advisory and that from Pat Echols, advising me that he is in the process of writing his memoirs. I tremble with fear of what he will write about his old roommate, Ludlow, but I’m too old to fight. The only other news that I received were notices of several Brother Rats who have bought the farm this year and joined that 36

great Ratline in the sky. I vowed when I took this job that I would not turn this into an obituary column, and I am holding to it. By now, all of you have received my end of the year letter (I’m writing these notes in November) in which I advised you of whom we have lost. With no news to report, I decided to use this space to tell you (and any other interested alumni) more about our experience at the Western Tidewater Chapter New Cadet Cookout last August. Elsewhere in the Association News section of this issue you will see a group of pictures from the event. I do not know how many VMI alumni chapters sponsor events like this, but I can tell you that it has been an annual highlight for Carol and me since we returned here in 2005. At our first one of these “New Cadet Cookouts,” as I was one of the senior alumni, I was asked to say a few words. Not being the greatest “off-thecuff” speaker, I resorted to reading my contribution to our 50th Reunion booklet on “What VMI has meant to me.” It was very well received and, in fact, as a result, the authors of a book to be published next year, Ratline – 2010, asked if they could use it as a forward to their book. I was asked to read it again this year, and it was even better received, with some remarking that it should receive wider distribution. So, in typical modesty, I’ve included it near the end of these notes. If it is “old hat” to you or unduly sentimental, then just remember that it’s the penalty for not sending me any news of what you are doing. Our hosts for the cookout, Barbara and Phil Smith ’72, turned their spectacular residence on the Lilly Creek into a lawn party to rival the Great Gatsby. Lilly Creek is a branch off the West Elizabeth River which is home to the world’s largest naval base and leads into Hampton Roads and on to some of the best boating and fishing waters on this planet. John Rowe ’66, chapter president, and his committee set up keg beer and soft drinks plus finger food. As the clans gathered, everyone moved around and got to meet most all of the attendees. Then, we were served a great buffet of traditional barbecue and spicy fried chicken with all the trimmings. In addition to 19 of what I nicknamed “rising Rats” and their parents, we had 17 different classes represented,

embracing seven decades of VMI alumni. From Vince Thomas ’43, who you will remember as captain of A Company and who has been a virtual icon in the Tidewater area as longtime mayor of the city of Norfolk, to Ben Booth ’03, whose younger brother is one of those “rising Rats.” Some of you may remember Bill Oast ’50B who attended with his wife, Jean. By coincidence, the day of the cookout was their wedding anniversary. Also attending with his wife, Ann, was Bill’s Brother Rat Jack Nurney ’50B, who was Bill’s best man. After dinner, we all took our chairs down to creek side and, using Barb and Phil’s dock as a platform, John Rowe emceed a program which featured each of the rising Rats, briefly stating his background and what he plans to study and compete in as a Keydet. Col. Vern Beitzel ’72, VMI Admissions director, addressed the group, gave the Rats a cheery welcome and let them know what to expect. I read my bit (printed below), and John finished us off by leading an Old Yell for “the whole damn team.” It was a great and memorable afternoon, almost as much fun as our reunions. What has VMI meant to me? It has given me a heritage and a sense of purpose that I know I would never have otherwise had. It taught me very early the consequences of both good and bad behavior, and as we all know, we have no choice but to come down on the good side. Thanks to VMI, I have been accepted and respected without question wherever I have gone. It taught me perseverance, although it took the Institute almost six years to do that. I learned to fall without breaking, to recognize defeat as a temporary state and how to come back. It taught me to respect the beliefs of others just so long as I do not have to accept them as my own. It also taught me to fight with my last ounce of courage against those who would try to possess the minds of others to their own purposes. It taught me to trust people and to refuse to deal with those who betray that trust. And VMI gave me a life-long memory of attending alumni chapter meetings in Leesburg and announcing my name and class long after hearing from the distinguished gentleman across the table, “Marshall, G.C., aught-one.” VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES Lastly, and most important, VMI gave me Brother Rats and roommates. I have roomed with doctors, lawyers, state senators, a U.S. Congressman, a “fly-boy” fighter pilot with eight Air Medals, a codebreaker for the National Security Agency, a judge and numerous CEOs. Add to that the pleasure of seeing my first roommate, Jim Price, on TV, telling Wall Street Weekers how to invest their money and watching my last roommate, NASA’s Red Hayes, greeting our astronauts returning from space as they stepped from their capsules. How much of life’s enrichment can anyone get from a little school deep in the Virginia hills? Just about all that there is. Speaking of reunions, our 65th comes up in spring 2011 which is just a little over a year away. It is not too early to start planning for it, and perhaps giving me your wishes in this respect will stir you to write and at the same time let me know what goes on in your life. If we don’t start getting some input, I’m afraid that we will soon be joining the ranks of the older classes who have no notes because they have no class agent. Please send me input for next time. Have a great spring and summer!


Bill Hallett

Note from Lou Hundley reported that Xrays of both hips showed no arthritis; however, recent glucose readings caused his family doctor (who used to be his paper boy) to declare Hershey bars and nuggets off-limits. Daughter Mary Lou and her husband make overseas trips each year; Lou remembers when he and Katheryne made monthly trips to Buena Vista. Alice and Ben McCarley had an enjoyable and leisurely visit with daughter Betsy at her Visalia, CA, home. Betsy still maintains an active practice; Ben said he didn’t miss going to the office. On his annual trip to Waco, TX, to visit his sister, Dick Spencer enjoyed the grand hospitality of Allene and Lucius Dabney’s B&B. Dick and Lucius talked much of genealogical matters, and Dick shared a vast amount of information about the Marye family from which the Lucius branch of 2010-Issue 1

the Dabney family is descended. Early members of that clan lived in Goochland County, VA, which is only a few miles west of Richmond, VA. Dick’s branch of the Spencer family first “appeared” in Amelia County, VA, on a land patent in 1735. One of your Scribe’s daughters has been researching Hallett family history; the first Hallett “showed up” on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in 1673. Earlier/timely remarks; “The trouble with socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.” Margaret Thatcher. “When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.” J.D. Davidson. “The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates.” Tacitus. Class privileges still applying, young Harry Lee ’81 (aka Hank) became designated driver for his father and Frank Louthan ’41 for the ride to Lexington to see VMI’s 14-13 opening-season game win over Robert Morris College. Harry said VMI did not play well and hinted that some of Pooley “kick ‘em in the butt” Hubert’s coaching might have helped. On New Market Day, I read again “Letters of a New Market Cadet” a collection of letters written by Beverly Stanard (1867) who arrived at VMI on January 20, 1863, was admitted as a cadet and was killed at New Market on May 15, 1864. Stanard’s letters were edited by John G. Barrett (H ’44) and Robert K. “Slo Freight” Turner Jr. Barrett was a member of the History Dept. and Turner a member of the English Dept. Katheryne Hundley contributed much to the project by typing/ translating their “crabbed scribble.” A mid-July retirement party in Warren, WI, for James Barnet Sizer celebrated his 27 years of multi-talented services as a mechanical engineer with TACOM (Tank Auto Motive Command). Woobucket has been involved in many projects since his 1948 graduation from USNA and separation from shipboard service in 1954. He participated in the landing of troops at Inchon from the U.S.S. President Jackson. Jim had worked with USAF as an electronic field engineer and with NASA in developing training methods used during Project Apollo for the moon landing. At TACOM, his specialty since 1971 was the M113, a light armored vehicle which was named the most significant infantry fighting vehicle

in history. Mary Anne’s note accompanying his retirement brochure closed with the happy line “after 60 years he has finally decided it’s time for a change; maybe we can get in some real traveling.” For the first time since inheriting the Class Quill, I received a lengthy note from John Velte admonishing me for including a copy of the Wall Street Journal editorial “GovernmentCare’s Assault on Seniors” along with the Class Notes which were mailed on August 15th. John avowed that article was a “politically generated message attempting to sabotage healthcare for all Americans” and went on to say that I should not include such an article “in an epistle with classmate’s information and updates.” Some of you may remember that John’s father, Dr. F.M. Velte, taught Rat English. In one of his many televised speeches, our president said that we need to create a “civilian national security force” of equal strength to our uniformed Armed Forces with appropriate financing and training”. Suppose the Salvation Army is planning an attack? From over the transom: A cynic is a person who, when noticing the sweet aroma of flowers, looks around for a coffin. My mind works like lightening: one brilliant flash and it’s gone. The first weekend of October brought delightful weather, a full moon and a reasonably well-attended gathering of the Die-Hard gang including Margaret and Ridley Nichol who had journeyed north to escape Atlanta’s rains. A few of us gathered at Morris Manor on Diamond Hill Friday evening to enjoy expert bartending by Jim Morris’53 and partake of the good groceries provided by Betty Lane and Gus Robbins. Helen Gillespie, her son, Tom, Buck Cavedo and the Halletts made sure there was a full house. Lexington was full, as the classes of ’94, ’99 and ’04 celebrated their 15th, 10th and 5th Reunions; didn’t see many neckties. Friday afternoon’s Dress Parade was a treat for the eyes and ears with over 1,400 cadets on the Hill for all to admire. I’m sure the Corps was delighted to return to the Hill Saturday morning for the Reunion Weekend Review. Band Company does a great job and one of their new (for them) tunes this year is “Over There.” Following DRC the Corps formed in class dyke (white shirts and ducks) to 37

CLASS NOTES march down the hill past Crozet Hall onto and tradition. You can make a difference! Valor, the Meritorious Service Medal and Alumni Field. “The National Anthem” Your support at this time could not be more the Air Medal with 15 clusters, all of which was played; all rose again for the kick-off relevant or important. Contribute to the ex- had been awarded to our Brother Rat Brig. and unfortunately the Big Red team did tent you are able; every gift large and small Gen. Jack R. Sadler. not do well several times when they got makes a positive difference. As always, my The 1948A Scholarship has been in the red zone. All mentioned above, plus thanks for your help and participation. awarded to Cadet Bobby Allen Gragg ’12 Lou Hundley and his daughter, Mary Lou, Class notes depend on you and your in the amount of $2700 for the first semesand her husband, Mark, gathered at the active participation. Marty joins me in ter. Presently, the scholarship has a market Gillespie house for libations, dinner, dessending good wishes to you and your value of over $90,000. sert and much conversation. Helen and son family for a new year with many reasons Tom ’81 were, as always, perfect hosts. for which to be thankful. Stay well, keep Louis Castellano Jr. ’Twas a mighty fine weekend! smiling and age gracefully. During her October trip to Colorado, Sarah Newsom wanted to see snow, so she Dale E. Wykoff went to Estes Park to see the accumulation on Long’s Peak. If she had waited until Received a letter from our Brother Rat the day she flew out of Denver, there was Jim Warrington who, for several months, five inches of snow on the ground and has been living in an assisted-living facilthe temperature stood at 24°; on her way It hardly seemed a year since the last ity in northern Virginia. He is a resident home from NY to VA there was snow all of Goodwin House, which is affiliated meeting of the Institute Society, but on the thru PA. Be careful what you wish for. A with the Episcopal Church. If any of you 11th of Nov., the 35th annual meeting took relaxing and enjoyable evening for Buck wish to reach Jim, his address is: Suite place in the new Leadership and Ethics Cavedo and Marty and Bill Hallett at 508, 3440 South Jefferson Street, Bailey’s Building. Ed Kritzer was looking forward Bettie Jacobsen’s home. Soothing cool Crossroads, VA, 22041-3123; phone, to attending when a last-minute medical beverage and a most tasty meal topped off 703/578-7478. complication prevented his coming, but by a grand dessert; much conversation and his wife, Peggy, and their daughter, Peggy Our mini reunion is scheduled for Oct. catching up. All agreed that summer had 22-23, 2010. Rooms have been set aside Keene, were able to attend. John and Barpassed too quickly. bara Trumbo shared the table with them, as at the Holiday Inn in Lexington. However, One hundred seventy years ago on Nov. 11, did Dale Wykoff. The banquet and program there might be rooms available for single 1839, a cold and snowy day, the Institute was were impressive and most enjoyable. Of Brother Rats at Alumni Hall [Moody Hall] founded. Twenty-eight cadets and two fac- special interest was the display in the Hall on Post. The change from a previously ulty members moved into the old Lexington of Valor of the Distinguished Service Medscheduled November date was caused by arsenal building located where the courtyard al, the Legion of Merit with four Bronze W&L having Parents Weekend, and all of Old Barracks now stands. Currently there Stars, the Purple Heart with two Bronze housing facilities in Lexington were taken are 1,500 cadets and 131 faculty. VMI has an Stars, the award of four Bronze Stars for up. Among other things, our game plan academic reputation that many includes dinner at Moody Hall on colleges envy. The reputation Oct. 22nd, with the “Men in Grey” of its cadets and alumni as performing, and dinner at the to their honor is second to Lexington Country Club on Oct. none. This reputation attracts 23rd. Hopefully, our guest speaker outstanding new students and will be the commandant of cadets. faculty. You’ll be getting more details as EXCELLENCE is not free; the date approaches. The Alumni it comes with a cost. Seven Office will notify us of the regisyears ago when General Peay tration fee, but it is anticipated, as ’62 became superintendent it was the last time, that it will be the state was providing 40% $200.00 per couple and $125.00 of VMI’s funding; currently for a single. This may well cover that funding has been reduced dinner at Moody Hall. However, to 19.3% and further reducI will give you more specific partions are likely. We must do all ticulars as the date approaches. we can to shield from extreme I haven’t heard very much from funding cuts those elements either our Brother or Sister Rats. that sustain VMI’s reputation This is all for the time being. Class of 1948A: From left, John and Barbara Trumbo, and that are most critical to Peggy Keene and Peggy Kritzer. If any of you believe that you VMI’s mission, fundamentals will be attending or hope to attend





CLASS NOTES the mini reunion, kindly send me a short note, so we can get some preliminary estimate of numbers to make the appropriate reservations. You can also fax your response to me at 631/665-1344.


James Harrington

“Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls … ” (John Donne) Lawrence E. Butler. Larry died on Aug. 27. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; two sons, James and Ralph; two daughters, Mary and Priscilla; and 12 grandchildren. Thomas L. Brooks III. Tom died Sept. 21. He leaves behind his son, Tom L. Brooks IV ’76, daughter Mary Griggs, four grandchildren and a host of grieving Brother Rats. Mary Griggs wrote: “My brother and I want to thank you and the class of ’49A, not only for the VMI floral, but also for the expressions of support and concern when you learned that Dad was ill. Many of his classmates responded. It was very comforting to us as well as to Dad.” Edward E. West. Ed died Oct. 6, after a long fight with pulmonary fibrosis. Ed was an accomplished businessman and civic leader in Richmond. I had a most pleasant, if difficult, telephone visit with Thekla and her daughter, Sarah, who asked to be remembered to all of Ed’s Brother Rats. (Editor’s Note: The obituaries of the above three men appear in this Review’s Taps section.) Joe Fil sends a nice update. I don’t know about his exclamatory word, but I’m glad that he had a chance to visit by phone with Ed West. “Sue and I have taken a little time off and are now in Clear Lake. Since we don’t have the Internet here, I’m using the public library wireless. We had a super week in Maryland attending a grandson’s wedding. It was perfect – there just wasn’t anything that could have been added – Abondanza! We lucked out and had our four boys together – which doesn’t happen very often. Joe came in from Korea, as he had to do something at the Pentagon, so it worked out perfectly. His oldest daughter flew up from Tuscaloosa where she is attending school. All the others had their children, 2010-Issue 1

except for Jonathan whose children were in school. We stayed at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds – terrific lodging. It’s a glorious day here at the lake. We had our pooch clipped at a place quite a way from our house and drove there around the lake shore. We stopped in a small Indian reservation (Pomo) and had an interesting side trip. They seemed to live in very nice manufactured homes but still used the circular houses and sweat houses. They had a perfect spot on the lake. Everyone seemed friendly. A while back, we met the anchor on the early Channel 7 news. He was able to spend about a week with Joe in Korea and said he had a great time. They will run a four-segment TV show depicting the military functions in Korea. We are looking forward to seeing it. By chance, I called Edward two days before he died. We spoke for about an hour. He was very comfortable and spoke without effort. Just a nice conversation. Sara, his daughter, and Thekla were present, but I was unaware. Thekla called later to inform Sue and me of his passing. I think your advice to hang in there is a good one.” Season’s greetings from the Noftsingers: “Happy Thanksgiving. We are hanging on and praying that this world in which we live will shape up. There is way too much greed and selfishness to gain peace and calm like it is. Our grands would love to inherit a better place to keep improving on and pass on to their children. Well, enough of that – we are gearing up for both holidays ahead of us, one to be with Billy and Rosemary for Christmas with us. Not sure how many will be here, but we are always ready for all. And this year, we are so glad to have our world traveler with us. After her year around the world, she is now living and working in New York. Another granddaughter, Sarah Katherine, now works for a non-profit in Africa. They seem to be much more adventurous than we ever thought of being. Bill and I are so sorry about the loss of so many Bro’ Rats but so glad we were able to get together in April. You all take care.” With so few of us left, I am especially appreciative of Allen Penniman’s quarterly report, which is, as he intends, a communication to all of us, as well as to others who may read these notes. Here’s Allen’s latest, composed and transmitted

on Nov. 11: “I want to begin my comments with an expression of deepest sympathy for the families of three Brother Rats we lost, one right after another. Our numbers have always been few, but the loss we sustained was overwhelming. Just a few words about each of them. I roomed with Tommy Brooks, and he was a grand guy. I remember his father very well. He often visited us at school. Tom was a good guy, and he was my favorite partner for ‘running the block.’ We never got caught! Larry Butler was certainly a stable person in our class, both during our time and then later on. He and his charming wife, Margaret, were always there when I revisited VMI and were always glad to see us. He lived his life at VMI and later to the fullest. Then came Ed West who I think, looking back, was the intellectual one of our class. I recall that his father, or maybe his father’s company, invented the little cloth bag that held Bull Durham tobacco. There was an orange string to close it and rolling papers attached thereto. It was a favorite of mine, and every time I lit up, even after college days, I was reminded of Ed. Three wonderful people and all good friends of mine. We will miss you. Joanie and I made our annual trip to Montana and enjoyed beautiful weather in one of the prettiest environments in this country. The state is clean and friendly and peaceful. It seems to lack many of the problems that we face in Louisiana and this, of course, makes it very enjoyable to the Pennimans. It is an annual trip for us, and we enjoy it more each time we go. Football is a big thing in Baton Rouge and one of the better things that we enjoy in the state of Louisiana. Although we don’t go to all of the games, Joanie and I saw LSU play Florida and witnessed an excellent game. We had one of the families here to see the Auburn game, and this weekend the Amarillo, TX, clan will descend upon us to watch the game. I have good tickets, and I use them as bait to encourage my families to come spend a football weekend with Joanie and me. Believe me, it works! On the 1st of November, I celebrated a birthday. Just as all 82nd birthdays should be celebrated, Joanie and I and our three Baton Rouge families had a quiet meal with love and good wishes around the table, and there were more than a few candles to extinguish. 39

CLASS NOTES I had a big one two years ago, and if I make three more years, we will pick up the pace a little bit. Anyway, it is always good to celebrate another birthday. As I write these notes today, I am very aware of the fact that it is Armistice Day, more recently called Veterans Day. All of my life, I have been aware of Veterans Day, but I seriously doubt that I have ever been as impacted by the date as I am this morning. I think about those that have given their lives for our country, especially our Brother Rats, as well as friends and members of our families who have made this ultimate sacrifice. It certainly is a time to remember those who have gone before and to acknowledge those who are still serving in the armed forces. It is an honor and privilege, and it is well that we recognize this everyday, not only on Veterans Day. I know that each of you shares this feeling with me. Bless them all. That’s it for now. I think of each of you, and I send you my very best wishes on this important day, Veterans’ Day.” Stan Millimet writes: “We were deeply saddened by the loss of our dear Brother Rats – too many, too soon. So many fond memories came to mind of our Institute years with them and the several reunions we shared together. Sunny and I have come to the realization that we don’t need much excitement in our lives anymore. We’re content meeting with friends in the area and keeping track of children and grandchildren. I get enough excitement watching our government. I call and write, but I might as well bay at the moon. I could go on, Jim, but I know that you’ll censor it. (No way, Jose. I’m on your side.) It will be Veterans Day on Wednesday. Weather permitting, I’ll go to the local ceremony and say a silent prayer for our Brother Rats who made the supreme sacrifice for our nation and keep them alive in our memories as long as we’re around. And a salute to each of our other Brother Rats who also served, plus a ‘Well Done.’ Sunny and I will travel to the Boston area to share Thanksgiving with my son and his family. I still spend much of my time reading and learning. I’m getting so smart, I can hardly stand myself. Now, if I could only figure out what to do with those smarts. So, to each of my Brother Rats and their families – a very Happy Thanks40

giving – and if we don’t make another input before Christmas, a very merry and blessed Christmas with peace, good health and happiness in the New Year.” At the Harrington’s, we survived another session of our Camp Chaos, attended by numerous children and grandchildren throughout the summer. That completed, we were looking forward to a quiet and peaceful fall, with perhaps an occasional opportunity for adult visitations. Instead, we were confronted with a visit from Bill May and his companion, Dolores Keeton. Bill decided to take advantage of our standing invitation to Brother Rats for a long weekend visit. I did manage to get some work out of him, moving storm damaged lumber from the beach to my reserve supply of repair material, and both of us survived the effort. I will not mention what he and Dolores were doing in my swimming pool after dark. I will mention that my long-standing (seven-year) lawsuit against the governor of North Carolina for unconstitutional behavior was rewarded with a favorable judgment in our Court of Appeals. See, you can fight city hall! Now we’ll have to await whatever may come from our state Supreme Court. As an aside to Stan Millimet (and other like-minded folk), the only sure cure for political problems is to vote the rascals out! We have a short note from Herb Johnston: “We have some good news from Ohio! Jeanne had her second kidney stone surgery last week, and it went okay. We were in Toronto in mid October for my annual visit with my cardiologist, and that report was good also. In addition, the Ohio State University football team beat Penn State last weekend. We plan to go to Kentucky again to be with family for Thanksgiving. The weather has been great, and we saw lots of beautiful fall foliage on our various trips. We hope you and all the ’49As have a happy Thanksgiving and a happy, healthy winter.” Herb also sent a contribution to the Alumni Association in memory of our fallen brothers. Two telephone visits with Charlie Tiller from up in the mountains: In the first call, Charlie said Nancy had fallen and bumped her head and that he would send me a detailed report by e-mail. In the second,

Charlie reported that he had fallen and broken his ankle, thus was unable to e-mail me from the hospital. One silver lining – Charlie and Nancy are both under the care of my doctor son-in-law, thus assuring the best of care for them and help for the future for my grandchildren. Happy Thanksgiving, and a Blessed Christmas to all who come by these presents.


Dan Smaw

Our Brother Rat, Selden Stephens, passed away on 3 Oct. at Providence Hospital in Mobile, AL. He had pneumonia which complicated his Parkinson’s. Clint and Rose Anne Hurd (Betty Lu’s sister and brother -in-law) had been there for a week helping Betty Lu. Selden had fought Parkinson’s for many years. He had been a practicing OB/GYN for 45 years and delivered nearly 5,000 babies. He and Betty Lu added a lot to our reunions – Selden could be counted on for jokes (probably off- color) and his colorful or comic dress, such as his gray wig, complete with ponytail. He will be missed. Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Betty Lu, one daughter, three sons, 12 grandchildren and a sister. One grandson is a member of the VMI class of 2011. A memorial service was held on 7 Oct. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mobile. Also, our Brother Rat John Walter Carlysle Johnson died on 18 June at his home in Auburn, Maine. He had a storied career, including a 43-year medical practice. He is survived by four children, his in-laws and 11 grandchildren. His wife of 54 years was the late Anne Bell Johnson. Our sympathy goes out to all the members of both families. (Editor’s Note: Obituaries for both men appear in this issue’s Taps section.) Jack Evans called in August to say he and Pat were back into exercise after his heart problems and Pat’s cancer. He waits until 1800 hours to play golf due to the extreme heat – when he shoots his age after nine holes, he quits. He was amazed when talking to George Dooley to learn that in four years, George had run zero demerits. VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES If anyone can equal, that let me know. I had a long letter from Starke Dillard in August. He and Angela have been married 58 years, have 10 grandchildren and are now living in a retirement community in Raleigh, NC. Starke says the reason he left VMI was because they lost the horses, and he wasn’t very military anyway. He loves his Brother Rats and enjoys keeping in touch through the class notes. Grover Outland called in August to say he had been in Lexington to see some of his grandkids who were attending a nature camp. Sunday, while attending R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church, he ran into Tom and Virginia Cooke. He had talked to Earthmole Lewis recently. Tommy Challoner wrote that his grandson, who had an appointment to VMI, decided to go to Auburn instead – bad decision. I guess picking Auburn was natural, since Tommy had two daughters and now four grandchildren who have gone there. Glad is progressing with her lack of balance problem with lots of hand-holding and the use of a four-footed cane. In September, we had an overnight visit from Daniel Johnson ’09 who was on his way to Fort Rucker to attend helicopter school. Daniel was in the Pipe Band and had stayed with us a couple of times when the Pipe Band was attending the Stone Mountain Highland Games. He was one of the two pipers at grandson Andrew’s ’07 wedding in Lexington in February. It was nice to see him again. On 26 Sept., Greg Nelson arranged a luncheon at the Manakin Grill just west of Richmond. It was attended by Margaret Lee Overton, Nux Enochs, George Wolfe, Dan and June Payne, Benny and Page Harmon, Tom and Virginia Cooke, Mack and Inge Van Hook, and Greg and Kitty. They had a fine time – many tall tales were told. Nux went on to the VMI-Richmond game in the rain. Tom Cooke entertained them with stories of the kangaroo mascot. He and Vaughn Maxwell were instigators in obtaining the kangaroo, bringing him to the U.S. and boarding him during the winter. Tom said the only thing the kangaroo would do during a football game was just lie down. Greg and Kitty had just returned from three weeks at Nantucket. They had a great time, including a visit with Greg’s sister in 2010-Issue 1

NJ on the way home. Kitty is fully recovered from her rotator cuff surgery and still does therapy exercises at home – no more tennis. They spent a week at Hilton Head in a timeshare in mid October. Helen Casey wrote in early October that Mark’s Parkinson’s reached the point where she was no longer able to take care of him at home – he is now in the nursing facility which is part of their retirement campus. She spends most of her time there with him. We wish the best for you both. Charlie Upshaw and I had a long conversation in early October. His grandson, Andrew ’06, was back in Iraq for a second tour which he says is a lot quieter than his first a couple of years ago. He is in military intelligence. Charlie’s daughter, Sarah, the twin of Mary Frances who was at our 60th, had twins on 9 Oct. – Alexander Greene and Margaret Hope Crittenden. Mother and children are doing well, as are the grandparents. Ding and Nobbie Patton had a nice visit with Boyd Guttery for a few days at a condo he had rented in Clearwater, FL. The Pattons’ grandson, Scooter Baber ’02, is due back from Afghanistan in November. He is a captain assigned to an engineer battalion. Leo Soucek wrote that Evelyn is still fighting heavy arthritis, and he is battling heavy emphysema/COPD. He had just finished a week in Walter Reed in October with pneumonia and was now feeling much better. Following The Farmer’s Almanac, Leo is getting ready for a very cold winter – of course, this is all due to global warming (climate change), for those stupid enough to believe all this Al Gore stuff. Earthmole Lewis called 27 Oct. to say Earlene had a double mastectomy on the 26th and came through it fine – said she felt better than she had in months. She had undergone four rounds of chemotherapy, three weeks apart, prior to the surgery. We wish you well, Earlene. In early November, I talked with Frank Liddell who said he was doing well, as compared to two or three weeks earlier. He wanted to know when the next reunion was scheduled – none at this time, unless someone has had a change of mind and is planning to host one. If so, please let me know. Frank sounded good, as he usually does when we talk.

When Tommy Bowers turned 80 in February 2008, his family and friends established the Thomas Dix Bowers Preaching Fellowship at the Virginia Theological Seminary. The fellowship was established in recognition of the impact his inspirational preaching of the gospel has had on the lives of many, over 50 years of devoted ministry. It will be inaugurated by Tommy on 16 November 2009 at the seminary. Congratulations on your wonderful ministry, Tommy. Lon and Doris Walter will be going to Wright Patterson Air Force Base on 18 Nov. to attend daughter Terry Gabreski’s retirement ceremony. Terry leaves as the senior woman in the Air Force as she completes 35 years of exceptional service. She will remain on active duty until 1 January 2010 when she officially retires. We wish you, Don and your boys all the best in your well earned retirement, Terry. Grover and Teancey Outland will attend Founders Day activities, as well as the Institute Society Dinner in Lexington 10-11 November. They hope to see Nux Enochs and any other BR who might be there. Louise and I will be going to New Bern, NC, for Thanksgiving with my niece and her family. Her husband is an expert at frying a turkey. Thanks to all who have contributed to Annual Giving – it is vitally needed, as the state continues to cut back on funding. God Bless America, VMI and ’49B.


Haywood France

I hope you have recovered from the holidays and have gained very little weight. I am sure you saw in the last Alumni Review that the class of ’49C was really present at our 60th Reunion. These class notes seem to be due every other month, and they are a challenge to gather all the news from such an active class. Got a note from Stew Snoddy, and he reported that Mary Ellet had completed her art lecture series at Kendal. He reported that she did an excellent job and really kept everyone’s attention focused on the subject. Bob normally handles the slides during these lectures, but due to dental 41

CLASS NOTES problems, he was unable to make the first lecture, and Stew filled in. Bob recovered and was present for the remaining two in the series. Stew and Ann reported that Bob could still wear the uniform he wore at graduation without straining. E.J. Williams called to say he was sorry that he had to miss the reunion but had several physical problems that curtailed his travel. The following statements indicate that many of us are in the same boat. Coleman Rice sent me a book on the treatment of back pain. (I’ve Got Your Back by Nathaniel L. Tindel, M.D. – an excellent book.) Kendall somehow got a compression fracture of a vertebra and is now going through therapy. The book has been an excellent source for following the treatments. I returned from the fall meeting of class agents and received a call from Tom (Hawkeye) Hawkins. He stated that he and Arlene’s activity was confined to keeping doctor appointments and taking their pills on time. However, he is interested in having a mini. What would be your opinions concerning having a mini, location, how often and any other suggestions? Send me a note. I hope you have responded to the latest note on Foundation Giving. The fiscal year will be up the end of June, and we want to be at 100% participation by that time. We were at 75% in 2008, and there is no reason we can’t go the last bit. Keep healthy, and have a great 2010.


Bill Moore

Dick Mandt tells me that he and Jeanne used to walk two miles a day. Now they are down to what Dick calls “two mailboxes a day.” If this letter were to have a theme it would be that the class of 1950A is “keeping up.” That’s what everybody seems to be doing. We have at least two BRs and their wives who still plan global travels. Kenny and B.J. Stagg are planning a trip to Israel and Egypt in March. They’ll have plenty of interesting stories for us at the reunion. Jennings and Harriet Bunch hope that Jenning’s job with the Presbyterian Church will take them back to China next year. 42

Nothing definite yet. They have been to Wisconsin to visit Harriet’s son, who is a pastor. While there they enjoyed a play starring on of Harriet’s granddaughters. Speaking of trips Mary (Joe) Ripley and a friend recently flew into the small airstrip on Tangier Island and enjoyed crab cakes and other good stuff at Hilda Crockett’s Chesapeake House. Barbara (Hugh) Barnes and granddaughter, Brook (9), are looking forward to studying sea turtles in the Virgin Islands next summer. Barbara’s son, Clark Barnes ’87, is in Kuwait on a job assignment. Barbara and Mary plan to be roommates at our reunion and already have their reservations. Bill and Carol Clark are still “keeping up.” Both still drive, but Bill is apprehensive about making the long drive from Jackson, Mississippi, to Lexington. Amtrak on its New Orleans to D.C. run makes stops in Meridian, Mississippi, and Lynchburg, Virginia. I’m working on them. Bill reports that their health is stable but still limiting. They enjoy nearby activities and have recently attended a granddaughter’s wedding. Charlotte (Harold) Logson e-mails that Loggie is now in hospice care but is comfortable and smiles a lot. I always convey to her our love and thanks for the care she gives him. I’m reminded of the comparison to a greater commandment in that what she does for Loggie she does by extension for all of his BRs. Charlotte, we thank you. Dick and Jackie Martin have been through a siege with Dick’s health. When I called the last time, Dick told me that he was losing weight, lacked energy and that his doctors couldn’t find the cause of his problems. Many test and trips to various doctors finally revealed that Dick has lymphoma. I don’t know which type. Since they have found the cause and are treating it, he feels and is much better. The Martins and Gene Witcher has, once again, planned to meet at Apache Junction, New Mexico, this winter. Gene will spend Christmas in West Texas not far from New Mexico. Perhaps they can still get together. Gene reports his health and driving ability are still good, and he plans to drive to Lexington. The Hudgins and the Moores missed another two attempts to get together on our trip to South Carolina for the VMI-Coastal

Carolina football game. Their granddaughter, Elizabeth, is a student at Coastal and the plan was for all of us to get together. Well, Coastal was in the throes of a huge swine flu outbreak, and Elizabeth had to warn her grandparents not to come. We did get to meet Elizabeth, and she is just as lovely and charming as we had imagined. Then, we planned to stop in New Bern on the way back to Lynchburg, and that had to be cancelled. Anne’s seriously ill sister, Marie, took a turn for the worse, and we had to run back to Lynchburg. Marie died two days later. It was not unexpected – only the timing. We did manage to get together with Ralph and Judy Mooney for the first football game in Lexington. They are doing just fine and are “keeping up,” just like Elliott and Nancy and the Moores.


Ralph Warren

As you all know, on April 18th through the 20th, we are having our 60th Reunion. I hope that by now you have all made your reservations and are planning to attend, but just in case you put the packets aside and forgot, you are reminded. BE THERE! I recently had a very nice conversation with Bob Waring. He and Judith moved to Baltimore, MD, from Sands Point, ID, in August 2008. This puts them closer to their two daughters who are in the Baltimore area. Their other daughter is still in

Class of 1950B: Former Lexington residents and VMI friends, Jack Lanford ’52 and John Berberich ’50B, bumped into each other at the VMI-Old Dominion University game. Among topics of conversation was their participation in the 1949 Truman Inaugural Parade in which they marched near each other in ranks.


CLASS NOTES Idaho with her doctor husband. We are, of course, glad to have them back in the East. By the time I got my act together this summer, I found out that the hotels in Lexington were filled for all the VMI football game weekends, so I did not organize a mini. Sorry about that. Marilyn and I did go to Richmond for Tommy Harwood’s memorial service and interment. There, we were able to visit with Ralston Brooke, John and Gloria Berberich, Mary Buchanan, Jones Felvey, Jim and Nancy Flippen, Skip Forrest, Tom and Joyce Handy, Marti Michie, Jack Nurney, Ed and Jean Oast, Joan Phillips, Peyton Robertson, DeeDee and Lola Shepherd, Ed and Sarah Smith, Hoge and Laura Sutherland, Helen Talbott, Betty Wagner, and Ann Witt. John Carrington called to ask if he could make a contribution to the ’50B Scholarship Fund in honor of his wife who died in September, even though he did not stay long at VMI. I assured him that he was and always will be a Brother Rat and all contributions are gratefully accepted. When the northeaster storm hit Norfolk in November, Peter and Susan Meredith were without power or phone service for a day and a half but were otherwise unharmed. They did, however, suffer a mild case of “cabin fever.” See you next notes … Ralph


John Ross

Shortly after I turned in my last class notes, Nancy Bell called to thank Marie and me for the birthday wishes we left on her voice mail. She had just returned from her family’s camp in New Hampshire, where she was joined by all her children and grandchildren. She reports no problems but is seriously considering downsizing to a nearby community. I received a very long call from Doc Laville, who was returning from a successful board meeting of his community hospital. Doc is planning a family vacation to Destin, FL, where he hopes to check in with Brom Nichol in Pensacola. He was delighted to have made contact with Clyde Green by way of a call from Clyde’s son, 2010-Issue 1

Tom. Doc’s optimism and good cheer is boundless. He inquired about George Maxwell and his roommate, Gene Held. I checked on Bland Wilson, who is still recuperating at home with the assistance of his daughter, while watching a lot of golf. Bland, in a subsequent call, reported he is doing fairly well – still restricted to a walker and undergoing physiotherapy. Jim Strickland called for the contact info on Bob Martin, who you may remember is an orthodontist living in Henderson, NV, and a professor at UNLV. After providing the info, Jim told me there is no change in his health status. George Cohen had a successful heart procedure for his atrial fibrillation, which developed after his aortic valve replacement. He is in a heart rehab program and doing well. I was unable to call John Batsakis in Kalkaska, MI, on his 80th birthday, as VMI did not provide a telephone number. Even though John was with us for only a short time, he is a faithful supporter. With the help of Bob Nolley, I wrote an e-mail noting it is impossible to replace a lost ’51 class ring, as the die is not available. It was suggested that the family of a deceased BR might wish to donate his ring to one who needed a replacement. In an immediate response, Pete Philp wrote, “When the time comes, I’d be pleased to have a Brother Rat wear my ring.” Therefore, he was placing a note to that effect with his will. I also learned that George Cohen, who had lost his ring, was now wearing that of his deceased brother-in-law, Gardner Edwards, and that Bill Sacra was wearing that of Cecil Dickens. I also recall that Gerry Eggleston is wearing the ring of Frank McGee, who was with us for two years. Also, in response to my e-mail, I was informed of the availability of two miniatures. When I called Donna Raeburn to wish her a happy birthday and after she reported that she is fairly well settled in her new apartment, the subject of Bob’s ring came up. Subsequently, after checking with the family, Donna called to make Bob’s ring available. When I told her Jim Marshall needed a replacement ring, she was delighted, as she remembered that Jim had come to Bob’s funeral. I contacted Jim with the good news, and he

was very appreciative. He said he will make a contribution to VMI in Bob’s memory and ensure that, on his death, the ring would again become available to the class. I contacted Cooper Kunkel in Trent Woods, NC, to wish him a happy birthday. Cooper, a retired ophthalmologist, still does volunteer work. He related fond memories of summers in Lynchburg, where he became acquainted with Mack Allen ’49C. Cooper is very appreciative of the VMI contacts. I received a note from Jim Close, enclosing an old picture of 26 BRs at the end of our third class year. Jim also wrote that he and Alice were planning to leave in late August for Prague to spend a few days with some of her relatives. Their trip included a Danube River cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest in the first half of September. Ed May called to report that Clyde Green had left his retirement community and returned home to live with his son, Tom. Ed further reports that Johnny Blakemore has been very good in visiting Clyde and taking him to lunch. I again suggest we follow Johnny’s lead and visit or contact our Brother Rats who may have limited mobility. I wished Jim Coley in San Antonio, TX, a happy 80th. He reports that “he is hanging in there,” fighting bladder cancer and heart problems. I gave him contact information for Gene Held, who lives in neighboring Sharano Park. Jim inquired about Jack Lowden, Joe Stump and Fred Anson (our first class backfield). Jim related a story from his Vietnam days when he commanded an airborne battalion. One day, as he boarded his command helicopter for an operation, he though the pilot looked familiar – it was Neal Petree ’52, who retired as a colonel after a distinguished 30-year Army career. Jim asked me to tell Jim Connolly what a great job he is doing for the class but “to take it easy.” Bob Nolley called on Aug. 20 and left a voice mail wishing me a happy birthday. When I called back to Bob, I put Marie on to thank him, as it was her birthday and not mine. Bob informed me that his July report from Hopkins was again good news. Bob’s doctor advised, “I would worry about 43

CLASS NOTES some other problem at your age,” and not the tumor. Bob reports he made contact with Jim Strickland and that they have had numerous phone calls. I tried to reach Winston Baber later that day to wish him a happy 80th, but I had to leave a message – “have a great day.” I also failed to reach Paul Shrader to extend birthday greetings, so I left a voice mail. As I recall, Polly and he were intending to take a summer trip to West Virginia, returning to Florida via Lexington, Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. I reached John Evans, a retired urologist, in Greenville, SC, to extend birthday greetings. He reports that his hip replacement surgery was successful, and he’s now playing some golf. I tried to wish Steve Meader a happy 80th, but there was no answer nor voice mail. I guess Steve and Marion are at their New England vacation home, for which I do not have contact information. I received a voice mail from Jim Marshall reporting he had received Bob Raeburn’s ring – it was in perfect condition. He requested contact information for Donna Raeburn, which I left in his voice mail. I then immediately called Donna, reported the forgoing and thanked her for her continued generosity and support for VMI and our class. I failed to reach Jack Nichols in Ashville, NC, to wish him a happy birthday toward the end of August and left best wishes on his voice mail. Then, a few days later, I received a nice letter from Jack thanking me for the call and birthday card. He reports, he is “in good health except for my eyes.” He needs “a cornea transplant or repair.” Nevertheless, Jack is “still able to hike two miles a day on the National Forest Trail with my pet wolf.” Jack enclosed a generous check “in memory of George Cowherd – a good friend and a fellow WWII veteran,” which I forwarded to VMI. When I called Gloria Cowherd to inform her of this and read Jack’s comments, she expressed deep appreciation. It is noteworthy that Gloria has continued George’s support and interest in the Institute. I called Hope Hennessey, editor of the Alumni Review, after I finished reading A Dawn Like Thunder, the story of Torpedo 44

Squadron Eight in WWII. I reported what an inspiring account of the participation of Albert K. (Bert) Earnest ’38 in the Battles of Midway and Guadalcanal was included therein. Hope responded that she had already included a story on Capt. Earnest’s participation in the Battle of Midway and his award of three Navy Crosses, in the 2008-Issue 2 Alumni Review. I told Hope I had no recollection of it and would read it immediately. When I finished reading the Alumni Review article, I was once again impressed with the professionalism of our Review – it is a credit to the Institute. On the last day of August, I once again could not reach Jim Marshall and left birthday greetings for his 80th on his voice mail. At the beginning of September, I failed to reach Frans Kasteel to wish him a happy 80th and left greetings on his voice mail. Homer Ambrose called to thank me for the birthday card. I then wished him a premature happy birthday. Homer reports Marie and he are doing well and that she is still on his exercise regimen. I reached Johnny Lyden at his beach place in Perdida Beach, AL, at a number provided by his son, Mark. It was the first time I was able to contact Johnny since I became class agent. As you may recall, after graduation, he received an M.D. from Johns Hopkins. Following Army service, he practiced surgery in Mobile, AL, his home town, for a number of years. Johnny is now fully retired. Johnny sounded great, and we had a very enjoyable and long conversation, after I had wished him a happy birthday. We reminisced about a number of our pre-med BRs, and Johnny recalled a shrimp feast with Gerry Eggleston, when the Egg had visited Mobile many years ago. Johnny and his wife travel in a small RV and were planning a trip to New England in the fall to visit a daughter. I ran across an interesting article and picture in the Sept./Oct. 2009 Semper Fi magazine. Gene Leoncavallo of Lexington, VA, a WWII and Korean War Marine, carved a memorial out of wood to honor the cadets who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The memorial, surrounded by pictures and medals of the cadets, is on display in the VMI Museum. The reference to the museum reminded

me, as related in the book, A Dawn Like Thunder, a decorated, Japanese ceremonial sword, presented to Capt. Earnest by Gen. Vandergrift during the Battle of Guadalcanal, is likewise displayed in the museum. I reached Fred Watson in Weatherford, TX, to wish him a happy 80th. He is in good health and was planning a trip to visit relatives in Pennsylvania and New England. I extended birthday greetings to Gerry Eggleston in Lexington. He had just returned from up-state New York in time to see VMI win its first football game of the year. He saw the Grays, the Hills, and Peggy and Willard Hays at the game. I checked with Duane Holloway and learned he had a successful eye procedure. He is currently reading copies of the Old English History books that Charlotte Marr donated last April to Preston Library. I failed to reach Johnny Minear’s widow to extend birthday greetings. The number, provided by the Institute, repeatedly answered “this call cannot be connected as dialed.” I did reach Jack Evans to wish him a happy 80th. I caught up with him as he was driving from New York City to West Point, NY. Jack still performs engineering inspections for the government. He had just completed one inspection at Fort Hamilton and had two buildings to inspect at West Point. I received a note from Jim Marshall telling me he had sent a card to Donna Raeburn, thanking her for Bob’s ring. He also enclosed in my note a very generous check for transmittal to VMI in “Memory of Robert A. Raeburn.” I forwarded the check to the Institute with an explanation. I received an e-mail from Homer Ambrose in which he reports “good numbers and a weight loss of 35 pounds since January.” He continues, “My goal is to get down to fighting weight.” Marie and Homer intended to attend her family’s reunion, deep “in the Shenandoah Valley.” Homer also reports his move into a new and larger apartment. Paul Robinson called to request some information. He reported that he and Jean are staying in Wisconsin until at least December to be near a daughter, who is recovering from a medical procedure. Paul spends a considerable amount of time as a volunteer VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES for a local World War II museum. I received an e-mail from Dick Cole reporting on his September visit to VMI. As you may remember, I reported in my class note that Dick intended to take Mona back to Lexington to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Dick commented on the number of foreign visitors at the parade and the impressive building results. I received from Brom Nichol an inscribed picture of his companion Jack, the parrot – a handsome 8 x 11 in color. The inscription reads: “To my good friend Jack Ross with personal regards from Texas Jack Nichol 9/25/09.” I promptly called Brom and expressed my thanks to him and Jack. Brom reported he had developed a cancer on his hip, which was surgically removed. Despite the fact that this was Brom’s sixth cancer, he is as optimistic as ever. I received an e-mail from Ed May reporting that he and Mary Lee visited Lexington and saw her grandson in the Friday parade. Ed also reported that Glennie Brown had just returned from Hawaii where she vacationed with Tom and Pinky Wornham. I reached Jim Enochs in Jackson, MS, to wish him a happy birthday. He reports everything is well with him and Jean. Jim had just returned from a California golf

trip with his roommate Bounce Carstens. He has agreed to help organize a local chapter of the Alumni Association. Jim is a firm definite for our 60th. A short time after we concluded our call, Jim called me. He had overlooked telling me that Carl Rand (Bounce) had a hole-inone during the golf trip – congratulations to Bounce. I wished Rog Little a happy 80th. Rog is celebrating with Jean, who is recovering from a heart problem. Also joining them in celebration were their son from Florida, daughter from California and his sister. Rog says he sees Claud Eley occasionally. Rog likewise is definite for our 60th. Shortly after our phone call, Roger sent me an e-mail recommending a book concerning the Battle of Wake Island during World War II –Pacific Alamo by John Vukovits – which I subsequently read and found very informative. I called Dick McFarland to wish him a happy 80th and left my message with Clare, as Dick was out. Clare reports she and Dick are doing well, and they intended to go out to dinner to celebrate the birthday. Incidentally, Dick and his brother are still working on restoring the Corvette, which evidently is proving more difficult than the Jaguar.

Class of 1951: In front, Maury King, Monty Stark, Bland Wilson, Johnny Jordan, Rog Little, Jim Close and Bill Nelson. Standing in rows 2 and 3: Joe Brown, Jim Hamlin, Jim Clawson, Karl Noerr, Bruce Wells, Dave Kneessy, Gus Spotts, Scott Underwood, Jack Ross, Bob Moss, Ed May, Art Johns, Duane Holloway, Ralph Wray, Kirby Bernich, John Evans and Leo West. Row 4: Beetle Travers and Homer Ambrose.

2010-Issue 1

Sam Bass and I had a nice telephone visit. As you may remember, Sam retired from the Army as a major general, during which service he earned an M.B.A. from Harvard. He was then employed by Ethyl Corp. in an executive capacity, finally retiring in Richmond. Sam now spends most of his time with Dew at their place on the Rappahannock. Sam is a definite for the 60th. Ed May called my attention to a long and complimentary newspaper article in a Richmond newspaper on Gen. Marshall, class of 1901. Among the accompanying pictures was one of the general with the VMI Color Guard, probably during the dedication of the Marshall Arch in May 1951. Clearly identifiable are our BRs Clyde Green and Pete Philp, the Color privates. Ed reports Mary Lee is doing well but still is using a walker, and he is consulting a cardiologist. Homer Ambrose checked in to let me know that, for only the third time in 21 attempts, VMI beat W&L 15-13 in the Lacrosse Fall Classic. (See Athletics section of this issue.) George Cohen, in response to my inquiry, reports he is doing well and presently is free of atrial fibrillation. He had just returned from his Hilton Head home to his new Atlanta apartment and was leaving shortly to join Marty in Hartford, CT. The lead article on the front page of The Washington Post, Oct. 15, 2009, pg. A-1, concerned the integration of female cadets at VMI, entitled “A Slow March to Change.” It was, in my opinion, fairly balanced and accompanied by two large, color pictures. I called Jim Connolly, who put the article on the class network, to get his opinion, and he concurred that it was basically favorable. Incidentally, Jim and Mary Ellen are both doing well. I missed contacting Bill Caldwell to wish him a happy 80th but left him a message. Then, a couple of days later, I did reach him. Bill, after graduation, was sent to the Naval Gunfire School, Little Creek, VA, by the Army. Yet, he reminisced, when he arrived in Korea in 1952, he was assigned to the 45th Div., which was on line in the middle of the Korean Peninsula, completely beyond the range of any Navy gunfire – typical Murphy’s Law. 45

CLASS NOTES I tried to reach Phil Barton on his 80th in California and left a birthday greeting message. John Herring called from Richmond requesting contact information for George Cohen, as he was leaving shortly for Atlanta. John travels quite a lot, often visiting students he knew from his over 30 years as an assistant dean at UVa. Jack Evans called from Virginia Beach to report on a visit with Johnny Jordan. Jack found Johnny about the same as on his last visit. Jack was with us for two years and then left for four years. Then, he returned in 1954 and graduated with the class of 1956. After graduation, Jack worked in various engineering assignments for the government, while remaining in the Army Reserves. At the present time, Jack is often called upon to make facility inspections at government bases. He has been very faithful in visiting and reporting on Johnny, despite his travels. Bob Nolley called and reports Jean and he are doing well. He is still at his vacation home on the Outer Banks, NC, but expects to return to Richmond in the near future. Bob expressed concern about the poor participation of our class in Annual Giving for the past fiscal year – only 65 out of 102, with the next to last total contribution in our comparative cohort (10 classes of 1950s). I concur in Bob’s concern. I know these are difficult economic times, but I hope we could reach 100% participation in the current fiscal year (7/1/09-6/30/10). Rich Chaplin in California reports he and Anita are doing well. Now that Anita is retired, they travel a fair amount. When I mentioned Bounce Carsten’s hole-in-one, Dick replied that he had one in the past. However, he regrets his days with a 2 handicap are long gone. He mentioned his former roommate, Desmond Wray, and hopes to see him at our 60th. Dick also mentioned how much he appreciated Desmond’s dad giving him rides home from VMI. Johnny Gray called, and I learned that he had a reaction to a two-pint transfusion for his hemoglobin deficiency. John noted he is fine now and that his energy is back. Johnny and I discussed various aspects of our 60th Reunion, and he intends, as chairman, to turn-to on planning. I received a nice thank you note from Kay Bennett in Omaha, NE. She also 46

provided an updated phone number and e-mail address. Kay noted she keeps up on the class of ’51 with Henry Pitot. She and Henry have cabins near each other in northern Wisconsin. Bland Wilson reports he is doing very well in his recovery, even though the doctors have yet to come up with a diagnosis. He is bursting with pride about his Alabama Crimson Tide but worried about the coming LSU game. I attempted to reach Win Baber and talked with Betty. She said Win was out collecting leaves, as they were expecting snow in Omaha. I guess it was best that I did not talk with Win in view of the current status of Nebraska football. Vic Parks reports he is doing very well in recovery from his surgeries. He is walking without a cane and has resumed driving. Vic and Gracelyn had a nice visit with Cindy and Jim Marshall at Jim’s family property on Lake Anna, VA. Pete Philp is still very active in the work of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. He reported on a recent visit to San Antonio to see a grandson, who was performing in a band competition. When I mentioned that Jim Coley land Gene Held live in the San Antonio area, Pete said he was unaware of that. Inasmuch as he gets to the San Antonio area fairly often, he intends to make contact. I reached Harry Bailey at the beginning of November to wish him a happy 80th. Harry reports he is in good health and still very busy looking after Lou. I asked him to call for lunch if he has some free time. I received a note from Ed May enclosing a picture of the “octogenarian” and his two attractive daughters, celebrating his birthday. I tried to teach Des Wray in Staunton, VA, to wish him a happy 80th but had to leave him birthday greetings on his voice mail. Marie and I leave for Lexington today, Nov. 10th, for the Institute Society Dinner tomorrow, followed by a Class Agents’ Conference. I will report on these in my next note. Remember to keep the news coming and remember to financially support our alma mater in these trying times. Hope you and yours had a happy and blessed holiday season. Semper Fi – Jack


Nutz Navas

Rem Simpson called recently with news that Hume Powers was in very poor health. We have been in contact with Pat and are receiving updates from both Rem and Pat. Hume is in our thoughts and prayers. After spending a month in the hospital, he is now in a nursing home and much stronger. He will have another surgery. Hume has been severely ill with multiple problems. He has an infected gall bladder. His colon ruptured in two places, leading to peritonitis. He required a colostomy. He had pneumonia. He had heart failure and was on a ventilator for five days in ICU. Hume was so weak, he could not feed himself. Pat was by his bedside 24 hours a day for a month. She fed him every bite he ate and was a loving and courageous “nurse Nancy.” Hume has been in a nursing home for six weeks. Now Pat goes home at night but still spends each day with him. On 15 Nov., he walked a block and a half with a cane. The upcoming surgery will be to remove Hume’s gallbladder and reverse the colostomy. Hume is such an integral Brother Rat who has contributed so much to us and VMI. It is almost unthinkable for him to be so ill. Hume and Pat were so generous in preparing tailgate luncheons for football games. They invited half the people in the stadium to partake in food and drink, and most of them did! In addition, they did an outstanding job in arranging our reunions which was a mammoth job. Further, Hume’s company donated the scoreboard for football games. Hume has been first, last and always loyal to his Brother Rats and VMI. During our timeshare week in Williamsburg, we had a wonderful dinner with Bob and Betty Lambert at the Bonefish restaurant. Nutz and Bob played a round of golf on the Kings Mill championship course, which is absolutely a grand and beautiful golf venue. We missed getting together with Walter Ames, but he wrote a letter recently with news of his recent visit from Texas with Chuck and Virginia Haley. They both are fit and trim, according to Walter. They arrived a few days after VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES he had spent a great weekend with Chris and Sugar Holland, except for watching the Keydets get beaten in the rain. Walt went on to tell us of a memorial exhibit his Dahlia Society presented at their fall show at Brookside Gardens, honoring his late spouse, Diane. For many years, they have had a family membership in the National Capital Dahlia Society. Due to the long travel distance, Walter’s part in it has been limited, but their publications, shows, help and support mean so much to him. Last summer, one of his good friends on the board called and asked his approval of a memorial exhibit honoring Diane at the 2009 show this past September. Walter was deeply touched and pleased about their thoughtfulness. They requested an 8” by 10” picture and biographical sketch of Diane, which he gladly provided. Walter and his daughter, Pattie, were the society’s guests at their banquet, where they provided a keepsake inscribed, “In memory of Diane Ames for her love of gardening and support of National Dahlia Society with her husband, Walter.” Chuck Haley had two requests while they were in Hampton Roads, VA – one was a good seafood dinner and the other was to see as many Brother Rats possible in the local area. Joining them for the latter at breakfast one morning were Andy Dickinson, Ray Gilchrist, Gary Pittman, Bill Ruffin, Frank Tuck, Dick Valack and Cecil Welsh. Moon and Frank Tuck were especially glad to see each other. They were roommates our Rat year. I received a phone call on 20 Nov., 2009, from Joe McCarthy with the sad news that our brother Rat, Win Tuck, died in Tampa, FL, on Monday, 16 Nov., 2009. He was 78. Cause of death at this writing was not known. He and Eva moved to Tampa a few years ago from Fairfax, VA, to be closer to their children in the Tampa area. Win lived in northern Virginia for 31 years where he was president and co-owner of Inteq Inc., a defense telecommunications company which he sold to Zenith Inc., in 1985. After his retirement, he received his private instrument and commercial pilot’s license in single and multi-engine aircraft, as well as aerobatic and helicopter training. A memorial service was conducted at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, 2009, at Tharp Funeral Home in Lynchburg. (Editor’s 2010-Issue 1

Note: Mr. Tuck’s obituary will appear in the Taps section of the next Alumni Review, 2010-Issue 2.)


William C. Noell Jr.

Brother Rats: Once again, I must report the loss of a Brother Rat – that of Emmette “Buddy” Skinner. Those on our e-mail list received this info back in September. I received a e-mail from Buddy a few weeks before he died, telling me of his medical problems with lung cancer, which was diagnosed last December, and that his time was running out. I would like to repeat it in these notes about his fight, but it is too lengthy. However, I could send it to any friends desiring to read it. Although Buddy was on oxygen, he died of cardiac arrest … Peggy said it was quick and was told that there was no pain – she had expected the breathing to get him. Buddy commented that his fight was nothing like Wyatt’s. He was very glad that he was able to make the 55th and that his VMI training has been his mainstay over the years. After Buddy’s e-mail, Parker was able to go by and visit with Buddy and Peggy at his home in Virginia Beach. Judy and I had planned to visit him, as we were coming to my granddaughter’s wedding at “the Beach,” but he died a few days before we arrived. Since it was so soon after his death, I thought Peggy did not need any extra visitors. Several of our BRs at the Richmond lunch said that they had called and talked with Buddy, which he appreciated very much. Buddy will be missed at the reunions … except for this last one, he liked to join the golf group at reunions, and once I was privileged to be his partner. Judy and I had yet not returned from Tennessee, but Jack Townes, Terry Davis, Parker Cross, Frank Wooten and Jim Wiley ’52 attended Buddy’s funeral. Our Brother Rat Herman Decker lost his wife, Anne, in September. She died at home in Belmont, NC, after a lengthy struggle with cancer. Anne was from Charlotte, but while at Mary Baldwin, she met Herman at VMI, who was from Buena Vista. They were married 55 years and have four children. Robert Nelson Kilbourn and

James Thompson Adams Jr., who only went through the Rat year with us, died recently. An e-mail from Gayle Shorter provided me with her e-mail address, as they were planning on terminating Wyatt’s address soon, and she wanted to still be kept up to date on our class. (Editor’s Note: Obituaries for Emmette Skinner, Robert Kilbourn and James Adams appear in the Taps section of this Review, along with that of Tom Colvin, about whom Class Agent Bill Noell reported in his previous class notes.) Now for some good news … The Richmond Area and Beyond Class of ’53 Lunch in Richmond in September was a great success – two hours, at that, at the Commonwealth Club in downtown Richmond, courtesy of Spider and Bruce Evans. The great flower table arrangements came from Bruce’s yard. As to attendance, there were too many of us to list all the attendees in these notes (list sent out via e-mail). At last count, there were 36 in attendance … 21 BRs, and a couple on the list did not make it. The Lunds came all the way from NC. Herold Hofheimer made it once again, but Ed Brown had to leave before pictures. Parker talked with Buddy Skinner and offered to bring Buddy and Peggy to the lunch with them. He said he would consider it – regretfully, it did not come about. The next gathering is tentatively scheduled for April at the Country Club of Virginia in west end Richmond. Warren Koontz will once again be coordinating this one ... say, maybe the 22nd. We will look at this in more detail after the first of the year. Pinky Moore sent his regrets for not being able to make the Richmond lunch, as he has had pneumonia since August and was just getting well. He said that hospitals and doctors’ visits, along with his new heart problems, have really kept him down. He is now in a rehab program to regain his strength and then will be free to work out again. Fred Hauser regretted that he could not make it to Tom Colvin’s services but passed on remembrances that he and Tom were two of three cadets who brought a Piper J3 aircraft to Lexington while they were at VMI. They had fun flying it off a grass strip near Lexington. Tom was the only one to make it through flying school, as Fred was not able to pass 47

CLASS NOTES the eye exam at three different air bases. Foy Braswell said he would vote for Tom being the top Ace for ’53 … he remembers Tom as a part owner in the J-3 Cub hangered at “Lexington International Airport.” Regretfully, when we reach that great retirement age and should be able to go and come as we please, it seems the

times. Russ wants to make a visit up to Lexington -- now in the spring -- but says Helen would not be able to make the trip, so there are some contingencies. An e-mail from Wes Gray: Said he thought it was time to pass on a Happy Thought after all the recent class sad news. He and Elizabeth were leaving on the

with Buddy the Rat year. Charles “Bill” Williams is still at it in his “race walking” and has been profiled in articles about race walking. Bill says that “racewalking has helped me out immensely in overcoming what I thought were the inevitable aches and pains of advancing years.” Judy and I receive a great number

Queen Mary 2 for England and will visit the place where they honeymooned 51 years ago – the Cottswalds. They will also meet up with Elizabeth’s sister and family in Essex, after visiting Oxford, and return on the QM 2 after the three-week visit. And now a word of wisdom from Wes: “I have often thought if you make it through VMI, you have nothing to fear … everything is easier.” I can recall Wyatt Shorter having similar thoughts. John “Wip” Wilson and Ada went to Portugal in September to visit old friends, as they do each year. An e-mail from Walt Sanders said his mother had her 100th birthday in May. She is doing great and still goes to church with them on Sundays and lunch afterward, as she did with Judy and me on our UT/UGA visit with them last year. Walt said he was certainly sad to hear about Buddy … he and Dick Mallo roomed

of political-type e-mails from Bob Cheatham over the months … of course, we did sit through the elections on TV at their home that November and grumbled. However, he and Bebe spent several days over a weekend with us at the lake in September, attended the UT-UCLA football game, and had some long boat rides up the lake, stopping off for lunch at marinas. We had a great time with them -- even got in some bridge and card playing. We expect to head back their way to Charleston after the first of the year, although it will not be shrimping time then. Paul Fortin was in Lexington recently with his grandson, Brandon, to take a look at VMI and to see if he could qualify for a scholarship. Have not heard yet how the visit went. They stayed with John and Doris Gilbert, but Judy and I were not able to join them for dinner Friday night, as we already had theater plans with two couples. On Nov. 21st is the Class of 2011 Ring Figure. Now, the

Class of 1953 Luncheon at Richmond Commonwealth


Sept. 17, 2009

body starts wearing out for so many of us. Bobby Miller passed on a note about Dave Rice from Dave’s wife, Mary Anne. Says that Dave has a case of dementia and gets confused and upset when people he should know are in his presence. Thus, they did not think it a good idea to come to the Richmond lunch. Pinky Moore advised that Joe Louden has sold his house in Las Vegas and is moving to Texas with Katey to be closer to family. Joe had a scare when his doctor picked up two growths on his lungs, which turned out to be benign, but he has already had lung cancer once. Russ Horne had his semiannual CT scan in September and says that, after three years, he is still in remission but does have some cysts on kidney and pancreas that need watching … says such is common for us old folks. Helen still has problems with low blood pressure at 48


CLASS NOTES significance about this particular Ring Figure is that Dabney Coleman accepted the invitation to come to VMI to be Cadet Hannah Granger’s escort in the ceremony. Cadet Hannah is VMI’s lady track star, and she is at VMI on a Col. Glover John’s ’31 (Commandant ’57 – ’60) scholarship. Johns is Dabney Coleman’s uncle, whose class ring he wears. I had an e-mail from Lucy Moise saying how much she appreciated being on the

inside repair work … but he is well on the mend. Peachy is fairly well but has given up driving, so they are now down to one car, with Jack doing the driving. Now, what is interesting about Mountain Brook is that Pat Beacham (Jennifer’s mother-inlaw); Peachy; my first cousin, Lestra; and another lady, with whom we went to a play while there, were all together in Mountain Brooke Middle School up through the 8th grade. Lestra remembers all well, and she

New Market Day Parade? When the roll was called, and Cadet Samuel Francis Atwill’s (class of 1866) name was called, roommate Bill Atwill had the honor of sounding off, “Died on the Field of Honor, Sir,” for his great uncle. Recently, when reading some history about R.E. Memorial Episcopal Church, where Judy and I are members, I noted a mention of Cadet Atwill. It stated that the bishop confirmed 27 people on May 8, 1864, including nine cadets. One of the cadets was Samuel Francis Atwill, who was killed one week later in the Battle of New Market. Bill has his great-uncle’s confirmation certificate hanging on the wall in his study.

’54 Class of 1953: At the Institute Society Dinner on Nov. 11, 2009, were, from left, Sissy Prillaman, Reed Johnson, Bill and Judy Noell, and Ingrid and Ed Brown.

Brother Rat list. Said she wanted to write to Buddy, even though he did not know her, but I sent his address to her and said “write.” Norma Woy’s e-mail also said how she likes hearing about our classmates, even though she does not recognize most of the names. She is continuing to travel with local Elderhostels, as she and Ed did for so many years. Norma just became a great grandmother and flew to Syracuse, NY, to visit. An e-mail from Anne Carpenter said she always likes hearing about our class but is sadden hearing about someone’s problems. She also said that Buddy was “right on” about our president. Judy and I attended the UT-Alabama football game in Alabama, where UT lost to No. 1 Crimson Tide by two points – but a great game. We stayed in B’ham at our daughter’s husband’s parents’, who, of course, are Alabama fans. That Sunday as we left town, we spent a couple of hours visiting with Jack and Peachy Trigg in Mountain Brook. Jack is doing very well in his retirement but has been recovering from a ladder fall he had, doing some 2010-Issue 1

used to spend nights with Pat. And finally, Judy and I just attended the Institute Society/Founders Day Black Tie Dinner last week, which this year was held in the new Leadership and Ethics building. The attendance for our class has been dropping over the years, but Ed and Ingrid Brown and Reed Johnson were there once again. This year, Sissy Prillaman joined us. The big event for Judy and I these past months was attending my granddaughter’s wedding in Virginia Beach in September – even gave up a UT home football game. It was a great wedding and reception at the Cavalier Yacht and Country Club in Virginia Beach. Tthe weather was not the greatest, but we did get to walk in the ocean late at night, despite the weather. Correction: In the last edition of Class Notes, for some unknown reason, I mistakenly stated that Betty and Mickey Eads were at Tom Colvin’s funeral, instead of correctly stating Betty and Mickey Woodward. Sorry, Mickey and Betty. Class Trivia: How many of you remember the details of the Roll Call at the

Bill Turner

“A life for two, full of tenderness, obtains happiness as they get closer to heaven.” Tony Snow died one year ago today. As some of you may know, Mr. Snow was the consummate journalist. He was also Press Secretary for President George Bush, The Younger, for the last few months of a life cut short by a relatively fast-acting, difficult, but ultimately futile battle against lung cancer. I mention this because Mr. Snow was, I believe a good and decent man, a man of faith and, by all accounts, a loving and faithful husband and father. Mr. Snow’s favorite bit of advice was to: “love boldly, walk humbly and smile a lot.” When I think of those of my Brother Rats who are struggling with debilitating and even life-threatening health issues, I am reminded that they, too, represent what is best about humankind and this great country. When today’s public and private sectors seem inundated with egocentric, self-serving, disingenuous, self-aggrandizing and even blatantly dishonest people, it is easy to overlook and ignore those who try with every fiber of their being to live the kind of life exemplified by Tony. I think the next book I write will be titled: The Fifties: the Last Civil Decade. When I look around today, I think I can say I am glad I lived when I did. I don’t think I would want to be starting now. That’s just my opinion. 49

CLASS NOTES Tales from the Dark Side: As most of you know by now, I have asked BRs to try and remember some of their more “interesting” or bizarre moments at the Institute that might fit reasonably well in a family magazine. Some have complied. Others are in the process of complying. Recently, I received one such contribution from BR Otto Naumann. It is hilarious, exactly the sort of thing I am looking for, and I share it with you here. According to Otto, on a cold and dreary Saturday afternoon in the Barracks, when nary a Rat stirred, he was alone with Tommy Armstrong, one of his three “roomies” while his other two roommates, Bob Lindsey and Bob Price, had departed for the movies. He and Tommy were “fiddling” with some studies when they decided to give it up. He said that what follows was done in “complete silence.” He and Tommy went down to the main showers and put on their “civvies.” They then walked across the old courtyard through the arch between the OD’s Hole and the office of Col. Pancake ’38 and across the parade ground, went straight to the “Boys’ Club,” purchased a bottle of Four Roses, thence to the grocery store for a case of bottled Bud. Otto continues, “Carrying our purchases between us, we returned to our room via our original route. The only utterance made during the entire sojourn was a short discussion about the cheapest whiskey one could buy. Back in our warm quarters,” says Otto, “Tommy and I finished all libations, and then proceeded to break out every pane of glass in all (five) windows, plus the transom over the door.” When his other two room-

Class of 1954: At a pre-game barbeque (VMI vs. Richmond), Bill Turner had the honor of sitting beside “The General’s Lady,” Pamela Peay.


mates returned from town, they all went to supper. The following morning, the room was inspected by “Gentleman” Jim Morgan ’45. Otto says that the only thing that differentiated this particular inspection from all the others was the wind blowing their uniforms a bit in their hanging stalls. Again, according to Otto, Col. Morgan rendered his usual professional inspection of our bodies and room. He then spent an inordinate amount of time inspecting each and every window, both inside and out. When he turned to depart, he stopped, did an abrupt about face and said: “Gentlemen, you have the cleanest windows I have seen all morning, and that includes the transom.” Otto concludes: “The four of us slept with snow and rain until the end of May and the windows were replaced.” Great story, Otto. Thanks. I am happy to report that the rumor of BR Jim McDowell’s demise, which was inadvertently “implied” in an earlier edition of class notes, was greatly exaggerated. It appears that Mark Twain isn’t the only one who was once falsely accused of expiring before he was ready. In fact, I just had a very “live” telephone conversation with my old “roomie,” the “Fincastle Flash,” and he’s very much among the “quick,” relatively speaking. He has been a bit elusive, so it was with some difficulty that I was finally able to track him down. But it was certainly worth the effort. Jim’s in an assisted living facility in Staunton, VA. He can be reached at 804/886-5007. (I am sure that Jim would love to hear from his old comrades-in-arms.) Jim has a son and two grandsons living in the area, so he does have company now and again. He lost his wife about eight years ago, which makes it doubly hard for him. However, he does manage to watch a lot of sports on the tube, and he sounded in great spirits. Sorry, Jim; I really didn’t mean to accelerate your departure. I know I speak for all when I say I’m glad you’re still with us, and I hope you’re around for a long time yet. Roy Alexander advises that he’s still litigating out of Houston – says his only real hobby is “work.” Still, he’s fathered eight children, so it’s obvious that he’s had a little “free” time now and again. He told me that he had just returned from a business trip to the Philippines. Hang in there, Roy; it’s apparent to me that you still

have a few more good miles on that old odometer. Still, I hope very much that you are taking the time to pause and “smell the flowers.” Had a great conversation with Bill Almy today. Said that he and Sue are doing quite well and particularly enjoyed a brief prereunion get-together with two great roommates, Bob Gee and Jack Huyett, and their wives. Bill and his wife spent three days with them in Lynchburg prior to the 55th Reunion. He says the three of them roomed with Marshall Newton in ’53 and ’54, living in the “fish bowl” (room 101) just inside Washington Arch. Bill admits that he misses Marshall greatly – says he was a “class act.” You’ll get no argument from any of us on that assessment, Bill. He was indeed. Bill and Sue traveled on Holland-American during the spring and toured the Greek Isles, a trip labeled the “Roman Empire.” He says they are now staying close to the Wye River in Maryland and are in good shape, considering they are the senior folks in the community. “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. And a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” (James Madison) Just talked with Brig. Gen. Jack Gary (USMC, Ret.). Jack told me that he was on the faculty of the University of South Florida in Tampa for several years and taught “continuing education.” Unfortunately, Jack had to leave that post, which he thoroughly enjoyed, to devote full time and attention to his wife who is experiencing some “health issues.” Jack, many of us have “been there,” and we know how difficult being a primary caregiver can be, which reminds me of a story. There was a man whose wife of many years was confined to a long-term health facility with Alzheimer’s. He visited his wife every day; never missed a day. One day, his friend of many years asked him, “Al, why do you go to visit Nancy every day; you know she doesn’t know who you are,” to which his friend replied, “No, but I know who she is.” I think that about says it all. The noted author James Thurber once defined “love” this way: “Love is what you’ve been through with somebody.” Jack, you and your wife will remain in our prayers. Semper Fi. VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES Got an interesting e-mail from Don Colwell, whom I once called one of the two most underrated basketball players on the VMI starting five. The other was the late Bobby Wentz. Both were fine playmaking guards. The only fault I had with either of them was that they wouldn’t shoot the darn ball often enough. I once told the coach, Chuck Noe, that. I don’t remember his exact response, but I think he said something like, when he wanted my advice, he’d ask for it. Anyway, I took that as a compliment. Don says he retired from high school teaching, which he did for 49 years, and coaching basketball, which he did for eight. (Editorial comment: I am sure Don was a helluva coach and, more importantly, a highly talented and effective molder of men – men of integrity and character, traits which are non-negotiable and which will stay with a man for a lifetime. I can think of no higher calling.) Don also said he had a heart attack some time ago, resulting in a four-way bypass. Hang in there, Don, and just shoot the ball more. You should be scoring at least 10-12 points a game. Got a brief but welcome e-mail from Bob Hanson. He made an interesting, yet succinct, observation. He said: “It does seem we’ve hit that place where the obits outrun other news.” Geez, Bob, look on the bright side. Try and replicate Woody Allen’s philosophy on “crossing the bar.” I think old Woody is supposed to have said: “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” I saw my doctor recently for a routine examination, and he concluded by telling me I’d probably live to be at least 75. I told him I was already 75. He said, “See. What did I tell you? There you go.” On how few of us who matriculated back in ’50 stayed the course, Bob opined that VMI has always separated the men from the boys; the men wised up in a hurry and left, while the boys didn’t know any better and stayed. Bob, this kind of reinforces what Col. “Doc” Carroll, the “one-armed bandit,” always liked to quip: “VMI is built on a bluff and run on the same principle.” I accept that as a reasonably clever, albeit somewhat laconic, expression designed to elicit an appreciative response, mostly from “Rats,” who would come “crying” to him for sympathy and 2010-Issue 1

understanding. I am quite certain it was not meant to be taken seriously. The head of the pre-med (biology) department loved VMI as much as anyone. Moreover, he had a great track record getting his “boys” into med school. Ask them. They’ll tell you. “If you are able, save them (the memories) for a place inside of you, and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.” – Maj. Michael O’Donnell, KIA, DakTo, Vietnam, Feb. 7, 1973. Just concluded a very enjoyable conversation with Lou Drake. Lou regaled me with a series of humorous anecdotes about his life at the Institute. Precipitated lots of laughs, which I needed badly after yesterday’s oral surgery, an experience which elicited absolutely no humor whatever. (The dentist did tell me that my teeth were fine, but my gums had to come out.) Figured the most important news he had to relate was that he had “shot his age” on the golf course recently. I think this must mean that Lou shot either an 85 or 86. I’m not really sure. Way to go, Lou. I must say you are something of an inspiration to us youngsters. This reminds me that when I went to a dinner recently, attended by a lot of golfers, I handed one guy the cream and sugar, and he corrected my grip. But I really knew he was a golfer when he took three lumps of sugar and wrote down two. Talked with Dick and Peggy Trumbo a little while ago. Made my day. The two of them are ALWAYS so positive, so upbeat. They always leave me feeling better than I did before I talked with them. OPTIMISM; if they could bottle and sell it, they would make a million bucks. A real lesson there, I think, for the rest of us. Dick says he’s doing “pretty well,” but like the rest of his BRs, has grown a little “long in the tooth,” with the usual problems attendant thereto. I believe that Dick Trumbo epitomizes the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes: “To be 70 years young is sometimes far more cheerful than to be 40 years old.” As most of you will remember, Dick was class agent for two terms of service – 10 years – no small accomplishment. As BR Perry Archer describes it, “The job of class agent is a tough job, and the pay isn’t that good

either.” That one would willingly submit for, not one, but two tours of duty is an example of either scientifically demonstrable sado-masochism or loyalty and fidelity carried to extreme. Either way, Richard Trumbo exemplified the best, the very best of what this job is all about. Dick, I carry on the best I can, with the full knowledge and quiet resignation that I will always walk in your shadow. Thank you, Dick; thank you for giving all who follow you an example of excellence that I doubt can ever be duplicated, let alone surpassed. Remember BR J. Fenimore Cooper? Well, I’ve just found him; we talked for a long while. He’s an attorney, lives in Florida and has a wife, Sherri, recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Jim expressed some dismay with today’s version of “politicians.” He asked, “Bill, where have all the statesmen gone? We’ve got an overabundance of politicians but few, if any, real statesmen.” It was a serious question, deserving of a serious response. But even though I’m a political scientist by education and training, I couldn’t answer his question. I just don’t know, Jim; I don’t know. For the most part, they seem as extinct as the moustache cup and the dodo bird. But I hope and pray they’ll come back, I really do, before it’s too late. Old “give-em-hell” Harry Truman tells an interesting story about how he responded to a reporter’s question of why and how he ever entered politics. He said when he was a young man he couldn’t decide whether he wanted to be a piano player in a [brothel] or a politician. And he confessed that after spending so many years in politics, he now believed that he had made the wrong decision. He felt that, generally, piano players have demonstrably more integrity. On the more serious side, Jim has a very difficult job, one that will take every ounce of his strength, energy, and faith. Also, prayers help. Jim, please know that you and Sherri will be in my prayers. In fact, when I go to bed tonight, the two of you will be on my “short list.” God bless. Keep looking up. Remember “Jack” Sanguigni? He was a chemistry major and went on to get his doctorate. He was also one heck of 51

CLASS NOTES of the fiscal year in June 2010, ’55 will a baseball player – played third base close friends for a long time. Hasta luego, again be leading the way. Many thanks, and covered his territory like a vacuum amigo. guys and gals! cleaner. A long ball hitter, I think Jack Remember the 60s mantra in opposition Larry Price sent along a nice note and decided early on in his baseball career that to the Vietnam War, “Make love, not war”? a picture of “one of the most beautiful if he couldn’t hit the ball often, he’d hit it Well, it’s been a long certified fact that cars alive,” his 1958 Chevy Bel Air, hard. And that he did. He lives in PittsVMI men are men enough to do both. four-door hardtop. burg – told me he “lost” his wife 15 years Read Hanmer Dave and Barbara Woolwine attended ago (Jack, you haven’t really “lost” her; the October Hall of Fame Banquet in you know exactly where she is) and was Lexington, accompanied by his brother, never able to bring himself to marry again. Sam Woolwine ’58, and Sam’s wife, Well, Jack, some feel that if you do it right Carolyn. He says he had a nice visit the first time, there’s no point in doing it rehashing old experiences with former again. It’s a very personal thing. And no You will be reading this shortly beteammates George Ramer ’54, Joe Siler one can do it for you. Jack told me that he fore our 55th Reunion will occur. The ’54 and Bill Ralph ’54. The Woolwines had also lost a son. It is so true; when you reunion dates are Sunday, 18 April (for also visited with Tom and Margaret Tait. think you’ve had a “bad hair” day, look early arrivers), Monday, 19 April, and Meng Chi Tsen writes that he has been around; there are so many who have had it Tuesday, 20 April 2010. Reunion Headretired for some time now but remains so much worse. Great talking with the old quarters is the Holiday Inn Express in “hot corner” guardian. Lexington (540/463-7351). The deadline busy cataloging his extensive collection of British uniforms, a small part Got a lovely note from Lois Windle. Her for registration at the Holiday Inn is 5 of which has been on display at the husband and our BR, John, died not too March 2010, but if you didn’t make a VMI Museum. Lately, the British Army long ago. John was a fine man, the quintes- reservation and find you can make it to sential Southern Gentleman. Thought I’d the reunion after all, please contact me at Benevolent Fund America has been using Meng Chi’s collection for its fund share Lois’ remarks with you. She writes: the above numbers, and we will work it “Dear Bill: You did a simply marvelous out. The more, the merrier! The principal raising activities. General Lord Guthrie, former chief of the British Joint Staff job writing about the 55th Class Reunion. events at the reunion will be: golf on and current colonel of the Life Guards, I enjoyed reading it so much and what a Monday, a dinner at the Lexington Golf has called Meng Chi’s collection “the great picture. The only thing that bothers and Country Club on Monday evening, last bastion of the Empire in North me is that you all are near the front of the class picture and a parade on Tuesday, America.” Well done, Meng Chi. book. God bless.” (Lois, I am all too well and dinner at the new Marshall LeadNed Whitlock has been keeping in aware that we are much too close to the ership and Ethics Center on Tuesday touch with Ron Coleman, who has some “front of the book,” but at least we are evening – all sandwiched around conmajor health issues. Ned encourages still in the book.) Lois, we know that you viviality in the hotel hospitality rooms classmates to establish contact with Ron miss John more than words can convey. and elsewhere. We all miss him. All any of us can say is: Our class did exceptionally well in – R.C. Coleman, 5050 Lincoln Avenue“Keep looking up. Keep the faith. And giving to the Institute in the first half of Apt. 335, Evansville, IN 47715; phone God bless.” Fiscal Year 2010. As of 29 Oct. 2009, 812/476-7033. Ay Caramba! Just concluded having the class had made contributions totaling In response to my card, Tony Russo muchas palabras with “El Jefe,” BR Ed over $270,000, with a 21 percent parnoted with regret that he (as with all Rojas. Ed called from the “City by the ticipation rate. I’m sure that, by the end of us) had been unable to cancel his Bay,” where he’s now living and birthday this year. Maybe told me he had recently “dodged next year, Tony. Tony notes a bullet.” He had been incorthat his ministry with people rectly diagnosed with melanoma with disabilities (i.e., deaf and is still rejoicing that other and blind) continues undoctors disagreed. Vaya con abated. We all wish you well, Dios! I told him I’d heard he Tony, in such an important was in Venezuela advising Hugo endeavor. Chavez. Silence. A pause. Then, Many thanks to Tom and “He can’t afford me.” SeriMargaret Tait for again ously, Ed sounded great; I could hosting “open house” at their almost see his great smile over home after football games in the phone. He said he was going Lexington. A large assortClass of 1955: Ron Bryan, Mac McCants and Bob Bowden to the airport the next day to ment of BRs find their way at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Virpick up Ed Santos’ widow for to the Taits’ for cheer or ginia, September 2009. a visit. The two Eds had been condolences, depending on




CLASS NOTES Class of 1955

Above: Roommates Pete Haake and Joe Brenner flank Cathy Haake. Their “Spirits” were undampened by the mist and drizzle at West Point, as the VMI football team tangled with the Black Knights of the Hudson. Below: Larry Price and his ’58 Chevy Bel Air hard-top.

the outcome of the game. At this writing (15 Nov. 2009), the Keydets are two and eight, one and three at home, with a home game with Old Dominion remaining. Ron and Nita Bryan hosted their annual “Bryan Beach Bash” with a goodly number of BRs and their significant others gathering at Sandbridge Beach in September. The setting was lovely, despite some nasty weather. Among the many suspects were: Bill and Pattie Davidson, Marty Fisher and Anne Holup, Mac and Gayle McCants, Bob and Clara Rennicks, Dusty and Rody Rhodes, Tom and Margaret Tait, Bob and Pat Timms, Fielding Tyler, Carter Valentine, Bill and Boots Wainwright, Sam Segar and Ann O’Connor, and Read and Lois Hanmer. Walt Ames ’52 also attended. A good time was had by all, and many tall, and some not so tall, stories were exchanged. 2010-Issue 1

Above: At a September 2009 class of 1955 gathering in Sandbridge, Virginia, were, from left, Boots Wainwright, Pattie Davidson, Anne Holup, Ann O’Connor, Clara Rennicks, Nita Bryan, Gayle McCants, Margaret Tait, Rody Rhodes, Jane Bowden and Lois Hanmer. Below: Bill Davidson, Tom Tait, Bill Wainwright, Carter Valentine, Bob Bowden, Walt Ames ’52, Read Hanmer, Dusty Rhodes, Marty Fisher, Fielding Tyler, Sam Segar, Bob Rennicks, Mac McCants, Ron Bryan and Bob Timms.

Bob Bowden and Mac McCants are docents at the Military Air Museum in Virginia Beach. I joined them and Ron Bryan for an air show in September, which featured, inter alia, a Spitfire and a Hurricane, planes that won the World War II Battle of Britain. I had just read With Wings Like Eagles, A History of the Battle of Britain by Michael Korda, so the brief remarks by the British Air attaché from Washington were especially interesting. Joe Cestaro checked in, saying that he turned his business over to his son, Michael ’87, several years ago, but “crises” keep arising to keep Joe going in to work four days each week, and that is cutting into his golf and tennis time. Our deepest sympathy, Joe! Please keep the letters, e-mails and calls coming. We need pictures!


Richard M. Smith

This was the third year in a row that we put together a mini reunion for those interested in coming back together in Lexington. Twenty-three BRs, in addition to wives and friends, showed up at our Natural Bridge Hotel headquarters. Some only came for one night and others only to the banquet. Six couples had to cancel out after making reservations because of health problems. Harry Jones had to be admitted to Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington with pneumonia. I’m pleased to report he is home in PA recuperating. The meals were a 53

CLASS NOTES big improvement over last year, and except for some boiler maintenance problems, all seemed to enjoy the stay and activities planned – especially Donnie Cash Band. Fred Farthing reports the following: “Talked with Bill and Else Tolley who are moving to the Chamberlin at Fort Monroe the first of November. They have their home in Gloucester on the market. The Chamberlin is now a senior citizen housing complex with a beautiful view of Chesapeake Bay. Bill is still having back problems and still doesn’t have his voice completely back to normal. Fred spent a weekend with his old roommate, Gaylord Williams, in September. They played golf at Birdwood on Friday and attended the TCU-UVA football game on Saturday. It

was a great weekend. Gaylord has recovered well from the kidney failure problem but still has a back pain that could be associated with high doses of prednisone he took for the kidney failure. His neurosurgeon has tried several unsuccessful treatments and has now scheduled in December surgery to stabilize and relieve pressure on the spine parts which are pressing on his nerve roots. Chuck Jundt is in his eighth year working with kindergarten-age kids and also delivering food every Wednesday to the needy in Williamsburg. He and Jeanne spend a lot of time in Raleigh and Atlanta visiting kids and grandkids. I had a long chat on the phone with Bob Brickner. He is keeping himself in great physical condition and has recently

participated again in the Chicago Marathon. He also entered a senior multi-event race outing and was interviewed on local television after winning a number of gold metals. He promised to send me a write-up when it comes out. He has some health problems but isn’t letting them get him down. He sends his best regards to all the BRs. I had the pleasure of attending the VMI Institute Society Dinner again this Veterans Day, Nov. 11th. It was held in the new Marshall Hall at the Center for Leadership and Ethics. Although the place was mostly full with representatives from all living alumni classes, I’m sorry to say only three of us from class of 1956 were in attendance – Marshall Mundy and Monica, Doug Gottwald and Betsy, and Vernelle

Class of 1956 Mini Reunion In October, 23 BRs, their wives and friends met in Natural Bridge, Virginia, for a mini reunion, including a banquet and other events. Photos, counter clockwise, from top left: -Amos Dickinson with Bruce and Shirley McCreedy. -Fred and Mary Jo Farthing with Hoppy and Sallie Holsinger. -Russ Mathews, Monica and Marshall Mundy, and Lula Mathews. -Fred Farthing, Bob Black and Dave Blair. -Pete and Anna McCrary, walking to their seats at the VMI versus Stoney Brook football game.



CLASS NOTES Lytton and myself. It was nice to see many alumni I have gotten to know personally over the years. The meal was delicious, and the VMI Glee Club performed wonderfully. The following morning, I was over at Marshall Museum in Pogue Hall for the fall Class Agents Conference. In addition to Pat Webb, vice president for Alumni and Reunion Giving, who chaired the program, we heard from the following: Brian Crockett, chief executive officer of the Foundation Inc.; Gregg Cavallaro ’84, chief executive officer of the Keydet Club; Adam Volant ’88, executive vice president of the Alumni Association; and Col. Curtis ’79, VMI chief of staff. From everyone, we heard that the Institute was struggling to meet the needs, but strong financial support this past year and sound management of funds have allowed them to give the best possible service to the Corps. Other colleges around the state have had to cut both people and services. With continued strong alumni participation and funding from other sources, they feel we can function relatively well until the economy improves. However, some changes will occur, as in the case of the upcoming Register of Former Cadets publication which comes out in 2010. For those desiring a copy, it will cost $90 but will also be available on the Web. A survey will begin in early 2010 to gather information on former cadets. A marketing firm will conduct postcard and e-mail information gathering, so we need to respond as soon as possible. The Alumni Review will continue to be received without cost, which is not the case with most other college magazines. We are being considered for an award as one of the best alumni publications in the country. For individuals desiring to offset some of their taxes and support VMI with a tax deductible gift to the VMI Foundation or Keydet Club, a provision in the tax laws is available in 2010 to transfer Traditional IRA funds to a Roth IRA, creating a lifetime of payments for yourself or your loved ones. For more information on this, you can contact Terri Conrad at the VMI Foundation. This about sums up my report for this issue and I hope enlightens you to some degree on what’s going on with your BRs and the Institute. It would benefit you to get back to Lexington whenever possible to see what’s being accomplished. Yours in the Spirit … Dick 2010-Issue 1


Clayton M. Thomas III

Now, in November, we are finally having cooler weather. October was unseasonably warm with 11 days in the 90s. It took real courage to venture into the yard to weed or to mulch. In late October, Dawn and I drove 507 miles to Simpsonville, SC, to visit Martha and Bill Batten. On Saturday, Oct. 24, Bill and I drove to Clinton to witness VMI win an exciting football game, 31-20, against Presbyterian College. Bill had great fun, as he and a retired Air Force colonel led the small VMI gathering in “Old Yells” every time we scored, which was often. We had a splendid time visiting Martha and Bill, and the victory made the 1000-mile trip a pleasant experience. Dawn and I have just returned from a six-day trip to VMI. Unfortunately, we traveled north with Tropical Storm Ida, and all three days in Lexington were cold, soggy and gloomy. Fortunately, the worst weather hugged the coast, and we escaped serious flooding. We had a delightful stay with Nancy and Pete Lincoln, and Nancy gave us a tour of their new home, which they hope to finish in 2010. At the meeting of the Class of 1957 Bereavement Committee in the Moody Hall Board Room, nine Brother Rats attended. They were Russ Davis, our class president; Wade Douthat; Don Jamison; Howard Lawrence; Wally McKeel; Bill Moore, our Bereavement Committee chairman; and Dixie Thomas, our class agent. At the meeting, the members voted to invite Ron McManus to join our committee. We believe he will lend organizational skills and competence and guide us in achieving our goals. We also directed our attention to Brother Rats and wives or widows who are in poor health. We wish to communicate with them on a regular basis to show our support and encouragement. Earlie P. Blanks’ son wrote that his father moved into assisted living late in 2008. Earlie would greatly appreciate any Brother Rat who would write or visit him at: Mr. Earlie P. Blanks, Blue Ridge Manor, Room 116, 400 Blue Ridge Street, Martinsville, VA 24115.

Ruth Smith, Ron Kaye’s caregiver, moved him out of one assisted living into another. He has complications with his MS and is unable to eat, drink or swallow. Now, Ron is getting excellent 24-hour care, and Ruth visits frequently, being only five minutes away. It is best to contact him at: Col. Ronald J. Kaye, c/o Ms. Ruth H. Smith, 1286 Discovery Street, Space 13, San Marcos, CA 29078-4038. “The Great White Owl” would enjoy hearing from any of his Brother Rats. Lastly, Martin Andersen found that it was necessary to move Kay Schwendinger, Charlie’s widow, to a different assisted living facility. She was not getting adequate medical care, and it was something Martin had discussed with the directors on several occasions. Two months ago, he took Kay to an outside doctor for a checkup. That doctor found that she wasn’t getting proper treatment, so Martin moved her to a new facility. After two weeks, she is much happier, and the medical staff has been taking good care of her and watching her diet. The ALF is only six miles from Martin’s home, and he visits Kay several times a week. Her new address is: Chieko Schwendinger, 11202 Dewhurst Drive, Apt. 101, Riverview, FL 33578. Don Jamison added four more Brother Rats who have made a contribution to the Bereavement Fund. They are Dick Collier, Don Coombs, Bill Huffcut and Wally McKeel. This makes 16 donors who have made a contribution. Since we plan to design our own class cards, we welcome additional donors. Please consider writing a check to the Class of 1957 Bereavement Fund and mailing it to: Col. Donald K. Jamison, 110 Colston Place, Lexington, VA 24450-1812. For the Founders Day Convocation, we walked in the rain to Moody Hall, arriving as the last shuttle pulled away. To our great relief, Belkis and Clint Glover arrived from Antioch, IL, and drove us to Cameron Hall. There, the Corps, faculty and staff were in attendance but only a handful of visitors. The weather must have kept most away. To the great disappointment of the cadets, the 3:30 p.m. parade was rained out. That evening, the Institute Society Dinner was a grand success, and for the first time, was held in the Center for Leadership and Ethics Marshall Hall. There were a plethora of our Brother Rats and ladies. Joining Dawn and me at table 28 were Nancy Lincoln, Jay 55

CLASS NOTES Musser, Priscilla and Don Jamison, B.D. Ayres and First Class Cadet Rogers, who wears stars and is on the regimental staff. He is from Denver, CO; we should recruit more cadets from the western states. At the Class Agents Conference on 12 Nov., we had about two dozen agents in attendance. The message was that VMI continues to prepare young cadets for service, success and leadership. The Corps, the class system, the spirit, the Ratline and the honor system remain strong. VMI will survive the economic downturn. This autumn, the commonwealth of Virginia informed VMI that it was reducing its aid to the Institute. State aid will fall below 19% of our budget, but VMI will continue to progress, because we alumni will band together to support VMI, as we have for 170 years. Following the meeting, we packed our car and thanked Nancy and Pete Lincoln for their hospitality. We headed south on I-81, and thick clouds hung so low they obscured the tops of the hills. Fortunately, the rain was light, and we spent the night in Statesville, NC. The next day, the sky was gray but no rain, and we made good progress, even with frequent rest stops. At one rest area in South Carolina, Dawn found five hungry cats to feed. (We carry extra cat food for such occasions.) In Georgia, we stopped at the Darien Outlet Mall, and Dawn fed bread crumbs to a flock of hungry birds. In Florida, the clouds broke, and we saw blue sky and sunshine. We arrived home before dark. Now, two days later, I have birthday cards to send, this report to finish and notes to mail. We always enjoy returning to Lexington and the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Our next trip to VMI will be for the Class Agents Conference on 16-17 April 2010.

Wes Roberts

’58 Hello, BR’s and Ladies! Annemarie and I are compiling these notes from our Virginia residence, where we awoke to find the temperature at 31 degrees. (Why did we leave Florida?) The colorful leaves, 56

while beautiful, lasted only a short time, reportedly due to rain, which was needed. We are in the valley for a short time as a “test run” and will be leaving for Florida right after these notes are submitted (Nov. 16). This is our first visit to Virginia in two years. For those of you who don’t know, to bring you up to date, I experienced spontaneous compression fractures of five vertebrae over a period of a little over a year. After a surgical procedure called “kyphoplasty” (performed on three of the fractures) and several sessions of therapy, I am mending. However, I hate to admit it, but I am a 73-year-old “old fart,” who has to depend on walkers, wheelchairs and canes. Travel has only recently become semi-tolerable. So, now you have it. Note Bono: (That means “note well” for you engineers and non-English majors.) All too often, our outgoing e-mail communications are “bounced back,” only to find that you, the addressee, has changed his email address and has failed to notify me of that fact. This causes unnecessary inquiries and is so simple for you to rectify. Try to help me out, guys and gals. Keep me up to date and apprised of any changes for any of your addresses (easy for me to say, as my scribe, Annemarie, ends up doing all the work). Now, for the news! Lee McCown reported that he attended an awards dinner on Oct. 15, 2009, given by Crossover Ministries, honoring our BR Bill Holland. Crossover Ministries provides medical services for the poor in the Richmond area. (Bill was almost as loud as ever and was featured at work in a very nice video.) Among the distinguished attendees were our BRs Brooke Doggett, Bill Holt, Onza Hyatt, Moon Menefee, Frank Norvell, Sam Woolwine and Stuart Whitehurst, accompanied by wives or significant others. Bill Holt added that BR Holland commented to the keynote speaker that his was “the best speech he had ever heard given by a UVa grad.” (Moon and Bill were kind enough to submit reports on this function, along with Lee.) Lee further reported that the Sports Hall of Fame football game against Charleston Southern had an unpleasant outcome, but he did see BRs Jack Cunningham, Lou Farmer and Dave Pitkethley (three of the four of our classmates who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. They had

dinner with our other hall-of-famer, Sam Woolwine, the night before.) Lee added he went to the game with Paul Royer, where they also saw Joe Gray in the stands. This was also a rare occasion at which Lee was present with all three of his brothers. His East Carolina University brother, Rusty, from Roanoke, was there, because his friend, Charlie Cole ’64, was being inducted, and Lee’s brother, David McCown ’73, was there to visit his son, Allen McCown ’11. Lee’s Princeton brother, Gary, was there, because he always makes a trip to VMI, although he resisted their dad’s attempts to enroll him as an English major at VMI. (Too bad he didn’t get to experience Col Dillard!) On a different matter of interest, Lee’s wife, Laura, spotted an article in the November Issue of Metropolitan Home, featuring a good looking San Antonio loft, owned by one of the “Dixie Chicks.” One of the architects on the project was a young man named “Jim Poteet.” Lee wrote to Jim and determined that this young man was our BR’s son. Our world traveler, BR Ted Henry, reported that he and Becky took a river cruise on the Danube from Budapest to the Black Sea (but it wasn’t as good as last year’s Rhein/Mosel cruise). The communists ruined those countries for many years to come, says Ted. Croatia and Serbia are still a bit war torn from the trouble there 10 years ago. Many buildings are still damaged or nothing left but hollow shells. All the countries belong to the European Union (EU) but don’t qualify for the euro; maybe there is too much graft and corruption. On the domestic side, Ted and Becky traveled to Birmingham, AL, to help Noelle and Denny move to Natchez, MS, where they will lead a new church as co-pastors. Ted alluded to lower back problems slowing him down. For the class’s information, our BR Bill Gee has resurrected a 10th Reunion Booklet, which he has made available to the class. Thanks, Bill, for all your efforts, both past and present. As Ernie Edgar said, “Were we ever so young?” Recovering, but still on the GIM list, Frank Boeggeman said he is doing well after a triple bypass, following which he lost 25 pounds. He noted hopes to travel in the spring, maybe to sunny Florida, and to attend the Army game on 14 Nov. He VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES also would like to attend the Seton Hall Number two son Mike and family moved presented on behalf of the class of ’58. basketball game in Newark in December. to Portland, OR, in 2008. He is working Our BR Joe Parker visited the Institute Boeggie remarked on how much the supfor Nike Golf and heads their golf ball and in July “to interact with the Swope Sumport of the BRs helped in his recovery. accessory business. Maybe you golfers mer Scholars.” Joe was duly impressed Bruce Haldeman noted that Stirling in the class can work out a deal in that with the science building (at the VMI Williamson was very helpful to Bruce’s regard! It appears Anna is a writer, haventrance across from the parade ground), cousin who lives in Malta (yes, Malta) ing just published her first novel entitled, which houses the Biology and Chemistry and had some real estate issues in the Choices, under her pseudonym A.C. Departments. Joe said, “The UndergraduCharlottesville area. He said that he and White. (“Pai” means “white” in Chinese.) ate Research Program is housed and manStirling both still play tennis a couple of Dave is trying to learn Greek history but is aged there.” Joe and wife Trish were liketimes a week and feel they are pretty lucky not used to sitting among “kids my grandwise impressed with the newest Barracks. to still be out on the courts. (No, neither daughter’s age.” This area also houses the newly renovated has moved, and they are not playing one Hull Negley writes that he and Judy had post exchange/bookstore, which is located another.) three great months at their island cottage next to the commandant’s quarters. Sam Woolwine, old Number 31, says he in Canada this summer. Hull spoke of BR Billy Thomas reported that he and flew to Paris with a grandson from Florida. having recently purchased a letter written Mary Jo attended the Boston College “The neat thing,” says Sam, “is that Scott by George S. Patton Jr., class of 1877, game at Virginia Tech with Bob and Diana Andrew Woolwine ’84 was the American while a VMI cadet. Having spoken with Jordan. They “tailgated” at the Jordan’s Airlines pilot.” They had a great trip and Col. Keith Gibson ’77, executive direchouse, due to “iffy” weather. The Thomquality time together. tor of Museum Operations at VMI, Hull ases plan to spend the winter in their Sully Griffin reports that he is still living plans to give the letter to the museum, Florida home. in Surfside, TX, only a lot closer I have recently spoken with to the water, thanks to the rearRon Swirk, a resident of rangement of the shoreline. He Jasper, GA. Ron said that he said he will be headed to Mexico attended the JMU football for two weeks in early November game in September with his for a much needed break. Sully is son, Francis. Ron appears to still working, with jobs in Peru, be a chef (gourmet?), as each England, west Texas, Houston, Wednesday, he cooks for his southeast Texas and Florida. He children and grandchildren said, “This not the kind of retirewho live in the area. ment I was planning.” Gene Grayson, “the world’s Ever the talker, Charlie Hayes greatest fly fisherman,” said stated he had lunch with BRs he is recovering nicely from Howard Savage, Bill Walker, recent shoulder surgery but is Joe Gray and Onza Hyatt not inclined to have the other in Williamsburg on Oct. 16. shoulder repaired. Class of 1958: Photos above and below: Gary Harris at “Everybody was standing tall Remember the infamous his going-away party, hosted by Hoku Scientific’s Shaw Enand looking good,” he stated. Minstrel Shows held in JM ergy & Chemical Group in Boston, Massachusetts. Below, Harris is second from left; above, he is fourth from right. BRs “Moon” Menefee, Brooke Hall? You may recall the late Doggett and Bill Kump were Judd Strunk ’59 sang songs supposed to attend but were “no and accompanied himself shows.” Charlie says he heard with his banjo. In that regard, they were detained by the counthe Institute called me, having try club security people, who mistakenly placed Judd in our took them for illegal Mexican class of ’58, and wanted to immigrants, but he has not been put me in touch with a lady able to confirm this. who was writing about Judd. Our BR Dave Pai and Anna, We put her in touch with who, you may recall, had moved Phil Shepherd ’59 and look from NJ to Davidson, NC, apforward to the outcome of pear to be settled in and happy her writings, which should be with the move. Their son, Ben, entertaining. and children live close by, and BR Lou Farmer called and BR Brooke Doggett’s daughter graciously offered to take me and family live down the street. to the Charleston Southern 2010-Issue 1


CLASS NOTES game at VMI on Oct. 31. I declined his invitation, as I didn’t feel I was up to negotiating those stairs in the newly renovated Wes Foster Stadium. On the following weekend, Lou visited us at our home, shared a cup of coffee and reminisced over tales of our cadetship. Lou shared exciting news with us that he and Jean will soon be enjoying their son, Stephen, and family, who are returning to Virginia from Colorado. Stephen has been offered employment in this area Our motor-home-touring BR, Gene Martin, shared that he and Peggy visited Gene’s brother in San Antonio, TX, and also visited BR Jim and Peggy Poteet at their lovely home in the Texas Hill Country. Gene quoted our profound thinker, Jim, as saying, “Some days I sit and think, and some days I just sit!” There is a wonderful view of the hills from his front porch to do just that. The Martin’s son, Michael, is now assigned to the Air Staff at the Pentagon and was recently notified that he was selected to attend the National War College next summer. BR Gary Harris checked in from Pasadena. He reports that he spent a year + commuting to and from Boston, working on reorganizing an engineering project. Gary said he drew upon his VMI training to steer a major project back to its goal of building a “green product.” He and E.J. did a lot of jetting to and fro, but after awhile, found the jet lag a bit much. Gary stated that he met a wonderful collection of Bostonians. He enjoyed taking a 20-minute walk down Charles Street in the mornings and an 18-minute Charles River walk in the afternoons. Gary still sees Bob Susnar ’57, usually lunching on Fridays and getting their respective families together at various social functions. Also from the west coast, BR Tony Lash shares the following: “Another of the shining lights of ’58 has reached a pinnacle of achievement in the professional and civic worlds. Tom Saunders has been elected chairman of the board of the Heritage Foundation.” Tony continues, “For those of you not familiar with Heritage, it is one of the bastions of truth and freedom …” Congratulations, BR Tom! Annemarie and I were treated to lunch by BRs Bill Holland and Moon Menefee. They drove in from Richmond, and we 58

met them in Staunton at a locally famous restaurant, Mrs. Rowe’s. We did a lot of reminiscing, most of which you all probably heard, as Brother Bill was in true form in his “soft,” melodious voice.

Class of 1958: Above: Gary Harris and wife E.J. stopping by the famous “Cheers” Bar down the street from the Harris’ Boston Common apartment. Below: Gary Harris became a Boston Red Sox fan at Fenway Park.

building is all part of Gen. Peay’s ’62 Vision 2039. Unfortunately, it rained that night. Not withstanding the unpleasant weather, cadets, en mass, were present at every turn to guide parking and give directions entering the building. Cadets served as hat/coat checkers as well as wait staff. The meal was delicious, as were the hors’ doeuvres and wine served with dinner. Speakers included Gen. Peay and Thomas G. Slater ’66, president of the VMI Board of Visitors. The highlight of the evening, however, was the assemblage of our Brother Rats and their beautiful ladies: Ernie and Elizabeth Edgar; Drew and Joann Troxler, accompanied by their daughter, Chambliss; Onza and Becky Hyatt; Hull and Judy Negley; Dave and Annie Mae Martin; and the Roberts. This was Annemarie’s and my first attendance. I could go on ad infinitum; but you need to see it for yourself. (Editor’s Note: See a photo of the class of ’58 Brother Rats at the dinner in the front section of this Review.) As beautiful as this valley in Virginia is, weather-wise it can’t compare with the Sunshine State this time of year. Stay warm; keep the Spirit. We’re heading south! God’s Blessings … Wes

’59 The finale of our visit to Virginia was attending the Institute Society Dinner on Nov. 11. The dinner was held in the newly completed Center for Leadership and Ethics, which is located behind the Marshall Library. The dining hall was akin to a grand ballroom, and with decorations, enhanced by the beautiful ladies and the alumni in our “monkey suits,” it was a sight to behold. The wall behind the speaker’s podium is a gigantic screen, on which was projected a power point program of life at VMI. It was also used to feature the speakers and the entertainment (VMI Glee Club and Brass). This beautiful

Shep Shepard

Just before the deadline to submit this article, I received word from Peggy Smith that our Brother Rat Kenny had gone to be with his Savior and Lord. Kenny was diagnosed with a new kind of cancer just after our 50th Reunion and had undergone extensive experimental treatment but to no avail. The funeral was held in Troy, VA, and was attended by many of Kenny’s friends and Brother Rats. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Peggy and her family. After the deadline, I received word from Loretta that Fritz Orebaugh passed away 12 Oct. 2009. Fritz had heart complications for many years, but his sudden death was completely unexpected. Fritz was a mainstay in the New Market, VA, community, especially as a long-time supporter of the Stonewall Jackson Generals and New Market Rebels. Since I was not notified in time, his Brother Rats were unable to see him off, but our VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES thoughts and prayers are with Loretta and his family. Several other Brother Rats are also not in good health, many suffering from that dreadful disease, cancer. I have tried to keep you abreast of their individual conditions by e-mail, but unfortunately, since I do not have e-mail addresses for all Brother Rats or you do not have access to e-mail, the information does not reach you. These class notes are published three months from the day that I submit them, so depending upon when I get the “latest information” on an individual, the information I provide in this article could be as much as six months old. In light of this and the fact that a person’s health condition changes so rapidly, especially with cancer, I will not say too much about these Brother Rats in the notes but will continue to keep you abreast by e-mail. Please understand that this in no way is meant to minimize their plight and suffering. They will always be in our thoughts and prayers. Those of you who do not have e-mail addresses and want to be kept abreast can contact me by telephone. Royall and Geri Geis are proud parents and with good reason. It all played out in a San Francisco courtroom when their lawyer daughter, Stacey, brought down the Hong Kong-based company that operated the cargo ship that caused an oil spill in San Francisco Bay. The Costco Busan sideswiped the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on a foggy morning in November 2007, and the ship spilled 53,000 gallons of oil into the water, killing thousands of birds and other wildlife and fouling miles of shoreline. The ship’s pilot was sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges. That’s what was in the San Francisco newspaper article; here’s “the rest of the story.” What was not in the article was that Stacey proved the ship’s pilot was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This was the first time a person was sentenced to more than five months in jail for misdemeanor charges. Congratulations to the Geis family. After a lifetime of playing golf, Mike Vargosko – on the 19th day of August 2009 in the year of our Lord, at approximately 1148 hours – made a hole-in-one on the ninth hole at the Virginia Oaks Golf Course in Gainesville, VA. His credentials now include: B.A., Virginia Military Institute; M.A., University of Alabama; colonel (retired), U.S. Army; airborne; 2010-Issue 1

ranger; master gunner; Member, Hole-inOne Club. After 60 years of playing golf, I haven’t come close to making a hole in one. Well done, Mike. Because of circumstances that included building a new home and moving into said home, Jack and Joy Angolia temporarily removed themselves as the reigning “Globetrotters ’59.” Now that their house is completed and they are just about resettled, the race begins anew. In December, they leave for a month in the South Pacific, beginning in Tahiti, then on to Bora Bora, Easter Island, etc., over to the west coast of South America, up to Costa Rico, through the canal, stopping at the Sand Blas Island where Jack will try to trade a few beads for some of their treasured gold. Then, off to Florida and back home. If that won’t make you say “Uncle,” five months later, they sail the North Atlantic rim over to England where they will cap off a month-long trip with Andrew Lloyd Weber’s new adaptation of “Phantom of the Opera.” They figure that if they can keep this up, they can outrun old age and the accompanying trials and tribulations. Jack and Joy are back!

Class of 1959:: George O’Neill, left, and Jim True at Failte Inn in Athens, Pennsylvania.

George and Marie O’Neill spent a few days as guests of Jim and Sarah True at their bed and breakfast, Failte Inn, in Athens PA. George and Marie said it was such a pleasure to stay at this elegant and award winning “romantic retreat” where they had the pleasure of occupying the nicely appointed bridal suite. Their hosts treated them to Sarah’s wonderful cuisine and to sightseeing trips to nearby attractions. Of course, being “Liquid Lunchers” alumni, there had to be stops at several wineries. George, being the loyal Brother Rat that he is, had to make up for what Jim’s doc-

tor has said he should not do, i.e., imbibe alcohol. What a guy! Marie and George hadn’t seen Jim and Sarah since Jim, who lured Sarah from Southern Sem with the promise of a double-dip ice cream cone, and Sarah were married in J.M. Hall after our graduation. This was the first such occasion in 50 years, and Col. Glover Johns was delighted to grant permission. Mrs. Johns played a lead role in making the arrangements. Glover Johns ... delighted! Who would have thunk? John and Pat Van Kesteren make their way up to VA every once in a while to babysit the grandchildren and check out the farms. They have fond memories of our 50th Reunion and the great time they had being among all our Brother Rats. Marve Myers wrote to correct some reporting that I did in a previous issue of the Alumni Review. I incorrectly reported in the 2009-Issue 3 Alumni Review that Marve had attended Golf Anger Management Class. In actuality, Marve was asked to conduct a Golf Anger Management Class, which he did. The results were so good that he has been asked to do a post-graduate course which will be conducted in the fall. Marve wants everyone to know that he has outgrown that childish behavior of throwing and breaking golf clubs. Patty says “thank goodness,” because the residual costs for a round of golf were getting to be outrageous. I’m so glad and proud that Marve was able to get his anger under control and subsequently reach that lofty position of teaching a post-graduate course. Lee and Marilyn Southard have had a real busy summer at their beach house in Corolla, NC. The weekend before Kenney Smith’s death, they drove to Mount Monticello, VA, picked up Kenney and Peggy, and drove them to the VMI/Gardner Webb football game. Kenny, although not feeling well, got a chance to see one last VMI football game and say farewell to Brother Rats Bobby and Alice Ross, Eddie Barnes, and Mort and Audrey Eggleston. VMI lost, but it was still a good weekend for Kenny and Lee, visiting with Brother Rats. Lee reported that Mort is another one of our Brother Rats who has Parkinson’s but seems to be doing well. He is on a board at MCV where Parkinson’s is the focus and has been instrumental in recruiting Parkinson’s docs to MCV. Lee 59

CLASS NOTES has had his medical problems, as well. He recently was hospitalized for two days while the doctors fixed one of the wires in his implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). It was strange; he had been getting a daily audible alarm for two months before he realized it was his ICD. He had it pegged as the alarm clock, his Rolex or something in the house. However, when it went off while he was taking a shower, he realized it had to be something inside him. The cardiologist confirmed it was a loose wire, so Lee had it fixed, and he is back to normal with no alarms. Lee has been rethinking his annual trip to Cabo St Lucas for a Marlin fishing trip with his ICD, because the places he goes would require a

great deal to get to a proper medical facility. Take care of yourself, Lee. I received an e-mail from Sonny Thomas for the first time in 50 years, so I had to give him a call and bug him about that. He’s another one of our Brother Rats who is fighting cancer; unfortunately, this is his second bout with the disease. He is doing pretty good, spending what time he can with his partner, Kevin, at their “retreat” in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Unfortunately, more time is being spent in Washington, DC, than would be desired, since he has to receive chemo close to 24/7. The cancer removal in January came a little too late, and the cancer has spread elsewhere. Sonny had hoped to

make it to the 50th Reunion, but travel then just wasn’t possible. He sends his sincere thanks to those who were so kind as to send him mementos of the occasion, but he hopes to make it to the 55th with the help of God and his doctors. Hang in there, Sonny; our thoughts and prayers are with you. Pat Breth celebrated her 39+ birthday by going on a cruise to Hawaii, something she had wanted to do for years. She could never get Frank on a ship; he said he had spent enough time on ships while serving in the Marine Corps to satisfy his wanderlust for the sea. Pat sailed the Pacific in his honor and had a great time visiting our “Island State.”




Class of 1959 Photo 1: The Southard family at Corolla, North Carolina, hauling in what eventually produced 140 lbs. of fillets. From left: Jeff, Matt, Todd ’85, Brian ’93, Lee ’59 and Chase, future class of ’22. Photo 2: Bud and Sue Mease and Ann and Shep Shepard visited Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California, while visiting a high school friend in Napa. Photo 3: The Cottons and Shepards got together at Hilton Head, South Carolina, for a little bit of rest and relaxation. From left: Shep and Ann Shepard with Chuck and Margo Cotton.



CLASS NOTES Bud and Denyse Kramer spent the summer traveling by motor home to the National Parks out west, a trip that took them over 8,125 miles. They visited the Grand Canyon, Zion, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, etc. and traveled through mountains to plains,

Class of 1959: Bud and Denyse Kramer stopped off at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park during their summer excursion through western national parks.

lakes and rivers and some of the routes that Lewis and Clark traveled. They say all were breathtaking and well worth the time and effort that they put into it. They also visited Denyse’s relatives in Canada, as well as Bud’s son and daughter-in-law in Toronto; sad to report that the cancer has returned to their daughter-in-law, Crystal. They are praying for a miracle to cure this awful disease. We will also continue to pray for her. They recently had one of their grandsons and a granddaughter graduate from college. Bud and Denyse are still involved with feeding the homeless and see firsthand what this recession has done to many of the less fortunate. Thanks for your social contributions. Jimmy and Linda Johnson will attend the winter Florida mini reunion in conjunction with their trip to the Florida Keys. Lately, Jimmy has been putting in a lot of time at the hospital, as well as working on the house. He admits he is a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Jimmy recently purchased a “brick” for his father, ’32, who must have been a great BR. He took six years to graduate and according to Jimmy, was impetuous and expelled from VMI twice for escapades that I expect we all would have been proud of. Bill and Susie Kirkland are still getting around despite Bill’s hip replacement that didn’t go as well as expected. They traveled 2010-Issue 1

to West Lafayette, IN, to attend a Purdue football game. They took their two-yearold granddaughter who was dressed like a Purdue cheerleader, but instead of leading cheers, she seemed more interested in the band. Just like a girl! No sooner did they get back when they were off to Pulaski, VA, to see Bill’s stepmother and brother, who just celebrated his 60th birthday; hard to believe that we are all getting so old. They then flew to San Diego, CA, and went on a motor coach tour up the coast to San Francisco and Yosemite Natural Park. Next trip will be to Fort Myers, FL, where they will spend the winter soaking up some of that liquid sunshine. Kurt and Jane Berggren celebrated the arrival of their new granddaughter, Dahlia Scout Berggren, who was born 28 Sept., weighed 7lb.-5 oz. and was 19-1/2 inches long with brown hair and eyes. She is absolutely adorable, and they are thrilled! Spence and Beverly Tucker had a wonderful trip by car to the great state of TX to visit Bev’s family and their two daughters. They enjoyed a lovely fall in Lexington where Spence has published a two-volume encyclopedia of U.S. political and military leadership in wartime. It’s an historical study of the relationship between civilian and military leaders in the U.S. during wartime from the American Revolution to the Iraq War. Agnes (Inge) and Charlie Carter seem to be spending more time at VMI than Tommy did when he was a cadet. They joined Mort and Audrey Eggleston for the VMI/Richmond game and had lunch with Rusty and Andrea Loth. The following weekend, three of the four Inge families showed up at Foster Field for a tailgate party at the Eggleston’s car. Jim Sam and Lucy Gillespie were also there. So, since they had a quorum, they called Sonny

and Nancy Eskridge, who are brand new grandparents, to harass them a little. During the late summer, Charlie and Agnes took a break from their unofficial Bay Bed and Breakfast and traveled to a few National Parks out west. The scenery was beautiful and so different from what they experience in the scenic hills of Virginia. Larry and Nancy Wood’s son had surgery at the V.A. hospital in Hampton, VA, a few months ago. Nancy went back for the surgery, and Larry went back a week later to keep him company. While there, Nancy got together with a group that she went to grammar and high school with in Newport News. When Larry joined them, he found that Nancy had dated our BR, Kent Decker, when she was in high school. They had a great evening reminiscing about the old days. Bill and Connie Nebraska have been very busy this past summer and fall. They had a fantastic time with their family at a resort in the Poconos Mountains in PA which was part of their 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Bill went on his annual salmon fishing trip to Canada in early October, and they had a great time, despite the fact that fishing wasn’t that good, but then again, it’s a “guy trip,” so good food, drink and friendship make for a successful trip. They also visited both sons and their families up north. They were able to get these northern trips in before the cold winter weather sets in, so now they can hunker down for the winter and enjoy the usual nice Florida warmth. Tex Carr not only added a carport to his lake cabin but also painted the whole thing. This is another of his projects that started out as a simple job of fixing the steps but ended up a major home improvement project worthy of being on the TV show, “This Old House.”

The VMI Bookstore Looking around for just the right gift? Outgrown your old VMI sweatshirt? Address: Manager, VMI Keydet Bookstore, 200 Lejeune, Lexington VA 24450 Phone: 540/464-7637 61

CLASS NOTES Gordy Keiser sends his regards and reports that he is still working as a defense contractor in the Marine Warfighting Lab at Quantico, VA. He and Tom Klemenko were making plans to attend a football game in Lexington sometime in the fall. Hope they made it. Noland and Mary Pipes are as busy as ever, with Noland completely involved in a project for a seminary course he is teaching through Trinity Seminary. Noland and Mary have contacted Rusty and Andrea Loth’s wonderful daughter, Laura, who lives in Memphis and is teaching at a local college. They have had a great time with her and feel it is such a treat getting to know her. Rusty and Andrea can be proud to have such a wonderful child. On a more somber note, Noland has had some symptoms for several years that no one could pin point. He finally had a brain scan and has been diagnosed with a condition called “normal pressure hydrocephalus.” This will require installation of a shunt in the ventricles of the brain. The doctor is a specialist in this area and is a good friend of their daughter, so they feel good that Noland will be a person and not a number. They are both happy for the diagnosis and to be on the road to recovery. They will keep us informed as to Noland’s progress. Good luck, Noland, and as always, our prayers are with you. Dick Bingham is off on a five-month travel adventure taking him to Florida, Mexico and all the way across the U.S. to CA for a trip to Hawaii. Dick really thinks this retirement is great and recommends it to all our BRs who are still at the grindstone. Bob Haines and girlfriend Monique Harnetty went on a dandy cruise in the Eastern Caribbean on the biggest cruise ship on the high seas, Freedom of the Seas. They will visit family in Texas for Thanksgiving, but Christmas is undecided, as yet. Bob is back in the U.S.A. from his fourth tour in Iraq. He started out in 2004, then 2006, 2008 and now 2009 and feels this conflict has lasted way too long – should have been over in ’06. Bob is seriously considering not going back to either Iraq or Afghanistan anymore, as Monique suggests it is time to smell the roses before either of them begin to have health issues. Needless to say, Bob would sure miss the 62

flying and the feeling of helping to save lives and limbs, as they have been doing over there on a daily basis. Ron and Mary Alice Marley had a lovely lunch with Mel and Jean Anderson at Honey Bees on Fleming Island, FL. Mel and Jean were returning home from a conference in Ponte Vedra, FL. Mel, who as we all know was dean of engineering at University of South Florida (USF), had to rush home so he could attend the USF/ Cincinnati game. Mel is always easy to identify at these games, because you can find him in his green shirt with the bull horns on his head. Ron promised to watch the game, and sure enough, there he was, the third guy from the left, second row. Jean must be so proud of him, as Mary Alice is of Ron, no doubt. Ron and Mary Alice are beaming about their grandson, Samuel William Watts. Sam is the nose tackle and right guard on the Freeport Junior High football team. They got to see him play, and what a delight it was; they had forgotten how much fun scholastic football can be. Ann and I continue to plug along. We were fortunate to be able to spend some time with Ron and Mary Alice Marley at their timeshare in Daytona Beach, FL, and with Chuck and Margo Cotton at our timeshare in Hilton Head, SC. All are doing well. Chuck is on a new medication which has really helped him a lot. Unfortunately, while he was at the timeshare, I had to hide it for a few days, so I could beat him at golf, and I really feel bad about that. Ann and I joined Bud and Susan Mease in Salt Lake City, UT, and drove out to San Francisco, CA, to visit an old high school friend with terminal cancer. It was a sad trip but one that had to be made. A month or so ago, Ann and I were enjoying a day at Disney World Hollywood Studios, as we often do, when we ran into Harry and Terry MacGregor’s son, Jay Lee, and his family. Because we were on the tram, we didn’t get to spend as much time with them as we would have liked, but just the short visit was enough to know what a great family they were and how proud Terry and Harry must be. In December 2009, Ann and I are off to the heart of Africa, visiting Nairobi, Amboseli, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and Masa Mara. This will be our second

trip to Africa but our first to the central part. Our kids and grandkids continue to amaze us with their accomplishments. We now have three in college, unfortunately none in VMI, but we haven’t given up hope yet; we still have seven to go. I recently received a call from a young lady who is associated with the MusicalFare Theatre in Amherst, NY. She is currently researching the possibility of doing a stage play about our Brother Rat Jud Strunk. It seems MusicalFare writes and performs a play each year about someone from the Amherst area who has gained some degree of prominence. I will keep you posted as to the progress of the project, and perhaps we can have a mini reunion in Amherst, NY, on opening night. Keep those cards, letters and e-mails coming in; I can’t write the class notes without your input. Yours in the Spirit … Shep


L. Edward Tolley

Brother Rats: Can you believe that this is the last VMI Alumni Review you will receive before we hold our class of ’60 50th Reunion? Well, what you can believe is that activity to make this occasion truly momentous is in high gear and that, as you read this Review, shake-a-leg will have been sounded! To restate our goal, it is “ … to get as many Brother Rats to attend as we can.” Our “Class of 1960 50th Reunion Fund” goal has been exceeded, as a result of your generosity and desire to assure that the Virginia Military Institute remains the number one college in the U.S.A. committed to the mission, “To produce educated and honorable men and women, prepared for the varied work of civil life, imbued with love of learning, confidence in the functions and attitudes of leadership, possessing a high sense of public service, advocates of the American Democracy and free enterprise system, and ready as citizen-soldiers to defend their country in time of national peril.” As of mid-November, we expect approximately 120 Brother Rats to attend! For those who will not be able to attend, our thoughts and prayers will be of you and your families. Howie Roth called to advise that he and Nancy plan to attend the reunion and will bring Bettina Graham with them. They are living on their boat in Florida and receive mail only once a week.


CLASS NOTES Company BR, who still lives in Mobile. SonAnd after finishing mowing his six acres of ny’s oldest son, a combat engineer and major in lawn, Ridge Parks called from Upperco, MD. the Reserves, has had two tours in Iraq building Ridge and Becky have plans to attend! Ridge schools. The youngest lives close by. Sorry to retired some six years ago and like you, has say that Sonny and Marian do not anticipate been very involved with their children and making the reunion. grandchildren. Between Ridge and Becky, Joe “Bananas” and Ella Sisler checked into they have eight children and 19 grandchildren, BV yesterday to attend his 50th high school so you know they have been busy. One of the reunion and took the opportunity to attend the granddaughters, a senior at the University VMI-Army basketball game, which VMI won of Maryland, is a real Parks pro, academic 93-86! He and Ella joined Jim French, Nance All-American, and lacrosse and soccer all-star and me for lunch at the Southern Inn. Joe is who played for the U.S.A. team that won a gold doing great, and Ella continues to keep Joe medal in the Czech Republic. She also played against world cup soccer teams. She sports a 3.7 straight and on his best behavior. Peanuts Elliott, Jim Pittman, G.G. Phillips GPA and was the ACC MVP! Will she become a Marine? Probably. Ridge gave the grandsons and I met to go over the status of progress on a Red Ryder BB guns for birthdays. I listened to booklet we are making to hand out at our 50th. I several war stories about his early trip to the am certain that it will turn out to be a memoMed with Williamson and Tumlinson as a rable keepsake and provide you with a brief Marine lieutenant – all typical Marine stories. update on many of our Brother Rats. Must have been a kick-a__ deployment. In late August, I spoke with Charlie Gehring Phil Hamric called just before leaving for a in Altamont, NY. He was delighted to know duck hunting trip (thanks to George Coulthat, although he did not finish with us, VMI bourn’s father for giving Phil the fever). Phil’s has maintained interest in him and that he was choice is chuckers, a native Washington state “on our list” for the 50th. Charlie finished at bird. He and Carol plan to make the reunion. West Virginia University with a BA and also an And one of my notes in a past Review bore MA. After active time in the U.S. Air Force and fruit when one of Jon Quinn’s sons, Joe, read Reserves, he has worked as an official translator it and call Jon in Quito, Ecuador, prompting of Deutsch archives of New Amsterdam land him to contact the Alumni Agencies. Later, he transfers. Of course, that career must have been called me, and we proceeded to covered 50 years a snap for Charlie. of history in the next couple hours. Jon won a Pat Hughes is still consulting in quality conFulbright Scholarship, and as he went to and trol/quality assurance standards to companies from his studies, he noticed a beautiful lady, for ISO-1009 ANSI standards qualification and Lucy, who rode the same elevator on certain certification. Pat was a BR of the class of ’59. days. They finally exchanged names in that However, he graduated with ’60 and remains on elevator; one thing led to another, ending up at my list. Everything in Baton Rouge is calm. the altar. That was 48 years ago! Lucy says she Roger Printz is retired in Culpepper, if a has enjoyed every minute, as have their three farmer ever retires. He and Fannie Mae will not sons, Jon, Jim and Joe. Jon keeps close track of make the 50th. the Vikings. He served 28 years in the U.S. Air Bill Toker, Delta Co., physics man, who I Force, retiring in ’91 while in Spain. Had a great always thought was the quietest man on earth, told chat with Lucy, and I can tell that Jon has indocme some war stories about his cadetship and later trinated her appropriately. Currently, he gets mail employment at the VMI that causes me to reclasthrough the embassy, but that may change soon. sify him into the mischievous club. Ask Bill about They are planning to make the reunion. his escapades. Bill has suffered through some of The Institute Society Dinner was attended by the same kinds of medical problems that others Bo and Nancy Bowles, Peanuts Elliott, Jack of us have, but he is clean now. He worked with Horgan, Dave Maddox, Roy McLeod, G.G. AT&T and retired from the GSA. and Frances Phillips, Steve and Pat Sewell, Bill and Joan King are enjoying the fall seaBolling and Theresa Williamson, and yours son in Missouri City, TX, and have made plans truly and Nancy. Henry Brown could not make to be at the 50th. it, due to other commitments. Many other BR Since he was out on the golf course, I missed Society members did not attend. The dinner Harold Brewster but had a good chat with his was served in the new Leadership and Ethics wife, Pat. I’ll check back as the sun goes down. Photo Marshall above:Hall, Attending the memorial service Building, and was enjoyed by I caught for DonWyatt Webb on Sunday afternoon Shorter held VMI’s Memorial Gardens Father’s Day 300+/alumni andat friends of the Institute. A at on his home in Vero Beach, FL, (previously 2009 were from left, Walter, Sara class of ’60 groupthe met Shorters, at “The Palms” for post Lexington, KY)Kate, and got to rehash some of our Peasley, Margaret Shorter Robinson, Gayle, John, Chris dinner mellowing and spirited conversation but experiences of VMI. Like Ashby Chamberlin, (holding Davis), TroieBeth, MaggieAlizabeth (in the stroller) no cigars! Bah! Don says he has had dreams of the days and and Caulder (standing on the stroller). I talked to Sonny Stubblefield, an ole “C” nights at the Institute, in uniform, facing an

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officer, at inspection or class, and wondering if he was prepared for the questions! Chamberlin’s dreams, or nightmares, were that an Institute representative had come to get his diploma! I talked to Bo Bowles who is writing a couple paragraphs for the booklet. He has some wild tales related to his Vietnam tour. Bo’s son, Trip ’87, now a lieutenant colonel, has had a couple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq that indicate that the VMI experience molded him much like it did his dad and the rest of us. Do you remember our BR Brock Sturz? Brock Sturz Jr., e-mailed me that his father had passed away in April 1984 and is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and son and daughter. After VMI, Brock joined the U.S. Air Force and served in Turkey and Germany. He met Charlotte while in Germany, married and lived in New Jersey after his tour in the Air Force. He worked with a bank in New York and New Jersey before moving to Phoenix, AZ, where he worked with a trucking company until death. He was a mountain hiker, collected rocks and fossils as a hobby. Brock and I had some good times in Air Science and occasionally at the “Liquid Lunch.” Bill Knowles notified me of a mini-reunion and dinner in Tidewater. Attending were Tom and Angie Leary, Mike Pitt and Betty Hudgins, Dave and Imelda Bisset, Mike and Alice Shoemaker, Seagull and Joyce Coughlin, and Bill and Sue Knowles. It sounds like a grand time was enjoyed by all. And I just got an e-mail from Tommy Leary that said he got flooded out once again by the recent rains and wind. This is the second time it has happened. Is there anything we can do? That is it. Look forward to seeing each of you at the 50th. Rah Va Mil


Sal Vitale Jr.

By the time you receive this copy of the Review, our 50th Reunion will be only 14 months away. We have lots to do, and I am pleased to inform you that the Class of 1961 50th Reunion Fund Campaign is being chaired by Lee Badgett. The principal responsibility of Lee and his committee members will be to contact classmates and pursue donations to be credited to our 50th-reunion donation check. Lee is asking for volunteers to help him, and he can be contacted at Photo above: Wyatt Shorter’s 540/463-9610 (H)At or 540/460-0783 (C). Atmethis morial were, from left, Jim Demers, time, only one full committee meeting, probably John Shorter and Kai Torkelson, all in March probably in Lexington, is planned. class of and 1991 and roommates. As your reunion activities chairman, I have put


CLASS NOTES aside 130 rooms at Natural Bridge, and I expect that attendance at this reunion will be the largest yet, and every room will be taken. So, please mark your calendar now for Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30, 2011. Lots of class gatherings since I last reported to you. We made it to Alaska and back with relationships renewed and new ones made. We had 39 people in our group, including a few friends and relatives of Brother Rats. The Alaska five-day land portion included Fairbanks, Denali and Talkeetna, and the seven-day cruise included Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Vancouver, BC. It was a first class trip. Sue and I, along with Andy and Peggy Myruski, Lynn and Shirley Hartford, and Bill and Sandra Fout, booked a trip to the Arctic Circle and a side trip to Weisman, AK, population 21. The flight was great, and the local family was very hospitable. Listening to how they lived off the land and coped with no running water, electricity, sanitary facilities and hospitals was very enlightening. The local grocery store is 250 miles away, and dry goods are flown in during the good weather days. The land portion of the trip included two five-hour train rides in observation cars equipped with tables. We had a great time eating, drinking and moving from table to table telling stories. During the day, we did our own thing, and for dinner, we sat together. We did have some problems with luggage being lost by the airlines and not reaching us until the trip was almost over. However, the Princess lodges, restaurants, etc. were very nice, and prices for food and beverages were very reasonable. The ship accommodations and

side trips were first class. However, late in the season means a tired crew, and the dining service showed it. Several of us stayed a few extra days in Vancouver, BC, and visited Victoria and the famous Butchart Gardens. Those on the trip were Larry and Jerri Wetsel, Andrew and Margaret Myruski, Bill and Sylvia Haeberlein, Ken and Sue Patrick, Ray and Sarah Hanlein, Bill and Sandra Fout, Jim and Connie Oliver, Lynn and Shirley Hartford, Harrison and Terry Fridley, Sal and Sue Vitale, Louis and Priscilla Shuba, Ken and Dorothy Templeton, Tom and Barbara Phlegar, and Spike and Mary Callander. Friends were George and Jean Davies, Leo and Janet Kirkman, Scott and Barbara Lovelace, Kenneth and Patricia Knight, Bob and Joy Oliver, and Josephine Kenny. The friends and relatives had a great time. All of them said they would travel with the VMI BRs anytime. Brother Rat Golf/ Bridge outings have become very popular, thanks to BRs J.C. Miller and Dude Copenhaver. The Olde Mill Resort in the southern mountains of Virginia was the site on 21 August. BRs and wives had dinner, swapped lies and turned in early. Saturday was breakfasted in small groups, and Lee Badgett, Dude and Cathy Copenhaver, Rhett Clarkson, J.C. Miller, Dick and Dianne Stone, George Henning, and John and Anne Woodfin hit the links to play “best ball.” Bette Miller, Betsey Badgett, Jan Clarkson and Edna Henning played bridge. (All day they played bridge!) I was told that the course was lovely, with smashing mountain views, and all those golfing ladies played better than Lee. Sunday dawned promisingly, the ladies

settled into bridge as if the cards were different somehow and the golfers golfed with similar avidity, until quickly gathering clouds dumped on them, and they quit, dispersing for their various homes about mid-afternoon. John Miller organized the affair, and did a smashing job. The week after the Alaska trip, I attended (as the official photographer) the Football Reunion Weekend at VMI, hosted by Haeberlein and Shuba. The Friday evening dinner at Moody Hall provided an opportunity to be reacquainted with the 1962 football players and a few from other classes. Those attending were Harry Shepherd ’58, Ron Swirk’58, Stuart and Sylvia Woodcock, Kenton and Sue Patrick, Howard Dyer, Don and Anne Rishell, Lee and Betsey Badgett, Wyatt Durrette, Dick and Ann Weede, Larry and Jerri Wetsel, Lou and Pris Shuba, Bill and Sylvia Haeberlein, Paul Johnston, Bobby Mitchell ’62, John Candler ’62, Mark Graybill ’62, Stinson Jones ’62, John Trayham ’62, J.W. Price’62, Ken Willard ’62, Dennis Merklinger ’62, Randy Campbell ’62, Howard Cobb ’62, Gen. Binford Peay ’62, Don M. Giles ’64, Donnie White’65 and Donny Ross ’74. Saturday morning breakfast was in Crozet Hall, and then VMI took the group on a bus tour around the Post and visited the new facilities. The PX is beautiful and rivals any country club. The ROTC building is really nice. After lunch, the crowd of old timers boarded a bus to JMU for the football game. The gang reconvened at the Holiday Inn in Lexington where they critiqued, to the wee hours of the morning, the game and how they would have played it. Sunday morning, Larry and Jerri

Class of 1961: In Lexington, Virginia, for the VMI Sports Hall of Fame weekend, Oct. 30, 2009, and participating in the “Henning golf outing” were, from left, front row: Sal Vitale, Ray Hanlein, Rhett Clarkson, Dude Copenhaver, Dick Stone, J.C. Miller, Jim Miner, Jim Bickford, Mitch Copenhaver ’93 and Stewart Copenhaver ’94. Back row: Paul Johnston, Donald Kern, Bob Burks, George Henning, Tom Henning ’89, Lee Badgett, Bill Redd, Matt Henning ’90, Charles Downs’94, John Woodfin and Ed Henning ’94.



CLASS NOTES Wetsel invited the ’61 BRs to breakfast with present for all home games. George has served who I was especially pleased to see. George them at the condo cabins Larry won at a raffle. VMI football longer than any person, past or provided those attending the football game a red I was at my wife’s 50th high school reunion in present. George used a PowerPoint presentatee-shirt to wear. At half-time, a sea of red shirts New Jersey when the annual REL Huddle mini tion to supplement his comments and to thank with “Henning” printed on the back rose to cheer reunion was taking place at Tom Bradshaw’s family friends and BRs. The evening ended with when George was introduced. What a wonderful cabin. The weekend has grown in number and an “Old Yell” for George that rocked the new time we had. Join me in congratulating George spouses have now joined the activities, which leadership building. In addition to those BRs for his service to VMI. included breakfast at the “Pink Cadillac,” tailgate and spouses who played golf were Mike and Jan Many individuals in the class have been party, football and dinner at Natural Bridge. Bissell, Harrison and Terry Fridley, Bill and relatively busy since my last notes went to press. Tom Bradshaw made all the arrangements, and Joyce Gibbings, Battle Haslam, Bob Huddle, While many of us were viewing the beauty of Huddle rounded up the crowd. Missing from the Jim and Frankie Ring, Ben Lynch, Barry and Alaska, Kent and Bert Modine were cruisevent were two of the original attendees, Archie Elizabeth Orndorff, Pete Roberts, Dick and ing/touring the Baltic States. Kent was very Ramirez and Frank Oley. Wonder what is up Anne Weede, Larry and Debbie Williams, Larry impressed with that part of the world, and St. with them? Attendees included REL Huddle, and Jerri Wetsel, Hugh Gouldthorpe, Betsey Petersburg alone was worth the trip. The closTom and Faye Bradshaw, Hill and Heather Badgett, Jan Clarkson, Ibis Kern, Blair Bickford, est thing Kent could find to VMI in Helsinki, Browning, Paul Johnston, Dude and Kathy and Edna Henning and her daughters- in-law. On Finland, was a car with VMI 990 on the license Copenhaver, Larry and Debbie Williams, Dick Saturday, George and the other honorees took the plate. Leave it to Tom Langdon to express and Ann Weede, Barry and Liz Orndorff, Mike review at parade, and George treated us to lunch his views in a very positive way. Tom and Jeri and Suzanne Carmichael, and Larry and Jerri at Club Crozet. Thirty-one BRs and spouses and drove from Atlanta to DC for the “Tea Party” Wetsel. Hill’s son, Robert Browning ’94, was a number of other friends enjoyed the meal and and stayed with Holmes and Jeanette Smith in attending his reunion and stopped by, as well as availed themselves of the ice cream bar. At lunch Manassas. Tom said he had never done anything Dude’s cousin, Glenn Copenhaver ’12. Thanks were all of the above BRs with the addition of like this before but felt the need to do so now. to Heather Browning for providing the picture. Bill Phillips, Ed and Phyllis Hollowell, Dick The Langdons and Smiths took the Metro into For those of you who still may not know, BR Jarvis, Lou and Jane Kiger, and Bud Alligood the capital with thousands of other regular tax George Henning was elected to the VMI Sports Hall of Fame. The festive weekend started with a Thursday evening gathering at Café Michel with 15 BRs and spouses. Friday morning, 27 BRs, some spouses and VMI graduates arrived at the Lexington Golf and Country Club for 18 holes of golf. Playing “best ball” makes it fun for duffers like me. These activities were orchestrated by Dude Copenhaver, and Dude did a great job. Those playing were George Henning, Tom Henning ’89, Matt Henning ’90, Ed Henning ’94, Charles Downs ’94, Mitch Copenhaver ’93, Stewart Copenhaver ’94, Dick and Dianne Stone, Bill Redd, Bob Burks, Sal and Sue Vitale, Jim Bickford, Jim Miner, Donnie Ross ’74, John and Anne Woodfin, Paul Johnston, J.C. Miller, Lee Badgett, Ray and Sally Hanlein, Rhett Clarkson, Dude and Kathy Copenhaver, and Donald Kern. George’s official initiation was at the Friday evening HOF banquet. (Editor’s Note: See article about the event in the Athletics section of this Class of 1961: Members of the class aboard the Island Princess, during their trip to issue.) Former HOF attendees were Alaska from Aug. 19-30, 2009. From left, front row: Ray Hanlein, Sandra Fout and introduced, and Lee Badgett and Patricia Knight. Row 2: Sue Vitale, Jean Davies, Jerri Wetsel, Barbara Lovelace, Priscilla Shuba and Josephine Kenny. Row 3: Dorothy Templeton, Lynn Hartford, Bob Larry Williams got a loud cheer from Oliver, Sally Hanlein and Margaret Myruski. Row 4: Janet Kirkman, Joy Oliver, Terry us. There were 27 BRs and spouses at Fridley, Connie Oliver, Shirley Hartford and Sue Patrick. Row 5: Andy Myruski, Sylvia the dinner, and we witnessed George Haeberlein, Bill Fout and Sal Vitale. Row 6: Scott Lovelace, Ken Templeton, Harrison receive the Special Citation for servFridley, Bill Haeberlein and Lou Shuba. Row 7: Ken Patrick, Barbara Phlegar, Mary ing as the football team doctor (gratis) Callander and George Davies. Row 8: Leo Kirkman, Tom Phlegar, Larry Wetsel, Spike for over 35 years. George traveled Callander, Ken Knight and Jimmy Oliver. with the team to away games and was

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Class of 1961: In Lexington, Virginia, for a football weekend, Sept. 18, 2009, were, from left, front row, Anne Weede, Betsey Badgett, Ann Rishell, Sylvia Woodcock, Sylvia Haeberlein, Sue Patrick and Jerri Wetsel. Back row: Dick Weede, Lee Badgett, Don Rishell, Larry Wetsel, Lou Shuba, Bill Haeberlein, Stuart Woodcock, Kenton Patrick, Howard Dyer and Wyatt Durrette. Paul Johnston attended but is not pictured. paying folks. What a sight! A sea of people that Tom estimated to be more than a million, and they picked up their own trash and no riots. Jim Miner, Bob Polk and John Miller (Cardinals fans) hosted Cubs fan Graham King in St. Louis for a Cards/Cubs game. The next morning following a hunt breakfast courtesy of Bette and J.C., the group engaged in a high stakes golf match ($3.00 Nassau) which ended in a virtual tie. Battle Haslam has been putting serious mileage on his Porsche. He drove up to Port Clyde Maine (1,150 miles) for a sailing weekend with his late brother’s Princeton roommates. On the way, he stopped at VMI and met the Foundation’s new CEO, Brian Crockett, lunched at the new PX with Harrison’s Fridley’s son, Mitchell Fridley ’89. Mitch is a big hunter, and of course, Battle showed Mitch his African safari pictures! Grandchildren hunters are not limited to males. Marty Caples is very proud of his 13-yearold granddaughter, Hailey, who took down a big Elk. The antler spread was about five feet. Marty says, “Hailey is a lot better hunter than her grandpa.” Bob Coltrane is still enjoying Life in the Wild Kingdom. One day, he was looking out the kitchen window when a 200- to 250-pound black bear strolled across their “front yard” (actually part of the forest). When not bear watching, Bob and Loretta have been feeding two eight-point bucks, a doe and fawn, several six-pointers, and a couple of button bucks. Hugh Gouldthorpe has been awarded The Richmond Humanitarian Award. For the past 47 years, The Virginia Center of Inclusive Communities (formerly, The Virginia Center for


Christians and Jews) selects individuals from the community who have actively promoted the respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Simply put, it is all about fighting and eliminating prejudice. Congratulations, Hugh, and let us not forget that eliminating prejudice was what our Brother Rat Jonathan Daniels died for. Hony and Marilynne Tarrall do a lot of hiking and recently ventured down the Paria Canyon in southern Utah. Hony says, it’s visiting places

like Paria Canyon that keep him from coming east. We need to encourage Hony to return to our 50th (hint). They say it is a small world, and it is. At a recent cocktail party, I was talking about VMI and a lady asked if I knew John Gangemi. It turns out she served with John on the Wilmington, NC, library board for several years. Jan Bissell participated in a walk for MS. Her team raised $18,433 for MS in the name of her niece, Chris. Jan said the walk was easier than she thought, but the event was very emotional. An article in the Citizen Times, Ashville, NC, featured a story about Brevard College’s football team. This is the team in which Howard Dyer spent time coaching the quarterbacks, and now the “Tornados,” who are their fourth year, won their first five games, matching the total number of wins during the first three seasons. Is there a message here? Howard is still playing tennis and went on to the senior men’s National Tennis matches, where he lost 6-3 and 6-2 to a nationally ranked player from Florida. There were 64 players in the 70 singles, and there was no shortage of knee braces, including Howard’s! Howard hopes to play two national tournaments on 2010, starting with the national grass court in Philadelphia and ending with a tournament in Pinehurst. Bob Reitz had a new addition to his mountain home – a hot tub provided by Buzz Bossart. Buzz and Bob grew up together, and after VMI, served together in their first Army assignments. Buzz is still coping with cancer and the effects of radiation. However, he remains positive about attending our 50th. Tom and Barbara Phlegar, Jim Oliver, and Harrison and Terry Fridley had dinner together at the Swinging Bridge restaurant in Paint Bank, VA (in the middle

Class of 1961: At R.E.L. Huddle’s annual mini reunion in Natural Bridge, Virginia, on Oct. 3, 2009, were, from left, front row, R.E.L. Huddle, Tom Bradshaw, Hill Browning and Faye Bradshaw. Row 2: Paul Johnston, Dude Copenhaver, Larry Williams and Dick Weede. Row 3: Barry Orndorff, Mike Carmichael and Larry Wetsel.


CLASS NOTES of nowhere). The conversation centered around unit, assisted living facilities, etc. with her golden and currently teaches math part time at Riverside the Alaska trip, and the consensus was they are retriever therapy dog, “Summer.” Summer is also Community College. His wife, Gloria, is Italian ready for another “class trip.” Anyone interested? an R.E.A.D. dog (kids read to her to practice reading (smile), and they have five grandchildren. Dick is You have heard about Wyatt Durrette’s son’s out loud).The Gibbings hosted a Virginia Historical very proud that his granddaughter, Nicole, pitched song, “Chicken Fried.” Well, Cleveland’s Rock Society event at their home, so members and poten- at two Olympics games for the Italian softball Station, 100.7 FM WMMS, broke format on Oct. tial members could meet the new executive director. team. Bill Kelly, a Band Company BR and fellow 31st to honor a young Marine who lost his life in It was a nice time, and from what I hear, some new clarinet player, has been off the radar screen for Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan. The folks joined. VHS has wonderful lectures, and Sue more years than I can remember. Spike and Mary Marine’s favorite song was “Chicken Fried” by and I, with the Gibbings, frequently make the trip to Callander visited Bill and Lynda Kelly in Seattle Zac Brown Band. In response to listener out-cry, Richmond for the lectures. Carl and Becky Hirsch after the Alaska trip. Bill Kelly, Harold Kurstedt “Chicken Fried” was the only song heard in the have been visiting their grandchildren in Texas, and (who is missing), Bill Puette and Spike were 90-minute, commercial-free tribute to the fallen this has provided the opportunity to meet with Troy roommates. Welcome back to all of you. HopeMarine. and June Jones. All is well with both families. fully, we will see them at the 50th or sooner. Sue and I finally made a trip to Chicago to visit What a surprise it was to hear from long lost It saddens me to inform you that Brother Rat with my first Rat roommate, Joe Lisecki. We spent Brother Rats Charlie Finnigan, Dick Parker and Charlie Brown died on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. several days with Joe and Maryann and visited Bill Kelly. Charlie Finnigan retired as a lieutenCharlie has been ill for a long time and was in some great places like the First Division Museum ant from the U.S.A.F. specializing in electronics terrible pain. Most of us remember Charlie’s at Cantigny, Wheaton, Illinois. The museum warfare, and then, after a long career in marketescapades at VMI, as well as Charlie’s claim presented the history of the famed 1st Infantry ing and business development for Lockheed to fame as the first person to walk 17 miles Division of the U.S. Army, “The Big Red One.” Martin, he retired again. He is married to Maracross the newly constructed Chesapeake Bay On the same site were Cantigny Gardens and the gie, who he met on a blind date at VMI, has two Bridge Tunnel which he help construct. This Robert R. McCormick Museum, which contains a married daughters and six grandchildren. He escapade made the newspapers, especially since majority of the original furniture and artwork. We lives in Fernandina Beach, FL, and his biggest the governor was supposed to be the first to also ate at some really good Italian and German challenge now is controlling his slice on the golf cross the bridge. Please join me in extending our restaurants. It rained for two days, so we made good course and using up nearly one million frequent condolences to Carolyn, his wife, and the family. use of the Chicago trolley and the commuter rail to flyer miles before they expire. Thanks to Clayton The last VMI activity for this year is the Institute get around the city. All is well in Chicago, except Smith for finding Charlie. Clayton was planning Society Dinner. We had five tables, which is an my cousin, Al Capone’s, museum has been closed, a golf outing at Charlie’s club for a late Founders excellent turnout. I couldn’t find the VMI photogbecause it reminded people of an era that Chicago Day celebration and will let us know how bad rapher for a group picture, so you will have to be wants to forget. Sue and I recently visited with Bill Charlie’s slice is. Jeff Barg also lives on the satisfied with the names, which included: Lee and and Virginia Dabney. Bill is doing as well as can island, and Clayton sees Jeff at various functions. Betsey Badgett, Mike and Susan Carmichael, be expected for one of the oldest guys in our class. It is nice to have Dick Parker back. Dick Parker, Dude and Kathy Copenhaver, Harrison and Terry Bill expects to be at the 50th, and with a little help, Battle Haslam and I dyked in the same room. Fridley, Carl and Becky Hirsch, J.C. Miller, we will cart him off to the party. No keeping this Dick retired after 45 years of physics research Hershell Murray, Ed and Phyllis Hollowell, old tough Marine down! Bill and Connie Nelms and aerospace engineering/low level managing Bill and Marcia Keech, Ben and Dianne Lynch, were visiting VB, and we were invited Bob and Bronnie Polk, John “J.C.” out to dinner with them. Connie is still Tharrington, Larry and Jerri Wetsel, winning trophies for dancing, and Bill has Stu and Sylvia Woodcock, Dick retired from competition. Larry and Joanne and Judy Youngblood, and Sue and Respess came east, and we visited with me. It was a nice event. We returned them at Bill and Joyce Gibbings. Larry to Virginia Beach in the midst of a fulfilled a long time ambition and climbed nor’easter. Don Rishell was to stay Half Dome in Yosemite National Park with us, and he arrived soon after we (8,880 feet above sea level, 4,800 feet of lost power. We had a good time talkgain from the trailhead, 16.4-mile round ing by candlelight. This is the second trip).When he reached the top, he called time we have had BRs visiting in the Bill Gibbings. Larry Respess has been midst of a “unique” storm. Last time, in touch with Roy Schall and said Roy is we had Haeberlein visit during hurriin good spirits Dave and Cammie Bella cane Isabel. Is there a message here? are both busy in their retirement. Dave The “Gim List” is about the same Class of 1961: Attending the VMI Sports Hall of Fame misses mentoring the college-age students in the Leadership and Ethics Center on Oct. 30, 2009, as I reported to you last time. Several and the “pipe-line” of students from the of our BRs’ wives are still coping were, seated in front, George Henning, and from left, large classes that kept him on his toes. He Row 1: Mike Bissell, Larry Williams, Lee Badgett, J.C. with cancer and its treatment. Roy Miller, Jim Miner, Dude Copenhaver, Pete Roberts and Schall is still waiting for a liver does a few guest lectures a year, attracts Sal Vitale. Row 2: Jim Ring, Ray Hanlein, Dick Stone, a following and hopes to have an honors transplant. He did not go to Alaska Harrison Fridley, Battle Haslam, Hugh Gouldthorpe, as planned, because he had a donor college class in the next term. Cammie is Paul Johnston and Barry Orndorff. Row 3: Bob Huddle, and was on the operating table and a “spiritual director” (really a companion) Dick Weede, Ben Lynch, Bob Burks, Bill Redd, John sedated when the operation was who meets with individuals once a month Woodfin, Bill Gibbings and Larry Wetsel. Not pictured to listen to how God is working in their called off. Fortunately, his attitude is but attending the dinner were Jim Bickford, Rhett lives, journeys, challenges, etc. She also good, his health is satisfactory, but Clarkson and Donald Kern. visits the local hospital, mental health he is now too old to be on the high

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CLASS NOTES eligible list and will have to find a liver outside the U.S.A. I spoke with Mac McGinn’s wife, and Mac is not doing very well. His leg was amputated, and his sugar diabetes is a real problem. On the bright side, Buzz Bossart said that he is free of his bladder cancer and will start a three-day-amonth chemo treatment for a year. This will help keep the cancer from returning. Ken Patrick has a kidney donor, and the replacement is forthcoming. There are several replacement parts operations planned for several BRs and wives, so please keep praying for our VMI family. We need all the help we can get. I probably have forgotten to report something one of our BRs has told me, and for that, I apologize. I had to limit my photos to five, and therefore, I selected group pictures for the Review. I am very appreciative of all the cards, e-mails and pictures you send, because without you, there would be no class notes. I will continue to send out, via e-mail, the full version of the notes with pictures, so if I don’t have your e-mail, you are missing out on some great pictures. When you are nearby, stop in. Sue and I would love to see you. Until we meet, stay well, and God Bless our Brother Rats, their spouses and families and our widows. Remember, mark your calendar for Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30, 2011 – our 50th!


Jerry Burnett

Dear Brother Rats: I begin my notes with two items of sad news. Stephen Robertson, son of John Mott Robertson, class historian, died unexpectantly in September 2009 in Lynchburg, VA. I immediately sent out a blanket e-mail to all Brother Rats. Some of you are not receiving

Class of 1962 Photos from top: - In VMI’s Moody Hall during a football weekend were, from left, front row, Howard Cobb, J.W. Price, Mark Graybill, Bobby Mitchell and Stinson Jones. Back row: John Traynham, Dick Willard, Jerry Candler, Randy Campbell and Dennis Merklinger. - The same group as above, with their significant others. From left, front row: Nell Cobb, J. W. Price, Donna Willard, Mark Graybill, Nancy Mitchell and Mrs. Stinson Jones. Back row: John Traynham, Howard Cobb, Dick Willard, Jerry Candler, Bobby Mitchell, Randy Campbell, Stinson Jones and Dennis Merklinger. - George Robbins, left, and Nick Nicholson with Terrie Conrad of the VMI Foundation, when she visited Jacksonville, Florida, in September 2009.



CLASS NOTES my e-mail because of SPAM. John Mott was very appreciative of my putting the information out on the VMI Web site. He has had numerous sympathy cards and letters from BRs and others in the VMI community. John Mott and Diane have purchased a home in Kings Mill. They continue to occupy their home in Lynchburg where John Mott works 3-4 days a week. Howard Cobb, Jim Vest and Paul Rhoades represented our class at the funeral. My dyke, Gordon Eubank ’66, was also at the funeral. Tabor Cronk died Oct. 3, 2009, in Urbana, VA. You will remember that he was a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond. Following his graduation from VMI, he attended Washington and Lee Law School. After graduation, he went in law practice with John Goldsmith’s father in Radford, VA, where he practiced until he joined the staff of the Attorney General of Virginia, serving primarily in the education section. In September 2000, he was presented by the superintendent of VMI the VMI Achievement Medal for his “sage and thoughtful advice to the board of visitors and three superintendents.” In August 2008, he retired as general counsel of Old Dominion University. His roommates, Dave Spivey and John Hobbs, notified me immediately, and again, I sent out an e-mail blast which apparently some of you did or have not received. Dave and John represented our class at the memorial service which was held at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA. Tabor and Binnie Peay were classmates at Thomas Jefferson High School. Tabor and John Hobbs were classmates in Chandler Middle School in Richmond. I’ve enjoyed seeing Columbus Cartwright, Mustard Graybill, Jerry Wagner, Dennis Merklinger, Doug Marechal, Binnie Peay, Ware Smith, Buck Bradley and Howard Cobb at the VMI football games. I called John Hobbs in follow-up on Tabor’s memorial service. John is now living in East Sandwich, MA, where he operates a clock store. We reminisced about Tabor’s dry sense of humor and the fun that he, Dave and Tabor had rooming together at VMI. We relived some of the stories that Tabor used to write in the VMI Cadet magazine. I also received a nice note from Dottie Cronk who was so appreciative of my note on behalf of the class of ’62 at VMI. She said that VMI had a big impact on Tabor’s life and he on it. I have included a picture that Nick Nicholson sent me after the VMI Foundation visited Jacksonville, FL, on Sept. 17, 2009. The picture includes George Robbins, Terrie Conrad with the VMI Foundation, and Nick. George and Nick visit with one another frequently and enjoy sharing their experiences and lessons learned from the Institute. Nick looks forward

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to visiting with us at our 50th Class Reunion. Tony and Judy Curtis again ask that you send your bios so that the reunion yearbook can be completed and distributed before our 50th Reunion which will take place on April 26-29, 2012. Many of you have asked when the reunion is, and/or they have got cruises and other dates planned and want to attend the 50th Reunion. Joe Roberts wrote me in August and said that he and his son had returned from Lexington where they “threw my grandson to the wolves.” Patrick Baylor Roberts matriculated as a member of the current VMI fourth class. Joe says matriculation day has become something of a production involving family, staff and faculty, representatives of the Lexington community, Cadet Cadre and of course, the Rats themselves. He said this was quite a departure from what we received on our day of matriculation. Joe spent most of the last 30 years as a photo journalist, magazine editorial staff member and books/ newsletter editor. He has offered to help Tony and Judy Curtis with our 50th Reunion book. As I announced earlier this year, the VMI Foundation presented its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to our BR and friend, John Allen. John has demonstrated exemplary dedication to VMI and commendable dedication to the mission of the VMI Foundation. On May 1, 2009, our BR Walt Perrin announced John as this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, chosen by a unanimous vote of the VMI Foundation Board of Trustees. John received this award at the Institute Society dinner, Nov. 11, 2009. (Editor’s Note: See article and photos in the front section of this Review.) You will recall that Bobby Mitchell had contacted me requesting addresses for all of our Brother Rats who played football beginning in 1958, and with these notes are photos of the members of the class of ’62 who attended this function at the Institute in September 2009. Thanks to Sal Vitale, class agent for the class of ’61, for taking the photos and forwarding them to me for your enjoyment. What a fine looking group of Brother Rats and their wives. The VMI Foundation solicits 293 Brother Rats or widows from the class of ’62. To date, 25 out of the 293 have contributed since the start of the 2009-10 fiscal year on July 1, 2009. “Come on, guys; we can do better than this.” I hope that you all had the opportunity to see Binnie’s video message. In it, he talks about many of the excellent things that are happening at VMI. He also talks about the fact that VMI had been “tightening its belt” because of cuts and state aid. In the last fiscal year, only 5,600 of approximately 17,000 solicitable alumni made a gift to VMI. He has asked the entire VMI family to close ranks with other alumni and make a donation to VMI.

Finally, I would like to thank all of my Brother Rats and widows for the cards, calls and other condolences to me in the death of my 94-year-old mother, Helen Burnett, on Oct. 24, 2009. They were much appreciated. I am enjoying being your class agent and look forward to calls, visits, letters and e-mails from each of you. In the Spirit … Jerry Burnett


Michael J. Curley

Here in Richmond, it’s a dreary, wintery Saturday morning, and until I checked out the West Point weather, I was bummed out by my decision not to attend the Army game in New York with a small group of our Brother Rats. NOAA forecasts a 90% chance of rain and a high of 53°; that’s all it takes to convince me that I made a wise decision not to rise at 0’dark-30 and drive six hours and 13 minutes into the rain, all for yet another VMI bonding experience. As an alternative activity, I will write my class notes one day before they are actually due, actually two days, presuming Hope Hennessey and her wonderful staff at VMIAA isn’t working tomorrow! They’re not that dedicated! So, guys and gals at the game, I’ll miss seeing you, but for today, I’ll just be listening in to the radio for your cheers. UPDATE: It’s now Monday morning, and I’m just finishing the notes, because the game Saturday was way too exciting not to listen to it in its entirety. Go Keydets! FYI, streaming audio for all football and basketball games is available at and much more. All you have to do is go to the site and sign up … no charge! And don’t forget the class of ’63 Web site at for everything dealing with the class. For those of you who haven’t visited our Web site lately, Artie Phaup has worked diligently to make the site more user-friendly and include a number of new features, including the ability to search the roster by last name, city, state, zip code or interests. So, when you need a golf buddy, check it out. Oh, yeah – forgot to mention that you have to let us know what your interests are so we can add them into the database. Try it! I don’t wish to diminish the bonding experience of that disparate mass of humanity that trickled into Cocke Hall on Sept. 9, 1959, and eventually became the VMI class of ’63, but it has troubled me for years now how some of our Brothers could simply cast that bond aside and elect not to come home once and awhile or, in some cases, never. Personally, what I enjoy the most is the telling and re-telling of stories that


CLASS NOTES occurred during our cadetship. They get better with each year that passes! Equally as enjoyable is growing older and wiser together with our Brothers and Sisters over the years and sharing in the triumphs, sorrows, interests and amazing life accomplishments. And so, I declare this day to stop whining about those who have made a choice to distance themselves from the class of ’63 for whatever reason and celebrate those who have made a conscious decision to return. Welcome back, Bill (mjc: Surname intentionally omitted!); we’re glad to have you back in the fold! I look forward with you and with great anticipation toward our 50th Reunion! The following are excerpts from a sad letter I received recently from Harvie Butler’s brother, Stuart: “I am taking this opportunity to inform you that my brother, Harvie N. Butler Jr., passed away in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on July 22, 2009. Harvie was president of the Greater Miami

Behavioral Health Care Center located in Miami, FL. Harvie did not receive a commission in the U.S. Army upon graduation from VMI but returned to Fort Lauderdale briefly to teach history at Florida Military Academy, before going into basic training at Fort Jackson, SC, 1963-66. Harvie served as a member of the 101st Airborne and served in Vietnam for 13 months. He returned to Fort Hood before he was discharged and while there, married Stella Nunez in 1965. While living in Hampton, VA, Harvie and Stella had four children. He and his partners formed the Greater Miami Behavioral Health Center circa 2000 where he served as president until he died in July. Harvie and Stella had five grandchildren. Stella is in fragile health which resulted from a stroke suffered 15 years ago.” Stuart also recounted that he had accompanied Harvie to our 40th Reunion, met a slew of his Brother Rats and enjoyed himself immensely!

Bob Lineweaver, now living in Roanoke VA, lost his wife, Sharon, recently, as did Dave Dibbs. Dave writes, “I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to do so, and I certainly don’t want to impose upon anyone, but if you think it’s OK, please forward this to our Brother Rats. As you know, Judy passed in December after a brave four-year battle against stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She was a breast cancer warrior and an inspiration to others fighting this disease. It was great seeing everyone at our 45th, and I’m really looking forward to the 50th.” (mjc: The class extends our condolences to both Bob and to Dave.) Kyle Kiesau also called me to thank us, not only for calls expressing our sympathy to him and Ann on the death of their son, Christian, but also for a donation made by the class in Christian’s name to the VMIAA. Kyle is still working part-time which helps him cope with their loss, but Ann is in the dumps, since she no

Class of 1963: The class celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its VMI matriculation on Sept. 9, 2009. Standing on the steps of Moody Hall were, from left, front row, W.O. Jones, Dennis Marchant, Ken Saunders, Dennis Crowley and Bob Lineweaver. Row 2: Steve Riethmiller, Charlie Straub, Fred McWane, Billy Wray and Mike Curley. Row 3: George Delk and Jud Downs. Row 4: Dave Glantz, George Vogel, Hobbs Goodwin, Bill Wells and Bill Moore. Row 5: Ralph Turpin, Mike Godfrey and Harry Tatum.



CLASS NOTES longer has her work to divert her attention. In addition, her sister was diagnosed with cancer recently and just started chemo. FYI, although Kyle really sounded down, he did mention that he particularly appreciated Bob Earle’s call. Remember that Bob has also lost his son, Robbie … Dan Ogle’s family, friends and VMI classmates also gathered on Monday, Aug. 31st, to lay him to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with honors. Burials at Arlington are always emotional for me, but this particular one was special for many reasons. You might remember that early in Dan’s USMC career, he was assigned to the Marine Corps ceremonial unit in Washington. So, his inurnment not only involved a caisson drawn by a team of beautiful black horses but also a platoon of Marines, a ceremonial firing squad and a detachment of the Marine Corps Band. WOW! Pictures are posted on the Web, and I have a few personal ones, should you want me to send you a copy. Wayne O’Hern also offered up his home in Arlington for an absolutely wonderful reception following the ceremonies. I should also mention an act of graciousness on Missy’s part that was so “Dan and Missy,” it brought tears to my eyes. Briefly, she welcomed to the inurnment the daughter

of one of my 16th TRS pilot friends who went missing in Vietnam in April 1966. In a way, Dan was once again giving of himself through Missy … a fitting end to his life! Festivities for our 50th Reunion have officially begun! Steve and Peggy Riethmiller organized and hosted one of the best mini reunions yet on Wednesday, Sept. 9th, 2009, exactly 50 years to the day after our matriculation at VMI. (Yes, it was also a Wednesday!) We gathered in the afternoon at Alumni Hall for pictures and then adjourned to the Riethmiller Farm on Possum Hollow Road in Lexington. For those of you who have attended an event at Steve and Peggy’s place in the past, you know how pastoral the setting is. We were greeted by an impressive spread of food prepared and laid out by Peggy Riethmiller, Karen Marchant and Pam Traugott, among others. Steve manned the grill, the bar opened and we massaged our friendships and swapped lies for at least another three hours. What a great time, thanks to Peggy and Steve! We’re going to miss that place when they finally sell it! Steve wrote me the following day: “Thanks for the note about Bob Modarelli; Peggy and I will keep him in

our prayers. It was great seeing you yesterday, and I’m grateful we were all able to be there. I’m also grateful for my wife who really does all the work, so send her your best when you can. We are grateful to you and Bill Wray for the Kennedy picture from 1966 – that brings back a lot of memories – and last but not least, the weather cooperated! OK, we collected $527 in donations and spent about $375 on food, drink, plates, utensils and a bit on cleaning help. Peggy and I kicked in some money, and I gave Buddy Bryan ’71 a check this morning for $200 in memory of Christian Kiesau from the class of ’63. Thanks again for all your hard work for our class and hope to see you soon. Best, Steve.” Prior to the gathering, Mike Smither provided a number of 50-year-old Rat documents that were very important to us way back then: “Information for 4th Classmen,” “Prospective Cadets” and “The VMI Bulletin (Sep ’59).” Mike points out that “The Bulletin” reminds us that Mike Smither was the 19,000th matriculate, and Beau Walker was only the 19,003rd. “Share this with the 50th Reunion attendees as well, of course.” (mjc: So, Mike, what were your special qualifications for that honor?) Logan Jennings also wrote to say,

Class of 1963 Steven and Peggy Riethmiller hosted a mini reunion on Sept. 9, 2009. Photos counter clockwise from top, left: - Bill Jones, John and Maudie Mitchell, and Jud Downs enjoying a little down time. - Sleepy Moore, Bill Jones and The Judge, Jud Downs, planning a Wall Street acquisition. - Steve Riethmiller, the gracious host, is still a party animal, according to Class Agent Mike Curley. - Mike Godfrey and Kent Wilson having what looks to be a heavy discussion.

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CLASS NOTES “Mike, I just returned from a 50th high school reunion Saturday night in Roanoke and saw BR Ken Saunders. He said he really enjoyed the matriculation exercise at Lexington. Logan.” (mjc: Logan, I particularly enjoyed seeing Ken, since he was my Rat roommate in Room 419, along with Bob Heath!) As you know, Mike Smither is as reliable as the sunshine – always making his contribution to the notes on time … I love it! This month, he was so responsible, he sent an advanced e-mail: “cn i snd u cls nts ths thrsdy?” I suppose that was a Tweet; right, Mike? Later I received something from him that we can all decipher: “Happy Veterans’ Day! Happy Founders Day! What a year this has been. Betty and I finally sold our house after 2-1/2 years on the market! We closed on Oct. 1st and immediately went to Virginia for my 50th high school reunion. We’d been in our 10-room house in Essex for 36 years and are now in our five-room condominium in North Conway for the duration. The front looks out to Mount Washington, now dusted with snow; indeed, it is snowing as I write (certified). Come see us! In September, Cindy and Charlie Peckham dropped in for dinner one day, along with Wayne O’Hern – a pleasant surprise. Wayne was up tending to business. Then, at the end of October, I bumped into Ed Shield in George’s Diner in Meredith, NH. He was in town for a few days, also tending to business. While in Virginia, we stayed with Ghada and Beau Walker. Beau and I, along with Taz Hubard and Wade Johnson, graduated from Norfolk Academy and traveled together in the rain to Lexington, VA, on Sept. 9, 1959. The rest is history. I hope all of you are healthy and happy. Take good care of yourselves; I hope to see you soon!” Artie Phaup reminded me of some of the perks of being a veteran in a recent e-mail: “Tuckahoe Elementary School had its annual Veterans Day assemble today. There I was in uniform again after 20 years, with three of the five grandkids. The other two are still in pre-school. They really do a great job of impressing on the students the contributions of our veterans. A Marine Junior ROTC color guard from Tuckahoe High School presented the colors, and a local living actor, Bill Young, gave a 10-minute monologue impersonating Gen. MacArthur, uniform and all. He was really good! Several old-timers as myself were in uniform representing all branches of the service, and a number of guys in civies.” (mjc: That’s because they can’t fit into their uniform, Art!) By the way, Artie also directed me to a number of food freebies for veterans which is something I definitely do not need. Bill Shaner contributes, “We are glad things went well on Sept. 9th ... Not much news from us; I’m working everyday and may do this


for a few more years. The pharmacy business hasn’t gotten old yet. SE Roanoke still needs a pharmacy and someone they can come to with medical problems. What do you hear from Kyle Kiesau? Their daughter, Jennifer, is living in Roanoke. Betty Ann talks to her on a regular basis. After the accident, I think she went down to be with Kyle and Ann for awhile.” I never know where Paul Clare will be from one e-mail to the next, since his business takes him all around the world. “Things are going well here in Austria. We’re just back from a sunny and hot month in Canada and Maine, following three weeks of hot, sunny weather in Wales. Don’t know how we do it; every place we go we hear about the unusual rains the week before we got there! Well, can’t argue with success! Sorry, but we are moving to Palm Coast, FL – not CO. We found a place we wanted in CO, but when we made an offer, the house was on short sale. The bank hemmed and hawed over our offer, and now the house is in foreclosure. Therefore, we have given up on Colorado, at least for the moment, and are moving into our house in Palm Coast (20 minutes south of St. Augustine and one hour south of JAX). As I said, we should be there the first week in December. Lots of work to do, but I will contract it all out. Yes, we will have a guest room there! Remember the Auld Sod!” Chuck Weddington sent me this note from Anne Modarelli: “Please pass on to your Brother Rats … Bob just suffered another one of his ‘mold allergy’ reactions. He came home from making rounds and didn’t feel well. He woke me up (a little too late) to tell me he couldn’t breathe ... He was as pale as can be and his lips were blue. I called 911 and just waited. By the Grace of God ... they put him on life support and off to the ICU. He was on assisted breathing for two days, and they took him off of support, and he is breathing on his own again. Miraculously (like always), the first thing out of his mouth was … I have to check on my patients. Honestly, though … while on the respirator, he was conscious and able to write and was asking about this one particular patient he has been caring for and was able to keep alive for over 13 yrs. Unfortunately, I had to tell him she had passed on that morning, and he cried and cried … we both cried. He is such a GREAT man … such a wonderful human being. When our pastor came to the hospital and told me that Bob had chosen the right profession … I just laughed and said ‘NO … Bob did not choose medicine … God CHOSE BOB … and the right choice HE made.’ He is off the respirator now, and I will hopefully have him home soon. Keep him in your prayers. Thank you, Anne.” (mjc: You certainly have had our prayers and compassion ever since that awful first attack, Ann!)

Fred McBride wants us to know that he is in the travel business … so, I pass this on to you all. Think about this: A travel agent and a professional photographer, all in one! “Just this past June, I was able to attend the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation. Shortly afterward, it occurred to me that in just two short years most of us will be turning 70 and that such a momentous milestone deserved a momentous celebration. (mjc: Fred, you could have left that 70 thing out, OK?) I decided my celebration would be in the form of a cruise/ tour of Australia and New Zealand – two countries I have always wanted to visit but never have. I’ve attached two documents. One speaks to the staterooms available to groups and their costs, and the other describes the itinerary. Princess Cruise Lines usually asks for a 20% deposit, but they will give us the opportunity to reserve a stateroom for a fully refundable deposit of $200. So, if you think you may want to come on the trip, or if you are sure you want to come on the trip, please let me know by Sept. 25th (mjc: Bad timing.) Also, please let me know the type of stateroom you desire. In the interest of full disclosure: I am a travel agent specializing in cruises … just never been to the South Pacific before.” We received some welcome information about Kenny Jordan from Kent McCraney: “Kenny and Pam are both still working. He’s on a contract working at Fort Leavenworth on what I believe they call a battle command simulator (or something like that). It does require him to travel some. Pam is still teaching school. She is originally from Kansas, which is probably a factor in why they live here, too. They had four kids; one (a boy) just reported to Iraq for his second tour. That’s it for now.” (mjc: Thanks for the information, Kent; it’s always nice to hear from the quiet ones in the class.) Bunny Reynolds started trying weeks ago to attract interest in a mini reunion at the Army game: “Mike, at least three of us – Bob Troxler, Bill Wray and I, are planning to attend the West Point game on Nov. 14th. Since the game is at noon, the Keydet Club says nothing of a social nature is planned, either before or after the game. So, I am thinking that it might be good to try to get a reservation for dinner somewhere in the area after the game to celebrate our victory (or whatever).” He continues later, “Bill Wray, Billy Bell, Bob/Bromby Earle, Bob Troxler, Curleyrat. Looks like a small ’63 turnout for the game. I have been out of the loop for a week, but I understand from Bill Wray that Bill Bell will be staying at the Thayer (I always wanted to do that), and it was suggested that we gather after the game at the hotel for refreshments and socializing. That sounds good to me. FYI - Billy and Maria Bell plan to include their


CLASS NOTES granddaughter who is a third at West Point, and Bob Earle plans to be there with his daughter, Coree, and her husband, Fred. Bill Wray and I couldn’t get anybody to come with us, so we will be the ‘odd couple.’ Bob Troxler will be at the game but at last contact, planned to head straight back to NYC to be with his family. Since this is shaping up as a more informal, less lengthy affair, maybe he can stop by? So, there you have it – we’ll plan to ‘play it by ear’ at the Thayer after the game. See you there!” (mjc: Great effort, Bunny!) Here’s how it actually worked out. Final list of attendees: Bunny Reynolds, Billy Wray, Bob Earle and Bob Troxler. Weather: Lotsa’ rain! Game: ARMY 22 – VMI 17! Great Game! Officials? Not so great! We were ahead 17-16, deep in VMI territory, late in the fourth quarter, when I screamed at my computer screen as I witnessed what was without question the worst officiating call I have ever witnessed; they called a clearly out-of-bounds pass reception as complete. It was heinous! Immediately following that call, Army scored the winning TD … ball game over. Damn! I can always count on news from Pat Kelly, since he is still working as a consultant and traveling all over the states. He writes: “I’m having lunch here in Hamilton, TX, with our BR Jim Ellis on Friday. He lives in Waco but has just bought a ranch outside of Hamilton.” (mjc: Does he have guest rooms, Pat?) I thought you all might want to catch up with a few of our Sister Rats, so here goes: News from Pam Traugott, Doris St. Clair and Jane Greene. From Pam: “Hey: Just read the invite to the game. I am so out of the loop; I am assuming the VMI game is out of town. Ha! Saw your name and Bob Troxler’s and had instant homesickness. VMI had Parents Weekend this past weekend, and I had some parents staying in my basement apartment for the first time. Their son is a first classman and hopefully graduates this June. I am still enjoying living in Lexington, but the single life requires effort to get out of Lexington. I do have a date now and then; before Doris met someone, she and I would go dancing in Roanoke on Thursday night. Yep, Doris St. Clair has found a love interest, just three or so months ago. (mjc: May I publish that, Pam, or should it remain just between us?) I continue to enjoy painting, some travel and just returned from seeing son Trey in Kansas City. Air travel when the weather is bad is just horrible. I waited in the Atlanta airport [recently] for eight hours. YUCK! Sending my very best your way, filled with happy memories of the good times we have all shared together.” (mjc: Hey, Pam, we’re still having good times!) Finally, Jane Greene and I have maintained a cordial e-mail relationship since before John Greene, her husband of almost

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43 years, died. I have been privileged to have been at her side as she went through all the stages of grief and recovery. So, when she decided to go to the Web for a mate, I nearly died and went right into my VMI big brother counseling mode. I am happy to report that Jane met Marty, a newly retired State Department gentleman. I’d like to meet him soon and hope she sticks around with her adoptive class of ’63! We wish you the best, Janie! That’s all from The Holy City for now. Pray for our troops in harm’s way, our departed and those on the GIM. God bless! Curleyrat


John R. Cavedo

The 45th Reunion was a total success. We had 85 BRs in attendance. With spouses, widows, family and friends, we had 169 total. Check out the photos. By so many sharing their digital photos, I had to rummage through over 800 of those submitted to get down to the few which the Alumni Review would allow. Fortunately, we get 10 photos as a major reunion class instead of the normal limit of five. Many of the best photos submitted had to be discarded due to the low resolution. Don’t forget: when using your camera to take photos which might be included in the Alumni Review, use a high pixel setting. Not one designed to maximize the number of pictures on your memory cards. Quite a few Brother Rats e-mailed or called to say they had conflicting plans with friends and family over the reunion period. For those and everybody else, reserve May 2014 now! No excuses for not making the 50th. It will be even bigger and better. Tom Davis did a superb job planning and organizing myriad details, from the hotel hospitality suite, to four separate events on Friday, two wonderful meals, etc. Our thanks to Buzz and Jane Birzenieks for hosting 97 of us for an opportunity to meet and greet that first Thursday night. On Friday, with a choice between golf, skeet shooting, a presentation by George Warren on the women of Rockbridge County, a thought provoking trip to New Market or just wandering the campus and/or Lexington, everyone found ways to keep busy and get to know each other in a hospitable environment. Friday night was a picnic at McKeathen Park. Saturday we had the class photo, march to the Barracks for the Old Yell (Andy Tucker and Ken Dice not only climbed up the steps to the top of the guardhouse in Third Barracks – but back down without serious injury), followed by

a class meeting. The afternoon gave most of us the chance to witness and cheer on a winning football game. Sunday breakfast at Crozet Hall was the official close. One of the best things about this reunion was the LARGE hospitality suite provided by the Holiday Inn Express. It stayed busy every moment we were not involved in specific activities. Such a room made it possible for many more opportunities to mingle, talk and swap lies. Again, it further emphasized to me the importance of time to become reacquainted. We’ll make sure we expand those occasions at our 50th. Cliff Crittsinger, in addition to being the driving force behind the class efforts to come up with a New Market award, designed and had made a New Market class flag. You can see it in some of our photos. Thanks, Cliff! Dave Kaliski wrote, “Penny and I are really upset [about] not being able to attend. When we made the Thailand trip two years ago, we redeveloped many friendships; it was one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences we’ve had. We were really looking forward to seeing everyone again, but we just couldn’t make it happen. I had thought I’d be fully recovered from my leg problems by now and never thought it would manifest into pinched nerve and disc problems. I’m having so much trouble getting around, I just couldn’t see myself navigating through the reunion. Penny and I are still working, but I think we can see retirement coming in the not too distant future. Penny is a speech pathologist with her degrees from UVa, and I’m still in the textile business with Royale Linens.” Bill McVey e-mailed, “Millie and I had a wonderful three-week-long trip in New England recently, including one week on a 100-passenger cruise ship, taking a tour of the lower NE coast, including New Bedford, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Bristol, Newport and Providence. Before the cruise, we drove into western NH to a little town called Walpole. One of my direct ancestors founded this beautiful little town in 1761. We stayed at the Walpole Inn which was the home built by him (my six-time great-grandfather, one of my Revolutionary War ties). After the cruise, we drove up to tour Boston, then further up the coast as far as Booth Bay Harbor, ME. What a beautiful area.” Bill sent in some of his reunion impressions: “My highlight of the reunion was the Friday trip to New Market. Keith Gibson ’77, our most knowledgeable guide, gave us a full background. After a delicious lunch in the Hall of Valor, including period desserts prepared by the hall volunteers, we marched behind the class flag, held aloft by Cliff Crittsinger, to the Bushong family home, then to the orchard


CLASS NOTES Class of 1964 45th Reunion


Sept. 4-5, 2009







Photo 1: King von Schilling, K.T. Brunsvold and Cliff Crittsinger holding the new class of ’64 flag. Photo 2: Tom and Yvonne Myers, left, with Doug and Mary Bergere. Photo 3: Bill and Dyan Crone, left, with 6 Margaret and Don Carson. Photo 4: Ed Seager, Tom Myers, Don Stickles and Pete Mazik. Photo 5: June and Chuck MacDonald. Photo 6: Mike Murphy and Bill Taylor. Photo 7: Joan and Butch Nunnally with Charlie Cole. Photo 8: Parker Duncan with Tony and Dusadee Putamanonda. Photo 9: Betsy Taylor, Karen Sykes and Karen Walborn.




Row 1: K.T. Brunsvold, Parker Duncan, Bill Thompson, Andy Colyer, Aran J. Chompaisal, Rockwell Webb, George Rapport, Rev Winfree, Tom Essig, T. Putamanonda, Richard Beatty, Bill Blair and Dave McKee. Row 2: Bill McVey, Dan DeForrest, Ed Seager, Ron Williams, W.J. Kitchen, David Ayers, Frank M. Parker III, Floyd H. Duncan, Jim Crawford, Wally Hawkins, Bob Neely, Charlie Cole, Buzz Birzenieks and Andy Tucker. Row 3: Hank Cronin, Tom Davis, Gary Thrasher, Nelson Trinkle, George Warren, Pat Taylor, Harvey Sargent, Dick Nickel, Tom E. Crush and Doug Bergere. Row 4 (middle): Chuck MacDonald, William F. Grubb, Tom Myers, Jake Kleinschuster, Warren Budd and Doug Walker. Row 5: Richard Atkinson, Walt Sykes, John Thornton, Rick Beirne, Ron Fischer and Lee Fleshood, Bill Rodier, Kevin MacCarthy, Leo Roach, Jim Brittingham and John Montgomery. Row 6: Don Carson, Tom Sebrell, Bernie Hylton, Bill Crone, Jerry Reid, Chris Hopkins, W.S. “Bud” Duryea, Tony Munera, Donald Stickles, Bill Welsh, Bill Garber, John Cavedo, Bob O’Hara and Joe Turner. Row 7: Cliff Crittsinger, Chuck Beale, Butch Nunnally, John Manley, Bob Warren, Bill Black, Albert Fiorini, Ken Dice, Kerry Hines, King von Schilling, Ed Telfair and Bill Taylor.


45th Reunion — Sept. 4-5, 2009

Class of 1964

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CLASS NOTES where the cadets waited under fire, then to the rail fence where the Confederate battle line was formed. From there we could see the Field of Lost Shoes and the ridgeline held by Union infantry and artillery. The sight gave me new admiration for the bravery and fortitude of the teenaged cadets who crossed that muddy field, fully exposed to artillery and musket fire. It’s not amazing that cadets were killed but that some bravely made it across and dislodged the Union forces. We are fully justified in honorable veneration of what those cadets did on Sunday, May 5, 1864. I remain proud to have the tradition of their courage to guide me in my life, knowing that whatever I may accomplish will pale in comparison to what they did.” Chuck MacDonald wrote, “As today, Sept. 9th, marks the anniversary of June’s maxillofacial surgery, it is with heartfelt gratitude that we both thank you for this past weekend and for your wonderful support during an extremely trying time for June. Your expressions of concern, care and prayer helped get June (and me) through absolute hell and prepared the way back to Lexington where we could be with you. We were able to witness first hand the results of the outstanding and hard work by Tom Davis. Once again, the indomitable dedication and passionate work for our class by Cliff Crittsinger with the New Market Award. You made it possible for June to feel like she could reenter a world that was no longer fraught with an IV port, feeding tube or pain – to not feel broken but to feel ‘normal’ again! Thank you! We were counting our blessings on the drive back home Sunday, and all of you are at the very core of those blessings. When we talked about returning for the 50th Reunion, June had this to say: ‘I plan on being there, but with my situation, I may not be. You have to go through the arch and stand tall with your Brother Rats and their ladies.’ I reflected that, if that were to happen, I would be in the company of such wonderful and venerable people as Wally Hawkins, Char Segesman, Marty Gardner and Mary Jo Jordan.” Budd Duryea e-mailed, “It was truly great to reconnect with so many of you – I just wish there were more time during the weekend! Throughout the time, I was constantly reminded of the totality of the VMI experience. That experience has shaped us all and has emerged in different ways throughout our lives to stand the test of time, war and all that life can throw at you. The greatest product of that experience is all of you. I am ever grateful for you and the honor and privilege to be your Brother Rat! As with all things of importance in our lives, the core value of relational connectedness (re-connectedness in some cases) is crucial and essential to our sense of well being. So it was with the VMI class of 1964 45th reunion. We were


able to connect with the ‘past’ to the class of 1864 through the commendable efforts of Col. Gibson, Tom Davis and Cliff Crittsinger; our ‘present’ by immersing ourselves in a state of even tighter bonding with our BRs (encouraged by the leadership of Andy Tucker, Ken Dice, Bill Thompson, Tom Davis, Buzz Birzenieks and Harvey Sargent); and our ‘future’ through an appreciation for the high degree of expectation and excellence manifested in a new and expanded ‘Corps.’ And for me individually, the joy once again of being able to share another part of my life with roomies Bill, Tony and Al was particularly meaningful. The weekend was fantastic. I guess the only thing I missed was to hear that great big growling voice of Dave Bell’s starting the parade with ‘March off, Band Company!’” Jim Brittingham wrote, “I think the entire weekend went extremely well. Tom Davis and the reunion committee’s planning were extraordinary. Everything went smoothly and without a hitch. I did not speak to anyone who wasn’t having a great time. The weather could not have been better, and I’m not sure how Tom managed that aspect. And to top it off, the Big Red won their first game of the season. The picnic was spectacular with food, beverages and band. Visiting with fellow Brother Rats was definitely one of the highlights. I was pleased and proud of all the BRs that came out to enjoy the stories of 45 years ago.” Joyce Brittingham added (from a Sister Rat’s perspective), “The glasses, travel mug and necklace were great choices. We understand from Joan Nunnally that you and Sherrel are responsible for doing all the coordination and hours of work to have the necklaces available for us. They were an excellent touch and well-received. Thank you both for all you did to make the weekend a wonderful time.” From your Class Agent: I cannot submit these class notes without acknowledging the most significant event of the reunion, at least to me. Perhaps one of the most significant events of my life – ranking with my marriage and the births of two children and five grandchildren … my ring and what you did to make it happen. The presentation was completely unexpected. I am honored, humbled and grateful. I’ve hardly taken it off. Words do not come close to expressing my emotion. Thank you. Everyone should know by now that Charlie Cole and Tom Davis were inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame this past October. Charlie for his prowess on the football field and Tom for his lifelong dedication and support of VMI’s athletic program in varied positions. They make us all proud. (Editor’s Note: See the Athletics section of this issue for more about this event.) Some other information about the Sports Hall

of Fame came to light. In spite of the supposed “problems” of the class of ’64, there are only three classes in VMI’s history with more members in the Sports Hall of Fame. We have seven. The class of ’30 has 11, while ’31 and ’39 have eight each. Immediately after the reunion, Sherrel and I joined Tom and Yvonne Myers on a self-driven barge on the Erie Canal for a full week. The sleeping compartments were tight, but the small boat had an ample galley and sitting area. We saw many small towns, ate in many interesting restaurants and shared seven days of exercise and sightseeing. Our impressions of the area were that the people were very friendly and hospitable. However, it’s obvious that their economy is suffering badly in every city through which we navigated. I can’t imagine the Erie Canal will be a viable recreational enterprise for many more years. However, the history we enjoyed was compelling. From there, the four of us drove to visit Dan and Sandy DeForrest. We stayed in their wonderful cabin on a New York lake. We ate too well. The six of us took a drive to Saratoga National Battlefield Park and relived the turning point of the American Revolution. After leaving New York, on our way home, we stopped at Hank and Elizabeth Cronin’s home just outside DC. Suffice it to say they run the best Five Star Hotel in the area. Hank has been a great help to me for the past nearly four years as class agent. Ed Seager e-mailed, “Janice, Mary Jo Jordan and I just returned from our China trip. We had stops in Taipei, Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guilin, Yangshuo, Hong Kong and Macau. We had a great time and saw all the normal sights. In addition, instead of doing a Yangtze River cruise, we did raft trips on the Li and Yulong rivers near Yangshuo. This is the area in which the karst limestone mountains are located. While in Beijing, we ran into Terry and Kendra Li, both VMI ’01. They were in China visiting Terry’s mother who lives there. This unlikely meeting occurred on the grounds of the Summer Palace in Beijing. Terry served in the USMC, and Kendra is currently serving in the USAF at the NATO base in Geilenkirchen, Germany. In October, Sherrel and I flew west to visit W.J. and Lauranne Kitchen. We stayed in their home in San Diego for three nights, and then the four of us drove to Tucson for another four nights. Throughout this wonderful trip, we ate well and toured some fascinating sights. One thing we learned is that W.J. and Lauranne, in addition to be superb hosts, are serious about their exercise program. Sherrel and I had thought we were in good physical shape. Wrong! Warren Budd came by our home on Hilton Head. We had a nice visit. It turns out that he


CLASS NOTES has extensive knowledge of charitable giving. He’ll probably be on our 50th Reunion fundraising committee. They’ll be getting in touch before long. Cliff Crittsinger recently completed a journey down the east coast in his brand new diesel BMW SUV. In addition to seeing several of his Army buddies in Florida, he stopped at Andy and Callie Tucker’s in Florida, Tom and Penny Sebrell’s in Savannah, and here on Hilton Head. While here, I put him to work for our annual car show. He did several odd jobs and then spent a morning as a bartender in one of the hospitality tents. He said he had a good time working. He’ll either come back soon or never again. In mid November was the Institute Society Dinner at VMI. Held in the new Leadership and Ethics building, the class of ’64 had the largest turnout to date. In addition to Sherrel and me were Tom and Helen Davis, Floyd and Donna Duncan, Bill Garber, Don and Francis Giles, George Rapport, and Ed and Janice Seager. We have two fully planned mini reunions for 2010. We’re leaving the U.S. on May 8th for a 13-day trip to Egypt and then by boat up the Nile River. At present, there are 26 of us paid up. On that trip is an opportunity to also visit Jordan and Israel. The base cost including air from NY is under $6,000 per couple. That includes sightseeing, meals, tipping and taxes. Contact me if you’re interested in joining us. The second trip in 2010 is to Russia for 16 days. The entire time will be on a river boat (no unpacking and all meals) is slightly more expensive but still under $8,000 per couple with air from NY. At present, we have 14 of us committed and another 16 in the wings. The trip also has the possibility of extensions to Kiev or Helsinki and Estonia. Contact W.J. Kitchen for details, or 858/761-7979. In 2011, planning is already underway for a trip down under (Australia and New Zealand). Details and cost are still being worked out. However, at the reunion, 32 people indicated an interest. Again, contact W.J. for details. Tom Davis is planning a historical trip through England. His plan is to follow the routes of VMI personalities across English history. When he gave a historical perspective while on our bus during the Normandy mini reunion in 2008, it became obvious that he’s not only an authority, but also a truly interesting and dynamic speaker. He’s figuring out the details of time, length and cost now but is also in the process of building a new home in Lexington. Let him know of your interest: or 540/463-2063. In closing, my thanks to all of you who have contributed to the fullness and success of these class notes by sending items to me. Without the

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input, we would have nothing. If you haven’t sent anything recently, please do so. If you have, do it again. If you’ve never sent anything, don’t you think it’s about time?


Mickey Finn

Welcome to our 45th Reunion year, 2010! Mark your calendar and be there the first weekend in September. I write these notes from Leesburg where I am in town (DC Metro Area) for a week attending meetings, seeing old friends and visiting my two sons and their families. Jane is home in Wilmington, NC, taking care of the girls, our two Yorkies, Molly and Muffin. The second issue we need to focus on is our new 1965 Memorial Fund that is designed to memorialize our fallen Brother Rats with a brick in front of Barracks. Please consider a donation; contact me with any questions you may have. We will formally vote to approve this fund during our business meeting at the reunion. Vince Cable sent such a nice note I have included it in total: “I have just returned from a 3-day trip to the Institute for a symposium at the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics. It is hard to describe the new facilities, the excitement and the professionalism that is evident in every facet of the Institute. I was able to spend some quality time with Gen. ‘Binnie’ Peay ’62 and some of the academic and support staff. Gen. Peay really has made a positive difference in many ways since he took over. My greatest thrill was to run into my F Company Tactical Officer, Col. Lee Lewane ’50B, USA (Ret). He was an attendee at the symposium and lives in Lexington. I had not seen him since I left VMI in ’62, but you never forget your TAC! I immediately turned into a Rat, but during our time together he ‘took me in,’ and we shared some great stories about everything from VMI to grandchildren and pets. His charming wife, Sally, joined us for dinner one night. The Center houses a Hall of Valor in which the Institute is displaying VMI alum shadow boxes for all military awards from the Purple Heart and up for each alum who meets these criteria. It was quite a display and covered all conflicts from the Mexican War through Desert Storm. I was surprised to see that there are no class of ’65 shadow boxes. I’m not even sure that I have read about this display. Maybe you know about this. I know many of our BRs earned medals for valor. Col. Lewane said that his class just got together, determined who got what and

got them purchased and displayed using ‘class funds,’ whatever that is. By the way, I am sure that it is a normal practice, but he should certainly be invited to one or more of the class functions during the Reunion. He also said that there were other TACs in the area, so we might want to check with the alumni office so that we don’t leave anyone out. The other TAC that he is in touch with was Capt. Patten (‘Scurvy’?) who also lives in the area. Regards to all.” Vince has raised several issues that need to be addressed. I have known that we were not represented on the wall at this time and have that on my list as an important “to-do.” Look for a report from me soon to include the steps we need to take to rectify the omission. The other issue – that of asking the past faculty to join us – was last done at our 25th Reunion (who can forget Lt. Gen. Drudik and his cream pie). I will speak to Charlie Russell, our 45th Reunion Chairman, about inviting participation again. Dave Thompson writes, “Sometimes I get so caught up in the work-home-work routine that I forget about anything else. Yup, I’m still plugging away for that little insurance company in Columbia, SC, that recently was purchased by Aflac. That has changed the way we work from a small, easy-going company to a company with a full-steam-ahead way of work. I’m sure glad I plan on retiring at the end of June. Nothing against Aflac; it’s just that I’m too old and too tired to do the full-steam-ahead routine. Our new-found urgency to complete tasks has led to some funny one-liners, though. Here are three of them: 1) ‘I sure hope my wife isn’t expecting any contact sports tonight.’ 2) ‘I’m phoning home now to leave myself messages so that I don’t forget anything.’ 3) ‘I’d take up drinking, but I already started that a long time ago.’ I have self-published a book. Not great, but it was a learning experience of the do-it-yourself kind. It still has warts, but I got tired of dickering with it. You can check out The Blackwater Philosopher at Jewel and I muddle along and have managed to make it past our 44th anniversary in August. We look forward to seeing everyone in September. Keep the faith!” Jack Wilkerson offers “Greetings to all from Nashville, TN. Attended a Nashville alumni chapter meeting to view the VMI vs. Liberty game. All I can say is that the venue was great and the fellowship awesome.” Joe Straub is looking for help: “I put together a walk for disabled vets at VA Tech. It [took place] between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Sunday, the 19th of Nov. We will be putting together a documentary on the event, and at that time I hope to energize the VMI Corps to rise to the challenge and also do a walk. Shades of Thanksgivings in the past. Maybe it will be an annual event.”


CLASS NOTES just smile and remain great anchors in my life.” Bill Murphy updates us with: “My son, Rats. I wrote to Bill that John took pride in Floyd Taylor has found his computer, and Brian, and his wife, Katie, have presented being a Keydet in his own way, always testing as much as I love his written letters, the e-mail me with my #1 grandson, Aidán Christopher the system but always respecting the system. today is appreciated, as I am on the road. Murphy (born 5 March 2009). Now I have to Vicki and I visited Lexington in early Septem“Mickey: I appreciate your phone call with con- ber when I volunteered to speak to couple of see about a provisional appointment to VMI dolences about John Rasmussen. He is missed (maybe it will work for his generation). Brian Keydet classes (Department of Economics and by a wide range of friends who remember him wound up in the Army, after ROTC at the UniBusiness) on their first day of class! In 20-30 with affection. As you remember, he was on versity of Vermont. He has done two tours in minutes, I shared why I thought the VMI expea road trip to Montana with Phil Lien ’66 and Iraq, first with the ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ of the 10th rience had value in the business world! It was me when he died in his sleep. I keep up with U.S. Cavalry, then with the 7th U.S. Cavalry. hard to believe that, 45 years ago, it was the Imre Lipping, my roommate and another of In December, I am going down to visit them at start of our first class year. It was uplifting to those F Co privates. He is retired from U.S. Fort Hood; he called me to inform me that there see very talented young people eager to face the Govt. service and lives in his country home in would be a ‘change of command ceremony you challenges and opportunities of life. Vicki and Estonia – in the country – complete with sauna don’t want to miss.’ He is getting command of I also took this opportunity to visit with Vicki and a lake and miles of woods in his back yard. a company in the Special Troops Battalion of Nuckols-Kruse, who is the owner of Sunrise When not in repose, he does volunteer work for the 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. Having a Stables in Lexington. Vicki and Vicki spent the the Conference on Security and Cooperation in son who is a company commander is nice, but afternoon visiting the local winery while I was Europe spreading the word about Democracy – I am even more impressed with having been in class!” sometimes in hardship places like the Crimea. presented with a Texas-born grandson, doubly Lou Siegel sends a “Thank you for all the so, considering that I, too, was born in the Army I will be seeing Gene Marshall soon for some work you and Greg Robertson did on the fishing and back porch work. Gene and his wife in Texas (Army Air Corps; my father was stamemorial fund. I’ve almost seen Johnny Mac Nan just returned from Europe where he did tioned at Lubbock Army Flying School before Marshall twice, but on both occasions, it fell one of those barge trips down the Rhine, among he went to the Philippines and later Japan). On through, so I guess that’s a double almost other things. I also hear from Cadet Egan, our Sat., Nov. 7, I had the honor of attending the maybe and doesn’t count for news. Still workclass sentinel, who passes on tidbits of value commissioning of the U.S.S. New York. While ing, in Richmond. We’re run out of Sweden. from time to time. I never realized he was such all of the speeches were both well-crafted and I’ve moved 100% away from boats and started a busy boy at the Institute. I continue to do well-delivered, the commandant stood head and a division that works with heavy trucks in the unremarkable things at home, where I enjoy the shoulders above all of the rest, both physically U.S., Canada and Mexico. We build green and rhetorically. By the time he finished (and he yard, boat and the children and four grandsons, aircon systems for them. Take care of yourself.” even though spread from GA to CA. Overall, was brief enough), the only unanswered quesThanks, Lou! my situation is good and I am thankful. Visitors tion in anyone’s mind was why they had not Thanks to all who wrote for making this colcontinue to be welcome. Those passing along installed a bayonet stud on the bow.” Bill, let umn interesting and informative for us all. Two I-95 are within 20 min. of St Simons Island me add a Siemper Fi to that! more issues of the Review, and it is Reunion when at the Brunswick exit. Come on.” Johnny Mac Marshall’s interesting travel Time! See you there! Until then, altogether, Jeff Gausepohl offers a few thoughts: log arrived in the nick of time! “Jamie and I ’65! ’65! ’65! “Retired in July 2007. Jeffra (our daughter) is just returned from Poland where I had been Al Carr married to Ed Leo, and they live in PA where invited to speak to the Polish Judges’ AssociaAlbert Conner she teaches 7th grade and coaches basketball. tion ‘Iustitia’ at the University of Warsaw. They We have one grandson, Aidan, who is 3. John are in the process of reforming their procedural (Raz) Rasmussen’s untimely passing early this law system, and they asked me to talk on how American procedural law can be useful to them summer was a wake- up call/reminder that we in improving court administration. The judges are in fact getting older. John’s brother, Bill, came from all over the country and were polite I sadly report the loss of our Brother Rat Pat shared in a letter how much he appreciated the enough not to go to sleep, despite the fact that Kearney. Pat had a long struggle with MS condolences and support shown by his Brother I didn’t deliver the speech in Polish. and finally succumbed. I heard from This is on top of my continuing to be a his wife, Bev, who wrote a beautiful legal consultant (which is another way e-mail: “Pat, who had not worked since of saying I help young lawyers stay out 1996, enjoyed relatively good health of trouble in court) and my new career until this. He deteriorated rapidly, and as an Anglican priest here in North his body just wore out. Pat was a reTexas (better late than never in answermarkable man, who never complained ing the ‘call’). So far, I am becoming but always maintained his sense of increasingly convinced that the true humor and lively spirit. I feel fortunate definition of ‘retirement’ is ‘working to have shared 41-plus years with him. five minutes at a time for more people Our daughter, Laura, who lives next for less money than before.’ The bad door, is a teacher. Our son, Will, is a news is that my flying school has mechanical engineer/senior plant opclosed, so I am still trying to get my erator at a nuclear power plant in SC. soaring license. The good news is that Pat was proud of his family. Thanks Class of 1965: Johnny Mac Marshall and his wife, Jamie and the girls not only have not for your condolences.” It’s funny what Jamie, on a visit to Poland. abandoned me in all of this, but they you remember and for how long. I par-




CLASS NOTES ticularly remember a dark, cold, miserable night in early 1963 and walking in the Ratline on the fourth stoop after our return from Christmas furlough. Walking the other way was BR Pat. As we passed, he flashed that wonderful impish smile of his. It was at once a statement of quiet rebellion and a silent message: it’s okay, Brother Rat; spring is not far ahead. I’m glad Pat is enjoying eternal spring sunshine and is now free of all pain and suffering. Those sentiments were echoed by numerous BRs who responded to the news of Pat’s passing. (Editor’s Note: Pat Kearney’s obituary appears in the Taps section of this Review.) Thanks to VP Clark Reifsnider, we on the ’66 e-mail network (i.e., everyone for whom I have valid e-mail addresses) were informed on 17 Oct. that Bill Gregory had been in Charlottesville UVa hospital since 10 Oct. and was undergoing a lung transplant. Clark received an update from Bill on 22 Oct.: “I relieved my sister-in-law, Mary, from further communications duties and promoted her to chief nurse and cook. Wanted you to know I’m home and taking it easy. Can’t do much of anything but pray for a steady recovery and will do as instructed by the transplant team. It’s been a miracle, and something I never expected to undergo in my life, but the stars were aligned and it happened.” Bill’s mailing address is: 17 Highland Road, Richmond, Virginia, 23229. I received an update from Bill on 10 Nov. He reported that he had spent the entire previous day with doctors in Charlottesville, and they were happy with his progress. Bill added: “Still have a lot of chest pain from the ribs that had to be broken for the surgery, but they too will heal. Getting my strength daily but having to pace myself. I won’t finish the chemo infusions until early December, which suppresses the immune system (as you well know), so not allowed to be in groups, crowds or much public outing. The swine flu has these MDs quite worried, and they’ve cautioned me to lay low. I will obey and not mess up their beautiful work. The class has been wonderful in sending e-mails, cards and notes of concern. Believe me, it helps immensely. My regards and thanks to all and trust you will have a wonderful evening, as I’ve always enjoyed, and wish I could be there. Will certainly be in Spirit!” Bill, Clark and Clark’s son, Chip, were able to get together in Richmond for dinner and a night of reminiscing. Heard from Jim Guy who relates, “I have been off chemo for a month, and my body (as old and feeble as it is) has started to recover and begin to function as it was intended. I had a series of tests recently and received good news. My cancer markers have gone down for the second successive month. Though the numbers

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are not going down at the rate I would like … they are going down. When I had my last tumor removed, the numbers were 11, and now they are at 5.2. The normal range is between 2.5 and 3.5. Even though the numbers are not yet normal, they are not going to place me back on chemo. They will continue to monitor the numbers and will do another CAT scan and/ or PET scan. Meanwhile, I will get a chance to experience some semblance of ‘normal.’ This will be particularly welcome over the upcoming holidays. I am still using all artificial body plumbing equipment. Even though this inhibits my ability to travel, attend lengthy events etc., the alternatives are not good. Also, I am beginning to get used to it, and much of it is a timing issue.” Our prayers go out to Jim and his valiant struggle. Heard from Cliff Martin – incidentally, thanks to Cliff for keeping us all abreast of VMI sports activities – that he had received a note from Dee Hartman that the VMI Tri-Cities Alumni Chapter (Dee’s the treasurer) was having their meeting on 2 Dec., and our BR Hugh Adams was the guest speaker. I put out the notice in my post-Institute Society Dinner/class agents’ get-together report via e-mail. Hope you who live in that area could make it. Howie Lloyd mentioned in an e-mail that he had been in contact with John Stauffer, now living in Florida, and was looking to connect with Ken Petrie and Jim Freeman. If Ken or Jim read this and haven’t been able to connect with Howie, please contact me for help. I’d also like to take this opportunity to encourage you all again to reach out to former roommates and not to let time run out before reconnecting. In so doing, please ask them if they want to receive class information, and let me have the contact information. My recent experience with finding Roger Davis and catching up, only to receive an obituary arriving a short time later, has confirmed the value of these efforts. (Editor’s Note: Roger Davis’ obituary appears in the Taps section of this Review.) Nick Hoskot reported in that he is settled into his new Texas home and even has an answering machine to go with his e-mail. At this year’s Institute Society Dinner, we had a small but lively representation from 1966 – I say small, because over 30 of our class gave at the Leadership level and could have been there. Attending were Dick and L.T. Goodall; Parky and Mary Fran Parkman; George Dyer; Randolph Williams and his date, Priscilla Knight; Larry and Carol Wilkes; and Al and Jane Conner. This event provides a unique opportunity to gather the BRs and SRs each year. I hope more will plan to make the trip to Lexington and attend in the future. BR and VMI Board of Visitors President Tom

Slater, accompanied by wife Scottie, was the principal speaker for the evening. Tom gave a great talk on the many positive achievements of our school (some of the things he talked about have been added to my summary below). He humbly likened his role as president of the Board of Visitors to fullback Slater blocking for quarterback Peay ’62. (Editor’s Note: See Tom Slater’s remarks in the front section of this Review.) The day afterward, we had our semi-annual class agent get-together (a larger conference is held in April). I sent out an e-mail summary right after the meeting. For those who didn’t receive it, here are some of the highlights. We met the new VMI Foundation CEO, Brian Crockett, and he’s well along toward developing a good understanding of the Institute and its unique dynamics with alumni, parents, faculty and friends. We also heard from Greg Cavallaro ’84, CEO of the Keydet Club, and Adam Volant ’88, Exec VP of The VMI Alumni Association. And we met the new VMI chief of staff, Col. Jeff Curtis ’79, who had exhibited his good taste by sitting at one of the two 1966 tables at the Institute Society Dinner. All are obviously dedicated and are working hard to provide our cadets with the best facilities, programs and opportunities to succeed in life by succeeding in their chosen professions and by exercising leadership in service and as citizens. As you’ve all become aware, the Institute is facing daunting financial hurdles in accomplishing its mission over the next few years, at least. State aid (20% of revenues) has been valuable in making necessary capital improvements for Vision 2039 but has otherwise declined. Tuition and fees for our in-state (58% - $17,982) and out-of-state (42% -$35,530) cadets have continued to rise and have reached the maximum possible levels of affordability. Not surprisingly, but impressively, some 81% of cadets are now receiving some kind of financial assistance, and 46% are receiving financial aid which is based on need. The average indebtedness of our most recent graduates is now $19,114 (glug!) each. Yet, admissions applications continue to rise each year, and VMI’s largest Rat class entered this year with a whole range of impressive credentials and test scores. Academically, the 14 cadet majors are made up of 41% in math/ science/engineering and 59% in liberal arts. In athletics, 409 cadets are in some NCAA sport, and another 357 are in some kind of club sport. We’re about to add a seventh female NCAA sport. Commissioning rates are now over 56 percent. VMI is second in Virginia (to older and larger UVa) in the number of Rhodes scholars produced, and our Undergraduate Research Program is a shining beacon and a real credit to


CLASS NOTES our 121 fulltime and 43 adjunct faculty members – who have received no state pay increases in over two years, incidentally. This faculty has 96% Ph.D.s or equivalent terminal degrees and as importantly, it actually teaches (11:1 teacherstudent ratio) with substantial classroom workloads and undergrad research mentoring. You may well ask how all of this is possible, given the challenging financials? Well, I’d have to say, after watching closely for the past six years, that it’s been done with prudent and responsible leadership of the people involved and management of the resources provided; reaching but not over-reaching with a vision for excellence and improvement; and daring not to just “do ordinary” in a society where mediocrity has become an achievement. And at the heart of matters, there’s US. You may be interested to know that there are now an all-time high 19,027 living VMI alumni – by the way, that’s about a 3-year output from Virginia Tech or George Mason. The loyal alumni and loyal faculty, staff (both Institute and Alumni Agencies), parents and friends now provide 32% of the Institute’s budget! The only negative in all of this is that alumni giving percentage last year was 36%. Now, don’t get me wrong, because that 36 percent coughed up a lot of money. But you can only dance around the subject for so long before you surely have to ask what’s going on with the other 64 percent? And please don’t get me wrong again, because as I reported in my last class notes, the class of 1966 climbed from 54.86% in 2008 to 58.75% in 2009. A total of 31 BRs contributed at the Leadership level of $1,500+, and a total 151 BRs participated and gave this past year. You’ve certainly answered the challenge recently and through the years, and especially in the current tough environment. Beyond that, I’ve run out of facts, figures and questions, and I simply don’t have the larger answers. All I can ask is that, if you gave last year, please do so again this year, and if you didn’t give last year, please give this year. And for all of us, I can only ask that we each give as much as we can. I’m personally very proud of all the things our school has accomplished, and I’d hate to see the excellence which has been achieved start to slip or erode in any way. Thanks to last year’s challenge to us from our BRs on the Board of Visitors, Tom Slater and John Jumper, we’re trying to raise our annual giving percentage to 66% over the next five years. That will require all of us in the trenches for the duration. Dr. Douglas Southall Freeman was once asked to explain just what made Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia so formidable in battle. He answered something like the prayers of women, the courage of youth and the Spirit of VMI. Not that anybody asked, but I’d add committed


leadership and dedicated support. I believe that VMI has all of those things now in abundance. Take care, Brother Rats, and may I hasten to add my full vocabulary of Latin phrases: Virginiae fidem praesto; sic semper tyrannis; perseverando; and e pluribus unum.


Jan Abernathy

There is a lot of news! I am beginning these notes early so as to not be swamped in November. Today is the last weekend in September, and I know we are getting close to Halloween, because Home Depot and Lowe’s put up their Christmas displays this morning. What a country. If you are not on the ’67 e-mail contact list, you do not know that Denny Graves has returned from the “lost” BR list. He called in August, out of the blue. Unfortunately, his call was to announce that his wife, Diane, had just died, and he needed some assistance. I put out a request on the web for a “BR in need of assistance,” and in short order, more than 100 among us chipped in to aid with cremation and other expenses. The Graves lost their home and possessions a couple of years ago due to her cancer, his medical conditions and their inability to work. Richmond BRs Jim Rogers, John Goode and Hunter Taylor and their wives are overseeing Denny’s needs and getting him into Veterans Administration care. Many of you sent personal memories. Tom Rhodes: “I ran track with Dennis.” Terry Fowler: “Denny was a Keydet waiter (as I was) and knew every trick in the book to get out of formations. I can clearly remember Denny was never late for a waiter formation, nor was he ever in formation five seconds before we had to form up. No one could smell a TAC officer coming to inspect us better than Denny. I learned a lot from him.” Doug Berry: “Dennis and I were dykes for Black, Moreno and Duryea. We shared a room for summer school the summer of ’64. The last time I saw him was in 1968 at Fort Meade, MD. I was a Cpl. of Marines stationed at the Marine Barracks.” John Forsyth: “I remember Dennis as a graciously quiet and kind BR. My heart aches for him.” Dixie Walker was in Africa, but Bev responded for them both, adding that the “VMI family is amazing.” Peter Van Note: “According to my recollection, Denny was from Robinson, IL, and spent his Rat year with Plentl, Easterly, Mears and me in Old Barracks. Only one went on to graduate: Will Plentl. One went on to UVa med school, another to West Point. Graves was

a question mark, and I went on to Jacksonville (FL) University.” Margaret Oliver: “As soon as I read your e-mail, I remembered that Dennis was one of Frank’s roommates his senior year, along with Bill Brent, Jim Breckenridge and Jim Rountree.” Paul Bouis: “Dennis and I were on the track team together, and although he was not the most talented athlete, he was a fierce competitor. My lasting memory of Dennis will always be when leading his heat in the intermediate hurdles at the Colonial Relays. He hit the last hurdle and fell on the then-cinder track. The W&M coach Groves ran out on the track and picked up the hurdle, while leaving Dennis lying in a heap of pain. Never did like Harry Groves.” Gretchen Fox sent message of remembrance and encouragement. Bill Kiniry: “I remember Denny well from our Ghetto days and the elite cadet waiter team.” Jane Adams: “Larry and I were just thinking about Denny. In 1972, we went to a VMI football game and later attended a party at Andy Yowell’s. Denny was there, and when we were leaving, he told us he had very little gas in his car. We were with Gene Potter, and together, we followed Denny back to Charlottesville at a very slow rate of speed in order to save gas. Took forever. There were no gas stations open along the way, but one was open in Charlottesville. Turned out the gas gauge was broken, and Denny had more gas than he thought. We remember that trip often and smile. We haven’t seen Denny since.” I must edit heavily at times, but this last recollection would lose its meaning with editing. J.I. Orrison: “We always called Denny Graves ‘Pigpen.’ He was the epitome of grubby … but we loved him. When I returned from Vietnam, I was stationed at Fort Belvoir. Well, Tammy Wynette and a bunch of entertainers had an ‘Honor America’ concert in Washington, DC, on the 4th of July. My wife and I decided to go to it. There were, literally, hundreds of thousands of people at the event. The stage was set up on the monument end of the reflecting pool. In front of the stage were a lot of VIP seats. Behind the seats was a cleared area of about 30 or 40 yards, with a cordon of police manning the ropes. The rest of us were sitting on the grass, stretching from the cordon line up the slope to the monument. I was near the top of the slope … far away from the stage. There was a crowd of rowdies ( I think we called them hippie peace freaks) who were chanting anti-war slogans, and in the true character of the peace movement, from time to time flinging empty quart beer bottles towards the VIP seats. Fortunately, they had wussie arms and were falling short of their targets. However, when a bottle would fly, a vanguard of police would rush the site where it had come from. As the police rushed, the crowd would turn and flee … many


CLASS NOTES of them heading up the hill. As a result, we constantly had to stand and protect ourselves from the rushing throngs. It was a surge and lag operation most of the day, with a charge, then a return to their original position, then another charge and so on. Finally, I guess the cops had had enough, so they decided to use that paragon of discreet target weapons, tear gas (CS), on the crowd. Of course, these DC cops hadn’t had our training, so they never considered wind direction when they popped their rounds. Within seconds, the entire area was awash in CS. As we stumbled up the slope looking for clear air, images emerged from the cloud. One was a young mother with a babe in arms and a toddler in his red, white and blue with an American flag in his hand. Kneeling next to him was one of those hippie peace freak guys with a canteen. He was wetting the flag and instructing the boy on holding it over his eyes for relief of the stinging. As I stumbled a little higher, there was Denny Graves. He had just come from visiting Breckenridge at Walter Reed. I found out about Jimmy’s condition and was able to visit with both he and Graves several times before Jimmy

was released to go home. That was the last time I saw Denny. I don’t know what turns life has sent him through, but he was a good and true friend and always will be a Brother Rat.” Editor’s note: “Pigpen” asked me to thank the class for their generosity and support during this family crisis. You and your wives are exceptional stewards of the VMI Spirit. Joan and I were able to attend the Institute Society Dinner this year. At our table were Anne and Randy Blanks, Carol and Ted Mervosh, and Jane and Chip Brooke. The second table for ’67 included Kelly and Bob Kyle, Barbara and Jim Joyner, Carole Green, and Jim Wilson. Bob Green was home recovering from a three-disc fusion surgery. The meal was served in the new ethics building, and it was a nice change from the semi-darkness of Cocke Hall. The VMI Hall of Valor plaques are now permanently displayed along the walls of the upper level in Marshall Hall. Our BRs Brent Bell and Larry Scanlan are the two gold star (KIA) plaques for ’67. One thing about being on Post is that you notice that things are both the same and slightly

different. Example: It was overcoat weather, but everyone looked like Rats. No more year stripes on the left arm. Hat tipping is back in full swing after years of being out of fashion. Something new is the PX and bookstore being both easily accessible and exceptional. They have a huge variety of clothing (including chartreuse and pink colors … and some polka dot items). A phone call with your card number will get anything shipped anywhere. The number is 1-540/464-9113, and a nice lady will assist you with your shopping. The PX is spacious, and the food is good. A “Quiznos” serves such tasty sandwiches that there is a steady stream of Minks who show up to eat. Adjustments in Barracks have the old courtyard ripped up and dug out several feet deep. The sentinel box is gone but will be replaced when the construction is completed. The old one was too heavy to move without a crane, but a crane big enough to do the job could not be brought in through Jackson Arch. So, apparently, the structure that was built to withstand the black powder bombs of the early 1900s, that regularly splintered wooden

Class of 1967: Phil Gioia spoke at the opening of the Presidio (San Francisco) overlook on Veteran’s Day 2009. The Presidio’s fourth major scenic overlook provides a contemplative vantage point commemorating the sacrifices of American soldiers and honoring their service to the nation. Photographs by Bill Wilson, San Francisco.

2010-Issue 1


CLASS NOTES sentinel boxes (“Bomb in the courtyard” meant lunch in Club Crozet before going into Barracks before matriculation after a 24-hour bus ride the sentinel needed to duck and cover so as to because of the particular time I happened to go from Melbourne, FL. I spent the night in a hotel not get speared), fell prey to sledgehammers. through the matriculation line. The Cadreman in Lexington and walked to VMI the next mornAnother change is all new sinks on all stoops. was less than gracious, as he indicated we were ing. That was the first time I ever saw the place. They have auto-flush urinals … with minds of scum, and he would let us have lunch when Mike” Mel Wright: “I can remember standing their own. Whether you are ready or not, some we assumed the proper pose at the table for the in New Barracks courtyard thinking, ‘What the will determine that “you are finished” and flush scumbags that we were. We were still in civilian %&#$ did I just do?’ Scared s***less. I do rewith a watery vengeance. I found this out the clothes and unshorn. He went ballistic, as it member needing to go pee and asking where the evening of the Institute Society Dinner while was obvious none of us knew the proper pose restroom was. Bad mistake. I learned quickly visiting a cadet friend on the second stoop who and commenced to froth at the mouth, while what the “sinks” were, and then I was allowed was celebrating a birthday. Yes, I was wearing pointing to other tables where our uniformed to go. You need to learn the vocabulary of VMI full highland kilted evening dress … no zipper. BRs were posing properly. I think he finally very soon. It was a steep learning curve.” It made for a damp and chilly remainder of the let us drink water. Everything was pretty much Vance Powell: “I don’t know how ‘fond’ these evening. downhill from there till spring. To this day, are, but three things come to mind that first day. Third Barracks is amazing in many ways. The I have dreams about those times, except, biOne, as our squad was walking up from the arch is not yet named, but Kilbourne seems to zarrely enough, my dreams are usually that I’m gym, some guy on his motorcycle apparently be the odds on bet. There is an elevator to the back there as I am today, going through that in had just seen the previous squad go through fourth stoop for some reason. Room numbers in uniform … sometimes these dreams are actually Jackson Arch where the proverbial s*** hit the Third Barracks start with a three, as in “3-438,” funny.” J.B. Farley: “I really don’t remember fan, and I remember him very clearly saying, as there are more rooms than can be accommuch about those first few days at VMI; I guess “buuuuullsheeeeet” and putting his Harley modated by the old 1 to 100 series. And 3-438 I was just numb from it all. I do remember hidinto first gear and disappearing down the road is the best room in the entire place. From this ing under the table in our room that first night toward the mess hall. The second thing I clearly six-man room with a turret, you can see Moody with my temporary roommates, one of whom remember was trying to double-time up the stairs Hall and part of the parade ground, House was Jack Mundy, and sneaking a smoke. We to the fourth stoop with all my gear and dropping Mountain, Hogback Mountain, all of the Nile, were scared s***less, but I guess the habit was my tennis racquet and baseball glove all the way back of North Post and you can almost see stronger than the fear. I also remember those down to the courtyard and the upper classman Goshen. What a view. When you are on Post, prunes that we had for lunch in the mess hall asking me ‘sweetly’ if I thought I was coming to sign in at the Guard Room and tour the changes. during the first few days. I guess they served a #$%&*@#$%^&*$# country club! The third The sign that says, “No visitors allowed in Bara purpose, too. Wouldn’t want to do it all over thing was meeting one of my first roommates racks” does not always mean you are excluded. again (although a grandchild going there would and thinking how odd it was that he came to Ask permission first, though. be OK).” Chuck Krebs: “I think that I went into college with only two pair of socks and two pair Jim Hayes: “I am currently teaching anatomy shock and didn’t recover until Christmas Leave. of underwear! I won’t mention his name!” Jake and physiology at community colleges around I am currently on the NOAA ship Thomas deSteiguer: “Almost half a century out, the the country. (Warner Robins, GA, presently) I Jefferson, out in the approaches to NY Harbor, images of this first day still send shivers up my am retired from the pastorate (but not faithless!) doing hydrographic work. This is the prime spine. Mom had carefully read the suggested list and would certainly rather burn out than rust out! survey data that goes into updating/making of clothing and other articles that the Institute My daughter, Lee, graduated nine years ago from nautical charts.” Mike Bagnulo: “Thanks for ‘suggested’ a new cadet bring with him. These Agnes Scott in Decatur, GA, Summa Cum Laude. the great video. I arrived in Lexington the day included, among other things, a ‘light grey, Unlike her dad, she only made three B’s in college (the rest A’s). My wife, Dianne, is finishing nursing school in Meridian. (She hopes she beats health care reform and has done wonderfully in the course – should graduate in January of 2010.) Best Wishes from Your Brother Rat.” J.B. and Carol Farley had a twoweek visit from daughter Julie and the new twins. Vernon Knuckles sent me a letter that included a mention of his new book. Vernon divides his time between Ohio and Buenos Aires where he teaches English. When he returns next time, I will have more on his writings. Some time ago on the ’67 e-mail, I sent info on the newest Rat Mass Class of 1967: The annual ’67 “Doctors Versus the ‘Also Played’ Pinehurst Golf Outand asked if you had any “seared ing.” From left, kneeling: Robert Klink, Bruce Weiner, Jim Phlegar and Ted Mervosh. into memory” experiences to share Standing: Ted Gillette, Bob Ward, Dave Fink, David Wilkinson, Rick Irby, George of our first few days in 1963. Richard Sanborn and John Vaughn. Stanard: “My first memory is having



CLASS NOTES lunch. Tom Engelman sent me a letter saying he v-neck sweater,’ ostensibly for wearing under is the secondary school teacher for the Romney, the overcoat. But as with everything else on the WV, school for the deaf and blind. He included list, it quickly went into the storage area in the a copy of a photo (appears to be around 1900) of basement. The video of this year’s matriculation a military school band in coatees, asking if I had shows a clip of a new cadet dragging a footany ideas as to the school identification. VMI locker into the arch – surprisingly, a copy of the did not have a cadet band until 1947, and we one I dragged through Jackson Arch on our day. cannot decipher the shako shields. If you would My luggage included this footlocker, a trumpet, like to get in on the ID chase, let me know, and a portable typewriter and a large suitcase. I’ll I will send you a copy of the copy. I received a never forget lugging it all up to the fourth stoop very nice letter from Chuck Keblusek saying he in one trip! Had I known what I would know in had retired. He and Ginny are doing well. Cliff two days, I would have come with nothing but Hedgepeth: “I worked with Mike Holloman the clothes on my back. I was ‘obtained’ by my for a number of years at the mill (Franklin, VA). dyke on the first day – a rather scary Frank FroClass of 1967: Al Burckard, left, in Haven’t seen him in several years. His dyke was sch (RIP), whose demeanor was totally foreign civilian clothes and James Tate in Oakley Drummheller ’64 and was next door to to my southern, small town upbringing. I was, soldier attire at the New Market Civil my dyke, Roman Galysh. I left VMI not long after of course, to find his kindness and sophistication War reenactment. we got out of the Ratline. My grades were less (and his seat on the Honor Court) a great moral and leadership lesson that I’ve never forgotten. than desirable, so it was a ‘strategic withdrawal.’ Bodner frequently. Jean had breast cancer last My roommates, Dave Sibley and John Prince, I joined the Air Force in May ’64 and spent the year and had a modified radical on the left side. were another surprise in contrasts. It’s safe to say next five years working on fire control radar for She is doing OK now.” that, like many of us, I spent the first few weeks Since Barrett Graham learned how to use F102A fighter jets. Jean and I were married there scared***less, taking it all very seriously and in September 1965. When we got out of USAF a computer and the Internet, he has joined worrying if I was good enough to eventually be in 1969, I went to work for a 2-way radio shop Bob Poland and the Gritzmacher/Marshall called a VMI man. Something I will always be in Richmond but soon found a job closer to duo (Tom sends it to Wayne, who promptly proud of.” Editor’s note: I notice a trend when it home at WTAR TV in Norfolk and stayed there forwards it to me) in competing for the most comes to the descriptive use of the word “S***” for 10 years before settling in at Union Camp jokes, etc. hitting my inbox. No complaints, but or “S***less. J.B., I guess the prune thing was in 1980. Stayed there until late 2006 when I I cannot possibly forward all of your stuff, even on purpose. retired. Worked as an industrial instrumentation if it is non-political. And where do you find the Last time, I teased Dixie and Bev Walker about mechanic. Also joined Army National Guard and time for all of this? having a sleepover during the Presbyterian/VMI finished my 20 in that, retiring as an E6. I now When Joan and I left Lexington last week (Nov. game weekend. Well, I hasten to add, a great work part-time at the local public library which is 15th), a Second was sitting on the walk by the time was had by all. Skid and Sharon Garrett, a fun job. My hobbies are ham radio, genealogy, cannonball, painting away and trying to get the Dave and Beverly Hobgood, J.I. and Brenda trains and astronomy, where I see BR Dr. Bruce thing to look like their ring. The current rings Orrison, Joan and Jan Abernathy, and are huge and expensive with an average Tom Coughenour spent the night in their cost of around $2400. The class of ’11 lovely place on Lake Hartwell, SC. Marci tried to return to the tradition of all the and Mike Bagnulo joined us for the game same stone, but a class vote did not go and dinner. VMI played well against a that way. You can literally get any color They Were Heard team our size from a student body close gold, any type and cut of stone, no stone, to VMI size. And the Keydets won! Allen stone set in stone and varieties I cannot From—VMI Alumni and Wendy Gwaltney sent a great descripremember. The booklet for selecting a In the Civil War tion of their participation in the march ring was eight color pages long. It also Author: B. David Mann on DC in September. I got a funny video had numerous “stoneless” styles in other (‘46/49 - C) on the swine flu from Ron and Brenda metals for what are called “combat” This monograph details the roles Neidermayer. Jim and Nancy Wojcik rings. Most of these looked like the silver of VMI alumni on both sides of the have moved to the triad area of NC. Pete Rat rings we had in our day. Anyway, the Civil War. Paper Back . . . . . . . $6.95 Wells: “My Aunt, Martha (a figure skatsun was setting on a crisp Sunday aftering judge), ran into Jack Vest at a skating noon, and Mr. Herron ’11 was doing a The Corps Forward event in Carmel, IN. Small world.” Phil fine job of getting the basic ring onto the Editor: Col. William Couper (1904) Gioia put out a call for anyone in the San Foreword: Col. Keith E. Gibson (1977) cannonball. The stone he chose was like Francisco area to join him at the Presidio the fire garnet he had selected for his perThe gripping story of every cadet for a presentation on Veterans/Founders sonal ring. Some cadets were throwing and faculty member who marched Day. Jay Mangan: “Tell Phil that he proba football on the parade ground. A few to New Market. ably has enough money to buy me a ticket more were doing rugby scrums. About Hardcover with Dust Jacket . .$49.95 20 were marching penalty tours on the … and I’ll come out there to help him!” Paper Back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$19.95 bricks in front of Barracks, including a Barry Hedquist responded, saying Phil All sales benefit VMI Museum & Alumni Association cadet officer with his sabre. The sun was knows where he lives in the area. Perry just settling down on its journey behind Ritenour (Sebastapol, CA) wrote, saying Order direct from Mariner Publishing House Mountain when we drove away. he was already in a parade that day. You (540) 264-0021 Wish you could have been there. guys should be able to meet some day for

True accounts of VMI’s remarkable Alumni in the Civil War

2010-Issue 1




Ron Gallagher

Right after the last edition of the notes was submitted, Gerald Jones (Hingham, MA) wrote, “We are mostly doing fine. Linda retired from her 25 years as a parent educator, and I have reduced my work (paying stuff) load a bit but have jumped the non-profit work. It feels so good to give back to the many that are underserved. We feel so honored to be helping and blessed to have some needed skills. My daughters are doing well. One still teaches high school science (where did she get that ability?), and the other, married, works for a research firm in Boston. We spend as much of the summer as we can on Martha’s Vineyard – now buzzing, with our President visiting ... I do get to Roanoke quite often, as my folks retired there 10 years ago. My dad, at 94, is still in a retirement community there.” Through the diligence of John Crim (New Market, VA), I got a report from Bob MacPherson (Ireland) who wrote from his Irish home, “ … It is amazing how the time passes. I just became a grandfather for the first time yesterday. I was quietly reflecting on that year with you and Jack, and it was a good year. I have drifted apart from most of my BRs – not on purpose but just the way life works. I remain close with Tom Province (Madison, VA) and very close to Ad Hagan (Lexington, VA). Semper Fi.” In the last edition of these notes, I reported how Ron Cowardin (Midlothian, VA) had been erroneously reported as deceased. George Squires (Richmond) responded, “I have seen Ron Cowardin in person with my own eyes. I have touched him with my hand. I am not an expert in these things, but I believe him to be a live human being in original form – not a recording or hologram or clone or robot – no matter what his past wives might say. Yea, verily, I say unto thee, Ron Cowardin liveth! It is a miracle! Possibly the first resurrection in the class of 1968 – perhaps the first in VMI history! ‘Resurrection Ron’ is not only alive but quite lively. I know for a fact that he can operate automobiles, telephones and electric lights; eats human food, etc. He can probably do other things as well. I know that Ron told you he had been on Jupiter for the past two years, but I believe he was only joking. Still, with Ron Cowardin … ‘There are more things in heaven or earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ – Hamlet, Act 1,


Scene 5.” Later, George wrote, “Ron and I talk frequently. We’ve had a few outings. When John VanLandingham (Eugene, OR) was in the area for a visit with family in Petersburg, the three of us had a great visit to the huge, beautiful Ginter Botanical Gardens here – including a big glass conservatory area full of tropical plants, water mist and many exotic tropical butterflies – mesmerizing. Ron, Bill Besenfelder (Midlothian, VA) and I recently caught a flick at the also huge and beautiful – and iconic – Byrd Theater here. It was purchased by a foundation to preserve it. Anyone from the area who has been there would probably remember it fondly. A guy named Eddie Weaver used to play a big Wurlitzer organ there before movies. It and he rose up out of the floor in front of the screen, and a frequently heard line was, ‘Let’s go to the Byrd Theater and watch Eddie Weaver’s organ rise.’” A month or so later, I got the following from George: “Have tentative plans to drop in on Lexington this Sat. if we can manage it. Ron Cowardin and Bill Besenfelder want to show me the ‘new improved’ VMI, and it’s a good time for fall colors. Haven’t been back since our move back to VA, and wife Kitty Sue has never seen it. She has never had a particularly deep yearning to do so, but I think after all these years (19) of abuse and idiosyncratic behavior, she may finally be curious enough and ready to visit the scene of the crime(s). Interesting event – had a visit from Skip Roberts (Lexington, VA) and his very nice black lab, ‘Anna,’ 10/4 – was on his way back to Lexington from family visit in Norfolk. We were talking outside at a little gazebo at the apartment area where we live. A portly guy, also named George, came over – he was the first guy we had met when moving in. Introduced him to Skip and said Skip was on his way back to Lexington. George says, ‘Lexington? I went to school there. VMI, class of ’58!’ Skip said, ‘There aren’t many of us, but we’re everywhere.’ Indeed. Fun VMI stories ensued.” Ron Stultz (Fairfax, VA) provided a very brief family update when he wrote, “Grandson Reese Dalton Smith was born around 2:30 a.m., Thursday, 27 Aug. 2009 at Birthing Inn, Leesburg, VA, 7+ pounds. Zoe, Dan, Olivia and Reese doing well.” Ron did not report on his condition. From Honolulu, Dick Rankin (Honolulu, HI) sent the following, “I could not believe my eyes when I saw that picture of Col. Morrison ’39 in the last Alumni Review. I don’t know exactly why, but I just thought he was ‘not around’ anymore. In any case, I called his class agent, got his phone number and called him. We had a delightful conversation. I told him what I wanted to tell him for 40 years; he is ‘the guy who inspired me to major in economics.’”

In early September, Hal Hostetler (Portsmouth, VA) wrote, “Brenda and I will be traveling to Alabama for a special time together with over 100 former missionaries and their children, many of whom we served with through the years in the Bahamas, Trinidad, Panama, Guyana, Barbados and elsewhere.” Billy Seargeant (Fredericksburg, VA) sent along a nice note about Howard Donald’s (Richmond, VA) son, when he wrote, “I met Matt Donald ’97 at the Virginia Transportation and Construction Alliance (VTCA) conference last week. What a fine young man and very personable. It was a real pleasure to meet Matt and to find out he is our BR’s son.” Billy Branch passed away in September ’09, so I’ll include Tom Boyd’s remembrance as representative of several I received: “‘Twig’ was my roommate all the while he was with us at VMI, which was nearly two years. A great guy who loved VMI – he was thrilled to make rank as a third – and who was liked by all his BRs. I’ve had some contact with him by phone and e-mail over the years. He was in Richmond for a while and I believe graduated eventually from the Univ. of Richmond, and I regret that we were never able to connect personally again. He made Rat year tolerable, with a great sense of humor and an appreciation for the fraternity game that is the Ratline.” Jack Bareford (Swainsboro, GA) sent along the following, an excerpt from a much longer e-mail: “My oldest son, Jack Jr., is a store manager for Best Buy. He has moved up in the ranks with them and is well respected in the company for his knowledge. They tend to move him to stores that need to be straightened out. Not so good for the personal life but good for him in his business life. He is a very hard worker. Lee and Taylor, my middle and youngest sons, both have M.F.A.s in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Taylor is teaching full time for the Atlanta Art Institute. Lee is a store manager for Barnes and Noble in Baton Rouge (his wife is the store manager for the other store in Baton Rouge) and is in the same situation as Jack Jr. with them – well respected and consulted with constantly to help other stores. Lee also designs online courses and then teaches them for SCAD in Atlanta. So, at least they are utilizing their art degrees, which is hard to do nowadays.” The following e-mail from John Crim really made me laugh when I thought about John’s relationship with Lt. Gen. Shell ’31 after the third stoop sinks decorating contest: “We were invited to join Gen. Peay ’62 and Mrs. Peay for the Homecoming Parade, lunch in the supt’s quarters, and the Gardner Webb game. Unfortunately for me, the Boss (Cindy) was still in NC, but the parade was a parade, the luncheon was great and


CLASS NOTES the game, well, that could have turned out better, but there you are. I mentioned to Mrs. Peay that, having had previous invitations by a superintendent, this was the first one that involved food. I guess Shell was concerned about my not getting enough exercise, or maybe he thought I hadn’t seen nearly enough of the Barracks/Parade Ground view. I did see Dick Wise (Richmond, VA), George Walton (Richmond, VA), Howie Donald and one other BR, whose name escapes me, sitting together at the game. I spoke with Jim and Karen Burns (Dahlgren, VA) and Kerr and Suzie Kump’s (Elkins, WV) son. Returning home, I saw a black car with ‘68keydet’ license plates (which I think is BR Dave Gehr) pulling off the interstate to get gas, so they may also have been at the game.” Terry Emerson (Germany) sent along the following: “I met up with Zeno Henninger ’72 at a DoDEA Europe counselor/principal meeting at the International hotel in Frankfurt last month. We swapped a few VMI thoughts and had a photo taken. I am in my 37th year with DoDEA, all in Europe. The gates to the castle will be open for Bro Rats who come this way (Geilenkirchen, Germany). Go Big Red!” The Washington Post published an article on VMI in mid-October that caused Les Martin (Hanover, PA) to issue a big AMEN: “The slightest lapse can unleash a torrent of verbal abuse from an upper-class cadet. That is the VMI way.” The article also stimulated the following exchange. From Frank Pinizzotto (Newark, DE), “Can you imagine paying $35,000 a year out-of-state to go to VMI (now) … just to get your butt kicked? As crazy as I am, I would still do it.” To which he got the following reply, “My tuition was based on my foul shooting percentage. The way I figure it, I owe the Institute about $100,000. Steve (Why doesn’t Kemper (Richmond, VA) pass me the ball) Powers (Malvern, PA).” The article also stimulated Paul Quillen’s (Cartersville, GA) memory. He wrote, “I still laugh at Adm. Seay’s facial expression when I got up in the middle of class and told him I was going to see the superintendent, and he thought it was because he kept saying, ‘If you don’t like it, go see the superintendent.’ As I vaguely recall, that was in Dynamics class. The superintendent visit was actually for 10 6 and 30 for telling Bro Rat Billy Cobb (Pompano Beach, FL) to bite me in front of his company in a formation. Not too bright on my part. At least at the alumni meetings here, they honor all us four-year privates. I still can’t believe I went to VMI. I still can’t believe I actually graduated from VMI.” Ben Hedrick (Bethlehem, PA) chimed in with, “The complaint alleged ‘a climate and culture that is derogatory and discriminatory

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toward the women that are required as cadets to live in the Barracks.’ Really? But they were so nice to me.” Jim Burg (Prescott, AZ) sent along the following: “As an update, we are doing well and still love Prescott, AZ. It’s heaven on earth and just what the DR. ordered in 1993. I’m going on 16 years at the VA Hospital, helping others survive and excel in whatever life has thrown their way. I’ve been asked by the director to be a guest speaker to the staff on surviving impossible situations and yet still keeping a positive outlook on life. It’s a pleasure to be able to motivate others and help them overcome severe challenges in their life. I’m an overcomer and know no other way. VMI had a great deal with instilling this attitude. I may ache a lot but am more than a conqueror and will succeed. Wife Sharon left the real estate business as a highly successful agent in ’05. She saw the failure coming and wisely left for greener pastures, holding successful sales positions in a large variety of positions. My four children and six grandchildren all have their difficulties, but as diligent parents, we’re walking them through it with Tough Love and divinely inspired wisdom. … I’m working out, staying healthy and plan on living a long fulfilling life.” Talked with Jim Haney (Sun City Center, FL) in October who said that retirement is suiting him. He plays golf four times a week. In April ’09, he and Priscilla took a South Pacific cruise to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The 30-day cruise had port calls in Sidney, Melbourne, Tasmania, Auckland, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and Honolulu. Two years ago, he and Priscilla visited Scotland and Ireland and are now looking into trips to Northern Europe / Scandinavia. Their son, Ken, lives in Naples with his wife who is a lawyer and forensic anthropologist at Gulf Coast University. Their son, Ed, lives in northern New Jersey with their grandson, Preston. Had a long conversation with Fred King (Mount Vernon, AR) one evening. Fred and I go way back to Yorktown High School and maybe before that. Fred’s been retired from the V.A. since January 2002 and finds that the last eight years have really flown by. He and Gretchen are raising horses and riding motorcycles. In 2008, Gretchen went to Lake Region in Northern Italy for two weeks, then Egypt and Jordan for hiking vacations. This year, she’s planning to visit New Orleans, Dallas and Albuquerque. Fred reports he went to Chicago for Wales National Rugby team, then to Canton, OH, to the NFL Hall of Fame. Got a call from Wayne Burton (Saint Marys, GA) in late October. He said that he and Carole had gone to the Presbyterian game in Clinton, SC. He said that he and an alumnus from the 50s got

in front of the VMI crowd to lead some cheers. Also got an e-mail from Terry Bowers (Martinez, GA) after the game. Terry wrote, “Had a great day yesterday at Presbyterian College. My daughter, Laura, and I drove to Clinton, SC (practically in our back yard, only 90 minutes away), and got to witness the first road win in several years. Weather was perfect, maybe a little too warm. We dominated the game and should have won by a wider margin, but such is VMI football. Tom Williamson ’55 rode with us. He lives in Aiken, SC, and is in our Augusta Alumni Chapter. Had not had a chance to talk with him as much as we did yesterday. Saw a UVa sticker on his car which I asked about. He got his Ph.D. at UVa in nuclear engineering. Was a professor there for 30 years and was teaching there while we (Terry and I) were in school. Also got to talk with Donnie White ’65 a bit, as usual.” John Crim returned my voice mail a few days after I called him. We talked about a lot of things, none of which were notable. For those who haven’t looked at New Market using Google Maps, you ought to give it a try. John’s place is easy to find – the red (his garage’s roof is bright red!) white and yellow paint scheme on his property is very visible. John and Cindy have bought a condo on the beach in North Carolina, but he hasn’t petitioned the homeowner’s association for a red roof yet. We did make arrangements for Rosemary and me to have lunch with him on 11 Nov. ’09 when she and I were on our way to the Institute Society Dinner. John’s restaurant, the Johnny Appleseed in New Market, gives a free supper to all veterans on Veterans Day, so he had a big evening planned. Shortly before the Institute Society Dinner, I spoke with Skip Roberts, who had to be in Williamsburg, VA, for a conference (darn those continuing education requirements!). Skip confirmed that he had seen George Squires, Bill Besenfelder and Ron Cowardin who had taken the previously mentioned day-trip from Richmond to visit VMI and look at the fall colors. As to the Institute Society Dinner, I missed John Augustine (Arlington, VA) who was sitting up front with his parents, Col. John Augustine III ’40 and Mrs. Augustine. The rest of the VMI ’68 contingent was spread over two tables in the back of the new Marshall Leadership Center. In attendance were Bryan and Mary Ann Barton (Oakton, VA), Jim and Karen Burns, Dave and Martha Gibbons (Washington, DC), Walt and Suellen Jeffress (Fairfax, VA), Larry Ryan, John and Ann Timmons (Winston Salem, VA), and Chandler and Robbie Williams (Midlothian, VA). At the dinner, the peripatetic Larry Ryan says he’s moved again. Since I’ve been class agent, places that I can remember that Larry has lived are Kwajelein, Poker Flats, AK, Afghanistan,


CLASS NOTES Israel and, for the last year, Honduras. Now, he is in the most exotic of them all – Winchester, VA. It’s a little “mind altering” for me to see Tommy Slater ’66 introduced as the president of the VMI Board of Visitors – not because I doubt Tommy in any way. Rather, I remember holding the blocking dummy for him at football practice and him reaching around the bag and catching my foot so the bag and he could end up on top of me – or maybe it was an accident that happened regularly. Spoke with Dee Biggs (Acton, MA) one evening. He says he is thinking about retiring from Welch’s but not now. He and Linda recently visited their son, Casey, at the University of Rhode Island on Parents Weekend. In March 2009, Dee saw Bill Bouck (Cazenovia, NY) and Bill Cobb in Miami. Just before these notes were submitted, Rosemary and I saw VMI win the VMI-Army basketball game at Cameron Hall. The “Runnin Roos” really push it up and down the floor, as did the Army team, so there was a lot of scoring. Had a nice talk with Howard Donald who was up from Richmond for the game. I’ll close out with something I picked up at a class agent’s conference. In February 2010, the VMI Alumni Association and one of its business partners will begin updating alumni records to issue a new version of the Register of Former Cadets in November 2010. You’ll be asked to call an 800 number to update your information. If you are stubborn, eventually, someone will call you – but please don’t be stubborn. If you don’t get a postcard or e-mail, first, re-read the item about Ron Cowardin in these notes, then call VMI and make sure you are listed among the living. One more thing: In the past, VMI provided a bound copy to the alumni that support the VMI Alumni Association. This time, the data will be available online, or you can buy a softcopy or hardcopy as you see fit.


Walter Judd

Greetings, BRs and friends of the great class of 1969. Fall weather has arrived in eastern Virginia, and golf weather is getting harder and harder to find. In fact, the last three days have brought us a good old-fashioned nor’easter. Rain, wind and flooding also make it hard to play. Football games: Sept. 5, VMI 14-Robert Morris 13. Mav Long’s report: “Good attendance from ’69. Bunny Paulette, Tommy and Nancy Catlett, Weas and Ruth Chapman, T.B. Thompson, David and Susan Prugh, Ron and Betsy Wall, Marty and Cathy Parks, John


and Sallie Sebrell, and Peyton and Gail Brown were the folks that I saw and sat with.” Then, on 5 Oct: “Lost a heartbreaker Saturday. We were up 10 points going into the fourth quarter. Too many fumbles and turnovers. In attendance were Bush, Becker, Chapman, Hubard (had not seen Knox in 10 years, I bet), Long, Parks, Prugh, Sebrell and Wall. It was a beautiful day, and for a long time it appeared we were going to get our first win over Gardner Webb. I

Class of 1969: V.J. Petrella’s daughter and the fish that she and some friends caught in Alaska -- a 380-pound halibut.

thought it rather classy that after the game, they stayed on the field as a team for our Doxology.” Bob and Lush Heely and Bunny and Carolyn Paulette joined Beverly and me at the 11 Nov. Institute Society Dinner at the new Center for Leadership and Ethics (CLE) – see story below. As our class was among the first to use the fine facility for a big dinner, we knew our way around. I have to relate another story related to the new facility. After our reunion, Ron Wall sought hard to ensure each of our wait staff received a tip from the class. When our caterer (Aramark) asked what we should pay each person, Ron replied “$69 each.” Considering the time and money we spent at the dinner, we hoped that number would trigger good thoughts next time we come to town. Bunny Paulette got some great press in August in the Richmond newspapers. The article essentially was a summary of his business

endeavors and graciously omitted his ferocious golf matches with Ralph Costen ’70. Not sure if the story will remain on the site, but here is the shortcut that was posted soon after the article came out. Thanks to “Cousin Bruce” Gregory for alerting me to the story: http:// metrobusiness/article/COVR17_20090814212405/286100/. David Bush excelled this quarter as our new class “sports contact.” He got info from the Keydet Club and kept it moving to other interested persons. Tom Morris scored his first hole-in-one after years of pursuing such a highlight. He watched his tee shot at the Kingsmill Plantation Course fifth hole (about 140 yards) clear the sand trap, take one bounce and go into the hole. He assures me he bought the proper post-golf rounds and had a wonderful time with his group on the hole. A neighbor had to come out to hear what was causing all the yelling. Congratulations, Dr. Morris! Courtenay Welton also celebrated a momentous event. On 8 Aug. under a grape arbor in Sonoma, CA, Courtenay and Ellen were married. After dating for several years and traveling a bunch together, the two decided to make it formal. Court also acquired part ownership in a Norwich terrier named Sophia in the deal. Having met the aforementioned Sophia, I feel Courtney will likely be number two in priority in his new household. Friday, Oct. 30, was the great fall day for this year’s Two Bellies Invitational Golf Tournament at the Petersburg Country Club. There were two winning teams this year, so Glenn White, Larry Seekford, Bob Waldo, Weasel Chapman, Skinny Baker, Herb Braun ’70 and I split the pot. The “second flight” consisted of Tom Morris, Lee Barnes, Pat Branch, Dennis Witt, T.B. Thompson, Tom Catlett, Peyton Brown, Lee Mackey, Bob Flowers, Doug Marks and Dick Jeter. Four Good-to-Me’s fielded a team (John Kemper ’68, Howard Donald ’68, Bill “Groovy” Davis ’68, and Kevin Henry ’68, and Ned Caldwell joined the post-game party. David Reid: “Hey: Looking for some help on something else and thought you might be able to help. I was trying to find the stats for our class ’69 for baseball. I was going to bring them to our reunion, but the Institute only has ’68 and ’69, nothing on ’67. I have tried Coach and the sports info guy, but no one seems to have any ideas or help. Just thought I would throw it out there and see if you could help. I know Tommy Catlett and Randy Crocker do not have any records for ‘67; they do have ’68 and ’69 supplied by me at the reunion. I have a reason for trying to run this down which I will share later.”


CLASS NOTES WIP Priest wrote in Aug.: “After time to share costing info, we now a lot of anguish, I have decided we have a detailed record of what was need to cancel Bena Day this year. spent at our big reunion. When I have finally gotten scheduled to class leaders plan our 45th and have my right hip replaced on Aug. 50th Reunions, they can throw 31 which would be the day after in a cost of living adjustment Bena Day. I have a terrible case and come out quickly with an of arthritis that has pretty much estimate of both expected income ruined the joint.” Couple of weeks and expenses. Weasel Chapman, later. “According to the surgeon, regular class treasurer, relayed Class of 1969: At their 40th Reunion were, from left, everything went perfect. I now have that we now have over $12,000 in Lee Barnes, Frank Huger, John DuBose, Gary Moore and a new titanium ball and socket joint our class account. We also have a Steve Harrington, all chemistry majors while at VMI. in my right hip. I am up and getting balance of a little over $2,700 with around the house on a walker. EvThe VMI Alumni Association and erything is still pretty slow, though. can use that as seed money for our ant in the Coast Guard and is stationed in Still lots of stiffness and soreness but really next reunion. The money in our class account Alaska. Out at the end of the Aleutian Islands not bad, considering what they did. Physical is currently used to honor BRs with memorial on the island of Attu, she was doing some civil therapist comes to the house to work me out gifts to the Alumni Association when we hear of engineering stuff, when a couple of the guys with exercises to get everything working again. their deaths. At the rate we have been spending, with her went out and caught a 380-lb. halibut. Recovery is a slow frustrating process, because we should have just enough to honor all BRs in She sent a picture, so I thought I would forward I still think I can do lots of stuff, but reality that manner. it to you. Don’t know if this is newsworthy, soon sets in.” Then in Nov., WIP sent the folI sent John and Sallie Sebrell the following: but who knows? Some of our alumni may have lowing good news: “Things are going just fine. “Saw your [Sallie’s] picture in the Oct. ’09 Virbeen there.” I asked a couple of questions about It has been almost 11 weeks. I am back at work ginia magazine (big glossy volume) yesterday. the actual catch and retrieval and got this reply full time and getting around pretty well. No You were attending some conservation meeting. back: “I spoke to Sarah over the weekend. She pain, still some stiffness. Attached is photo of You were actively engaged in conversation.” said the guys went out in a 20-ft aluminum new me.” (Then came the image of a right hip She admitted she was the person in the photo outboard, in 70 feet of water, and used an entire with all the metal and bone showing clearly.) and was always engaged in conversation and salmon as bait. She was not sure of the line Joe Spicer: “Harriet and I continue to live conservation efforts at the state level. weight that the guys used, but they could not and work in northern VA. We celebrate 40 years Art Wilson passed on a short note saying all get the fish into the boat, so they towed it in.” of marriage on 12/21/09. I am in my 15th year was quiet on the Northern Neck (east of FredSounds like the “Old Man and the Sea.” of teaching Army JROTC at Hayfield Secondericksburg, VA) and that he was getting ready Charlie Bryan: Cammy and he were in Lexary School (Fairfax County Public Schools). I ington 31 Oct. for the football game, where they for a return trip (after 42 years!) to Argentina. continue to encourage cadets to consider VMI We all await more detail on the “why’s and met with Marty and Cathy Parks and Jim and in their college plans. Currently, there are three where’s” of that trip. Jacquie Hitchcock. “We’ve been meeting at a Hayfield cadets at VMI. As you know, I was not Paul Curs sent us a message in early Nov. game in the fall for the last three or four years.” able to make our 40th Reunion and therefore from far away: “I just wanted to send greetings Doug Marks is a blogger! Check it out: AWOL from most of the chem major converfrom a place I never thought I’d be ... Johannes“Okay, everyone ... I’ve completed the October sations. I did get together with Don Mercer, update to my Web site, Pop’s Shop. Take a look, burg, South Africa. We left Jeddah yesterday, Wayne Keesee and Bob Leibecke at VMI this the 8th. We flew S.W. over the Sudan, then if you’ve a mind to! Go to summer for a mini reunion of Room 111. We almost due south over the Congo. The whole Happy reading!” stayed in Moody Hall – an outstanding perk for As treasurer of our most recent reunion, I kept trip to S. Africa took a little over seven hours. alumni.” South of the Congo, we flew over Zimbabwe, records of all planned and used funds for the Vance Petrella: “My daughter is a lieutenand then descended into N.E. South Africa to April weekend. Since we determined ahead of a small airport near Nelsprait. [Let off passengers and then continued on further south.] The airport in Johannesburg was built into the hills. Very hilly here. It’s a beautiful country! After we deplaned and Class of 1969: Now and Then: Charlie Bryan, left, and Rich Schmidt holding a photo (right) of themselves as cadets.

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CLASS NOTES closed up the aircraft, we went to a hotel called than two months, Rich (and now John) faced later. (See photos.) Rich and Kathy Schmidt The Palazzo Monte Carlo, which looks like an a Number One. Rich [elected not to stay and] live in Cumming, GA, near Atlanta. Rich reold-world French hotel. Very ornate. They have transferred to Southern Illinois University, tired a couple of years ago after a long career a pond and waterfall with gold fish about 2 feet where he majored in hospital administraas a hospital administrator. [Hear that, Mr. long residing in the long pond.” Paul then gave tion.” Don’t you just love to hear these great Camp and Col. Power? Someone got to retire a quick account of the return trip and his fun at old tales and how guys overcame small (!) from the business!] Charlie and Rich shared dodging thunder storms near the equator. You problems? room 405 with Larry Brydon their first year know, he is not doing too badly for a “too old Charlie also passed on that Larry Brydon and had the pleasure of having both Randy to fly for the U.S. airlines” guy. We all should opened his new store (MacLaren Jewelry) in Blanks ’67 (now colonel, retired) and Denny have similar fun hobbies. Richmond in November. Good luck, Larry, with Long ’68 as squad leaders. Charlie related Wednesday night, 11 Nov., was the date for this new venture. Go see him, folks, in the Holy the story of how Rich left the “I” under honthe last dinner meeting of the VMI Institute orable (and even humorous, by today’s reflec- City. Society. Bob and Lush Heely and Bunny Mel Adams has revealed his artistic side. tions) conditions during the fall of our second and Carolyn Paulette joined Bev and me at Mostly he just encouraged his wife, Kathy, to class year. The story continues, “When we a table in the far back area of the do what she has been doing for new Center for Leadership and many years: paint! The first week Ethics (CLE), where we all met as in Nov. marked the start of an exa class last April for our Saturday hibition at a Lexington art studio night affair. Tom Slater ’66, as the of Kathy’s collection of both oils president of the VMI Board of Visiand watercolors. Studio Eleven is tors, was the featured speaker after on S. Jefferson and continued to the meal. The three couples sat near show Kathy’s works until the end other tables filled with grads from of January ’10. Kathy’s resume is neighboring classes and traded long and full of art creation and appropriate insults with those teaching. She earned her degree eternal “thirds” and “forever Rats” in art in college and continued near us. The CLE has begun to add to paint throughout Mel’s Army features not present when we came career and subsequent time in last spring. The Hall of Valor has Vermont. The work is mostly Class of 1969: Attending the Institute Society Dinner on moved from the VMI Museum and of natural settings and was split Nov. 11, 2009, were, above, from left, Walt Judd, Bunny is being installed along the upstairs between some terrific watercolors Paulette and Bob Heely. Below: Bob and Lush Heely with balcony areas. Small frames holdand some vivid oils. Good work, Bunny Paulette. ing the medals for bravery and valMel, in continuing to encourage or from many alumni are displayed Kathy to do what she obviously in chronological order. Small gold does very well. stars adorn those frames whose Quickies from the Annual hero died on the field of honor. Giving office: Expect some calls The displays ended that evening from current cadets, and expect with the class of ’67, so we will to see some neat new marketing be up there soon. It is no secret we materials. The calling cadets have several BRs who will be there may just want to thank you if with their vivid displays of valor. I you have provided a donation honor the memory of Geddes Mafor VMI or may want to ask cLaren and the never-say-die spirit you to consider making such of Joe Farrar, among many who a gift. Please give them a few will represent us on the wall. Back moments of your time, and tell to the occasion for the dinner for a them if it is not a good time to moment: The evening honors the talk. They work for the Alumni Institute Society’s members (799 Association and are well trained this past year) who donated 68% of money for the calling duties. Also, be advised that the reported back to VMI the fall of 1967, somegiven in the past year to the Foundation Fund. how Rich’s and John Sheely’s names were VMI Foundation has hired a new CEO. Brian I am sure our class had many who did not Crockett, recently of the West Point alumni left off the B Company roster. Seeing this make it out that rainy evening and hope we association and formerly a football player for as an opportunity to avoid some of the more have a bigger group to attend next year. Rutgers University, began his new duties this onerous aspects of life in the Corps such as Heard from Charlie Bryan who has been summer. He is bringing a fresh enthusiasm to parades, inspections, PE, haircuts, etc., Rich traveling as often as possible since retirethe job and is using a bunch of new marketing and John rode the gim for two months. This ment to visit old friends around the country. techniques. Look forward to seeing more mulwas fine, until Rich was overheard by Capt. Rich Schmidt and Charlie got together this timedia presentations via e-mail or on the Net. Dworsak saying some less than nice things to fall and enjoyed getting caught up. Charlie The Keydet Club’s 75th Anniversary membera group of visiting VPI cadets. Between his submitted pictures that show two youngsters ship drive was extended. Join today. inappropriate remarks to the Hokies, his long at VMI and then two spry adults 40 years Yours in the Spirit … Walt hair and absence from B Company for more





Bill O’Connor

Hello to all. Well, the football season ends next week, while the basketball season began last week. Expectations for a winning football season were high this year. However, it was not to be. The Keydets are 2-8 going into the last game. Although the improvement in the quality of our players and coaching is apparent, the illusive winning season is damning. In all but three games this season, VMI was either leading or driving for the lead in the last four minutes of the fourth quarter – FRUSTRATING. A high note of the season was the play against Army, where the game was decided on the next to last play in the forth quarter, with Army ultimately prevailing 22-17. Coach Woods has it going in the right direction – next year is ours! Congrats to Coach “Duggar” for the great opening win over Army (93-87) in Cameron Hall. The Keydet Roundballers are young but are fun to watch. Once again, I am happy to report that there is no bad news to report. Seems like the majority of us enjoyed various fall activities and were getting ready for the rapidly approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. In addition to the upcoming holidays is our pending 40th Reunion. I guess this can be considered

Class of 1970: Attending the Institute Society Dinner were, from left, Kent Schlussel and his wife, Judy; Bill Gearhart and his wife, Wysor; and Susan and Bob Copty. FIRST CALL to reunion, which is only five months away! Before I preview Reunion week, I would like to offer a big tip of the hat to Ned Haley for all that he is doing in contacting BRs who have not been heard from in a while or who have not attended reunion. He is doing a fabulous job. One idea that he initiated which is unique is trying to get BRs in touch with their former roommates. He has had some great success in doing this. If you would like to help Ned, please contact him at nedhaley@gmail. com. A good example of Ned’s work follows in the form of an e-mail he sent regarding a BR who transferred after our Rat year: “Bill: I

Class of 1970: Phil Anderson married Mary Carolyn Daniel on May 2, 2009, in Atlanta, Georgia. The wedding party included, from left, Maj.Gen. Tom Tait ’55, USA (Ret); Ella McAtee; Maj. Gen. Robert Griffin; Suzanne Kallenbach, Brig. Gen. Peter Madsen; the bride, Carolyn Anderson; Col. Dean Kershaw ’68, USA; the groom, Maj. Gen. Phil Anderson; Brig. Gen. Steve Hawkins; Anderson’s daughter, Sarah Petren; Capt. Paul Hawkins; Betsy McAtee; and Brig. Gen. Joe Schroedel.

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have been swapping e-mails with our BR Philip Brandt, who left after Rat year, transferring to UVa. I actually went to elementary school with Philip for several years before his family moved to a farm south of Staunton, VA. I next saw him as a Rat and on the football field, since he played Rat football. After that, I didn’t see or hear from him until earlier this week when he sent an e-mail out of the blue. Turns out he checked the VMI Web site about our class, saw the info about our upcoming reunion that included my name and e-mail address RE searching for ‘missing’ BRs and wrote me. I had previously found a possible address for him on the Internet, and that proved to be correct. He’s living in Jonesborough, TN, with his wife of 39 years, Marsha, on a 30-acre farm where they raise miniature horses. He commutes to his job with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Rockville, MD, via I-81, and always sees the info about how many miles it is to Lexington, which made him think that he would be celebrating his 40th Reunion with us this next year, had he stayed at VMI. I told him he could still celebrate with us; everyone who matriculated with us (except the six dismissed for honor violations) is our BR, whether they graduated or not. I’m hoping that sharing roommate info with each other will encourage many of those who didn’t graduate – and even some who did but who haven’t attended any of our previous reunions – to consider doing so next April. As Philip said, it’s amazing how many BRs he now remembers, just having thought this week about his one year with us. Anyway, Philip had a good suggestion for a ‘trivia’ question during the reunion: How many of us never attended an RDC ‘party’? He said he was one (even though he roomed immediately under the RDC room) and wondered if there were others. Perhaps we should consider having a trivia session as part of the reunion.” Again, Ned, thanks.


CLASS NOTES The Reunion Committee is hard at work plancommon school at Fort Gordon, GA. Congrats see the job is going to be much more interesting ning what we hope will be a very full and fun to Tyler – please give him our best, and thank than my previous job as deputy director of Proweekend. You all have heard from Carole Green him for his service. grams for the Gulf Region Division. The basic by now, regarding room reservations. Our Glenn Kuntz continues to serve. Followrelationship here is that the Corps of Engineers headquarters will be the Holiday Inn Express ing is a recent e-mail received from Glenn in is managing construction funded by ITAO. The and the Best Western. Please make sure you get Baghdad: “Hi, Bill, and gang: As you know, I embassy complex is very modern and not very your reservations in early, as we expect a large arrived in Baghdad in early May and worked military. Yes, this is the extravagantly expensive turnout. Given the trying economic times, we for the Corps of Engineers in the International embassy complex you have read about in the are trying to keep reunion costs to an acceptable Zone (IZ) in downtown Baghdad. In August, newspapers. So, my life is now much more level. The room prices are set (which includes I moved with the Corps of Engineers’ Gulf civilized and more like “normal” life than a discount), and we are watching activity exRegion HQ to Victory Base on the outskirts of when I lived on the military bases … at least as penses. A detailed itinerary will go normal as it can be, living in the out in January along with estimated capital of Iraq. First, I no longer expenses. I think everyone will live in a metal container. Like enjoy the weekend. Now, on with you, I have no experience living the news: in a regular college dormitory, Couple of new grandbabies to but I understand my quarters are report. Tom and Jill Cooke were like a modern college dormitory. pleased to welcome their third I share a two-bedroom suite with grandchild (and first grandson), another guy. We each have our own Cyrus Sherwood, into the Cooke bedroom with a TV and a regular family. Cyrus is the son of Brad full-size bed. My bedroom is about and Shana Cooke ’98 of Steamboat 15 feet by 18 feet. We share a small Springs, CO. Jim and Judy Mawkitchen and a bathroom, so I don’t yer announced the birth of their have to walk outside 35 yards to first grandchild, Jane Mae Mawyer, the bathroom, as I did at Victory daughter of Taylor and Laura Base. When you first walk into Mawyer ’00 of Richmond. Conthe suite, there is a foyer with a grats to the Cookes and Mawyers! table and two chairs. I suppose if Herb and Susan Braun traveled one were inclined to cook, that is to San Diego to visit their son, where one would eat ... but I’m not Christian, and future daughter-incooking ... we have an excellent law, Nicole, who announced their dining facility in the embassy engagement. Christian and Nicole compound. It is nice to be in a have set their wedding date for regular building with no dust. The next October. And speaking of office buildings and dormitories on weddings, Phil Anderson tied the the embassy compound are built to knot with Mary Carolyn Daniel on American standards. For example, May 2nd. Attending from ’70 were the toilet seats match the toilets ... Class of 1970: David Schmidt’s son, Tyler, graduated Cliff Brooks, Roland Vaughan and unlike every place else I’ve been from boot camp on Sept. 18, 2009, at Fort Jackson, South Ed Trinkle. Phil indicated that ’70 in Iraq. The embassy compound Carolina. Tyler is going to AIT for communications at Fort behaved themselves, and a good also has two gyms, an indoor pool Gordon, Georgia. Above, the Schmidt family, from left, Datime was had by all. He is looking and tennis courts. I’ll have to find vid; Jessica and Tyler with their son, Travis; and Linda. forward to introducing Mary Carosome tennis partners. I saw a guy lyn at reunion. Congrats and best of in the dining facility a few times, luck to both of you, Phil. Baghdad. Now, the Gulf Region HQ disbanded and I thought I knew him from somewhere, but Received a nice update from Tom Norris. in October, as part of the drawdown of U.S. I couldn’t remember where. One day, he walked Tom lives in Montgomery, AL, and works for troops in Iraq, so I have been reassigned for the past me as I was eating, and we each said hello. Morgan Stanley. He has not been back to the remainder of my tour. I moved over to the U.S. After he was gone, I was wracking my brain Institute since our 10th Reunion but is looking Embassy (back in the IZ) to be the Corps of trying to think how I knew him, and suddenly forward to coming up to the 40th with Roland Engineers’ liaison officer to the Iraq Transition it dawned on me – “Hey, that’s John FlemVaughan. Tom sent in a picture of himself, Assistance Office (ITAO). This office provides ming.” So, the next time I saw him, I went over Scott Kinsey and Skip Whitenack after Skip technical, reconstruction, policy and regulatory and introduced myself, and sure enough, it is was given an extended vacation by Gen. Shell. advice to the Iraqi ministries of water, housing, John Flemming. John is working in Plans here. Tom indicated that Scott is planning on attendconstruction, electricity and public works to Don’t ask me what he’s planning. John is on a ing the reunion, as well. Thanks, Tom – looking restore essential services to Iraq. Since 2003, six-month tour, and he goes home in December. forward to seeing part of the Alabama continITAO has spent roughly $21 billion in U.S. I don’t go home until April. Hope to see you gent at reunion. funds appropriated specifically for the reconall then. I suppose a lot of you are in Lexington Brother Dave Schmidt checked in with struction of Iraq’s infrastructure. Don’t ask me for the Institute Society Dinner tonight. Happy news that son Tyler finished boot camp at Fort how much of that amount has been wasted or Founders Day.” Thanks, Glenn – hope you are Jackson on Sept. 18th and is heading to AIT stolen, but after one month working there, I can back in time for reunion. Stay safe.



CLASS NOTES Carl Strock sent in a short e-mail saying that he and Julie are planning on attending reunion and can’t think of a better reason to come home than to spend time with BRs and get caught up with everyone. Carl is with Bechtel Corp. in their London office. Kent Schlussel reported in regarding the Institute Society Dinner which was attended by Kent and Judy, Bill and Wysor Gearhart, and Bob and Susan Copty. He said the function was held at the new Leadership and Ethics Center and was very impressed with the facility. The GOMBACS had their annual fall gettogether at Charlie Walkers’ Outer Banks home in October. Attending were: Tom Cooke, Herb Braun, Jim Mawyer, John Bailey, Stix Chandler, Warren Grasty and host Charlie Walker. As usual a good time was had by all. Last month, Neil Steverson invited me to attend a talk by Ralph Costen at a local Richmond Baptist Church. Ralph’s remarks about his return to religion after his heart attack were truly inspirational and moving. However, after he finished, I looked around at some of the attendees and thought,“Let’s see – Neil Steverson, Ralph Costen, Jim Westbrook ’71 and yours truly – is this not akin to putting Jessie James in the vault of the Federal Reserve Bank!” Seriously, Ralph spoke from the heart. That’s about it, folks. Please keep the notes and e-mails coming. Also, if you have any pictures from our time at the Institute, please forward a copy to me. We are trying to put together a 1966-1970 memories CD for reunion. You all take care, watch for reunion info and enjoy the holidays. Rah Va Mil ’70


James Kelly

These notes will cover the period between 16 Aug. 2009 and 15 Nov. 2009. A late season hurricane rainfall is in the process of drenching Pulaski today, but make no mistake: it is indeed November. Seems like it gets dark at noon, and there is not much going on, as we all switch out of summer mode and start gearing up for the holidays. Tomorrow (11 Nov.) is Founders Day at VMI, as well as Veterans Day. It is a great opportunity to fly all of our colors and celebrate the proud traditions and accomplishments of our alma mater and our armed forces. Football season brought out several of the ’71 faithful at various times and places. Our season was of the “up and down” variety, but there were a few bright spots, and our team worked hard, in spite of being out-gunned and

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out-manned at times. The Big Red opened in Lexington with a win against Robert Morris. On hand for the hot opening day were Gault, Bryan , Strickler, Kirby, Honeywell, Kennedy, Littleton, Mikula and Golden. Mouse and Dave took part in the annual motorcycle “Ride to the I.” Kathryn and I were in Harrisonburg the following weekend for the JMU game and a chance to tailgate with Chuck and Veronica (JMU alums) and our grandchildren, Lauren (’26) and Ryan (’27). Cadets representing ROTC elements of each school marched from Lexington to Harrisonburg with the game ball, in recognition of our men and women in service. The Keydets got off to a good start, but the Dukes were too much for us. We saw Ken Coleman, but we missed Lanny and T.S. Gault who made the trip as well. A great crowd of VMI fans was on hand for the game in Richmond against the Spiders. The Keydet Club sponsored a pre-game barbeque and oyster tailgate that was very well attended. Kathryn and I saw Tom Martenstein, Buddy Bryan, Lanny Gault, Gerry Acuff, Mike Strickland and Ken Yorgey. The Keydets gave the number one ranked Spiders all they could handle in a very good ball game. A mini reunion for the class of ’71 was held on 31 Oct. at the Charleston Southern game. Thanks to Buddy and Lanny, we had a catered tailgate and bargain tickets to the game. The weather was close to perfect, with sunshine and a temperature of 71 degrees (honest). The game wasn’t ugly, but we still came out on the short side of 31-21. Here’s a list of the ones that I can account for (many with significant others): Bryan, Gault, Ellington, Dudley, Golden, Hanke, Haywood, Kennedy, Kerley, Kirby, Lindsey, Littleton, Lockridge, Meng, Metzger, Mikula, Paton, Randolph, Rose, Rush, Schrader, Wachtmeister, Wall, Willis, Wright, Yorgey, Strickler, Dunlap, Rogers, Guffey and Grant. It was great to have so many people able to make it for the weekend. It’s possible that we could shoot for an annual event such as this in “off” years for reunions in the fall. Last minute information before my deadline … the VMI basketball team opened its season with a big win over Army, and on Saturday, 14 Nov. (in a West Point downpour) our football team came oh-so-close to beating the Black Knights of the Hudson. Kathryn and I attended a birthday dinner for her boss earlier this fall, where Buzz and Jan Booker were among the guests. Pulaski Furniture Corporation has left our area, and Buzz is semi-retired, while considering other ways to spend his time. Jan is teaching in the public schools in Pulaski. Son Armistead is in New York City with the Museum of Natural History,

while David is a U.S. Army captain and Blackhawk pilot currently deployed to Iraq. Wayne and Nancy Hepler are now in Suwanee, GA (outside of Atlanta), and working at Collins Hill High School, where Nancy teaches math and Wayne is a guidance counselor and varsity football coach. Wayne reported that football in Georgia is pretty serious business and requires a great deal of his time during the year. One of his former players (Josh Sneed ’12) is currently playing for VMI. You can catch a glimpse of Wayne (still looking buff) on the high school’s web site. Wayne thinks he will retire (again) next year and spend more time enjoying life with the grandchildren The October edition of SpinSheet, a Chesapeake Bay area magazine ( features an article by Tom Hall detailing his many years of restoring his boat (also his home). Tom has recently bought a new retirement home/boat which is a 1974 Trojan 44 motor yacht. He donated his old home/boat to Planet Hope, a charity organization which teaches inner-city youth how to sail. Tom told me he had run into Ed Frothingham in Deale, MD. Tom is working with the Maryland Department of Labor, helping inner city youth to find employment and says that he has a somewhat “normal” life for a change. Brian Crockett, the new CEO of the VMI Foundation, met with class agents on 12 Nov. He emphasized the fact that VMI will continue to rely heavily on private donations in the foreseeable future. State funding is not likely to improve any time soon. Bottom line is that every gift regardless of the amount is vital to the continued success of VMI. So, if you are like me (without big bucks), we need to realize that anything we can contribute is appreciated and will be utilized with the utmost of care and responsible management. That will about do it for now. Let me hear from you, and if you have e-mail, let’s get you on the list for up-to-the-minute updates and chats. I hope that each of you had a wonderful Holiday Season and that 2010 is off to a great start. Thanks again for all of your support of VMI and ’71. God bless our team and VMI … Jim


Larry Houseworth

Brother infidels, friends and followers: These notes cover mid-August through the week before Thanksgiving. Another spectacular fall gracefully fades as we hunker down for what Farmers’ Almanac says will be a merciful winter – except for you MiddleAmericans. You’ll receive these notes in


CLASS NOTES the middle of February … the homestretch to spring … To business – I hope each of you have seen Gen. Peay’s ’62 presentation at http://www. In spite of a “perfect storm”’ of reduced state funding, spiraling energy costs, unfunded mandates, and increasing pressures on tuition and fees, VMI continues to climb in national prestige and rankings. The PR mavens state clearly – “VMI has graduated 265 general and flag Officers, including the first five-star general of the Army, George C. Marshall, class of 1901, and nine four-star generals. Seven VMI graduates are Medal of Honor recipients. Eleven VMI graduates have been Rhodes Scholars. (Your scribe’s addendum – George C. Marshall is the only military officer to win the Nobel Peace Prize.) In 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked VMI third out of 27 top liberal arts colleges in the United States. VMI’s civil engineering program ranked seventh, its mechanical engineering program 14th and its overall engineering program 21st out of 105.” Alumni support accounts for almost 30% of VMI’s operating costs – and the class of 1972’s contribution continues to rise in meeting that challenge. Twenty-two donors contributed $16, 241 for the quarter ending 29 Oct. 2009. That is not insignificant – particularly in these tough economic times. But 22 donors are less than 9% of us – remember, friends, it’s not how much you give; it’s that you give. Any amount, any time, in any fashion is deeply appreciated and is vital to the Institute’s future – thank you so very much for your consideration. News from you troopers is sparse this quarter. Highlights: John Freiermuth – John’s still teaching at Tarpon Springs High School (and loving it, in spite of “creeping correctness”). He’s now seeing children of former students and even some from his teaching days in NY. He and Kay are a source of joy and amusement for the grandchildren. Their kids are all doing extremely well, with son Jay now the SE regional sales manager for a major orthopedic hardware supplier with a gorgeous home in the hills outside Chattanooga. Leo Szydlowski (a bluegrass jukebox hero) - “Bluegrass Unlimited,” says Leo’s band “... ‘Some Assembly Required’ is a quartet from Richmond, VA, with a unique approach to bluegrass music. This 11-song project is a blending of familiar numbers, such as ‘Red Clay Halo’ and ‘Wrong Road Again,’ along with original pieces composed by band member Leo Szydlowski. The band’s performances are flawless, as demonstrated on ‘Just Like Candy,’ Hank Williams’ ‘There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight,’ and Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Go My Way.’… to listen to this CD, there are no tools necessary – maybe some duct tape, a little WD-40 and


SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED … Leo Szydlowski, Chesterfield, VA, won the Song Writer’s competition at the Dream Acre’s Music Festival in October 2008. The winning song, ‘Just Like Candy,’ is a true story about his first tobacco chewing experience with his grandfather and is included on the CD. Leo plays guitar, mandolin and sings lead and harmony.” Chris Gowen, station manager of Bluegrass WSVS AM 800 in Crewe, VA, says, “From the first moment I heard ‘Some Assembly Required,’ I felt they produced a heartfelt, vibrant and fresh approach to the music. With respect for tradition and an eye on the future, it truly makes for great results every time, every listen. You will always hear something new and different with every performance, guaranteed.” Check out the Web site - I guarantee you will be blown away, BRs. Buzz Chacey – “… an update on myself – As I mentioned earlier, I retired with 36 years in civil service. I started in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) intern program at Southern Division in 1977 after graduate school. I worked there for almost 10 years before starting with the Department of Energy in 1984, where I was a project engineer on the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), which makes glass logs out of high-level radioactive waste. I moved to DC and worked in various jobs, was selected into the SES in 1991, moved back to Aiken in 2007 and retired in 2009. My most memorable jobs were being part of the first RCRA permit submitted to EPA in 1978, helping to select the waste-form matrix for the DWPF, part of the team that was responsible for returning highly enriched uranium from countries that we didn’t want to have it, shutting down the last three plutonium production reactors in Russia and getting approval to start the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility at Savannah River Site. (This facility takes weapons-grade plutonium and makes mixed oxide fuel to burn in commercial reactors.) I had a lot of great projects and met some wonderful people along the way. I also stayed in the Navy Reserves and retired with 30 years of service. I am now working for Ameresco, a company that specializes in energy-saving construction projects, and am building the replacement boiler at Savannah River Site. I had a chance to talk to my friend and roommate, Jim Yolda, a couple of months ago. It was really great talking to him and catching up on our families. We tried a three-way call several months ago with Doug Davenport, but everyone was so busy that we missed each other. The great thing is that we tried. VMI friends are special.” Well stated, sir. One question, Buzz - ?? Glass logs … ?? Bill Mundie – “All is well with the clan. Life moves on. My youngest brother lost his

beautiful wife to ovarian cancer after a valiant two-year fight. He’s just now coming out of his cocoon and facing life again. My other brother survived colo-rectal cancer – surgery, chemo and radiation. He was really messed up for a while. They had to fix a few radiation-scarring problems that were hindering his recovery, but now he’s back to work and doing well. My mom had a breast cancer lumpectomy just last month. She’s in her 80s and getting daily radiation treatments for the next two weeks. She’s doing great. My daughter-in-law just got a clean bill of health after a year-long bout with thyroid cancer. She and Ryan are going to get back into the baby-making business starting in December. So, we’ve had a tragedy and a few close calls to just remind us that life is fragile, and you never know when your number is up. We’re all hoping that this ends the usual grouping of bad things that happen. We’re still very blessed – the entire family is very close and supportive. My eldest three kids (Bill, Ryan and Meghann) are married, have good jobs, homes and kids of their own. I’m a happy grandpa of their six kids. Jack is a happy bachelor with a good IT job and an apartment. Mac is an Army infantry first lieutenant with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Irwin. He’s part of the OPFOR for the National Training Center. Tom and Peter are still at home. Tom is somewhere between his freshman and sophomore years at the local community college. He still plans to transfer to Benedictine College next fall and is joining the Benedictine Order and their monastery there as soon as he can. Pete is in his senior year of high school. Kathleen is already deep into providing day care for three of our grandkids, so she has a built in defense against the empty-nest syndrome. I’m still spending and saving for the last two kids’ trip to college. I’m hoping to be able to retire-retire in another 6-8 years.” You Mundies are a resilient and inspiring throng, BR. Mike (Moon) Mullen – Just before press time, roomie Moon and Michele welcomed grandchild number one, Ethan Michael Mullen – one good lookin’ little cuss. Grandpa and “Mimi” will be racking up air miles between Manassas and San Antonio for quite a while. Mike Kennedy - Mike is with SAIC as a senior analyst in the Doctrine and Education Group, Joint Warfighting Center Support Team, U.S. Joint Forces Command. He wrote, sharing news and photos of his and Libby’s trip to Alaska with Bob and Grace Bailey. “In August/September 2009, [we] returned to Alaska. A previous trip only touched the tip of the iceberg! This time Room 153 and spouses (former VMI steadies) took their time and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, wildlife and fishing. Of course, when traveling and wearing


CLASS NOTES something that broadcasts VMI you are bound to find Alumni or Institute family. At the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and of all places the Lodge’s ‘Main Sinks,’ [we] ran into Carter Melton ’67. Later, at the Mount McKinley Princess Lodge, Bob ran into Don Foster, brother of Wes Foster ’56 (Foster Stadium). By the way, the Baileys and Kennedys caught their limit of halibut.” Life is indeed good for the 153-er’s. That’s it for now, compadres – be safe, civil and there for each other and the ones you love. Honored to be your scribe … Rah Virginia Mil! -Larry


Mike Kelly

the “Lost BR” award for this issue. It was great seeing him and his wife at the dinner. They live on an airport runway in the Houston area and have worked on, restored and flown a variety of vintage aircraft over the years, to include being in air shows. Blake is now a pilot with Southwest Airlines, so keep an eye out for him next time you’re checking your bags for free! R.B. and Becky continue to stay busy with National Guard work; they were, in fact, leaving Lexington that night for a meeting Bob had in D.C. the next morning. John and Carol live in Woodbridge, VA, where John works for an international company and supervises teams that are spread across the globe. G.G. and Ann live in Waverly, VA, and are doing well. Rich and Jenny are still in Memphis, and he stays busy flying all over the world for FedEx. Scott Lingamfelter also lives in Woodbridge, VA, but spends a lot of time in Richmond. Scott sent me a note to say he was re-elected this month to the Virginia Legislature for a fifth term and said to thank all of his supporters, especially the BRs that were instrumental in helping him to win unopposed. The commonwealth also elected a new governor, and Scott is very excited about working with Bob McDonnell as he becomes the head of state. Scott said Shelly was doing well and still teaching kindergarten in Prince William County. Their son, Paul, class ’12, is a corporal in G-Company and is wearing academic stars. (Scott said he didn’t remember wearing those himself … neither did I!) Their other son, John ’08, is a second lieutenant at Minot AFB in North Dakota. I reported sometime back that Ray Burton had moved to Chattanooga. However, the employment picture in Tennessee isn’t doing well, so he and Debra plan to move to his old house in Richmond. Ray has had some interviews, but to date, he does not have a new position in the Richmond area. You all will be in our thoughts

and prayers, Ray, and we wish you a lot of luck in your search. Ray also has been busy in the Chattanooga area working with the Alumni Office and trying to create an alumni chapter for the Chattanooga, TN and Huntsville, AL, metro area. The new chapter will be named after Garnett Andrews, who was a Chattanooga native. Had a report from Dave Northcraft who continues to hold the ground as the sole ’73 guard in the Kansas City area. Maybe we should all go visit Dave and Susan and enjoy some KC steaks!!! They did some traveling and visiting on their own this summer, spending time in Sarasota, FL, and then Tallahassee with M.B. and Mary Adelson. They continued to Maryland to visit with Dave’s parents, swinging through Lexington and then stopped over in Memphis to visit with Rich and Jenny Lykins. Dave told me that M.B. was back in school as a LLM student in Florida State University’s law school and actually is the only student so far in the class. Dave also continues to recruit in the KC area and proudly said their first cadet, Smantha Conde, is at VMI this year. She is a cross country runner and desires to be a military police officer and eventually a doctor. Keep up the good work, Dave. Don Reisch is also involved with recruiting in the Nashville area and has been working with the Nashville Chapter. The most recent recruiting session he attended was the second largest in the country thus far this year! Fort Campbell is close by, and he thinks that is a good recruiting base. Don also indicated that he passed his 36-year service mark with DuPont and has declared himself at that fully “pension eligible” age. We are all getting there fast, aren’t we? We missed the Richmond game this year, because we had committed to go to Appalachian, but I know a lot of folks went. We gave Richmond one of their toughest games this

Well, I hope all of you are doing well! As I write these notes, the VMI Founders Day has just passed, and when you read them, Christmas and New Year’s will have come and gone. We probably will be in the middle of winter and longing for spring and New Market Day. And I hope all of you had a great holiday season and a happy New Year! Pat and I just returned from a vacation out west. We went to Las Vegas to visit with my son and his family, then went to Death Valley and Yosemite. Both are unique, but Yosemite is really a pretty place! We went back to Las Vegas to spend Halloween with the grandkids and headed home the first of the month. Last weekend, we went to Boone to watch the Appalachian State University football game. My son, Derek, is a senior at ASU, and we really had a good time tailgating and going to the game. This past week, Pat and I went to Lexington for Founders Day and the Institute Society Dinner, and we had a class agents meeting the next day. While the weather was cold and rainy, the dinner was very nice and the meeting quite informative. The parade was cancelled, and the big guns remained silent for the day. At the Institute Society Dinner, we were joined by Maj. Gen. R.B. Newman and his wife, Becky; Rich and Jenny Lykins; G.G. and Ann Gray; Blake and Sandy Thomas; and John and Carol Leon. We had a wonderful evening, and it was great catching up on some past “war stories.” This old Army guy was somewhat overClass of 1973: Members of the class attending the Institute Society Dinner on Nov. 11, whelmed by all the Zoomies at the 2009, were, from left, John Leon; Rich Lykins; Carol Leon; G.G. Gray; Jenny Lykins; table, but the fly boys were doing well Sandy Thomas; Blake Thomas; Ann Gray, Col. Mike Kelly, USA, and his wife, Pat; and and enjoying themselves. Becky and Maj. Gen. R.B. Newman, USAF. I will have to give Blake Thomas

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CLASS NOTES year. Needless to say, there were a lot of fans in Boone pulling for VMI that day, since Richmond knocked out ASU in the semi-final game for the national championship in 2008. Michael Smith sent me a note to say that he saw a lot of guys there: Danny Williamson (whose son is a Rat!), Tom Napier, Darrel Rickmond, G.G. Gray, Yerry Kenneally, Jim Chalkley, Bill Stephens, Stu Seaton, Tim Gundlach (who was doing well with his new hip), R.B. Newman, Scott Lingamfelter, Mark Weiss and Rich Lykins. Man, we could have had a party!! Won’t miss that again. I know I expressed thanks to Bill Stephens for the great job he did as president of the Keydet Club. After my meeting last week, I wanted to share with you the fact that in the 75th Anniversary Challenge led by Bill, the Keydet Club exceeded its goals with more than 3,100 donors so far, of which 1,925 are new donors, and some of them are in our class! Thanks, Bill, and thanks to all of you for your support. Several of you occasionally send notes just to say “Hi.” They are much appreciated. I recently received such notes from Larry Cerruti, Dave Schwab and Mike Burke. In his note, Chad Brown said he continues to enjoy being back in Staunton and teaching at Grace Christian School. He recently started a new “hobby” or “job” teaching swimming lessons at the YMCA. He said it is really fun and rewarding. Mike Burke sent a follow-up note to me saying that he represented VMI at a couple of local college fairs in Missouri and Illinois. He handles one end of the state and Dave Northcraft the other end. Mike and Mary visited Lexington in September and attended the annual Spilman Symposium, which is an invitation-only conference on teaching writing in college and is sponsored by the English Department. It was held in the new Center for Leadership and Ethics, Marshall Hall, and Mike commented about how nice the facility is. The Institute Society Dinner was held there, as well. This facility is a wonderful addition to the VMI campus. Mike also attended one of Bill Badgett’s art classes while at VMI, and they had dinner with his dyke, Rick Tufaro ’76, whom he had not seen since graduation. Rick is a teacher at Bath County High School. Tom Clark told me that Bonnie’s father died in July, so they have spent a lot of their year with parents. Their mothers are now in retirement homes, so much of their travel has been back and forth to Albuquerque and South Dakota. They were able to take a vacation in August to St. Maarten in the Dutch Caribbean with a couple of other retired Army couples and said they had a great time relaxing. Bonnie continues to work at Colorado College, and Tom said one of their daughters recently started a


new job with T. Rowe Price. Colorado Springs is on my list of places to visit, Tom, so keep that spare room open. We actually flew over Colorado Springs on our way back from Las Vegas, and it appeared to have right much snow! In my last notes, I said Roland Tiso was in Islamabad and was planning to be home for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be likely now. Roland’s replacement has not been issued a Visa by the Pakistani government, so Roland has been extended indefinitely. Needless to say, he was not very happy about that, but he does enjoy being around and working with soldiers, regardless of the capacity. He said Judie and the girls were doing fine, but he was disappointed that he would miss their 26th wedding anniversary! We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers, Ro, and hope you get home safe very soon. Roland wished happy birthday to Ed Hall on the 234th birthday of the Marine Corps! Ed sent out an invitation to the birthday bash at his home which was held last weekend. Unfortunately, we could not attend, but I’m sure they had a great crowd. I haven’t gotten the report yet, nor have I seen the pictures but promise to share with you later on. I do know that Matt and Beth Tignor planned to go, and I hope everyone had a wonderful time. Also in my past notes, I’ve talked about Randy Marshall who lives in the Fayetteville area and is working with Hensel Phelps Construction Company at Fort Bragg. HP is building the new FORSCOM/USARC headquarters building on post. My son, Derek, had a summer internship there, and HP offered him employment after his graduation next spring, so that is certainly great news! He had an opportunity to work with Randy some and certainly learned a lot from him and the other folks there. Randy said that the company is always looking for a few good folks and may start doing some recruiting at VMI. At the class agents meeting, we heard from the new chief executive officer of the VMI Foundation, Inc., Brian Crockett. The news continues to be somewhat bleak on the financial side of things, as the state has not been in a position to improve funding for VMI and other institutions. The total budget only receives about 20 percent of its revenue from the commonwealth. The rest comes from endowments and private funding. Brian really emphasized the importance of VMI alumni and their giving. Without it, we would certainly be hurting. As he said, it is very important to remember that every dollar counts, and it all adds up! The future of VMI continues to look very bright, however. This year’s Rat class matriculated 490 new cadets. They anticipate adding 475 next year. I think the Corps is stronger today than ever before. When you’re there and talking

to cadets, you sense and feel the excitement and spirit of the Corps. The new chief of staff, Col. Jeffrey H. Curtis ’79, stated that it is amazing to see how today’s cadet adapts to and becomes a part of the VMI program. He noted that when he was a cadet, as with many of us, he returned from leave during the last couple of hours of our furlough; today’s cadets come back early, sometimes a couple of days, ready to go! As I’ve stated in the past, if you haven’t been to VMI lately, you must go. It is absolutely amazing. Well, you’ll get these notes in February or March. It may still be cold and snowy in a lot of places, but spring is around the corner! Hope everyone has a great winter and spring. Keep those cards and letters coming! Take care, and be safe out there!


Snookie Parker

Greetings to all: I am writing this edition of notes not long after VMI’s basketball win and close football loss to West Point. All things considered, a pretty good weekend. For those of you that missed the reunion, you missed a good one. We had 102 BRs make an appearance during the weekend. Several BRs sent wonderful comments on the reunion, including Tom Mascot, Mike Ernzen and Dr. Ed Blake. I’m including Rich Forbes’ comments in my notes. Those on our class e-mail roster have already read Rich Forbes’ reflection on the reunion weekend. However, it is worth repeating, especially for those BRs who have not seen it. Rich has a gift when it comes to the pen. I have included it in its entirety: “Dear Brother Rats: It is 8:00 in the morning on a gorgeous Labor Day in Nashville, TN. Having driven most of the day yesterday, returning from Lexington, I was provided with much time to ponder the events of our Reunion Weekend, complete with wonderful times of fellowship, remembrance and renewal. I think I speak for all when I thank Snookie Parker, Donnie Ross, Charley Banning and the others who made this possible. The memories of our weekend flooded me as I drove down I-81 towards I-40 and home. As long as the drive seemed to me, I thought about the trip ahead of Russ Takata and his wife, Cheryl … Hawaii is a fer piece (that’s Tennessean for – long way)! As I drove, I thought of our class. We are so diverse in our makeup and yet so closely bound by our experience that it brings tears to the eyes. At a spiritual level, we have such BRs as Wilson Johnson and his wife who are Baptist missionaries and Mark Levine who is a rabbi. We are employed in a myriad


Row 1: Ed Blake, Henry Moncure, Von Bashay, Pat Flynn, Tommy Anderson, Mike Cole, Terrell Williams, Chip Beaman, Tom Dick, Snookie Parker, John Pate, Joe McCoskrie, Bailey Hurley, Bill Haught and Judge Nottingham. Row 2: Bill Candler, Bruce Pence, John R. Davis, Kevin Nettrour, David Sheppard, Mike Andriani, Richard Forbes, Gus Elliott, R.C. Thompson, Thomas Walton, Steven T. LaHowchic, Rob Fulks, Allyn Aksomitas and Charles Tyler. Row 3: Thomas Puskas, Donald Cumberland, John Hunter, Brad Hunter, Chuck Ward, Jim Cottrell, Bill Minor, Scott Fraser, Mike Ernzen, M.J. Dugan, John Smithey, John Crawley, Hall Brodie, Donnie Ross and Rick Kastelberg. Row 4: Clyde Richardson, Alan Vicory, Chuck Cayton, Lane Toomey, Russ Takata and Steve Ham. Row 5: Bob Trost, Kent Wheeless, Charlie Toler, Ron Stelmasczyk, Bill Pennypacker, Jim Wood, Sam Mattocks, O.C. King, Mark Prentice, Mark Levine, Charley Banning, Mel Clark, Bruce Jones and Jon Mounts. Row 6: John White, Cliff Biram, John Valenstein, Bob Johnson, Steven Hearne, Wilson Johnson, Donald Whitten, Eicke Mushall, Rick Hess, Alan Beaty, Mike Morrissett and T.J. Wilson. Row 7: Herbie Harlow, Tom Parker, Arnie Leonard, Rick Donahue, John McLaren, Pete Shelley, Steve Orr, Bert Graham, Tom Mascot, Clarke Peele, Gary Trinkle, Mike Fisher and Ken Terry. Row 8: David Lester and Frank Richardson.


35th Reunion — Sept. 4-5, 2009

Class of 1974

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CLASS NOTES of professions, such as the Corps of Engineers, like Von Bashay; the judiciary, like T.J. Wilson and Bill Minor; law, like Jim Cottrell; homeland security, like Tom Puskas; and the list goes on and on … the only occupation I didn’t hear was stoopie, but when I retire, I am considering finishing my years as such, so that we can claim that as well; “OH, BOY” or in my case “OH, MY BACK.” Yet, regardless of our station or vocation, we have been made inseparable by a single overpowering experience at VMI. Over the course of the weekend, I witnessed the seriousness of life and our views of it. During our class meeting, as the names of our deceased BRs were read, the room became so still and silent that I heard the breathing of my BRs around me. In my mind, these lost brothers will be forever with me – young, healthy and leaning on the stoop rail with a smile. One day, I hope to join them there, dressed in fatigue pants and a bathrobe, to reminisce and laugh. I stood with Big Al Beaty as he wiped tears from his cheeks. Al was remembering a young man, close to him, who was killed in the Gulf by an IED. My eyes filled as well at the memory of a young Marine who was like a son to me and is now at rest in our national cemetery; they gave all for their country. I then offered thanks for my son-in-law who survived an IED explosion that blew him from his truck and said a prayer for those sons who currently serve. Our dinner in Moody Hall was wonderful, as we milled around, hugging and shaking hands. The laughter and warmth could be felt across the parade ground. Remember when we were cadets and could hear the revelry from Moody Hall all the way to Barracks? I didn’t appreciate it then but fully understand it now. Those classes were rekindling a signal fire to guide home memories and their lost or stray Brother Rats. I think that on our 40th, we should gather on the veranda of Moody and do Old Yells for ’74 until we get an answer back from Barracks ... Do you think they have it in them? How about that football game? I think it was worth every drop of sweat to see the Keydets win! I’m not certain, but I think it is the first time VMI has won a game on our reunion weekend. The team only won one game our Rat year, so whatever this year’s team does from here on out … it will be gravy! There were comic asides, as usual! Mike Morrissett came to the reunion tent dressed in his Rat Gym Dyke, and there were wise cracks from the gallery by Steve LaHowchic and Bob Trost that kept everyone laughing. Not to Mention Judge Nottingham running up at the last minute for the class picture. The Barbeque Dinner at McKethan Park was the high point of the weekend for me. We were relaxed, well fed and the evening was crowned by one of the most beautiful views of the moon rising that I have ever seen.


Ann and I brought our son, Chris (second class cadet), with us to the barbeque. First of all, I was pleased to see that he could eat ribs and not get them on his white uniform but was most thankful for many of you taking the time to make him and the other cadets welcome. We have three sons of ’74 currently at the Institute. Besides my son, Mike Andriani and T.J. Wilson both have sons there (Rats). When you receive encouragement and compliments from your BRs regarding your cadet, it carries more weight than had it been made on the floor of the Senate. I don’t think I will ever forget Gary Trinkle being overcome with emotion as he showed my son Chris his ring and said, “There are two reasons I came back to VMI. This ring and your father,” then – waving his hand at the pavilion – “and all my Brother Rats.” Gary, thank you for expressing so emotionally and completely what kept most of us at the Institute. I certainly don’t want to forget our wives (Sister Rats)! I swear that as we men age, you stay young. You ladies are a huge part of us; I dare say you are the best part of us. You not only put up with us on a day to day basis, but you tolerate the often sophomoric reenactments of our cadetship. Thank you for accompanying us and making the weekend memorable. I don’t know what we would have done if Marla Parker, Rhoda Nottingham, Ann Forbes and others of you hadn’t stepped forward to help out! I was just kidding about joining you in the hot tub next reunion … unless you really want me to, that is! LOL. To our BRs who couldn’t make it this year, we missed you and hope to see you again at our next reunion. If you have never made a reunion before, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the rush of emotion and friendship. There were several BRs who came this year for the first time, like Bill Pennypacker, and I am certain they will be back! Regardless, you were with us in thought. So, our 35th is behind us, and in five short years we will return for our 40th. Somehow, being 40 years from VMI is just too darned hard to fathom. So, I will live in the memories provided by our 35th and try not to think too much about the years to come. One thing that I am sure of: Whatever the future brings, it will do so with me at your side and you at mine. So, until Chip Beaman climbs the sentinel box once again and our voices are joined in an Old Yell for the class of ’74, let’s look back on this past weekend and smile.” Your Brother Rat, Rich Forbes. I could not have said it better – thanks Rich. BTW, if you came to the reunion, you received a class coin. Protocol for the class coin follows: The coin is to be with a BR at all times. At any time a BR runs into another BR, a coin challenge may occur. The challenging BR pulls out his coin and offers the challenge. If

the challenged BR cannot produce his coin, he buys (either drink or meal). If the challenged BR produces his coin, the challenging BR buys, which means be prepared to buy if you offer a challenge. Two real world examples: Not long after the reunion, I sat with BR Bob Frank and his son at the North Carolina State versus Murray State football game. Bob challenged me with his class coin, and I failed to produce my class coin. I bought the first round – lemonade for all. I ran into Bob Johnson in the halls of the Pentagon a week after the reunion and challenged Bob. Bob could not produce his coin, so he owed me a drink. He got me back in November when Pat Flynn and I ran into him in the halls of the Pentagon … so we were even. So, how does one get a coin, you may ask? Just let me know you want/need a coin. It costs about $10 (coin plus postage). Note: The cost of the coin replenishes our class fund. I have about 100 coins on hand – first come, first serve. There were several BRs who were disappointed that they could not attend and wrote, explaining why. Andy Young and wife Pat were both traveling on business – Pat in Europe and Andy on temporary duty in North Dakota (better than Iraq, so says Andy) followed by family vacation at Topsail Beach, NC. Andy did mention in his note a “business” partnership with Jim Huddle that is entirely legal (they even pay taxes) but might be judged as laughable. I never did get the bottom line on what that activity might have been. I’m still wondering! Andy’s reunion toast to the class: Hopefully, good health, loving family, peace and great fortune will be granted all of us for the next fiveyears! Walt Wilson was recovering from total hip replacement (THR) surgery, so could not attend. Walt did a little research on Tom Parker’s THR procedure (Birmingham Resurfacing). Major Difference: Resurface the hip area on the femur rather than cutting it off and replacing it with a metal spike and ball. Resurfacing saves more bone mass. Metal-on-metal implant lasts longer. Tom had a good experience with his procedure. However, Walt elected to go with the spike and ball. With a prescription of Oxycontin and Percocet, how bad could the rehab be? Time will tell … Hang in there, Walt. We missed you! Craig “The Snapper” Carlock and wife Cathy were in Sarasota, FL. attending Snap’s nephew’s wedding. Snap said he and Cathy are in Lexington frequently, as their daughter, Catherine, is in her last year at W&L, and Cathy, who is from Lexington, spends a good portion of the work week in her investment office in Lexington. Snap says by the time our 40th comes along, he and Cathy will be settled in Lexington. The funeral service for Charles W. Gardner Sr., the father of our Brother Rat, Charles


CLASS NOTES Gardner Jr., was held in Virginia Beach on Saturday, Sept. 5, our reunion weekend. BR Charlie Gardner spoke eloquently about his father and of how he was instrumental in his decision to attend VMI, and he called out our Brother Rats, Bobby Cunningham, Don Kilcullen and Glenn Greene who were able to attend the service. Glenn Greene said that it was a truly touching service for a man who was well-loved and much respected by his family, friends and community. Glenn and Bobby cut short their class of ’74 reunion to be there and brought Charlie the class cap which he proudly donned for a photo with all of them. Glenn said it was the most moving memorial service he had ever attended. Our prayers go out to Charlie and his family. A hearty thank you to Glenn, Bobby and Don for representing our class at the funeral and being there for Charlie. Aloha from Hawaii – so says Tom and Ida Patykula! Tom and Ida just celebrated their

35th wedding anniversary on 24 Aug. Tom reports that they are in good health and both of their boys are doing fine living in Florida. Tom says Hawaii is still a great place to be but a long way from the mainland. On another note, Dan Darnell ’75 visited Tom’s center recently, and they linked up for a picture. Lt. Gen. Dan Darnell is the new USPACOM DEP CDR. Tom says Dan is the same nice, humble guy as he was at VMI and was very friendly to all. It was easy to see why he made three stars. Note: Both were in duty uniform. Tom probably dressed up for the USPACOM DEP CDR visit. I wonder who has the better job? Thanks for the note, Tom. I would encourage any BRs reading these notes who are not on our class e-mail roster to get on it soonest. (See contact info at end of these notes.) There is a significant amount of interesting communication on that network, especially as of late. As an example, Rich

Photos clockwise from top, left: -Brother Rats Don Kilcullen, Bobby Cunningham, Charlie Gardner and Glenn Greene at Gardner’s father’s funeral on Sept. 5, 2009. -Bob Frank at the North Carolina State University versus Murray State (Kentucky) football game in September 2009. Class Agent Snookie Parker took the photo. -Tom Patykula and Lt. Gen. Dan Darnell ’75, USAF, in Hawaii. -Giving an Old Yell from the sentinel box were Snookie Parker, left, and Chip Beaman, class president, on Sept. 5, 2009.

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Forbes’ reflections on our reunion mentioned above. Rick Hess provided wonderful insights and reflections himself. Another example: Pat Flynn and I recently attended a Homeland Security Leadership Conference hosted by the Institute. While talking with Gen. Binnie Peay ’62, Pat mentioned that Col. William Buchanan ’50B had a tremendous impact on many in our class and on those in many other classes, as well. Gen. Peay then asked Pat, “What was it about Col. Buchanan that made him stand out; what made him special?” Pat pondered for a moment and realized that he had never really given it much thought. Pat told Gen. Peay that he didn’t know but wanted to give an answer. So, Pat sought input from the class via the e-mail roster on the question, “Exactly what traits or behaviors did Col. Buchanan have that that commanded such respect and, ultimately, admiration?” Several BRs responded, including Steve Orr, Rich Forbes, Mark Hays, Lane

Class of 1974


CLASS NOTES Toomey and Mike Cole. Bottom Line: If you are not on the e-mail roster, you ought to be! Contact Charley Banning or Kevin Nettrour. I had the opportunity to be in Lexington a couple of weekends before and after the reunion and checked on some cadets. BR Rich Forbes’ son, Chris ’11, is doing well. A proud poppa moment: After returning from shoulder surgery, Chris was named starting inside center for the Virginia Military Institute rugby “A” side. Now playing at 200 lbs., he is back to his normal playing weight. The Ratline in 2007 took its toll, reducing Forbes to 170 lbs. and forcing him to wing [position], before leaving in the spring semester of 2008 for physical therapy following shoulder surgery during the summer of 2008. Congrats and good luck, Chris. I saw T.J. Wilson’s son, Rat John, on the rugby pitch gearing up for a match. Hooo-aaahhh! I visited Mike Andriani’s son, Mike, a newly matriculated Rat. Rat Mike was doing well. He had just completed the two-mile run in 12:06 and was preparing for a tour with the Saturday Afternoon Walking and Gun Club – affectionately known as penalty tours. Mike appeared to be a pretty squared away cadet, so I inquired as to how it was that he was doing PTs. I think, as room orderly, he picked up some punishment for his roommates’ untidiness – a fact of life and a common occurrence for those of us who lived in the ghetto. But young Mike lives with an athlete in the Zoo. Mike and Lera – not to worry! All in all, his spirits and attitude were good. Bottom Line: He was doing OK! I also checked on Rat Aneka Seal ’13 for Charley and Debbie Banning and Sister Rat Candidate Dorothy Vigano (who attended our reunion as a guest of the Bannings). Charley, Debbie and Dorothy have adopted Rat Seal for her VMI experience. I was happy to report that Rat Seal was hanging in there. Charley Banning reported that Dorothy and her husband, Dan Vigano, had recently hosted the Bannings and Frank Robinson for dinner. A quote from Charley: “We had a blast; great grub (Dan is a terrific cook), plenty of refreshment and more than a few laughs.” On another note from Charley, while helping his son, Willie, at his high school band’s car wash, Charley had a small world experience. As Charley describes it, “There was this cop in his cruiser stopped and watching the car wash, so I approached him to see what was up. He saw my cap and asked if I went to VMI. He tells me that his brother is a VMI grad. I’m lookin’ at this cop and thinking to myself, this guy is the spittin’ image of Mike Mahoney. So, I say his name, and I’ll be damned, it is his brother.” He arrested Charley anyway. (Not really, I added that ‘cause I thought it would be a funnier ending to the story.) It’s a small world. More from Charley


on the Potomac Area Breakfast Club meeting after the reunion. They had a good crowd for flap jacks and jo: O.C. King, Don Whitten, Space Huddle, Steve Orr, Bill Minor, Charlie Gardner, Mike Andriani and Bob Trost were all there. Space brought a class hat for Charlie, since he missed our reunion. Space did not know that BR Greene had already delivered a hat but was thoughtful, none the less. I understand that Charlie Gardner was pretty jazzed at the breakfast – his wife, Linda, as many may know, has been dealing with a lot of medical issues the past few years. A neurologist finally diagnosed one issue and prescribed a medicine that is the only medicine that is known to give relief from a constant migraine-type headache, and it is working. That’s good news for Linda … and Charlie! Bruce Jones rendered an eye witness report on the VMI-Richmond game festivities. In attendance for ’74 at the Keydet Club Dance Friday night at the Westin were: Lane Toomey, Don and Carolyn Sharpe, Rick Kastelberg, “Snapper” and Cathy Carlock, Donnie and Barbara Ross, Tommy and Mollie Anderson, and of course, Bruce and Sue Jones. BR Toomey graciously announced an open invitation to “come on down” to play golf at Pinehurst/Southern Pines. He all but gave up the combination to his liquor locker at the club, which as we all know, is probably some sequence of the numbers 1974. Bruce ran into BR Mel Clarke at the game and noted that Mel was trying to maintain a 6-foot halo around his two daughters and keeping them away from the attending Keydets dressed in their crisp white ducks. After the game, the VMI fans in the crowd gave the team a much deserved standing “O.” I understand the Keydet Club pre-game BBQ was top drawer. This is the last time that the Keydets play in City Stadium in Richmond. UR Stadium is under construction on the U of R campus. Bruce and Sue Jones live within walking distance of the new stadium and are excited about the prospects of tailgating at home before the next VMI-UR clash. Sounds like a great excuse for a pre-game function? I had heard the word had gotten out that Bruce Jones had lost his class coin and was readily abused – relegated to buying drinks for BRs at the game as a result of the coin challenge. Note to BRs looking for free drinks: Be careful with your challenge – Bruce had a replacement coin in hand days after the game. Al Vicory wrote that he and wife Kathy had lunch with Red and Shelly Undercoffer while Red and Shelly were in Cincinnati for Red’s mother’s birthday (93rd, I believe). I wonder if they had lunch at the famed BBQ joint – the Montgomery Inn. I’m envious. BTW, Red sends greetings from the new U.S. Embassy in

Baghdad, the largest U.S. Embassy in the world. And finally, John Smithey sent the following prayer for our class: 74 + 35 + 5 = 8. Pray that, at the Memorial Service for the VMI class of ’74 during the 40th Reunion in 2014, our list stays at (only) eight BRs. As we age, we wish for all to have peace and comfort, love and joy, good health, and many more years. Thank you, John – we expect to see you at the 40th. BTW, this particular point was brought up at the reunion. Those 102 BRs attending the reunion committed collectively to the notion of returning on our 40th with a wingman (BR) in tow. Hooo-aaahhh! 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), Check out the Web site. Send me a note. Yada, Yada, Yada and Yaba Daba Dooooo! Warm Regards … Snookie


Robert Mills

Greetings, My Brothers: We begin our notes with a lament for our late Brother Rat, John Brockenbrough Offley, who departed this world on Sept. 4, 2009, when his motorcycle was struck by a Toyota Prius near his home in Williamsburg, VA. John was a Rat roommate of Ollie Way’s who shared some memories and a few of the pranks that were all a part of our Rat experience. No further details are available at this writing and nothing remains to be said other than John will live in our collective memories. (Editor’s Note: John Offley’s obituary appears in the Taps section of this Review.) Ollie Way reports that his youngest, Barrett, has purchased a house in Memphis and is working for CRSA and enjoying his time on Beale Street. His eldest son, Lawton Way ’04, will graduate from George Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary in May and will be going to work for the firm of Hunton & Williams in Richmond, where he will work in the mergers and acquisitions department. Gen. Bo “Bonecrusher” Temple has been selected as the deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This places him as the second in command of the Corps, and at press time, his wife, Nancy, was recovering from a


CLASS NOTES broken ankle. Bo failed to report that he had well as Bob O’Connor and was looking forward beautiful clear day in Tibet with the majestic been featured in The Washingtonian magazine to our 35th Reunion. His daughter, Catherine, summit featured prominently in the background, as one of the select few that the readership was looking at colleges, and she will be entering while standing among the detritus of many would “Like to Have Over for Drinks, Food and somewhere as a freshman in the fall of 2011. previous expeditions. Oddly enough, none of the Conversation.” Instead, this information came In the most shocking revelation of all, we adventurous trio seemed to be out of breath. On a from Scott Risser, who obviously has a much finally heard from Preston “OP” Sloane, less vigorous note, I was able to join my daughmore sophisticated notion of what constitutes informing us that he and Anne were moving to ter, Valerie, in New York City for a stirring rendinewsworthy information than does Bo. Mike beautiful Abingdon, VA, where Preston will be tion of Hamlet as portrayed by Jude Law. While Garton has been working for the Army, teachdirecting the operation of a new power plant awaiting the performance, Valerie received her ing at the Advanced Source Operation Course being constructed by Dominion Power in Wise LSAT scores by telephone. These were good (ASOC). Mike enjoyed driving around the County. They were very much looking forward enough that she hastened back to Dallas to start desert in souped up Army trucks in the middle to their new life in southwest Virginia. Preston the law school application process, with stops of the night and says it was just like FTX, only and Ann have three children and two beautiful in SC, MS and AL, where she spent the night a lot warmer. grandchildren, Madison, age 5, and Max, age 1. in Birmingham with Andy and Mary Love Ronnie Norman, our class vice president, ran They sent a big hello to all, and I reminded him Dearman and their son, Drew, a high school into Chris Arey ’72 at the Pentagon in October that this will put them in close proximity to the senior and top football prospect. Andy must have and had a great little chat, although Ronnie Hunter boys, Mike, Billy and Bobby, who have exercised some uncharacteristic restraint, as Valconfessed that he felt like “straining” erie has not confronted me with any all during lunch and kept moving unduly embellished tales of exploits toward that edge of his chair! Chris that I could not adequately explain. works as a government civilian This was more than Ben Vanderin one of the under-secretary of berry could manage to do when he defense offices. Dr. Jim McCriskin and Anne treated me to a football sent a video link to a report done game at Old Dominion University. by ABC News’ Cameron Russo on Ben took advantage of the tailgate his son, Capt. (Dr.) Brendan Mcfestivities to regale the group with Criskin, which included footage of brief but humorous accounts of him delivering patients to the FOB all of the bad stuff he used to do hospital during a Taliban attack in during his stellar cadetship which I Afghanistan. This report featured would subsequently get boned for. harrowing footage of helicopter This was a regrettable phenomenon evacuation missions flown at night which remains inexplicable but true. in that rugged and dangerous terrain. I think it may have had something Capt. McCriskin described what it to do with long hair, big hats and was like to work on a patient who big noses. cannot be seen, heard or spoken Finally, Rob “Jelly Bear” Taylor, to, while evading enemy fire in a Ben Vanderberry and I got together Class of 1976: Jim Brown, left, and Phil Hahn ’06 in front moving helicopter. The report also near my place in Norfolk to hoist of an F-22 jet. Brown and Hahn work together at the F-22 features the disturbing revelation that a few beverages, slurp down some Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB, California. the red cross on the side of medical oysters and chat about the advanced helicopters makes them a target of planning for the 35th Reunion. Taliban insurgents, since they have caught on been doing an excellent job of holding down that Jelly Bear is the chair of this august body, and to the fact that the Geneva Convention prevents portion of the state. Mike Hunter hosted Ron the committee has been hard at work planning vehicles that are marked in this way from being Bongiovanni, Alan Morgan and your humble what promises to be a marvelous, melodious armed. It would be difficult to convey the true correspondent at a really posh condo in Myrtle and memorable occasion. Let’s hope that each measure of the esteem that all of us hold for the Beach where all of us planned to play golf but and every one of you will mark your calendars valor with which Brendan risks his life daily to were rained out by a horrendous northeaster. This for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5, 2010. Please save the lives of his brothers in arms, and we wish obliged us to pursue other activities, including plan to come early and stay late, and get the most all of them a safe and swift return. the consumption of a number of delicious meals out of an experience that only happens twice a Len Riedel is currently working with Sky prepared by Bongo who never travels without decade. Captain Dean Armstrong on a series of WWII his cooking implements. Myrtle Beach’s seafood In closing, you will note that this is perhaps tours in Europe and the Pacific. They were each markets lived up to their reputation, and a good the shortest column written to date. That is quite engaged in exchanging information about Guam time was had by all, Bongo and Mike’s relentless simply because I received the smallest amount of and Saipan in preparation for a tour together in snoring notwithstanding. Al and I were able information ever forwarded to date. Perhaps this January 2012 (assuming the Mayan calendar to cope with this nightly event by the simple will change as reunion fervor mounts. Why don’t doesn’t do us all in first). They were hoping to expedient of drinking ourselves into a stupor and all of you gold bricks just go ahead and mark draw some of the many respected VMI historians sleeping with our hands over our ears. your calendars for the Feb. 15th deadline, and into this mix as well. Len was planning to get toRussell Jackson and his wife, Carrie, met their make your class agent’s day? Please do not forgether with Charlie Freeman for the first time in youngest daughter, who is stationed in Korea, get that Alan Hansen is collecting photographic 25 years at the VMI-ODU football game in Lexand all three of them traveled to the base camp evidence of our cadetship which he will edit into ington. Len keeps in touch with Guy Conte as of Mt. Everest. They sent along a photo of a a high quality montage for the 35th Reunion.

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CLASS NOTES Please send Alan your submissions via e-mail to – or mail them to him at his home in Georgia – 1302 Hidden Brook Lane, Acworth, GA 30101. Until next time, when I hope to hear from many more of you, stay young and be in touch!


William Bhatta

Brother Rats: These class notes were written on 15 Nov. 2009. I want to thank the 75 Brother Rats who made a gift to VMI in the 2009 fiscal year. I am sure the past year was challenging financially for many alumni, but these Brother Rats donated over $45,000 to VMI’s Annual Giving program. I also want to thank all Brother Rats who supported the 13th Annual Hunter’s Hope Memorial Golf Tournament and Auction held Sept. 18, 2009, to honor the life of Hunter Ozmer. The event attracted over 76 golfers this year; among them were J.R. Mott, Chip Deyerle, Jim Delisio, Dyke Davis, Jim Mallon, Dexter Gilliam, Mike Tate, Andre Koneczny, Hank Dean and Kavie Thrift. Hunt said the event raised over $20,000 to help find a cure for Nieman-Pick disease. Jim and Lisa Brown had a baby girl! Lily Ann Brown (provisional VMI ’31) was born on

Aug. 7, 2009, at 3:06 am. She was 6 lb., 6.2oz and 19.5 inches long. Jim said she’s beautiful, and he’s really glad you will be in wheelchairs when she grows up. Jim is still flying the F-22 at Edwards AFB and plans to be flying it for many years into the future. Unfortunately, in March 2009, a Lockheed pilot, working for Jim, was killed in an aircraft accident. Jim said it was an experience he never wants to relive, but he was thankful to have the leadership tools developed during his four years at VMI to deal with the unfortunate event. Henry and Debbie Foresman completed their move to northern VA in May 2009, and they are learning to deal with their daily Washington commute. They are renting their home in Atlanta, waiting for an opportunity to sell it. Henry retired for the second time in July 2009 and began work as a Department of the Army civilian in the Pentagon. He said it’s tough to decide what to wear and to let his hair grow. Henry met several BRs the past several months. Here is his update – On his first day at the Pentagon, he ran into Bob Cox. Bob is working at the DIA. Evan Haberman retired from the USAF in July 2009. Evan is taking time off and plans to attend graduate school to study history before going back to work. John Strock is working on special projects for the Secretary of the Army. While waiting for a plane in the Frankfurt Airport, Henry ran into Scott Custer. Scott retired from the USAF as a major general in May 2007 and is currently the head of Schott Gmbh US. Razz Waff continues to serve as the deputy commander of the Army’s Human Resource Command. Henry thinks Razz is

Class of 1976: At the 13th Annual Hunter’s Hope Memorial Golf Tournament and Auction held Sept. 18, 2009, in Roanoke, Virginia, were, from left, front row: Jake Willis ’07, J.R. Mott, Hunt Ozmer and Chip Deyerle. Row 2: Jeff Reynolds ’77, Jim Delisio, Dyke Davis, Scott Snow ’77 and Jim Mallon. Row 3: Roland Lazenby ’74, Rob Robinson ’80, Dexter Gilliam, Mike Tate and Andre Koneczny. Row 4: Hank Dean, Jeff Munsey ’77, Ron Wilkosz ’77 and Kavie Thrift.


the last man standing from our class serving in the military. He may be right – let me know otherwise. Jim Martin is currently working with several non-profit organizations in the Front Royal / Warren County, VA, area. He has titled himself “Mr. Volunteer.” Jim co-founded and currently co-directs a job readiness academy, providing pre-vocational skills training to job seekers. He is also mentoring two gentlemen from the men’s shelter trying to get back on their feet. In his spare time, he is on the board of a downtown preservation organization to preserve and revitalize Front Royal’s historic downtown area. Jim said he is learning more about community development than he ever wanted to know. And now the 1976 BR minute: Jim Dittrich said his family is doing well. There is a great VMI Arkansas group including four VMI Air Force colonels stationed at Little Rock Air Base. They get together three to four times a year. Jim and Tish are volunteer firefighters and first responders. Jim said there is plenty of activity in the rural area where they live to keep them busy. Alan Mills attended a Maryland alumni chapter meeting in September 2009. He met a group of alumni from ’73, including his dyke Scott McCarthy ’73. I wasn’t able to attend many VMI football games this season, but I did manage to attend the VMI-Richmond game with Rocky Glass and Maury Gatewood. Since Richmond was last year’s FCS champs, I think everyone in the visitor stands thought we would get demolished. Quite the contrary; VMI played very well against an undefeated Richmond team. Even though we lost 38-28, I thought the game was a tremendous victory for VMI’s “never say die” spirit. Jay Foertsch planned to attend the 1st Annual Founders Day Dinner in Oklahoma City, OK, where he hoped to see Garry Varney. And the Richmond BRC

Class of 1976: Attending Bobbi and Dyke Davies’ daughter’s wedding were, from left, Corey Morgan ’12, Dyke Davies, Wayne Eastham, Betsy Davies Powell and Dexter Gilliam.


CLASS NOTES club has expanded to SRC. Nick and Shelia Tarzia invited everyone in the Richmond area to their home on Nov. 7th for Italian food. I think most of us had flashbacks to Nick’s pizzeria in Lexington. Mack and Paula Curle, Maury and Libby Gatewood, Bob and Suzie Gleason, Charlie and Betsy Keen, A.J. Languedoc ’75 and Sue, and Mort Mumma ’77 were able to attend. We had a great time! Sorry for the short notes. Past couple of months flew by too quickly. Hope to have more information in the next Alumni Review. 663 days until the 35th Reunion. Take care.


Bland Massie

Rah, Super ’77, Rah, Rah, Rah … The fall set of notes is always the easiest to write, because so many BRs attend football games and other functions during this quarter. Moe tries hard to remember everyone he has seen or talked to, but unfortunately his brain is that of a kangaroo and not an elephant. If someone is left out, it’s not intentional most of the time. My computer caught a virus and put Moe S.O.L. for about one month, and all the e-mails previous to the illness were lost. Probably caught the virus from one of those naked golfers going back and forth with their e-mails before the Naked Golf Outing! Rumor has it that the outing’s organizer, Thomas Cole (who did a great job), has been sporting an incurable virus for years. Sept. 5th was a good start for our football team with a Keydet win over Robert Morris. That weekend was also the “Ride to the I” weekend. Billy Holzgrefe, Stanley Stout and Moe represented Super ’77. Wish Scott Snow could have been there again this year. Each year there have been more bikers participating – maybe the start of another VMI tradition! (Editor’s Note: See the Association News section of this Review for photos of the event.) That weekend was also ’74’s 35th Reunion, and our dykes were out in force. Moe joined Pat and Keith Gibson in Third Barracks for ’74’s Old Yell. It felt like we were Rats all over again. Once a Rat, always a Rat! Keith’s leg is healed, and he is a whole man again, thankfully. After the game, Moe saw Peggy and Mike Meise and India and Bob Atkinson in Moody Hall. Mike and Bob have become regulars at VMI games. It’s great to see ’77er’s from Roanoke at the “I.” Keep up the Spirit, guys. The JMU game was in Harrisonburg this year, and Moe saw Janine and Eric Hutchings, Dianne and Rich Howell, and Pat and Tom Liles. Moe ate with the Liles at the

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Keydet Club pre-game. Moe expected to see Mike Davis there from New Market, but he must have had a better offer somewhere else, or the trip was just too far. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the Keydet’s best showing on the football field. The 25th of Sept. brought the 1st Naked Golf Tournament of Super ’77 in Richmond at Independence Golf Course. ’77 had a great turnout. There were also some “want to be” golfers from several other classes (’65, ’70, ’73 and ’74, to mention a few). The Super ’77 line up consisted of Mad Dog Jim Bentley, Steve Billingsley, Joe Brown, Mark Bryant, Thomas Cole, Glenn Davidson, Mike Davis, Bert Deacon, Ralph George, Rick Greene, Billy Hupp, John Krovic, Tim Liles, J.J. Marshall, Moe Massie, Bobby McQueen, Kerry “Moon” Mullins, Bustachop Pace, Eric Radford and Joe “Wop” Santelli. Moe teed it up with Bert Deacon, Rick Greene and Craig Carlock ’74. We finished second in the tournament, one stroke behind the ’65 group who played from the senior or forward tees. After seeing the first place prize, Moe was glad they hadn’t won. The prizes for the ’65 guys were thongs with VMI embroidered on the front. If you get a chance, ask Bettie White how Donnie White ’65 looks in his Naked Golf Outing Thong. On second thought, just erase that mental picture completely. That evening, the Alumni Association and Keydet Club hosted a great party for everyone – of course, VMI and golf stories flowed freely, much like the drinks. Saturday was the large pregame event at the Richmond stadium. Some of the other BRs Moe saw, other than those mentioned in the golf outing, were Bruce Cann, Tim Mitchell, Chris Peery and Mark Waldrop. The Keydets played hard and made a great showing. A 10-point loss to Richmond, who was #1 in division IAA last year, was not too shabby. It was great seeing so many of our BRs that weekend. Almost a mini reunion. Oct 3rd was the Gardner-Webb game in Lexington. Moe saw Peggy and Mike Meise and India and Bob Atkinson in Moody Hall after the game. Sherri and Steve Gallahan were also

Class of 1977: Mike Conaway and Gary Haste at the Western Tidewater Chapter “Back-to-School Cookout” for VMI matriculates. (Editor’s Note: See pages 24-25 for more about the Back-to-School Cookout.)

there. Steve had his mother and son at the game. Mike Meise saw Robert Houser at the game, but Moe missed him. Coastal Carolina near Myrtle Beach, SC, was Oct 10th weekend. Moe made it a motorcycle trip. Scott Snow had a family commitment and wasn’t able to make it – maybe next year. Moe did see Doug Hines ’76 at the game with his brother and son who is a senior at Coastal. Fred Wiggins wrote from Pembroke, NC, to give Moe a shout out and the names of two books and Web sites which have some of his poems published. Collected Whispers and also Timeless Voices both are in the International Library of Poetry, Howard Ely editor, and at Fred would love to see any BRs coming through his area and check out the Web site for his poems. Keep up the good work, Fred. Parent’s weekend was the 17th of Oct. and the Stony Brook game. Jane Massie had a chance to see some BRs while Moe was dragging the chains. Jane saw Buster Pace, just back from Russia and still speaking Russian. Rick Greene said Russian was Buster’s native language, and English was his second. Well, at least Buster made it to Parent’s Weekend. Moe is sure his son, Thomas ’11, was glad to see his dad and get his checking account topped off. Jane also spent some time watching the game with Deb and Kimber Latsha in Ferebee Lounge, since it was a cold day. Kimber said being on the VMI Board of Visitors has given him a chance to see a different side of VMI since he was a cadet. Moe is sure the Institute probably treats him a lot better now, as well. At least we don’t have to worry about it going to Kimber’s head. John Rowe ’66, president of the Western Tidewater Chapter, e-mailed to let Moe know that Mike Conaway and Gary Haste attended the annual “Back-to-School Cookout” for alumni, cadets and their parents. John sent a picture of our two BRs. (Editor’s Note: See more about this event in the Association News section of this Review.) Moe got a call from Herb Fluhler seeking contact information on a BR. Moe had a great conversation with Herb, catching up. Herb’s expertise may make him and Moe rich someday, with some of Moe’s crazy ideas for an invention. Hey, can’t a Kangaroo dream? Moe didn’t make the Presbyterian game in South Carolina. Moe had an excused absence for the game because of a VMIRL meeting and his and Mrs. Moe’s 10th anniversary celebration – no details to follow. Use your imagination. The Charleston Southern game in Lexington was on the 31st of Oct. Moe saw Beth and Roy Siegel and Bill Talley. Unfortunately, it was Bill Talley ’03, not ’77. Come on, Bill; you were doing so much better last year. Hey,


CLASS NOTES Moe likes Bill ’03 just fine and definitely knows he has his priorities straight. Maybe the ’03 Bill can help straighten out his aging father. Chris Nash sent an e-mail and picture to prove a possible name infringement by 3M, using our class name on one of their products. Chris feels we may have a way to fund a Super ’77 scholarship. Maybe we should get some of our attorney BRs to look into this. (Editor’s note: See additional photos on the Web site, www. Tim Thompson’s martial arts team continues to win championships. This fall, they won “World Fall Classic Martial Arts Champions Best of the Best.” Congratulations, Tim. Maybe you could coach a team at VMI, which could consistently bring home the trophy to VMI every year. Bob Manteuffel got together a care package for J.D. Johnson in the war effort. Hey, Moe bets J.D. shared his care package with his troops. Come to think of it, what else would a major general do with a care package? J.D. has been sending us his hero tributes which Moe is sure you have enjoyed. Thanks, J.D. While stateside, J.D. got by VMI and visited Eric Hutchings. Moe is sure about two things J.D. appreciated: Bob’s care package and Eric’s guidance and fatherly advice. Randy Foster and Eric Hutchings were at the Liberty game in Lynchburg, while Moe was on the sidelines with the team. VMI’s eight turnovers may have set a record. Unfortunately, we lost by a large margin in spite of having more overall yardage and first downs. Moe hates losing to Liberty, because he has to live in Lynchburg among them. Nov. 11th was Founder’s Day, and the Institute Society held their dinner that night. Jane and Moe Massie sat with Janine and Eric Hutchings and Morton Mumma IV and his father, Morton C. Mumma III ’46. It was held in Marshall Hall, and the meal was the best Moe had had at an Institute Society dinner. Moe also saw Bill Talley ’03 and Chris Perry ’05. He missed Bill Talley and Chris Perry. He also missed Betty and Barton Pasco and Bert Deacon. Hopefully, next year ’77 will fill several tables. Hank Bungay called from NY to say he hoped to see Moe at the Army game. Moe planned to go, but his plans changed, and he went to the VMI/Army basketball game instead. Roy Siegel sent word that he took his wife, Beth, son Eric and Eric’s fiancée, Jess, to the West Point football game. He saw Mary and Rich Humenuck and their son, Daniel (who is attending West Point), and daughter Leia. Roy also saw Jimmy Hamilton and Bob Hartzell. Roy said, “We annoyed those around us by singing the Spirit (much to the chagrin of our wives) and cheering on our team. We even had some other alumni come join us, as we were having a great time. After the game, the West Point fans


looked devastated, because I believe they knew who really won the game.” Moe knows Hank Bungay was also rooting for the Keydets. “The Institute will be heard from today.” Moe had taped the game and watched it later. The catch called inbounds for West Point was very questionable. The Keydets fought hard. Moe is sorry he couldn’t make the game but did see the Runnin’ Roos beat Army the night before in Cameron Hall. Rick Greene wrote to say it was his turn, not J.J. Marshall and Buster Pace’s turn. “First of you … you and I kicked their azzzes in the Richmond match at Independence. Then … Billy Hupp and I crushed them at John’s club in Richmond … when I birdied … and Bill saved many holes with his Radar mid irons and long drives. Bill did the Bombing … I did the Mortar fires… it was awesome … and we got J.J. to hush up … but the Buster never died and only piled it on with his linguistic capabilities. That’s the story … and now J.J. and Buster are going to Vegas … and every location in the U.S.A. they can in prep to try and take us down … Bill and Rick are UNDEFEATED IN ALL OUR MATCHES AGAINST THEM.” Moe only reports what is given to him without verifying its accuracy. And the saga continues. VMI had another basketball game on Nov. 18th in Cameron against VA Wesleyan. Moe saw Mike Meise, Bob Atkinson and Eric Hutchings. VMI won handily. The class agents conference was held the 21st of Nov. before the football game. Moe saw James Kelly ’71, Steve Kelly’s brother. James said Steve was considering moving to Lynchburg. Moe hopes this is the case. Moe could use another Super ’77 BR to help keep those ’78 boys in line. Moe needs more help from Paul Seufer, Bill Cross and Randy Foster. Before the game, Moe ran into Trish and Will Bynum, Carol and Mike Conaway, and Giselle and Lee Foresman in the PX. We visited for a short while and later got together at the Keydet Club pre-game meal behind the stadium. Patti and Chris Perry also joined in the fun. Moe also saw Bruce Cann and was told Bert Deacon was at the game. Buster Pace came to see his son, Thomas ’11, get his ring, since it was Ring Figure weekend. Moe also met Dabney Coleman ’53 who was invited to escort a cadet through the ring to get her ring at Ring Figure. Until these notes, Moe didn’t realize that Dabney Coleman and Moe’s father, Bland Massie Sr. ’53, are Brother Rats. After Moe left Super ’77ers at the pre-game, he ambushed Eric Hutchings. Catching Eric by surprise almost sent Eric into his G.I. Ranger mode. Thankfully, Eric used his G.I. Ranger discipline to control himself and not attack Moe. Imagine the fur that would be flying if Moe and Catman had gone into paw to paw combat. Sure, Catman is a trained killer with nine

lives, but what he didn’t know is Moe keeps a can of whoop-ass in his pouch. The question is, would Moe have had time (with Catman’s catlike reflexes) to open the can! Thankfully, they both controlled themselves and went on their merry ways. Moe and his brother-in-law, Jim Henderson, climbed Little House Mountain on Sunday after the ODU weekend and camped on top, overlooking VMI and Lexington. The view was spectacular, but the next morning was foggy and no pictures were taken. It was a tough climb with a 35-lb. backpack. So, if you have always wanted to do this, don’t wait too much longer or you may not have the energy. Bob Atkinson sent word that Steve Neas was married in J.M. Hall recently (late fall).Bob attended the wedding, and John Quackenbush was the best man. We wish Denise and Steve all the best. Kurt Weidenthal sent this great U-tube video of a comedian/card trick. Hopefully, Moe can figure out how to let you all enjoy it. Moe is somewhat technically challenged – in other words, he’s not a geek! Moe has been unsuccessful in getting much info from the participants on the Vegas weekend. Moe doesn’t have the resources the National Enquirer had to get the low down on Tiger Woods. Never fear; Moe has his ways and should be able to get the scoop soon. He could resort to torture. Now, to decide who was the weakest link on the trip. By the time you all read these notes, Christmas and New Year’s are over. Hopefully, you had good ones. And hopefully our basketball team is on its way to a Big South Championship. It’s time to put away our snow skies, dust off your golf clubs and charge up the battery on your motorcycle – let’s ride. Hope to see and hear from more of you this spring. Rah, Rah, VMI, Whole Da*# Class. In the Spirit of VMI, Never Say Die! …Moe


Tom Brown

Greetings, Brother Rats. I hope everyone has survived the holiday season. Time again to bring you the latest news from around the class. Mike Moore checked in from a trip to Philmont Boy Scout Ranch. He and his sons, Colin and Mike, made it to the top of Baldy Mountain this past July. Elevation was 12,500, and they hiked 70+ miles in 10 days, harder than the VMI FTX. His son, Michael, is planning to attend VMI next year. Mike is still living in Richmond and sees some of our BRs on a regular basis. Field Correspondent Paul Mitchell was in


CLASS NOTES a Havana bar earlier this year when Shady Grove, Anthony Moore and Steve Oddi challenged each other to another swim race. Drinking and smoking Cuban cigars are elements of Steve’s physical training, Paul says. It teaches breath control. Amo declined to race, as he said he nearly drowned in Rat swimming. But as a former federal government executive, Amo could be the timekeeper, in so far as the stopwatch would be good to us if we were good to him. For Paul’s pending race, Ronnie Milligan, his personal trainer, advised Paul to visit Sea World. There, he was to learn from the swimming techniques of whales, sea lions, walruses, manatees and other marine mammals of great girths. That is why Paul took a trip to Central Florida. Bringing along loved ones, visiting tourist destinations and socializing with dear old friends were merely add-ons to Paul’s primary mission. He spent a fun day at Epcot with Tim and Cynthia Pishdad who had driven over from their home in Melbourne. Now, Paul doesn’t do everything Ronnie tells him to do. For example, he hasn’t shaved off all of his body hair nor bought a Speedo. At Sea World, Paul spent the day observing girth enhanced marine mammals, looking for something they were doing that he was not. After Tim had given Paul a great tour of Kennedy Space Center, they had a big rendezvous

at The Grill Tiki Bar in Port Canaveral. Thanks to Tim, Brother Rats Jim Doyle from Cocoa Beach and Glenn Dallinger from Apopka were able to join them for dinner. I look forward to the swimming competition, Paul. I hope to be there to see the race for myself. Football season provided opportunities to visit with some more of the ’78 crew. Labor Day weekend and the game with Robert Morris brought Drew Faulconer, Jeff Yates and Stu Gitchell back to the Institute. All are doing well. Jeff’s son survived the Ratline and is doing his daddy proud. Drew’s son is a first and doing the same. It was nice to see everyone and a winning game. The GardnerWebb game gave me a chance to visit with Class Field Correspondent Paul Mitchell and son P.J. We had a nice lunch at the mess hall. Nice lunch at the mess hall? No, really, it was a nice visit. We also had a good time seeing Don and Martha Robey. They were up from Jacksonville for Martha’s class reunion at Parry McCluer in BV. Don is still working for CSX and is looking forward to when he can retire and move back up to the Lexington area. Drew and Jeff were at the game, as well, doing the Keydet parent thing. The VMI Liberty game here in Lynchburg had great turnout from the class. Danny Thornton, Jay Hutt, Jim Cure, Bert Loflin, Drew Faulconer, Tom Tanner and

visiting from California, Matt Schell. All had a wonderful time together despite the outcome on the football field. Matt was in town from a stay over in Lexington. Matt is doing well and teaching high school math out in Palmdale. He enjoyed his time catching up on the Institute. Matt says he enjoyed visiting with Mr. CE, Ned Riester. Matt got to sit in on a senior seminar presented by Brother Rat Drew Faulconer. We enjoyed Matt’s company, as he took advantage of the ’78 suite here at Chez EZ Bear. Make your reservation for your next visit; the rates are great. We look forward to the basketball season and seeing some of you there. Mike McCarthy says age has been beating at his door. The long and short of it was that he was scheduled to get his gall bladder ripped out on 4 Dec. at the hospital at Fort Bliss. In addition to spending way too much time getting poked and prodded by the docs, Mike has been spending a lot of time on the road looking at various technologies to help individual soldiers have access to critical information on the battlefield. Imagine Army twitter! Sounds kinda interesting, except for the surgery part. Can they fit it in 140 characters? Ahh, to do class notes that way. Former roomie Terry Dorn sends news that he is going to a cool Department of State class to do weapons familiarization and learn how to drive fast and crash cars. (He wonders if they

Class of 1978 Photos clockwise from top, left: - Paul Mitchell, Shady Grove, Anthony Moore and Steve Oddi enjoying some time together. - At The Grill Tiki Bar in Port Canaveral, Florida, were, from left, Tim Pishdad, Paul Mitchell, Glenn Dallinger and Jim Doyle. - Colin, Mike and Michael Moore on top of Baldy Mountain at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in New Mexico, July 2009. The elevation is 12,500 feet, and they hiked over 70 miles in 10 days. Moore says of the trip, “[It was] harder than the VMI FTX. Michael is planning to attend VMI next year.”

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CLASS NOTES have a pre-test … ) This is all prep for Terry to spend the first two weeks of December in sunny Afghanistan as part of his GAO work. He will be starting out in Kabul, and if security holds out and choppers are available, Terry will be traveling around to various sites looking at water development projects funded by the U.S. Hope you had a safe trip, roomie. Jim Simons sent a meager contribution (his words). Back in October, Dwight Weirich visited him at his new house west of Lexington. They went to the football game, where VMI was able to grasp defeat from the jaws of almost certain victory against some school (Stony Brook?) that he never heard of. Hopefully, basketball season will be different, Jim. Mike Moore checks in, saying he saw Bob Jenvey, Ronnie Milligan, Steve Oddi and Anthony Moore at the Richmond football game. Mike and his son spent some time with Ned Reister as part of the admissions interview. Mike played golf with Rob Parker and had dinner with Joe and Barb Tulskie while on a business trip to the Philly area. Thanks for the news, Mike. Dave Gray wrote saying since he was laid up recovering from total knee replacement surgery. Dave, his wife, Kilsun, and their youngest, Elizabeth, went to South Korea for two weeks this summer, and the trip convinced him that he had to do something about his knee. The operation was on his right knee, which he injured Rat year, a sign of aging and not quite the birthday present he had in mind. Dave is still working for Pfizer, 20 years now. He is also currently working on completing his dissertation for a Ph.D. in human resource development, which hopefully he will have finished before the first of the year. An upside to the recovery from surgery is that Dave says he does have more time to work on the dissertation. Kilsun is still running her alterations shop in Yorktown and doing very well. He keeps telling her that he is getting used to playing homebody, while on short term disability leave, and is starting to think about early retirement. Kilsun keeps telling Dave to forget about it, mainly because their youngest, Elizabeth, still has at least one more year at JMU. Their oldest, Christine, graduated from JMU with a master’s in accounting this past summer and successfully passed her CPA examinations, as well. She has since landed a job with the accounting firm KPMG. Great news, Dave, all except the knee part, that is. Tom Sliwoski sent a quick note saying he is doing well and regretted not making the Institute Society Dinner. Wads Bugg did make it, and we had a very nice time. Our “Ring Figure Wives” made sure that ’78 was represented in a respectable manner. Mark Seely says things are still going well in the Blue Grass state. The weather was great this


fall and extended the golf season a bit. Mark broke 80 for the first time in early October, which he was really happy to do; his score was 78, of course. Mark says this year’s start of the University of Kentucky basketball season wasn’t quite as thrilling as last year, when the Keydets came to “the other” Lexington and thrashed them 111-103. (He still has the sports page from the Kentucky Herald-Leader.) I hope to break 80 for the front nine some year, Mark. Tim Berkhimer says not much to report on his end, other than his two daughters continue to do him proud. WAY smarter than he ever was! (his words) Both girls are very active in their high school and college, respectively. Tim’s oldest, Casey (sophomore at University of Central Florida in Orlando), just returned from a “crazy college kids’ trip” to Austin, TX, to watch UCF play (and get their butts kicked by) #2 Texas in Austin. Game was on ESPN. Tim remembers making a road trip or two, mostly for basketball, but never had the opportunity to fly halfway across the country to watch a football game! I hope that makes her put him in the “Best Dad Ever” category. Tim keeps in close touch with Jim Mackin. Jim’s oldest daughter, Kat, is going to Ring Figure with her Keydet boyfriend. Tim asked Jim if he was going to attend, and Jim said, “I remember what happened at our RF, and there ain’t no way I want to be in Lexington that weekend!” Gotta laugh at that. Tim said you raise them as best you can, and then set them free in the world. Hell, with all the stuff we pulled, we turned out OK (or sort of). Tim is still working in the disaster response business. He was at a conference in San Antonio, TX, when this nor’easter settled in over Virginia Beach. Flew from SA through Chicago into Norfolk, right in the middle of some of the strongest winds. Pilots did one helluva job getting them on the ground and stopped before the runway ran out. Tim wants to send a shout out to Ken Blythe. He lives just a couple blocks from Tim, but Tim hasn’t seen Ken in more than a year. Ken, call Tim. That’s the latest from what you sent, but I have been spying on many of you, as you were kind enough to invite me to be friends on Face Book. We have a fair number of BRs on there. I have not been wise enough to catch all of everyone’s happenings in a way to pass on in the notes as of yet. I will get it together for the next issue. Here are the BRs that I have found: Andre Gibson, Andy Faulconer, Bert Loflin, Bill Dunn, Bill Hardy, Bob Magnan, Bruce Mason, Charles Alphin, Bob Beaver, Chip Jamerson, Chris Stone, Courtney Ridley, Craig Badalaty, Dac Colden, Danny Thornton, Dave Montgomery, David Kahle, Dave Wrenn, Dick Powell, Frank Fountain, Garry Brumback, Gary Snyder,

Jeff Henry, George Relyea, Glenn Jones, Greg Gearhart, Allen Moore, Ivan Coleman, Jack Barnhill, Jerry Harris, Jerry Hillard, Jim Doyle, Jim Simons, John Eiband, John Woodward, Kevin Callanan, Len Logan, Les Shimanek, Mark Bottomly, Matt Schell, Mike Oelrich, Mike Stubbs, Mike Wright, Mike Freeman, Mike McCarthy, Nelson Curtis, Pat Wilson, Paul Mitchell, Rich Tuell, Rick Wolfe, Bob Eagle, Bob Simpson, Bob Jenvey, Phil Fore, Rob Traver, Ron Lee, Scott Singletary, Scott LaCagnin, Steve Oddi, Steve Burns, Stu Gitchell, Terry Dorn, Tom Tucker, Tom Replogle, Tom Fields, Tim DeSalvo, Tim Moriarty, T.J. Stevens, Tom Booker, Tom Tanner, Wes Shull and Bill Morris. Not a bad start – 73 BRs, as of now. I hope to have a ’78 group set up for us by the time you get this issue of the Review. Thanks for all your support … EZ Bear.


Michael Ogden

Hope this finds all well and that everyone had a joyful holiday period. First of all, for those that have not heard, Mike Burton passed away in September. It was all very sudden and unexpected. The class had about 20 BRs attend his wake and funeral, which was very much appreciated by Janey and his family. He will be missed. (Editor’s Note: Mike Burton’s obituary appears in the Taps section of this Review.) A long awaited update from Eddie Semler. He re-married last Nov. 22, 2008, and his wife’s name is Lynn. She is a school nurse. Eddie’s oldest son, Cogan, is in Monterey, CA, getting his master’s in mechanical engineering at the Naval Post Graduate School. He was married in PA on Sept. 24th of this year. Eddie’s daughter gave birth to his first grandchild, Braden James, on Oct. 19th in Charleston, SC. Welcome to the “grandpa club,” Eddie! It obviously has been a big year for the Semler family. Ed is still working for Saint-Gobain, and he mixes that up with NCAA Lacrosse officiating and high school field hockey officiating. Lynn and Eddie just purchased some ocean front property in Panama and plan on heading down to start a surf camp/ fishing business within the next 18 months. Ed was in Lexington in October and made a quick call on the beloved (and chiseled) Commandant Tom Trumps. Eddie reports that Tom looked great, except he dyed his hair grey! Jay Virtue writes that their daughter is now a freshman in college and youngest son is a sophomore in high school. He is still doing the Boy Scout, soccer and wrestling seasons. He says,


CLASS NOTES “Debbie is hanging in there with me – staying beautiful and making me look older when we stand together.” (Anyone who attended our 30th can attest to that!) Their family trip this year was an Alaska cruise which was much enjoyed and they would do again tomorrow. I got a call late in the evening on 10 Nov. Caller ID showed Jay’s name. I get bad feelings about late night phone calls, but as it turned out, it was Jay calling from a Marine Corps Birthday Ball he was attending with one of his clients. He was just calling to wish me a Happy Marine Corps Birthday! What a guy, former roommate and all around super BR! Dan Kornacki completed the Florida Iron Man in November … his third (I say again, THIRD) Iron Man in 12:02:36 … missing his personal record by four minutes. Also in the “can you believe guys our age are doing this stuff” category, Farshad Majidian ran this year’s Marine Corps Marathon in 4:28. That would be his seventh (I say again, SEVENTH) marathon! Bob Morris writes that, following retirement from the Army after 30 years, he and Hank St. Pierre were recalled to active duty by SecArmy! Hank is still the TRADOC Capabilities manager (virtual) at Leavenworth, and Bob is now the TRADOC G-3/5/7 Joint Training Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Operations Integration Center (JTCOIC) Operations Cell director (whew!) in Hampton Roads. He is doing some counter-IED stuff. (Great; Stosh with explosives!) Stosh says that Hank has been through town a couple times and that they had some great sessions at the “Morris Bunker” over cigars, copious amounts of chow and good burbon. (No kidding, he misspelled bourbon! Thinking it must have been REALLY GOOD BURBON!). Stosh later writes to me, and writes, and writes (strap in) … “Just thought I’d pass some battle damage assessment (BDA) of last night’s events in Richmond held at “Code Orange.” Spotts did a great job of setting things up, although there was some initial confusion among attendees resulting from the female wait staff continually referring to him as “their daddy.” “Asa Page was gracious enough to give me a ride up and back to prevent me from being alone on the road or showing up in the wrong state, as is my habit as of late. It was a great time to talk about all of you when you were not around.” (I’ll send you his comments from the recording later and individually.) “Pedro Alvarez is, in fact, alive, not in the witness protection program, and arrives from an undisclosed location, doing undisclosed work for an unnamed employer en route to an undisclosed location. His temporary re-integration into society was only marred by his continual response

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to all questions with, ‘Senator, I have no clear recollection of any involvement with....’ This made it particularly difficult on the poor wait staff attempting to simply ask what he wanted to eat or drink. Spotts fortunately solved it for us all by allowing Pedro to speak through him as his lawyer and so derive protection for ‘plausible deniability,’ should the drink orders come back in some formal inquiry. To prove it was really Pedro, we had a group photo taken with Meade’s high speed Blackberry. There was a touchy spot there also when Meade could not figure out how to actually take and save a picture with his Blackberry ... His only defense being ‘Hey ... I have people who do that for me ...’ Brian Tollie showed up as the guest speaker and provided the most informative professional and personal development lecture the assembled had heard in some time on the tactics, techniques and procedures for ‘safe dating.’ For all, it was a fascinating combination of ‘cheating death meets Thanksgiving,’ as he regaled us with his experience on a blind date one Thanksgiving with a then-recent or soon-to-be-divorced Virginia belle named Lorena (see:

and_Lorena_Bobbitt) and how to avoid losing one’s giblets. We all agreed it was a fascinating addition to Lorena’s history, missing from Wikipedia, so we plan to collectively update that entry. Following many beers, many wings and a large dose of red meat (except for Brian who it seems had a flashback after his talk and would not allow any of the waitresses near him with a knife). Spotts, Tollie and I returned to ‘Shack Spotts’ where his loving wife had wisely secured the children in the main house and all stray farm animals in the barn. Pedro Alvarez produced a rather fine bottle of very old Cuban Rum he had obviously legally purchased from the store at his ‘Company.’ We spent the remainder of the evening (and well into the morning hours) consuming said libations as true Brother Rats who, once opened, could not allow Pedro to get back on the road to occupied northern Virginia, risking an ‘open container in vehicle’ arrest. We shared more than a few hand-rolled cigars. Initial disappointment that they were not rolled on the thighs of a virgin was replaced when I assured them they were rolled (at least in part) on the thighs of a BR. Throughout the evening, Pedro delighted us

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CLASS NOTES the get-together a somewhat with a list of topics he ‘couldn’t disofficial look. Frank Jester cuss without killing us,’ and Spotts, and Bob and Angela Sievert for some reason, kept wanting him to stopped by, as did Meade just tell me .... We also learned from Spotts with his kids and Brian Tollie’s genealogy research of a rather fascinating incident involving friends en route to a campout. the almost termination of the Tollie Watching Meade as a “dad” bloodline, as the result of an old was fun. (“Hey … HEY!! You family disagreement in the 1800s cannot ninja turtle karate kick or so, that erupted in gunfire ... any your little brother like that!”) connection to Thanksgiving, giblets Ed Bowers ’80 (who, with his or Brian’s later near-death dating full beard, looks enough like experience a century later are yet to Tom White to be his brother!) be confirmed. We did let Spotts go in even showed up briefly to time to tell his family that rumors of taste the ribs and provide his his death were greatly exaggerated, professional opinion. Kurt and warn them not to approach the guest Sally Lewin, neighbors of ours Class of 1979: Members of the class of ’79 attended house until all the cars were gone whose son, Clay, is a Rat, also Brother Rat Mike Burton’s funeral in September 2009. for at least four hours and still make attended, and based on their the drive up for his DC meeting. As “offerings” and enthusiasm, University, Fort McNair. After a short “break” usual, a calm get-together.” Gotta be true. You I think ’79 will be more than happy should as a defense contractor, Anthony started in just can’t make stuff like that up. they decide to join us again! The weather November as an official at the Department of I ran into John Coleman ’76 while observing threatened all day and kept the parade field Homeland Security. an exercise at Camp Lejeune, NC, in October. off limits to the tailgaters ... So, we used During the Oct. 17 Parent’s Weekend John, retired after 30 years in the Marines, was our influence and set up our tents, tables Stoney Brook football game, Dave and there working as a consultant. He and his wife, and the above mentioned smoker in the Cindy Jeter held their annual rib smoker Teri, live about 12 miles from Lexington in a commandant’s yard! The rains held off, and for family and friends. Cindy’s brother, Sam house on 16 acres, right on the Maury. A beauti- “Grill Meister” Rasnick, whose son, Nathan, everyone had a good time. Thanks to Tom ful place. I stopped by for dinner and a visit in and Jeff for providing the locale (and the graduated in 2007, manned the smoker November and had a grand time catching up. plumbing). Well done, Dave and Cindy! to ensure 21 racks of ribs were cooked to Dave Smith is still living in Leesburg, still Henry Rogers still lives in Dallas and works perfection. In attendance were a number underemployed and still healthy. He ran into at Interstate Batteries as the corporate chaplain. of BRs, including Dave Taylor, his wife, John Poffenbarger in November and reports Back in October, he took a trip leading a team Carrie, and their family; Chip and Maria he’s healthy and happy. of employees to Budapest, Hungary, doing misHumphrey; Tom and Karen Baltazar; Mac Rodney DeCorte mails in: “It seems everyone and Cindy Curtis; Nectar and Marion Pace sions work. Henry has just one left in college, in my family started a new school this semester and then he and Kathy will officially be empty(and their third-classman son, Sam); and except my wife, Patti. Boy, is she gloating! She nesters. His exciting news is that their second moi. Tom and Nancy Trumps and Jeff Curalready has a master’s and a certificate in pedidaughter is getting married in March. Henry tis and his wife, Betsy, risked their Institute atric nurse practitioners. I started an executive sighs, “Oh, the joys of paying for a wedding stature by hanging out with us and giving master’s program for public managewith another still in college!” ment given by the University of MD. Mike “the Ghoul” Thomas, My son, James, started at Baltimore Meade Spotts and Asa “Killer” International College shooting for a Page were guests of “Mr. Jim” BS in the culinary arts; at least he will Leavitt, along with some 11 other be able to feed himself! He looked scuba fanatics on Grand Cayman at VMI, but we do not offer culinary for a week in October. The water arts. He is doing well at the moment, conditions were absolutely perfect, and the food he brings home, when and the group spent much time he visits, is pretty darn good, too. My enjoying the pools, beaches and 11-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, started imported “swimwear talent” around middle school and really likes her Jim’s Cayman Castle (yes – a classes and her teachers.” castle), while snow flurries came Hank Chase attended Anthony Pais’ down in Lexington during the footretirement from the Marine Corps ball game against Stoney Brook. after 30 years’ faithful service. Also in A fun time (along with sunburns/ attendance were Doug Doerr, Brian hangovers) was had by all. They Tollie and Phil Southers. Anthony’s teamed up to capture a lionfish last assignment, from which he retired, – the scourge of the Caribbean – Class of 1979: Asa “Killer” Page, Jim Leavitt, Mike “the was as senior Marine and professor and Asa managed to bag one of Ghoul” Thomas and Meade Spotts gathered at Grand at Industrial College of the Armed Cayman’s notorious animals after a Cayman for a week in October 2009. Forces (ICAF) at the National Defense 2-kilometer stalk. Asa is just three



CLASS NOTES kills away from being an “ACE” on Grand Cayman. While the divers used a scoop net for their prize, Asa used a ’98 Hyundai 9-pax van. And to prove that there is no professional courtesy among sharks (Leavitt has a law degree, too), for Spotts’ first dive in almost 20 years, BRF Jim took him on a night dive in caves outside the reef. William “Smitty” Smithson checked in from Kabul. He has been there since June ’09 or so with the 48th GA. The Army Reserves assigned him to a National Guard unit as an infantry officer. He didn’t see that coming. It would have made sense to assign him as a physician’s assistant (PA), but the Army was a bit slow to pick up on that. He has officially applied for and been accepted for a branch transfer with the Army and has also applied for a commission in the USAF as a PA and for several positions with other federal agencies. He figures, whoever will pay off his student loans, he can be employed by for a few years! Smitty writes, “So, I wait patiently to swear in or whatever there is left to do, so I can practice medicine over here. I keep volunteering for things I should not be doing at my age. I don’t duck as fast as I used to, but that’s OK. The Taliban are 0 for 4 currently, and I hope their poor marksmanship continues. I volunteered to go out with a Marine unit a couple of weeks ago. God, they are young but great young guys. I have asked to be reassigned to a forward operating base; not sure if they will approve it. They say I am a magnet for the Taliban.” Bob Sievert’s oldest son, Matthew, is doing a stint at Virginia Union University as a professor teaching physics, math and science. He wraps this up next year and is off to Ohio State in the fall to get back to his Ph.D. in physics (already has one year done). His youngest son, Andrew, is in the middle of his second year at Daniel Webster in New Hampshire, where he’s studying programming for gaming and simulation. Angela continues her work with wild animals as a rescuer and rehabilitator. Times are quiet right now, but the spring and late summer usually see the Sievert’s with a house full of baby squirrels, rabbits and God-only-knows what else. It seems like pretty amazing work and certainly very fulfilling for Angela. Bob’s work with Virginia (the state!) continues to be very challenging. He still heads up the state’s electronic procurement system, eVA, and is working to find ways to make it more worthwhile and effective for all those that have to work it day-in and day-out, just to do their jobs or get business. The one exciting news is that he has been asked to speak at two international conferences this winter. On Thanksgiving Day, he will be headed to Toronto to speak at a public procurement conference, and then in December, he will be taking a very long

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and round-about route to Cape Verde to speak at another public procurement seminar being held for the governments of Cape Verde, Portugal, England, Brazil, Paraguay and Senegal. Susan Vordermark scribes: “I’ve tried to get Jeff to send you something for the Review, but he’s busy and thinks he doesn’t have anything important to say. He is about to graduate his third class since we’ve retired here at Leavenworth. He loves the teaching / being with / mentoring the students part of his job … he hates the admin side of it all … .i.e., right hand not knowing what the left is doing in the higher-up office. He and our nearly 17-year-old, Seth, have been hunting. Jeff got a 9-point/240pound deer, and the two of them butchered and packaged it in my kitchen. They did such a good job, I allowed as how they could do it again, if one of them could shoot another buck. We’ll see.” Thanks, Susan. Please take note, all of you wives and significant others! This is a non-discriminatory effort here. I will take class notes submissions from all who wish to write! That’s all for now, BRs. See more of you on Facebook. Just another way to keep in touch! All the best from Renee and me on the Eastern Shore.


Evans, Jay McCauley, Forrest Marion, Michael Smith and Dan Sweeney. As you’ll read below, each fall, a group of our BRs, led by Rob Quarles and Mike Lunning, gather in Lexington to attend a football game. Email messages related to the gathering picked up in August. In one message, Rob noted that Yves Pollart has joined an engineering firm in Harrisburg, PA, where he manages the environmental division. Don Bradshaw also wrote that he planned to attend and bring Karyn and the margarita machine she gave him for his 50th birthday. Matthew and Tanya Keys joined me and Patti on our roof deck to celebrate Matthew’s birthday. They live in lower Manhattan, and we plan an evening together once a month. In September, they hosted us at their apartment, and in October we attended a black-tie or costume Halloween party. Photos from their visit appear on the VMI Web site. John Stallings, who lives in Long Island, planned to join us on the roof but had a conflict.

John Gibney Jr.

Hello, Brother Rats. These notes cover the period Aug. 16, 2009, through Nov. 15, 2009. Thanks to all for your communication during this very active period, with apologies to all who reached out and did not receive a response. Ed Baker sent an e-mail upon his return to NC from Jackson Hole, WY, where he attended a Med. Ed. Course. Dr. Baker was accompanied by Dianna and their son, Charlie, and they enjoyed hiking and fly fishing in Yellowstone and the Tetons. Ed was also planning his annual fishing trip with Dennis Loba. Ed wrote that Dennis should call him “bus driver,” because Ed plans to take him to school. Jack Keane called while commuting from his home in Waldorf, MD, to his office in Laurel, MD. Jack is employed by Johns Hopkins where he oversees 200 employees. Jack is in contact with Tom Shedd and Larry Ciacci who are both employed in positions related to homeland security. Gary Levenson also called. However, after reading about himself in the last set of notes, Gary’s call lacked its usual pleasantries. Patti calmed Gary down by speaking about the new season of “Real Housewives.” In August, a new Rat class matriculated. Our BRs with sons who entered VMI were Bob

Class of 1980: Halloween Transformation: Matthew and Tanya Keys before (black tie) and after (shorts) attending a Halloween party in New York City.


CLASS NOTES With regard to photos, a maximum of five, if they meet certain publication standards, may appear in the class notes section of each Alumni Review. All others may be posted to the VMI Web site. In connection with these notes, numerous photos appear on the Web site. Instructions for accessing our class page were included in a year-end letter sent in December. I’ll forward them to you again upon request. September began with an e-mail from Tom Bersson. He and Amy were in New York to drop off their daughter, Beth, at NYU where she is a freshman. Tom retired from the Navy in July and is an assistant vice president at SAIC in the Norfolk area. Tom also wrote that he sees Tony Zoetis who also works for SAIC. Patrick McCarthy sent an e-mail with a photo taken in July in Parris Island showing Patrick, Roni and their son, Shane, at Shane’s graduation from Marine Corps boot camp. Shane is now attending artillery school in Fort Sill, OK. The photo is on the Web site. Tom Gelles called and provided details on his family vacation to Provincetown this summer, where Tom learned first-hand the meaning of alternative lifestyle. While in the Boston area, Tom saw Dennis Maguire, Bruno Loefstedt and Mike Harper. Tom’s son, Nick, returned to VMI for his third class year in August. Jonathan Ives sent an e-mail, with photos, from Germany. Jonathan has been selected for brigadier general in the Army Reserves and is completing a tour in support of the European Command. John Caplice called while visiting NYC on a

Class of 1980: Amy and Elliott Wolffe after their wedding in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 2009.


business trip with an offer to attend that evening’s Yankees game. John and Margie celebrated their 25th anniversary this summer with a trip to Ireland. Bill Roelofsen sent an e-mail with an update. Bill is a chiropractor in private practice in Roanoke. He spends a good deal of his free time working on his turn-of-the-century house and yard when not fishing, camping and mountain biking. He also attends VMI football and basketball games but will not be at our 30th Reunion due to a conflict. Bill often sees Ed Elliott and reports that Ed and his family are doing fine. Bill recently communicated with Tom Horan via Facebook. Birthday cards are often the impetus for an e-mail. One message came from Dan Conn who wrote that he planned to attend a football game at VMI. Another arrived from Frank Galgano. Frank retired from the Army last year and has relocated to Pennsylvania where he is chair of the Department of Geography and the Environment at Villanova University. Christina is busy setting up their new home. Their daughter, Jenna, is a sophomore at Villanova, and their daughter, Alyssa, is a junior in high school. Their son, Daniel, a West Point graduate, is a Blackhawk pilot in the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, TX, who is preparing to deploy to Iraq. I spoke at length with Chal Glenn on several occasions. Chal’s son, Josh, is being recruited by several Division III schools to play basketball, many of them in the northeast. Chal also sent a video clip from a local SC television station announcing that Josh had been named student athlete of the week based upon his performance in a football game. The clip should be viewable on the VMI Web site. Chal also reported on Jody Morgan and her children. Cameron attends Appalachian State, Jake is in graduate school and Hannah is working in Richmond.

October began with an e-mail from Ken and JoAnn Trotman updating their home address and phone numbers and a phone call from Rob Wheeler who still flies for American Eagle out of Dallas. Steve Andrews sent an e-mail with a photo of his daughter, Virginia, a high school senior, taken at a multi-band field competition. She is waiting to hear from her early admission college. Caroline is a high school freshman playing volleyball and the piano. I also spoke several times with Andy Ludlum. He and Nikki were in Lexington with Rob and Ginger Gearhart for a football game. Rob is a colonel in the Marine Corps with plans to retire in May. Andy also reported that his daughter, Chrissy, is getting married in January and his grandson, Gabriel, is healthy and growing. Finally, Andy briefly saw John Alerding. Mike Flinn sent an e-mail from San Antonio where he works for Booz Allen Hamilton. Mike wrote that he is doing well, working in support of the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment. Mike also reported that he spoke with Dave Gleason who is doing very well in Maryland. Bert Schneider sent an e-mail with a photo taken in Tucson, AZ, where he manned the booth at a college recruiting event. Bert is the lead recruiter for Arizona. I also spoke several times with Tuck Masker who reported that his son, also Tuck, a high school sophomore, is both the starting junior varsity quarterback and playing quarterback on the varsity football team. Mike Lunning and Rob Quarles, among many others, plan and then execute a trip to VMI each year that includes a golf outing, tailgating before and after a VMI football game, attending the game and an evening at the home of Gary Levenson

Class of 1980: The Wolffes, with Amy’s three children and Elliott’s three children, at the post-wedding party.


CLASS NOTES on post. In both 2008 and 2009, the gathering occurred over Parent’s Weekend. Planning begins in the spring and the e-mail messages are abundant. This year, due to heavy rain during the week preceding the game, the parade ground was closed. So, the tailgate was moved to the front yard of Gary’s quarters. Patti took dozens of photos, and many of them appear on the VMI Web site. Briefly, our BRs who attended the pregame tailgate included Bill Roelofsen, Marty and Kim Fedenko, who were married in June and live in Atlanta, Rob Quarles from Memphis and his mother, from Richmond. From the Norfolk area were V. and Sarina Dunn, Mike Lunning and Dixon Tucker. Preston Vock drove down from the Pittsburgh area with his father and his wife. From DC were Jay and Marge McConnell and their daughters and Walt and Mary Lynne Wood, who were completing their trip through the U.S. as detailed below. Both Ed Bower and Robby Jones were in attendance at the game. In addition, our BRs who attended the party that Gary and Karen Levenson hosted after the game included John Alerding, Tom Gelles, Bruno Loefstedt, Jay McCauley, Gene Scott, Michael Smith and Dan Sweeney. The last group of our BRs was accompanied by their sons who are in the Corps of Cadets. At the end of October, Chris Dombalis ventured into the city from his home and office in New Jersey, and we had lunch. Chris is doing very well professionally, and he reported that Jen and the girls are also doing well. November began with an e-mail from and a subsequent phone call with Craig Wilson. Wiennie wrote that he plans to attend the VMI vs. ODU football game in Lexington, possibly with Paul Burkholder. Wiennie’s construction business seems to have survived the recession, and he’s put a large addition on his house in the Norfolk area. He invites all BRs to visit. Patrick McCarthy called to volunteer to serve on our 30th Reunion committee and reported seeing Walt and Mary Lynne Wood in October. He

also had a knee replaced in June and was scheduled to have the other knee replaced in November. Patrick was ordained as a Southern Baptist pastor, and in November, he’ll be on a prison mission trip. His daughter, Katie, has been accepted to nursing school and is considering pursuing an active duty commission in the Army or the Navy. Others volunteering to serve on the reunion committee include John Alerding, John Blankenship, Paul Burkholder, Hugh Fain, Pat Griffin and Rob Quarles. Pat Griffin also said that he was considering attending the football game against West Point, as were Matthew Keys and Phil Munisteri. Larry Ciacci works in downtown Manhattan, and we met for lunch. Larry and Rose have been married for 28 years and have three children: Michael (24), Christina (21) and Anthony (16). Larry works for FEMA where he handles regions declared disaster areas. Hunter Davis sent an e-mail containing a string of messages he exchanged with Doug Mund. Doug and Anneliese have been married for 28 years; they have a 19-year-old daughter, Hillary, and a 16-year-old son, Christian, and live in Massachusetts. Hunter and Deborah have been married for 22 years and live in a 100-year-old house in Ketchikan, Alaska. Tragically, on Nov. 7th Bob Evans’ son, John, who matriculated in August with the class of 2013, died in his room at VMI. One of John’s roommates was Forrest Marion’s son, Nathan. Details were communicated via e-mail and separate mailings to our BRs. Thanks to Dennis Hackemeyer, Gary Levenson, Bruno Loefstedt and Jay Melvin for alerting me and by conduit, our BRs. Representing our BRs at John’s funeral were Dave Gleason, Andy Ludlum, Hal Snyder, and Tony and Tracey Zoetis. Thanks to Andy for the phone call. Dennis Hackemeyer also noted that his daughter, Hope, in her second class year at VMI, is a member of the cadet counseling team who received her ring in November. Jay Melvin

reported that his son, Jason, having graduated from Hampden-Sydney, is working in DC and living in Georgetown. His daughter, Sarah, is a junior at Sweet Briar where she’s an R.A. majoring in sociology. And Bruno Loefstedt, whose son, Arthur, is in his third class year, was also considering attending the football game at West Point, as was Ed Carter and Dennis Maguire. Semper Fi to Tom Kelly and Tom Gelles, fellow Marines, for communicating on 10 Nov. Walt and Mary Lynne Wood sent a summary, with photos, of their travels from their home in Peru throughout the U.S. from February through October. They covered more than 21,500 miles and visited Dan and Cindy Sweeney in Lynchburg, Wade and Lannie Stinnette in SC, Mark and Darlene Sobota in OH, and Aaron and Nancy Bush in PA, before heading to Boston, the place that produced, as Walt wrote, so many of our BRs with funny accents. In Boston, Dennis and Vivienne Maguire hosted a party that included Ed and Barb Carter, Pat and Beth Griffin, and Doug and Maureen Reddington. Their trip concluded with a visit to VMI over Parent’s Weekend, chronicled above. As the period closed, V. Dunn hosted a party and invited several of our BRs to his house to watch the VMI vs. West Point game. Along those lines, Patti and I had to decide between attending the VMI football game at West Point and the wedding of Amy and Elliott Wolffe in New Orleans. We chose the wedding and spent three fun-filled days in the Big Easy, culminating in a wonderful ceremony that included Amy’s three children, Elliott’s three children and the theme song from the television show, “The Brady Bunch.” Finally, thanks to Dixon Tucker for being such a good listener and sending a package from Arizona that solves my beer-drinking problem in the Poconos. Thanks to all for your contributions to this set of our notes. Please look on the VMI Web site at the photos referenced above that do not appear in print.

’81 Class of 1980: Brother Rats with their wives at the Maguire home in Boston, Massachusetts, in September 2009. From left: Dennis and Vivienne Maguire, Pat and Beth Griffin, Walt and Mary Lynne Wood, Doug and Maureen Reddington, and Ed and Barb Carter.

2010-Issue 1

Gerald Manley

Dear Brother Rats: Not sure where the time goes! Seems like it was just last week that I sent in the August update, and now it is time to for the November submits. By the time you see this in print, the holidays will have come and gone. Knowing that, I pray that you all had a very blessed Christmas, Chanukah and Holiday Season. I pray that you will all have a very healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year!


CLASS NOTES First update is in the form of hearty congratulations to Robert “Clinker” Moss for being the subject of a terrific Richmond Times-Dispatch article in November that was written about him and his restoration of an old cabin in Halifax County, VA. Clinker purchased 11 acres upon which the original cabin, possibly remaining from the late 1700s, stood, along with a very small cemetery – about the size of two king-sized beds – that is the resting place of his great-great-grandfather, Confederate soldier James A. Shelton. The article is very well written and provides great insight on Clinker’s efforts, how he first came upon the property and the joys related to the restoration. The article can be found at www2.timesdispatch. com/rtd/lifestyles/home_garden/article/HHALI13_20091112-185407/305337/. Very proud to be your BR, Clinker! This is such a great piece of history that you found and protected – one that your family will now have for generations to come. Brian Quisenberry shot me an update while he was in Camp Virginia, Kuwait, awaiting a flight that week to Iraq. Quiz will be the NAVCENT LNO to MDN-S (MultiNational Division-South), 350 days BOG (boots on ground). He did keep his departure a bit under the radar, as he did not want to bring attention to his deployment, but I will share, when the call came, Brian was very

proud to take the assignment and serve. God bless you, Brian! Stay safe. Watch your six. We will celebrate your return by this time next year! We will start planning for the festivities in Lexington, and we will even let you buy the first round! We will celebrate with you, Quiz! Grover Outland is always doing great things for the “I” and for the class of ’81. Grove has kept in touch with Ed Holland who was back in Iraq in October and expected to return to the U.S. in November, the month of this writing. Ed’s son, Jason, a second at the USAF Academy, will be an exchange student at USNA next semester. Jason is the second of Ed and Penny. Their oldest, “Buck,” graduated from USAFA in ’06 and is stationed in Southern California (another arduous Air Force tour!). With the news of Jason being at the USNA, we expect that we will be seeing Ed around the northern VA/DC/Annapolis area and hope that, in future Reviews, we will be writing of a few social gatherings with Ed and other local BRs. Grove also shared that he was in Lexington in early October and ran into quite a few BRs. One great surprise was his seeing John Haithcock, as they had not crossed paths since graduation. Grover shared that John looked very much the same as when he left the “I.” Grove also reported seeing Bruce Kitchen and John Goode that same weekend at Bruce’s post-parade, pre-game

tailgate on the Parade Ground. Both Bruce and John have sons who are Rats, and the “fourth classmen” stopped by the tailgate party in great spirits. Gary Morgan continues to do great things. Gary has fully assumed his new duties as the inspector general for the Defense Security Service. DSS is DoD’s lead agent for the National Industrial Security Program and is responsible for safeguarding the defense industrial base. DSS also has a CI mission and runs the Security Education and Training Academy (SETA). Needless to say, Gary has been drinking from a fire hose for several weeks at the time, as of this writing, but he is getting a rapid handle on the entire organization. Gary is another who will have a reduced commute, not unlike Ricky Moose (McCue). Gary is currently living in Fredericksburg and traveling to his office in Alexandria. However, his DSS office will be moving to Quantico in the spring of 2011 with NCIS, Army CID and Air Force OSI into a DoD investigative agency complex. (See if you can pull some strings, Gary, and get CNIC IG relocated there, and I will buy you coffee each and every morning!) I was fortunate enough to see Gary at the VMI vs. Richmond football game along with BRs Grover Outland, Mike Denton, Bruce Kitchen, Mark Kanter, Hank Lee and John Aulbach. I received another great note from John and

Class of 1981 at the VMI versus Richmond Football Game Sept. 26, 2009 Photos counter clockwise from top, left: - Mike Denton, Mark Kanter and Jerry Manley. - From left: Grover Outland, Mike Denton, Bruce Kitchen, Gary Morgan and Jerry Manley. - Jenna Manley, Jerry’s daughter, with Grover “Uncle Endo” Outland.



CLASS NOTES Patti Dixon. They are both doing very well four hours out of his day). Rick is showing his watch captain on weekends. They are shifting and still living the dream! John is still a faculty true spirit and love for his BRs by orchestrating into holiday season mode at the Lloyd house. officer at Carson Long Military Institute in New what is hoped to be a regular Cigar Happy Hour - John Holloway chimed in with a quick note Bloomfield, PA, teaching chemistry and physics in the Richmond area. First was held in October to share that he is still in Norfolk but has moved and serving as a company “Tac.” John really en- at Havanas. Ricky Moose shared that it was a from Hunton & Williams to Troutman Sanders joys it there, aside from the fact that their dean great gathering that he hopes will grow over in April. is a Hokie. Seems that he and the dean have time, with a monthly sharing of stories, cigars - Mike Placzek shared that he is “running hot, a great time ribbing one another about their and spirits. In attendance at the first gathering straight and normal! He is staying busy with educational ties, and it keeps things interesting were Rick McCue, Hank “Lighthorse” Lee, work and keeping up with the family. for the rest of the onlookers! Patti is doing well Vee Wood, Mike Denton, Ken “Catman” Mor- Mark “Gunny” Olson and Gene Loving in Gettysburg with her shop, “The Island Dog,” ris and Bruce “Repeat” Gitchell. Both Catman shared a great meal in early November. We met and is trying to win approval from VMI to and Repeat were brave enough to bring their in Gainesville, VA, with one of Gene’s friends produce and market some VMI-related collars, wives, the beautiful and lovely Karen Morris and his son, a prospective cadet. The life of the leashes and other fun things! Patti is sure to get and Jo Gitchell. party, however, was Gene’s beautiful daughter, us a class of ’81 discount on any VMI products John Driscoll shared that he is coming home Grace, who babysat the Gunny for most of the she gets approval to sell. John and Patti still for 10 days to spend Thanksgiving with the evening. (Loved seeing you, Grace! You did a have their home on Gwynn’s Island, and John family. Regretfully, Isabelle is staying behind, great job with the Gunny!) offers that anyone who has the chance to slip because she’s started a new job at NATO HQ - Corky Mitchell has been sharing electronic by there can get the key from his dad images of some of his recent and rake up some oysters from under paintings, and I must say, Corky his dock. John says there is a golf cart has talent! Corky paints excepand a few sets of clubs in the garage tionally well, and anyone that has if anyone wants to play on some of seen his work will second that the nice courses close by. opinion. Jim Waller wrote with the wonder- I ran into BR John Judge in ful news that he and his beautiful the Navy Yard – and we almost bride, Carrie, were blessed with a literally ran into one another. new daughter, Sara Waller, born John and I will try to schedule 12:35a.m., 12 Nov. 2009. Jim shared time together to catch up in the that they missed a Founders Day coming weeks. I hope to get a birthday by 35 minutes! Carrie and larger group together in the DC little Sara are doing very well. The area for lunch, dinner or drinks Wallers are living in Waynesboro, on a regular basis, to follow the where Carrie is a doctor of veterinarMoose lead! Class of 1981: Col. Brent Dunahoe ’83, USMC; Ben Warian medicine. His other daughter, - Ken “Piggy” Herbert and ing, USC ’08; and Jim Waring in Dunahoe’s office at The Citadel, where he is a naval sciences professor. Anna, age 5, already wants to follow I keep threatening one another Carrie’s footsteps as a veterinarian. with a shared coffee or IHOP (God bless you, Jim, and your loving breakfast. Hopefully, we will family!) and has to watch the family dogs. John wrote have had one of many before this edition rolls Bill King shared some kind words and then that he plans to make the Old Dominion game out! I am buying the first round, Ken! provided an update from Abingdon, VA. Bill and to see enough BRs there for a mini reunion. That is about it from me, BRs. As you are and wife Libby became proud grandparents (Hope you made it, John, and that I will have reading this, however, and if you have not seen this past July with the birth of Anna Katherine pics for the next write up!) class e-mails from me since last September, Berry. Anna’s parents, Laura (daughter of Bill Some “Quick Hitters:” please help me update my records. Stop what and Libby) and her husband, Kevin, live nearby - I heard from Brig. Gen. Paul Brier. Paul, you are doing, and send me an e-mail right the new grandparents, and Bill loves every Rhonda and family are having a great time in away with your correct contact information. minute of it! Congratulations to you, Bill, and Stuttgart, Germany. Paul shared that he sees Send it to with a to Libby, Laura and Kevin. Welcome to the a great many VMI grads there and that he backup to my work address of gerald.manley@ world, Anna! recently (November) promoted Chris Starling With our 30th Reunion looming ever Dave Loduca is also enjoying his grandpa ’88 to the rank of colonel. Semper Fidelis, Paul! closer, it is all the more important that we share status, but he shares that work takes him away - Bart and Patty Price shared that their young- correct contact information. Please keep those from that role all too often. Dave has been in est, Ethan Price ’11, is getting ready for Ring updates coming! I would also like to get high Toronto since August, working on their newest Figure, which is just a week away as I write resolution pics of any mini reunions, get togethlight rail transit system. While half of his St. this. Bart and Patty plan to be at VMI to watch ers, promotions, retirements, grandchildren, etc. Louis office was working on the new Honolulu the ring ceremony. Ethan is a bio major with You know the drill. transit, he was working on his savage tan in the a full plate as first sergeant of F Troop and, Lastly, let’s keep all of those serving in warm and sunny Ontario province. notably, a member of the Honor Court. harm’s way, such as our beloved BRs QuisenRick McCue has been active in re-forging - Trip Lloyd finished his two years and one berry and Holland, in our daily thoughts and those VMI class ties since his NCIS retirement month on active duty and is now back with the prayers. May God bring them all home safely. (not having to commute from Midlothian to CFO’s office at Homeland Security. Trip will God bless our troops! DC every day seems to have freed up about continue to stand duty in uniform as Navy battle In the bonds … Jerry

2010-Issue 1




Charles Kause

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote in “The Autumn:” The dearest hands that clasp our hand – Their presence may be o’er; The dearest voice that meets our ear, That tone may come no more! Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth, Which once refresh’d our mind, Shall come – as, on those sighing woods, The chilling autumn wind. Hear not the wind – view not the woods; Look out o’er vale and hillIn spring, the sky encircled them – The sky is round them still. Come autumn’s scathe -- come winter’s cold – Come change – and human fate! Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound, Can ne’er be desolate. And there has been no desolation in Schloss Kause this autumn, as I have enjoyed renewing correspondence with several Brother Rats. I finally got over my Internet security fears and established a profile on LinkedIn, a Web 2.0 social software site for professionals. I have had fun renewing relationships with several previous friends and colleagues from my past, as well as many Brother Rats. My original Rat roommate from the fifth stoop, Jose Suarez, dropped a note from his home in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has put his education and work experiences to good use and is now vice president for Business and Strategic Development at the Mining and Metallurgy division of SNC-Lavalin. His company is one of the leading engineering and construction companies in the world. It is a major player in the ownership of infrastructure and in the provision of operations and maintenance services. Jose was recently over in China, where he was part of a negotiating team with the Chinese government for a $3 billion Chinese investment in Canadian mines. Jose and his colleagues resided in and worked from the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, a historic hotel and guesthouse complex in Beijing. The Guesthouse is used to house visiting foreign dignitaries and provincial government officials. During the Cultural Revolution, it was the permanent residence of Jiang Qing, or Madame Mao. It has also been used by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, during her


recent trip to China to call on China’s foreign minister and president. Kevin “The Badge” Smith has accepted a non-traditional new career since retiring from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel. He did the “obligatory contracting job” with the U.S. Army in the Pacific after retiring from Federal uniformed government service but decided it was not for him. Kevin is now a sworn police officer in Wilmington, NC – a local uniformed peace officer, government professional. He was selected recently to join his department’s Crisis/Hostage Negotiation Team. Kevin’s wife, Stephanie, is finishing her Ph.D. in public administration and works at UNC Wilmington. They have two boys at home. Kevin dropped some clues as to his roommates’ whereabouts. Guy Marangoni is still busting crime as an FBI unit chief and special agent in the Virginia area. Dick Justice retired from the Air Force and is “doing the contractor thing” in Virginia, as well. George Seiferth “is still Army Strong” and living in Germany, where he qualifies as a dual citizen. Cory Attra, a regular correspondent, is now vice president for Finance and Administration at DTC Engineers and Constructors, where he is responsible for corporate finance, treasury and administration of a $50 million-ayear design/build constructor operation serving Department of Defense clients throughout the United States and parts of South America. If any BR wishes to contact Kevin, just drop him an e-mail at If you want more up close and personal attention, just speed through Wilmington, and he’ll find you real fast. I pinged Steve Varga to discover how he did in his debut marathon. Steve was nonchalant, stating he finished the Air Force Marathon in an unremarkable six hours and 13 minutes. What is truly remarkable is that Steve started running after he had a health scare involving colon cancer. Steve reports he is fine now, but he wants to be around to enjoy watching his children grow up. The running was a way to maintain healthy habits. Steve is preparing to run in the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon in February and has his sights set on the Marine Corps Marathon next November. He is too modest to mention he is also an adjunct professor for undergraduate business and management at University of Phoenix, while maintaining his full-time job as a bulk commodities procurement manager with Linde Gas. I discovered all of this information by reading his LinkedIn profile. Will Council used to be a regular correspondent until he started working as a production manager at McKee Foods, home of Little Debbie snack cakes. Will notes he actually got to work with “the” Little Debbie and found the experience rather intimidating. Since he works

the swing shift, Will does not see his family as much as when he was a stay-at-home dad. But all is well in the Council household. Will and his wife celebrated one year anniversaries last October – Will, with McKee Foods, and Susan, one year after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Susan is surviving fine and back at work with Unum. Will was able to take a small group of Boy Scouts to Germany this summer and had a great time experiencing scouting in another country, as well as meeting scouts from all over the world. He also made a trip to Richmond to assist in his parents’ transition to a retirement home and to retrieve some items from his childhood home. While there, he linked up with Jeff Modisett for a few beers. Jeff and wife Tara are doing great. Tara was in New Orleans on business when Will arrived. Jeff has two kids who are in college. Jeff’s oldest is at Wake Forest but currently is spending a semester in Barcelona, Spain, learning to convert dollars into Euros into cervezas muy frias. Jeff’s middle daughter is studying nursing at UVa. Jeff’s youngest child is a junior in high school and is trying to figure out how to expand his parents’ real estate holdings in several states and foreign lands. On his way back to Tennessee, Will stopped by to see Willy Funkhouser, deputy commandant of cadets at our beloved alma mater. Willy updates the status of the current Rat mass and its ties to ’82: Neal Fortney – daughter, Leigh Anne; J.J. McConnell – son, Thomas; Neal Rogers – son, Sean; Dave Shutt – son, Charlie; and Bill Caulfield – son, Josh. Neal Rogers confirms Willy and Will’s reporting. Neal wrote to me a weekend after his son, Sean, matriculated. Neal says the process is much more civilized and orderly now, compared to the way we sweated and grunted through our first day. In Neal’s words, “The day was, in my opinion, much better in terms of how matriculation should work. I did enjoy being able to move Sean’s stuff into his room with Nancy and his siblings. Practically speaking, it’s more efficient than dumping everything in the courtyards and trying to sort it out later. It also gives a family a chance to see what the ‘accommodations’ are like. I must admit that I thought the backside of Old Barracks was still pending renovation. I was corrected by Assistant Commandant Willy Funkhouser, who informed me that the renovation where Sean’s room is was complete.” Neal continues: “The cadre helped move stuff into the rooms, if need be. It was very well done, in my opinion. We were able to have lunch as a family in Crozet and reported to Cameron Hall at 2:30. There, the Rats were called off by company for the march off to Barracks.” Progress at the Institute! What a concept! Finally, Neal mentioned that Brother Rat Jim Thrasher was assisting


CLASS NOTES Bill Caulfield’s wife and son, Josh, with the matriculation process, as Bill was tending to business in Germany. That is Brother Rat Spirit at its finest. Based on Brother Rats accepting my invitation to connect on LinkedIn, here is what I know: Chris Abbott just took over as the director of The Commander Second Fleet Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher Center at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Norfolk. Duke Addison is president and CEO of Addison Commercial Estate Inc. in Jacksonville, FL. He is also a board member of the Gator Bowl Association. Tommy Avent is a realtor with RE/MAX Allegiance, the number one selling RE/MAX company in the world and one of the top 30 residential real estate brokerages in the United States. He is in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. As previously discussed, Joe Bouchelle remains in Buena Vista, VA, as the associate dean of students at Southern Virginia University. Capt. John Boyd, USNR, is now the director, Naval Identity Management Capability within the Department of the Navy. Chip Buehler is the owner of Integrity Landscaping Solutions in the Richmond, VA, area. Doug Burdett is the owner of Artillery Marketing Communications LLC in Norfolk. Mike Burt is still down in the New Orleans area as the director of Business Development/Federal Programs for Walton Construction. I received a pithy note from John Campione, thanking me for my Liberal Artist sensibility as your gentle correspondent. John is a director at Hormel Foods in Allentown, PA. Ted Clarkson continues to slave away in the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office. John Chandler is the chief operating officer for Nancy Chandler Associates Realtors in Hampton Roads. Chris Cramer is a business/systems analyst looking for new opportunities after leaving IBM Global Services in the Washington area. Dale Davis is still in Dubai, UAE, as the commercial director at Global Strategies Group Integrated Security. Guy Dougherty is senior product manager for Farmers Insurance in the Los Angeles, CA, area. Mike Eden is head of European Service Centres in Krakow, Poland, for HSBC. Chris Eichman is an IT manager for Merck in the Philadelphia, PA, area. John Friend is now a researcher at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. After retiring from active duty in the Air Force, Brian Glynn is now a civilian professional as the AFFOR A4 director of Logistics in Tallahassee, FL. Jeff (Tracy) Henderson is the Southeast Regional Business Unit lead, Corporate and Government Customers for Pfizer in Atlanta, GA. Frank Horner is the vice president of Operations at Fujitsu Network Communications in the Dallas/Fort Worth, TX,

2010-Issue 1

area. Shep Jordan is the Customer Relations manager at ADS, Inc., in Norfolk. Shep and his brother are working on their second volume of stories about Virginia Beach, as well as a volume about Norfolk. Ed Keith is now vice president for Federal Programs at Earth Tech in Greenville, SC. Mark Kempsell is director of Sales at Contract Pharmacal Corporation in Orange County, CA. Perry Laustsen is a consultant at Robert Half Management Resources in the New York City area. George Mayforth, a regular correspondent, dropped a note to illustrate what happens when you ask BRs to correspond with a BR far from home. Mark Ciarrocca, a local town councilman in Edison, NJ, spoke at the Edison Intermediate School Veterans Day celebration. Mark talked about the patriotism and sacrifice of BR Dave Shutt, still serving in Iraq, during his speech. Mark told Dave he was great material for a speech. There was just one problem. The local newspaper misspelled Dave’s last name. Sigh … Todd Minnix is now section chief, Construction Management Division at Fairfax County Government here in northern Virginia. Richard “Dicky” Moore is the president of John J. Kirlin Special Projects, LLC, a provider of mechanical and fabrication services in Rockville, MD. Col. Jon Mott is Air National Guard director, Plans and Requirements, National Guard Bureau, Washington, DC. He is responsible for the modernization of over 1,300 aircraft and equipment in 89 ANG flying units. Van Noah is a program director at the Institute for Defense and Business in Raleigh-Durham, NC. As previously reported, Tom O’Sullivan is the director for International Business at Blackhawk Products Group in Norfolk. Eric Odderstol is the senior manager, Business Development at Walsh Construction in the Chicago area. Trey Phillips is the president of Phillips Supply House, Inc., in Williamsport, PA. Cliff Rockwell is an IT consultant with Fidelity National Information Services in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX, area. Frank Rosenthal is the director at Lutron Electronics in Allentown, PA. Lou Rossie is the owner of WLR & Associates, Inc., a provider of timely and accurate retirement services for clients. Lou lives in the Charlotte, NC, area. Also in Charlotte, Walt Sanders is senior vice president, Construction Operations-Power Group at The Shaw Group. Chris Schrichte is the CEO of Celcorp Corporation in the Washington, DC, area. Larry Thompson is the associate director, Infrastructure Assurance Programs at the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security, UTSA, in San Antonio, TX. Jack Wainwright is vice president of Sales at Cutter Consortium in the Boston, MA,

area. Joe Yodzis is senior director of Business Development for Weapon Systems at General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products in Charlotte, NC. There are several more BRs out there on LinkedIn; they have yet to respond to my gentle invitation to connect. I have several sources for information about BRs besides e-mail and social software. I subscribe to the Rockbridge News-Gazette, mainly to entertain my Lottery Fantasy of becoming a gentleman farmer in Lexington. In the 19 Aug. issue, I spied an article headlined “Buena Vista Native Knight Retires as Army Colonel.” It seems Perry Knight retired from the Army at the Defense Distribution Center in New Cumberland, PA, after 27 years of service on 26 June. He will continue federal service as the chief integration officer at the center. He was presented the Defense Superior Service Medal at his retirement ceremony. His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters. Perry is another fine example of a VMI English major turned loose upon the world. Sister Rat Lynn Heltzel, Emmet’s wife, is proposing a mini reunion for spring 2010. She has done some prospecting and is in contact with the Homestead over in Hot Springs, VA. Given the economy, they are offering some decent rates. I will be working with her and our class officers to make this possible. As Lynn says, we are not getting any younger, and we always have a great time when we get together. So, think about it. Facebook people may always turn to BR Ron Mecredy, who covers my back on Facebook. If you prefer to move in that domain, feel free to give him a shout; he will pass your information on to me. My contract at the Intelligence Community Officer Course comes to an end at the end of the year. I have been looking for a new gig, and at the time of this writing, things are looking up, as far as new prospects. I should have news of my employment in the next edition. Write, e-mail or call. I will eventually respond, if I am not out raking leaves, cleaning gutters, clearing out my flower and vegetable beds, chopping wood, or looking for a job to ward off autumn’s scathe and winter’s cold.




Jim Outland

Having just returned from the annual Institute Society Dinner, I’m still energized about the current status and direction of our school. Despite a number of serious economic and budgetary issues and the tragic loss of a new cadet this fall, VMI continues to deal successfully with adversity and challenge. The class of 1983 was well represented at the dinner, and we were also honored for our 25th Reunion fundraising effort in 2008. While there, I enjoyed catching up with Jim and Cheryl Henry, Danny Chu and his wife, Steve and Mary Amato, Mark and Elizabeth Jamison, Scott Belliveau, and Steve Schaaf and his father. The seating program also showed BRs Palmore and Goodwillie in attendance, but unfortunately I did not get the chance to see them. Mr. Schaaf, a former Naval aviator and USNA class of ’53 alum, told some great stories about his friend and classmate, H. Ross Perot, and was also kind enough to bear with my kidding about his alma mater. (I’m just thinking, you all could come up with some pretty funny VMI equivalents to the USNA motto “Four Years Together by the Bay.”) Mark and Kim Sykes also attended the dinner, and Mark tells me his son, Ben, is adjusting well to the rigors of the Ratline, while majoring in biology. According to Mark, two things greatly influenced Ben’s final decision to attend VMI: one was an overnight sleepover in Barracks and the other was watching BR Joe Link mount the sentimental box to lead an Old Yell during our reunion. The Spirit that Joe displayed that day was indeed infectious and provides evidence that the Lord does move in mysterious ways. So, here’s to you, Linko; keep influencing young minds, wherever you may be. Another cause for get-together was the arrival of Tidewater BRs Franklin Hudgins and Phil Hubbard in Richmond in September to attend the 5th Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) of the Va. Water Environment Association. Our welcoming committee included Cal Murray, Tray Adams, Skip Goodwillie, Owen Peery, Teddy Gottwald, Warren Groseclose, John Dodge and Frank Kollmansperger ’84. Even though Hubbard and Hudgins had had a rough day during the conference golf outing, they were still in fine form to greet well-wishing BRs that evening at the Home Team Grill. Our initial “shop talk” about the conference dealt with “Collection Systems,” but this was merely a warm-up for BR Hubbard to wax poetic about the intricacies of “flow management” and the


many things to be found in municipal sewage pipes. According to him (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Stuff” really does flow downhill, and there is also a lot of green (read $$$) to be found among all of that brown. This last fact must surely be the upside of the profession. As a presenter at the JAM Conference, Phil and his knowledge were no doubt a benefit to others who are fortunate to benefit from having a good VMI man in the lead. I will definitely think fondly of our BR the next time I’m in Va. Beach and flush. In other news from the Water Conference, Franklin Hudgins tells me he met up with one of my dykes, Lee Newton ’86. Lee is with Bay Diesel & Generator, and they serve commercial, industrial and government markets throughout Virginia from offices in Richmond and Chesapeake. His firm also designs and builds power plants in cooperation with various engine manufacturers. Lee lives in Hanover with five children, ranging in age from 5 to 22, which tells me he has been busy since I last saw him over 25 years ago. Also busy is BR Warren Groseclose who recently completed his move to Midlothian, while still vigorously pursuing an “Oh Dark-30” conditioning class known as “Seal Team PT.” Warren happily informed our group that there are now only four women better than him in the program, which prompted us to “suitably express” our pride in this accomplishment. I’m sure Warren will continue to chase those remaining gals, as he seeks to improve his stamina. Not wanting to over-stay my welcome at the Hubbard-Hudgins affair, I beat a hasty retreat, just as a Fishburn Military Academy alum approached the group and invited all to a private party for male military school grads. The more progressive and adventurous BRs in our group may have accepted this offer, but I didn’t stick around to find out. Surely our West Coast BR, Bob Edwards, would have been a big help in this situation, and “not that there’s anything wrong with that!” On the VMI football front, we have had another season of highs and lows. Our class has been well-represented on the Parade Ground during home games, with BRs Goodwillie, Luck, Murray, Williams and others engaged in considerable tail-gate coordination. This includes roping off a designated ’83 parking section and figuring out how to feed ravenous cadets. I enjoyed seeing a number of you all here in Richmond for the VMI-UR game, where our team really played well against a tough Spider team. Bob Mednikov, Charlie Luck, Cal Murray and Richard Hewitt were a few of the ’83 faithful in attendance. Later in November, we lost a really close game at West Point, which hinged on some dubious referee calling in Army’s favor. Unfortunately, I was not there to witness the

contest, but it sounds more like “Robbery on the Hudson” to me. In other news, I received a great update from Billy Akers who is a proud papa down in Alabama. Billy’s son, Ben Akers, has been named to the State Independent School Football All-Star Team as both defensive end and tight end. Not to be out-done, Billy’s daughter, Hannah, who attends Maryville College in Maryville, TN, was named the 2009 Great South Athletic Conference Volleyball Freshman of the Year. As of this writing, her team, The Lady Scots, have won the first round of the NCAA Volleyball tournament by beating the number three seed and were looking to advance to the Sweet 16. I also noticed from the team Web site that Hannah’s stats include 135 “kills.” Knowing she is Billy’s daughter, it sure makes me glad Hannah’s “kills” only involve hitting a volleyball, because that number about equals her dad’s Rat boxing totals! Another update also came from BR Gen. Scott “Rock” Donahue who reports he is honored to continue to serve as a proud member of the class of ’83. In June, the Donahues relocated from Fort Bragg to Moffett Field in San Francisco, where he assumed command in July. His son, Eric, has been serving in Iraq with the 82d Airborne Division, where he served together with his dad from December ’08 until Rock’s redeployment in April ’09. The Donahues’ daughter-in-law also continues to serve with the 82d in Afghanistan. In addition, Scott and Nancy plan to commission their oldest daughter as an Army nurse in May ’10, AND he reports they are working on their younger twins for VMI matriculation in 2013 (in Rock’s words, “HOOAH”). In volunteer news, John Dodge is continuing his involvement with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which he has supported for the last 12 years, mainly focusing on fundraising and sailing in the annual Leukemia Cup. This year, John chaired their Light the Night Walk, which took place in Richmond in October. This national event features specially designed illuminating balloons as its trademark and salutes volunteers (red balloons), cancer survivors (white balloons) and cancer victims (gold balloons). During the opening ceremonies, John, as chairman, specifically recognized our BR Jack Manley. You can read more about his efforts and support the society by visiting John’s Web page at http://pages.lightthenight. org/va/Richmond09/jdodgeii. Franklin Hudgins and Skip Goodwillie also both volunteered their time this fall, acting as panelists during the VMI Alumni Networking Forum held at Moody Hall in October. This event was sponsored by The VMI Alumni Association and provided an opportunity for alumni to network and share lessons learned


CLASS NOTES with those who are on the hunt for new employment. I expect there may be more such events in the future, so keep your eyes and ears open about these opportunities. If you can volunteer your time to support the effort and/or act as a panelist, then please help our Alumni Association as it seeks to respond to this alumni need. I’m also greatly impressed with the number of you who have provided significant leads and/or assistance directly to our BRs who are looking for work. Continue to offer this support whenever you can, or send information to me, and I’ll send it either to our ’83 distribution or directly to specific individuals. In this same arena, keep VMI alumni in mind when seeking out other firms to do business with or to meet your own business needs. Knowing the background and character of whoever you deal with is definitely a strategic advantage, and we have a wide variety of skills, contacts and experience to draw on. Also in the vein of helping others and in a closing note, I’m passing along words written by BR Steve Schaaf about our deceased BR Ray Rushton. Steve titled this, “Ray ‘Flaky’ Rushton, VMI ’83 – A Standard Bearer of Integrity and Human Empathy.” I hope Steve forgives the editing I’ve made for space considerations, but his account of Ray’s gesture and follow-up action during our third class year is a great reminder of the simple things we can all do for other people that have lasting meaning. These qualities should make you proud of our support for the Class of ’83 Scholarship at VMI, which Ray’s name shares with Melvin Rucker … “During a sophomore year at VMI, there are perhaps 150 third class VMI cadets that can be considered as ‘average.’ This is a lonely and beleaguered time for these poor souls. Gone is the drama of the Ratline, Breakout, and completing a tumultuous first year, and remaining instead is the psychological isolation and austerity that often conspires to drive many ‘average cadets’ from the walls of the Institute. So comes the deep winter of 1981 and the grueling ‘dark ages’ for the third class, the Class of 1983. As an ‘average’ member of the class, one of my few respites was a twice-weekly military-duty-period workout in the weight room of old Cocke Hall. During that time, I was struggling to add some beef onto my lanky 19-year-old frame, and the efforts were slowly starting to pay off. I was gradually developing the muscular build that provides an imposing physical center of gravity, which is critical in the pursuit of a martial calling. Then, in late February or early March, a decree emanated from an out-of-touch and authoritarian administration: ‘NO REGULAR CADETS PERMITTED IN THE WEIGHT ROOM DURING MILITARY DUTY HOURS – WEIGHT ROOM FOR FOOTBALL

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TEAM USE ONLY.’ I was in shock and even further disheartened by my grim plight as a ‘regular third.’ Nevertheless, I subsequently recall being in a fortunate conversation with our Brother Rat Ray Rushton. Ray was one of the privileged permit few, a football hero – ultimately destined to become one of the tri-captains on the squad during our first class year. By all rights, he had no stake in my personal disappointment at being excluded from the weight room. He had no dog in the fight, as the saying goes. But upon hearing me out and hearing my poorly articulated complaints about the administration’s new regulation, Ray spoke well, ‘That weight room belongs to the Corps, not just the football squad. I’ll support you Steve.’ Ray was true to his word, and his words stay with me to this day. The two of us went to work, two third classmen, a football hero and a regular guy. As an unlikely team, we pursued an uneven contest – two third classmen against an unsympathetic administration which represented the faceless specter of evil to my young eyes. And in a classic David versus Goliath matchup, ‘Flaky’ and I somehow won the fight. The weight room was reopened to ‘regular cadets.’ With 25 years of hindsight, this little episode might otherwise have a tendency to grow pale in comparison to the struggles we all face in the modern day. But it’s not little, nor is it pale, to me. I’ve gone on to enjoy a full and rewarding life but only after prevailing against an early challenge which threatened both my success and my well-being during those fragile times. What would have become of me if Brother Rat Ray had not been there? What if he had not helped me? Things may have turned out differently and not for the better. Ray Rushton’s unnoticed demonstration of kindness, intellect and selfless empathy are among the most honorable and laudable human qualities I have had the pleasure to witness in all the years before or since that winter in 1981. He is still sorely missed.”


Barry Coceano

Unfortunately, as I write my first class notes, I start off with sad news. As I’m sure most of you are aware, on Oct. 5, 2009, our dear friend and Brother Rat, Ron Abbit, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. With his quiet demeanor and infectious smile, Ron was respected and admired by all who knew him. He was truly one of those rare guys who could fit in anywhere, in any situation, and be accepted for whom he was – a genuine and sincere person – and that is how I will

remember him best. In addition to being a fine student, having received a B.A. in economics at VMI and an M.S. from Purdue, Ron was also an incredibly gifted athlete. He had tremendous God-given athletic skills, yet he was amazingly humble and unassuming; there was never any bravado, no bragging and no selfishness. He was the ideal student athlete as a cadet, a role model and leader within the community, and a wonderful Brother Rat. Attending Ron’s funeral services and paying final respects were Brother Rats Jim Moore, Bill Gottwald, Bill Seaver, Mike Kay, Chuck Foster, Martin Heisrath, Sam Browne, John Brown and myself. Also present were Gene Williams ’74, Paul Perry ’80, Eugene Scott ’80, Ozzie Belcher ’82, Cedric Wins ’85, Darren Sawyer ’85, Chuck Rogerson ’85, LaMont Toliver ’85, Sylvester Davis ’85, Davis Estes ’85, Jersey Johnson ’86, Ambrose Phillips ’86, Tomas McHugh ’86, Keith Washington ’87, Bobby Blackwell ’87, Terry Fortune ’87, Mike Maxwell ’87 and Michael Wood ’88. (Editor’s Note: Ron Abbit’s obituary appears in the Taps section of this Review.) On a brighter note, what a great reunion we had in September! All the feedback that I received indicated that everyone who attended had a great time; I know I did. For those who were unable to attend, you’ll have to target the 30th Reunion, which I’m sure will be just as good as the 25th, so put it on your calendar now. Unfortunately, like I’m sure many of those who attended experienced, I wasn’t able to sit and talk with each and every BR at the reunion ... so many BRs and not enough time. The fact that we had so many BRs attend (119) is an awesome testament to our class spirit. To those I was not able to chat with, I apologize; hopefully, you will fill me in with e-mail correspondence. I also want to advertise Facebook as a medium for communicating as a class. We have a “VMI 84” Group on Facebook that many are frequenting. It’s a good tool for leaving messages or hanging photos, so please join the group if you haven’t already done so. Before I launch into the notes, I want to take this opportunity to thank Hank Selman for the tremendous job he did over the course of the past five years while serving as our class agent. Hank’s wife, Carol, informed me that she is pleased that Hank has finished out his five-year term. Seems every time Carol wanted Hank to do something around the house, he always used the excuse that he had to work on the class notes in order to get out of the chores. Hank, too bad that dog won’t hunt anymore; now get to work and do those things around the house that your lovely wife, Carol, has been trying to get you to do for the past five years. One of the best parts of any reunion is the


CLASS NOTES Class of 1984 25th Reunion Sept. 4-5, 2009 1


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Photo 1: Hiking House Mountain during reunion weekend were, from left, Alex Thompson, Chris Caplice, Mike Locher and Frank Kollmansperger. Photo 2: Enjoying the reunion weekend dinner were, from left, Paul Iaderosa, Carlos Zamora and Jim Dixon. Photo 3: Greg and Marlene Cavallaro at the reunion weekend tent party.



Photo 4: Curt Hinton, Kevin Sample and Chris Davidson at the reunion dinner. Photo 5: About this photo, Class Agent Barry Coceano wrote, “F Company, all grown up – what a difference 25 years makes!” Photo 6: Jaime and John Munno with son Joseph Munno ’12.


Row 1: Melton, Cavallaro, Munno, Clark, Omans, Graham, Brown and Kenkel. Row 2: Raber, Coceano, Ehrenberger, Sample, Piper, Henderson, Janis, McManus, Phillips, Petretti, Craighead and Heisrath. Row 3: Iaderosa, Staiano, Khandan-Barani, Barsamian, Jordan, Collie, Lepecha, Doyle, Hively, Gill, Hoy, Duncan and Mays. Row 4: Reardon, Adams, Gettings, Wimbish, Woolwine, Perkins, Brinkley, Selman, Chapman and Kay. Row 5: Buckley, Zane Johnson, Marsenison, Woltz, Efremov, Lowman, Ritchie, Foster, Hamner, Dixon and Zamora. Row 6: Morris, Ferguson, Ljubenko, M. Martin, M. Johnston, Criss, Maynard, D. Thompson, Weitz, Brock, Samuelson, Hightower, Baskin, Berry and Hemingway. Row 7: Anderson, Dawson, Weirick, Blazer, R. Clark, Carboni, Anthony, Schied, Knarr, Nichols, Shannon, Hupp, Morgan and Combs. Row 8: Dyer, Roach, Noel, Sorrells, Winebrenner, Wharton, Enochs, Holmes, Mangum, Gooch, Browne, Hirsch, Parks, B. White and Pastorius.


25th Reunion — Sept. 4-5, 2009

Class of 1984

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CLASS NOTES class photo, and this past reunion was no different. For the photographer, it was like herding cats. And for a few who I won’t mention … alright, I might as well mention them – Chris Caplice, Frank Kollmansperger, Mike Locher and Alex Thompson – the assistant commandant sent me your status slips, and he boned you for missing a check formation: the class photo. He also asked me to inform you that your official VMI records have been amended to reflect a 10-6-30 for missing the check formation. Seems that Chris, Frank, Mike and Alex lost track of time while climbing House Mountain early Saturday morning prior to the class formation for the picture; some things will never change! So, in lieu of penalty tours and confinement, I convinced the assistant commandant to go light on the penalty. He agreed to and mandated that, at the 30th Reunion, you refrain from any libations over the two days and that you report to the class photo 30 minutes ahead of schedule with coffee and doughnuts for the entire class. Now, I will move to some of your recent e-mails. Carter Jordan wrote, “I knew it was going to be a good reunion weekend when the captain of the American jet that flew us into Raleigh was Jere Harris ’81. Unfortunately, his dyke, Bill Seaver, was not at the reunion to relate the story. I thought our class seems to be holding up fairly well. I’m going to see Steve Woolwine in December at the Army/Navy game. His son is a senior at West Point, and my son is a senior at Navy. Should be fun.” Carter, I expect you and Steve to remain civil during the Woolwine vs. Jordan Campaign and would suggest you both wear red, white and yellow to show your true allegiance. By the way, Go Navy – beat Army! Sorry, Steve; I couldn’t resist. Chuck Foster forwarded me an e-mail from Steve Mang. Steve wrote, “Hey, Chuck. I hope reunion weekend was a blast. I wish I could have been in two places at once. As I mentioned before, I attended the ECU vs. ASU football game at ECU. ECU won 29-24. Both of my kids are freshman attending ECU. Sorry I missed the reunion. When you get a chance, let me know what the highlights were.” What Steve didn’t mention in his e-mail are two interesting facts. First, his daughter, Sara, and son, David, are twins, and they were born on the weekend of our 5th Reunion in 1989. Second, his daughter (Sara) made the ECU cheerleading squad as a freshman this year, and this was her first home game cheerleading; great job, Sara. Steve, we missed you but completely understand your going to see Sara cheer her first game at ECU. Family is priority #1. Eric Sorrells dropped me an e-mail to check in. Eric is working at the Missile Defense Agency as the environmental division chief for site


activation. He and his wife (Donna), plus their 10 kids, live in Owens Cross Roads, AL. Eric wanted me to let you know that if you’re ever in the Huntsville, AL, area on business or vacation, you have an open invitation to stop in to see him and his family. As Eric noted, bring your kids. Having 10 kids, he guarantees they have a kid near your kid’s age, and there is plenty for the kids to do. Eric, the picture you sent me of your entire family – you, Donna, Cindy (24), Nicholas (23), Karl (19), Paul (16), Daniel (14), Rebekah (12), Kaela (10), Anna (6), Jeremy (6) and Susu (4) – is awesome! I know there is never a dull moment in the Sorrells household. Eric, my wife, Dawn, was one of eight kids in her family. Next time we talk, remind me to tell you the story about the fiasco that occurred when her family moved from New York to Florida when she was a kid; it has something to do with my fatherin-law failing to do a head count while loading everyone (or so he thought) after stopping at a rest area along I-95. I received a very nice update from Dave Thompson. Dave wrote, “I live in Clifton (VA) with my wife (also a psychologist, but her doctorate is in clinical psych) and my two little girls, Amelia (6.5) and Rachel (4.5). I work for Fairfax County Public Schools and have been assigned Westfield HS for the past 10 years. My Ph.D. is in developmental psychology, and I also have a M.A. in school psych, both from George Mason University. I teach a class here and there in their psychology graduate department. My wife works in that department, as well, teaching classes and directing the Cognitive Assessment Program. I’m nuts about hunting (especially bow hunting) and bring Kurt Weitz along on an annual trip down to Leesville, VA, each year, where we have some land in the family. It’s always one of the really high points in my year. I caught up with Kurt 10 years ago at the 15-year Reunion, and we have been great friends since. He’s out in Western Maryland now, so he’s not exactly local anymore. His wife, Deb, is great. We miss having them more local. I tend to just hang around the house a lot when I’m not working, what with having two young kids. We adopted our girls from China when they were both babies, so I’m kind of an old dad. I love being a dad more than anything that I’ve done in my life. My girls are incredibly fun, and it’s fun to get a chance to be a superhero in someone’s eyes. It’s a given that I’ll undergo a magic metamorphosis right around the time they hit middle school, though, and will turn into a dork, but for now the adulation is really great. I get served a lot of plastic food, have to play a lot of Candyland and other mindless games, and am constantly being commanded to dance with some little princess or other. Being a dad has partly forced me to

finally grow up and partly kept me young. It’s a weird combination.” Dave, I am sure you are a great role model, and even though you will transform into a dork (I know I did), you will always be their knight in shining armor, even though they won’t let you know it. Hank Selman received an update from Mark Briesmaster. Mark is currently living in Chile and ministering in many areas throughout the country to various groups of people. He recently started teaching classes in three seminaries and a university in preparation to become the dean of Education Faculty in Christian University, which he is helping to establish and start up, hopefully next year. Mark asks each of us to keep him, his wife, Gloria, and their daughters, Christina and Judy, in your thoughts and prayers, as they work diligently to help others throughout Chile. Mark, we will do just that … keep up the great work. I am certain Christian University will offer both hope and opportunity to many who would not have access to an education otherwise. In addition to Mark’s update, Bob Smolar sent me a note recently: “Good to hear that the reunion went well for one and all. I still see all our classmates as forever young. Extremely busy here at the hospital. However, looking to relocate back to northern Virginia or vicinity in approximately one year. It is a true joy, working to provide our veterans with the best health care possible. My heart goes out to our most seriously wounded and their families. My last deployment, we had four soldiers killed – one was a suicide and two belonged to my platoon prior to the deployment. It was a very bittersweet homecoming, especially seeing the mothers of our fallen soldiers.” Bob, thank you for your service and dedication. We all owe you a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices that you have made conducting multiple deployments, the most recent to Afghanistan. We look forward to seeing that East Chicago smile back here in Virginia. Dave Adams sent me the following e-mail the other day: “Hey, Barry. Sorry I missed you this weekend. It was a great weekend, great weather, great seeing old friends ... but best of all ... it was great finally seeing VMI win a football game as an alumnus. As an update on the Adams family, we are living in Richmond. My wife (Melinda) and I have three children (18, 14 and 9). I got the business start-up bug about 10 years ago and have been at it, hot and heavy, since then. Mostly IT but some logistics companies as well. Currently, I think I am best known for managing beer ... I know, it is a hard job, but someone has to do it. I have a company that manages beer kegs in the UK. (We manage about 85% of England’s beer – even got a visit last year from Prince Andrew to thank us for our efforts!) In the U.S., we manage beer


CLASS NOTES inside places like Applebees, Fridays, etc. Like I say ... hard job, but someone has to do it. The ironic part is I don’t drink anymore and have some of the biggest brewers and beer pourers in the world as my customers! Also manage a company in Jacksonville, FL, that does systems integration. We specialize in integrating prescription systems for nursing homes, hospitals and pharmacies. I flew for the Navy back in the day but spend a lot more time in the air now ... just usually in the back. If you are ever passing through Richmond, let me know, and I will buy you lunch.” Dave, I’ll take you up on that offer; beer is on me! The following e-mail was sent in from Ashley “Are You Ready” Johnson: “Hope all is well. Just thought I’d reach out and touch base. I have been living in L.A. for the past 11-12 years after having lived in NYC for eight years. The past 18+ years have found me working in film production. While living/working in NYC, I bumped into and hung out a bit with Bobby Munno ’81. In 2004, I worked for NBC Universal and found myself in Hawaii, where I literally ran past Michael Chang ’85 while training for the Honolulu Marathon (4:33). Two months ago, I corresponded via e-mail with Gerry Manley ’81 to inform him that the Youth Lacrosse League I coached named an award for his late brother, Jack. At the time, I was unaware of Jack’s passing. Jack Manley ’83 was my Rat corporal in F Company .... He was an inspiration, a source of fear and sheer terror as well as humor, a confidant and friend.” Ashley, thanks for the note. That’s a great marathon time that you posted; congrats. I guess that means you are now officially “off the gimp list” and will be participating in morning runs. Greg Cavallaro passed me the following e-mail he received from George Foresman. “Unfortunately, Gail and I (along with the kids) will not be able to attend [the reunion]. My niece had a 1 in 52 chance of selecting a very bad weekend to marry a Marine, and she selected reunion weekend. Thus, we will be at Quantico at the wedding. I suppose, in some aspects, the festive atmosphere of the wedding – punctuated by older men trying to do things best left to younger men, with wives generally rolling their eyes – will provide me a great reminder of what we are missing in Lexington. I am saddened to not be there for many, many reasons. Chief among them is the opportunity to see so many classmates and to catch up on their lives since our days at VMI. During my tenure in DC, I ran into so many BRs and other VMI alums, and each contact provided a brief and welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of our nation’s capital and the challenges associated with global travel. I offer, without equivocation, that despite all of the challenges of cadet life, there is no better preparation for

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the rest of one’s life. Every day, I continue to draw on the lessons of VMI and the ‘molding’ that each of us freely shared with one another and that directly influenced the distinct nature of the Class of ’84. I know that fun will be had, stories will be told and enjoyment will be plenty during Reunion Weekend. Please share a drink and toast for those of us who cannot be there in person.” George, we did just that. You missed a great event. However, at least you were able to grovel and slam back a couple cold ones with the Marines. I’m sure you made Jaime Clark, Jim Kenkel, Ken Gill, Dave Phillips, Jim Bishop, Jim Dixon and the rest of our USMC BRs proud. Jerome Brinkley sent me the following email: “Stephanie and I have been in Charleston, SC, for nearly seven years. I came down with Sprint PCS, and that was an enjoyable experience, until the ugly merger with Nextel. I have been with Comcast Spotlight for nearly four years and have several commercials on the air, tooting my own horn and the power of advertising on networks like Fox News and ESPN in addition to Internet banner ads. Steph is wrapping up her last year of school at the Charleston School of Law and works for Motley Rice. I finished my M.B.A. at the Citadel (home of history professor and BR Kyle Sinisi) last summer, and I am tired of waiting for the SC economy to rev back up for some opportunities. I have put together a new VMIAA chapter for SC, with the help of other local alumni. I am currently pushing for more support at sporting events in our region when the Keydets are in town. Also, we have a very active organization that brings together graduates from military schools: CAMCA (Charleston Area Military College Association). There are a good number of retirees down here ... we had approximately 250 men show up at our first meeting ... and everyone had a drink in their hand ... and stories from wars dating back to WWII.” Jerome, it was great seeing you at the reunion, and my hat’s off to you for taking the initiative to start an alumni chapter in SC. Thanks for all your doing down there and for keeping your Charleston neighbor, Mike Efremov, off the streets and out of trouble … well, at least off the streets. Speaking of Mike Efremov, “Ef” and his wonderful wife, Ashley, have been in Charleston, SC, for a couple years now and are both working as nurses. In between their hectic work schedules, which include slapping high fives as one leaves for work when the other comes through the front door from a 12-hour shift, they are playing mom and dad with their two little ones (Nicholas and Alexandra). Mike and Ashley were able to come up and spend a day with Dawn and me during our annual Myrtle Beach trip. Seeing “Ef” changing his kid’s diapers brought back old memories of seeing him

taking care of his roommate, Glenn Parrish, after a long night out at a Zollmans party. The more I think about it, maybe that’s a visual I’d just as soon forget. John and Jaime Munno graciously hosted Dawn and me recently during the VMI vs. Richmond football weekend and put on a great post-game party that was attended by Greg Cavallaro, Bill Janis, Cal Murray ’83, Skip Goodwillie ’83 and Robert Crumpler ’07. John and Jaime are both doing fantastic. Also home for the weekend and in between wrestling practices was their son, Joseph Munno ’12. Joe is vice president of the VMI class of 2012 and a mainstay on the wrestling team. John continues to fly for American Airlines, and in between his arduous flights between the U.S. and Europe, he continues to work on his golf game – or should I say, attempts to work on his golf game. Carlos Zamora, Jim Dixon and Jaime Clark are all doing well. Jim recently hosted our families for dinner. For those unaware, Jim’s hobby is cooking, and he is quite an accomplished chef. Every time we get together, he puts out a magnificent spread. When he isn’t cooking, Jim continues to work for the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Washington, DC, as the chief of Practice Management. Carlos Zamora works for British Telecom and spends a good portion of his time piling up frequent flyer mileage flying between the U.S. and South America as head of British Telecom’s South American Division. Jaime Clark retired from the Marine Corps and is now working for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Policy Division. Tom Anthony recently returned from an 18month Army mobilization to JTF Horn of Africa and is currently out-processing at Fort Benning, prior to moving back home to his residence in northern Virginia. Tom was fortunate enough to work for a Navy-led command at JTF Horn of Africa and is now speaking like a veteran sailor. Alright, Tom, one final quiz question – is the Port side on the right or the left? While at Fort Benning, Tom Anthony was able to take a weekend trip to visit John Brown in Atlanta. John, too, has conducted mobilizations between stints as a defense contractor. John and Tom, we thank you for your service. It isn’t easy to put your life on hold and mobilize back into the Army. Your willingness to serve is a tremendous reflection of your patriotism, dedication and character, and for that, we are thankful. Well, I think I’ve said enough in my first set of class notes. Please keep the e-mails coming. Even if it’s just a couple sentences once a year, it keeps the rest of our BRs aware of what you are doing, things that have changed in your life and where you’re living. Additionally, it makes life much easier as class agent when I have things to write about. Lastly, I want to thank every


CLASS NOTES member of the class for raising $1,984,000 for our 25th Reunion Fund … an absolutely astonishing figure. And if that wasn’t enough, our class was the #1 class in participation in the Keydet Club’s 75th Anniversary Challenge. We had the most members of any class to participate and contribute, outdistancing any other class at VMI! Yes, VMI class of ’84 will be heard from today! Until next time …. Good night, Blake Hippenstiel, wherever you are.


John Eckenrode

BRs: The “Dog Days of Summer” have passed, and now it’s time to rake leaves again. At what epochal moment did our lives reach this exciting crescendo? (I’ll stop trying to imitate an English major now.) As I electronically “pen” these notes (late again, we all owe Traci and Hope of the Alumni Review staff a big “THANK YOU” for tolerating/enabling my tardiness), VMI’s basketball team has soundly beaten West Virginia Wesleyan 111-92. Go Keydets!! Among this year’s vanquished also cowers West Point, defeated 93-86. Unfortunately, their football team squeaked past us 17-22. But alas, we all can still revel in our memories of the Corps Trip of our Rat year, where the Keydets delivered defeat to Hudson High on their home turf. For those of you that don’t remember, BR Ormsby was so consumed with concern for the vanquished that he spent considerable time up there consoling the survivors and helping heal the invisible scars carried by the West Point cadets after their defeat on the gridiron by VMI. After only four years, his work was done. They even gave him a West Point ring as a symbol of their gratitude … My apologies for not filling everyone in on the most recent antics of the Annual Charlie Company Golf Safari. I believe there was a record turnout for this year’s fun-filled and therapeutic weekend. I know what you must be thinking – calm down, everyone; Lexington is still standing. The VMI Class of 1985 is still in good stead with the Lexington Golf and Country Club and most other businesses in the Shenandoah Valley. Bill Wieners was kind enough to send me some photos to include in my AR notes. Bill was quite the shutterbug during the weekend, and I understand the more incriminating photos are available for a small fee. Bill’s photographic evidence, I mean group photo, taken at Joe Irby’s house shows a smiling menagerie. Attendees for this year’s debauchery included esteemed BRs (in no specific order): Russ Orrison, Jack Emerson, Bart Williams, Mark Bornhorst, George


Halages, Hugh “Kentucky Bourbon Monkey” Hill, Mike Milligan, Owen McIntyre, Kerry Kirk, Steve Medeiros, Woo Kirtley, “Jake the Snake” Spivey, Scott Vaughn, Brad Gerstbrein, Tom Greenspon, Terry Ormsby, John “Neb” Neblett, Steve Hagan, Rich Williams, Mead King, Jeff Lane, Greg Renner, Chuck McCarthy, Mike Johnson, Jim Spellman, the Dali Lama and I’m sure a few others that I’ve inadvertently left out. BR Kerry “Fester” Kirk was recently recognized for his considerable efforts supporting the No Greater Sacrifice Foundation by none other than Gen. David H. Petreaus during their 2nd Annual Honors event in Washington, DC. The No Greater Sacrifice Foundation supports the college education of children of those servicemen and women killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also supporting the foundation and in attendance at the event were Terry Ormsby and his wife, Annie. Hats off to our BRs for their support of the families of our fallen. Steve Medeiros has returned from the sunny, southern environs of USSOUTHCOM to take over as the director of Technology, Marine Corps Warfighting Lab at Quantico – Cross Roads of the Marine Corps! Steve attended Mark “Action” Jackson’s retirement ceremony, where he retired as a captain after 24 years. Where has the time gone??? Witnesses to this historic event included Paul Marsenison, Mark Bornhorst and Bill Wieners. (Those two get around, don’t they?) Rob Gardner recently returned from “the Sandbox” to the West Coast and is enjoying the lack of sand in his diet since his return. He was homesick for genuine Iraqi sandstorms for awhile, as well, but has somehow learned to cope. Mike Ceroli has recently PCSed to Honolulu, HI, where he is undoubtedly enjoying the sun and fun. Mike has already committed to attending our reunion – and will be in contention with fellow Hawaiian Michael Robles for the long-distance award winner, if Paul Grgas doesn’t give up the “governorship” of the New Hebrides in the interim. Other BRs in uniform include John Shimotsu, who has transferred from the Navy Annex to the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard, and Vic Bernet. Please keep those of us still in uniform and/or harm’s way in your thoughts and prayers. Mary and I were recently the guests of a very nice soiree held at “Stately Wynn Manor” by BR Steve Wynn and his wife. One day during lunch at the Navy Yard, I commented to a colleague that “the guy that just left looked like a classmate of mine from VMI.” The gentleman that bore a striking resemblance to Steve Wynn was in fact … yes, you guessed it, Steve Wynn. Hidden in plain sight (we figured out that we

were also neighbors for the past five years!), Steve’s been designing ships for the Navy since we graduated (and actually, while we were at VMI, as an intern!). Best wishes from Mary and me to all you in ’10, and please continue to keep in touch. I’m afraid this is all I have for this edition of the AR Notes – now I need to beg forgiveness for missing the stick (yet again) to get these notes in! Best … Eck


Clint Hubbard

With mid-November, comes the reality that election day has come and gone, college football is winding down and the warm balmy days of Indian summer have given way to the cold weather that is setting in. It also means that another installment of the class notes are due to the fabulous ladies in Moody Hall who formulate this magazine. You will likely be reading this edition in the heart of the “Dark Ages,” so, Happy New Year and don’t forget your wives and/or sweethearts on Valentine’s Day. Speaking of cold weather, legend holds that there is a fellow in the nether reaches of the earth who is traditionally equated with horns, a pitchfork and extreme heat. Well, BRs, that gent might indeed be ice-skating, as a recent event implies that his domicile may have, in fact, frozen over. Far be it from me to suggest or encourage alcohol excess; most of you need little help in that regard anyway. However, you will probably want to grab a good slug of your favorite snake-bite medicine before you rear back to read these notes. You’re going to need it … I’ll explain in a minute. Go ahead and get it; I’ll wait on you. Ready now? Okay. Just for good measure, take another belt … you’re going to thank me later for getting you prepared. Are you sure you’re ready? I mean really ready? Because this is – certified – big news. Do me one last favor; get a phone handy just in case it makes you grab your chest and you need to call 9-1-1. After all, you boys are hitting middle age now. Here it is: After a stellar 20+ year career in service to our country, enduring countless deployments and harrowing situations, a deed heretofore unattainable by the enemies of freedom has been accomplished by a wily female as one of our last holdout bachelors has finally fallen. Yes, Brother Rats, our beloved Ranger Gitchell, C.L., has fallen on his sword and been conjoined in the bonds of holy matrimony. That’s right, you read correctly; Carl Gitchell is @#&%*$ married!!! See, I told you you’d


CLASS NOTES need a stiff drink; take a couple … I sure did. Actually, we really shouldn’t be that surprised; after all, man walked on the moon 40 years ago, and Glenn Newcomb became a missionary. However, this monumental news is still in the category of “John Hart is a Dallas Cowboys fan” or “I heard from Louis Rucker” or “Marc Moquin quit drinking” or “Gordon McKinley has gone back to graduate school” or “Jim Agostini voted the straight Democrat ticket” … you get the picture. I think I speak for all of us in saying that we can’t wait to meet Mrs. Gitchell and get to know the lady who pulled off this feat. Congratulations to the bride and groom. Whew, after just writing about it, I think I could use another drink. I got the news second-hand from Scott Wagner, just as we were settling in to an afternoon dove hunt which we enjoyed with BRs Wayne Fuller and Tim Spivey. Speaking of deployments and harrowing circumstances, our favorite son of Africa – Michael Laban – checked in with his usual colorful update. BR Laban reports that he is back at home after spending most of this year (2009) so far on contract in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). I will apologize for the lengthy quote, but Michael’s description in his own words is better than any paraphrasing I might feebly do. BR Laban writes, “The DRC is the worst place I have ever been to in the world. It was more fun being shot at in Iraq. We spent the first two months waiting to get vehicles, which were driven down from Sudan, across the Rwandan border into the DRC. And it was all bureaucracy. We were in Bukavu, and Rwanda was 4 km away; I ran there for exercise. When the vehicles arrived, we set off. Three teams to do Katanga Province. My team had the most south bit, all along the Zambian border. 3500 km, three months, saw 16 head of cattle, two UXO, no mine fields and sheer corruption on a scale not experienced before. David Livingstone died some 150 km across in Zambia, and the place has not changed since he was there, except all the wildlife is dead. Working through Mozambique and even Somalia, you could see the roads and railways destroyed in the conflict, the power and telephone lines blown down, the ruined buildings. But not the DRC. They never had anything in the first place. But it is a very wealthy place. Wealth, as in having resources. The resource curse. They spend so much time fighting for control of the resources that no one actually developed them. No one dares to ‘build’ anything, as the next regime – whoever arrives with raw physical power – will just take it. So, you can see the mineral wealth is there, but even more so, the land is there, with good soil and lots of surface water (just amazed us Zimbabweans that there

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was so much surface water in the middle of the dry season) but no crops in the ground, not even fields waiting to be planted. Only 16 head of cattle (and they were all on the Zambian border) and people using chickens as bride price. So, it is good to be home (which still has massive problems and a serious tyrant who will not hear people say he is a loser and must go), and I am not working (did I ever?) but have enough to not worry about that for ... a few more days ….” I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am always in awe and mesmerized by the updates from our BR Laban. Godspeed, Michael, and keep making us proud, Brother Rat. Well, it may not be the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but BR Tom McCarthy doesn’t consider his current duty station as a garden spot. Tom is still in the Army, presently at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. Despite the name – Fort Bliss – Tom assures us it is not. BR McCarthy is planning on two more years in the Big Green Machine until he retires. Who, in their wildest dreams, would ever have imagined in 1986 that we’d even be having a discussion about Tom McCarthy’s 20+ year Army career??? If you’d written that into a screenplay, no one would have believed it. Nevertheless, God Bless you for your service, Tom. In the “that’s no surprise department,” Jake Spivey ’85 kindly passed on a blurb from Lacrosse Magazine about a young lax player from Memphis, TN, named Blake Lively. In his profile, young Mr. Lively noted his role model as his coach – Steve Anderson – a former VMI player. We shall expect great thing from this lad, not the least of which will be no lying, cheating, stealing or tolerating those who do. Thanks for representing us well and letting the Institute be heard from in west TN, Steve. BR Anderson will be pleased to know that his former roommate, Pat Farrell, is likewise still talking the talk and walking the walk. In late October, the Richmond Times Dispatch did a feature article on our boy, Boxhead, delivering a lecture about ethics in business and in life to students at Deep Run High School in Henrico County. The article quoted BR Farrell, citing the VMI Honor System and how it is a good blueprint for personal conduct. Pat appeared on behalf of the Junior Achievement program that encourages business executives to share their experiences with impressionable students. I will not use this forum to discuss the potential shortcomings of the Junior Achievement selection process. Just kidding, of course, but I didn’t want BR Farrell to get a case of the big-head. Oops …. And speaking of the Spivey brothers, our favorite Spivey – that is Spivey, TAW – is now the commander of the Chesterfield Police SWAT team. Can we agree that, to be a SWAT team member or commander and be willing to

bust through the door into who knows what, must take a special kind of nut? I mean, someone who is about half-cocked anyway? Then, I believe we can all agree that when the Chesterfield folks chose our BR Spivey, they picked the right guy, didn’t they? Within a month or so of his appointment, the Richmond paper reported an incident with a stand-off with some bad guy, and the Goat and his boys went in to get him. Final tally was one bad guy assuming room temperature. To which BR Spivey commented “pointing a gun at a police officer is a bad thing to do.” I don’t know about y’all, but I’m just glad he’s on our side. On another note, when he is not corralling bad guys and shooting up the place, Tim has been certified as a Division III lacrosse referee. Hopefully, his worlds will never commingle when some kid points a lacrosse stick at him. Speaking of lacrosse players, I’ve made mention before of young Tyler McCullough – son of our favorite townie state trooper wanna be – Todd McCullough. Just to refresh the memories of you old geezers, Tyler was deemed as a “potential walk-on candidate” for VMI, so he decided to heed Horace Greeley’s advice and “go west, young man.” Tyler accepted a full lacrosse scholarship to the U.S. Air Force Academy (he’s a third classman this year) and made their lacrosse travel squad as a freshman. That’s not bad for a “potential walk-on” caliber player, is it? Before we leave the service academies altogether, a quick check of the U.S. Naval Academy football roster lists “Brye French” as a freshman linebacker. Brye is, of course, the son of our own Jon French. Well done to these outstanding young men and the old codgers who sired them; at least, we think they did. And on that note, I’ll bring this edition to a close. Here’s a few names, just to see if they’re reading these notes. Where, oh where in the world are … Rich Weede … John Rapacki … Glen Ralston … Henry Ingram … Tom Kardos … Mike Davis … Al Miller? Take care, BRs, and keep in touch.


Ernie Edgar

Brother Rats, as I write this for submission to the Alumni Review, the past week marked Founders Day and the Institute’s 170th birthday. And we thought we were old! Well, with two sons of ’87 in this fall’s matriculating class, maybe we are. And no, I’m not kidding. The award for first kids into the Corps (at least as far as I know – if there are/were any others, please let me know!) goes to Mike Dawson and Denis Kiely. Mike


CLASS NOTES wrote that he was in Lexington in September for the Robert Morris game and to see his son at the new cadet oath ceremony. He noted there is still much construction going on, “but things seem to be humming along at the I.” Mike saw several BRs at the game: Bill Wanovich, Clark Barnes, Paul Russo and Macon Snowden. They said they saw Denis there, too, but Mike missed him. During matriculation weekend in August, Mike ran into Ricky Cruze in the Lexington Wal-Mart. Ricky said Mike looked more nervous than Mike’s son, which Mike allowed was probably true! Mike expects to be in Lexington off and on for a while – between ball games and visiting his son – and would love to catch up with any Brother Rats in the area. “Also, anybody traveling through central PA is welcome to drop in. Just give me a buzz.” As for young Mr. Kiely, John Johnson wrote in that one of the Rats who rooms with him is a family friend of his, and he asked John about Denis. “I told him he was the baddest-ass RDC Tsar that ever walked through Jackson Arch and that both he and young Rat Kiely would be well advised to keep that information very quiet.” I figure by the time these notes see the light of day, they’ll both have broken out, so now the truth can be told. Dean Kratzenberg also made the Robert Morris game and sent me an update (re: “Game Day!”) from his iPhone. Actually, it was three updates because of user headspace and timing, which I will try to reproduce here. I hope you find the “inadvertent sends” as funny as I did: “Not a pretty win but still a win! We saw quite a few BRs down here, so that makes up for some the disappointments with the Corps … “Sorry about the inadvertent send there. I was having a few with the equipment here. So, I mentioned that we saw quite a few BRs here. Let’s see if I can make a little more sense out of that. First, there was Ted Devens. He looked good and had his son with him, looking at football teams. I think he mentioned that VMI was high on the list and since his son is a kicker/ punter, that might be a good addition. We also saw William Seiferth over in the VMI Museum store (as well as in the stands). It apparently has been a while since Bill was back here to visit, so he was slowly taking it all in. On a slightly different note, Craig Covert and his wife came down to their ‘mountain home’ yesterday and participated in the 4th Annual Ride to the I this morning. Craig is still in Richmond and doing well as both a Marine Corps reservist and an investigative officer in the postal system…. “OK, maybe I need to stop playing with this. So, Craig is doing well. I also spent some time talking to Macon Snowden. He came down late last night, as well, to take advantage of the fine lodging within the basement bunkroom of Moody Hall. Macon mentioned that Mike


Hooper was planning on heading down here, as well, but at the last minute needed to take care of some family matters. As always, the Hoop was missed. During half-time I talked a bit to Matt Morgan and his son at the hospitality tent behind the stadium. He mentioned that he saw Paul Russo, Bill Wanovich and Clark Barnes running around the Post. I caught a glimpse of Tripp Bowles but did not get too much of an opportunity to talk. So, the bottom line, though, this trip is that ’87 was well represented here. And that flies a little in the face of the fact that this was 84’s 25th Reunion! There were a lot of familiar faces down here for that celebration, and our dykes did a pretty good job. I guess the bar has been set for three years from now, since they gave to VMI $1,984,000; I guess we have to start planning for $1,987,000! We even got an old yell from ’84, so that is all good.” So, the gauntlet has been thrown down again. Paul Russo gave yeoman service in rallying us with the Keydet Club new member drive this past spring. We’ll need to crank it up again for the reunion fund. Just think of Cav doing pushups – all the motivation you’ll need ... Bill McCarthy “chirped in” from Richmond. He and Laurie had just returned from a trip to Belgium, where they were hosted in Amsterdam by Randy Janey. Randy and his wife, Carol, have been in Belgium for the last 11 years and have a 4-year-old daughter. He said, “It was great to have a tour guide with some inside knowledge of the city, especially since Dutch is the predominant language in Amsterdam.” Randy can hold his own at a restaurant, and Bill “certainly mastered the beer menu while we were there.” Back in Richmond, Bill ran into T.K. and Mitch Farleigh at Joe’s Inn during their summer swim banquet. Todd and Amanda Williamson also live around the corner, and Bill and Laurie see them often. Bill’s Rat roommate, Matt Morgan, also lives in the same general vicinity. “Matt and I keep promising to get together, but between kids and other events, it is never as easy as it seems. Matt just purchased a company that sells industrial fuses, so he has been busy getting his arms around the business.” Bill also bumped into Andy Kestner while up in Wintergreen. “He and a few other VMI guys have been doing construction work in Afghanistan.” Back to that “getting old” theme, Steve “Bull” Wilson called me from the Mother I as he was taking his oldest son, Will, around the Institute for a prospective student tour. He also mentioned that Kevin Reardon was on the same tour with his twins. Hard to believe we are that old. Over the past weekend, there were also a couple of showdowns with “the VMI of the North” (as Ted Devens put it). We beat ’em in basketball (a-GAIN) and actually took a 4th

quarter lead in football, which must have really spooked ’em, because they came up with six more points to beat us. I know a lot of BRs were going to join local host Paul Russo for the game, including a few intra-family feuds. This is only a partial list (and I would love to have pictures for the next edition, if you have them): Dean Kratzenberg; Warren Michelsen (all the way from the West Coast!) and his dad, VMI ’57; Ted Devens and his brothers, VMI ’82 and ’83, dragging their dad, West Point ’58; and Mark Corrice. I was all set to drag my father-in-law, West Point ’62, and he was game, until he saw that we were playing each other in November, at which point he said he had frozen through enough November games there and would be happy to watch it on tape delay. I couldn’t really argue with that logic. While these notes seem to be obsessed with “getting older” and family, this last is proof that we’re not that old, as Mike Moore and his wife, Susan, are expecting twin boys in February. I’m sure the provisional appointments will follow shortly. As Mike’s roommates, John Johnson and I will be checking to follow up. All of which means that VMI ’87 is likely to be in Barracks in some way for something like the next generation. Finally, I apologize for being off the net these last few weeks. Beginning in October, I moved from my old digs at General Dynamics to become the deputy general counsel at The PBSJ Corporation, initially here in Alexandria, and eventually at our corporate headquarters in Tampa. It’s a terrific opportunity to rejoin the civil engineering community that I feel both thrilled and fortunate to have. As a result, I have a new e-mail address, so please keep all the e-mails, photos and news coming! … Ernie


Drew McKone

I recently visited VMI for the dual purpose of representing the class at the Founders Day dinner and to take my son for his admissions interview. The dinner was a black tie affair in the newly built Marshall Hall. If you haven’t been to VMI recently, you should schedule a visit for no other reason than to tour this state-of-the-art leadership facility. With any luck, at our 25th Reunion, we’ll have dinner at Marshall Hall, and I’ll have a second classman in Barracks! This note is from Dave Pitts announcing the birth of his fourth child (born on my birthday!): “Meet Susan and my newest addition! David Spencer Pitts was born June 5, 2009. He joins


CLASS NOTES his sister, Catherine (8), and brothers, Brandon (11) and Chaz (12), as we continue to enjoy life in the Midwest. Spencer is doing great, and for his second-month birthday, we traveled 3000 miles in the family truckster from Peoria, IL, to many locations in VA and Myrtle Beach, SC, with all four kids and the dog (Biscuit), never once tying anyone to the bumper and forgetting! We made a quick stop by the ‘I’ to see the new Barracks. We visited with Neal Culiner in Richmond, who is still flying along with his flight tracking software company. I am still with Caterpillar working in Emissions Solutions, saving the planet, one machine at a time.” Thanks for the note, Dave, and congratulations on your newest edition! This next note was from Chris Goff as he was preparing to leave Iraq. I have traded additional e-mails with Chris since his safe return to Hawaii … welcome home, Brother Rat! “We are two days away from leaving Iraq ... probably one of the last Marine Corps units to be here. We spent seven months providing convoy security, military working dogs and detainee operations. Things went well with only one casualty, so we are fortunate. I have 1400 Marines and sailors including six VMI guys in the battalion, Third Battalion, Third Marines, including one of my surgeons. That is the most I have seen in one unit. I will send a picture we took together once I get back to Kaneohe Bay. Once back, I turn over the battalion in December ... got selected for colonel, so I can’t hang onto the

battalion any longer. In the meantime, one of our Cadre corporals, now Col. “Chip” Bierman ’87, will be my regimental commander in Third Marines. So far, he hasn’t strained me, but I still have two months to go. After turning over command, I will go to Pacific Command (PACOM), getting to stay in Hawaii for at least three more years. The only BR news I know is that Wayne Sinclair and Chris Starling are in Europe ... EUCOM and AFRICOM, respectively, I believe. I haven’t seen any others on the edge of the empire here. Carmen has been holding down the fort in Hawaii with all three children, doing the battalion commander wife thing. I am looking forward to getting home and seeing them. Take care, and thanks for keeping our BRs together and informed. I look forward to the next reunion. 20th was really great. s/f Chris” Andrei Urtiew checked in from Chicago, where he has been living for the past seven years: “Still working for Navteq, the mapping company which is now owned by Nokia. I’m very involved with the church, which has taken me all over the Midwest, as well as several trips to Russia. In my spare time, I’m tying to fix up my small older home that requires a little bit of work. Between work, church and home, time just flies by!” Thanks for checking in Andrei … hope to see you at our 25th! John Gillespie checked in from Iraq with an interesting “activation” story: “The majority of our Brother Rats did service in Desert Storm/

Class of 1988: Lt. Col. J.C. Goff, battalion commander; Capt. Luke Pernotto ’01, H&S company commander; Lt. Scott Trask ’03, assistant battalion surgeon; 1st Lt. John Kite ’05, weapons platoon commander, Company K; 1st Lt. Michael Cornell ’07, 2nd Platoon commander, Company I; and 1st Lt. Stephen Turner ’07, 1st Platoon commander, Company K.

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Shield, but I, upon leaving VMI, joined the National Guard and was not called. I think I had heard 85% of our BRs were involved in one way or another. My NCARNG EN BN was assigned to the 18th Airborne Corps but way down the list, and the war was so successful (100 hours), that we were in ‘standby’ mode for immediate deployment to Pope AFB, but nothing materialized. So, I missed the great war of our generation, or so I thought. Nearly two decades later, three years after leaving the Guard, in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), I got a package in the mail telling me I’m going to Afghanistan. Well, six changes in orders later and big Army not really having a plan, I ended up in Iraq, after going through the Military Transition Team training a Fort Riley. When I showed, they were like, who are you and what are you doing here and what did you think you were going to be doing here? ... nice. Go big Army. So, while hanging about waiting to get permission to go join my team (as a backfill), I started asking questions about all the civil infrastructure being built in support of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and put together a master schedule. Well, that resulted in me more or less getting assigned as the general’s senior civil engineer in charge of all work (251 projects) in support of rebuilding the Iraqi Army. Pretty cool, right? More to follow ... So, what does that mean to the greater VMI community? I was happy to serve, as mentioned previously. I missed my earlier opportunity to do so back in ’91. I did run into the occasional VMI’er, like BRs Lt. Col. Paul Brotzen working for the Ministry of Interior (MoI), Maj. Chris Clark (Blackhawk pilot with the OHARNG on the other side of Baghdad. As many helicopter flights as I went on, we never bumped into each other, except online) and Maj. Page (Tac for Band Company, a VMI instructor and graduate) working for MNSTC-I. I did get to travel around Iraq, looking at projects and writing statements of requirements for future work, most significantly the fielding of M1A1 main battle tanks for the Iraqi Army. To think my first experience with armor was M48s with the VMI Tank Platoon. How many colleges had their own tanks? Mike Owen and I spoke at length about his work supporting the LAV-25 program and General Dynamics (GD) in relationship of this upcoming fielding of 140 M1A1s for the IA. I got to work with a lot of great individuals from every service and am very proud of the work we accomplished, so that U.S. forces can now withdraw from Iraq. P.S. Jeff Dixon works at GD with Mike Owen on another program. They are in or near Quantico.” For those of you on Facebook, you’ll know that John is pretty good about chronicling his adventures with pictures! Godspeed, John!


CLASS NOTES Eric D’Anna provided the following update: “I’m currently at Schriever AFB in Colorado Springs ... working indirectly with BR Chris Beck on a few projects. I’m expecting to pin on O6 in about April … hoping to stay in the area. I will potentially move to Peterson AFB (nine miles from Schriever) to work in the Air Force Space Command staff. If that falls through, who knows where we’ll end up. Kids are enjoying horseback riding and the mountains ... but constantly complain about missing the ‘grass and trees’ back east. Our youngest and fifth, Elizabeth, just turned 1 on 11 Sept. ’09. Tonya is endlessly busy w the five kids ... especially with home schooling the oldest three. Congratulations to Eric and to all of our BRs who were selected for or have pinned on the “Full Bird”! Thanks to all of the BRs who have checked in for this issue, and I hope to continue to receive updates from the Class rest of you! Take care! … Drew


Nathaniel L. Cross

Gentlemen: I am dictating this set of notes to Lori as we drive up to Lexington for Founders Day activities. It is hard to believe the “Mother I” is 170 years old today. It is incredible what modern technology (lap top) and a VMI wife are capable of, driving down I-64. On a serious note, today is also Veteran’s Day, and there are many of you that are still putting yourselves in harm’s way to protect us and our country. A very heart felt thank you to all of you who have served and especially to those of you who continue to serve. It was a great quarter for correspondences. I heard from a bunch of you and appreciate the emails, as it makes this job much easier. To start with, I ran into a bunch of guys at the University of Richmond football game in September: George Armbruster, Gordy Fox, Kevin Jones, Bob Bradford, Mike Monfalcone, Tom Hamner, Jason Gray, Mike Biliunas and Marty Malloy. A good time was had by all, and the football team put in a respectable showing. First off, I heard from Steve Frankel with the following update. “I am still living in Wilmington, DE. I am married and have two boys, ages 12 and 8. Professionally, I guess you would say I am a bit of a serial entrepreneur. I own some child care centers in Delaware, and Lisa (my wife) and I recently started an online site

124 Our Silver Platter is a membership site where party hosts can go to find bartenders, wait staff and chefs for parties and events. In our free time, we enjoy the beach, fishing and boating in Avalon, NJ, and I

of 1988: The Pitts family at VMI. try to go duck hunting when I can. We vacation in VA often, usually Williamsburg, and visit with the Wieckings (Jim VMI ’88) in Farmville. I don’t often get as far west as Lexington. I always have cold beer for any BRs who find themselves near Wilmington, DE.” From deep in the heart of TX, Dan Fitzgerald reported in: “Tina and I moved to San Antonio, TX, in Aug ’07. Texas is treating us well, but we all still miss good old VA. Work is going well. The engineering firm that I work for (Malcolm Pirnie @ 1800 staff) that transferred me out here was bought by a international firm (Arcadis, @13,500 staff) with their HQ in the Netherlands – so it has been a interesting time for me, going through this, but all is well on the work front. Connor, my son, is 12 and in 6th grade and swimming, Boy Scouts, football, etc. My daughter, Caroline, is 7 and just started 2nd grade. She is also swimming and doing Girl Scouts, so we are pretty busy. Connor and I did a Boy Scout High Adventure Trip this summer for a week of backpacking in southern Colorado, which was a blast. No cell phone or Blackberry for a week, and it was great. Wuzzer came out and saw us a little while ago when he was heading to Austin for an ANG conference. It is always good to see him. Sorry we missed the 20th – just too far and with all the kids’ activities, could not get away. We will make the 25th.” Fitz, I will hold you to that, if not sooner. In October, I had the opportunity to spend the day with Steve Chiles in his beautiful hometown of Akron, OH. Steve and his wife, Felicia, were gracious hosts in their lovely home. Steve

took me to Luigis, a small Italian restaurant, where we enjoyed great food and a couple of cold ones. It was nice to meet Felicia and their daughter, Nicola. Being in the IT field, Steve works from home and spends a lot of time on his computer and has the largest monitor I have ever seen. Yes, I have monitor envy! Steve shared with me that John Osborn, a former Akronian, is currently stationed with the Army Corps of Engineers in their Washington, DC, branch. John is living in Annapolis, MD. I believe he plans on retiring from the Corps sometime in 2010. Steve also shared that Steve Peyton has moved to Cleveland and is working for there. I got an update from our fearless leader, Matt St. Clair. “Sorry I couldn’t make the reunion but hopefully, I can make the next one. I just might be retired by then! All is well with me and Melissa. After I gave up command of 3d Battalion, 8th Marines in ’08, we moved to northern VA, as I was assigned to the Marine Corps War College at Quantico, VA. It was an enjoyable year and provided opportunity for Melissa and me to see family and get in some rides on the Harley. I reported to work in the Secretary of Defense’s office back in June and was assigned as the USMC rep to the executive secretary. An interesting job, but I couldn’t be further away from the Marine Corps. All pain is temporary. As you probably know, BR Wayne Jones is also working within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and we see each other on a regular basis. I have run into many BRs and other VMI grads walking the passageways of the Pentagon. Hard to believe 20 years has come and gone. It has been a good ride.” Toast, thanks for the update. Glad to hear things are going well. Let us know if you run into anyone else in the Pentagon. Speaking of Pentagon Marines, I, too, heard from Wayne Jones. He has completed another Ironman and in his spare time, ran the Marine Corp Marathon to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Program. Wayne’s wife, Christine, is very active in supporting the program. Staying on an athletic theme, I also heard from Trey Walker who was very active as a coach for the Leukemia Society Team in training. My hat is off to both of you guys – staying in shape and raising money for worthy causes. Congratulations to Recent Ironman, Al Versoza. Al completed the B2B Ironman Distance event and has the “pewter” (finisher medal) to


CLASS NOTES adorn the rest of his “Crazy Idea” medal collection. He commented that, “the water was cold, the ride was windy and the run was long.” He also reports on other BRs … “A lot has happened the past few months. We’re still here at Fort Bragg. I just took over as a battalion commander for the 7th Transportation Battalion (Airborne). Prior to that, I was working with Joint Special Operations Command. Capt. Steve Grzeszczak ’86 (USN) was my boss from ’07-’08. He was definitely a hoot to work for. Anyway, I’m having a blast commanding the battalion. It’s definitely great to be with soldiers again. Staff time is alright, but it’s nothing like commanding troops. Brother Rat John Corley took over a battalion with the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Command and School. He’s commanding the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group. I enclosed a picture of John and me after my change of command on 19 June ’09. John took over his battalion a day prior. A few days ago, I happened to be driving down Longstreet Road and noticed a white van with a VMI Alumni license plate cover. I told my driver to pull alongside, so I could chat with the driver to see what class he/she was in. Anyway, it happened to be BR Darrin Galleo. After all these years, the last time I saw him was at our advanced course in 1994. We chatted a few seconds; he’s an activated reservist for about a year. I contacted John Corley, and we’ll get together around the latter part of Sept. to catch up. Small world. Chris Crawford is back in the Army. He’s stationed in Yongsan, Korea, living the good life. I think he’s working up at the United States Forces Korea Headquarters. I guess he missed the Army so much, that he decided to come back in. George Bouchard is still in Georgia working for Mannington Carpets. He and his family are doing well. BR John Shipley happened to be in Fayetteville visiting his mother in July. John, John Corley and I got together for a quick beer and talked about the old times. John S. is being activated for a year in the U.S. Navy. He’ll be out at Norfolk and will be attending a few VMI games. Anyway, I’m also adding another picture from my Battalion Ball. My S-3 is Capt. Andrew Troy ’05. It’s good to have him on the team. He’s definitely a sharp officer.” Thanks so much for the great update, Al! Maybe Darrin, John, Chris, George and John can send an update next time. Staying in North Carolina, we got an update from Kramer Reeves. “Amy and I love Carrboro, a little town next to Chapel Hill, NC. It’s the progressive, quirky and entertaining kind of place we hoped to live in to raise our family. I’m entering my eighth year at

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IBM, managing teams in software marketing and acquisitions. For those techies out there, think WebSphere and ILOG. I’m running a lot and have my first marathon scheduled for November. Amy continues to work full-timeand-a-half as a mom and domestic CFO. She’s teaching Sunday school and also enjoys running regularly. Our three girls, Lily (6), Ava (4) and Mimi (18 mo.) keep her and me busy every day, and we still shake our heads in amazement at how we are surviving (and even enjoying life) as parents. I had a recent guy’s night together with Cliff Porter, who just moved back to NC and is living in Charlotte with his wife, Allison,

Class of 1989: Brother Rats Al Versoza, left, and John Corley after Versoza’s change of command to battalion commander, 7th Transportation Battalion (Airborne). The day prior, Corley was named commander of 3rd Battalion,1st Special Warfare Training Group, at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Command and School.

and their three girls; John Fisher, who came in from Winston-Salem; and Harrison Bresee, who came down from Williamsburg. After a big night on Franklin Street (where no one got arrested), we broke out some old photos of burning woolies, slingshotting tomatoes, and road trips to nearby colleges and Foxfield. Alas, great but distant memories.” Kramer, thanks for the great update. It has been since our Rat Corps Trip to UNC that I have been on Franklin Street. Glad to hear it is still the place to be but that you had fun and stayed out of trouble. I also heard from Big Joe Hurley: “Things are going well in Pittsburgh. Three kids active in sports and work keep Sheri and me on the move. Today Sheri and I are celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary.” Joe, thanks for the update. I think the team could have used you against Richmond. Joe is also looking for info on Bill Crone; me, too. Bill, drop us a line, and fill us in. I got a picture and an e-mail from John Piedmont in Afghanistan. The photo is on the Web site, Alumni Review page, additional photos section. He writes,

“Things are going OK – a few steps forward, a few steps back, dodging car bombs and whatnot. I work with some of the senior generals at the Ministry of Defense, trying to help them build enduring professional institutions and processes – specifically, in the realm of strategy and plans. There are about two dozen known alumni in Kabul, including Brian Duffy (making at least four ’89ers in country); we’re going to try to get together for Founders Day. It’s starting to get cold here; the days are warm and sunny but when the sun goes down the temp drops quickly. Kabul is like a dirty, poor, violent version of Colorado Springs – about the same altitude and climate, although I think colder in the winter. Kabul is also surprisingly green and tree covered – big, tall, straight evergreen trees that remind me of lodgepole pines in Montana. I should launch from here on or about 15 Feb ’10.” I think I mentioned in the last set of notes that Neil Heimer is also in Afghanistan as a Navy doctor mentoring for the Afghans. His blog is – a great read, even if Neal was a chemistry major. Heard from Kent Doane: “Hello, from Iraq. I think this is my first update ever, but it’s about time I sent one in. I am with the Virginia National Guard and am currently deployed to Iraq as a combat advisor to the Iraqi Army. I have been over here for about six months and have several more to go. It’s a good job and a rewarding one, but don’t stand between me and the door when it’s time to go. I got mobilized last March and after almost three months training in Fort Riley, KS, got sent to Iraq. While at Fort Riley, I ran into Neil Heimer and Paul Mele. Neil is an M.D. in the Navy and was going through the same course I was, on his way to be a medical advisor to the Afghan National Army. Paul is the Apache helicopter battalion commander at Fort Riley and was getting ready for a deployment to Iraq, as well. I live in Chesterfield, VA, with my wife and three kids and work as an HR manager for the VA Guard full time. I stay in touch with Tom Spivey and Ashley Fairchild, and we recently discovered we were all three married on the exact same day – 25 Sept. 1993. Saw Tom Henning recently; he is also in Richmond.” Lastly, I have some great news from Frank Campion. The notes that are written today in November you will read in February 2010. With that type of delay and the availability of the Internet, Frank has stepped up to offer his services as our class Webmaster/IT professional. Hopefully, by the time you read this, there will be a class of ’89 Facebook page or blog site. More details will follow as Frank


CLASS NOTES progresses, but the idea is to have a place to put the class notes out earlier, as well as to share more pictures and information that might only be pertinent to our class. I really appreciate Frank doing this for us and hope that it helps us maintain contact. Please keep the updates coming, as these are your pages and your notes. For those of you deployed, again, thank you, for your service, and we pray for your safe and speedy return home.


R. Hunter Trumbo

received: “Laura and I continue to be based in the (cold) upper Midwest in Minneapolis. This gives us ample time to learn hockey from our 9- and 5-year-old boys – Nathan and Andrew. These little guys spend more time on the ice in a month than I spent in Scott Shipp Hall in a semester ... My new ‘passion’ is maintaining an outdoor pond rink, fully equipped with lights, nets and a hand-made Zamboni for optimum ice. I continue to lead the corporate state government affairs operation (a.k.a. ‘evil lobbyist’) for Medtronic, a global manufacturer of medical technology, and the national health care debate is making my job interesting, to say the least. I make frequent trips to Washington, DC, and you can probably find me at a state capitol any given week. I don’t run into too many VMI chums here in the Twin Cities but am looking forward to organizing an event here soon for the faithful. If you’re in town, shoot me a note via Facebook or Twitter. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion in April.” Another Rob that I connected with recently is our BR Rob Gudz, who is an engineer by day and is a Class III dealer during his “free” time. He’s been keeping up his hobby for 20 years now and has turned it into a great business, sometimes working with our BRs and other alumni that are in law enforcement. He let me tag along as he was taking some customers out for a shoot the other day, which was a great deal of fun. In the strangest places to see a BR category,

Jefferson Kaster let me know that he ran into Rob Uhorchuk at the Flying Dumbo ride in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The Kasters live in Florida and are loving it, especially their kids, Virginia Leigh (7), James Benjamin II (4) and Caroline Grace (2). Jefferson’s wife, Alison, and he are considering staying when he gets “kicked out of the Gun Club” (his words) in the next couple of years. Jefferson’s still in the SJA shop at U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command. He does a lot of operational law, including overseeing investigations into allegations of law of war violations. He’s run into a number of VMI men on MacDill AFB but hasn’t gotten involved in his local alumni chapter yet. And last but not least, our BR Michael Herbaugh is engaged to Cheryl Coto, with an October 2010 wedding being planned in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Congrats, Mike – we promise not to tell her any stories. That’s it for this round guys – please keep in touch. If you haven’t already made your hotel room reservations for the reunion, now’s a great time. … Hunter

Greetings, BRs: For everyone who completed the online survey for our reunion, thanks so much for your inputs (and for a few funny, sarcastic comments). Almost 100 folks indicated they plan to attend, so we should have a great crowd. Kelly Musick sent over a few e-mails and let me know that he had attended a “mini Foxtrot reunion” George Petty III consisting of lunch with Brett Turner and Reed Hudgins in Suffolk, VA. Brett was training for a mission rehearsal exercise with the Army and is soon headed eastward. Reed is about to PCS to Germany for a few years. Both gentlemen are soon Greetings, Brother Rats! As I sit down to bang to be battalion commanders and had a chuckle about out these notes, the holidays are how so many of the “average” VMI guys fast approaching. When you read make successful careers in the military. Kelly also met Bob Pedigo recently in this, the first signs of spring are Honolulu, squashing the rumors that he only a month or two away, with a had fallen off the end of the earth. Bob’s promise of warmth. Now, that is planning to make the long trek back to just about enough to make me look Lexington for our reunion to prove it forward to reading this in print. to everyone. Yesterday, 15 Nov., I traveled Brad Steverson checked in from over to Norfolk to visit Ben Actual size: 15 1/2” X 10 1/2” Knoxville, TN, where he leads a double Dorman. You can blame Ben for X 7 1/2” deep life. (It’s OK, though – his wife, Cynthia, VMI’s loss to Army. Ben showed knows.) As a civilian, Brad’s the director me a text message log from game of Operations for a Rubber Insulation day. Someone sent a text saying Choose from Manufacturer. In the National Guard, that it would be a great victory New VMI Jewelry Boxes Shown in walnut he’s the deputy FSCOORD for the 278 for VMI, with only a few minutes & VMI Ring Boxes, Plus – also available in cherry. VMI Plaques – All Customized! ACR HBCT. Brad is shipping out to Iraq left in the 4th. Ben replied that See website for more options.s around the first of the year, so he won’t there was still time for defeat The Deluxe VMI Alumni be able to attend the reunion this spring, to be snatched from the jaws of but he’s hoping to be able to catch up victory. A couple minutes later, with folks soon. He says he doesn’t Ben sent another text, “Told you.” Our famous handcrafted Virginia “Keeping Box”, similar to English keeping boxes bump into many VMI folks down in Sigh, VMI football comes close found in colonial homes, is now available in solid walnut or cherry with the VMI Knoxville, but I’ll bet he finds a bunch so many times but just can’t seem spider or seal with the graduate’s name/class year laser engraved into the wood. when he gets over there. to keep it going to the buzzer. Ben An ideal gift for graduates that will be seen and used for many years. Rob Clark was in Alexandria recently related that his daughter, Samanfor a conference, and I was able to get tha, has seen a VMI football vichim to take a break from work, so we tory every time she has been to a Hand-Made in Virginia could spend some time re-telling the game. Unfortunately, she has only Order online: VMI stories that seem to just keep getbeen to one game. Perhaps we or Call Toll Free 800-755-8546 ting funnier. I asked him for an official should send her to the important email: class notes submission, and here’s what I ones? Anyway, I digress as usual.


Keeping Box



CLASS NOTES Sam is my goddaughter, and I was over there to witness her being confirmed into the Episcopal Church. I can hardly believe how fast the years have flown; it seems last week I was in San Diego’s Balboa Park holding her in my arms. Speaking of time flying by, many of you active duty guys will be retiring from service about 16 months after you read this! Now, that is just plain crazy. Which means many of you with budget and planning experience will have some free time on your hands. Please contact me about how you can assist with the Class Memorial Fund I mentioned in the end-of-year solicitation letter you received in early December. What? You didn’t read it, or you didn’t keep it? Well, in short, Dan Joseph and I met in his Mallory Hall office in October to catch up, brag about how each of our wives make our lives easier and how our kids are just the best children, and to strategize on how to increase class participation in giving to the Institute. (We are barely above 12% participation.) We would like for a few BRs to step forward to help organize a fund that will eventually provide scholarships to cadets (preference to our own children first). Now , giving to this fund would count toward both our participation rate AND toward that large fiberboard check presented at our 25th Reunion. Enough about that, and on to more exciting things. Todd Hubbard had a change of command recently, and he is now on the VA National Guard staff in Staunton. This means I will get to see him almost monthly. Yay for me; don’t

know how he feels about this. Todd stopped by in October on his first trip over and liked the visit enough that he came back in November with Wendy and three daughters. This is the press release blurb for Todd: “The 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment conducts a change of command ceremony between the outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Todd Hubbard, and the incoming commander, Maj. Preston Scott, Sunday, Sept. 20th, at the Fort Pickett Stadium in Blackstone, VA. Hubbard commanded the battalion for two years, during which members of the battalion provided support during the 9-11 Memorial Dedication Ceremony and the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Parade, as well as a partial battalion deployment to Iraq in support of the 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment.” Dap Tillery sent the following via Facebook: “I am living in Charlotte, NC. Married with twins (9 years old). The main activities for me are church, family and work. I am a deacon at my church, First Baptist Church of Weddington, and I work as a director of Talent Acquisition (Human Resources) with Lance Inc. here, in Charlotte. You may have eaten our products a time or two. Getting ready to plan my first mission trip. Excited about it. All is well here in Charlotte. I have not been back to the I in many years but will definitely plan on coming back next year for a football game. … If you are ever in Charlotte, reach out.” Eric Hyde is now back on the right coast. His wife, Dana, and I traded several e-mails

Class of 1991: At Eric Hyde’s surprise birthday party on Nov. 11, 2009, were at left, from left, #173 roommates, Lee Bewley, Justin Martin and Eric Hyde. Below: Justin Martin, Hyde, Doug Yeabower, Rufus Owen and Bill Smith.

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and phone conversations, as I tried to help connect her to various BRs. Eric was away on a trip, so she seized the alone time to plan a surprise birthday party for him. Eric has this to say about their current state: “I hope things are going well for you. I know Dana enjoyed talking with you while planning my surprise 40th birthday party ... and was I so surprised to see Justin Martin and our BRs from the room next door – Rufus Owen, Doug Yeabower and Bill Smith – there. It has been so great being back on the East Coast to catch up with our Brother Rats and other alumni. Since we have been at Dover, we have had a ‘Room 173 reunion’ – Justin Martin, his wife, Lori, and their two kids and Lee Bewley and his sister and nephew came for a weekend. It was great to get the old roommates together again. It was 10 years ago that we last got together. In August, Steve Henry, his wife, Theresa, and their three kids stopped by, as well as my Rat, Chris ’94, and his family on the way to Bethany Beach. We also had Tom Harmon over for dinner. Tom is a reservist in the AF and flies C5s out of Dover on his Reserve weekends. Dana and I are doing great. We have three awesome kids: Jacob, 14, David, 12 and Kelly, 9. They are active in sports – a the boys play lacrosse, and Kelly plays soccer ... trading it for lacrosse this spring. I am a lieutenant colonel in the AF, and I am currently the commander for the 436th Medical Support Squadron and the hospital administrator. My command is up this summer, and we are not sure what location the AF has in store for us; we should find out this winter. If you or any other alumni are ever near the Dover, DE, area, please stop in for a hot meal and a cold beer ... remember, the DE and MD beaches are just a short drive away.” The amazing adventures and junket scores by Andy Collier continue. Here is an update: “I graduated from the DLI Japanese course in July and am all settled in Tokyo to attend the Japanese National Institute for Defense Studies. Since Japan doesn’t have a ‘military’ (just a ‘self-defense force’), what we would call the National War College (i.e., senior service school) is called the National Institute for Defense Studies. Same thing; they just don’t like the word “war” very much. I’ve been in Japan since mid-July and moved into an apartment in downtown Tokyo on Aug. 1st. Addresses below. School starts on Sept. 2nd and will last for about one year. I’ll be studying on a Japanese military base here in the center of Tokyo, all day every day, in Japanese. Our apartment is on the 20th floor of a high-rise building, about a 10-min. walk from the world famous Roppongi night life district. We’re far enough away to avoid all the madness but close enough to join in when the mood strikes. Roppongi is sort of


CLASS NOTES like Mardi Gras every night of the year. After NIDS, no orders yet, but I expect to go to Yokosuka Naval Base and do something appropriate with my language skills there. I am really hoping to get a job at the embassy in Tokyo, which is only a 5-min. walk from my house. But jobs there are pretty scarce, so that’s a low probability event. Please advise any and all BRs that if they find themselves in downtown Tokyo in the next year, my door is open.” Here is his address: Cmdr. and Mrs. A.H. Collier, USN 1-5-3 Roppongi #2001, Minato-Ku Tokyo, Japan 106-0032 Unit 45002 Box 303 APO, AP 96338 Steve Dudar also recently moved back to the right coast. He has been assigned to the CNO staff and replaces Kai Torkelson. So far, Steve has seen a cornucopia (I just had to use that word, since Turkey Day is two weeks away) BRs. Since moving to DC in September, he has seen Tom Heffern, Kyle Bryan and Heath Wells. I can hardly wait to get up there and meet his not-so-little-anymore son, Steve. Rob Johnson sent a short note to say hello. Hello back to you, Rob; man, if only you had been in Barracks to give your Gen. George Patton speech before the Army game again, we might have won this one. Well, that about wraps it up here, so I should be off to think about wrapping up the Christmas gifts. Please e-mail or mail me notes thoughts and ideas. I do enjoy hearing from everyone.

Class of 1991: Ben Dorman and his daughter, Samantha; George Petty III; and Emmett Petty in Norfolk, Virginia, for Samantha’s Episcopal Church confirmation, November 2009.


Adam Gregory


Andy Tate

Gentlemen: On Sept. 26th, Jon Thibodeaux and I attended the VMI football game at the University of Richmond. After navigating tight security (you can no longer leave the stadium at halftime, by the way – “Is this Russia? This isn’t Russia?”), we ran into Andy Andrews. He lives in Philadelphia, PA, and is doing very well. Andy’s seats were right next to ours, and we all enjoyed watching the Keydets make a gallant effort. Despite a final of 38-28 for UR, it was an exciting game and made all of us proud of our school. I also had a chance to have drinks with Capt. Mark Baush shortly after his return from a tour in Iraq flying helicopters for the U.S. Army. What can I say? There’s never a dull moment with Baush-Man. I saw his new digs in Church Hill (Richmond), met some of his neighbors at a lawn party and capped off the night with many more needless beers at Poe’s Pub. It was well worth the five-minute drive. Since then, here are the most recent updates I’ve received from our BRs: David Brugger writes that after graduation, “I planned to go into investments but at the last minute, decided to go into nonprofit work, which I’ve been doing ever since. I was in northern Virginia mostly, where I also got a master’s in econ at George Mason Univ. Got married five years ago and moved to Dallas, TX. I work as a director of Operations for a nonprofit org (pastoral training). I also teach econ (micro and macro principles) at the local community college and am an elder at my church. No kids as yet. Traveled some; been to five continents. Katie, my wife, is a CPA and also works at a nonprofit org (mission agency). She graduated from the University of Texas (Austin), so she is a college football fan.” Brian McCarthy updates that in August 2009, he was “finishing up another year in Iraq with BR Neal Corson here in Basrah. Got married last year before deploying and will be doing the commuter marriage thing for a while, as Adhana is in San Antonio, and I will be back in Colorado Springs upon redeployment.” Paul Gettle reports that he moved to Ohio where he now works as a missionary airplane mechanic at MMS Aviation. MMS provides critically needed maintenance, modification and repair of missionary aircraft. Paul and his

wife, Kristin (married in 2004), have three sons: Grant, 11, Cole, 9 and Evan, 3. Both Paul and Kristen have served actively in a variety of roles in their local church, primarily in children’s and music ministries. Todd Washington writes that “Zig [Jeff Zeigler] hosted myself, Dan Lyle, Mike Perfetti, Craig Davis, Scott Council, Jerry Allen, Rob Mizelle, John Williamson, Whiting Chisman, Taylor Holt, Eddie Davis and some other alum for a Texas vs. Colorado football and golf weekend. Great times, from what I can remember, and topped off with great news for Lyle, when it was announced that Rugby was added as an Olympic sport. Dan had worked on this goal for 15 years, and much of his time, while heading USA Rugby, was focused on it!” Todd Pegg updates: “I’m in Baghdad on an advisory tour as a major now.” Andy Tate reports: “I now work at the Pentagon on the HQMC staff – moved up here this summer. I have run into Jim Myers who is on the Army Staff, Matt Robinson who is on the Air Force Staff and Geoff Fuller who is on the Joint Staff. Geoff recently had a promotion ceremony for his promotion to lieutenant colonel in the Army. I also ran into Dave Soldow who was working on the Navy Staff but has moved onto school in preparation for taking command of the U.S.S. Philadelphia early next year.” Jeff Galon e-mails that: “The Galons are doing great! Karen’s pregnant, but it’s still pretty early – we’re hoping to get through the first trimester successfully. Alexis (our 2nd grader) wants a little sister. We’ll see! Pinned on lieutenant colonel over the summer and looking for a new (Reserve) position. I raced in four triathlons, and Karen and Alexis participated in one each this summer. It’s our new family tradition – typical Californians, I suppose. Work (for Lockheed Martin) is going well. Getting ready to launch the first of several Advanced EHF military satellites this summer. Other than that, life is treating us very well.” Bill Sharp reports: “I had a great time celebrating Jason Troxell’s wedding in October. Marcus Waehler, Bill and Meredith Leimkuhler, Dave Womack, Matt Lough and Andy Andrews were all there. Doug Vincent had some lame excuse about training his battalion to defend democracy. All jokes aside, my thoughts and prayers are with our BRs and their troops – those deployed and those readying for deployment. They are all Heroes to me.” For his part, Doug Vincent says, “Things are going well here. [Son] Alex is getting big. My squadron is getting ready for an Afghanistan deployment in May 2010, and I get to see Dave Womack regularly, as he lives around the corner from me.” I also heard from Jon Manley, who I haven’t


CLASS NOTES seen since we were roommates in Southern Shores, NC, over the summer following graduation. (Holy shnikee, we are getting old fast as nuts!) Jon updates that he “just re-married on Oct. 3rd to the lovely Justyn Haskell (Manley). I inherited her two children, Shanelle (15) and Blake (12). I have a 13-year-old son, Grant, who has been living with me for the past several years. We all reside in Park City, UT, where I work in the medical device business for Medtronic. I also just recently reconnected with Todd Washington and Billy Waters, who also work for the same company. I’ve attached a couple of pictures from our small wedding on the beach in San Diego.” Mike Kirkmire reports: “The kids are in a new school this year, and their activities are keeping us busy. We’ve been converted to BSU football fans (many of our friends graduated from there) and have traveled far and wide to see them (including the 2007 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma).” Mike Starling writes: “Neil Hennigan and I completed the Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 25th in Washington, DC. Neil hustled a 3:15 and I, a 4:46 (I was on rugby run time). Great linking up with him and my younger brother, who lives there. Looks like I’m going to depart my current post as operations officer for Special Operations Training Group to be the executive officer for the 26 Marine Expeditionary Unit both at Camp Lejeune (so, no move) sometime this spring with a deployment later this year by amphibious ships and likely Central Command AOR.” Lt. Col. Jon Lester e-mailed Andy that after leaving his civilian job in February, he “promptly volunteered for involuntary activation here at MarForCom. Got 18-month orders and am

Class of 1992: Todd Washington, left, and Jeff Zeigler enjoying a round of golf during the Texas vs. Colorado football weekend that Zig hosted.

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here till 30 Sept. 2010 as the Mission Assurance officer. I was in CLNC back in the spring … UniBrow [James Cherry] is here in the ROPP with us, and Rob Ritchie is a CTR with MFN down in NO.” I’ve re-connected with David Bradley through Facebook, and he lost no interest in big bikes. As to his photo submission, “Dave of Thunder” explains: “This is me and Capt. Josh Powers ’04. He is the company commander for A Co. 3-187 Fort Campbell, an infantry rifle company in the 101st Division. I did a motorcycle ride to raise combat money for his company back in July. If you join my group or befriend Pancakes Alpharetta [on Facebook], you can see more photos from this event.” Thanks for all the feedback, Brother Rats. Please make note of my new e-mail address (, and keep the updates rolling in. Best regards … Adam


Bill Cox

Hard to believe … by the time you guys read this, Thanksgiving and Christmas will have come and gone, and we will be well into 2010. As always, I hope these notes find everyone in good company, health and humor. First, my standard housekeeping blurb about pictures. Currently, each class is allotted space for five pictures, unless it is their reunion. They must be 300 DPI quality or better and should be maximized in size (height and width), so that they can be published. I do send all the pictures I have to VMI and “extra” pictures can be found online. Go to www.vmi. edu, then to Alumni Agencies and look for the Alumni Review. There is a link for additional photographs. And now, my standard plea for updated contact information: the last e-mail I sent out had tons of invalid addresses. Also, almost every day, I get something back from the USPS for an incorrect address. If you can’t update your information online, send it to me directly, and I will pass it on to the I. And now, onto the news: Starting with local news, the Lynchburg chapter continues to sponsor a lot of events in the area. One of the recent ones on Aug. 18th was the annual Rat Send-off. I ran into Andy Joyner, Mitch Copenhaver, Tray Petty, Tom Kent and Paul Meadows there. Everyone is doing well. There were over 100 alumni at the function, and it was a grand occasion, as usual. Tray Petty is still working for Giles & Moore and traveling everywhere. Mitch Copenhaver is in real estate and said he is still fairing well, although, like the rest of us, he is hoping for an economic upturn in the very new future. Tom Kent is with Buffalo Air as

a senior engineer, and Paul Meadows continues to do well with his own IT company. Meadows was trying to pawn off some tickets to the Bristol race; that guy has an angle on everything. I had a long talk with Brian Adams while I was looking for a new job. He is a recruiter with Tyges International out of Williamsburg. BA handles placement around the world in manufacturing; I recommend checking out their Website at www.tyges. com. BA spent seven or eight years with Northrup Grumman before signing on with Tyges. He sounded well and successful. Scott Coleman dropped me note from Texas, where he is a NASA contractor and has been since 1998. Hard to believe – a real rocket scientist like Coleman emerged from our class. Craig Eubank passed along a great article about a company of his brother’s men seizing a cache of weapons in east Central Afghanistan. His brother is the battalion commander, Special Forces battalion, 82nd Airborne. This fact just served to remind that we are all impacted by the war(s) on so many levels. It also reminded me how stressful life was when my own brother (Ned ’89) was serving overseas in Afghanistan. I think of our men and women in uniform each day and of all those whose lives are changed because of their service. Thanks, again, to all serving; I am proud to know you guys. Sills O’Keefe took time out of a busy, and I mean busy, schedule to say hi via e-mail. Sills is getting married. So, needless to say, he is about to experience some major changes in his life. Congrats, Sills. Tom Michalow sent me an update on his political campaign and recent election. He lost the election but only by 10%. For someone new to the arena, I think it was a great showing. As Tom said, he crushed his opponent where he was known but didn’t have great enough name recognition in the larger area to carry the election. Tom is considering running again in four years. I say, go get ’em, Tom. You made us proud with your showing. Lincoln Swineford touched based from Richmond. He had just completed running the Richmond Half Marathon. While Lincoln was running, I was eating donuts and watching Spongebob with my daughter. I felt lazy for a second but then got another cup of coffee and felt much better. Lincoln saw Casey Cox who was also running in the marathon, but Casey was running the other way, and they didn’t get a chance to speak. Lincoln got together with Darin Ramsey, Don Spears, Weeda, Rusty Smith and Kevin Morris for drinks in Richmond, as well. I bet that turned out to be an interesting evening. I have talked some to Rusty Smith, and we are getting together in Richmond in February at the Sons of the Revolution dinner and having a big time. Lincoln talks to Cameron Briody every now and again and says Cameron is doing well in Key West. Lincoln also said his wife, April, and three girls are all doing well. Keith McGee sent a great update, which I


CLASS NOTES cut and pasted here. I know I’m lazy but hey … OIF section of this Review.) I am looking forward you deserve it. Brian Chamberlain wrote me and Keith is still working for the deputy to the As- to seeing Matt and a large group of ’93 guys next told me that his oldest son, Bradley, is now a third sistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and weekend at the ODU game in Lex Vegas. Kevin at VMI and has officially made it further than his Biological Defense in DC. From Keith: “This past Roop was supposed to join us, as well, but might dad, as he put it. His second son, Adam, is expectsummer, I coordinated to host two VMI interna- not make it. Kevin just accepted the position of ing to matriculate at the I next year. On 11-14-09 tional studies first class cadets who were serving Mountain Operations manager at Beaver Creek (funny enough, the day I am writing these notes), as OSD interns. BR Rick Barnes was kind enough Resort, because they open the following weekend Brian is marrying Wandi Cortez. Congrats, Brian. to bring the interns down to Quantico and show and have three World Cup Ski Races scheduled Brian is a zoning official and Code Compliance them around Marine 1 and Col. Pollock ’85 at his resort the first week of December. Roop and officer with Chesterfield VA Planning Depart(USMC), commander of the U.S. Marine Corps his fiancé, Elna Persson, climbed Kilimanjaro and ment. I ran into Bryan Van Deun at the VMI / Chemical and Biological Incident Response Force went on safari in Tanzania last summer and said Liberty game ,as well. Bryan is living on the (CBIRF) at Indian Head, MD, hosted them for a it was awesome. Mike Wysong recently took a Maryland side of DC and working downtown. He day of confined space, Level A and repelling new job as well and is spending a lot of time in hopes to stay in the area for the next several years training. In the Army Reserve, I am the battalion Columbus, OH, and tells anyone in the area to and hopes to make it VMI more often. Sean executive officer for the 485th Chemical Battalion give him a call: 614/266-2583. Mike has seven Farley sent a brief but funny note: “It’s Novemout of Wilmington, DE, but plan to move shortly (yes, seven) kids. In his free time (I imagine there ber, in the 90s, the baby is six months old and I’ll to the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) in isn’t much of it), Mike has taken up auto racing be 60 when she’s a senior in college.” That kind College Park. My first jump in 15 years will be a as a hobby and sees Tray Ayres ’94 and Joe of sums it up, I thought. David Timma is still water jump this spring in the Florida Keys.” Lee Blanks ’94 on a regular basis. Another BR who living just south of Bedford, VA, pasturing a Clark also sent a great update which follows: races cars as a hobby is Tom Kent. I had the Baptist church. Both his boys are now in Scouting “I’m still here in Stuttgart, Germany, working as pleasure of touring his house and new four- or and have been hiking the nearby AT. Emily, his planner in U.S. European Command. Brad five-car garage at a party Tom threw in September. youngest, turns nine this year. They are home Briller just left last week. He’s heading back to It is a grand house and an awesome shop. Tom schooling the children and enjoying it immensethe East Coast to take command of a fighter recently drove his latest restoration project to the ly. Daniel, his younger son, soaks up everything squadron. I received orders sending us to Fort Liberty / VMI football pregame, and I must say, VMI and can’t wait to go there. I saw Craig CurDrum, NY. We’ll leave here around mid February he is a talented man. Mitch Copenhaver was at rie at the VMI / Liberty game, as well. He is and get to Drum about the beginning of March. I said party, and I enjoyed talking with him, as I doing well and shared with me that Jamie Shiflett know – winter is a great time to head to upstate always do. Mitch was supposed to go to Marietta, just built a test rocket which NASA launched last New York. My wife won’t let me forget it. I have GA, for a mini reunion with Matt Eads, Rob week. He built the top section of NASA’s Ares been selected for battalion command. The tenta- Peterson and Steve Allison. Unfortunately, Mitch 1-X booster, an unmanned prototype. That offitive change of command is March 30th. I am and Lincoln Swineford both had to bail at the last cially makes two bonafide rocket scientists from taking command of 3rd Brigade Special Troops minute. There was a funny picture on Facebook 1993. David Hurst wrote; he accepted a position Battalion. Germany is great, but we are looking of Matt, Rob and Steve holding up a sign that with a large USDA office in Greensboro, NC, on forward to coming back to the states and the rest says, “Where are you, BRs?” from the get-togeth- June 8th. He and his wife, Jennifer, just bought a of the family.” Chris Campbell wrote in from er. Matt Eads was recently selected as one of “40 1910 farm house in Mebane, NC, which is beRichmond. He is living in Chester and announced Up & Comers under 40” in the Atlanta business tween Durham and Greensboro. His wife has that he and his wife, Kelly, found out they have community by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. about three months left on her internship in Durtheir third child on the way. In Chris’ words, after I’m guessing he was cutting the age cutoff by a ham, VA, and they are trying to turn the house the birth, Coach Campbell is benching the swim pretty slim margin on that one. Congrats, Matt; into a home for their two children, Evelyn and team for good. Chris is out of the Eleanor. Guy Berry checked in from coffee business and now manages USNA. He recently bagged a 7-pt. two bars in the West End of Richbuck with his bow. I always thought mond (the Pour House and the Beach he was pretty sneaky anyhow, which House). He invites everyone out for he has now proved. I once killed an a beer but didn’t utter those famous oak sapling with my bow, but other words that bring VMI guys out of the than that, I was pretty harmless with woodwork … FREE BEER. C’mon, it. Guy is going to Sills O’Keefe’s Brother Rat, where’s the spirit? Matt wedding in November and hopes to Williams touched base from Iraq. He have some pictures to share from is nearing the end of his tour there that. Eddie Antoine is still at VA and ran into Pat Schuler. Pat has been Tech as human resources coordinain Iraq since March 2009 and is servtor, responsible for faculty staff and ing as XO for the Military Transition student employees. He is studying Team for the 12th Iraqi Army Divifor his PHR certification in January. sion. His wife, Charlene, and four He runs into Frank Beamer and Bud boys are living in Virginia Beach Foster on a regular basis and comduring his deployment. Stay safe, pares Tech football games to the guys. I submitted a picture of Matt pros. For some strange reason, he and Pat in front of HQ of the 2nd feels this is different than watching Class of 1993: James Smith and family on vacation. Brigade, 1st Cav Division located at VMI football. James Smith was reFOB Warrior Kirkuk. (See the OEF/ married on 5-19-2007 to Joyce and



CLASS NOTES had a son, Jonathan, on Sept. 8, 2008. James bagged a 9-pt. buck recently. He lives in Maryland near the beach and invites anyone in Ocean City to give him a call. Tom Nelson also touched base. He is special assistant to USMC Gen. James Mattis at Joint Forces Command. He runs into Tom Westen periodically. Tom is joining Keith McGee for a Redskins games in the near future and will be at the I some this fall, as well. As for myself, I am well. I started a new job with Target Corporation at their distribution center in Stuarts Draft, VA, at the beginning of November. It is a huge DC, 31 acres under one roof. I am working in their factory operations group and enjoying it. Addison will be eight next month, and I am amazed at how smart and beautiful she is. I am well into my first semester back at school, getting my M.B.A., and it is a kick in the pants after being out of school for 16 years. To those serving, I offer my now-old compliments; I can’t say it enough how much we all appreciate the sacrifices you make and have made in the past. We are all better people for knowing you. To all those serving here and abroad, thanks. I don’t know what else to say. God bless the Armed Forces, VMI and the class of 1993.


Christopher L. Doyle

Thanks to all the Brother Rats who attended the 15th Reunion. Everyone seemed to have a good time. VMI is as strong as ever. The newest Barracks (called “Third Barracks,” for now) is up and looks great. The Old Courtyard was dug up, as they are doing some upgrades. The Corps looked great. To those who couldn’t make it, we hope to see you at the 20th. This edition of the class notes details three published authors in our class. As someone who never thought very highly of himself, it does not take much to impress me. However, I think you will all be impressed by the work our Author BRs have been doing. Great work, guys! Doug Estes’ second book, entitled SimChurch, was published in October. It has proven to be a lot more controversial than I expected it to be. Stories on the book have been written in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and now A detailed look at the book can be found at Doug and his wife, Noel, are living in San Jose, CA, and have two children. Wyatt is 3.5 years old and Bridget is 10 months. They invite anyone in the Bay Area to come and visit. Vince Porter is headed back to Iraq in December as part of a heavy brigade combat team augmented for security force assistance. His unit will advise and assist for all of the

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capitol province. Good luck, Vince! Mike Johnson is now stationed at the Pentagon. He is working on the Air Staff in A7C (civil engineering). He was selected for lieutenant colonel and will be promoted. Mike recently ran into Tim Lyon in the Pentagon hallways. Tim was promoted to lieutenant colonel in November. Mike attended a Founders Day breakfast in the Pentagon. Alex Morgan had two books published. Fire and Polymers V: Materials and Concepts for Fire Retardancy is the proceedings from an international conference he chaired and helped edit the proceedings. His other book (his third overall) was Fire Retardancy of Polymeric Materials, Second Edition. Alex says, “Both make great doorstops – or very expensive fuel for your fireplace this winter.” He also recently worked on a technology that will be on every B-1B in the next six months to help it hold up to desert conditions better. It’s an anti-erosion coating on part of the engine. He’s working now to transition to helicopter blades, but that has proven to be a bit trickier than he thought it would be. Good work, Alex. It sounds like you are keeping busy. Tim Bailey is in Kabul, Afghanistan, serving with Combined Security Transition Command-A at Camp Eggers. Tim recently attended a MC Ball at the embassy, where he ran into Brig. Gen. McKenzie. Brig. Gen. McKenzie was a captain in the NROTC Department when we were at VMI. Tim also attended a Founders Day event at the ISAF HQ. Clay Mountcastle is assigned to the Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, KS, and is currently deployed to Iraq with a Joint Task Force under U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). After spending all of last year in Korea and now six months in Iraq, Mounty will be ready to stay at home with Sally and the kids for a while when he returns in 2010. In September, Clay’s book, Punitive War: Confederate Guerillas and Union Reprisals, was released by the University Press of Kansas. The book draws on his doctoral dissertation about guerrilla warfare in the Civil War and the Union Army’s response to it. Check it out at your local library or bookstore. Pat O’Neil recently hit his six-year anniversary working for our BR Frank Boehling at eTEC Mechanical as his engineering design manager. Pat has been hanging out with his old roommate, Jake King. Jake had his fourth child, a little girl. Pat also talks to Alan Yankowsky whose wife is expecting their second child. Alan is flying helicopters down in Texas for the border patrol. Hope you had a great holiday season and New Year’s. As always, PLEASE contact me if you have any questions, needs or concerns.

Rick Killmeyer


Dan Williams

In the last edition of class notes, I explained that I was scheduled to compete in my first Half Ironman Triathlon in October. I’m happy to report I successfully completed the race in less than seven hours. It took me 30 minutes longer than I had hoped. I was scheduled to run in the Philadelphia Marathon in the final week of November, but I injured my knees training. Perhaps I will attempt to tackle the Pittsburgh Marathon in May. Lizann (my bride) and I just returned from NYC where we traveled to West Point to see our Keydets play Army. I’m disappointed to report we lost 22 to 17. I personally think Army was the beneficiary of some home calls. Our team played valiantly as they fought to the bitter end. All alumni in the stands were proud of our team. We traveled to West Point by way of a boat cruise organized by Troy Mosby ’97, who planned and executed a tremendous day. The following were in attendance: Rob Browning ’94, Dave Bruce ’94, Steve Mills ’94, Sean McFadden ’96, Vern Wilkens ’96, Frank Dingle ’96, Travis George ’96, Marc Trider ’96, my former football teammate, Rick Mattoso ’96, Scott Saunders ’97 and Jason Gruse ’97. I also saw BR Jay Ferriola, who made his way up from the city. Jay is doing great – still works for Cintas – and he and his bride are expecting their first baby. This is great news – congratulations, Jay! I also saw James Anastas ’94 and Pete Major ’94. Both James and Pete look great and are doing well. I attended the Institute Society Dinner on Founders Day and left with a great deal of information, which I will share in a letter coming soon. At the dinner, I saw Kurt Polk there, and we were seated together. Kurt was joined by his lovely fiancée, Angie. Kurt and Angie are getting married in NYC soon. Kurt is the managing director of the New York office for Rainer Funds. Kurt reports that he has a good VMI support group in the big city. He remains close with Steve Mills ’94, Troy Mosby ’97 and BR Ricky Blaylock. Kurt and I also were able to see Col. Randolph Williams ’64, father of co-class agent, Daniel Seymour Williams. I really enjoyed seeing Col. Williams. He looks great! I was also able to speak with Gen. Peay ’62 and his lovely


Row 1: Chris Gibson, George Brooke, David Phelps, Carter Baldwin, Jake Stenner, Mike Grippo, Rich Clark, Jason Nicholls, Steven Kidd, Chris Doyle and Don Fix. Row 2: Sean Goldsmith, Bret Wilkinson, E. Sean Lanier, David Bruce, Matt Shiley, C.J. DeBernard, John Payne, David Truslow and Paul Curley. Row 3: Foster Murphy, Mitch Wells, Patrick O’Neil, Danny Felty, Scott Townsend, Frank Boehling, Phillip Starling, Jason Cincilla, Kevin Vermillion and Gerry Wright. Row 4 (middle): Mark Bradshaw, Chad Correll, Jason Doering, Mike Webb, Robin Riviere, Sean Small, Dustin DeVore, Clay Campbell, Kevin Miller, Dico Akseraylian, Jim Hewitt, Tim Lyon and Mike Meads. Row 5: Corey Cheers, Matt Smith, Dan Price, Ed Hosken, Chris Myers, Fritz Ligday, Jeremy Schlussel, Jim McCoy, Matt Ankrum, Dyke Taylor, Louis B. Louis and George Karavetsos.


15th Reunion — Oct 2-3, 2009

Class of 1994



CLASS NOTES wife, Pamela. Pamela reports that my Rat, Jim Peay ’98, is living large with his wife, Kelty, in England, where Jim is an instructor at the Royal Artillery School. Ryan Peay ’02 is married and is a student at the Darden M.B.A. program at UVa. I saw and spoke with Col. Tom Trumps ’79, the commandant of cadets. He is energetic and positive and is the right man for the job. One of the benefits of being unemployed is the freedom to do things I normally wouldn’t have time for. For example, in August I received a VIP pass to see my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers at their training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. I attended camp with Donnie Ross ’73 from the VMI Keydet Club. I was able to meet my favorite player, Hines Ward, and former VMI football coach and Steeler Head Coach Mike Tomlin. Speaking of Seymour Williams, he reports that he will receive orders for active duty with the Nebraska Army National Guard in December. Seymour said he’s ready; having two full time jobs (Army and Booze Allen) is getting wearisome. Dan also reports that Jodi is doing a great job raising their kids, Audrey and Chandler. Recently, I spoke with Ed Randall. Ed, Joy and their three kids love life, living in Jackson, WY. Ed is working for UBS in their private wealth group. It really is a small world, as my high school lacrosse coach also lives in Jackson, and he and Ed have become close friends; their kids are in some of the same activities. Ed reports that Chris Hartwell called out of the blue this past summer. Chris was taking his boys camping in Yellowstone and was going to be passing through. Chris spent the night at Ed and Joy’s home. Ed reports Chris still serves our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL, and his sons are fine boys. Ed said, “Not much has changed; he’s still Hartwell and funny as ever.” Back in September, I had lunch with Charlie Branch. He continues to work for Merrill Lynch in New York, in their private wealth management group, and despite the difficulties with the economy, he is excelling. Congratulations to our Rats Mike Rogers ’98 and Darrius Jackson-Walker ’98. Mike and Darrius were elected in the VMI Sports Hall of Fame. What a great accomplishment for you both! (Editor’s Note: See the Athletics section of this Review for more about this.) I received an update from Brad Moses. He just returned from his fifth combat tour in Afghanistan as a company commander for Charlie CO, 2nd Battalion 3rd Special Forces Group (C/2/3 SFG). Four out of the seven officers in the company are VMI graduates, including Jim Bourie ’01. (See photo in the OEF/OIF Update section of this Review.) Brad’s company was tasked to set up the Afghan Public Protection Program. Brad and his men worked with the

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local tribes in the province to recruit, equip and train the Afghan men to defend their villages. Brad and his men referred to the Afghan recruits as Guardians. The program received a great deal of exposure to military leaders in Washington, DC. By the time Charlie Company

Class of 1995: Above: Mark Lacy was married to Kristi Lynn McConnell on May 3, 2009, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Waynesboro, Virginia. Below: Attending the Lacy wedding party were, from left, Johnny Miller, Fred Werth, the groom, John Lacy ’63 (father of the groom) and Curt Crowder ’94. Kneeling: Timmy Smith ’99.

departed the country, they had hired and trained some 500 men. Brad was able to see Larry Quentin Burris on his way back through Washington. As reported in the last notes, Larry is an aid de camp in the Pentagon. Brad gets to see Kevin Price when KP visits Fort Bragg for his Army training obligations. Brad’s wife, Stacy, is starting back at school and is busy as a hockey mom and nurse. Brad and Stacey have two sons, Hunter, 9, and Lucas, who is 6. Finally, Brad will be the battalion executive officer for 2nd Battalion 3rd SFG. Speaking of another Special Forces brother in arms, I recently heard from Brother Rat SGM Bill Goodson. He accepted a marketing position working for Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals that moved him to Ridgewood, NJ, in January 2008. Shortly after that, his wife, Leigh, and son, James, moved up to NJ to join him. Bill was the marketing lead for one of their oncology products. Shortly after that, Bayer entered into an agreement with Genzyme to sell some of the Bayer products, including the drug Bill managed. Bill then lost his job but was rehired immediately by Bayer. He is currently a reimbursement manager for one of the Bayer oncology products. He lives about 10 miles from NYC, so if anyone wants to look him up, he is game for a visit. Please contact me, so I can give you his home phone number and address. Dan and I received a great update from Tim Collier. Tim is able to read the Alumni Review online. Tim reports that he just completed duty with the 101st Airborne Division and is now assigned to AFRICOM in Stuttgart, Germany. Tim said he recently ran into Joey Schenk who is a civilian and works for the Air Force as a contractor in Germany. Tim also reports that he got a Facebook hit from his Rat roommate, Saharat Prompol, who lives in Washington, DC. Tim said he is not sure exactly what Saharat is doing, but according to Tim, he is living large! Tim recently attended the promotion of Col. Chris Starling ’88, brother of RDC member Mike Starling ’92. Also in attendance was Lt. Col. Tom Talley ’93. So far, Tim’s new job has taken him to Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. Tim’s wife, Carol, is working in the front office of the operations and logistics directorate. Tim reports that his kids (Katie, 13 and Mike, 11) are getting more comfortable living in Germany. Lastly, the Collier’s have adopted an Irish wolfhound who, at five months old, weighs 80 lbs., and he might eat them out of the house. I received a letter from John Lacy ’63, father of BR Mark Lacy. Mark married Kristi Lynn McConnell in May 2009. In attendance were BRs John Miller, Fred Werth, Curt “spanky” Crowder ’94 and Tomy Smith ’99. According to Mr. Lacy, Kristi and Mark traveled to Ireland for their honeymoon and will continue to reside


CLASS NOTES well. They are stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, and Matt is assigned to U.S. Africa Command. I also heard from Franklin Roberts who was promoted to senior engineer for the Wastewater Design Branch in Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services in July ’09. Congratulations, Frank. His wife gave birth to their son, Joseph Layne Roberts, on June 16th. Thanks … Rusty

in Los Angeles. Congrats, Mark and Kristi. I recently spoke to Dave Fleck who also joined me in the ranks of the unemployment line. He was up visiting his family in Richmond, when we spoke on the phone. He continues to live in Charlotte, NC. He said Timothy Duane Miller is doing well. Tim was made partner in the construction firm R.T. Dooley a few years back and with that, his responsibilities have increased significantly. Dave reports that Tim has met those challenges head on and has been rewarded for his efforts. I’m not surprised to hear that about Duane, so congrats to Tim! Our 15-year Reunion is scheduled for Oct. 1-2, 2010, so mark your calendars. More information on this event will be coming soon. That is it for now. Keep the e-mails coming.


Editor’s note: There were no notes received from the class of 1997 for this issue.

Rusty McGuire

I find myself writing this update on my way back from the VMI at West Point football game. Certainly, all who attended or watched will say we put up a great fight on the field. The Keydets looked good and never gave up and almost upset Army. The amazing thing about the game was the class of ’96 attendance. I joined John “Mud” McElroy, Peter Segersten and Harri Humaloja for a weekend of football and camping. At the game, we joined Chris “Lenny” Feldman, Rusty Parrino and Shawn McFadden. Shawn rode on the yacht that Troy Mosby ’97 organized from Manhattan to West Point. Shawn told me that Travis George and Ricky Mattoso were also on the yacht, but I did not get a chance to see them at the game. It is funny how age changed conversations. We all mostly talked about our little ones, and almost all of us had a son and a daughter. I also heard from Jamal Thomas who is in

Class of 1996: Frank Roberts and family. His son, Joseph Layne, was born on June 16, 2009.



John Duckworth

Class of 1996: Matt and River Modarelli, taking a break from climbing Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. transition in terms of work. Wachovia Securities/Wells Fargo Advisors left Richmond, and Jamal did not want to move. Jamal’s background at Wachovia was trading, operations and compliance, and in the interim, he started a business, JAT Enterprises. Great name, and he is looking to expand the business with other alumni. Jamal’s wife, Sakina Paige (W&L ’96, W&L ’02L), is still working for Wells Fargo Advisors as an attorney. They have been married a little over three years and are nearly ready for children. Jamal recently hooked up with Ken Mears. Ken moved from Richmond to Fort Worth, TX, and now works for TD Ameritrade. Ken also left Wachovia when they left Richmond. While the adjustment is tough, Ken he is doing well. Jamal also met Hunter Seal, Jim Flaherty and Jethro Piland for breakfast at Boychik’s Deli out at Innsbrook and said, “We had a great time catching up.” He hopes to continue this quarterly breakfast that I wish I could make time to attend. I also heard from Matt Modarelli. Matt and his oldest son, River (9 years old), climbed the Zugspitze in Germany on 12 Aug. ’09. The Zugspitze is located on the Germany/Austria border and is the highest mountain in Germany at about 10,000 ft. It is a fairly technical climb, with quite a bit of rock climbing and a pretty challenging glacier. It took them around 9.5 hours to climb 7,000 feet from the base to the summit. What a feat, and congrats Matt. Matt says the rest of his family, his wife, Diane, daughter, Sage and son, William, are all doing


Hamel Reinmiller

By the time you read this, we will have closed the book on Christmas 2009, and we will be staring down the barrel of an exciting 2010. Good luck honoring all of your New Year’s resolutions. I have heard from a few of you and am enjoying keeping up with you on Facebook!! For those of you that are not aware, we have started a “VMI Class of 1998” Group on Facebook, and I invite all of you to join us. Please continue to call, write and send pictures and news on your lives. For those of you that are deployed or in harm’s way, we wish you all the best and pray every day that you will stay safe and return home quickly. We miss you all!!! Lastly, PLEASE continue to keep your contact information current on the VMI Web site at, as that will definitely continue to serve as our primary means of communication, and that’s the memo!!! I do have an important update from James Blanford who is still in NC and who has recently learned that he is about to have a baby girl. I am sure that pictures and details will follow in our next edition. Congratulations, James!!! I can report that Maj. Matt Baldwin deployed on 11/15/09 to Afghanistan from Fort Hood and has arrived safely. Matt’s unit was at Fort Hood during the shooting, but thankfully, none of his soldiers were injured during those horrible events. We wish you all the best and pray for your safe return. On the Web site (follow links for Alumni Review and additional photos), there is a “relatively” recent picture of Matt and Emma Baldwin (one of his beautiful daughters) during a trip to Lexington. I am also happy to report that Van (Al) Carr


CLASS NOTES checked in from Charlottesville to report that on 10/13/09 he and his lovely wife, Brooke, brought Sawyer Gaines Carr home from the hospital after a successful birth. (See photo on Follow links for Alumni Review and additional photos.) Although I have not heard from A.C. since then, I have every confidence that a few sleepless nights have given way to endless happiness and pride!! Congratulations, Al. I hope we hear numerous updates from you and yours in the future. Matt Bertsch wrote in to proudly announce the arrival of Chase Lynwood Bertsch on 23 Nov. at 2203 GMT, 21 inches, 8 lbs.-5 oz. Emily and Chase are healthy and doing well, and we are all looking forward to some great pics for the next edition. Congratulations Matt and Emily!!!” I did not hear from some of the usual suspects this time around, but I look forward to hearing and passing along more juicy updates in February. I would like to congratulate each of you on the exciting news in your lives and thank you for writing in to share your news with our class. If I have missed anyone’s update, please send it again, as I hope to have enough updates for our next edition to force Moody Hall to tell me I have to limit the size of our “Notes” … ’98, ’98, ’98!!! I hope that the next few months bring health and wealth into each of your homes. Please keep up with your pledges to our class scholarship fund, and most importantly, please keep in touch and let me know if you are ever passing through Tulsa in your travels. (My door is always open.)


William Steinbach

Editor’s note: There were no notes received from the class of 1999 for this issue.


Christian Arllen

Editor’s note: There were no notes received from the class of 2000 for this issue.


Jason Whitaker

I have received a lot of responses and births this quarter, so I will keep my words short. Thanks, again, to all who submitted an update, and I am doing my best in trying to track everyone down via e-mail, Facebook, etc. Two years away until

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the 10-year reunion, so start looking at your calendar for the fall of 2011. Please continue to update me with your contact information. E-mail is fine, and also please keep the Alumni Association updated with your current mailing address and contact information (e-mail, telephone number, etc.), so we can make sure everything is sent to you. This is important, especially as we approach our reunion. Our class continues to grow, and there will be plenty of little tikes running around at the 10-year reunion. Jarrod Cronin’s wife, Maggie, gave birth to their first child, a baby girl, Madison, on Sept. 21, 2009. At birth, Madison weighed 8 lbs. and was 21 inches long. Additionally, Jarrod heard Taylor Mawyer and his wife, Laura, had a daughter about a week before they did. Over the years, Jarrod has kept in touch with Chris DaBaldo, since they were roommates their fifth class year. Drew Carbone and his wife, Kristie, welcomed their first child, a son, Joseph Ricci Carbone, on Oct. 11, 2009. Joseph weighed 7 lbs., 10 ounces at birth. Brady Daniels reported that Will Felvey’s wife, Laura, gave birth to their first child, a son, Samuel Talmadge Felvey, on Nov. 8, 2009. Samuel weighed 7 lbs., 7 ounces, and Brady heard that mother and child were in good health and resting at the family’s home in Richmond, VA. Drew Carbone added that his son and Will’s son are on their way to being Gold Coast privates. Songho Pak was happy to say that his wife, Janet, gave birth to a baby girl named Kaila Suri Pak on Oct. 27, 2009. Many thanks and continued prayers for those in our nation’s military who are serving overseas to help those in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan and to our fellow BRs serving in the military of our allied nations abroad. Josh Berk left at the end of October for an assignment at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, where he is one of the assistant regional security officers for Diplomatic Security. Josh told me to tell you all that, if you are near the embassy, give him a shout. Before he left, his girlfriend, Jen, threw a party for him, which I was able to attend. Also at the party were Jim Bourie, Parker Reeves, Jamie Dillon, Jon Mazur, Justin Harber, Tom Gleason, Adam Belmont and Dave Debruyn ’03. Jamie is moving to San Diego in December, where he will continue to work for the Navy. Tom is stationed at Camp Lejeune and just returned from Iraq. Charlie Benbow is deployed to Mosul, Iraq, right now on a MiTT team. Charlie said they’re the only Marines in the city and the only guys living on an Iraqi Army COP, so they get plenty of strange looks everywhere they go. Charlie said his unit got a new addition to the team last week, David Bain (we may remember him as David Gouge from Band Co). Charlie ran into him earlier this year at Camp Lejeune, then, low and behold, he got sent to augment their team in Iraq. Fred Hair deployed to Iraq for the second

time in late October. Howard Cook started the Blackhawk course and should be done around March 2010 when he will return to his unit, Charlie Company (MEDEVAC), 2-149th GSAB Texas Army National Guard. Andy Rogers told me that Paul Thompson is still serving in the U.S. Army and currently preparing for another deployment to Afghanistan. Andy also mentioned a recent activity that Paul embarked on while visiting Andy, but I’ll leave the details out, and let Andy fill you all in. Lin Liu is serving as a lieutenant commander in the Taiwan Navy; he is assigned in Taipei, Taiwan, as a liaison officer to the American Institute in Taiwan. Lin is a married and has one daughter. Elijah Ward and his wife, Jenn, were married on June 13, 2009. Attending the wedding were Ryan Peay ’02, Joe Gunter, Jon Saburn ’04, Jason Quash ’04, Dan Dunn ’98, David Smith ’87, John Ludt ’70 and Chaplain Park (honorary ’98), who was co-officiate with Elijah’s father. Elijah was happy to have the full dykeline in attendance from ’98 to ’04, and all in all, he said it was a great event. Elijah and Jenn are doing great, and he will remain in command of an artillery battery in the 101st Airborne Division until next fall. They recently got a chance to attend an alumni get-together down in Nashville, and Elijah regularly sees Josh Powers ’04, Trey Guy ’03 and Greg Wheal ’03 on the physical training routes at Fort Campbell, since they are all company commanders. Kim Herbert is studying physical therapy and working at Integrated Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy in Burke, VA. Kim is looking forward to graduating from the physical therapy program in May 2010 and hopes to continue working in an outpatient orthopedic setting after graduation. Kim told me that Tennille Chisholm married Robert Barnabi on Sept. 26, 2009, at Ingleside Vineyards. Along with Kim, also in attendance at the wedding were Naomi Pike ’02, Melissa (Graham) Adamski, Matt Sharpe ’04, Chris Huff ’03, Brandon Ferris and Drew Carbone. Kim said Tennille and Robert will continue to reside in King George, VA. Tennille continues to work for the Department of the Navy as a civilian logistics officer at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in southern Maryland. Melissa (Graham) Adamski separated from active duty in the U.S. Army in August but is still part of the Army Reserve, working as a consultant. In addition, Melissa is also completing her master’s in counseling psychology at Bowie State University. Jarrett Somers attended the wedding of Greg Martin (aka, Mr. Ed) to his wife, Caren. Also present at the wedding were Matt Frye, Jamie Dillon and Parker Reeves. Jarrett and his wife, Heather, have a 23-month-old child and are happily expecting number two to arrive on Dec. 10, 2009. Howard Ni wishes us all well and told me the following: “I’m just horrible when it comes to


Row 1: Alexander Marrone, John Wilcox, Travis Quesenberry, John Pates, Jason Trubenbach, Will Sarsfield, Marshall Luck, Jeff Snyder, Justin “Buster” Douglas, John Deem and Tom Hanifen. Row 2: Mike McDermott, John Wright, Mike Nelson, Lyle Camblos, Michael Chapman, Ted Coberly, Roger Hart, Jeff Holder, Patrick Henderson, Brian Withers, Eric East and Jon M. Rogers. Row 3: Gregory T. Bryant, André Sapp, Matt Franks, Kevin Henderson, Tom Collins, Dallas Clark, Frazer Orgain, Shane Stille, Rob Hardee, Ali Morales, Matthew Stephens, Wyatt McGraw and Cameron Tabor. Row 4: Grant Eddy, Michael Fritz, Ian Bobbitt, Sean Ross, Bill Steinbach, James Meyer, Les Gould, Dan Wilbun, Christopher Colbow, Jeff Golden, Eric Roed, Chris Copenhaver, Jason Smith and Greg McDearmon.. Row 5: Kris Turpin, Andy Fuller, Brian Wolfe, Steve Lucas, Chad Varanese, Matt Dixon, Chris Work, Andy Kratt, Ned Frothingham, Michael Wilson, Charles Reinhold and Brannon Howle. Row 6: Jordan Brandon, Shawn Ward, Jake Hughes, Brian Ross, Will Romm, Mason Ayers, Patrick Stutts, Corey Kearse, Randy McMath, Kevin Duhaime, Wes Barrow, J. Daniel Payne and Michael Maire.


10th Reunion — Oct. 2-3, 2009

Class of 1999



CLASS NOTES keeping in contact with everyone from the mother ‘I.’. It has been eight years since I left the school, and life has definitely pulled me in all kinds of directions. If anyone ever wants to learn to cook Chinese food, I’m your guy! I am currently living and working in Chicago. I’m working for a security service company, and although it has been extremely busy, I’ve had a great time learning and working it. My military background and the things learned while at the ‘I’ definitely helped me a great deal. I’m currently engaged to Xiaping ‘Joyce’ Cai, and we plan to get married next year. It was great to see so many VMI buddies on Facebook, and I hope we can all see each other at the 10-year reunion. It’ll be a blast, and I have no doubt, we’re the most special class that the school has ever produced.” Oscar Alfaro has been able to catch up with several Brother Rats and told me, “Adam Woytowich came up to NJ in September, and we caught up during the first game of the season for the NFL. He is doing well. He had just come up from visiting Pomroy Jackson in Richmond. Woytowich said that P.J. is doing well and has a little girl who, if I remember what Woytowich said, is about 1 year old. We started catching up over some nice micro brews but ended up with Jack Daniels, singing karaoke (first Thursday in which Rutgers students were back on campus, so it was a good time). Spoke with Jared Kuhnhenn last month. He is doing well. He is stationed over in Germany and is supposed to be deployed to the sandbox sometime next year. He is just hoping that he will be back for our 10-year reunion. Met

up with David Jackson. I found out that he lives in Jersey, so we have met up a few times. Too bad he lives close to Philadelphia, while I live close to NYC. He is doing well and is married and has a son, who I believe is about 1 or just over 1 year old. Songho Pak came up to NJ last month. He was at a training session for his company in PA but made time to make it to Jersey. He was here with his wife and his little daughter. They are doing great. I owe him a trip to Richmond now. I also spoke to Daniel Lee. His wife just had a baby boy in September. I’ve seen pictures, and the poor kid needs a haircut already. Talking about all these growing families, my wife just gave me a little girl. Sofia Lee Alfaro was born on Nov. 7, 2009. Now, it’s time for a few sleepless nights. I was suppose to go to the VMI vs. West Point game on the VMI Booze Cruise but couldn’t make it. Hopefully, the next time they play each other, I will be able to go. I went the last time VMI played against West Point and had such a blast that I did not want to miss this one.” John Niederhaus is living in Madison, WI, where he now has the awesome privilege of actually living with his wife, Silke. John works from home and telecommutes to the same job he held in Albuquerque at Sandia National Laboratories, though he travels frequently to Albuquerque. Silke and John had the chance to visit Hassan Grari and his wife, Liz, in Dallas this fall. Hassan has some VHS treasures, which they watched after a couscous dinner: video of Hassan and Kenny Carmichael in the distance medley at indoor


conference championships in probably our second class year along with Michael Lokale ’03 and Tom Gorski ’03. John has been helping with forming The Mallory Circle, which is an alumni association for VMI Physics and assists with editing their bi-annual newsletter, Quantum Press. Melissa Williams reported, “I’m still doctoring up in Maine, and I got to do a lot of travel this summer, including several trips to London and a two-week trip to Germany, Austria and Hungary. Currently looking to transfer to London full time, but the application process is grueling! Just spent the weekend with Kelly Sullivan having a spooky good time in Salem, MA, for Halloween. Hope this little note finds you happy and healthy!” Steve Skakandy met up with Billy Prible in October at the Notre Dame vs. USC game in South Bend, IN. Steve said although the outcome of the game was not what we hoped for, he was proud to report that Lexington officially has more going on in it than South Bend. Steve said you would think South Bend would be more exciting, but that is not the case. Steve stayed at Lake Tippecanoe in Billy’s family’s home, about an hour and a half outside of South Bend, and even got to take the boat out on the lake for a bit. On Founders Day, Steve traveled up to the Mother I for the Institute Society. Steve had a great time and suggested we need to get more Brother Rats involved, because he was the only member of our class to attend. Some classes that graduated after ours had better attendance, so Steve felt we need to work on that these next few years. Congratulations to Tillman Bowling


Class of 2001 Photo 1: At Josh Berk’s party in October 2009 were, from left, Justin Harber, Jason Whitaker, Parker Reeves, Berk, Jon Mazur, Adam Belmont, Jim Bourie, 3 Dave Debruyn ’03, Tom Gleason and Jamie Dillon. Photo 2: Terry Li, third from right, on the grounds of the Summer Palace in Beijing, China, with, from left, Mary Jo Jordan, widow of Samuel Jordan ’64; Kendra Russell Li; the Li’s son, Aven; Li’s mother; and Janice and Ed Seager ’64. Photo 3: Oscar Alfaro with his newborn daughter, Sofia, and wife, Chihui. Photo 4: Lin Liu and daughter in Taiwan.

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CLASS NOTES Many thanks to all who contacted me for this submission. Be on the lookout for e-mail regarding the 10-year reunion, and please send me your thoughts on what you would like to see planned for the reunion. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, as we enter 2010. God bless all who serve our nation overseas; we are always praying for you.

’02 Class of 2001: Jeff Kuehne at the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail in Maine at the end of his hike. Kuehne completed the 2,178mile through-hike of the Appalachian Trail on Aug. 20, 2009. The journey from Georgia to Maine took him just under five and a half months. and his wife, Stacey, as they are expecting their first child on April 24, 2010. Tillman is flying for Comair, a Delta subsidiary, and Stacey is a nurse at Orlando’s Winnie Palmer Hospital. Jeff Kuehne completed a 2,178-mile throughhike of the Appalachian Trail on August 20, 2009. The journey from Georgia to Maine took him just under five and a half months. Jeff was posting pictures while on his hike onto Facebook and I have to admit Jeff looked like a true mountain man. Jeff’s hike went so well he even met his new girlfriend along the trail. While vacationing for 29 days in China, Ed Seager ’64 and his wife, Janice, encountered two of our BRs, Terry Li and his wife, Kendra Russell Li. Ed’s story of how they met went like this: “While we were in Beijing, we spent one day touring the Summer Palace. While on the grounds, Kendra recognized the VMI ball cap I was wearing and asked if I went to VMI. That surprising and unlikely encounter led to a pleasant few minutes, during which we made introductions and exchanged some information. Terry and Kendra were in China visiting Terry’s mother who lives there. Kendra indicated she is serving with the U.S. Air Force at the NATO base in Geilenkirchen, Germany. Terry served with the USMC and is now out of the service and working independently in Germany.” Ed and his wife were traveling with some family members and friends that included her aunt and uncle (who is almost 80 and a retired U.S. Navy aviator), and Mary Jo Jordan, the widow of one of Ed’s VMI roommates, Sam Jordan ’64, who passed away in 2006.


Salmaan Khawaja

the unique opportunity to support VMI in a manner that is reflective of our ethos as a class, and many future cadets will be able to receive financial support for an excellent college education that they may otherwise have difficulty achieving. I implore all of you to consider donating to this scholarship. In order to do so, you can send checks payable to the VMI Foundation with a note stating your desire to contribute to the Class of 2002 Memorial Scholarship Fund. You can also make a credit card gift online at the secure site, In the comments block, just indicate your desire to contribute to the Class of 2002 Memorial Scholarship Fund. Checks can also be mailed to The VMI Foundation, P.O. Box 932, Lexington, VA 24450. I will be sending more information in our end-of-the year letter. I want to specifically commend Reuben Trant, who came up with the idea for this scholarship and spent many, many hours putting together all the complicated documents and arrangements in order to make this scholarship a reality. Because of Reuben’s diligence and dedication, we now have the opportunity to honor the legacies of Luke, Chad and Matt and help future cadets who are in need of financial assistance. Thank you, Reuben! With respect to class notes, I have some updates for you all. Tim Brennan was married on Sept. 19, 2009, in Washington, DC, to the former Miss Hillary Brickey. In attendance from VMI ’02 were Jason Breeding, Andrew Harter, Nick Compher, Paul Murphy, Matt Mitchell and Dave DeBruyn. The happy couple resides in DC and spent their honeymoon in Aruba. Congrats to Tim and Hillary! We wish you the very best. Ray Girman, Ben Bowman and Scott Hunsberger met up at VMI on Ring Figure weekend this November. Ray had not visited the I in over eight years and was checking out all the new buildings and upgrades on Post. Scott and

Brother Rats: I hope that this edition of the Alumni Review finds you and yours doing well. It’s amazing how quickly the time seems to be flying by. I hope you had a happy holiday season, and I wish you a happy New Year! It is my distinct pleasure to announce the establishment of the VMI Class of 2002 Memorial Scholarship, in honor of three of our fallen Brother Rats, Capt. Luke Wullenwaber, USA; Mr. Chad Kenna and Mr. Matthew Serra. I have been contacted over the years by many ’02 BRs who have inquired as to how they can contribute to VMI, especially because of the complicated issues that occurred our first class year, which continues to be an area of concern for some members of our class. It is my opinion that this Memorial Scholarship is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to keep the Corps of Cadets supported forever. The purpose of this scholarship is to honor the memories of our deceased BRs, whose deaths were sudden, unexpected and tragic. In addition, the scholarship will provide financial assistance to deserving cadets at VMI. Priority consideration in the awarding of the scholarship will be given in the following order: 1. Children or grandchildren of deceased members of the VMI class of 2002. 2. Children or grandchildren of living members of the VMI class of 2002, and 3. Other current members of the VMI Corps of Cadets. Within the above priorities, financially needy candidates will take precedence over merit-based candidates in the choice of the recipients. Merit-based awards will be determined by the candidates’ overall qualifications to Class of 2002: Capt. Reuben Trant and Ashlyn Davis were married at J.M. Hall on Aug. 8, 2009. Attending the include academic standwedding were, from left, Jesse Wullenwaber ’03, Jeremy ing, demonstrated leadUssery (USMA), Keenan Entsminger, Brandon Lindsey, ership, community and/ Mike Davis ’77, the bride and groom, Chaplain James or military service, athPark (USMA ’72), Will Davis ’06, Tim Wofford, James letic ability, and promise. Howard, Jack Trant ’57, Tim Trant ’98, Tri Tang, Jackson It is my opinion that this Castleberry and John Trant. scholarship provides us


CLASS NOTES Ashley welcomed their first child, Emma Lynn Hunsberger, into the world on Nov. 8, 2009. The proud parents are a little sleep deprived but otherwise are so excited to have a healthy, beautiful daughter. I wonder if she’s going to be in the drumline at VMI one day? Time will tell. Leven Harrison dropped me a quick note to let me know he’s finally gotten a motorcycle, and he’s pretty excited about it. Leven also let me know that John Sloan and his wife, Amy, are expecting their third child. Congratulations and best wishes to John and Amy! Jackson Castleberry received his M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in May 2009. He and his wife just moved to Alexandria, VA, and Jackson is currently working for IBM as a consultant. He visits frequently with Jon Tibbs and Tim Wolford and let me know that Jon is working for Deloitte and just about to complete his M.B.A. at William & Mary. Tim is also doing very well and working for the FBI as a special agent in Washington, DC. Jackson met up with Brian Francis to see the VMI versus Old Dominion University game on Nov. 21, 2009. Both of their spouses went to ODU, so regardless of who won the game, methinks everybody had a good time. I wish everybody a great 2010, and I look forward to hearing from you soon! In the bonds … Salmaan

William Talley V


Phil Kerns

As I begin typing this set of notes, I realize just how different life is now, compared to when we were in Barracks. I was just up at the Institute recently for the Institute Society Dinner and walked through Barracks on my way to Jon Faff’s room. Walking the stoops, I couldn’t help but think back to our four years in Barracks and how we thought we had life by the proverbial round objects and our only concern was making sure we had haydown for the next day. Fast forward to right now; its 10:27 p.m. I just got done rocking Billy to sleep while watching Monday Night Football and trying to keep myself from falling asleep, too. As I clear my eyes to type these notes, I prepare for what I hope won’t be a long night with a threemonth-old, while my wife is at work. While I wouldn’t trade what I have now for anything in the world, I realize just how far we’ve come since we were in Barracks and how much our lives have changed. I also think about Phil Kerns, who just last night got back from

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his honeymoon in Australia and used that as an excuse to pass off putting together this set of notes to me. If you ask me, he could have pulled an all-nighter doing this, just like he did in Barracks when he was in the middle of a Madden Football League season. So, here we go … I had the opportunity break bread with Doug Warner and Mike Newton at the Institute Society Dinner last week. Doug has been keeping busy with things up in the NOVA area and was getting ready to go up to West Point to see VMI play Army. Mike had just gotten back from Iraq about 10 days prior and had been spending some time talking with cadets at the Institute and was heading back down to his home in Hampton, VA, in the days following. I had great pleasure in catching up with Mike, as he has served two tours already, is currently Captain Newton and is probably headed over to Germany in the near future with the Army. I also saw Will Johnson and Garth Best at the VMI game on Halloween. Both were doing well. Will is working and living down in the Virginia Beach area. Keeping with the Hotel Co. theme, I talked with Derek Overstreet the other day. He and his wife, Kelly, are in the final stages of moving and building a new home down in Chester, VA. They enjoyed spending a couple weeks in Europe in September and are now keeping busy with the new house. I tailgated with Chris Adams and his lovely wife, Jen, at the football game Labor Day weekend. Chris was getting ready to deploy to Iraq at the end of September. I must say, Chris is a lucky guy, as Amie-Anne and I had a blast getting to know Jen and catching up with them at the football game. Also in attendance was Jon Faff, who’s still fighting the good fight and is on track to graduate in May 2010. Jason and Theresa Annis are doing well and just celebrated their daughter’s first birthday. Jason is still working for the Federal Reserve in Richmond at a location that cannot be disclosed. I have the good fortune to see and talk with Darnell Griffin fairly often at the gym down in my area. He is residing up in the NOVA area with his wife. He works for one of the major law firms in Richmond and is getting ready to sit for the Bar Exam in February. There was an article just this past week in the Richmond Times Dispatch, regarding Chip Hancock. Chip, who has served two tours in Iraq with the Marines, is a graduate of the first class of the Marine Special Operations School this past April. This unit is a reincarnation of the elite Marine Raiders, of which Chip’s grandfather, Lou Caraker, was a member during WWII. This unit focuses on foreign internal defense, reconnaissance and covert operations. If I remember correctly, Chip was pretty good at running covert operations in Barracks, so I

am sure his success will continue. It’s been a rough couple weeks here recently for our class. Most notably, we lost BR Dale Griffin to a roadside IED over in Afghanistan. Dale is the first in our class to have made the ultimate sacrifice in the global war on terror and the 12th alumnus to do so. We had a good contingent from our class go out to the services held for Dale. Chaz Wagner, Nick Work, Dan Zhang, Pang Tu, Levi Spellman, Juan-Carlos Sanchez and Chris Kim were able to make the trip. Chaz Wagner presented a class coin to Dale’s family on behalf of the class, and we sent a flower arrangement, as well. In addition, Brandon Matthew’s mother passed away on Halloween. I ask that you keep Dale’s family, as well as Brandon’s family, in your thoughts and prayers. Alpha Co. – Mark Carr: A- Comp Update: Hello from Morgantown, WV. We are nearing the end of our WVU soccer season, and life is good. On to a few updates … I spoke with Craig Blackwood, and things are going well for him in California. He is still trying to turn the stock markets around and says that we can all thank him for the Dow hitting 10,000. I heard from Lara Tyler, and she is still in Richmond. She continues doing construction and land development management. (She said because of the economy, it’s more like “land development survival management.”) She is running the Richmond Marathon! She also passed on some exciting news that she and Stuart Chambers are getting married in Richmond next September. Congratulations! Doug Bahrns e-mailed me, and he currently has the Force Recon Platoon for the 24th MEU and will be deploying in January. Not sure where he is heading. He is still living in Wilmington, NC, and is stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. I have also caught up with Lars Wagner, Bryan Andrew, Will Belmont, Rich Eytel and Rollin Steele over the past few weeks, and all seem to be doing well. As always, keep sending me your updates to or 304/377-9320. Bravo Co. – Bill Talley: I heard or rather my wife talked with Joe Ingram the other weekend. She said that Joe seemed to be doing well and as I understand it, is looking at going back and getting a master’s degree in guidance work. This will be master’s degree number two for Joe; he has one in engineering from WVU. Joe wants to help kids figure out what they want to do in life. I spoke with Chaz Wagner the other day on the phone; he was getting ready to head out to Dale Griffin’s funeral. He was doing well – just having a hard time keeping up with the busy social scene up in DC. Delta Co. – Blake Traina: I haven’t had the chance to talk to a lot of people here recently, but I did get a few updates from some people, and I was able to find out info on a


CLASS NOTES few others. As I am sure everyone knows, Delta Company and for that matter, the class of 2003, lost one of its own when Sgt. Dale Griffin was killed by an IED on Oct 27, 2009. Dale was with us at VMI for three semesters and was on the wrestling team. He was considered a great guy by all who knew him and will be truly missed. On a much more upbeat note, I did hear from Brent Bohan. After leaving VMI, Brent decided to attend the University of Vermont and get his master’s degree in environmental law and policy and will be receiving his juris doctor degree from Vermont Law School in May. At that point, he is planning to move back to Seattle, where he will take the bar and hopefully work for the County Attorney’s office. Mike Poliquin sent me a note telling me he is living in Yuma, AZ, with his wife, Beth, and 16-month-old daughter, Natalie. He is working for DHS as a border patrol agent. I talk to Chris Mision on a pretty regular basis, and he is currently at the National Guard Bureau for Col. Hank Amato ’89, who is also a VMI alum. From what I can tell, Chris is enjoying his time in the NGB and doing some great work. I ate lunch with Dan McNair the other week. He is still working for the Department of Defense and is now the proud owner of a home. Speaking of which, from what I have heard, Andy Onello is now working for CCSi and also bought a townhouse. I talked to


Class of 2003 3

Becky Stewart one night, and she told me that she finished up her degree in ’03 from Florida State. She then spent five years in the Army Medical Service Corps, got married and now is out of the Army and living in Carlisle, PA. She is a stay-at-home mom and from what I can tell, really enjoying it. I also ate lunch with Cullen Monk a few times over the last few months, and he is doing great. He is also still working for the Department of Defense and really enjoying it. It’s been nice to get to see him and how well he is doing with his job. Christopher Gromadski is living with his wife, Sam, and their 15-month-old daughter, Shannon. He will be leaving in May to go to Monterey, CA, to get his master’s degree. I know this is kind of a short update, but next time, I will try to get more info in here for everyone. I had info on a few more people, but I had a computer failure at work that caused me to lose a lot of my contact info. So, I am rebuilding it still. I hope everyone is doing well, and if you can, send me an e-mail to, and I will add you to my e-mail list. Band Co. – Jared Swanson: Band is boring this time around. – This was a direct quote from Jared. The only person to add anything is Adam Monteleone who received his master’s in secondary education recently and is commissioning as an Army engineer on Nov. 19th. Photo 1: Phil Kerns and his wife, Angee, on their wedding day, Sept. 26, 2009. Photo courtesy Tim Ray Photography. Photo 2: Jeremy and Lauren Ongley with daughter Ava Michelle, born Oct. 23, 2009. Photo 3: Attending the first-of-the-season VMI football game on Labor Day weekend were, from left, the Talley family, Savannah, Amie-Anne’05 and Bill; Jon Faff; and Chris and Jennifer Adams. Photo 4: Nick Work, Chaz Wagner, Dan Zhang, Levi Spellman, Pang Tu, Juan-Carlos Sanchez and Chris Kim traveled to Indiana to attend Dale Griffin’s funeral and memorial service.

F-Troop –Dermot Gavin: I got word from Bill Netherton. He was promoted to E-5 with the U.S. Army. He is currently serving in Korea. Marco Midence is alive and well. Dermot Gavin is still in Afghanistan and will be home in March. That’s all for this set of notes, Brother Rats. Please be sure and e-mail your company reps any updates you may have, so that we can get them in the next set, which is due into VMI by Feb. 15th. I look forward to seeing some of you at the upcoming basketball games and hope everyone had a safe and joyful holiday season!

Ryan Shealy


C. Justin Roberts

Brother Rats: I hope this issue finds you all well. I believe we have all recovered from the reunion, and by this time, the holidays are behind us as well. For those of you who didn’t get to attend our 5-year Reunion, I think I can say that we all had a blast. We had a very good turnout for it to have been our first reunion. I’m not sure Lexington will





Row 1: S. Russell Gochenour, Ryan Consaul, Scott Campbell, Bree Adams, Mike Coakley, Grady Orr, Michael McHugh, Edward Chen, Rory Miller, Tim Nixon, David Coleman and Elizabeth Olson. Row 2: Winston Harrell, Chad Martin, Adam Sheldon, Jason Brinkmoeller, Derek Raymond, Jonathan Lessen, Ray L’Heureux, Sean O’Donnell, Joe Montagna, Ilija Krklec, Ryan Koniak, Justin Roberts, Alex Nicoloff and Mariah Goodall. Row 3: Peter Bennett, Jason Boone, Brian Hudak, Cyrus Kump, Timothy Erwin, Derek Wiley, Mike Roscoe, Tamara Ferguson, Greg Sturz, Andrew Harris, John Ginder, Mark Hamilton, Chip Satterlee and D. Goodall. Row 4: J.B. Rosson, Kevin Strait, Bill Kastelberg, Matthew Sanders, Ross Garnett, Joe Doane, Matt Roscoe, Jim Bean, Joshua Wright, Chipper Woodruff, Dennis Crennan, Bryan Gould, John R. Cobb IV, Andrew Cunningham and Brandon Smith. Row 5: Geoff Goldsmith, Jake Reisch, Brian Trueblood, Adam Zimmerman and Timothy Price. Row 6: Daniel S. Cragg, Joel Andrus, Drew Hardin, Charles Karamon, Derik Screen and Jason Brightwell.


5th Reunion — Oct. 2-3, 2009

Class of 2004

2010-Issue 1


CLASS NOTES ever be the same again; from the parade ground to the Lexington Waffle House, we made it known that we were there. On Friday, we had a meet and greet reception followed by a stagger downtown to the Palms, Southern Inn and Macados. On Saturday, we followed the Corps upon pass and review, and although our ranks were not too straight, we made it into the Third Barracks, where our GC officers led us in an old yell for the class and one for our Brother Rat Brian Malast, who was in attendance. I think for most of us, one memorable moment of the reunion was getting to hear Sergeant Major Hockaday give one of his unforgettable speeches and show off our Rat Bomb to our significant others. On a side note, we have plenty of favors (hat, cup and coozie) left over from the reunion. If you are interested in purchasing one, please let me know, and we can arrange that. We did not receive that many updates for this issue, so I am going to try to work from memory and add the few that Ryan received. Let’s see if we can’t get better participation for the next issue. At the reunion, I ran into Chip Satterlee who is serving in the Army as a chaplain for 1-22 Infantry in 1BDE, 4ID out in Colorado. He informed that he runs into Mike Scott pretty often, and I believe Mike is preparing for a deployment. Mike also just took command of a field artillery battery in 3BDE, 4th ID. Chip also updated me that Keith Holman got married to Linley Holman in August and is still in the Air Force, stationed in Alaska. Rusty Thompson is working at the Pentagon, supporting the DIA as a strategic level, All Source analyst, serving J2, president, SECDEF, Congress and allies, answering all questions pertaining to Iraq. Tim just finished the Maneuver Captains Career Course and is currently in the process of moving to Clarksville, TN. He is going to command in 2nd Brigade, 101st and is set to deploy in the summer of 2010. Nate Cincala is deployed to Iraq as a BDE MITT advisor. He is set to redeploy mid summer of 2010. Adam Zimmerman is still living up in Fredericksburg. Adam Zimmerman, Clarence Smith and Joe Doane just passed their professional engineering exam and can finally take a break from studying. I believe that George Cushman is in the Army, still stationed over in Germany. Matt Cage is a flight surgeon for the 412th Aviation Support Battalion out of Ansbach, Germany. He is currently scheduled to deploy to Iraq for 12 months in mid December. Jason Quash is still in the Army and just recently got married, as well. Joe Montagna is still living in San Diego, flying CH-53E helicopters in the USMC and will be deploying again in the spring of 2010 on the 15th MEU. Joe shares my love for the Waffle House food, and we found out it is a great place to pick up a date, if you need one. Joe is also


becoming a great on-the-spot photographer … unbelievable! Jimmy Palmer is living in Alexandria, working for the Navy and serving in the Virginia National Guard. He and his wife, Sanja, had just returned from visiting her family in Montenegro for a few weeks. Their daughter, Kristianna, is doing great and expecting a little brother on St. Paddy’s Day! Congratulations to Jimmy and Sanja. Will Simmons just recently got out of the Air Force and is living in NJ looking for a job. He got engaged on Halloween and is planning to get married in May of 2011. Brian Niven’s ’03 wife, Leigh, gave birth to their third, a son named Wesley Van Dam Niven, on 9 Nov. Chris Johnson is living in northern Virginia and just recently got engaged, as well. Dave Harris received a promotion with IBM and had a son (Devin) early this year. Jon Dumas is living in Massachusetts with his wife, Sara, and daughter and is working for a defense contractor. Josh Powers is a company commander for Angle Company (infantry) in 3rd BDE, 101st Airborne Division and is going to Afghanistan in early 2010. Jeff Donahue just took command of a cavalry troop in 2nd BDE, 4ID and is going to Iraq in the spring. Josh Fox is living and working in CO Springs, CO. Dave Coleman got married Oct. 12 to Carrie and is a lawyer living in Raleigh, NC. Christian DeShazor lives with Joe Doane, both engineers living in Raleigh, NC. Jon Lessen is working a contracting job in Chapel Hill, NC, and is now engaged. Derek Raymond recently got his Special Forces tab and is stationed at Fort Campbell. Chris Richman is living out in Indianapolis, starting law school next fall, working as a federal investigator and serving in the National Guard, now as a sergeant. Tim and Chris both completed Army Ranger School together last spring. Chris was seeing Chuck Karamon frequently in Indianapolis, until he moved to Virginia to teach at Massanutten Military Academy. Chris is having fun, serving in the Army, part-time, with sniper school and reconnaissance school, both in the late winter/spring. Sean O’Donnell is in DC until March, working as a liaison for the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan. Michael H. Gregory couldn’t make it to the reunion, because he is currently deployed to Kosovo, serving as the company commander for the Aviation Maintenance Company and responsible for maintenance on all U.S. aviation assets in country. Justin Bierens and his wife, Kari, and daughter, Madilynn, are still living in Grand Rapids, MI. Justin ETS’d from active duty last April and is finishing up his military obligation in the Michigan National Guard. After ETSing, he attended a local police academy this past summer and recently became a certified police officer in Michigan. Madilynn turned 2 on Nov. 8th, and Kari is 14 weeks pregnant with their second

child, which is due in May. Tony Peters and his wife, Manu, just had their first child, Simon. John Ginder is still living down in Florida, causing as much trouble as possible, and has just recently changed jobs. Noah Diehl is working at the “I” with the AFROTC Department, and Derek Screen just recently accepted John Casper’s old job in the Admissions Department. John Casper is still down in Virginia Beach attending Regent University, and last I heard, they were looking to adopt a child. Drew Hardin and his wife, Meagan, are now expecting, as well. Drew just returned home from Iraq, and I believe he is stationed somewhere down south in the Army. Also, congratulations to Grady Orr, who just recently got engaged. As for me (Justin Roberts), I am still working down in Roanoke. I got married in March to my wife, Meredith, and we just bought a house out in Vinton, VA. That is all for now. Hope you all are doing well, and it was good seeing all of you at the reunion. Thanks for making it a memorable one. … Justin and Ryan

Timothy Johnson


William Ray

Brother Rats: I hope you all enjoyed the fall and found the holidays to be a good and relaxing time spent with family and friends. I hope you find the New Year to be a very successful and profitable time in your life and that you overcame any obstacles or adversities that may confront you in the year to come. With the year 2010 also comes the anniversary of our graduation from VMI. Some five years ago, we were roaming the stoops, masters of our universe, eagerly awaiting graduation and the relieving of our duties as cadets. To paraphrase one of my favorite sports writers, “If you had told me five years ago that I wouldn’t see some of my best friends for years at a time, I would’ve punched you in the face.” Yet, between marriages, kids and deployments, five years have gone by quickly, and there are many of you who I have not seen since May 2005, who I used to see on a regular basis. I hope to remedy this and see all of you at the 5-Year Class Reunion which will take place from Oct. 1-3, 2010, in our so-beloved little town of Lexington. In the next few months, you should receive mailings from the Alumni Association detailing the schedule of events, costs and how to register. I hope as many of you can make it as possible, especially if you have not made it back to VMI since 2005. As I had mentioned in an e-mail before the notes for the issue were due in November, there had been


CLASS NOTES a problem at the printer for the Alumni Review 2009, Issue 4, which delayed its mailing. By the time I had to submit these notes, I understand many of you, just as I, had not received the latest edition of the Alumni Review. This added to the problem of submission of updates, as many of you read and base your updates on the latest set of published class notes. I, too, use the latest published set of notes as a reference to what items may have been left out or need correcting in the next issue of the Review. Long story short, there were very few updates for this round of class notes, which means I get a few more lines to ramble. Hopefully, the next time around we, as a class, will have a bit more to say. On to the notes … Ian Foley checks in from Raleigh, NC, where he currently serves as operations manager for two ice rinks in the area. His wife, Autumn, gave birth to their first child, Lisa-Jean, on July 9, 2009. Between his job and his new daughter, Ian is staying busy and enjoying life with no plans to leave the Raleigh-Durham area in the new future. Congratulations, Autumn and Ian, on the birth of your daughter! Derek Rankin has been getting treated extremely well by the USAF. He is still stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan, where he is participating in multinational exercises in Malaysia, India, Guam, the Philippines, Thailand and Japan He recently returned from helping to run the Cope India Exercise in Agra, India. Last October, Derek attended the Air Force’s Airlift Tanker Association Convention in Nashville, where he ran into Andy Miller and relived a few of the glory days. Andy is also flying C-130s for the USAF and is stationed at Dyess AFB, TX. Mark Conley, who is also stationed in Japan, climbed the mighty Mount Fuji with Derek back on the 28th of Aug. Derek still talks to Ken Cooper and Chris White often. Ken just got married to his long-time girlfriend, Heather, this past October. Coop is a civil engineering officer stationed at Nellis AFB, NV. Chris is currently attending the USAF EOD School in Florida; Chris is also a civil engineering officer in the USAF. Derek also has been in contact with Jason Reinitz. Jason is stationed at Hurlburt Field, FL, conducting Special Operations Intel. He is doing great! Jason came to Japan to visit Derek and catch up, while he was stationed at Kunsan Air Base, Korea, before he PCS’d to Florida. Derek hopes to return from his three-year tour in Japan this spring and is “looking forward to getting back stateside and catching up with you and the rest of the gang!” Shore Stokes just got a new job with an investment management company called BlackRock. He’s been with the firm for a few months now, and things are pretty busy. Kirk Stokes is still out in Hong Kong. He’s been traveling back and forth a lot to Tokyo and a few other cities out there – continues to do well but is itching to get back when the economy recovers.

2010-Issue 1

Gerrid Gall sends word from his latest excursion with the Marine Corps aboard the U.S.S. Makin Island, which was undergoing sea trials in October. Currently, he is attached to the HMM165 (REIN), the Aviation Combat Element for the 15th MEU. As for your class agents, Will Ray is enjoying being a newlywed in Chapel Hill with his bride, Emily. Will is now working for the NC Department of Emergency Management due to a grant in relation to the H1N1 outbreak. Emily just completed her first semester at the UNC School of Medicine and seems to be doing well and enjoying this new phase in her education. As for myself, I continue to live in Richmond. However, I have shifted my efforts away from the fitness industry toward teaching, as I substitute for several of the counties around Richmond. I still continue to coach the various teams throughout the season, and I find teaching has a much more stable and compatible schedule with my coaching schedule. This fall, I had the chance to make a few trips to catch up with some BRs while taking in some college football games and views of beautiful southern women. At the VMI-U of R game, several ’05 members were in attendance, including Brandon Fellers, Michael Tittermary, Lawton Way, Andy Karnes, Ben Melton, Jason Downs, Jared Wheeler, Greg VanPelt and his girlfriend, Kristen, and Jim and Whitney White. Despite the overcast day, the Keydets played a tough game against the defending champs and everyone seemed to have a good time catching up, drinking and taking in the game. Special thanks go out to Greg and his girlfriend, Kristen, for housing a bunch of us degenerates for the weekend. The weekend after the Richmond game, Jason Downs and I headed down to Chapel Hill for

Class of 2005: Derek Rankin and Mark Conley at the summit of Mount Fuji, Japan, on Aug. 28, 2009.

Class of 2005: Ian and Autumn Foley’s daughter, Lisa-Jean, was born on July 9, 2009. the UVA-UNC game and to catch up with Ian Dunlap, who got away from MARSOC training for a day, and Will Ray. Blake Barnard joined us later that night on Franklin Street for dinner and drinks. Since returning from the Peace Corps in Panama, Blake started work on a master’s degree in history in New Orleans but decided after a semester that he would rather pursue a different graduate degree. He and his wife moved to Raleigh, NC – her hometown – and Blake is in his first year of law school at the Campbell University School of Law, which has relocated from Buies Creek to downtown Raleigh. It was good seeing Blake and getting to hang out for the first time since graduation. After taking in the Chapel Hill scene, I made my pilgrimage down to Oxford, MI, to visit with Jon Proctor and to catch the Ole Miss-Alabama game. Jon is in his third and final year of law school. After school, he hopes to pursue a commission with one of the Armed Services as a JAG. Despite a cancelled return flight and a bad day on the football field for the Rebels, Ole Miss and the beautiful women inhabiting the Grove put on a top notch show, and I’m trying to formulate some way of being able to get back down there next year, even though Proctor will have graduated. The first full weekend of November, I headed down to Charlotte for Alex Correll’s wedding. He married his long-time girlfriend, Kat Shuster, who he met during his first year of law school at Wake Forest University. Kat hails from Rhode Island and is a graduate of Brown University. She currently works in the development office at Gardner Webb University. Brother Rats on hand to witness the ceremony were Chris Johnson, Ben Melton and his girlfriend Courtney, Greg VanPelt and his girlfriend, Kristen, Lawton Way and his girlfriend, Shelton, Brad Miller and his girlfriend, Joy, and Alex’s younger brother, Will Correll ’10. Alex’s dad, B.C., served as his best man. Alex and Kat were married in Christ Episcopal


CLASS NOTES Church in the Myers Park section of Charlotte, and the reception was held in uptown Charlotte at the Visulite Theatre, a venue that Alex’s band, the Masonboro Boys, plays at frequently. For entertainment, Alex and Kat booked a band called The Sons of Bill, who hail from Charlottesville, VA. They play a mix of country and country rock and were a big hit. We’re hoping on booking them for one of the events on our reunion weekend. Needless to say, with plenty of good food and drinks and great live music, Kat and Alex’s wedding will be remembered for a long time. Before closing this set of notes, I would like to thank all of you who gave to VMI, whether it was to the VMI Foundation or the Keydet Club, as part of their 2008/09 fundraising campaign. Personally, our level of giving is not where I would like it to be, but without the constant yearly support by several of our BRs, it would be nothing. In the next year before our reunion, each and every one of you can make a donation, no matter how small or large. For those of you hesitant to give, I encourage you to call the Foundation or the KC to find out what ways you can give. Remember, you can give a restricted donation to VMI to whatever cause you see fit, whether it is an academic department, a club sport or a scholarship. With state funding at an all-time low and the state of the economy, VMI depends more on funds from

Class of 2005: Capt. Joe Montagna ’04, left, and 1st Lt. Gerrid Gall conducting day landing qualifications during the ship’s sea trials in October 2009. private donors and alumni. If you are uncomfortable calling the VMI Foundation or the Keydet Club, feel free to contact Will or myself about how to give and levels of giving. Let’s make 2010 the year the Institute hears from the class of 2005. If you are not receiving class notes or other communications from me or the Institute, please make sure your contact information is up to date by registering on the VMI Ranks Web site. Will and I have been trying to narrow down contact issues, as we have been getting bad addresses, e-mail or your parents’ address. We can only maintain so much contact and provide so many updates on people, when not everyone is capable of being reached. With the class reunion coming up, it is extremely important that we are able to reach each one of you, so we allow as many people who would like to come to the reunion be able to have ample time to make the appropriate arrangements. That concludes the latest edition of class notes. Best of luck to all of you in the months ahead, and I hope to hear from you soon. Until next time … In the bonds … Tim Johnson


Will Davis

Editor’s Note: In the past few issues of the Review, Clark Dudley has been listed as class agent. In fact, Will Davis is the class agent and has been for some time. The Alumni Agencies apologize for this error. Regarding class notes, none were received from the class of 2006 for this issue.

Class of 2005: Will and Emily Ray were married on July 18, 2009, at the University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.



Sally Coffman Arciero

I hope this issue finds everyone in good health and spirits. First things first, I would like to congratulate

my co-dyke, Jeff Choma, on his engagement to Tori Tabian. They live in Maryland, where Jeff is a state trooper, and are planning a July wedding. Jeff says that Wayne Huggins is to be the best man for the ceremony. Good luck to both Jeff and Tori, as they prepare to begin the married life. Josh Gauthier and I almost had a chance to meet up in Omaha, NE, at Offutt AFB. I’ve just recently been stationed here, and I didn’t realize he was out here for a week working, until the night before he left. Unfortunately, there was no time left to get together. Byron Faidley was kind enough to pass on to me that Will Konrad is working in Yorktown, VA, at Northrop Grumman. Also, he mentioned that Pete Relyea just recently finished hiking the Appalachian Trail. Chris Chang-lo is now living in Waikiki, HI, where he is in grad school. He is pursuing a master’s degree in global leadership and sustainable development at Hawaii Pacific University. He also mentioned that Steven Turner and Mike Cornell are stationed in Hawaii near him. Vanessa Butwell wrote that she is still in grad school at East Carolina University and is on track to becoming a physician’s assistant. Her husband, Jeff Butwell ’06, is currently on his second tour in Iraq. Martin Zola was kind enough to send me a note. In July, he earned a master of strategic affairs degree with merit and a master of diplomacy degree with merit at the Australian National University. As of now, he is pursuing a J.D. (juris doctorate degree, for us non-legal people) with Suffolk University Law School. I wish him luck in his endeavor! I hope everyone had a safe holiday season, and I look forward to hearing from everyone in preparation for the next issue of notes! God bless.


Robert Hill

I hope all of you are having a good winter and had a good holiday season. A lot has been happening around the Institute, and I encourage you all to check out the VMI Web site often. Within a few days of the writing of these notes [November 2009], our Rats will be receiving their rings. Also, the football program played a close game with Army last Saturday. I am happy to report that John Arthur is continuing his recovery. John was seriously injured by a suicide bomber in southeast Afghanistan on Saturday, Aug. 29th. Several other soldiers were also injured, but fortunately, they all made it through. Within a week or so of his injuries, John was transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Since then, John has made steady improvements.


CLASS NOTES His father said he worked exceptionally hard to as my uncle dyke. Our two other dykes were in crime in the Coast Guard. He is currently stationed in the Marine Safety Unit at Galveston, “wean” himself off the wheelchair and is able attendance, Will Collier ’06 and Drew Neckman TX, doing law enforcement. He commissioned to stand and walk (albeit with a cane) for short ’06, as well as Brian Peeler ’08 and Will’s brother, in July of 2009. distances. I would like to thank Seth Berkowitz John. Dan Simpson and his long-time girlfriend, Gina for providing me an update to forward to the class In September, I made it back to VA for a few Franklin, are now engaged, as of last July 4th. shortly after John was back in the states. Seth days. I drove down to send off Jed Miller the Zach Carmen graduated in May with his bachelor right way. Jed left for Misawa, Japan, at the end of visited John and his family at Walter Reed. I hope of arts degree in history. Zach is in the process of you continue to improve, John! September and is doing well. He bought his first trying to commission, and his commissioning date In the past few weeks, there have been several house and a car, and from all accounts, he is living is scheduled for Dec. 15th, 2009. He says his life marriages and at least one birth. Chad Truslow like a king. is just waiting on paperwork at this point. and his wife, Stacy, were blessed with Melissa While visiting Jed, I also managed to see Adam I would like to apologize for the shortness of Renee Truslow on Oct. 31st at 2318 hours in Stewart; Adam’s dyke, Shaun Jones ’06; Gordon these notes and a lack of pictures. I dropped the Oahu, HI. She weighed 6 lbs., 13 oz. and was Holloway; and Phil Noonan. All of us went to the ball on this edition, but in the future I will try and 18.5 inches long. Chad reports Melissa and Stacy Richmond game with Jed. Adam had just returned start a bit earlier and talk to more people. Please are doing wonderful, and “Melissa will be a part from Texas, where he completed his National feel free to contact me via Facebook, e-mail or by of the VMI class of 2030 … that is, if Harvard Guard training. Gordon made the trip over from phone. I wish you all the best and look forward to doesn’t work out.” Congrats to Chad and Stacy on Fort Knox, KY. He was there, living the good hearing from you soon! Melissa’s birth! life, with Andy Zyra. Everyone was happy to see On Nov. 7th, Mike Boykin and Serena Knick Phil. He was not with us for our last semester, were married in Lexington at St. Patrick’s. In because his academic excellence allowed him the IanWilliams attendance were Jeremiah Shenefield, John opportunity to graduate early. Phil is currently Richardson, Kyle Adams, Brett Skoog, Peter substitute teaching. Brookes, Chad Zurcher, Jake Jackson and Ryan I want to give special congratulations to all of Rose. Also in attendance were some of our Rats, our BRs who graduated in December! You finally Sean McLachlan ’11 and Burt Bacheller ’11, and have your diploma, and no one can take that away. a large contingent of VMI ruggers (both current Hello, Brother Rats! By the time this is seen in I didn’t want to list everyone, because this is and alumni). the Alumni Review, the holiday season will have being written in November, and there is always a Garrett Smith and Ashlyn Howell were married passed, and a new year will have begun. With this possibility that not everyone who thinks they are on the 28th of Feb. 2009 in Richmond, VA. In atten- in mind, I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday, graduating will be doing so in December. dance were Christian Green, Jesse Burnette, David and the new year is off to a good start! Lastly, there has been a lot of talk about having and Heidi Nagel ’01 and ’02 (respectively), and There is, yet again, more marriage news from more than one person help with the class agent Scott Johnson ’01. Garrett is serving as a platoon our class as of November. Andrew Krumm marresponsibilities. I think that this is a good idea, leader at Fort Eustis. ried his girlfriend, Stephanie Jodel Parr, on Dec. simply because we all have groups of people who Andrew and Lauren Vezza were married on May 31st. Jacob Collie is engaged to Tanya Showalwe tend to talk with more. So, if anyone thinks 8, 2009, and my apologies for not having Lauren’s ter. They are set to be married on June 5, 2010. they are up for it, shoot me an e-mail, and we can maiden name. Andrew has also deployed to Iraq in Congratulations to Andrew, Stephanie, Jacob and November with the Army. discuss it. Remember, if anything changes, or you Mike Vinacco and Lisa Staib were married on Tanya, as well as their families! want to share something with the class, let me Daniel Brewer and John Collier are in Fort June 20, 2009, at Langley Air Force Base. In atknow! Stay safe, and stay in touch! … Ian tendance at the wedding were Andrew Vezza, Matt Leonard Wood, MO, for a few weeks for some Walker, Ben Switzer, Jason Dudjak ’88, Matt hooah schooling. Robert P. Jones Jr. Kip Joerdens took some time off from the Jones ’11, Ethan Price ’11, Zach Cline ’11 and Chris Air Force to attend Lee Cook’s ’06 wedding Gingrich ’11. The Rats formed a saber arch for the wedding party as they exited the chapel. I’ll report on in Richmond, VA. Lee married Jessica Meade Oglesby on Sept.19th. Lee is Kip’s dyke, as well the other marriages in the next Review when I have more details. The night of the goblins has passed, Eric Hunter has started his own and I’m starting my class notes a bit business, Hunter Financial Mentorearlier. They may take longer than ing, LLC. His company is designed usual to finish, as a knee replacement to work with individuals and couples in mid-September with the ensuing to achieve financial organization usphysical therapy has slowed everying biblically-based principles. More thing I do to a creep. about this will appear in the Alumni Lindsay and Mary Kirkham have News section of the next Review moved. For those who want it, their (2009-Issue 2). new address is: 201 Kirkland Ave. NE Bronzie Fain read the previous #300, Kirkland, WA, 98033. He didn’t edition of the notes and took the time send a note with his card, but at least to send me an e-mail for an update. he let us know. He has decided to join the Army, and Back in August Harry Ratrie wrote he was selected for OCS. Bronzie again to say that he, Nancy and Ernie will leave for basic training in May Class of 2009: At Adam Stewart’s Midlothian, Virginia, (their dog) had all appreciated the of 2010 and will begin OCS on July house after the VMI-Richmond game were, from left, standreunion activities, especially Nancy 26th. He has expressed his gladness ing, Gordon Holloway, Adam Stewart and Shaun Jones ’06. and Ernie who had never experienced that he’s found a path for his life. Seated: Ian Williams, Jed Miller and Phil Noonan. anything like a VMI reunion. Harry A.J. Betts is cracking down on



2010-Issue 1


CLASS NOTES had read of the VMI Keydet Club fund raising drive and wanted to suggest a Class of 1944 Fund for that drive. I called him and explained that each class’s donations were listed separately in the Annual Fund Drive fiscal year totals. I send letters in December and May for participation in this activity. I try to limit the solicitation letters you all receive to only those two. Harry’s recovery from a stroke he suffered early this year is progressing slowly but is progressing. He is not happy, however, with what it has done to his golf score. My birthday card to Shug Short was returned in early September – postal error. She is now in health care at her Cedarfield retirement community after being slowed down and a little disabled by one knee, one back and two knee operations in the recent past. Her address is: Mrs. Marjorie (Shug) Short, 2306 Cedarfield Parkway, Apt. 4838, Richmond, VA, 23233; phone 804/2175277. She was kinda happy the postal service had messed up, and I had to call to find her. We hadn’t chatted for awhile, and she asked me about various people she had lost track of. I know she’d like to get a note from old friends. While I was under the knife and enduring the first couple of weeks of physical therapy, Faye fielded a few calls. She didn’t collect any reportable news, but we both appreciated the good wishes expressed after she explained that I was laid up in the health care section here, trying to increase my mobility. I’ve talked to Jim Doss two or three times lately. He reports that Tom Hupp sounds more upbeat and sends him some of his football tickets for home games that he isn’t able to use. Jim also says that he has been moved into the new electronic era by his kids. They gave him a new cell phone and helped him program it, so he can make all his regular calls by pushing only one button. I don’t know how he knows which button to push. Now you know how far I am into this new communication era. Jim’s girlfriend activity continues unabated, without anybody getting serious about anything. Calling to get Tom Hupp’s phone number, Art

Taylor mentioned that Ruthie Miller had a new male friend. In mid October, Ruthie confirmed this when she called for another reason. Her “thank you” note to the class, written to me on May 9th, had been returned by the post office. She really appreciated the grapevine door wreath the class had arranged for her to select from the Jefferson Florist in Lexington. She extended a big “thank you” to all ’44s and was sorry the weather wasn’t more cooperative for her cookout during the reunion. Mainly in response to what I know all you ladies would ask: The grapevine wreath has silk flowers (yellow, mauve and wine) with a neat bird perched on a branch. She loves it and says it’s perfect for all spring and summer. Ruthie also told me her new consort was a former schoolmate named Buddy Ellinghaus (Bill, to most other folks). They’ve been busy traveling between Lexington and New York and sorta introducing Ruthie’s brood to his eight children and many grandchildren. Ruthie seems very happy with her new living style and expanded circle of friends and family. In the closing days of October, Ezra Trice and Lucy met Bob and Ruth Sherrard in Lexington for one of the couple of get-togethers they do each year. I heard from Jim Doss that he, along with Hotdog and Miriam Helmen, met them and some others from the Lexington crowd at the Homestead for drinks and lunch. No details of any earthshaking news from the rest of that visit. I returned a call from Anne Burbridge to explain how to make a gift to VMI she wanted to make in Burb’s memory. We handled that easily. During our chat, I learned she had given up teaching piano lessons after 35 years of that activity but sill attends the cocktail parties the music teachers hold. Anne also still has the two grand pianos in her living room that Faye and I remember from our visit with her several years ago. After a longer period of silence than usual from Ike Eickelberg, he sent a long note. Ike had appreciated my comments in the August class notes regarding the Bogus plaque in the mess hall and

his Hall of Valor work for our class with Bill McClure ’43. Ike had missed his annual lunch with Harry and Nancy Ratrie, as he was in the hospital for several weeks with pneumonia. He’s now at home, comfortable with his rehab activity, under the command of Nurse Chris. A long note from Hap Irby thanked me for my efforts and said that he and Margaret are coping with their age-related difficulties and enjoying their life in a fine retirement community. Hap also wanted to fill me in on a conversation he had with Ed Biggs a couple of months before his death. Hap had learned at our 55th Reunion that both of them had joined the 6th Armored Division in Europe during WWII as replacements, without either knowing of the other’s assignment. In a pre-65th Reunion talk with Ed, he had learned how Ed received the chest wound which eventually contributed, with other causes, to his death. Ed, as an artillery officer, had been sent to set up a forward observation post for artillery support of advancing U.S. infantry. The U.S. troops came under heavy fire from German troops. Ed, not having artillery in place at that time, called for air strikes. The U.S. fighter pilots mistakenly dropped bombs and strafed the U.S. troops, and in the confusion, the U.S. troops fired back. As a result, Ed took shrapnel wounds in the chest, and the U.S. troops shot down one of the “friendly” fighters. Ed was picked up by ambulance, and who else should be in the ambulance but the “friendly” fighter pilot – a double case of wounds by friendly fire. As many of us know, similar incidents are unavoidably and sorrowfully a result of the confusion called combat. Also, Dick Mead called me in October to check in. No real news, but both he and Fran are doing well, handling the infirmities of aging. Dick did say that Fran was better at this than he was. I do enjoy our chats, and once in a while I get Dick’s permission to repeat some of his comments. That’s all for now. Take care of yourselves, wherever you are. God bless all of you, and God bless America and VMI.

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 should any errors be noted. William E. Cantrell ’26 Prentis P. Smith ’29 Richard D. Schmitz ’31 Ernest C. Johnson ’29 Thomas M. Zeledon ’30 William B. Walshe ’32 Richard C.Wight Jr. ’30 John A. Chambliss Jr. ’31 Howard J. Bell ’33


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

William R. Landrum ’34 James Heine ’34 E. Lane Whitley ’34 Wayne C. Weaver ’33 Emmett J. Heerdt ’34 John D. Todd Jr. ’34 Richard H. McCormick ’34 Thomas St. John Arnold ’35

Dec. 3, 1910 Mar. 18, 1911 April 1, 1911 Dec. 6, 1911 Feb. 27, 1912 June 30, 1912 Dec. 4, 1912 Sept. 8, 1913

Alfred J. Snapp ’35 James E. Kirk ’36 Oscar E. Roberson ’38 Edwin T. Arnold ’35 James C. Sherman ’35 Gardner F. Goodwyn ’36 Randolph Tucker Jr. ’37 Robert W.W. Evans ’35

Sept. 18, 1913 Oct. 25, 1913 Nov. 13, 1913 Feb. 7, 1914 Mar. 31, 1914 April 27, 1914 June 29, 1914 Aug. 7,1914



Kyle Patterson Lewis



Class of 2017

William T. Ator Cody Lee Waggoner

Class of 2018

Kirk Callejo Laura Mary Michaelson Chase Tilton


Robert A. Taylor ’88


Andrew Guy Carter Lilly Ryan J. Morris Richard Randolph Riker III Carter Braxton Semmes Emma Grace Strock

Lt. Col. William H. Ator ’90 Les Rose III ’82 Graham C. Rose ’85, DDS Andrew L. Rose ’89, MD Ryan L. Rose ’08 Andrew Reel ’05 Adam Reel ’07

Samuel Callejo ’89 Richard H. Cole ’51 David Reid ’69 Dick Reid ’67

Father Uncle Uncle Uncle Cousin Cousin Cousin

Father Grandfather Grandfather Uncle

Class of 2023

Cassidy James Bailie Lindsay Sophia Semmes

Class of 2024

Daniel P. Morris Michaela Maria Semmes Ava Marie Strock

Class of 2025 Class of 2019

Andrew Lawrence Semmes Benjamin W.L. Semmes III ’88 Benjamin W.L. Semmes Jr. ’55

Class of 2021 Sidney Tilton


Class of 2022 Nathan J. Stoehr ’98

Class of 2016 Kyle Allen Taylor


David Reid ’69 Dick Reid ’67

Father Grandfather

Ronin Gould Jamie Marie McElroy Sophia C. Morris Jack Tilton

Grandfather Uncle


Benjamin A. Lilly ’93 Stephen W. Morris ’92 Lewis E. Riker ’92 Benjamin W.L. Semmes III ’88 Benjamin W.L. Semmes Jr. ’55 Carl A. Strock ’70 Christopher M. Strock ’97

Father Father Uncle Father Grandfather Grandfather Father

James G. Browder Jr. ’66 Benjamin W.L. Semmes III ’88 Benjamin W.L. Semmes Jr. ’55

Grandfather Father Grandfather

Stephen W. Morris ’92 Benjamin W.L. Semmes III ’88 Benjamin W.L. Semmes Jr. ’55 Carl A. Strock ’70 Christopher M. Strock ’97

Father Father Grandfather Grandfather Father

Leslie R. Gould ’99 James G. Browder Jr. ’66 Stephen W. Morris ’92 David Reid ’69 Dick Reid ’67

Uncle Grandfather Father Grandfather Uncle

Provisional Appointments continued on next page.

BIRTHS SEMMES – A daughter, Amelia Grace, to Lisa and Benjamin W.L. Semmes III ’88 on June 20, 2006. SEMMES – A daughter, Juliet Ella, to Lisa and Benjamin W.L. Semmes III ’88 on May 3, 2008. RUSHER – Twin sons, Nolan John and Garrett Thomas, to Corinne and Stephen M. Rusher ’91 on July 29, 2009. BERTSCH – A son, Chase Lynwood, to Emily and Matthew J. Bertsch ’98 on Nov. 23, 2009.

KUMP – A son, Cyrus Kerr II, to Amy and William A. Kump ’98 on March 21, 2009. CARBONE – A son, Joseph Ricci, to Kristie and Andrew T. Carbone ’01 on Oct. 11, 2009.

ANDERSON – Mary Carolyn Daniel to Phillip R. Anderson ’70 on May 2, 2009.

CRONIN – A daughter, Madison, to Maggie and Jarrod D. Cronin ’01 on Sept. 21, 2009.

LACY – Kristi Lynn McConnell to Mark A. Lacy ’95 May 3, 2009.

FELVEY – A son, Samuel Talmadge, to Laura and William T. Felvey ’01 on Nov. 8, 2009. MAWYER – A daughter, Jane Mae, to Laura and Taylor C. Mawyer ’01 on Sept. 10, 2009. PAK – A daughter, Kaila Suri, to Janet and Songho Pak ’01 on Oct. 27, 2009.

CARR – A son, Sawyer Gaines, to Brooke and Albert V. Carr III ’98 on Oct. 13, 2009.

HUNSBERGER – A daughter, Emma Lynn, to Ashley and W. Scott Hunsberger ’02 on Nov. 8, 2009.

COOKE – A son, Cyrus Sherwood, to Shayna and Bradley R. Cooke ’98 in October 2009.

ONGLEY – A daughter, Ava Michelle, to Lauren and Jeremy C. Ongley ’03 on Oct. 23, 2009.

2010-Issue 1


POLK – Angela Michelle Diamantini to Kurt A. Polk ’95 on Dec. 5, 2009. BRENNAN – Hillary Brickey to Timothy J. Brennan ’02 on Sept. 19, 2009. ROSSON – Summer Lynn Clayton to J.B. Rosson ’04 on July 26, 2008.

DEGREES Jackson S. Castleberry ’02 Darden School of Business University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA May 2009




Maisie Renae Bailie Evan Callejo Evan Gould Allison R. Rahe Edward Robert Schreiber IV



James G. Browder Jr. ’66 Samuel Callejo ’89 Leslie R. Gould ’99 Lt. Col. Thomas H. Rahe ’85 Terry L. Moore III ’67 John R. Triplett 1866 Jack F. Ross Jr. ’06 Terry L. Moore Jr. ’33 Charles E. Edgar III ’58 Charles E. Edgar IV ’78

Grandfather Father Father Father Grandfather Great-great-great -grand uncle Cousin Great-grandfather Cousin Cousin



Class of 2031

George Saffer Cobb Jordan Alexander Conrad Ella Cassidy Coolidge Elliot Tolliver Eastman Parker James Enterline

Aaron David Hornaman William Wyatt Jones Jackson DeVault Kearney

Class of 2027

Terry Locklin Moore V

Ryan William Weber

Jack F. Ross Jr. ’06 Terry L. Moore Jr. ’33 Charles E. Edgar III ’58 Charles E. Edgar IV ’78 Capt. Ethan T. Weber ’01

Grandfather Great-great-great -grand uncle Cousin Great-grandfather Cousin Cousin Father

Leslie R. Gould ’99 James G. Browder Jr. ’66 Benjamin W.L. Semmes III ’88 Benjamin W.L. Semmes Jr. ’55 Carl A. Strock ’70 Christopher M. Strock ’97 Maj. James W. Warf III ’96

Father Grandfather Father Grandfather Grandfather Father Father

Terry L. Moore III ’67 John R. Triplett 1866

David Williams Lewis Robert Jacob Mustell Brandon Michael Piernick Connor James Simpson William H. Talley VI

Class of 2028

Bridget Gould Wesley Stone McElroy Amelia Grace Semmes Nora Ames Strock James Warner Warf IV

Class of 2029

Cole Jameson Browder James G. Browder Jr. ’66 Jordan Elizabeth Grant Wood Justin G. Wood ’00


Brandon Hewitt Warf

Class of 2032

Francesco Hays Benincasa Samuel Carey Popp

Kenneth H. Cobb ’89 Howard E. Cobb ’62 Jared M. Conrad ’02 Chris Coolidge ’94 John C. McLemore ’70 Seth E. Enterline ’06 Joel K. Enterline ’08 Greg Enterline ’85 Christopher W. Simpson ’01 Brian Hornaman ’96 Richard E. Phillippi ’59 John D. Kearney Jr. ’00 John D. Kearney ’73 William T. Warthen ’00 Andrew J. Lewis ’98 Col. David F. Fink ’67 Clifford M. Piernick ’03 Kenneth R. Piernick ’71 Christopher W. Simpson ’01 Seth E. Enterline ’06 William H. Talley V ’03 Amie-Anne E. Talley ’05 William H. Talley IV ’77 Melvin W. Talley ’82 Maj. James W. Warf III ’96

Father Grandfather Father Father Grandfather Father Uncle Great Uncle Uncle Father Grandfather Father Grandfather Godfather Father Grandfather Father Grandfather Father Uncle Father Mother Grandfather Great Uncle Father

Willard M. Hays ’51 Douglas M. Popp ’61

Grandfather Grandfather

Grandfather Father

Class of 2030

Owen Charles Alley Gavin Matthew Bailie Colton Jackson Guidt Cooper Nathaniel Hart

Mary Ciara Monteverde Carlie Dayl Rosseland Juliet Ella Semmes

Father Great Uncle Grandfather Father Grandfather Great-great-greatgreat-grandfather Miguel E. Monteverde Sr. ’66 Grandfather Great-grandfather W. Mayo Smith ’38 Benjamin W.L. Semmes III ’88 Father Benjamin W.L. Semmes Jr. ’55 Grandfather William C. Alley ’01 Bruce Noel ’69 James G. Browder Jr. ’66 Capt. Travis C. Guidt ’02 Ray Hart ’52 E.T. Bridge 1849

Class of 2031

Ryan James Baltz Madison Lee Bogdon Shiloh Isabella Browne Xavier James Carter


Mark L. Baltz ’97 Derek P. Bogdon ’01 Samuel V. Browne ’84 James B. Bartley ’72 Philip R. Anderson ’70 John W. Pinner III ’73

Father Father Father Grandfather Great Uncle Great Uncle

The Deluxe VMI Alumni “Keeping Box” Our famous handcrafted 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. As shown solid walnut

$239.95 + S&H See website for more options Box actual size: 15 1/2” X 10 1/2” X 7 1/2” deep

The e VMI Al Alumni “Plaque” We now offer, an award plaque with the VMI seal, name and graduation year laser engraved. This VMI alumni plaque really looks magnificent displayed proudly in the office or home! A portion of the sale proceeds of each VMI plaque will be donated to the VMI Alumni Association.

Made in Virginia by

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email: $47.50 + S&H See website for more options or call toll free 800-755-8546 The VMI Alumni Association, c/o Hal Woodworking,, 9475 Big Island Hwy., Bedford, VA 24523


TAPS TAPS K. Wade Chapman ’30 Class Agent, 1979-2000

retired from the Regular Army in 1964. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Army Kenneth Wade Chapman ’30 of Downers Commendation Medal. He attended the U.S. Army Field Grove, Illinois, died on Aug. 19, Artillery School, the Officers Basic 2009. He was 101. and Advanced Courses, the Air Chapman matriculated from War College and the Field Officer Norfolk, Virginia, and held a bachCourse. elor of arts degree in liberal arts He was a member of the Fort from VMI. He also attended HarMonroe Casement Museum Founvard Business School. dation Board of Directors. A veteran of World War II, he He is survived by two nieces, served from 1943-46 as an officer Vivian G. Starnes of Nashville, in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Tennessee, and Kathryn Lambert Pacific. of Madison Heights, Virginia. His He retired in 1969 as a senior Chapman ’30 wife, Irma H. Vivian, died in 1996, vice president of McCann-Erickson and his brother, G. Brent Vivian ’39, Advertising and was then employed died in 1998. as a sales executive with U.S. Banknote Corp. until 1983. J. Roberts Little Jr. ’35 Chapman was a 40-year resident of Hinsdale, Col. Joseph Roberts Little Jr. ’35, USMC Illinois, where he was active in his community. He served as a director of the Hinsdale Federal (Ret), of Sun City, Arizona, died on Sept. 28, Savings and Loan, on the Planning Commis- 2009. He was 95. He matriculated from Washington, D.C., and sion of the Village, and as chairman of the West Suburban Mass Transit District, and was held a bachelor of arts degree from VMI. A veteran of World War II and Korea, he a member of the Union Church. A talented served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1935artist, his paintings decorated Fairview Village, the retirement center where he had lived for 61, attaining the rank of colonel. A pilot, he 15 years and where he was a member of the experienced first hand the evolution of Naval aviation from its early days of open-air cockpit Fairview Village Council. In 2008 he was the recipient of a resolution biplanes to tactical jet aircraft. He was awarded from The VMI Alumni Association. It was pre- the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Navy sented to him at the time of his 100th birthday Commendation Medal. He attended the Army Command and General and read, in part, “He has devoted himself in his Staff School and the Navy War College, and atpersonal and professional career to the highest ideals of the Institute in his dedication to duty, tended the Harvard Business School Advanced selfless service and unwavering commitment Management Course. Following his retirement from the Marine to the principles of integrity enjoyed by those Corps, he returned to Washington, D.C., to of the finest character.” He is survived by three sons, John, Tom and work in the field of private aviation until his Paul; their wives; eight grandchildren; and retirement in 1978, at which time he relocated three great-grandchildren. His wife of 59 years, to Sun City. While in Sun City he served for 10 years as a trustee of the Sun City Art Museum, Jane Davis Chapman, died in 1997. which he also served as president. He is survived by two sons, David Little and William R. Vivian ’32 his wife, Betty, of La Jolla, California, and John Class Agent, 2004-09 Lt. Col. William Rhoads Vivian ’32, USA (Ret), Little and his wife, Dinah, of Miami, Florida; a of Newport News, Virginia, died on Sept. 13, daughter, Lenore Tancke, and her husband, Fred, of Phoenix, Arizona; a stepdaughter, 2009. He was 98. Vivian matriculated from Nitro, West Virginia, Marguerite Hickox, and her husband, Benny, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil of Jacksonville, North Carolina; eight grandengineering from VMI. He attended the Carnegie children; and 11 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of 33 years, Franc WilInstitute of Technology after leaving VMI. He served in the U.S. Army from May 1941- liams Little; his wife of 20 years, Harriet von February 1946 and from July 1946-September der Heydt Little; and his wife of seven years, 1964. He was a captain and major with a field Dorothy Rodgers Dusing Little. artillery battalion during World War II in Italy Leonard M. Todd ’35 on the Cassino front and on the Anzio BeachLeonard McMannis Todd ’35 of Greenville, head, and in several operations in France and Germany to the end of the war. After a tour in South Carolina, died on Oct. 6, 2009. He was Korea he reported to Fort Monroe in 1958 and 95.

2010-Issue 1

He matriculated from Greenville and attended VMI for two years. He also attended the University of Georgia School of Banking, after which he joined his father as one of the principals of Franklin Savings and Loan Company in Greenville. He later organized Security Federal Savings and Loan Association, which he served as president for many years. A veteran of World War II, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1944-46. During that time he was senior watch officer aboard the U.S.S. Gearing, a destroyer. He was a former president in Greenville of the Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, the Downtown Greenville Association, the Community Foundation, the Kiwanis Club, and the Committee for 300 for Greenville, which he also founded. As a member of the County Development Board, he was instrumental in bringing new industries to the area. He was chairman of the board of Donaldson Center, director and vice president of the Police Service Bureau Advisory Committee, and a member of the Citizen’s Crime Commission. During the 1950s he served on the mayor’s Bi-Racial Committee. He was a member of the Club of 39, the Poinsett Club, and the Green Valley Country Club and Greenville Country Club. He belonged to the First Baptist Church of Greenville, where he served as a deacon. He is survived by his wife, Didda Bannen Todd of Greenville; a son and daughter-inlaw, Leonard Todd and Laurel Blossom of Edgefield, South Carolina; his brother and sister-in-law, J. D. and Mellicent Todd of Greenville; his stepchildren, William J. Bannen III of Greenville, David G. Bannen and his wife, Cynthia, of Wilson, North Carolina, and Allison B. Whatley and her husband, John, of Cary, North Carolina; eight grandchildren; and other family members, including Frances Turrentine Maxon of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, Jack and Rosalind Todd Tedards of Greenville, Jack and Joan Todd of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Rebecca Kovacik and her family of Los Angeles, California. His first wife, Lena-Miles Wever, to whom he was married in 1935, died in 2000.

Albert K. Earnest ’38 Class Agent, 1979-81 Capt. Albert Kyle Earnest ’38, USN (Ret), of Virginia Beach, Virginia, died on Oct. 26, 2009. He was 92. He matriculated from Richmond, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI. At the time of his graduation, he was commissioned a second lieutenant, Field Artillery, U.S. Army Reserve. He transferred to the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1941 and was commissioned an ensign in


TAPS October 1941. He reported for active duty to Aviation, Early and Pioneer Naval Aviator’s Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8) days after Pearl Association “Golden Eagles” and Tailhook AsHarbor on Dec. 8, 1941. He flew the Grumman sociation, the Virginia Beach Sports Club, and TBF-1 in its first combat use in the Battle of the Military Officers Association of America. Midway and was the only pilot survivor (landHe is survived by a daughter, Kathryn Lynn based). Later in World War II he continued Earnest of Alexandria, Virginia; a son, William serving in VT-8 aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga Kyle Earnest and his wife, Janet Murray Earnest, (CV-3) on Guadalcanal landing, and the Battle of Virginia Beach, and their children, Laura Ellen of the Eastern Solomons, and landbased on Earnest of San Francisco, California, and Jessie Guadalcanal, flying 28 missions. Additionally, Carolyn Earnest and Matthew Kyle Earnest of he served in VC-7, U.S.S. Manila Bay (CVE-61), Virginia Beach. His wife, Mildred McConnell flying 55 missions. Earnest, is deceased. His nephew is James G. Earnest’s experiences on June 4, 1942, during Earnest III ’65 of Aurora, Colorado. the Battle of Midway were featured in the 2009Issue 2 of the VMI Alumni Review in an article, Robert F. Steidtmann ’38 “One Came Back,” by Bolling Williamson ’60. Class Agent, 1981-84 Admiral Chester Nimitz subsequently called his Col. Robert Franke Steidtmann ’38, USMC mission “one of the epics of combat aviation.” (Ret), of Lexington, Virginia, died on Sept. 11, Earnest is featured prominently in the book “A 2009. He was 93. Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo He matriculated from Lexington and held a Squadron Eight” by Robert J. Mrazek. bachelor of science degree in chemistry from During his 31 years in the Navy, Earnest VMI. attended the Naval Postgraduate School in AnHe served in the U.S. Marine Corps from napolis, Maryland, the General Line School in 1938-64, attaining the rank of colonel. During Newport, Rhode Island, and the Industrial Col- World War II he fought with the Third Marine lege of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. Division on Guadalcanal, Tulagi and Guam, He commanded Attack Squadron 14A (VA- and afterwards he served in occupied Japan. He 14A) from May 1947-June 1948; Air Task Group was in the Seventh Marine Service Regiment 181 (ATG-181) at Naval Air Station Oceana from in Tsingtau, China. August 1957-September 1958; the U.S.S. Estes He fought with the First Marine Division (ACG-12) from October 1965-October 1966; during the Korean War and was awarded the and Naval Air Station Oceana from October Legion of Merit with valor for “exceptionally 1966-November 1968. Additional aviation tours meritorious conduct.” During the Cold War of duty included Tactical Test Division (August Steidtmann served in Paris, France, where 1944-April 1947), where he was the first U.S. he attended the NATO Defense College and pilot to fly a Japanese Torpedo Bomber, “Kate”; worked at Supreme Headquarters Allied PowAir Development Squadron Four (VX-4); and ers Europe. Flight Test (58-60) at NATC Patuxent River, In 1964 he retired to Virginia Beach, Virginia, Maryland. He was commissioned as Navy jet where he owned an aluminum siding business pilot #62, flying P-80As, P-59s and FR-1s. He and later worked for Culligan Water Condialso served two tours of duty at Attack Design tioner of Tidewater until he was 80. Branch at BuAer/BuWeps, WashHe is survived by a son, Robert F. ington, D.C. Steidtmann Jr. of Sandy Springs, Earnest rounded out his Naval Georgia; a daughter and her huscareer when he served in France band, Elizabeth S. and Gerald D. as COMSTRIKFLTLANTREPEUR McNichols of Winston-Salem, and SACLANTREPEUR in the early North Carolina; two granddaugh1960s, operations analyst at INSters, Meredith D. Levander and GENLANTFLT, Norfolk, Virginia, her husband, Shannon, and their before retiring as assistant chief daughters, Madison and Ava, of of staff (Logistics) in SACLANT, Naples, Florida, and Amanda C. Norfolk, in 1972. He was awarded Steidtmann of Atlanta, Georgia; and three Navy Crosses, two Air Medals Steidtmann ’38 three stepchildren, Charlotte Rogand a Purple Heart. ers and her son, Richard, William Upon retirement, Earnest served Rogers and his wife, Kathi, and their as executive secretary, Operational Test and son, B.J., and her daughter, Audra, and Susan Evaluation Study Group, Cerberonics Inc., for Mooney and her husband, David, and her chilone year before becoming a real estate salesman dren, Jenny and Jonathan, all of Virginia Beach. and broker for Professional Realty Corporation He was predeceased by his first wife, Elizabeth in Virginia Beach for 10 years. Wilson Steidtmann, and by his second wife, HarHe was a member of the Association of Naval riet F. Steidtmann, who died in 2001.


Edward B. Williams ’39 Edward Burwell Williams ’39 of Dayton, Ohio, died on Aug, 13, 2009. He was 92. He matriculated from Brookneal, Virginia, and attended VMI for two years and five months. After leaving VMI he took a job with a survey party of the Virginia Department of Highways and had his home base in Lexington, surveying for the right of way of the proposed Blue Ridge Parkway, the southern extension of the Skyline Drive. He was drafted and sent to Fort Story, where he made corporal and was then sent to Officer Candidate School in 1942. As a second lieutenant and an engineer, he was stationed at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. He then went to Saipan, right behind the invasion forces, where his engineer outfit built roads, docking facilities, tank farms and hospitals. This assignment was followed by Okinawa and later the occupation forces in Korea after VJ day. Upon retiring from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1970 he held the rank of lieutenant colonel. Upon returning to the United States, Williams became an engineer with the Veterans Administration working in Salem, Virginia, Huntington and Bluefield, West Virginia, Perry Point, Maryland, Fort Belvoir, Boise, Chillicothe and, finally, Dayton, where he retired in 1973. He is survived by his children, Gil Williams and his wife, Jane, Alan Williams, and Laura McDaniel and her husband, Bill. His wife was the late Mary Lee Child Williams.

D. Clinton Dominick III ’40 Dewitt Clinton Dominick III ’40 of Newburgh, New York, died on Sept. 9, 2009, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He was 91. He matriculated from Newburgh and held a bachelor of arts degree from VMI. A veteran of World War II, he served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1940-46, and attained the rank of colonel in 1958. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He served in the New York National Guard from 1948-59. From 1956-59 he was Assistant Corps Artillery commander of II Corps Artillery of the New York National Guard in New York City. He resigned from the Guard to devote his time to his law practice and his duties as a state senator. He attended the Field Artillery Officers Course, the Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1941; the Division Artillery Officers Course, also at Fort Sill, in 1943; the Artillery Field Grade Officers Refresher Course, also at Fort Sill, in 1954; and the U.S. Command and General Staff College Associate Course, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1957. He


TAPS was the honor graduate of that course, having achieved the top academic rank in the class of 284 graduates, most of whom were career Army officers. He earned an LL.B. from Columbia University School of Law in 1948, and in that year he became a partner in the firm of Dominick & Fogarty, practicing law in Newburgh. He served as a member of the New York State Assembly for two terms from 1955-58, serving on its Education Committee. From 1959-70 he was a member of the New York State Senate, in which he served seven terms. He was chairman of the Education Committee and a member of the Finance Committee and the Judicial Committee, among others. He served as chairman of a special committee to revise the education law and as a member of a special committee on higher education. In 1967 he served as a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention, during which he was a member of the Education Committee and Rules Committee and vice chairman of the Ethics Committee. From 1970-73 he was chairman of the Temporary Commission to Study the New York State Court System. Also from 1970-73 he was a member of the Temporary State Commission on the Powers of Local Government. From 1977-80 he was a member and vice chairman of the New York State Commission on the Regulation of Lobbying, and from 1980-82 he was a member of the Temporary New York State Commission on Judicial Compensation. He also taught and served on numerous boards. In 1967 he received the National Distinguished Service Award from the National Education Association for “outstanding contributions as a member of the New York State Legislature for the extension of educational opportunities.” He is survived by his wife, Barbara Dominick of Newburgh, to whom he had been married since 1982; four children; three stepchildren; and five grandchildren. His first wife, Nancy Ragan Dominick, died in 1978.

Joseph H. Grant Jr. ’42 Col. Joseph Hamilton (Buzz) Grant Jr. ’42, USA (Ret), of Chanhassen, Minnesota, died on Oct. 8, 2008. He was 88. He matriculated from Fort McKinley, Maine, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI, where he graduated With Distinction. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942-72, attaining the rank of colonel. Hr was awarded two Army Commendation Medals, two Legions of Merit and the Purple Heart. Grant was buried at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, where he was honored for his 30 years of service

2010-Issue 1

in the Army, spanning World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. He is survived by two sons, Donald Grant and his wife, Germaine, and their sons Jeffrey, Peter and Brian, and Douglas Grant and his wife, Kathryn, and their daughter, Carolyn.

S. Malone Parham ’42 Sumner Malone Parham ’42, M.D., of Henderson, North Carolina, died on Sept. 22, 2009. He was 88. He attended VMI for two years before transferring to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of Zeta Psi fraternity and graduated with a pre-med degree in 1942. He then attended the two-year UNC School of Medicine and then transferred to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, from which he received his M.D. degree. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1946-48. He was a flight surgeon with the 14th Air Force and held the rank of captain. Following the war he resumed his formal education at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. He served a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology and was named chief resident. He returned to Henderson in 1952 to practice his specialty. In addition to his private practice, he founded and supervised the Vance County Health Department Prenatal and Postpartum, subsequently the county Family Planning Clinic. He retired in 1986. He was an honorary member of the Maria Parham Medical Staff; a member of the county, state and national medical associations; a diplomat of the American Board of OB/GYN; a member of the North Carolina OB/GYN Society; a member of the South Atlantic Medical Society; a fellow of the American College of Surgeons; a member of the UNC Berryhill Medical Society; and a member of the UNC Educational Foundation. He was a lifelong member of the Church of Holy Innocents. He is survived by a son, David Southerland Parham of Franklin, North Carolina; a daughter-in-law, Tempe Parham Younger, and her husband, Thomas Carlton Younger, of Kinston; five grandchildren, Ashley Southerland Parham and Amber Sumner Parham, both of Franklin, North Carolina, Sumner Malone Parham III of Morehead City, North Carolina, Robert Fuller Parham of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Cooper Parham Bratton and her husband, Samuel Telfair Bratton of Raleigh, North Carolina, and their children, Samuel Telfair Bratton Jr., Malone Parham Bratton and Laura Thompson Bratton. His wife of 64 years, Mary Louisa Jackson Cooper Parham, died on Jan.

10, 2008, and his son, S. Malone Parham Jr. ’69, M.D., died in 1984. His brother, Edwin Fuller Parham ’22, died in 1953, and his brother, Asa Richmond Parham ’38, M.D., died in 1997.

Robert H. Warren III ’45 Robert Hardwick (Sonny) Warren III ’45 of Albany, New York, died on July 5, 2009. He was 85. He matriculated from Albany, Georgia, and attended VMI for two years before volunteering to join the U.S. Army. He was later commissioned a second lieutenant and served in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. He was discharged in 1946. He was a member of Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church, vice president of Warren & Brimberry Inc., and past chairman of the Dougherty County Board of Health. He served as president of the Dougherty County Board of Education for 12 years. He was a past president of the Albany Chamber of Commerce and was a recipient of its “Excellence Award.” He was a past chairman of the Dougherty County Board of Registrars, a member of the Albany City Commission, past president of the Albany Tennis Club, which elected him to its Hall of Fame, past president of the Albany Rotary Club and past Dougherty County school superintendent at age 25, which made him the youngest school superintendent in the United States. He was a past president of local and state Independent Insurance Associations, a member of the board of directors of Albany First Federal Savings & Loan Association, and chairman of the Dougherty County Stadium Authority since its inception. He was past chairman of the Albany Sesquicentennial Commission, and a past trustee of Palmyra Park Hospital. He served on the board of trustees of Darton College and was a member of the VFW and American Legion. Warren was the recipient of several insurance awards, among them the Gus Naumann Award for outstanding service to his community in civil, religious and governmental affairs; and the past presidents award for outstanding contributions in the insurance field. He received the Albany Exchange Club’s Golden Deeds Award and was named Outstanding Citizen by the Albany Woodman of the World. He also received the Sertoma Service to Mankind Award. He is survived by his wife, Jan Tidmore Warren of Albany; five children, Kathleen W. Russell and her husband, Bob, of Albany, Dorothy W. Bishop of Dawsonville, Georgia, Sally W. Anderson and her husband, Chris, of Albany, Donna W. McKenzie and her husband, Jerry, of Albany, and Joseph M. Warren and his wife, Terri McCrary, of Valdosta, Georgia; 19 grandchildren;


TAPS 13 great-grandchildren; and a brother, William Law Warren of Bangkok, Thailand.

Trenholm L. Brownley ’46 Trenholm Lowell Brownley ’46 of Virginia Beach, Virginia, died on Sept. 26, 2009. He was 84. He matriculated from Norfolk, Virginia, and attended VMI for one year prior to service in the U.S. Marine Corps, after which he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. He was employed by E. I. DuPont. His career with DuPont spanned 35 years and included management positions in the United States and Europe. He retired in 1982. He was a member of Galilee Episcopal Church and the Princess Anne Country Club. He is survived by a son, Trenholm Lowell Brownley Jr., and his wife, Donna Masterson Brownley, of Jacksonville, Florida; a daughter, Julia Andrews Brownley of Santa Monica and Sacramento, California; and three grandchildren, Christopher Lowell Brownley of Laurel, Maryland, and Hannah Elizabeth McLafferty and Fred Shepherd McLafferty, both of Santa Monica. His wife of 51 years, Imogene Shepherd Brownley, died in 1999.

William C. Carper ’47 Col. William Currence Carper ’47, USA (Ret), of Tucker, Georgia, died on Oct. 27, 2009. He was 83. Carper matriculated from Buckhannon, West Virginia, and attended VMI for two years and five months. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Utah. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army from 1945-76, attaining the rank of colonel. Thirteen of his years in the Army were served in postwar Germany, and he also served in Korea and Vietnam. He was the recipient of the Silver Star for gallantry, three Legions of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals, the Air Medal with valor, eight Air Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Lou Hartke Carper of Tucker; three daughters, Madeline Schaffer and Molly Watts, both of Stone Mountain, Georgia, and Margo Carper of Washington, D.C.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

William R. Phillips ’47 William Rees Phillips ’47 of Seattle, Washington, died on Oct. 22, 2009. He was 82. Phillips attended VMI for three years before transferring to the U.S. Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1951. He earned a degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in


Monterey, California, and lived in France and Japan over the course of his Navy career. At the time of his retirement he had reached the rank of commander. He was active in both local theatre and on television. He is survived by his wife, Carolita (Kit) Phillips of Seattle; five children, Gae Duckett of Ft. Worth, Texas, Megan Phillips of Mesa, Colorado, Mark Phillips of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Julie Phillips of Amsterdam, and Carolina (Cara) Phillips-Duken of Mercer Island, Washington; their spouses; 13 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Thomas L. Brooks III ’49A Thomas Lea Brooks III ’49A of Manchester, North Carolina, died on Sept. 21, 2009. He was 81. Brooks matriculated from Oceana, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree in biology from VMI. A veteran of Korea, he served in the U.S. Army from 1951-56, attaining the rank of captain. He was the retired Pension Plan Manager for the CSX Corporation. He is survived by a daughter, Mary Brooks Griggs, and her two sons, Will and Lea Griggs; and a son, Thomas Lea Brooks IV ’76, and his wife, Lou, and their two daughters, Katie and Alex Brooks. His wife, Rachel McCormick Brooks, died on Nov. 29, 2007. His father, Dr. Thomas Lea Brooks Jr. ’23, died in 1983, and his cousin, J. Smith Ferebee ’27, died in 1988.

Lawrence E. Butler ’49A Lawrence Elbert Butler ’49A of Williamsburg, Virginia, died on Aug. 27, 2009. He was 81. He matriculated from Suffolk, Virginia, and attended VMI for four years. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Alabama and a master of arts degree from Boston University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1950-74, attaining the rank of colonel. His last service assignment was at Fort Monroe, Virginia. He was awarded three Legions of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart and two Army Commendation Medals. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Margaret Jessup Butler of Williamsburg; two sons, James Butler of Fairfax, Virginia, and Ralph Butler of Chesapeake, Virginia; two daughters, Mary Mitchell of Alpharetta, Georgia, and Priscilla Tyndall of Paris, Texas; and 12 grandchildren.

Edward E. West Jr. ’49A Edward Effinger West Jr .’49A of Richmond, Virginia, died on Oct. 6, 2009. He was 81. He matriculated from Richmond and held a

bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from VMI. He served as a lieutenant with the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1951-52, and then went to work for West Engineering Company Inc., the Ashland, Virginia-based company his father founded in 1919. West Engineering manufactures machinery of special design for the international business community. West worked for the firm for 40 years, and at the time of his death he was the firm’s former president and chairman. West founded West Sand and Gravel Company Inc. and served as its president from 1952 until the business was sold in 2001. An innovator and early adopter of technology, West began using the computer for business early in its advent, implemented a cutting edge technology in the production of sand and stone, and was an early adopter of numerical controls for machine tools. He invented, produced and marketed the U-Nor Tester in the late 1960s which was used to troubleshoot those numerical controls. His interest in computers led to the development of a computer time-share business that served many Richmond area businesses. He was a longtime board member of the Richmond Memorial Foundation and served as chair of its finance committee for many years. A children’s advocate, he was a longtime supporter of the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls and served on its board. He served on the board in many capacities of the Richmond Symphony. A pilot since the age of 18, he served as chairman of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Aviation Committee, spearheading the movement to improve and expand the then-Byrd International Airport, and was appointed to serve for a number of years on the Airport Commission. He served on the board and was a former president of the National Sand and Gravel Association and was a consultant to the Business and Industry Development Company in Washington, D.C. He was a member of the Richmond First Club, the Downtown Club and the Engineers Club. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Thekla Haines West of Richmond; two daughters, Rebecca W. West and her husband, Dr. Martin A. Hoard, of Charlottesville, Virginia, and Sarah A. West of Albuquerque, New Mexico; four sons, Edward E. West III and his wife, Amy Sloan, of Roanoke, Virginia, Dr. G. Alexander West and his wife, Adla Paraiso, of Denver, Colorado, Jonathan H. West of Richmond, Virginia, and Matthew L. West and his wife, Mika Miyata, of Boston, Massachusetts; five grandchildren, Ashley West Mancuso and her husband, Ray, Matthew S. West, E. Sloan West, Philip P. West and


TAPS Gabriella R. Hoard-West; one great-grandchild, Aston W. Mancuso; five sisters, Eugenia West Ferrell, Joanne West Stebick, Elizabeth West Nuttycombe, Mary Faith West and Kathleen West Straight; and three brothers, Beverley W. West ’55, David L. West and Stephen N. West. A fourth brother, John S. West ’50B, died on Nov. 20, 2006. His nephew is Graham A. Nuttycombe ’83 of Newport News, Virginia.

John W. C. Johnson Jr. ’49B John Walter Carlysle Johnson Jr. ’49B, M.D., of Gainesville, Florida, died on June 18, 2009, at his home in Auburn, Maine. He was 79. He matriculated from Clifton Forge, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree in premed from VMI. He graduated from the University of Virginia Medical School in 1953. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1954-56 and was a captain in the 77th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He then had a career as a physician. He served as director of the Division of Maternal and Fetal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University from 1973-81, and was the Harry Prystowsky Professor of OB/GYN at the University of Florida from 1982-99. He was recognized as Outstanding Teacher at the University of Florida in the 1990s. He had a 43-year medical practice in which he served patients with high-risk pregnancies and infertility issues. Johnson served as president of the South Atlantic Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2000. He published 82 scientific papers and numerous book chapters, and served as director of residential education throughout much of his career. He is survived by four children, Matt Johnson, Kelly Large, Thom Johnson and Beverly Johnson; his in-laws, Lillian Nayder, Budd Large, Debbie Johnson and Matt Duvall; and 11 grandchildren. His wife of 54 years was the late Anne Bell Johnson.

Selden H. Stephens Jr. ’49B Selden Harbour Stephens Jr. ’49B, M.D., of Mobile, Alabama, died on Oct. 3, 2009. He was 80. Stephens matriculated from Mobile and held a bachelor of science degree in biology from VMI. He graduated in 1953 from the University of Alabama-Birmington Medical School. He served as a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon from 1953-57 and was stationed in Rabat, Morocco. Upon returning home he completed his residency and became a partner with Mobile OB/ GYN, where he practiced for over 45 years. He was a member of several professional organizations and mystic societies. He was a member of the Country Club of Mobile and

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volunteered with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. He was a member of the boards of directors of Providence Hospital Foundation and St. Paul’s School, and served on the vestry of St. Paul’s Church. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Betty Lu Stephens of Mobile; a daughter, Bocky, and her husband, Frank Talbott, of Richmond, Virginia; four sons, Harbour Stephens and his wife, Greer, Thornton Stephens and his wife, Debbie, and Cameron Stephens and his wife, Terri, all of Mobile, and David Sheckells of Lexington Park, Maryland; 12 grandchildren; a sister, Mosteller Wheeler of Phoenix, Arizona; and a brother and sister-in-law, Clint and Rose Anne Hurd of Opelika, Alabama. His first wife was the late Jane McKinnon Stephens.

a daughter, Sally C. Harwood of New York; a son, Thomas P. Harwood III of Phoenix, Arizona, and his wife, Elizabeth; a son, Hunter Harwood of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and his wife, Susan; five grandchildren; and three greatgrandchildren.

James T. Adams Jr. ’53

Thomas P. Harwood ’50B

James Thompson (Buster) Adams Jr. ’53 of Porters Falls, West Virginia, died on Aug. 6, 2009. He was 78. He matriculated from Warrenton, Virginia, and attended VMI for five months. He is survived by three children, Sada I. Adams, James T. Adams III and Nathaniel F. Adams; two grandchildren, William C. Meeker and Maureen E. Adams; and his siblings, Charlotte A. Moore, Samuel T. Adams, Terrell A. Atwood and Thomas T. Adams.

The Hon. Thomas Perkins (Tommy) Harwood ’50B of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, formerly of Richmond, Virginia, died on Sept. 27, 2009. He was 80. He matriculated from Crewe, Virginia, and held a bachelor of arts degree in history from VMI. He was a Distinguished Military Student, the recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, and a four-year monogram winner in baseball. A newspaper article written on Sept. 30, 2009, by Jeff E. Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch noted that Harwood “played pitcher as a right-handed pitcher with catcher Elmon T. Gray (’46), a future Democratic state senator from Sussex County.” He served in the U.S. Army from 1950-53. An infantry platoon leader in the 7th Cavalry Regiment, he was wounded in Korea in October 1951 and hospitalized until May 1952. He was awarded the Purple Heart. He entered the University of Virginia School of Law in 1953. While at U.Va. he was a member of the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review, chairman of the University Judiciary Committee and Chancellor of Sigma Nu Phi Legal Fraternity. His fraternities included Kappa Alpha Order, ODK and Sigma Nu Phi. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church for 49 years, a former moderator of the Hanover Presbytery and a former member of the Richmond Salvation Army Advisory Board. A judicial member of the Bar Association of the City of Richmond, the Virginia State Bar and the Virginia Bar Association, Harwood served as president of two regulatory conferences and as a member of the board of directors of the National Regulatory Institute at Ohio State University, which he chaired from 1990-92. Harwood was a judge with the State Corporation Commission in Virginia from 1973-92. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary Virginia Ambrose Harwood of Fort Lauderdale;

Col. Thomas Elmo Colvin ’53, USAF (Ret), of Sperryville, Virginia, died on Aug. 8, 2009. He was 77. He matriculated from Culpeper, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from VMI. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1953-79, attaining the rank of colonel. He was immediately called to active duty upon graduation from VMI. He completed Primary Pilot Training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, and then Basic Pilot Training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, the “Jet Fighter School.” He received his silver wings as an Air Force pilot on Sept. 29, 1954, from Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, who himself was a pilot. In 1956 Colvin was chosen to be one of nine American pilots to be the cadre of the German Luftwaffe’s first postwar operational fighter squadrons, flying F-84Fs. The German pilots were all World War II veterans, and Colvin flew with many of Germany’s World War II multiple Aces, whose “kills” ran into the many hundreds. At the time of his retirement in 1979, Colvin was the commander of a 400-man heavy construction squadron in Korea. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, nine Air Medals and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He was a member of the Culpeper Minute Men Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and Culpeper Post 330 of the American Legion. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Barbara Virginia James Colvin of Sperryville; three daughters, Janet Elizabeth Colvin, Patricia Ann Colvin and Lucy Carolyn Colvin; and one brother, William E. Colvin ’57 of Martinsville, Virginia.

Thomas E. Colvin ’53


TAPS Robert N. Kilbourn ’53 Robert Nelson Kilbourn ’53 of Glen Haven, Colorado, died on Sept. 18, 2009. He was 78. He matriculated from Sterling, Kansas, and attended VMI for one year. He subsequently graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in geology. He served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1954-56. He spent 25 years farming and ranching near Sterling before moving full time to the Rocky Mountains and becoming a Registered Nurse at the age of 50. A hiker, he climbed countless mountains, including the 14,255-foot Longs Peak, the first time on his 14th birthday and the last with his family on his 70th birthday. He is survived by five children, Barbara and her husband, Hooper Crane, of Oregon, Robert Kilbourn and his wife, Christina Stone, of Colorado, Sharon and her husband, Norm Roesch, of Alaska, Gary Kilbourn and his partner, Yelena Arkhangeskaya, of California, and Eric Kilbourn and his wife, Keturah, of Colorado; grandchildren, Cody Jane Crane of Washington, Amanda Crane and Wrangle Crane of Oregon, Makena Roesch of Colorado, Tyler Roesch of Alaska, Nikita Zamora of California, and Jaden and Shea Kilbourn of Colorado; a brother, David Kilbourn of Kansas; and a sister, Carol Jean Kilbourn of Colorado.

Emmette C. Skinner Jr. ’53 Emmette Charles (Buddy) Skinner Jr. ’53, D.D.S., of Virginia Beach, Virginia, died on Sept. 21, 2009. He was 79. He matriculated from Suffolk, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI. He served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1953-57, and in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1957-68. He attained the rank of captain and was a pilot of both light aircraft and helicopters. Skinner graduated in 1963 from the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry, and practiced dentistry in Virginia Beach until his retirement in 2005. He was a member of the American, Virginia and Tidewater Dental Associations and of the Virginia Beach Dental Study Club. He was a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry. He belonged to the Masonic Lodge 275 and the Kiwanis Beachcomers, and was a past president of the Virginia Beach Jaycees. He was a member of the Princess Ann Country Club and had been a member of Francis Asbury United Methodist Church since 1964. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Margaret Anne Cox (Peggy) Skinner of Virginia Beach; a son, C. Keith Skinner, and his wife, Miriam, of Wilmington, North Carolina; a


daughter, Margaret S. McLaughlin, and her husband, Douglas, of Basalt, Colorado; two granddaughters, Lindsey McLaughlin and Erin Kimmer and her husband, Michael; a sister, Beverly S. Smeltzer, and her husband, John; and a brother, Robert W. Skinner, and his wife, Margaret.

William D. Burks ’54 William Davies Burks ’54 of Dallas, Texas, died on Aug. 31, 2009. He was 78. He matriculated from Buena Vista, Virginia, and held a bachelor of arts degree in English from VMI. He served from 1954-57 in the U.S. Air Force, attaining the rank of lieutenant, and was a superintendent for Sanger-Harris Department Stores.

John Cole Jr. ’54 John Cole Jr. ’54, M.D., of Roanoke, Virginia, died on Oct. 2, 2009. He was 77. He matriculated from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and held a bachelor of arts degree in biology from VMI, where he was a member of the cross country team and the indoor and outdoor track teams and was also a member of the Monogram Club. During his second class year he was a cadet sergeant, and during his second and first class years he was a member of the circulation staff of the Bomb. He earned his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Virginia in 1958. He completed his internship in 1959 at Norfolk General Hospital. He completed his residency in otolaryngology/head and neck surgery in 1962 at the University of Virginia. He served in the U.S. Army from 1962-65 in Heidelberg, Germany, as chief of otolaryngology, He began a private practice in Roanoke in 1965 at the Roanoke Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, from which he retired in 1998. After his retirement, Cole worked at the Veterans Administration Hospital Otolaryngology Clinic until September 2009. He was appointed clinical professor of otolaryngology at the University of Virginia. He served as president of the Roanoke Academy of Medicine and was active in the Medical Society of Virginia, the Virginia Society of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, and the American College of Surgeons, and was an Cole examiner on the American Board of Otolaryngology. He served on many boards of directors, some local and some regional, of the Roanoke Academy of Medicine, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the Rotary Club of Roanoke, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Surgeons, the Virginia So-

ciety of Otolaryngology, the Virginia Healthcare Foundation and many others. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Roanoke, the English-Speaking Union, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Round Table, and the Shenandoah Club. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jobil Lassiter Cole of Roanoke; two daughters, Ashton, and her husband, Mark Plymale, and Paige and her husband, David Rock; a son, Mark Cole, and his wife, Janet; seven grandchildren, Cole Plymale, Ryan, Eric and Michael Cole, and Elizabeth, Emily and Alexander Rock; a sister, Elizabeth Dent Moses; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Rufus W. Marks ’54 Rufus Wayne Marks ’54 of Indianapolis, Indiana, died on May 23, 2009. He was 78. Marks matriculated from Indianapolis and attended VMI for five months.

Paul J. Jurko’58 Paul John Jurko ’58 of Yankee Lake, Ohio, died on Sept. 8, 2009. He was 73. Jurko matriculated from Brookfield, Ohio, and attended VMI for three months. He was a graduate of Bowling Green State University. His varied work career included high school science instructor, work in the aerospace industry, multi-residential property management, screen testing for movies, and management of the family-owned business at Yankee Lake. Among his survivors is his wife, Deborah A. Stumpo Jurko of Yankee Lake.

C. Tabor Cronk ’62 Legal Counsel for 16 Years to the VMI Board of Visitors Calvin Tabor Cronk ’62 of Urbanna, Virginia, died on Oct. 3, 2009. He was 69. He matriculated from Richmond, Virginia, and held a bachelor of arts degree in history from VMI. A 1966 graduate of the Washington and Lee University School of Law, he began his career in Radford, Virginia, with the law firm of Goldsmith & Jenkins. He returned to Richmond to join the staff of the Attorney General of Virginia, serving primarily in the education section. ’54 Cronk was a former legal counsel to the VMI Board of Visitors, including that time during which VMI’s admissions policy was being challenged. In September 2000 the superintendent of VMI presented to him the VMI Achievement Medal for his “sage and thoughtful advice to the Board


TAPS of Visitors and three superintendents.” Cronk retired in August 2008 after having served as general counsel of Old Dominion University since 2003. He had previously served as counsel to George Mason University. He was a member of the Virginia State Bar and was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Virginia Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia. He was a former president of the Richmond Area Association for Retarded Citizens Inc. Board of Directors and a member of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Crenshaw Cronk of Urbanna; three daughters, Dorothy Edwards Cronk, Jennifer Clay Cronk, and Catherine Cronk Marino, her husband, J. Michael Marino III, and their daughter, Kylie Madison Marino; a son, Benjamin Tabor Cronk; and a sister, Elizabeth Cronk Lloyd.

Roger A. Davis ’66 Roger Alan Davis ’66, Ph.D., of Solana Beach, California, died on June 17, 2008. He was 63. He matriculated from Wilmington, Delaware, and attended VMI for one year and five months. He received a bachelor’s degree in organic chemistry from the University of Delaware and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Washington State University. He joined the faculty at San Diego State University in 1991. Davis, who was professor emeritus of biology at the time of his death, mentored graduate students and made groundbreaking contributions in heart disease research. He focused on lipid metabolism by the liver and its role in cardiovascular disease. His work was continually supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. In 2005, a research team led by Davis found a new way to treat heart disease by delivering a synthetic gene into the liver of test mice and reducing atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, by 50 percent. In 2004, he was part of the research team that identified a gene that regulates the production of insulin by the pancreas, a finding that scientists believe could help lead to new treatments for adult onset diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Davis was key in designing the Bioscience Center at San Diego State. It is the only building on campus dedicated solely to research. Before moving to San Diego, Davis taught at the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver and was a tenured professor at the Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, to whom he was married in 1972; two children, Kimberly

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Davis of Los Angeles, California, and William Harlen (Harley) Davis of Oceanside, California; his twin brother, Neil Davis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and a sister, Leslie Davis Brown of Baltimore, Maryland.

dren. His first wife, Lynnette, died many years ago, and his second wife of 37 years, Vickie Johnson Branch, died on Sept. 14, 2008, exactly one year before the death of her husband.

Robert P. Kearney ’66

William Mark Conway ’71 of Frostburg, Maryland, died on Oct. 28, 2009. He was 60. Conway matriculated from Frostburg and held a bachelor of arts degree in English from VMI. When Conway was living in Virginia he taught English as a second language. When he and his family moved to Frostburg he taught English and coached football at Bishop Walsh High School. He most recently was the foreman of a framing crew. He was a softball and baseball umpire for years. He was a member of Saint Michael’s Catholic Church in Frostburg, the Knights of Columbus Council 1442 in Frostburg, and Eagles Aerie 2883 in Cresaptown, Maryland. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Tracey Bauer Conway of Frostburg; four daughters, Jessica Conway and Nicole Conway of the home, Rebecca Wheless and her husband, Jeff, and Jennifer Conway Stamper; two sons, Mark Conway and his wife, Sara, and Jeffrey Conway; a sister, Patricia Winebrenner of Frostburg Village Nursing Care Center; one brother, Ronnie Conway, and his wife, Karen, of Oregon; and four grandchildren, Ben and Arden Wheless and Jillian and Joshua Conway.

Robert Patrick (Pat) Kearney ’66 of Gloucester, Virginia, died on Sept. 26, 2009. He was 65. Kearney matriculated from Yorktown, Virginia, and held a bachelor of arts degree in biology from VMI. In 1971 he earned a master’s degree in science education from the University of Virginia. Kearney taught science at York High School until 1982, when he joined the Atomic Power Division of Newport News Shipbuilding, from which he retired in 2009. He lived most of his adult life in Gloucester County and served as a volunteer in both York and Gloucester counties’ rescue squads and fire departments. He was a member of Bethany United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Men, and the TBD Sunday School Class. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Beverly Roark Kearney of Gloucester; a daughter, Laura Kearney Glaze, her husband, Scott, and their two sons, Patrick and Shelton, of Gloucester; a son, William Patrick Kearney, his wife, Genia, and their twin sons, Pace and Pearson, of West Columbia, South Carolina; a brother, William Michael (Mike) Kearney ’65 of St. Charles, Missouri, his wife, Marilyn, and their three children and one grandchild; a sister, Margaret Ann Kearney of Gloucester; a brother, James Thomas (Tom) Kearney, his wife, Barbara Boeing, of Knoxville, Tennessee, and their two children and four grandchildren; a sister, Cynthia Kearney Potter, her husband, Thomas, of Bellhaven, North Carolina, and their three children; and a brother, Edward Paul (Paul) Kearney, his wife, Carol, of Randles, Washington, and their two children and three grandchildren.

William M. Branch III ’68 William Mordicai Branch III ’68 of Tampa, Florida, died on Sept. 14, 2009. He was 63. Branch matriculated from Franklin, Virginia, and attended VMI for two years and four months. He served from 1970-72 as a SP4 in the U. S. Army. He had been a market support representative for IBM before becoming a financial analyst for Advantis in Tampa. Among his survivors are two daughters from his first marriage, Cynthia Weeks and Jennifer Jannusch; two sons from his second marriage, William M. Branch IV of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Blair A. Branch of Tampa; and six grandchil-

W. Mark Conway ’71

John B. Offley ’75 John Brockenbrough Offley ’75 of Williamsburg, Virginia, died on Sept. 4, 2009, when his motorcycle was struck by a car. He was 56. He matriculated from Williamsburg and held a bachelor of arts degree in history from VMI. He was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. No further information is available at this time.

W. Michael Burton ’79 William Michael (Mike) Burton ’79 of Warrenton, Virginia, died on Sept. 6, 2009. He was 52. Burton matriculated from Roanoke, 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 and the rugby team for one year. He was a member of the Monogram Club for four years and served as a boxing assistant during his second and third class years. He was a self-employed civil engineer. He is survived by his wife, Jane Bradley Burton of Warrenton; three daughters, Paige, Chelsey and Ally Burton, all of Warrenton; his parents, William R. and Mary Burton of Dublin, Virginia; three brothers, Bob Burton and Derek Burton, both of Dublin, and Doug


TAPS Burton of Christiansburg, Virginia; and his in-laws, Patricia Bradley, Sharon and Paul Partington, Will and Carly Partington, Beth and Tom Sexton, Lauren and Maggie Sexton, Carol and Dale Babione, Katie and Drew Babione, Jim and Chris Bradley, Lindsay, Tony and Bera, Tom Bradley and Tom Bradley Jr.

Ronald D. Abbit ’84

Lodge #1 in Washington, D.C. He is survived by a son, Marcus Abbit; a daughter, Sarah Abbit; his mother, Virginia Abbit of Hyattsville; three sisters, Rosalyn Peters and her husband, John, Robin Abbit, and Beverly Askia and her husband, Marcus; two brothers, Royal Abbit Jr. and his wife, Haimanot, and Roderick Abbit; a brother-inlaw, James Bynum, who was the husband of Abbit’s late sister, Edwina Gail Bynum; six nieces, Sabrina, LaJuan, Tomica, MyKesha, Samantha and Aitya; two nephews, Roderick Abbit Jr. and Abraham; three aunts; and two uncles.

three siblings, Elizabeth, Daniel and Paul Evans; his paternal grandmother, Virginia Evans; and many aunts, uncles and cousins. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Clarksville, Maryland. It was followed by interment in St. Louis Cemetery. A large VMI contingent was present and included two busloads of cadets, the cadet Honor Guard, and a bugler and bagpipes. A service in his memory was conducted in VMI’s Jackson Memorial Hall on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009, at 7:45 p.m.

Ronald Denard Abbit ’84 of Hyattsville, Maryland, died on Oct. 5, 2009. He was 47. Abbit matriculated from Hyattsville and held a bachelor of arts degree in economics from VMI, where he was a member of the track team for four years and of the Promaji Club for four William M. Kiser ’92 years. While at VMI he jumped over 24 feet William Moore Kiser ’92 of Fairfax Station, Death in the VMI Family in the long jump and was a champion in the Virginia, died on June 29, 2008. He was 38. triple jump, leaping in excess of 50 feet. He matriculated from Vienna, Virginia, and Abbit did postgraduate work at the Institute attended VMI for one year. for Business Organization and Information He is survived by his wife, Alyson Perry Charles W. Gardner Sr. Technology in Paderborn, Germany, and Kiser of Fairfax Station; two sons, Joshua and Chairman, VMI earned a master of science degree in recre- Brady; his parents, Roland Danny Kiser and Parents Council, 1973-74 ation management from Purdue University Nancy Ann Moore; two brothers, David Kiser Charles W. Gardner Sr. of Virginia Beach, in 1996. and Ken Kiser and his wife, Amy, and their Virginia, died on Aug. 28, 2009. He was 83. He returned to VMI as a member of the staff in children, Ryan and Will; his in-laws, Gerald Gardner served as president of the VMI the early 2000s. He served as a facility manager and Pam Pelano and Ronald and Diane Perry; Parents Council from 1973-74 when his son, in the Physical Education Department and as three brothers-in-law, Brent Perry and his Charles W. Gardner Jr. ’74, was a cadet. a tactical officer. He served as the executive wife, Kim, and their children, Zach, Jake and A veteran of World War II, he served in the director of the College Orientation Workshop Travis, Ryan Perry and Eric Perry. U.S. Navy and received an honorable discharge program (COW) from 2002-07. Former VMI in 1946. He later attended the University of Board of Visitors member Gene Williams ’74 Dale R. Griffin ’03 Tennessee. said of Abbit’s impact on that program that Editor’s Note: Army Sgt. Griffin’s obituary His career took him between Dayton, TennesAbbit “positively impacted the lives of hundreds appears in the OEF/OIF section of this issue. see, and Virginia Beach. In Dayton he owned of young men from across the country. His Dayton coal and Iron Company and started constant message to the young men in COW Fourth Classman a cattle ranch. He then managed his father’s was that ‘coming from a background of poverty John A. Evans Dies hotel, the Martha Washington, in Virginia did not mean that one had to be poor in spirit, John Alexander Evans, a member of the cur- Beach. In 1963 he became its owner/operator work ethics or pride.’” rent fourth class and the son of Robert J. Evans and served as president of the Hotel, Motel Abbit was a veteran of the U.S. Army. He ’80 and Cheryl Evans of Highland, Maryland, Association. was the maintenance and security officer who died on Nov. 7, 2009, in Lexington, Virginia. He built the Washington Club Inn, later was responsible for upkeep and security of Cadet Evans was an international studies ma- Virginia Beach’s first Hilton, and retired from the NATO special weapon depot in Germany, jor and member of the Marine ROTC program. the hotel business in 1975. where Abbit, who was fluent in German, also In addition to his parents, he is survived by He served terms in Virginia Beach on the worked as a language instructor City Council, the Personnel Board, and marketing professional. He the Race Relations Committee, played and later coached profesthe Chesapeake Bay Preservation sional basketball in Germany. Board, the Virginia Marine Science Upon his discharge from the Museum Board, the Crime Task Army, Abbit was involved in Force Rotary and the Mid-Atlantic physical education, recreation, Teen Challenge Board, which he dance, tutoring and mentorchaired. ing. He was an active member He was ordained in 1979 and of the National Intramural of spent many hours counseling in the Sports Association, the National church and CBN. He was a member Federation of Interscholastic of the Faithful Men Choir. Officials Association, the AmeriHe is survived by his wife of 59 can Alliance for Health and the years, Margaret Juanita George GardAmerican Red Cross of Prince ner of Virginia Beach; five children, George County, Maryland. Charles W. Gardner Jr. ’74, Cindy, Cadet Evans with his father, Robert J. Evans ’80, in He was a member of Omega Psi Wes, Terri and Kathy; seven grandfront of VMI Barracks, fall 2009. Phi Fraternity and the Masonic children; and one great-grandson.




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

Immediate Past President

James F. Spellman Jr. ’85

Brian S. Crockett

The VMI Keydet Club, Inc. President

Charles F. Plageman ’90


Thomas W. Davis ’64

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer Gregory M. Cavallaro ’84

Terms Expire June 30, 2010 Jamel Lynch, Jr. ’94 Michael Soares ’75

Directors at Large

Terms Expire June 30, 2012 Term Expires June 30, 2011 Kenneth Herbert ‘81 Bland Massie ’77 Heidi Nagel ’02 Dallas B. Clark ‘99

Region/ Director

Chapter Name

Chapter President

President’s E-mail

Chapter Representative

Russell Shun Takata ’74 Matthew R. Hemenez ’90 Todd E. Arris ’87 James R. Farmer ’68 Thomas R. Clark III ’73 Jay C. Wegrzyn ’66 Andre J. Gibson ’78 Trent L. Boggs ’83 Joseph S. Howard III ’97 Kenneth S. Krynski ’89

Russell Shun Takata ’74 Raphael S. Barsamian ’89 Todd E. Arris ’87 James R. Farmer ’68

San Antonio Centex Chicago Kansas City, Missouri North TX - Dallas Rio Grande SE TX - Houston Southwest Ohio St. Louis Detroit Little Rock Bluegrass Third Coast (Corpus Christi) Oklahoma

Robert R. Costigan ’70 Jeffrey L. Minch ’73 Jeffrey T. Golden ’99 Jeffrey D. Vordermark ’79 Timothy S. Feagans ’90 Alexander E. Woelper ’80 Joseph J. Leonard Jr. ’83 Michael A. Demers ’80 Harry W. Gore Jr. ’72 David C. Hagemann ’80 James F. Dittrich ’76 Gregory G. McDearmon ’99 Walter J. Kleine ’63 Hamel B. Reinmiller ’98

Jimmie V. Thurmond ’56 Jeffrey L. Minch ’73 Donald A. Noschese Jr. ’92 Todd J. Jacobs ’90

Greater Rhode Island New England NY City - Long Island North Jersey

Patrick L. McGuire ’85 Matthew L. Camfield ’94 Robert A. Munno ’81

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

Thomas M. Wirth ’98 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

Terence L. Bowers ’68 Thomas N. Daniel Jr. ’60 Charles C. Schoen IV ’86 John R. Savage ’74 Richmond P. Lykins Jr. ’73 William E. Kirby III ’96

Raymond R. Lawson ’81 Campbell C. Hyatt III ’65 Charles C. Schoen IV ’86 John R. Savage ’74 Richmond P. Lykins Jr. ’73 Charles S. Sanger ’82

Hawaii Greater Los Angeles Bob Clingenpeel ’69 Northern California Pacific Northwest bclingenpeel1@ Rocky Mountain San Diego Inland Empire Chapter Alaska Arizona Las Vegas

Region I Far West

Region II Midwest

Fred Lehman ’91


Region III Northeast

Felix Wolkowitz ’75 fwolkowitz@

Region IV Mid Atlantic

Baltimore Central Keystone Grover Outland ’81 Delaware Valley outland@ Western PA - Pittsburgh

Region V Southeast

Guy Conte ’75 guyconte@

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Augusta Appalachian Atlanta Coastal GA - South Carolina Midsouth Middle TN - Nashville

Nathaniel P. Ward IV ’65 Peter H. Lyons ’54 Marcus Bruce Paine ’81 Thomas D. Kelly ’50B John D. Christie ’59

Walter E. Woelper Sr. ’42 Steven P. Weiss ’86 Michael A. Demers ’80 Robert C. Polk ’61 Mark A. Benvenuto ’83 Hugh R. Hill ’85 M. Douglass Payne ’73 Michael A. Davis ’06



Chapter Name

Chapter President

President’s E-mail

Chapter Representative

Club of the Triad Cape Fear Central NC - Raleigh Charlotte SE N. Carolina/NE S. Carolina Palmetto, South Carolina Coastal Carolina, SC

Benjamin A. Booth ’03 Charles L. Toomey ’74 Michael J. Tutor ’96 Michael S. Anderson ’88

John R. Fisher ’89 Charles L. Toomey ’74 Jonathan D. Atkins ’98 James A. Sharp ’93

Jerome M. Brinkley ’84

Karl L. Klinar ’54 Donald P. DeLuca ’62

Birmingham Central Florida Mobile NE Florida - Jacksonville Southern Florida Tennessee Valley West Coast FL - Tampa Southwest Florida-Fort Meyer Greater New Orleans Mississippi

William H. Cather Jr. ’65 James G. Joustra Jr. ’76 Charles M. Rogers IV ’83 Michael T. Fellows ’95 John A. Weekes Jr. ’97 Herbert U. Fluhler ’77 Larry L. Fluty ’78 Bradford T. Herrell ’01 Rhys D. Williams ’07 P. Wells Griffith III ’05

William H. Cather Jr. ’65

New River Valley Lynchburg Roanoke William A. Madison ’90 Christopher M. Boswell ’00 Christopher D. Copenhaver ’99

William A. Madison ’90 John T. McCarthy ’87 J. Patrick Henderson ’99

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

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

Kevin J. Callanan ’78 Mark H. Bryant ’77 R. Edward Duncan ’60 Lewis V. Graybill ’62 Harrison L. Fridley Jr. ’61 Jason K. Gruse ’97

Eastern Shore

Thomas F. Wilson ’80

Norfolk Peninsula Virginia Beach Western Tidewater

Robert W. Leatherbury ’80 David G. Tyler IV ’86 Joshua P. Priest ’80 Edward M. Plucinski ’86 Gary J. Haste ’77 John L. Rowe Jr. ’66

George C. Marshall Potomac River

Sean P. Boyle ’91 Thomas A. Brashears ’95 R. Rucker Slater Jr. ’88 Douglas B. Warner ’03

Richmond Tri Cities

James R. Smith III ’93 William H. Talley IV ’77

Samuel N. Stocks ’90 Augustus Robbins III ’47

Fredericksburg - Quantico Rappahannock Williamsburg South Boston

Carl J. DeBernard Jr. ’94 Richard A. Duke ’90 Peter J. Kokolis ’96 George D. Dyer ’66

R. C. Thompson III ’74 Robert B. Powell ’63 John J. Kokolis ’96

Region XIV Pacific Rim

Thailand Taiwan

Vaipot Srinual ’72 Ching-Pu Chen ’85



Steven G. Cade ’87

Region VI Carolinas

Lane Toomey ’74 toomeyl@

Region VII Deep South Jim Joustra ’76 Jim.Joustra@

Region VIII Southwest VA Turner Perrow ’96


Region IX Shenandoah Valley Ted Jenks ’67 tedjenks@

Region X Hampton Roads Asa Page III ’79 Douglas Burdett ’82 douglasburdett@

Region XI Metro D.C.

Sean Boyle ’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

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

Steve Nakazawa ’ 03

Region XII Central VA

Robert Louthan ’82

Samuel Stocks ’90


Region XIII Rappahannock Eric Nost ’79


Vaipot Srinual ’72 Ching-Pu Chen ’85


ALUMNI NEWS ALUMNI NEWS In October 2009, E. Cabell Brand ’44 was named one of four recipients of the March of Dimes 2009 Star Regional Award. The March of Dimes Foundation’s mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The award is given to those with exceptional community leadership and service. Brand, a distinguished VMI graduate, matriculated from Salem, Virginia, and earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. ASAE Business Services, Inc. has recently selected Capital Advisory Group (CapGroup) of Richmond, Virginia, as the preferred provider of investment management services and guidance on fiduciary best practices for ASAE & the center members and the association and nonprofit community. Robert R. Patterson ’71, a senior consultant at CapGroup, stated in a company press release, “We’re honored that ASAE Business Services has chosen CapGroup, and we look forward to working with their community of organizations.” CapGroup was founded in 1983 in Richmond, Virginia, and has operated as an

independent registered investment advisor providing investment advisory services for middle market institutions, including association funds, foundations and endowments, and retirement plans. ASAE Business Services Inc., ASAE’s wholly owned subsidiary, manages several lines of business for ASAE and develops new programs and solutions to meet associations’ business needs. Business lines include ASAE, ASAE-Endorsed Business Solutions, ASAE Insurance Company and the fiduciary investor program. Patterson matriculated from Charlottesville, Virginia, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in history. He earned his master’s degree from International Management Development Institute. An article by Frank L. Kalesnik ’83, Ph.D., about the Berlin Airlift appeared recently on the Malmstrom Air Force Base Web site. Titled, 60th Anniversary of Berlin Airlift: Wing Historian Retraces Malmstrom’s Involvement, the article offers insight on the history and the role that Malmstrom, once known as Great Falls Air Force Base, played in the outcome of the Cold War. Kalesnik explains that the base

Virginia State Senator Ralph Northam ’81, second from right, with Jim Rogers ’67, far right, after then-Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, second from left, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) presented Northam with its Legislator of the Year Award. The CBF is the only independent 501(c)(3) organization dedicated solely to restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers. Since the organization’s founding 40 years ago, its goal has been to improve water quality by reducing pollution. For more about the CBF, go to

2010-Issue 1

is used today by air forces around the world for training purposes because of its location and weather patterns. Kalesnik, who majored in history and graduated from VMI with distinction, matriculated from Agawam, Massachusetts. He has a doctorate degree from Florida State University and is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer. On Sept. 11, 2009, Cmdr. Gary F. McClelland ’85 retired from the U.S. Navy after 24 years of service. (See photo on next page.) McClelland is a qualified surface warfare officer, special operations officer, master explosive ordnance disposal technician, deep ships salvage officer and a naval parachutist. He deployed to the Middle East in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy Commendation Medal with Bronze V and three gold stars, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy “E” Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with two bronze stars, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon (Expert) and Navy Pistol Marksmanship (Expert). McClelland matriculated from Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He earned his master’s degree from California State University. Lt. Col. Edward D. Wagner ’88, USA, has taken command of the North East Information Operations Center (NEIOC), a battalion command within the Army Reserve Information Operations Command, at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. The center trains soldiers to support joint and Army units in information and cyber operations. Soldiers in the unit are deployed to Afghanistan supporting information operations and to Fort Meade, Maryland, supporting cyber opWagner ’88 erations. 159


Attending U.S. Navy Cmdr. Gary McClelland’s retirement ceremony were, from left, David Stinnette ’85; Darren Sawyer ’85; Col. W.G. Rowlett ’85, USA; Col. John Cummings ’62, USA (Ret); McClelland; Jesse Waltz ’85; Ken Hirlinger ’85; and John Wranek ’85. See story on previous page.

Prior to this position, Wagner served as a computer network operations planner with U.S. Strategic Command. In civilian life, he is a project and department manager for Northrop Grumman. As the technical lead on the 1st Information Operations Command support contract, he is directly responsible for the incident response, network monitoring, forensic collection and malware analysis support provided to the command. He is a contributing author to the Basic Computer Network Operations Planner course, which qualifies officers for planning skills. He recently published a paper on the use of virtualization in computer security with Dr. Anup Ghosh of George Mason University. The paper was published at the Cyber Infrastructure Protection Conference in New York City, which was sponsored by the Army War College and the City College of New York. Wagner matriculated form New Canaan, Connecticut, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He earned his master’s degree in economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 2001. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff Officers Course. Dustin H. DeVore ’94 has been named one of the 2009 “Top 40 Under 40” by Inside Business. DeVore is a partner in Kaufman & Canoles, P.C., Williamsburg, Virginia, office. He earned his bachelor’s degree, with distinction, from VMI and his law degree from 160

the College of William & Mary Marshall Wythe School of Law. He was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve from 1994-2000. DeVore’s practice focuses on commercial and business law, commercial real estate transactions, and real estate finance and development. Brett B. Thompson ’97 has been selected as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” business

professionals in Hampton Roads, Virginia, by Inside Business journal. Thompson is a real estate and corporate attorney with Kellam, Pickrell, Cox & Tayloe. He devotes his time to family and community/charitable activities. His volunteer activities include the Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Club president, Norfolk Sertoma Club, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate, Hampton Roads Realtor Association, Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association, Lead Hampton Roads Class of 2008, Courthouse Community United Methodist Church and United Way of South Hampton Roads –LHR board member. When asked for his advice for young people in the workforce, Thompson replied, “Businesses are built on relationships and hard work. Plug yourself into the community by giving your time and talents to various charitable/civic organizations. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” Thompson matriculated from Chesapeake, Virginia, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He earned his juris doctorate in 2001 from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Greg G. McDearmon ’99 was named one of the 2009 “Forty Under 40” in Louisville’s Business First. Each year since 1996, Business First has

On Sept. 25, 2009, Michael G. Chang ’85 was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. At his promotion ceremony at the National Memorial of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, were, from left, Chang’s uncle and aunt, Bill and Silvia Gomes; Julie Chang and their son, KeKoaKamamo; Chang; his mother, Linda; his father, Mitchell; and Hula Brothers Blaine and Keleo.


ALUMNI NEWS recognized 40 young professionals for their business success and civic contributions. Winners were selected by a panel of judges from the Louisville, Kentucky-area business community. When asked what was the most fulfilling moment in his career, McDearmon replied, “…without any doubt, [it] occurred in late October 2000 in Aden, Yemen.” He was stationed on the U.S.S. Cole as deck division officer at the time of the October 2000 terrorist attack. “Approximately three weeks following the terrorist attack, the crew of the U.S.S. Cole broke the battle flag and was towed out of Aden Harbor while playing the National Anthem. That moment came after three intense weeks of doing extraordinary things to save our ship and after saying goodbye to 17 shipmates killed in action. U.S.S. Cole’s motto was ‘Gloria Merces Virtutis’ or ‘Glory is the Reward of Valor,’ and I felt [the motto] come alive that day.” McDearmon is the vice president of NTS Development Company, a diversified real estate company. He donates his time to the Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville, the VMI Bluegrass Alumni Chapter, Boy Scouts of America Lincoln Heritage Counsel summer camp and other organizations. McDearmon matriculated form Burnt Hills, New York, and graduated with distinction from VMI, earning his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Thomas E. Sebrell ’01 has rediscovered the lost grave of Charles Prioleau in Kensal Green Cemetery, London, England. Prioleau was a cotton merchant born in Charleston, South Carolina, based in Liverpool during the Civil War, from 1861-65. He disappeared from history in a bonfire of company records and correspondence after

his firm went bankrupt, having sent supplies, funds and blockade-busting ships to the Confederates. Sebrell, a history lecturer at University College London, led a small group of students into the undergrowth, armed with secateurs and cemetery burial records supplied by the Friends of Kensal Green. They literally fell over Prioleau’s broken headstone. Sebrell, who matriculated from Newport News, Virginia, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from VMI and Virginia Polytechnic Institute, respectively. At this time, he is working on his doctorate at Queen Mary University in London and is writing his thesis on Union and Confederate propaganda in Britain during the American Civil War. An employee of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Matthew T. Shea ’07 received the NASA Silver Snoopy award on July 23, 2009, at the NASA Johnson Space Center for his dedication to quality work and flight safety. Each year, non-managerial staff and contractors whom NASA regards as the “best in their respective professions” are selected for the Snoopy Award. The award, which is a lapel pin, is flown on a shuttle mission and presented to awardees by NASA astronauts during a recognition ceremony. Since the inception of NASA’s safety program in 1968, less than one percent of NASA employees and contractors have received the pin. Shea was cited as being an outstanding example of SAIC’s finest who has made significant impacts

Matthew T. Shea ’07 received the NASA Silver Snoopy award at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. See story above.

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on the customer’s missions. In a congratulatory letter, astronaut George Zamka recognized Shea for his immediate actions and professionalism, as well as his exemplary performance. The SAIC team supports the safe design, assembly and operation of human-operated space vehicles and shuttle flight missions for NASA under the Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) Support Services Contract with work performed at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, the White Sands Test Facility near Las Cruces, New Mexico, and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Shea has worked with SAIC for two years as an extravehicular activity (EVA) safety operations engineer in support of all S&MA activities for shuttle and International Space Station-based EVA planning, training and real-time operations. During preparation for an upcoming spacewalk for shuttle mission STS-124, he discovered a safety hazard: an “inhibit,” which is a safety command protecting the astronauts, was not being followed according to the EVA plan for the operation. Astronauts could have been seriously injured during the mission’s spacewalk if Shea had not brought this to the attention of his managers and NASA. Shea, a distinguished VMI graduate, matriculated from Springfield, Virginia, and earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Anthony J. Cavalero ’06, right, and Ashley B. Johnson ’84, left, with big screen actress Mindy Sterling during the shooting of a pilot film. Sterling’s Frau Farbissina character first appeared in the movie “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” and has appeared in Austin Powers sequels since then. Cavalero said that he was actor, co-writer and associate producer on the project, and Johnson was the assistant director. The team is pitching the film to Comedy Central and Showtime as of this writing in November 2009.


INSTITUTE INSTITUTE Knapp ’54 Named Gottwald ’43 Visiting Professor in Leadership and Ethics Will Lead Civil War Conference at VMI Lt. Gen. John W. Knapp ’54 has been appointed the Floyd D. Gottwald Jr. ’43 Visiting Professor in Leadership and Ethics at VMI. Knapp, a VMI superintendent emeritus, has been active in numerous civic and professional capacities since retiring from VMI in 1995, serving as mayor of the city of Lexington from 2000-08. Chief among Knapp’s duties as Gottwald visiting professor will be organizing the 2012 installment of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Conference Series, which will be held at VMI in March 2012. Established by the Virginia General Assembly in 2006, the series marks the 150th anniversary of the commonwealth’s entry into the war. The first of seven annual conferences, one for each year of the war and the years immediately preceding it, was hosted by the University of Richmond in April and focused on the events of 1859. The second in the series, “African-Americans and the Civil War,” will be held at Hampton University next spring. “Successfully hosting one of the seven conferences requires careful preparation under the direction of experienced leadership,” said Brig. Gen. Wane Schneiter, VMI’s deputy superintendent for academics and dean of the faculty. “Lt. Gen. Knapp brings that leadership to the conference committee.” In addition, Knapp, who begins his appointment as the Gottwald visiting professor in early 2010, is embedded in the Department of History and is giving three class lectures on a topic relating to ethical leadership during his tenure. “The appointment is a signal honor, of course, and especially gratifying because it affords me a part in the heightened leadership component of the core curriculum,” said Knapp. “My principal and challenging assignment is to chair the planning effort to 162

Gen. Knapp in October 1993, during his tenure as VMI superintendent (1989-95). Upon his retirement, Knapp was appointed superintendent emeritus.

bring to VMI in 2012 the commonwealth’s signature sesquicentennial conference. “The subject of this conference, leadership and generalship during the Civil War, is a truly fitting topic for the Institute and affirmative of our mission and heritage,” continued Knapp. “It will be personally rewarding, too, as I stand with those — lifelong buffs, I suppose — who believe that the Civil War was a pivotal and defining event in our long march toward a more perfect union.” A 1954 graduate of VMI, Knapp 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 graduation, active duty and a period in industry, he had returned to VMI in 1959 and served on the faculty until his appointment as superintendent. Gov. Tim Kaine promoted Knapp to the rank of lieutenant general in the Virginia Militia in 2008. Knapp returns to the Institute thanks to the generosity of Richmond-based Albemarle Corp. and the family of Floyd D. Gottwald Jr., for whom the endowed visiting professorship is named. Established in 2008 as one of the elements of the Center for Leadership and Ethics, the Gottwald visiting professorship program is designed to support the center’s programming efforts.

Then-Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, left, promoted John W. Knapp, center, to lieutenant general in the Virginia Militia on April 28, 2008. Knapp’s wife, Beth, right, assisted the governor in pinning on the insignia. This photo previously appeared in the 2008-Issue 3 Alumni Review.


INSTITUTE Badgett ’53 Receives Distinguished Teaching Award “There is no better job ...” Col. William D. (Bill) Badgett ’53 has taught 7,790 VMI cadets over 54 years. He has graded 15,580 cadet papers. He has read 18,696,000 words of cadet writing. His conclusion: “There is no better job.” That’s how Badgett, professor in VMI’s Department of English and Fine Arts and winner of one of two 2009 VMI Distinguished Teaching Awards, sees his position at the Institute. It’s one for which he has turned down many other offers over the years. While teaching, for Badgett, has meant many things – from compiling a collection of more than 6,000 slides to writing textbooks and essays for cadet use – it begins with each cadet in the classroom. “You banter with them,” said Badgett, who is known to arrive early to “jolly up” the cadets. “You tell them an ‘Old Corps’ story, and the first thing you know, you’re teaching.” Cadets, who warm to his banter and are challenged by his questions and explanations, put their names on long waiting lists to get into his courses, in spite of the fact that his standards are, as department chair Col. Emily Miller says, “typically the most rigorous in the department.” Badgett, who calls himself a “generalist,” taught English when he first joined the VMI faculty in 1955 but now teaches fine arts. He teaches survey courses in art history and the history of music, as well as a course in the history of architecture and a survey of modern art. But as Badgett says, “If we have any intellectual curiosity at all, we go on to teach ourselves.” And as Badgett teaches himself, he brings the cadets along with him. They have benefitted from his creation of courses that explore the intersection of the fine arts with military and political topics of particular interest to cadets. Among these are a course in the history of propaganda as a fine art and one that explores modern art and the Great War – World War I. 2010-Issue 1

The photo above of then-Maj. William D. Badgett ’53 teaching a fine arts class to cadets appeared in the summer 1982 issue of the VMI Alumni Review. Badgett has received VMI’s Distinguished Teaching Award three times during his career at the Institute.

“My reading is much wider than it is deep,” said Badgett, “so I’m able when I teach to … summon up parallels in literature, music, philosophy and history of religion.” The Distinguished Teaching Award, Badgett’s third, honors him for outstanding teaching but also for academic mentorship, which to Badgett, who graduated from VMI in 1953, comes naturally. He truly likes – and understands – cadets. “I like to teach them, because they are remarkably open-minded; they’re generally eager to learn,” said Badgett. “There’s a kind of honesty about cadets and their response in class: if their curiosity prompts them, they’ll ask you anything.” And they’ll show up at Badgett’s office for more talk and some advice later in

the day or later in the year or later in their lives. Badgett knows what they’re going through. Though he recalls leaving VMI with pleasure after graduation, heading for a then-obligatory commission in the U.S. Air Force, one year of which he spent in Korea just three months after the Korean War ended, he returned to VMI as soon as it was possible. He left again only once, for graduate school at Harvard University. The 77-year-old professor also knows what the cadets will gain: “self-discipline, a heightened sense of honor and a reverence for the humanities,” for it is these traits of character, Badgett says, that he developed as a member of the VMI Corps of Cadets and exemplifies as a mentor to his students. 163


Ethicist Addresses Cadets During Convocation

When seeking the appropriate speaker to kick off the 2009-10 academic year, VMI looked to its past. For an institution that has long combined strong academic preparation with a co-curricular program that emphasizes physical fitness, personal honor and leadership, a leading author and moral philosopher seemed to be the ideal choice. On Sept. 9, 2009, Rushworth Kidder, Ph.D., president and founder of the Institute for Global Ethics, focused his Kidder convocation address on the importance of moral courage. In a speech entitled “Moral Courage: The Guts of a Tough Decision,” he described the characteristics of morally courageous leaders – a high tolerance for ambiguity, public exposure and personal risk – while emphasizing the role of trust. “Moral courage is being willing to endure significant danger for the sake of your principles,” said Kidder. “Envision a Venn diagram where the circles represent principles, danger and endurance. Moral courage exists at the intersection of those three things.” The author and former columnist for The Christian Science Monitor used the story of Viktor Pestov to demonstrate the value of moral courage. A Russian of privilege, Pestov was a young man when he learned that Russian tanks invaded Prague in 1968. The general public was unaware of what was going on in the world around them, and Pestov felt compelled to let his countrymen know what their government was doing. He became a pamphleteer, spreading the news covertly amid great danger. After 20 months of activity, Pestov was caught and sentenced to five years in a Gulag. “Viktor Pestov wasn’t just courageous,” said Kidder. “He exhibited moral courage, because he knew his actions would put him in danger, and he was willing to take on risk and endure his punishment.” In his many years as a journalist and author, and through his work at the Institute for Global Ethics, Kidder has interviewed hundreds of people about their beliefs and experiences. “Everywhere you go and ask ‘What are the most important moral values?,’ you get similar answers,” said Kidder. “Honesty, responsibility, respect, fairness and compassion are common answers. There is no difference in the values held by men and women or English speakers and not, those who are deeply religious and those who are not religious.”


Kidder told the Corps of Cadets that thanks to events like 9/11 and the recent financial crisis, the world is beginning to understand the importance of character. While individual examples of moral courage may seem small, moral courage is at the heart of policy-making decisions, issues faced by the military and by educators who face students who cheat. He encouraged the Corps not only to embrace the concept of moral courage but also of teamwork. He cited a recent visit to the Maine Maritime Academy where he witnessed new students having to work together to properly steer their dories. Over time and with much practice, the students will learn how to be successful, he said. “Leadership isn’t about you taking charge; it’s about unison and working together,” Kidder told the Corps. “The world is coming back to where you have long been at VMI, and I thank you for weathering the storm. Help us keep this dory going straight; we are drifting as a nation, and we need you.” Kidder’s appearance is part of VMI’s Distinguished Speakers Series, which brings to the 1,500 members of VMI’s Corps of Cadets key themes and issues of the day. The speakers in the series are selected to broaden cadets’ perspectives on international and cultural issues, contemporary foreign and domestic matters, leadership issues, moral-ethical questions, civic responsibilities and other matters of importance in the modern world.

VMI Seeks Commissioning Information for Classes of 1990-2009 In order to more accurately reflect commissioning percentages at VMI, the Institute is seeking to uncover those alumni who have commissioned in any branch of service following their graduation through an Officer Candidate Program or other commissioning avenue. VMI believes that there may be a sizeable number of alumni in this category. If you commissioned after graduation, by some means other than direct commission through VMI ROTC, please contact Lt. Col. Gary Bissell ’89 in the Registrar’s Office by e-mail at or by phone at 540/464-7263.

Editor’s Note: Unless stated otherwise, the articles and photos in the Institute section of the Alumni Review are provided by VMI Communications and Marketing.



VMI Museum Receives Two Important Works of Art Recently, the VMI Museum received two additions to its fine art collection, thanks to the generosity of two members of the VMI family. “We are always excited to add important works of art to the collection,” said Col. Keith Gibson ’77, director of VMI Museum Operations. “It is important that the Corps have the opportunity to view, learn from and be inspired by original works of art.” Mrs. Lise Putnam Liddell of Houston, Texas, presented the magnificent bronze sculpture by French artist Georges Collins. Titled “Charrue & L’épée” – the Plow and the Sword – the sculpture depicts an allegorical image of the citizen-soldier. Born on “Charrue & L’épée” April 26, 1876, in Vincennes, by Georges Collins France, Collins studied at École des Beaux Arts under Charles Valton. He exhibited at the prestigious Salon des Artistes Français from 1899 to 1914. The artist died in 1917 in Paris. The statue was presented to VMI in honor of Frank Liddell Jr. ’49B and is on exhibit in the Frank Liddell Room located on the 400 level of Preston Library. A previously unknown oil painting of Lt. Gen. Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson was presented to VMI recently by Hugh Gouldthorpe ’61. In presenting the portrait, Gouldthorpe shared the fascinating story of how he came to own the piece: “For years, I had been looking for a portrait of Stonewall to no avail. However, on a Sunday in late October 1991, I saw a listing of an estate/yard sale in Richmond. I had plans to attend a Redskins football game in Washington but was enticed by the fact that a portrait of Stonewall was available. “I reluctantly gave up my Redskins tickets to attend the sale. The portrait of Stonewall was sitting in a chair in the yard and was being offered at a very reasonable price. As is the case with many yard sales of this nature, one could buy it outright or put in a sealed bid for at least $1.00 more than half of the list price. I decided to put in a sealed bid. 2010-Issue 1

“The next morning, I called the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art to find out more about the painting. I discovered that the artist, Aurilius Revenaugh, had done quite a few portraits. They were located all across the United States, with a heavy concentration in Kentucky. The University of Michigan had several of his portraits, the Arkansas History Commission owned a portrait, as did the Virginia State Library in Richmond. Needless to say, I was sick that I had not paid full price for the portrait. However, on Oct. 17, I received a call from the individual who was in charge of the estate sale. She stated that two identical sealed bids had been received, one being mine. She gave me the opportunity to change my bid, as she did with the other interested party. My bid was the highest. “Since that time, Stonewall has occupied a prominent spot in my home. I am so pleased to give this incredible portrait of Stonewall to VMI, where it rightly belongs.” Born in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1840, Aurilius Revenaugh had shown particular talent for the violin and for the visual arts at an early age. His physician father discouraged him, suggesting instead the profession of medicine. During the Civil War and before finishing school, he served with distinction in the Union Army as a hospital steward and in the signal corps. During his service, he did sketches in his diary of the scenes he witnessed. He only briefly or never practiced medicine, turning to his passion for painting soon after the war. Largely self-taught, his painting of Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson helped establish his reputation as a portrait painter. Revenaugh based his portrait on the famous 1862 photograph made of Jackson in Winchester, Virginia. He died in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1908.

Lt. Gen. Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson by Aurilius Revenaugh 165


Granger’s Individual Title Leads VMI to Second Place Finish at BSC Championships Junior Hannah Granger’s individual time, and Lindsey Carty nearly posted Field and Cross Country Darrin Webb. title led the Keydets to a second place fin- a fourth-consecutive personal best, “This women’s team has surpassed all ish at the Oct. 31, 2009, Big South Cross running a 19:41 to finish 18th. Corinne of my expectations, especially considerCountry Championships in Winston- Lariviere finished 28th in 20:11, while ing the number of freshmen that make Salem, North Carolina. The finish was Jenna Pickett was 31st in a time of 20:20. up this team. I could not be prouder of the team’s best-ever result at a conference [All of these runners except Pickett, class everyone on the squad. championship meet and led to a litany of of 2012, are class of 2013 cadets.] “Hannah Granger had an outstanding firsts in program history. “Leah Schubel and Lindsey Carty ran season,” continued Webb, “and to finish Granger, who won the meet with an well, and overall, I’m extremely pleased the season with the individual title is an 18:25 clocking, bested outstanding accomplishrival Dacia Bushman of ment. She has been the team-winner Liberty by leader of the group from seven seconds to capture the beginning and has the Keydets’ first-ever worked day-in and dayindividual conference title out to prepare for this in women’s cross country meet. Overall, I could not and the Runner of the be more pleased with a Year (ROTY) award. The fourth-place finish by the VMI standout averaged men and a second-place 5:56 per mile en route to effort by the women. The the victory and added to Coach of the Year, Runner The VMI women’s cross country team members and Head Coach her ROTY award after the of the Year and Freshman Paul Spangler holding their awards at the 2009 Big South meet, when she was also of the Year honors are fitConference Championships, Oct. 31, 2009. Hannah Granger is pictured third from right. named to the Big South ting for this squad, and I All-Academic team. could not be happier for “The women did a great them.” job, and I couldn’t have asked for any- with everyone’s effort today,” said SpanSpangler is a 1998 graduate of the thing more,” said VMI Head Coach Paul gler. University of Alabama with a bachelor’s Spangler, who was named Big South In the team rankings, VMI’s second- degree in education. He was a 1996 and Women’s Cross Country Coach of the place finish was fueled by 66 team points. 1997 NCAA qualifier in cross country and Year following the meet. “Liberty ran Liberty won the meet with 47 markers, made the All-Southeastern Conference well and came away with the win, even Coastal Carolina was third with 76 points team in his senior year at the University though we ran well, too. Hannah ran a and High Point scored 86 points to finish of Alabama. He later went on to receive great race, helped by a big surge at about fourth. Winthrop (117), UNC Asheville a master’s degree from Florida State halfway to seize control, and Jenna Moye (148) and Radford (172) were the next University in sports administration and finishing fourth as a freshman was an three finishers, while Gardner-Webb coached the Seminoles cross country and outstanding effort.” and Charleston Southern brought up track & field programs. Indeed, Moye did place fourth, earning the rear. VMI’s first Big South Freshman of the “Coach Spangler has done an outstandEditor’s Note: See the article in the Year honors with her 18:39 effort and 6:00 ing job, and the Big South Women’s front of this issue about Granger, her mile average. Leah Schubel was VMI’s Coach of the Year award was well de- great-grandfather, Robert L. Granger #3 runner, finishing 16th with a 19:34 served,” said VMI Director of Track and ’25, and Dabney Coleman ’53. 166


ATHLETICS Five Former Athletes Inducted into VMI Sports Hall of Fame

Over 30 former Sports Hall of Fame inductees attended the induction banquet and are pictured above with those who received the 2009 award.

At a dinner attended by over 330 guests on Oct. 30, 2009, at Marshall Hall, five former athletes and two prominent alumni who served in support roles in the Athletic Department were officially inducted into the VMI Sports Hall of Fame. The dinner, which was held at Marshall Hall in the Center for Leadership and Ethics, kicked off a weekend of festivities that included recognition of the inductees during a Corps of Cadets parade and a halftime ceremony during the VMI-Charleston Southern football game on Oct. 31st. The 2009 Sports Hall of Fame inductees and biographical information are listed below:

first team All-Southern Conference at catcher in 1990, when he held base runners to just a 40% success rate and threw out 25 base runners. He was also selected second team All-Southern Conference in 1989. Beasley tied for third on the VMI career list in homers with 31. He was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 16th round of the June 1989, free agent draft but returned to VMI for his final year of eligibility. In 1990, he was drafted in the fourth round by the St. Louis Cardinals. His selection was then the highest VMI player taken in the draft. Beasley played three years of minor league baseball, advancing to Class A level.

Andrew G. Beasley ’90 (Baseball)

Charles T. Cole ’64 (Football)

A four-year letterman and starter at catcher, Beasley was named three times to All-Southern Conference squads. He hit .288 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs and was a big part of VMI’s 1988 SoCon North Division title run. Beasley was selected All-Southern Conference North Division in 1988. He hit .328 as a junior and .351 (second on the team) in 1990 with 13 homers (third most in a season) and 36 RBIs. He was selected 2010-Issue 1

Cole played on the 1962 VMI Southern Conference Championship team and was cited for his outstanding play at linebacker. He was named second team All-Southern Conference in 1963 and was also tabbed first team All-State and All-Big Five that year. Cole, who served as the Keydet team captain, was recognized for outstanding play in his senior season, when he deflected a pass to preserve a victory over Richmond

and averaged close to 10 tackles a game. Coach John McKenna regarded him as a key contributor in VMI’s 1962 championship season. Cole had perhaps his best individual game against Navy in the 1963 Oyster Bowl. During that game, he was credited with 13 tackles on the Midshipmen squad that featured Heisman trophy winner Roger Staubach who Cole ran down in the backfield for tackles for loss four times. Cole is remembered for speed and toughness; he often played through injury. He also handled the team’s snapping for punts, extra points and field goals.

Col. Thomas W. Davis ’64 (Special Citation)

Davis served as faculty athletic chair from 1987 to 2003 and authored The Corps Roots the Loudest, a 330-page volume on VMI athletic history published in 1986. He also served as president of the Southern Conference from 1995-97 and has emceed the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for over 20 years. After graduation from VMI, Davis earned two advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Following two years of military service, he returned to VMI in 1972 to teach British history 167

ATHLETICS and western civilization. He served on the VMI faculty until his retirement in 2007. Davis received the VMI Distinguished Service Award in 1986 and was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1987 and 2007. In 1992, he was appointed to occupy the General Edwin Cox Distinguished Professorial Chair in History and Economics. Davis has been active in community affairs and has served as president of the Lexington Parent-Teacher Association, the Lexington Kiwanis Club and the English-Speaking Union. He is a former trustee of the Historic Lexington Foundation and served a three-year term on the Lexington School Board. In June 1989, he was appointed acting dean of the faculty, with a succeeding year as associate dean before returning full time to the VMI faculty. Currently, he serves as secretary of the VMI Sports Hall of Fame.

George D. Henning ’61, M.D. (Special Citation)

A long-time team doctor and orthopaedic surgeon, Henning began working with the Keydets and legendary Martin D. “Doc” Delaney ’28 during VMI football games in the 1970s and has devoted his skills to VMI athletic teams for 36 years. Henning, who conducts clinics at Catawba Hospital and Bedford Community Hospital, is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a clinical associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Virginia. His practice includes nearly every aspect of orthopaedics, including joint replacement, sports medicine and fracture management. A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Henning joined the Roanoke Orthopaedic Center in 1972. Prior to that, he served as a captain in the U.S.

Army Medical Corps and received the Army Commendation Medal in 1966 after completing a tour in Vietnam. He obtained his general and orthopaedic surgery training at Vanderbilt University and became board certified in 1973.

Darrius D. Jackson ’98 (Track and Football)

Jackson, who legally changed his last name to Walker after graduating from VMI, was a dual-sport standout in track and football, but he received most of his accolades through track. He was awarded the “Son” Read trophy and also received the Harden Massie Award twice as the track team member who best exemplified the spirit of VMI. As a first classman, he was named Southern Conference champion in the indoor track 200 meter and long jump and also captured the same events in the 1998 SoCon outdoor meet. At the 1997-98 Southern Conference Indoor Track Championship meet, he was named the outstanding meet performer. He earned all-conference honors in seven events (indoor and outdoor) his senior year and concluded his VMI track career by running a winning leg in the Military Classic 4 x 100 at the Penn Relays, defeating five other academies. He won the 1997 SoCon Outdoor 100-meter dash and 400 relay. In addition, Jackson lettered during each of his four years in football at defensive back and was a starter all years at cornerback. He was sidelined the entire 1995 football season with a foot injury but came back the following spring and won the Southern Conference Outdoor long jump event.

Michael R. Rogers ’98 (Football)

2009 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees: George D. Henning ’61 (Special Citation); Charles T. Cole ’64 (Football); Michael R. Rogers ’98 (Football); Darrius D. Jackson-Walker ’98 (Track and Football); Col. Thomas W. Davis ’64 (Special Citation); Andrew G. Beasley ’90 (Baseball). Not pictured: Tom Van Fossen, who accepted the induction on behalf of his father, William Van Fossen ’56 (Swimming).


Rogers ranks as VMI’s all-time leader in career total tackles with 457, surpassing a 21year-old record held by former linebacker John Willison ’77. VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

ATHLETICS In 1996, he was named first team AllSouthern Conference at linebacker and was named SoCon Defensive Player of the Week for outstanding play in VMI’s 34-27 overtime win over The Citadel. In 1997, he posted a team high 151 tackles and finished third in the Southern Conference. Rogers posted double-digits in tackles in all but two games his senior year. He started the 1997 campaign with a season-high 22 tackles against Wofford and also completed 17 tackles at Navy. A three-year starter at linebacker, Rogers was the team’s leading tackler for three consecutive years. He became a starter midway through his freshman year and

finished with 65 tackles. In his sophomore year, he had 85 tackles, including four for loss, and led the defense in “big hits” with nine. Rogers was named as a preseason All-America before his senior season in 1997, and that year, he also received the Henry Fairfax Ayers ’06 Award for the team’s Most Valuable Player.

William Van Fossen ’56 (Swimming)

Van Fossen has been inducted into the VMI Sports Hall of Fame posthumously. He dominated the freestyle events in the Southern Conference in the mid 50s, winning nine Southern Conference

individual championships and sweeping the 220, 440 and 1500 meter freestyle Southern Conference event for three consecutive years in 1954-56. It is likely that he swam a leg of the 400 meter freestyle relay with the team that also claimed the title over three consecutive years (1954-56). Van Fossen’s talents helped VMI to win Southern Conference swimming titles in 1955 and 1956. The team gained these titles in dominating fashion, including a 169-67 point advantage over second place Virginia Tech in 1955 and 162-68 point advantage over the Hokies in 1956. Van Fossen died in January 1997.

Keydets Beat Washington & Lee in 2009 Lee-Jackson Lacrosse Classic On Oct. 2, 2009, Tim Moran ’10 scored five goals and Jacob Weimer ’10 notched the game-winner with sevenand-a-half minutes to play, as the Keydets won the 2009 Lee-Jackson Lacrosse Classic, 15-13, over the Washington & Lee Generals at Wilson Field in Lexington. The victory was only VMI’s third-ever in the event; the Keydets also won in 1988 and 2005. After a back-and-forth third quarter featuring multiple ties and lead changes, the two teams played a rough, physical first half of the final quarter. Finally, at the 7:31 mark, Weimer was able to get free to the right of the Generals’ net minder, Ned Lundvall, to give VMI a 12-11 lead, an advantage it would not relinquish. Following the eventual game-winner, Moran scored his fifth goal of the night off a pass from Keith Long ’12, making it 13-11. The Generals got back within a goal, as Max Mancuso scored with 6:04 to go, but VMI put the game away with a two-goal spurt. The mini-run was capped by Long’s second goal of the game, a score that came with 1:30 remaining. Drew Koeneman would notch his fourth goal for W&L with 1:03 left to account for the final margin, 15-13. “I’m impressed with both teams,” said VMI Head Coach Jeff Shirk. “I think Coach McCabe did a great job of getting his guys ready to go, and they played well. I’m

excited about what we did today. W&L fought back and even went up by a goal. We never put our heads down; we fought back, and we found a way to finally win this thing. Our seniors this year are a great group, and they deserve this,” continued Shirk. “This ends the fall on a very high note and gives us motivation to work hard going into the spring season.” This year’s edition of the Lee-Jackson Classic was a hard-fought battle, as the contest featured 13 penalties. VMI was led by Moran’s five goals and two assists, while the Generals were paced by Keigler, who had three goals and four assists. For their efforts, Moran and Keigler were named the winners of the Worrell-Fallon award, given to the Most Valuable Players from each team. Other offensive leaders for VMI included Weimer, who had three scores in the game. Long and Brett Leonard ’10 each scored twice, while Colin Bosse ’12, Stephen Robarge ’12 and Drew Leonard ’12 were each credited with a single goal. Sean McCoy ’10 made 14 saves in net for the Keydets in earning the victory. As of this writing, VMI lacrosse is scheduled to open its spring season on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, at Annapolis, Maryland, when the team takes on perennial powerhouse, the Naval Academy. Game time is planned for noon.

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.

2010-Issue 1



Message from the VMI Foundation Chief Executive Officer

On behalf of VMI Foundation President Walter C. Perrin II ’62, its board of trustees, and its officers and staff, I thank the alumni and friends of VMI who gave so generously to VMI in 2009. Anyone familiar with VMI knows the importance of private financial support to the Institute. It is essential to maintaining the excellence that is the hallmark of VMI’s academic and co-curricular programs and to fostering the improvements in VMI’s program and physical environments that will sustain that excellence. Moreover, in these economically challenging times, when the portion of VMI’s operating funds provided by the commonwealth of Virginia is shrinking, every private dollar is critically important. Working in support of the Institute, the VMI Foundation has two simple overall goals. The first is to ensure that VMI can meet its immediate priorities. This will allow today’s cadets to receive the education for leadership and citizenship that they deserve. The second is to strengthen VMI’s ability to accomplish its mission in the future. This Crockett means establishing and growing endowments that support all aspects of the Institute’s extraordinary education and ensuring that the Corps of Cadets lives and learns in firstrate facilities. To accomplish these goals, the VMI Foundation will continue its long tradition of matching the intense commitment to VMI of our trustees, officers and staff to the most modern fundraising technologies and techniques. The VMI Foundation will collaborate even more extensively with the Institute, The VMI Alumni Association and the VMI Keydet Club. It will be a leader in developing and sustaining a stronger culture of philanthropy within the VMI family. It will engage the talents and the energies of all VMI stakeholders, and it will seek to expand the VMI family. VMI’s leaders have charted an ambitious and bold course into the future, one that will bring VMI even greater acclaim as a school for leadership. With the help of alumni, parents and friends, the VMI Foundation will be a strong and sustaining partner to the Institute throughout this journey. Brian S. Crockett CEO, VMI Foundation

Read about the Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award presentation and Institute Society Dinner (photo at left) in the front of this issue, pages 8-13, including: • • • •

Distinguished Service Award John Allen ’62 Remarks The Institute Society Dinner Thomas G. Slater ’66 Remarks

Editor’s Note: Unless stated otherwise, all articles in the Foundation section of the Alumni Review are provided by the VMI Foundation.



VMI FOUNDATION, INC. Memorial Gifts The VMI Foundation, Inc., and the VMI Keydet Club, Inc., received the following gifts in memory of deceased alumni, parents and friends during the time frame of Aug. 1, through Oct. 31, 2009.

Mr. Howard M. Allen ’52 Mr. David R. White ’52

Mr. Maurice J. Allen Jr. ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

James D. Ball ’49C, MD

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. David M. Barker ’55

Mr. John W. Barlow ’55 Mr. William R. Davidson ’55

Capt. Paul M. Bayliss ’60, USAF Mr. Anderson Wise ’60

Mr. Walter R. Beirne ’46

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. James E. Biggs Jr. ’44

Mr. Robert P. Jones Jr. ’44 and Mrs. Jones

Col. Thomas W.C. Birge ’52, USAF Mr. David R. White ’52

Mr. Hugh H. Blackwell ’60 Mr. Roy G. McLeod ’60 Mr. Richard E. Phillippi ’59

Capt. Thomas G. Blair Jr. ’69, USA Col. James D. Polley IV ’68, USA (Ret)

Mr. R. Tyler Bland Jr. ’42

Mrs. B. Claiborne Christian

Mrs. Celia Branch

Mr. Ronald L. Gault Jr. ’71

Mr. William M. Branch III ’68 Class of 1968

Mr. Thomas L. Brooks III ’49A Mr. William M. Noftsinger ’49A and Mrs. Noftsinger Mr. G. Allen Penniman Jr. ’49A

Mr. W. Michael Burton ’79

Col. William P. Albro ’79, USAF (Ret) Mr. G. Wayne Eastham ’76 Mr. David W. Jeter ’79

Mr. John W. Butler ’86 Mrs. Marian P. Butler

Col. Lawrence E. Butler ’49A, USA Mr. William M. Noftsinger ’49A and Mrs. Noftsinger Mrs. Nelson T. Overton Mr. G. Allen Penniman Jr. ’49A

2010-Issue 1

Irvin W. Cavedo Jr. ’46, MD

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Raymond Edward Cervera ’85 Lt. Col. Michael G. Chang ’85, USA

Mr. I. Lee Chapman III ’65

Mr. John P. Ackerly IV Mrs. Lucy P. Ackerly Mr. and Mrs. David D. Addison Mrs. Frances W. Arehart Mr. Henry H. Brant ’65 and Mrs. Brant Mr. and Mrs. Neal Brock Mr. Jan C. Brueckmann ’65 Col. and Mrs. Chapin Mr. and Mrs. W. Bates Chappell Mr. Wayne D. Chiles ’65 Mr. John W. Cocke ’65 Mr. James E. Covington Jr. Mr. Raymond C. Cullen ’66 and Mrs. Cullen Sally Claud Curry Mr. Thomas B. Davidson Blaine and Mary Denny Mr. and Mrs. John B. Dorsey Hugh C. Dowdy Jr. ’65, DDS Mr. J. Morton Eggleston Jr. ’59 and Mrs. Eggleston Mr. Spencer H. Elmore ’62 Mr. Gordon B. Eubank ’65 Mr. Harold W. Geisel Anne, Chip and Randy Gilbert Gracy & Holy Trinity Endowment Fund Inc. Mr. William A. Gregory ’66 Ms. Anita P. Grymes Mr. and Mrs. Christoper J. Habenicht Mr. Conrad M. Hall ’65 Mr. William A. Hallett Jr. ’47 Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Hecht Mr. Marshall Henry III ’65 Mr. W. Bogart Holland ’68 Mr. William P. Hooper Mr. Justin Hoover Mr. Thomas W. Howard ’65 and Mrs. Howard Mr. Francis R. Kollmansperger III ’84 Mr. and Mrs. Barry D. Koval Mr. Norman E. Land Jr. ’65 Mr. Arthur D. Liles Tim and Suzanne Lough Mr. William E. Loughridge ’65 Family of Dr. Robert J. Macaulay Jr. Mr. Robert P. Martin Mr. Roderick B. Mathews Mr. John S. McEwan II ’65 Mr. George McVey Mr. George W. Michael Mr. and Mrs. Edward T. Miles Mr. G. Gilmer Minor III ’63 Mr. and Mrs. William Monday Mr. Easley L. Moore Jr. ’65 Mr. Robert I. Morgan ’65 Mr. Frank F. Mountcastle Jr. Brig. Gen. John W. Mountcastle ’65, USA (Ret) Mr. B.B. Munford III Mr. and Mrs. John F. Newhard Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Norfleet Jr.

Mr. John J. O’Keefe III ’65 Mr. Albert M. Orgain IV ’65 and Mrs. Orgain Mr. Grover C. Outland Jr. ’49B and Mrs. Outland Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Parker Mr. Russell C. Proctor III ’65 Mr. Edward H. Shield ’63 Mr. William F. Shumadine Jr. Mr. R. Blackwell Smith II Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Stanton Mr. and Mrs. Samuel N. Stocks ’90 Mr. George W. Sydnor Jr. ’57 Col. and Mrs. Douglas E. Taylor Mr. and Mrs. J. Hume Taylor Jr. Mr. J.V. Taylor Jr. ’64 Mr. William L. Taylor Ms. K.P. Teabo Mr. Vincent J. Thomas ’43 and Mrs. Thomas Mr. and Mrs. Matthew G. Thompson Mr. and Mrs. P. Craig Todd The Honorable J. Randolph Tucker Jr. ’37 Mr. and Mrs. R. Stephen Turnbull Mr. and Mrs. E. Massie Valentine Mr. William E. Welsh ’64 Mr. John H. Woodfin Sr. ’61 Mr. John M. Wyatt IV Mr. Reynolds Young ’66 and Mrs. Young

Mr. K.W. Chapman ’30 Ms. Gloria J. Sinclair

Mr. B. Claiborne Christian ’44 Mr. Tom Whitmore

Mr. James E. Cobb ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

John Cole Jr. ’54, MD

Capt. Benjamin L. Angle III ’55, USA (Ret) Mr. William W. Berry ’54 Mr. and Mrs. Ted Broecker Mr. Chip Lazarus ’55 John A. Mapp ’54, MD Mr. Michael K. Smeltzer ’58 and Mrs. Smeltzer Dr. and Mrs. Robert W. Woodhouse III

Mr. George B. Colonna Jr. ’44 David M. Colonna ’78, MD

Col. Thomas E. Colvin ’53, USAF Col. Clement L. Woodward ’53, USAR (Ret)

Mr. Richard C. Coupland Jr. ’50B Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret) Mr. Hoge T. Sutherland ’50B

Mr. George T. Cowherd Jr. ’51 Mr. John L. Nichols ’51

Mr. John S. Croswell Jr. ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mrs. Peter VanDyke Davies

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)



Mr. James E. Gates

Col. A.L. Deal III

Mr. Arthur L. Gianelloni ’44

Mr. Bruce Haldeman II ’58 Mrs. Frances W. Arehart Mrs. Clentis M. Gupton Mr. William A. Hallett Jr. ’47 Col. and Mrs. Douglas E. Taylor

Deceased Brother Rats Class of 1972

Lost During the Global War on Terrorism The Honorable James D. Pagones ’72

Mr. Lemoine Dickinson

Mr. and Mrs. Wallace W. Ring

Col. John Dissek Jr. ’49A, USA

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Sgt. Ryan E. Doltz ’00, ANG

Capt. Anthony J. Rayome ’00, USMC

Mr. D. Clinton Dominick ’40

Mr. J. Douglas Cook ’40 Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret)

Lt. Col. and Mrs. J.E. Doyle Jr. Mr. Robert A. Doyle ’84

Mr. Henry S. Dunbar III ’48B Mr. Ronald L. Gault Jr. ’71

Mr. Charles E. Early ’47 Mr. Thomas R. Culler Jr.

Mr. Wayne R. Eggleston ’88 Mr. David T. Hart ’91

Mr. Paul X. English ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mrs. Lillian W. Enochs

Mr. Ronald L. Gault Jr. ’71

Mr. Hugh M. Fain Jr. ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. William T. Feely ’43

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Lt. Russell C. Flournoy ’99, USN Ms. Pamela F. Blair

Irving G. Foster ’35, PhD Mr. Frank J. Leech ’55

Mr. Douglas C. France III ’71 Mr. David H. Kennedy ’71

Wayne W. France

Mr. David H. Kennedy ’71

Mr. Charles C. Gaillard ’20

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Charles W. Gardner Sr.

Mr. Graham L. Undercoffer ’74


Mr. Damon E. Gates Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. James L. Gill ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

James Samuel Gillespie III ’94 Mr. Spencer H. Elmore ’62 Col. and Mrs. George Piegari Mr. John C. Reed ’59

Col. B. McCluer Gilliam ’40, USAR Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret)

Mr. Steven Wayne Good ’71 Mrs. Steven W. Good

Mrs. Diane Graves

Brother Rats of 1967

Mr. Alfred A. Green Jr. ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Perry M. Gwaltney Jr. ’38

Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret)

Mr. Lomax Gwathmey Jr. ’58 Mr. G. Brooke Doggett ’58

The Honorable Thomas P. Harwood Jr. ’50B

The Nolte Law Firm P.C. Mr. Edward C. Addison ’59 Mr. and Mrs. Frederick M. Bachman Ms. Suzanne Bachman Mr. John V. Berberich III ’50B Mrs. William J. Buchanan Mr. Mark C. Christie Class of 1950B Mr. James C. Dimitri The Honorable James H. Flippen Jr. ’50B and Mrs. Flippen Mr. John I. Foster III Maj. Gen. L. H. Ginn III Ms. Essie B. Gordon Mr. H. Braxton Green ’50B Ms. Ann W. Griffin Mr. William A. Hallett Jr. ’47 Ms. Betsey W. Hughes Ms. Clara W. Humphrey Mr. William Irby ’72 Mrs. Judith W. Jagdmann Mr. Peter M. Meredith ’50B Ms. Beverly W. Monroe Mr. William M. Noftsinger ’49A and Mrs. Noftsinger Mr. Jack W. Nurney Jr. ’50B and Mrs. Nurney Mrs. William C. Overman Jr. Mrs. Joan W. Phillips Mr. Hoge T. Sutherland ’50B Virginia State Corporation Commission Mrs. Allan S. Wagner Jr. Mr. Jacob H. Wamsley II ’51 Ms. Mary J. Webster Mr. R.T. Woodman ’50B

Mr. Thomas C. Hathaway Jr. ’49C Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mrs. Elizabeth F. Hawkins

Col. John R. Cavedo ’64, USA (Ret)

Mr. William C. Hayes Jr. ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Clark M. Hening ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Cmdr. Allen B. Higginbotham Jr. ’79, USN Mr. Dennis Carter Mr. John C. Poffenbarger ’79

Mr. O. Halsey Hill ’39

Mr. Ronald L. Gault Jr. ’71

Mr. Henry L. Houston

Mr. Joseph L. Earnhardt Ms. Norene Moll

Mr. Charles M. Hunter ’36

Mr. Richard H. Knight Jr. ’70 and Mrs. Knight

Mr. Jack M. Hutchinson ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Thomas B. Inge Jr. ’59 Mrs. Agnes I. Carter

Ms. Ruth B. Inloes

Mrs. Isabel H. AtLee

Mrs. Ann R. Johann

William and Sandra Parkerson

Mr. Richard Y. Johnston ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. T. Ralph Jones Jr. ’42

Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret)

Christian A. Kiesau

Class of 1963 Mr. William T. Shaner ’63 and Mrs. Shaner

Mr. Thomas J. King Jr. ’46

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Maj. Richard D. LeMay Jr. ’62, USA Maj. Robert D. Tyson ’62, USA (Ret)

Mr. Charles E. Maddox Jr. ’68 Mr. Terence L. Bowers ’68

Lt. Col. John S. Manley ’83, USAF Mr. Francis R. Kollmansperger III ’84 Mr. Thomas C. Sliwoski ’78

Gen. George C. Marshall ’01 Mr. Justin H. Woulfe ’06

Mr. David J. Martino

Mr. Michael J. Martino ’76


VMI FOUNDATION, INC. Lawrence G. Mathews ’39, DDS Mrs. Albert B. Morrison

Mr. Michael W. Maupin ’59 Mr. John C. Reed ’59

Brian K. McCumber

Maj. Robert D. Tyson ’62, USA (Ret)

Mr. Scott P. McCumber ’88

Maj. Robert D. Tyson ’62, USA (Ret)

Mr. N. John McManus ’50B Mr. Yerbury G. Burnham ’50B and Mrs. Burnham

Mr. Robert I. Morgan ’65 Mr. Albert M. Orgain IV ’65 and Mrs. Orgain Mr. Russell C. Proctor III ’65

Mr. Harold L. Reed ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Alfred S. Robertson ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Daniel B. Robertson ’52 Mr. David R. White ’52

Mrs. Lucy Catlett White Robins Mr. John E. Robins Sr.

The Honorable Thomas R. McNamara ’46

Capt. James P. Rogan ’62, USA

Mr. Thaddeus J. Meler ’48A

Mr. Henry L. Rucker Jr. ’40

Mr. John M. Morgan ’49C

Lt. Col. George H. Scherer ’55, USAR

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret) Mr. Thomas R. Meler ’62

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Lt. Col. William G. Morris ’63, USA Mrs. William G. Morris

Robert L. Morrison ’40, MD

Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret)

Col. T.A. Moseley

Mrs. Calder L. Hope

Belvey W. Mundy Jr. ’40, PhD

Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret)

Mr. John L. Nugent ’49A

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Frank J. O’Connor Jr. ’55, MD

Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Tait ’55, USA (Ret) and Mrs. Tait

Mr. Earl B. Odom ’64

Col. John R. Cavedo ’64, USA (Ret)

The Honorable Nelson T. Overton ’49B Mrs. Nelson T. Overton

Louis S. Pappas ’72, MD Mr. Ronald L. Gault Jr. ’71

Mr. Norman M. Purdy Jr. ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Robert A. Raeburn ’51

Mag. Gen. James H. Marshall ’51, USAF (Ret)

Mr. Vincent J. Ragunas ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

J.C. Rasmussen Jr. ’65, PhD Mr. Wayne D. Chiles ’65 Mr. Marshall Henry III ’65 Mr. John S. McEwan II ’65

2010-Issue 1

Maj. Robert D. Tyson ’62, USA (Ret) Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret) Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Tait ’55, USA (Ret) and Mrs. Tait

Mr. Vincent C. Scott Jr. ’66 Mrs. Vincent C. Scott Sr.

Jay R. Sculley ’62, PhD

Col. and Mrs. George Piegari Mr. Edward M. Plucinski ’86 Mr. William F. Stoner ’73

Mr. John W. Sheffield Jr. ’50B Mr. H. Braxton Green ’50B

Mr. Burton P. Short Jr. ’44

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Howard C. Shute Jr. Mr. Chester Waller

Lt. Col. David P. Smith ’40, USA Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret)

Col. Robert Steidtmann ’38, USMC Dr. Marsha E. Bledsoe Mr. and Mrs. Dennis H. Bowen Ms. Dianne C. Bowers Mrs. Alicia Q. Cheek Ms. Carol K. Czeskleba Betty W. Doub Bill and Betty Fitzgerald Dianne Hodges and Lucia Smithdeal Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Marini Mr. and Mrs. Fred E. Marshall Mr. and Mrs. G. David McNichols Kathleen M. Rogers Mr. and Mrs. Greg Skerven Ms. Nadine F. Tincher Mr. and Mrs. Larry H. Welch

Selden H. Stephens Jr. ’49B, MD

Mr. Harvey H. Bradley ’49B Mr. Bruce C. Cann ’77 and Mrs. Cann Mr. A. Mark Casey Jr. ’49B Mrs. Martha Crowley

Mr. and Mrs. W. Thomas Cunningham Jr. Mr. Robert A. Guthans ’51 and Mrs. Guthans Col. B.F. Harmon III ’49B, USA (Ret) Ms. Margaret F.V. McGehee Mr. Neill G. Nelson ’49B Mr. Grover C. Outland Jr. ’49B and Mrs. Outland Mr. James L. Patton ’49B Mr. Norman D. Pitman III ’81 Mr. and Mrs. Clifford B. Porter Col. Daniel G. Smaw III ’49B and Mrs. Smaw TW-6 Reserve Component OIC

Mr. Ethan B. Stroud ’44 Mr. Eric Stroud

Mr. Robert T. Strudwick ’44

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Maj. Paul R. Syverson III ’93, USA Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Syverson II

Mr. William P. Talbott ’50B

Capt. Benjamin L. Angle III ’55, USA Mr. Hoge T. Sutherland ’50B

Mr. J. Stafford Taylor ’40

Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret)

Capt. John R. Teal ’94, USA Mr. Timothy A. Froehlich

Mr. R. Cameron Thompson ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Vester J. Thompson Jr. ’40

Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret)

Mr. John W. Timmins Jr. ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mrs. Leontine M. Trappey

Mr. Randolph J. Trappey Jr. ’50B

Mr. Bruce Turner

Mr. Graham L. Undercoffer ’74

Mr. Fancher T. Turner ’40

Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA (Ret)

Ms. Mollie G. Turner Mrs. Isabel H. AtLee

Lt. Col. William R. Vivian ’32, USA

Mr. Robert P. Jones Jr. ’44 and Mrs. Jones

Col. J.E. Wales III ’35, USA Ms. Rebecca W. Andersen

Mr. Thomas B. Walker ’46

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Hugh M. Walsh ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Joseph T. Warren ’44 Mr. Everett F. Hobson Ms. Donna J. Perkins


VMI FOUNDATION, INC. Mr. Thomas M. Watson Jr. ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Edward E. West Jr. ’49A

Mr. Jeff C. Bane ’53 Mr. Robert Parker Mr. G. Allen Penniman Jr. ’49A Ms. Harriet B. West

Mr. Wyndham R. White III ’56 Mr. G. Marshall Mundy ’56

Mr. E. James Williams Sr. ’20

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Lt. Mark R. Wilson ’88, USN Mr. Brad Lett

Mr. P. Earle Wood Jr. ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. DeWitt S. Worrell ’62

Col. and Mrs. George Piegari Richard N. Willard ’62, MD

Mr. John A. Wright ’49C

Col. E.J. Williams Jr. ’49C, USA (Ret)

Mr. Elliott I. Young ’59

Mr. Richard E. Phillippi ’59

Mr. Robert J. Young ’50B

Mr. Yerbury G. Burnham ’50B and Mrs. Burnham Mr. Wilson E.D. Shepherd ’50B

Col. James Zimmerman ’37, USA Mr. and Mrs. H.J. Bingham

Matching Gifts The following companies or related foundations have made contributions to VMI, matching the gifts of alumni and friends listed under each. These gifts were received during the time frame of Aug. 1 through Oct. 31, 2009.

Alcoa Foundation

Mr. Robley L. Gerdetz ’52

The Allstate Foundation

Mr. Lawrence D. Adams ’79

Altria Group Inc.

Mr. William K. Bhatta ’76 Mr. Heartwell L. Bradshaw ’76 Mr. Curtis M. Hinton ’84 Mr. John R. Munno ’84

American Electric Power Mr. James G. Tapley ’43

Ameriprise Financial Advisor Mr. David P. Martin ’58

AT&T Foundation

Col. Harold C. Fleischer III ’69, USAR (Ret)


Mr. Edward G.S. Maxwell Jr. ’67 Mr. Joseph J. Reynolds III ’47

Bank of America Foundation Inc. Mr. and Mrs. P. Craig Todd

Bechtel Foundation

Mr. Patrick Chang-Lo ’66

The Boeing Company

Col. Randolph M. Blanks ’67, USAF (Ret) Lt. Col. Marvin O. Herbaugh Mr. Thomas E. Jenks III ’67 Mr. Roy E. Palmer Jr. ’58 Col. William B. Todd ’68, USAF (Ret)

ChevronTexaco Corporation Mr. Robert R. Laville ’51

Coca-Cola Company

Mr. Daniel F. Wells ’67


Mr. and Mrs. Richard Purpura

Dominion Foundation

Mr. Walter C. Ames III ’52 Mr. David E. Ayers ’64 Mr. Kevin M. Cordray ’80 Mr. Robert G. Gregory Jr. ’63

Eaton Corporation

Mrs. Marshall Wright

First Data Corporation Mr. Randall Nugent

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. Mr. Easley L. Moore Jr. ’65

PepsiCo Foundation

Col. Peter L. Philp ’51, USA (Ret)

Pitney Bowes Company

Mr. Benjamin W.L. Semmes III ’88

Procter & Gamble Fund

Col. Donald B. Kirchner ’70, USA (Ret) Mr. John P. Noon ’71 Mr. Reginald O. Smith ’84

Public Service Electric & Gas Company

Mr. James J. Schaffer III ’77

Raytheon Company

Mr. Fredrick L. Jones ’77

RBC Foundation-USA

Mr. Kendall D. Avery ’82

St. Jude Medical Inc.

Mr. Donald R. Craighead ’84

State Farm Companies Foundation Mr. Quinter J. Herring Jr. ’50B

SunTrust Mid-Atlantic Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Scott A. Collie Mr. Vincent A. Wood III ’81

Freddie Mac Foundation

Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc.

The General Electric Foundation

Temple-Inland Foundation

Hershey Foods Corporation

United Technologies Corporation

John Hancock Financial Services Inc.

Verizon Foundation

Mr. Charles A. DePasquale ’86 Col. John W. Lowden Jr. ’51, USA (Ret) Mr. Bernard M. Banas Jr. ’81 Mr. Robert M. Loflin Jr. ’78


Lt. Gen. Richard A. Hack ’72, USA (Ret)

MeadWestvaco Foundation Mr. Michael L. Santoro Jr. ’69

The Merck Company Foundation Mr. William Terpeluk ’75

Merrill Lynch & Co. Foundation Inc. Mr. Conrad K. Wharton ’84

Microsoft Corporation

Ms. Annelliott Willis and Mr. James Nid

Norfolk Southern Foundation Mr. Phillip R. Ogden ’63

The Northrop Grumman Foundation Mr. John B. Caulfield ’71

Mr. Steven M. Kidd ’94

Col. David R. Elliott ’61, USA (Ret) Mr. James R. Greene ’87

Mr. Edgar R. Bare ’54 Ms. Pamela F. Blair Mr. Francis E. Boeggeman ’58 Mr. Edgar L. Brown Jr. ’53 Mr. George A. Ford Jr. ’54 Mr. Scott Lee Fraser ’74 Mr. Richard W. Glass ’76 Mr. John S. Ingles ’44 Mr. R.N. Lineweaver III ’63 Mr. Gary J. Mackin ’82 Mr. J.H. Van Deventer Jr. ’62 Mr. David T. Wagner ’82

Wachovia Foundation

Mr. Charles A. Blanton IV ’01 Mr. Matthew B. Hamilton ’85 Mr. Robert B. Powell ’63

WellPoint Associate Giving Campaign

Mr. C. Timothy Gundlach ’73 Mr. Ronald K. Milligan ’78



Falconi ’10 Wins Prestigious Three-Legged Stool Award by Brad Salois Assistant Media Relations Director, VMI Athletics

VMI’s Three-legged Stool Award honors the VMI intercollegiate athlete who best personifies the three major components of the VMI educational mission – academics, athletics and military life/leadership excellence.

Cadet Audrey Falconi, class of 2010, has been named the first female recipient of VMI’s Three Legged Stool Award, which honors the VMI intercollegiate athlete who best personifies the three major components of the VMI educational mission – academics, athletics and military life/ leadership excellence. Falconi was raised in Nevada and began to play soccer at an early age. “My first memory of soccer is playing goalie at the age of 6,” said the 5-foot-1, now-defender. “My stepfather has always loved soccer, and he started me and my siblings in the sport. I was the only one who kept playing through high school and college. He’s always been a big influence in my soccer career.” Once Audrey got out from the goal’s mouth, she became one of the area’s best young players. A two-time All-State performer at Centennial High School in Las Vegas, Falconi was also recognized at that school for her academic performance. “Audrey was certainly one of my top students academically,” said Susan Salb, Falconi’s chemistry teacher at 2010-Issue 1

Centennial. “She was bright, very pleasant and always helpful. A model student, Audrey was one of those amazing kids that can balance the most challenging academic schedule with time-consuming extracurricular activities such as sports.” Indeed, Falconi excelled in the classroom, as evidenced by her valedictorian status at graduation. She credits Salb as one of her mentors, stating, “I really liked the way she taught. She was the reason I decided to major in chemistry here at VMI.” Balancing a schedule full of demands has always been a key part of life at VMI, so Falconi’s ability in high school to perform at a high level, both on the field and in the classroom, indicated a perfect fit. However, as VMI Coach Bryan Williams offers, it was a bit of a coincidental match to begin with. “We had an assistant [who was] scouting Chrissy Beach at a tournament in Florida,” said Williams, who brought in both Falconi and Beach during his first recruiting class. “We … talked to Audrey, who, at that point, only had interest from a small school in Arkansas. [Beach and Falconi] ended up coming here for their visit together, and Audrey really latched on to VMI right away.” One of the reasons for Falconi’s quick acceptance of VMI was one that outsiders might not consider likely at a military school. “I really liked the fact that when we’d pass by one of the other players, they’d say ‘hey’ or acknowledge you somehow,” said the All-Big South VMI player, when discussing that first visit to Lexington. “At my high school, there were so many people – you hardly knew anyone – and no one would really talk to you much. It was such a big change, and I think that’s the closeness of the school. When you’re forced together like [we are] here, it’s a lot easier to be friendly than not.”

Falconi ’10 Falconi’s collegiate career began well, as she led the Keydet offense during her first season on Post. Her 15 points placed her second among Big South freshman, and she earned Freshman of the Year accolades for her performance. Despite that, a switch was made. Falconi moved to the forward position early in the season but was eventually switched to the back line, where Coach Williams thought she could be of better use. “I actually went into high school wanting to play center back, but I ended up at outside midfield,” said the senior. “So when I came here, I wanted to play outside midfield, and now, I’m the center back. It was hard switching to the back line, because I almost felt claustrophobic back there, like I couldn’t leave or move. That’s how it felt the first year. Now, I’m glad I stuck with it, and I feel like I helped the team out.” It turns out that Williams was right to make the move. As Falconi took over the rank of corporal in the Corps of Cadets, she began to demonstrate leadership on the Keydets’ back line, as well. The team posted since-bested VMI records of four shutouts and a 1.81 goals-against-average and nearly knocked off top-seeded Coastal Carolina in the first round of the Big South Tournament. Meanwhile, the academic accolades began to pour in. After her sophomore campaign, Falconi made the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Third Team, an honor which she improved during each of the next two years by making the Second Team. She also was VMI’s representative on the conference’s All-Academic squad. Despite the litany of recognition, Falconi has clearly remained humble. “It’s nice being noticed for how hard you’re working, but I’m not going out and trying to win 175

KEYDET CLUB awards,” she said. “I’m just trying to get good grades and understand what I’m learning to the best of my ability. Sometimes, I didn’t even know the awards existed until I got them!” Falconi’s junior season brought perhaps the biggest change of her VMI career, as her team vaulted into serious conference contention. The then-VMI battalion sergeant was one of the major reasons for her team’s success. She Audrey Falconi, left, in action on the soccer field. earned Second Team All-State honors, and the Keydets posted their best season on record – one that ended feel like we can win regularly.” with its first postseason win, a 2-1 triumph Today, as VMI’s program continues to over Winthrop in the conference tourna- be on the upswing, Falconi remains a key ment’s opening round. contributor. She was voted runner-up for “It seems like every year I’ve been here, the Preseason Player of the Year honor and we get better and better recruits to join has lived up to that billing. VMI has equaled the program,” said Falconi about the its team record for shutouts, set each of program’s recent surge up the Big South the last two years. Yet, Falconi has quite standings. “It’s startling for us (the four an ambitious plan for life after soccer, as 2009 women’s soccer seniors) to think evidenced by the 4.0 GPA she’s carried in back to when we used to be happy to have her chemistry studies. one shot on goal in a game, and now, we “I’ve known I wanted to go to medical

In-state full scholarship donor Mohammad Khandan-Barani ’84 with his two daughters, Ryan and Megan, and Cadet Audrey Falconi ’10, second from right.

school for a couple of years,” offered the VMI senior. “Last summer, I shadowed doctors and was able to watch them work, and that just helped solidify my goal. I’m looking at VCU, the Military Medical School, a school in Arizona and one in California.” Those who have watched Audrey through the years believe she can accomplish that goal. “It has been a pleasure to watch Audrey on the soccer field and to have her both as a student and as a chemistry research assistant,” said Lt. Col. Daren Timmons, Falconi’s academic advisor at VMI. “She brings the same intensity and focus to everything: course work, lab work or athletic competition. Quietly leading by her work ethic and passionate pursuit of excellence, she is a tremendous role model for her peers.” Looking back over the past 12 years since the assimilation of women at VMI, no female athlete has matched what Falconi has brought to VMI. She came to the Institute as an athletic recruit who was and continues to be so well rounded and so focused that, even as she posted the top GPA among VMI intercollegiate athletes, her coach said of her, “I feel that as a player and team leader, Audrey would rank with the top VMI athletes who have gone before her.” Editor’s Note: After the above article was submitted, the Review staff learned that Falconi and her teammate, Alexi Staton ’10, were named to the Big South All-Tournament Team. In addition, both athletes have been named to the Big South Conference Presidential Honor Roll in all seasons of their four-year careers. Falconi was also named the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned First Team All Conference honors for the second time in her career.

Three-Legged Stool Award Winners 2001-John D. Simmons ’02, Soccer 2002-Michael N. Lokale ’03, Track 2003-Matthew D. Sharpe ’04, Football 2004-Ty E. Denby ’05, Track 2005-Christopher J. Brandriff ’06, Track


2006-Michael D. Lloyd ’07, Men’s Soccer 2007-Thomas E. Cunningham ’08, Wrestling 2008-K. Barrett Luxhoj ’09, Men’s Soccer 2009-Audrey E. Falconi ’10, Women’s Soccer

Editor’s Note: Unless stated otherwise, all articles in the Keydet Club section of the Alumni Review are provided by the Keydet Club.


Alumni Review 2010 Issue 1