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ALUMNI REVIEW 2011-Issue 3




This issue includes Class Notes covering the time period of Feb. 16, 2011, to May 15, 2011. Other than Class Notes, most stories and news in this issue were received in the February through May ’11 time frame.


18 Whitley ’34: 100 Years Old 20 Wills ’40: Escape! 23 Louis ’94: Heart Surgeon




OEF/OIF: An Update


Association/Chapter News

Periodicals postage paid at Lynchburg, VA.


Class Notes

153 Most Senior Alumni 154 Taps 165 Alumni News

DEPARTMENTS President’s Letter

170 The Institute 176 VMI Athletics 182 The Foundation 188 The Keydet Club

PURPOSE OF THE VMI ALUMNI ASSOCIATION To organize the alumni, the better to keep alive the memories of Institute life and—by their united efforts—to aid in the promotion of the welfare of the Institute, and the successful prosecution of its educational purposes. VMI ALUMNI AGENCIES TELEPHONE NUMBERS The VMI Alumni Association: The VMI Foundation: The VMI Keydet Club:

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


163 Association Directory

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

153 Births, Marriages, Degrees


Editor: Hope Hennessey Assistant Editor: Traci Mierzwa Editorial Assistant: Brenda Stoner

PRINTER Progress Printing Co., Inc. Lynchburg, Virginia

22 Boyle ’91: FBI Agent

25 Spring Reunions

PUBLISHER The President of The VMI Alumni Association, Inc.

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

New Market and Finals

24 Track Relay # 1 in World

Volume 87, No. 2


ON OUR COVER Front Cover: Members of the Old Corps who have returned for spring reunions enter Barracks for Old Yells, as current Corps cadets watch from overhead. Inside Front Cover: The class of 1991 leads the crowd in an Old Yell during the class’s 20th Reunion in April 2011. Both cover photos by Kevin Remington.



Congratulations, class of 2011, whose members graduated on May 16th and who received their commencement address from the nation’s top military leader, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. We welcome you into The VMI Alumni Association with open arms and wish you much success as you head into your chosen careers! Also, join me in congratulating Bill Paulette ’69, who became the 30th president of the VMI Keydet Club Board of Governors on July 1, 2011. Bill replaces Charles Plageman ’90, who has served as president of the board from July 2009-June 2011.

Blanks ’67

This issue of the Alumni Review includes a section on 2011 Finals, as well photos from two spring reunion weekends and the following articles: Read about retired Army Col. E. Lane Whitley ’34 and how cadets, friends and family helped him celebrate his 100th birthday. Additionally, don’t miss the story written by Bolling Williamson ’60 titled, “Escape,” about World War II hero Lt. D. Herbert Wills ’40 who was captured in the Philippines and survived brutal prison camp conditions, among other unimaginable circumstances. There are feature articles in this issue about Sean Boyle ’91, an FBI agent whose determination helped him to overcome illness and pursue his dream, and Louis B. Louis ’94, M.D., who visited VMI as a child with his father, the late Paul Louis ’45, and who found his passion in cardiac surgery. In both cases, these alumni said that VMI prepared them for the challenges they had to face. Also in the features section is a story highlighting VMI’s track relay team and the amazing # 1 ranking the team achieved in 2011. In the Foundation section of this issue, there is an article about the VMI Legacy Medallion, which is used to honor those who have made a legacy gift to VMI that is realized and put to use for VMI as the donor intended. Finally, in the Athletics section, see VMI sports highlights and updates about alumni athletes, such as Reggie Williams ’08, NBA basketball player, and Lewis Preston ’93 who has been named Kennesaw State (Georgia) Head Basketball Coach. It’s hard to believe that the new school year at VMI will be starting only weeks after you receive this issue in the mail. As the Cadre returns and the new Rat class arrives, take this opportunity to rekindle VMI bonds with other alumni in your area through chapter activities, and visit your alma mater as soon as you can. You will be amazed at the improvements that continue to be made, and you will see that, thankfully, some things – like duty, honor and the values of Citizen Soldier – are here to stay. Proudly serving you,

Randolph Blanks ’67, President The VMI Alumni Association, Inc.



At Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan, were, from left, 1st Lt. Quincy Washa ’07, Maj. Joseph Garaux honorary Brother Rat ’09, 1st Lt. Alex Lim ’08, Col. David Furness ’87 and 1st Lt. Andrea Walton ’08. Washa, Garaux and Lim are deployed with Regimental Combat Team 1, Walton is an air traffic controller and Furness is the Regimental Combat Team 1 commanding officer.

Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom An Update The following alumni names have been received since the publication of the 2011-Issue 2 Alumni Review. This update does not include alumni names received after May 15, 2011. Also, once the name of an alumnus has been listed in the Review, it will not appear again, even if the alumnus is re-deployed at a later date. Not all of the alumni listed are currently serving in OEF/OIF, but they all have served at one time. Names and photographs are e-mailed to us almost every week.

Because we have to have a cut-off date for each issue, your name and picture may have arrived past that date and therefore are not published in this issue; they will be published in the next issue. Please send additions, corrections and photographs to the Alumni Review staff at: VMI Alumni Review, P.O. Box 932, 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 1985

Class of 1999

Patton, Steven L., Civilian

Stockwell, Sean P., Lt. Cmdr., USNR

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

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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, assistant chief of staff, by e-mail at or by phone at 540/464-7104. 3

Photo above: Class of 2005 Brother Rats, Capt. Rob Gibson, USMC, and Sgt. Jason Downs, USMC, met for breakfast at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan. Photo above: In the Argandab River Valley, Afghanistan, were class of 2008 Brother Rats Alex Lamb, left, and Jordan Rich, part of the same troop.

Photo left: Christopher Kavanaugh ’96, left, and Steve Kavanaugh ’94 at Camp Victory, Baghdad, January 2011. At the time of this printing, Chris was finishing his tour in Iraq with KBR, and Steve was serving as the battalion XO for the 303D Explosive Or dnance Battalion (EOD). Photo below: At the Society of American Military Engineers Middle East Conference in Doha, Qatar, March 7-8, 2011, were, from left, John Adams ’85, Moe Gissendanner ’85, Chris Haviley ’08, Marvin Smith ’85 and Bill Bersing ’89. Photo above: Commander, NATO International Security Assistance Force/Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan General David Petraeus and Lt. Anthony Bravo ’01, USN, on April 20, 2011, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Photo left: Gathering to commemorate New Market Day 2011 and share lunch were, from left, Lt. Anthony Bravo ’01, USN; Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Pete Sniffin ’85, USA; and Nick Kron ’02 at Headquarters, U.S. Forces, Afghanistan, in Kabul.



Ransom ’01 Killed in Afghanistan Maj. Charles A. Ransom ’01, USAF, died on April 27, things from him, to include how to be a better leader. 2011, while on duty in Afghanistan. He was 31. In addition to being a high caliber officer, Charles was As a trainer assisting the Afghan National Security a good person. He put others first always and was the Forces, he was one of eight American NATO Intertype of person to give you the shirt off his back if you national Security Assistance Force service members needed it. I am honored to have worked with and known who died as a result of enemy Charles.” gunfire at the headquarters During his four years at building of an Afghan air VMI, Ransom, a computer force compound in Kabul. science major, served on the Holding the rank of captain General Committee as vice when he died, Ransom was president of the class of 2001. posthumously promoted to He was also a cadet corporal, major on May 3, 2011. platoon sergeant and Rat Secretary of the Air Force Challenge corporal. In addiMichael Donley approved the tion, he worked as a library posthumous promotion of assistant during his third, Ransom, whose home base second and first class years. was the 83rd Network OpOn graduation, he commiserations Squadron at Langley Then-Cadet Charles Ransom, front row, center, sioned as a second lieutenant was the class of 2001 vice president. He will be Air Force Base, Virginia. in the Air Force. At the time of his death, remembered for his loyal support of his Brother The class of 2001 issued the Rats and his reliable friendship. Ransom had been selected following statement regardfor major by the Central ing Ransom’s death: “The Selection Board and was class of 2001 mourns qualified for appointthe loss of our Brother ment. “The secretary of Rat and vice president, the Air Force approving Charles Ransom. Charles Maj. Ransom’s promowill be remembered for tion is very fitting,” said his loyal support to his Maj. May King, the InteBrother Rats, as well as grated Network Operahis reliable friendship. tions and Security Center During a speech to the East flight commander. class after Breakout in “Last year, Charles was 1998, Charles promised selected by senior leaders he would be a fighter for for promotion to major all of us. He was. Charles based on his record of continued that fight for performance. Prior to his country as an officer the decrease in monthly in the U.S. Air Force and promotion increments, died serving in harm’s Charles would have been way on our behalf. The Maj. Ransom sent the above photo to his friend and Brother promoted to major some great love of our class Rat, Alex Tedla, shortly before he was killed in action. swells for Charles and time ago. I am very happy his family. You will be so that [Secretary Donley] greatly missed, Brother Rat.” honored the selection and promoted him.” Ransom is survived by his father, Willie D. Ransom; King called Ransom an officer from whom he could mother, Marysue Ransom; brother, Stephen (Vanessa); learn and the kind of person who was always willing to girlfriend and partner, Naquita Bassfield; five uncles; help others. “The saying is that you learn something seven aunts; a large extended family; and countless from everyone, good or bad,” King said. “Working with friends. Charles for the past three years, I’ve only learned good

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Snapshots and Updates from Wranek ’85 in Afghanistan

Photo top, left: U.S. Forces, Afghanistan (USFOR-A) Ops and Plans Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Pete Sniffin ’85 outside the USFOR-A headquarters building. Photo taken by Lt. Col. Wranek ’85, USAR. Photo top, right: Capt. Sean A. Wolf ’06, USA, standing next to the fallen soldier memorial in Bagram, Afghanistan. Wranek, who took this photo, said, “We ran into each other in April [2011] as Sean was completing a highly successful 28-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.” Wranek continued, “Sean started out as the deputy brigade Intelligence officer (S2) for Task Force White Eagle in Ghazni Province, which was a combined staff of U.S. and Polish personnel. His initial tour was extended a year later, and he went to work for the 82nd Airborne Division Combined Joint Intelligence officer (CJ2). His final job in theater was with the 101st Airborne Division Deputy CJ2X Section, which is a staff section that oversees human intelligence collection and counterintelligence activities throughout Regional Command-East, headquartered in Bagram. At the time of this photo, he was the acting CJ2X officer in charge, because the 101st Airborne Division had [returned] to the U.S. His tour came to a close in April [2011] with the arrival of the 1st Cavalry Division advance party that took over his responsibilities. Sean is now working on his master of military history degree at Norwich University [Northfield, Vermont], and he’s planning to continue his military service in the Army Intelligence community.” Photo lower left: According to Wranek, who took this photo, Lt. Col. Travis Mabrey ’90, USA, is serving in Kabul, Afghanistan, as an advisor to the Afghan Ground Forces Command (GFC). “He is responsible for mentoring the


Afghan National Army Corps logistics officer (G4) in building and sustaining their forces throughout Afghanistan,” explained Wranek. “He is also responsible for building the organizational structure of the GFC, both personnel and equipment. [Travis] deployed with me on the same team from the 29th Infantry Division, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Our deployment spans [the time period of] November 2010 through October 2011.” Photo lower right: Wranek, left, with John Adams ’85, USA. Adams is chief of the Engineering and Construction Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Afghanistan District-South. Wranek works with the Combined Joint Engineer Branch at the International Joint Command Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. He wrote that the two crossed paths in March 2011 at Forward Operating Base Lindsey in Kandahar, Afghanistan.


Extended VMI Family Supports Brown ’09 in Afghanistan A few years ago, Becky Ruffin, Jenny Brown and Robbin Brett baked and put together care packages for their children in college. Today, they have recruited a small army to make sure that Brown’s son, Christopher ’09, and 43 other soldiers get a care package once a month. Christopher Brown is a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army who is stationed in southern Afghanistan with the 1-32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. His unit is teaching their counterparts in the Afghan National Army and police how to maintain order. Before his unit left for Afghanistan, Brown’s mother; his aunt, Robbin Brett; and Ruffin, a close family friend, started Operation LSC (Love and Support of Christopher) to ensure each soldier in his company would get a care package once a month during the year-long deployment. Volunteers gather monthly in Norfolk, Virginia, to package snacks, toiletries, books and magazines, holiday decorations, and other items these soldiers have come to cherish a world away. It is no small task, considering the amount of items needed and the cost to mail the boxes, which runs about $1,000 a month. “It was important to Christopher that each soldier in his company get a package,” said Ruffin. “We recognize that not every soldier has this kind of support network at home, and it has been wonderful to know how much they appreciate them. The goodwill experienced by the soldiers and our volunteers has been incredible.” Jenny Brown and Robbin Brett are sisters (the daughters of the late Jim Atkinson ’55), and Ruffin became a part of the extended family as their children grew up together. Earlier this year, they sent a letter to friends and family inviting them to take part in Operation LSC by donating items for the care packages and money for shipping and to help box them up at once-a-month gatherings. They currently have 177 e-mail addresses on their list of supporters, and as few as 50 to as many as 80 people help put the care packages together each month. “We began receiving packages as soon as we got to our combat outpost,” said Christopher Brown. “The morale of my platoon, as well as the rest of the company, has been through the roof because of LSC. It seems like the best packages come on the hardest days for our company, which is a huge factor in keeping the soldiers’ spirits high.” The first boxes began to arrive in early April with an Easter theme, followed by a spring break-themed package in May. The troops shared kites that came in the second package with children in neighboring villages; they have enjoyed watching the kites fly from their outpost. While the project is not affiliated with the Institute, VMI is well represented among the volunteers, and Christopher Brown appreciates the support. His father, Eddie Brown ’81, has enlisted the help of some of his Brother Rats in the area, and those of his grandfather have joined in, too, as has Ruffin’s father-in-law, Dr. Willcox Ruffin Jr. ’52. “I heard about the network and connections that VMI produces long before I applied, but at the time, I only thought of the network pertaining to civilian jobs in the states,” said Christopher Brown. “Now that I’m on the other side of the globe, I’m seeing the legitimacy of the VMI alumni network. In addition to Keydets from multiple classes showing up at the LSC meetings in Norfolk, I’ve also received letters and e-mails reminding me and all of my guys of the continued thoughts and prayers from back home.”

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Photo, top: Packing boxes at the May 2011 Operation LSC meeting in Norfolk were, from left, Ed Brown ’81, father of Christopher Brown ’09; Sam Hill ’ 55, a volunteer; Robbin Brett, Christopher’s aunt and daughter of Jim Atkinson ’55; Becky Ruffin, close family friend; and Jenny Brown, Christopher’s mother and Atkinson’s daughter. Photo, center: Brown next to a large pile of unopened Operation LSC boxes that had just arrived. Photo, bottom: Members of Brown’s company in Afghanistan, holding items they’ve received from the U.S. via Operation LSC. Brown is kneeling, second from left.

Ruffin said she has found the multi-generational aspect of the project to be rewarding and hopes what she and her fellow volunteers are doing for Christopher Brown’s company will be replicated for many other soldiers. “So many of our volunteers have said they wanted to do something for the troops but didn’t know how,” said Ruffin. “I’m glad we have given them the chance. Not only are we supporting our troops, but we are giving them a way to reach out to the people in Afghanistan. It’s been great, and I feel privileged to be a part of it.” For more information, go to


New Market Day


May 15, 2011


Graduation Parade, Class of 2011

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Top U.S. Officer Sends Off VMI Graduates defending us,” said Mullen. “Nearly 1,500 VMI graduates have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including Capt. Charles Ransom, class of 2001, one of nine Americans killed in a tragic shooting at the Kabul International Airport. He was in Afghanistan, training his counterparts to serve their country, as he was his.” Mullen cited the service of Dan Caine ’90, who was among the first pilots in the air to intercept potential threat targets on Sept. 11, 2001, and Michael Shupp ’81, who commanded the main effort during the Battle of Fallujah in 2005. He also commended graduating cadets Nicholas Harrelson, who [is] deploying to Iraq for the second time with the 29th Infantry Division, and Dan Jones, who matriculated in 2004. When Jones crossed the stage to receive his diploma, Mullen, the Corps of Cadets, faculty, staff and guests honored him with a standing ovation. Last July, the Marine Corps sergeant was wounded by an improvised explosive device while on active duty in Afghanistan. It was his second deployment; the first, to Iraq, took him away from his studies in September 2007. Mullen also praised the Institute and the VMI superintendent, Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62 [USA (Ret)], for having the highest percentage of commissioning cadets in 20 years – nearly 60 percent of the graduates have or [as of this writing] will soon commission. To encourage the graduates to excel in the military and in civilian life, Mullen called upon the legacy of Gen. George C. Marshall, class of 1901, whom he credited with exhibiting the qualities of decency, competency, character and selflessness. “Few things are more vital to an organization than a leader, and selflessness was the greatest of Marshall’s qualities,” he said. “If there is ever a choice between personal advancement and an institution’s needs, you must choose the institution. Marshall served where his nation needed him most; During his address, Adm. Mullen noted the service of several VMI alumni it can’t be about you. who have fought in the war on terror, including Sgt. Dan Jones ’08, USMC. “There will always be challenges to face, In July 2010, Jones was wounded by an improvised explosive device while on and the country will need men and women active duty in Afghanistan. It was his second deployment; the first, to Iraq, like you,” he added. “We need you. All of took him away from his studies in September 2007. Immediately following his injury, Jones, who matriculated in 2004, was quoted as saying, “If I walk in us are counting on you.” May [at commencement], I’ll walk with my Rats’ class.” When Jones crossed Editor’s Note: Adm. Mullen’s commencethe stage to receive his diploma, Mullen, the Corps of Cadets, faculty, staff ment address is printed in this section of and guests honored him with a standing ovation. the Alumni Review.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was among the first to congratulate the members of the VMI class of 2011 who participated in commencement exercises when he delivered an address in Cameron Hall on May 16, 2011. The last time the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff addressed graduating cadets was in 2004 when Gen. Richard B. Myers visited the VMI post. “Let me be among the first to thank you, class of 2011,” said Mullen, who has previously served as chief and vice chief of naval operations and commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe. “While I’m at it, let me take this opportunity to thank fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and grandparents, who I know have been incredibly supportive and loving over the course of these four years and, indeed, over the course of your entire lives.” The admiral thanked the staff and faculty of the Institute for their role in developing today’s young military and civilian leaders and remembered those who are currently serving. “A world away, there are more than 200,000 men and women



Remarks by Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62 Superintendent Commencement May 16, 2011

Adm. Mullen, Mr. Slater, Members of the VMI Board of Visitors, Members of the Academic Board, Faculty and Staff, families and friends of today’s graduating cadets and members of the Corps of Cadets of the Virginia Military Institute … welcome to this Commencement Ceremony … the climax of four years of diligent study and hard work by the class of 2011. I have the great pleasure as we begin this morning’s ceremony to welcome Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of

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Staff, who will address the graduating class. Adm. Mullen will be “formally” introduced in a few moments by the first class president; however, I want to take this opportunity to extend my personal welcome to him … and Mrs. Mullen … and express, on the part of the entire VMI community, our sincere appreciation to both of you for being with us today. Adm. Mullen is the highest ranking officer in the U.S. Armed Forces and the President’s principal military advisor. Since taking office as chairman in October of 2007, he has focused his efforts on defending vital national interests in the Middle East; resetting, revitalizing and reconstituting the Armed Forces after years of conflict; and daily balancing near and far term decisions that impact global risk. On his watch, we have seen many positive accomplishments, including the most recent success by our special operating forces. We thank you, Sir, for your presence at the Institute today … and for your untiring duty and patriotic service to our nation. Graduation from VMI is a great personal achievement, but it is an achievement that cannot be reached alone. Many others have contributed to the success of today’s graduates: parents and grandparents, guardians, brothers and sisters, friends, Brother Rats, faculty, staff, coaches, and host families, to name but a few. VMI is “particularly” grateful to parents and grandparents for encouraging and sustaining their sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, throughout these cadet years. May I ask parents and grandparents to please stand and receive our thanks? ... This is certainly a proud day for you. Universities and colleges are many things to many people, but I’ve always felt that at the heart of any great institution of higher education is its faculty. They are the ones who teach, guide, counsel and encourage young people on a day-to-day (cont. next page)


basis. I include in this group our military staff and those who coach our athletes … for, at VMI, we believe that the academic and physical aspects make for a “full and complete” education. Please join me in expressing thanks to the Institute’s faculty. The class of 2011 matriculated in August 2007 with a strength of 463 … and today will graduate 246 cadets. One hundred and nineteen members of the class of 2011 took their commissioning oath yesterday and received the rank of second lieutenant or ensign. Many others will be commissioned immediately after graduation upon completion of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps summer training; through our nation’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) program; or [through] attendance at the U.S. Coast Guard Basic Officer Training School. Greater than 57% of the class of 2011 are commissioning … reinforcing VMI’s historic mission of producing citizen-soldiers. Many VMI cadets, staff and faculty have been called to active duty in support of the current war on terror, thus placing their lives and cadetships temporarily on hold. In addition, there are parents and family members – and others in the audience this morning – who have served. Would all of you “patriots” who, in the current conflict and at other times, have served please stand and receive our appreciation for your service? I want (now) to thank the class of 2011 for your leadership and all that you have accomplished over your four years. When you entered VMI in 2007, yours was the largest matriculating class to date … and today, you represent the largest graduating class in VMI’s long history. You marched in memorable parades for President Obama’s inauguration, for former Vice President Dick Cheney, for Governor McDonnell and for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. As first classmen, you led the Corps in a way that embraced Old Corps traditions with high standards. A tough Ratline that remembered New Market, a strong emphasis on the Rat-Dyke relationship, increased “transparency” in Honor Court procedures, solid performance by your athletic teams and a Corps trip to the University of Virginia that demonstrated very well the school spirit that characterizes VMI. I thank and commend your class president, Mr. Manning; Mr. Gerardo, your regimental commander; and Mr. Gingrich, president of the Honor Court for their leadership this year. Privates and Rankers


alike of the class of 2011 leave Barracks today as a very tightknit and proud class. And finally, I salute you for your actions over four years, while living much of that in a construction zone … as you witnessed and lived with the construction and dedication of Third Barracks and the renovation of Old and New Barracks. I commend you for your “patience and perspective.” I congratulate you on your important academic achievements: scholar athletes, leaders nationally in undergraduate research, impressive graduate school attendance, impressive commissioning awards and numbers, and many toptier academic awards. These accomplishments add to the luster of your class and to the reputation of the Institute. As cadets, you have witnessed many changes at VMI, especially in the physical plant, but also in academic programs and procedures. More importantly, taking a larger view, in four short years you have also witnessed monumental events and developments that have changed the world, including natural disasters of epic proportions, democratic revolutions in North Africa and the

Middle East, a major economic recession, and the development of such technological advances as Facebook and Twitter that have fundamentally impacted how we communicate, to name but a few. Change will continue and “will accelerate.” VMI has prepared you well to adapt to changes that will come, and I’m confident you will flourish and succeed. Commencement marks and celebrates the end of a period of intense and concentrated formation and the beginning of a long period in which you will apply what you have learned. The lessons you have learned at VMI and the habits you have developed will remain with you and guide you throughout your life. Remain true to them. Hold onto the concept of honor that is the foundation stone – the very bedrock – of VMI. Seek ways to serve your community and your nation. Use your talents to their utmost … and strive to develop new talents, new knowledge and new directions. People will hold you to a higher standard, because you are a VMI graduate. This high expectation cannot be avoided … it comes with the ring and the diploma … Embrace it as the heritage that has been passed on to you by former graduating classes, and strive always to preserve and enhance it. On behalf of the Institute and its alumni, I extend to you our sincerest congratulations on your many accomplishments and offer best wishes on the new adventures you are about to begin. VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

Remarks by Adm. Michael Mullen Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Commencement Monday, May 16, 2011

Good morning. It’s great to be here with you. And just to remind the class, this is VMI; it is Monday; it is graduation day. And I’m wondering when the last time you slept was. Days like this showcase why VMI is such a special place and why this institution is so fortunate to have Gen. Peay [’62] at the helm. General, thank you for your hospitality, your leadership and for the invitation today. To our faculty, friends, alumni, citizen-soldiers and all those who love VMI, I truly am honored to be here. I’ll also extend a special welcome to our graduates from Canada, the People’s Republic of China and Thailand. You represent three great nations with superb military traditions of their own. And you remind all of us that we live in a connected, interdependent world – serendipitously, I host my counterpart from China this week; he just arrived last night – and thank each of you for making this experience richer for everyone. VMI is renowned for building leaders for [all] walks of life, while remaining a crown jewel of Virginia’s public university system. And you have the accolades to prove it. Ranked among the top three liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, a top-20 engineering program, you were even ranked among the nation’s best educational bargains. Although, the Corps would be quick to tell you that money is not the only way you pay your dues around here – particularly if you’re measuring it by the pushup. In fact, the cadets graduating today have experienced hand-to-hand combat, suffered extreme deprivation and trained in conflict across the military spectrum. And that was just to find a parking spot. There are a lot of smiles out there among the class of 2011, but deep down inside I know you already are missing this place, 2011-Issue 3

perhaps even tearing up a little bit about the things you’ll miss: No more marching on the Parade Deck; no more CTT; no more sumptuous dining at the Club Crozet – although I did hear the paninis are pretty good – and most of all, no more running the block. Now, Mom and Dad and other family members are wondering what all this has to do with the hard work, discipline and sacrifice they’ve been hearing about these past four years. But as the [parents] of two sons who graduated from a military school, my wife, Deborah, and I recognize that turning your child over to an institution with this kind of tradition represents a journey all its own for parents. As one mom in the audience said, it is so hard knowing that your children are going through something difficult without you being there, but the journey is worth it. And Jo Ann Redmond should know, because as the mother of Angela, Stephen and Thomas, the first triplets to graduate from VMI in its history, she and her husband, Gary, have had more than their fair share of fun on this journey. I can only imagine what laundry day is going to look like tomorrow at the Redmond house. Of course, every parent, grandparent and family member here deserves great credit. You’ve weathered the long drives to Lexington, the tough phone calls back home and the far more limited time with your daughter or son than their friends at civilian schools. You’ve even picked up a completely new language – learning terms like “Ratline,” “Rat mass,” “Rat” this, “Rat” that, “status check,” and a myriad of other phrases and acronyms that were all but indecipherable back in the fall of 2007. And as you look upon these exceptional young women and men, it may be hard to imagine that the little boys or girls you once held are now the accomplished adults you see before you. Although I know at least one mom who lamented, “We still can’t get him to clean up his own room back home.” I’ll see if I can’t do something about that problem before I leave. But based on memories of my sons’ rooms, I can tell you there are real limits to a four-star admiral’s power. So, Moms and Dads, savor this moment. Now you can empty out all those closets full of old action figures and (cont. next page)


grade school trophies, hold a garage sale, turn their bedrooms into that office you always wanted and for the first time in 22 years, finally go on vacation alone. Of course, the journey we truly celebrate today is the one taken and about to be taken by the class of 2011. You stood your last formation, walked your last penalty tour and even completed your last Taps Challenge. And this speech remains the only thing between you and the next chapter of your lives. Well, all I can say is, strap in and hold on. They told me I could talk as long as I want. Some of the guys in the front row are not laughing. You don’t need to look so worried; Macado’s isn’t even open yet. Yet, as we smile about milestones met and celebrations soon to unfold, I think it’s important to remember that a world away there are more than 200,000 young women and men deployed defending us. The reality is that since Sept. 11, 2001, this has been a tough fight, and we’ve lost some tremendous young men and women. VMI is no stranger to the sacrifice; nearly 1,500 graduates have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, 13 of whom rendered the ultimate sacrifice. Just two weeks ago, Deborah and I were in Dover to witness the return of one of your own, Capt. Charles Ransom, class of 2001 – one of nine Americans killed in a tragic shooting at Kabul International Airport. Charles served as vice president of his class year and left an indelible mark on those who knew him. In their tribute to Charles, his classmates remembered that after breakout in 1998, he promised he would be a fighter for all – that, he was. “The great love of our class swells for Charles and his family. You will be so greatly missed, Brother Rat.” [As written in a statement from Ransom’s class following his death] Capt. Ransom was in Afghanistan training his Afghan counterparts to serve their country, as he was his. We will never forget his sacrifice; we will never forget his sacrifice. His story reminds us that this generation has been profoundly tested and that VMI has risen to the challenge. From Col. Dan Caine, class of 1990, an F-16 pilot who was among the first to take to the air to protect the Capitol following the attacks of 9/11, to Marine Col. Mike Shupp, class of 1981, who commanded the main effort during the battle of Fallujah in 2005, to your classmate Daniel Jones who is participating in this ceremony today, men and women of VMI have bravely stepped forward during this decade at war. Dan, who graduates today, was wounded by an IED on a dismounted patrol in the Helmand province in Afghanistan. He almost lost his leg, but imbued with an exceptional drive and resilience, he will be walking across this stage with the rest of his classmates today. And there is Nick Harrelson, who was recently told he will be deploying for a second time 14

to Iraq. Nick has been allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies so he can receive the diploma that he worked so hard for but leaves shortly to begin preparations for his next deployment with the 29th Infantry Division. Yesterday, 150 of you stepped forward to join Charles, Dan and Nick in commissioned service to our nation. That this commissioning rate is the highest in 20 years stands as a testament to the sense of duty here and the culture of service Gen. Peay and his staff have created at this storied institution. But if you’re anything like me, when I received my commission in 1960-whatever, you may be wondering what awaits you out there in the real world and if you will really know what to do. Many of those answers reside right here in what you’ve learned as both citizen and soldier in the finest tradition of VMI. One young man who heeded those answers, George Catlett Marshall, class of 1901, more than a century later has come literally to define them. Now, I realize that I’m among a fellowship here that appreciates this remarkable American more than most. But for me, particularly during these last four years advising two presidents with our nation at war, Gen. Marshall’s qualities and his values have resonated all the more. His decency, his competence and character rightfully make him a man who Winston Churchill called “the noblest Roman of them all.” Equally important, Marshall, from his earliest days both offered and welcomed loyal dissent. In World War I, he was famed for being the only major on the Western front to stand up to Angry “Black Jack” Pershing. Despite predictions that Maj. Marshall was finished, Gen. Pershing sought out that independent-minded major and would become a towering figure in the life of the younger officer who had the courage to tell it to him straight. This quality will serve any graduate well, but in the military, it is vital. Right from the start, your leaders need your best military advice, even if she or he graduated from The Citadel. In short order, you will be making decisions, caring for your troops and offering your advice up the chain of command, just as surely as you will receive it. Few things are more vital to an organization than a leader who has the moral courage to question the direction at which the organization is headed and the strength of character to support whatever final decisions are made. That’s real loyalty, and it only gets more important the higher you rise in the ranks. But perhaps the greatest of all [of] Marshall’s hallmarks was his selflessness. This is not to say that Marshall was not ambitious; he wanted to command and lead at the highest level. It’s a desire I hope many of you possess, as well. But this desire must be balanced with VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

the understanding that if there is ever a choice between personal advancement and what is best for the institution, you are expected to – you must – choose against your own self-interest. Gen. Marshall understood this intuitively. As the architect of the plan for Operation Overlord, the job to lead the Allied invasion of Normandy was his for the asking. Who but Marshall deserved it more? The premier soldier of his peer group, Marshall kept faith in an Army facing the most austere times in modern history, spending 14 years as a lieutenant, a decade as a lieutenant colonel and waiting 15 years for promotion to colonel – to colonel after first wearing that rank in World War I. As a student of military history, Marshall knew the man who led the Allied effort would be a leader for the ages. But knowing he was needed most at President Roosevelt’s side, he demurred, allowing a younger Dwight Eisenhower the opportunity of a lifetime. We are fortunate that those close to the scene recognized that true greatness also resided in the measured and courtly general from VMI. Secretary of Defense Stimson, after the defeat of Nazi Germany, told Marshall, “I want to acknowledge my great personal debt to you, Sir, in common with the entire country. No one who was thinking of himself can rise to true heights. You have never thought of yourself.” By giving up what he most desired, Gen. Marshall served where his nation benefitted most. Today, I would like to think Gen. Marshall would be proud of the service rendered by so many Americans in and out of uniform around the globe today. For almost 10 years, members of our military and our intelligence community and many other public servants have worked silently and selflessly to support our operations. They embody a culture of persistence, of working together, and remembering that when

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it comes to serving our nation, it can’t be about you. But our work is not done. Our country faces many challenges at home and abroad, and even if we wished to, we cannot shrink from our responsibilities. Quite simply, the stakes are too high. Whether we consider the successful transition of responsibilities in Iraq, our ongoing efforts in Afghanistan, or the hope and potential of the Arab Spring, we must remain engaged if we wish to pursue the world that our children, our grandchildren deserve. That is why I travel so often to see things through others’ eyes, why I visited my counterpart in Pakistan 23 or 24 times. And as challenging as engaging others with different views may be, the alternative of abandoning these partners and these regions is far worse. We have gone down that road before, and it’s one that leads to isolation and resentment, ultimately making our nation less secure, as we deceive ourselves into believing that ignoring these challenges will somehow make them go away. In my four decades of service, I have learned that it is hard to predict the future. But of this, I am sure – there will always be challenges to face, and we will always need young women and men like you. We look for leaders of courage and integrity willing to step forward in the military, in government and in society to help America meet our greatest needs. And we stay true to the principles and spirit of the institution, of our nation and leaders like Gen. George Marshall. Their memories, the ghosts of greatness so ever-present here in Lexington, now look down upon you, class of 2011. And all of us are counting on you, cheering you on and eternally grateful for who you are and all that you will do in service to our nation. Thank you. God bless, and go VMI. Note: Transcript by Federal News Service, Washington, D.C.


More Than 100 New Officers Commissioned On May 15, 2011, the annual May commissioning ceremony at VMI marked the transition from student to career military officer for more than 100 cadets who joined the armed forces. “This oath is at the core of our values,” said Gen. Robert W. Cone, commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. “You have big shoes to fill, but you are the best, because you come from the best.” Cone led the oath of office for more than 60 cadets commissioning into the Army. Maj. Gen. John M. Croley, deputy commander of U.S. Marine


Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia, and commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces South in Miami, Florida, administered the oath to the 28 cadets commissioning into the Marine Corps. Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of Naval Operations, gave the oath to 13 cadets joining the Navy. “Yesterday, you were cadets, but today you are brimming with limitless potential and promise,” said Maj. Gen. Darren W. McDew ’82, commander, Air Force District of Washington, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, to the 21 cadets commissioning as Air Force officers. “You are leaders. You may be whatever you resolve to be; you saw it a thousand times – now live it.” Following the oath, cadets attended the individual pin-on ceremonies that are specific to each branch. “I’m a little nervous, but I am glad to be moving on to this stage,” said newly commissioned Army 2nd Lt. Mike Long. New Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Brian Harding was heading to The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, for his first six months of training. “I’m just excited right now; I’m ready for the next stage of life,” Harding said. “I’m keeping my options open for the future; right now, I just want to be a good officer.” Ensign Alex Scaperotto, a native of Gainesville, Virginia, is pursuing submarine warfare at the Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina. Reflecting on four years at VMI, Scaperotto said: “It’s strange; it all came to a sudden stop. Last week, I was cramming for exams; today I’m an officer.” For Air Force 2nd Lt. Justin Simmons, the commissioning ceremony was the culmination of a dream Simmons has had to fly airplanes since he was 6 years old. Simmons said VMI transformed him from a “punk in high school” to his goal of becoming an Air Force pilot. “It was definitely the road less travelled, but it was worth it. VMI was like the slowest day of my life but the fastest four years.” In Memorial Garden, where new Air Force second lieutenants gathered for their first salute, McDew recalled the moment 29 years ago when he accepted his commission as a VMI cadet. “I would do it all over again in a minute, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Every brick wall I hit was worth it. But remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. There are no barriers except the ones you put up for yourself.” Editor’s Note: In his commencement remarks, Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, USA (Ret), superintendent, stated: “The class of 2011


matriculated in August 2007 with a strength of 463 … and today [May 16] will graduate 246 cadets. One hundred and nineteen members of the class of 2011 took their commissioning oath … and received the rank of second lieutenant or ensign. Many others will be commissioned immediately after graduation upon completion of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps summer training, through our nation’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) program, or [through] attendance at the U.S. Coast Guard Basic Officer Training School. Greater than 57% of the class of 2011 are commissioning … reinforcing VMI’s historic mission of producing citizen-soldiers.” Also, in Adm. Mike Mullen’s commencement remarks (in this section of the Review), he praised the Institute and Gen. Peay for having the highest percentage of commissioning cadets in 20 years. Mullen is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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Cadets Help Whitley ’34 Celebrate 100th Birthday It’s not often that a VMI alumnus gets with the Appalachian Power Company in serenaded by cadets, but that’s just what Roanoke. From 1941-46, he served in the happened to retired Army Col. E. Lane U.S. Army, first as part of the 1st Cavalry Whitley ’34 in April 2011. In addition to from his commission at VMI and later joining about 80 well wishers in singing with the 1st Armored Division, where he “Happy Birthday” to this distinguished put his engineering skills to work ensuralumnus and centenarian, Cadets David ing the troops in Europe had power. McCown, Anton Stelly, Heather Schmidt “Dad has shared lots of World War II and Ryan Schmidt sang “The VMI Spirit” stories with us,” said Whitley’s daughter, and “The VMI Doxology” during the Margaret Allen. “In fact, three years ago, birthday reception. he spoke to his great granddaughter’s “It was a privilege to join the cadets and sixth-grade class at Central Academy many other guests who honored Lane Middle School in Botetourt County about Whitley on the occasion of his 100th his wartime experience.” birthday,” said Buddy Bryan ’71, Following the war, Whitley served in vice president of the VMI Foundathe Army Reserve and returned to Appation, Inc. “He is a fine example to lachian Power where he worked until his alumni of all ages: an exemplary retirement in the early 1960s. His “seccitizen-soldier and extraordinarily ond career” included traveling around loyal alumnus who has served the the world and to all 50 states. E. Lane Whitley ’34 at his 100th country, the Institute and the Whitley has remained a loyal alumnus Birthday Party in April 2011. class of 1934 both honorably and over the years, serving as a class agent well.” and returning to Lexington to attend A native of Galax, Virginia, Whitley received a bachelor of reunions, alumni meetings and sporting events. Allen fondly science degree in electrical engineering in 1934 and took a job remembers the days when her father took her to the VMI/

Whitley with his grandchildren.


Whitley with family.


Virginia Tech football game on Thanksgiving Day in Roanoke’s ice, loved to dance to big band music,” said Allen. “Brandon Victory Stadium. His latest visit to VMI was in 2009 to cel- Oaks has parties every month, and Dad dances with the help of ebrate his 75th Reunion. his walker. We enjoyed a special “I appreciated being a camoment two years ago when he det and what they taught danced with his granddaughter us,” said Whitley, who lives at her wedding.” at the Brandon Oaks reAllen said her father’s recent tirement community in birthday celebration was an Roanoke. “I liked the place event her family will cherand have enjoyed keeping ish. He was surrounded by up with it.” many friends and family, and Allen said the keys to her it was fitting that VMI was well father’s long and healthy life represented among his well are daily walks – he typically wishers. walks a half to a whole mile In addition to singing two of each day – and reading. He Whitley’s favorite songs, the also loves to dance. VMI cadets presented him with “Dad and his late wife, Jan- One of two birthday cakes for Whitley. a commendation from the superintendent, his class picture and a leather-bound book on the Institute.

Whitley blowing out the candles on his birthday cake.

Whitley reviewing a gift from VMI – a leatherbound-book on the Institute – with Cadet Ryan Schmidt.

Buddy Bryan ’71, vice president of the VMI Foundation, Inc., far left, with Cadets David McCown, Anton Stelly, Heather Schmidt and Ryan Schmidt singing “The VMI Spirit.”

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Escape! By Bolling Williamson ’60

Wills ’40


he old freighter steamed slowly through the humid tropical night. Packed on the forward well deck and guarded by Japanese soldiers manning machine guns, 1,250 American prisoners were being transported from the Philippines to Japan. The evening offered some respite from the heat of the day, and the men looked longingly at the white beaches on the shoreline a couple of miles away. One of them, Lt. D. Herbert Wills ’40, was thinking of how his chances to escape were slipping away. The voyage had begun several days earlier, when the men had been rounded up at their labor camp, trucked to the pier at Davao (Philippines) and loaded onto an old tramp steamer. After sitting at anchor for two days in the sweltering heat, they were joined by another cargo ship, and the little convoy, accompanied by two gunboats, steamed southward through the inland seas toward the southern-most island of Mindanao. From there, the ships would then make a dash across the open seas, which were actively patrolled by American planes and submarines, to Japan.

Japanese attacked in December 1941. The enemy troops steadily advanced toward Manila, and as the Americans retreated onto the Bataan Peninsula, the Scouts were relegated to fighting like infantry in a rearguard action. With no hope of reinforcements or resupply, the Americans’ situation became desperate, leading to extreme measures. “I suppose we’re not the only cavalry outfit that has eaten their horses instead of riding them,” Wills remarked ruefully to his sergeant. He was hospitalized with malaria when the Americans surrendered in April, so he missed the “Bataan Death March.”(See Note 1.) Nevertheless, he was sent to the brutal Cabanatuan Prison Camp in the Philippines where life was a continual battle for survival,

The Japanese soldiers quickly herded all of the prisoners into the hold below deck and closed the hatches. The heat was stifling. With 1,250 men breathing, the oxygen gave out quickly, and it was a long night. The next morning, several men were taken topside for a work detail: they were ordered to erect a fence around the railing using the six-foot square, wooden life rafts. Wills was in the group that went topside, and as he worked, he noticed a space between a few of the wooden latrine boxes, which were already tied to the rail, and some of the life rafts they were setting up. It might be possible for a man to squeeze through. He surreptitiously moved a couple of boxes in front of one space to make a step up to the rail and began formulating his escape plans. The next evening, a soft rain was falling. Many of the men were topside, huddled under sections of canvas and enjoying the fresh air. Soldiers were posted by the rail every few yards, standing guard. Earlier, Wills had outlined his plan to a friend: “First, I’ll go over the rail on the seaward side, so that they will think I’m a crazed prisoner who can’t take it anymore. They won’t send the gun boats after me.” By acting suicidal, Wills also figured that the Japanese wouldn’t shoot nine other prisoners, which was the price during the early days of the war. “Next, I figure if I can hit the water 10 feet away from the ship, I’ll stay clear of the propeller,” he continued. “Then, I’ll swim around the stern toward shore.” “How about sharks?” said Wills’ friend. “They’re all around this area.” “I’ve heard that sharks don’t feed at night,” Wills replied. “I’ve got a compass, a burning glass and a bunch of medicines I scrounged from the work farm, which I’ll put in a couple of socks and tie around my waist. Once I get ashore, I’ve got enough knowledge of living off the jungle that I can make it for six months,

“I had made up my mind – I was not going to Japan.” Lt. D. Herbert Wills ’40

and the death toll mounted to 30-40 a day from poor conditions and diseases. After six months, he was included in a group of 1,000 men who were transferred to a work colony at Davao – a working plantation that provided food for the Japanese. Although the work was hard, the men were able to supplement their diet, and their condition improved. In early 1944 as the Allies advanced steadily westward toward the Philippines, the Japanese made plans to move the prisoners again – this time to Japan.

The Plan

Cavalry without Horses Wills was a lieutenant in the 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts, when the 20

Aboard ship later that evening, Wills heard shouts, a splash and several gun shots – someone had gone over the side.


if I don’t meet up with friendly natives first.” Wills later learned that what he had heard about sharks was wrong – they definitely feed at night.

“… His Wet Bayonet Gleaming” Later that evening, the man sitting on deck next to Wills made a trip to the latrine and returned. Wills announced that he had to go, too, and asked a friend to look after his canvas shelter half. Slouching over as if he was sick, he approached a soldier huddled in his raincoat and asked permission to use the latrine. “OK, OK,” was the grunted response. Wills shuffled over as if to climb up to the latrine, then suddenly moved toward the boxes he’d arranged earlier which were four feet away. Stepping up on the second box, he stood on the rail as the guard screamed. “Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him lunge in my direction, his wet bayonet gleaming in the rain,” recalled Wills. “He was too late.” Wills leapt over the rail and landed hard; the water smacked him in the face and tore at his prisoner coveralls. When he reached the surface, he could hear a burst of machine gun fire and feel the concussion of grenades exploding close by. Swimming around the stern of the ship, he looked up and saw a looming black hulk – the second ship in the convoy was bearing down on him. Kicking as fast as he could, he saw the ship pass about 30 feet away and heard another flurry of shots and bullets smacking the water. Two red flares went up; Wills floated motionless until they burned out. Then there was silence. The two ships faded away into the darkness. He floated for a few minutes in the still darkness and started to laugh – “I felt better than I had for a long time.” Turning over, he could make out a dark line on the horizon and made for it, stopping frequently to rest and to reorient himself at the crest of a wave. The work he had done at the penal farm undoubtedly gave him the stamina to make the swim. Nevertheless, he acknowledged there were times when he was almost too tired to take a stroke. After a time, he heard a new rhythmic noise over the 2011-Issue 3

sound of the waves splashing around him and realized it was the breakers on the beach. This gave him a second wind, and finally, his hand touched sand. He tried to stand but found that his legs were too weak, so he lay in the shallow water for awhile before crawling up onto the beach. He’d made it. Regaining some strength, he moved about on the beach trying to warm up and then scooped out a spot near some rocks, covered himself with sand and went to sleep.

The Rest of the Story… The next day, Wills followed a trail which led inland and came across a village with friendly natives who fed him and put him in touch with guerillas. He spent several weeks recuperating and healing his feet and posted a letter to his parents in Lynchburg, reassuring them that he was in good shape and adding, “I’m not coming home until I settle a few scores here.” After serving as a unit commander and operations officer with the Philippine guerillas, he returned to the United States in May 1945. Wills retired from the Army in 1968 with the rank of colonel. Along with the Silver Star, his decorations included the Distinguished

Flying Cross, which was earned in part for participating in a couple of bombing raids. Flying in a single-seat fighter bomber, Wills had squeezed into the cockpit with the pilot, who sat in Wills’ lap to fly the airplane while Wills directed him to Japanese positions he’d found while on patrols in the jungle. In this and other ways, he made sure that he had settled a few scores before finally returning home. Note 1: The Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer, by the Imperial Japanese Army, of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II. The grueling, 60-mile march through the scorching heat of the Philippine jungles resulted in the deaths of thousands of prisoners. The march was characterized by wide-ranging physical abuse and murder inflicted by the Japanese army and was later judged by an Allied military commission to be a Japanese war crime. References: 1) The Sea Was My Last Chance by Donald H. Wills; McFarland & Company, Inc. (Jefferson, NC, and London); 1992. 2) Dallas Morning News, Sept. 1, 1963; pg. 14.

The name of the ship from which Wills escaped is not known, but it could have been the one shown above. This is an artist’s rendition of the Brazil Maru, one of several ships known to have transported prisoners from the Philippines to Japan. Painted by Kihachiro Ueda.


Sean Boyle ’91: Serving His Country and VMI Like many alumni, Sean Boyle ’91 sought a unique experience and a challenge when he chose to attend the Virginia Military Institute. His desire to serve in the military directed his college search to military schools, and VMI fit the bill. “During my junior year, I realized I wanted to go to a military college, and I began looking at the Naval Academy, The Citadel and VMI,” said Boyle. “After visiting VMI’s picturesque open post and participating in a new cadet recruiting weekend, I was hooked. I abandoned my applications to every other college except VMI.” Boyle came to VMI from James W. Robinson High School in Fairfax, Virginia, which is named after a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient. Robinson’s story of service and sacrifice inspired Boyle, who wanted to follow in his footsteps. Boyle’s desire to serve also was influenced by his father, Michael, and grandfather, Robert, who both worked as agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). “When I was young, I used to love to hear my dad talk to my mom about the day’s work over the dinner table, and I marveled at the stories he told about working cases, arresting criminals, as well as the stories involving the office personalities,” said Boyle. “As a youngster, it was all very exciting, but as I got older, I was exposed more in person to the office life and personalities in the field offices where he worked. I learned that the FBI ‘family’ is a strong family; everyone works hard, often under monotonous and sometimes harrowing circumstances.” Before he retired in 1996, Boyle’s father was an FBI agent for 27 years, supervising investigations of bank robberies, fugitives, white collar bank fraud cases and interstate transportation of stolen property. His grandfather was an FBI agent from 1935-46, and he led investigations targeting Nazi saboteurs who were infiltrating the East Coast during World War II. He achieved the position of assistant special agent in charge before leaving the FBI to become a prosecuting attorney. He later served as a circuit court judge in southwest Michigan. Boyle’s interest in becoming a third-generation FBI agent grew during his teenage years, and he realized he needed a college education and solid work experience to achieve that goal. “The military was known for providing good work experience, and my father confirmed that such service would look good on an FBI application,” said Boyle. “I also wanted a college that was more challenging and honorable than a ‘normal civilian college,’ and VMI was the obvious answer.” Boyle made the right choice and upon graduation, he commissioned into the U.S. Army, serving with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Field Artillery (155 Mechanized), 3rd Infantry Division in Bamberg, Germany. Before Boyle returned to civilian life, his plan to become an FBI agent hit a speed bump when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The diagnosis was a massive blow both mentally and physically to a young man who had never experienced a serious health issue, but he faced it with the same determination he exhibited upon arriving at VMI. When his father assured him he could fight the cancer, he told him, “Dad, it’s just another Ratline.” “I sensed that my plans of becoming an FBI agent could be in jeopardy, but I knew that if I could make it through the Ratline


Boyle in May 2010, holding military blocks of TNT. “That truck is about to be turned into scrap metal,” he wrote.

and four years at VMI, I had an excellent chance of finishing this ‘new ratline’ and beating the cancer,” said Boyle. “Following eight months of chemotherapy and rediscovering the determination and commitment from my VMI experience, the cancer went into remission. Then, after pushing myself to get back in shape and much to the surprise of the FBI physicians, I was in new agents training five months later.” Coincidentally, Boyle, his father and his grandfather all became FBI agents at the age of 26. He worked in the Miami Field Office for a year before he learned that the cancer had returned. He returned to Walter Reed for treatment, and two months of radiation sent the cancer back into remission. Since then, Boyle has been back on the job with no restrictions. “I give full credit to VMI for the mental and physical gymnastics all alumni are exposed to and forced to cope with and manage for my ability to sanely survive two bouts with lymphoma,” said Boyle. “VMI also taught me that we are capable of so much more than we think we are; the Institute provided the environment to test and prove that fact.” Today, Boyle is a supervisory special agent bomb technician and team leader on a hazardous devices team charged with rendering safe any improvised or state weapon of mass destruction. He also serves as the principal firearms instructor for the Critical Incident Response Group stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico. “The military training, leadership and responsibility I received both at VMI and in the Army have directly contributed to my successes in the FBI,” said Boyle. “Most of the people I work with or who work for me are former military, and we all have very similar backgrounds with regard to integrity, work ethic, stress management and commitment to duty. We also know how to smile and kick back at the end of a tough grind.” Boyle has not forgotten what he gained from his VMI experience, and he gives back to the Institute as a volunteer. Since he was transferred to the D.C. area nine years ago, he’s been active with the George C. Marshall Chapter of the Alumni Association, serving as secretary and president. He’s also a regional director for The VMI Alumni Association, Inc., representing Region XI, Metro D.C. He’s been a panelist for alumni networking forums and has participated in alumni law enforcement seminars. Boyle and his wife, Amy, live in Manassas, Virginia, with their three sons, all of whom have provisional appointments to VMI.


VMI Was the Only Choice for Surgeon Louis ’94 Grew Up Observing Close Bonds of Father’s Class The late Paul A. Louis ’45 always encouraged his son, Louis B. take a commission,” said Louis. “I gravitated Louis ’94, M.D., to attend any college he wished. However, for this toward the surgeons in medical school, member of the class of 1994, VMI was the only choice. because they were most like the can-do “My dad came to VMI from Miami in 1941 on a football scholar- guys I knew and admired at VMI. It’s a good ship,” said Louis. “He left to serve in World War II as a B-26 bomber fit, because I really love what I do, and my pilot and became a POW in Germany. At war’s end, he returned to team draws from the very leadership styles Louis ’94 Post to pick up his transcript, planning to finish elsewhere, but his I learned at VMI.” roommate, Maj. Gen. James Morgan ’45, convinced him to stay.” In fall 2010, Louis was appointed lead He graduated from VMI with the class of 1948B and returned surgeon for the heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory to Miami where he was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1950 and support program at University Hospital and assistant professor of founded the law firm now known as Sinclair, Louis, Heath, Nuss- surgery at the University of Cincinnati (UC). He joined Cardiac, baum & Zavertnik. He was a member of the Florida Bar Board of Vascular & Thoracic Surgeons, Inc., and was recruited by the pracGovernors and the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission and tice along with the Department of Surgery at UC Health University was admitted to the United States Supreme Court Bar. Hospital and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Louis remembers visiting VMI at the age of six with his dad. He “At my 10-year [VMI] reunion, I was still in training,” said Louis. was fascinated by Post, and the idea of attending his father’s alma “I took a bit of ribbing from my Brother Rats for that. By my 15th mater grew on him as he went through school and began to envi- reunion, I was the guy giving the orders. As an assistant profession his future. Throughout the years, Louis observed the close sor, I take pride in training the next generation of cardiothoracic camaraderie and lifelong bonds of friendship among the class of surgeons.” 1945 Brother Rats – which his father treasured – and found these In addition to the strong preparation for his medical training, men to be great role models. Louis appreciates the benefits of having attended a small, liberal Louis considered following in his father’s footsteps as an attor- arts college. He took part in the Virginia Program at Oxford, an ney, but when he was in high school, Paul Louis encouraged him experience that enabled him to pursue his passion for the arts. to shadow an emergency room physician, and that opportunity “VMI not only well prepared me to pursue a career in medicine, sealed his fate. He came to VMI to study biology and eventually but it enabled me to explore other things I enjoy, as well. I didn’t pursue medicine. come out of VMI as just a biology geek; I’m a liberal artist at “There are many things that I appreciate about VMI, but the heart,” said Louis. VMI allowed me to appreciate the humanities most important academic aspect of being a cadet to me was that and the military aspects of the Institute, which have broadened it prepped me for the first year of medical school,” said Louis, who my horizons and enriched my life.” attended the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “Much of what I experienced that first year, I had already been exposed to with VMI’s biology curriculum. The rigors of Institute life also enabled me to keep up with the demands of med school.” While well prepared academically, Louis found the adjustment from the VMI culture to that of medical school quite challenging. In fact, it has been the toughest challenge Louis has faced in his medical career. “I was naïve about the environment in medical school, and it took a while to adjust,” said Louis. “I never had to compete for grades before and found the highly competitive culture of medical school to be a place where students worked against one another rather than as a team.” Louis survived and thrived, finding his passion in cardiac surgery. He completed his fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at The Ohio State University and was brought on The late Paul Louis ’45, left, with as an assistant professor of cardiothoracic roommate Maj. Gen. James Morgan Louis at the age of six during a visit to VMI with his parents. His mother, surgery, specializing in the treatment of ’45, who convinced Louis to stay Nancy, shown above with Louis, heart failure, including transplantation and and complete his degree at VMI after remains actively involved with her Louis returned from serving in World implantation of artificial hearts. husband’s class. War II. “At VMI, I never held rank, and I didn’t 2011-Issue 3


Track Relay Team Ranked Number One Worldwide It might not be the loneliest sport in the world, but distance running would certainly fall within the top 10. It doesn’t attract a widespread following, either. Consequently, the performance of VMI’s 4X800 relay team at the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletics of America (IC4A) Championships in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 6, 2011, did not receive a lot of coverage outside of track and field circles. Despite this, the team posted the fastest time in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for the event in 2011, and the International Association of Athletics Federation – the world’s governing body for track and field – placed the Keydets at the top of their rankings for that event: the #1 team in the world. It is a noteworthy accomplishment and a tribute, not only to the capabilities of the team but also to the heart and determination of each of the runners. In the preliminaries, the team posted the fastest time in a field of 20 teams. The next day in the finals, the runners stepped up again: Dean Gonsalves ’13 got the team off to a strong start with a performance that beat his seasonal best time by more than three seconds with an opening leg time of 1:52.14. Andrey Dmitriev ’14 followed with a 1:51.59, well under his seasonal best time. The third leg was run by Jacob Lysher ’14, who logged a personal best time of 1:52.33 and who fended off a surge by a competitor. The anchor was Felix Kitur ’11 who made his move from the fourth position with approximately 200 meters to go. At the 100-meter mark, he passed the leader and steadily opened a lead which amounted to 10-15 meters at the finish line – “making it look way, way too easy,” in the words of one observer. Kitur’s performance was even 24

more remarkable after considering that his time of 1:47.45 was faster than the one he posted two hours earlier when he won his second-straight individual IC4A championship in the 800-meter race. The team’s time of 7:24.70 is the fastest time in the country in at least two seasons., one of the Internet’s leading track and field websites, featured the team’s record-setting performance and made the following observation on Kitur’s participation: “In an era of self-absorption and a focus on the individual, many were probably surprised that Kitur even ran the relay, as his [time in the 800-meter semi-final race on Saturday] was unlikely to make the NCAAs, and he might want to better his time on Sunday.” Kitur not only bettered his time, he also helped his team win the championship – VMI’s first indoor relay title in the IC4A

Championships. The winning time of 7:24 broke the school record set in 1979. Coincidentally, that record was set by a team that included the first VMI track man to hold a national record: Henry Sanchez ’85, in the 500-meters. Each of the four runners ran a lifetime-best split, either in the preliminaries or the finals. In doing so, they brought on great credit to themselves and to the Institute. (Editor’s Note: See articles about Kitur and the 4X800-meter relay team, as well as individual races on pages 176 and 178 of this issue.) Sources: article,03/08/2011, 03/06/2011; 03/08/2011. The Corps Roots the Loudest by Thomas W. Davis ’64; University of Virginia Press, 1986; pg. 183.


First Spring Reunion

April 25-26, 2011

Reunion photos by Traci Mierzwa and Kevin Remington.

Classes of 1936, 1941, 1946, 1951 and 1956

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Second Spring Reunion April 29-30, 2011

Classes of 1971, 1981, 1991 and the Honored Class of 1961



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Share the Day, Share the Fun! by Nichole Kramer ’03 New Cadet Recruiting Officer, VMI Alumni Association

Each spring, VMI Post gears up for numerous visitors and many future cadets. Some future cadets just happen to still enjoy playing Red Rover rather than driving a red Range Rover. This is certainly the case when potential cadets arrive on post for Legacy Day – one of the most beloved of all spring activities for cadets, alumni and visitors alike. Legacy Day is an annual family event that takes place at VMI each March, so that children of alumni can learn about the Institute through fun and engaging, age-appropriate activities. This year, as we “shared the day and shared the fun” on Saturday, March 26th, we were blessed with dry weather and a short visit from the sun. Though Cocke Hall was ready for us in case of rain, the cooperative weather allowed us to enjoy activities in various outdoor locations around Post. More than 125 alumni and legacies, as young as two and traveling from as far as Ontario, Canada, enjoyed touring Barracks, trying on VMI uniforms, dining among current cadets in Crozet Hall and learning about New Market through a Civil War Round Table reenactment. Thanks to the S-5 Public Relations cadet staff, a few new events were introduced, and Moe, VMI’s mascot, spent the day with us, too. We reintroduced DRC, complete with drums and review, to the current Corps, as the legacies formed up on the bricks, learned some drill basics and marched down to lunch. I think the Corps was impressed by our discipline – I’m sure we could have gotten some points toward a Garnett Andrews award. Also, 32

the legacies were afforded the opportunity to receive a haircut in the cadet barbershop, an opportunity accepted by 16 boys and girls. Some even got their parents’ approval to ask for full-blown Rat cuts! In the afternoon, the Barracks Challenge kicked off on the Parade Ground which was the perfect chance for the legacies to put on their Legacy Day, commemorative “jersey,” gym dyke t-shirt. Paired with a current cadet, each participating legacy competed in a relay consisting of typical things a cadet must do to get ready for the day. Lots of hays were tightly rolled, and you could have seen your reflection in a few of the freshly polished pairs of shoes. All in all, Legacy Day 2011 was a great day, and those of us involved can’t wait for the next one! Stay tuned to the VMI Alumni Association website (vmialumni. org) for information regarding next year’s 18th Annual Legacy Day, or contact Nichole Kramer ’03, New Cadet Recruiting Officer, at or at 800/444-1839.


ASSOCIATION NEWS 2011 Spring Alumni-Cadet Networking Forum by Eric Hunter ’08, Placement Officer It was a sight to see – a room full of cadets with their heads down and pens moving as fast as possible. No, we were not in a classroom; we were in the Activities Room of Moody Hall listening to Derek Bogdon ’01 speak at the 2011 Spring Alumni-Cadet Networking Forum. On April 2, 2011, The VMI Alumni Association, Inc., and VMI Career Services held the second Alumni-Cadet Networking Forum of the 2010-11 academic year. Over 80 cadets attended and gleaned knowledge and advice from 20 alumni, who represented 11 graduating classes, ranging from 1966 to 2010. For the event, our keynote speaker was Derek Bogdon ’01, the New England Region Manager for Covidien. The title of his presentation was “Predict the Future by Creating It.” He spoke on three areas: Top five Skill Sets of a Graduating VMI Cadet, Top five “Hang Ups” with the Generation Graduating from College Today and Marketing Yourself with a “Brag Book.” This event was structured a little differently from our December forum. We had three breakout sessions, which consisted of discussion topics and industry groups. The first two sessions focused on pre-selected discussion topics, which included: Building a Strong Network, Career Action Plan, Interviewing, Professional Development, and Resume and Cover Letter Development. The last session covered five industry groups: Business/Sales/Investments and Finance; Engineering and Technical; Government/Government Contracting; Law Enforcement; and Legal. The cadets really enjoyed the change of pace and continually mentioned that each session was extremely helpful and informative. The Career Networking Committee intends to constantly improve the events and continue holding two each academic year. For 2011-12, we will hold the first forum on Dec. 3 and the second in March. If you are interested in becoming a part of the alumni-cadet networking experience, please contact Eric Hunter at or by phone at 800/444-1839.

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Use your QR reader to get direct link to VMI Alumni Mobile! Just scan the barcode above.

Forum Panelists Photo below: From left, back row: Hunter Trumbo ’90, Charlie Ramsburg ’66, Daniel Welsh ’10, Eddie Desch ’10, Tom Puskas ’74, Ken Morris ’81, Mike Meads ’94, Randolph Williams ’66, Jack Keane ’80 and Frank Saul ’03. Front row: Dan Conn ’80, Eric Hunter ’08, A.J. Schmaus ’03, Jon Ferro ’10, Grover Outland ’81, Jessica Schmaus ’04, Derek Bogdon ’01, Marc Barthello ’81, John Weeda ’93 and Tom Bersson ’80.


ASSOCIATION NEWS Three Tips For Selecting a LinkedIn Profile Picture by Eric Hunter ’08, Placement Officer, VMI Alumni Association

If you were meeting someone new, whether in a business or personal setting, would you introduce yourself with your back turned toward the person? You’re probably thinking that this would be a ridiculous thing to do. Well, we do it virtually every day on LinkedIn, the popular social media networking website, by not having a profile picture uploaded to our accounts. While on LinkedIn, we are connecting with other business professionals with whom we may wish to develop a business-to-business relationship. After hearing about a person, reading about him or her, or after speaking on the phone, it’s only natural to want to connect the name or voice to a face. Below are three tips for selecting a LinkedIn profile picture: When selecting a profile picture, consider the following suggestions:

It should not look like you were up all night or just rolled out of bed. You can never go wrong with business attire, and you may want to invest in professional headshots.

Only Have You as the Subject Don’t cause a new connection to wonder which person in the picture is you. For obvious reasons, you should not upload a picture of yourself flipping burgers with friends at a tailgate party.

Warner ’03

Use a Real Picture Don’t use a business logo, cartoon or other picture, such as a sunset or statue, as your picture. If you’re a business owner, set up a separate business profile to display your business logo.

Make Your Picture Professional/Pleasant/Approachable Ask yourself, “What do I want my first impression to be?”

It’s very important to allow for the immediate connection of your face with your name, class, experiences and expertise. Again, your LinkedIn profile picture should be a real picture, be professional and only have you as the subject. See the photo of Doug Warner ’03 accompanying this article for a great example of a LinkedIn profile picture.

The VMI Alumni Association group currently has more than 1,600 members. Join LinkedIn today and start connecting professionally with other alumni. The photo of Doug Warner ’03, above, is an excellent example of a LinkedIn profile picture. Doug is the George C. Marshall Chapter president and a member of the Young Alumni Committee, VMI Alumni Association.

Arkansas Chapter Holds Annual Picnic “We had 22 folks in attendance at our Annual Arkansas Picnic,” wrote Jim Dittrich ’76, who submitted this photo. According to Dittrich, attendees represented classes from 1946 – John Naill – to 2005 – Mark Conley, which was a 59-year spread. Shown at left, from left, are Andy and Sarah Clark, Denise Falls, Dave Walsh ’90, Scott Falls ’81, Spencer Walsh, Gordon Bailey ’69, Reed Walsh, Jim Dittrich ’76, Pat Bailey, John Naill ’46, Nita Clark (wife of Billy S. Clark ’43), Cam Vogel, Mark Conley ’05, Matt Vogel ’04, Caroline Robinson, Kitty Eldridge, Al Robinson ’77, Ted Goodloe ’65 and John Eldridge ’48B. Missing from the photo were Tish Dittrich and Ken Walters ’87.



ASSOCIATION NEWS Piegari Receives Honorary Alumnus Award at Board Dinner

As announced in the previous Alumni Review, 2011-Issue 2, Col. George Piegari, professor emeritus of mathematics, has been designated an honorary alumnus by The VMI Alumni Association Board of Directors. Piegari joins a list of only 25 other non-graduates to receive the honorary alumnus designation. Alumni Association President Randolph Blanks ’67 presented the award plaque to Piegari and also presented a VMI locket to Piegari’s wife, Melou, during the April 15, 2011, Alumni Association Board Dinner. The recognition affords Piegari with the same full benefits and privileges of more than 21,000 VMI alumni. Photo above, left: VMI Alumni Association President Randolph Blanks ’67, right, presented the honorary alumnus award to Col. George Piegari, center, which he shared with his wife, Melou. Photo above, right: A professor emeritus of mathematics, Piegari had a 35-year career as a member of the VMI faculty. He has been a well known student advocate and mentor, who also has enthusiastically supported VMI

athletics, along with his wife. Photo above: The Piegari family with Siobodan Stipic in the Moody Hall library. The Piegari’s were Stipic’s host family while Stipic attended VMI.

Hawaii Chapter Commemorates New Market The VMI Alumni Association Hawaii Chapter got together at the Kaneohe Marine Base Officers’ Club on May 12, 2011, to commemorate New Market Day. Attending were, from left, Steve Grzeszczak ’86, Mike Ceroli ’85, Dan Darnell ’75, Tom Smyth ’58 and Chapter President Russ Takata ’74.

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ASSOCIATION NEWS Nashville Chapter Holds Breakfast Meeting The Nashville/Middle Tennessee Chapter of The VMI Alumni Association met for breakfast in the home of Dick and Linda Knight on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. Fred Silver ’50B was the senior man, and Todd Baldwin ’06 was the junior man. Attending were, from left, front row, Mark Bristol ’88, Trey Kirby ’96 (chapter president), Steven Kidd ’94, Charlie Sanger ’82, and Eric Smith ’98. Back row: Jan Essenburg ’71, Dick Knight ’70, Don (Hap) Reisch ’73, John Manley ’64, Todd Baldwin ’06, Fred Silver ’50B and John McLemore ’70. Not shown but present was Will Fuller ’87.

SC Coastal Chapter Elects New Officers Alumni Association Recognizes Contributions of Brinkley ’84

At the Feb. 4, 2011, SC Coastal Chapter meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, Keydet Club CEO and guest speaker Greg Cavallaro ’84 formally recognized the chapter, its former president, Jerome Brinkley ’84, and the new chapter officers, including newly elected President Brendan Kearney ’03. Cavallaro presented Brinkley and the chapter with a formal resolution from The VMI Alumni Association. The background theme of the evening was athletics, since the Keydet basketball team was playing Charleston Southern and the wrestling

team was in a valiant fight against The Citadel during the same weekend. The event was held at the Point Grille in the Charleston Harbor, adjacent to the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Yorktown. Attending were Al Aksomitas ’74, Mike Arendt ’96, Jerome Brinkley ’84, Howard Chapman ’68, John Dubose ’69, Brent Dunahoe ’83, Vance Eaton ’04, Mike Efremov ’84, Leven Harrison ’02, Steve Hively ’72, Brendan Kearney ’03, Mike Pilley ’90, John Runyon ’80, Sam Scott ’51 and Guy Wilson ’68.

Photo, top, left:Keydet Club CEO Greg Cavallaro ’84, far right, was the event guest speaker. With him are John Dubose ’69, center, and Guy Wilson ’68, far left. Photo middle, left: Stephanie Brinkley, Jerome Brinkley’s wife, with Al Aksomitas ’74, center, and Vance Eaton ’04. Photo below, left: The new SC Coastal Chapter officers are, from left, Chapter Representative Steve Hively ’72, Vice President Mike Pilley ’90, Secretary Jerome Brinkley ’84, President Brendan Kearney ’03, Treasurer Mike Arendt ’96 and Member-at-Large John Runyon ’80. Photo below, right: Former Chapter President Jerome Brinkley ’84 making remarks to the chapter. Brinkley is now the chapter’s secretary.




Rappahannock Chapter Recognizes New Market Day: The Rappahannock Chapter gathered on May 15, 2011, at the Mathews Yacht Club in Mathews, Virginia, for a New Market Day dinner. Chapter Vice President Rich Duke provided the photo.

VMI Lacrosse Gets Great Support in Georgia In February 2011 when the VMI lacrosse team played Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and won the game 15-9, the group, pictured below, witnessed and celebrated the occasion. During halftime were, from left, Tom Jones ’69, M.D., and wife Elizabeth; Thatcher Watson ’50B; Duke Addison ’82 and wife Penny; Pasty Watson; Doug (Coach) Bartlett; and Lt. Gen. Perry Wiggins, USA, and wife Annette. The Wiggins and Addisons are parents of VMI lacrosse players Dallas Wiggins ’12 and Christian Addison ’14, respectively. According to Doug Bartlett who submitted this photo, the game was the first-ever Division 1 lacrosse game to be played in Georgia.

Greetings in Germany Gen. Jeffrey Smith ’79, USA, right, and Col. George Seiferth ’82, USA, left, exchanged greetings at the assumption of command ceremony for U.S. Army Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. Smith is the commander of 5th Signal Command in Wiesbaden, Germany, and Seiferth is chief of the U.S. Army Europe Headquarters Relocation Task Force.

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ASSOCIATION NEWS VMI-First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Group Richmond, Virginia A lunch group that began several years ago with just a few Richmond alumni has grown into a large monthly gathering. At noon on the first Wednesday of each month, approximately 25 people congregate at a local restaurant for lunch and story-swapping. While the menu is not fixed and individual orders can be placed, a surprisingly large number of burgers and fried onion rings are served. There is no formal program and no officers. Charlie Miller ’42 serves as the unofficial sec-

retary and keeps a roster which he circulates from time to time, so that telephone numbers and e-mail addresses can be updated. One member of the group says that most of those who attend are “seasoned” alumni, although as shown in the photos, a few younger, less seasoned alums have joined in. (Many thanks to Tommy Williamson for his tireless photography efforts and to his brother, Bolling, and Charlie Miller for the inside scoop.)

At lunch on May 4, 2011, were, from left, around the table, photo top, left, Stuart Seaton ’41, Charlie Miller ’42, Coleman Rice ’49C, Bill Noftsinger ’49, Maurice Menefee ’58, Jack Tiller ’54, Mickey Woodward ’53, Robert Palmer ’65, Ed Jones ’42, John Halsey ’43, Buddy Metz ’45 and Bill Hallett ’47. Photo bottom. left: Also attending the May 4th lunch and seated at the opposite end of the table were, from left, Ralston Brooke ’50, Ed Smith ’50, Luke Witt ’53, Bunny Tucker ’37, Harry Lee ’47, Jim Morris ’53 and Floyd Moore ’53. Another lunch gathering, this one on June 1, 2011, was attended by, from left, photo top, right, Ralston Brooke ’50, Ed Smith ’50, Bunny Baldwin ’41, Bunny Tucker ’37, George Hutter ’52, Maurice Menefee ’58, Ben Harmon ’49 and Morton Eggleston ’59. Photo middle, right: Also attending on June 1st and seated at another table were, from left, Bill Wray ’63, Jim Morris ’53, Claiborne Terry ’54, Bill Hallett ’47, Henry Scott ’47, Charles Terry, Buddy Metz ’45 and Charlie Miller ’42. Photo bottom, right: Attendees at the third table on June 1st were, from left, Will Charlet ’01, Sam LaNeave ’01, Jack Tiller ’54, Mickey Woodward ’53 and Robert Palmer ’50.



ASSOCIATION NEWS Spellman ’85 Shares Photo of Freedom Tower, NYC When former VMI Alumni Association President Jim Spellman ’85 submitted this photo in May 2011, 68 stories of the new #1 World Trade Center, originally called the “Freedom Tower,” had been completed. “It will top off at 104 stories and 1,776 feet,” wrote Spellman, “[which is] 50 feet taller than the top of the antenna of original tower #1, destroyed on 9/11. I know that many haven’t seen ‘Freedom’s Rising,’ so I thought I’d bring it to them.” Spellman holds a senior position with the state attorney general’s office in New York City.

Alumni Race in Charleston

At the 34th annual Cooper River Bridge Run – the fourth largest 10K race in the world – were, from left, John Aydlette ’90, Anthony Brinkley ’92 and Jerome Brinkley ’84. The race took place in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 2, 2011.

Ice Fishermen Land a Big One Taking a break during their ice fishing trip on Lake Winnisquam, New Hampshire, were, from left, Dan DeLawyer ’93, David Youngclaus ’93, Maj. Mark Cameron ’94, USMC, and Doug Bartlett, former VMI lacrosse coach and a current Keydet Club vice president. Cameron is holding a 19inch rainbow trout, about which Bartlett wrote, “[It] was pushing three pounds … had we caught it a week earlier during the Ice Fishing Derby, it would have brought us at the very least $7,000” or maybe even the first place prize of a $23,000 fishing boat. “Classic story of a day late and a dollar short, but [it was] still fun to be with the former [lacrosse] players,” concluded Bartlett.

Chance Meeting at Fort Bragg As he left the Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Officers Club less than a week after returning from deployment in Kuwait, Maj. Sean Lanier ’94, USA, left, ran into Col. George Seiferth ’82, USA, center, and Ted Kientz ’79, right, who are both based in Germany. Lanier wrote, “The dead give-away that caught my eye was Ted’s First Class belt buckle!”

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Richard H. Knight ’70

Greetings to the class of 1935! I received a long, handwritten letter from Jane Ferrell (Mrs. William Barksdale Ferrell) of Vero Beach, FL. A class agent “lives” for such a letter. Mrs. Ferrell, who asked me to call her Jane, is 92 years young and quite remarkable. She’s driving, and she occasionally drives non-stop to her ancestral home in Virginia (11 hours) – by herself. Jane says that she has a “fuzz buster” in the car because, without it, she’d have to stay within the speed limit! Jane spoke of her husband’s love of VMI. In the 1950s, Nip and Jane would often drive to Lexington for football games in their brand new Ford Thunderbird, one of the first sold in Richmond. Nip would remove the hardtop, and away they would go. Nip had two words emblazoned on the doors of that now-classic automobile: “The Spirit.” After graduation, Nip entered the insurance business and eventually acquired an insurance agency. When the war intervened, Nip went on active duty with the Army Air Force and was stationed in England for two years. Years later, Nip and Jane moved to Florida where Nip went into the commercial real estate business. Today, their son, Tuck (“Nip” and “Tuck”), runs the company, and Jane sees him daily. Their daughter, Merri, lives on Long Island. Nip was an aviator, and by 1937, he owned a plane. He was also an accomplished skin diver, and for years Nip and Jane sailed the Caribbean to enjoy his sport. They also were frequent visitors to Middle Tennessee, and I was delighted to learn that we have many friends in common. Nip and Jane were married 63 years. Nip was a “wonderful husband and father, and successful in everything he undertook. He was the love and joy of my life.” Thank you, Jane. I hope to see you when I am next in Florida. When I moved to Nashville in 1980 to work for National Life and Accident Ins. 40

Co., one of the first alumni I met was Garth Edmund Fort, M.D. Dr. Fort was National Life’s chief medical officer and the brother of Rufus E. Fort Jr. ’31 and Dudley Clark Fort ’34. Their father had co-founded National Life, and all three brothers had risen in the ranks from lowly debit insurance agent to high office. All three of them were exceptionally outgoing, and they made an effort to welcome me to Nashville and to revive the local Nashville alumni chapter, which we did. The class may enjoy this little story about Garth’s older brother, Rufus. In October of 1931, while ’35 was just getting “adjusted” to the Ratline, Rufus was working an insurance debit in Chicago. The World Series was underway, and the Yankees were there to play the Cubs. Rufus bought a ticket and squeezed into Wrigley Field. It was at this game that the immortal Babe Ruth “pointed” to the outfield stands … and then homered. It is undisputed that the Babe hit a homer, but did he really point to the outfield stands? Rufus swore that he did. (Incidentally, I looked at the ’35 Bomb and saw that “Little Rufus” was Garth’s nickname. Would someone please explain that?) Garth, Rufus and Dudley were very proud of their little sister, Cornelia Fort (1919-1943), an accomplished aviatrix. I remember them telling me that Cornelia was flying over Pearl Harbor very early Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941, as the bombing began. She saw the planes as they approached. (This scene is briefly shown in the film, “Tora! Tora! Tora!”) Not long afterward, Cornelia joined the Women’s Army Corps, and in that service she ferried military aircraft from the West Coast to the East Coast, until an unfortunate aircraft accident ended her all-too brief life. Several years ago, several Nashville alumni petitioned the United States Postal Service’s “Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee” to issue a stamp in commemoration of Cornelia Fort, the first woman to lose her life in the line of duty during World War II. We did not succeed, despite the endorsements of Tennessee’s entire congressional delegation. We are going to try again, probably on the 100th anniversary of Cornelia’s birth, in 2019. (For more information on Cornelia Fort, please

visit the Internet and type her name into any search engine.) In March, I had the pleasure of attending the Class Agents’ Conference in Lexington. Several of the class agents remarked that I looked “well preserved” for someone out of ’35. While there, I met a class agent, Col. John R. Cavedo ’64, whose father was Willis (“Willie”) Henry Cavedo. The Cavedos have a long and illustrious record of service to the nation. The Register of Former Cadets (2005) discloses that John earned two Legions of Merit, four Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts, among many other honors. There are many unsung heroes among our ranks. During my week in Virginia, I drove to Winchester and called on Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr., in his magnificent home, which he acquired in 1948. I am an amateur genealogist, and I have long been interested in the Byrds of Virginia. I already knew that my direct ancestor (Theodoric Bland) owned the James River estate, “Westover,” which was sold to Sen. Byrd’s direct ancestor, Col. William Byrd II. But I did not know, until recently, that Sen. Byrd and I are related. We are connected on the “Bolling” line. Even so, I did not address Sen. Byrd as “Cousin Harry.” Sen. Byrd and I enjoyed a morning of reminiscing, especially about Mr. Churchill’s historic visits to Richmond. (Please see my previous column.) The 1946 visit came on the heels of Churchill’s famous “iron curtain” speech in Fulton, MO, which created quite a stir in the U.S. State Department. Officials there were paralyzed with fear that Churchill might further antagonize Stalin. Churchill played it relatively safe and, afterward, Churchill and Gen. Eisenhower entrained for Williamsburg and the Raleigh Tavern, where they enjoyed libations, cigars and unfiltered cigarettes in privacy. (Alcohol and tobacco! They would never get away with that now. If any of you remember either of Sir Winston’s visits to Richmond, please share your memories with me.) Sen. Byrd looked like he stepped out of Gentlemen’s Quarterly and I am happy to report that he is doing very well. On my way back to Tennessee, I stopped in Virginia Beach to visit my VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES mother, who lives in the same retirement community as George Clifford Freeman and Mrs. Freeman. The Freemans invited us into their lovely home, and we accepted. Col. Freeman had an outstanding military career. And Mrs. Freeman (Clelia) had an outstanding career in public education. I learned that Clelia holds a master’s degree and was a principal at one of Tidewater’s largest high schools. Teaching has always been open to women, but I don’t doubt that Mrs. Freeman was a trailblazer. The Freemans have been sweethearts since the second grade (90 years) and have been married more than 70 years. They are absolutely delightful, and they look great! A day or so after my return to Tennessee, I received a telephone call from Edwin Thomas Arnold. Mr. Arnold reported that he had just moved from Texas to Albuquerque, NM, to be closer to his son but, as yet, had not settled in. Mr. Arnold, a native of Norfolk, VA, has had a fascinating career, which included an early stop at VMI where he was assistant professor of military law and tactics. He was active in the Illinois National Guard’s 106th Mechanized Cavalry (the “Black Horse Troop”), a fact that caught my attention since my grandfather, John T. Knight Jr., and his brother, O’Ferrall Knight, both of them West

Class of 1935 Class Agent Dick Knight has been busy visiting members of the class, as shown here. Photo above, Knight with Sen. Harry Byrd on March 28, 2011. Above, right: Knight with George Freeman on March 30, 2011. At right: Mr. and Mrs. Freeman.

2011-Issue 3

Point graduates and World War I veterans, were instrumental in the founding of the Black Horse Troop. At the beginning of the Second World War, Mr. Arnold was called to active duty and eventually served with the 20th Armored Division in France and Austria, attaining the rank of major. After the war, Mr. Arnold moved to Texas in 1946, where he and his late wife, Madge, lived for decades in the Houston area. Mr. Arnold did not say that he ever worked in radio, but I have rarely heard a better voice. It is a privilege to represent the class of 1935. I urge everyone, including the Sister Rats, to contact me. Just drop me a line. Send me photos. (I will return them.) If you would like to contact me by proxy, I would be happy to speak or correspond with your children, grandchildren,or any other designee. By the way, there was a typo in my e-mail address in the last issue. I think we have it corrected. If you are online, please write to me at So, if you tried to e-mail me previously, please try again. We have every reason to be proud of our little school. Motivated and patriotic cadets, inspired leaders, committed faculty, honor and integrity – that is what you will find there, now and always. Until next time,respectfully ... Dick


Frank Parker III ’64

I sure am glad that I had a lot of news for the last ’39 Review notes because I have not heard much from anyone. I can only conclude that everyone is doing OK and keeping busy. Marcy and I are planning a trip this summer with some friends to Scotland and Ireland. We’ve never been there and since some of our ancestor most likely did, we felt it was time to visit. I did hear from our honorary Brother Rat Max Hopkins. He will be transferring back to Camp Pendleton this summer and report to 5th Battalion, 11th Marines as the executive officer. He also has a trip planned to Lexington at the end of June and right now plans to get together with Mrs. Bigler. I’m looking forward to a picture from his visit to share with everyone. [Hint – Hint] I did get a very nice card from Emily Hill. She is doing well in Roanoke and is looking forward to spring after such a hard winter. I do have some sad news. Ron Strickler, the son of Richard D. Strickler, wrote to let us know that Berwyn, Richard’s wife passed and was interred with him at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA. I suspect you noticed that we are very close to being the first class listed in the notes. Only ’35 is ahead of us. They brought in a young whippersnapper (’70) to help, which is great. I’m not sure we are ready for that distinction yet, but I plan to keep at it until relieved or there is no more news. That’s about it for now. Keep in touch.


Robert Smith

As the most enjoyable task of telephoning and talking with all of you proceeds, the word that keeps coming to mind is stalwart. Here we all are, hanging in there, amazingly cheerful. It makes me wonder if most of you are as amused as I am at the way we 90-year-old sages confound the younger people just by keeping on keeping on. 41

CLASS NOTES Still, we must suffer diminishments and this time it is our great Bob Barnes that has left. It was so wonderful that he came to the reunion last April. Even though he had but shadows of his famed humor, his wonderfully caring and amusing persona showed thru the thickets of his memory and cheered us all. What a grand life he led - ministering to the sick as a physician, a leader in his church, military psychiatrist, professor, health care consultant and a powerful author of a most sensitive and revealing book, The Doctor is Naked. As your class agent, I always knew that it was important to these reports to get in the latest news about Bob, because his Brother Rats constantly wanted to know how he was doing in far off Seattle. Just to hear about him brought a note of cheer to all of us - we fondly remembered him showing us how to put on our socks and shoes while standing up on one foot at a time, or trying to explain the why of the snapshot in which he was sitting backwards on his horse. We shall now always feel that someone who made life better has left a vacant place in our hearts. Jack Camp had a fall early in May and told me when I talked to him in the hospital, a week or so afterwards, that he now has a pacemaker, and that so many of the BRs have them, and he wanted them to know that he is now a member of the “club.” His hospital is in New Hanover County where he lives, so it has been fairly convenient for Rachel to come to see him. He will be beginning a course of temporary nursing home care soon which will include physical therapy to quicken his recovery. Rachel told me that this care place is not yet selected, so it would be best to send him a card at his Wrightsville Beach address which is 64 Beach Rd. S, Wilmington, NC 28411. I also spoke to his son, John, who was visiting him in the hospital when I called. His family is rallying around. Jerry Totten, in San Antonio, suffered the loss of his wife, Mary Pool, last Dec. 16. She was 90, and they had been married 68 years. His daughter, Lynn Totten Upchurch, who lives in Fort Worth, told me that Jerry then went to stay in an assisted living place, near where her brother, Bill P. Totten, lives. I talked to Bill. The name of the care place is McKenna Village, but Jerry will get 42

his mail thru him, and his address is 959 Springhill Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130. Jerry has a hearing loss and doesn’t use the phone, but a card to him c/o Bill would be appreciated. Bill said that Jerry is content and still “staying out of trouble by not doing much.” They had just gotten an Alumni Review magazine issue, and Jerry was interested in it when it came. John Augustine and June were well and looking forward to flying up to Dulles for another wonderful history tour. This time it will be a part of the Annual Conference of the Civil War Trust, May 19-22, and the tour is titled “To the Gates of Washington, the Battles of Manassas.” Frasier and Jinny Baldwin are getting into the life at their new home community in Wilmington and surprised by how busy they are, now that they have been there more than six months. They go to their fitness spa three times a week, do their shopping for the minor meals of the days and enjoy their evening meals in their clubhouse with an occasional moderate social hour beforehand. He is no longer a “ham” because his radio station is off the air. Earl Brown continues to enjoy living well at Carolina Meadows. His daughter in Raleigh and his two sons in Charlotte and Lake Shore, FL, come to see him regularly and the assisted living services meet his needs. A chance to talk with Jim Cheek continues to elude me, but the nurse station near him encourages me to think that he is about the same. Doug and Barbara Cook were just fine when we talked in early May. The Royal Wedding had just happened and naturally, “Brit” Barbara inspired her family to be glued to the TV pictures starting at four in the morning. (It was the same at my house, because of my daughter and all her family that live there.) Doug took pains to remind me of how old he would be upon his next birthday. In spite of some empathy, I didn’t know what to make of that lament. John Cowart answered his phone promptly and vigorously when I called but we were not able to converse because of technical difficulties that prevented him from distinguishing what I was saying. I wanted to thank him for forwarding Dorothy Leimbach Edens’ obit from the Rich-

mond paper. She died in Denver March 22, just two months after Walt. They married in 1941. Jeanie and Dan Flowers are going along much the same as always. It is intriguing that Dan still goes to his office every work day. This often causes disappointment in that I miss him when I call. Their news is that a grandson, Charlie Carlton of Cheyenne, is about to graduate in political science from Colorado College, and Jeanie and Dan are going to the commencement. Charlie is the second of nine grandchildren. We noted that, for a change, MIT did not get the chance to educate one of their offspring. Matt Freidlander was in his office in Moultrie when I called May 11 but was about to undertake the annual migration to their place at Highlands, NC. I asked about their arrangements for keeping house and learned that they get can most of their main meals at their club or at local restaurants. He described the activities as lively with lots of bridge. Ben Hardaway was in good spirits in early May, but was in the fourth week of recovering from a simple fracture of his right leg which got fixed by putting in a new hip at the same time. He has a way to go but is getting around in a cart. We rejoice in the good omen that overall he was still in good enough health to have the hip operation. Bud Irwin and I had a good talk, and he reminisced about the time in Australia during WW II that he ran into BR Nelson Eugene McCaa, a Navy pilot. Nelson was lost in action shortly thereafter, and Bud treasures the memory of that meeting so far away and long ago. Bud was a captain in the Signal Corp at the time, and Nelson had the equivalent Navy rank. I called Dick Moncure’s home on Lookout Mountain to check on him, and one of his caretakers, James Lipham, gave me a brief report. They think Dick may have had a small stroke about two months ago, but not much has changed. His daughter, Mary’s, care and monitoring of Dick has continued over these many years and the team of caretakers have all been with him for years - the most senior of them for 25 years. Dick still brightens at any mention of VMI, and since the latest issue of this magazine was then just due in the mail, they will all be VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES interested in showing it to him. Gene Phillippi called me in early May just to chat and I was so glad to have the call - especially when it was timely for this report’s preparation. He is getting along about as always, living in his home of many years with the help of devoted people that look to his needs and a daughter nearby that checks on things. Sol Rawls is doing well keeping to his normal routines but travelling only a tiny bit - like up to higher ground in Richmond. He had called recently to tell me that after Bob Barnes died, he was belatedly motivated to read Bob’s book. Sol was fascinated with the work, both with the revelation of Bob’s secret and Bob’s sensitivity in expressing his deep feelings and insights. In April, Sallie Greenwood of Boulder, CO, wrote: “My dad, Walt Greenwood, was in the class and died in 1991, all too soon. I kept up indirectly with doings of the class through my mother, Mary Logan Greenwood, until she died in 2003. Joanne Edens Theon, daughter of Walter A. Edens called me recently to tell me her father (and my godfather) had died. This has led me to wonder how the class is doing and how I might again be connected to what was so important to my parents.” I then made PDF files of recent newsletters and of the AR article about the reunion with pictures and sent them to her. She then wrote: “Bob, Many thanks for the updates. I’ve forwarded them to my brother, Merritt, who, if you may remember, attended one of my dad’s last reunions. I only made one, perhaps 1995. Greetings, too, to the rest of the class of 1940.” Betty-Jane and I are in good enough health to stay active and for the most part are conscientious about going to our spa for regular exercise. Our doctors are very thorough in their tests and monitoring, which is great but takes up a lot of time. Betty-Jane spends hours each day working on her Ancestry family trees and responding to the hundreds of people that see what she has posted and then write her with data or questions. Ancestry’s wonderful algorithms bring her and all of them together in the “cloud.” I have just finished up my term as president of the Heritage Library Foundation and a secondary project preparing a lecture on South Carolina’s 2011-Issue 3

history that led to it becoming the “Cradle of Secession.” So now, I must find some other mischief to get into – which will surely be something I have been neglecting while looking after the foundation.


Alfred Rooklin

Editor’s Note: The following notes were submitted by outgoing Class Agent Walt Richards. Alfred Rooklin is the new agent. Well, ’41, we have completed 70 years since Stan Navas led us in our “Old Yell” from a top the Sentry Box in what is now referred to as the “Old Barracks.” Although there were only nine of us the spirit was the same. Of course we had the support of our ladies and friends. Those anserine assemblies were Carter Beamer, H.P. Clark, Sam Dobyns, Frank Louthan, Bob Mailing, Lt. Col. Carl Payne, Walter Richards, Al Rooklin and Stuart Seaton. Supporting us were Gregory Crigger, a friend of Carter’s, H.P.’s, James and Cindy Clark and Sam escorted a friend, Audrey Todd. Marilyn and Chip were with Frank. Robert Maling ’73 and Kristi brought our Bob Maling and Mila from San Antonio, TX. Carl’s wife, Alberta, Mary Rooklin, Vir-

ginia Seaton, Suzanne Read, Stuart Seaton ’75 and Irma Ingle, widow of Brother Rat Bob. Our accommodations, of course, were at Hampton Inn Col Alto. We had the refurbished cabin in the back for our hospitality room. It was small and comfortable with comfortable chairs, a kitchen and restroom … a really relaxing room. The only thing, it didn’t get too much use. I think most went to bed early. Monday, Mrs. Peay invited the three reunion classes, ’41, ’46 and ’51, to a tour of the superintendent’s quarters prior to our dinner in the lounge in Moody Hall. Although Frank Kirby was unable to be with us physically, he was in spirit and sent the following blessing which was read by Stuart: “Almighty God, Heavenly Father, We thy humble servants pause before Thee to offer our most humble and hearty thanks for so many treasures we have received from Thy unlimited bounty. Among these we count most dearly are our Brother Rats of the class of 1941 – and VMI itself. “For knowledgeable teachers; for a demanding but fair system in which we were immersed; for the Corps; and for the inflexible bonds of integrity and honor, all based on Thy teachings. “We entered these crenellated Barracks

Class of 1941: Bob Maling Jr. ’73 and his father, Bob Maling, with Stuart Seaton and his son, Stuart Seaton Jr. ’73 at the 70th Reunion of the class of 1941 on April 25-26, 2011.


CLASS NOTES as bright-eyed boys. With Thy help, guidance and support through often wearing nights and days, we departed these hallowed grounds as men – VMI men – into a world ready to test us again and again. “And often in those misty moments in the chill of dawn, and time again we hear the voices and bugles, with Thy help. We have risen to face and meet the challenges ahead. “For courage and honor, we thank Thee. “Now, Father, we who remain behind pray Thy continued blessings upon our Brothers who now rest from their labors in thy holy paradise. Continue to bless them we pray, as they go from service to service and joy to joy. With pride we remember them every one.

“So often now, echoing through these 70 years come the words graven on our class ring, ‘Gloria preterit, Fides future,’ which we remember as ‘Pride in our past, Faith in our future.’ “With Thy help, we claim the heart of these words. “For all of this and for the joys of this our 70th Class Reunion, we offer to Thee our deepest gratitude. In thy most holy name we pray. Amen” Tuesday was a full day. After a breakfast at Col Alto the bus took us to Post and Col Brown took us on a tour of Post. Words cannot adequately describe the changes. They are all for the academic, military and physical good of current and future cadets.

After the tour, we had a presentation by the Alumni Association to update us on alumni news and reunion activity. Then it was off to what we were looking for … luncheon at Suzanne Read’s. Suzanne is the best of hosts … a highlight of any reunion. What would ’41 do without her? After a brief rest back at Hampton Inn the bus took us to the Institute again. We were scheduled for class pictures and Reunion Parade but weather didn’t cooperate. A bad storm was on the way, so Gen. Peay ’62 called off the parade. Pictures were taken in J.M. Hall, but I don’t know by whom? We are supposed to find them for purchase in the Photo Shop on the VMI

70th Reunion — April 25-26, 2011

Class of 1941

Class of 1941: Those who attended their 70th Reunion are listed in alphabetical order as follows: Carter Beamer, Harold Clark, Samuel Dobyns, Frank Louthan, Robert Maling, Carl Payne, Walter Richards, Alfred Rooklin and Stuart Seaton.



CLASS NOTES website. While taking pictures the weather cleared a bit, and we had an abbreviated parade consisting of a few members of the band followed by ’41, ’46 and ’51 marching through Jackson Arch into Barracks. If I may say so, ’41’s line was mighty straight, as we saluted the superintendent. After a rousing “Old Yell,” we went to J.M. Hall to the Antique Firearms Gallery. Maybe some of you wrestled, played handball of fenced here. You wouldn’t recognize it. Here hosted by Col. Gibson ’77, we had our final dinner of this reunion. Our 70th. Some fond memories and goodbyes were exchanged next morning. A final comment. We owe so much to Suzanne Read, Virginia and Stuart Seaton for the success of the 70th. Keep the Spirit ’41


Jeffrey G. Smith

Once again it is New Market Day, that special day upon which those in the current Corps of Cadets at VMI pay their respects to those of their predecessors who lost their lives “on the field of honor” in 1864. It is also a day upon which I sadly report that two more our Brother Rats have lost their lives since my last class notes in February, leaving 41 survivors of the class to mourn their passing. Bob (Dr. Robert W.) McConnell died in his sleep on Feb. 24, 2011. His daughter, at whose home Bob had been living, called to tell me, remarking that was just the “way he wanted it.” Since his wife’s death, Bob had alternated living with his son and daughter, both of whom live in the greater Dallas area. Bob broke his hip shortly after Christmas 2010 and had been in and out of a rehabilitation center and receiving hospice care. Bob and I had a fairly long telephone conversation on Dec. 18, 2010, during which he sounded quite cheerful and in good voice. Bob quit active practice of medicine 20 years ago. He said that he felt “pretty good” physically except for a few problems, one involving kidneys, similar to those which afflict “most at our age.” The friendly, booming voice so many 2011-Issue 3

of us looked forward to hearing on our telephones went silent at 2:30 a.m., April 19, 2011, with the death of Bill (William H., Jr.) Johann. Bill was superb at keeping up with our Brother Rats. He was, as I sometimes wrote, our de facto class agent in many respects. The frequency of his calls declined in the past several months when Bill moved and adjusted to his retirement residence, St. Mary’s Woods, in Richmond. A few of us kept in touch by calling him. As reported in my last notes, Bill had a brief spell of hospitalization. He was also increasingly frustrated by his eroding short-term memory. Since last I wrote, more hospital visits had been required. By the time I last called him on April 5, he’d become increasingly bedridden. Regardless, his spirits were up. There was nary a quaver in his voice, and he was going over – page by page – the 1943 Bomb with the help of his youngest daughter, Jane Gresham of Norfolk. Jane called me midday on April 18 to warn that Bill was fading fast. His son, Bill III, e-mailed me that his father had died later that night. Jane said that in his final days, her father displayed remarkable poise and fortitude. Bill was buried April 26, 2011, at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. We will miss him very, very much. Bill was blessed by four children who gave him extraordinary loyalty, respect and love. John Van Landingham called after reading of Bill Johann’s death. And Sally Hodgkin e-mailed me as well, noting that Bill “was so good to Jim (Hodgkin) always calling to tell him the latest news of what all his classmates were doing. Jim really appreciated his phone calls.” So did a whole bunch of us. An e-mail from John Halsey stated that Bill Gottwald and Dick Catlett had attended Bill’s funeral although John was unable to do so. John is one of the very few Brother Rats who is “e-mail proficient,” a blessing for me. Judy recently fell, injured her back, but fortunately can move about in a wheelchair. The Halseys live at Westminster Canterbury (Richmond) along with a small mob of VMIconnected people. One newcomer is Lucy Phillips, Keith’s widow who joins O.D. Dennis’s widow, Janet, and Bill Emory’s widow, Emma Gray (now happily remarried). John reached 88 years in March.

John and Frank Williams (the youngest in our class) make those of us whose next birthdays will be the big 90 (plus those who have already reached the 90 mark) almost seem of another generation. Adding to that impression was John telling me in one message that he’d just returned “from the club and a VMI foursome at tennis: Charlie Miller ’42, Warren Koontz ’53, Tom Williamson ’54 and John. It keeps my blood circulating.” As for the Big 90 Club, John Halsey reported that Dick Catlett had recently joined. He celebrated with a party in Richmond attended, among others, by John, Bill Gottwald and Johnny Van Landingham. Congratulations, Dick. Back to Johnny Van … He said that he’d recently heard from Gordon Smith who was itching to beat Johnny in a golf match. Gordon said he’s not quite ready but is practicing. (More below.) Johnny, despite some knee problems, manages a “little golf.” He had a recent check-up with his doctor who told him his (John’s) heart was fine, and his stents were working well. Good as it gets at our age and stage, but the phrasing struck me as similar to what one might expect from a mechanic regarding the condition of one’s automobile. Really not all that surprising, given that few (if any) of us would be alive were it not for all manner of medical hardware devices, injections and gobs of pills upon which our doctors routinely rely to keep us putt-putting along. Speaking (or writing) of Gordon Smith, I called him May 11. He said that he’s “learning to walk all over again” following his stroke which ushered in year 2010. Gordon follows a regimen of walking three times a week with weights attached to his legs. And he’s making real progress. Cheering him on is his six-week-old (as I write) dachshund puppy who’s doing his best to replace Gordon’s older dachshund, recently dead at age 14. It’s always very tough to lose a faithful, lovable dog. Gordon planned to head for the Gulf Coast of Florida over Memorial Day. (Not to worry: he had a great dog sitter lined up). A few hours before my last chat with Bill Johann on April 5, Bruce Suter called. He was fine, thank goodness. Among the several things discussed, Bruce won the annual Bocee Ball tournament at his and 45

CLASS NOTES Joan’s retirement residence. I believe that Bruce said it was the second year in a row he’d been the champ. In case you wondered, as had I, just what is Bocee Ball, it is sort of a slow motion bowling popular in Italy, Europe and (where Italian immigrants introduced it) South America. Anyway, congratulations are due, Bruce. Bruce was also the featured speaker (he’s president of the local tree hugger group) and planted a tree at the Arbor Day occasion at their residence. Bruce had recently spoken with Billy Bell. Billy continues to help hold the fort at Falcon’s Landing (USAF retirement residence) in Leesburg. The great news was that Bill’s health has improved. He plays the violin in the residence music group and is a featured (mind you) vocal soloist. Betty Brook remains Falcon Landing’s leading bridge guru and is busy teaching her skills to others less talented. I called Box Board on May 6 where he in is the hospital wing of his retirement residence in Hockessin, DE (Tel: 302-2356017; Room 2013). He continues to chafe at being required to live in that wing rather than in one of the regular, more commodious apartments. However, his severe balance problem continues to bar such a move. His son, Charlie, and daughter, Anne, visit frequently. Box mentioned, with justifiable pride, the visits of Charlie’s daughter who is quite an athlete. He asked for an update on our Brother Rats for all of whom he has the great affection. I’m certain that he’d appreciate a call. Our retired judge, Don Foster, called me on April 18 to correct his e-mail address contained in our 65th Reunion booklet. FYI it is: Don and his wife were enjoying beautiful weather in their part of California – 6000 feet altitude. As I recall from my frequent flying days in a host of varying military aircraft (as passenger, not pilot), only 6000 more feet requires a pressurized cabin. Don is in good health, and the Fosters were just back from Tampa, FL, where they attended a grandniece’s wedding. She is the granddaughter of Don’s late brother, Bob, VMI class of 1941. Five of the relatives attending were lawyers, another a judge. Don reports the woods are full of Foster kin in Florida, South Carolina and New York, all of whom are lawyers, but he frets 46

over the lack of diversity. “We need a few doctors or veterinarians in the mix.” Besides, who knows when some malcontent such as Shakespeare’s character in “Henry VI” might arise, railing “let’s kill all the lawyers.” It was sad to observe that there were no class notes for the classes of 1942 and 1941 in the most recent Alumni Review (mailed in May 2011). The second consecutive time for 1942. It’s as if those classes – so well known to those of us of 1943 – suddenly vanished. Of course, that’s not so, and we can only hope that some survivors will be able to take over the de facto leadership role of class agent. Most of my 1943 class agent predecessors would agree that being class agent has annoying demands at times, but most (including me) have considered themselves compensated by the gratification of assisting VMI and our Brother Rats. On a philosophical bent, the name “agent” doesn’t appear to connote what is expected of today’s class agents. I don’t think “class agents” existed till after World War II. Well into the 1960s, the VMI Alumni Office had barely a handful of people, ably guided by the late Maj. Herb Jacob ’909. The Alumni Review, you might recall, was little more than a newsletter, until about 40 years ago when Col. Bev Read ’41 became the alumni office director and started the expanded, slick, professional, informative publication we enjoy today. It was not until the 1960s that fund raising, long dormant, began to grow into the big business it is today. Reunions have become increasingly larger events sometimes causing logistical nightmares. All the above involve class agents whose role and duties have expanded, almost exponentially, since the 1960s and 1970s. Today’s VMI class agents fly solo, and receive guidance (and welcome help) from only the alumni office. My many West Point friends tell me that their classes, once graduated, sporadically elect new class presidents to accomplish and coordinate duties similar to those of a VMI class agent. That, of course, would not (nor necessarily should) fit VMI’s unique custom (vis a vis those of other U.S. colleges) whereby near-adolescent college freshmen elect fellow near-adolescents to be their class leaders, not only for all their remaining undergraduate years but for life.

With the advent of a significantly larger Corps at VMI (more than twice that of our years), the time might be at hand to modify that custom. Confusingly, the term “agent” is used with multiple modifiers and has various connotations, none of which seem a close fit for VMI. There are county agents (agriculture), special agents (law enforcement), secret agents (espionage), business agents, agents’ provocateurs, Agent Orange –and more. Perhaps “class executive” or something of the sort might be a more appropriate title. Or perhaps, why bother? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (Shakespeare – Romeo & Juliet – 1600). It would be the understatement of the year to write that I rarely receive calls from my classmates. Accordingly, I used a few nickels for a flurry of calls on May 10, 2011, to gather some news for these notes. One was worrisome. Repeated calls to Bob Reveley in California were answered by an automated voice: “This number has been disconnected.” I reported Bob’s “small stroke” of February 2011 in my previous class notes. And Bob has not responded to my e-mails for more than a year. Hence, my initial thought was he might be ill. Only the VMI Foundation office had any semblance of an emergency contact, the telephone number of his sole surviving son in Colorado. A Foundation officer called Bob’s son at my request, and was informed that Bob was still in his beach front home in Coronado, CA, that Bob was well, but had been bothered by telephone calls concerning his finances and/or asking for money. Accordingly, Bob’s son arranged that Bob have an unlisted telephone number. However, to date, Bob’s son has not yet released that number to the foundation. I tried unsuccessfully to call Bob’s son several times, and at one point, left a detailed message which was not answered. All the other May 10 calls had pleasant results. Frank Williams continues to enjoy the company of his daughter and her family who live with him in his Meridian, GA, home. And they like being with Frank, who told me that he also gets much enjoyment from just “watching the tide come in and out.” As one who also lives on tidal waters, I can attest to the VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES tranquilizing effect. Frank’s daughter’s three sons, all nearby, are in-and-out on a frequent basis. Frank, Brian Bowen and Sonny Litton served in the same Corps of Engineers outfit during WWII and in combat in Europe. Brian has written a memoir of their experiences and sent a copy to Frank for an accuracy check and comment. Frank thought it accurate – and interesting. Nothing would do after speaking with Frank, except to check in with Brian Bowen. He, like Frank, has mobility problems, but in far lesser degree and with the aid of a cane – sometimes a walker – Brian “gets along.” Without my mentioning it, he brought up the memoir he is writing – and I accepted his gracious offer to send me a copy. Brian reminded me that the engineer battalion he, Sonny and Frank belonged to was initially attached to the 2d Cavalry Division, a horse Cavalry and all-black division, which was broken up reorganized into multiple units more suited to missions in the European area to which it had been deployed. Brian’s battalion was attached to infantry formations which saw a lot of action in Europe. Brian and his retired Army officer, youngest daughter had a wonderful cruise this past winter to the Panama Canal (and back). He’s given thought to moving to Lynchburg’s Westminster Canterbury, only a mile away (where the Sneads live), but thinks it would not accommodate the frequent visits to his commodious house by his nearby daughters and his several grandchildren. Later, still on May 10, I caught Vince Thomas at home. He was his always genial self and said that he was “reasonably alert.” As best I can determine, Vince is many degrees higher than “reasonably.” He doesn’t skip a mental beat, but he said that he “knows I’m getting older” – as do we all. He gets involved in limited degree with civic and VMI activities. Betty is fine, and she, as Vince put it, “takes care of him.” That includes helping him in and out of his wheelchair (to which he is now bound) and pushing him where he wants to go. God bless her. Vince is trying to get two grandsons (freshman and sophomore high schoolers) imbued with the VMI Spirit. Frank Bilosoly called me shortly before 2011-Issue 3

dinner on May 12 from his Harbor’s Edge retirement residence in Norfolk (where Vince and Betty also live). Great to hear his voice, as familiar to me as it was in our cadet days. He was upbeat, cheerful despite his continuing need to spend his sleeping hours in the hospital wing because of (as many of you know) his severe balance problems. However, Frank gets around quite well with the aid of a walker and “hasn’t had a fall for some time.” That deserves a “well done” for a man who in 10 years has had knee surgery and two hips redone. He spends much time in the apartment he and Indie Bain (who is fine) share. Ever the physician, Frank has spent time and energy on trying (unsuccessfully, so far) to persuade Vince to engage in the physical therapy sessions offered by Harbor’s Edge. Frank sets the example by doing so with “hard exercises for a 90-year-old man.” And he keeps his age related macular degeneration at bay with the (to my mind) wonder drug Avantis being periodically injected, by needle, into his eye balls. (Sounds grimmer than it really is.) My wife, Jane, is also so treated – quite successfully – with Avantis for her macular degeneration. We chatted on and on till Frank’s cell phone battery gave up the ghost. Clear signal that it was high time for the cocktail hour and supper. My May 10 telephone calls to others were jumpstarted by a call from my old soldier comrade, George Snead. He and Kitty remain comfortable and content at Lynchburg’s Westminster Canterbury. When I last heard from George, he was to undergo this summer reconstructive surgery on both knees. Reprieve! His several doctors decided it would be risky (George had a heart attack in 1999). Instead they turned, with great success, to injections in both knees of a dense fluid (suvic, I think) developed originally to treat race horses and save them from being “put down.” Three weeks after George’s injections he was walking without pain (without a sign of a mane and/or tail). George had shed 50 lbs., down to his VMI weight of 178 lbs. … Superb. Kitty, meanwhile, was recovering nicely from a nasty spill while on a treadmill in Westminster Canterbury. She banged up her back and lacerated her knee. George and Kitty aim to make the

Institute Society Dinner this coming November – and our 70th Reunion, as well. We hope to see them at both! As for those that might wonder, your humble amanuensis (run for your dictionaries), Jeff Smith and wife, Jane, are well and reasonably, sometimes, too active. “We enjoyed a delightful, 10-day cruise in the Caribbean on one of the newer Holland America Line’s new ships. Holland America caters to an older crowd, but we were taken somewhat aback at the geriatric predominance of our shipmates. How could some possibly manage, we wondered. Well, manage they did, cheerfully and in some instances, bravely. As for us, it reminded of our own good fortune. This summer our son (VMI 1979) returns to the USA (after many years abroad) to be a Deputy CG of the recently formed U.S. Army Cyber Command. I confess that I understand little of what the command does, and much of what it does, we mere mortals can’t be told. And at this moment, we are preparing to host a celebration to follow the christening of our first greatgrandchild (granddaughter) on June 4. How are we doing, some might wonder, on Annual Giving to our alma mater? As of the end of VMI’s third fiscal year quarter (March 25, 2011) we were, in short, doing well for totals and, as is sadly usual, poorly for individual Brother Rats donating. These stats pertain to the 14 classes associated with the decade of the 1940s. Our class stood a very respectable number three with our total gifts of $167,916, thanks as always to a very few extremely generous classmates. Totals for 1945 and 1949B classes were, respectively, $490,220 and $612,165, but might reflect some one-time anomalies. Disappointingly, only 41 percent of our class had made individual donations, ranking us number nine among 14. With the end of the fiscal year only six weeks away as I write, one can only hope more Brother Rats have helped. I close these notes with the fervent hope that you and yours enjoy good health and fortune. Take care of yourselves – and perhaps we can have a record turnout for our 70th Reunion, now less than two years away. I will keep you posted as the planning must soon begin. 47



Robert P. Jones Jr.

For a myriad of reasons, most of which are not class notes material, I am a little late getting these written. For once I’m sorta glad I don’t have much to report. The news from you all has been unusually scant. The meeting I mentioned in February and hoped would occur between Slim Galliford and Hotdog Helmen didn’t take place. Slim did write that they had a fine telephone chat about the good old days. I hear a lot of similar statements these days with just about no reference to any “good old days” specifics. I understand that. Nowadays it’s tough enough to remember last week; even day before yesterday; much less the good old days. My reporter usually ends with an attempt to inflate my ego; compliments which are greatly appreciated, but that’s not material that can generate class notes. Keep trying fellows. One bit of sad news is that Nancy Phillips died March 17th. You may remember that my notes in February had comments on the great annual Christmas cocktail party she and Punk used to have at their home in Newport News. We’ll all certainly miss her. She was a great lady and one of my best sources on happenings of interest in Richmond. On several previous occasions I have written about Dick Niess’s association with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Ezra Trice had conversed a little with Dick on his involvement with the CAP and sent me a copy of an e-mail Dick had sent to him. Dick wrote Ezra that back in the late ’40s his job required a lot of travel including air travel which he really didn’t like. He mentioned his trepidation with air travel to a friend. The friend was a licensed flight instructor and made Dick an offer. He would train him to get qualified for his private pilot certificate if Dick would coach him in playing golf. After Dick’s coaching, the friend and his wife bought a home on a golf course and the friend played golf for the rest of his life. Dick stuck with the flight instruction and qualified for his private pilot certificate in 1952. He eventually gave up golf for flying. The deal he made with that friend resulted in enjoyable lifetime pursuits for each of them. Dick and Ann moved to Staunton in 1973. He joined the CAP there and participated in 48

numerous CAP Search and Rescue missions. Ann joined the CAP a few years later and they both have been active in CAP activities ever since, although Ann never learned to fly. Both have served at Wing level in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Maryland and now in Florida. He had to stop flying as the pilot in command in about 2005 and now, as I have mentioned in previous class notes, rides in the co-pilot observer seat. Both still fly with the CAP as observers and are active in the CAP Cadet program. Dick serves as the Marco Island Squadron Public Affairs Officer. In March, Dick Niess called to report that he and Ann were taking their older daughter on an Easter cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the southern Caribbean for her 60th birthday. I’m sure they all enjoyed that. Back in February Ezra Trice wrote to say he keeps going to funerals and looking for his name in the obituaries. I think it’s great just to be able to see yourself in the mirror in the morning. He was starting to plan his annual spring/summer trip to Lexington but hadn’t firmed up a date with Bob and Ruth Sherrard at that time. Later he called and told me he planned to meet the Sherrards in Lexington on May 9th. Faye and I can’t make that get together this year, so I hope to have a report for you all in the August notes. I had a nice note of thanks from Sally Williams thanking the class for the red, white and yellow flowers sent to her and her family in memory of Tom. She said they were the very first to arrive and beautiful. Sally also commented that their children did a great job at his memorial service with remembrances of their father. Her note and another from their son, Evan, were written on note paper with a photo of Tom in uniform on horseback in 1946 commanding one of the last horse cavalry reviews staged on the parade ground at VMI. You can find this photo on page 113 of the book Keydet Grey and Garry Owen: The Horse at VMI by Ed Henson ’51, Jim Morgan ’45 and Jim Morrison ’45. I thought this was a great idea by the Williams family and have the photo printed at the end of my class only notes. The above mentioned book is a great history of horses at the Institute. You can buy one from the VMI Foundation Inc. and I understand the price is negotiable. Just call the foundation and ask to speak with Pat Webb.

Late in April, Jim Doss had his daughter, Mary Ellen, playing chauffer for her dad on a trip to Gloucester and Tidewater, VA. After visiting at Mary Ellen’s, they met his Ring Figure date, Sunny Williams, at our house for lunch. There was a lot of conversation before and after lunch and in the dining room. This concerned mostly lady stuff; food, books, husbands, etc., that made up about 85 percent of the talking. Jim and I, both being nearly deaf, didn’t converse very much. We couldn’t get a word in but did comment when warranted and a few other instances. Jim told me that Ruth Miller Ellinghaus and husband, Bill, were due back in Lexington in early May to spend the summer. I got a note from Ruthie Ellinghaus that confirmed their return to Lexington to spend about six months. That way she gets to have her birthday dinner at Café Michel in Lexington with Jim Doss and Scottie Haley which is sorta traditional for them. Ruth also said she and Bill had a wonderful trip recently to the British Caribbean Islands. I talked to Jim and Pat Hammond recently and found both in fair shape considering the miles. We talked prices and politics; enough said on that subject. That’s all for now. Take care of yourselves wherever you are. God bless all of you, and God bless America and VMI.


Richard A. Matheis

Before reviewing my memos and notes compiled for my next edition of “class notes,” it would be appropriate to acknowledge the terrific value of Jim Morgan’s class rosters issued over the years. My file of them start with the 50th Reunion. They have been of immeasurable value as reference material during the past year – not only the roster itself, but the associated material as well. As mentioned in the previous issue, Jim has decided to retire from this voluntary service. We again say “thank you,” Jim, for a job well done. Here’s a little piece of trivia gained from the rosters. Of the 55 Brother Rats listed on our current roster, nine are former class agents (Bob Williams, Jim Morgan, Osborn, Gantt, Pritchard, Newcomb, VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES Burnett, Dischinger and John Williams). Friendship (Hope I got those names correct, go downtown for the first time. We bought Significance? Not much, except that someRuss). Drop a note to Russ for any further a two-pound block of cheese and a loaf of day the pickings for my successor will be info. His address is: P.O. Box 52898 Jackson- bread. San had sequestered an electric grill mighty slim! in his hayroll. Sunday we were making ville, FL, or The alumni office has advised me of the grilled cheese sandwiches and listening Last month, I sent a note to everyone askloss of one Brother and one Sister during for any incident back in your cadet days to the radio. Then the announcement of ing the last three months – Tom Sinclair that still brings a smile to your face that you the attack on Pearl Harbor. We were then on February 23rd and Howard Rhodes’ informed in the Barracks that we were to would be willing to share with us in our widow, Gwyn (date unknown). Our sympareport to J.M. Hall to listen to an address by “notes.” Or perhaps something regarding a thies are sincerely extended to each of their Gen. Kilborne.” You know the rest. fellow BR that would be of interest to us. I families and friends. In addition, Dish sent me an outstanding received several great responses. A couple of months ago I received an magazine article regarding the military caOne was from Bob Pettigrew. His letter e-mail from Buddy Metz informing me reer of Sam Walker. You will be receiving was a work of art. It was very articulate that he and his wife, Del, had been in Fort a copy of this article shortly. and at times, displayed his subtle sense of Lauderdale for the winter, as usual, but had A few days ago. I received an e-mail from humor. Let me state a couple of excerpts. to return to Richmond in December for “We’ve moved from the west side of town Jess Reed that surprised me. I’ve spent a medical reasons. They are now residing in lot of time with Jess during our reunions, (Casper, WY) to the east side – downsizing Westminster Canterbury, a senior commuand knew him as a doctor specializing in they call it. While we reduced living space nity center. I just noticed in the new issue of over 50 percent, we only managed a two urology, but not as an avid fisherman. He the Review a story about their center and a participates in fishing tournaments all over percent reduction in possessions!” dinner party attended by a slew of residents the Gulf of Mexico, including down our “A couple of things that astound me … with VMI backgrounds. I wonder if they Our oldest great-granddaughter recently had way in southwest Florida. He promises to have a “company room” in their commukeep me informed of his future adventures, her 17th birthday. nity, just for old time’s sake. starting with this Memorial Weekend. I’m “My old company, WOTCO continues to Buddy, according to him, is doing all the thrive – without me! How can that be?” hopeful that, on his next trip to the Florida right things – swimming regularly, participatKeys, he will tie up his craft at our dock for Lastly, I know that there are several of ing in strength training and playing pool daily. us who consider ourselves to be pretty a night or two. Take notice, Jess. Maybe it’s just me, but I never have thought frequent travelers. I, for one, take a big back Lastly, a couple of weeks ago I received of pool as being very physical. Perhaps he seat to the Pettigrews. Listen to this … a beautiful and emotional letter from Jim plays while standing on his head. Tinsley regarding two of his roommates, “We have traveled to all the states several He also mentioned that in what spare time times, all the continents including the Sid Gittens and Bob Jones. There is just no he has, he repairs furniture for his friends in Antarctica and 50 countries. Life has, and way I can give you excerpts, and still conthe community. I wish I had that talent. A vey the feelings so well expressed by Jim. continues to be an astonishing adventure, sudden thought. Remember the story in the I therefore have decided to mail you though at a considerably slower pace.” last issue about Joe Gantt repairing wheel a copy of his letter as well as the article Shoe manufacturers sure must love you chairs. Perhaps Joe and Buddy should conregarding Sam Walker. They will be acand your wife, Juanita, Bob! sider forming a profit center, Gantt & Metz companied by a copy of these notes as well. Then a remembrance from our good old LLC. We could promote the initial stock The package will be sent also to our current ex-fighter pilot, Hugh Dischinger. He asks, offering in the next issue. roster of 49 Sisters. “Do you remember where you were on Then there is some interesting advice Hope you enjoyed the above. God bless Dec. 7, 1941?” from Jim Lewter for those of us who have VMI and the class of ’45. Dish continues with his own Dec. 7 balance problems. He states, “Be careful P.S. Breaking News! As we go to press experience, “Sam Walker, Butch Robinson when getting out of your chair.” He wasn’t and as received from our Sisters chief corand I roomed in 429, right over Jackson recently and fell backward into some furnirespondent, Chappie Thrift. Arch. Our class had just gotten out of Rat ture. Who moved the chair, Jim? “Jo Pittman is teaching English as a secpants. That Saturday we were allowed to Russ Newton sent me a ond language to her church note about a couple of books members. Jean Pates is he just finished and found of recovering from a pelvic ingreat interest. Perhaps some jury after a hip replacement. of you might enjoy them as Cathie Yow lives in Sarasota well. They both pertain to but returns to Ocean Pines in the atrocities committed by Maryland this summer. Still the Germans and Russians working part time as a nurse during the period of 1933-45. plus playing golf and Mah The names of the books are Jongg. Her e-mail address is Tinsley ’45 Bloodlands and Newcomer Joan Pettigrew ’45 Walker ’45 2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES Edmonds is happy with friends, children and grandchildren. She lives in Birmingham in the winter and in the mountains of North Carolina during the summer. Activities include bridge, church work and terrible golf!” Thanks, Chappie. May this be the first of many future ’45 Sister notes. (Chappie can be reached at (757) 423-4949 or mct1444@



William A. Eliason

Editor’s Note: We did not receive notes from the class of 1946 for this issue.

Class of 1946: The Marrs at the class reunion in Lexington, Virginia, April 25-26, 2011.

Bill Hallett

With much happiness I report that there was no need for the bugler to report for duty! Spring has arrived with warm winds and beautiful flowers to brighten our smiles and make happy our souls. We have rendered unto Caesar; certification not required. Guess that it is inevitable that records at VMI are made to be broken. During the WWII era, many of us set records for the overall amount of time spent in Barracks. A few departed after only a few days, by some referred to as the wise ones. From

65th Reunion — April 25-26, 2011

Class of 1946

Class of 1946: Those who attended their 65th Reunion are listed in alphabetical order as follows: Webster Chandler, Zachariah Dameron, Marion Echols, Allan Ferrey, Horace Forster, Gregory Garland, Edward Gelzer, Edward Holt, Thomas Layman, Norval Marr, John Naill and Philip Reitz.



CLASS NOTES matriculation to graduation, your scribe had an eight-year and three-day “association” with the cadet Corps. At the 2010 graduation, Cadet Jonathon Faff, at age 29, ended nearly eleven years of off-and-on cadet duty since matriculating in 1999. Jon is a veteran of one tour in Afghanistan and multiple tours in Iraq. When his name was called, a standing ovation and cheers greeted Jon as he stepped forward to receive his bible and VMI diploma. Have you noticed? Driving isn’t the only thing you don’t do at night. Remember when telephones were only used for talking? Often many of the items mentioned in the “Today in History” column were current events in our youth. The mid-February evening was warm and the crowd was large as the VMI alumni hosted a reception at the Library of Virginia in honor of members of the General Assembly. Buck Cavedo, Marty and Bill Hallett, Betty Lane and Gus Robbins were among those helping encourage our state legislators to act favorably on the Institute’s funding requests. Final action by the finance committees and the governor indicated that our pleas did not work wonders. Current revenue sources for VMI are 20 percent state and 32 percent private and 48 percent tuition and fees. State support will drop to 14 percent in 2012. Your help is increasingly important. A year-end note from Jock Maggard told of his family’s short stay during the Christmas holidays in New Rochelle before hurrying back to the warmth of Lake Wales. He has many good memories of our school even though there were many unpleasant “after hours events” being put to the test by a few of the third class psychos. Jock’s company, now being run by a son, recently got a VDOT job near Charlottesville; he put a large VMI logo on one of the paving machines so that the lads and lassies on “The Lawn” would not forget. In April, he and Nancy and their four daughters went to visit a granddaughter spending a semester in Florence. To celebrate completion of her annual financial confession to the IRS, Bettie Jacobsen and one of her croquet-playing buddies enjoyed a week in West Palm Beach to see how some of the somewhat less wealthy were enjoying the arrival of spring. To help that local economy, Bettie bought 2011-Issue 3

a toothbrush and a shower cap; she noticed that one of the grocery stores provided valet parking. Unfortunately, and with regret, we declined the invitation to attend Kate’s and Prince William’s wedding. Marty and I were busy preparing for festivities relating to our commitment to matrimony 59 years ago in the Battle Abbey at Fort Sill, OK; we were quite young then. Happy to report that Lou Hundley has returned to the active duty roster. Near yearend, he stumbled and cracked his left patella; he was in a leg immobilizer for quite a while in Kendal’s assisted living facility. He enjoyed being pampered and Medicare was pleased that his physical problems were minor. This direct quote from Mac Davis: “I am still practicing law, but I spend more time at my office trying to get out of work than actually working.” Honest confession is good for the soul. For many years, Mac went fox hunting several times each winter. Five years ago, Jodee (his and the world’s greatest hunting horse), died, and Mac has not fox hunted since. He is looking forward

Class of 1947: Class President Ben McCarley and First Lady Alice relax at their California retreat.

to seeing all of our Bro’ Rats in April 2012 as we gather to celebrate our 65th Reunion. Please plan to be there! Troy Davidson shared a few “historical” items from our early VMI days. A list of PT activities including oddities such as the Burpee, side bender, the wood chopper, squat jumps, duck waddle, etc. The Physical Conditioning program was extensive. Troy, also known as AT, sent copies of the rosters for company’s A and B including names of the just-arrived Rats of ’48A. There were eight fourth class chemistry recitation sections with an average of 24 Rats in each section. Section seven was scheduled for nine-10 Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I was in that one; just as you were released from class, some third would suck you in to go get his laundry. In an earlier edition, I mentioned Lisa Tracy. In October, during a Friends of Preston Library program, Ms. Tracy gave a presentation entitled “Charles E. Kilbourne ’894, Architect of Corregidor.” Her presentation traced her grandfather’s early career in the Philippines where he won the Congressional Medal of Honor. He directed construction of that famed Malinta Tunnel and installation of its artillery batteries. Her talk covered the general’s personal life and leadership through WWII and his service as VMI’s sixth superintendent (1937-46). He also wrote four juvenile novels and many children’s books. He was an amazing man – we were honored to have served under his command. Some of you may remember that in the summer of 1943, a softball field had been laid out on the Parade Ground close to Barracks. Home plate was near the Old Library and first base was close to superintendent’s quarters. We had been cadets for about two months and mess hall chatter had led to a softball game between the cadets and Crozet Hall waiters. Fortunately, near the end of the fourth inning with the waiters winning handily (thanks to big Danny) the OG, with orders from the superintendent, stopped the game and saved us. We were told that it was improper for cadets to engage in sports with Institute employees. Age 85. The shock and awe of aging. So old that I remember Preparation A and when the Dead Sea was only ailing. Geritol anyone? 51

CLASS NOTES In an earlier edition, I mentioned some Bro’ Rats who had served in Korea during that so-called “police action” and the names of our six Bro’ Rats killed in combat there. As all who have ever served in the military know, your assignment is determined by the luck of the draw. When Gus Robbins received his diploma in June 1948 he also received a five-year term commission in the Armored Cavalry. He went to work for ESSO at its Baltimore refinery. In those long-ago days, ESSO (as did many other major corporations) had an agreement with the Department of the Army which specified that when the corporation sponsored a Reserve unit, employees who signed up with that unit was activated because of a national emergency. So Gus spent some of five summers in training at Fort Bragg and Fort McClellan. “Better to be lucky” he said. Small truths: Five percent of America’s electricity powers gadgets no one had 30 years ago. Ten percent of America’s light bulbs are lit with electricity generated by nuclear material recycled from old Soviet weapons stock. It has been 30 years since America began construction of a nuclear reactor for power generation. Do you remember the great table lamps we had to study by? Did you really want to see Obama’s birth certificate? Was the Bureau of Printing and Engraving involved? Much of this edition has dealt with events of our cadet days. I hope you will call or write a Rat-year roommate and encourage him to join you at our 65th Reunion when we check in Sunday, April 22, 2012. We will continue to rejoice, relax and remember on Monday and Tuesday. Tell your doctors that you will be out of town having fun for a while. All the best to you and your family; please call or write your class agent!



Louis Castellano Jr.

Like the rest of us, we are all in semifailing health. Unfortunately, our Brother Rat Doug Hamner has had more than his share of old age benefits with macular degeneration and difficulty both in hearing and walking. Doug keeps in touch frequently with Michaux, Mills as well as George Ramsey. However, the tone of Doug’s most recent letter indicates a great spirit and as we all know from our VMI experience, the spirit never dies. Recently I received a very kind note from the wife of our Brother Rat Ned Spratley. Unfortunately, Ned passed away on Feb. 17, 2011. His wife reported that he went into the service after one year at VMI

and served in the Navy in Japan. After discharge, he graduated from Hampton Sydney in 1949. They were married and spent 61 years in Richmond. Ned was a designer and custom home builder for many years. His wife said, “VMI was definitely close to his heart.” George Ramsey advised that he has been in touch with Doug Hamner, Lionel Wolford and Johnny Eldridge and all are in good spirits and doing well. Harriet and George have six children (all have spouses), 14 grandchildren and seven and one-half great-grandchildren. Can any of the Brother Rats beat that? “And we’re not even Catholic.” John Boyd reports that he is still sitting as a senior judge on the Texas Court of Appeals and that both he and his wife, Bonnie, are well. John is looking forward to our next reunion, and so am I. Brother Rat Howard Smith passes his regrets on missing our most recent reunion but because of some physical difficulties, he was unable to travel. Smitty still flies an airplane, Mooney M20F. He first got his pilot license in a Piper Cub at the Lexington Airport. Interestingly, Smitty mentioned Jamie Ball and how Jamie took flying lessons with Smitty. I ran into Jamie Ball in Vermont in the winter 1956. At that time, I think Jamie was a physician practicing anesthesiology. I also remember when I returned to VMI for a visit in the fall of 1946 Jamie had an automobile in Lexington and that was a true luxury. Al Loth reports that he and his wife, Doris, are doing well. He has four married daughters, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Al is distressed by the

Dale E. Wykoff

We were deeply saddened by the news that our Brother Rat, William H. Whitmore, passed away on April 15, 2011. Bill was a strong supporter of 1948A throughout his life and will be very much missed by all. After VMI, he graduated from the medical college at the University of Virginia 52

and practiced medicine for more than 35 years. Bill is survived by his wife of 59 years, Lamar. Bill authored several books, perhaps the best known of which was Full Time Doctors – An Endangered Species, published in 2006. In it, he summarized the significant changes that occurred during his lifetime in the manner physicians treat their patients. This year, the 1948A Scholarship was awarded to Cadet Bobby Gragg, class of 2012. He is majoring in history and hopes to make a career at the U.S. State Department. In the summer of 2011, he will be studying at the University of Cambridge, prior to taking the Foreign Service Officer test in Washington, D.C. We all wish him the very best as he prepares for his future.

Class of 1948A: The 1948A Scholarship for 2011 was awarded to Cadet Bobby Gragg ’12, a history major from Newland, North Carolina. From left: Dale Wykoff, Cadet Gragg, and Barbara and John Trumbo.


CLASS NOTES administration’s economic policies that will impact his children and grandchildren more than us. He, too, is looking forward to our 65th Reunion. Moe Michaux and his wife are trying to sell their home and downsize, home-wise and financially. Whether it was a message or otherwise, unfortunately the “For Sale” sign in the front of his yard was stolen. Moe’s daughter is planning a trip to Lexington with her 14-year-old son and hopefully, he will be a cadet in the near future. Lionel Wolford wrote that he is still very active playing golf three times a week, playing bridge and also is composing a book on the Korean War history and his personal Korean War experiences. I also received a letter from Henry Nalven. He is evidently the grandfather of magnificent achievers. One granddaughter, Allison, will graduate as a mechanical engineer from Cornell University; another granddaughter will graduate and receive a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Washington; Emily graduated from Johns Hopkins and is finishing her second year of law school with the intention of becoming a patent attorney and two other granddaughters are in college – one at Colby, the other at Northwestern. Henry and his wife are going to take a 35-day cruise across the North Atlantic. On May 10th, I received a call from Heather Swecker advising that our Brother Rat Claude had four sons, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was at VMI for approximately one year and then went to Annapolis. He served 28 years in the U.S. Navy. He had a tour of duty in Korea and two tours of duty in Vietnam. I just received a note from Marie Sinclair that our Brother Rat Duncan suffered a stroke that has affected his memory. Marie reports that he is doing OK but not his usual self. As to myself, after leaving VMI in January of 1945, I went into the Army, had infantry training and spent one year in Tokyo. When I was in California waiting for a ship, I ran into our Brother Rat Rod Read. We spent the weekend together and at his insistence, I wore his Navy uniform, and he wore my Army uniform. He was a 2011-Issue 3

member of that great football team in 1944 that never say die. Unfortunately, in one of those games he suffered a broken jaw and I think that ended his career. I might also mention that while in Japan, I ran into Zeke Scher and Billy Butterworth, both in the class of 1947. Interestingly enough, when I returned to VMI several years later for a visit I was talking to one of the guard on duty, and it turned out to be Butterworth’s son. My wife and I have 11 grandchildren. Mark attends OHW; Meghan I in her first year at Clarkson University; Michelle graduated from Plattsburgh and is now employed by Winthrop University Hospital; Theresa attends Cortland State University and Brian, Jack, Sara, Kailey and Emily are in high school. Joey is in grade school. Sara will be attending the University of Wisconsin. Brian will be going to Harvard University mainly due to his lacrosse skills, although he still has the grades to qualify. Elan, now four years of age, is the only resident in Weehawken, NJ, with that first name. I received a letter from Brother Rat Lee Lieberman, M.D., and I thought it best to just reproduce the letter in its entirety so you can also have his address as follows: Lionel Lieberman, M.D., 3-B Kashani Street, Tel Aviv, Israel 69499: Dear Brother Rat Castellano, Glad to have the chance to add something to the class info at this time. During the years I have tried to give some money to the Institute. I have received the various publications and read about the ’48B class but never contributed anything. I guess it is a little late now but better late than never. I will give you a little history since I left VMI and you can use whatever you want to put in your bulletin. After med school at UVa, I did some training in Washington, D.C., and then 10 years of general practice in Hampton, VA. I decided to specialize after the 10 years so I took the family which was then three girls and one boy and my wife to the University of Michigan. There I did a specialty in nuclear medicine and stayed on the staff for two years. I moved over to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison for the next 10 years while the kids grew up.

I was then asked to come to Israel to take over a department of nuclear medicine, which I did and spent the next 10 years living in Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, one daughter became a physician, one a meteorologist and one a Ph.D. biochemist who does research. My son has a computer consulting company in Fremont, CA. At the present time, I have 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. One of my daughters lives here in Israel with five children and the others live in the U.S. My wife and I live here in Tel Aviv and return to the states twice a year usually to visit family. Since retiring from medicine, I spend my time with my computer, travel and ham radio. My wife and I would be happy to have any of my Brother Rats, or other VMI classes visit with us if they are here in Israel. Best regards, Lionel (Lee) I had the alumni office send out a notice to all of our Brother and Sister Rats to pass along whatever information might be available so it can be printed in the VMI Review which has a deadline of May 15, 2011. The response was surprisingly good. The older I get the more I realize the tremendous impact of the Ratline and the Honor Court. The bond that was created between us is eternal.


James Harrington

Charlie Tiller was having a tough winter when I heard from him earlier: “We are recovering in slow order. Nancy’s third knee is doing very well, and we wish the same were true for her hand. As soon as this left hand has healed she can look forward to deciding when or if she will do the right one. We hope this will be the completion of the changes the doctors have planned for her. The winter has been rough for us. We have been either snowed or iced in three times already. The forecast calls for some more, so I have much wood stacked and ready in case we lose power. That means no heat, water, telephone and redeveloping my skills with the Coleman stove and bottled water. We love living on top of this mountain but we do have questions this time of the year. We do have some travel 53

CLASS NOTES plans, which may or may not materialize.” Charlie has updated their plans in a last minute submission: “Nancy and I are going to take a trip after 20 months and will spend some time at Destin Beach. If all goes well we hope to be back on the cruise circuit in the near future. We have had enough rough weather in the past few weeks to last for a while. I have talked to Joe Fil, and he is still recovering and seems to be doing well.” Let’s hope the summer weather will get them back on the road, and we’ll get their next travelogue. Herb Johnston is ready for spring: “It is a busy time for me because we are preparing for our annual big musical show. It is next week, and it will be held in our new facility that includes workshops, storage areas, practice rooms and a 750-seat theatre. This facility has been in the planning stages for two to three years so we are happy to have our Grand Opening! “I think I mentioned before that the Toronto cardiologist I had been seeing for about 15 years retired. I now have an appointment with a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic where I had open heart surgery 11 years ago. (It was the year of the ’49A 50th Reunion). I feel good and hope to get a good report at the clinic. We are looking forward to a good summer with a couple of short trips and, of course, our vacation in North Carolina. We hope the weather will be good as it usually is.” Well, the weather in North Carolina is usually good, if you don’t mind an occasional tornado or hurricane. So far, none of these have bothered the Harrington household. We’re back on the island, and preparing for our annual summer “Camp Chaos.” We have two grandchildren getting married this summer, so if all goes well, sometime next year we’ll be bragging about our great-grandchild. Of 13 grandchildren, four are out of college, one more this summer. We have five teenagers, and we still have three little ones, so summer visits will be exciting. You are all welcome to join in if you get down this way. And Allen Penniman, with the assistance of his able secretary, sends the following letter to all Brother Rats: “There is a group of my old Baton Rouge friends who get together for breakfast once each month. Our May meeting fell this 54

morning, and I ended up sitting across from a good friend of mine who is about my age. We talked about our activities, and he told me that he and his wife had decided that they would not travel any more. His comment surprised me, but when I sat down and took a look at the first four months of this year, I find myself in a very similar situation. It is difficult to travel and the airlines don’t seem to help a bit. The point I am trying to make is that I really don’t have a whole lot to talk as I write. One of the solutions to get something in Jim Harrington’s hand is to tell you about the things that Joanie and I are going to try to do this month. It looks a bit brighter in terms of our activities, so let me give you our plans. This past weekend my sister, Margaret Fontaine, a Shreveport resident, and my brother, Erwin, who lives in Florida, visited us in Baton Rouge. It was a mini family reunion, and we enjoyed it greatly. One evening we were joined by my three Baton Rouge families with their children. This made for a wonderful time, and we three Pennimans regaled them with stories of our youth. A bit of the old, “I walked to school in the snow every morning” entertained the group. For the very young ones, it must have been a walk back in time … no air conditioning … no McDonald’s … no color television. All of this amazed them and it is a bit amazing when you stop to think what our generation has seen. We have made great progress but there is still much we need to do. Joanie will traveled to Denver to attend the college graduation of one of our granddaughters. I do not plan to make the trip but will leave the following week to drive the Texas coast with an old friend of mine. We eat along the way at any country cafe, and we spend nights in motels that few would be satisfied with. Just an old boys’ trip for two good friends who have been doing this for years. I will be able to give you a complete report when I return. “It seems I end up my notes with a comment about our health. I am happy to tell you that Joanie and I enjoy good health, and I am eternally thankful for that. I wish the same for one and all.” Stan Millimet has also brought us up to date on his exciting adventures: “My daughter has been visiting from Houston, so it’s been continuous eating out, talk-

ing and shopping. But it’s great to hear from you, always. So I said to Sunny, Jim wants me to tell him something exciting that we’ve done. She said tell Jim when we get up in the morning ‘that’s exciting’. Other than that we’re doing the same old thing – keeping track of kids and grandkids, reading our daily newspapers, and watching too much Fox News. Spring has been late coming to Michigan, so we haven’t even been out to do weeding. “But early next month, we’re going to the Boston area to see our twin grandchildren graduate from high school. One has been accepted to Rice University in Houston, the other will be going to Embry Riddle in Florida - a college that specializes in aeronautical engineering. We also have a granddaughter graduating from Rice U. She’s going on for her advanced degree at Emery & Henry in Atlanta (I think). “Yeah, we still follow the political news closely – so I’m angry most of the time. The country needs a change soon. My goal is to hang around long enough to see it happen. “So that’s about it from north of the Mason-Dixon. We wish you and all my Brother Rats good health and happiness. Honestly, we think of all of you often. They were ‘fun’ times at the Old Institute and the memories linger on – fortunately.” For this issue – Bill May has not written about his rabbit dogs; Joe Fil has not updated us on his recovery; and Margaret Noftsinger has not told us about Bill’s golf scores. Maybe next time. As with the rest of us, there’s not much current excitement to report, so I think we should have a contest to see who can submit the most interesting (printable) memory of our time at VMI. Give it a try, guys.


Dan Smaw

These are the class notes for May 2011. Margaret Lee Overton wrote in mid February that she was doing well and was preparing to go to Greenville, NC, to see a granddaughter in the “Sound of Music”. She is looking forward to the October reunion. VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES Bobby Kristensen called in February after he had seen the February class notes with the reference to John Allen, who was one of his roommates along with Ted Bohn. He wanted John’s phone number so he could give him a call. Betty Lu Stephens wrote in February that she, Clint and Rose Anne Hurd were planning on the reunion, in fact they had made their motel reservations, so they are serious. Her son, David Sheckells ’86 had just recently moved from Maryland to Fort Walton, FL, which put him only a couple of hours from Mobile, for which she is glad. She and the Hurds are going to VMI for the graduation of her grandson in May. Helen Casey called in late February to say Mark had had a stroke in January. Prior to that he had been doing well and had even talked about coming to the October reunion. He has no paralysis and his outlook is good. We wish the best for both of you. Ding and Nobbie Patton rented a condo in Melbourne, FL, for the period January thru April. They were kind enough to invite us for a visit so we went down at the end of February for several days and had our usual fine time. They planned to return to Staunton a couple of days before Easter, and they did. When we got home from Florida, we heard from Earthmole Lewis that Earlene had died on March 2 and was to be buried March 5 in Chickasha, OK. Our sympathy goes out to Earthmole and his family on their great loss. John Hayes wrote a note in March and said he was having major orthopedic problems, but since grown men can’t cry, you just grit your teeth and get better. He has no travel plans for awhile, but I hope that will change in time for the reunion. We want you there, Brother Rat. Jack Evans called in early March – nothing in particular, just a lot of general conversation. He and Pat are doing okay and have their dog to look after. In early March, I received a call from Elizabeth McCauley, wife of our Brother Rat Cleyburn (Ray) McCauley saying he had died Dec. 13, 2010, after a short illness. He went from VMI to West Point – graduating in 1950 and becoming a fighter pilot. He flew P51s in Korea where he was shot down. After retiring from the Air 2011-Issue 3

Force, he became a lawyer and practiced in Washington, before moving to Wilmington, NC, in 1976. He is survived by his wife, four children and three grandchildren. Our sympathy goes out to the family. Nux Enochs wrote in March that it had been a slow winter for the construction business, so he had time to work on his cypress and hardwood trees. He has 6000, and his cypress plantation is looking good. I talked to Earthmole Lewis in mid March to see how he was doing. He had been to Louisiana to visit his brothers and had talked with Tommy Bowers and Grover Outland. Tommy Challoner wrote in March to say they had their reservations for the reunion. He mentioned that two cars were parked side by side in front of the beauty parlor; VMI 49A and 49B VMI. Tommy was finishing up with a haircut, and Billy Noffsinger was bringing Margaret for a hair do. They had a good visit. Bobby Thomason wrote in March that he and Jean hoped to make the reunion, but like so many of our age with aches and pains we never know this far ahead. We plan to see you there, Bobby. Bill Sweeney called in late March to say he and Nada would be at the reunion. As a senior judge he can perform marriages, and he recently performed one in J.M. Hall at VMI in which the place was filled to capacity. Bill told me a couple of jokes, but unlike him, I can’t remember them long enough to write them down. Guess we can get him to tell a few at the reunion. Tommy Bowers called to say he lost the letter so did not know the reunion dates. He then went into some of the things that happened during his “hardship tour” in the Caribbean. While walking on the beach wearing his VMI hat from the 60th, he was questioned by a guy as to what kind of hat it was and what right he had wearing it. Tommy quickly made sure the guy knew he had every right to have and wear the hat. In the process he found out the guy was also a VMI man who was in the islands on his honeymoon. George Wolfe called in late March after Greg Nelson asked him why he hadn’t signed up for the reunion. We had a nice conversation during which George said Jean is at home where he has help a portion of each day. Their son from Florida

had visited recently, and Jean was glad to see and visit with him. Max Feinman’s granddaughter, who is a high school junior, chose to do her essay for school on Stonewall Jackson’s time at VMI. She did a great job, and Max is rightly very proud of her. One thing she noted was that one of the cadets serving as a casket honor guard for Stonewall was Richmond cadet, Moses Ezekiel, later to become the world famous sculptor Sir Moses Ezekiel. Max pointed out that Ezekiel was the first Jewish cadet to attend VMI and he followed 85 years later. Tom Cooke wrote that he attended a family reunion in Lynchburg in late March in which 95 cousins made it. A great time was had by all – lots of hugging going on. Greg Nelson had mentioned that Tom had something in early April that landed him in the hospital where he caught pneumonia. In talking with Virginia, she said he is still having a couple of problems, but in great spirits and plans on the reunion. Earthmole Lewis called in April to say a couple of his daughters would drive him to the reunion. From there they can go to Florida for the wedding of one of his granddaughters on Oct. 15. I talked with Buddy Marshall in early April concerning types and amounts of wine required for the reunion – hospitality room and two dinners. So far he is still working on it. With all the fires burning all over Texas, including Austin, I called Lon Walter to see what their situation was. He said nothing was coming close to them, thankfully. This spring has seen the most severe weather I ever remember for the southeast and lower mid-west parts of the country. Jackie Prillaman wrote in early May to say she was doing well and is in pretty good health and has no trouble going to visit family. She stays busy in her church and helping out where needed. She is not planning on the reunion – wish you were. As I was finishing up these notes, Ding Patton called to say he and Nobbie had just returned from northern Virginia, where they had been keeping (babysitting) their son Jimmy’s kids while the parents were on a cruise. Ding said there was only one day out of the 12 that they were there that the weather was nice enough for them to sit out on the porch. 55

CLASS NOTES So much for nice warm spring temperatures. Louise and I went to the Class Agents’ Conference April 1-2. It was one of the best I have been to in my 22-year tour. Instead of the straight lectures, that we pretty much know by heart, there was more give and take with the attendees, as well as a few small group sessions. The Friday night dinner was held in the Sub-Mess for the first time. It has been renovated and it and the meal were very good. With the state support reduced to twelve percent it is more necessary than ever that the alumni keep up, or increase, their contributions. Thanks to all who have contributed. This FY ended June 30, so there is time next year to make a contribution. We went to Lexington a couple of days early to take care of some reunion things. I will tell you now not to expect a Greg Nelson reunion, as I am new to the Lexington type reunions. I hope this will not scare you off. This is primarily a get-together with your BRs and SRs. The Institute doesn’t put on a parade for mini-reunions. As of now there are 55 people who have indicated they will attend, and I hope for more since a few of the “regulars” have not yet been heard from. You will be getting a letter in early July with registration forms, dinner choices and your cost. See you in October. God Bless America, VMI and ’49B


Haywood France

The family and I thank everyone for your thoughts, sympathy and prayers at the death of my wife, Kendall. I also greatly appreciate the presence and support of Ann and Stew Snoddy and Jean and Stock Fleming at the memorial service for her. There is little news to report this session. We must all be emerging from our winter den and preparing for an active summer. You will have received your final solicitation letter for this fiscal year (7/1/10-6/30/11). You can make a contribution for next year. Thus far this year (3/25/11) we have a participation rate of 57 percent compared to a rate of 54 percent for the same period last year. We are improving, 56

but we still can do better. I am looking forward to the reports on all your summer activities.


Bill Moore

Anne and I spent a delightful February afternoon with Jeanne and Dick Mandt when we used the excuse of a VMIWinthrop basketball game to go to the Charlotte area and visit with them and my younger brother, Herman, who lives at Lake Wylie on the western edge of the city. Some of you may remember Herman. When we were cadets, he would bring the Moore family car to Lexington, sleep in my hay, and we would run-the-block to some girls’ school. Haircuts were about the same for everybody in those days. No skinhead cadets and few shaggy civilians (remember, Ed Miller used to call them “feather merchants?”) We found both Dick and Jeanne in good spirits as Dick was recently released from the hospital. He was enjoying being at home with Jeanne, good cooking and his wood burning fireplace. Their son, Richard, takes good care of them and keeps them in cut and splint fireplace wood. Recently, I called for an update on their health. The amputation of Dick’s left little toe and right big toe have healed. The long bypasses from his groin area to just below his knees have restored good circulation to both legs and feet. He has not had any other troubles with his heart. All in all, he’s doing extremely well. The clincher was when he told me he was enjoying walking around his neighborhood again. He wasn’t doing that in February. Jeanne is stable and active with no outward signs of any problems. Incidentally, VMI won the basketball game. Kenny Stagg was his usual delightful self when I talked with him. He and B.J. have their hands full at the moment, though. B.J. recently lost her brother, Howard Boney, of Tarboro, NC, and BJ is his only heir. Mr. Boney was the district attorney for three counties in the Tarboro area and lore has it that he never lost a case in his 30 years in office. B.J. is the administrator of his estate and has a full plate with a large house, extensive property and

a pack rat’s (Kenny’s words – not mine) 30-year collection of “stuff.” B.J., God be with you. You’re going to need all the help you can get. I had a lovely chat with Jackie (Dick) Martin. She is planning a trip with her dog to California to visit two of her nursing school buddies. She is gradually taking care of the loose ends that needed taking care of after Dick’s death. She’s going to send me a lot of Dick’s VMI memorabilia which I’ll sort through. Some pictures may be of interest to the VMI Museum and some Jackie will tag to be returned after I copy what I want. I suspect that many of his pictures and things will be of primary interest to us, his Brother Rats. I’m hoping for some “Old Corps” pictures that I can use in this space – especially since the rest of you haven’t sent me any. I’m a fine one to talk. I haven’t even gone through my own stuff for likely candidates. Speaking of our lovely widows, I’ve heard from many, not all, of them and they are universally doing well. Barbara (Hugh) Barnes recently had a hip replacement and is recovering nicely and is once again able to do things with her granddaughters, Sarah and Brooke. Mary (Joe) Ripley saw Barbara while she was in the hospital and was kind enough to call my Anne with a progress report. Mary is enjoying our exceptionally good Virginia spring especially since she is an avid gardener and likes to be outside. Her daughter, Anne, who lives in Georgia, visited her over Mother’s Day, and they had a ball shopping and doing other mother/daughter things. Joanne (Ed) Miller, her daughter, Maria, and her granddaughter, Rebecca (13), have recently had an enjoyable cruise to Mexico. That’s apparently the way to go to avoid the banditos. Joanne reports that she is well settled in her new quarters but still has to run up and down I-95 to get her shopping done at places she knows. Bill and Carol Clark have a new greatgrandson, Josh Connor McNeel, born on Easter Sunday. Bill is upbeat and sounds good, but he is having to take considerable medication for fluid retention. He reports that Carol’s long, long years (11) of chemo therapy is beginning to take a toll on her mobility. It appears to have kept her ovarian cancer under control these many years, however. VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES Elliott Hudgins is recovering from a recent episode of internal bleeding. He is getting stronger and is able to do more things as time goes on. His doctors had a difficult time locating the source of his bleeding. It was in his small intestine and was repaired surgically. Elliott says he is gradually replacing the “foreign” blood from his many transfusions. He estimates that his blood is now about three-quarters his own. Nan tells me that their son, Reed ’00, is still deeply involved with the Special Forces. They never know where his is, where he’s been or where he’s going. They had a nice visit from their granddaughter which gave them great joy and a break from Elliott’s recovery and wondering where in the world (literally) Reed is. Jennings and Harriett Bunch have been just enjoying life at home. Her thyroid problem has been either solved or controlled. They haven’t been to China for two years, but Jennings is still involved in his church organization’s ministry to China. Not much news, but that’s good. Gene Witcher sounds bright-eyed and sassy as usual. He is going to have a carpal tunnel operation to correct the tingling and discomfort in one arm and fingers. He’s tired of not being able to sleep on that side. His son, Lee, has been busy planting trees where they live. I was relieved to find that they are nowhere near the Texas wildfires. The last bit of news is from our most distant BR, Syd Stealey and Beverly. Syd is always up to something which makes for very interesting conversations. On top of his restoration of a Piper J-3 he’s now building a Quonset hut type of greenhouse. He is apparently determined to do something about his Alaskan short growing season. Syd, I hope you have plenty of cheap wood for the heat! They already have their window sills full of plants. Oh, I almost forgot yours truly and Anne. We’re “keepin’ on keepin’ on.” My hip replacement has me moving better than I have in years. I’ve even been cleared to go skiing with my grandchildren. But I think I’ll postpone that until next season. I, too, am building a Quonset hut type similar to Syd’s, except mine is for getting my tractors out of the weather. Anne is doing very well except like a lot of us, she is a little slower, but the smaller granddaughters keep her moving. Their parents, David 2011-Issue 3

’86 and Jennifer, are in Rome representing the Shell dealers in central and southwest Virginia. They’ll be back in a few days with lots of stories. Bill


Robert White

I have had a pleasant and interesting conversation with our Brother Rat Jim Work. Jim and his wife, Arlene, live in Katy, TX, which is close to Houston and by the time that you read this, they will have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, March 31st. Jim worked for Western Electric many years having been involved with Western’s defense work until the Salt treaty took place in 1976. Thereafter, Western Electric’s defense work was greatly reduced, and Jim was asked to be involved with other company projects until his retirement in 1981. Jim and Arlene had three children, but they lost a son about 15 years ago. They still have a son and a daughter plus seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Jim has involved himself with a number of things since retirement, one of the most interesting is painting, and he has sold some of his paintings. He has also involved himself in local politics on behalf of conservative candidates. Arlene’s health is such that she cannot travel and they were therefore not able to attend our 60th reunion. VMI is nevertheless dear to Jim’s heart, and should Arlene’s health improve as we devoutly hope that it will, I am sure that we will be seeing much more of them. Carolyn McManus says that she cannot believe that Mac has been gone for six years. Such a class personality was bound to be missed not only by Carolyn but also by Brother Rats. Mac was a pleasure to be around. Carolyn still lives in the house in Hilton Head, SC, where she lived with Mac and still has most of the friends that they had, plus new ones found since Mac died. She says that gardening has been major therapy. She is also active in Silverliners which is the organization of past-flight attendants formed at Eastern Airlines some

50 years ago, and which devotes time and resources to healthcare for children. She also sees a lot of her daughter and granddaughter. I had a telephone conversation with Susan Meredith. She is fine and is well and strong. Pete, as we all know, has had serious health problems for some time and those two stalwart members of our class have been badly missed, especially so with regard to our 60th last year. I believe that I have known Pete longer than anybody else in our class. We played against each other on our grammar school basketball teams in Norfolk; Pete on Taylor school’s team and I played on Meadowbrook’s. I asked Susan when they met, and she said that it was at Blair Jr. High in Norfolk. She was on the school’s safety patrol and on one occasion she said something to him and that he responded by saying that he could pick her up by her ears. From that auspicious beginning, they dated through high school (Susan was quick to say that she dated others as well). When the mere dating became the going steady makes no difference. What we all remember is how much they meant to each other; to our class and to VMI – it’s still there, and Pete will always be our dear Brother Rat. All is well with David and Joan Fleming although it was not so for a time. Several years ago David had an inner ear problem which affected his balance and his equilibrium, to the extent that he could not do some of the things that he wanted to including attending our 60th Reunion and also our mini in Fort Myers. But proper medication has fixed the problem and he is normal. He and Joan have three children, two boys and a daughter all of whom are fine. David and Joan do quite a bit of charitable work for their church and other charities. And they hope to attend the South Florida mini next year. Dick Leithiser and Ron and Martha Madonia had planned to attend the South Florida mini-reunion last January, and those of us who were there greatly missed them not being with us. But just before the time to leave, Ron had a stroke and of course he and Martha could not go. Dick had planned to drive with them but just did not feel like making the drive alone. Ron has improved a great deal and plans to attend next year. We assume, and hope, that 57

CLASS NOTES all three will be on board next year. That mini is always a treat. As you may know, Yerbury Burnham has been plagued with prostate problems for a good while now, but the hope is that things are about to be fixed. As of the time this is written, Yerbury’s doctor advises that the prostate problem is almost in total remission. If so, Yerbury and Joan will be able to be more involved with our class again. Some time back, Yerbury and Hoge Sutherland lived and worked close to each other in New York and saw a good deal of each other, even walking home together after work. Yerbury also had a roommate, George, whom Hoge got to know. One day there was a party at the Plaza Hotel to which Hoge and Yerbury were invited. Yerbury chose not to go but Hoge went anyway and when he got there, there was George having a conversation with this good looking blonde, Laura. Hoge was introduced and not very long after Laura took charge and so it has remained, much to the good of all concerned, especially Hoge’s. In more recent times, Hoge and Laura took what was intended to be one of their roaming around Virginia trips. This one was cut short, however, because of the flu in so many of the places where they had wanted to go, including Lexington. They did manage to meet Red Bragg and Mike Lawrence. They spent the day together and told all the old stories, properly embellished, of course. As usual, Red reminded them that “coal keeps the lights on.” Ken Taft and I went to the movies together on Feb. 25, 1950 (note the exact recall of that date). After the movie and on our way back to the Barracks we decided to stop for a beer at the Dutch Inn. We had been there only a few minutes when in came a crowd of ladies and a bunch of VMI cadets. One of those ladies was a knock out blonde. We started talking when somebody said that it had begun to snow. Of course, we had to go outside to look at it, and we did. My mistake was to go out without my hat, blouse open and smoking. Some second class cadet (nameless) observed this criminal activity and went back to school and reported it to the General Committee. And I was on the General Committee. Possibly you remember that 58

the class of ’50A had just graduated and their three members of the GC were replaced by Al Green, Ken Taft and yours truly. So at my first meeting of the GC to deal with the mentioned sins, I was the defendant. I pled guilty, threw myself on the mercy of the court (yeah, right) and was given two weeks confinement. So, two weeks later, four children and eight grandchildren, here we are. Paul Palmer had a very successful 30 year military career that had many rewards but several of the most interesting things that he has done happened after he retired from the Army. His retirement began in 1980, but in 1982 he was asked to inspect certain aspects of the Army’s Abrams tank. He was required to go to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and drive the tank and use it in every way that one could be expected to use in combat, paying special attention to the operation of the turret. He did all of that and submitted a written report about everything requested with the not totally unexpected military result being that nothing further happened that Paul knows about. A second thing was even more unusual. The wife of a general officer whom Paul had known while he was in the service happened to be the president of the Sulgrave Club whose membership is made up of prominent women mainly from the Washington, D.C., area. The club house is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is located at 1801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. The club house had been donated to the Red Cross who sold it to a group of women in 1932 for $125,000. They renamed it the “Sulgrave Club” a club intended for “ … music, art and social gatherings.” The lady who was president of the club asked Paul, to his great surprise, if he would accept the job as club manager. He protested that none of his experience would indicate preparation for such a task but upon her insistence he accepted and served for five years, from 1987-92. If Paul has not already done so, certainly he should write a book, or if not Paul, then his wife, Bernice. She and Paul met in St. Joe, MI, where Paul’s mother taught school. Now, ladies and gentlemen of the class, please let me hear from you. If you do not tell me what you have been doing and

what is going on in your lives, then there is no way for me to tell the class. We have been, and are, important to one another, and I want to know about you. So does the rest of the class. We have already lost too many of our Brother Rats and wives. Let’s try to become closer.


John Ross

This note covers the period Feb. 10 – May 11, 2011. Shortly after I closed my prior note, Doc Laville called to thank me for my birthday greetings, and we had a great visit. Doc was his usual exuberant self and hoped to make the reunion. As a result of an e-mail from Steve Meader, I called Henry Bryan and confirmed that as much as he regrets, Joan and he cannot make the 60th. I called Rich Owen and talked with Jane. She reports Rich is having a lot of discomfort with knee and back problems. As they say, “growing old ain’t for sissies.” I wished Taylor Hay in Frankfort, KY, a happy birthday. Joanna and he intend to make the 60th, and Taylor volunteered to lead the Old Yell from top of the guard house, if Jake Wamsley cannot make it. When I checked on Pete Philp, he had just returned from his volunteer work at a thrift shop. He reports that his knee and back problems are coming along, and he is looking forward to the 60th. Joe Tom Howard, in an e-mail, passed on a report from an old girlfriend, that Cooper Kunkel in North Carolina has and aortic blockage. Bounce Carstens reported that Sally was bitten by their cat on her finger, which became infected. This necessitated a six-day hospitalization with high dosage antibiotic treatment and physio therapy. Bounce suggested that Marie and Sally could discuss their respective hand problems, which Marie immediately proceeded to do in a long telephone call with Sally. I received a nice thank you note from Ed May in which he concludes, “Two years ago I had never heard of spinal stenosis. I just have to keep plugging along.” Marie and Pat Holloway had a long VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES telephone visit on Valentine’s Day. She and Duane are looking forward to the 60th. I wished Maury King a belated happy birthday. He is now back on the Internet ( and was filling out the proper paper work for our reunion, as I spoke to him. He asked about Scott Underwood and hopes to see him at the 60th. I reached Billye Henson with birthday wishes. She sounds great and is fortunate to have three sons who live in near-by Roanoke.

Phil Barton called to ask for some suggestions on hotels and transportation in the metro Washington area. He is flying into Dulles with three guests for the reunion and intends to do some sightseeing before proceeding to Lexington. I wished Randy Thompson a happy birthday and was disappointed to learn that one of our few remaining EEs will not make the 60th – medical problems. He reports that he occasionally sees or hears from John Herring and Jim Close.

I called Jim Connolly to give him two new e-mail addresses. Jim is about the same and regrets he cannot make the reunion. He, nevertheless, continues to do a great job running our e-mail network. I had a long chat with Woody Woodward in Tyler, TX, after wishing him a happy birthday. We had a long trip down memory lane about our “Basic School” days. And then our subsequent odyssey to Korea at the end of 1951. Woody will not be able to make the 60th.

60th Reunion — April 25-26, 2011

Class of 1951

Class of 1951: Those who attended their 60th Reunion are listed in alphabetical order as follows: Frederick G.L. Anson, Phillips E. Barton, Sampson H. Bass Jr., Henry L. Baxley Jr., John A. Blakemore Jr., Carl R. Carstens, James M. Close, George L. Cohen, Straud J. Davis, William B. Dawson, Richey Dickson ’50B, Gerald F. Eggleston, James L. Enochs Jr., Elisha J. Evans Jr., John S. Evans, Gibson S. Gay, John S. Gray, Sidney A. Hannah, E.H. Taylor Hay Jr., Willard M. Hays, E. Jackson Hill, G. Duane Holloway, Joe T. Howard, Frans R. Kasteel, A.D. Kneessy, William Lauerman ’49B, R.M. Little II, John W. Lowden Jr., James H. Marshall, St. Julien R. Marshall Jr., C. Edward May Jr., Richard F. McFarlin, G.S. Meader Jr., J. Robert Nolley Jr., Paul H. Robinson, Victor Parks III, Peter L. Philp, H.L. Quisenberry, John J. Ross III, William Sacra ’50B, Alden A. Scott, J. Joseph Stump Jr. and Jacob H. Wamsley II.

2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES Hap Higby likewise will not make the reunion – back and heart problems. He thinks the addition of bagpipes to the band is great but admits he is prejudiced, as a result of an assignment as a liaison officer to the Royal Scottish Guards. Bob Nolley called to report that he is working on a pictorial display for our 60th. I suggested he check with Jigger Boxley and Fred Taylor. He also requested contact info for Clyde Green. Subsequently, Bob reports that he had a very nice visit from Clyde and his son, Tom. Bob is very impressed with the care Tom provides our Brother Rat. I left birthday greetings for Joe Stump in Knoxville, TN, on the last day of February and said I hoped to see him at the 60th. Subsequently, his birthday card was returned as “not deliverable.” I reached Lew Beazlie in Yorktown, VA, with birthday wishes a day early, as he has the unusual natal date of Feb. 29. He inquired about his former roommates Doc Laville and Gene Held. Unfortunately, Lew does not get around very well and will not make the reunion. I failed to reach both Mrs. Ralph Wray and Robert Trumbo with birthday wishes. I hope they received their cards. I had a long chat with Henry Quisenberry in Enterprise, AL. He and Jackie are doing well and expect to make the 60th. They will stay with their son, Brian Quisenberry ’81, who works at the Institute. I reached Rav Marshall, a neighbor of mine in Alexandria, VA, with birthday greetings. Sheila and he are doing well and looking forward to the reunion. I left a long message with Peter Ames in Millis, MA, wishing him a happy birthday. I asked him to contact me as I have been unable to reach him personally. I received a copy of an e-mail from George Cohen to Ed May, reporting that he on Feb. 23 fell on his face and suffered a concussion, necessitating a two-night stay in a Savannah hospital and physiotherapy. Subsequently, George had a relapse which resulted in another trip to a local hospital. Nevertheless, he still hopes to make the 60th with Sam Scott handling the transportation. Johnny Gray reported on a visit by Gerry Eggleston to Richmond and a 60

luncheon he arranged. In attendance were Vic Parks, Ed May, Jack Hill, Bob Nolley, Johnny Blakemore and Jim Smith. At the same time Pat Gray hosted a luncheon for Gracelyn Parks, Nancy Hill, Jeanne Nolley and Eleanore Blakemore, which Hilda Smith and Mary Lee May were unable to attend. I left birthday greetings for Joe Tom Howard in Melbourne, FL. When he returned my call, we had a nice visit. He and Frances were leaving shortly thereafter to visit a daughter in Texas and then on to San Diego to witness their son assume command of a new destroyer. Both Joe Tom and Frances are doing well and looking forward to the 60th. Marie had a nice telephone visit with Carolyn McCallum, after wishing her a happy birthday. She remains very busy with her grandchildren. I managed to catch up with Dick Cole in Minneapolis. He spends most of the day at the hospital with his wife, Ramona, who is very ill. I had a nice visit with Gloria Cowherd in East Brunswick, NJ. She is doing very well and is quite busy with her grandchildren and church activities. Gloria continues to follow George’s lead in supporting the Institute. I failed to reach Richard Chaplin to extend birthday greetings, but I know that he and Anita do not expect to make the reunion. The same is true as to Mila Bernich, and I hope that they both had great birthdays. I did manage to reach Bobby Guthans and John Herring to wish them a happy birthday. Toward the end of March and into April, I received word from a number of Brother Rats that they would not be able to make the reunion: Paul Shrader in a note said his health was “too iffy” but sends his regards. Henry Pitot in an e-mail cannot make it due to a back problem. Rufus Lazzell has a prostate problem, which makes his attendance questionable. However, I did learn that he had been selected “man of the year” by the Rotary Club of Punta Gorda. Jimmy Gonzales in an e-mail canceled due to a health problem which resulted in Earl Patton being questionable, as he

intended to ride with Jimmy. Bill Leck in a phone call said he is doing well in his recovery but cannot make it. He sends best wishes to all. On the other hand, there was some good news: Jack Davis, although still fatigued at times, will make it. He reported that he learned in a phone call Jack Nichols cannot make it. Ed and Mary Lee May will make it thanks to the chauffeuring of her daughter. Steve and Marion Meader are also coming. I reached Sid Hannah in Cincinnati to extend birthday greetings. He is all set for the 60th and requested contact info for Fred Anson. I also reached Sam Bass with belated birthday wishes. He is doing well and looking forward to the reunion. I received an e-mail from Dick Cole reporting that his wife, Ramona, died on Friday, April 8th. I responded by e-mail expressing sympathy and prayers. I then called Gloria Cowherd to inform her, as George was Dick Cole’s roommate. I almost forgot to mention that Marie and I attended the spring Class Agents’ Conference on April 1-2. We had a comprehensive report from Gen. Peay ’62 on finances and a detailed review on the status of the Corps by Col. Trumps ’79, the commandant. I wished Bill Moore in Fairfax, VA, a belated happy birthday. He cannot make the reunion as it conflicts with a business conference. However, I failed to reach Fred Taylor in Richmond and left birthday wishes on his voicemail. A day after leaving a birthday message for Fred Taylor, I received a thank you call. He had just returned from a vacation stay at a Caribbean luxury resort. He also cannot make the 60th. I also received a call from George Cohen reporting he has received clearance from all his doctors and is looking forward to the 60th. I checked on Johnny Gray, and he is doing well after his discharge from the hospital. He fully expects to make the reunion, which he has been so responsible for arranging. I had a nice visit with Glennie Brown in Richmond to wish her a happy birthday. She is doing very well in Cedarfield, a VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES retirement community, where the Mays Many attendees, including Marie and I presented a concise report on the status of and the Phillips also reside. Glennie hears arrived on Easter Sunday to get an early the Institute today and then took questions. from Tom and Pinkie Wornham from time start on reminiscing and dined together At a class meeting, subsequent to the to time. that evening. dinner, we elected Jake Wamsley as I extended birthday greetings to Sherry The reunion began officially the next president of the class and Jack Lowden as McVeigh in Indian River, MI, who reday, April 25, with the arrival of the revice president. We also recognized the outports she is doing well. I also left birthday mainder of the attendees. That afternoon standing job our reunion chairman, Johnny messages for Bill Dawson and Bob Mrs. Peay opened the superintendent’s Gray, ably assisted by his wife, Pat, Martin but failed to connect with Scott quarters for an informative tour. This had performed. We also noted the long, Underwood. was followed that evening by a dinner time-consuming and efficient work of Jim Jake Wamsley reported in an e-mail in Moody Hall. Frans Kasteel delivered Connolly as our e-mail coordinator. that he contacted his roommate, Pete a thoughtful invocation, and Col. Keith Finally we tentatively agreed to have a Ames, who cannot make the 60th, as his Gibson ’77, executive director of mumini-reunion in two years. wife is recovering from back All too soon on Wednesday surgery. morning, following breakfast, Our 60th Reunion in Lexingwe said our farewells. ton was a great success due to I was finally able, with the the work of our Reunion Comhelp of Norma Robinson at mittee headed by Johnny Gray VMI, to track down Gene and the herculean efforts of Held in Texas. Gene is in Peggy Hays. good health, after recovering Those in attendance were: from surgery for a broken hip, Anna and Joe Stump; Rose which has left one leg someand Fred Anson; Phil Barton what shorter. He has four great and three guests; Sam Bass; children and 13 grandchildren. Ursula and Jigger Baxley; Bill Gene asked about his roomDawson and grandson Caleb; mates Doc Laville, Lang ShefSally and Carl Carstens; Alice field and Clyde Green. and Jim Close; George Cohen; I failed to reach Ed May Laverne and Jack Davis; Richey but left birthday greetings on Dickson ’50B; Ann and John his voicemail. I did reach Vic Class of 1951: Joe Tom and Adrienne Howard with John Evans; Gerry Eggleston and Colby Howard ’92 and Frances Howard at the Change Parks, who is doing well with Phyllis Graf; Jim Enochs; of Command Ceremony, Pier 3, at the San Diego Naval birthday wishes. We both exJoyce and Jack Evans; Gibson Shipyard, where Colby assumed command of the new pressed how much we enjoyed Gay; Pat and Johnny Gray; destroyer U.S.S. Dewey (in the background). the 60th. Dave Kneessy and daughter I made my last birthday Kathryn Gooding; Sid Hannah; Taylor seum programs of the Institute, presented call for this note period to Henry Pitot Hay; Peggy and Willard Hays; Nancy and an interesting lecture, illustrated with in Madison, WI. He was sorry to have Jack Hill; Pat and Duane Holloway; Fran- pictorial slides from the VMI archives. missed the 60th due to his back problem ces and Joe Tom Howard; Robbin Jordan; On Tuesday morning, we attended a but reports he is much improved after an Shirley and Frans Kasteel; Liz and Bill moving memorial service in J.M. Hall injection. Although Henry is retired, he Lauerman ’49B; Roger Little; Barbara for our deceased BRs (100 in number) still lectures at the university and helps and Jack Lowden; Jim Marshall; Sheila conducted by VMI Chaplin Col. James out on occasion in pathology. and Rav Marshall; Mary Lee and Ed May; Park. This was followed by a welcoming I forgot to mention that at the class Clare and Dick McFarlin: Marion and address in the Gillis Auditorium by Adam dinner, George Cohen and Sam Scott Steve Meader; Ellen Nelson (with Bill’s Volant ’88, executive VP of the Alumni recounted their visit with Bill Caldwell in ring); Jeanne and Bob Nolley; Gracelyn and Association. Roanoke on the way to the reunion. Vic Parks; Pete Philp; Jackie and Henry In the afternoon, due to rain, the class As I close this note, I reflect on how Quisenberry; Jean and Paul Robinson; picture was taken in J.M. Hall, followed great the 60th was – great in the sense Marie and Jack Ross; Sam Scott; Helen by an abbreviated parade of the reunion that so many of us were able to make this and Bill Sacra ’50B; and Eday and Jake classes and then an Old Yell in the Barmilestone in our lives and to have had Wamsley with son Jacob Wamsley ’82. racks’ Courtyard led by Jake Wamsley. such an enjoyable time. At the same time The Mays, both requiring the assistance That evening the class dinner was held at I am saddened that so many, such as Bill of walkers, and Marion Meader, limited the Livery Stable Inn. We were very fortuCaldwell, were not able to make it due to to a wheelchair, truly demonstrated the nate to have Gen. Peay ’62 and Mrs. Peay physical limitations or had passed away. VMI Spirit in attending the reunion. honor us with their presence. The general Semper Fi – Jack 2011-Issue 3




James M. Mecredy

Thank you to all who have written or called me to encourage me in the assignment as class agent for ’52. The most interesting encouragement I have received so far was from Joe Craven. I will quote his letter. “I have every confidence you will do a superb job. And if it gets hectic, just remember that after a quarter century-plus. Nutz managed to hand the assignment off to you. After the next quarter century-plus, you can look to hand off the baton.” Gee, that means I am good until 2038 at the age of 110! Joe Craven reports that he is living in what is euphemistically termed a “retirement complex” in the old Tenderloin District of San Francisco. He has family nearby … son, grandchildren and his brother. Joe says he reads a lot … trying to diminish the magnitude of abundant ignorance; and stay out of pool halls and off the streets at night. He is interviewing folks and doing genealogical research to write their family memoirs. Joe also writes a periodic column entitled: “Observations and Reflections Of An Old Man.” Our 60th Reunion is scheduled for April 23-24, 2012. Bob Lambert has organized a planning committee for the reunion. This committee includes: George Bookman (717/397-7676), Sally Birge (703/9733866), Jack Lanford (540/520-9949), Bill Ruffin (757/423-2788), Army Wellford (804/741-2198), Walter Ames (757/4961360), Bob Lambert (757/229-9091) and myself, Jim Mecredy (706/863-3565). Any thoughts or suggestions you have to make our reunion a success, please contact any of us. Jack Frankeberger reports that his health will prevent him from planning to attend our 60th Reunion, but he would like to help in any “thank you” we will plan for “Nutz.” Jack is on kidney dialysis three times a week and has had bypass surgery. Jack’s wife, Ann died nine years ago and he is now being well cared for by the wife, Barbara, of an Army comrade who served with Jack in Germany. Barbara’s husband died 11 years ago. You guys that live in 62

Florida give Jack a call. He lives in Seminole at 11200 102nd Ave Unit 154 and his phone number is: 727/393-1654. Yancy Clark has finally given up the herd of cattle he had on his farm in Kentucky. He and his wife, Carol, got tired of chasing them. Now the farm activities are limited to a few chickens and acres of hay (800 bales) which Yancy is selling. Yancy had knee replacement surgery which has undoubtedly helped him decide to cease herding cows. Yancy and Carol have a quilt pattern painted on their barn which features VMI. A picture of this magnificent quilt is included with these notes. These barn quilts are something that people do in that part of Kentucky. Joe Webber sent me a picture of a sign which asked “If you have had enough cold and snow Please … Raise your hand.” The picture shows five pair of gloves sitting in the snow with the sign. By the time you read this, the weather will be hot and snow will be a distant memory. (I was unable to make a copy of the picture.) In October 2010, George Hutter drove to the VMI-ODU football game with Army

and Barbara Wellford. They had seats on the goal line so were able to see VMI score two touchdowns right in front of them. George says, “unfortunately VMI did not prevail, but we had a great time.” George adds that on the first Wednesday of each month in Richmond there is an informal lunch at Topekas which is catching on. Members from the class of ’37 to ’58 have been represented. Attendance for the last two months has been 24 to 25 as the word gets around. Bo Bo Perkins, Army Wellford and George have represented the class of ’52. I heard from Henry Nanninga that Bob Long was going into chemo after being released from hospice. I received an e-mail from Bob reporting that his doctor saw enough improvement in his blood analysis to try more chemo treatment. Bob doesn’t think the odds are good, but he was going for the treatment. On Feb. 20th, I received an e-mail from Natalie with the sad news that Bob was in the hospital with an infection that would not respond to treatment. Bob was on morphine only, and it seems to be a matter of time. Bob died on Feb. 21st and

Class of 1952: Yancy and Carol Clark painted a VMI quilt pattern on their barn – quilts on barns are common in Boyle County, Kentucky. Standing below the barn quilt where they sang the Doxology at its dedication. were John Thompson ’53 and Yancy Clark


CLASS NOTES was buried at Bushnell National Cemetery an annual reception on Feb. 15 in honor of Bob Gerdetz called to get some phone in Florida. A memorial service was held on The Virginia General Assembly given by numbers of Brother Rats that he had lost March 6th at Trinity Episcopal Church in the alumni, friends and supporters of the in his move to Austin, TX. We talked quite Edisto Island, SC, near Bob’s home. Henry Virginia Military Institute. This is always a a while about VMI and our experiences. and Betty Nanninga and Jim Stallings at- great and festive affair. The food is always Bob reminded me that we dyked in the tended the memorial service. the finest, and we were entertained by the same first class room occupied by Curtis Joe McCarthy called to let me know that always great VMI Glee Club. We enjoyed Shufflebarger ’49B, Charles Tiller ’49A Mitch Mays’ wife, Kathryn, died of a heart seeing and talking with Gary Pittman, his and Ernest Quisenberry ’48B. attack on Feb. 16th. She had the attack the wife and George Hutter. We spent a great Ed Wilbarger is living alone because night before and was rushed to the hospital time together talking about old times and his wife, Lila, moved to California last and died the following morning. looking forward to our upcoming reunion. June. Lila had returned for a visit the day I Bill Minter attended VMI for one year and The event was held at The Library of Virtalked to Ed. She had returned to celebrate transferred to Trinity College. After graduat- ginia and The Institute always does a great Ed’s birthday. ing, he went into broadcasting. Following promotional job.” I called George St John on his birthday. that he switched to insurance with a Hartford Dewey Noland tells me he lives in a After retiring from law practice, George Agency. Later, he formed his own agency, condo in the west end of Portland, ME, spends his time on a farm near Scottsville, merged with a friend, and they grew into a but during the summer they live about 45 VA. The farm has lots of timber and land for large agency. Now Bill is retired and talks minutes away near Limerick, which I gather hunting and fishing. George never took up about his five grandchildren. He still has a has nicer summer weather. He and Gibson golf because he had rather spend his time soft spot for VMI. Gay ’51 meet from time to time. At the mo- hunting and fishing. While he has diffiIn February, Nutz Navas was pretty ment he is planning a trip to Greenville, SC, culty walking he is able to get around well settled down. He only had to find room for Charleston and then to Atlanta. enough to fix a fence. He has beagles and a eight to 10 more boxes. Nutz horse. Up until this year, George is now in good health. The managed a 2,000 acre hunting leukemia is in remission. His and fishing preserve. Now he grandson lives with them. His manages his 21 acres and some son went to West Point and is land that he rents. George said he now flying for the airlines. had a stroke many years ago and Austin Bridgforth brought wears a pacemaker, but he is dome up-to-date on life in Baton ing fine. George’s three daughters Rouge. He grows grapefruit, live close by and visit him quite lemons and tangerines, along often. His grandson, age 16, with vegetables, especially recently broke three state records tomatoes, cayenne peppers and for weight lifting. This grandson herbs. Obviously, he spends also made second-string, all state much time working in his yard. football, playing offensive center They eat grapefruit every day and defensive left tackle. George Class of 1952: Above: Celebrating Jim Wiley’s, center, 80th birthday on March 31, 2011, were, from left, Zeke for breakfast. He makes pepper says all of his grandkids are real Finney, Wiley and Bob Lambert. Below: A photo of Wiley sauce from the cayenne pepstuds, both the boys and girls. I as a Keydet on his birthday cake. pers. Austin sold his company, remember George was no slouch Ditch Witch, in 1993 after 20 in athletics, but he claims to pale years. Home sprinkling systems by comparison to his grandchilwere one of their products, but dren. George recently talked to he never put one in his yard. John Portasik, and John sounded Tennie, his wife, still reminds fine. Austin of that. Austin adds that I received the following e-mail Baton Rouge has changed. All from Bill and Margaret Baber, of those people moved from “We were so happy to receive New Orleans during the floods the news that you are the new and most of them are still in class agent. We had lost your Baton Rouge. Fortunately, e-mail address, and we now have his neighborhood is isolated it again. Bill and I are well. We enough that they have few go several times a year to visit troubles. our daughter, Anne, to help her Jim Wiley writes: “Carole and family when she travels on busiI had the pleasure of attending ness for the University of Iowa. 2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES Our two grandsons are beautiful. We have been to see our son, Will, twice and most likely we shall go to see him and his family again this year in Japan. He is a professor at Kyoto University and has two lovely daughters. Jim, thanks for taking over for Nutz. Not an easy task. Our task is to keep you supplied with information about our BRs and will try to help.” Andy Dickinson writes: “We are at Quail Ridge in Boynton Beach, FL, where we have been coming for 10 years, playing golf and contributing nothing to the future of mankind. No Brother Rats that I know down this way. Zeke and Lambert are over at Captiva along with Sue, Bill Cooper’s widow. I did hear that Bob Patterson ’49C had a stroke, but no details.” I called Skip Goldacker on his birthday. His wife is in the hospital, and he was on his way to see her when I called. I then called Jim Spellings to wish him “Happy Birthday.” He just turned 80. After two years at VMI he transferred to Texas Tech, graduating in ’52. He spent four years flying B26s and the next 40 years in banking in Dallas before retiring. Continuing my practice of calling BRs on their birthday, I talked to Don Williamson. He lives in Dallas after retiring. He spent 20 years flying T6s, B25 and B26s mostly in Air Sea Rescue. He has three sons and is doing well today with few aliments such as arthritis. I also talked to Mac Coker. After one year at VMI, he transferred to the University of Virginia. He spent the next 35 years in sales with Camp Manufacturing along with Bob Lambert. I talked to Bill Baber on his birthday to learn that both Bill and his wife, Margaret, are doing well. Bill is retired; however he is kept busy running two tree farms with a total of 600 acres. One farm is in southwest Pennsylvania and the other is near Appomattox, VA. Bill is vice chairman of the Tree Farm Committee of Pennsylvania and will become chairman in 2012. Bill and Margaret also have two children and four grandchildren ages 6 to 14 to keep them busy. Fay Croswell, better known now as “Bill” is retired in Florida after being a full professor at George Washington University, specializing in electro magnetism. Bill states that he is doing well and takes care of his wife who has Alzheimer’s. 64

In April, I attended my first Class Agents’ Conference. The most impressive parts of the experience were the physical state of the Institute and the enthusiasm of the participants, especially Gen. Peay ’62 and the Commandant Col. Trumps ’79. The Institute looks more impressive than I have ever seen it. There are several new buildings since I was last there. I toured the biology and physics departments and found them very advanced. Truly VMI is worth supporting. Bob and Betty Lambert went with Zeke and Sarah to celebrate Jim Wiley’s 80th birthday on the 31st of March. Pictures are included with these notes. At this point Toulmin Greer may be the only BR under 80. I have heard from most of you regarding The Citadel game Oct. 29. So far I count 12 BRs and wives who are planning to attend the game in Charleston. If any of the rest of you find you can attend, please let me know. Also I am hearing about plans you have for our 60th Reunion next April. So far, 25 have signed up. I expect to hear from a lot more of you between now and next April. May God continue to bless each of us in good health and in healing.


William C. Noell Jr.

Well, BRs, the sad news this quarter is the loss of two of our BR’s widows. The first being Edith “Sissy” Prillaman in March from the cancer that I had already told you about. A memorial service was held in Lexington at R.E. Memorial Episcopal Church on Sunday, March 27, with a reception afterwards at Moody Hall. Anna and Parker Cross, Veronica and Ted Mariani, Doris and John Gilbert, and your class agent attended. Ted roomed with Sissy’s first husband, Dave Fletcher. Then only a few months after the passing of Harmon Williams, his wife, Judy, died in Charlottesville with a massive stroke. There was a memorial service for Judy in the same church in Ivy. Judy and I were not able to attend as we were keeping four grandchildren for six days; however, Terry and Betty Davis did attend … Terry and Harmon roomed together. I received a telephone call just before

these notes from Tom Colvin’s brother, Bill, that Tom’s wife, Barbara, had just died. I do not have any of the details. I also just received a very nice note card from Rhoda Bigner thanking me for my (our) kind words in the passing of Tom. In my past notes about the passing of Harmon, I noted my past connection with Judy. However, more important to VMI in regard to Judy, is that she sold “Stono” to VMI right many years back. If you do not recall this home, it is the beautiful house at the end of the VMI Post past the mess hall and old hospital. It is used for housing dignitaries that visit VMI. Judy had inherited the estate through her mother, who we assume must have been the heir of Mr. Locker, of Glasgow. He was Judy’s stepfather, in the Virginia House of Delegates and owned Locker Brick. It was reported the selling price for “Stono” was $250,000 thereabouts, which Judy felt that the sales price was so low, that it amounted to a gift to the Institute. Terry Davis said that Harmon went to the Kentucky Derby with Mr. Locker every year for a number of years and that Mr. Locker had a railroad car he rented parked at the Derby for entertainment. So that’s a little past history on Judy and Harmon. An e-mail from Norma Woy said that she had a stroke in January and was at the Patricia Neal Center until almost the end of March. She then returned to Oak Ridge, at the Courtyards where her daughter has been coming routinely from Atlanta to check on her. Norma said she is progressing well. An e-mail from Russ Horne said he had a stint put in his right iliac artery, which has improved the blood flow to his legs, so now he can now walk about two miles without too much problem with his left leg. Since then, due to a spot on his lung, he had to have a PET scan, but all has turned out well … except being strapped down so long for the scan. I can verify it is not a fun scan being that tightly bound down for so long … I sure would not call it a “Pet” scan. I had invited Jack and Peachy Trigg to our house for a VMI Lexington weekend and for the Richmond lunch – kind of a last VMI fling for Peachy, but Jack said she just was not up to that much traveling these days, and it would most likely be VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES too confusing for her. Although Peachy is back problems, as well as a few other will be here before we know it.” becoming less functional, she is still able medical problems according to Ann. This year at graduation, Ken and Chris to visit Gayle Shorter in Alabama. Jack I had a written note from Stuart McCloPerry’s grandson, David, will gradusays Gayle really does her good to spend skey saying he is doing well but misses ate. He is the drum major for the VMI several hours there visiting periodically, Pat very much. He says that his daughter, band this year. Regretfully, we will not “Gayle has a wonderful way with Peachy.” Karen, will come to our 60th with him and be in Lexington for graduation weekend. I had an e-mail from Peggy Skinner hopes to see everyone there. I received a However, at the last April Reunion parade, saying she regretted she could not make nice note from Bromo Seletz thanking me I took a group of pictures of David leading the April Richmond lunch but sent her for some info that I had sent him, but also the band, which I have sent to Chris and best wishes. She said she really likes said, “I am eagerly looking forward to the Ken. If there is room in this issue along hearing all the news and that “in many 60th.” You know, the way time seems to with Richmond lunch pictures, I will have ways I feel more attached to VMI than to keep moving faster in retirement, 2013 one inserted. J.M.U.” She also commented An e-mail from Walt Sandthat she is doing well, and that ers saying that they have had “Buddy did not want to leave, a very busy spring and about but it is best that he didn’t to catch their tails which since he could not get well, they have been chasing since and things just kept getting January. They have been very worse.” An e-mail from Fred involved in a Linton Cantata, Hauser said that they had composed by their choir direcvisited with Dan Stickley in tor, which has taken a lot of December a week after he relong rehearsals, but it was well turned from the hospital. Then received by a standing room later, he talked with Dan on the only audience. Both Gayle phone and says that Dan is proShorter and Jack Trigg sent Class of 1953: David Perry ’11, grandson of Ken and gressing OK but still trying to me e-mails concerning the recent Chris, was the VMI Band drum major for the 2010-11 get his strength back. Warren tornados in Alabama … neither academic year. Goddard is still having serious being hit by them, although

Class of 1953: The Richmond Lunch Club

2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES they know people that were caught in the mess. There were some interesting stories, but there was so much on the news, I will not take up space with these specific situations. Jack and Meredith Townes recently returned from San Diego and other areas in California. While they were out there, they visited and spent a night with Joan and Bill Hinman and said they had a wonderful time. They were taken to visit the Ronald Reagan Library and stated it was most impressive and something everyone should see. This was all confirmed by an e-mail from Bill. An update from Betty Woodward said “both his surgeon and cardiologist are well pleased with the progress he is making.” Betty says they are up early each morning and at the gym by six – too early for us. But doctors say this has helped Mickey, and he has been pain free since February. In the midst of all this, they are getting ready for an addition to their house, so having to pack up a lot of rooms, including the kitchen. Jack and Meredith Townes stayed with us the Thursday night before Easter, as they were meeting their son and grandson in Lexington for their grandson, Jake’s, interview at VMI. That afternoon, I took all on a behind the scenes of the Institute, which included the new North Post that is just about complete. For the Richmond and Beyond ’53 lunch on April 28, we had 41 in attendance at the Commonwealth Club in Richmond. We had a great time, and this was the largest gathering to date. Having 41 is too many to list in these notes, although all were listed in the e-mail summary that I sent out. John Lund took a large group of pictures as our in-house photographer, and it was decided to include a collage of these photos in the notes rather than breaking up the visitation after the lunch to try to get this large group in a photo inside the club. At this lunch, it was decided that this now would be an annual affair in April and no longer (for the time being) have one in September also. So, the next Richmond and Beyond lunch will be in April 2012, and then comes the 60th in 2013. The turnout included two BR widows, BRs from as far as Ohio, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee. Our thanks go to Bruce and Spider Evans for making the arrangements and for Bruce’s flower 66

decorations … which were very pretty and spring-like. In addition, many of us took in the Picasso Exhibit from France that was at the Virginia Museum. As for Judy and I, life when in Lexington still seems to be hectic. Our grandson at 13 was confirmed one Sunday, our new granddaughter was christened one Sunday, and then we had a lunch/reception of 50 after it. An 80th family dinner for me with six grandchildren and parents at our house, attended several VMI functions, and Judy had some friends from West Virginia bring their grandson to Lexington for the three-day live in Barracks weekend for prospective cadets … again we provided a three-hour behind the scenes tour of the Institute. Speaking of the 80th, I just received an e-mail from Bill Nelson saying that he had his 80th a few days before mine and had a great family celebration. In addition, Art and Susan Moncrief drove down from Texas for the celebration … Art was Bill’s roommate.


Bill Turner

“This I will remember When the rest of life is through. The finest thing I’ve ever done Is simply loving you.” – Robert Saxton Having lost a couple more good friends to death recently, and talking with their grieving widows, it got me to thinking. How do spouses survive and continue to function in the wake of such life-changing tragedy? How do they “pick up the pieces” and find the strength and courage to “adapt,” as best they can, to a new life, a new beginning without their long-term partners, their lovers, their best friends? Is there a “magic formula”? A “one size fits all” prescription for encountering and “overcoming” one of the most traumatic events one can encounter on this journey called life? I don’t know. Some handle it better than others. Some seem better equipped than others to “manage” the stress that such losses bring. Is it “faith?” Is it a kind of “fatalism?” Is it indicative of little more than the human longing for “survival?” Maybe it’s all of these … and something more.

So, this column brings the first of a three part series on those ladies – I call them our “First Ladies” – who have loved and “lost” some of our comrades-in-arms. It tries to describe, as best I can, what they have told me about themselves, their suffering and their survival, their tragedy and their triumph, their “wounding” and their healing. It attempts to share with you the reader how, for the most part, they have coped, are coping, how they have transformed unimaginable physical and, especially, emotional, pain and suffering into survival, and what they have learned about themselves in the process. I believe it is a topic of increasing great moment as we are confronted head on with our own mortality. I was inspired by this effort. I hope you will be as well, and, ultimately, find great hope for your future, no matter what it brings, and even greater appreciation for what you still have, as much, if not more, than what you have lost or will inevitably lose. Janice Svendsen lost her husband of many years, Swede, several years ago. It hasn’t been easy. She and Swede retired to Williamsburg, VA, 15 years ago. She writes that she knows his love for Virginia, which was formed by his association with VMI, was a major determinant in their choice of final destinations. She says that not only did her husband’s choice of the Institute affect his life in so many ways but hers as well. Even though their children are spread up and down the East Coast, she hopes to remain in Williamsburg for a long time. It’s home. She admits that though her journey through life has posed many challenges, the past four years without her life’s partner have been the hardest. But living in a place she truly loves has been a tremendous help. She writes: “Our journey through life offers many challenges, but the past four years without my life’s partner have certainly been the hardest I have ever had to face. Since Ev’s passing, I have visited VMI several times, and it always warms my heart to stroll the campus and recall the reunions we attended and Ev’s obvious pride and pleasure in visiting again with his Brother Rats. That there is something very real about the ‘bond’ locking and forever sealing the relationship that exists among VMI classmates was so evident in VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES the way Ev comported himself. And when Strangely enough, every October, he devel- I accepted and the date turned out to be I see the new cadets, so young and full oped a different kind of cancer and this went Bud. From that moment on, I think I knew of promise, I often wonder if they realize on for six long years which was a battle that this might be something special. There was how their years at VMI will be such an ended his life. He died of an unknown type of something different about him. It was not important part of their lives, their spouse’s cancer and was only 48 years old.” Anne says that he was such a ‘character,’ but he was lives and the lives of their children and that somehow they managed to live a normal also quite charming, funny and attractive. grandchildren. VMI will be a part, perhaps life. When Bud died, one of the children I had been dating many boys, but I soon the most important part, of their lives forasked her a question that required thoughtful discovered that Bud was affecting me in a ever, and impact their spouses and children consideration. She responded that she would serious way. We hit it off immediately and in such a profound and enduring way.” She have to give the question some serious thought were married on Oct. 30, 1954. concludes: “Thank you, Bill, for continuso decided to take long walks on the beach “After Bud’s call to active duty with the ing to include me in your VMI family. where they lived. There, she would “talk” to Air Force, he was sent to many different Williamsburg is such a lovely place to visit Bud and together they would find the answer countries in Europe to design new bases. so if any of you are ever in the neighborto the question. Even though Bud was forever Generally, they took two years. His first hood, please look me up. Blessings to all. gone from her “real” life, she was never really assignment was to Rabat, Morocco, and Janice Svendsen” without him. “We, together, through these long I joined him in February 1955. To say What a beautiful letter and what a wonwalks on the beach, seemed to come up with a the least, life in Morocco was extremely derful tribute to Swede and to the Institute. satisfying answer to everything. It was indeed interesting and very different. His next Thank you, Janice. Indeed, Swede was a a warm and beautiful togetherness.” assignment was to Aviano, Italy, to design very lucky man. I believe he knew that. Anne had known Bud from their high another base. Communists were throughFollowing is another in a series of stories school days. “One day, Claiborne Terry, out the area and the wives and men played I’m writing that describes the testimony of called to ask if I would be willing to date a large role in changing this. It was a most those ladies who have loved and lost their a VMI cadet before all of them had to satisfying experience. From Italy, Bud was husbands and our Brother Rats. It continues return to the Institute after spring break. then sent to Athens, Greece, where our a story of love and loss, one of daughter, Katherine Page Addison, triumph over tragedy. It conwas born. I dearly loved Greece veys deeply held convictions and was disappointed when we of a group of very courageous had to leave but thrilled to learn ladies. I call them our “First that we were going to live in Paris, Ladies,” who have experiFrance, for the next two years. I enced one of the greatest pains even became a professional model any of us can endure. I hope in Athens and in Paris where we they will prove as inspirational met many fascinating people. Fito you as they are to me. This nally, the day came when we were one from Anne Stokey Adsent back to the United States dison Scott. to Langley Air Force Base, VA. Grafton Dulany Addison Jr., Again, Bud continued to be the whom we all knew as Buddy, base engineer, as well as an aide or simply Bud, died on Sept. to a general officer. One of his du26, 1980, after a horrific sixties was to send men to Vietnam; Class of 1954: Above: Class members and their dates in the Pine Room, Mayflower Hotel, circa 1951-52. Below: year battle with cancer. He therefore, he was in a position to Roomates 333 circa 1951 from left, Wayne Boring, Minor left a young widow, Anne order himself there, twice. Upon Botts Lewis and Wild Bill Turner. (Stokey) and three children, returning home he learned that he the youngest only 13 years had cancer.” old. “Somehow, the four of us When Bud passed away, Anne managed to live a normal life.” says that her children remained Anne told me in a beautiful, her primary source of strength and yet poignant, letter describing comfort. Her son, Grafton “Duke” their too-short life together Addison III ’82, and his wife, and her life after Bud. Penny, have two sons. Grafton Anne writes that “Bud, an Air “Dane” Addison IV is presently Force officer, was a general’s a first classman, and his brother, aide and base engineer. On Christian, is a Rat and on a lacrosse Oct. l, l973, Buddy was told scholarship. Another grandson is by his oncologist that tests Maury Clarke Denton ’07. His showed him to have melanoma. parents are Katherine and Michael 2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES Denton ’81. Anne’s youngest son, Thomas Fitzgerald Addison, is married to Katherine Bush, and they have a son, Bryce, age 6 and a daughter, Brooke, age 3. “I told my children from the beginning that they were not to sit around moping and grieving over their father’s loss. Fortunately, I was greatly supported by my family and friends and by my minister, John Jordan ’51. They were always there when I needed them, and I will be forever grateful for that. I made it clear to my three children that we would all get through it together by supporting each other. Their father would have wanted that and expect it. Those long walks on the beach were a Godsend. I knew I had to remain strong if I was going to be able to help my children, as well as myself. I was determined to be as active as possible and became an interior decorator. This way, I could work at home making draperies, etc., and as a free lancer, I worked at a travel agency a few days a week.” Anne advises all those who have lost spouses to 1) stay as busy as possible; 2) travel with or without your children; 3) encourage their children to stay involved and share as many of the fun times as possible; 4) always be available to encourage the children, be available to answer their questions or simply to talk when they needed that; 5) if they are in sports, try your best to attend their games; and, finally, 6) do not try to avoid adult companionship. It is imperative that you maintain adult relationships. In 1989, Anne married Russell Scott, a man whom she had known since childhood. Anne says, “I never thought I would ever love again or re-marry.” They have now been married 2l years. She agrees there are, indeed, scars that can never heal completely, but she is grateful that she was given the chance and that she took the opportunity to find happiness again. Presently, Anne is busy writing her memoirs. Since she has been to over a hundred countries, she has endless stories to share about her experiences. She says, “There is still more to see and enjoy.” Obviously, Anne plans to spend the rest of her life to the fullest. Sylvanus “Syl” Johnson Williams III, died on July 19, 2010. His wife of 54 years, Louise, wrote me a beautiful letter describing her life with Syl and what his 68

death has meant to her and their children. She says they met at a beach party in June 1953 in Norfolk, VA. She was 19 and he was 21. Two weeks later they were married. She says, “When Syl passed so suddenly, the family had no time to prepare for it. We discovered his problem on July 12th and he died a week later. Thankfully, the children and I were with him the entire week. “We all depended heavily on one another. That and our strong dependence on God has seen us through this most difficult period of our lives. The terrible void is not mine alone but is shared by my entire family. We are still literally clinging to each other. I know my strength comes from my strong and abiding faith in God; I know that I could never navigate through this difficult world or life without that. “I manage to keep busy by continuing my daily routine as I did before. I read a lot, my children keep me busy, and I try to be there when they need me. I also have my dogs, Daisy and Charley. We take small trips but everyone understands that I’m trying to learn how to be alone. I was married so young that I really don’t know how to be alone. “Family is my survival. Syl went so quickly that we learned very fast to not put off what’s really important. If something needs to be said or done, say or do it today; there may not be another tomorrow. “As to this ‘Valley of Tears?’ Wow! What can I say? I am still going through it. I guess I would say, ‘Be strong and let others help you. You aren’t alone even though it may feel like it. Others really do care but may not know what to say. Know that eventually the pain and suffering will ease. Memories are wonderful; don’t be afraid to go there. Enjoy yourself as much as you can and don’t feel or harbor guilt. Know that you must go on, not only for yourself but for those around you. They may need you now more than ever. “I didn’t intend to write a novel, Bill, but it seems I have. Please feel free to use whatever you like and discard the rest; it’s just my way of ‘letting off steam.’ “I think what you are doing for the ‘Widows of ’54’ is very nice. I’m sure it will be of great interest to us all.” (Note: I was touched by Louise’s poignant and obviously honest description of her reaction to Sy’s death. I was especially

moved by her comments on “learning how to be alone.” Most psychiatrists believe that the feeling that you are “alone” is one of the most stressful of life’s experiences. It is also inevitable. At some point in our short and transient lives, we will be alone. From this there is no escape. Louise has captured the full import of the inevitability of loss and loneliness very succinctly. In doing so, she has, I believed, touched upon one of the core issues of our lives, and for that, she is to be applauded.) “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Got a scary e-mail from Dr. Paul Meyer which reads: “Thought I might pass this green side of the grass message on to my Brother Rats … On the evening of Sept. 9, I blew out an aortic aneurysm while waiting for my plane partner to come home from Washington, D.C. I was in his downtown apartment; collapsed; called 911; called my cardiologist; told him to get his fanny to NMH (which he did), opened the front door for the paramedics and then just sat down and ‘force breathed’ until the ambulance arrived. This was followed shortly with more than 12 hours of surgery. And, I was still alive after the operation. Now, I’m on the mend.” I think I can speak for all the BRs, “Big Guy,” when I say I’m glad to hear about it, especially the last part. Sounds like you dodged another bullet. Get over it! Now get on with living. God bless. “If a man hasn’t discovered some things that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” Pete Lyons’ story of his torrid, tempestuous, tortured, yet ultimately triumphant life in law school, Torts and Suds, is now in print. Funny, at times irreverent, Pete’s parvum opus is reminiscent of the old TV serial comedy, “Paper Chase,” without the Hollywood penchant for overstatement. Get a copy. It’s good. It will remind you of some of your own escapades in your own personal ‘rites of passage.’ Congrats, Pete. Good writing is damned hard business. Nothing more intimidating than sitting and staring at a blank sheet of paper. Agent’s Note: Pete’s book is representaVMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES tive of many of our Brother Rats now published. A whole lot of talent in this class! Had a call from Tom Wallace today. Good to hear from old Tom; hadn’t heard from him for a while. Tom said he’s doing “pretty good,” “growing pains” notwithstanding. Tom also said he’d talked with BRs Bud Bare and George Ford recently, “growing pains.” Finally, Tom lamented the recent loss of Frank Scroggins. Note: Sometimes I feel that I’m witnessing the Diaspora of my class, the slow drip, drip, drip of earthly waters eroding and washing out to an unknown sea of special breed of men whom I’ve known and cared about for most of my life. I know it’s inevitable; I realize that friends and loved ones die, and I can accept that. (What’s the alternative?) But it hurts. God, it hurts. And there is little I can do about it, except to hurt … and remember. “Reputation” is what men and women think of us; “character” is what God and angels know of us.” – Thomas Paine Have just concluded a very satisfying telephone conversation with Dr. Jack Sanguigni. Jack still lives in Pennsylvania and is trying to fight his way back from a staph infection caused by an attempt to cure a chronic hip problem. Like many of us he needs a new one and is waiting for the infection to clear. I opined that his hip problem was probably precipitated by trying to dodge too many hard hit ground balls while he was playing third base for the Institute baseball team. He agreed that could have been a factor, but the alternative would have been getting “beaned” so many times by line drives hit directly at him that he might have been considered too “daffy” to be admitted to grad school. Jack reminded me that he lost his wife 16 years ago and has lived alone ever since. “Just too difficult to repeat the matrimonial process.” Jack also lost a son, and is one of several BRs who have experienced what many psychiatrists believe may be the worst pain one can experience on this earthly journey. I can only imagine. That the human condition can experience such unmitigated tragedy and continue to function, as well as it does is one of life’s great mysteries and triumphs. Jack, we pray for your complete recovery and speedy return to the golf course. Keep the faith. 2011-Issue 3

Have just read an editorial culled from the dark recesses of the Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA) which states in part: “In an effort to retain female cadets, Virginia Military Institute watered down its physical fitness standards. All cadets used to be required to do five pull-ups; now female cadets need to do only one. Because of that change, federal investigators have dropped the physical-standards angle of their investigation into a complaint that the school discriminates against women. The news stirred memories of the heated debate, nearly two decades ago now, over whether admitting women to VMI would require the school to relax its ferociously vigorous regimen. In arguments before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1992, Justice Department lawyer Jessica Silver insisted: ‘The record clearly shows that some women can do everything that is part of the physical training programs at VMI.’ “Judge Paul Niemeyer, a member of the three-judge panel that heard arguments today … asked Ms. Silver whether VMI would be forced to adopt a two-track system if it admitted women … “Ms. Silver said no … “Judge Hiram Ward wondered if women were admitted to VMI under the school’s current strict standards and controversy over equal treatment arose, whether ‘you’d be right back before the court, yelling sex discrimination.’” “Ms. Silver said no.” Interesting, especially in light of the fact that VMI now requires its female cadets to do a minimum of at least one pull-up, while it requires male cadets to do at least five. Guess that’s about it for another time. Take care. Shalom


Read Hanmer

How time flies! I just re-read the February 2011 class notes, which were filled with references to the lousy weather throughout much of the country. It is now (as I write this) May and serious weather continues to roil the hinterlands. Tsunami in Japan, flooding along the Mississippi basin, tornados in the south and Midwest

– it seems to go on and on. I hope none of you have had serious problems with the weather. Some good news is that Osama bin-Laden has been run to ground, and is busy feeding the fishes somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea. Unfortunately, time continues to march on. We have recently lost three stalwart classmates: Ed Chauncey, Ron Lemmons and Bob Filer. I have made contributions in their memory to their favorite charities in the name of the class of 1955. Ed Chauncey graduated from the University of Virginia, served in Germany with a Long Range Rifle Patrol (LRRP) unit, and then spent 35 years as a broker. Ron Lemmons left VMI for Tulane Medical School, served in the Vietnam War and practiced medicine for 50 years, including as chief of staff at Lyster Army Hospital, Fort Rucker, Alabama. Several classmates were able to attend Bob Filer’s funeral in Norfolk on April 29: Mike Belenky was an honorary pallbearer; the Bowdens, the McCants and the Rennicks were in attendance, as were Sam Hill and Sam Segar. Bob was a distinguished military graduate at VMI where he served on the Honor Court for three years and was the first vice president of the Honor Court during his senior year, as well as serving as president of the VMI Glee Club during the same year. Upon graduation from VMI, Bob was inducted into the Beta Commission of Kappa Alpha Order at Washington and Lee University. He retired as president of a subsidiary of Union Carbide after 28 years and as president and chief financial officer of Providence Bible College and Theological Seminary after 15 years. Following, in no particular order, are several vignettes submitted for your information and reading pleasure: I received a gracious letter from Cadet Christopher Gearhart ’11, expressing his thanks to the class for the financial support he has received from the VMI Class of 1955 Scholarship Fund. Cadet Gearhart has majored in mechanical engineering with a concentration in nuclear engineering. He plans to continue pursuing ME/nuclear engineering at the graduate level. While at VMI, Cadet Gearhart participated in the Division 1 rifle team and club wrestling. He also participated in VMI’s Summer 69

CLASS NOTES Undergraduate Research Institute. His project involved the development of a test stand for a flapping wing design for a micro-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Pretty heady, and certainly timely, stuff. Chris concluded his letter with the following: “Thank you again for your generous scholarship support. It has allowed me to learn a lot over my four years of VMI, and I hope to give back to the school as well some day.” Well done, Chris. Joe Brenner, upon seeing Cadet Gearhart’s letter, wrote “I see a parallel track between this student and the path I followed at and beyond VMI. In fact, I did research on ‘flapping coefficients’ of helicopter rotor blades while a summer student at the then Piasecki Helicopter Corporation (now the Boeing Vertol Division) in Morton, PA. As the French say, ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same.’” Bill Nolley added: “Thanks for sharing this letter from Cadet Gearhart. We can all be proud of the quality of education offered at VMI for those young men and women who wish to partake of the many opportunities the Institute provides. Back to Joe Brenner for a moment. In a long note, Joe gave us a condensed account of his career: “Met Zelda at IBM in the Applied Science group – so that I can conclude Big Blue has given me a life companion and a pension. She’s a better golfer than I so I gave it up and stick to tennis. I am still involved with consulting in information technology and strategic planning – and leading a Citizens’ Action Committee for fiscal responsibility. Have two kids and two grandchildren; son a Navy captain; went to Annapolis – that ‘country club’ environment – after hearing what life was really like in Lexington from Jim (Openshaw) and myself. Saw Pete and Cathy Haake at the VMI-Army game two years ago; way too brief an encounter. I also remember seeing Tom Williamson in Chestnut Hill, MA, on one glorious fall day when VMI played BC.” Thanks for the run-down, Joe. Hey guys, take a cue from Joe Brenner and send me similar ruminations to include in these pages! Sue Hill reports that all is well at the Hill household, with Sam continuing his work, as reported here in earlier editions. Sue also alerted me to the marriage of Sam 70

Segar and Anne Waddell. Congratulations, Sam and Anne! Zella Cock gave Leon a new Cadillac for his 77th birthday! Leon says she promised to give him another after the next 77 birthdays, too. Good luck Leon. As of this writing (May 2011), the Cocks are attending Leon’s 60th high school reunion at Meadows of Dan, Virginia. Leon noted that 16 of the 25 graduates are still living, and all intend to attend the reunion. For those of us geographically challenged, Leon notes that Meadows of Dan is located halfway between Laurel Fork and Vesta. That helps a lot, Leon. Ken and Becky Carstens went on a cruise, beginning on Easter Sunday, from California to Hawaii, to return on Mother’s Day. Lots of time at sea, Ken. I hope the bar was well stocked with Virginia Gentleman bourbon. Ken and his brother Carl Carstens ’51 and James Enochs ’51 had their “traditional” spring golf game in April. Carl and James will be attending their 60th reunion this fall. Ken also noted that he had found the grave of a cadet who was at VMI during the New Market battle but was on guard at the Institute, rather than on the battlefield. The cadet is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Pineville, LA. Ken’s research found that the cadet finished 45th in the class of 1867. The Sutherlands, Dick and Evie, are “doing fine and in good health.” Dick was trying to organize a Br’er Rat golf outing, similar to one he put on several years ago. Let us know how it went, Dick! Larry Price has been having a devil of a time with cataract surgery. Larry sent me some gruesome photos of his left eye which, after the failure of the initial operation, has required extensive repair. ‘Twill be a long recovery. We all wish you well, Larry. Speaking of cataract surgery, I just completed surgery on both eyes, and seem to have come through OK. Since I have strabismus, or double vision due to weak eye muscles, I’m still condemned to wear glasses, but I’m seeing much better with corrective lenses. Tom Williamson, upon hearing of my surgery, noted that he had cataract surgery 10 years ago, and discovered that his “gold” car had assumed its original brown color. Tom said Kaye had similar surgery recently, with minimal troubles.

Continuing with the note from Tom Williamson, Tom says he spends a good bit of time on the golf course, still able to walk the course (no carts for Tom). He plays on an historic golf course (notice the correct grammar – an historic – and that is from a physics major!) in Aiken, SC, that was started in 1892. Tom also spends time in his workshop, making furniture, bookshelves and cabinets. His latest project is creating inlays and decorative boxes. He says “the engineer in me causes me to make jigs and do things with wood without cutting off fingers.” Send us some pictures for the next notes, Tom. Dave Woolwine passed on the good news that his son, Dave Jr. ’79, has been promoted to be a vice president with Sentara Hospitals. Congratulations to Dave Jr., from all of us! I got a call from Alwyn McConnell, who had just received the latest edition of the Alumni Review, and wanted to send his regards to all his Brother Rats. Alwyn lives in Florida. Thank you for checking in, Alwyn, and please keep in touch.


Richard M. Smith

Marshall Mundy called to find out about playing golf at the 55th Reunion. He and Monica and his son had just returned from a trip setup by Wes Foster to Russia. He is busy now trying to catch up on work but looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion next month. I got in touch with Bob Irby to catch up on his health and learn if we were going to be able to play golf at the reunion. His health has improved since we last talked but the treatment he had for his irregular heart beat caused him to lose sight in one eye. He is still able to play golf but not as well as before. They hope to be able to work out some conflicts in order to make the reunion. George Penn called to tell me that he had talked with Donnetta Clark, widow of Lynn Clark, who would like to attend the reunion if she could find a ride up from Charlotte, NC. He said Bob and Edna Black would be coming and staying with them. Bob Brickner called to thank me for sending him some pictures of our VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES Class of 1956: 55th Reunion April 25-26, 2011 1

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get-together in Florida last month. He is considering possibly moving to Tulsa, OK, where he has relatives and the climate is better than Chicago. He is concerned about the Japan situation where he has some investments. He hopes none of his BRs takes offense for his pushing them to try and stay in good physical condition as he tries to do. He was glad to know we plan to have a memorial service for BRs at the upcoming reunion. His dental problems continue to plague him as do mine. I wish he would join us in April, but he doesn’t think it’s possible. I had a nice chat with Artis Boland since Scotty was away on a trip to the West side of Florida. She said they had been fighting a cold for some time and were looking to better weather than the past two months. She has to have cataract surgery on both eyes next month but the same surgeon who did Scotty’s in Miami will do hers, and they think he is the best. Their business with Disney and the movie industry is still pretty good in spite of the military cutback. They want me to come down in June or July to fish for Tarpon on their boat. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to make the reunion. Ken McDonald called to let me know Tom Undercoffer was in a coma and not expected to live. He has liver cancer and heart problems. Ken had talked with Fred Farthing and Bill Tolley recently who seem to be holding up well. I talked with Don Nyman regarding his e-mail address and possibly coming to the reunion. His plans have them visiting a daughter in Nashville, TN, at that time so Photo 1: John “Rocky” Stone presiding at a memorial service in J.M. Hall. Photo 2: Dick Smith and Fred Farthing in front of Sentinel Box after the Old Yell. Photo 3: Jim and Betty Mann with Jim Dillard. Photo 4: Les Belsha enjoying a laugh in the hospitality room. Photo 5: Fred Farthing and Don Heslep on the first tee at the Lexington Golf and Country Club. Photo 6: Pat Belsha, Linda Jones, and Mary Jo and Fred Farthing. Photo 7: Members enjoying a meal at the country club. Photo 8: Anne Fowler, Mary Jo Farthing and Motsy Foster hard at work in hospitality room. Photo 9: Melissa and Jim Thurmond with Melissa and Bill Nelson. Photo 10: The class in J.M. Hall for a memorial service at 55th Reunion.


CLASS NOTES they won’t make this one. We discussed the success of VMI basketball and baseball which we agreed has made massive strides in recent years. He is still playing some golf with a regular group of guys in Hilton Head and enjoying the outings. I spoke with Dr. Jim Esler concerning his bringing his grandson who will be here visiting from Germany to the 55th Reunion. I

assured him we would not corrupt the 11-year-old and looked forward to being with them. On Mar. 21st, we lost our BR Tom Undercoffer who had been diagnosed with liver cancer. His funeral service, held in Hampton, VA, was attended by Ken and Sandra McDonald, Dick Justice and Don Heslep. Fred and Mary Jo Farthing went

to the family visitation the evening before. Tom was loyal to VMI and the military establishment all his life. While in Richmond, I contacted Amos Dickinson, and he and Lane joined Honey and me for a very pleasant lunch. He is very excited about the birth of their first grandchild which he claims is a perfect baby! They will be at the 55th Reunion

55th Reunion — April 25-26, 2011

Class of 1956

Class of 1956: Those who attended the 55th Reunion are listed in alphabetical order as follows: Thayer W. Allison, Paul L. Bark, Leslie B. Belsha Jr., J. Robert Black, John J. Dickinson Sr., James M. Dillard, James W. Esler Jr., F.G. Farthing Jr., P. Wesley Foster Jr., Bruce Fowler, Ralph Gibson Jr., W. Douglas Gottwald Jr., Donald B. Heslep, R.W. Holsinger III, Alan T. Jackson, Arthur H. Jennette, L. William Lamb, James E. Mann Jr., C. Russell Mathews, Peter K. McCrary, Bruce J. McCreedy, Lawrence D. Miller Jr., J. Peyton Moore, Robert L. Morris Jr., G. Marshall Mundy, William O. Nelson Jr., Francis J. Palme Jr., Edmund Pendleton Jr., George E. Penn Jr., John P. Pittman, Russell T. Quinlan, R. Jere Real, William B. Salsgiver Jr., Robert G. Shelton, Richard M. Smith Jr., W.M. Stokes III, John Harold Stone Jr., Jimmie V. Thurmond, M. L. Waring Jr. and J. Russell Wiltshire.



CLASS NOTES and were interested in whom I knew was also coming. Lane is hoping I can keep J.P. Moore from leading Amos astray! We learned just prior to the 55th Reunion that we had lost another BR, Fritz Firing who lived in South Carolina. It turned out that 40 BRs attended the reunion and a total of 80 with wives or friends came to Lexington. We had to have “Shak-a-Leg” performance in order to get a license from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to serve liquor at Marshall Hall banquet. This was a first for VMI Reunions and upset a lot of people. Nevertheless, each of the affairs turned out satisfactorily and the Donny Cash Band was good enough to make “old fools be old fools” again! The accommodations at the Wingate Inn and the hospitality room turned out fine. Thanks to Pat Webb, I was able to run DVD’s of us at the 50th Reunion which showed how much we had changed in five years. Both dinners at Marshall Hall and at the Lexington Country Club were good. The VMI Glee Club put on a stellar program, and as always, we enjoyed the music of Donnie Cash. A very touching Memorial service was conducted in J.M. Hall by Chaplain Park and BR John “Rocky” Stone. The hospitality room at the Wingate Inn proved to be a very popular place for congregating. We had the added benefit of art displayed by some of Jere Real’s paintings and photos, and Linda Jones’ offerings for bids on Harry’s collection of prints by a well known artist. Thanks to Pat and Mary Jo, we had quite a selection of snacks to go along with a variety of spirits. Our march into Barracks was the highlight for those expecting to see a VMI parade in light of it being cancelled due to possible thunderstorms. We made it without getting wet although umbrellas were handy and with the four reunion classes each managing to send someone up the ladder to top of the sentinel box without mishap to give an “Old Yell;” it made a happy scene. I have to close this edition on a very sad note, as I learned this week of the passing of our well respected and former Class Agent “Sonny” Schoen. He will be missed not only by his BRs but also many at VMI. Yours in the “Spirit,” Dick 2011-Issue 3


Clayton M. Thomas III

What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, I was in the hospital for 20 days and 19 days in a rehab facility. Dawn came to visit me 38 of 39 days which was amazing, as she doesn’t drive, and we have no public transportation. Bob Fiske stopped by often to see if I was behaving myself. Last May 2010, Dawn typed the class notes on the computer and mailed them to the VMI Alumni Review. We collaborated on the notes but with Dawn writing them, there was a crispness and a clarity to them. She did well. Now in May, we have cool mornings for walking and the weather is delightful. I am back on the lanai, writing birthday cards again. VMI sent the latest figures for Annual Giving and for FY 2011 as of March 25 the class of 1957 has 68 Brother Rats and six widows as donors. The widows are Judy Fabella, Patti Hammond, Maria O’Donohue, Pat Saunders, Kay Schwendinger and Lind Vaughan Wright. Between now and June 30, we need 32 Brother Rats to make a donation, and we will have achieved our goal of 100 Brother Rats contributing to Annual Giving. The highlight for us this spring was our visit to VMI to attend the Class Agents’ Conference April 2-3, 2011. This was our first trip back since November 2009, and we started before daybreak, driving in rain and drove 535 miles to Jonesville, NC, and the rain never let up. The next morning we crossed into Virginia via Fancy Gap in clouds and fog so thick we could see only 50 yards. As soon as we crossed into Virginia, we left the fog and clouds behind. The conference was excellent, and we had an enjoyable stay with Nancy Lincoln in her new home. Lexington was cold and cloudy. We were glad to return to warmth and sunshine. The trip took 1494 miles. In the midst of writing these notes, I was visited by a terribly swift cold, with a scratchy throat, stuffy head, runny nose and a foghorn cough. After four days, the fever broke at 3 a.m. I missed Cinco de Mayo, but hopefully, I will celebrate

Mother’s Day with Dawn. I am grateful to be back on our lanai writing again. The Giving summary lists the number of solicitable alumni. 1956 has 145, and 1958 has 117. Our class has 154. However, we had less matriculates than both classes. According to The Register of Former Cadets, the Memorial Edition of 1957, the class of 1956 matriculated 306 and the class of 1958 matriculated 302. Our class matriculated 276, yet we have retained a larger number of Brother Rats over the years. We must be doing something right, or we are just lucky. We enjoy happy news. Ray and Martha MacKay had a great time in April. Don and Judy Coombs from Kerrville, TX, were on an East Coast tour from Florida to New York, so the four roommates and wives gathered at the Massanuten Resort in Virginia. Nick Kallelis and his new bride, Carman, came up form Gastonia, NC; Ray and Martha MacKay came up from West End, NC; and Carl and Joyce Schladitz came down from Pennsylvania. They had a great time at their mini-minireunion April 18-19, 2011. A more somber reunion took place in Smithfield, VA, with the gathering of members of the class of 1957 to attend a “Celebration of Life” in memory of Bob Wagner’s wife, Charlotte, who died on March 20th. Buzzy Snyder reported that it was a lovely affair, and those from our class who attended were Buz and Nelda Snyder, Dick and Sarah Collier, B.D. Ayres, Charlie Jenkins, Bill and Florine Moore, and Jay Musser. Charlotte and Bob’s children and grandchildren and many friends attended also. “Bob did a wonderful job of retaining his emotions and gave a five-minute talk about the love of his life – Charlotte.” In April, Beverly Caldwell called with the sad news that Charles Caldwell passed away on April 12, 2011. Charles had ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and Beverly requested that Don Jamison make a donation to ALS Research instead of flowers, which he did. Jay Musser and Bill Moore did an excellent job of notifying the Brother Rats, and Beverly reports that she has received numerous cards and calls from Brother Rats. “VMI was a very special place to him plus he treasured all his Brother Rats. We both had so many great 73

CLASS NOTES memories of VMI while he was there and later at various reunions.” In early May, Milt Hargrave phoned with the sad news that Lanthe Sessoms died April 29, 2011. She is survived by her husband and our Brother Rat, Oscar Van Pelt Sessoms III. They had been married 47 years and have two sons, Capt. Oscar Van Pelt Sessoms IV ’91 and John Dallas Sessoms, plus four grandchildren. A memorial service was held May 5 at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Richmond. Let us close with the pleasant thought that our 55th Reunion draws near. We gather again in Lexington from Sunday through Wednesday, April 22-25, 2012. What a glorious time to be at VMI and in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley!

Wes Roberts

’58 Hello, BRs and Dear Ladies! My dear Annemarie reminds me that this is our “spring” class notes, which shows you my state of mind … slow and forgetful. I am rather tired of hearing about the “golden years,” but do have to agree with many of you that there is a lot to be desired in life, midway through our seventh decade! Sadly, as I receive your submissions, I read of illness, hospitalizations, etc., all of which falls under the category of “Gim Riders.” Nonetheless, all that is submitted is taken into consideration. Thank goodness for the softball players, bull riders and “cruisers,” who let me know that life is still pulsing through some of us. Hull Negley, recovered from his surgery of last year, is now a proud owner of a cane and walker. From those of us who have been sporting canes for awhile now, welcome aboard! Canes do lend certain panache … think “Poirot.” The Negleys plan to go to their cottage in Canada in June, where they will spend the summer. They took two grandsons to the Institute for Legacy Day in March. En route, they toured New Market and Lexington and 74

noted that the Corps looked very sharp at the Friday parade. Hull … sign ‘em up! Joe “Max” Parker just completed his second course of treatment for prostate problems, the first treatment being five years ago. He said that aging does have its ups and downs. Joe brags on his 9-year-old granddaughter, a champion horsewoman, who rides often in shows. Joe and his wife, Tricia, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on June 24. While many of us are celebrating our 75th year on this planet, Ewing Best reports the arrival of her first grandson, Charles Spencer Best, born March 21, weighing in at 8 lb. and 20 inches in length. He is the son of Charlie and Ewing’s son, Michael, and wife Morgan Best. (Note: This new arrival was born on the same day as your class agent.) Charlie must be so proud. From the Aloha State, Tom Smyth writes that the VMI Band and Pipe Band will be in Honolulu over Thanksgiving (Nov. 21-26, 2011). Local alumni are scrambling to put together some social events for this “once in a lifetime visit.” If BRs are interested in visiting Hawaii, Tom says this might be a good time to do it! On a sad note, BR Lee McCown noted that our BR Darrell Rice passed away on April 22, 2011. BR Paul Royer noted that those in attendance at Darrell’s service were BRs Bill Harshaw, Staff Balderson, Lee McCown, Paul Royer, Sam Witt, Onza Hyatt, Charlie Hayes and Leon Elsarelli ’59. Some of you may remember that Darrell’s passing was recently preceded by the death of his wife, Allene. (This brings the number of our deceased BRs to 46.) BR Julius Berman, our unofficial VMI recruiter, noted that he and Duke Bishop met at the Institute on April 26, when J.B. brought his 14-year-old grandson for “a dose of indoctrination.” Duke and J.B. regaled this young man with stories of yore, and Julius hopes this does not “poison the well.” On their return trip, they visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Well done, J.B. Keep up the good work! You and Hull are planning for the future. From the oft silent and barren stretches of New Mexico, we heard from BR Guy Hence, who reported that he and June are

trying to rescue their ranch from the ravages of a windswept and drought ridden landscape. The local elk ate up their trees. Guy reports that he shoveled and laid down three tons of red Arizona gravel on their xeriscape. They are at about 7300 ft. in the Sierra Blanca Mountains, and it’s beautiful, except they are in drought status and concerned about and prepared for fires through the dry range grass. Guy states, “For the car buffs in the class, we bought a Mini Cooper, and we love it. For music lovers, we were at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and enjoyed it along with the great food at ‘haute cuisine’ restaurants. We’re blessed with good health and that’s a good thing at our ages. Please tell the guys to swing by when they are in New Mexico.” Frank Boeggeman reports that he and Elaine are in “the pink of health for 70+ years. Our grandkids are super bright, beautiful and handsome, and good athletes and musicians, too, just like all the grandkids of ’58.” Frank hopes to get down to Lexington for a football weekend. BR Roy Palmer is flying to Israel (May 8) to ferry a Boeing 747 to Taiwan. He reports that if all goes well, he will make the round the world trip in five days and return to Seattle May 12. He is getting a little nervous, because he and Joyce depart on May 16 for Italy to join the VMI Alumni Cruise out of Rome. “We will be meeting Stirling (Williamson) and Jim Moore for a tour before the cruise. Our 55th Reunion will be here before you know it.” Dave Pitkethly and Roy get together every now and then for golf. Roy says, “Dave is still fit as a fiddle and normally jogs 12 miles to the golf course and warms up by playing 18 holes before I arrive.” (There could be some exaggeration in that last statement!) From the storm ravaged state of Alabama, Earl Talley found the last 10-12 days (April) to be quite hectic and a bit unsettling at times. He said that he and Joan awoke to the weather sirens at 0600 on April 27. The sirens were announcing their first major tornado for the day. “It seems as if the sirens wailed continuously throughout the day until the last tornado passed overhead at 2130 that evening. “They lost power, cable and all telephones; the power and telephones were out for 10 days and cable for 11 days. Earl said their battery powered radio was of limited use, VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES as most local stations were not operating because of the power outages. “For a period of time, we were basically out of touch with the world. One of our friends lost five members of his family in his parents’ home during one of the storms. Our daughter, Tonya, lives in Tuscaloosa, where they are still sorting out the damages and number of fatalities.” Earl offers his special thanks to Ernie Edgar and Jim Cowan for their concerns and efforts in finally contacting him. Earl signed off, saying, “It will take time and lots of effort, but Alabama will be back.” Tony Lash reports in brief that he talks with Ron Swirk several times a month. Ron is not on the net and enjoys conversations with several of his BRs regularly. “Ron keeps threatening to come out here (to Oregon) and stay in the ‘Class of ’58 Barracks’ on the mountain.” BR Jerry Paull writes that he is going to retire from the Food and Drug Administration the end of June. He will have worked for the FDA for 21 years. Jerry said that in retirement he plans to volunteer at their local hospital and their USO three days a week. Jerry and Karen send their regards. Ted Henry reports that he and Becky have been commuting for the last several weeks to Natchez/Baton Rouge, where their daughter, Noelle, gave birth to triplets (one girl plus two boys; the boys are

Class of 1958: Hull Negley with his grandsons, Mitchell and Noah Smart, on Legacy Day, March 26, 2011.

2011-Issue 3

identical twins). Ted is scheduled for knee replacement surgery in June which was scheduled for last January, but they had six inches of snow and the surgical team could not make it to the hospital. BR Gene Grayson reports from “trout country,” that he is hoping the groundhog passes away before looking for his shadow again next year. He said that he and Betty were in Earl and Sue Bennett’s hometown, Biloxi and Gulf Shores. He noted that the area has not recovered from Katrina and there were plenty of empty lots along the shoreline. He says, “The casinos all were washed away and are now inland.” He also said that he will send to the editor two pictures of a big rainbow and brook trout (the “brookie” was a state citation). The pictures have not arrived, and, as usual, BR Grayson’s bragging is just a lot of hot air. BR Gene Martin shared some exciting news that he and Peggy wish all of us celebrate. Gene reported that the Air Force Promotion List to colonel was released March 15, 2011. Gene and Peggy’s son, Michael, was on the list a year earlier than they anticipated. He is currently a student at the National War College in D.C. His promotions have been ahead of his peers and are as follows: promotion to major, two years early; to lieutenant colonel, one year early; to full colonel, one year early. Michael’s next assignment will be deputy commander of a to-be-newly-formed 427 Special Tactics Group for a year, which will be located at Fort Bragg/Pope AFB. The newly formed organization will be a joint service organization. He has been informed that the current plan is that after serving one year as deputy commander, he will assume command. When Gene learned that Mike would be attending a year-long school at Keesler AFB, he called Earl Bennett, who was the base commander at the time. He informed Earl that Mike was coming his way and asked that he keep a close eye on Mike and “give no quarter.” Earl received frequent reports, and Earl and Gene communicated frequently. It didn’t take Mike long to realize that his father and the base commander were watching him closely. “We have been very grateful for Earl’s paternal interest and support during that period.” Gene and Peggy, your BRs are equally proud of Michael and extend our congratulations.

BR Drew Troxler reported as follows: Title: “The Old Geezer at Seventy-Five.” The troops from Augusta, GA, of Drew’s old Army Reserve five ton truck company in Vietnam (that he commanded in 196869), affectionately known as “Troxler’s Truckers,” came down to Savannah to throw Drew a fine 75th birthday party. “There were 45 of my guys present, plus wives and my old Bn CO, who became brigadier general. The commander spoke very warmly of the 319th Five-Ton Truck Company, his best, he said, out of all 32 in his command.” Also present were Drew’s wife, JoAnn, plus all his children and grandchildren. It was a huge surprise and a huge success. BRs, the mail bag has been emptied for this issue. My wife, to whom I am dictating, has given me the “cut” sign, so we’ll call it quits for now. As Garrison Keillor says, “Be well, do good work and keep in touch.”


Shep Shepard

We still have BRs on the gim and in need of prayers. Sonny Thomas and Wich Wichlei continue to fight the good fight against that terrible disease, cancer. Chuck Cotton suffered a stroke but says he is doing pretty well. He uses a wheelchair when out primarily because it’s easier for Margo. He’s feeling better each day and expects to be giving me golf strokes in October when we vacation together at Hilton Head. Lee Southard is struggling with heart and back issues. His heart checks out good but the meds have some side effects; and then there is always the grief issue. Jim and Mary Lew Edmunds are praying for the best; Mary Lew is suffering with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and they are desperately hoping for good news. It’s too early in her chemo treatments to tell what’s happening but never too early to keep her in our prayers. Each has expressed their sincere appreciation of the cards, letters and e-mails they have received from you. Ann and I are off for Europe to enjoy a river cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna. After the cruise we intend to spend a week in Austria and southern Germany visit75

CLASS NOTES ing old friends and favorite places. One of our stops will be the Edelweiss, the Military Resort Areas in Garmisch where Brad Willard has had a place for years. Hoping to meet with Brad. I sent him a letter but unfortunately found he will not be there. It’s a wonder anyone can get hold of Brad; he spends much of his time looking after his new company, Cobra Real Estate. He has real estate holdings

along the Lake Roosevelt shoreline, a lake created by the Grand Coulee Dam. He also has property in D.C., New Hampshire, Hawaii, Spain and Germany. After running Willard’s of Saba for 16 years, he sold it. He endured 11 hurricanes while there but does miss the incredible view. Brad recently attended his first Smokejumper Reunion in California where he learned the history of smoke jumping. He found that

in their 70-year history there have only been 5000 smokejumpers with about 2500 still living. He also found that he was the only smokejumper from Washington, D.C. It seems the smokejumper founder, Earl Cooley, didn’t think much of Easterners but because Brad had worked the summer in Wyoming and Idaho he assumed he was a Westerner and hired him. Brad’s father contacted Earl and unbeknownst to

Class of 1959

Clockwise from top, left: -“The VMI Boys of spring,” Bill Nebraska, Nick Kallelis ’57 and Carl Kasko, on their annual spring training reunion in Bradenton, Florida. -The Tidewater Group, from left, Art Brandriff, Jim Vermillion, Vern Keefer, Leon Elsarelli and Baldy Fall, met to set the world straight. -Mary Alice and Ron Marley joined Ann and Shep Shepard in Titusville, across the Indian River from the launch site on Cape Canaveral, for the final launch of the Endeavour Shuttle. Unfortunately, the flight was cancelled. -Enjoying an evening with old friends at the Riverside Grills were, from left, Nancy Roth, Ann and Shep Shepard, Janet Pomponio Stuart, Denyse and Joel Johnson, and Debbie Pomponio Flynn. Howie Roth ’60 was present but not pictured. -Mike and Julie Vargosko visited Nancy and Larry Wood in Las Vegas, Nevada, in celebration of Julie’s 35th birthday. As they say, “What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”



CLASS NOTES Brad, the two arranged for him to be there when Brad made his final training jump. Brad sent us some Euros so we could go to the Alm Hutte and enjoy a “Bier von Fass-Mittleburger.” Believe we will, Brad. Thanks! Mel and Jean Anderson are good, busy and having fun but holding their breath that things in the Middle East don’t expand to Israel. Their grandson, Cody, son of daughter Bonnie, joined the Israel Army as an alternative to a goof off year in college. His enlistment is for 18 months, and he has about a year to go. He’s getting lots of great training including being an Israeli paratrooper. His first jump was fantastic; as he went on to do two more day jumps and two night jumps before he received his blood wings. How many of you old timers remember that first prop blast. I must admit that all my jumps were night jumps because I had my eyes closed every time I went out the door. Well done, Cody; welcome to the brotherhood of paratroopers. Son Todd, a first class geotech engineer and an associate at his engineering firm, has been working in Calgary, Canada, working the process of extracting oil from sand. Todd hopes to be back in Tampa by the end of May which will make everyone in the family happy, especially his wife, Sandy. Baldy Fall reports “The Tidewater Group” met to resume their bimonthly discussion on how to save the country but ended up just having a few beers and lunch. Another opportunity lost. Present were Art Brandriff, Jim Vermillion, Vern Keefer, Leon Elsarelli and Baldy. Vern continues to work on his home in Urbana. He has built everything by himself from cutting the trees to plumbing. All’s well with the Fall’s. Baldy and Joanne have four children and 10 grandkids. Daughter Stephanie and her crew moved to Belvoir from Benning. Her husband is a full bird Army colonel at the Pentagon. Their other daughter married a retired Navy captain and is working close by at Monroe. When Bill and Susie Kirkland heard about Chuck’s stroke they immediately mailed him a healing blanket from their church. They had previously sent one to Lee Southard, and he said it had a real calming influence; so they must work. Bill and Susie have not traveled lately but they are going to be grandparents again; one of 2011-Issue 3

their twin girls is due and should deliver soon. That makes seven. Bob and Lois Hobson are doing OK. Bob was sad to hear his old roomy, Chuck, had a stroke but told him they still had a golf date for the 2014 reunion but neither Parkinson’s nor a stroke would give him any special deals. Bob wrote his account about the nuclear plant event in Japan since he was involved with the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant. I sent it to all BRs on my e-mail list but those not on the list and interested in getting a copy, drop me a line. You might enjoy Bob’s perspective of the incident. Ron and Mary Alice Marley got a visit from Bill and Jen Lee. Jen was booked at a local seminar so they got stuck with Bill all day. They spent it productively, though, resolving domestic problems and the proper way to save the world from total destruction; then went to lunch. The only thing missing was Miss Jen who was sorely missed. A few months ago, a few BRs and their spouses were in Fort Myers, FL, attending Marilyn Southard’s memorial service. The morning of the ceremony, we were all rudely awakened by a piercing fire alarm. The following is Mary Alice’s account of the morning’s activity. Notice no one goes unscathed except Mary Alice. She wrote: “Early that morning, the fire alarm went off. It was loud, ear-shattering, never ending; a very rude awakening, to say the least. I peered out the door and saw Bill Nebraska dashing down the stairs, fully attired, including coat and tie. He must sleep fully dressed or he was so busy getting himself dressed that he forgot that his lovely bride, Connie, was still in the room. As far as I know, she is still there; we haven’t seen her since. Mel Anderson was next, Jean in tow. I wondered where Jean found those adorable, size 19 bunny slippers Mel was wearing. The flowers attached to the fluffy ears were just the sweetest. I suppose if you are a ‘stud muffin’ you can get away with that. I ran back to the window as the fire trucks arrived, sirens and whistles blaring. There, were Buddy and Denyse Kramer. They had time to dress in matching tan slacks and Irish green shirts. I noticed that Denyse was slyly checking out something on Bud and gave him a ‘thumbs up.’ A later conversation with Bud cleared it up. He

wasn’t sure he had properly zipped and asked Denyse to discreetly check him out. She gave him thumbs up. I wondered, did that mean that he was properly zipped or did she notice something worth a thumbs up? Back in the hallway Ron Marley appeared, dressed in camouflage pajamas, with all brass and insignia properly affixed. Ron was hollering, ‘Company formation in the parking lot immediately; off and on; move it or lose it!’ Just as I was about to close the door, who should I see peeking out from across the hall, but Shep Shepard. He must have thought the coast was clear. What can I say, Shep? Cute negligee! You look charming in the flowers and lace. I realize that I may never be welcome at any VMI functions again, but that’s the way I saw it.” Bobby and Alice Ross have moved to Richmond. Although they miss being close to VMI and all its activities, they are happy to be home. The first person to greet them was their old friend Sam Woolwine ’58. Sam showed up with food that he had personally cooked; delicious homemade soup, corn muffins and chocolate chip cookies. Needless to say it was great to see a familiar face and to learn that he lives close by. Bobby and Alice highly recommend Sam if you are looking for a good chef; he’s definitely the one to call. Bud and Susan Mease were off again on another thrilling adventure, this time to Guam and Australia. They like to take advantage of Space Available transportation and seem to do pretty good. Ann and I joined them a few years ago on a trip to South Korea, Thailand and Okinawa. We had a heck of a time keeping up with them but it sure was exciting. While in Guam, Bud and Susan drove around the island and visited the cave where Yukio, the last Japanese soldier from WW II hid for over 30 years. They also enjoyed snorkeling and visiting with their grandchildren, who are there with their Air Force parents. The Japanese tsunami happened while they were there and gave them a scare but fortunately it did not reach Guam. Next stop was Cairns, Australia. The Aussies are so friendly, down to earth, practical and full of life. Their visit was confined to the Cairns region of Queensland and the Rainforest country. They spent a day on the Great Barrier Reef where Susan excelled in a new 77

CLASS NOTES sport – snorkeling. She had a great time and it was also good therapy for her recent knee replacement; she wants to do Hawaii again. They had a little Space A trouble returning, but all the excitement was worth a little waiting. Bill and Connie Nebraska have not done much traveling lately but plan to attend their grandson’s confirmation in Cleveland in late May and a trip to Chicago in June. They continue to enjoy beautiful Florida weather and lots of days on the golf course. For the past several years Bill has met Carl Kasko and Nick Kallelis ’57 at Pirate City in Bradenton, FL, to watch Pittsburg Pirates spring training. While there they enjoyed a lot of baseball, a little bit of golf, some adult beverages but most importantly, camaraderie. Notice in the accompanying picture that “The Boys of Spring” continue to follow the rules. Bill insists that the beverage in the bottles they hold is nonalcoholic sarsaparilla. Ann and I had a wonderful surprise a few weeks ago. We received a call from Art Pomponio’s sisters, Janet Stuart and Debbie Flynn. Janet is living in Safire Falls, NC, but was visiting her younger sister, Debbie, in Vero Beach, FL. To make the evening more memorable, we received a last minute call from Howie Roth ’60. He and his wife, Nancy, agreed to join us for the evening. We had a great time remembering Art and all the crazy things we did together. Janet and Debbie are doing great. Janet’s daughter, Denyse, and her husband, Joel Johnson, also live in Vero Beach where Joel is a renowned artist and paints the most beautiful watercolors you have ever seen. Ann, who is also a watercolor artist, is enraptured by his work. It was great to see Howie and Nancy again. Howie and I did not know each other well at VMI but once we got to Vietnam we became fast friends, and he got me out of a lot of trouble. We served together in subsequent assignments, and in 1981, he bought our 25-foot Venture sailboat from us. Howie and Nancy live on a 40-foot boat moored at Patrick Air Force Base just a stones thrown from where we live. After dinner we all went over to their boat for a guided tour. With so much to talk about and so little time to do it, we’ve rescheduled another visit to finish what we started. 78

Mike and Julie Vargosko stayed close to home this winter but that changed quickly when Julie insisted that Mike take her to Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday. Julie had never been there and of course had never heard anything about Las Vegas because “what goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” They delayed the trip until Easter because their son, Michael, who lives in Poland, wanted to join them. While there Mike swapped a few stories with Larry Wood. Larry and Mike served as TAC Officers at VMI together, and they argued over who was the meanest. Meantime, Julie and Nancy tried to figure out how they could have stayed married to these two characters for 50 years. Later in the summer, Mike and Julie hope to visit with the Messners, Patanes and Trandels. They are still waiting for that promised visit from the ever allusive Van Kesterens. Speaking of Larry Wood, thanks to donors supporting his bike ride to raise money for the American Diabetes Association, he was able to raise $310. They had four members on their American Turkish Team and had a choice of riding 15, 45 or 65 miles. Larry chose the 15-mile ride. It was a beautiful day and a delightful ride. Larry suggests we put together a VMI ’59 team; any bike riders interested? The team could do a Lexington/Roanoke, Lexington/ Lynchburg or a ride from VMI to Victory Stadium in memory of those Thanksgiving Day Games in Roanoke; or perhaps a shorter ride to Southern Seminary in memory of those wonderful ladies who put up with us on short notice. Noland Pipes wears his class ring every day, taking it off only when he is about to do manual labor or go to bed. As he prepares for each new day, putting on the ring has become a special part of his routine. He takes the ring from its overnight resting place and turns it so that our class numerals face toward him. He offers thanks to God for VMI and the class of ’59. He prays for those in need of prayer and finally prays that the VMI will continue to be a blessing to the lives it touches. A simple process that takes less than a minute but one that is very meaningful to him. Thanks for sharing that, Noland. Bruce and Norma Mackenzie spent a spectacular few weeks on Anna Maria Island. No sooner had they returned when

they left for a wonderful Inland Waterway Cruise, Charleston to Jacksonville, where they met Meg Retinger, daughter of Tom Hathaway ’49C. Bruce says it was great to talk with someone enthusiastic about VMI. Later, they plan to be in Pembrooke, VA, for a week of birding followed by two more Canadian cruises later in the summer. Bruce and Norma are keeping well ahead of old age. It is always good to hear from Ted Harcke who has got to hold the all time record of “oldest person still on active duty.” DOD approved the extension of his “Retiree Recall to Active Duty” until 2012, giving him 52 years of active duty. Way to go, Ted. I received a nice letter from Jim McFalls. Jim is doing great. Jim has a habit of sending gifts, this time a t-shirt from the Spartans of Norfolk State University and two prayer cards for Ann. Jim should have been in the CIA, because he insists that I cannot reveal any information he sends to me under penalty of no more ties or t-shirts. Jim is extremely proud of his children and their accomplishments. Thanks for thinking of us Jim. Ed Sitch moved from Southern CA to Austin, TX, and really is enjoying it. As a kid, Ed’s heroes were always cowboys, and now thanks to his son’s good influence, he’s getting fully into the western lifestyle. You’ll love it, Ed. Texas was Ann and my favorite station. Gordo Keiser says that Ranger, Airborne and SCUBA Schools were great, but what really enhanced his agility was dodging MPs in Quang Tri, Danang and Hoi An. Bill and Yvonne Traylor enjoyed a visit from daughter, Elizabeth, husband, Jay, and children, Andrew and Buckley from Warrenton, VA. While in Florida they got in boating, fishing and kayaking in Boca Grande. Their arrival was in typical young family fashion; two kayaks on top of their Jeep, their dog and the entire rear compartment filled with gear. Andrew made a special point of reminding Bill that he is taller than him. Since Bill was one of the shortest people in our class, that probably isn’t saying much, but it is a definite benchmark for Andrew. Yvonne keeps Bill on the straight and narrow. Not only is she a great life partner but also a great business partner; their new company VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES is thriving. Bud and Denyse Kramer are still scampering about the country in their RV. They are making preparations for a summer trip, but are uncertain where they will go. Bud’s son, Blaine, is working on a TV show about the battle that his late wife, Crystal, put up with cancer. It’ll take time to get it produced but should be moving when it hits the airway. Dick Bingham thanks all BRs for their cards, prayers and visits during his surgery and recoup from heart surgery. He had his nine-month check up and came through with flying colors. They said it would take six months, but in three months he was vacationing on St. Croix and climbed a mountain on Buck Island, the result of intensive rehab at his hospital and continued PE every morning before breakfast. Dick enjoyed the winter in Florida and Palm Springs, CA. He is back in West Virginia to sell his house so he can relocate to Tampa, FL. Don and Carol Messner think we all need to keep on patching and adjusting to our changing bodies. Don passed his stress test with flying colors; reached target heart rate with no signs of recurring blockages. He attributes some of that to frequent walks. He aids the walks by listening to lectures from courses taught by The Teaching Company. He is almost finished with the “Fall and Rise of China” taught by Prof. Richard Blum, UCLA. He has enhanced his walks recently with a gift from Carol, a Sea Eagle inflatable kayak which he paddles on the many local creeks in the area. The inflatable makes for easier storage, handling and you’re not limited to commercial launch sites. Ann and I are doing pretty good. Despite some plumbing surgery and back problems we were able to make it to our grandson’s college graduation. Patrick graduated with a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO. This is our first college grad, but we have eight more right behind him. As these note go to press, we are cruising the Rhine and Danube from Amsterdam to Vienna. Before we left, we had a visit from Ron and Mary Alice Marley who came down to observe the next to the last shuttle launch, the Endeavour. We made our way to the launch viewing site with beer, wine, cokes and dinner in hand and just as we were about to set up the launch was scrubbed. 2011-Issue 3

Seems one of the three auxiliary power units had a problem. It didn’t dampen the day however, because we just made our way to some friend’s house where we enjoyed a post non-launch party. We spent the rest of the day eating and drinking and telling tall tales. Unfortunately, Ron and Mary Alice were unable to return for the Endeavor launch, but we had a wonderful visit while they were here. Incidentally, the Endeavour still has not launched, and we are half way through May.


L. Edward Tolley

Brother Rats and Ladies of ’60, My trip to Suffolk for the Tidewater mini-reunion was a great fun time. Bill and Sue Knowles were the instigators, and they rounded up Bob and Lucy Clay, Howard and Susan Moss, Mike Pitt and Betty Hudgins, Doc Ballard and brother, Bruce Ballard ’62, Mike Shoemaker, and Seagull and Joyce Coughlin. We ate at The Broken Egg Bistro in Suffolk. Unfortunately, Tommy and Angela Leary and Dave and Imelda Bisset were unable to make it. The dinners were delicious and the visitations were better. Howard and Susan Moss invited me to spend the night at their place on the James in Surry. What a quaint and unique little hide-away! Howard and Susan have been closely involved in the design, construction and furnishing of their beautiful home and grounds. There are so many unique features. Jefferson would be proud. Attention to detail is evident at every corner. Howard and Susan have made many personalized finishing touches that make this their home. The wall hand paintings in each room were only one of many beautifications from Susan’s talented hands. Howards collection of WWII aircraft photographs, signed by both U.S. and German pilot aces, is extensive. I was presented with a handmade wine bottle cork made by “the speediest guard and best clubhouse lawyer.” Overlooking the James, a bald eagle roosts in a tree maybe a quarter mile upstream. The patio is ringed by joints of whale vertebra with shards of shark’s bone. Howard’s collection of shark’s teeth

is extensive and has many very big ones. The wine cellar and cigar humidor? Both are well stocked full with my kinds. Fred Murrill called having received the 2011 Issue 2 of the Review and gave me a rundown of his travels that included Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, Kobota Island and points around the Ring-of-Fire. Thus, Fred scratched off a number of items from his bucket list. He just took receipt of a new BMW that Tom Foster ’66, sold him in McLean, VA. We reminisced about old roomies who were on a short list of class of ’60 men (Bill Loth, Marshall Smith, John Bishop and Dave Betts) and events of over 50 years. Frank Bruce got a scare of chest discomfort in early May and had to go in for heart cauterization after a stress test and EKG indicated abnormal conditions. Not to worry! Frank came through with flying colors; there was no blockage and the Doc says he could run a marathon. (The closest thing to a marathon that Frank ever ran was in the snow from Alumni Hall to Barracks on a bum ankle … ahead of a tack officer, winter of ’59; yeah, runnin’ the block. Don Duncan and Pete McGue can verify.) There is still concern for a test of his carotid artery where there is a plaque build-up. Surgery may be in his future. Because I don’t understand what she’s talking about, I’m copying my latest report from wife Katie regards Ashby Chamberlin’s health. “We were at the cardiologist this a.m. and yet again did not get the news we were hoping for – the A-Fib is still there. So here’s the game plan: On June 2, he’ll go to Suburban Hospital for shock treatment, a cardio-conversion. But first they will do Trans-esophageal Echo-gram. The TEE is putting a camera down the esophagus to look at the heart and make sure there is no clot in it. Should there be one, they will not proceed with the cardio-conversion. He doesn’t expect to see one but is putting this safe guard in place. Also swelling in the ankles/lower legs is better, but still significant. The doc says he’s puzzled about that, hopes when the A-Fib is gone, so will be the swelling, but doesn’t necessarily link the two issues. The blood thinner doesn’t completely have his blood in the right range, but it is close. In terms of feeling good, very little breathlessness, he feels much improvement. And 79

CLASS NOTES is enjoying his one-mile sunrise walk each happy to get out of his blouse! Yes, all my a.m. He continues to be careful about his shirt buttons are gone. heart rate while on the wind trainer pedThat’s it Bros … Have a great year! dling to Tour de France DVDs, rememberSal Vitale Jr. ing when those guys kick it and pull ahead that he must not. He keeps reciting, ‘recovery, rebuilding, rejuvenating, resting, but not racing.’” Thanks, Dr. Chamberlin, for that clear and concise illumination of the procedures, but what’s wrong with him? The greatest reunion in VMI history is I talked to Ashby and reminded him that over! Thank you for your support. What a he should have any shock treatments done turn out! 159 registered and 155 showed in Maryland because Virginia still has up which included 150 Brother Rats and the death penalty and electrocution is the five widows. Yes, history was made at this preferred method. Amy, one of his girls, 1961 50th Class Reunion. First, VMI says suggested that he simply put the dog’s this was the largest reunion class ever (for electric fence collar around his neck and any class reunions). Regarding contriburun across the yard and the fence. That tions, we are the seventh largest among all should fix him. classes, and yes, we surpassed 60 but who Ann and Phil Shepherd ’59 (class is comparing (Smile). Third, it was the first agent), forwarded an e-mail that they had time that VMI allowed a living person, me, had dinner with Howie and Nancy Roth, to be memorialized by allowing the class with whom they have become good friends to place a plaque on a bench immediately while in Vietnam and other Army assignadjacent to the parade ground reviewing ments. The e-mail contained a couple area. I was completely surprised and overpictures that are included herein. As I have whelmed. Thank you! reported previously, Howie and Nancy live Since the last class notes, our BRs have on the boat pictured. been very busy. Fred Ayers was the mounFudd Caldwell called and gave an in- tain guide for the reunion of the original teresting update of things in Louisiana. 10th Mountain Division. Gen. George C. Thankfully, the floods of this spring did not Marshall ’901 authorized the creation of affect his area to any great extent. He has an open invitation for BRs, especially Mike Pitt! Mike, you need to visit the land of oil and gators. The whole Caldwell family are doing just fine. On May 16th, Tyler Tolley ’14 will be free for the summer and to celebrate the conclusion of the Rat year. Tyler, son Tom Tolley ’90 and I are having an evening of steaks, corn-on-the-cob, baked potatoes, cigars and drambuie. Tom and Tyler will then go to Lockhart, Class of 1960 TX, for the summer where Andy, Tyler’s dad, will Howie and Nancy Roth at keep them busy during their home, a 40-foot boat, the summer. Tyler is a docked at Patrick Airforce Base, Florida. football team member, quarterback and is not too



the unit in 1941 when he was Army Chief of Staff. I was fortunate enough to be the principal in charge (1985-88) for the planning and design of 97 buildings and the aviation facility for new facilities for the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, Watertown, NY. This new fort was the first fort constructed since the Civil War. In anticipation of the celebration of our 50th Reunion, Tom Whalen, my second semester Rat roommate, arranged with the rector of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Incline Village, NV (Tom’s hometown), to remember Saint Jonathan Daniels ’61 The martyr in the two services on Sunday, May 1st. Although Jon’s feast day is August 14th, Tom felt it important that he be remembered in prayers on the last day of our 50th Reunion. Thanks, Tom. Who would have known that when Mitch Kot had 80-year-old Mr. Bill Ritchie for dinner in his home in Vietnam, that Mr. Ritchie was Marty Caples boss in Nha Trang, Vietnam? Mr. Ritchie has the highest respect for Marty. Marty told me that Mr. Ritchie was the best manager Marty had worked for in his entire work career. With February half over, Sue and I were off to Florida for golf. On the way we spent a wonderful evening with Bill and Marci Keech in Savannah; then it was Orange County, FL, for a great time with our BRs and spouses. Bob and Bronnie Polk made all the arrangements and J.C. Miller, Stu and Lee Crow, Hershel Murray, Spike and Mary Callander, Dude and Kathy Copenhaver, Sal and Sue Vitale, Dick and Diane Stone, and Ray and Sally Hanlein enjoyed two days of golf and quality time together. Naples, FL, was the next stop the annual reunion of the retired people in my old company. The attendees are getting less and less. Andy and Peg Myruski VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

CLASS NOTES invited us to stay with them, and we all visBaldwin College. Gen. Brown was the guest went smoothly, and I had a time to kiss all ited with the Hill and Heather Browning. speaker, and he was most enjoyable. Gen. the ladies. The class golf outing at the LexHeather took us for a wonderful boat ride. Brown came up through the ranks and said ington Country Club was underway, and One evening Dave and Judy Elliott along that during one time in his career he reported Stu and Lee Crow did a great organizing with Browning, Vitale and Myruski went to Mike Bissell, his company commander. the event for 27 BRs and eight spouses. out to dinner and regrouped at Myruski’s The general went on to say that Mike was The men’s team of Clarkson, Kern, for some quality time. Next stop was Vero one of the finest officers he ever served under Copenhaver and Garland Payne won with Beach to visit with my cousins. While there and was Gen. Brown’s role model. That is Clayton Smith winning closest to the pin. we visited with Jim and Carol Cranford saying something! The women’s team of Lee Crow, Bronnie and called Bill Eubank who also lives in For those of you who did not attend the Polk, Dianne Stone and Bert Modine won Vero. Bill is retired, doing well and his reunion, I will try to highlight the events with Kathy Copenhaver winning closest favorite hobby is pistol shooting. Then it of the most enjoyable weekend of my to the pin. Those who played included was off to Ormond Beach, and we stayed life, our 50th Reunion. Sue and I arrived Gangemi, J.C. Miller, Spencer, von with Buzz Bossart and had dinner with at Natural Bridge on Wednesday to asHellens, Ramirez, Copenhaver, Lee Buzz and John Purner. On the way back semble the reunion materials for our Sister Crow, Bronnie Polk, Roberta Modine, to Virginia Beach on, I-95, we called Dude Rat helpers arriving at noon Thursday. Sally Hanlein, Brenda Huntsberry, Kathy and Kathy Copenhaver, and they invited us Thursday morning we saw Dick Lindquist Copenhaver, Hanlein, Stone, Haeberto spend the night with them. Thank, God! (who also came early) in the dining room, lein, Diane Stone, Anne Rishell, BickThe 1961 Scholarship fund established and Dick offered to help us, and he did. ford, Clarkson, Butler, Jarvis, Miner, many years ago by Rhett Clarkson was By the time our helpers arrived, we were Finnigan, Clayton Smith, Kern, Modine, used this year to support Cadet Jackson done packing 161 reunion favor boxes. Ar- Kiger, Callander, Alligood, Doleman, Calhoun ’11 of Richmond, VA. Lee riving on Thursday were 60 Brother Rats, Huntsberry, Crow, Polk, Burks, Garland Badgett attended the VMI Scholarship so getting ready sooner was a benefit. The Payne, Henning and all had a great time. luncheon and met Cadet Calhoun who ladies handling registration on Thursday Friday night five yellow buses pulled up to is an international studies major. Battle were Sylvia Woodcock, Kathy Copenthe hotel and we moved 255 people to the Haslam and John Miller were also at the haver, Joyce Gibbings and Sue. It went Hall of Valor at the Leadership and Ethics VMI Scholarship luncheon. smoothly, and at 5:30 p.m., 104 Brother Center for the Alumni Association dinner. The week before reunion, Lou Shuba Rats and spouses went to Café Michel Brother Rat Paul Myatt gave the invocaand Alison Drescher rode in the Face of for a most enjoyable evening. We had the tion. After dinner Gen. Peay ’62 addressed America bike ride from Washington, D.C., entire restaurant to ourselves. the class, the Glee Club sang and the presito Gettysburg, PA. Lou said that last year’s Friday morning the registration desk was dent of the Alumni Association, Randy ride was such a rewarding experience that manned again with the Thursday ladies Blanks ’67, closed the evening activities. his mind talked his body into doing it again. and Carole Berger. Registration again We loaded up the yellow buses back to the Allison said the event provided hotel and gathered in the hotel 82 “Wounded Warriors” with grand ballroom to feast on dips, an opportunity to engage in chips, wine and beer and a few strenuous athletic activity. soft drinks. I went to bed. Struggling to climb those hills Saturday morning we had a and then experiencing the thrill wonderful buffet breakfast and of a rapid descent down the most of us took the yellow buses other side is uplifting for them. to VMI for the activities. Getting For most, just completing the our wheelchair folks on and off 110-mile ride is a life changing the buses was a challenge and experience. Allison is already when the wounded arrived at looking forward to next year. VMI, Brother Rat Mike BisRiding this year with our BRs sell had waiting for them four were two VMI Cadets, Laura Virginia Woman Institute for Resetar ’11, editor in chief Leadership (VWIL) Cadets, of the Bomb, and The Cadet Jessica Hartzog, Amanda Evans, Class of 1961: At the Orange County National Golf Course (newspaper), opinion editor, Sarah Witherspoon and Laurenin Florida, Feb. 14, 2011, were, from left, front row, Lee and Mathew Dale ’12. That tia Tuff in uniform and ready to Crow; Bronnie Polk, sitting on John Miller’s lap; Mary Calsame weekend, Sue and I along assist those members of our class lander; Kathy Copenhaver; Sue Vitale; Diane Stone; and with Dude and Kathy Copenand spouses who were confined Sally Hanlein. Back Row: Graham King, Hershel Murray, Stu Crow, Bob Polk, Spike Callander, Dude Copenhaver, haver attended the Virginia to wheelchairs. Their generosity Dick Stone and Ray Hanlein. Attending but not pictured Woman Institute for Leadership made it possible for those ablewas Sal Vitale. (VWIL) Military Ball at Mary bodied BRs to march into the 2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES old courtyard with their Brother Rats and not worry about how those less fortunate would get there. What a wonderful group of young ladies; I can always count on Mike and the VWIL Cadets to assist our class in the time of need. The class picture was a hoot and our group was so large that the photographer was unable to have our ladies in a picture with us. I know that names will not be included with the class picture in the Review so here

are the names of those who were present: Alexander, Alligood, Alvey, Ayala, Ayers, Aylor, Badgett, Bella, Berger, Bickford, Birindelli, Bissell, Bossart, Bradshaw, Braithwaite, Bryant, Burks, John Butler, Callander, Carmichael, Christie, Clarkson, Coen, Coltrane, Copenhaver, Cranford, Crow, Curlee, Curtis, Daniels, Doleman, Drescher, Duncan, Durrette, Dyer, Elliott, Engelhard, G. Eubank, Farleigh, Finnigan, Fout, Fox, Fridley,

Gangemi, Hannelore Garrison, Gibbings, Gilbert, Gouldthorpe, Grazulis, Haeberlein, Hala, Hanlein, Harbach, Harrison, Hartford, Haslam, Henning, William A. Hill, Hirsch, Sleepy Hollowell, Hoskins, W. Hoskins, Dunbar, Huddle, R. Hudgins, Gaylia Hudgins, Huntsberry, Hurley, Jarvis, Johnston, L. Troy Jones, Tom Jones, Keech, Kern, Kiger, King, Kot, Kressierer, Barbara Jean LeFon, Lindquist, Lynch, Mabry, Magee, Maurer,

Class of 1961

50th Reunion April 29-30, 2011 Photos clockwise from top, left: -Attending the 50th Reunion Golf outting at the Lexington Country Club on April 29, 2011, were, from left, kneeling, Ramirez, Copenhaver, Lee Crow, Bronnie Polk, Roberta Modine, Sally Hanlein, Brenda Huntsberry and Kathy Copenhaver. Second row: Hanlein, Stone, Haeberlein, Diane Stone, Anne Rishell, Bickford and Clarkson, Third row: Butler, Jarvis, Miner, Finnigan, Clayton Smith, Kern, Modine, Kiger, Callander, Alligood, Doleman and Huntsberry, Forth row: Crow, Polk, Burks, Garland Payne and Henning. -Sue and Sal Vitale sitting on the bench dedicated to Sal by his Brother Rats. He was honored by his class for his work as class agent. -At the 50th Reunion was Buzz Bossart with volunteer assistance from Cadet Laurentia Tuff of the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership at Mary Baldwin Woman’s College. -At the class banquet in Natural Bridge, Lee Badgett accepted a gift from the campaign committee. -Gathering in Moody Hall to share stories and remember Don Wise. were, from left, Lynn Hartford, John Tharrington, Honey Tarrall, Fred Ayers and Mike Pitt. -Capt. Susan J. Rabern, USN (Ret) and director of the Center for Leadership and Ethics, was the guest speaker at the banquet.



CLASS NOTES McDannald, McNemar, J.C. Miller, J.D. colors. From there we moved into the Jona- lunch, and I was pleased that Col. Sam Miller, Miner, Modine, Moore, Murray, than Daniels Memorial Courtyard where Dobyns ’41, Col. Don Jamison ’57 and Myatt, Myruski, Needham, Nelms, Oliver, Don Wilkinson talked to us about Jonathan Col. Minnix attended. Conflicts and illness Orndorff, Patrick, Garland Payne, R.W. and Don’s trip back to Alabama. Jim Ring prevented others from attending and I read Phillips, Phlegar, Pitt, Polk, Popp, Puette, read the list of those who have passed on, notes from Col Lewane ’50B, Gen. MorRamirez, Redd, Reitz, Respess, Rice, and Tom Phlegar played “Taps.” It was a gan ’45, Gen. Knapp ’54, Col. Morrison Richards, Ring, Rishell, L.P. Roberts, sobering ceremony, and you could see how ’39 and Col. Carpenter. The professors Floyd Roberts, Rudibaugh, Rutledge, focused everyone was. From the courtyard enjoyed seeing us as evidenced from the Schall, Shuba, Holmes Smith, L.C. Smith, we went to the Leadership and Ethics Center thank you notes received and we them. Col. Dobyns celebrated is 70th class reSpencer, Stevens, Stokes, Richard Stone, for the class lunch in the Hall of Valor. union earlier in the week. After lunch Tom Russell Stone, Suiter, Tarrall, Taylor, Frankie Ring, who is nearing her Jones retold the story of the Stonewall Templeton, Tharrington, Thomas, Van completion of studies for the priesthood Jackson Memorial Tree for which Haley Orden, Vitale, von Hellens, Walz, Weede, in the Episcopal Church, gave a beautiGarrison was the inspiration. Haley’s Wells, Wetsel, Whalen, Whitehouse, Wig- ful invocation at lunch. We invited all widow Hannelore and his daughter, Ione, gins, Wilkinson, Williams, Williamson, our professors that lived in Lexington to were at lunch. A portion of the Kim Wise, Woodcock, Anne video of the 1961 40th Reunion Woodfin, Youngblood and Zick. tree ceremony was shown and Can you pick them out? Ninetythere were very few dry eyes in five percent of those in attenthe hall. From the Hall of Valor dance who have spouses brought we moved into the Gillis audithem to reunion. torium in the Leadership and While the ladies picture was Ethics Center for the viewing of finishing up I was told that we pictures from former reunions had a problem and my assistance and gatherings. The show was was needed immediately. So I edited by my daughter, Lynn went to see what was going on Vitale Cross, and she added 400 and before I could say anything new slides, compliments you. Wyatt Durrette began talking, Seeing the images of those that and it was about me. Then a red have passed on brought both tarp covering what I thought was fond memories and tears to my something under construction eyes. Following the slide pre(the engineer in me) was removed Class of 1961: Gathering for a reunion of the 10th Mounsentation many of our BRs and and there it was, a park bench tain Division in Riva Ridge, Vail, Colorado, Feb. 25, 2011, former BR wrestlers gathered with a brass plaque inscribed as were, from left, Joan Benoit Samuelson, marathon gold on the 2nd floor of Moody Hall follows: “The Class of 1961 - In medalist in 1984 Olympics; Andre Benoit, 90 years old; Bob Yank, 87 years old; and Fred Ayers, the mountain where Fred Ayers and Dude Honor of, Salvatore J. Vitale Jr. guide. - Class Agent – 50th Reunion.” Copenhaver unveiled a memorial for Don Wise. The memo… I was overwhelmed. Thanks rial is a wrestling room locker again! Soon after, officers front named for Don. We could not and center, Lee Badgett, chairvisit the wrestling locker room man of the 50th Reunion Cambecause it was being used. paign, presented the check to However pictures of the locker Superintendent Peay ’62. Wyatt and some of Don as a wrestler Durrette and I held the check were passed around. Toasts for all to see and the three of us were given in Don’s honor and took the review. It was our turn to wrestling stories told about the pass in review and the class fell broken fingers and cauliflower in. Battle Haslam took the1961 ears, compliments of Don. Kim guide on and Rabbit Patrick and Wise was very appreciative of Battle lead us into the courtyard. remembering Don. This conBoth Battle and Rabbit went to cluded the events at VMI and the top of the sentinel box, and it was back to Natural Bridge Rabbit led us and the Corps in Class of 1961: At Andy and Peggy Myruski’s home in Naples, on the yellow buses for either the “Old Yell.” Sue Patrick was Florida, Feb. 18, 2011, were, from left, front row, Andy a beer or two in the hospitality terrified that Rabbit would fall, Myruski, Dave Elliott and Hill Browning. Back row: Sue Vitale, Peg Myruski, Judith Elliott and Heather Browning. suite, or a quick snooze. but he came thru with flying 2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES The Saturday evening class banquet fes- pictures of six HOF members, football team, tilled from specially grown and selected tivities started at 6:30 p.m. with an open bar Hampton bunch, physics majors, etc. By now apples, picked by hand and pressed into a and hors d’oeuvres. By 6:35 the ballroom the event schedule I had hoped to follow was juice that is fermented into a dry cider. It was filled with BRs in coat and tie and history. Finally, it was time for Lee Badgett is then distilled, aged in oak casks for a ladies in their Sunday best. As the cocktail to introduce our guest speaker, Capt. Susan J. minimum of two years. The apples for this hour drew to a close, Tom Phlegar played Rabern, USN (Ret), and director of the Cen- bottle Calvados were grown in 1961 and the familiar bugle calls and most BRs were ter for Leadership and Ethics, and Lee did a picked in 1962 and this bottle contains the in their seats by the last note of assembly. great introduction. Capt. Rabern focused on best vintage Calvados made in the past 75 A wonderful invocation was given by Bill the mission of the center and based on what years. Remarks were invited from those presMaurer followed by several toasts. Wyatt I heard from our BRs, Capt. Rabern made ent. Tom Phlegar came up and volunteered Durrette toasted the class, Anne Woodfin, us feel that our contributions to the center to be our class cruise director and requested the ladies of the class, and David V. Harbach would be properly directed. Our program we send him ideas about cruises we would concluded with a toast to The Institute. I was nearing the end, and Wyatt Durrette like to take as a class. Sleepy Hollowell took was especially pleased that Anne Woodfin had a few more congratulatory words for the the podium and thanked us for the prayers, agreed to toast the ladies, and I know BR class. I asked Jim Bickford to the podium calls, cards and notes he received during John was with us in spirit and was pleased. and thanked him for his labor of love in his long illness. Sleepy was so overjoyed As I was about to direct the hotel staff to publishing the first and second editions of that he agreed to tell us his first and middle start serving, the podium was charged by 1961 Red Book Stories. Jim said he would names which are Ralph and Rodney. During Carl Hirsch my roommate during third, do one more printing if he received at least his illness, he was medically dead about second and first class years, and I was told 10 more stories. Jim also told us that he had 10 times. It was during these times, and I to stand aside. Carl then presented me a box procured a special bottle of French apple quote, “While I was dead I had a thought.” containing a sterling silver belt buckle and a brandy aka Calvados for the 1961Tontine. Sleepy’s comments will be remembered by fine black leather belt with silver inlays. Carl About 10 years ago, Roy Schall presented us all for a long time to come. We concluded explained to me that the belt was the classes’ the idea for the Tontine, and we agreed the the evening by singing the “Doxology,” lead way of saying thanks for keeping the class bottle would be left with VMI until needed. by Battle Haslam and giving an “Old Yell” cinched together. The buckle is a limited Many of you have asked what is a Tontine? for ’61 lead by Jim Berger. edition, number 50 of 50 in recognition of A Tontine is an investment (the Calvados) Sunday brunch was “see you soon” for our 50th Reunion and has a raised image in which final surviving contributor (Brother some Brother Rats and a “goodbye” for of Barracks and is inscribed. I continue to Rat) receives everything. Calvados is dis- others. It was a very difficult time for me. be overwhelmed by the class’s After closing down the hospitalgenerosity. What a class! Thinkity suite and paying the bill, ing that I had regained control of Sue and I went by VMI. Sitting the podium, I was again moved on the park bench dedicated to aside as John Tharrington came me, I thought about my mom up and asked Lee Badgett to join and dad who sat on a similar him. During this time, Dude Copark bench, or one near it, on penhaver was removing a box Wednesday, Sept. 11, 1957, and from under the table and gave watched as the cadre marched the contents to John. On behalf a squad of us Rats out on to of the Reunion Campaign Fund the parade ground after DRC. Committee, John presented Lee The squad halted and cadre with a beautiful, inscribed VMI said to me “what is your name, wall clock in recognition of mister?” when I responded he Lee’s hard work and leadership said “I can’t hear you, mister. during the campaign. Lee loves What is your name?” Again I clocks. The food was now cold sounded off as loud as I could, but who cares. We were having and again he asked me. You a great time! Kathryn Wise, the remember the drill. Many years retired editor of our very profeslater my mother was visiting sional Alumni Review and my me and several BRs were there dear friend, was invited to be too. My mom told us about that with us. As expected, she had day in September and what she her camera and offered to take Class of 1961: Participating in the Face of America bike and my dad had seen and heard. pictures as needed. So, during ride from Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg, PennsylvaShe remembers saying to my our planned “short” plumbing nia, were Alison Drescher and Cadet Laura Resetar ’11, dad and I quote, “That poor boy pictured on the left edge. break, Kathryn Wise took group must be deaf. I can hear Sal all 84


Class of 1961: Those who attended their 50th Reunion are listed in alphabetical order as follows: Harbert L.R. Alexander, Charles H. Alligood, Thomas W. Alvey Jr., Kenneth J. Ayala, Frederick H. Ayers III, Edward R. Aylor, Lee D. Badgett, Jackson R. Bell, David A. Bella, James R. Berger, James V. Bickford III, J. Benson Birindelli, N. Michael Bissell, Walter R. Bossart, Thomas C. Bradshaw Jr., William T. Braithwaite, W.M. Bryant III, Robert E. Burks, John W. Butler Jr., Robert D. Callander, Martin L. Caples, H.S.G.T. Carmichael III, Leonard G. Christie Jr., Heriot Clarkson, Jerry F. Coen, Robert M. Coltrane Jr., W.L. Copenhaver, James S. Cranford, Stuart J. Crow, Harvey L. Curlee Jr., Dennis W. Curtis, James W. Daniels Jr., Edgar C. Doleman Jr., C. Alison Drescher, Wyatt Durrette Jr., Howard Dyer III, David R. Elliott, Joseph G. Engelhard, Gerald T. Eubank, Charles A. Finnigan Jr., William S. Fout, Edwin F. Fox Jr., Harrison L. Fridley Jr., John P. Gangemi, William R. Gibbings, Raine M. Gilbert, Hugh F. Gouldthorpe Jr., Louis A. Grazulis, William R. Haeberlein, William W. Hala, Raymond J. Hanlein, David V. Harbach, James L. Harrison, J. Lynn Hartford, J. Battle Haslam II, George D. Henning, William A. Hill, Carl M. Hirsch, Ralph R. Hollowell, H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., Willard D. Hoskins III, R.E.L. Huddle III, R.M. Hudgins Jr., Richard D. Huneycutt, Henry C. Huntsberry, Richard S. Hurley, Richard C. Jarvis Sr., Paul J. Johnston, Lionel T. Jones Jr., Thomas L. Jones, William H. Keech, Donald F. Kern, Louis S. Kiger, Graham O. King, Mitchell R. Kot, Frederick K. Kressierer, Harold A. Kurstedt Jr., Van T. Langdon, Richard B. Lindquist, Benjamin P. Lynch Jr., Oscar K. Mabry, David A. Magee, Leonard D. Martin Jr., Charles F.W. Maurer III, E. R. McDannald Jr., Harold R. McNemar, John C. Miller II, John D. Miller, James A. Miner Jr., Kent A. Modine, John K. Moore, Hershell B. Murray, Paul B. Myatt, Andrew Myruski Jr., James S. Needham, William J. Nelms III, James L. Oliver, P. Barry Orndorff, Kenton B. Patrick, G. Garland Payne, R.W. Phillips Jr., J. Thomas Phlegar, Robert C. Polk, Douglas M. Popp, Manning W. Puette, John A. Purner Jr., Archimedes Ramirez, William A. Redd, Robert A. Reitz, William L. Respess, Kenner C. Rice III, Gates T. Richards, James K. Ring Jr., Donald C. Rishell, Floyd N. Roberts, L.P. Roberts IV, John W. Rudibaugh, W. Thomas Rutledge Jr., Roy F. Schall Jr., Louis J. Shuba, L. Clayton Smith, Holmes S. Smith, Malcolm Barry Estes Smith, Roger W. Spencer, Fred T. Stephenson, Charles S. Stevens Jr., Walter O. Stokes, Russell R. Stone, Roger N. Suiter, M.T. Tarrall III, Ashby B. Taylor III, Kenneth S. Templeton, John C. Tharrington, David M. Thomas, George M. Van Orden, Salvatore J. Vitale Jr., Robert von Hellens, Richard D. Weede, Irvin B. Wells III, Lawrence E. Wetsel Jr., Thomas A. Whalen, Roy W. Whitehouse III, John D. Wiggins Jr., Donald M. Wilkinson, Larry E. Williams, Robert F. Williamson Sr., Stuart E. Woodcock Sr., R.H. Youngblood Jr. and Karl F. Zick.


50th Reunion — April 29-30, 2011

Class of 1961

2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES the way over here.” Our Brother Rats were on the floor laughing. That park bench is very special to me, and no words can adequately express my love for the class. I am your humble servant. After the reunion, Honey and Marilynne Tarrall visited with us for a few days. Virginia Beach was Honey’s hometown, and we had fun visiting his house, which is now owned by a Birdsong family daughter and high school friend of Honey. I especially enjoyed hearing Honey tell stories about his childhood friends many of whom are Brother Rats and visiting places Honey used to frequent. There are lots of people to thank. The Reunion Campaign Fund Committee did a great job and they included: Alvey, Ayers, Badgett (chairman), Bickford, Clarkson, Copenhaver, Gouldthorpe, Harbach, Haslam, Henning, Hirsch, Hollowell, Johnston, King, Lynch, J.C. Miller, Miner, Murray, Richards, Rishell, Taylor, Tharrington, Vitale, Wetsel, Wilkinson, Woodcock, Woodfin and Youngblood. Thanks to my wife, Sue, who puts up with me and loves helping me with being your class agent and is friends with many of our BR’s spouses and significant others. Thank you for allowing me to be your class agent for another five years. For the BRs who did not attend the reunion, you should have received by now the lapel pin and decal packages. The lapel pin is a gift from Don Wilkinson and the decals are from the class. Special thanks to Carole Green, the Alumni Association Reunion Coordinator, who always gives me good advice and the VMI Foundation’s, Pat Webb, and his staff whom I have learned can be counted on to get things done. If I didn’t know better, I would think that Pat was a VMI man rather than a Texas Aggie. All of our Brother Rats whether they graduated or not, and who are deceased and did not earn a “brick” on their own with their name on it, now have one due to the generosity of other BRs. The bricks are in the sidewalk on the west side of Barracks, and I believe that we are the only class with 100 percent brick placement for our deceased Brother Rats. Please keep Buzz Bossart, Andy Thacker, Floyd Roberts, Sue Wells, Frankie Ring, Bill Daniels, Bill Dabney, Len Martin, Mike Payne, Pam Kurstedt, 86

MJ Harrison, Jane Farleigh, John Moore, Ernie Johnson, Sleepy Hollowell, Roy Schall, Robert Huddle, Jack Bell, Fred Stephenson, Ben Cleveland, George Ward and John Steadman and many more who have been silently struggling in your prayers. Charlie Peckham our BR has passed away. Charlie asked to be classified with 1963 so I was not notified of his passing last November. I want to share a portion of a note I received after the reunion. “It was remarkable to meet so many who have remained close over such a long time. I came away overwhelmed and heartened seeing the goodness and loving kindness among you. The VMI 50th Reunion was a very special opportunity to see where my man developed his worldview, values and mode of personal conduct. I knew he was a remarkable man. Now I’ve seen in part, how he came to be so. I am proud and happy to have been included as a ‘VMI Lady’ for a few days. It was inspiring and humbling.” I truly believe “Brother Rats Forever.” You signed the Book, entered Jackson Arch, walked the Ratline - you are a Brother Rat. I am pleased that those who may have only stayed a few months, a year or did not graduate for some reason, came back to this reunion. It was a time to remember. Thank you again. May God’s grace shine upon you and grant you peace. Rah Virginia Mil and the great VMI Class of 1961.


Jerry Burnett

Since my last VMI class notes on Feb. 15, 2011, we have lost three BRs. Bill Hoehl of Omaha, NE, crossed over the river on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. He was the loving father of Rebecca McMichael, Jane Horwat, and Sara Hoehl. Bill had a successful sales career and was an avid golfer and runner. He will be remembered for enjoying his life to the fullest. Dick Hardy died Feb. 27, 2011, in Norfolk, VA, after a long illness. He traveled extensively throughout the United States, and for a time, he lived in New Orleans. He settled in Norfolk, VA, where he resided for 40 years. He was in sales for most of his professional life. In his spare time, he was an enthusiastic sportsman, particularly enjoying hunting game birds, dove and quail, in his childhood Nott-

away County environs. As a balance to his outdoor activities, he was an avid reader whose interests included histories, mysteries, physics, cosmology and genealogy. He was survived by his second wife and three children. BR Ross Parham died March 12, 2011, in Pittsburgh, PA. He is survived by his wife, Catherine, and two children. Ross attended VMI for a year before transferring and graduating from Harvard University. He received a master’s degree from Cambridge University, England. Ross was a poet. He taught English and poetry at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, PA, before retiring due to his health. I hope all of you have had a chance to review the picture of Keith Block who summitted Baxter Peak on Mt. Katahdin. He began the hike on April 5, 2010, and summitted 168 days later. Every day he wore his VMI Class of 1962 hat that he had received at one of the reunions and encountered a number of people that commented about VMI along the way. Randy and Julia Campbell met him in Waynesboro, VA, during his trek. Kate and Rosser Bobbitt report, “Last August, our son married a lovely Polish girl in her hometown of Jelenia Gora, Poland (they now live in Warsaw). On the way to the wedding, we stopped in Dresden and took a photo which will appear in this issue of the Alumni Review.” Rosser said, “The class of ’62 was heard from that day.” Don Arey called on April 26, 2011, and told me that Tom Bandy had had four coronary artery bypasses in the past week. Tom and Donna live in Jonesboro, AR. Tony Curtis called Donna, and they were under a bad tornado warning. Tom had arrived home from the hospital safely and was doing well. They are looking forward to coming back to the 50th Reunion. Don and Ellen also called to chat. They are doing well with no major problems. They plan to go to UVa in May for their 45th medical school class reunion. They plan to go to New Hampshire in July with friends with the idea of summitting Mt. Washington again. Don has been promoted to assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at University of South Florida Medical School. He also plans to do a sprint triathlon in Lakeland, FL, in May. He called Dave Sabow, and they discussed their role as medical expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases. Don wanted Don Kane’s address and phone number to invite Kane to Florida to participate in the aforesaid triathlon event. They plan to do 7.2 laps in the pool, run 7.2 miles, and finish up with a 72 mile bicycle ride in South Florida to celebrate Arey’s 71st birthday. Obviously, Don continues to enjoy good health.


CLASS NOTES Jim Richards reported some news from the Richards family. “My nephew, Andy, has been accepted to the Institute and will start with the next Rat class. I followed him throughout the process and was most impressed with everyone at VMI. The most dominant theme stressed by the staff throughout, was the way that VMI places strong emphasis to prospective cadets that VMI is an academic institution underpinned by a strong military system. Compare that with other college introductory programs and you will find emphasis on a lot of social gobbledygook and feel good attractions! He sort of wavered when another university offered him a baseball scholarship and residence in a brand new dorm reserved for athletes! It was a bit suspenseful for me because I did not want to push him into something he did not want to do. We are most proud of him, as he comes from a family of J.M.Uers!” I received a nice note from Skip Prillaman, and he has given me permission to share this note with his BRs which I found to be very touching. It was titled, “BR Kent Lewis and the VMI Spirit.” “This is a story about Kent that you are probably aware of the first part but the second part will be news to you. It begins on a bright, clear autumn Saturday, probably late October or early November. I had decided to go into town but my roommates, Bill Mizell, Paul Ross and Fred Consolvo had decided to stay in and get a little sack time or polish their shoes and brass. As I stepped out of room 426 and onto the fourth stoop, an ambulance came into the courtyard. Two men jumped out, grabbed a stretcher and rushed up to the third stoop. Just minutes later they came out of a third stoop room with a cadet on the stretcher, loaded him into the ambulance and sped off. Later I learned, through the grapevine, the cadet was Kent Lewis. He had the misfortune to be stopped by several thirds and told to report to their room wearing his overcoat and carrying his M-1. He did as ordered and re-

Class of 1962: Rosser and Kate Bobbitt stopped in Dresden, Germany, on their way to Jolenia Gora, Poland, to attend their son’s wedding last summer.

2011-Issue 3

turned to their room. He then had the overcoat cape pulled over his head and his M-1 placed on top of his outstretched hands as he stood in front of the radiator. The thirds then began to “strain” him and during this process Kent suffered a serious stroke. The thirds were never disciplined because, as you know, at that time it was all part of being a Rat in the “Ratline.” I left VMI in February 1959 and enrolled in Roanoke College in September. The only thing I kept from my VMI uniforms was what today I would call a ski jacket. One chilly day as I was walking across campus I heard somebody say, “Hey mister! Are you a cadet?” I turned around and saw this fellow limping toward me wearing an identical jacket. I said something to the effect of “Damn right!” As we approached each other and shook hands he said, I’m Kent Lewis. Suddenly, it was like we had known each other forever. We sat on a nearby bench and talked about our VMI experiences and how very different Roanoke College was by comparison. As he talked about the day he had his stroke it became very clear that he held no bad feelings for the third classmen that were involved. Soon we had to part ways to get to our next class and as he turned to walk away, he stopped and said, “My only regret is that I can’t go back to VMI.” I never saw Kent again, but I think of that statement and realize what the true meaning of the VMI Spirit really is.” Thanks again, Skip for sharing this with your BRs. Skip was glad to hear that his old roommate and fellow Martinsville compatriot, Bill Mizell, has had his health issues resolved. Bill and Skip were tight in high school and at VMI. He said, “I remember one night Bill and I went to Preston Library to do some research and the librarian thought we were twins.” He still sees Paul Ross occasionally. Skip has been an avid golfer and belongs to Chatmoss Country Club in Martinsville where he still resides. Thanks also, Skip for sending your bio to Tony Curtis. Incidentally, Skip’s older brother, Richard Prillaman matriculated with the class of ’49B. Then after Richard graduated my next brother, John, matriculated with the class of 1953, both made the Army their careers and both retired, respectively, as a three-star and two-star generals. Incidentally, Brother John was commandant of cadets at VMI in 1976-77. For the rest of the story, please read Skip’s bio which has gone to the printer as I write this note. Speaking of bios, Tony and Judy Curtis have 156 bios from “living BRs” and 14 bios submitted by spouses, families or the foundation for inclusion in the Reunion Yearbook. We were expecting 303 bios and received 170. This is 56 percent class participation and with a few more class participants, we could have

reached 62 percent to coincide with the VMI ’62. The deadline was June 1, 2011, to get your bios in. I received a short note from Dick Carlisle who is still in Garland, TX. He was responding to the John Anthony letter that was circulated. Finally, Davis Merrey, owner/president of Team Logic OT of Oklahoma City sent a note ribbing Jim Richards. Good to see you have come out of the woodwork, Davis. Thank all of you for your notes, calls and e-mails. In the Bonds and Spirit of VMI, Jerry Burnett


Michael J. Curley

Brother Rat Jerry Townsend Smith, 71, of Roanoke passed away Feb. 23, 2011. Jerry graduated from William Fleming High School, was in F Company, played football and attended VMI for two years. He graduated from Virginia Tech. He was the former owner of Automotive Paint and Supply Company in Roanoke. Ken Reeder says of Jerry: “I remember him well. We played Rat football together and went 4-1! Looking back on that Rat football photo, I wish many of those who didn’t play football after that could have continued on like the rest of us. We had some darned good athletes in that class. Jerry was one of them; a halfback, with good speed, a good sense of humor, easy-going and fun to have around.” Logan Jennings adds, “I remember that on the football field Jerry was very fast as a halfback. Our high school William Byrd played William Fleming, and in the Roanoke City High School league, he was always someone to watch closely because of his speed.” Sadly we had another loss in our family. Betty Abernathy, wife of Claude Abernathy, lost her battle with cancer April 28, 2011. We extend our sincere condolences to Claude and his family. Plans for our 50th Reunion are underway! Although we don’t have a firm date at this point for a number of reasons which make perfect sense to VMIAA but not necessarily to me, we are looking forward to getting together sometime in April 2013 … that would be less than two years away, folks! A major part of the 50th Reunion, as we all know, is the legacy gift from the class. You will receive an announcement soon naming the leadership of the Financial Committee, and we will begin forming that team. Just as we did for our 45th Reunion, a planning committee is being formed and ideas


CLASS NOTES solicited for a theme and activities for this spectacular landmark reunion weekend. We really want your positive input to this project; I am committed to planning activities that are in line with the thoughts and desires of the majority of people who plan to be in attendance. Remember that since ’63 will be the honored class, we will be riding first class! We will all stay in the same hotel, for instance. As a way to secure as much input as possible, I’d like to initiate a Blog or a Facebook page (with a password, of course) as a place to discuss everyone’s ideas. Now for some news from our Brother Rats: Mike Smither writes that “Bunny Reynolds asked me to join him for the annual VMI Foundation benefactors’ luncheon held on March 25th honoring endowment donors. Bunny, as we all know, spearheads the class of 1963 Tucker Oliver Scholarship Fund. We sat at a table with the current recipient, Henry L Rhodenizer Jr. ’12, an economics and business major from Lexington. The VMI Foundation luncheon and meetings coincided with the East Meets West Conference, Legacy Day and Friday parade, where we met Col. L.L. Lewane ’50B. At one time or another there were nine classmates on hand: BRs Don Hargy, Denny Marchant, Bill Moore, Art Phaup, Bunny Reynolds, Steve Riethmiller, Mike Smither, Bob Troxler and Bill Wells. In addition, we stopped for a New Market visit and to join Lisa and Sleepy Moore for dinner at their house. Furthermore, following parade, we enjoyed adult beverages courtesy of Becky and Bill Wells before dinner. We were also fortunate to observe first-hand the cuisine and dining environment of Club Crozet for both BRC and DRC. Better yet, Bunny and I attended a class in reinforced concrete. We managed to appear knowledgeable, though we did not participate in the discussion. (mjc: Grades, please.) The drive down and back was made easy and interesting in that Bunny drove us in his red Corvette … Betty and I flew to San Francisco in April to spend a week in preparation for our son, Trent’s, wedding to Alessia. All went well – travel, weather, venues, celebrations, ceremony and reception. Both have wonderful families and friends, so it is truly a match made in heaven. Following San Francisco, we visited Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Las Vegas. The first three are must-sees. This month, we celebrate our twin grandsons’ 1st birthday. My, how time flies! And finally, we traded our condo for a house. Negotiations started while I was at Sleepy Moore’s and ended while we were in San Fran calling, e-mailing and faxing documents along the way. So, we have a new address across town, with privacy and more space. Stay healthy and come see us. Happy New Market Day!


As you can probably guess, in his position as webmaster and class propeller head, Artie Phaup and I talk on a regular basis, but I have to extract news from him. I owe him a great debt for keeping me on task and waking me when I go to sleep at this keyboard. All kidding aside, Artie continues to perform a real service to our class maintaining our website (www. and now he’s launched a mobile website ( so you can access most of the same information on your Smart Phone. He wrote recently (mjc: Imagine that?) to say “I had a wonderful trip up to VMI for Legacy Day, March 26th. I took my grandson, Andrew. He got to meet Gen. Binford Peay ’62, visit a cadet room, learn a little history from the New Market cadets, participate in basic drill and march to the mess hall, have a chicken nugget lunch and then visit the museum and bookstore. At age 11, he was very impressed with it all. Much to my surprise, while Andrew and I were eating lunch, I looked up and there was Bill Moore, Bunny Reynolds, Mike Smither and Bob Troxler. How about that? Ann and I are off to France April 25th to May 7th. Fortunately, Bill Wells had a “properly configured” camera on hand and he sent a great shot of all these guys who were on Post March 26th. “Attached please find a (mjc: 2MB!) photo of a class of ’63 mini-mini-reunion at the very chilly VMI parade last Friday afternoon. From left to right are Mike Smither, Bunny Reynolds, Bob Troxler, yours truly, Sleepy Moore and Dennis Marchant. Don Hargy was also at the parade but had gone off to find his granddaughter and missed out on the photo when my wife, Becki, took it. Most were in town for the foundation board meetings. Steve Riethmiller and Kent Wilson weren’t able to make it – I think Peggy was in the hospital and the Wilsons were out of town. Most stopped by our place for wine and cheese before going out to eat. You need to stop over and see us the next time you are in Lexington. There is always a guest room here if you need it.” (mjc: I knew there had to be some perks for this job! Thanks, Bill.) Just in case you ever wondered why we haven’t had a Troxler Jr. at VMI … the answer lies in Bob’s response to Art Phaup’s e-mail after seeing one another on March 26th “ … (It) was great on our side to connect as well! Good luck with Andrew! Good you are getting an early start with him. I was overseas with all three of my sons during the entirety of their upbringing and could never brainwash them adequately re VMI, too bad! Headed back to Geneva … let me know if you head that way. We also saw Billy Wells and Steve Reithmiller when in Lexington.” I’d sure like to hear some of the back-story and see some pictures from the trip to the

Middle East just completed by Walt and Karen Kleine. Walt wrote in a short e-mail “We had eight wonderful weeks in Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Missouri City and Fulshear! But, it is great to be home!” Frank Allison sends pictures … “My grandson, Walker White, from Richmond, VA, will be a Plebe at West Point (2014) next year. He rooms in 404 and I roomed in 401, just three doors down. Small world … 51 years later. The class of ’63 now has a rocker in Alumni Hall. Regards, Frank” (mjc: I believe the subject rocker was originally given to Bill Pearson, gifted to Frank when he and Barbara downsized and thence on to Alumni Hall just in time for our 50th!) I sent out a blast e-mail a short while ago announcing the VMI – VCU baseball coming to The Diamond here in Richmond. Although the tired old field has taken a lot of verbal abuse from the previous Braves team and now The Flying Squirrels, it’s still a pretty nifty venue for college teams like our VMI guys. Former baseballer Tom Snyder commented “ … what a change for the better! As I recall we used to have more players on the field than there were people in the stands for our ball games.” (mjc: Wait until you see the new GrayMinor Stadium on Post, Tom.) Kent McCraney is planning a golf outing and as so often happens … one thing leads to another. John Mills replies to Kent’ s invitation, “I had rotator cuff surgery several weeks ago and will be out of golf for at least three more months so my doctor says … I’m in a sling and a sad guy with all the great weather coming up … I hope you and Celia are enjoying your new life in one of the greatest parts of our state … I grew up in Urbana in the summers pre-VMI and have a warm spot in my heart for this part of our state! Give my regards to (Bob and Tina) Powell. Kent replies to John, “Johnny, I don’t envy your surgery. Hopefully, mine doesn’t get to that point. My knee doc told me I’d ultimately have to replace my right knee, but not for awhile. Of course I thanked him for his nice little diagnosis. We are definitely enjoying the area. We did not have the early years in this area like you did but have been visiting Celia’s parents for 22 years. They moved in to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury 23 years ago in January. Celia’s dad is 93 now and still kicking along good. Her mom died last year at 92. We were close enough to visit regularly as we lived in Fredericksburg for 17 of those years. The last five years were in Kansas City where our son and our grandkids live.” Seems Beau Walker couldn’t make it either. (mjc: My question is simply “did anyone ever play any golf?”) I absolutely love Pat Kelly particularly when he copies me on an e-mail to another Brother Rat that he’s trying to catch up on stoop poop. I get more good information in one e-mail


CLASS NOTES than you can imagine. This is wonderful. Pat writes: “Just saw your thank you note again and had some more news. Also, I’m glad you have some wealthy high school classmates; that makes up for us! When I go to D.C., I can barely afford McDonalds. I have talked with a number of our BR’s recently, several via Skype. Buff DeLeo called from somewhere in Iraq to say he’ll be home on leave for two weeks, last week of April and first week of May. Also said this is his last volunteer tour and he plans on quitting in July when this tour is up. He’s a bit concerned about finding another job with the market like it is. With a 15-yr.-old son, he’s got to keep plugging away. I urged Buff to take lots of high quality


photos of him doing his thing over there while wearing a VMI shirt, cap and pin or holding a flag. That way he can get a shot or two in the Alumni Review sometime. Later this fall he’s planning a trip to Texas so his wife can see her brother and his family in Austin. Also heard that Jan Gray fell and broke his shoulder – had to have big surgery and is now doing rehab. Chuck Weddington has a new John Deere tractor that he’s so proud of; but he also announced that he is putting the ranch on the market soon. He and Christi hope to move back to the Lake Conroe area, north of Houston. Anne Modarelli says that after their vacation in Hawaii, Bob is once again well and feeling good. He’s gone back to work with

a vengeance and she’s afraid he’s pushing himself too hard … again! BR Jim Ellis, who recently bought a ranch just outside Hamilton, came by the other day. I rode out to his ranch and took a quick tour. It’s about 300 acres and was a working ranch, with evidence of lots of animals at one time. He’s restoring the house and outbuildings on weekends with help from his sons and grandkids. Not bad for a guy our age, who had double-knee replacements not long ago. Frank Allison called via Skype to say hi while I was in Boston. He was doing well and making plans to visit their condo in Florida soon Walt and Karen Kleine went to visit Karen’s daughter somewhere over there in the sand again. Their scheduled side tour


Class of 1963 Photo 1: Artie Phaup with grandson Andrew, age 11, in Old Barracks on Legacy Day, Mar 26, 2011. Photo 2: In May 2011, Gary Kemple chatted with Tom Myers at a restaurant in Chino Hills, California, during a trip by Yvonne and Tom. Photo 3: Frank Allison and his grandson, Walker White ’14, in Old Barracks, January 2011. Fifty years and only three rooms apart – White’s room is 401, and Allison’s room was 404. Photo 4: On May 4, 1963, the class met with President John F. Kennedy in the White House Rose Garden. Photo 5: On Mar 26, 2011, from left, Mike Smither, Bunny Reynolds, Bob Troxler, Billy Wells, Sleepy Moore and Dennis Marchant gathered at a mini-mini to take the review.

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CLASS NOTES to Egypt got postponed when the revolution broke out, but then later I got pictures from him of the famous sites and apparently they were able to get it back on after the regime change. Latest e-mail says they are on their way back to Texas from visiting up east. I hope your health continues well. I just got a clean bill of health from my doctor and Monday I return to M.D. Anderson in Houston for my ‘Five Years Cancer Free’ exam, which I hope to pass with ease. I’m still traveling, but really ready to slow down now. Spent this week in Boston and after my exam in Houston, I fly to Knoxville for meetings all next week. Following week looks like maybe, Tacoma, WA. I copied Frank Kennedy and Mike Curley on this at Buff’s request to pass his info on to them. Come see us sometime. [That applies to all of you.]” (mjc: Man, that’s good stuff, Pat! Thanks.) Pete Brunel tries to keep me straight but he should know by this time, there’s no hope. His latest e-mail reads, “Hobbs Goodwin called last night from the Bahamas. In the course of the conversation he asked if I had read the class notes to which I replied I hadn’t. He said the report was that he was in Normandy with Sleepy Moore and me but had no recollection of being there. I assured him that he had not lost it; he wasn’t there.” (mjc: The explanation was hilarious but I stand by my story. Hobbs Goodwin WAS in Normandy!) “We will become grandparents for the fourth time this summer and the kids (Fran and spouse Jason) are moving to Langley AFB, VA, later this year,” writes Fausto Molinet. “Fausto III is now stationed at Lackland AFB and will pin on major’s leaves this summer. It will make for trips a lot shorter than Guam and Arizona and maybe I can catch up with some of our BRs also. It was good to see so many BRs at Charlie Peckam’s services, but we will really miss him.” (mjc: You bet we will!) Yvonne and Tom Myers had a nice visit with Garry Kemple in LA this spring. “I wish there were more classmates in on the visit, but life is fairly solitary for Garry these days. A reminder – diagnosed with MS in 1988 and now in a wheelchair or scooter. I’m sending this to Bob Modarelli and Ed Patnesky also. I doubt that he will make it for a reunion despite a group of us who have volunteered to take care of his every need. The picture was taken at a restaurant in Chino Hills, CA, near his home. Best regards, Tom” “A mind is a terrible thing to lose,” to quote Dan Quayle, and I feel that I’m getting there. But there’s hope … about six months ago, after a few half-hearted attempts at locating my old third class roommate, Mike Spencer, I decided to make a final but good effort to find


him and can you believe it? I found him down in Sarasota, FL. We actually spoke for several minutes over the phone and I promised to call him back which I didn’t … old brain syndrome … can I tell you how good that conversation felt? Then I forgot to include my “find” in the notes twice before this edition. Damn! Mike couldn’t believe that I had retained his nickname “the Italian Stallion” and his affinity for mirrors. Room 376 was dangerously overloaded with testosterone and I don’t know how Mike Warring, Mike Spencer and Mike Curley ever made it through that year without killing one another; yet I’d try to move a mountain to get the three of together again at the 50th. Reach out to someone today, OK? Wrapping up this edition of the notes, we turn to Tom and Teak Whitford in the way-cold region of New York known as Syracuse. “Hey guys: Teak’s going to be streamed tonight. She’s set up an annual ‘Toner Prize’ that honors NYT’s political reporter, Robin Toner, who died suddenly last year. Tonight’s award program will honor the first recipient. Teak thought if you have nothing to do around 7 p.m. you might enjoy watching it for a few minutes. We’ve been following the Washington Post’s cherry-blossom watch with some envy up here. We’ve also seen a few signs of spring: patches of bare ground and roads that are white from the remnants of tons and tons of salt. It ain’t exactly cherry blossoms but after this winter’s 180.3 inches of snow. We’ll take anything we can get. Richmond’s always had a wonderful spring. Hope all is well. Oh, I’ll send along a couple pictures of the last significant snowfall. That was the first part of March. The weatherfolks say we’ll probably get more snow but add those soothing words ‘ … but no accumulation likely.’ We’ll see, Tom ’n Teak” Sailing from Rome Saturday, March 21st, a number of our class will be enjoying the VMIAA Mediterranean Cruise for eight days. Joining Cindy Peckham will be Hobbs and Heidi Goodwin, Sam and Charlotte Griffin, Bob and Bromby Earle, Chuck and Christi Weddington, Kent and Mary Wilson, Ed and Marti Shield, Bill and Marie Bell. You are all certified to bring back some terrific pictures of the cruise (1MB or better!) that will be suitable for publication in the August 2011 Review … got that? Enjoy! Please remember that our roster, class notes and other interesting information can be found on our class website located at and at on your mobile devices. 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! Plan now to attend our 50th Reunion in April 2013! (Dates to follow.) Curleyrat


John R. Cavedo

Immediately after the previous class notes were submitted, we lost Ron Williams. He had fought battles with multiple cancers for a decade. Ginny and his family were by his side throughout. At his passing there was a strong outpouring of love voiced from his Brother Rats and many of the cadets during his time as assistant commandant. It reminded me again of how short our time is and how absolutely necessary it is to reach out and touch those people important in our lives. And to do it on a regular basis. Planning is well underway for the Oct. 29 football game in Charleston between our Keydets & The Citadel. At press time 25 of us had signed up. If you haven’t received e-mails on the subject, give me a call and I can help you get tickets in the same seating section and into the hotel where most of us will staying for both Friday and Saturday night. Leo Roach wrote, “My son Dan ’97, invited me to accompany him on a trip to Alaska. We rented a car in Anchorage and spent most of our time traveling through the Kenai Peninsula. Top sights were; a fishing trip across Cook Inlet by float plane, a hike to the falls of the Russian River to see the salmon run, the view at Homer, a glacier, Moose (up close), a black bear, two volcanoes (not active), many bald eagles and a ptarmigan with chicks. What a place! We had a great time.” Cliff Crittsinger, just before leaving Colorado for his drive back to Virginia for the New Market Committee final meeting, sent an e-mail, “During a recent appointment at a hospital for some blood work, a male nurse was performing the procedure. He was retired Air Force and after a stint at the Denver Hospital he and his family moved to the Boulder area where he had taken a position at the clinic that I was using. As he was finishing his work he saw my ring and asked if I had attended a federal military academy. I said not federal, but the VMI. He looked at me and said, ‘you are kidding me.’ He he had two brothers who had graduated from VMI in ’64 & ’67. Somewhat stunned, I responded by saying that that ’64 was my BR Class and ’66 was my adopted BR Class and I knew many cadets from ’67. I asked, ‘What were their names?’ He responded by saying, ‘Sam & Dan Jordan!’ To say the least, from that we had a spirited conversation. Truly, it is a small world!” Bill McVey wrote, “It is dawning on me that I haven’t sent you any info in quite a while.


CLASS NOTES I apologize for that but haven’t felt that I had This year even the lakes were down so far as just beginning to regain use of that arm. It is anything exciting to report. Luckily Millie and to limit the productive fishing a bit. Doug & painful but I am left handed so it has to be done. I have been in remarkably good health, as have Warren were able to eliminate a wild dog that I gain a stiff upper lip by reminding myself this our children and their families. Our activities the neighbors had been complaining about. We nothing compared to what some of our BRs and still center around church, sailboat racing and had a fine time with a little red liquor and good their wives are going thru so I pray more for tennis (choir for Millie … 13 years now … she camaraderie. And to show you how far I have each one of them.” loves it). And we managed to get in several nice progressed I had a modern rifle in 6.5x55, a Cliff Crittsinger e-mailed the following trips in 2010, one to the East Coast for an AMA cell phone and a digital camera, which I forgot report, “Your Cadet New Market Legacy Award 50th reunion and visit with daughter Shelley’s to use. On Dec. 11, I invited our Canadian Committee met for the fourth time Feb. 26-27 family in Wilmington, another to North Caroexchange officer to go deer hunting. Our stand at VMI to continue its deliberations. Our efforts lina for a week at Holden Beach with the famcollapsed and threw me 12 feet to the ground, were enhanced by the presence of eight first ily, then two others for a Marine Corps aviators breaking my left arm in three places. I pulled classmen from the class of 2011. These eight reunion in Dallas, and to the Tailhook Reunion the bones straight and asked him to take me to young men were crucial in our development of in Reno where we had another mini-reunion the emergency room. It is now March and I am the selection process for this award – we could with a Navy squadron I was in for a not have done it without them. couple years back in 69 and 70! Mike Murphy said, “The Corps is “We have rented a home near Irindeed in good hands.” vington, VA, for a month this summer Cliff followed up in early May to introduce my kids and grandkids with the following, “Since its first to the Chesapeake Bay area. We are meeting in the spring of 2009, the looking forward to having all that committee has worked developing time to spend in Virginia, hoping to the award. At the meeting with see lots of BRs while there. Then Gen. Peay ’62 in the spring of heading to Holden Beach again for 2010, he expressed his concerns another family week in late July. to include the fact that there were “The only excitement of late is already too many awards being that my left leg finally quit working presented, that the recipient would properly (tore the cartilage during be selected by his and her Brother our Ring Figure party Nov. ’62 in Rats and not the Institute, and most Roanoke; fell over a chair while doof all, that it would conflict with ing the twist – with Tom Murtha’s VMI’s most prestigious award, Class of 1964: At the New Market Committee Meeting, mother!) a few months ago so I had to the New Market Medal. ConsidFebruary 2011, were members of the class and cadets give up tennis and then sailing. At that ering this, he provided specific from class of 2011, including Warren Budd; George Rappoint I was ready for a fix and as of six guidelines that would assist the port; King von Schilling; Cadet Erin Hawes; Cadet John weeks ago am the proud owner of a committee as it continued in its Manning, class President; Don Jones; Mike Murphy; nice shiny new knee! Rehab is going deliberations. Cadet Coleman Zwanzig; Cadet Jimmy Stevenson; Cadet well, I’m already much more mobile “In April of this year, after Ahmed Conteh; Cadet Matt Palmer; Cadet Dave Arthur; than I was before, and just have 2-3 numerous meetings and commuCadet Curt Herron; Tom Davis; Doug Walker; Bernie more weeks of PT to get the bend to nications with his staff, and much Hylton; and Cliff Crittsinger. at least 120 degrees. At that point, I’m free to get back to both tennis and sailing! I have to add that Millie has been a wonderful nurse/drill instructor all through the recovery and rehab. I have no doubt that’s why my progress has been so rapid!” King von Schilling wrote, “Yesterday I had a marvelous lunch with Bob Warren who was in the D.C. area on business. Bob does not look our age and attributes it to his diet and exercise program. Says he is not yet ready for retirement but he and Kathy are taking lots of small trips to practice for retirement. Sounds like a plan to me.” King sent a follow up e-mail in which he said, “ Last November, Doug Walker & I drove to Warren Budd’s hunting & fishing lodge for Class of 1964: Attending Ron Williams’ funeral in March 2011 were Joyce and Jim Brittingham; Nelson Trinkle; Bob Warren; Bill Garber; Warren Budd; Walt five days of outdoor activity. Courtney Budd Sykes; Carol Faye Butts, widow of Dick; King von Schilling; Ginny Williams; Bill came down and fed us so well for two days we and Dyan Crone; Tom Allen; Ed and Janice Seager; George Warren; Tom and were able to survive the other three on Warren’s Helen Davis; Bill Taylor; Hank Cronin; Dick Atkinson; and Paula Warren. cooking. This season wasn’t as successful as last one we only got one small doe and I got it.

2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES personal deliberation on his part, the superinwaterfront. There’s just way too much money in Lauranne Kitchen graciously sent the foltendent gave his tentative approval to proceed that area. You would think they would gladly share lowing report after the class of ’64’s contigent with the official request from the class of ’64 to it with a grand and glorious group such as ours. returned from the mini-reunion to Australia/New establish the Cadet New Market Legacy Award Merely for the privelege of seeing us float by their Zealand/Fiji, “Six intrepid explorers (W.J. & (CNMLA). An official request, dated May 15, mansions and yachts. I mean, should they not pay Lauranne Kitchen, Tom and Yvonne Myers and 2011, was mailed to VMI for review, comment just for viewing us? Tony and Barb Munera) set forth from Los Anand final disposition by the superintendent. Ken Dice wrote, “After the mini-reunion in geles International Airport and flew to the Land “We assume that a formal response may not be Down Under. Our group arrived in Melbourne forthcoming until the latter part of May. In the March 15. We had embarked on a pre-trip that interim, your committee is designing a suitable was to begin in Melbourne, a city founded by CNMLA award for its inaugural presentation illegal squatters looking for wool-rich pastures during our 50th Reunion to a member of the in 1835. Discovery of gold nearby quadrupled class of 2014.” the population from 29,000 in 1851 to 123,000 As your class agent, I am happy to report that in 1854. The city was full of beautiful parks, King von Schilling recently received a significant cathedrals and war memorials. We toured by bus, reward. The Civilian Meritorious Service Medal foot and trolley. Parts of Melbourne were remifor 23 years of supporting their operations, saving niscent of English cities. One area, Drummond them in excess of $100 million in the process. The Street, reminded us of New Orleans. We also significant thing about this is the Navy is very saw Captain Cook’s home in a gorgeous park, Class of 1964: Dan and Leo Roach stingy about awards. King wrote, “About 2/3 of reconstructed from the original shipped from the during their trip to Alaska last sumthe time my bosses didn’t know what I was doing. village of Marton in Yorkshire, England. The mer. Once or twice when I would go to Stennis Space Myers explored the Rod Laver Tennis Park. We Center to be briefed, someone would notice it was explored museums, walked through Chinatown not our fund cite on the orders. I would say I got FL, Jeff Crump and his Indiana softball team and arboretums, as well as through markets and another command to pay for this trip and away I were playing a local Florida team right down the shops for retail therapy. Leaving Melbourne, we went! On occasion, I traveled overseas for them road from where are staying. Barbara and I went flew to Alice Springs. Our tour director kept us and on one occasion even got to take my wife as over and enjoyed cheering for Jeff and his team. on schedule and shepherded us onto a bus, driven part of the cover. It was fun and real world work Afterwards we had a great lunch and a chance by a sturdy blonde woman who proved to be a with immediate usable results most of the time. to catch up on what has happen over the past little worrisome as a driver. We toured the Royal I was quite surprised with the award and all that 45+ years. We both remarked how even after 45 Doctors of the Air, School of the Air and were time I thought I was just doing my job for God, years, we fell into a very comfortable conversaled through the old Overland Telegraph Station country and VMI. I am proud that another service tion. The Brother Rat Spirit was still there.” by a part Aborigine, part Caucasian, who had recognized my service. My grandfather Mallory Tony Munera sent a quick note after the attended the half-breed school in the 1940s at the and his son, both USNA grads, would be proud Australia mini-reunion in March, “While waittelegraph station. We also saw our first wild kantoo. Grandad was an ADM, uncle was a Navy ing for the boat for a tour of Sydney harbor, we garoos. Alice Springs, situated in the geographic pilot killed in WWII, great-grandfather Mallory were talking to a Thomas Baltazar who was in centre of Australia was named for the wife of was the New Market cadet and Mallory Hall is Australia with his wife visiting his son. During the superintendent of the Telegraphs. It was only named for a cousin.” the conversation she mentioned that her son a small township where a telegraph repeater Several of us met for the third consecutive year went to VMI. Turns our he is an Army colonel station was built in 1871, and the development north of Palm Beach, FL (actually Jupiter) for stationed in the D.C. area from the class of ’79. of the town was slow until about 20 years ago. It a mini-reunion. Hosting the event, which lasted Small world.” now boasts 27,481 people. We spent a wonderful from Mar. 2 through Mar. 6, were, day touring the Desert Park Wild Don and Margaret Carson and Lee Animal Park and seeing many and Roxane Fleshood. Each provided more kangaroos, amazing birds and a wonderful meal in their homes. Atinteresting animal and plant life. tending for some or all of the festivities From ‘the Alice,’ we traveled by were Sherrel and me, Bill and Marion bus for six hours towards Ayres Garber, Tom and Penny Sebrell, Ken Rock. We stopped on the way and and Barb Dice, Dan and Sandy DeForsome of us rode camels, a rather rest, Tom and Yvonne Myers and Jeff jolting experience. More kangaroos, Crump. Jeff was my roommate and emus, dingoes and other animals it was the first time we had seen each were observed. We arrived in Yalaru, other in 50 years. Unlike me, he looks a town made up of hotels and pubs to really good. accommodate tourists. We found our In addition to the two sumptious rooms, then drove over an hour to meals the group met twice at different Kata Tjuta, an enormous conglomerrestaurants plus different couples did ate rock, which we set out to explore. Class of 1964: In New Zealand, March 2011, were, from various activities during the day. As Walking a couple of miles into its left, Tom and Yvonne Myers, Tony and Barb Munera, he has in the past, Don Carson took depths and back, we saw amazing Lauranne Kitchen, Joan Nunnally, W.J. Kitchen, and several of us out on his boat for a picnic formations of reddish stone and lots Butch Nunnally. and sightseeing along the Palm Beach of tourists with cameras, clicking



CLASS NOTES away. Then we hopped the bus once again and magnificently. Then we toured the wood-carving aptly named Shangri-La. We were taken to a local drove another hour to the Rock. Lots of tables were center, the weaving center and saw our first Kiwi village market where we bought some vegetables. set up with ‘nibbles’ and free-flowing champagne. (flightless indigenous nocturnal bird for which New We took these, along with some special roots We viewed the awe-inspiring site being doused in Zealanders are nicknamed). We enjoyed a Maori to be used in a Kava ceremony at a local Fijian fiery colors of red and orange as the sun set behind dance where Tony Munera became an enthusiastic village. There we were greeted by their chieftain it. Finally, we ended a very long day eating pizza participant. Then we were fed a fabulous Maori- who invited us to attend the Kava ceremony. Then in a pub and listening to a guitarist serenade us prepared meal. On Leaving Rotorua, we caught a the Fijian women showed us how they made (some of us listened, some of us danced exuber- flight to Queenstown, New Zealand on the South earthenware pottery. Our last stop was at a Fijian antly, inspired by quantities of free champagne). Island. Queenstown, was an enchanting city. Our school where the school children sang to us. Very The next day our crew decked out with mosquito hotel overlooked the lake and we were treated to charming and endearing children! The following nets over hats to keep out the pesky outback flies, breathtaking views of a terrain progressing into day some of us snorkeled in the clear waters of the explored the Island Mountain of the homogenous the early fall season. In Queenstown, we were ocean, and after a bad start where we were stung sandstone formation of Ayres rock. In the hands transported to a Victorian style sheep station by by sea lice, our boat crew moved us to a different of the Aboriginal people of the area, it is listed 99-year-old coal steamer. We watched sheep be- snorkeling area, where we saw many colorful fish as a World Heritage Site and features caves with ing herded, saw a sheep being sheared, partook and sea life. We left Australia, New Zealand and aboriginal paintings, springs, waterholes and desert of a British ‘tea,’ admired a deer herd headed by Fiji with some sadness, as we had come to love all animals. At one point, we were told that tourists on a magnificent stag, viewed Alpacas, petted Scot- three countries and their different terrains, climates, our tour could no longer climb Uluru, though it had tish Highland cows and were awed by the beauty peoples flora and fauna.” Finally, as always, my appeal to you is to been climbed many times in the past. However, of the surroundings. Later that afternoon, back in Tom Myers, left the group and set forth to the site Queenstown, some of us ventured out on a jet boat become a part of these notes by sending me where climbers were allowed. While the rest of us ride through the Shotover Pass to Darwarau River, something. A card, photo, e-mail. Anything. were examining a waterhole, he fearlessly ventured where our 360 degree spins set Barb Munera Don’t put it off. Do it today! up the side of this 1,142 ft. high monolith. Six days laughing hysterically, causing the rest of us to join Mickey Finn after arriving in Australia, we flew to Cairns to meet in enthusiastically. The next day began our journey up with the rest of the tour group and particularly by bus through farmland, mountainous terrain and Butch and Joan Nunnally, a delightful reunion with gorges until we arrived at the Milford Sound area. a wonderful couple. Our stay in Cairns included There we boated through magnificent fjords and a visit to a crocodile and wildlife park, where we waterfalls and were amazed by this unbelievably A delightful spring on the Cape Fear Coast is saw myriad crocodiles, more kangaroos, wallabies, gorgeous area. Leaving Queenstown, we flew koalas, birds (including kookaburras) and other back to Auckland, where we visited a Maori vil- underway as I pull these notes together. They exotic flora and fauna. Then on to Port Douglas lage. Then we went to the Maritime Museum, and should be published just weeks before our 50th and to a cattle station where we saw cattle being several of us sailed in a boat in the harbor (Yvonne Matriculation Reunion party. Review your mustered, ate a station cooked meal and were Myers, Tony Munera and Lauranne Kitchen ac- schedule and join us on Aug. 27th in Lexington. Bob Morgan reports in February that “I’ve just serenaded by a singing cowboy. The following tually steered the boat). Tom Myers, protected by morning we sailed by catamaran to the outer Great flexible cables, jumped off of the tallest tower in spent five delightful days with the Whaleys on Barrier Reef, enjoyed snorkeling and scuba diving the city. Later, some of us took a ferry to Devonport Big Pine Key. Bob says if I promise not to come amidst the amazing sea life of Australia’s northern and climbed to the top of a charming island. On back for five years he won’t mine the Seven coast. We ended day two in Cairns with a chocolate April 4 we flew to the last country of our trip, Fiji Mile Bridge. My revenge is to send a turn out and champagne party by our VMI group around where we were ensconced in a gorgeous resort, to our BRs. Despite numerous invitations, Jeff Wilkens and I are the only ones our hotel swimming pool. Day three in who’ve shown up; Bob & Linda are Cairns some of us went to the village disappointed. NB: The conversation of Kuranda by Skyrail and interacted and hospitality were wonderful. at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Center Bob’s second tour was in Quang Tri with local Aboriginal people. The final so we had an opportunity to review day in Cairns we visited the Cairns the geography and terrain of shared Botanic Gardens before we boarded and unshared territory. Bob and a plane and flew to Sydney. We were Linda have had interesting careers awed by the sight of the Sydney Opand lives. However, neither are era House and the famous Harbour unacquainted w/the joys of doing Bridge. Our four days in Sydney were nothing or just whatever strikes fantastic! From Sydney, we flew to one’s fancy from feeding the deer, Auckland and were transported by to being on the water, to seeing the bus through the fertile farmlands of show in Key West. Linda’s cooking New Zealand on to Rotorua. This and care will be reminiscent of your city, located on a gorgeous lake on mothers.’ If a BR showed up every the North Island, was reminiscent of week, the welcome will be the same Yellowstone National Park. We had for the first and last BR and the our first experience with Maoris (the same for the first day and the last original native settlers of New ZeaClass of 1964: Frank and Marci Parker with Jack and Judy day of each visit. So, inundate them land). We visited a couple of Maori Trossback at a restaurant in Florida, March 2011. with your company!” centers and saw the geysers erupting


2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES Well, there are some limits says Bob Whaley: for her wedding was a ‘big bash,’ so that’s what her Reunion.” Fred, we will miss you but accept “We very much enjoyed Bob Morgan’s visit mother and I gave her. The young folks and yours your commitment to be at the 50th Reunion. and hope to see him again. But ‘inundate?’ We truly rocked on into the night until it was time to Larry Britton provides an update as to where enjoy company but I could still blow the bridge!” close alumni hall. The newlyweds then departed we can find him. If you have not been there Editor’s note to the DHS: Bob is not serious so the reception for the honeymoon suite on a week- you need to go! “Tamara and I are still here in take a deep breath and forgetaboutit. long cruise in the Caribbean.” Congratulations northern Virginia. Retired out of Quantico in ’89, The real word about Hilton Head in February and well done! did the Beltway Bandit thing for about 12 years comes from Jack Cook, “I just returned home from Chuck Hough writes, “In April I was having until my two girls graduated from college. Once a final round of golf near Hilton Head Island, SC, dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Ocala, FL. I I got to keep some of my money, I retired. I’m with Irwin McCumber, Wayne Chiles, and Karl, a happened to be wearing a VMI shirt. After a few a Docent at the National Museum of the Marine friend of Wayne’s. This was the final outing for the glances back and forth from the couple seated Corps and work there three days a week. Ran visiting ’65 BR clans of McNeil (Brian), Thomas a few tables away a very kind lady walked over into Daryl McClung there a couple of months (Doug), Dowdy (Hugh), McCumber and Chiles and said, ‘I usually don’t do this but may I ask ago while he was visiting with his son and who haunt Hilton Head with their wives during the what is your connection to VMI?’ I explained grandson. If anyone is in the area please stop in. month of February each year. Some of this group I am a member of the class of ’65. She smiled I’m there Tues. and Thurs. p.m. and Wed. a.m.” not only play golf but use the non-golf days to play and responded I am Ann and my father was Col. Larry, I have not been in the museum since I last tennis. Can you guess who the non-tennis players Carroll. We spoke about Doc Carroll being our visited it when it opened. I’ll be back. are besides me? The smaller group of players class sponsor and about the photo in the inside Charlie Russell, who really misses good ‘ol today had to be a setup by Brian who knew we cover of the ’65 Bomb. Ann shared some insights Rock & Roll says he will be at the matriculation ‘golf crazies’ wouldn’t let a little rain and wind about her father that many in our class will party on the 27th and is “still working (a few stop us. At least the day ended in the 70’s (temp remember like how he lost his arm logging to weeks per month as you know), serving as an not golf scores) with blue skies and no physical earn money to attend UVa Medical School. Ann information assurance instructor and so-called injuries to anyone. The BR clans will head back was very gracious and said she always reads our IA ‘expert’ for various clientele. Finishing out north tomorrow where sweaters and coats will still class notes in the Review. She was hesitant to be the basement (still doin’ that), plus playing golf be needed for a few more weeks. As for me, I’ll be included in the notes but I insisted that I would about two times a week.” Trust your editor; tuning up the lawn mower to greet springtime in let you know so you could share the encounter Charlie is an Information Assurance Expert. Georgia. Thanks for the birthday card and the view with all of our class.” Great story – thanks to you Then there is this laugh out loud report from of my Rat room over Jackson Arch. Rah Virginia and to Ann for sharing this with all of us! Steve Ramsey, to wit “Mickey, thanks for the Mil! 65! 65! 65!” Jack, glad to provide an updated Fred Cochran reports that “Boy I’ll never 50th Matriculation invite, but my Lear is going look of your Rat room! forget the day we matriculated. I surely didn’t to be in carwash that weekend, so I’ll have to Easley and Alice Moore held a bang up wedding expect what we got. And being from New York pass. That date 50 years ago sure brought back for their youngest child and only daughter. Here I was put right in the middle of the Civil War. At some memories: my parents putting me on a is the report from Easley: “On Saturday, May any rate Jeanne and I would have liked to come plane at Dallas Love Field to National with a 7, 2011, my wife, Alice, and I held a wedding to the celebration but we committed to Jeanne’s footlocker, staying in an awful hotel next to for Maria (long ‘i’) Ellen, our youngest of three 50th high school reunion so we won’t be able the Greyhound station in D.C., catching a bus children and our only daughter. Her two older to attend. We will, however, be at the 50th to Lexington, then a cab to the post, then a brothers are still running in the other short walk into hell. Didn’t know direction to avoid matrimony. It was a a soul, and thought at first that I festive occasion in historic Robert E. didn’t want to get to know anyone, Lee Memorial Church in downtown because we were all going to die in Lexington, followed by a reception some order, possibly by height. in VMI’S Moody Hall. The highlight “More current events: my first for me was escorting my beautiful class dyke, Doug Popp ’61, and I daughter down the aisle among 200 are doing business together around family and friends. She married a the product Gibbs Lubricant good man and Alice and I feel blessed. (, and he included We hired a stretch limousine and me to join him at a Soldier four of the bride’s elementary-age Equipment & Technology Expo cousins, great nieces and nephews last March at Fort Hood, Texas. were thrilled to be invited by the bride We had a great time catching up, and groom to ride with the bridal party and meeting our troops in Central from the church to the reception. Texas. Doug lives in Wisconsin so Everyone was enthusiastic about the it was a major drive for him, but he reception and the food, and there were and his Jeep hauled it in style. Russ Class of 1965: Conrad Hall, John Baillio, Russell plenty of libations. My daughter and Proctor and I are apparently in the Proctor and Greg Robertson at the headquarters of her contemporaries dispensed with international gun parts business. The Princess Anne Light Artillery on New Market Day. formalities after the cake was cut He needed one thing for his M1 After a seven-mile walk in First Landing State Park this and most of the older generation had Garand, and I bought it for him photo was taken. The New Market Flag was made in departed. Then the real party began! online, only to learn the seller is Tongduchon, Korea, and belongs to the battery comBeing a child after my own heart, the in the Netherlands. Maybe, just mander, Russ Proctor. main thing Maria Ellen had requested maybe, we’ll get it Russ. All you



CLASS NOTES BRs take care and have a great 50th Matric party.” Can I have a ride when the Lear is clean? And here are more astounding revelations from Bill Cather “I plan to be there in August. Thanks for the ‘heads up.’ If you are reading this in the class notes and there is no accompanying obituary then I have successfully completed what many of you did 50 years ago – an 82-mile, 10-day trek with altitudes over 11,000 feet at Philmont Scout Reservation in northeastern New Mexico. I am lucky enough to be going with my son, Robbie, an assistant scoutmaster and my grandson, Matthew, a Life Scout. I am doing it for one of the same reasons I came to VMI … I want to test myself. I will let you know whether I passed or failed come August.” There is a special prize for the one who comes the longest distance to the party! Nat Ward has been busy, “Mickey: party sounds like a great idea but will be on the beaches of southern California. Dee and I are returning to Virginia in a few weeks for her 45th reunion Mary Washington. I will be staying with sister Chartley in her new home in Alexandria. The Vietnam Symposium at Texas Tech University went well. Subject was ‘Political Influence of the Stamps of Indochina 1888-One Hundred Years’ or something like that. Am about finished with the three years process of liquidating the stamp collection of Al Magazzu who discovered the U.S. rarest stamp. Then on to finish the book on Vietnam starting 1958. Last 2/3 done but got diverted re the philatelic pursuit. By the way, I have one extra copy of the ’62, ’63, ’64 and ’65 Bomb if anyone wants them. Take care and best to all.” Harry Bartosik and his wife, Lynn, need our prayers. He reports: “My wife, Lynn, is in the hospital and we will be unable to make the trip overseas to Italy. On Tuesday (May 3) she went in for a routine CT Scan and several hours later she received a flurry of telephone calls informing her to get to a hospital immediately. When they did the preliminary read of her CT Scan they discovered a large pulmonary embolism in the Inferior Vena Cava (the large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower half of the body to the heart). She is in the hospital now receiving treatment and her doctors have informed her that she cannot travel for several months. “It is with regret that we must pass on what would have been the beginning of a trip of a lifetime for us. After the cruise (VMI Alumni Association Cruise) we were going to England spend five days in London and then pick up the Queen Mary 2. We would then make the transatlantic crossing to New York and finish up by spending the weekend in NYC before returning home.” At this writing, Lynn is doing well and should be home soon. Fortunately this was caught in time and Harry tells me he will

2011-Issue 3

formally retire on May 13th so he will be able to be with Lynn during her recovery. Our prayers are with you both. As I write this column in mid May several of our BRs are preparing to fly to Rome and sail Italy’s west coast for a week. So, I wish Bruce and Janice Herczogh, Easley and Alice Moore, Bill and Carol Ryan, Dees and Susan Stallings and Jeff and Vicki Gausepohl a wonderful time on the VMI Alumni Association Cruise and a safe return home. Norm “Feindox” Radford reports: “I will not be able to make it to the matriculation picnic. I have already committed to attending my 50th high school reunion in Virginia only a few weeks later. Dallas is a little farther from Lexington than is Wilmington. I remember Sept. 13, 1961, well (I was one of the first to sign in and had Bunting ’63 as my processor) and hope you and our other Brother Rats have a great time celebrating.” Actually Feindox, I remember you as being the fourth to sign in. I went to my 25th HS reunion – it was a bummer so I hope your 50th is better! On March 24, 2011, a kind, gentle, ever smiling Brother Rat, Paul Edwin Crawford, passed away. His wife, Gayle, wrote: “Paul requested no obituary and a cremation with a wake (with a piper) to follow as we heal. It has not been scheduled yet, but will be in California. He loved VMI and was thrilled to make the reunion and had been feeling much better the last few days as he began kidney dialysis. His heart simply was not strong enough for the process. He is greatly missed as a true, loving and honorable man. We honor him as a father and a true mate.” We will always remember him with love and affection. Editor’s Note: See Taps section in this issue for Edwin Crawford's obituary. The in-box is clear for now. Just a short time until we share an “Old Yell” together again in Lexington. See you there! ’65! ’65! ’65!


Al Carr Albert Conner

The good news, as I stick my head out of the foxhole and look around, is that, as best I can tell, all of ’66 is vertical and still fogging the mirror. As I’ve received an OK scan report from my oncologist on May 2, it looks like that includes me and I’ll be able to attend the ’66 September 45th Reunion. My semi-annual update report on the state of the Institute – as described at the Class Agents’ Conference went out via e-mail. If you didn’t get it and would like to, please let me know and I’ll e-mail it to you. That said I’m happy to report on those BRs who’ve contacted me.

I first heard from Don Nemetz with an interesting update report. After retiring from the Army in 1986, Don worked for Defense Contractors for another 11 years supporting Program Management and Weapons System Development. He finally retired in 1997 and he and Irma “hopped aboard our 35-foot sailboat on Chesapeake Bay and took off to winter at Key West, FL.” After embarking on a cruise to Dry Tortugas and the Bahamas, (nine months’ later) they returned to Maryland. There, “after some soul searching, we sold the house and sailboat, bought a slow moving cruising trawler and lived aboard, cruising up and down the East Coast and enjoyed another cruise to the Bahamas.” They finally settled down in Port Charlotte in southwest Florida. Don stays busy by “working on boats and building a gaff-rigged traditional wooden sailboat in the garage, researching historical methods of construction and making absolutely everything by hand from raw materials.” They now sail that and another 17-foot production sailboat on Charlotte Harbor. Don adds, “When not sailing, working on, or simply messing about in boats, we ride a motorcycle for fun and as members of the Florida Vietnam Brotherhood. Summers are spent long-distance cruising in a motor-home to escape the Florida heat. In addition to sightseeing throughout the U.S., our trips include a 12,500 mile trek to Alaska and a 6,600 mile trip to the Canadian Maritimes including Newfoundland Island. We’re enjoying our Golden Years as much as possible and look forward to the reunion in September 2011.” Spence Wilkinson wrote to me from a hotel lobby in Puerto Rico, where he was accompanying his wife on a business trip. He expressed thanks for the several rounds of class ring stories that had been circulating on the e-mail network. If you didn’t receive the e-mails containing various ring stories and comments, let me know and I’ll pass them along. Ian Ackroyd-Kelly also enjoyed the ring exchanges and finally felt compelled to write: “I tried hard to resist, but the latest round of ring adventures or misadventures finally drove me to respond. Actually nothing noteworthy has happened to my ring aside from the apparently endemic problem of ‘auric shrinkage’ (I shall ask our chemistry major, Joe Balazik, to explain that when next I see him), and the wear and tear of four decades. What came to me as I read the respective stories … Was I the only person in our class to get far enough into the dictionary that he was able to heed the subtle distinction that differentiates ‘combat zone’ from ‘cotillion?’ During my brief military career, I had the misfortune to have been sent to two different versions of the former (Korea and Vietnam) and to neither did it occur to me to bring my ring.


CLASS NOTES If what I am reading bears true and my geology training that mineral solids course downstream holds up, the Mekong following our class’ departure must have had more gold in it than Wagner’s Rhine in the Nibelung Ring Cycle. Or maybe the green stone just made it hard to find when lost midst lush tropical vegetation?” Darned if that doesn’t make a lot of sense. A-K then let us know what had happened in his life since his last report: “I took my first (and I thought, final) retirement from the university in the summer of ’08 and entered upon what I believed to be my new ‘career’ as a stable hand at my daughter’s farm. However, the following summer, after another of the seemingly perpetual shakeups in the administration at the university, they asked that I return to the dean’s office for another year. Hey, given the fact that it was temporary, and we had a daughter about to get married, and I could use the augmentation to my retirement pay, I gave it a shot on the clear understanding that it would be for the year only. So, I had a second retirement (from the same institution) last June. We are still living in the Poconos, although mulling the idea of moving to the Finger Lakes with possible winter escapes to my second ‘home’ in New Zealand.” He ended with the hope all were well and he was looking forward to seeing everyone in September. Dave Adkins wrote from Washington State, “I loved reading all the new ring stories. It’s like being together with all those guys. I just remembered another one.” Up till now I’ve avoided reprinting the stories in the notes, but this was good and involved another class: “I was at the University of Washington getting the civil engineering degree my parents had begged me to get at VMI (BA history instead).” He encountered a faculty member pulling spot duty as an advisor: “One day I randomly got this hydraulics professor who happened to be wearing a fairly large ring on his right pinky finger … While he was filling out paperwork I was craning my neck around trying not to be too obvious and finally I was able to read the finial. So I asked, already knowing the answer, ‘Did you go to VMI?’ His name is Howard Strausser ’42 and he was the project engineer for the construction of New Barracks. We talked about the slide potential of the hill behind New Barracks and he said he had warned them repeatedly that the slope was too steep for the soil characteristics. I remember walking along the backside of Barracks several times and hearing a rock or two just let go. It was a pretty constant thing. After that day I was the only student among about 32,000 who had a permanent faculty advisor.” The relationship continued after Dave graduated. He related how “Randy Urmston and Evelyn and I were occasional


guests at the Strausser’s home.” Subsequent email conversations caused Dave to look up his old professor. Hopefully they’ll connect. I next heard from George Newton: “Just want to say hello from Spain … you’ve got one Brother Rat still out on the battlefield. I was asked to take the job of site manager for Vinnell, Brown and Root at Moron AB, Spain. Today I have 750 people, refueling more than I can talk about, feeding over 1800 people per day and taking care of 800+ in our Contingency Dorms and Hotel … I’m like the contractor/base commander/aircraft flight line director and support/CE commander. It’s a very special mission that you read about every night on the TV. We can’t talk about it … This is almost like being back in the USAF … I get to talk to four-stars, pilots, maintenance men and plenty of regular folks each day and all are a long way from home. You can’t begin to imagine what it’s like being a ‘contractor’ and having so much real power … ” No George, I can’t – actually it seems like I hit my zenith of power as a cadet corporal on the New Cadet Cadre. Two e-mails later, it turned out that Woody and Lori Sadler were also in Spain at that same time! Jane and I had visited with the Sadlers in March on their five-star Lexington ranch to discuss reunion plans. They were heading out to take their first shot at space-available (a.k.a. “Space-A”) travel. Two retired colonels (would that be an O-12?) should get treated well, I guessed. Woody’s OPREP followed: “Space-A is quite an odyssey! We signed up for Dover because they have a flight a day to Rota – not the week we wanted to go. So we started in Norfolk, didn’t make two flights; but, found out there was a flight the next day from Charleston. Drove down, got on the flight, had the brief and the C-5 broke. Are you getting the idea about the reliability of the C-5? Next flight was in two days. We used the time to visit some USMC friends in Beaufort. Got on the next flight and had a great flight to Rota. The trip around the Andalusia part of Spain was great, especially during Holy Week. Now it is time to head home. Only flight to Charleston went via Canada. Next flight was to Dover. We got booked for the flight, a C-5, and of course, it broke. Now we are pondering about taking the fixed C-5 to Dover and driving 10 hours to Charleston where our car is or going back on the stand by list and catching a flight 10 hours later to Charleston. I’ll let you know how the drama unfolds.” They made it home shortly afterward; you can get the after-action report at the reunion. Following the latest outbreak of tornadoes, Paul and Lynn Wagner checked in from northern Alabama after their power had been restored. They added, “We finally got power back this afternoon after six days without. We are blessed that we are OK. Paul was able to come home Friday night. We now have a generator, after

losing food from refrigerator and freezer. Our gas cooktop was a big help. Phone service came back on Sunday. Cell phone service has been really spotty. There was bad storm damage closer than we thought – two miles away several structures were leveled. There is so much damage and destruction all over North Alabama. A record number of tornadoes (over 200) touched down in North Alabama last Wednesday (4/27/11). We are really thankful that we are OK.” The old commercial about not messing around with Mother Nature still holds. We’re so glad that they came through alright and hope that all the rest of the Deep South BRs are OK as well. I had an interesting series of communications with Charlie Ramsburg in which we kicked around some different ways that we could reconnect with BRs before, during and after the reunion. As a homework assignment, we sit down and list all the people we knew before coming to VMI (e.g., those in the same high schools, etc.); then first night VMI roomies; then roommates during all four years; then those we dyked with; then those with whom we were on the same teams or clubs; and finally BRs in our same major or with whom we took ROTC classes. Then we focus on those with whom we served in the military or worked with or socialized in later life. And we might want to add those we’ve gotten to know better through alumni or later class activities. In the end, you recognize that you are a part of a sizable network. If you touch all of those bases during the 45th Reunion or make an effort to reconnect with those BRs using e-mail, phones or social media, you can feel caught-up and ready for the count-down to reunion 50. Ray Saunders wrote to me earlier with an aerial photo of the Institute. We talked about his wonderful work at VMI as a photographer and whether that collection of images has survived. After a lot of work, Ray sent me access to a priceless collection of ’66 images. We’ll be talking more about this later; but, one way or the other, you all have to see these. They are truly a marvelous time-capsule of our VMI days. Spoke to Cliff Crittsinger several times. As previously reported, he’s been working hard with his other class (’64) to put together an annual award which honors the Brother Rat spirit and which would be selected by the graduating class. The award was approved by VMI and now they’re trying to come up with the design. Cliff is now moved into his new Colorado home and is going through all of the trials of getting resettled. We wish him well in both efforts. That’s all the news for now. I hope to see as many of you as possible at the reunion and at other events in Lexington this coming academic year. Take care BRs, and may the wind be always at your backs.


CLASS NOTES Dave and Allison Bristow, Marie Wertz and Joan and I will be in Italy for the alumni cruise in May. Bob and Peggy Flynn recently made the marathon 16-hour drive from Soddy-Daisy, TN, to see the grandkids in Texas. My initial mention of our reunion dates of Sept. 14-15, 2012, brought some early volunIf you are not on the class e-mail chain, you teers. Kermit Quick wants to work with whatare just learning that Dixie Walker had knee ever golf plans materialize. George Elmore replacement surgery on March 9. He came wants to be on the planning committee. Terry through in great shape. Many among the class Moore, Wayne Marshall and George Elmore sent encouragement messages and suggestions are forming a committee of three to look for based on their own joint replacements. And lost or misplaced BRs. I have gotten a list of all many sent prayers and good thoughts to Dixie. ’67 matriculates for them to start with. You may Bruce Weiner (had a knee joint scraped) was not be lost but if you are very quiet and we have among those and also said wife Hollace was not heard from you in forever, expect a contact due for a knee replacement once they return from one of them to get your information upfrom their second bike tour of France in Sepdated. They will also encourage you to join us tember. She will have a cortisone shot before in Lexington. I expect to have a committee for the trip. Hunter Taylor sent suggestions on how outreach to the wives of our deceased BRs also. to keep your digestive system working after the Tom and Shirley Mustard sent me their new physicians clog you up with the pain medicae-mail and street addresses as they move to NE tion side effects. Georgia in a few weeks. Pete Wells sent the Bob Randolph now works for the World following book recommendation: “Cruel and Bank. “I am off to Ethiopia for three weeks Unusual Punishment: The Terrifying ImplicaMay 1 on a World Bank project to look at tions of Islamic Law” - Nonie Darwish. Ms. administrative agencies (federal and state) and Darwish is an Egyptian who grew up as a determine how well they handle grievances and Muslim in Egypt before immigrating to the U.S. disputes, and if there are issues, make recomas an adult and converting to Christianity. The mendations for constructive changes which book is more of a critical analysis of Sharia law facilitate the fair, efficient and inexpensive under which she lived for 30 years rather than a resolution of disputes. Most likely, I will be condemnation of Islam. returning to Addis in the summer to follow-up. “Hi Jan, Charlie Ramsburg ’66, here in Suggestions and comments welcomed. Bob” Greensboro, NC. As the class agent for the Bob (Robert C.) Green is on a walking tour class of 1967, I am sending information about of southern France on some part of one of the a Brother Rat of yours. Mike Schlosser is Pilgrim Roads going in the direction of Spain. receiving a very nice honor in about five weeks I have gotten a couple of postcards and a letter on June 3rd at a formal sit-down dinner at Granwith a map as he makes his way along the 475 dover Resort. He is one of five honorees at this section he is on. The last card had a scene of the year’s ‘Fathers of the Year Awards’ given by the village of Aumont-Aubrac (Lozere). He says his feet are tired but the food along Greater Greensboro Area Father’s Day the way is great. Council. This formal dinner, where the Wayne and Dot Marshall award is presented, is a big fund raising stopped by for a couple of days event for the American Diabetes Ason their way home from Wayne’s sociation.” Congratulations to Mike and annual two-month fishing vacaRebecca who made the nomination! tion in Florida. He tows his own Vance Powell sends a thank you to competition style fishing boat all of the BRs who sent prayers and from New Hampshire to various well wishes to he and Dawn. Dawn is places in the sunshine state and home at this time and is due another rents a place for the duration. evaluation in June as she is on the The fishing has not been up to heart/lung wait list. “Jan, the response his standards the last couple of to my sort of off the cuff request for years (water conditions and such), prayers was nothing less than special and he says he might need to and heart-warming. I, of course, find another venue in the future. shared them to Dawn as she was sitWayne also keeps me up-to-date ting in the ICU. I could immediately on what the government is doing see her spirits lifted as she had not to the price of gas and well the idea of the power of our brotherhood. Class of 1967: Jackie, Nina and Colin Campbell celebratprices on everything as they are I thank everyone from the bottom of ing Christmas 2010. rising. They left us bound for Tom my heart.”


2011-Issue 3

Jan Abernathy

and Lucy Gritzmacher in Lexington. In a related fishing type message Ron Lowry sent me 139 photos of a rafting trip … lots of fish pictures … he took last year with Wharton Ramsey down the Snake River in Idaho. He suggests we might get a ’67 group together and consider it a mini-reunion trip in 2012 during the summer. For many years Neil Schlussel has been a court appointed special advocate volunteer for abused and neglected children in the court system in Fairfax, VA. He recently received The May Cook Heart of Gold award for his dedication. “Dedication, commitment and professionalism. These are words embodied by Neil Schlussel. For the past eight years, Neil has been assigned to nine cases, serving a total of 17 children. His years with the organization have certainly fine tuned his advocacy skills, gaining him the respect of his fellow colleagues. Understanding how to weave through the system, Neil knows what questions to ask, how to ask, and even who to call. His questions no doubt push all professionals working the case to provide the best care for his CASA children.” Congratulations to Neil. I checked with him as to his 2011 travel plans and his reply was: “I leave for Panama on March 29 to spend three days in the canal on a 24 passenger boat, going to a motorized dugout to visit some locals and zip line the canopy of the local forests. Will also ride the train from Colon to Panama City. Total countries so far are 38 plus all 50 states. Neil” Joe and Joyce Stafford are off to Germany this summer for a visit. He remembered that Pat Conley spends summers in Europe and asked for Pat and Marie’s contact information. Joe also asked where his 2010 Register of Former Cadets was. I checked and was told the book had to be given to a new printer and would be out soon. Hopefully, your copy will arrive before this AR issue. Randy and Anne Blanks,


CLASS NOTES I get a lot of jokes and stories by e-mail. My favorite this quarter is one from Richard Stanard involving an old man being taken in by two scantily clad young women who approached the man in a parking lot asking for a ride home. Once in the car one manages to distract the driver while the other lifts his wallet. I think Richard said the story was about a friend of his who had been robbed once on a Friday, three times the next day and was running out of wallets. He was on the way to Wal-Mart to buy new wallets while looking for the girls. Use your imagination to fill in the gaps in this story. As always I likely left out news of someone. Please remind me if I did. And please send in your best photos from your summer travels for the next issue. We promise to have great shots of the Italy cruise to share. Jan

Tom Hickey


Ron Gallagher

From a purely personal perspective, the VMI ’68 highlight of 2011 was the honor paid to Paul Hebert (Steamboat Springs, CO) when he received the prestigious Jonathan Myrick Daniels ’61 Humanitarian Award on March 30, 2011. I won’t go into a lot of detail here as the events and his remarks were included in recent VMI publications. (Editor’s note: See article in the Institute section of this issue.) Skip and Kay Roberts (Lexington, VA) hosted a wonderful party the evening before for Paul and his family and BRs who made the trip to Lexington to witness the event. At the party were, Dave and Martha Gibbons (Washington, D.C.), Jim and Karen Burns (Henrico, VA), Paul and Mayling Simpson Hebert, Paul’s son, Alex Hebert and his partner, Erin Preston, Paul’s daughter Katherine Hebert George, Jim and Jessica Polley (Stafford, VA), Kerr and Susie Kump (Elkins, WV), Skip and Kay Roberts, Tom and Rosemary Hickey (Clarksville, MD), Rick Siegel (Bethesda, MD), John and Cindy Crim (New Market, VA), Chandler Williams (Midlothian, VA), Richard Wallach (Middleburg, VA), Mike Smythers (Chesapeake, VA), Larry Ryan (Stephens City, VA), George Sebren (Niceville, FL), Dean Kershaw (Fairfield, VA), Chips McCallum (Suffolk, VA), and Walt Jeffress (Fairfax, VA). The honor prompted reactions from other BRs. Dee Biggs (Acton, MA), “It could not have gone to a more deserving person than Paul. Ex-


cellent choice and probably long overdue.” Gerald Jones (Hingham, MA), “This is wonderful, a tribute to Paul and his ‘doing good and well.’ Very proud of him.” George Squires (Henrico, VA), “Well and richly deserved. Paul was a high school classmate (George Wythe High School) in Richmond, along with his wife, Mayling, and BR’s Dave Schneider (Midlothian, VA), David Avery (Lyme, NH) and Arnold (Wright) Ellis (Richmond, VA). Truly inspirational – ‘classmate’ with the emphasis on ‘class.’” Moving on to the more usual class note topics, I got a note from Frank Pinizzotto (Newark, DE) announcing a recent move, “I moved to Delaware in September 2010 to be closer to work. Sold our house in Chester County, PA.” Heard from Ed Anderson (Lynchburg, VA) who wrote of a recent visit to VMI, “Pat and I and a friend of ours from France, Laurence Labbe (that’s a lady’s name over there), made it to the VMI-Radford basketball game on Feb. 12. Ms. Labbe was impressed with the Institute and it was the first college basketball game she had been to. It was great to see the Keydets win!” I noticed through Linked-In that Dixon McElwee (Boca Raton, FL) is president of GPS Industries, so I sent him a note asking about his new business. He responded, “We manufacture and service the majority of the golf cart-mounted GPS distance measurement devices in North America, based in Sarasota. Our big marketing

partner is Club Car, the 50 percent market share brand leader. Small but fun gig.” Speaking of social network sites, Guy Wilson (Charlotte, NC) has created a VMI ’68 group on Facebook that many have joined. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. One of Guy’s posts in April 2011 was a short note honoring his roommate for four years, Mike Kemp, who was taken from us our first class year. Guy posted some light-hearted material too. Accompanying a picture of (then) Capt. Ken Dickinson ’57, he wrote, “So, I was remembering personalities from the old days, and here is one … Dickinson now living in Florida. Made me think of Capt. West ’58, Daddy-O (get her in the morning before she … ), Bill the Bugler, Red Turner, Doc Carroll and Dodo Dillard ’34. Great memories … ” Leigh Edmunds (Alexandria, VA) added this to the page, “Thinking about the parties at Zollman’s Pavilion and the Pine Room. What were some of the other venues where we let it all hang out? Remember some of the groups: Lolita and the Swingmasters, Bill Deal and the Rondells … ? Who were some of the other groups that we used to enjoy a lot? Ah, spring!” Skip Roberts was reading the Wall Street Journal one day and saw a column about Gen. Shell ’31. He wrote to the author, Shell’s daughter-inlaw, “I read your interesting article in the WSJ today (about Gen. Shell). My superintendent at VMI was Maj. Gen. George R.E. Shell. Let me

Class of 1968: March 29, 2011, attending a cocktail party in honor of Paul Hebert at Skip Robert’s home in Lexington, Virginia, were, from left, front row, Martha Gibbons, Karen Burns, Paul Hebert, Mayling Simpson Hebert, Erin Preston, Katherine Hebert George and Jessica Polley. Second row: Dave Gibbons, Jim Burns, Kerr Kump, Alex Hebert, Susie Kump, Skip Roberts, Kay Roberts, Rosemary Hickey, Jim Polley and Rick Siegel. Third row: Tom Hickey, John Crim, Chandler Williams, Richard Wallach, Mike Smythers, Larry Ryan, George Sebren, Cindy Crim and Dean Kershaw.


CLASS NOTES We’ve been traveling a lot, enjoying our first birthday calls – too much time required, too share this with you. I was in the class of 1968 at grandchild, and looking forward our second in little energy available. I’ve been searching for VMI. There was no question who was in charge May. Speaking of May, we plan to make the a replacement. For a couple of months I tried – that was a ram rod straight Marine – Gen. Shell. Mt. Mitchell hike being coordinated by Joe mass e-mailings. Starting in April 2011 I started At the cusp of the college revolution, we were not Levine (Panama City, FL). We are also looking using the VMI ePost cards available on the confused about his role. Years later I would return visitor’s page of the Web site. The fol- forward to the Labor Day weekend New Market to VMI as the head of its foundation. We moved Rat Parade. Life is good and we are blessed. lowing are from the responses I got from those into a house at the end of Paxton Street just down Looking forward to seeing some BRs during the ePost cards. from where Gen. Shell lived. As we were unpackupcoming months.” Dave Clark (Midlothian, VA), “Jean is still at ing boxes, there was a knock at the door and there Doug Schnabel (Nashville, TN), “I will be retirVCU. I am working on setting up some satellite was Gen. Shell and his wife, Alice, – two lovely ing from the Tennessee Division of Forestry as of sales location for my Cartridge World business. and gracious people. He walked in with a bottle of today, April 1. We (I) have a big list of chores to We are going on a cruise in Alaska.” sherry and a welcome and said call us ‘Bud and get started on at the farm and house in Nashville. Lew Yeouze (Peachtree City, GA), “I retired Alice.’ As we say – not going to happen! He was in late 2009. Joyce and I are enjoying ourselves. We will welcome any help!” always Gen. Shell to me and all of my class. He and his wife were such wonderful John Thrift (Wrightsville Beach, people and they made enormous NC), “I continue to enjoy retirecontributions to VMI.” ment. I am still doing ventriloquist I got information from Chandler gigs, am currently rehearsing for Williams that four 1968 BRs ata play I am in and I am taking tended the “Nineteenth Annual saxophone lessons. I am volunNorment Invitational & Clambake” teering for the United Network of to support our BR, VA State Sen. Organ Sharing (UNOS). UNOS is Tommy Norment. They were Rich headquartered here in Richmond Wallach, Rick Siegel, Jim Henry and coordinates all organ transplants and Chandler Williams. This annual nationwide. Seven years ago I doevent is supported by both corporate nated a kidney to my brother-in-law. sponsorship and individuals from He had previously received a double throughout the Commonwealth and lung transplant 19 years ago. My it certainly reflects the citizenry’s son’s mother-in-law donated a kidappreciation of the work by Tommy ney so that her husband could move in the state legislature. up on the waiting list. The father-inRick Siegel responded to Chanlaw received a kidney several years dler’s e-mail, “Good time by all, ago. I am well acquainted with orFab 4 finished only 16 strokes off gan donors and recipients. On April the pace but broke their string of last 1, 2011, I performed a ventriloquist Class of 1968: Dick and Cynthia Rankin had dinner with place finishes.” bit about organ donation for UNOS Tom and Rosemary Hickey on March 5, 2011, at the Hilton And from Jim Burg (Prescott, to help kick off organ donation Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii. AZ) I got this, “BR Bob and Noreen month. Rick Brothers (Steamboat Schmalzriedt (Marietta, GA) called Springs, CO) has invited all of our then e-mailed me before coming for roommates to his place on the Outer a visit prior to going to their timeshare Banks this coming August for a get in Sedona, AZ. They stayed overnight together. Margaret and I are looking in Phoenix then drove up for a visit at forward to seeing Rick and Jane our home in Prescott where we spent Brothers, Bill and Vicki Cobb the day reminiscing about our four (Pompano Beach, FL), Rick and Ivy years experience at the Institute. They Butterworth (Hingham, MA), and brought a photo of the three of us in Berry Wright (Ashland, VA).” our blouses and caps; it was me, Jack Phil Lanier (Lakeway, TX), Falzone (Crystal Lake, IL), and Bob “Beck and I moved last summer all dressed in our school uniforms. We and really love it. Our son, daughtalked football, McKenna dedication ter-in-law and two grandsons live and all the times we spent together as here. Our daughter and husband roomies. It was a terrific visit and he live in Denver and that is a short brought the game bulletins from sevflight from Austin. We are happy eral games we played in our four years about those logistics. We live in a with the Big Red. He and Noreen Class of 1968: In April 2011, Bill Cobb, Rich Brothers golf community in a small town looked great, and we toured the sites and Bill Bouck, aboard the “Good to Me” in Fort Laudercalled Lakeway, located about 25 in Prescott before they drove to their dale, Florida, went fishing in the Atlantic between Fort miles west of the city in what they Lauderdale and Boca Raton. They caught king fish, mahi timeshare for several days. Afterwards call the hill country. We are on one mahi, sailfish, barracuda, trigger fish and an eight-foot, they were returning to Georgia.” of the fairways; sometimes just 275-pound hammerhead shark. As you know, I’ve quit making walk out the back door with a few

2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES However, I do find working in brand new techgrandchildren in tents and our pop up.” clubs in my hand, play a few holes and walk nologies such as green technology and pushing Vic Huang (Cupertino, CA) from Shanghai, back. I still work for a company out of Plymthe frontier to get to fully electric vehicles quite a China (!), “Since 2009, after several years in wireouth, MA, mostly from home. But the links are challenge, not so technically but more socially and less broadband startups and competing with Wi-Fi calling so I don’t know how much longer I will market acceptance. Interesting dynamics but the and WiMAX, I switched gears and did a stint continue to work. Been playing golf since I was Chinese government is very, very gungho on this with developing high end eReaders competing about 12 and still have the same bad habits! I technology and its impact to the country and to be with the likes of Kindle and Nook, etc. However, hope to get back to a ball game in the fall.” tops in the world in this area.” our investors didn’t have the stomach to go the Ben Hedrick (Bethlehem, PA), “Nothing Keep in touch. long haul, so I am working in strategic business much new here. Went on Medicare with this development and project management in the new birthday so looked back, as over-the-hill people world of green technology – electric vehicles and do, and couldn’t even see the hill! Older son Walter Judd electric charge stations, working in cross border keeps working on his math doctorate at Stancompanies straddling between China, U.S. and ford and younger son on his surgical residency Europe. Because development and deployment in Rochester while Marcy and I worry we are is in China, I spend about 60% of my time there! doomed for no grandchildren. Same old, same Exciting times, learning new technologies and old. Our only plans so far are for Octoberfest in Greetings, BRs and friends of the illustrious business opportunities – bringing the Silicon ValMunich, a bucket list goal.” class of 1969. It is springtime in Eastern Virginia ley acumen to China. China is an exciting place to Joe Smith (Bethesda, MD), “Just had dinner and thoughts go out not only to the end of the work – smart folks, eager to learn, getting up there with Ned Harris (Ipswich, MA) and his wife, school year but also to football in a few months. in their standard of living, Shanghai is a great city Cornelia, on Sunday night. They were in the Football, already? You bet. Excitement is running and as my colleague puts it, like living in NYC! area combining business with pleasure. He’s high as we see more five-year-guys in Barracks still working – currently in the San Francisco and a good batch of underclassmen ready to go. area – while commuting between their winter Football Coach Sparky Woods spoke about retirement home in Arizona and their summer next year’s team to a small group of interested home (read sailboat berthed) in Solomons, MD. alumni, including John Sebrell, Lee Barnes, As for me, I’m still working in the D.C. area for Bob Heely and me in Norfolk on May 2. We Smoot Construction – been with them a little over four years after leaving Clark Construction got the latest on the spring football game and lots of info on present and expected players. – and will continue as long as it remains enjoyOptimism is the word of the day. New twist able. My son starts college this fall – he opted is getting players to mix summer school and for Williams College over VMI – don’t know weight training. why I couldn’t interest him in a buzz cut at age Staying with the sports theme, I played golf at 18. Daughter is finishing sophomore year in HS Class of 1968: John Kemper, left, Kingsmill Plantation course on April 13 with 20 so tuition payments will double in two years. with former VMI basketball coach other alums and then attended the W&M baseball Maybe I’d better keep working a little longer!” Gary McPherson at the VMI-WVU game. At the game I met Drew and Carol BrantJohn Lester (Richmond, VA), “Sally and my basketball game in November 2010. ley, Tom Catlett and Glenn White. only news is that our son was marVMI won the game to complete a ried in October. I am still trying to sweep of W&M in baseball this year. adjust to being retired and Sally’s In early April Bev and I prepared to retirement may be in July. We head up to Lexington for the annual were able to spend a few weeks in Class Agents’ Conference. I sent out Jackson Hole and a plus to being a class update before going and loved 65 is that next year we will have a all the feedback you guys provided. senior ski pass.” If you did not get the message, you Wright Ellis, “I’m enjoying need to send me your e-mail address! retirement (duh!) and my garden I depend on you providing current is doing well with peas, spinach, address info for snail mail, e-mail and lettuce, peppers and tomatoes phones. Paul Curs made sure I not coming along. I couldn’t get wife, only got his new cell but could read it. Penny, interested in sailing so my The numbers were in 32 font, I think. boat is for sale in Urbanna, VA. I did not need glasses to read it. (Wanna buy a boat, cheap?) We At the Class Agents’ meeting we just bought a used travel trailer heard from the supe and several and remodeled it. She has decided other interesting characters involved a ‘land yacht’ is her mode of cruisClass of 1968: Participating in the 19th Annual Norment with the cadets: the commandant, ing. We plan to do more traveling (golf) Invitational and Clambake on May 5, 2011, to support BR Senator Tommy Norment were, from left, Rich the dean, foundation reps, coaches when she retires in four or five Wallach, Rich Siegel, Norment, Jim Henry and Chandler and Keydet Club reps. We met in years. Seeing the Pacific NorthWilliams. The Fab 4 – Wallach, Siegel, Henry and Wilthe CLE (Center for Leadership and west is at the top of our bucket liams – finished 16 strokes off the pace but broke their Ethics) and used several rooms for list. Now we are camping around string of last-place finishes. break-out sessions and meals. Topics the state with our children and




CLASS NOTES discussed were social media, fund raising and communications among BRs of all ages. Needless to say, what works for one group might not work for another. I was lucky enough to work with a great communicator on the staff Amy Goetz, the developer of many of the new films and short videos used for many purposes. She helped many of us understand what could be used of the social media choices. If you have time and want to help with Facebook or LinkedIn activities, please talk to me soonest. Also be advised there are more places now than ever before for people to stick photos of events (like reunions!) on the VMI alumni site. Check it out! One last thought at the CA meeting: we met for supper in the old Chefs’ Mess on basement level of Crozet Hall and then trooped up to the second floor for a meal. That old chow hall has changed nicely and can offer a fine place for a fancy meal or just “greasy bird” (which hopefully does not exist anymore). Here is my update in February (with some added notes): 1. This coming Friday and Saturday (April 1-2) in Lexington I will be attending the annual spring gathering of class agents. Feel free to tell me what questions you want answered. We usually get a “state of the Institute” and lots of info about on-going building and fund-raising efforts. 2. Support your BRs: Bob Heely is currently first vice president of the VMI Alumni Association and will become president in another year. Randolph Blanks ’67 is the current top man. Bunny Paulette is on track to jump into president of the Keydet Club at roughly the same time as Bob leads the AA. Walt Jeffress ’68 will lead the foundation for the same period. 3. Drew Brantley passed on the fact that the VMI Glee Club will sing “God Bless America” at next Sunday’s race. (Likely NASCAR) 4. Drew is also looking for BRs to support the VMI baseball team when they visit Williamsburg on April 13 for a game against W&M at Plumeri Park. 5. Sallie Sebrell passed words about coming Garden Week activities in Lexington. The tour is all on Post this year and features several houses and buildings on VMI. April 23 is the day; 1000 – 1700. 6. Dennis Witt survived time in late February in the hospital and overcame some traveling blood clots in his system. Hugh Hopkins did a great job of keeping many of us updated on the daily events. “I was hospitalized for approx. two weeks with blood clots in my veins that extended from midchest, down both legs to just above my knees. My doctor came up with an ‘out of the box’ procedure which involved three operations. I am happy to say, that ‘they were effective.’ I am home now and am doing well, but tire quickly.” Keep Dennis in your prayers. 7. Don Nelson lost his wife, Lois, to cancer in February. They were married for 41 years and met on a blind

2011-Issue 3

date set up by Bar Delk and a friend of his from W&M. BRs Bruce Gregory and John Ishon attended the funeral service. 8. Jim Long keeps passing me info about reacting to strokes and heart attacks. Biggest new thought is to immediately take plain aspirin if you think you have had a heart attack and sit – not lie down – while waiting for EMTs to arrive. 9. Think positive thoughts for Lee Barnes and Marty Parks as both have sons trying to decide where to go to college. The lure of the Institute is strong but so are other “next steps.” [Lee Barnes’ son, Bryce, won a state wrestling championship at 189 pounds for the big high schools in VA. After a fun winter of recruiting and contact from several big schools, Bryce agreed to attend West Point. Another Cadet Barnes making athletic history – you gotta love it!] 10. Don Mercer and Wayne Keesee sent thank-you notes to all who participated in the Arlington ceremonies for Joe Spicer. 11. Ward Carr sent a request by a couple of young female medical students from Frankfurt looking for short time work in the U.S. Contact Ward ASAP if you can offer him any assistance. They are in their fifth year of medical studies (a different system in Germany than in the USA) in Frankfurt. 12. I pass to you that March of 2011 is the birthday month for Bomber Hudson, one of our youngest BRs, and Bobby Waldo, one of our senior citizens. Hard to believe we are already hitting that age 65 landmark! Lloyd McGrady replied that he enjoyed catching up. “Debbie and I moved to Albuquerque, NM, back in October. I really liked Texas and Waco in particular. I am still with SAIC and that was the reason for the move. I did run into Chris Brothers on an airplane a few months back; he lives up in Santa Fe. Congratulations to Leo and his son. I know he/they are proud. Take care and we’ll talk to you later … yes, we are approaching 65! And soon our age will match our class number!” Courtenay Welton added, “Nothing like a reminder to initiate an update from the Welton/ Boynton household. We are about to wrap up our winter in Key West and head north with all of the other snowbirds in about two weeks. We’ll stop in Apex, NC, to see my son and his family and then to Richmond. Daughter, now in Peoria, just had her second daughter, so it’s two-to-one on the grandchild count. Our big trip last year was Uzbekistan in October, on a shopping trip disguised as a fabrics and ceramics tour. All in all, very interesting and informative about a rather remote part of the world. We stopped for a few days in Istanbul for a few days on the way back and thoroughly enjoyed much better food, clean water and civilized toilets. In June we leave on a Semester at Sea summer cruise through the Mediter-

ranean. Yes, the two of us, 30 or so other adult ‘Lifelong Learners,’ and about 650 college kids, seeing seven countries in 65 days.” My reply: She has you jumping, Mr. World Traveler! My most recent travel experience was dodging the tsunami on the night before I was planning to leave Hawaii. Sirens went off at 2300 and again at 0030. Small wave hit at 0330. Not a lot of sleep that night … Winn Winfree responded to the update with a picture of a visitor to his home site. The black bear in front of Winn was an adult and was either drugged heavily or newly euthanized. Not often one gets to hold a full grown bear by the ears near your house … WIP Priest: “Just touching base. I am heading up to VMI next week to represent the NOAA Restoration Center at the Environment Virginia Conference and participate in some of the presentations. I really get a kick out of guiding my colleagues to the night life in Lexington.” Ask WIP to explain that last statement; I don’t understand it. Don Mercer sent a picture of himself in a boat filming the local flora and fauna in Barro, CO, Gatun Lake, Panama. Bob Leibecke remembered his time in Panama in a slightly different way: he went for Jungle Warfare School there and did not enjoy it much. Rebel Good to my comment that Bomber Hudson might be the youngest BR: “I believe I’m the youngest BR, DOB 07/20/49 (that’s correct). Fully retired now from newspaper and magazine editing and publishing now. Devoting most of my time to tennis officiating. Worked my 18th U.S. Open last year. On USTA’s national Tennis Rules & Regulations Committee.” Rebel also caught my bad typing and we both laughed … “Is the Glee Club really going to ‘sign’ at the race? I guess that’s necessary since you can’t hear anything over the roar of the engines.” For the record, the Glee Club sang at the race. Scott Rhodes: “I have 43 days to go until I retire. I figure during the past 36 years of teaching I’ve done about all the damage I can/should do. Everybody keeps asking me what I plan to do after I retire. My stock answer is, ‘for the first six months, as little as possible.’ Amy and I do hope to be able to get out to Montana to see my son and his family more often. Of course if the price of gas keeps climbing, that may be wishful thinking. I have a friend who is in charge of matching volunteers for short term missions’ projects for Wycliffe Bible Translators, so that might turn in to something to occupy some of my time down the road. We’ll see.” Our man on scene in China, Jay Hoenig wrote, “Reference heart attacks and strokes, I just had a triple bypass in Singapore (never would do in China). Some advice to pass on


CLASS NOTES to our BRs: have been very active cycling, running, weight training, golf, etc. but started slowing down and felt uncomfortable; had echo cardiograms, ECGs, and treadmill and continually got an ‘all clear.’ When visiting Singapore and after running one day, I went to the cardiologist and demanded an angiogram and boom, there it was; lots of blockage. Moral of the story is – listen to your body. Been eight weeks this Saturday and feel fine for the mending of the sternum. I sense it will really impact my handicap! [spoken as a true golfer] A golfing buddy just had a morning heart attack and he did take a massive dose of aspirin and headed for the emergency room. Doc said it minimized the damage. So, since we are not getting any younger, get check-ups. Take care and safe travels. FYI, if there any VMI students that might want to intern here in the summer; let me know. They can work here or possibly I can get them in the American Chamber.” Tom Hickman: “In 10 days I am finishing up a nine-month tour of duty with the United Nations as strategic advisor in law enforcement to the Afghan High Office of Oversight & Anti-Corruption. Did week in Kuala Lumpur and a week in Bangkok but overall it’s been a damn rough winter here and a lot of blood being spilled. I do think Petraeus is a great one though: among the best in American history. In 2007-09 I created an anti-corruption prosecutor unit in Afghanistan, a team of 12 Afghans, which did a great job until it arrested a top Afghan official and President Karzai realized we were going to take down a bunch of his top people and he put a wrench in it for the moment. That made a few U.S. papers for better or worse. I am proud of the prosecutor team though, people who care about their country and have risked it all. Not sure what I will do next but hope to see Lexington soon. Loved the 40th Reunion and the organizers did a super job. Ronnie Wall, you are wonderful. I am thrice retired: U.S. (Reserve/Guard military), state of Maryland and United Nations. Have one kid who turns 25 this year: works northern New Jersey in an investment firm lives near the ocean, graduated Monmouth University. She is pals with some singer, a Springsteen, guy near our age, and he has her in front row at his NY/ NJ concerts. Hope all of 1969 have a wonderful spring. I feel so honored, every day, to be a Brother Rat of ’69.” To which, Knox Hubard said, “Hickman for President!” John Power added to the fun, “Hello BRs, I’m still in the St. Louis area working for the Booz Allen Hamilton consulting firm and currently trying to organize the DoD Yellow Ribbon re-integration programs for the states of Illinois and Indiana. My wife still has her law practice in Belleville, IL, and I still work for the Rams


on game days – supervisor of field security – big title for walking around field checking on my 25 or so field personnel and watching the game (tough job but somebody has to do it). I continue to officiate college football for NCAA Div 2 and 3 teams out this way, so if you have a rules question, I will try and provide an answer. My oldest son, Jason, owns International Hockey schools ( so if you have a child that plays hockey, let me know and I’ll try and get them a discount to a school in the summer. He also is the assistant coach for the Springfield, IL, Junior Blues – a Junior A program in the North American Hockey League. Younger son Mark helps as an instructor for Jason at his schools. Anyone passing thru the St. Louis area, give a shout. Let’s do a Cards, Rams or Blues game some time. Hope to see you in Lexington this fall.” Rawls Williams added his two cents, “Am writing from Lake Havasu, AZ, where my wife, Barbara, taught school for 27 years. It will set a record at 102 degrees today! We’ll take a short hike into the mountains early and hit a few golf balls in preparation of golf tourney tomorrow. I’m down to mornings only for 34 weeks in the dermatology office (in Myrtle Beach) with 12 weeks in Sun Valley; still lots of trout to catch, tennis and golf balls to hit and wines to sample. My older daughter had her first child, Aliza, in October 2010 and other daughter had her second child, Lukas, in June 2010. Saw Dave Reid at VMI-CCU basketball game and will probably see Ron Wall when VMI comes to play baseball this spring to Myrtle Beach. Anyone in the area, give me a call for some golf/tennis.” [You better bring some money if you plan to bet!] Rick Snow chimed in, “Not a lot has changed for us in Albuquerque this year. I’m still the TPL VP for Defense Services (things that go bang). Mary Anne is still on faculty at the local Community College. The kids are well; Katie got married in Germany. The pottery effort is going well: I’m teaching at a local studio and NM art show season starts in May. The vines are already budding out for this year’s grape crop (last year we harvested 1600 lbs. and I have already sold this year’s crop). Balloon Fiesta is the first week in October. Y’all come.” Mr John Zunka piped in, “I’m still enjoying practicing law in Charlottesville, have a son and daughter who both graduate law school in May and will join firm. Made it to Lexington a fair amount of time 2000-04 but to the other school [son Jimmy captained the W&L lacrosse team in ’04]. I also spent professional time in Lexington and successfully defended the City of Lexington in two civil lawsuits in last couple years. Both cases are now in Virginia Supreme Court so hope to keep results. One of my partners does ‘UVa student law’ [usually as result of ‘weekend activity’] and I’ve renewed many

old friendships via phone calls regarding their children needing criminal court assistance. VMI ’69 children seem to have flown under the radar while at UVa. Peggy and I joined the grandparent ranks last summer and it’s great fun!” And Dr. Tommy Jones finished us up, “I attended the third presentation of the Jonathan Daniel’s ’61 award on Wednesday at VMI. Bunny Bill [Paulette] was there also. The award was given to Paul Hebert ’68. It was a wonderful day. Cabell Brand ’44 was also given an award by Gen. Peay ’62. See you in June after 31st year of Diabetes Camp.” On Feb. 16 I went to Richmond last night to the “VMI meets the Legislature” cocktail party. Even though I missed the basketball game that night, I was pleased to read about it today. The party was fun but the governor did not show. Lots of ’68 and ’69 grads. Tommy Thompson, Knox Hubard, Bomber Hudson, Spunky Butler, Bob Heely and Bunny Paulette were there for most of the evening. Charlie Bryan also made a short visit. Spunky’s big news was he is moving to Hanover County – somewhere near Doswell on 10 or so acres. His wife spent much of her adult life there. I rode over with Jim Henry ’68 (now in Williamsburg) and saw Good-to-Me’s: Steve Wilson ’68, John Kemper ’68, Dave Gehr ’68, John Crim ’68, Howard Donald ’68, Jim Burns ’68 and possibly others. Lots of fun.” From Doug Marks came this idea … “I’m sending you this since I’m not sure it’s a worthy idea, but I’ve had unworthy ideas before! Back in early January, I got an e-mail from Bruce Sharp. He sent the e-mail to me, Lou Sidney, Mel Adams and Paul Mascot. Here is a portion of what he wrote: ‘In any event, I have spent some of my time since retirement doing a brain dump and writing down my recollections of my life. Someday after I’m gone, one of my children or grandchildren may enjoy reading it. If not, I have enjoyed writing it. In any event, I am attaching the portion that covers our Rat year at VMI. I will admit that some of it was inspired by Charlie Bryan’s speech at the last reunion.’ Attached to the e-mail was a wonderfully written account of our Rat year ... starting with the background of his decision to attend the Institute. I have no idea how he recalled so much from so long ago. I realize that every Brother Rat has his own story, but there are many details that are the same for all of us.” BRs, it is time to follow the lead of Bruce and write down important details of our lives so our kids and grandkids will have fabric of what drove us to be Keydets once upon a time. We all talk about what influenced us “back in the day.” It is probably different from what made others in years before or after us to make the difficult decision not only to attend but to stick it out.


CLASS NOTES Bring them on! I will collate or publish (you decide) whatever you send to me. Thanks, BRs, for your cards and postings on social media sites at my birthday. It was truly humbling to receive so many notes. Time to quit, BRs. Call or write. In the Spirit, Walt


Warren Grasty

I am pleased to report that my life is now complete: I have seen The Royal Wedding. Everything else is anticlimactic, as evinced from the notes below … From the mountains of North Georgia, Phil Anderson writes that retirement life is good and that he and Carolyn plan on attending the Charleston Southern football game in Lexington on Oct. 15th. The following weekend they will be in Norfolk for his 45th reunion at Norfolk Academy, where Phil hopes to see the seven other BRs from that class, namely Bruce Bowden, Tom Massey, Jim Nelson, Taze Taylor, Charlie Walker, Dixie Walker and Mike Wood. All I can say is, “Good luck, Phil,” as a few of these guys are about as observable as the Higgs boson. (For you LA’s, just substitute “Easter Bunny” for “Higgs boson” and you’ll get the gist.) The fact that out of a class of only 35, eight opted to go to VMI raises some serious questions. Not the least of which are: “Were their guidance counselors former used car salesmen, or were these guys simply more gullible than most?” In contrast, Dave Price and I were the only ones to matriculate from Cave Springs HS in Roanoke out of a class of over 200, which represents a much less disturbing deviancy percentage. But I digress. Unfortunately, I missed this year’s installment of the O’Candido St. Patrick’s Day party hosted by Bob and Kathy Candido. In attendance at this illustrious event were Jack and Melanie Kern and Cameron and Mary Seay. Earlier this year, Jack and Melanie visited their grandchildren in Vermont, where Jack failed miserably in his attempt to keep up with the young’uns on the ski slopes. Recovering his senses, he hopes to have their sailboat back in the serene waters of the Chesapeake later this week. As for the Seays, in February, Cameron and Mary attended the Museum of the Confederacy’s annual symposium at the Richmond Library, hosted by Executive Director Waite Rawls. Cameron has recently joined the ranks of independent consultants. He will ply his experience in high school career counseling by assisting students and their parents deal with the increas-

2011-Issue 3

ingly complex college admissions process. He and Mary look forward to traveling around the country compiling information on colleges of interest to their clients. Speaking of Soda, he is pleased that the MOC will be hosting the May meeting of the VMI Club of Richmond. The guest speakers are Eric Buckland, author of “Mosby’s Keydet Rangers,” and Charlie Knight, author of “Valley Thunder,” a new book about The Battle of New Market. Next to the podium will be the 2/3scale sculpture of Virginia Mourning Her Dead, made for the museum in 1913 by Sir Moses Ezekiel, Class of 1866. In early March, Dick and Linda Knight spent a week in Yellowstone National Park with friends and family, revisiting the site of their 1971 honeymoon. Ever the astute one, Dick related that it was actually cold in northern Wyoming in winter. Go figure. Also in March, Gray and Nancy Chandler attended the Confederate Ball at the Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville, FL, where, for whatever reason, Gray, who was born and raised in Virginia and lives in Florida, carried the South Carolina flag. Stix’s seamstress found just enough spare cloth to expand the waistline of his old Army dress blues by five inches, so he could wear them to this event. (Note to Stix: Never wear a blue uniform to a Confederate Ball!) No word about how the other 164 gray-clad attendees felt about this unfortunate situation. In any case, among the revelers were his two young cousins from the greater Buffalo Junction metropolitan area, one of whom plans on attending VMI. Ah, those Confederates. Any excuse to party. Speaking of parties, the first weekend of April brought the wedding of A.C. and Beth Arnn’s daughter, Sarah, to Michael Parrish of Burlington, NC. In attendance were John and June Bailey, Gray and Nancy Chandler, Jim and Judy Mawyer, Charlie and Margaret Walker along with Liz and me. Fortunately, son Patrick was given a leave from bombing Col. Gadaffi back into the Stone Age from his base in Aviano, Italy, so that he could participate in sis’ wedding. All in all, a classy affair. At least until the reception, when the new Mrs. Parrish had her first dance with Dad. Everything started out pretty much according to script with Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” when, all of a sudden out from the speakers came, “Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro!” Ladies and gentlemen, I kid you not. “Wooly Bully!” Which only goes to prove that you can take the boy out of The ‘Root, but you can’t take The ‘Root out of the boy. The other attendees were duly impressed that the VMI contingent actually knew all the words, although I fear that the ensuing mayhem may have scared some of

the younger ones for life. And, no, that’s not a typo. I mean scared, as in frightened out of their ever lovin’ little minds. Needless to say, A.C. is my new hero. Ben Dick says that the Spring Foxfield Races were very successful, with 10 horses in each race, tornados notwithstanding. He spoke with a very excited Wilder Wadford, who was on his way to Atlanta with Margaret to see Pete Seeger. Cumbaya, Wilder! Neil Steverson reports that he was one of about 1,000 VMI alumni at the VMI/VCU baseball game in Richmond in mid April. Unfortunately, the Keydets gave up two unearned runs in the first inning, which proved to be the difference in the game. Neil managed to work in a round of golf with Herb Braun, who seems to be popping up repeatedly at golf courses all along the East Coast. Jud Collier provided the following recollection of one of his defense counsel client’s recent appearance before Da Judge in the Henrico County General District Court. It seems that she was so delighted at the decision Hizonor handed down that she blurted out, “Thank you, Jesus!” To which Neil immediately replied, “I’m good, but I’m not that good.” There was subsequent disorder in the court. Turner Scott and I traded e-mails a few months ago, and he and Kathy kindly extend an open invitation to any BRs whose travels take them to Newport, RI, as follows: “We have a great guest house and plenty of room, all within walking distance of the water/sailboat. We are two minutes from Newport Country Club, one of the 100 top golf courses in the country and home of the first U.S. Open in 1895, the 100th U.S. Amateur and the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open. There are no tee times, but with only 225 members, most of whom play only nine holes on a good day, there is usually no waiting. There are also plenty of beautiful beaches, old houses and fishing. I am always looking for a reason to be a tour guide. I represent about half of the many bars in town so no cover charges and always a seat with an hour’s notice.” Excluding the new 99-cent Apple iPad app that lets you actually blow out your virtual birthday candles, this has to be the deal of the year (so far). Although it inexplicably missed coverage by ESPN, the latest version of the North/South golf challenge was held on April 6th at Mattaponi Springs Golf Club north of Richmond to determine the least worst golfers in the area. Herb Braun (there he is again!) and Jim Mawyer of Richmond squared off against John Bailey and yours truly. About all I can recall of this outing was the bratwurst I ate at the turn. March 11th was a big day for Al and Ann Kirk, as that was when their first grandchild, Olivia Rose, was born to son Brian and wife


CLASS NOTES Tieah in Oxford, MS. Al admits to another cheap trick to try and lower his golf score, namely hip replacement surgery, which occurred on April 29th. As for me, I am holding out for full body replacement surgery. Also on April 29th, in total disregard for Capt. Kirk’s pain, Bob Hawthorne and the Thomas Jefferson Cadet Corps Alumni Band performed their 14th benefit concert at the grand old Byrd Theatre in Richmond. Proceeds went to the Byrd Theatre Foundation, which supports this 83-year-old national landmark, where vintage flicks are two bucks. From Richmond, Ned Haley reports that they have finally closed on the large old home on the East End that they have been trying to buy for quite a while, the HUD moratorium on the sales of bankrupt properties notwithstanding. Now Ned and Fricka can share all the joys of major home renovation, and the dream of Richmond Party Central lives on (see previous class notes). On the serious side, Ned recently had some fairly radical surgery to remove a basal cell carcinoma from his face, which required follow-on reconstructive surgery. The good news is the doctor believes that he got it all. Ned also says that he saw Dave Nuckols while driving home through downtown Richmond a while back but didn’t have an opportunity to stop and catch up with him, which decoded means, “There wasn’t a bar in sight.” Meanwhile, Ned Snead sent in some nice pictures taken with two Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows from Brazil with whom he has recently worked. Dr. Rogerio da Paz is a psychiatrist from Puerto Alegro and Dr. Mario Sobrinho is a prosecutor from Sao Palo, both of whom work towards improving substance use disorder treatment and the drug courts in Brazil. Ned says he speaks fairly regularly with Taze Taylor and relates that J.C. Hanks is adjusting well to retirement in Poca, WV. Ever the multitalented one, he plans on learning to play the banjo and the pedal steel guitar this year. Aiding and abetting Ned in his musical explorations is none other than Chad Lash, who is himself learning how to play the hammered dulcimer. To the casual observer, this would seem to be the musical equivalent of getting a degree in recreational studies, but everybody travels to their own beat, as they say. I forgot to ask whether the adjective “hammered” referred to the instrument or to the instrumentalist. OK, OK, enough with the harassment. Chad continues to teach high school seniors appropriate use of the English language, while Caryn, daughter of Maj. Gen. Robert Wagner ’57, continues as undersecretary within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Bill Scherer chimed in from the Left Coast. Unfortunately, Bill’s Dad, a 1943 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and former chairman


of the VMI Parents’ Council, passed away the previous week. Older daughter Lila is a journalism student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and younger daughter Emily is at the top of her high school’s junior class. For some reason, and contrary to Dad’s prodding, she doesn’t believe that the Ratline, parades and S.O.S. have any place in her young life. Based upon the picture he sent in, if Emily were my daughter, I wouldn’t want her within 500 miles of The ‘Root without an armed escort. Meanwhile, Barb continues as CFO of Plantronics, which leaves Bill pretty much free to try to hit 200 mph on his motorcycle and to ponder making low budget scary movies in his basement (I ain’t making this up!). I offered to provide a list of select Good to Me’s to act in the leading roles. Stunt doubles won’t be needed. Mid April brought the annual rite of Spring Break, which, as we all know, is when all of the teachers head to the beach and party hearty. Which is exactly what occurred on the Outer Banks where John and June Bailey and Jim and Judy Mawyer joined up with Charlie and Margaret Walker at their beach house to let the wives compare notes on the joys of teaching. In the meantime, Charlie and Jim introduced John to the ways of retirement life which include diet, exercise and intellectual stimulation. Not! Actually, they did take in the Picasso exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, although I would wager that the only painting they could really appreciate was the one titled “Exit.” Also joining the ranks of the fully retired is Ben Morris, who recently completed a consulting project with the German company Max-Planck. Sounds to me like retirement will be a quantum leap for him. (Drum roll, please.) He and Val recently returned from a family get together in the Florida Keys, where they enjoyed the surf fishing, kayaking and, in general, vegging out. Ben is looking forward to having the time for organizing all the numerous bits of genealogy research he has generated over the years. Don McQueen checked in to confess that, well, he did drink as a cadet after all. Congratulations to Bill and Paula O’Connor, who are expecting their second grandchild on May 18th, a future member of the class of 2033. Bill proudly says their oldest son, Bill Jr., recently enlisted in the Army at age 37(!) feeling that he wanted to give back to this great country. We all salute you, Junior! Bill keeps in touch with Damiso Alexander ’10, the first Class of 1970 Scholarship awardee, who works for the Navy in the D.C. area. Bill generously contributed a 2011-12 Keydet Club leadership membership for Damiso. Ralph Costen did likewise for Gabe Itoka ’11, the Ralph L. Costen Jr. ’70 Annual Scholarship recipient.

From the great state of Texas, Jack Sheedy reports that he and Dick Schellhammer recently got together for dinner with George (G.W.) Flynn in the Dallas area, where Jack and Dick are attorneys. After our Rat year, G.W. headed up to the Naval Academy where he wowed them with his shoe polishing expertise gained at VMI. After 20 years in the Marine Corps, he began a new career managing law firms. He is now the executive director for a 24-person attorney’s office in Jackson, MS, with three other offices across the Southeast. Jack says that G.W. still has the bearing of a Marine, and opines that managing attorneys is much easier on the body than actually being one. Donnie Wheatley wrote in to say that Julie Strock has joined Betty Brown on the Board of Trustees at Boys’ Home and that Chandler Williams ’68 is the president elect. Chandler will follow PX English ’73 whose term ends later this year. On June 19th, PX will begin a 50-day, cross-country fund-raising bicycle ride on behalf of Boys’ Home. Starting on the Oregon coast, he will cover 10 states, one Canadian province and 3,667 miles before arriving in Portsmouth, NH, on August 8th. Also in June, 20 of the boys will travel to Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ, to participate in the H’Olympics, an annual competition among children’s homes. Not surprisingly, the class was poorly represented at Lexington Garden Week in April. Doing their best to cover our collective butts were Chuck and Penny Wills and Gary and Lynn Weishaar. During the tour of the superintendent’s home, Chuck noted that Gen. Peay ’62 has quite a sense of humor, as evinced by the old light fixture he had hung in the mess hall in their den. Not missing a beat, Chuck and Gary queried, “Have the butter and mashed potatoes been cleared off yet?” Like I said, the class was poorly represented. This fearless foursome intends to while away most of the summer at Gary and Lynn’s place on Buggs Island Lake. Chuck will be hampered somewhat by the fact that he still has a full-time job, at least for the next couple of years. He happily reports that son Maj. Chris Wills ’95 will finally be stationed with the U.S. Army near Mom and Dad while he awaits promotion to Lt. Col. Daughter Andi works as a quality assurance analyst at Nationwide Insurance. Bob Wood e-mailed saying that he and Marilyn are enjoying the retired life and have just returned from vacation with his sister in Naples, FL, which, according to my unofficial count, makes them among the few retirees to ever actually leave Florida. We both waxed lyrical about our shared experiences during summer school(s), with Lefty Blickensderfer and Chip Humphrey also being highly culpable. Recalling our highcholesterol dining habits, consisting of fried egg,


CLASS NOTES country ham and mayonnaise sandwiches (good anytime, day or night), it’s a miracle that none of us ended up in the Mayo Clinic … Sorry. From the Gulf Coast, George Yurchak keeps busy working with the youth at his church, where he recently headed up a youth bonfire on Biloxi Beach. Activities included kayaking, water balloon fights and cooking hotdogs, burgers and smores over the fire … which begs the “burning” questions, “At what point do marshmallows actually turn into smores; and is the process reversible?” Much of Mother’s Day

was spent preparing lunch for all the women at the church. Being the wise women that they are, they weren’t about to settle for ‘dogs, burgers and smores, so George worked up his special potatoes and green beans to go along with the Greek lamb, Greek salad and bread. All of this was accompanied by roses for the ladies and generous helpings of Ouzo and Greek wine. To keep up his stamina, George has started doing Zumba, which, as I understand it, is a party disguised as an exercise class. Meanwhile, Tom Clingerman continues

to feel compelled to fly airplanes over forest fires. His most recent adventure took him from Iowa to the massive fires in West Texas, where he was flying eight hours a day, seven days a week, taking in the sights around Possum Kingdom Reservoir (honestly people, I don’t make this stuff up). It turns out that one of the Forest Service helicopter teams was from Buena Vista and was crewed by two Hokies assigned to the Jefferson and George Washington National Forests. Both bemoaned the fact that VMI doesn’t provide Fire Fighters anymore. It seems





5 Class of 1970

Photo 1: Attending the Arnn/Parrish wedding on April 2, 2011, were, from left, A.C. and Beth Arnn, Jim Mawyer, Nancy Chandler, Judy Mawyer, Gray Chandler, Michael and Sarah Parrish, Margaret and Charlie Walker, June and John Bailey, and Liz and Warren Grasty. Photo 2: In March 2011, Dick Knight visited Yellowstone National Park.

2011-Issue 3

Photo 3: Tom Clingerman from the cockpit of a U.S. Forest Service twin engine Aero Commander. Photo 4: Ned Snead, Dr. Rogerio da Paz and Waite Rawls at the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia, in spring 2011. Photo 5: Gray Chandler with his nephews before a Confederate Ball in Jacksonville, Florida, March 2011.


CLASS NOTES they miss these teams’ energy, enthusiasm and discipline. How about that? Not just one, but two Hokies actually saying something good about VMI! As a result, I must admit that I was a bit hasty in my earlier comments about The Royal Wedding. Now my life is complete. As always, give us a holler if your travels bring you to northern Virginia. In the Spirit!


James Kelly

These notes will cover the period between Feb. 15, 2011 to May 15, 2011. We are having a beautiful day here in Pulaski two weeks after our 40th Reunion and near the anniversary of our graduation from VMI. I hope that everyone will have a chance to display the red, white and yellow to mark not only New Market Day but also graduation. I believe that May 16 has become the “official” graduation day for VMI since it coincides nicely with the academic year and still provides time for a New Market Day celebration. The 40th Reunion turned out to be a very nice weekend. The brutal weather and tornadoes which plagued much of the country let up just in time for the gathering of between 115-120 BRs (depending on some cameo appearances) and a considerable number of wives, dates and significant others. The Thursday prior to the “official” beginning of the reunion has in past years included a few golfers, shooters and some “townies.” This year, however, turned out a little differently with 92 guests on hand for an elegant cocktail party and barbeque hosted by Jane and Zeke Ellington at their home in Lexington. Our sincere thanks to the both of them for being very gracious and flexible as the hosts … particularly in the face of ever increasing numbers as the event date grew closer. Kathryn and I arrived at our HIE headquarters early in the day on Thursday and began the tasks of preparing packets, nametags, favors etc., as well as establishing the hospitality room in the lower portion of the HIE. Luckily for us, Carol and Buddy Bryan were in the area to help out, as well as Jerry and Bill Wadsworth. Kathryn and Carol assumed the job of stocking and setting up the hospitality room. Several Brother Rats also were very generous in contributing to the “supplies” for the weekend. The room was a popular hangout and a great many stories were shared well into the night(s) by those stopping in after hours. Friday morning featured the traditional golf outing at the LGCC organized by Mike Stickler. A brisk wind presented a challenge


for the golfers and the scores were less than spectacular. When the dust did settle, the team of Neale, Kennedy, Schelhorn and Murray prevailed and thus earned bragging rights for the next five years. Friday afternoon the sporting clays shootout, organized by Rick Littleton and John Metzger, was held at Quail Hollow near Lexington. With a score of 78 out of 100, Bill Gentry (a “ringer” from Roanoke) walked away with the trophy … but no coonskin cap … which Littleton claims “went missing” since he won it at the 35th. Friday night a dinner was held at the Lexington Golf and Country Club which was a new venue for our reunion nighttime activities. Around 200 people were in attendance for the evening which featured music provided by Bill Gearhart ’70 … who was, at the same time, in charge of his Fishburne Military Academy reunion in Staunton. We had a great night and the quieter atmosphere gave those in attendance more of an opportunity to gather and talk. Some, however, missed the excitement of a big band and the more “spirited” parties of previous events that ’71 has been involved with – even memories of the Swinging Medallions were brought to mind. I suspect that in another five years we may settle for our favorite satellite radio station tuned in to the music of the late ’60’s and early ’70’s … we shall see my friends. Saturday morning we gathered at 9 a.m. for our class picture in front of Preston Library and followed up with the reunion parade at 11 a.m. Our parade lines looked pretty sharp but we were more in route step than anything else by the time we hit the Jackson Arch. Saturday afternoon was sort of a collection of things to do including a gathering in Vesuvius hosted by John and Laura Metzger which was well attended. The Metzgers also hosted several Brother Rats in the lodge on their estate for the weekend. The spring football game drew some of our group and others toured the Post and Lexington. Buddy and I, along with Steve Turner and John Ashman drove up to Elkton to pay a visit to John Zirkle and to take him a reunion hat. Steve Price had been in to see John on the previous day. All I can say about that visit is that John is nothing short of remarkable. In spite of his challenges, he is as sharp as ever and still relishes VMI stories. We noticed the VMI Alumni Review in the lobby of John’s home. He shared with the group that it was the most popular magazine among the guests. Saturday night we gathered in the Center for Leadership and Ethics (Marshall Hall) for cocktails and dinner, again with about 200 on board. By that time I guess we were overdue for a glitch – one bar available and a substitute bar tender, which made for slow going early on, but we survived (filed under “Lessons Learned” to

be corrected for the 45th). At a Sunday brunch the next morning, Sam Kirby noted that for any VMI gathering that a minimum of two bar stations are usually necessary. Buddy Bryan had made arrangements for a series of slides (from early Bombs) to be presented during the dinner time. We enjoyed trying to identify the individuals portrayed … and I believe that, one way or another, everyone from ’71 was on screen at some point. Prior to the close of the dinner, the VMI Glee Club provided a delightful performance with the added attraction of the daughter of Mike Schriver (Mary ’14) being a part of the singing group. I can honestly say that everyone there was inspired by the Glee Club and the great job that they did that evening. Just to see their enthusiasm and love of what they were doing as a part of their VMI experience was worth the whole trip. I wish that all of you could have been there for the singing of the “Spirit” and the “Doxology” at the end of their performance. Also on Saturday evening we had the opportunity to share some time to remember our Brother Rats that are now deceased. By way of a fund that was started at the 35th Reunion and the additional contributions of some of our classmates all of those deceased Brother Rats now have a brick placed in front of the Old Barracks in their honor and memory. As your class agent, on behalf of the families involved, I thank you for your kindness and generosity that made this dream a reality for our class. These gifts were made without personal gain by any member of ’71 toward anything other than honoring our fallen comrades and demonstrates the depth of the Brother Rat spirit. And so it was my friends. I am so glad that such a large turnout was possible and I can only hope that the 45th will be a great event as well. Check the class of ’71 Facebook page and associated links for a number of great pictures that were taken during the weekend. I have reported in a couple of Reviews on our Brother Rats who are still married to their Ring Figure dates. During the reunion weekend visitors to the HIE hospitality room carefully studied the original Ring Figure magazine and cooperatively the following list was developed to identify these happy couples. In no particular order they are: Buddy and Carol Bryan, Don and Vickie Brown, Bill and Dyan Willis, Ken and Carol Yorgey, Jeff and Ginny Carver, Billy and Julee Rose, Tom and Connie Martenstein, Mike and Doris Strickler, Bill and Suzanne Beckner, Jim and Kim Aldous, Zeke and Jane Ellington, Bobby and Nancy Pickral, Scott and Connie Miller, D. and Susan Walton, Steve and Betty Jane Turner, Jim and Beth Neikirk, Bill and Sara Gentry and Danny and Lori Czupryna. There may yet be others


Class of 1971: Those who attended their 40th reunion are listed in alphabetical order, as follows: Gerald J. Acuff Jr., John A. Adams, James L. Adams, Andrew N. Ash, John L. Ashman, Fred E. Banister Jr., L. Meredith Barkley Jr., Charles R. Barksdale, Emery E. Baya, William G. Beattie, William D. Beckner, William R. Berkness, Carl W. Biersack, Walter F. Billings, Robert D. Bisaillon, Warren J. Bryan, Jeffrey C. Carver, James C. Caul, John B. Caulfield, Richard Lee Clary, Kenneth H. Coleman, Louis J. Cowardin Jr., Wallace G. Cox Jr., Daniel W. Czupryna, George J. Dancigers, Albert M. Davis, Reid M. Dudley, David A. Ellington, Jan L. Essenburg, Thomas A. Fitzgerald, Robert C. Flanagan, Stephen C. Fogleman, Paul D. Fraim, Edward Frothingham III, Ronald L. Gault Jr., William H. Gentry II, William L. Ginder, Timothy P. Golden, R. Bernard Groome, David M. Guffey, John Overton Guthrie, Thomas F. Guthrie III, Erwin Hanke, Robert A. Haywood, James Evan Heely, Wayne W. Hepler Jr., David R. Honeywell, Ross G. Horton, Van E. Jolissaint, Robert James Jones, James R. Kelly, Jerome F. Kelly, David H. Kennedy, Malcolm T. Kerley, David R. King, Samuel H. Kirby Jr., Philip Anthony Klim, J.W. Landham III, Thomas W. Lawson, Charles B. Lindsey, Richard B. Littleton Jr., Robert S. Lockridge Jr., Thomas E. Martenstein, Stephen C. Matthews, John R. Metzger, Ned M. Mikula, Douglas B. Miles, Scott Smith Miller, J.D. Morefield, Kirk Roselle Murray, James R. Neale, James M. Neikirk, John T. Nelsen II, John P. Noon, Barry L. O’Donnell, Walter Steven Otwell, Oscar Earl Padgett, Mark A. Palmer, John Melvin Paton, Edward J. Patrick, Robert M. Pickral, Stephen C. Price, Christopher C. Rackley, Richard E. Randolph, Craig D. Rhodes, George H. Robbins Jr., Charles C. Roder Jr., William Charles Rose, James Michael Rovito, Douglas Lawrence Rowe, Bruce Arthur Rush, Stephen L. Sanetti, Geoffrey G. Schelhorn, David Lloyd Schrader, Michael D. Schriver, Richard E.N. Sedwick, James Stephen Sefick, Arthur Julian Shelfer, William F. Siebert III, F.M. Sprinkel Jr., W. Meade Stith III, Michael A. Strickland, Michael M. Strickler, Alan I. Tashima, Steven L. Turner, E.C.A. Wachtmeister, William F. Wadsworth III, John J. Walklet III, John A. Wall Jr., James Edwin Westbrook, Herbert G. Whitley, William G. Wickun, Larry C. Wiese, John M. Willis III, William H. Willis III, Kenneth A. Yorgey and John R. Youell.


40th Reunion — April 29-30, 2011

Class of 1971

2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES out there and I am confident that I will hear from you. Keep in mind that some members of the “committee” to compile this list were named Beam, Walker and Daniels – who can be unreliable. As if 40 years was not enough, some have suggested that we go back to prom dates etc. for tie breakers, but that will not happen anytime soon. Back during the winter I got an e-mail from Raymond Carter III who was with us until the second semester of our third class year. Raymond described that time for him as being somewhat “turbulent.” He had received an appointment to West Point during our Rat year but had turned it down to return to VMI. Upon leaving VMI he enlisted in the Army and was selected from his Basic Course to attend Infantry OCS where he graduated in January of 1970. He later attended Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces training and was deployed to Vietnam in 1971. Following his service in Vietnam, Raymond held a number of posts in the U.S. including assignments at the Pentagon. Raymond retired as a full colonel in 1997 after 28 year’s of service. He taught school in Fairfax, VA, following his retirement and now resides in Temecula, CA. Raymond was inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame in 2003. He has been back to VMI on several occasions, most recently joining the class of 1971 in our reunion picture and parade. You can catch up with Raymond at Down in Marietta, GA, our own “Spooky” Mays recently opened his second shop … Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. The word is that business is going well and that the product is pretty good. Spooky did not mention a complimentary treat, but I am willing to bet that if BRs show up down there they will be well taken care of. On the post at VMI many construction and upgrading projects have been completed or will be in the near future. Next on the list is the renovation of Maury-Brooke Hall followed by the Post Hospital. Both buildings will remain basically the same on the outside but will get new wiring, mechanical improvements and receive updated equipment appropriate for the mission of each area. Together the cost of the projects is roughly $24 million and, after final plans are developed, work should begin in early 2012. VMI athletic teams made a pretty decent showing for themselves during the winter and continued doing well into spring. Our basketball team posted an 18-13 record which ranks them in fifth place in VMI history. Center D.J. Covington ’14 was named the University Division Rookie of the Year by the Virginia Sports Information Director’s Association and was also the Big South Conference Freshman of the Year. Our recruiting class has four top notch signees and we look forward to next year, as


we open the season at the Air Force Academy playing The Citadel and then either Army or Air Force. Our baseball team has had a very good year and is set to host the Big South Tournament in Gray-Minor Stadium at VMI (May). Other spring sports have had successful seasons and individual athletes have distinguished themselves in their respective areas of competition. Many of our club sports have done well also, which further demonstrates the desire of so many cadets to excel at every level. As of the end of March 2011 our participation in Annual Giving to VMI has risen to a total of 83 Alumni Donors (32.17 percent) which now puts us in second place for the decade of the ’70’s but still ahead of virtually every class after us. I am grateful for all of the support that you have shown this year and in the past. We continue to be atop the “leader board” which is the place where we should be. Many of you give very generous amounts to VMI and others of us give whatever we can throughout the year. Everything is significant and helps the cadets in today’s Corps to experience the best that VMI can provide. If you have not yet done so, I urge you to send in a contribution soon … remember the $40 for 40 years campaign? As the Cable Guy says, just “git ‘er done.” If you have been putting off getting your brick added in the front of Jackson Arch then now is a good time to complete that commitment to VMI and literally get your name etched in stone. Kathryn and I are looking forward to summer’s arrival and spending some time with Lauren (’26) and Ryan (’27) and I hope that each of you will have great vacations and time with family as well. Let me hear from you and let VMI be heard from today. Jim


Larry Houseworth

Brother and Sister Rats, families, friends, followers – These notes cover mid February through mid May. It’s a beautiful pre-summer Sunday afternoon – New Market Day – full of nature’s energy yet tempered with visions of those who’ve recently passed from us … we drive on … News is light this time of year so these notes will be brief. To business: April’s Class Agents’ Conference gave us a frank and unvarnished look at the State of The Institute with all its successes and challenges. I’ll paraphrase from a letter I sent

to some of you “ … I had the opportunity to meet with many of the leaders of the Corps and, I have to tell you, I was overwhelmed by their character, drive, academic credentials and unbridled optimism. To a man/woman, they spoke of the challenges and opportunities afforded them through their VMI experience. Whether commissioning, continuing their education or diving into the job-market, they credit their VMI experience with preparing them to assume roles of character-focused citizens and leaders. “Yet, VMI faces enormous challenges in continuing its mission. Over 50 percent of these cadets and the VMI student body rely on financial aid for their education. Without this aid, most would be unable to attend. Infrastructure sustainment and renovation challenges continue unabated yet less than 24 percent of VMI’s total revenues come from the state – and, with declining tax revenues, there is little chance this percentage will increase. Over 50 percent of the Corps plays NCAA sports; the Keydet Club’s Athletic Scholarships provide the only opportunity for many deserving student-athletes to receive a world-class education … yet, by law, intercollegiate sports programs must be self-supporting. On the flip side, the Institute struggles to hold down tuition in order to attract qualified students, both in-state and out-of-state. Unfunded mandates continue and a world-renowned faculty requires competitive salaries, benefits and facilities … the list goes on and on … ” I closed with “ … please take a moment and ask yourself – has your life benefited from your VMI experiences? Were your ‘VMI defining moments’ centered on sports – the military – academics – Barracks life – your BRs – the Honor Code? Ask yourself too, if VMI went away today, what would the effect be on our country and its future?” The answer so far – 79 (of 265 solicitable donors) have contributed just over $57,000 this year. That’s 29.4 percent (higher than ’69s , ’73s, ’74s and’75s; lower than ’70s and ’71s) which is an increase of .5 percent over FY10. Thank you so much to each of you who have contributed and who continue to do so. And remember, BRs – every contribution, no matter how large or how small – goes directly to the use you designate. Now to us and ours – Thanks to Tom Moncure, George Kosovic, JR Bell and Bill Irby who passed along the wonderful March 7 Richmond Times Dispatch article on Chris Tompkins and his journey through rehabilitation from his injuries. It’s inspirational, not only for its portrayal of Chris’ grit and determination but also for the strength and dedication of the many volunteers who freely give their time and energies to assist those in need. The website for the article is:


CLASS NOTES ss=email&at_xt=4d759211f5044abe%2C0. Godspeed to you, Chris! Jim Pagones and I had a delightful conversation in late February. I caught “His Honor” as he was off to his regular racquetball league which includes a fireman from Yonkers and Martha Stewart’s ex-driver (sounds like a Billy Joel lyric). He loves his job as county probate judge and State Supreme Court Justice for New York’s Duchess County – he sees, hears and dispenses justice on everything. He recently spoke with Norm Worrell who was in South Carolina babysitting his and Joy’s grandchild (parents are daughter Julie and son-in-law USMC Capt. Kyle Haire ’03; Norm was contemplating sailing up the Hudson, snagging Pat Lavery and docking downhill from Chez’ Pagones to establish a base camp for the enlightened advancement of truth, justice and the American Way … Jim, Joan and Julia were planning to rent a SUV for a trip to Fort Campbell to meet son Jordan ’06, (Capt. USA) on his return from a third tour (!) in the warzone. As we reminisced about reunions, Jim suggested we all consider tacking an extra day onto the next reunion just to spend more time catching up – he feels happy and blessed – Amen, BR. Class youngster Bob (Gross Rat) Patrick wrote – “Yep, this time I am actually 60 – at least, I will be on Saturday. So I’ll close the door for the class on the ’50’s and join the rest of you one decade higher. Some other stuff in my life – going to LexVegas just shy of a couple of months to watch my eldest graduate from W&L. She’s then off to Mary Baldwin for a graduate degree in Shakespeare or some-such. So she seems bound to the area, which suits me just fine. We get to keep coming up to visit my old home. Number two transfers to GA Tech this summer to complete his degree in aerospace engineering or robotics, so we’ll have a foot in both Atlanta and Lexington for some time. Over the past four years we’ve got really used to the 509 miles between, and this looks apt to continue for at least the next three or four years. Sterling Spencer and I run into each other occasionally at the neighborhood YMCA and have breakfast or lunch together from time to time. He looks pretty hale and hearty.” Great to hear from you, kid! Jim McLeod, never one to wax prosaic, inquired about the reunion – “so who’s providing the music?” Buzz Chacey sent a quick update, “I have been busy the last year and have not kept you up to date. I do plan to be there next year for our 40th. Boy, that is hard to believe. I sent a photo of the project that I have been working on since I retired from the Department of Energy two years ago. It is the largest biomass cogeneration facility in the federal government and is scheduled for start up in December of

2011-Issue 3

this year. The plant is located at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, SC. We have had two smaller plants that started on schedule and under cost in November and the large plant is 70 percent complete and on schedule to start operational checks in September of this year. My wife, Martha, struggled a little this winter, but is doing well now. I hope that you are doing OK in Maryland.” All’s well, captain – thanks for sharing with us. Tom Hathaway and I were able to catch up over the phone … old warlies, and tales of band adventures and mis- … Tom’s a Senior Systems Engineer at Raytheon supporting the Army’s PEO Ground Combat Systems in Warren, MI. He’s parlayed his career at Ford in support of the Bradley, Abrams and Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) Fire Support Directorates, and he plays bass (regular gigs) with “Wheelhouse” and a couple of other beer and bar bands in the Detroit area … life is good! “Cap’n” Jack Miller sent a quick note saying he’s been able to catch up with Roger Lodi and stays in regular contact with Rob Murray. He says, “The address for Roger was right on the mark. It was great to hear from him. We had a great re-connect after all these years. When I saw Rob last year, it seemed like we were only apart for a few months. We were the same old friends! We looked a little different though, ha ha!” And in the “great re-connect” vein – just before deadline, I had a delightful dinner at Galileo’s with Bob and Linda Stransky who were in town for an ESOP conference and shopping (respectively). Bob is CFO at LMR Inc. (Herb McCulloch is VP of contracts and Jim Chalkley ’73 is VP of marketing). The evening absolutely flew by with non-stop memories, stories and Linda’s gracious indulgences – you are a saint, my dear! That’s it for now – our Reunion Committee is already at work, so stay in touch with each other, keep the faith and … Rah Virginia Mil! Honored, BRs, Larry


Mike Kelly

It’s New Market Day once again. Another year has flown by and there will be a new class of alumni as of tomorrow. What a great day for the Institute. You should get these notes in August, and by then the hot days of summer will be upon us. I hope that each of you are enjoying a fantastic summer. I am actually somewhere between Bowie,

MD, State College, PA, and Pulaski, VA as I write these notes (no, I’m not writing and driving at the same time.) My son, Derek, has been transferred to State College, and we’re in the process of moving him, so I take advantage of writing whenever we get a break. I also have to be in Pulaski this week, so I’ll head on down there when we’re finished. Pat and I were just in Maryland visiting a month or so ago, spent some time in Annapolis and then went to see the cherry blossoms in Washington. Right after that trip, we attended the Class Agents’ Conference at VMI. Allen McCown ’11, sat with us at lunch and attended the meeting as well. Allen is Dave McCown’s son and was elected class agent for his class. You may remember meeting Allen as he was part of the band that played for us one night during our last reunion. I know Dave and his family are really excited and proud of Allen and are having a great time in Lexington this weekend for graduation. There are a lot of great things going on at VMI, and it was noted at the conference that the Corps now has 1,575 cadets! Pat and I don’t have many things planned for the summer, although I expect we’ll be traveling to Atlanta some. My oldest son, Scott, has been transferred back to Atlanta from Las Vegas and will be moving in June. Guess our out west tours will slow down considerably! We are planning another trip to Great Britain the end of August, however, and look forward to that. We may have to curtail some of our activities because it looks like the North Carolina legislature is going to dissolve my division, and I will probably have to retire after July 1. I was on the “hit list” last year and managed to survive, but I don’t think that will happen this time. I may be forced to sit around the pool more this summer and cogitate on my future! Let me begin by sharing some good news with you. Don Reisch told me that he finished his last chemotherapy treatment in December and his follow-up PET scan confirmed he was still in 100 percent remission. Dave Northcraft told me that he had just completed his third round of 2A chemotherapy and that the preliminary results from round one shows a 25 percent reduction in spleen swelling. A 10 percent reduction is considered good. Dave is preparing for an autologus stem cell transplant later this summer or fall. Let’s continue to keep Don and Dave in our thoughts and prayers. Both of them said to say thanks to everyone for your continued support. Don is excited about planning his daughter’s wedding this summer. He indicated that he would be traveling to Wilmington, DE, for the wedding and felt comfortable in saying he might be a little poorer on his return to Nash-


CLASS NOTES ville! (Yes, Don, you will. Been there and done of gunsmithing and knife-making. Danny’s son Rat this August. Clark’s goal is to be a Marine that – twice!) Dave said his son, Daniel ’04, and is a rising second classman at VMI and is on the Special Ops guy! Go for it! his wife, Jennifer, are expecting the first greatfootball team, so they plan to do some traveling Rick Gribling wrote to say that his daughter grandchild and grandchild on both sides of the to the ball games this fall. In his spare time, now Rachel was still in Oxford, England, studying at family on September 11. Dave also mentioned that he is retired, Danny and his wife will also be Christ Church College. Rick continues teaching that one of his recruits, Weston Hitchcock ’14, conducting a Cub Scout Day Camp in June and at the Joint Combined Warfighting School in was recently elected president of his class. Dave are currently scrambling to get all of that pulled Norfolk, and he said Rachel was really into said he hoped to be well enough to attend the together. He said “so much for a relaxed retire- counter-insurgency policy and stability strategy New Market Day cookout at Jeff Vordermark’s ment.” Hmmm – something for us to think about. and planned to study in those areas when she ’79 home. Hope you all have a great time. In his note, John Pinner said he was also looking returns later this year. Rick and his wife spent John Pinner sent a note saying he and Ann forward to football season and hoped that we could some time recently in Paris with Rachel and went to Stuart Seaton’s daughter’s wedding in pick some games for some mini-reunions. Let’s be did some traveling around France. Rick said the Richmond earlier this spring. Also in attendance sure we communicate this fall on the games and most touching moment of his visit was the tour were RB Newman, Darrell Rickmond, Mark see if we can make that happen. of the Normandy Battlefield and the U.S. CemWeiss, Frank Joyce and all the wives. Sounds A couple of our BRs are doing some extensive etery. This is one trip that really will choke you like a lot of fun. John said that Frank and his “bike” trips this summer. I’ve tried to keep you up, and he highly recommends it to all. wife left for Europe for a three- to- four-week apprised of P.X. English’s journey as he travels Milt Salter is still hard at it in the Mobile, AL, boat trip around a number of countries. They are from Astoria, OR, to Portsmouth. Most likely area. He recently had some contact with Andy renting a boat with another couple and just doing he will have finished his trip by the time you Dearman ’75 who has a son playing football at some cruising and site-seeing. That sounds like read these notes, but he is riding as a fundraiser the University of South Alabama in Mobile, and a lot of fun. Please share your trip experiences for Boys’ Home in Covington, VA. He’ll travel Milt visited practice one day to introduce himself with us when you get back. through 10 states, one province, two countries to Andy’s son, Drew. Milt also was looking I had a note from Stuart Seaton about the wedand 3,667 miles before finishing Aug. 8 in Portsforward to visiting with Donnie Ross ’74 who ding. Stuart said his daughter, Ann Cameron, got mouth, NH. Wow, what a trip! Ed Hall has also planned to visit the area this spring. married April 9 in Richmond. He also sent me a sent out some information on the trip and the As of this writing, Roland Tiso is still stateside, picture of all of them together. contact information for those wanting to contribalthough he said he is spending a lot of time Tom Clark sent a note about the trip he and ute to this worthy cause. Mac Kirkpatrick and these days in the “Afghan/Pakistan center,” and Bonnie took to Hawaii in April. They stayed at his son, Clark, plan a big trip on their BMWs this he may be deployed to Afghanistan this sumBellows AFS in cabins right on the beach, and he summer. They are leaving eastern Pennsylvania mer. The Tisos are doing well but are about to said it was fantastic. The cabins are available for and going all the way to Prodhoe Bay in northern become “empty nesters” for the first time. They all retired military folks to enjoy. Tom said they are Alaska. As you may be aware, Mac is really into live in the Tampa area, but their daughters conthe best kept secret on the planet and that they had BMWs and has quite a collection of bikes. They tinue to pursue their dance and music careers. CJ a fantastic time. Bonnie is still working at Colorado plan on camping some during the trip and visitrecently won the Florida Regional Choreography College and is busy getting things ready for the an- ing a lot of sights, such as Glacier National Park, completion and is now competing in the national nual Summer Music Festival, which occurs in June. along the way. What a great summer vacation! competition and will be moving to Chicago this They usually have more than 400 applications and Clark better enjoy it while he can; Mac said he summer. Allie lives in Pittsburgh and performs can only accept about 10 percent because it is such had been accepted to VMI and will become a with the Pittsburgh Ballet. Roland entered the a competitive program. Professional Orlando Metropolitan Body Buildmusicians and faculty work with the ing Championships and won first students and put on multiple concerts place in the “Masters 60 Division.” during the month. Tom also said he Hang in there, Roland, and if you’re just traded in his 1996 Silverado for overseas, please be careful! a new one and can’t believe what 15 Mike Burke enjoys teaching at St. years has done to improve vehicles. Louis Community College and stays They are very excited about pulling active with the VMI college fairs. their camper “in style” now. Tom, you So far this year they have had a fair should try the F-150. I promise you’d in St. Louis and in Illinois, and four really be in style then! The Clarks are youngsters have been accepted for sponsoring a new “doolie” freshman next year’s class. He hopes they all at the U.S. Air Force Academy startdecide to matriculate. Mike stays in ing this summer. They have done this contact with Steve Chadwick who is before, and Tom enjoys telling the still at Fort Polk. cadets about life at a “real military I get a lot of e-mail from Scott college.” Lingamfelter and Bill van Deusen. Danny Williamson wrote to say Scott continues his leadership with that he has “retired for good.” He the Commonwealth’s legislature and plans to occupy his time with Boy recently told me he helped secure Class of 1973: BRs who attended Stuart Seaton’s daughter’s wedding in Richmond on April 9, 2011, were, Scouts, fishing, hunting and shoot$18 million for renovation of the from left, Frank Joyce, John Pinner, John Sayers ’72, ing sports to include teaching hunter science building. He said there are a R.B. Newman, Stuart Seaton, Mark Weiss and Darrell safety education classes. He plans lot more things to do. Thanks for all Rickmond. to “resurrect” the long atrophied art your hard work, Scott. Bill comes up



CLASS NOTES with some of the wildest and funniest stuff I have ever seen! Don’t know where he gets it all, but he is a serious web analyst! When I was at the Class Agents’ Conference in April, I commented to some of the other agents about my “lost BR” report each quarter, and many thought that was really a cool idea. I must say that this quarter I have heard from three folks that I haven’t had much communication with over the years, and it is wonderful! Steve Arthur lives in Spout Spring, VA, which is a few miles from Appomattox. I didn’t know this, but Steve retired from the Lynchburg, VA, police department in 1997, and he currently runs “Travel Lovers,” which is a full service travel agency in Lynchburg. He and Barbara have also gotten into “healthy foods” and operate a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program where they grow organic vegetables for 25 local families, and that really keeps them busy. He talks to Scott Lingamfelter frequently and plans to be in Lexington this weekend with Dave McCown for Dave’s son’s graduation. Sandy McNamara, who also lives in Lynchburg, plans to attend as well. Steve said he and Barbara are considering retirement and moving to either Panama or the Dominican Republic in a couple of years and would welcome any input from folks with experience in either destination. Although I used to hear from him occasionally, it has been several months since Tom Jennings sent me an e-mail. Apparently he changed his address but recently wrote, “I put my feet up on my desk at work and read the VMI Alumni Review during lunch.” Tom works for the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Air Quality Monitoring, and has been there for almost 37 years. Tom said that if you watch the Richmond weather channel’s local forecast, they are using his folks’ data for the air quality index. He and Lois are doing fine. Great to be back in touch with you, Tom. This issue’s “Lost BR” award goes to Bob Maling. I can’t remember when I last heard from Bob, but he recently had a birthday and

Class of 1973: Steve Lane received a painting of “Starry Night over VMI” from his daughter-in-law, Jennifer Lane, as a birthday present.

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actually responded to his card and sent me a note. (He also said he was appreciative that I had not mentioned the fact that most of us were now having birthdays with a zero as the last digit!) Bob said he went to VMI this spring for the first time in decades to help his Dad, who was attending his 70th Class Reunion – the Class of 1941. Now that is deserving of recognition! Bob went on to say that he had married Kristi, his Rat Hop date, and traded his “class ring for a wedding ring in 1971” and his Dad felt he needed a little more practice on the parade field so he insisted that Bob march with him at the reunion! Bob and Kristi have been married for nearly 40 years and have two children who both graduated from UCLA as electrical engineering majors. They even have a grandson due in July. Bob retired from Toyota in 2002 after being the president of sales for Lexus in the USA. However, since retiring he has stayed busy with his consulting company and travels all over the world. His wife questions if he really retired … Thanks for writing, Bob. Please keep those messages coming. Stuart Seaton also told me that he had attended the 70th Class Reunion and that his father and Bob’s father were BRs. He said it was a really special time for all of them. What a great way to have a reunion! That is about it for now. Thanks to everyone who stays in touch regularly, and as I’ve said before, if you aren’t getting notes from me, please send me an e-mail and let me get you on the list. I hope everyone has a great summer and that we are able to get together this fall for some good times and mini-reunions. Take care. In the bonds, Mike


Snookie Parker

Greetings Brother Rats. Trust all is well with you and yours. Typically, spring notes are thin and this spring is no different. However, it’s been an eventful spring – brutal weather wise with tornados and floods … and the big score: SEALS 1, Bin Laden 0. Here we go! In February, Phil Parker was in Nashville for the wedding of his daughter, Caroline, and had the opportunity to meet Rich Forbes for breakfast. What follows is Rich’s account of the meet, which is much better than I could have described. “What a fantastic day this has been. … We started the morning with breakfast at Nashville, a local delicatessen. I was worried that Phil wouldn’t recognize me, or that I wouldn’t recognize him, after all of these years, but when I stepped into the restaurant, there he was and his eyes lit up at

seeing me. I must say that I had to fight back tears for a few moments; it seems that the years have made me quite emotional. Phil is still the same big likeable guy he always was, but I do believe the years have improved him even more, if that is possible. We drank coffee and ate breakfast while trying to fit many years of happenings in to a short 90-minute meeting. I would begin a story, he would add something, and then I would be off on another tangent. One story was about Phil going to therapy for his neck. The doctor was describing an exercise that he wanted Phil to do that would strengthen the neck muscles … Phil began to strain and the doctor was amazed at how quickly he was able to master the complex exercise… We both laughed until we cried. Later in the morning, I wrote Phil that the doctor might have secretly been a Citadel grad and was just seeing if he could make Phil do it! Don’t tell anyone, but I tried it when I returned to the privacy of my office just to see if I remembered how it was done … it was like riding a bicycle … perfectly executed. The visit was wonderful. I can’t tell you how much seeing Phil lifted my spirits; I only hope that his were equally enhanced. How blessed we all are to have Brother Rats of such fine character. It has been over 35 years since VMI, and yet when we get together, it is as though we had never left each other. People would pay a million bucks for just one friend like that.” Well said Rich Forbes. Thanks for the note! After Phil and Rich had breakfast, Rich realized that he should have asked Al Beaty to join them. Phil had given Rich two mornings from which to choose, so Rich asked Al if he would like to get together. He replied with an emphatic affirmative, so Rich contacted Phil to ask if he was still free the second morning and the deal was complete! The three of them met for breakfast, and I’m told it was absolutely great! As for a quick update on Big Al, he works for CSX Railroad in Nashville and is contemplate an early retirement. Received a short note from George Van Laethem – he left CSC in January and is now working for Ideal Innovations as the Identity Operations Manager for USJFCOM. Also, George is in his 10th high school girls soccer season in Virginia. Big news in the Van Laethem family – George and Anna are going to Florence for daughter Ashley’s graduation the first week in May. Ashley will get her BS in environmental chemistry! A proud parent moment for for the Van Laethems. On 5 April both Jordon Hollowell ’14 and Mike Mahoney were recognized and received awards for different EMT calls they were on. Jordon is a volunteer EMT and during our blizzard of 2010 with 36” of snow and howling


CLASS NOTES winds, Jordon and his partner walked 7/10 of a mile through the snow, wind and freezing temperatures to render aid to a six-year-old who was experiencing trouble breathing. Other volunteers followed and once initial care was provided they all took turns in carrying the equipment, patient and assisting parents back to the road. The rescue took 2.5 hours. The EMT team was awarded a Unit Citation. Jordon took a VMI academic day to come to the banquet to receive his award. It just so happens that Mike Mahoney was very instrumental in getting Jordon accepted to VMI. As for Mike, he was the safety officer and a sector commander on a call where, during a severe storm in June 2010, a tree with power lines fell on top of a car. The driver was trapped inside the car until the power could be cut, which took over an hour and then the rescue team had to stabilize the vehicle and tree so the wires wouldn’t be suddenly released and snap the poles. Then Mike’s EMT team cut the tree so it wouldn’t crush the vehicle anymore. The rescue took 2.5 hrs. Mike’s team also received a Unit citation for their call. Two VMI guys to the rescue. Well done fellas! Thanks for the note, Mike. Speaking of down power lines – a record number of tornados hit NC in April – 62 to be exact, one of which passed right over my house while we were inside. Fortunately, we had no significant damage – just a yard full of debris. However our neighbors were not so lucky – eight trees down, four on the house and two on cars. We were without power for four hours while those across the street were without for 10 days – so many power lines down on their grid that all had to be repaired before they put power back into the system. Lots of significant damage in Wilson but fortunately no deaths. On a happier note, Chris Henry writes that BR Donnie Ross visited him in Augusta, GA, - nothing but a great time and great stories. On 15 May, the Tidewater Area Breakfast Club had a well attended “with spouse” dinner at Brent’s in Hampton. Hat’s off to the club’s Grand Pooh Bah, Paul Van Doren, for putting this event together. The dinner and drinks were good, the camaraderie was superb and the ladies were looking great. The reggae band/street party in front of Brent’s was an unexpected bonus. Attendees: Chip and Cathy Beaman, Paul and Rose Van Doren, George and Anna Van Laethem, Bill and Deborah Pennypacker, Steve and Anne Ham, David and Susan Sheppard, Chuck and Elaine Cayton, John Crawley, and Snookie and Marla Parker. Toward the end of the evening Chip Beaman lead the assembled body in an Old Yell to introduce Elaine Cayton to the tradition. Paul Van Doren blessed his BRs with a “round” by challenging the room with a coin check only to see that every BR there produced their


respective coins. Well done BRs, and thank you, Paul! Several Tidewater BRs could not make the dinner – one of which was John Pate. Early Sunday morning, John received a wake-up call from yours truly … actually Suzanne answered the call and a breakfast was on. Mick Ernzen was disappointed that he could not attend and expressed interest in the idea floated at our last reunion of an unofficial mini-reunion in between our next scheduled reunion. Mick has tentatively offered his Gaston Lake, NC, cottage as a venue. It turns out that Mick’s Gaston Lake place is within a couple of miles of Marla’s family place at Gaston … there is potential for a grand lake party mini-reunion … we are considering a before or after a football game weekend. Stand by! Bill McDonald’s daughter, Emma, a high school senior in North Carolina, has expressed interest in attending VMI. Bill put out a net call for insights/assistance to get Emma into VMI … and perhaps some scholarship money – great response from BRs. Well done BRs, and good luck, Emma. Received word that BR John Hunter had been in contact with the Institute interested in making a donation and wanted to direct the funds to support BR Roy Heiderman’s family. Got in touch with BR Glenn Greene to get the latest on the best way to connect John’s generosity and Roy’ family. While talking to Glenn I found out that his wife Grace, BR Gene Rice’s sister, is now a published author. I’m on the hunt for a signed book. Well done, Grace. Received a note from Red Undercoffer just after SEAL Team 6 had completed its historic mission. In my last set of class notes, I mentioned my dyke, Pete Van Hoosier ’71, – legendary Navy SEAL – was once the commander of Navy SEAL Team 6 … no need for further explanation … not sure what he is up to these days, but I

suspect it has something to do with chasing bad guys. All I can say is well done gents!!! In closing, I want to thank all for the birthday wishes – via cards, e-mail and Facebook! As Pablo Picasso once said, “Youth has no age.” 59 and going strong, still young at heart. CLASS AGENT PLEA! Don’t be caught without your class coin. If you need one, send $10 (cost of coin and postage). 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 website. Send me a note. Yada, Yada, Yada and Yaba Daba Dooooo! Warm Regards, Snookie


Art Nunn III

As you read these class notes, it will be August 2011, and I will have completed my first full year as your humble correspondent. Clearly, I still do not have a clue what I am doing, but that never stopped me before. My begging for information has not gone unanswered by our Brother Rats and for that I am grateful. My old roommate, Mike Fleenor is enjoying life with (I think) four kids in college. Skyler is completing his Rat year at the Institute and daughter Devon is proceeding well in her studies at Radford. Mike has attended a few athletic events at

Class of 1974: Attending a Sunday brunch in spring 2011 at John Pate’s home in Chesapeake, Virginia, were, at left: Suzanne and John Pate and Marla Parker. Below: Snookie Parker with Suzanne and John Pate.


CLASS NOTES Radford and has run into such characters as Tana and Dave Schuyler, and Mike Hunter. Mike’s son Michael has completed his first basketball season at King College, and Kayla is attending Bryan College. Nice to be an empty nester, but that is a lot of tuition checks! Randy Frank has kept us informed of his various activities, including a nice vacation in Hawaii. Naturally he felt the need to keep all of us on the east coast informed about the daily temperatures while he was on the island, and we were freezing in the snow. What are Brother Rats for? He also has seen fit to send some of his annual physical exam results, just to show what a physical stud he is, as he runs numerous races of varying lengths. My fear is that he is going to start texting his colonoscopy results. That will be going just a bit too far. Ben Vanderberry is the latest of our class to send a son to VMI. Ben proudly announced that his son shunned offers from William and Mary, J.M.U, VA Tech and others to attend the Institute. Is the Institute ready for another Vanderberry?

Class of 1975

David Jensen sent his first ever note to check in from Charlottesville, where is works with Herb White ’76. He recently saw Bill Witherow, and he claims Bill can still fit into his coatee. David invites all BRs who are passing through Charlottesville to drop by for a visit. Dean Armstrong is flying a lot to mostly Asia and Europe. He is also tour guiding on LST 325 located in Evansville, IN, and he has a Normandy tour coming up in September. Bernie and Carol Cobb sold their house in the Atlanta suburbs. With Bernie’s daughters grown and out of the house, it was time to downsize so they moved closer in town (inside the perimeter) to partake of more of the restaurants and entertainment that Atlanta has to offer. On another note, eldest daughter Lauren and her husband are expecting their first child in August, about the time these notes are to be published. Two of our BRs have sons graduating this year from VMI. Guy Conte’s son, Christopher, and Mike Hunter’s son, Budge, are both about to become honored alumni. We know that Sandy and

Photos clockwise from top, left: -At the wedding rehearsal dinner for Lawton Way ’05, were, from left, back row, Matt Mikula ’05, Barrett Way ’08, Mike Hunter, Vic Arthur, John Sollock ’08, Will DeShazor ’05, Ryan King ’05, Will Ray ’05, Will Paulette ’05 and Andy Karnes ’05. Front row: Hal Way ’70, Oliver Way, Way ’05 and Bill Way ’78. The shako in the center is actually a cake. -Robert Mills with son Edward ’07 and daughter Valerie

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Alen Morgan plan to attend at least some of the festivities. Professor Rich Mines recently presented a paper co-authored with his wife, Beth, entitled “Integrating Digital Storytelling into an Engineering Design Course” at the American Society for Engineering Education Southeastern Section hosted by The Citadel, April 10-12, 2011. Rich was also presented with the Tony Tilmans Section Service Award at the conference for my many years of service to the ASEE SE Section. His eldest son, Andrew, will soon be attending the University of Georgia’s School of Music in classical guitar. Personally, I can barely play the radio. Scott and Barb Risser will soon be moving into their new home in Lexington, to begin their retirement. Scott reports that they will have plenty of room and adult beverages, and a superb view looking across the Valley, for guests. Sounds like a great location for a mini-reunion. P.T. Marshall sent a card from Paris, where he and his wife are celebrating their anniversary. As of this date, no international incidents have

enjoying the Carnaval pageantry in Arequipa, Peru, March 2011. -BRs Ben Vanderberry, Oscar Richardson, Robert Mills and Rob Slaughter welcomed Oscar back from India on Dec. 10, 2011. -Revelers Mike Hunter, Sandy Morgan, Sloane Hunter, Mary Love Dearman, and roommates Andy Dearman, Al Morgan and Robert Mills enjoyed a pre-Super Bowl Brunch on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, February 2011.


CLASS NOTES been reported, but there is still time. When not creating havoc in other countries, P.T. still lives and works in northern Virginia. Tad MacGowan is still working in the same area, but he and his family live in Annapolis. Tad bought a new supply of VMI caps to wear whenever walking near the Naval Academy. John Plunkett reports that being out on the left coast often feels like living in exile, not that being exiled in Santa Barbara, CA, is the worst punishment in the world. John says that he has to work far too hard for a geezer of our age, and that he recently heard from Lowry Tucker, Salvo Lape and Greg Stultz who severely chastised him for not being at the last reunion. He states that he will not miss the next one. Bo Temple has been in the news again. I heard from Art Sigsbury and from Bo directly that he is serving as the acting chief of engineers, in the Corps of Engineers. Bo will serve in that capacity until the new permanent chief is confirmed by the Senate. Bo also reports that he and his family are doing well. Dan and Sandy Brooks are enjoying life as empty nesters in Rockland, DE. They visited their daughter in Oman in January, and they now highly recommend it as a winter destination. Dan and Sandy are planning a trip to the Turquoise Coast in Turkey in September for a combination bike/hike/boating trip. Dan will also be heading to northern Canada with Bernie Cobb for a July fishing trip. Dan and Laura Schultz celebrated 35 years of marriage this year on Dec 20th. Dan is still running a business at Lockheed Martin, from his office is in the district where he can see the capital from his window. Dan and John Maples are taking their families to Duck for a week’s vacation where they plan to golf, fish and sit at the beach and drink. Sounds like a heck of a plan to me. Dan Darnell checked in from Hawaii where he and Vickie expect to remain through the summer. They had dinner with Kimo Wong recently, and Dan reports that Kimo has not changed a bit since 1975. Is that a good thing? Oliver Way’s older son, Lawton ’05 was married on 2/26, which was the very same day my daughter got married. Both rehearsal dinner and reception were held at Country Club of Virginia in Richmond. At the rehearsal dinner, the “groom’s cake” was a perfect replication of a VMI Shako. For some reason, Judy and I didn’t have that at our daughter’s wedding! Greg and Linda Stultz stopped by VMI on their way back from Myrtle Beach. While they were there, they ran into Chip Louthan and his family. Chip was there with his dad, who was celebrating the 70th Reunion of the Class of ’41. Glenn Garland finished up a short tour of duty in Iraq with the National Guard in February, and he reports that everything went fine. Glenn is still


with the Guard, and they are sending him back to Moldova for a dental humanitarian mission trip for one week. Otherwise he is back at the school of dentistry in Chapel Hill. Glenn did report that he is trying to keep a ’91 Honda on the road in spite of the 300K miles on it, so he has been getting advice from Yulee Richardson and Jim Seitz. Needless to say, the old Honda is still idle. Stew Fleming sent some nice pictures of the progress of the work behind Barracks. He also said that he spoke recently with Paul Bernard, and that Paul is doing well. Robert Mills reports that his recent big event was a trip to Peru, Argentina and Uruguay with his daughter, Valerie, who had been working in Arequipa, and his son Edward ’07 currently of Dallas, TX. Robert had planned to get together with Chris Smart, who currently resides in the Argentine capital, but those plans were thwarted when Chris hit a Hole-in-one (154 yd 8 iron to an Island Green) at some charity event and won an all expense trip to Rio during Carnaval! I guess there are priorities in life. I had the pleasure of seeing Preston Sloane recently. Preston and his wife live near Abington, VA, and he is the station director for the coolest new coal-fired power plant to ever be built in this country. First fire is expected before the end of the year, and it will be the most advanced coal-fired unit ever built. I got a great tour of the facility, and it is the most interesting of the many power plants I have seen over the last 35 years. It is a real honor for Preston to be selected to be the station director for such a new facility. On the home front, things have been busy in the Nunn household recently. Judy and I have married off two daughters in six months, and our youngest recently graduated from Montreat College near Asheville, NC. Judy continues as an associate professor of nursing in Roanoke, and I continue to work way to hard with my company. It does, however, beat the alternative, so I am not complaining. If I have a complaint, it is with the number of commercials for Rutter-Mills, for their new office in the Star City. At least Robert has not elected to star in any of his own commercials. Other than that, I have run into Tom Mason and Mark Hall from time to time, both of whom appear to be enjoying life. Thanks to everyone who has stayed in touch. It prevents me from having to make up a lot of stuff just to have something to write each quarter. To all I say, please stay in touch. It is always great to hear from all of you, and I will always do my best to keep everybody informed of what is going on. For those of you not on my e-mail list, please send me a note with your e-mail address. It is a great way to get out information when it is available, and to nag you for information for the notes. Till next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay in touch.


William Bhatta

Brother Rats: These notes were written on 15 May 2011. After graduation tomorrow, the next notes will be a class closer towards the front of the Alumni Review. These notes are dedicated to the Brother Rats we rarely hear from. Here are their stories. Simon Radomskyj is not an e-mailer, but he e-mailed an update two weeks ago. Simon is married with no children, but has two cats – Benny and Coco. He lives in New Jersey and works out of his home preparing tax returns, mainly for small businesses, contractors and landlords of rental properties. Simon’s hobbies include buying and collecting inexpensive art and working in his back-yard garden, planting flowers, bushes and trees. He said his art and landscaping drives his wife crazy. But afterwards, she sees and appreciates the results. Simon has grown to love nature and the mountains, so he is drawn to them often. “Don’t fall over because you are hearing from me.” said Barry Helms. Last April, Barry spent 10 days on the Amazon in Brazil on a mission trip with his church. Then in August, Barry and his wife, Francine, timed a visit to Zimbabwe to visit their daughter, son-in-law and the birth of their first grandchild, Olivia - Dan and Mary are missionaries there. The Helms left Zimbabwe for Germany to visit their other daughter, Linda, and her husband, Justin. Justin is on active duty and on his second deployment since their move overseas. After Barry returned home to Christiansburg, VA, he was appointed the interim town manager. So now he is his own boss – he still performs his duties as the assistant town manager too. Barry said he hopes the advertisement for a town manager is posted soon, so he can either be the assistant town manager or hire one! Herb White is looking forward to the reunion in September, so he decided it was time to update his BRs! Herb and his wife live in Big Island, VA, near the James River and Blue Ridge mountains. The Whites have two daughters and a son. Betty is a civil engineering graduate from Virginia Tech and works in Charlotte, NC, for a consulting engineering firm. Emily is a registered nurse and a graduate from the Jefferson School of Health Science in Roanoke; she lives in Charleston, SC. Bert is a civil engineering student at Virginia Tech and graduates next year. Herb started W.W. Associates, Inc. in 2000. Now he has offices in Lynchburg and Charlottesville. His company offers civil and environmental engineering, surveying, site plan engineering, land planning and landscape architecture. Several alumni work at WW Associates: David


CLASS NOTES Jensen’75 P.E. is a principal and office manager for the Charlottesville office. Edgar Perrow’96 P.E. is a principal and works in the Lynchburg office. Rich Mathews (Virginia) recently joined the company as a project manager and works out of Smithfield, VA. And Richard Hartman ’66 assists with select projects in the Petersburg, VA, area. John (J.P.) Johnson retired from the U.S. Army in 1996 as a combat engineer doing construction management and heavy construction. While on active duty, he was also assigned three years to the U.S. Naval Academy teaching in the Mechanical Engineering Department. His final assignment was at Fort Leonard Wood where he served as the director of Public Works. After John retired, he spent 12 years working as a project manager and civil engineer for an environmental and engineering consulting firm. Now he is retired, living near Fort Leonard Wood, MO, on a beautiful 166 acre wooded property. John is remarried to Emily Brown. She is the chief of the Environmental Compliance Office at Fort Leonard Wood. They have a daughter, Erin, and a son, Ian. Erin is married and working as a radiologist. Ian is serving on active duty in the U.S. Air Force as a satellite communications specialist. He is currently in Afghanistan, his third tour to the Middle East in four years, supporting special operations units from Fort Bragg. John remains an avid hunter and fisherman. A very strong conservation-minded team, the Johnsons are certified Missouri Master Naturalists and active in many conservation efforts. It has been about 10 years since Dave Fielder saw any BRs, so he sent a note to get everyone up-to-date. Dave spent a year as the battle commander of operation Noble Eagle – the air defense operations after 9/11 – and then was assigned to Korea for a year as a liaison officer. After his Korean assignment, he retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force. As a contractor, Dave worked for the National Nuclear Security Administration (addressing nuclear weapons security issues) and the Department of State (in Southern Sudan heading the Security Sector Reform Program). He is currently working in Afghanistan as a Senior Adviser to the Afghan Air Force for Operations and looking forward to finding work back in the United States. Dave maintains a residence in Old Town Alexandria, VA, and hangs out there when he is back in the United States. He hopes he can take R&R and attend the reunion in September. Pete Gabriel returned from Pakistan. He was there for almost two years. Pete performed security work while he was there; spent most of his time in Islamabad but did get to Peshawar and other areas close to the Afghanistan border. He can provide all of the do’s and don’ts for working in Pakistan if you need them (like Jack Christy). Pete is currently living in the Washington, D.C.

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area and is working as a training consultant for the Department of State. He interacts with various countries in Africa, working with the United Nations and African Union Peacekeeping Forces. Pete said Africa has been a breath of fresh air compared to Pakistan. It has also been a while since Dave Buchter spoke with any BRs. In 2005, after 28 years working a variety of jobs at Archer Daniels Midland Company, in Decatur, IL, Dave made a career change. He earned his insurance license, moved to Pittsburgh, PA, to be near his wife’s family and now works for the Western Southern Life Insurance Company. David and Susan have two children. Rand Sompayrac had lunch with Buzzy Moncure in February so they could catch up. They live close to one another and try to meet for lunch every month. Also in February, while registering at an Architects, Construction, Engineers, Surveyors (ACES) luncheon to gather information on potential BRAC business, Rand met Mike Hancock. Mike works for Virginia Paving, a division of Lane Construction, and lives in Fredericksburg, VA. Rand is married with two young boys, ages 13 and 11. Both keep him busy with soccer and lacrosse – his oldest does indoor and outdoor travel soccer year-round. During the summer, he participates in an Olympic Development League in Richmond every Friday night. Rand said,” I’m a very old man with young boys that are doing their best to keep me young, and I love it.” Rand has worked in the real estate development business for almost 20 years. For 10 years, he worked as director of sales and marketing for Hazel Land Companies in northern Virginia. As sales director, he was instrumental in the success of two large

planned communities in the Fredericksburg area: Lee’s Hill of Virginia (2,000+ homes) and Salem Fields (1,400+ homes). He left the company to establish his own – Rand Land – to do land acquisition and development. Rand said, “Fortunately, my first project was a 325-single family and 66-townhouse community which was successfully completed during the ‘greatest’ real estate market ever! Since then, I’ve experienced the depths of the ‘worst’ real estate market ever.” Rand is currently looking for new job opportunities. In other BR news: In the February edition of the Alumni Review, I told you John and Tammy Street were expecting their seventh child. Well, Matthew Tyler Street was born on Feb. 17th. By the time you read this, Matthew will be crawling. Hunt Ozmer and Mack Curle sent me a Roanoke Times article in February about Grigg Mullen. It’s a great story - I cannot believe The Citadel let this happen! The article is boxed below. Mack and Paula Curle are doing well. Paula retired in July after teaching 30 years, primarily due to budget cuts in the county. The Curle’s were able to take their first fall vacation in 31 years of marriage – went to Savannah in April with a group of retired teachers. Due to retirements and organizational moves, Mack is staying busy at Dominion picking up the slack. He said it is interesting work involving technology research as well as benchmarking Dominion’s IT operations with 18 other utilities. He anticipates

Corner shot

by Kevin Kittredge, The Roanoke Times

Class of 1976: Working on a Fort Sumpter, South Carolina, cannon carriage in 2004 were, from left, Grigg Mullen III, Grigg Mullen Jr., Marcus Brandt, Matt Anderson ’03 and Robb Metz ’04.

A recent picture in The Roanoke Times of a cannon at Fort Sumter, S.C., the Union fort in Charleston Harbor where the Civil War began, brought back memories for Virginia Military Institute engineering professor Grigg Mullen. Mullen and a group of his VMI cadets rebuilt the rotted wooden carriage under the cannon several years ago, he said. According to Mullen, rival military institute The Citadel’s engineering department was contacted first about rebuilding the undercarriage, but replied, “We can’t do that sort of thing.” The Citadel is in Charleston, S.C. Mullen said he was contacted afterward and “my response was, ‘But of course VMI civil engineering can build a new carriage.’” The Citadel media relations coordinator Charlene Gunnells explained The Citadel “did not have the wood timber expertise needed for the project.” But she noted The Citadel helped out in other ways, including “project planning, documentation and site investigations.” Sandy Pusey, facility management chief at Fort Sumter National Monument, said the Timber Framers Guild and the former School of Building Arts in Charleston also helped with the project. But she confirmed that most of the carriage was built at Mullen’s house in Lexington. The VMI cadets and Mullen traveled to Fort Sumter to install the new carriage in April 2004. Mullen said the cadets raised a VMI flag over Fort Sumter during their stay, “which gave one park ranger fits.” Perhaps he was a graduate of The Citadel.


CLASS NOTES keeping up this pace for two more years, then retiring by June 1, 2013. Last Call – We “crown” a new class agent at each reunion. If you are interested in performing the job, let me know. If no one volunteers, I will have the privilege of serving the class another five years! That’s it until August! Hope to see everyone at the reunion!


Bland Massie

Rah, Super ’77 Rah, Rah, Rah … Moe’s on his way to Rome for the VMI alumni cruise. Wish some super 77 guys were with us. You should have received your notes via e-mail prior to this issue. Saw Billy Hupp and Freddy Allner at the Master’s. Understand Billy has gotten engaged. More information to follow. The rest of you are going to have to send me some information. I am not getting enough to fill up a section, so how about some of you super 77s help me out. Moe could do it all on his own but doesn’t want to. Rah, Rah, VMI Whole Da*# Class, In the Spirit of VMI, Never Say Die! Moe

Class of 1977: Brother Rats attending the wedding of Steve Neas were, from left, Chuck Conner, Steve Neas, John Quackenbush and Bob Atkinson.


Tom Brown

Greetings to the last class to have mud slides in Barracks. As this is written, those of you in the way of the Mighty Mississippi may have had your own mud slides to contend with. I hope all are well and safe after the wet spring, and I am sure another warm summer. Jim Simons was out in the wet weather in April and


reports he was at the start of the annual Spring Field Training Exercises (FTX) at VMI. Unlike the Spring FTX of our youth, when the entire Corps was sent out into the nearby National Forest to endure several days of freezing temperatures with inadequate equipment, endless training exercises with insufficient instruction, cold rations and incompetent leadership, for those cadets not pursuing a military commission, the FTX of the new generation is dedicated to community service. Jim will concede that while he liked the idea of dedicating some small portion of a student’s college career to community service, he would have preferred that the annual exercise remain focused on military field training, whether a cadet is pursuing a military commission or not. He says one would think that in the years following Hurricane Katrina someone would have recognized the benefits from training in basic outdoor survival skills, first aid, field sanitation, etc. not only in practical terms, but in the confidence that such training and experience provides. Alas, Jim says he is screaming into the wind, as those in command positions do obviously not share this opinion. Anyway … one of the projects undertaken by the cadets for this year’s FTX was led by the VMI Cadet Fishing Club, of which Jim is something of an adult advisor. They took on the cleanup of a two-mile stretch of Simpsons Creek, a lovely stretch of brook trout water about 20 minutes west of Lexington. Unfortunately, this was not his shining moment. Jim had been terribly sick for two days prior to the exercise, and the very thought of busting his a** out in the woods on some **** detail had him searching for an empty stretch of guardrail to hang over. But he had volunteered for this mission, so he was duty bound to go. It was a rough start, but by mid-afternoon Jim had started to feel a little bit better. He supposed that in some small way the boundless enthusiasm of the young cadets around him kept him going. The weather was absolutely bizarre, constantly changing from sunny blue skies to wind-driven rain and sleet. In keeping with the FTX tradition passed down from earlier generations of cadets, the kids were inadequately prepared. It seems that in their wisdom, VMI no longer sees it necessary to issue field jackets to the cadets. The poor kids were out in the woods, wallowing in the mud, wearing nothing more than their cotton fatigues, with no other weather protection or insulated clothing to shield themselves from the rain and sleet. From what Jim was told, only the Army ROTC cadets have ECWS parkas, or whatever it is that the military issues as an outer field garment these days. But they looked good, and Jim supposed that’s what counts. For those among the ranks of the VMI alumni that have expressed concern over the changes that have taken place at VMI in recent decades, they can take comfort in the fact that it is ap-

parent that tradition still takes precedence over common sense at our alma mater. Fortunately, the cadets proved resolute in their mission and the exercise seemed to keep them warm enough. With criticism of today’s youth so often bandied about, Jim found the enthusiasm and resourcefulness demonstrated by the cadets assigned to the project quite reassuring. Over the course of the day, the twenty cadets assigned to the project, reinforced by a couple of old guys like Jim, all under the command of Col. Lee Dewald of the math department, managed to fill the better part of a monster-sized industrial dumpster with refuse as well as retrieve a mountain of discarded car tires. Sadly, there was no keg of warm Old Milwaukee offered at the end of the exercise as there was in our day. Thus concludes Jim’s “after action report” for 2 April 2011 detailing his small role in VMI’s 2011 Spring FTX. Sounds like a really fun time. Sorry Jim, I had a check formation in Marshall Hall at the agents meeting that Saturday and had to stay inside. A few quick checks from some BRs, Bob Magnan says not much going on but did suggest that more of us should check out Facebook to stay linked. We do have a class page that has seen limited activity. Bob also recommends, “Having to Explain VM” on Facebook as it does have some great stuff. Scott Putney’s is a proud dad, his elder daughter, Lydia, graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in English and plans to teach elementary school. Tim Pishdad reports he is plugging away in this negative economy. Real Estate has been eating his lunch and was looking for a job for the first time in five years. Tim lives in Viera, FL, near Patrick AFB. His son, Kyle, 2nd Infantry Div finished a tour in Afghanistan and will get out and use his GI Benefits to go to school at Wyotech, a trade college. Tim’s other son, Jay, is in the Air Force at Tinker AFB and is getting married in December. Tim looks forward to hosting any BR’s visiting the Space Coast of Florida. He says will be pretty empty after the Shuttle missions are complete. Tim is chairing a 911 event in Melbourne, FL, and looking to raise over 100k for the Liberty Museum who is housing Pentagon Stone and World Trade Tower Steel. Way to serve the community Tim. Gary Snyder sent a Room 142 BR report. Gary reports “BLUF Laf, JR, BIG Scratch and I are all still kicking and doing OK.” He attached e-mails, and I will attempt to condense the news. From Tom Shaw, “I’ve been busy the last four years growing this law firm – we now have two new offices (Dallas and Austin) so we are up to four U.S. offices and six in Mexico. But, I’ve made a decision to move on at the end of June although I will be paid through August. I’ve been thinking hard about starting a NPO, and it will take all of my time and focus to make it work. I don’t want


CLASS NOTES to have to eat them if it doesn’t fly! Stay tuned.” From Gary: “I’m a grandpa, our daughter, Britnee (Melissa’s first), had her first in October last year. In February, I woke up swearing I’d never eat another Cincinnati chili ever again only to discover my appendix had decided to hold a work stoppage. First surgery for me ever and things are just fine. Citi selected Melissa as part of home agent trial, and she now has all of a 45-second commute. We took the bedroom in the basement and converted it to a home office (nicer than my Northrop Grumman digs) and she now works from home. It’s been quite the experience as I’ve gained a heck of a lot more insight into the operations and struggles of folks trying to make ends meet in this economy, as a program manager. That’s about it for now, I cracked a rib two weeks ago and that was unpleasant but it’s doing better, and with the weather breaking, we are looking forward to summer again and seeing some Reds games. I’m still on the road three hours a day getting from Cincy to Dayton so that eats up quite a bit of time, but I’m with a good group on the B-2 Program. Jim Reynolds and Sue are doing fine. Sue is working at local elementary school, and Jim is still doing the PM construction thing. LAF is writing a book and slaving away in his practice. Danny Thornton got to have a nice visit with BR Hutt as they flew out to different places together and flew back as well (on the same day). Jay was rushing home to pack up and head to J.M.U for his son’s graduation. Pat and I also had a good visit with Jay and Paula as well as Jim and Kathy Cure. Jay was the host and all had a wonderful time sharing the joys of life. Thanks, neighbor Jay. All is well with Steve Murray and family. Steve’s daughter is finishing college and preparing to wonder out into the real world. He says life is good, considering the economy, and is waiting to get his residential project started, 3170 homes. “Jimmy Leech is still retired and enjoying life in El Paso. He is active in the Church but mainly in the lives of his great kids. Jimmy has an attorney, a public health professional, an artist in training, a nurse, an engineer in training and a high school baseball player who makes straight As and still drives the old ’67 Mustang he drove as a first classman at VMI. Also from the El Paso area, Mike McCarthy sends that life has been interesting out here in the wilds of west Texas. In addition to his day job as the director of operations at the Mission Command Complex at Fort Bliss, he picked up a special project of looking at the feasibility and military utility of putting Smart Phone technologies in the hands of every soldier. About 14 months ago, Mike received additional guidance from the VCSA to “fundamentally change how soldiers access knowledge, information, training content and situational awareness in training as well as in operational environments” Oh yeah,

2011-Issue 3

and Mike needs to have a plan and be executing it within four months. No pressure there, fortunately Mike was not thrown into this by himself. The project formally is known as “Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications” and has taken off like gangbusters. The down side is both Delta and American are once again making a profit from all of his travel. Mike, just think of all the apps that can help the soldiers. Jim Mackin reports he and Tim Berkhimer went skiing for a week in Colorado’s Summit County in March, and “we weren’t too far over the hill to attack the Horseshoe Bowl at Breckenridge … double black diamond runs!” They also skied Keystone and Beaver Creek. Five days skiing, and no bodily damage – not too shabby. Tim’s living and working in Mobile, AL, for Storm Recovery Services. Jim is still working in the D.C. area ... just left a job in the Pentagon and is awaiting reassignment through his company, Scitor Corporation. Jim most likely will be back supporting another office in the Pentagon or the surrounding area. Garry Snyder checked in to say he ran into Anthony Moore in Lexington at the Environment Virginia awards banquet. They had a quick talk but got to catch up a lot. Garry e-mails and talks with Tom Sliwoski occasionally and passes Tom Tanner on the road sometimes. He says not much else going on right now. His daughter is about to finish her freshman year in high school. Garry is still with the state Dept. of Corrections in Roanoke. Alec Earle says all’s well in the D.C. area. His latest news is that they purchased a 40’ Motor home that they plan to use extensively once they retire (still a little ways out). Team Earle was taking a two-week trip (round trip) from San Antonio to Las Vegas. They really enjoy the lifestyle! After an 18-plus year “career” as a government contractor, Paul Campbell started a new “career” as a Department of the Army Civilian (DAC) on 25 April. This move (like the last – 11-plus years ago) was predicated by a less than favorable outlook for the contract to continue at a level that would ‘guarantee’ him continued employment. Paul ran into Pete Manoso at Farmville, VA, on 16 April, when they accompanied their wives to the 70s reunion. Paul has also exchanged e-mails and phone calls with Paul Kenney in the last couple of months. Paul is a DAC at Fort Dix, NJ. Dan Tuck says it’s been a while, 15 years. Anyway, since his latest update. Dan came off the Missile Defense Program and NRO out of Virginia for the earlier part of the turn of the century and did a stench in Guantanamo Bay with a little water boarding, followed by the last three years supporting USCENTCOM war-fighter out of MacDill AFB. Dan has one son at James Madison University and one daughter with a year left in high school. Dan spent St Patrick’s Day this

past year with the old dyke (L.C. Daniels ’75), who he hadn’t seen for 10 years, played a little golf out around Savannah, GA. He says everyone is well and healthy. Life is good, and he is staying busy dealing with the arena out in Afghanistan and Iraq, getting a little tennis or golf in when possible, and when he can slip from the castle, he gets out on the bike and cruises for awhile, or goes flying. Sounds great, I hope your next update is a little sooner. Ronnie Milligan continues to coordinate assistance for Mark Gentile. Gino is battling with MS. It is an awful disease that continues to take its toll on our Brother Rat. Each year is full of ups and downs for Gino. On the up side, he and his mother moved to Alabama to live with his brother Tony class of ’69 and his wife. Tony’s house is on a lake in Jackson’s Gap. The surroundings are beautiful, but because it is very rural, Gino doesn’t get out as much. It has understandably been a real adjustment for him, but he is beginning to adapt. On the down side, his physical condition continues to deteriorate, leaving him extremely weak and immobile. The frequency of his hospital stays is increasing. As you know, our class has been very generous, allowing us to provide $700.00 a month to help defray the cost of Gino’s care. These funds are used for home care throughout the week (22 hours) to assist with Gino’s personal needs. His family is very appreciative of our efforts, and it mitigates the stress related to the continuous care he requires. The notes Ronnie received with your donations were terrific. We are truly making a difference. 59 BRs contributed to raise $20,205.00. Individual donations ranged from $20.00 to $1,100.00, all of which are appreciated, especially in today’s economy. Our commitment to Gino and his family is to continue with the $700.00 a month until such time that his circumstances change. We will then re-evaluate how we can best support him. For those of you who would like to contribute, please send a check payable to Mark Gentile to Ronnie Milligan attention at 312 Ralston Road, Richmond, VA, 23229. Thank you Ronnie for showing what “Brother Rat” means. I hope all have had a great and safe summer. As you know, as you read this it is time for you to send more news. The deadline is August 14. In the Spirit.


Michael Ogden

Hope this finds everyone safe and well. Slim pickings this go-round Brother Rats! After what had to have been a near record breaking notes submission last time; “crickets!”


CLASS NOTES Paul and Susan Vordermark hosted, for the fifth year in a row, a New Market Day gathering of the Kansas locals. All enjoyed a lovely, albeit, gray day walking down memory lane. Lots of memories shared from the “I” as well as memories of the past four gatherings. Susan says “Glad to see Dave and Susan Northcraft ’73, even though Dave is in the middle of some chemo treatments, he looked good. Steve and Marianne Tennant ’81 dependable as always, as well as some “single” guys who were geographical bachelors or due to previous commitments by spouses (Billy Edmund and Jeff Duncan). Will Christopher also attended with Kate and three boys. All from random classes but a good group none the less and the food was all good.” As noted, this tidbit was submitted by Susan (many thanks!). Maybe I should just start dealing more with “significant others” to get class notes submissions! Hmmmmm … What stories we might hear. William “Smitty” Smithson reports: “I have decided to leave Charlottesville area and return to Mt. Pleasant, SC, after about a 10-year absence. I have taken a new job in orthopedics there. My oldest son “Corbett” is in culinary school there, and my youngest son, Walker age 15, is planning to come with me. We are starting a new life after a second combat tour and a divorce.” David Smith writes: “I wish I had something noteworthy to report but I’m living the quiet life in Leesburg, VA. I had an opportunity to see several BRs at the end of April, but I was called to duty and had to organize and oversee a color guard detail at the Apple Blossom Festival, so the rest had breakfast without moi. I’m still employed, unlike some people, but underemployed.” Pete Underwood says he may need some help with a medical bill for his wife. Pete says: “Yesterday I found her on the floor uncontrollably laughing/crying until she nearly expired. After attempting to apply the life saving procedures, she still could not speak, but I noticed the latest addition of the Alumni Review on the floor beside her, opened to the page with our class notes. I didn’t think anything about it, since the mail had just arrived, and I hadn’t read it yet. She remained unable to speak coherently but kept pointing to our class notes and babbling something about “the funniest thing she had ever read.” When she finally regained the ability to speak in full sentences, she required me to recount the events Mike so graciously included about me in the Review. This sent her into another paroxysm of uncontrolled laughter accompanied by comments about what a good humorist Mike is. I am not sure she is ever going to fully recover from this so please be prepared to give a few coins if I need help in covering possible medical bills for curing laughing fits!” While I appreciate all the kind words, I cannot accept any credit. All I did was report the facts as they occurred. Just a humble class


agent doing his due diligence. John Carty and Maria are traveling to Italy for their 25th wedding anniversary in May. John “promises” photos for the next Review. Hopefully with a VMI flag in there somewhere! Speaking of pictures … please keep the Review in mind when you have that “oh so special” gathering or event with your fellow Brother Rats. They make such fine mementos and remember; a picture is worth a thousand words, can always come back to haunt you and additionally serve a perfect source of humor and ridicule! Jim LaRose scribbles “All is well with Kathie and me. I have been travelling back and forth to China for work a lot this year, and my Mandarin is getting better.” Jim continues … “I ran the Spring Fever Chase 10K this year, and who lined up at the start line with me? Jay Thompson. He was there with his wife, Amy, and kids and looked great as always. I think he beat me by several minutes after he had not trained at all. I must be getting old because the running of six miles is a lot harder on me than it used to be. I have to admire a guy like our BR Farshad Majidian that can run a marathon at our age. Great going Farshad!” I have to echo Jim’s comments about Farshad. What a running machine! Farshad has something like a dozen or more marathons under his belt! Amazing! I hurt just thinking about running a marathon! John Kailey writes: “Hey Mike, I have about 133 days left at this writing, or 18 Mondays. Probably one more update, and then I am home. I arrived back in Iraq two weeks ago from R&R, and yes, home is all that it is cracked up to be. Someday remind me to show you the Facebook picture of me greeting my wife at the top of the Atlanta Airport escalator. I think the emotion paints the right picture. I go back to civilian life in October, provided my employer cooperates, which is a bit of a concern to me right now. Just trying to keep everyone safe here and go home to my family. I have learned a lot, and it is a thrill to serve among these fine young men and women. A thrill which I wish I could repeat, but alas 1 Oct 2012 Uncle Sam kicks me to the retirement curb. My boys are bugging their mom, who I miss very much, but they are by and large good boys.” Thanks from all of us BR for all that you have and are doing, for our country. John Colonna plans to fly to Dallas on May 21st. Henry Rogers is picking him up at DFW and then driving all to Aurora, TX, to attend Bob Norris’ daughter, Danielle’s, wedding. John says “I’ll take a few pictures of Bob and his family and forward them to you if you’d consider putting one in the class notes. Feel free to eliminate any of the pictures which have Henry or I in them, I’ll understand.” Oh no, John, the more the merrier in those pictures! John continues: “I did have a chance to talk to Dave Woolwine last week at

Norfolk General. I was heading down Brambleton Ave. and saw a car with a big VMI spider logo and Virginia vanity plates WULWINE. I pulled up next to him at a traffic light, and of course, it was Dave. We were both heading to Norfolk General so we walked in from the parking deck and had a nice chat. I’ve heard great things about the work he does in leadership training for Sentara. Dave was on his way to a graduation ceremony for a class of 70 trainees.” Bart Cramer caught up with Dave Crawford back in April and took in the VMI-VCU baseball game at the Diamond in Richmond. Bart writes “Great game but unfortunately a loss for the Keydets.” Bart just celebrated 30 years in March with Bank of America. He started with a small local bank in Richmond but through acquisitions, ended up in the big one. Congrats, Bart. I am looking forward to getting together with BRs at the upcoming second annual “UF” Open in Richmond that benefits the Frankie Lumpkin Memorial Find. We had a blast last year, and I have high expectations this time as well. Meade Spotts is suggesting a VMI Cro-Magnon Society, Richmond Chapter meeting that weekend. I will report back with notes and pictures (if releasable to the general public!) in the next Review. That is it. Keep up with your annual physicals! Stay well Brother Rats.


John Gibney Jr.

Hello Brother Rats, These notes cover the period Feb. 16, 2011 through May 15, 2011. The last set of notes listed our BRs from whom I received Christmas cards. Accidently omitted was the card and letter from Darleen and Mark Sobota, who celebrated their 26th anniversary in March 2010 on a Caribbean cruise. They also took a summer missions trip to Honduras with their church. Their son, Chad, became engaged and is planning to wed in 2012. Their son, Luke, attends The Ohio State University. Sharon and Andy Brown also sent a Christmas card that contained several family photos. Andy is a rear admiral in the Navy attached to the U.S. European Command stationed in Stuttgart, Germany. They have three sons, Joe (26) a pilot stationed in Japan, Casey (24) in his second year in medical school, and Christian (16) who is in high school. They hope to return to the states later this year. I received a series of entertaining e-mail messages from Dave Gleason and Jack Keane. Dave was trying to locate Hal Snyder to invite him to


CLASS NOTES an alumni association meeting in Maryland. Jack was headed to Tahoe for a ski trip and commented as he traversed the country. A photo of our BRs (Dave Gleason, Mike Harper, Jack Keane, Steve Kraus, Hal Snyder and Tony Zoetis). Dave Hageman called. He was headed to New Orleans and wanted to connect with Elliott Wolffe. Dave and Diana did visit with Elliott, for dinner and for breakfast with Elliott, Amy and Elliott’s children. Dave runs the Metro Detroit chapter of the alumni association, and he reported having lunch with Jody Weatherwax. Dave planned to attend the VMI-UDM lacrosse game. He also wrote that his oldest son is getting married later this year. Mike Knapp sent an update from Fort Gordon, GA, where he was attending a course for the Guard. Mike and Rob D’Alessandro work together at the U.S. Army Center of Military History in D.C. Mike also reported that Rob has been selected as the Chief of Military History. Congrats, Rob! I spoke at length with Wade Stinnette. He

reported that life in the investment business is very busy. He and Lannie are also busy with the May wedding of their daughter, Langhorne. Their middle daughter, Katie, is employed at a credit union in Greenville, SC. Their son, Walker, is a freshman at Furman majoring in chemistry/pre-med. I also spoke with Pat Griffin. Pat and Beth went on a week-long Caribbean cruise with Tanya and Matthew Keys and Kathy and Phil Munisteri. The tee shirts were made by Scott Sayre. February ended with an e-mail and photos from Jeannine and Dave Madden. Dave retired in June after 30 years in the Air Force. Dave’s last assignment was as commander of the GPS Wing at Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base. Dave is now a civilian employee with the Air Force in Los Angeles. In July 2010, Dave threw out the first pitch at a Los Angeles Angels game vs. the Boston Red Sox. Congrats, Dave! March began with a YouTube link from Walt Wood and a “Happy Brothers

Day” message from Dennis Hackemeyer. Walt also sent an e-mail with an attached story about his life in Peru. Rob Quarles sent a message after returning from a business trip to Atlanta. While in New Carrollton, GA, halfway between Atlanta and Birmingham, Rob had dinner at the Fish House Grill and Tavern with the restaurant’s owner, Marty Fedenko. Marty also tends bar there. Good luck, Marty! I spoke with Gary Levenson on his birthday. Gary said that Jonathan Ives had visited VMI to make plans for a June wedding to Whitney in J.M. Hall. Larry Ciacci and I had lunch near our offices in lower Manhattan. Larry works for FEMA and has traveled a great deal due to weather issues this winter and spring.

Class of 1980

Photos clockwise from top, right: -Jeannine and Dave Madden at a Los Angeles AngelsBoston Red Sox game in July 2010 where Dave threw out the first pitch. -Tanya and Matthew Keys; John, Michael, Beth and Pat Griffin; and Connor, Phil and Kathy Munisteri enjoyed a Caribbean cruise in February 2011. -Mickey Cole, Jack Keane, Dave Gleason and Tom Bersson at dinner in Lexington, April 2011. - Attending a Maryland Chapter event in February 2011 were, from left, front row, Steve Kraus, Hal Snyder and Dave Gleason. Back row: Tony Zoetis, Jack Keane and Mike Harper.

2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES The VMI website noted that Tim Hodges, a professor in the engineering department, received a summer research grant. Another grant recipient was John Alerding’s son, Johnny, class of 2012. Johnny will be a battalion commander in August. Steve Andrews and I exchanged e-mails during the NCAA basketball tournament. Steve was on business in Switzerland. Steve’s daughter, Virginia, is a freshman at VCU. I visited VMI to attend the Foundation Board meeting where I saw Bob Evans and Hugh Fain who are both Trustees. I also visited in town with Robby Jones who was scheduled for knee replacement surgery in April. I spoke with Robby following surgery and all went well. At the end of March, Andy Ludlum sent an e-mail with a link to a photo on The Washington Times website. The photo included President Obama and Maj. Gen. Joe Brown. Joe responded to an e-mail by noting that the President spoke at the National Defense University about Libya. After his speech, he greeted members of the University’s staff. Joe is the commandant of the International College of the Armed Forces. The photo does not appear in this issue of the Alumni Review, since the Washington Times denied our reprint request. Among those copied on Andy’s e-mail message was Russ Long who sends along his best wishes from the Dallas, TX, area. April began with an e-mail from Jack Keane who was in Lexington having dinner with Tom Bersson, Mickey Cole, Dan Conn and Dave Gleason. They were in Lexington as part of VMI’s cadet-alumni networking program. This program is in addition to VMI’s cadet mentoring program whose participants include Dan Conn, Jack Keane and Massoud Tahamtani. I spoke with Ray Joinson coincident with his birthday and with receiving in the mail an issue of the weekly newspaper, The Dutch Harbor Fisherman. Dutch Harbor is in Alaska where Ray and Carla’s son, Eric, is a lieutenant in the Coast Guard. Dutch Harbor is also a port on the Bering Sea where the television program, “The Deadliest Catch” is filmed. Ray is a retired Air Force colonel. He and Carla live in Tennessee. Phil Munisteri noted in an e-mail that his son, Connor, is beginning to look at colleges and is considering VMI. Phil also wrote that he attended the VMI lacrosse game against Marist College. I spoke with Pat Griffin on his birthday. Jack Keane also recruited Pat to participate in the cadet mentoring program. Gary Levenson sent a message looking for a way to contact Rear Adm. Andy Brown. Gary also wrote that he wants to again visit New York City for a steak dinner at Peter Luger’s. Andy Brown responded to my e-mail that he’s still in Stuttgart, working Libya support logistics. As mentioned above, he expects to return


to the East Coast this summer. Matthew and Tanya Keys visited with me and Patti in the Poconos. We celebrated Tanya’s accepting a job with a recruiting firm while watching the New York Rangers defeat the Washington Capitals in a NHL playoff game. Elliott Wolffe sent an e-mail with a photo of him and Kent Oelrich taken during Kent’s visit to New Orleans. The photo did not meet publication requirements. Elliott also mentioned Dave Hageman’s visit. Elliott plans to travel to New Jersey this summer, and we hope to get together then. Don Bradshaw sent an e-mail with an update. This summer, Don will be attending the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania. Don and Karyn will eventually relocate from their home in Fort Lee to a location to be determined by the Army. Don also wrote that he traveled to San Antonio where he saw Mike Flinn. Mike is an environmental scientist with Booz Allen Hamilton. Ed Kopsick called. He was visiting his sister in Long Island and planned to spend a day in NYC. Ed will soon be heading to Afghanistan for a two-year tour as the deputy commander of the Defense Logistic Agency’s Supply Depot. April ended with an e-mail from Tracy Wilson following receipt of his birthday card. Tracy wishes everyone well. May began with an e-mail from Dixon Tucker who is organizing a lunch for alumni in the Tidewater area. Josh Priest, Dave Sadowski and Bob White are expected to attend. Tuck Masker and I spoke just as the period ended. He is still with the Marriott Corporation managing property renovations. His son, Tuck Jr., is a rising high school senior and the starting quarterback on the football team. Finally, thanks to Pat McCarthy and Tom Wilson for their amusing/inspiring e-mail messages and thanks to all for your continued support. Please keep in touch and enjoy the summer.


Trip Lloyd

Editor’s Note: The following notes were submitted by outgoing Class Agent Jerry Manley. The new class agent is Trip Lloyd. Dear Brother Rats and Families, I am writing this update just after our 30th Reunion weekend and doing so as my last official act as your class agent. After this action, the baton will be firmly passed to Trip Lloyd who expressed the desire to take on the role and to benefit from the experience of the position, just as I have. I

know Trip will do an exceptional job, just as all of our class agents before me have done. By all accounts, everyone that attended our 30th Reunion had a great time. For this, I am extremely grateful and relieved! I do humbly appreciate the heartwarming comments received, both while in Lexington during the reunion weekend, as well as the gracious calls and e-mails received in the following week. To be open and honest, my biggest fear was forgetting something in the planning and letting my BRs down. Fears were put to rest as we approached the weekend date because of all the great support received along the way. In that regard, I would like to call out a number of BRs without whose support the weekend would not have been such a wonderful success: Dave Taylor whose memorial service was nothing short of exceptional. I will take this time to also recognize Dave for his “humble service” to our BRs and the dear Lord. Like several other BRs, Dave has been a solid force in our class, one who often works quietly with those in need, giving not only comfort as a BR, but providing spiritual support and an example of faith. You are a good man, Dave! Dan Dorsey for arranging the musical venue for our Friday social. His son’s band, “Out of Focus,” did an exceptional job. The young jazz quartet featuring Garen Dorsey on piano, Garrett Moore on drums, Matthew Smith on saxophone, and Allison Moore on bass was exceptional. Many thanks, to you, Dan, and your talented son, Garen. Grover Outland who provided support in arranging for the Cadet a cappella group “Men in Gray” and in coordinating the DJ for Saturday evening. His support in the memorial service was also greatly appreciated. Grove is another one of those solid BRs that can always be counted on for support … and for sweating profusely while on the dance floor! But, Grove, who could possibly love you more than your four-year roomie? Mike Denton for his coordination of the Friday dinner option at the Tuscany Italian Restaurant and as the official bell ringer for our memorial. Mike also provided needed supply runs and logistical support on Thursday and Friday to ensure we had the right mixers at the hospitality cabin and was a sounding board for a number of details leading up to our shared event. Other support along the way included: The “Breakfast BRs” of Jeff Adler; Gene Loving; Ken “Piggy” Herbert, who supported in early planning discussions that served as the genesis for the final details and schedule for the weekend; Brian Quisenberry for his logistic support at VMI and continued offers for assistance; Bruce Kitchen for working with me on ideas for the favors (for Bruce, I still like the ideas that you and John Holloway came up with that we can pursue for either a class fund




Class of 1981: 30th Reunion April 29-30, 2011 2

Photo 1: Grover Outland dancing with a bevy of beauties at the reunion. The ladies, from left: Katherine Denton, Jenna Manley, Marianne Tenant, Mei-Ling Frishkorn and Melissa Outland. Photo 2: Gathering at the Hampton Inn historic cabin during the reunion were, from left, Jerry Manley, Dutch Holland, Corky Mitchell, Jim Frishkorn, Greg Wolven, Steve Tenann and Bob Cody. Photo 3: At a memorial service in J.M. Hall were, from left, Rick “Moose” McCue, Clarkson Meredith and Hank Lee with other BRs and brides in the background. Photo 4: Grover Outland and Jerry Manley leading the Old Yell for the class. Photo 5: Brides of the class – Libby King, Trish Kitchen, Cindy Gill and Kim Woolwine – at dinner. Photo 6: Mark Brumenschenkel and Corky Mitchell enjoying their VMI bonds during the reunion dinner. Photo 7: At Lexington Golf & Country Club for dinner were, from left, Bill King, Tim Nitz, Bruce Kitchen, Jeff Gill and Sammy Woolwine. Photo 8: At the 30th Reunion Social at the Hampton Inn were, from left, John Locher, Jim Hart, Andrew Jackson, Sam Woolwine and Jeff Gill. Photo 9: The class marched into Barracks after Reunion Parade. Photo 10: BRs Robert “Coke” Savage and Louis Rolan with their beautiful dates, Glynis Savage and Darby Greenhill, at the reunion social.


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Class of 1981: Those who attended their 30th Reunion are listed in alphabetical order, as follows: Jeffrey S. Adler, Thomas G. Albro, Glenn C. Alexander, Duane C. Andrews, William P. Argiriou, John J. Aulbach II, Keith R. Baron, John F. Bigger, William H. Bird, Adrian T. Bogart III, Mark F. Brumenschenkel, James A. Byron III, John R. Cawthorne, Charles L. Chipley III, Robert M. Cody, Johann F. Cooper, William R Costello, Louis R. Darden, Mark Alden David, Walter J. Davies, Charles P. Davis, Michael C. Denton, Robert M. Digby, Frederick D. Dillard III, John T. Ditillo, Daniel B. Dorsey, John M. Driscoll, John F. Ferry, James D. Frishkorn, William A. Gavazzi, Jeffrey M. Gill, Mark A. Gonsalves, Bruce C. Gottwald Jr., James A. Hanratty, Jere W. Harris, James A. Hart, Kenneth C. Herbert, Timothy J. Hillegass, David W. Hinchee, Edward E. Holland Jr., J. Andrew Jackson, Mark J. Kanter, William W. King, Bruce R. Kitchen, John H. Kostisin, James E. Langan, Harry G. Lee Jr., William G. Leftwich III, Wallace H. Lloyd III, John P. Locher, David P. Loduca, Gerald R. Manley, Richard J. McCue, Michael R. McLeod, H. Clarkson Meredith III, Mathew W. Merriman, Ronald A. Mislowsky Jr., Donald A. Mitchell, Harry M. Moore, Gary A. Morgan, Robert C. Moss III, Timothy A. Nitz, Kevin C. O’Neil, Mark A. Olson, David B. Openshaw, Grover C. Outland III, Kurt S. Owermohle, Kenneth A. Pierro, Michael J. Placzek, Bartley W. Price, Joseph D. Provenzano III, Brian L. Quisenberry, Louis W. Rolan, David Julian Saunders, Nicholas B. Savage, Robert A. Savage Jr., Steven Reid Shaffer, Mark C. Shepard, Wirt Evans Shinault, William R. Stamm, David G. Taylor, Stephen V. Tennant, Stephen B. Thomas, Bruce E. Thompson, Chet D. Thompson, Robert T. Underwood, James J. Waller, James M. Waring, Gregory D. White, John N. Williams Jr., Charles H. Wilson Jr., Gregory A. Wolven, Gary Ki-mok Won, Vincent A. Wood III and Samuel E. Woolwine.


30th Reunion — April 29-30, 2011

Class of 1981



CLASS NOTES raiser in the next couple of years or for our 35th – regret not having time or resources for this go around). And to so many other BRs and wives that helped throughout the weekend that I have undoubtedly overlooked above! All of the assistance was all greatly appreciated, more than you may ever know. Thanks also to Greg and Ann Wolven for all of the great pictures they have posted on Facebook for the class. Now, on to individual inputs. There were not too many this go-round, but I can appreciate that and attribute it to all of the socializing and bonding during the reunion, particularly at the individual gathering on the porches of the Hampton and the hospitality cabin. With that, here we go: Dave Richards shared a great update. He and his family are once again on the move. About three years ago Dave moved south of Raleigh, NC, and was working in pharmaceutical manufacturing. At the same time, he was serving in a reserve unit for the Military Sealift Command with his Commanding Officer, Brian Quisenberry. Dave has recently taken advantage of a great opportunity to get back into biotech production and is pulling up stakes and heading to southern Massachusetts. Dave reports that he and his beautiful bride are almost empty nesters with their oldest son recently moved to Los Angeles (he has the entertainer bug) and their middle son as a junior at Hofstra University studying PoliSci. Their youngest son will have graduated high school by the time this edition is in print and hopes to be accepted to VMI (we will pray for an acceptance letter, Dave, and hope to hear of his acceptance!). Dave will have also retired from the Naval Reserves as an O-6 in June. Dave also shared that he recently spoke with roommate Dave Harbison, who lives with his family in Greenville, SC. Lastly, and touching to my way of thinking, Dave shared a few caring words for our deceased BRs with whom he was close, Bob Silverman and Bill McDonald, may God bless them both. (Dave, please know that Bob and Bill, like the rest of us, were blessed to have you as their BR and friend.) Trip Lloyd chimed in after the reunion and shared how wonderful it was seeing everyone and getting reacquainted. Like many of us, he had many stories from the weekend, but only one was “printable” and he shared: “While exiting the men’s room at the Country Club during Saturday night’s class dinner, I noticed a cadet button on the floor, specifically the screw-type for covers or shoulder boards. After an exhaustive search which kept me from my bride, I found one third class private improperly dressed off base (missing the button from his left shoulder board). I returned the button and informed Cadet Kitchen ’13 that he owed me a drink. In classic Keydet fashion he called out, ‘Dad!’ I contend that Bruce needs to wean his

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son and have him face up to his own responsibilities. Cadet Kitchen still owes me a drink.” (I will second that, Trip, but I think I would make his father pay!) Some quick-hitters: “Dutch” Holland wrote that he had a great time at the reunion and that he was proud to report he was one of four of the five roommates from Room 148 that made the 30th. Seems there was one notable absence, though. Missing from formation without authorization or permit was Kevin Canfield. Dutch shared that not only were all of Kevin’s roommates from our first class year present, but every roommate Kevin ever had made the event that weekend. To quote Dutch’s closing lines in his e-mail, “Kevin Canfield, where were you?” Mark Kanter shared that he and Sandy also had a great time. Mark headed back to the “I” in May to witness his nephew’s graduation a “mere” 30 years after ours. Mark’s son really enjoyed the time spent with BRs throughout the reunion weekend. Jeff Adler shared a brief story about an unusual reunion in Bethesda, MD. He met up with his Dyke, Bruce Kay ’78, his Rat, Michael Kay ’84 (Bruce’s younger brother), their nephew, Jason Reinitz ’05, and Jeff’s son, Daniel Adler ’14. They are all in the same Dyke line! And an unusual tradition was the passing of a chair or seat insert. The insert has been passed down from Jeff’s Dyke to each of them during their cadetship and is currently with Jeff’s son since he broke out of the Ratline. (Odd tradition, Jeff, but, hey, it works!) John McKeegan sent in his deepest regrets for not being able to make the reunion. He and Larisa had a house closing that same Friday and just could not make it happen. John has extended an open invite to any BRs that ever find themselves in NYC as they just bought a fourbedroom home within a 10-minute walk to the NY subway. With two to three spare bedrooms at almost any given time, they look forward to visitors. Larisa is looking forward to meeting more of John’s BRs as she really enjoyed John and Maureen Ferry at Larisa’s daughter’s wedding. (For John McKeegan, I hope you have shared with Larisa that John Ferry is a “one of a kind” … and loved by all!) Steve Thomas snuck into the reunion for Saturday morning (sorry I missed you, Steve). He was happy to see so many and felt that the memorial service was very special. Steve has spoken with BR Mark Lowe who is still on active duty and serving in Alaska with the Army (as I recall, Mark has also extended an open invitation to any BRs that happen to be in his area). Steve spoke with Mark’s son, Matt, who graduated this May and enters the Air Force as a pilot in August.

John Dixon was also deeply saddened about not being able to make the reunion, despite months of maneuvering to do so. He was “on duty” all weekend at Carson Long Military Academy and Patti was down on Gwynn’s Island “spring cleaning,” so the timing just didn’t work out for them. Over that weekend, John did give several of his own Old Yells for The Best Class To Ever Inhabit Barracks! (I can see you doing that, Johnny!) Well, that is the bulk of it. In closing, however, I do have unfortunate news to pass about family losses in our class: Chuck Hoffert and his family suffered from the passing of his loving mother, Mrs. Patricia Elizabeth Hoffert this April. Patricia graduated from Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross in 1955 and earned her master’s degree from Michigan State University. Even though she was busy raising five wonderful children, Patricia found time to participate in many outside activities. Impressively, she served as: an administrative assistant for the Virginia State Senate; president of the Fort Lee’s Officers Wives Club; president of the local NARFE chapter; president of The Ancient Order of Hibernians; president of The St. Augustine’s Women’s Guild; and a board member of The St. Mary’s Hospital Patient Satisfaction Committee. Patricia was also active in her church teaching catechism and loved both her Irish heritage and VMI. Dave Taylor was able to visit Chuck and family, to provide support and comfort and to joyfully share a number of stories with Chuck and family. When Dave visited, Chuck, who is a chef in Vermont, prepared a huge meal for his father, his three sisters and Dave. All six of them had a heartfelt meal while celebrating Patricia’s life. Through that time of remembrance and sharing, it was learned that Chuck’s mother and BR Lyne Aigner’s mother worked together for many years at the General Assembly in Richmond. Patricia was survived by her loving husband, Col. Charles E. Hoffert IV, their five children, five grandsons and five granddaughters. For Chuck, please know that you and your entire family are in our thoughts and prayers. Your mother was an incredible woman, and I know she loved you all dearly. God bless you all. Chip Johnson shared that his mother-in-law, Mrs. Evangeline Chaves, loving mother to his beautiful wife, Loretta, also passed away in late April. Chip shared just a glimpse of Evangeline’s incredible life. She and her late husband were born and raised in a small farming and ranching community in the mountains of northern New Mexico. He enlisted in the Army at age 17 and fought in North Africa and Italy and helped to liberate two Nazi concentration camps. After graduating high school, Evangeline served our


CLASS NOTES country by working in a Douglas Aircraft factory in Long Beach, CA, as a “Rosie the Riverter” assembling B-17 Bombers and other aircraft used during the war. After the war, Mr. and Mrs. Chaves were married and lived the American dream. Chip wrote of her with great admiration, sharing that as he prepared her eulogy that he found a renewed appreciation for why the WWII generation is called the “Greatest Generation.” This was a particularly devastating loss for their family, as Loretta’s older brother was lost to cancer just three months prior. For Chip and Loretta, please know that you are also in our thoughts and our prayers. With that, dear Brother Rats, I close for the last time. It has been a true honor and privilege serving all of you over the past five years as the class agent for the very best VMI class that has ever matriculated, the VMI class of 1981. I hope to continue to support Trip in any way he may desire and will certainly look for ways to join mini-reunions and cigar socials. May God continue to bless you all! Rah, Virginia Mil! ’81! ’81! ’81! In the bonds, your BR, Jerry


Charles Kause

For winter’s rains and ruins are over, And all the season of snows and sins; The days dividing lover and lover, The light that loses, the night that wins; And time remembered is grief forgotten, And frosts are slain and flowers begotten, And in green underwood and cover Blossom by blossom the spring begins. “Atalanta in Calydon” Algernon Charles Swinburne Winter’s rains may be over, but this spring’s rains have been one deluge after another. Too many soccer games cancelled, too many lost opportunities to mow and edge the grass, and I have not enough time to tend to my flower garden. My perennials are taking their sweet time in returning, and the Clown Prince cut down most of my border gaillardias, because he thought those emerging beauties were weeds. Right now it appears the flower plants have the upper hand over the weeds, but that is because I am a wishful thinker. It will take a concerted effort to weed the weeds, and I may just have to put on a wet suit and start digging. One deluge I did not receive this quarter were cards, letters and phone calls from BRs wanting to share the news of their lives, so this quarter’s notes are a little light.


John Boyd has an exciting new gig as the director, Defense Biometrics and Forensics, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense ,Research and Engineering (ASD (R&E)/Rapid Fielding Directorate/Rapid Reaction Technology Office, all under the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. What this mouthful really means is John is doing some cutting edge cool work developing the tools and processes needed by the entire Department of Defense to take advantage of the possibilities within reach of biometrics technologies. John assured me, however, that he still is a drilling Naval Reservist at the Navy Research Laboratory on the other side of the Potomac River. In other big news, Sister Rat and wife of BR Emmett Heltzel, Lynn Heltzel, has volunteered to assist the yet-to-be-named reunion committee with planning our 30th Reunion at VMI during the weekend of 27-28 April 2012. Lynn was very demure in approaching the class officers to ask if she could volunteer her services. Harry Bitzberger, speaking for all Brother Rats, replied back to Lynn: “It is evident that, even after all this time with our class, Lynn still doesn’t know how to handle situations such as these … If it was left up to any of us, we would discover the reunion date roughly three weeks after it had occurred. While it is kind of Lynn to offer her services … I think it is time we put on our big boy pants, grab control of the reins and use all of the experience and leadership skills we’ve garnered in the past 29 years and handle this the way we should. Today, at noon, could each of you face Mecca (Richmond) … get on your knees … and join me in the following: ‘Lynn, will you please, please, please help us once again in our reunion preparations?’ I believe if we are truly committed and sincere, Lynn will take us up on our offer to work long hard hours, for no pay other than a hundred or so hearty hugs from a bunch of balding, roley poley, middle-aged men.” That response neatly sums up our class. In an act that can only be described as suicidal, Col. Keith “Cooky” Jarvis, deputy director of construction at VMI, and wife, Jeanne, will be opening up their home as the “local base of operations” during the April 2012 Reunion Weekend. To further their madness, Cooky and Jeanne plan on hosting “some sort of party that weekend.” Fortunately for the Jarvis family, my couch surfing days are over, but Jeanne may have to forcefully remove me from the bar. My adventures with the Clown Prince continue apace. He finally earned his driver’s license on his third attempt, after I paid for a private driver education class, since he forgot everything he once supposedly learned in public school. He celebrated his victory by promptly wrecking my

SUV. At the same time, he quit his cushy office job three weeks before he was supposed to go to Marine Corps boot camp, because he wanted to “chill.” The Marine Corps informed him it was delaying his enlistment, as a way to manage its overall downsizing effort. So, now I am stuck with an unemployed road menace, who does nothing productive but inhabit space, ingest nutrients and trash my house. Perhaps summer will bring a change of attitude with the Clown Prince’s eternally delayed change of latitude. I am informed that Parris Island houses a very successful behavior modification program in a salubrious tropical clime.


Jim Outland

Greetings. As I prepare these notes in early May, our nation is “high-fiving” the successful elimination of a leading force for evil in the world. I’ll be interested to gauge the national mood when this finally gets to print, but right now, we have much to be thankful for and the nation rejoices. Unfortunately, my area of Midlothian is mourning the loss of USAF Capt. Charles A. Ransom ’07 who died while serving in Afghanistan just a few days before the successful mission in Pakistan. A graduate of Midlothian High School, Capt. Ransom ’07 was an outstanding person, the vice-president of the class of ’07 and a fine example of a VMI man. I know he is greatly missed. Also serving on our behalf is BR Brig. Gen. “Rock” Donahue who sent me a “Greetings from Baghdad” e-mail upon his arrival in theater on 17 January. Rock is currently serving as Director U.S. Forces Iraq J7 (Engineer) and reports he has a busy action plan related to base transitions, force reposturing, and strengthening the Iraqi Security Forces. As a dad, Rock is only one part of the family business which has everyone “working at the company store.” Son and daughter-in-law are both Army captains currently serving at Hunter AAF, Savannah, GA, where “Rock-The-Younger” is an Infantryman with 75th Rangers and daughter-in-law-of-Rock is a UH-60 pilot with 3rd Infantry Division. In addition, Rock’s oldest daughter and son-in-law are both Army lieutenants currently serving as Army Nurses at Fort Sam Houston. Meanwhile, wife Nancy and their two twin daughters (16 and driving) are staffing up “Fort Home” which is Moffett Field, CA, just north of San Jose. Steve Amato sent me a picture with Col. Vic Sowers (USAF) at Vic’s retirement ceremony in the Pentagon’s “Hall of Heroes.” While we were cadets, Vic was an NCO in the AFROTC Detachment at VMI. After our graduation, he attended Officers Training School, commissioned in Sept


CLASS NOTES ’83 and was twice posted to the same duty station as our BR before completing his 34-year career. Showing support this spring for Iraq-bound troops was John Dodge who attended the deployment ceremony of the Virginia National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment which is based in Henrico County. John said the send-off was very moving, and he also got the chance to meet up with Mike Denton ’81 and Tolar Nolley ’80 who were also in attendance. As a saltwater native, I was particularly interested to learn of Tolar’s involvement with Oyster Company of Virginia which supports aqua farming by distributing the Oyster Eco Reef Module. Their engineered concrete reef module has undergone a decade of testing in the Rappahannock River and accelerates the propagation of tasty bivalves, which is a good thing. J.D. also keeps me posted on Keydet athletics along with BRs Hewitt and Murray. Thanks to these guys and others I get steady updates about our basketball, baseball, track and lacrosse teams. Bunny’s suggestion to Google “N.Y. Times and Coastal Carolina Basketball” revealed allegations of recruiting violations in that program which simply re-enforces the pride we should all feel about VMI’s intercollegiate athletics and the commitment to doing things the right and honest way. I know a number of you reflect this pride in your continued support of the Keydet club. And speaking of “having skin in the game,” I saw where BR Teddy Gottwald’s son, Forth Classman Ted Gottwald, earned the honor of being named to the All-Freshman Southern Conference wrestling squad. Another “athletic supporter” in our class of ’83 midst is BR Mark Benvenuto who is the chemistry/biochemistry department chair at The University of Detroit Mercy. In honor of the VMI Lacrosse Team’s long journey to play UDM in Detroit, Mark arranged for a post-game reception for the team, parents and alumni at their on-campus “Titan Hall of Fame.” The UDM-VMI contest should move back to Lexington next year, so hopefully Mark will use that as an excuse for a spring-time 2012 road trip to the Valley. Your class agent made the trek to Lexington in April to watch our lacrosse team play Canisius College in a game to support the Wounded Warrior Project, which is an organization dedicated to honoring and helping injured service members. I was proud to represent ’83 at the tailgate and also noticed BR Cubby Fox doing his bit on the field as a referee in Foster Stadium. I hope next time he might make more of the close calls go VMI’s way – especially against New York opponents who host several Canadian lax natives on their roster. I also enjoyed speaking with parents of the players and hearing their impressions of VMI. One of the dad’s was Duke Addision ’82 who now lives in Jacksonville, FL, and has a forth classman on the team.

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During our visit, my sons and I visited the extensive gun collection now on display at the VMI museum, courtesy of a bequest by legendary gun collector Mr. Henry Stewart ’35. Next time you are on post it is well worth a look – especially if you are a Colt Arms fan. Another big event for Jodi and me was the opportunity to help Tray and Karen Adams celebrate his ascension to the Big 5-0 at their home in Richmond. Despite the evening’s spring chill, the birthday boy wore casual attire which included shorts and loafers with no socks, so I applaud his ability to not feel any pain that night. Karen had some classic photos from our cadetship on display to include a memorable “Oh Dark-Thirty” wake up picture of Tray and Richard Hewitt taken after some raucous evening during aFort Pickett FTX. I enjoyed catching up with Bunny during the party as well as Chip Buehler ’82 who I had not seen in a long time and inevitably the evening’s discussion turned to rugby. Thankfully, the gang did not break out into one of those old rugby songs – at least not while I was there – and I’m thinking the wives might have had something to do with that. In addition to Tray’s crossing to 50, I was CC’d on a Happy Birthday greeting to Dave Powell who probably also passed over the Big 5-0 threshold, but I was laughing too hard at the ensuing electronic exchange of political views between Powell, Leonard and Guevremont to ask for more clarification. BR Joe acts as the point man for the Houston Military Society and sent me the announcement for their March meeting which featured Carl Gibeault as the featured speaker. Carl’s topic and subsequent tour of the battleship U.S.S. Texas no doubt leveraged his prior service on the U.S.S.

Bainbridge as well as his published material in the U.S. Naval Institute’s magazine Naval History. Charlie Luck is another guy making speeches after having been named “Executive of the Year” by the University of Richmond Robins School of Business. One of his duties is to make the induction speech for the Beta Gamma Sigma (honorary business society) while dyked out in cap and gown, which definitely would be a sight to behold. I’m sure he is appreciative of the many “imaginative” suggestions you all have offered as to what he should wear under that gown when he delivers his speech. Another BR I’ve corresponded with is Mark Sykes who recently played host to John Lashley during one of John’s flights in and out of Dulles. Mark has been very helpful and patient in explaining to me the ins and outs of Virginia’s Prepaid Education Program (VPEP). His son Benjamin is a third classman who says the Rats’ breakout this year was waaaay easier than his own was a year ago which is strange, because I’ve never heard that from a third classman before. The health news from you all is usually not good whenever I get the word. After recovering from a near fatal operation, Greg Bartlett was hit in two different auto accidents and needs legal representation for malpractice and personal injury in Texas, where he currently resides in Austin. If any of you know of legal and medical resources that can assist, please let me know, and I’ll provide Greg’s contact information. While in Martinsville this spring, Gene Warren visited with Barry Smith who has been recovering from a couple of strokes and has lost vision in his right eye. Gene reports Barry is now out of physical rehab and seeking to get back to work on a part time basis. Scott Horan and Phil Shepard

Class of 1983: Mark Benvenuto, chemistry department chair at University of Detroit Mercy, arranged for a post-game reception at UDM’s Titan Hall for the VMI lacrosse team, parents and Detroit-area alumni following the VMI-UDM lacrosse game in March 2011. Pictured kneeling with the team are Dennis Hagemann ’80, Benvenuto and John Cooper.


CLASS NOTES also let me know of the passing of Bobby (Mike) Greenwood’s wife, Ruth Ann, who lost her fight with cancer on 24 February. Despite the sometimes challenging news, I appreciate you all sending me the updates. I especially get a kick out of the good stuff and the banter – like when Brad Norwood was seeking BRs in Florida to buy a local brand of cigarettes for his Nicotine testing lab. I thought I had never heard of “Skydancer Premium Full Flavor King HP” until Goodwillie reminded me it sounds allot like the name of a girl at the Aztec Lounge McCusker met during the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning. Kudos go out to BR Whit Owens for picking up the smokes on his way into the casino. That’s all for now and until next time, WDT ’83!


Barry Coceano

It’s that time again. Man, the three months between writing seems to go by more quickly each time I sit down to assemble our class notes. Before long, we’ll be assembling for our 30th Reunion, and I’ll be turning over the class agent reins to some poor, unexpecting BR. If you see my home phone number pop-up on your Caller-ID about two months before the 30th reunion … you may want to think twice about taking the call. It could be a “tag, you’re it” experience … just like I received from Hank

Class of 1983: John Dodge, Mike Denton ’81 and Tolar Nolley ’80 met on Feb. 26, 2011, while attending the deployment ceremony of the Iraqbound 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment. The Henrico County-based unit is part of Virginia’s National Guard.


Selman. Just kidding … I’m really enjoying the opportunity to serve as the class agent! Speaking of Hank … BR Selman, you need to send me an update, or I’m going to use you in my closing paragraph. Better yet, I might as well do it now … Good night, Hank Selman, wherever you’re at! Now, onto the show! Tom Anthony (future class agent in-training) called me a couple weeks ago to get together with himself and Jamie Shoemaker, who was in town for a meeting. Jamie is doing great and is a partner in a law firm down in Newport News, VA. Jamie represents folks who have legal issues in their work place … a common occurrence in the Washington, D.C., area. Jamie, Tom and I had an enjoyable time catching-up over dinner … and even managed to stick Tom with the bar tab! I received the following update from Don Craighead. “Currently living at Smith Mountain Lake and covering the state of Virginia for St. Jude Medical as a sales rep in our cardiology division. Our son, Drew, is matriculating this fall on 8/20 … the same day we went. Our daughter, Brooke, is currently a high school junior, and is considering Mary Washington. Carol and I have been married 27 years this August. Hard to believe how the time has flown.” Donnie, glad Drew will be joining the growing list of ’84 Legacy’s at VMI. I’ll make sure to track him down and let him out of the Ratline (once) when I go down to Lexington in the fall. T.J. Palmer sent in the following update. “Cathy and I are still living in Stafford, VA, and are doing just fine; our 25th wedding anniversary is this year! I’m still working as a defense analyst for USAF acquisitions; the same contractor job I took after retiring from the USAF. All is going well family-wise: Cathy works in the school system, our oldest son, Chris, is working in the Pentagon Telecommunications Center; middle son Stephen is in college in Nashville and a member of a up and coming Christian band; and our youngest, Matt, is still in high school. Over the last year, I’ve seen R.G. and Karen McManus a few times, had lunch with Doug Nichols, went to an awesome promotion to general officer ceremony for Zane Johnson, and I’ve been around James Kenkel a bit as his son and mine are in marching band together. I even spot Jamie Clark in Stafford once in a while. Besides family and work, I spend most of my time writing and producing music and mentoring young musicians (teaching guitar, bass, mandolin, drums and forming up youth bands).” T.J., thanks for the update and remaining engaged with various BRs. I like it … you’re quickly moving up the short list of potential class agents! Also, congrats to you and Cathy on 25 years; that’s awesome. We all wish you 25 more happy and healthy years!

If you remember from my last notes, Steve Woolwine had sent an update that he would be retiring from the Army in February 2011, after 27 years of service. Steve, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, but let me say, on behalf of our entire class, thank you (and your family) for your service to our country. I know you had a wonderful career, and I’ve heard repeatedly, from a number of guys who served with you, that you were a great role model and highly respected. Good luck in your post-Army career. I received a great update from Keith Buckley the other day. Keith and his wife, Sharon, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary this past September. Keith is still working for Northrop Grumman at the USAF Weather Agency and enjoying the job. He, Sharon and their daughter, Amy, started Taekwondo a number of years ago, and Keith recently received his Red Belt, black strip, which means his next rank will be Black Belt. Good job, Keith. I hope you quickly qualify and attain your Black Belt. Bob Epperson sent in the following. “I haven’t provided an update in many years, but here it goes. I retired from the Army in 2005, and have been in the private security and training business since then. I am currently the senior director for business development with Triple Canopy, Inc. Triple Canopy provides Tier 1 security services and training to the Department of State, Department of Defense and commercial clients. I have one son, Austin, who just graduated from High School and will be attending VCU next semester. I am currently engaged and will marry Ms. Jo Anne Murphy on June 11th in Washington, D.C. (Yep, second marriage!) Jo Anne and I currently live in Oakton, VA. In general, things are going very well, and we could not be happier.” Bob, great to hear from you. A number of us have been wondering what you’ve been up to and where you are. Now we know. And to think, you and I live less than two miles from each other. Congrats on the upcoming wedding! Carter Jordon wrote in from his home in the Dallas, TX, area. “My daughter, Mary Carter, had the distinct pleasure of meeting Steve ‘Hostage’ Barsamian and his wife and son last weekend. Evidently, their son, Drew, has expressed an interest in the USNA since VMI poured cement over all of the tennis courts. Mary Carter said that Steve was still a real smooth talker but wanted to know how he got the nickname ‘Hostage.” Also, I ran into BR Nils Weirick in a London pub. Evidently, Nils has been spending a lot of time in Argentina where he met his soon to be wife. All is well here in Texas. Looking forward to our next reunion.” Carter, I can’t answer the question about how Steve got the nickname “Hostage.”


CLASS NOTES Last I knew him as “Ghandi”. Steve, please fill me in between now and the next class notes about the nickname – “Hostage.” My golf buddy, Mike Efremov, sent me a short note the other day. “Barry, not much going on here in Charleston except we’re getting hot. I started a new position at Trident Regional Medical Center as the patient care coordinator and clinical specialist for the ICU. Still living on the Isle of Palms, playing some golf (don’t laugh, I’ve actually turned in some respectable scores!). I run into Jerome Brinkley every now and then. You guys are welcome to visit any time. Take care.” Ef, I’m not laughing, but you need to shoot those good scores in our next golf tournament! I’m tired of getting poison ivy after trudging through the woods looking for your Titleist golf ball. Nils Weirick sent me the following note. “Just a quick note: was working a trip (I’m still flying for American Airlines) and ran into Carter Jordan in the layover hotel in London. Seems like whatever corner of the world I’m in, it’s usually Carter that I bump into (last time we ran into each other we were in Buenos Aires, Argentina.) Carter knows the city well and took me on a walking-tour of the downtown. We ended up in a pub for dinner and a pint or two. It was nice to spend the afternoon and evening taking in the sights of London and catching up.” Nils, thanks for the note. We know better … with you and Carter it was more like a pubcrawl than a walking-tour! Back in February, when I sent out the note to you all about the 30th Anniversary of our Breakout, I received the following short, oneliner, from Ed Adkins: “Good to hear from you Barry. I’ve been dreading the ‘Where in the world is Ed Adkins …’ statement.” OK, Ed … I’m not going to let you off the hook with a one-liner update. Help me out, I need a little more detail for the next class notes or you will definitely see the dreaded statement. Pete Marsenison just missed the last cut-off date, so I wanted to include it with the following update. “Well not sure if these will make it in time but things are still pretty much the same here in New York. Too cold and way too much snow for me this year but one has to take the good with the bad. I have decided to fill my adrenaline needs by being accepted to the local Volunteer Fire Department, and at my age, I am giving the young guys a run for their money in training. They just don’t get the Never Say Die Spirit! Work is going well and our firm is getting ready to start hiring additional staff again this year even in this bad economy. Look forward to seeing everyone again soon.” Petey, I’m going to come up and start a fire in your town just to see you respond in that sexy helmet and boots. In all seriousness, thanks for the

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volunteer work as a fireman and be safe! Warren Winning resurfaced in Ohio and sent me the following: “I was in Lexington, VA, last weekend with my daughter. She is now a senior and is trying to decide on a college for next year. W&L is on her list, and she had an overnight visit with their swim team. Unfortunately, I have been unable to convince her that VMI is a good choice. I hope to have better luck with my son. Anyway, it was good to get back to Post. The new facilities looked great! I am still working at Procter & Gamble as a senior project manager. Weekends are filled with my kid’s sporting events (swimming, baseball and football). I am not sure how, but I have found time to keep working out and develop a marginal golf game. I owe you a phone call to catch up with you some more the next time I am in the D.C. area.” Warren, thanks for the update, and I look forward to the phone call and catching up next time you’re in town … it has been way to long! Hal Hamner checked in recently with the following. “We are keeping things pretty basic here these days, and everything is going well. I’m putting in many long hours at work and spending most of my time in Newport News where our largest customer is Northrop Grumman Newport News. Cindy and Libbie are doing great and continue to put up with me at home ... where we are ... planting more grapes ... shad fishing a couple of times with Wilson Enochs … a little skeet shooting with Breck Gorman ’83 ... even had the rare opportunity to have Matt Garten as a guest at our house one weekend recently ... did I mention it was good to see Matt?” Hal, I’m speechless … you bring a new meaning to work hard and play harder!! Roland Staiano filled me in with the following great news. “Greetings from the PacificNorthwest where we are still awaiting the arrival of spring. I am recovering from my last surgery and should be back to normal in short order. It has been almost a year since my diagnosis! Anyone reading this is right around that magic age where a colonoscopy is in order, so please get one. Mine saved my life. I have been in touch with Mike Kay, Curtis Hinton, John Karafa, Kevin Sample, Chris Davidson, Jerome Brinkley, Ashley Johnson and even Alex Weinstein. All have been supportive, as have other guys who were at VMI with us. Thanks for all of the encouragement and prayers! By the time everyone gets this, I hope to be living in Charleston, South Carolina.” Roland, it is super to hear you are on the road to recovery. I know everyone continues to pull for you and will be happy to hear the news! Well, I guess that’s it for this go-round. Since it’s a rainy Saturday afternoon, at least I can now say I got something accomplished

today. I hope that everyone has a great summer. If you haven’t been to Lexington and have an opportunity, please make the trip back to see everything that has been done to upgrade the facilities and make VMI one of America’s top-rated schools. I just received from the Alumni Association a report concerning our standing as a class with respect to annual giving (for all classes from the 1980s). I am proud to tell you that we are the second highest class in participation (i.e. percentage of the class that is contributing to VMI). Thank you to all that have donated this past year. I am well aware that it is still a tough economy, but once again, the class of 1984 continues to be heard from today!


Matt Daniel

Hello again, fellow fourth-stoop dwellers, Capt. Willcockson dodgers, Tiso-fearers, Virgets-flee-ers, 85ers, classmates, Brother Rats. Spring has sprung but by the time you are reading this, summer will have been sweating us out for some time. Before I start, I wanted to acknowledge, again, our man Capt. Jake Spivey. Now, we have a great class, the VMI class of 1985. Our class abounds with achievers, leaders, athletes, smart smart dudes. But we are very lucky to have a guy like Jake. (Not saying he isn’t an achiever, et al.-chuckle) He is as dedicated as they come. Not many of us know what goes on behind the scenes; I will tell you that I didn’t before I asked for this job. Jake is the “behind the scenes” guy, the tempo, the drumbeat of the class. He constantly sends updates and reminders. He facilitates meetings, rejoins, class functions. And as is typical, for these class notes, Jake has collected and added a huge amount of content. Thanks, Jake! (genuflecting) In mid-May, for New Market Day, Jake “I Commute two Hours Each Way” Spivey, Jim “O-7 Select” Begley, Tom “Army Strong” Rahe, P.W. “Big Man” Sarver and yours truly (Matt Daniel) met in the Pentagon courtyard for a photo op. If it makes it in, you’ll see our smiling faces. If it doesn’t, it means I have done something wrong. Cedric “Handle the Rock, Control the Game” Wins and Norb “Everybody Remembers That Photo” Jocz tried to make it but had to wave off. That was weak … it’s like your job got in the way or something. We also ran into Maj. Gen. Darren McDew ’82 while eating lunch together. I am still scared of him. Speaking of scary guys, did any of you see Jim Hickey ’82 on the Fox News Channel? I ran when I saw him, with my chin in. Cathy


CLASS NOTES Daniel (my better half) had to tell me to relax participation in off’ing the Evil One. Cedric Wins should be pinning on his star in and let my chin out. I told her that she did not Lt. Col. J.J. Wranek remains in country for the summer time, so we hear. have the privileges to let me out of the Ratline. about six more months (DEC). Just got a note BRs Lt. Col. Charles Chappell and Col. Mike I still have my chin in. It hurts. from him. J.J. says: “Well, add another unique Dittamo have returned from their tours in “the I have been in contact with Chuck Steenburgh. Afghanistan experience to the list … we had ’Stan.” Visit him on Facebook (I know, some of you think an earthquake last night, magnitude 5.9! It Mike has returned to duty as the director of that Facebook is for stalkers, and it is, but it is also happened around 1:30 AM our time. I had just Logistics, Kansas National Guard. Mike and his a great way to stay in touch with our classmates). fallen asleep and then I woke up when my bed wife, Karen, reside in Topeka, KS. He has a photo album called “RanChuck got back in November dom Weirdness.” Check it out, it’s 2010 and is working at TRADOC. pretty funny. Clever. He is hoping for one more tour (a Speaking of Norb Jocz, Paul PCS move to NOVA). He says, Marsenison sent me a photo. It was since he wasn’t hit with an IED durquite Norb-like. ing his tour, work in Afghanistan Bill Wieners is doing some good was more fun than his work at Fort work with his engineering (Simon Monroe. Design Engineering) company, Col. P.W. “Big Dude” Sarver is building cancer centers, winning back in Virginia after working for the contracts and just generally being Indiana National Guard for the past pretty awesome. Under Bill’s tutetwo years. Looks like Mother “I” is lage his firm is kicking some serious after his son to play football … says tailgates. Bill sends, “If you’re in young Sarver: “Yes, Dad, I’d be cool Attleboro, MA, I can send you to a Class of 1985: New Market Day photo taken in the Pentawith it, but I’m not so sure about that gon were, from left, Tom Rahe, Matt Daniel, Jake Spivey, good lobster joint.” Ratline thing.” P.W. snickers. Jim Begley and P.W. Sarver. Hey, where’s Jim Chartier? USMC BRs: Hey Jim Chartier, drop me a line: Colonels Jay Malik and Rob 301/247-1564 or started to shake … violently might be a stretch, Gardner have returned to California (Camp Army BRs: but it was very pronounced. I didn’t know what Pendleton) with I MEF & I MARDIV (respecJohn Adams returned to Kabul, Afghanistan was going on at the time. In our room, we have tively) from operations in southern AFG. after his two weeks R&R and is serving as a clothes line strung between the front and rear Col. Steve Medeiros is still goofy. Chief, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Afghanibunk beds for wet towels, and I sometimes feel Scotty Pearson is a Black Belt. stan District – South. He expects to return home the beds shudder when my roommate is moving Where’s Jim Chartier? I miss that guy! for good at the end of June. He’ll be home around. This was definitely different. NavyBRs: when this publication hits your mailboxes. Anyway, praise God that it wasn’t worse and Big News – Matt Carter has been selected Lt. Col. Mick Chang remains in country for our building held up just fine. Here’s the link, for rear admiral. Go Sanka, go Sanka. at least four more months. He claims he had no which shows the origin. At least we don’t have Paul Grgas e-mailed the news from Singato worry about Tsunamis!” pore and Darren Sawyer texted Jake the news. Chaplain Lt. Col. Pete Sniffin went to Sanka says, “Pretty amazing isn’t it!” Afghanistan about two-three months ago. He is Jake and Matt Carter had traded e-mails supposed to be stationed in Kabul. I expect he’ll recently. He is still at USTRANSCOM, Scott be there until the spring of 2012. AFB, IL. He was back in Virginia in early Chaplain Lt. Col.Tom Roltsch left last week May to watch his daughter graduate from [May] (or maybe it’s this week). He is supposed James Madison Univ. He expects to leave to be stationed in Kandahar. TRANSCOM in late summer/early fall. Col. W.G. Rowlett has about three months Capt. Paul Grgas is still serving as comto go before he returns from Iraq. He has been mander, Logistics Group Western Pacific (based serving as the J-3 for Joint Special Operations in Singapore). Command, Central Command, in Balad, Iraq. Capt. Bill Warnock has returned to JackClass of 1985: Mick Chang, left, and Col. Jim “O-7 Select” Begley has been sonville after a year-long stint as the HMFIC, J.J. Wranek crossed paths at the selected for brigadier general in the Delaware Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Kandahar Airport in Afghanistan. NG. Jim commands the 72nd Troop Command. Capt. John Dixon recently transferred to Chang is the Joint Plans Officer His change of command ceremony is tentaExpeditionary Strike Group TWO as the Opera(J3) for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan for tively scheduled for July 9. When I spoke to tions Officer, J3. the South and Southwest Regions. him a couple of weeks ago, he had no word on Capt. Bob Wydler still runs the shop at Afloat Wranek is a member of the Interwhether or not this event would double as his Training Group, Norfolk. national Joint Command Engineer Team stationed in Kabul. He and his promotion pinning ceremony also. (Notes from Capt. Doug McGowen is still working out at group plan and coordinate engineer lunch on May 12.) Navy Recruiting, Millington, TN. support and construction operations Col. Ralph Tremaglio is still doing the Army Capt. Jake Spivey was about to retire but at across Afghanistan. He is serving a JAG thing in CENTCOM since late fall last the last minute was asked by an old rackmate one-year tour and should be back in year. He is basing out of Qatar. The family is to serve as the executive officer of an active/ Lexington in October 2011. back in Germany. Reserve unit maritime expeditionary security



CLASS NOTES squadron. Jake says, “It returns me to my old small unit days, minus working with Navy SEALs.” I think he meant boat-unit. Air Force BRs: Ken Nugent has retired from the USAF and is living in Colorado and working for the U.S. government. BR non-military news: Rich Williams is traveling/working has been to Italy. I get periodic harassing e-mails from Brother Rat Fleacon. He is a funny guy. Dave Campbell is still getting along down in the sunny panhandle of Florida. Dave is working for the city of Panama City, FL. Hunter Elliott and Jake Spivey’s sons are both playing on the travel squad of Geronimo Lacrosse (U9/10 in Richmond). The team also has sons from alumni Dave Hope ’88, Walter Spence ’88 and John Westfall ’93. John Pollock has left Booz Allen and is now working as an independent consultant for DARPA. I always knew J.P. was brilliant! Mike Adkins, Andy Valenzuela, Dave Brennan, Tony Neal, Barry Brockway, Cary Westin, Adam Babcock, Chris Wolf, Dave Barthol, David White, Don Scroggins and Jeff Fraser. I just wanted to say those names. Don Monday sends that he was listening to Dr. David Twillie on NPR. Dave was talking about traumatic brain injuries. “He had me at

Class of 1985: Sam Maroon holding a VMI flag in the Islamabad, Pakistan, embassy where he works as part of the U.S. Department of State. He has been in Pakistan since June 2010 and will return to the U.S. July 2011. Pictured with Maroon is Jason Water, also an employee of the state department.

2011-Issue 3

traumatic,” is what Don sends. I have had the pleasure of coaching Hayden Bayer’s nephew in youth lacrosse. Great kid, obviously a positive influence by Hayden. Late breaking news, that BRs Jesse Waltz and Dave Stinnette are doing some work together. The Annual Charlie Company Golf Safari is Aug. 12-13. Do Not Miss It! Hagan will be there. Visit the VMI 85 Group on Facebook and join. There are some good posts in there. It is a great way to stay in touch. Where is Benny Hill? Where is Benny Hill? Has anyone seen Benny Hill? Use my e-mail address to drop me a line or use


Clint Hubbard

Well, here we are in mid-May working on another installment of the class notes. If the weather was nice enough in February for golf then surely the gorgeous spring weather of late has been keeping our BR of Leisure, Stewart Barnes, active in pursuing the little white pill. After the last issue, BR Barnes called to tell me to quit being a smart aleck as he hadn’t been able to get a round at Augusta National but then he slipped in the conversation that he had taken a Friday off to play a round at Ballyhack which is an ultra private course near Roanoke, VA. You know it is just plain hard to let a guy up off the mat when he keeps stepping on it like that. I don’t know for sure but suspect that most of us, with the exception of our beloved Brother Rat Barnes, spend our Fridays the same way – at WORK! Some of the boys are working two jobs even – to wit: Todd McCullough has given up his lacrosse referee stripes for a coaching gig at Forest Park High School in northern Virginia. All three of Todd’s sons are accomplished lax players (the older two playing at the collegiate level) so when the local high school needed someone to step up to fill a coach’s billet, being the good dad, he stepped up. BR McCullough’s youngest son, Josh, is the FPHS goalie this year and covers a pretty mean net according to his coach. Of course, Todd performs this community service in addition to his day job at Scitor Corporation. Speaking of lacrosse referees (as well as former goalies), picture this: young Jackson Fuller (son of Wayne; yes, there is another one coming along – those with daughters may consider themselves forewarned) is in middle school and plays lacrosse. BR Fuller informs that at one of their games they had a familiar face as referee. Before I tell you who it was, let me offer a clue

to help you ID him. At the pre-game ‘pep’ talk, the referee tells the players that he wants to see a clean, hard game with no trash talking. Here’s the quote: “Put your mouth pieces in and then keep mouths shut – y’all play the game, and I’ll call it.” Undoubtedly, most of you guessed ’86s own long arm of the law – Tim Spivey and you are correct. And remember, this was to middle schoolers! God love him, that is why he is The Goat – make that Greatest Of All Time! After the Christmas caroling tale in a recent edition, I got a great e-mail from Jim Dittrich ’76. You will recall that Capt. Dittrich was the TAC the night of the Christmas caroling incident. He informed me that he remembered being on guard with us that night, but he was blissfully unaware of the Christmas caroling – and after all these years, he was thankful of that! We shared some good laughs reminiscing about the old days. Capt. Dittrich recounted his most exciting night as a TAC was when he was running the OCMNI one night. As he checked a room, a large dog came out from underneath a rack and he (Jim) thought the end was at hand. Thankfully, the dog was on a chain and Jim managed to fall backwards over a desk out of reach of the chain. It turns out that a cadet was keeping the dog overnight for his girlfriend. Capt. Dittrich made a deal with the cadet that if he promised to get the dog out in the morning, Jim would let it go which was pretty generous in my opinion. All I can say is that Jim must have mellowed as a TAC after the night he was OC with BR Meador and me as he was not nearly as charitable with us regarding a little noise in Barracks! Jim ended with a great quote: “Foxtrot Company had some wild guys in your class, and for a time, I wondered about a few of you. As I always read your notes and hear of the many successes of your class, I know that you guys turned out better than any of us could have expected.” It is good to hear we managed to exceed your expectations, sir. Speaking of wild guys in F Troop reminds me of a great dialogue between Col. John Cummings ’62 and our F Troop commander, Jim Urie. They were discussing conduct in general while standing in ranks, and Col. Cummings said something to the effect that “F Company looks like a three-ring circus and you (Urie) look like the ringmaster.” Of course, when BR Urie shared that with the first class privates in F Troop, we all straightened up and shined up immediately. Well, maybe not … Speaking of Jim Urie makes me think: where the heck is he?? Hiding out somewhere with Roman Malavet and Kenny Walpole? Formed up on the bricks right next to Foxtrot Company was of course Echo Company. That’s


CLASS NOTES an attempt at a segue to an update on our fathe deck doing a workout and dislocates his run to Idaho. Troy says they’ll take a different vorite son of Utah, “Father” Troy Lanier. Troy shoulder, tearing a tendon. Troy says his son has route just in case the Federales are expecting says he managed to connect with Gerry Terbeen in a sling ever since and will have to have them. If I saw BR Lanier’s mug on a picture tychny ’87 after the recent issue and between surgery but notes with pride that his son refused in the post office someday, I swear it wouldn’t BR Lanier, Jim Taggart and Tom Russell, they to ride the gim, took his pain pills and insisted completely surprise me. finally found Chris Peet. Apparently, BR Peet the docs release him to finish Resurrection with Anytime there is discussion of BR Lanier has a son who is a Rat with the mass of 86+28. his classmates. BR Lanier’s great quote was that (Father Troy notwithstanding), it makes me As for the cadre’s treatment of Gerry Terhis son “may be at the AF Academy, but he’s think we should have a member of the legititychny, BR Lanier said that through a few got VMI spirit!” This is probably a good time to mate clergy nearby. Fortunately, we are in luck: e-mails and a phone call that the things Gerry interject that young Lanier must get his moxie and doubly fortunate, it is a name we haven’t remembered about what his cadre corporals did from his mother! seen in a while – Jim Breckenridge! Jim and I and said was hilarious and got Troy laughTroy notes that he and some of his fellow connected on Facebook, and I was able to get ing so hard it brought tears to his eyes. Troy rogues will be doing the Lake Powell thing a Tim Perez style update from him. We may mentioned that he remembers a lot more about again in June, and that means another bootleg stand a bit taller in knowing that ’86 has anothreceiving abuse as a Rat than he did about er man of the cloth – BR Breckenridge is giving abuse to Rats. BR Lanier mena military chaplain. Jim was initially in the tioned that neither he, Peet, Russell, nor USAF but was recently called back to acTaggart could pronounce Tertychny; so tive duty and serves in the Army this time like true professional cadre they were, they around. He recently completed a tour in just made up something else and called Afghanistan and by the time of this writing him “Teriyaki.” Troy said that Gerry told should be re-connected and re-joined with him that to this day the guys in ’87 still his family (wife Jami and two kids) back call Gerry “Yaki.” in Germany. Our “conversation” was while BR Lanier reports that Jim Taggart, his Jim was in transit between duty stations, so wife, Paula, and boys Cole and Jack, came we’ll give him a pass on the brevity of his through Utah last September on their way update. Thanks for your service, Jim, and to Yellowstone. They had a short overnight for making us proud! visit. In addition to BR Breckenridge, of Class of 1986: About the photo above, Class Troy also mentioned that he has a son who course Lou Florio is an ordained Lutheran Agent Clint Hubbard wrote, “The picture you is completing his first year at the USAF minister and with Glenn Newcomb’s tour are looking at is real; the names and details may be changed to protect the innocent (or Academy, and Troy says that it brought back as a missionary in Asia and Mark Thompguilty, as the case may be). This is a picture of many memories sharing stories with his son son efforts as a lay minister, the class of a man who may or may not be Troy Lanier on this year. BR Lanier notes that the experi1986 has some redeemers who help bala boat that may or may not be floating on Lake ence at USAF was much different from what ance out the rest of you. Well done, men. Powell, Utah. Note: The ’86 class agent does we went through in the Ratline. For example, One of our favorite Sister Rat corresponnot condone, condemn or endorse any bootTroy says they all have computers and even dents checked in with an update on the legging or general hooliganism in any western though his son could not have a cell phone pride of Buena Vista – our one and only state by any BR, regardless of whether that (at USAFA) he had e-mail, internet and Mays, R.O. Bless Suzi’s heart for keeping BR was a battalion commander or not.” Facebook, and was never cut off from the that boy in line and his BR’s informed world, friends and family, except about him!! Sister Rat Mays read during basic training. BR Lanier the last AR and kindly connected says he remembers at night staring with me on the latest scoop. Ron at the lights over at Kroger’s across and Suzi have two daughters; their the Maury River like it was some eldest, Morgan, who graduates from untouchable world that he was high school this spring and will never to be a part of again. (For a matriculate in August … at the Unigood laugh on that topic, get out the versity of South Carolina! Younger Bomb and read Dave Benhoff’s first daughter Ally is a sophomore in class history.) high school, and Suzi offers that Troy notes that at the USAFA, his she is much too lady-like to ever son had to take beating and bleedbecome a VMI cadet. It’s probably ing as mandatory classes just like just as well that there is not another at VMI. Young Air Cadet Lanier Mays headed to the “I;” how would took a freak hit that tore a muscle they ever match the cadetship of big in his upper neck and had to wear ol’ R.O., anyway?? a brace for a few weeks. Then in As for the big man himself, SR March, during Resurrection, which Suzi informs that Ronnie, Stu Class of 1986: At River Road Church in Richmond, Viris the USAFA version of Break-out Heishman and Jim Radle were ginia, on the occasion of the birthday of Col. Stuart Seaton (of course they have a different planning a deep sea fishing excur’41 were, from left, Richard Wood ’68, Andy McAllister ’88, Col. Seaton, Clint Hubbard and John Whitty ’85. name for it because we all know sion off the North Carolina coast in that Breakout was in 1983) he hits May. Here’s wishing fair seas and a



CLASS NOTES following wind. By the way, Jim Radle? That name is familiar, but I swear he’s been missing longer than Jim Jenkins was!!! What’s up BR Radle, you rubberhead! In June, BR Mays is going to get to check one off his bucket list; he is going to play golf in Scotland for 10 days with some work friends. Suzi didn’t mention if Stew Barnes would be on that trip, but unless they were going by private jet, I doubt if BR Barnes would be interested. Besides which, Barnes has probably already been there – done that. It may well be old hat for BR Barnes, but Suzi says Ronnie is pretty excited about it. Hit ’em well, BR! The final tidbit Sister Rat Mays offered was that back in February, Ronnie and 25 other Piedmont Gas employees shaved their heads in support of a co-worker fighting cancer. They raised over $10,000 dollars, and the co-worker is cancer free today! Suzi says that even though she wasn’t in the picture when we were in the Ratline, she thinks Ronnie looked just like a Rat again from the pictures she has seen. Suzi and the girls got a kick out of it and loved the look, so BR Mays is keeping his hair very, very short now. Suzi, thanks a million for the wonderful update on the saga of Ronnie Mays; you are doing the Lord’s work with that boy, and we all appreciate it. I’m sure he does too! He may a bit dim-witted and slow of foot but I know he knows he married up. On May 15th, I took my family up to the Institute to see the New Market Parade. If you ever need to re-charge your batteries, that is a grand event at which to do it. It was a beautiful ceremony and it always makes me a stand a bit taller to know of the legacy that is ours – forged by the New Market cadets. While on Post, I ran into Jeff Morgan who was celebrating the graduation of his son, Zach. Also graduating this year is Wayne Fuller’s nephew, Matt Lowe ’11, who was everything as a cadet that Wayne never was or even aspired to be. Congratulations to these fine young men as well as any others of whom I may be unaware. Also while on Post, I got to speak with the head of the Army ROTC detachment who lives in the quarters just outside the PX – it is Bill Wanovich ’87. Hey, if it can’t be a BR, at least it’s a peer! Bill says he’ll be there another couple of years and is enjoying it as he gets to see many fellows (his BRs and otherwise) as they pass through Lexington. Stop in and holler at him the next time you’re on Post. Well, that’s it for this quarter. The 25th will almost be history by the time this appears in print but you still have plenty of time to contribute to the 25th Reunion Fund! Take care, Brother Rats.

2011-Issue 3


Ernie Edgar

Brother Rats, as I write this for submission to the Alumni Review, our class has marked another birthday (our 27th if you are counting), New Market Day is just around the corner, and the class of 2011 is preparing to cross the stage on the same date we did, May 16, 24 years ago. Twenty-four is very close to 25, so it’s time for us to put reunion preparations into high gear. Our reunion date is in early September 2012, so we still have a little more than a year to finalize our plans. If you are interested in helping put together a memorable long weekend, please let me know as soon as possible. In April, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Class Agents Conference in Lexington. The Institute is still in fine shape, despite the economic challenges and that is a tribute to the Superintendent and his faculty and staff, and to the cadets who still have the responsibility to run Barracks. During the Sup’s briefing to the Class Agents, we discussed the health of the various ROTC programs. Not surprisingly, all the services are under great strain to support ROTC at a time when they are fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya. But the Sup singled out our own Col. Bill Wanovich, the PMS, (who that weekend was leading the Army cadets on their Spring FTX at Fort Pickett) for the excellent work he has done in developing Army officers and the Military Science program at all levels. During the birthday e-mails that circulated in April, John Fischer (who left after Rat Year to transfer to Richmond, I think) checked back into the net with the following message: “I still remember starting up that mud-bathed hill – Tim Chester on one side, and Steve Tooker on the other. You guys will laugh, but I still remember Tim C. telling me to ‘step on his head’ to try to start climbing. I also remember a few sadistic Firsts trying to drown John Olinger just a few feet in front of me. Probably the angriest I had been in my then-20 years. If any of you guys are in touch with John O., please tell him that I never forgot that. One last thing, (And thank you to all of you for including me in this e-mail.) I have thought about you guys often over the years. Gerry Tertychny and I have remained close, and he has kept me posted on how many of you have been doing. Just want all of you to know that I owe all of you a debt of gratitude. I never would have been willing to take some of the chances I’ve taken/gutted my way through things I really didn’t think I could do, without the Rat Line – without you

guys. Take care, and please feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or Facebook if you’re so inclined. Best, J. Fish” Our only other news is real news. Col. Dave Furness was quoted in an April 2 Wall Street Journal article discussing combat stress among the Marines of the 1st Marine Regiment he commands and some of the techniques the Marine Corps is using to help them through. In many ways, it is a searing look at the loss our young warriors must endure on the battlefield and a tough read for that reason. But Dave conveys what we all knew our first captain would – the wisdom of a caring and effective battlefield commander. Similarly, Col. Vernie Reichling has been in the national news quite a lot recently as a result of the historic Mississippi River floods. As commander of the Corps of Engineers’ Memphis District, he oversaw the planned detonation of certain levees as a relief valve to limit the river’s rise downstream. To my knowledge, this is the first time the Corps had to demolish levees as part of the Mississippi River and Tributary flood control system. Considering that, as of this writing, the river has exceeded all recorded levels; Vernie has been on the front line of one of the greatest engineering challenges of our lifetimes. Final plea: please let me know if you’re interested in reunion planning! In the meantime, as always, thank you again for all the e-mails, photos and news that you have sent. Please keep them coming! Ernie


Drew McKone

Greetings from Furman University in Greenville, SC! I am here for the second of a threeyear banking school known as the Graduate School of Retail Bank Management. I thought my “education” was over when I exited Scott Shipp Hall for the last time in May of 1988. Twenty-three years later and I’m still pulling “all-nighters!!” This past winter has been an empty nest work-up for the wife and me. The daughter is in Argentina and the son spent the winter in Mexico. She as a college junior studying abroad and he as a river guide for an outdoor adventure resort. Things sure have changed since 1988! The wife (her name is Stacy but that’s not important) and I visited Buenos Aires for a couple of weeks in April. It is a city of over 9 million people who have no regard for “personal space!” I believe I met each of the 9 million+ in


CLASS NOTES some manner or other. Good to see the daughter saw you ran into Rich Stone. Steph, Will (our ’08 was not as entertaining. He already has a but better to be home … God bless the U.S.A.! 14-year-old) and I spent a week with Rich and combat tour in Afghanistan and unlike me at I had the pleasure of joining our BRs Tom his family last summer in South Port, NC, … the time, would stand to gain nothing from the Munno, John MacMichael and Bob Clark Great beach trip. Played a little golf and spent a harassment package. I did quickly identify our for Sam Russell’s promotion to colonel. Sam lot of time watching the waves crash and drinkcommon roots in the VMI rugby program. So is currently at Fort Lee but will be transferring ing good single-malt scotch. Looking forward yesterday, he and another officer from my small to Carlisle, PA, for the Army’s War College in to catching up at our 25th. Take care, Greg team here seized upon the opportunity to attend the fall. Joining Sam at the ceremony was Terry ‘Rollo’ Rollins Rah Virginia Mil” an international match – the first ever home Plunk’s Mother, Doris Plunk-Matthews. It was Chris Starling sent the following note with the fixture for the Emirates national rugby team. a real pleasure to see Mrs. Plunk and a real literary genius that you would expect from Chris: They handily defeated Kazakhstan in 90 minutes honor to have her join us for such a momentous “Short note from Abu Dhabi, where I am on loan of play. Numerous injuries resulted in a front row occasion in one of Terry’s roommate’s life. from the USMC to the United Arab Emirates to seat to observe Khazak sports medicine in action. With all of the Brother Rats we’ve lost over the support a security cooperation mission. One of Stitches were applied Rambo style, then copious years, one has to wonder … what if? the Marines assigned to my team here is 1st Lt amounts of athletic tape bandaged wounds and We had a few BRs check-in this quarter. Jonathan Walaski, USMC, VMI class of 2008. back into the fray they went. I think we could They’re mostly-unedited updates are below: “Somehow, this VMI colonel/lieutenant-thing have gotten in a half with the Khazak side had I Greg Rollins has “retired from the Air Force did not take long to shift around on me. remembered to bring my ‘kit.’ as of 1 Jan 2011 after 22 years (to the day) on “As a 2nd Lieutenant in the summer of 1989, “I anticipate being in the UAE for the better active duty. Hard to believe it could possibly I was attending the USMC Mountain Leader’s part of a year, so my contact info remains chrishave been that long since we graduated. Last Course in Bridgeport, CA. Through the for anyone planning job was as the 99th Mission Support Group vine, I learned that the colonel commanding the to pass through Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Do give me Deputy Commander. It was a great ride, and I Mountain Warfare Training Center was a VMI a shout. When finished here, I will return to San enjoyed almost every minute of my AF career. graduate. After a long climb I hoisted myself Bruno, CA, and resume my primary duties as CO “I got to see some interesting places including over a granite ledge to spot, only a few feet of 23rd Marines. Semper Fi, Chris.” Iceland, Japan, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakiaway, a pair of spit shined boots (back in the Ray Marsh checked in with the following: stan, Kirgizstan, Qatar, Kuwait and Micronesia. day when we still polished boots). Looking up I “Well, I have been married for the last nine years Also got to be in some not so great location saw the starched 8-point cover, an old leathery to a great girl. We have one overgrown puppy, including Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Afghanistan, face looking down at me and two eagles aka Zorro, a snow-white Shih Tzu. My wife is Pakistan, Kirgizstan, etc ... I had some great reflecting sunlight off a camouflage collar. a college instructor at University of Missouri jobs including RED HORSE Squadron Deputy The encounter went something like this: I was working on her Ph.D. thru VA Tech. Prior to Commander, Civil Engineer Squadron Comcompelled to sound off loud enough so he could retirement; I served as an AFROTC Instructor at mander, and RED HORSE Group Commander. hear ‘pressing up the hill of science, with noble VMI for the previous four years in the military. RED HORSE was probably the best. Worked emulation’ to which the colonel responded – I was even the C Co. TAC for two years! Just with some great people, and I almost took a job ‘Maybe so lieutenant, but you are no gratifying before that, we were in Japan for several years with the AF as a civilian. I will miss it, but it spectacle ... now get outa here!’ And I was where I worked at U.S. Forces Japan with the was time to move on. hoping he would invite me to his house for a Army, USMC and Navy on Okinawa as part of “I am getting ready to start a new career with cookout or something ... what a disappointment. the Joint Staff. During this entire period, I also the Veteran Administration. I will be the new “My initial interview with young Lt. Walaski went on several deployments. Upon retirement chief of engineering services at the in 2009, I took a position as a VA Medical Center in Birmingham, general hospital facilities engineer AL, starting in mid-March. It is a with the Veterans Administration 300+ bed acute tertiary care facility Medical Center in Columbia, MO, (A tertiary facility provides highly (aka Harry S. Truman VAMC). I specialized care). am head of the Job Order Contract. “Steph has interviewed for a I’m working as hard as I did on research librarian at Samford Uniactive duty – around 11 hours per versity and was invited for a site day – since the facility needs TLC. visit and second interview. Keep Sending warm wishes despite the your fingers crossed. If she gets this sub-zero arctic weather here from position our work locations will be the Great Plains. Hope everyone’s about three miles apart. Not bad after keeping warm and doing well in moving 2,000 miles cross county. their neck of the woods.” “Timing and location worked out It’s been great receiving these upvery well. Steph and I have been dates, and I hope you have enjoyed looking at ways to get back to the the reading of same. If you get a southeast after spending the last six minute, sit down and send a quick Class of 1988: Attending Sam Russell’s promotion from (almost seven) years in Lost Wages note for our next edition of class lieutenant colonel to colonel on March 1, 2011, at Fort (Las Vegas). So with a little luck notes. My e-mail address is McKLee, Virginia, were, from left, Tom Munno, Bob Clark, the Rollins Clan will be back in the or you can Doris Plunk-Matthews, Russell, John MacMichael and south by July. find me on Facebook. Take care! Drew McKone. “In the last Alumni Review, I Drew



CLASS NOTES Tate. Becky has remarried since Steve’s passing, but is still active with the American Cancer Society. She wrote, “As most of you know, our team is the ‘Cancer Kickers!’ The Relay is our way as a family (extended to ALL of you) to continue to honor Stephen’s memory with a true hands-on, together project that makes I hope this finds you well and enjoying your such a difference to current cancer patients and summer. I have to turn these notes in a little survivors. It is hard to believe that Stephen has early, so I’ll try not to miss anything. been gone for almost seven years (in August) To start with, I heard from Quinn Donovan, he reports in: “I live in Windsor, CA, right in … memories of him continue to fill our lives the middle of Sonoma County wine country. with happiness as we continue to miss him, too. The Russian River Valley AVA to be exact. We The money raised from Relay supports so many are about 65 miles north of the Golden Gate worthwhile cancer research endeavors … and Bridge. I am very lucky. My wife, Tracy, and I is truly phenomenal.” Thanks for the update, have been married 14 years, no kids. We both Becky. work for the federal government. We are in the I heard from Zeke Moore back in February process of buying a house. We made an offer and he reports: “Working as a civil engineer in yesterday. I work for USDA, Rural DevelopFredericksburg, VA. Have two kids, Zachary ment. We are a lender to rural and low income (14) and Hannah (8). My wife, Alison, is still areas. I make about 50 gallons of wine each beautiful. Zachary is doing pretty good in Boy year as a hobby. I intend on working in the wine Scouts and should be able to complete Eagle reindustry after I retire from the feds. Most of quirements this year. Hannah is showing some my wines have taken medals at competitions. I talent with drawing, have no idea where she am also a triathlete. I compete in iron distance got that from. Both are doing well in school. events. I do the Vineman Triathlon each year I’ve managed to keep up with Dan Bowen over in Sonoma County. I will be doing my 5th the years. He lives outside Indianapolis. He Vineman July 30. I hope to complete the 2.4 works for an electrical contracting company as mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run in electrical engineer. He has six kids. Five girls under 12 hours this year. Put the word out that one boy. Ester, Hannah, Elizabeth, Grace, Ruth any BRs visiting Sonoma Wine country should and Josiah. Yes, we both have a daughter named look us up.” Thanks for the update, Quinn, and Hannah; in fact, we both have a daughter named I’m sure you will have some visitors very soon. Hannah Nicole. Well, we were roommates for Good luck! four years, so I felt like it was no problem to A couple of weeks ago we were able to get ‘borrow’ a child’s name. We’ve gotten our famitogether with other BRs and wives at Paul and lies together a few times over the years. Always Kelly Pardew’s for our 2nd annual NOVA class a great time when we get together. Tom Henpicnic. In attendance were John Piedmont, ning worked here with me a few years back, Mike and Mary Monfalcone, Pedro and Millie but then the economy started moving ‘south.’ DeJesus, Wayne and Christine Last I heard, he was doing well and Jones, Harlan and Terri Carvey, running his own construction conand Gary and Maryellen Nowlin. sulting company. I hear from Bob As mentioned in earlier notes, Spieldenner (other roommate) once Wayne and Christine Jones will be in a while … Watching my kids headed down to Paris Island to take grow like weeds.” Thanks, Zeke, command of the recruit training. for the update, make sure Alison Seems like Wayne’s boys are folreads the notes, and you can reap lowing in his athletic prow less but the rewards. with team sports not the ultra-events Also in February, I got an update that Wayne has been involved with. from Sean Raborn. “We are enjoyThey will be living in Hilton Head, ing a cold and snowy winter here so the boys will have access to lain Colorado and have been skiing crosse programs. The Cross family nearly every weekend. The snow is already making spring break 2012 all over the state and the West has plans for South Carolina. Also soon been great so far this season, and we Class of 1989: Members of the class gathered for a to leave the NOVA area will be Paul are looking forward to more of it. mini-reunion at the home of Paul and Kelly Pardew in and Kelly Pardew. Their family will You may be interested to hear that northern Virginia, April 2011. Attending were, from left, be leaving for Italy in June. Paul will I competed in the World Chamkneeling, Pedro DeJesus and Harlan Carvey. Standing: stand up the Army’s newest Acquisipionship 24 Hour Solo Mountain Mike Monfalcone, John Piedmont, Gary Nowlin, Paul tion Brigade. Paul’s brigade’s area of Bike race in Canberra, Australia, in Pardew, Wayne Jones and Nat Cross. operation will be Africa. We wish October 2010. I was able to qualify


Nathaniel L. Cross

2011-Issue 3

both of these families all the best. Gary Nowlin has recently retired from the Air Force and is working as a contractor in D.C. As it turns out, Gary lives a few blocks away from Paul in the Centerville area and has offered to host the NOVA 2012 picnic. We are looking forward to it. Hopefully more BRs will be able to attend. We will get the word out to you through the VMI ’89 Facebook page. Be sure to become a fan so you can keep in touch with class happenings and activities. Feel free to post photos there. We will also be having a VMI ’89 night at the Diamond with the Squires in June. I’ll be sure to post pictures of that event as well. Some great news from the picnic and this week, found out that John Giltz is back from his deployment to Iraq. This is all secondhand but seems that John was working with the embassy there. Currently, his is stationed in Tampa with CENTCOM working a staff job. John feel free to drop us a line if I got the details wrong. Just a few days ago got word that Al Versoza is also back from Iraq. Al’s battalion had been responsible for pulling out heavy equipment and getting it into Kuwait. Tough jobs in an unstable environmental, thanks to both of you for a job well done. As far as I know that leaves Mike Murray in Afghanistan as our last BR in that area. Mike wrote in saying that he is an individual augment training the Afghan army. Mike, stay well, and we look forward to your safe return. Lastly from the military, John Piedmont has reached that stage when it is time to retire. He is still staying involved as he is working with the Marines at the Pentagon as a civilian. John, thank you for your service, and we wish you all the best in your civilian career. I received an e-mail from Becky Simulcik


CLASS NOTES and got sponsorship support with the flights that made it all possible. There were over 400 solo riders in the championship race which started at noon on Saturday Oct 9th and finished 24 hours later. I had an absolutely flawless race and placed 16th out of 61 in my age group and 97th overall. I am extremely pleased with the results that I achieved. Racing against the best in the world gives you a huge respect and admiration for the abilities that so many other people have. I can now say that I’ve seen kangaroos on a race course that were real and not some trick my fatigued mind was playing on me! I got engaged in December 2010 to Natalie Ryan who is from Australia; we are planning a winter wedding in 2013. It is also worth sharing that Natalie is also a mountain biker, and she placed 13th overall in the women’s elite class in Australia! We are looking forward to a long but fun race season in 2011.” Sean, it sounds like things are really rocking in Colorado. Best of luck to you and Natalie both on the trails and off. As far as the snow comments go, I saw a post from Steve Chiles that it was in the low 30s this morning (April 19th) and he was wondering if winter was ever going to end this year. I guess it’s all what you do in the snow that matters. After celebrating with Harlan and Terri Carvey in December for his birthday, he sent the following update. “Had dinner with Jim Masella and Matt Ans. We met up at the Mad Fox Brewery in Falls Church. Matt’s doing well, and I have to say, I hadn’t seen him in 15 years! After VMI, we went to The Basic School together and next saw each other when I was at NPS getting my MSEE, and he was at the Defense Language Institute, learning Russian. He’s doing well, and still in the Corps. Jim’s doing great as well ... it’s great to see Jim when he comes up from Atlanta. Hopefully, things will work out with his job that he can relocate to the northern Virginia area full time. I just had my fifth book published, and one that I am a co-author of should be published this spring. I’m also told that one of my previous books was published in Korean ... I already have copies in French and Chinese, but seeing another one in a language other than English is interesting to say the least. The topics are all really technical, but the book contents are helpful to a wide range of people besides just those who work in computer forensics. Hope things are well with you guys ... take care, and keep in touch.” I received the following announcement from Bill Miller. “In November 2010, Bill Miller became the VP of Business Development for a Booz Allen Hamilton / VeriSign / Citi Bank sponsored start-up named TrustMarket, an on-line marketplace enabling the exchange of Trusted Credentials among banks, mobile phone companies and others. TrustMarket is one of


the ‘first to market’ solutions for the anticipated reduction in the use of credit cards for payment as mobile phones, info cards and other forms of virtual money gain traction. TrustMarket also provides individuals one username and password that can be used everywhere on-line so people will no longer need a different username and password for every place they do business on-line. Bill earned an MBA in finance from San Diego State University in 1996, as well as a BA in English from VMI in 1989.” Sounds very interesting, Billy, hope it works out, keep us posted. Lastly, Lori and I would like to thank Bob and Tracy Bradford for filling in for us at the Spring Class Agents meeting. Lori’s dad had a retirement party that we needed to attend and the Bradfords stepped in for us and the class by attending all the meetings. Bob, thanks for bringing back the info and spending your time helping us out. That’s it for now. Hope your summer is going great. Keep the updates coming. If you haven’t seen your name, you know how to fix that.


Robert Clark

Got an outstanding response for class notes this go ’round and have a lot of BRs on the move, so here we go … Terrence Kerner and Sam Stocks checked in to let me know they recently hosted a Benedictine High School Boxing Smoker in Richmond to watch VMI’s boxing team take on a number of other colleges. The event was a fundraiser for BHS scholarships and a number of VMI boxers are BHS grads. Tony Baker was able to make it as well as a host of other VMI alums, including Chuck McCarthy and John Neblett from ’85; Mike Locher and Hal Hammer from ’84; Tom Munno ’88; Carter Mackey ’96; and Wayne Harrell ’72. Sam is vice president for KBS in Richmond and was recently back at the Institute at an event honoring Col. Piegari who was made an honorary VMI alumnus. He ran into Hunter Trumbo and Matt Schwarzmann while in Lexington. Terrence and his wife, Kelly, have five kids aged 16 to 8. They are living the Richmond area and Terrence is president of Atlantic Constructors, Inc. Terrence passed along that Mark Cunningham is recovering well from a recent triple bypass surgery, perhaps setting a class record for bypasses at this point. Good luck, Mark, getting back on your feet! Terrence frequently runs into his VMI roommate Tony Zang, who is also in construction

out of Atlanta, and he also had the opportunity to catch up with Buddy Garbett and Charles Plageman at a recent VMI baseball game. Bill Arnold checked in from Texas to pass along that his son, Taylor, will be matriculating at VMI this August. Taylor received an Institute scholarship, and Bill and I believe that his son becomes the first ’90 legacy cadet from our class. Congratulations to Taylor and his very proud family, and we wish you luck at the Institute! Matt Henning and his wife, Jill, passed along a great e-mail and picture of their family. Jill is the Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lilburn, GA, a congregation she started in 1995 and that now serves more than 1,200 parishioners near Atlanta. Matt is also a pastor and leads the Community Grace Lutheran Church in Grayson. You can check out more of Matt’s work at www. The Hennings’ daughter, Sara, is in high school and his youngest, Ashleigh, is in third grade. Matt runs into Brian Haslam on occasion, and Mark Dick has helped Matt in his ministry to Veterans. Great to hear from the Hennings! Pete Tunnard also checked in from northern Virginia. The Tunnards recently spent a weekend with Rich and A.J. Duke and were able to see Chris and Michelle Pratt and Mark Cunningham. Pete also passed on that retired VMI Lacrosse Coach Doug Bartlett claims he had a Pat Poon sighting in Lexington recently. We have no other independent verification of the sighting, but if you’re reading this Pat, please check in, and let us know how you are doing! It was great to hear from Tom Tolley via e-mail. Tom is living in Buchanan, VA, near his father, Ed Tolley ’60, and is starting his own business. Tom gets down to the “I” occasionally for basketball and baseball games. Sal Bora and his wife, Danielle, will be moving from El Paso this summer to beautiful Naples, Italy. Sal is leaving to start a new position with Jabil. He will run the Western European Operations for several company sites across Europe. I got a great update from Irving Jones who is staying very busy coaching baseball and consulting with organization on healthcare services in Virginia. As we have shared in these pages before, Irving has undergone several medical procedures to address his back and resulting complications, but his spirit and determination are as strong as ever. Turns out we know some of the same doctors, and my company has provided some of his treatments. A number of our BRs continue to serve our country in uniform, and I’m glad to pass on notes from a number of them. First, Weedon Gallagher recently became a Logistics Battalion Commander in the Maryland Army National Guard. Weedon is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan


CLASS NOTES for his third deployment in June. Weedon plans to try and pull any VMI alumni in the Kandahar area together in November for Founder’s Day. Shoot him an e-mail if you’re in that area. Gordy Byrne sent me an e-mail from Iraq, where he is an operations officer for the Medical Task Force. He is working with units across Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn, which is part of the effort to draw down our forces. Gordy is hoping to be home by Thanksgiving and is looking forward to being back with his wife, Lia, and their two children Francesca (11) and Dante (7). Daren Payne recently e-mailed me from the Pre Command Course in Fort Leonard Wood, MS. He is there as a lead up to his taking command of the Training Support Battalion at Fort Jackson, SC, in June. The unit will then relocate to Camp Atterbury, IN, near Indianapolis. David Kaulfers continues to serve and is assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers in San Francisco as a program manager. I’m told by David that there aren’t a lot of Army folks in the Bay Area, but David is enjoying the city and all it has to offer. Bill Ator has received his next assignment. He will be heading off in June for a three-year assignment with NATO in Belgium. Bill will be working for the NATO Missile Defense Program as part of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. A continued to thank you to these BRs and all of our BRs serving here and overseas! Don’t forget to keep your contact information updated with me and VMI. You can do this via VMI Ranks at the alumni site and make sure you check out our ’90 page on Facebook. Drop me a line and let me know what you are up to, and thanks for a great bunch of e-mails and letters this go ’round. Keep them coming, and God bless you all! Rob


George Petty III

I hope your summer passed with as much fun and joy as I had at the reunion. I must say the reunion was over too quickly. Thanks to the following for their input and assistance in making the reunion a success: Roger Jarrell for golfing POC; Dan Joseph and Charlie Schindler who worked to assure the memorial plaque for Dave Williams was on the Parapet before the reunion; and food and beverage ideas were suggested or selected by Tim and Karen Hayes, Rich Coupland, Dan Robinson, Pat Krug and Nick Alten. Sorry, Pat, the idea to roll the ‘possum in pickle juice and corn meal before frying didn’t make the menu.

2011-Issue 3

Dan Joseph found an article written by Dave Williams for the Cadet that turned out to be rather prescient. Dan shared selections from this article during the dedication ceremony in Memorial Garden. Most of the BRs in attendance for the reunion made it to the ceremony at 0930 (0945? Whichever, that was early after the Friday party) on Saturday morning. Dan will be sending that to me in .pdf which I will e-mail to the class en masse. If you have not yet received a copy, that means I don’t have a current e-mail for you. Friday night the reunion was in Moody Hall. I must say the food catered by Crozet was better than any I ever recall from our cadet years. Providing a huge amount of support to me Friday was Ben Dorman. He made the trip with me to Costco and the ABC store to purchase the trailer load of beverages. He also helped stuff all of the nametags and pass out hats and answer questions Friday afternoon. This is how the party played out. Approx 65 BRs of the class of 1991 answered the clarion to join battle against 32 cases of beer and 44 bottles of wine. Scouts later reported the enemy had heavy armor: (4) 1.75L Jim Beam, (4) 1.75L Vodka, (3) 1.75L Gin, (1) 1.75L Kahlua and (2) 1.75L Bacardi. Enemy special OPS were limited to (1)1.75L of Jagermeister. Enemy forces were engaged promptly at 1630 hours on 20110429. The opposing troops were demoralized by the early elimination of their general (1) 750ml Glennfiddich 12-year single malt. Friday evening’s battle was long, with both sides retreating before rejoining contact at 1730 on 20110430 at McKethan Park. Fortified by BBQ and trumpeted into battle by the music of DiamondBack the foes were vanquished. Some prisoners were ... captured and paraded about the barracks of Hunt Ridge before being dispatched by the baths (heated indoor pool) during the late hours. It is rumored that the enemy has only fallen back to regroup and mount another attempt in five years. Injuries to the friendly forces were light, consisting of a large number of headache, fatigue and reports of lost underwear. OK, moving on, or rather back, from the reunion, let’s talk about births. Andy and Naoko Collier welcomed their first child, a daughter, Anna Sakura Collier on March 30, 2011. She weighed 8 lbs even and measured 20 inches long. Andy notes that in less than one week he learned how to change a diaper one-handed in less than 60 seconds. I wonder if Nicholas Cage will make that a movie - Butts wiped in 60 secs. Nah. Flip and Lavonda Secrist welcomed another beautiful baby into their clan. Julianna Faith Secrist was born 0057 March 16, 2011 weighing in at 8 lbs and measuring 21 inches. Flip drove the entire family down from Pennsylvania for the Saturday morning reunion activities.

I do believe I failed to mention last time that Kevin Rumsey lives on the other side of the mountain from me. He frequently comes to Waynesboro with his daughters to the YMCA for their swim team practice. Back in January or February we had about 10 inches of snow. Kevin stopped by the house, and two of his daughters had a grand time playing with my son and daughter sliding down the back yard, jumping the sleds over a pine stump and narrowly avoiding a collision with an apple tree. Mike Martin out of the blue sent me an e-mail asking if I had a pistol that I had bought from him at VMI. Amazingly, I did have the pistol. In March, we met for lunch at the Ming Buffet in Waynesboro and did the deal in reverse. The pistol meant a lot to Mike, and I was glad to sell it back to him. I was also glad I never shot a hole in a wall while it was in my possession. Mike can’t make the same claim. He missed the reunion as he was involved in training some Virginia National Guard soldiers for deployment. In February, Tom Harmon had lunch with James Kendall and Andy Collier. Tom was in Japan (Tokyo) for some F-35/JSF business when he met them. We have had a number of BRs transition from active duty to civilian life and a retainer check. Ben Dorman, Dean Bailey, Charles Fuller, Drew Preston and Tom Heffern are the ones who come to mind. I am sure there are others. I apologize for not giving you your due here. Thanks to all who have served, especially for 20 years. Let me insert in here again my plea to you all to get a jewelry rider on your class ring. To replace a 10kt ring with a synthetic stone will cost north of $3,000 as of May 2011. It is true that we can get the ring replaced free (or almost free), but you must have all of the original paperwork when you ordered and paid for the ring in 1989. Yeah, right. Get the rider; save yourself some serious headaches. As long as I am taking a break from the whodone-whats, let’s talk about the Class of 1991 / LCDR David Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund. By June 30, the balance in the fund should have passed $25,000. This means that a most-deserving cadet will receive a small amount of support in August 2012. If we can get this balance to $50,000 or greater before June 30, 2012, then we get to say who gets the support beginning August 2013. Any donation or support provided to the Institute from now until our 25th counts on the large check presented to the superintendent during the parade. George Hale missed the reunion as he is back in Afghanistan working with the USAID office. Matt Childs was still in Eastern Europe. John Hale was serving on the commanding general’s


Class of 1991: Those who attended their 20th Reunion are listed in alphabetical order, as follows: Nicholas A. Alten, Matthew T. Amato, Edwin F. Arnaldo, Kendall D. Bailey, Christopher G. Barnett, Glen P. Beale, Ralph W. Booth, Marshall W. Bridges, Evan J. Brown, Christopher A. Bryant, Christopher P. Buckland, Michael H. Bunch, Eric H. Burks, Charles S. Cathcart Jr., Stanfield L. Chien, Robert F. Cole, Steven G.S. Costello, Richard C. Coupland III, Jeffrey G. Covey, Jeffrey R. Cuiper, Shannon M. Daly, Christian F. Daniels, James L. Davis III, James R. Demers, Benjamin R. Dorman, Kenny D. Draper Jr., Alan J. Duda, Stephen W. Dudar, Christopher N. Edmonston, Robert E. Edwards II, Brian M. Farrar, Charles E. Fuller Jr., Christopher D. Gideons, Thomas J. Harmon, Thomas V. Heffern, Martin J. Heinze, Gregory H. Hurst, Eric E. Hyde, Emanuel R. Insinna, Christopher M. Isakov, Roger A. Jarrell II, John W. Jeter, Daniel S. Joseph, Matthew M. Joyner, Patrick M. Kiely, John S. Kostoff, Patrick R. Krug, Chad A. Kunkel, W. Andrew Lawrence, George B. League, Fredrick J. Lehman, Patrick J. Madigan, Justin D. Martin, Demetrius R. McClarty, Richard F. McCormack IV, Matthew C. McQuinley, William D. McSorley IV, Frank S. Mulcahy, Larry G. Murray Jr., Robert C. Nickel, Timothy P. Nolan, Christopher A. Nunn, William S. Orlov Jr., Rufus Owen IV, Hans C. Peeders, George E. Petty III, Craig A. Preston Jr., Joseph F. Rioux VI, Michael J. Robichaud, Daniel K. Robinson, Kevin J. Rumsey, Robert B. Sayegh, Jonathan L. Schanke, Charles R. Schindler Jr., O. Van Pelt Sessoms IV, Steven W. Shelden, Joseph M. Sokolowski, Brian E. Stone, Charles H. Story Jr., James A. Tavenner, Charles A. Thompson, Kai O. Torkelson, Morris P. Warner, M. Brent Wertz, Lynn A. Whitacre, Wade H. Witham, Patrick A. Womack and Douglas A. Yeabower.


20th Reunion — April 29-30, 2011

Class of 1991



CLASS NOTES staff in Regional Command/East. Spike Watson went back to Afghanistan under the SPAWAR hierarchy training hooah-hooah types how to roll in the sand and not leave any spot of clothing unsullied. You should friend Spike on Facebook. He has pictures of the coolest toys you will never see at Wal-Mart. James McClellan missed the reunion to attend a medical conference at Duke. James is now a staff radiologist at Wynn Memorial Hospital on Fort Stewart in Hinesville, GA. He was very excited to be back living in Savannah. Savannah

is a lovely place and most tolerant of leisurely strolls in the evening with an open container. Tom and Lana Austin were going to attend the reunion, but Tom received active duty orders to Naples, Italy. They are enjoying themselves immensely. Ian Connor was unemployed this winter. He put his spare time to excellent use patrolling the slopes of Vermont with his son. Lee Bewley is serving as deputy commander of the 47th Combat Support Hospital. It looks like he will be spending some time in Iraq.



Rob Johnson is doing something on the Al Basrah Oil Terminal. Knowing Rob, it is probably interesting and worth 30 penalty tours. Matt Gaddis is very ill from a new bout of cancer. He was unable to attend the reunion as he was starting a new round of chemo. His lymphoma was cleared last year, but this new, uglier, version of cancer appeared in April. A couple days before the reunion, Matt told me he was losing all of his hair, but he could still do daily runs, pushups and sit-ups. Steve Costello had the brilliant idea for me to get some cards


Class of 1991 20th Reunion April 29-30, 2011 4

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Photo 1: Old Barracks Room 415 current and former roommates were, from left, Deluca ’14, Chad Kunkel, George Petty III, unknown 2014 cadet from Room 415 and Kai Torkelson. Photo 2: Penni and John Jeter with Jeannine and Chris Buckland. Photo 3: Atop the Old Barracks sentinel box was Marshall Bridges, Dan Joseph and Bob Cole. Joseph led the class and the Corps in an Old Yell for ’91. Cole seems to be savoring the aroma of recently burned woolies. Photo 4: Lynn Whitacre with Brian Farrar. Photo 5: Mike Bunch and his daughter, Kate. Photo 6: Chad Kunkeland Ed Arnaldo. Photo 7: The plaque for David L. Williams was dedicated on April 30, 2011, during the 20th Reunion. The plaque hangs in Memorial Garden in front of Cocke Hall. Photo 8: On the porch of Moody Hall were, from left, back row, Eddie Arnaldo, Penny and John Jeter, Marci and Dan Robinson, Rich and Kirstin McCormack, and Chris Buckland. Front row: Cara Stultz Costello and Jeannine Buckland.


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CLASS NOTES to be signed at the reunion by all of that he, “Jon Lester, James the BRs in attendance. While in MinCherry, Dan Gaskell and Barrett nesota for a conference, Steve took Johnson got together for supper those cards to Matt’s home. in Norfolk at the end of FebruChris Watkins sent this update ary 2011. It was great to ‘hang (hey, Rob Johnson, Chris didn’t get out on the stoop’ with everyone your warning about verbatim upand catch up. They also got to dates). “I started the summer of ’91 meet my high school sweetheart, by working on a local dairy farm and Janneke Pieters, who was there as then reported to The Basic School to well. She is my new ‘old’ flame. begin active duty in September 1991. So, things are going well … look I then became an infantry officer and forward to the reunion next year!” reported to 3d Bn 7th MARINES Rob Fowler updates that he in July of ’92. I did two deploymet up with Rob Ritchie in New ments to Okinawa with additional Orleans, who “showed my wife, Class of 1991: Attending the wedding of Chris West and deployments to Korea, Thailand and Amy, and I around the French Tamara Hubbard at the Mill at Fine Creek in Powhatan, Japan. I held several billets within Quarter. Great music, strong Virginia, were, from left, the groom, Tom Agostini ’90, Tom the battalion and finished active duty drinks and good times were Kent ’93, Craig Covert ’87, Jon Greenspon, Mike Tuck in the fall of ’95. From there, I went enjoyed by all. He is doing well ’93, Rich Nevitt ’93 and Chip Collingwood ’81. straight into the Reserves and back as are we. And we are all looking to school. After school, I took a job forward to the 20th … Bigger as a DEA agent and relocated to the news; my wife is pregnant with Grand Rapids, MI, area where I still Indentical Triplets. Due in Octowork. I continued on in the Reserves, ber … I am packing to go on my deployed twice to Iraq (both were unlast vacation for while ... Cruise eventful) and have about 17 months from Baltimore to Bermuda!!” left before I retire. I got married in the Congrats, Rob! spring of 2000 and have a boy and Rob Schonberger reports that two girls.” he and his “German immersion Chris does speak with Matt Gaddis students have been invited to on occasion and has seen John Jeter attend a reception at the White (now aka Lucky Duck), Jim Demers House with President Obama and and Chris Buckland in the past. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Rob (and Chris) I do try to edit Merkel. Otherwise, work, getnotes from folks, but when I get ting fatter/greyer/thinner on top. this far along in the process and it’s Travel to Scotland and Panama 0226, I do hit the quote marks with this summer.” Class of 1992: Scott Stachelek ’88, Rosanna and John J.J. glee. Some folks have a preference Cmdr. Mathew Ott writes Keppeler ’88, Alice and Drew Warren ’95, Andy Tate, Leona for how their blurb should appear that he’s “completing a tour in and Jon Sachrison ’87, Chuck Ellis ’90, Heather and Bill and others are ambivalent. Both are D.C. and finishing the National Bowers ’90, Chip Bierman ’87, and Lew Sigmon ’88. cool, just let me know which camp Defense University’s Industrial you pitch your tent. College of the Armed Forces get together for a game. I believe it is possible to Chris Nunn started another group program. Headed in June to the get tickets in block seating for a discount. After on Facebook for us. It is called VMI Class of U.S.S. Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and slotted the game, we could take our camp chairs to the 1991. You can post pictures from the reunion or as the ship’s Supply Officer.” Parade Ground and heckle cadets marching PTs. just life in general. Thanks, Chris. Kevin Williams updates that he’s “been Hey, it beats marching PTs. Chuck Thompson tried his level best to let working at Microsoft for the last five years Stay safe, and if you can’t be good, be good at it. and recently made a move to Cisco Systems, us see ourselves in Breakout glory. He brought the Breakout video we bought in 1988. Sadly, where I work as the director of Worldwide Moody Hall didn’t have a VCR, and I forgot to Adam Gregory Strategy and Planning for Collaboration ... bring mine. On Saturday, he managed to get a based in Dallas, TX. I work closely with VCR but the source for the TV, forgot the TV! Randy Wood ’89 in the Collab space.” Thanks again for trying Chuck. I apologize for Lt. Col. Andy Tate e-mails the following: being the BRF here. “Had a get-together at Jon Sachrison’s Andy Tate Tate Andy Chuck Story deserves a huge helping of kudos ’87 house the first week in April 2011. Scott for suggesting the DiamondBacks band. They Stachelek ’88 is a chiropractor in Dumfries. really put on a great show at McKethan Park. We “J.J. Keppeler ’88 just retired from the Mawill have to seriously consider having them at rine Corps and works at Training and Education the 25th too. Command aboard Quantico. Gentlemen, here are the most recent updates Football season begins a couple weeks after “Drew Warren ’95 works with me up in the Penfrom your Brother Rats: Rob Ritchie writes you read this in the Review. Hopefully, we can tagon [Washington, D.C.], and I have promised




CLASS NOTES that I will not strain him; I leave that looking forward to getting back to Mike Murray ’89, who works to the “I” and catching a football with us as well but is currently in game, even though it won’t be the Afghanistan on a one-year deploysame not watching from Ackerment. Jon Sachrison is working man’s porch. in Manpower and Reserve Affairs Mike Wysong chimed in. He aboard Quantico as an executive asis living in Bel Air, MD, with sistant in Manpower Policy. Chuck his wife, Elisa, and seven (count Ellis ’90 just moved back to the them 7) kids. Mike took over as D.C. area after living in El Paso, he CEO of CARE Pharmacies in still works for the Marshal Service Alexandria, VA. They are a rebut now in the National Headquargional retail chain drug store with ters. Bill Bowers ’90 works on the 60 spreads in the northeast. Mike joint staff in the Pentagon and is says he runs into Joe Blanks ’94 doing well. Chip Bierman ’87 will and Tray Ayres ’94 on the track give up command of 3rd Marine every once in a while. Dom Ford Regiment this summer and come sent a quick note that he is PCSto the Pentagon to be the executive ing to the 1st Marine ExpeditionClass of 1992: Tom Ripley ’93, Cmdr. Matt Ott, Coach Doug aide to the Commandant of the ary Force in Camp Pendleton, Bartlett, Jeff Zeigler, Lt. Col. Jim Myers and John Ripley ’96 Marine Corps. And Lew Sigmon CA, this July. at the VMI-Navy lacrosse game in Annapolis, Maryland. ’88 works at Marine Corp Combat I just returned from Lexington Development Command aboard this weekend from a surprise Quantico.” birthday party for Granville Higgins. He has Bill Cox joined the crowd of us on the north end of Col. Brodie broke out of a longstanding silence to report: “Same gig, older, year 23 40. Gerry Bingeman was there with his wife, over now, had lunch with Todd Pegg; he is Lara. Let’s just say that I and Gerry got over getting married in August! Family is well. served. The funny thing was that I pulled up at Higgy’s magnificent farm outside Lex Vegas, Life is good …” and Gerry pulled in about 10 minutes after Lastly, if you’re planning a road trip to see Not a ton of notes to report this time guys. me … in the identical vehicle to the color and the Keydets pressing up the hill of science You need to send updates in order to make year. We had a good laugh about that. It was this fall, consider posting it on our Facethis worth reading, or I will just have to make a great party, and Higgy had a blast. It’s also book page “VMI Class of 1992”, so you can stuff up. wonderful catching up with old friends again. reconnect with the Rat roommate you’ve I did catch up with a few people. Jason Held So, pretty brief update this time guys. Sorry faithfully ignored since 1989. And, as always, wrote in. He moved to Australia to get a masfor that; send me some news. please keep the updates coming. Best regards, ter’s degree. He says he ended up with a Ph.D. That’s about all the news that’s worth reportAdam. and a wife. He started a space engineering ing. To those serving, I offer my now old company 100 meters from Manly Beach. He compliments; I can’t say it enough how much has partnered with a local brewing company we all appreciate the sacrifices you make and to make humanity’s first beer designed for have made in the past. We are all better people drinking in space. (I am not sure how that is for knowing you. To all those serving here and different than drinking on earth, which I am abroad, thanks. I don’t know what else to say. pretty familiar with!). The brew is selling well God Bless the Armed Forces, VMI and the enough in Oz, and he is working on getting it class of 1993. into the USA. He says they just passed their first flight trial and are on track to help thirsty space tourists next year. If more interested, Christopher L. Doyle you can check it out at www.vostokspacebeer. com. Ken Feeley wrote in as well. Ken spent 12 years in Tucson, AZ, working for Raytheon Missile Systems. Ken moved his wife, CrisGreetings, Brother Rats. Unfortunately, I tina, and his two children, Evelyn (7) and John must report that Berk Clare was in a serious (5) back to Boston. While in Tucson, Ken bicycle accident in Houston. He had some worked on developing both strike weapons and ballistic missile defense systems. Ken says spinal cord damage resulting in the loss of most movement in his legs, trunk and fingers. the highlight was leading a team in 2008 to Berk finished a rigorous round of rehabilitamodify standard missile system to intercept a tion and had a second round in June. He was satellite. They moved back to Boston as Ken able to go back to work part time for a couple took a job with MIT Lincoln as a business Class of 1992: Cmdr. Matt Ott showweeks. His wife, Sarah, reports he is getting program manager. Ken ran into Sean at an ing his VMI spirit in Luxembourg. stronger each day. James seems to be drawing alumni get together in Arizona. Ken says he is



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CLASS NOTES strength from Sarah and the kids who are supporting him. You can send the Clares an e-mail at Congratulations to Sean and Autumn Small who were married in Costa Rica on Feb. 26th. Mike Grippo and John Payne were in attendance. Autumn’s great-great-uncle was Charles Deyerle ’842. After graduating from VMI, Charles Deyerle died somewhere near the Presidio in California during the outbreak of war with Mexico. Autumn’s great-greatgrandfather, John Scott Deyerle, traveled across the country to California to bring his body back, and he is buried in Salem in the Deyerle plot. He actually took a boat back and went all the way around the southern tip of South America to get him home. According to Col. Gibson ’77 and the book he published, Virginia Military Institute, The Campus History Series, Charles Deyerle did a pencil drawing of the Institute – the earliest known view of the “college” layout AND was the 1st Career Officer to Die on Active Duty. John Payne is living in Encinitas, CA, with his wife, Susan, and two kids Austin and Zoe. He works at UC San Diego. Mike Grippo is living Charlotte, NC, with his wife, Angie, and son Gabe. He is VP of sales and business development for a contract furniture dealer, Carolina Business Interiors. Juney Harding recently moved to a new position at Hewlett Packard. He will be responsible for all enterprise level product sales (servers, storage, networking, software and services) for a Department of Defense system. His work will primarily be in the D.C. area.

Juney’s son, Tre,’ recently graduated from High School with a 4.5 GPA and was awarded a full academic scholarship to North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. He attended a science and technology high school where he has focused on CISCO networking. Tre’ is talking to the baseball coach about walking on the team at A&T. Rich Clark recently accepted a job with BirdDog Solutions as their Lead Logistics Specialist in Charlotte, NC. Rich and his wife, Elizabeth, will move their three boys from Richmond to North Carolina this summer. James Anastas lives in Hoboken, NJ. He recently started working on the International Securities Exchange, after spending 15 years on the American Stock Exchange as an equity derivatives trader. James completed the Syracuse half Ironman Triathlon last year and also has his private pilot’s license. I ran into Gary Gulliksen at Los Angeles International Airport. Gary was en route to Palm Springs for a convention. He is a contractor for the Army and lives in Richmond. Gary has been heavily involved in Combat Hapkido and Kick Boxing and really enjoys it. Mike Moore continues to referee football games. He recently started doing Arena Football League games. He said it is a challenge compared to the Division III games he usually does. Mike hopes to get promoted to Division I in the near future. Mike recently attended the premier College Football Officials’ clinic in Reno, NV. The clinic has been compared to the NFL combine for officials. Mike recently refereed an AFL game on the NFL network.

Jim Todd was named Rookie of the Year at Graham-Field Health Products where he sells medical equipment in the Carolinas and Virginia. Jim has taken up flying thanks to inspiration from Jason Ensminger. Jim was in the D.C. area the day Osama Bin Laden was killed and stopped by Arlington National Cemetery, and visited JR Teal’s grave. Jim and his wife, Sheila, have three kids, Will (8), Drew (11) and Alena (11). They adopted Alena from Ukraine six years ago. They have planned a trip to Ukraine this summer to meet some of her family there. Jim and the family took a trip across country last summer. They visited 28 states and nine national parks and got to visit with Jim’s Dyke David Short ’97 at Hill AFB in Utah. Brad Rees recently returned to Afghanistan as a member of the AfPak Hands program. Brad will be serving as the Team Leader for the Afghan COIN Advisory and Assistance Team in Regional Command – South West. He’ll be attached to the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps and its respective Brigades and Kandaks. Brad reports it is extremely hot there (120 degrees in mid-May). Brad ran into Adam Strickland who is also serving in Regional Command – South West in the C/J35 Future Operations section. Good luck, Brad and Adam. Keep up the good work!!! Please keep the Clares in your thoughts and prayers during this challenging time for them. Additionally, continue to do good things and represent the Institute in a positive manner.


Thomas A. Brashears

Dan Williams

Class of 1994: Attending the wedding of Autumn and Sean Small in Costa Rica were, from left, Mike Grippo, the bride and groom, Scott Ford and John Payne. Autumn is a great-great niece of Charles Deyerle class of 1842 (the first graduating class).


Is it already time for another edition of the class notes? I guess so, which means that 2011 is just about half over, and we’re about 50 months away from our 20th Reunion! I hope and trust that these notes find everybody well. Quite honestly, not many updates this go-around, but I have heard from a few folks. Co-Class Agent Dan Williams continues to serve our country in Afghanistan, but was able to come back for some well-deserved R&R recently. His deployment should be nearing the end. Being here in the DC area, I do have the opportunity to see and hear from certain BRs regularly. Stu Mallory sent me a note the other day and said he ran in to Bob Staley down in


CLASS NOTES Ashland, VA. Bob is the director of secondary education for Hanover County and is apparently very busy. Stu, himself continues to work up in the D.C. area and passed on some wonderful news; he and wife Meredith are expecting their first child on Sept. 26th. Congrats to Stu and Meredith! Dennis Lucente e-mailed me recently as well. He said that he’s been able to keep good tabs on Rick Killmeyer as they both work to reinvigorate the Delaware Valley Alumni Chapter. During a recent business trip out to Fort Knox, I was able to sit down and catch up with Kendall Clarke. He and the family are doing well, and his current role as an aide is keeping him on the move constantly. Not sure of the exact timeframe, but I believe Kendall is due to PCS sometime in 2011. I don’t doubt that a battalion command is not too far off. Matt Reiner and I headed over to the Patriot Center in Fairfax recently to witness the 10th professional fight, for junior welterweight boxer, Todd Wilson ’06. It’s always good to hang out with Matt, and he relayed that wife Vicky and daughter Emelyn are doing well. As I mentioned during the last notes, social media, such as Facebook and Twitter have been great tools to keep up with folks. As an example, I saw in one status update where Benji Bird was running a half-marathon in Fredericksburg, VA, and happened to run into (not literally) Drew Bissell. Benji did/is scheduled to complete the Marine Command & General Staff School this summer and will remain in the D.C. area for the next few years for his subsequent assignment. He had a great idea to try and get some of our BRs from this area together for a mini-reunion; so he and I will work that – stay tuned for details! I did also recently hear from Christian Brumm, who had contacted Brian Williams to obtain my contact info. Christian had stumbled across a cool little trinket online and wanted to pass it along. By the looks and sounds of it, Christian is doing well down in the Norfolk/ VA Beach area. At the time these notes are being written, Marlin Ikenberry was finishing up another successful season as head coach of the Keydet Baseball team. There were also preparing to host the Big South Conference Championships in Lexington at Gray-Minor Stadium. I had the great pleasure to announce a few of Ike’s games this season. Like I mentioned, not many updates this go around, so I would again like to encourage everybody to send updates to me as often as you feel necessary. The notes are submitted every three months or so, and the next batch will be due August 15th. Please include in your up-

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dates thoughts and ideas for our 20th Reunion. Dan is committed to improving upon our 15th and making the 20th, one for the ages. I also encourage folks to get back to Lexington this fall. The football schedule is out and after having announced the spring football scrimmage, I can tell you that the team is poised for a great run. The schedule is tough but includes a trip to Charleston for a game against The Citadel, a welcomed edition after a three-year hiatus. There will be a total of five home games, the first of which kicks off at 1:30 pm on Sept. 3rd. Take care of yourselves, be safe and talk to you soon!


Rusty McGuire

I cannot believe that as I am sitting down to write this; today is May 15, 2011. It has been 15 years since we left the Institute. I realized the significance of today as I was preparing to take my Army fitness test this morning. Karl Painter, who is in the same unit with me, reminded me of the date. Both of us spent the past few months losing some weight, and we decided to seek PRs on the track. We had a wonderful time chasing each other around the track, and we both obtained are highest career scores on the APFT. At 40, I need any motivation to continue to keep up with the 20-year-olds. Karl also asked me where I will be staying at the reunion, so I thought to use this note to remind everybody about our 15-year reunion scheduled October 21-22. I know many of you are still in the dark ages and use smoke signals to communicate, but there is this thing called the internet that I learned about in the computer lab at VMI. Our reunion committee set up a Facebook page with information and details, and you should have received your letter from the AA at the time this note is published. Please join us as I look forward to seeing you all. I have not heard from many of you since the last update. Trent McMillan ’98 continues in pilot training and will soon will add to the number of our BRs piloting in the skies. Turner Perrow is living the dream in Lynchburg where he serves on the city council. Christian Hoff and his bride are enjoying their first year of marriage by traveling all the time. I can never catch up with him when I need him. I also ran into Bryan O’Toole ’99 today at my unit. He was Hoff’s Rat and is now a police officer in North Carolina. He is in another unit that shares the building with us. VMI is stacking the deck here.


David Zirkle

As I sit down this New Market evening to compose this first iteration of notes under my watch, I am overcome by nostalgia. Nostalgia not just for those days we spent in Barracks, but for those since when I have been lucky enough to make it back to Lexington and enjoy watching the parade. Based on what I saw on Facebook this afternoon, many of you had the Institute on your mind today as well. In the few weeks since I took over the duties of class agent I have thought back in particular to the fall of 2007. Our 10th Reunion arrived at a time I needed a marvelous weekend surrounded by old friends. For that I am thankful to you, my Brother Rats, but especially to our outgoing Agent John Duckworth. When you get the opportunity, thank him for his herding us through our first dozen years out of Barracks. On the off chance that you haven’t updated your calendar, our next reunion is slated for the weekend of Oct. 6, 2012. I look forward to catching up with y’all this summer and seeing everyone back in Lexington.


Hamel Reinmiller

Editor’s Note: We did not receive notes from the class of 1998 for this issue.


William Steinbach

Brother Rats, I hope everyone made it through winter and is enjoying the springtime thaw. As of this writing, graduation is only a few days away, and I am sure the class of 2011 is ready to join the ranks of alumni. The first update of this edition come from Ben Kincaid: “Hope all is well man, long time my friend. I figure its way past time to give you an update on what has been happening in my life. Feel free to put in the next class notes (Bill’s note: Thanks. I will). I’ve been posted to Rabat, Morocco, for the last year and a half as a Foreign Service Officer. I work at the embassy in Rabat as well as at the Consulate in Casablanca. I got married to the former Amber Rae


CLASS NOTES Robinson in July 2010 just north of Seville, Spain. Patrick Stutts and my brother Kennon Kincaid ’03 were at the wedding. Kennon recently finished his first tour as a Foreign Service Officer in Abuja, Nigeria. We also had a small reception stateside mainly for Amber’s family in Galesburg, IL, in December 2010. Court Whitman and his wife, Tara, made it for the occasion. Court is a major in the Special Forces, stationed at Fort Bragg. I will be heading back to Washington in August this year for language training with an onward assignment to Afghanistan.” Good to hear from you Ben, and congratulations on your wedding. Also, thanks for the updates on Court and Patrick. Cliff “Found On Road Dead” Ford sent me the following: “It has been a long time since I have sent anything in. I am still stationed in the San Diego area and have been since 2002. My wife and I hang out a lot with Eric Marshall (when he is home) and his wife, Mary. Eric recently returned from a long tour in Afghanistan. I deployed at the end of February 2011 with HMM-163, 13th MEU. I am still flying the CH-46. We are not sure when we will return and it depends on how the Mideast turns out. On our way across the Pacific, we stopped in Hawaii, but I was unable to meet up with Carl Trask who is stationed at Pearl Harbor. I am hoping that someday I can make out to Lexington. I haven’t seen VMI since 2000.” Get there soon, Cliff. The Institute has changed a lot since we graduated. With everything going on there and all of the new construction, there is a lot to see. Jake Britt sent me a rather long note a few weeks ago. Jake is someone who I normally talk to on a regular basis, but for some reason (life I guess) we had not talked recently. Here is his update: “Things are good here! Both of the kids are doing well and enjoying their simulated Ratlines here at the Britt plantation! Jameson will be turning 5 in November. Cailin is 9 months. Been having some allergy problems with her lately, but hopefully she will grow out of most of them. Nichole is doing well and has recently switched from St. Mary’s Labor and Delivery to St. Francis L&D. It’s a little closer to home for her and that means savings on fuel money! The fire department is busy as usual. I’m still assigned to Company #14 in Chesterfield County. I’m enjoying my time at the busiest house in the county. I recently spoke with Robbie Trent. He, Nicole and baby Alex are doing well down at Fort Bragg. Robbie will leave May 15, 2011, for another tour in Iraq. Also spoke with Troy Denison. He just added another sailor to his personal fleet. He, Rachel, big brother and baby are doing well. It was good catching up with Troy, and we are trying to work out


a trip to the beach this summer. I also talk to Jeff Geisendaffer from time to time. He is well and living in Williamsburg, VA, now. He is working full time for the Army now, and Nichole and I hope to get down to the ’Burg to spend some time with him and his son, Jackson, real soon. I see Adam Holloway ’04 frequently at work. He also works for Chesterfield County Fire and EMS. He is stationed at Company 17. I also traded some e-mails with Roger Hart. He is in the Richmond area and doing well. I also enjoy seeing Conor Powell on Fox News every now and then. It seems he is no longer in Afghanistan, but has moved to Libya where he is covering the recent events there. Can’t wait to see him so I can get an autograph! Nichole and I were both very sorry to hear about the death of Maj. Charles Ransom ’01 in Afghanistan. Charles was a wonderful man who touched so many in so many ways. What a solid representative of the Institute! May the grief of his family and his class of ’01 be assuaged by the legacy Charles left behind. Bill, I think that is it. Have I rambled enough? Ha! Hope you are well, brother, and look forward to getting together and sharing some stories and brown liquor real soon my friend!” Thanks for all of the updates, Jake. Glad to get a report on Jeff. Last time I saw him, he was still in Raleigh. Congrats to Chunk as well on the new addition to his family. As far as the brown liquor, I look forward to it as well. Just don’t come with any rot-gut! Matt Hart sent me the following: “My daughter is finishing second grade and my 18-month-old son is trying to do everything his big sister does. We have been working on teaching her how to ride her bike without training wheels, and she is doing well. Her brother sees any bike and thinks he should get on it (a kid after my own heart). I am hoping to do some charity rides this year. If I can get a few people to help cover my entry fees and support the charities. If anyone wants to help they can Facebook or shoot me an e-mail. “I am still working at Wachovia as a teller. My church laid me off due to its financial situation in January of 2010. It has been humbling, but working at the bank has allowed me to meet and talk with so many different people. I am learning to be content with little as well as much and seeing God continue to refine me. “I pursued going into the Army as a chaplain, and they decided they did not want me. It was a good process and in prep for chaplain’s officer course I started working out. I have lost some weight and feel great. “I am just now starting some new conversations with a few churches and am excited to see where it might lead.

“I bump into Jeff Morrison at Greensboro’s Performance bike shop every now and again. Powell Harrison is in Biarritz, France. He just got his one year nonprofessional visa to be involved in a church over there. Van Carson is still living in Italy, and he just extended his tour for another two years. He and his wife just had their second child on Feb. 9, Wesley Van Auken Carson. Van says that the baby and mom are doing fantastic. Van also says he ran into his dyke Geoff Wiedner ’96 in D.C. back in January while he was there for a leadership conference. Hit me up next time you are in the area, Van.” Jason Trubenbach sent me this update: “My DoD Fellowship will end in July. I will then head to Germany to meet up with my wife and son for vacation before we come back and I return to the Army G4. As part of my fellowship, I went to UNC Chapel Hill for a class back in March and met Van Noah ’82, who after learning of my alumnus status during the scholarly ‘Beer Game,’ declared me Honor Grad for the class! We were also able to meet up again at the end of the month at a conference in Miami. The life of a logistician can be tough. After running into BR Charles Marr last summer at a Washington Nationals game, we were able to meet up for lunch at the Pentagon. Charles is a busy man, splitting his time between his work in LA and his bride in D.C. I had the pleasure of meeting Betsy when I was in the Rayburn building earlier this year and hope to meet with them again soon. BR Charles Faulkner got a few of us together for lunch in February in Pentagon City. It was great catching up with Charles, Ali Rodriguez, Hunter Phelps and Chris Colbow. Ali is in class now in Norfolk before he PCSs to Hawaii. Tough break! I had lunch with Geoff Weidner ’96 today. He works in the office directly down stairs from me. Geoff is doing well and enjoying his life at DCIS. Next weekend, I will head to southwest Virginia to play golf with BRs Randy Eads and Alex Marrone. Hopefully no one will get hurt or maimed, and I will be able to write about it in the next class notes.” Thanks to everyone who sent in updates. It was good hearing about everyone. To piggyback off of what Jake Britt said above, I would like to pass my sincerest condolences to the class of 2001 on the loss of Charles Ransom ’01. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his Brother Rats. I will close out the notes with an announcement. For those of you that were not aware, Patrick Forrest is running for the Virginia State Senate in the 32nd District (NoVA). Be sure to check out his website at In the Bonds, Bill




Matthew McComas

Editor’s Note: We did not receive notes from the class of 2000 for this issue.


Jason Whitaker

recently who are expecting children in the next few months; so I look forward to the future birth announcements. With that being said, please give congratulations to Drew Carbone and his wife, Kristi who welcomed their second son, Thomas Andrew Carbone, on March 7, 2011. Drew said Thomas weighed 11 lbs at birth. Congratulations to Anthony Bravo and his wife, Amelia, who gave birth to their daughter Amelia on May 21, 2011. Anthony is currently serving our nation in Afghanistan where he is on a Biometric team and is responsible for vetting Afghans and third country nationals who

sign up for work with private security forces to provide force protection in support of NATO forces in Afghanistan. Congratulations to John Pettry and his wife, Beth, who welcomed their second child, a son named Hank, on March 19, 2011. John was happy to report that Beth and Hank are doing well. Charlie Benbow sent me the following in May. “I’m still in command of Weapons Co, Battalion Landing Team 2/2, deployed with the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit. I’m on

Words cannot express the loss we all experienced on April 27th when our dear Brother Rat, Maj. Charles Ransom, made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. (See tribute on page 5 of this issue.) It is a tremendous loss which left a hole in all of our hearts. I recall speaking with many of you over the last few weeks about Charles as we shared our memories of him. He was truly a great man and an even better friend. VMI truly needed Charles more than he needed it as he was the model example of the citizen-soldier values we all aspire for. One BR told me that “the world is a lesser place without him,” and I’d have to say, we are all better off having known him. If we live our life with the same spirit, love and desire that he gave, we will make ourselves and our world better. Our loss is the Lord’s gain, and may Charles watch over us. Thank you again to everyone who was able to make it to the funeral, and I know those of you who could not attend were there in spirit. Class of 2001: Ethan Weber, his son Class of 2001: Josh Berk and an I cannot tell you how proud I am as your class Ryan, his wife, Christine, and son actress at the barracks of the U.S. agent, and even more, I cannot tell you how Tyler at Ethan’s promotion ceremony Marine Corps Detachment for the proud Charles’ family was to see everyone at on Feb. 14, 2011. U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. the funeral and to receive so many expressions of love and support during this difficult time. I counted the U.S.S. BATAAN, somewhere nearly 70 Brother Rats at the roughly off the coast of Libya. funeral and noticed several other We deployed three months early, VMI alumni from various classes. now we’re just on standby in the I want to thank our Brother Rat, Mediterranean Sea. The only other Maj. Kenny Carmichael, who VMI guy I’ve run into so far is gave a very touching and heartKyle Lynch ’06, who is on the filled remembrance of Charles at MEU staff.” the funeral. During the Ratline and Congratulations to John Parson throughout our cadetship, Kenny who got engaged in April and always had a way of capturing our graduated from the Charleston minds and soul with his words School of Law on May 14th. and on this occasion he did not As of right now, Dave Jackson disappoint. As we gather for our plans on attending our 10-year 10-year Reunion in October, we Reunion. Dave told me this is the will pick up where Kenny left first time he has checked in since Class of 2001: Jason Whitaker, Justin Harber, Ryan off and continue to do our best to graduation. Dave is happy to report Weber (Ethan’s son), Ethan Weber, Fred Hair and Chris remember Charles, Josh Hurley, that he and his wife, Bernadette, got Tyree at the Washington Nationals baseball game on Dale Seymour and John Kitt. married in July 2007, and in August April 17, 2011. I have spoken to a lot of you 2008, Bernadette gave birth to their

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CLASS NOTES first son, David W. Jackson III. Dave said he knows the Institute will be thrilled of another one coming along in the next 15 years. Dave and Bernadette are also expecting twin girls in June. Remember the 10-year Reunion is October 21-23, 2011. I look forward to seeing all of you there who can make it. To our BRs who cannot make it, especially those of you serving our country and fighting for freedom and liberty throughout the world, we know you will be there in spirit. If you have not already done so, please consider donating to the Class of 2001 Memorial Scholarship. With your charitable support, our class can help future cadets discover the path less traveled, learn the importance of honor above self and hone the ethics and values of a citizen-soldier. Brother Rats forever, Jason


Salmaan Khawaja

9225 Upshur Dr. Richmond, VA 23236 804/687-7122

Editor’s Note: We did not receive notes from the class of 2002 for this issue.

William Talley V


Phil Kerns

Brother Rats, by the time these notes hit your mailbox, summer will be in full swing and for those of us who live in the South, the heat and humidity will be upon us like a 3rd Classmen flaming a Rat in Sally Port. However, football season will also be just a couple weeks away to help ease the pain. I’d like to invite those of you that haven’t to come back to the Institute and catch a game this season. It’s always a good time whether you hang out on the parade deck or actually make it down to the game. Keep an eye out for the ’03 flag that we put out for tailgates. It’s usually in the area right in front of Moody Hall, but you are welcome to stop by and catch up. For those of y’all with kids, this is a great opportunity to bring them and let them enjoy the spacious parade deck and wear themselves out. Just shoot me an e-mail if you are making plans to come to a game that way we can keep a look out for you. At the present time, it’s mid May and currently in central VA we’re getting pounded with rain and storms. However, warmer weather has arrived, graduation has just occurred at the “I” and school


is about a month out from being finished for the summer. The Talley household continues to be a world of organized chaos not quite at the “ChuckE-Cheese” level but at a pace that makes a person think about how life was when the biggest worry you had each night was who was going to authorize your hay down for the next day. No real updates personally, I have discovered the feeling a father has when his daughter puts on shorts for the first time of the season and he realizes that her shorts aren’t quite as long as he remembers them being. Billy continues to redefine the term “wide open” yet has a smile and persona that causes even the most frustrated parent to laugh. Before getting into the company notes section, I would like to thank those BRs that gave financially to the Institute this past fiscal year. Your support is greatly appreciated and those contributions enable today’s corps of cadets and future corps to have a quality VMI experience. Thank you for your steadfast support! Alpha Co. – Mark Carr reports that he touched base with Lara Chambers, and she said married life is going well. Stuart Chambers and she are enjoying their new golden retriever puppy, Mya. Stuart is doing well as a project manager for Bank of America, and Lara is keeping busy with the land development business. Doug Bahrns told me that he is currently at the Army Maneuver Career Captains Course in Fort Benning, GA. He will graduate there on July 16th. From there, he will head back to Camp Lejeune to be a company commander with 1st Battalion 8th Marine Regiment. He is scheduled to deploy next year. He is getting married at VMI on July 9th to Jana Allen. She is the sister of Landon Allen class of 2000. I also know that Rollin Steel and Rich Eytel recently deployed. I heard from our good bud Chip Hancock, and he is living down in Wilmington,

NC. He just got out of the Marine Corps and is headed up to law school at the University of Richmond in August. Lastly, A few BRs made the trip to Minnesota this winter for some ice fishing, smoking ribs and chicken, snowmobiling, etc… Bravo Co. – No Updates at time of submission. Charlie Co. – No Updates at time of submission. Delta Co. - No Updates at time of submission. Echo Co. – No Updates at time of submission. F-Troop – Dermot Gavin reports that he is at Fort Drum, NY, training for another tour in Afghanistan with the NY 27 IBCT. Tara and Dermot are expecting their 2nd child in the next few weeks. He heard from Nicole Kramer. She is at VMI and will send pictures from graduation and New Market to be in the next AR. Golf Co. – Doug Warner writes: Sorry for not having notes in the past couple issues. Between working full time and trying to finish my MBA, things got a little busy on me. Speaking of being busy, I’ve heard that Kyle Haire has kept busy flying for the Marines, but in some downtime he managed to meet up with Jimmy Hitch, who is

Class of 2003: Jimmy Hitch and Kyle Haire caught up in Savannah, Georgia, spring 2011.

Noonan ’03 Welcomed to the House Armed Services Committee Staff by Nichole Kramer ’03

In March 2011, the House Armed Services Committee announced that its newest staff member was one of VMI’s own. John Noonan ’03 has been selected to serve as the deputy communications director and speechwriter.  A history major and Band Company Guidon at VMI, John honed his writing skills and natural verbal talents as editor-in-chief of the 2003 Bomb and Cadet newspaper.  His passion obviously did not stop upon graduation.  Many of our alumni, friends and family might already be familiar with John’s post-VMI public political writings, as he founded the blog, was a contributor to The Weekly Standard and has been published in at least four print media.  He also has appeared on various newscasts, including Fox News and NBC.  Before these ventures and before serving as policy advisor for the Foreign Policy Initiative, John gained valuable experience and perspective as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.  He was assigned to the 90th Missile Operations Group, 321st Missile Squadron and the 392nd Training Squadron before turning the page to join the policy community.  Congratulations go out to John – the VMI family looks forward to his continued success!


CLASS NOTES Band Co. - Jared Swanson reports that John president of a dental supply company in SavanRyan Shealy Noonan took a job as deputy communications nah, GA. When Josh Gonzales saw the picture of director for house armed services committee. Kyle and Jimmy’s reunion on Facebook, he was He will mostly be doing speechwriting. Mike evidently motivated and promptly commented Newton is on his third deployment, stationed in with “YUUUUTTTTTTT! Golf Co. Cadre in da house!” Jimmy also wrote to tell me that he, Jacob Maimanah, Faryab Afghanistan. He commands SVC Battery/1-84 FA out of Smith Barracks, Agnew, Toby Kearney and Matt Dixson went on C. Justin Roberts Baumholder Germany. After a year of Warrant Ofa fishing trip the first weekend in May and caught ficer Candidate School, Basic Officer Leadership some monster fish! He said that Toby just passed course, and SERE, Greg Shpunder finally started Special Forces qualifications, and Matt is working “Flight School!” in Washington, D.C., for Senator Kerry. Well BRs, I hope everyone has a safe summer In March, myself, Mike Needle ’02, Scott and please send updates to your Company Reps. If Brother Rats, Maciejewski ’05 and Blake Traina went to the you have any questions about who that is look me Hope this Review finds you doing well. We Golden State Warriors-Washington Wizards game up on Facebook, and let me know. Until the next got quite a bit of participation for this edition, to watch Reggie Williams ’08 play ball. We ran issue RAH VA MIL! ’03 ’03 ’03 so let’s keep it up in the next one. If you haven’t into a bunch of other Keydets there, and in true linked up with us, our class has a VMI fashion, we were told we were Facebook group in which we are the loudest ones in the arena. Oh, trying to communicate. Please join and the Warriors won the game – up, and we encourage your spouses great job, Reggie! and other family members to join so On May 1st, I got a call from we can keep up-to-date information James Kuhn, who told me that his on everyone. wife, Holly, had just given birth I heard from Andy Harris who and that he was the proud father reported that Mike Roscoe got marof a new baby boy named Drake ried in back in March down in Texas Oliver Kuhn (soon to be VMI Class with Matt Roscoe as his best man, of 2033, right James!?). Let’s all and Andy was in attendance. Greg extend a warm congratulations for Sturz also got married on 16 April James and Holly! in Richmond with Clarence Smith I promise to be better at getting as best man, and Matt Roscoe and more updates out there, but please Andy Harris as groomsmen. Joe make sure to send me your info, Class of 2003: Brother Rats gathered in April 2011 for Montagna recently moved back to either through Facebook or on edrinks. From left: Mark Carr, Will Belmont, Craig Blackthe East Coast with his new wife; he mail – but remember, send pictures wood, Brian Andrew, Lars Wagner, Craig Nicholson and had been stationed at Camp Pend(higher the megabytes the better) Ben Booth. leton flying CH-53s. From what I through e-mail please (douglas. hear, Andy Harris, Matt Roscoe, Ray L’Heureux, Greg Sturz, Clarence Smith Hotel Co. – No Updates at time of submission. and some other Brother Rats welcomed him back in a fitting manner. Andy also just graduated from the George Washington University with a master’s in public policy. Sean McElroy got married last September and is currently stationed at Fort Lee for Combine Logistics Captains Career Course. Once he is finished he will be heading back to Fort Polk, assigned to the 162 INF BDE. This summer the McElroys are going back to Las Vegas to play two events (event number 10 and 13) in the world series of poker again. Tim Price is currently still deployed to Afghanistan (should be home by the time this issues of the Review is printed). Tim served in Afghanistan with the 2-502 IN. Brad Haywood went to Japan with VA TF-1/ USA-1 the international Urban Search and Rescue team from Fairfax county to assist with the earthquake/tsunami disaster. They were Class of 2003: Drake Oliver Kuhn deployed in the cities of Ofunato and Kamaishi was born May 1, 2011, to James Class of 2003: James Kuhn and his and conducted an organized search in conjuncand Holly. new son, Oliver Kuhn. tion with teams from USA-2 from LA County


2011-Issue 3


CLASS NOTES fire and the UK. Their point of entry was Misawa AFB. Brad met 2nd Lt. Eaton ’07 while he was there. Brad is still working for Fairfax County Fire and as a flight paramedic for MedSTAR MedEvac out of Washington, D.C. David Coleman is now a highly motivated judge advocate in the U.S. Army with the XVIII Airborne Corps at Bragg. Chip Satterlee has been deployed to Afghanistan, but during his mid-tour leave he showed up at Coleman’s house about 0300 one morning during his R&R with a lady friend. According to Dave, she’s way out of his league. Chip skipped through Roanoke, so I didn’t get to verify this in person. Tony Miller joined Dave for his Rat’s wedding in Boston. Tony is still working as a structural engineer in Charlotte. He married Erin in July 2010. While in Boston, Dave also ran into Brandon Smith who seemed to be doing fine. Joe Doane gave up his dream of finding a Southern girl and moved back to upstate New York. He still works for the same engineering firm, just a different place. Christian DeShazor is working on the railroad. Dave said that Gary Lewin was in Africa for a bit, but he believed he’s back stateside now. Jarrett Brown was in Dave’s OBC class. Jarrett is a reservist in Florida and recently moved from Wyoming. He is an attorney with Siemens in Orlando. Amanda Phelps-Miller is married to Lt. Col. Chris Miller, who is relinquishing command of the 83rd NOS det 3 at Wright Patterson AFB and taking command of the 707th Comm Squadron at Fort Meade. Bree Adams married Justin Guiterman in St. Augustine, FL, on

March 5th. Libby Olson, Erica Ardolino and Scott Campbell were there from Oh Four! Bree’s uncle, Nate Adams ’45 was also in attendance. Scott finished the Public Affairs Officer Qualification Course at Fort Meade, MD, on 11 March and is currently serving as the public affairs officer for the Virginia Data Processing Unit with the Virginia Army National Guard in Fairfax, VA. Mike Bang is also with the VADPU. Scott also is still working for the Richmond Police Department. Mike Scott just got back from Iraq on March 12th. Right before he left Iraq, he saw George Cushman on his way in with his unit, and he is in Maysan Province now. Mike is back at Fort Carson, CO, and is on his second battery command. Mike said Nate Cincalla is somewhere in Germany. Ed Chen and Thananart Klongcheongsan (aka special K) caught up together in Bangkok in March. Special K is serving in the Thai Royal Army as an aide-de-camp and doing well. Cheno started a venture and doing business throughout the Pacific Rim. Ilija Krklec was pretty upset he didn’t get invited as he is traveling through that area quite a bit. Ilija is currently working on business development for an IT company doing business with banks in South East Asia. He lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but 70 percent of the time travel all over the Asia Pacific region … Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Indonesia ... and says it’s a very crazy life. Chris Richman is doing well and is working on getting into the Special Forces. Keith Tate is currently a lieutenant in the Navy, and is serving as the training officer onboard U.S.S.

Class of 2004: Attending the wedding of Bree Adams and Justin Guiterman in St. Augustine, Florida, on March 5, 2011, were, from left, Erica Ardolino, the groom and bride, Nate Adams ’45, Libby Olson, and Scott Campbell.


Truxtun, guided missile destroyer 103. He is about to deploy in May for the third time and next January is looking forward to starting Department Head School in Newport, RI. Dan Hall just returned from a seven-month deployment to the NATO Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force (HQ ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he worked directly for Gen. Petraeus as his battle captain in the HQ ISAF Operations Center. Dan is now home safe and sound and is working on his master’s in Space Studies. Edward and Erin Cooper welcomed their second child, Evelyn Margaret Cooper, to the family on March 3, 2011. They now live out in the LA area, and Ed works for Medtronic as a quality engineer and is a Naval Reservist. Joel Andrus is still living in Norfolk, working for a state and local lobbying firm, and welcomed their son, William Andrus, to their family last summer. Drew Hardin is trying to stay out of trouble down in Central, Texas, by working on Six Sigma Certificates. He has completed his Green Belt and Lean Six Sigma, and hopes to wrap up his Black Belt this summer. Little Hardin is now a year old. John Ginder is still working down in Florida. Jessica and A.J. Schmaus have lived in Alexandria, VA, for almost three years now. Jessica is working in D.C. as a budget analyst for the Department of Justice and started a master’s degree in Public Administration. She recently attended a Potomac Chapter VMI networking breakfast where she saw Landon Winkelvoss. She also talked with Maja briefly via e-mail, and she is doing well and is going on her third deployment this fall. I ran into Jessica and A.J. Schmaus, briefly on post when I was there for the Class Agent’s Conference in April. Jessica and A.J. were attending a Cadet Networking Forum, which is held at VMI. From what Jessica said, it is very inspiring, and she wanted me to encourage anyone interested in participating in this event in the future. Basically, alumni have volunteered

Class of 2004: William Dale Saburn was born on Dec. 8, 2010. He is welcomed by his three sisters.


CLASS NOTES to sit on panels about resumes, networking and professional development as well as informative panels about private industry sectors such as government and engineering. They said that it has been a rewarding way to give back to the Institute and that it was great to see so many alumni care about cadets succeeding after graduation. Additionally, the attending alumni network in a private, informal atmosphere that has resulted in some great connections and conversation. Tony Peters just got off active duty in December, but is still drilling as a Reservist at Subase Bangor with CSG 9 SSGN, a support command for the SSGNs. He is starting a teaching certificate program this summer at Whitworth University, and Manu is due with baby number two in July! Sean O’Donnell is currently in AFG as an Intel contractor of sorts. He got out of the AF last October, moved back to D.C., bought a place and is there for the next six months. Sean went to Ray L’Heureux’s wedding last fall and saw Jon Lessen. He said they had a great time to say the least. Kent Monas was married on 2 Oct 2010 to Mallorie Hutchison of Brilliant, OH. They are now stationed at Fort Rucker, AL, and Kent is attending the Aviation Captains Career Course. Next, they will be headed to Fort Riley, KS, where he will be assigned to the 1st Combat Aviation BDE in July. When I talked to Glenn Walton he was getting ready to leave Fort Drum. The Walton family welcomed their first child, Camden Stephen, to their family. Glenn said that Steve Linkous and Ben Hassel recently had children as well.

Class of 2004: Ed Chen and Thananart Klongcheongsan got together in Bangkok, March 2011.

2011-Issue 3

Ben is commanding an Engineer Company out of Schofield, but just deployed to eastern Afghanistan with 3BCT, 25th ID. Graham Carssow just wrapped up the FA Career Course, and Josh Montero is about halfway through his class. Lakin Board just got promoted to captain as a pilot for Colgan Airlines (regional carrier for Continental). He’s flying out of Houston these days, and has recently flown Nicoloff in his aircraft.

Alison Cassell Matthews and Arthur Matthews ’03 welcomed Wyatt Matthews to their family. On March 20th, Shore Stokes ’05 ran the NYC Half Marathon. He ran the marathon on behalf of CampInteractive, a nonprofit aimed at introducing the creative power of technology and the inspiration of the outdoors to NYC inner-city youth. Andy Hickman is currently living in Asheville, NC. As for me, Meredith and I welcomed our first child, Elsie Meredith Roberts, in January. I was up in Leesburg for training in January and met up with Jimmy Palmer, who is doing well and has a beautiful family. Look forward to hearing from you all again next quarter. In the Spirit, C. Justin Roberts

Timothy Johnson Class of 2004: Gary Cutler and Ryan Koniak at Koniak’s Sapper School graduation in March 2011 at Fort Leonard Wood. Eric Hepfer and his wife will be in New York City this summer. He will be working at Credit Suisse as a summer associate and would love to meet up with any classmates who may be in the New York area. Curtis and Sarah Johnson Bartholomew welcomed their first child, Makayla Lynn Bartholomew Oct. 1, 2010. William Dale Saburn, was born on Dec. 8th. Jonathan Saburn is currently wrapping up his master’s in systems engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School, and will graduate in June. His next assignment is to Newport, RI, for dept. head school. Gary Cutler is almost finished at Fort Leonard Wood for the Engineer Captain’s Career Course. He will end the course in June and graduate from his engineering master’s program in October. Not sure where he is headed afterwards. Ryan Koniak completed Sapper School in March at Fort Leonard Wood. Derek Raymond is back in Iraq for the third time and should be home in the summer and is expected to deploy again in the fall. Matt Vogel and his wife, Camerann, are pregnant with their first child. They found out it’s going to be a girl and is due in August; if I remember correctly. Josh Powers is back at Fort Benning teaching the future military leaders of America and finally able to spend some quality time with his family. His wife, Martha, is pregnant with their second child and is due around August as well. Rob Wilson was recently featured in Oliver North’s bestseller, American Heroes in Special Operations.


William Ray

Brother Rats, It has been a while since the last set of notes and I apologize for leaving you with little to read back in May. Unfortunately, for that edition of the Review, I only received one update, and I was incredibly busy with other responsibilities as well, so I deferred the update for the next set of notes. I hope the spring has treated you all well and that the erratic weather from tornadoes to flooding in the South and Midwest has not brought any misfortune to our numbers. I also hope the latest edition of the class notes finds you enjoying the warm summer weather and that you are relaxing on a beach somewhere with your preferred cold, adult beverage ready to pour through my scratching and find out what the class has been up to, so without further delay, here are the notes: Austin House sends word from Thailand that he, his wife and son are still on the ThailandBurma border doing ministry with the organization Farthest Corners. Their children’s home has about 45 kids and also has programs in education, development, relief, evangelism and discipleship. Recently, there was some fighting in their area and refugees streamed into their village. The fighting has cooled down some, but it is expected to pick up again soon. Austin adds, “we live in a part of the world that has its challenges, so prayers are always appreciated for our family and those we serve and love.” The House family should be in the USA from September-December this year visiting


CLASS NOTES churches and spending time with family. They’d love to meet up with as many of my BRs as possible when they are home in northern Virginia and would definitely enjoy a mini-reunion at a football game this fall. Things have been pretty good for Alex Gernandt down at Fort Bragg, NC. He has run into many of our Brother Rats including Scarlett Collins during his time at the base. Alex currently works for the Army making maps using GIS (geospatial analyst is the technical name) and was competing much of last year; specifically, he won the Forces Command NCO of the Year title and was one of the 12 selected to compete in the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition. If you were perusing the OEF/OIF section at the front of the Alumni Review, you saw a picture of Rob Gibson and Jason Downs at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan where the two met up for breakfast during deployment. Rob is with Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28 that gets air support to the guys on the ground. Jason was deployed with the 26th MEU as he is part of the 2nd Marine Reconnaissance. Rob said, “It was a completely new experience to hear what Jason went through with his Recon guys. Great to see him and damned if he doesn’t look or sound bulletproof.” Other than running into Jason, he works daily with a major who is best friends with our Brother Rat, Lt. Col. Wiggers. Rob said deployment’s going well, and he was at the halfway mark at the time notes were submitted. His job is relevant to keep constant support for the grunts that need it, and he adds, “God I love every minute of it.” Before deployment, Rob married Miss Brandy Baker on July 10, 2010, in Virginia. Several VMI alumni made it to the wedding (he would’ve submitted a picture, “but the group picture looked atrocious based solely on me”) that included Curtis Nieboer ’03; Doug Aloisio and his wife, Berit Aloisio (Oftedahl, ’06; Mark Conley; Kye Wall; Scarlett Collins; Rob’s ring Rat, Mark Falcon ’07; and one of his Rats, Chad Zurcher ’08. Rob adds, “Even good ol’ David Glier made it out – guy had women fighting for him, I kid you not. It was a great day.” Nick Viar is currently in Afghanistan working with a special operations task force. His son, Caleb, turned 1 on May 5th, and he and Sarah have found out that they are having another boy in late August. Colleen Wall is off active duty with the U.S. Navy and is attending Oregon State University working on a Master of Science degree in chemical oceanography. Lucas Moore sends word that he and his wife, Anna, are expecting a little boy around May 15th (at the time I submitted notes, I had not heard any updates). Their son will be named


Lucas Brent Moore. On the career front, Lucas and a team of guys in Stoneville, NC, have been working non-stop with a company called Gerbing’s Heated Clothing out of the state of Washington to bring their textile manufacturing facilities back from China. After countless hours of dealing with their CEO, Jeff Gerbing, the Economic Development Board of Rockingham County, and the Economic Development Board of the State of North Carolina, they finally succeeded, and Gerbing’s Heated Clothing will be opening its doors in Stoneville, NC, starting in July 2011. The formal announcement was made on Thursday, April 21, 2011. This facility will provide an estimated 150 to 300 jobs to his town within the next three years. Gerbing’s Heated Clothing makes a broad range of heated Garments for Harley Davidson, Cabella’s and the United States Navy. Lucas is really excited about playing a large role in facilitating one of the first companies returning to the United States that will help provide jobs to a deprived economy. He adds, “I hope all of my Brother Rats are safe out there and living up to the high moral standards that VMI instilled in all of us.” Ian Foley has a couple of quick updates worth noting. Currently, he works at Duke University and on Feb. 19, 2011, his wife, Autumn, gave birth to their second child, Liam Wallace Foley. Liam was born 9 lbs, 2 oz, with 10 fingers and 10 toes. Both mother and baby were healthy and happy and released home without incident. Jim Kingsley graduated Special Agent Training with the Secret Service. As a Special Agent with the Secret Service, Jim and his wife were recently transferred to the Miami Field Office where he will be investigating bank fraud, to include identity theft and mortgage fraud, counterfeiting, credit card fraud, money laundering and will help with protection assignments as they come. He will also travel in support of our major protectees, to include the upcoming campaign in 2012, and he will also be helping to protect visiting foreign dignitaries to the Miami area. Things are going pretty well for Andy Karnes as he was promoted to senior analyst in December and is still working out at Fort Irwin as a contractor. He also was accepted into graduate school at the University of California – Irvine and will be attending the Paul Merage School of Business working on a Masters of Business Administration degree. Andy will be doing this part-time while he continues to work. Josh Sullivan has switched companies and relocated. In April, he left Griffin Pipe in Knoxville to take a position with Tyler Union in Richmond. Josh will be doing practically the same job for Tyler Union but his sales territory will now be focused on the Virginia, West

Virginia, Maryland and Delaware markets. He also became engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Anna Smith, and the two will be married this fall. Ted Henderson and his wife, Rachel, moved to Richmond in June after he graduated from medical school. He will be starting his Peds Residency at the VCU Hospital. As for the travels of your road weary class agent, in January, I headed down to Charleston, SC, for the Lowcountry Oyster Festival. Joining me on my adventure were Chris Johnson and Sean Moore and his girlfriend, Danielle. Chris will be entering his fourth and final year of medical school at the Medical College of Georgia. After graduation, he will be a doctor in the Army, and his specialty will more than likely be orthopedic surgery. Sean continues to work for Quarles Petroleum in the northern Virginia region and lives just outside of Martinsburg, WV. If you ever driving up that way, Sean’s only a few minutes off of I-81 and would certainly be more than willing to have you over for a few beers and an educational discussion on the merits of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. With great food, wonderful friends and incredible weather, it was difficult to leave Charleston for the snow covered grounds of Virginia. I do highly recommend that you make the Oyster Festival once in your lifetime. It’s a great time with plenty of great food, good beers and music. I always make a point to go every year and would love to make it a mini-reunion for the class; especially, for those Brother Rats in the South Carolina/Georgia/North Carolina/North Florida area who do not make it back to the Institute as much. In February, I had the privilege of (finally) attending the marriage ceremony of Shelton Weatherford to our beloved, Lawton Way. The ceremony took place at St. James Episcopal Church in Richmond. Lawton’s Best Men were his dad, Oliver Way ’75 and his brother, Barret Way ’08. Many of our Brother Rats were in attendance to include: Will Paulette; Jim Kingsley and his wife, Allison; Tom Innes; Andy Karnes; Greg Shakespeare; Ryan King and his wife, Ashley; Shore Stokes and his girlfriend, Tara; Alex Correll and his wife, Kat; Jay Coleman and his wife, Ashley; Tim Riemann and his wife, Ashley; Will DeShazor and his wife, Ashley; and Will Ray and his wife, Emily. I apologize if I left someone off the list. As expected, this was a very heavily attended event by VMI alumni which can be confirmed by the VMI picture from the wedding. The reception at the Country Club of Virginia was filled with great food, music, dancing and drink. Following their honeymoon, Lawton and Shelton will reside in Richmond. In April, Lawton began working for the Hunton Williams Law firm in downtown Richmond and Shelton will continue


CLASS NOTES to commute to work for her architecture firm in Williamsburg. Will Paulette continues to work for KBS in the Richmond and northern Virginia area, and he reports that business is doing well. Tom Innes moved to Williamsburg in order to attend the College of William & Mary MBA program. Greg Shakespeare is living in the Philadelphia area where he works as a doctor with an Internal Medicine specialty. Ryan King and his wife are still living in the Houston area where he works as a lawyer. Jay Coleman continues to fly Cobras for the Marine Corps out of Camp Lejeune, and he and his wife are expecting their first child, a son, in the summer. Tim Riemann is still in the Marine Corps and is stationed at Quantico. Will DeShazor is now living in the Virginia Beach area where he works for Norfolk Southern, and his wife was able to secure a teaching position in Virginia Beach after having to spend the first semester long distance since she was working in a school in Manassas. Will Ray continues to work for Wake County Public Health, and his wife will enter her third year of medical school at UNC this fall. Continuing with the wedding theme, in April, I had the honor of serving as best man in Jon Proctor’s wedding in Roswell, GA. Jon married Miss Christine Vaughan of Alpharetta, GA. She is a graduate of Georgia Tech and the University of Mississippi School of Law and is a much better lawyer than Jon. Ben Melton served as a groomsman, and Ian Dunlap served as an usher for the wedding. Chris Johnson was also in attendance as was Ben’s girlfriend, Courtney, and Ian’s girlfriend, Kourtney. The wedding and reception took place at the Country Club of Roswell. Despite a secret, early exit by the Bride and Groom, the wedding was a blast, and it was great being part of such a special day in the life of my roommate and his bride. Following their honeymoon, Jon and Christine will reside in the Atlanta area where Jon works as a bankruptcy lawyer, and Christine works as legal counsel providing immigration and worker status expertise for an international firm. Ben Melton returned from deployment to Iraq in April with the 5th Special Forces Group, and he is currently stationed at Fort Campbell, KY. Ian Dunlap returned from deployment to Afghanistan in late December/early January and is stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC, where he is part of MARSOC. In May, I headed up to the Warrenton area for the Virginia Gold Cup Races with several Brother Rats. Ryan Murphy and his father were hosting us at the event. Joining us at the event were Jason Downs and his girlfriend, Catherine; Ben Melton; Greg VanPelt; Rachel Davis, Ryan’s fiancée; and Shore Stokes and his

2011-Issue 3

girlfriend, Tara. Jason returned from a deployment with the 26th MEU that included a few months in Afghanistan earlier that week, and he will be out of the Marine Corps sometime this summer with no immediate plans to leave the Wilmington area for the next six months. Ryan returned from deployment with Army to Afghanistan in late March/early April and is stationed out of Fort Campbell, KY, where he flies Apache helicopters. Shore continues to work in the NYC area in finance. He reports his brother, Kirk Stokes, took a new job working out of the Philippines in finance industry. Despite the celebration and joy of homecomings and weddings, on May 4th, a group of Brother Rats headed down to Charlotte for the funeral of Ann Correll, Alex Correll’s mother. In December, Mrs. Correll had been diagnosed with and inoperable, malignant multiforme blastoma tumor. After months of treatment and a hard fought battle with cancer, she passed away on the morning of April 30th. Mrs. Correll will certainly be missed, as she was a lovely and kind lady, especially to her boys and their Brother Rats as they warmly welcomed us to their home and tailgates in the fall. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to go out to Mr. Correll, Alex and his wife, and his younger brother, Will Correll ’10. In attendance at the funeral were Greg Van Pelt, Seth Parker, Jason Downs, Lawton Way, Brad Miller and Andrew Troy, and his fiancée, Adrian. Andrew returned from his deployment to Kuwait with the Army in late April, and he should be free and clear of the Army this summer and plans to pursue a position with a defense contractor in the northern Virginia area. Seth Parker will more than likely be heading to the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, CA, at the end of June. Outside of my travels, I continue to work as a teacher in the Richmond area, and I still coach swimming and soccer. If you’re ever in the area and want to grab dinner or a drink, please feel free to drop me a line. I’d love to catch up and find out what you’ve been doing. At the Class Agents Conference, Will and I discussed some great ideas with other class agents on reconnecting with you all. We hope to schedule a few mini-reunions or get-togethers during the year that will help you all reconnect and find out ways to help each other and the Institute. We have discussed having a minireunion at the VMI-Citadel game in Charleston this fall. The game will take place on October 29th and the Keydet Club and Alumni Association are planning on several events that weekend. Rather than piggy back on all of their events, we can hold some of our own. If there’s enough interest, I could see about reserving space at a bar downtown the evening following

the game. I am also looking at the schedule of home games for another weekend that could work as a get-together for ’05. Keep an eye out for an e-mail in the near future with the fall football schedule and potential class events in the fall. If you all have any ideas of other events that would work, please feel free to contact Will Ray or me. We are open to ideas and suggestions on different ways and events to get the class together even if it’s only 15 or 20 of us. I hope you enjoyed the latest edition of the notes. It’s always good to hear from you guys even it’s just a quick note saying where you are and what you’re doing. If we haven’t heard from you yet, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you, and I’m sure there are others reading this who would love to reconnect with you. As always, stay safe and until next time.... In the Bonds, Tim Johnson


Will Davis

Editor’s Note: We did not receive notes from the class of 2006 for this issue.


Sally Coffman Arciero

Editor’s Note: We did not receive notes from the class of 2007 for this issue.


Robert Hill

On May 15th, I was concerned about the number of responses I had received regarding my initial request for this edition of the notes. Thankfully, I received a huge response with a quick e-mail on the morning of our Rat’s graduation. Hopefully those of you who were in attendance took some pictures and can provide them for the next Review. I think the best way to start these notes would be to honor our Brother Rats who graduated on May 16, 2011. Walking across the stage were Sam Crowder, Keith Jones and Dan Jones. Tom Shaffner reported that the crowd rose with a thunderous applause and standing ovation to honor Dan in his achievements. Congrats to you all!


CLASS NOTES Moving forward, I heard from Phil McClomand of Col. Furness, and Andrea is deployed skey. As of May, he was due to be in Iraq for as an air traffic controller. four more months. While home on leave, Phil Dennis Harbin checked in from the coast proposed to his girlfriend and now fiancée, Ms. of Bahrain where is he serving on a Coastal Victoria Vargas. They plan on getting married Patrol ship with the Navy. In August, he will in the summer of 2012 after Phil returns to be moving to Carlisle, PA, with his wife as he Fort Hood and following his Captains Career attends Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law. Course. Congrats to Phil and Victoria. After graduating from law school, Dennis will Zak Carmen reached out to me that he will be designated as a Navy JAG. I look forward be graduating TBS in June and then headed to seeing Dennis as Carlisle is only about 35 to Fort Sill in Oklahoma for Artillery School. minutes away from my home. Pat Clark has Dustin McCabe is living the dream life in the graduated from Navy OCS and commissioned Florida Keys. He currently works for the state on May 13th. He is now headed to Pensacola to as an environmental specialist and coaches begin NFO flight school. wresting. On the weekends he fills his time with John Arthur is now stationed in Germany as diving and fishing. Ty Anthony is currently well. Mike Vinacco is doing well. Mike and serving with the USMC in the Sangin Area of his wife had their first son last year, on June 13, the Helmand Province with the 3rd Battalion, 2010. John Joseph is doing well and will soon 4th Marines. He sends his congratulations to be having his first birthday. John mentioned our Rats. he plans on attending the matriculation day for Brandon DeLong and his wife, Jessie, are the class of 2031 (if our math is right). Mike moving to Aviano, Italy, in August but beforerecently returned from a month deployment in Class of 2008: Phill Yi and his fianhand, he planned on spending the summer in Afghanistan where he was sent to Bagram AB cée, Esther, before their wedding on Panama City Beach with Nate Harris. to fix a downed F-16 fighter jet. June 13, 2011. I received great news from the Gays in OkinaPeter Borchelt checked in from Fort Rucker wa, Japan. Andrew Gay and his wife, Michelle, where he is flying helicopters for the Air Force. had their first child, Alexander Wesley Gay His current assignment is an instructor pilot Memorial Day, Peter plans to head to Austin, on May 9, 2011. Born at 2238 hrs local time, and that will last for the next three years. Over TX, to see Jason Pettengill. Pete also Alexander weighed in at 7lb. 1oz. mentioned he spends most of his Andrew reported everyone was weekends with Nate Harris at the doing well, and he had to quickly beach where they spend many nights return to diaper duty! at the Tootsie County Club dancing Ted Davis has graduated from the night away. Nate is stationed George Washington University at Tydall AFB and in the process School of Law. Ted plans on takof trying to become a pilot. Speaking his New York Bar Exam in late ing of Jason, he checked in from July before working in downtown Mamstrom AFB in Montana where Manhattan in mid September. He he was recently assigned to the 40th will be working in anti-money Helicopter Squadron where he flies laundering and banking law and UH-1N Huey’s. He and his wife, helping to prevent corrupt politiSarah, are looking forward to visiting cians, criminals and terrorists from sites like Yellowstone and Glacier accessing their money. If you are National Park. Another pilot, Nikolai in the “Tri-State” area, I would Howe checked in from VA Beach. He encourage you to reach out to Ted. is currently flying F-18s. In the next Also recently, Ted visited the Salt four to five months, he will complete Mines in Bavaria with Alex Menas FRS at VFA 106. and Anthony Menas ’07. Phill Yi will be married on June 11, Alex Lim was kind enough to 2011 to Esther Baek. Making the trip submit a picture of a group of VMI from Afghanistan will be Alex Kim. alumni. (The photo appears in the Joining the group will be roommates OEF/OIF section of this Review.) of Adam Spontarelli, Jonathon Kim The group had gathered at Camp and David No. Dwyer, Afghanistan, and consisted Adam Barr and his wife are doing of Col. Dave Furness ’87, Maj. well in Utah. The two marked their Joseph Garaux HBR ’09, 1st Lt. one-year anniversary in March with a Quincy Washa ’07, 1st Lt. Alex 10-day cruise in the Caribbean, enjoyLim and 1st Lt. Andrea Walton. Class of 2008: Ted Davis with the Menas brothers, ing the sand and sun after the snow The first four mentioned Marines Alex and Anthony ’07, at the Salt Mines in Bavaria, of Utah. They are expecting their first are deployed with Regimental Germany. child in November. Congrats! Combat Team 1 under the com-



CLASS NOTES Lauren and I are continuing to press forward with our wedding in March of 2012. She is due to graduate after finishing her student teaching in December of 2011 from IUP. Due to our wedding date, I will be unable to attend the Class Agent Conference next year as it will be held the last weekend of March. If you are interested in attending in my place, please contact me via e-mail. This past April, Lauren and I attended the 2011 Class Agent’s Conference. We were able to spend some time with my dyke, Preston McFaddin ’05, and his family in addition to the conference schedule. Friday night we had dinner with Col. Trumps ’79 and listened to him discuss the new daily schedule that was enacted after we graduated. We had a wonderful time and finished the weekend by having lunch with my roommate, Mark Miller ’07 and his dyke, Justin Roberts ’04, who is also the class agent for his class. As always, please continue to send me your pictures, comments and notes from all over. These notes would be short and sweet without your input. I can always use more pictures and-

Class of 2008: Above: Proud father Mike Vinacco with his son, John Joseph, in June 2010. Below: John Joseph Vinacco as he approaches his first birthday on June 13, 2011.

2011-Issue 3

please remember, they should be originals with at least a size of 1MB. I hope you enjoyed your summer and will visit the Institute to watch the Keydets storm the football field! God Bless and Rah Virginia Mil!


Ian Williams

Hello once again, Brother Rats! I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying themselves. VMI alumni are spread out dealing with a plethora of changes effecting the globe. More specifically, the class of 2009 has “boots on the ground” all over the world. One country that has been hit with a lot of change recently has been Japan. Shaken by two earthquakes, a tsunami and threat of a nuclear meltdown, Japan is at a low point. Helping out in a variety of ways is the USAF out of Misawa. Jed Miller and Joel Barnes are both there doing their part to help. There is a lot of humanitarian aid and clean-up work being done. Change is also sweeping through Egypt but in the form of political reform. Our own Rammy Barbari was there for a few days of the demonstrations. He said how amazing it was to be in with this important part of history. And, of course there are our Brother Rats who are deployed to the Middle East. Rem Adams is deployed to Iraq. Chris Brown left for Afghanistan in April, and so did Gordon Holloway. Doug Trask deployed to … the ocean. I’m not sure where specifically, but he is under the surface in a submarine. We have a few Brother Rats who have finished with their deployments. Kip Joerdens, Alex Kari, Thomas Duncan, Adam Grabill and John Collier have all returned from their deployments. I know I am missing a lot of people on this one. Daniel Brewer is in Ranger Selection School. Once he is done there, he will be assigned to the 2nd Ranger Battalion out of Fort Lewis, Washington. I was recently at VMI and while there I was able to see Amanda Moore, Chelsie Kosecki and Tom Gottwald. Everyone is doing great. Then there are the engagements and the weddings! Tom Duncan is engaged to Kathleen McCollum. They will be married in Atlanta, GA, in November. After Kathleen is done with her graduate work, she will be up at Fort Drum with Alex, Tom, myself and all of the alumni up here. Ryan Spahr is engaged to Torey Brown. Mike Porter married Kelli Smith in Texas in late April. Jonathan Kim was there with some other of

our Brother Rats. James Leenhouts married his wife, Alice, on the 26th of March in Staunton, VA. Thelmar Rosarda married Jessica Huss on Feb. 19th down in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Reza Eftekhar has been very busy since we graduated. He is enrolled at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. He is class president, and he too is engaged! He was engaged on March 26th to his long-time girlfriend, Maria de la Cruz. Reza had a small ceremony in J.M. Hall at VMI. Maria was extremely surprised, and she even got to walk through a saber arch. With Reza being one of my closest friends, I want to wish him heart-felt congratulations, and I wish him and Maria the very best. Congratulations, Papa R. And of course, I also wish all of our other Brother Rats congratulations! That’s all I have for now. As usual, keep me updated and send me any pictures you would like in. If I missed anyone or made any errors, I’m sorry. Stay safe and remember to check out VMI’s new facelift. Sincerely, Ian


Matthew Allen

Editor’s Note: We did not receive notes from the class of 2010 for this issue.


Allen McCown

Editor’s Note: We did not receive notes from the class of 2011 for this issue.

Class of 2010: The RDC reunites: 2nd Lt. Will Rowcliffe, left, with 2nd Lt. Army Ranger Clayton Melton celebrated when Clayton received his Ranger Tab in April 2011. As of this writing, Will is in the process of acquiring the same tab.






Adam T. Phillips ’83


Megan Leigh Leggett Liam Joseph Moriarty Debra A. Pietranico

Thomas A. Brewster ’74 Tim O. Moore II ’97 Todd Freiwald ’88 Ronald G. McManus Jr. ’84 Ronald G. McManus III ’09 Ronald G. McManus Sr. ’57 Ronald G. McManus Jr. ’84 Ronald G. McManus III ’09 Ronald G. McManus Sr. ’57

Father Cousin Father Father Brother Grandfather Father Brother Grandfather

2017 Lily Beth Brewster Robert C. Desmarais III Jake A. Freiwald Allyson Whitney McManus

Ashley Elizabeth McManus

2018 Ryan C. Freiwald Jay H. Jarrett III James MacCorkle Smith

Todd Freiwald ’88 J.H. Jarrett ’60 Minor B. Smith ’86 John M.B. Lewis III ’59 H. St.George Tucker Carmichael ’928 James E. Comer ’54 James A. Comer ’86 Ted Comer ’84

Father Grandfather Father Great-uncle Great-great-uncle Grandfather Uncle Uncle

Cmdr. J. Colby Howard ’92 Joe T. Howard ’51 William H. Ball Jr. ’56 Cmdr. J. Colby Howard ’92 Joe T. Howard ’51 William H. Ball Jr. ’56 Andrew J. Mulcunry ’94 Thomas Hulcher ’13 Kenneth A. Pierro’81

Uncle Grandfather Cousin Father Grandfather Cousin Uncle Cousin Father

Kevin Gallagher ’90 Tim Moriarty ’78

Father Grandfather

Maj. Scott R. Harbula ’86 Cmdr. J. Colby Howard ’92 Joe T. Howard ’51 William H. Ball Jr. ’56 Cmdr. J. Colby Howard ’92 Joe T. Howard ’51 William H. Ball Jr. ’56 Myles R. Hutchinson ’52 Jack M. Hutchinson ’49C Jack M. Hutchinson Jr. ’76 Peter M. Meredith Jr. ’74 Kenneth A. Pierro ’81

Father Uncle Grandfather Cousin Father Grandfather Cousin Grandfather Great-uncle Cousin Grandfather Father

2019 David Alexander Spotswood Heppner Jr.

Joseph Grant Howard

Matthew Bruce Hulcher Kenneth A. Pierro Jr.

Georgia Kate M. Yeomans

Julia Wells Howard

Kyleigh Marie Hutchinson

Preston Scott Lea Gillian Pierro


John N. Hester ’60 Tim Moriarty ’78 Col. Steven L. Amato ’83

Grandfather Grandfather Cousin

John A. Augustine III ’40


2027 Michael Christopher Hutchinson Jr. Myles R. Hutchinson ’52 Jack M. Hutchinson ’49C Jack M. Hutchinson Jr. ’76

2028 Cody Brooks Collier Sarah Eleanor DeLuca Ethan Magruder Read

Grandfather Great-uncle Cousin

Mitchell P. Lawrence Jr. ’50B Great-great-uncle Donald P. DeLuca ’62 Grandfather Theron A. Henry Jr. ’58 Grandfather

2029 Madden James Daly Logan Wade O’Donnell

Richard C. Forbes ’74 Barry L. O’Donnell ’71

Grandfather Grandfather

Michael L. Butterfield ’01 Donald P. DeLuca ’62 Richard C. Forbes ’74 Thomas C. Massey ’70 Elias D. Poe III ’67 R. Cameron Thompson III ’74

Father Grandfather Grandfather Grandfather Grandfather Grandfather

Richard C. Forbes ’74 William A. Kump ’98 Cyrus K. Kump ’68

Grandfather Father Grandfather

Thomas E. Bohlmann ’88 Harvey H. Bradley ’49B Cary S. Bradley ’75 Lawrence M. Ryan ’68 Lt. Col. Dom D. Ford ’93 Myles R. Hutchinson ’52 Jack M. Hutchinson ’49C Jack M. Hutchinson Jr. ’76 Robert Atkinson ’77 Matthew Atkinson ’80 R. Cameron Thompson III ’74

Father Great-grandfather Grandfather Grandfather Father Grandfather Great-uncle Cousin Grandfather Great-uncle Grandfather

Jackson D. Bareford Sr. ’68 Edmund A. Guy, III ’03 Richard C. Guy ’07 Marlin M. Ikenberry ’95 Merlin M. Ikenberry ’95 Steven F. Ikenberry ’80

Grandfather Father Uncle Father Uncle Uncle

2030 Connor Lee Butterfield Madison Eleanor Fletcher Joshua Ryan Girdler II Payton Margaret Massey Henry Dodson Poe John David Thumann

2031 Miles Michael Daly Cyrus Kerr Kump II

2032 Isaac Eli Bohlmann Caleb Scott Bradley Samuel Mitchell Chudy Ryon Courage Ford Chad Logan Hutchinson

2021 Michael William Harbula Caroline Frances Heppner



2020 Jem Kirby Gallagher Danielle Logan Moriarty


Drake Winter Patton Cameron Hayes Thumann

2033 Samuel Scott Bareford Madilyn Grace Guy Owen Marshall Ikenberry


PROVISIONAL APPOINTMENTS APPOINTEE’S NAME 2033 (Cont.) Carson Alexander Linkous John Matthew Marangoni Rebecca Jean Massey Jackson Mark Maxey Parker Michael Morelock Bailey Nicole O’Donnell Campbell Marie Peterson



Stephen Linkous ’04 Guy Marangoni ’82 Thomas C. Massey ’70 James A. Maxey ’03 Michael W. Morelock ’90 Barry L. O’Donnell ’71 Robert A. Heely ’69 Lt. Col. Dale H. Heely ’40 Lt. Cmdr. Robert A. Heely Jr. ’98 James E. Heely ’71


Father Father Grandfather Father Father Grandfather Grandfather Great-grandfather Uncle Great-uncle


Theodore Sven Peterson Benjamin Harper Read Daniel Akin Read Emily Grace Read Ephraim Jude Trubey

Noah Allen Warschaw


Leon Elsarelli ’59 Theron A. Henry Jr. ’58 Theron A. Henry Jr. ’58 Theron A. Henry Jr. ’58 Lewis F. Rea ’71 James M. Rea ’932 James M. Read Jr. ’58 Kent Schlussel ’70 Neil Schlussel ’67 Jeremy Schlussel ’94

Cousin Grandfather Grandfather Grandfather Grandfather Great-great-uncle Cousin Grandfather Great-uncle Uncle

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 Richard D. Schmitz ’31 Ernest C. Johnson ’29 Thomas M. Zeledon ’30 Richard C.Wight Jr. ’30 Howard J. Bell ’33 William R. Landrum ’34 James Heine ’34 E. Lane Whitley ’34

Oct. 17, 1905 Feb. 24, 1908 May 19, 1908 Dec. 21, 1908 May 26, 1910 Nov. 25, 1910 Dec. 3, 1910 Mar. 18, 1911 April 1, 1911


Emmett J. Heerdt ’34 John D. Todd Jr. ’34 Richard H. McCormick ’34 James E. Kirk ’36 Edwin T. Arnold ’35 James C. Sherman ’35 Gardner F. Goodwyn ’36 Randolph Tucker Jr. ’37

Feb. 27, 1912 June 30, 1912 Dec. 4, 1912 Oct. 25, 1913 Feb. 7, 1914 March 31, 1914 April 27, 1914 June 29, 1914


BRAVO – A daughter, Aurora, to Amelia and Anthony N. Bravo ’01 on May 21, 2011.

GIBSON – Brandy Baker to Robert G. Gibson ’05 on July 10, 2010.

CARBONE – A son, Thomas Andrew, to Kristie and Andrew T. Carbone ’01 on March 7, 2011.

PROCTOR – Christine Vaughan to Jonathan Proctor ’05 on April 30, 2011.

PETTRY – A son, Hank, to Beth and Jonathan R.E. Pettry ’01 on March 19, 2011. FOLEY – A son, Liam Wallace, to Autumn and Ian M. Foley ’05 on Feb. 19, 2011. BOYKIN – A daughter, Emma Michele, to Serena and Michael R. Boykin ’08 on April 22, 2011. GAY – A son, Alexander Wesley, to Michelle and Andrew J. Gay ’08 on May 9, 2011. VINACCO – A son, John Joseph, to Lisa and Michael J. Vinacco ’08 on June 13, 2010. 2011-Issue 3

WAY – Shelton Rumsey Weatherford to Lawton B. Way ’05 on Feb. 26, 2011.

John A. Gialanella ’36 John H. Divine III ’36 Harry F. Byrd Jr. ’35 George C. Freeman ’35 Joseph H. Keller ’36 James A. List ’36 Joseph R. Ross ’39 W. Barton Baldwin ’37

Aug. 28, 1914 Nov. 13, 1914 Dec. 20, 1914 Jan. 27, 1915 Feb. 5, 1915 Feb. 26, 1915 June 12, 1915 July 26, 1915

DEGREES Jonathan G. Mounts ’74 Philosophy Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA April 2011 Robert E. (Ted) Davis ’08 Law George Washington School of Law Washington, D.C. May 2011



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 153

TAPS TAPS Irvin Michelson ’36 Lt. Col. Irvin (Mike) Michelson ’36, USAR (Ret), of Rock Hill, South Carolina, died on March 25, 2011. He was 95. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Michelson matriculated from Strasburg, Virginia, participated in Rat wrestling and earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1942-45 in the Ordnance Division and continued his service in the Army Reserve, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. Michelson was a member of Friendship United Methodist Church. Surviving are his son, Michael L. Michelson ’68 of Jacksonville, Alabama; four grandchildren, Debbie Hurst of Rock Hill, Karen Walls of Independence, Missouri, Ann Charlesworth of Rock Hill and Mark Michelson of Huntsville, Alabama; and five great-grandchildren, Brian, Jimmy and Allison Hurst and Ashley and Brandon Walls. He was predeceased by his wife, Ida Josephine Snodgrass Michelson.

William S. Church ’37 William (Bill) Sherwood Church ’37 of Juno Beach, Florida, died on March 20, 2011. He was 94. Church matriculated from Henderson, North Carolina, and earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from VMI. While at VMI, he played baseball for four years and was a member of the Honor Court. After a 40-year career with the DuPont Company, he retired as a production manager in 1977. An avid golfer, Church volunteered for the Florida State Golf Association, measuring and rating golf courses. He was also active in civic and church affairs. He is survived by his wife, Helen B. Church; one son, Charles Benedict Church and wife Shari of Shirley, Massachusetts; and a daughter, Jane Elizabeth Church of Walnut Creek, California.

Oscar E. Roberson ’38 Oscar Everett Roberson ’38 of Robersonville, North Carolina, died on March 23, 2011. He was 97. Roberson matriculated from Robersonville and attended VMI for two years. While at VMI, he was a member of the boxing team. Roberson, who attended the SmithdealMassey Business College, worked in his


family’s business – A.O. Roberson and Company – until called to duty in World War II. An Army Air Force staff sergeant, Roberson was a B17 Bomber maintenance crew chief with the 379th Bombardment Group which served in Kimbolton, England; France; and North Africa. After the war, he returned to the family business. Roberson was a member of the First Baptist Church of Robersonville. He was an active Shriner, a member of the Masonic Stonewall Lodge #296 and a member of the Scottish Rite. Surviving are his wife, Katherine Davenport Roberson; daughter, Nancy Roberson Tipton of Robersonville; son, Gregory Lee Roberson of Marion, Virginia; grandchildren, Caleb, Benjamin and Isaac Roberson, all of Marion, Virginia, and Linzy Ann Roberson of Radford, Virginia. He was predeceased by his sister, Bernice McRorie, and niece, Cassandra Thompson.

John W. Chiles ’39 John William Chiles ’39 of Lexington, Virginia, died on Feb. 2, 2011. He was 95. Chiles matriculated from Natural Bridge, Virginia, and earned a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts from VMI. He was a member of the equestrian team for two years. Chiles served in the 3rd and 6th Horse Cavalry, followed by pilot training, after which he was assigned to the Army Air Corps-19th Bomb Group at Clark Field, Philippines. From 1941-43, he was involved in extensive combat as a B-17 pilot. When the 19th Bomb Group returned to the U.S., Chiles was assigned to USAF Headquarters-Pentagon as a planning officer, Air Force Staff. In 1946, Chiles returned to Virginia to, first, run a general store and, later, work in real estate until 1957, at which time he joined an intelligence unit within U.S. Air Force Europe (USAFE). In 1958, Chiles was reassigned as a civilian to the Air Staff at the Pentagon. He retired from the service in 1973 and then worked full-time on various family holdings. He and his wife moved to Lexington, Virginia, in 1992. Chiles is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; his children, Elizabeth C. Svee (Richard), John W. Chiles Jr. ’67 (Judy), Judith T. Chiles and David N. Chiles (Fran); his sister, Helen C. Mason (Les); his grandchildren, Lisa Schmidt (Jeremy), Daniel Chiles (Tori), Jessica Chiles, Michelle Chiles and Nicholas Chiles; and great-grandchildren, Gavin and Addison Chiles.

He was predeceased by his parents and six siblings, Lucille C. Collany, Evelyn C. Veague, Anna Elizabeth Chiles, Earl N. Chiles Jr. ’42, who died on Oct. 29, 1980, Catherine C. Veague and Lloyd N. Chiles.

Robert H. Barnes ’40 Robert Hardy Barnes ’40, M.D., of Seattle, Washington, died on March 29, 2011. He was 91. Barnes matriculated from Richmond, Virginia, and was a distinguished VMI graduate with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. Following graduation, Barnes began studying medicine at the Medical College of Virginia. In 1943, he moved to Seattle, Washington, for an internship at Virginia Mason Hospital, but his residency was delayed due to World War II. He served with the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a psychiatrist, treating soldiers returning from combat. After the war, he returned to Seattle and completed his residency. As a doctor, he was a pioneer in the field of hospital care quality assurance and was recognized nationally for his vision. He was also one of the medical practitioners who helped introduce the practice of hospice care to Seattle. At the age of 70, Barnes entered a training course in clinical pastoral education so that he could minister to the dying and their families. Barnes is survived by his daughters, Julie Barnes Morrison (Bob), Debbie Barnes Blethen (Marc Dijulio) and Tucker Barnes; his grandchildren, Kerry Blethen Quinn (Rafe), Sara Barnes, Andrew Morrison (Christine) and Courtney Blethen Riffkin (Jay); two great-grandchildren; his sister, Sally Moore Link; and his dear friend, Michele Edelman.

Cecil W. Page Jr. ’42 Cecil W. (Wray) Page Jr. ’42 of Gloucester, Virginia, died on April 16, 2011. He was 90. Page matriculated from Gloucester and played basketball during the one year that he attended VMI. After leaving VMI, he attended the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, and earned a bachelor of science degree from that institution. In 1957, he earned a master of business administration degree from the Army Comptrollership School at Syracuse University, and while in the military, he also graduated


TAPS from the Army Field Artillery School and U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), among other schools. Page served as an officer in the U.S. Army Signal and Field Artillery Corps. He led troops in Okinawa during WWII, as well as in the Korean War. He trained at Fort Bliss, Texas, in what is now known as Air Defense Artillery. He then served in Ansbach, Germany, as commander of the first Hawk Missile battalion in Europe, and also in Heidelberg, Germany. Page was an instructor in the Department of Joint Combined and Special Operations at the CGSC in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and while there, he wrote documents on war gaming. After retirement from the Army as a lieutenant colonel, Page was employed as a comptroller at Continental Can Company and International Telephone and Telegraph, both in New York City. Following his comptroller career, Wray became a professor and head of the business department at the College of St. Joseph – a private, residential college in Rutland, Vermont. In later retirement, Page founded the PageNelson Society of Virginia, and he and his wife volunteered at The Rosewell Foundation. They were also members of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) and the local fine arts groups. Page remained actively involved in West Point and VMI alumni activities. He was a lifelong member of Abingdon Episcopal Church and often attended St. James Angelican Church, also in Gloucester. During his military service, he served as a lay reader for the Episcopal service in military chapels. Page is survived by his three children, Nina Wray Page Waltzer, Anne Cecil Page and John Mann Page; and grandchildren, Eloise Page Spetko, Thomas Nelson Page, Virginia McCabe Page, John Mann Page Jr., Caroline Margaret Page, Christopher Carter Page and Katherine Brooke Page; his sister, Elizabeth Page Aldrich; nephew, John Page Aldrich; and niece, Elizabeth Lee Aldrich Rouse. He was predeceased by his wife, Nina G. Page.

William H. Johann Jr. ’43 William Henry (Bill) Johann Jr. ’43 of Richmond, Virginia, died on April 20, 2011. He was 90. Johann matriculated from Richmond and earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI.

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During World War II, he served in the South Pacific with the 43rd Engineers Battalion. In 1946, he joined Hankins and Johann Inc., an architectural metal manufacturing company established by his father in 1919. He later became president of the company and served in that capacity until he retired in 1987. He was a member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Hermitage Country Club, Kiwanis Club of Richmond, Jamestowne Society, Sons of the American Revolution and Sons of the Confederate Veterans. He was also an amateur radio operator and belonged to MARS and the Virginia Fone Net. Johann is survived by his son, William H. Johann III, and wife Sheila of Richmond; daughters, Katherine J. Woodard of Richmond, Bruce J. Muller-Thym and husband Harry of Darlington, Maryland, and Jane J. Gresham and husband Dick of Norfolk, Virginia; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Jane Ritchie Johann, and brothers, Foster Powell Johann and Joseph Powell Johann ’49B.

Robert W. McConnell ’43, MD

University Health Science Center at Scott and White Clinic and Hospital from 1982-91. He served as chairman of the board of chancellors for the American College of Radiology in 1969 and 1970. In 1971, he was elected president of the American College of Radiology. He served as a trustee of the Society of Nuclear Medicine from 1969-74 and served as the secretary of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies from 1971-77. While practicing in Houston, he became a member of the board of directors at the UT Health Science Center, School of Medicine. Over a 17-year period, he evaluated medical residents during their annual oral examinations in radiology and in nuclear radiology for the American Board of Radiology. In 1977, McConnell was awarded the Gold Medal of the American College of Radiology for outstanding achievement and contributions to the field of medicine. McConnell co-authored a number of professional papers and journal articles during his 50-year career. He wrote two books on Haiku, a Japanese form of poetry. With his wife, he founded the Salado Public Library in 1985, and in 1986, he was elected president of the Chamber of Commerce of Salado, Texas. He is survived by six children, Barbara M. Taylor, Patricia M. Arnold, Robert G. McConnell, Marilyn M. Cornwell, Marcia J. McConnell and Thomas A. McConnell; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Betty Jane Golter McConnell, M.D., and his four siblings.

Robert Warren (Bob) McConnell ’43, M.D., radiologist and pioneer in nuclear medicine, died on Feb. 24, 2011, in Richardson, Texas. McConnell graduated from VMI with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He served and was honorably discharged from the Army in 1945. McConnell’s post-graduate training inThomas E. Williams ’44 cluded residencies in surgery and radiology Thomas Evan Williams ’44 of Richmond, at the VA Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, and a Virginia, died in Boca Raton, Florida, on Feb. fellowship in radiology at the University of 23, 2011. He was 89. Pennsylvania. During his career, Williams graduated VMI in 1944 he was named a Diplomat of three with a bachelor of science degree boards: the American Board of in civil engineering. He matricuRadiology in 1952, the American lated from Richmond, Virginia, Board of Nuclear Medicine in and while at VMI, was one of the 1972 and the American Board last captains of the cavalry who of Radiology with Special Comled one of the final charges on petence in Nuclear Radiology the VMI parade ground in honor in 1976. of visiting Virginia Governor McConnell’s hospital and mediWilliam Tuck. cal school teaching appointments Williams served in World War II included attending radiologist, McConnell ’43 as a first lieutenant in the Army. president of the medical staff at A member of the Chinese Combat Mercy Hospital, clinical professor of radiol- Command, he was awarded a Bronze Star and ogy and director of nuclear radiology. He four service medals. was professor of radiology at the Texas A&M He was the president and owner of Virginia


TAPS Trap Rock Inc. in Leesburg, Virginia, and founder and president of Eastern Trucking Company and Loudon Equipment Company. He was also president of the Virginia Aggregate Associates and district vice-president and director of the Virginia Road Builders Association. Williams was vice president of the Izaak Walton League of Virginia and president of the VMI Club of Richmond. He was a charter member of the Eastern Hunt Club and a member of the Black Ink Investment Club. Additionally, he was a member of the Country Club of Virginia, the Commonwealth Club, the Matthews Yacht Club, the Delray Beach Yacht Club, Bryce Resort, and The Boca Raton Resort and Club. He is survived by his wife, Sally Smith Williams; four children, Lacy Williams and hus-

band Bill White, Ashton Harrison and husband Dave, Meredith Squire and husband Weaver, and T. Evan Williams Jr. and wife Bonnie; and eight grandchildren, Evan Nasteff, Aynsley and Marsi Harrison, Alexandra and Peter Squire, and Brooke, Bridgette and Melissa Williams. He is also survived by his brother, John Dickinson Williams ’45 of Richmond.

James L. Morrison Jr. ’45 Col. James Lunsford Morrison Jr. ’45, USA (Ret), of Luray, Virginia, died on Feb. 21, 2011. He was 87. Morrison matriculated from Petersburg, Virginia, and earned a bachelor of arts degree from VMI in liberal arts. He served on the Bomb staff and cadet staff for two years and was a member of the Glee Club for one year. He also participated on the track and cross

country team for one year and was a member of the Polo Club for two years. Morrison served in the U.S. Army from 1947-71, during three wars: World War II, the Korean Police Action and Vietnam. During his military career, he was awarded the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Air Medal, Coast Guard Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal. He attended the Command and General Staff College. After retiring from the Army, he was a professor of history at York College. Morrison is survived by his wife, Carol; two daughters, Jane Nakatani and Anne Spangler; and a son, James E.B. Morrison. He was predeceased by a cousin, Willis W. Morrison ’891, who died on Sept. 5, 1931, and an uncle, Emmett M. Morrison ’861, who died on June 8, 1932.

Harvey S. Sadow ’44 On March 24, 2011, Harvey S. Sadow ’44, Ph.D., died in Ridgefield, Connecticut. He was 88. A native of New York City, Sadow matriculated at VMI in fall 1940 and studied chemistry. As was the case with many cadets at the time, he left VMI in 1943 to join the Army. Sadow served in the Army until 1945, leaving active duty as a captain, and then served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 194553. He returned to VMI after the war and in 1948, completed his studies as a Distinguished Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. After graduating from VMI, Sadow earned a master of science degree from the University of Kansas in 1949 and a Ph.D. in bio-analytical chemistry from the University of Connecticut. He began his career as director of research at Lakeside Laboratories in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, he helped develop the first non-insulin treatment for diabetes. He later went to USV Pharmaceutical Corporation, a division of Revlon Health Care, as senior vice president and director of research. In 1971, he began a 19-year association with the German corporation, Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leaders in the pharmaceutical industry. He joined Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd. USA as its president and chief executive officer and led the establishment of its headquarters in Ridgefield, Connecticut. From 1981-88, he was president and chief executive officer of its successor company, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its parent company, Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation. From January 1988 to December 1990, he served as chairman of the board of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and Roxanne Laboratories. Sadow also was involved with many start-up companies, serving as chairman of the board for such firms as Cholestech Corporation and Acacia Biosciences and as a member of the board of directors of companies such as Telios Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Houghton Pharmaceuticals Inc. He was an independent director of Anika Therapeutics and senior


advisor to Genaissance Pharmaceuticals Inc. Dedicated to advancing his industry, he was a member of the board of directors of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association and the chairman of its foundation. He also served as president of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering and as a member of the President’s Circle of The Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. Sadow was deeply involved with the University of Connecticut and the University of Connecticut Health Center. For his many efforts to advance these institutions, he received the University Medal and the Distinguished Alumni Award. Despite the intense demands of his business career and other civic activities, Sadow found the time to serve his alma mater. He was a trustee of the VMI Foundation from 1979-87. He joined the VMI Board of Visitors immediately after leaving the Foundation Board of Trustees and was a member of that body until 1995. During his last four years on the board of visitors, he was its president. A generous donor to VMI, he was a constituent supporter of what is now known as the Foundation Fund and various scholarship funds. In 1988, he established the Harvey S. Sadow 1944 & Harvey S. Sadow Jr. 1968 Fund, which provides unrestricted money to the Institute. In 1998, the VMI Foundation Board of Trustees presented Sadow with its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Sadow is survived by his wife, Mary; two sons, Harvey S. Sadow Jr.’68 and wife Susan and Todd F. Sadow, M.D.; two daughters, Suzanne Sadow and husband Ken Conrad and Gay Summer Sadow Rick and husband Larry; an adopted son, Daniel J. Sadow; three stepsons, Lawrence McSwiggan and wife Sara, Thomas McSwiggan, and Kevin McSwiggan and wife Cathy; a sister-in-law, Edith Sadow; and six grandchildren, Nina, Kathryn, Caolinn, Sinead, Mason and Major. He was predeceased by his parents and brother, Jay Walter Sadow.


TAPS Thomas G. Sinclair ’45 Thomas Graham Sinclair ’45 of Newport Beach, California, passed away on Feb. 23, 2011. He was 87. Sinclair matriculated from Greenville, Texas, and attended VMI for two years. He volunteered for duty in the Army and served with the 94th Infantry Division under Gen. George S. Patton III ’907 in the European Theater. He was awarded the Bronze Star for valor. After the war, he graduated from Texas A&M in 1949 and was then employed by Standard Oil of Texas – now Chevron – retiring in 1989 with 36 years of service. He worked in various locales, including Venezuela, Bahrain and Sumatra in Indonesia, where he was vice president for CalTex, a subsidiary of Chevron, managing the work of more than 4,000 employees. He and his wife retired in California. Sinclair is survived by two children, Thomas Graham Sinclair Jr. of Irvine, California, and Cynthia Kay Sinclair of San Rafael, California; two grandchildren, Brian Graham Sinclair of Bend, Oregon, and Jordan Thomas Sinclair of Irvine, California; and two nieces, Jane Sinclair Gilbert of Greenville and Susan Sinclair Sherman of Dallas. He was predeceased by his wife, Olive Cameron.

George W. Cross ’46 George Willis Cross ’46 of Augusta, Georgia, died on March 12, 2011. He was 87. Cross matriculated from Lynchburg, Virginia, and attended VMI for six months. Following his service in World War II, he completed his education at the University of Richmond where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. After graduation, he accepted a position with Bethlehem Steel Corporation with which he remained employed for 39 years. For the last 20 years of his career, he was the regional sales manager for the Southeastern United States with offices in New Orleans, Louisiana. He lived in New Orleans for 47 years and participated in many civic and church activities, including the Holy Name Society. Following Hurricane Katrina, Cross and his wife moved to Augusta, Georgia, where they spent his final five years. He was a member of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church. Cross is survived by his wife, Sweetie; his children, George W. Cross Jr. (Spencer) of Lynchburg, Virginia, and Louise Mallan Cross

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Kelbaugh of Columbia, Maryland; his stepchildren, Dr. Stacy “Chip” Hammond Story III (Nancy) of Augusta, Stephen Francis Story (Robyn) of Tampa, Florida, John Michaels Story (Susan) of Greensboro, North Carolina, and Ellen Story Ashe (Steven) of Evans; his brother, John Haw Cross (Page) of Hilton Head, South Carolina; his grandchildren, Haden Mallan Cross, Thomas Brent Story (Dee Dee), Stephen Francis Story Jr. (Tanya), Jessica Story Nance (Josh), Emily Cross Story, Caro Story Ashe and Evan Carlisle Ashe; his great-grandchildren, Rebecca Calley Story, Stacy Hammond Story V, Jack Woodruff Story and Lillian Marie Story; and his nephew, John H. Cross Jr. (Amy). He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Louise Mallan Hughes Cross; and his grandson, Stacy Hammond Story IV ’94, D.M.D., O.M.S., who died on March 20, 2005.

Oliver O. Kessing Jr. ’46 Oliver Owen Kessing Jr. ’46 of Fort Myers, Florida, died on March 4, 2011. He was 87. Kessing matriculated from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and attended VMI for one year. He participated in football and fencing during his time at VMI. He transferred to the Navy V-12 program at the University of Virginia and attained a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the U.S. Postgraduate School as a U.S. Navy ensign. Later, he earned a master of science degree in administration from George Washington University. While in the Navy, he attended the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay with his father, Admiral O.O. Kessing, USN. As weapons officer aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise, he participated in a U.S. goodwill tour around the world on one of the Navy’s first three nuclear ships. He also served on the U.S.S. Los Angeles as gunnery officer for two tours during the Korean War and was captain of the U.S.S. Traverse County (LST-1160). Among his decorations were the Navy Commendation Ribbon with Pendant and Combat V; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, two stars; China Service Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, European & Asiatic; Philippine Liberation Ribbon; National Defense Service Medal; WWII Victory; Korean Presidential Unit Citation; Korean Service Medal, two stars; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Lebanon); and Command at Sea Insignia. After retiring as a commander in 1967, Kessing was employed by the Stanwick Corp.

and then continued his career in U.S. Civil Service as a weapons engineer with the Naval Ship Weapon System Engineering Station until 1985. An avid sailor, Kessing served as commodore of the Yacht Club in 1992-93. Married to Dulcene Douglas Wilson (Candy) of Coronado, California, Kessing is survived by his children, Douglas Lance of Ojai, California, Kathleen Marie (Waylisa) of Ventura, California, Dulcene Elizabeth (Betsy) of Sacramento, California, Kevin Wilson of Dallas, Texas, Patrick Michael of Fort Myers, Florida, and Bailey Douglas of New Market, Maryland; 19 grandchildren; and 10 greatgrandchildren. He was predeceased by two children, Rogers Moffett and Oliver Owen III.

Samuel L. Duff ’47 Samuel Lewis Duff ’47 of Houston, Texas, died on April 26, 2011. He was 84. Duff matriculated from Lebanon, Virginia, and attended VMI for one year and six months. He went on to earn a bachelor of science degree from Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. Duff served as a medic in the U.S. Army 47th Infantry Division in the European Theater during World War II, as well as in major campaigns in France, Belgium and Germany. He was employed by American Cyanamid, retiring as a sales executive in the chemical industry, and he was a charter member of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church. Duff is survived by his wife, Betty Jane (Todd) Duff; his children, Samuel L. Duff Jr., Sue Carroll Duff and husband Tom, Charles Todd Duff and wife Celia, and Joseph William Duff and wife Melissa; seven grandchildren, Stephanie, Daniel, Jessica, Chad, Emily, Laura and Alexia; and his brother, Joseph Eugene Duff Jr. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Mary Catherine Anderson.

William H. Whitmore Jr. ’48A William Harvey Whitmore Jr. ’48A, M.D., of Norfolk, Virginia, died on April 15, 2011. He was 84. Whitmore matriculated from Norfolk, Virginia, and attended VMI for four years, four months and 15 days, earning a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. He was a member of the Glee Club for two years and the football and swimming teams for one year.


TAPS He received his doctor of medicine degree Cleyburn L. McCauley ’49B in 1952 from the University of Virginia. Col. Cleyburn Lycurgus McCauley ’49B, Whitmore interned at Johnson Willis and USA (Ret), of Wilmington, North Carolina, completed his residency at Sentara Norfolk died on Dec. 13, 2010. He was 81. General Hospital. He was on the He matriculated from Tyler, honorary staff at DePaul, NorTexas, and attended VMI for one folk General and Leigh Memoyear. rial Hospitals; a member of the Graduating from West Point Medical Society of Virginia; an in 1950, McCauley also earned AARP fellow; and Mensa society a master of science degree in member. industrial engineering and staWhitmore practiced medicine tistics from Stanford and, in for over 53 years. He later be1970, a law degree from William came a sole-proprietor, brokerand Mary. dealer and author of two books. Following his graduation from Whitmore Jr. He was a member of the Norfolk West Point, he became a fighter ’48A Yacht and Country Club and St. pilot and flew the P51-Mustang Stephens Church. from 1951-52. He was shot down He is survived by his wife, Lamar Kimberly over Korea and was awarded the Purple Whitmore; six children, William Harvey Heart. III, Brent Cartmell, Katharine Kimberly, Later, he worked as an Air force test pilot Margaret Mitchell, John Kimberly and Har- and performed counterinsurgency assignriet Lamar; eight grandchildren; one great- ments in Latin America. He retired from the grandchild; two sisters, Jane W. Whittemore military as a lieutenant colonel in 1970 and of Virginia Beach and Mary Ellen Cheek of was employed by a Washington, D.C., law Mornington, Australia. firm before he began to practice corporate Whitmore was predeceased by his father- law independently. in-law, John B. Kimberly ’917, who died on McCauley wrote two books on Biblical Aug. 14, 1953. history.

Edward M. Spratley ’48B Edward Morris (Ned) Spratley ’48B of Midlothian, Virginia, died on Feb. 17, 2011. He was 83. Spratley matriculated from Hampton, Virginia, and attended VMI for one year, two months and 14 days. While at VMI, he was a member of the track team. His studies at VMI were interrupted when he was called to service in the U.S. Navy. Upon fulfillment of his military duty, he attended Hampden-Sydney College and graduated in 1949. Spratley undertook a variety of careers but is best known for his work in real estate as a custom home builder and designer. He was a member of Salisbury Country Club, the “Bogie Club” and Bon Air Cotillion, as well as a Scout leader and vestryman of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. Spratley is survived by his wife, Evangeline Preas Spratley; son, Edward Morris (Jack) Spratley Jr. of Powhatan; daughter-in-law, Katherine Talley Spratley of Midlothian; grandson, Edward Meade Spratley of Richmond; granddaughter, Elizabeth Spratley Birocco and husband Kevin; and great-granddaughter, Sarah Evangeline of Williamsburg.


He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Elisita) McKoy McCauley; his children, Stephens Francis McCauley, Elizabeth McCauley and husband Robert Mazzetta, Cleyburn and Jean McCauley, Lucy McCauley and Charles Bambach; his daughter-in-law, Julie McCauley Huelle; three grandchildren, Maj. Shane McCauley, M.D. (PRT Zabul, Afghanistan) and wife Danielle, Natalie Nichole McCauley, and Hannah McCauley Bambach. He was predeceased in death by his brother, Reese Stephens McCauley Jr. ’52, who died on April 22, 1957.

Phanor L. Perot Jr. ’49B Phanor Leonidas Perot Jr. ’49B, M.D., Ph.D., of Charleston, South Carolina, died on Feb. 2, 2011. He was 82. Perot matriculated from Monroe, Louisiana, and attended VMI for two years. While at VMI, he was in the Rifle and Pistol Club. Perot served as chairman of the Medical University of South Carolina’s Department of Neurological Surgery from 1968-97. During his career, he built a reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent neurosurgical researchers, academicians and clinicians. He is credited with the development of widely used operative practices, medical management

strategies for spinal injuries and innovative organizational concepts in neurological clinical services. A 1948 graduate of the Tulane University School of Medicine, Perot developed an interest in neurosurgery during his internship at the Philadelphia General Hospital and surgical residency at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After serving two years in the U.S. Navy, he completed a neurosurgical residency at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI). While at MNI, he received a special fellowship from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness and obtained a Ph.D. in neurosurgery and neurophysiology from McGill University. During this time he also worked with renowned neurosurgeon, Wilder Penfield, M.D., and authored a highly regarded and referenced paper on epilepsy. In 1968, Perot left the Montreal Neurological Institute to take a position as chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. Over the next 30 years, he became widely known in the field of neurological surgery. In addition to leading the Medical University’s neurological surgery program, he served as president of many neurosurgical organizations, including the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, and first vice president of the World Federation of Neurological Societies. Other research accomplishments include pioneering work in somatosensory evoked potentials – a vital intraoperative monitoring modality now used in countless surgical procedures. He also developed the currently preferred technique (trans-thoracic) for surgical relief of spinal compression secondary to ruptured disc, and he was instrumental in clinical trials leading to the first effective medical therapy for spinal trauma. To support these activities, Perot was awarded one of the largest and longest running program project grants in the field, a 19year series of awards totaling in excess of $12 million. With a special interest in spinal cord injuries, he published many papers on the neurosurgery of trauma, with an emphasis on spinal cord injuries and pathology of cord damage. He also served for 18 years as the principal investigator of Acute Spinal Cord Injury Research Center funded by National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke. Under Perot’s leadership, the Department of Neurological Surgery received national


TAPS acclaim, earning recognition from U.S. News and World Report in 1997 as one of the top such programs in the U.S. In 2007, to honor Perot for his achievements and to promote continued growth and discovery in the field of neurological surgery, the Medical University of South Carolina successfully secured full funding for the Perot Endowed Chair for Spinal Cord Injury. Perot is survived by his wife, Sandra Scoggins Perot; two daughters, Deirdre Perot Lightsey and Vanessa Perot Gilbert; two sons, Pascal Francis Perot and Christopher Wallace Perot; his grandchildren, Taylor Jones, Christopher Perot Jr., James Gilbert, Charles Gilbert and Georgia Gilbert; as well as other relatives. He was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Phanor Leonidas (Lee) Perot III.

Gerald E. Smallwood ’50B Gerald Earnest Smallwood ’50B of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, died on March 22, 2011. He was 80. Smallwood matriculated from Lovingston, Virginia, and held a bachelor of science degree from VMI in civil engineering. He was a member of the swimming and wrestling teams and the Glee Club. Smallwood entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant in 1951, and following pilot training, he served in Korea, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as other medals. After leaving the Air Force, he earned a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Alabama and entered the Air National Guard. In 1961, he received a juris doctor of law degree from Washington and Lee University. Smallwood practiced patent law in Arizona, California and Washington, D.C., with NASA. Later, he became a commercial pilot with World Airways and Overseas National Airways (ONA) until ONA went out of business. At that time, he enrolled in George Mason University and earned an MBA in financial management, while at the same time teaching at GMU and in the Fairfax County Public Schools. At age 60, he retired from the Air Force Reserve as a major and, in 1990, moved to Southern Shores, North Carolina, where he continued teaching and financial consulting, as well as other activities. Smallwood is survived by his wife, Jane McCullough Parris Smallwood; two sons, Taylor and Jones; two daughters, Edie Johnson and Rosemary Smallwood; his former wife,

2011-Issue 3

Betty Johnson Hetrick; three granddaughters; a brother, Lester; three stepchildren, Michael, Ann and Susan Parris; and two step-grandsons. He is predeceased by his sister, Dorothy.

Robert G. Long Sr. ’52 Robert Gardner Long Sr. ’52 of Edisto Island, South Carolina, died on Feb. 21, 2011. He was 80. Long matriculated to VMI from Charlotte, North Carolina, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. While at VMI, he was a four-year member of the Hop and Floor Committee and the Glee Club. After graduating from VMI, he was an active member of The VMI Alumni Association. Long served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Later, he was based with NASA at the Kennedy Space Center. His career with NASA, from which he retired as a director, spanned many years, from the Gemini launch to the Shuttle Program. He was a member of the Ashepoo Hunt Club in Ashepoo, South Carolina. Long is survived by his wife, Natalie; sons, Robert G. Long Jr. of Cocoa Beach, Florida, John Curtis of Merritt Island, Florida, and William T. Long of DeBary, Florida; two step-daughters, Charlene Kelley and Maurine Cooper, both of Florida; and three stepgranddaughters, all of Florida.

Donald W. Drennen Jr. ’54 Donald Ward Drennen Jr. ’54 of Birmingham, Alabama, died on March 4, 2011. He was 77. A Distinguished Graduate with academic stars, Drennen matriculated from Birmingham and earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI. While at the Institute, he was a member of the tennis team for four years and co-captain of the team his first class year. After graduating from VMI, he served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1954-56. Joined by his father in 1956, Drennen began his lifelong career with Don Drennen Motor Company in Ensley, Alabama, and in 1973, moved it to its present location in Hoover, Alabama. His son, Ward, joined him at the dealership in 1993. In 2010, Drennen was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Birmingham Automobile Dealers Association.

He served as a Scout Master, a past president of the Ensley Kiwanis Club, and a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Southside Baptist Church. He was also the Alabama president of Ducks Unlimited and a member of the Shades Valley Rotary Club. Drennen is survived by his wife, Carolyn; his children, Lyn Drennen Cosby (Randy) of Atlanta, Ward Drennen (Beth) and Laurie Drennen Fuentes (Eddy); and his grandchildren, Cayla, Matthew, Emily and Mitchell Drennen and Rob and Will Cosby. He was preceded in death by his mother, Annie Moore Provost Drennen; his father, Donald Ward Drennen Sr.; and his sisters, Evelyn Drennen Williams, Katherine Drennen Vogtle and Margaret Drennen Blair.

Edwin H. Chauncey ’55 Edwin Hall Chauncey ’55 of Rocky Mount, Virginia, died on Feb. 21, 2011. He was 77. Chauncey matriculated from Hilton Village, Virginia, and attended VMI for three years. He graduated from the University of Richmond. Chauncey also attended The University of Richmond School of Law (T.C. Williams School of Law), prior to joining the U.S. Army. In the Army, he served in Germany and was a member of the Long Range Rifle Patrol. He spent 35 years in the brokerage business, starting with the original firm of Abbott, Proctor and Paine, and retired from UBS Paine Webber in Richmond. Chauncey was a member of Rocky Mount United Methodist Church and was involved in numerous civic groups and activities, as well as the restoration of his 150-year old home. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Richards Chauncey; a brother, Warren Fulton Chauncey of Virginia Beach and Charlottesville; his children, Virginia Chauncey of Augusta County, Caron Chauncey Wailor (Chris) of Houston and Kirk Fulton Chauncey of Richmond; and one grandson, Jonathan Powell Holt of Richmond.

Robert H. Filer ’55 Robert Hoagland Filer ’55 of Norfolk, Virginia, died on April 24, 2011. He was 77. A distinguished military graduate, Filer matriculated from Norfolk and earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology from VMI. While at the Institute, he was a three-year member of the Bomb staff and a four-year member of the Glee Club. He served on the Honor Court for three years and was the first


TAPS vice president of the Honor Court during his first class year, as well as president of the Glee Club that same year. Upon graduation from VMI, he was inducted into the Beta Commission of the Kappa Alpha Order at Washington and Lee University. Filer was a member of Christ the Redeemer Angelican Church and a former member of The Church of the Good Shepherd, where he served two terms as a member of the Vestry, chair of the Evangelism Committee and a director of the Alpha Program. From 1987 to 2010, he was a board member and a volunteer for Lee’s Friends and was honored for his volunteer efforts. He served on the boards of the Hampton Roads United Christians, Providence Bible College and Canterbury Center for Episcopal Campus Ministry at Old Dominion University, of which he was chairman of the board from 2003-05. He was named Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2002 by Providence Bible College and Theological Seminary. Filer retired as president of a subsidiary of Union Carbide after 28 years and as president and chief financial officer of Providence Bible College and Theological Seminary after 15 years. He is survived by his wife, Emily Symington Harkins Filer; daughters, Mary Wilson Pross, Elizabeth DuVal Filer and Anne Filer Vogt; stepson, Montgomery Fox Harkins; and grandchildren, Janice and Kaitlyn and Ruth Postlewaite. He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Betty DuVal Filer; a stepdaughter, Lee Harkins; and a brother, Stanley Wilson Filer.

Ronald E. Lemmons ’55 Ronald Eugene Lemmons ’55, M.D., of Loyola Beach, Texas, died on April 11, 2011, in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was 77. Lemmons matriculated from Longview, Texas, and attended VMI for three years. He then entered Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana, and earned his doctor of medicine degree. He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and a Vietnam War veteran. Lemmons was board certified in general surgery and practiced medicine for 50 years, including many years at Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg in Kingsville, Texas. He served as chief of staff at several hospitals during his career, including Lyster Army Hospital in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Prior to his death, he was a volunteer physician at


the Riviera Clinic in Riviera, Texas. He is survived by his wife, Miriam Lemmons of Loyola Beach; two daughters, Linda Lemmons of Corpus Christi and Robin Jones (Joseph) of Menifee, California; three sons, Robert Lemmons of Dallas, Texas, Mark Lemmons (Deb) of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Kevin Lemmons (Kathy) of Keller, Texas; one sister, Sherea Hopping of Littlefield, Texas; five grandchildren, Taylor Lemmons, Michael Lemmons, Erin Jones, Kyle Jones and Scott Jones; and two special friends, Marley and Jack.

Fritz Firing Sr. ’56 Fritz Firing Sr. ’56 of Summerville, South Carolina, died on April 2, 2011. He was 77. Firing matriculated from Norfolk, Virginia, and earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from VMI. A member of the Marine Corps for 13 years, he served his country in Vietnam as an officer in the 3rd Marine Division. He retired after 30 years of civil service and went to work as a security guard for USA Associates at CSU and Charleston Public Waterworks. Firing is survived by his wife, Mary Helen of Summerville; daughter, Susan and husband Steven Strohm; and his sister, Sonja Purkey of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

John T. Undercoffer ’56

Undercoffer was preceded in death by his father, John Lewis Undercoffer; mother, Margaret Cain Undercoffer; and brother, Bruce Undercoffer.

Earlie P. Blanks Jr. ’57 Earlie Presley Blanks Jr. ’57 of Martinsville, Virginia, died on March 19, 2011. He was 76. Blanks matriculated from Halifax, Virginia, and participated in cross country and track during the year that he attended VMI. He went on to earn a bachelor of science degree from Lynchburg College. He was a military policeman in the U.S. Army from 1954-57. Blanks worked at Memorial Hospital in Martinsville from 1972 to 2000 and at the time of his retirement was director of material management. He volunteered for the United Way and had served on the board of directors for the Ridgeway Volunteer Rescue Squad. He was also an active member and former deacon at First Baptist Church of Martinsville. He is survived by a daughter, Jacqueline Beth Blanks of Cary, North Carolina; two sons, Eric Thomas Blanks of Clayton, North Carolina, and Earl Carlton Blanks of Apex, North Carolina; a sister, Hilda Redline of Venice, Florida; one granddaughter; and one grandson. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, JoAnne Kidd Blanks.

Lt. Col. John Thomas Undercoffer ’56, USA (Ret), of Hampton, Virginia, died on March 21, 2011. He was 76. He matriculated from Loveland, Ohio, Charles H. Caldwell ’57 and held a bachelor of arts degree in history Charles Henry Caldwell ’57 of Gilliam, Loufrom VMI. isiana, died on April 12, 2011. He was 75. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Caldwell matriculated from Vivian, LouiArmy until 1984, including tours of duty in siana, and was a biology major during his Germany, Vietnam and Korea. three years at VMI. He went on to earn a Following retirement from active duty, degree in geology from Centenary College he continued to work with the Department in Shreveport, Louisiana. of Defense for 14 years, retiring again in He was employed as a petroleum geologist 1999. and as a fireman and emergency medical He is survived by his wife, Sheila R. Under- technician. coffer; children, Kirt Undercoffer Caldwell was a member of of Washington, D.C., Heidi Unthe Chalybeate Springs Baptist dercoffer of Lincoln, Nebraska, Church where he served as Scott Bryant of Hampton and deacon and a member of the Kimberly Yates also of Lincoln; Gideons. He served with the mother, Kathryn Undercoffer of Louisiana National Guard and Loveland, Ohio; sister, Martha he was also a former Boy Scout Undercoffer also of Loveland; leader. brother, Graham Undercoffer and He is survived by his wife, his wife, Shelley of Lexington, Beverly Ann Marcom Caldwell Virginia; four grandchildren and of Gilliam; his children, Charles Undercoffer ’56 Robert Caldwell of Gilliam, three great-grandchildren.


TAPS Cheryl Ann Caldwell of Gilliam, Virginia Caldwell Drennan and husband Jeffrey of Plano, Texas, and Coleman Matthew Caldwell and wife Deanna of McKinney, Texas; three brothers and one sister, Robert Coleman Caldwell and wife Charlotte of Vivian, Gwendolyn Melancon and husband Louis of Haughton, Louisiana, Daniel Matthew Caldwell and wife Beverly of Haughton, and Michael Rae Caldwell of Shreveport, Louisiana; six grandchildren, Charles Joshua Marcom Alexander and wife Jackie, Jeremy Neal Alexander, Zachary Seth Alexander, Ashley Breanna Caldwell, Hunter Matthew Caldwell and Alexa Bailey Caldwell; three great-grandchildren, Ayden Elaine Alexander, Tracelynn Seth Alexander and Avery Joshlyn Alexander; and numerous nieces and nephews. Caldwell was preceded in death by his parents and by his daughter, Lori Michael Caldwell.

football team that achieved an undefeated season (in 1957) under legendary coach John McKenna. At the time, the team was ranked 13th in the final Associated Press poll. Ondos lettered in the sport. He went on to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard and was stationed in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he coached a Catholic basketball team in his spare time. He was both owner and president of Ondos Environmental and was retired at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Janet Stapinski Ondos; sons, Mark Ondos and Eric Ondos (Jill); his brothers and sister, John and Joseph Ondos and Mary Jane Huggins; and grandchildren, Alexander Michael and Abigail Mari. He was predeceased by his parents, John and Anna Ondos.

J. Darrell Rice ’58

Richard Benjamin (Dick) Hardy III ’62 of Norfolk, Virginia, died on Feb. 27, 2011. He was 70. Hardy matriculated from Blackstone, Virginia, and attended VMI for two years, four months and 15 days. Following VMI, Hardy traveled extensively and then settled in Norfolk, where he lived for the last 40 years. He was in sales for most of his professional life and worked for Norfolk Checker-Black and White Cabs for 20 years, before retiring in 2009. He is survived by his second wife, Susan Cobb Hardy, of Norfolk, and their daughter, Jennifer Dare Hardy; his and his first wife’s children, Leah Hardy Powell and Richard Benjamin Hardy IV; three grandchildren; and a brother, R. Willson Hardy of York, Pennsylvania.

John Darrell Rice ’58, D.D.S., of Sutherland, Virginia, died on April 22, 2011. He was 74. A Distinguished Graduate, Rice matriculated from Portsmouth, Virginia, and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from VMI. He was a member of the track team for one year and Glee Club for four years. Following graduation from VMI, he went on to earn his doctor of dental science degree from the Medical College of Virginia. Rice served in the U.S. Army Dental Corps from 1962-66, attaining the rank of captain. He was a member of the Petersburg Lions Club, the American Dental Association, Appomattox Regional Water Authority and St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. He is survived by a daughter, Kimberly Gore and husband J. Martin Gore Jr.; granddaughters, Lindsey and Emily; grandson, Curtis; brother, Dr. James Rice; and numerous nieces, nephews and other family members. Rice was preceded in death by his parents, John and Emily Greenwell Rice, and his wife, Allene C. Rice.

Michael W. Ondos ’60 Michael William Ondos ’60 of Whitehall, Pennsylvania, died on Feb. 2, 2011. He was 73. Ondos matriculated from Library, Pennsylvania, and held a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI. While at the Institute, he was a four-year member of the

2011-Issue 3

Richard B. Hardy III ’62

William C. Hoehl ’62 William Clarence (Bill) Hoehl ’62 of Omaha, Nebraska, formerly of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, died on Feb. 16, 2011. He was 70. Hoehl matriculated from Pitcairn, Pennsylvania, and earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from VMI. He attended the Institute on a football scholarship, playing all four years and lettering in the sport. He retired from a successful sales career. Hoehl is survived by his children, Rebecca McMichael, Jane Horwat and Sara Hoehl; sister, Mary Lou Halstead; grandchild, Nicholas Horwat; and Kris Price and Julie Gentry.

Jerry T. Smith ’63 Jerry Townsend Smith ’63 of Roanoke, Virginia, died on Feb. 23, 2011. He was 71. Smith matriculated from Roanoke and attended VMI for two years on an athletic scholarship. In addition to VMI, he attended Duke University and graduated from Virginia Tech. He was the former owner of Automotive Paint and Supply Company. Smith is survived by his mother, Beatrice Noel Smith; daughter and son-in-law, Kim and David Wirt of Mooresville, North Carolina; son and daughter-in-law, Jay and Amy Smith of Florida; grandchildren, Caroline, Courtney and Christine Wirt, and Jake and Leah Smith. He was preceded in death by his father, Herman William Smith; brother, Don Barry Smith; and uncle, Fred Henry Smith.

Ronald W. Williams Sr. ’64 Col. Ronald Walker Williams Sr. ’64, USAF (Ret), of Norfolk, Virginia, died on March 21, 2011. He was 69. Williams matriculated from Hampton, Virginia, and earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from VMI. He served as Regimental S-1, was chosen as the Outstanding Air Force Cadet and was the top cadet in the Air Force summer camp. During a 26-year career in the U.S. Air Force, he served his country as an F4 and F16 fighter pilot, as the commander of the 4th TAC Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, and as the base commander at Shemya Air Force Base in Alaska. He also served a tour aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga, completing 135 missions as an exchange flyer with the U.S. Navy, piloting fighter aircraft from the carrier. He flew 215 combat missions in Vietnam. During the last three years of his military career, Williams was assigned to VMI as professor of aerospace studies in charge of the Institute’s Air Force ROTC Detachment. After he retired from the Air Force in 1991, he joined VMI as assistant commandant and was known by cadets as “Uncle Ron.” Williams was a member of the Church of the Holy Family in Virginia Beach. He volunteered with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He also provided volunteer assistance to the Special Olympics, Hospice and the Norfolk Catholic Worker. Williams is survived by his wife, Ginny; daughter, Kimberly Williams, husband Steve


TAPS Baggarly and sons Daniel and Martin; son, Dr. Ronald Williams, wife Dr. Trang Le and son Benjamin; daughter, Kristina WilliamsNeukrug, husband Dr. Edward Neukrug and daughters Hannah and Emma; son, Rich Williams and daughter Stella; two sisters, Carol Boone and Myrna Goodman; many nieces and nephews; and his mother-in-law, Virginia Mahler.

Dick Woods; and sisters, Abigail Tempel and Ruth Mielke.

Paul E. Crawford ’65

Ryan Allan Williams ’10 of New Albany, Ohio, died on April 14, 2011. He was 23. Williams matriculated from New Albany and attended VMI for two months. Prior to coming to VMI, he was a 2006 graduate of The Culver Military Academy where he received the Albert Lawrence Kurtz Memorial Award (best all around lieutenant cadet). At the time of his death, he was a senior engineering student at Ohio State University. Williams was a passionate hockey player, aviator and motorcyclist. He was vicechairman of the Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team (BEMRT). He is survived by his parents, Lynda and Reed Williams of New Albany; grandparents, Elizabeth and Roger Dumaree and Joanne and Jack Williams ’41; aunts, Ann Williams and Michelle Wolfel (Dustin Givens); uncle, Roger Dumaree (Lisa); several cousins; and many more relatives and friends.

Paul Edwin Crawford ’65 of Sonoma, California, died on March 24, 2011. He was 67. He matriculated from Ashland, Kentucky, and held a bachelor of arts degree in history from VMI. He was a sergeant in Delta Company. He is survived by his wife, Gayle Vanderpool Crawford; sons, Jonathan L. Crawford and Stephen F. Crawford; and daughter, Amie Noel. Editor’s Note: At press time, we had not yet received Mr. Crawford’s formal obituary.

Robert S. Woods ’66 Robert Stanley (Bob) Woods ’66 of Anaheim Hills, California, died on Dec. 13, 2010. He was 66. Woods matriculated from Kansas City, Missouri, and held a bachelor of arts degree in English from VMI. After graduating from the Institute, he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1967-72. He was deployed to southeast Asia in 1967 where he spent more than two years in Special Operations throughout North and South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. During that period, he accumulated approximately 2,000 combat hours while flying over 700 combat missions. As a result of his actions, he was awarded the USAF Presidential Citation, the USMC Presidential Citation, the Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was honorably discharged in 1972 having achieved the rank of captain. Following his military service, Woods worked as a securities broker, rancher, corporate pilot, FlightSafety International instructor and a Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector. He is survived by his children, Walker Woods and wife Jenny Chapin Woods of Kansas City and Jennifer Woods and Christopher Woods of Anaheim Hills, California; grandchildren, Dylan Sackschewsky, Chapin Woods and Barrett Woods; long-time love, Patricia Noyes; companion, Shelly; brother,


Charles A. Ransom ’01 Maj. Charles A. Ransom ’01, USAF, died on April 27, 2011, while on duty in Afghanistan. His obituary appears on page 5 in the “OEF/ OIF Update” section of this issue.

Ryan A. Williams ’10

Deaths in the VMI Family Col. Karen Gutermuth, Professor VMI Department of Economics and Business Col. Karen Gutermuth, Ph.D., of Lexington, Virginia, died on Feb. 5, 2011. She was 53. Dr. Gutermuth, former professor of economics and business, taught at VMI for 13 years, retiring in December 2010. She joined the VMI faculty during the 1997-98 academic year. Gutermuth specialized in statistics, econometrics, industrial organization, health, public policy, and money and banking. Respected by faculty and cadets for her dedication to teaching, she was a mentor and advocate for cadets – advising them, escorting them on VMI related outings,

serving as a volunteer driver and being an “adopted” mom. In addition to her teaching and advising contributions, she served as the superintendent’s representative on the VMI Honor Court for seven years. In two of those years, she was the lead representative – the first non-alumnus to attain that position. Gutermuth has twice been listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and she received VMI’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002. In fall 2004, she received a Jackson-Hope Faculty Development Leave to conduct research for articles on medical malpractice and to prepare a new upper-level elective course on economic health care. She is survived by her parents, William D. Gutermuth of Berlin, New York, and Lady Ricker Rucinski of Saratoga Springs, New York; her husband, Capt. John E. (Ned) Riester ’78, also a VMI faculty member; two sons, Nathan Manchester of Rockbridge and Aaron Fromenthal of Washington, Louisiana; and siblings, Linda G. Fredericks, Dan Gutermuth, Sally Ann Gutermuth, William Gutermuth Jr., Tracy Gutermuth and Lauren Carrigan.

Wendy Vandervort, Managing Editor of the Journal of Military History, George C. Marshall Foundation Wendy Vivien Russell Vandervort of Lexington, Virginia, died on Feb. 14, 2011. She was 62. From 1990 until just before her death, Wendy served as the business manager of The Journal of Military History at the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington. In 2008, she was awarded the Victor Gondos Memorial Service Award for long and distinguished service by the Society for Military History, publishers of The Journal of Military History. She is survived by her husband, VMI history professor, Bruce Vandervort; a daughter, Lucy Catherine Vandervort; and a son, Nicholas John Vandervort, all of Lexington; her father, Derek Russell of Rugby, England; sister, Catherine Russell Gowreesunker of Birmingham, England; and a wide circle of friends at home and abroad. She was preceded in death by her mother, Millis Christina Russell, née Price, also of England.



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

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

Second Vice President Edgar J.T. Perrow Jr. ’96 PO Box 3133 Lynchburg, VA 24503-0133

The VMI Foundation, Inc.

Executive Vice President


Walton M. Jeffress Jr. ’68

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


William A. Paulette ’69

Thomas W. Davis ’64

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

Brian S. Crockett

The VMI Keydet Club, Inc.


Immediate Past President

Chief Executive Officer

Directors at Large

Chief Executive Officer Gregory M. Cavallaro ’84

Terms Expire June 30, 2013 Jamel Lynch Jr. ’94 Michael Soares ’75

Terms Expire June 30, 2014 Terms Expire June 30, 2012 Walter Chalkley ’72 Kenneth Herbert ‘81 Matthew Hemenez ’90 Dallas Clark ‘99

Region/ Director

Chapter Name

Chapter President

President’s E-mail

Russell Shun Takata ’74 John D. Bolt ’99 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 Matthew L. Wilson ’89 Kenneth S. Krynski ’89

Russell Shun Takata ’74 Matthew R. Hemenez ’90 Todd E. Arris ’87 James R. Farmer ’68 William V. Trumpore ’89 Nathaniel P. Ward IV ’65 Peter H. Lyons ’54 Marcus Bruce Paine ’81 Joseph S. Howard III ’97 John D. Christie ’59

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 Stephen J. Barcik III ’85 Christopher L. Haney ’00 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 Patrick J. Griffin ’80 Robert A. Munno ’81

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

Baltimore Central Keystone Delaware Valley Western PA - Pittsburgh

Thomas M. Wirth ’98 Duane E. Williams ’66 Frederick J. Killmeyer IV ’95 Allan R. Berenbrok ’80

Thomas J. Hickey Jr. ’68 Lester C. Martin ’68 John T. Pace IV ’77 Robert A. Lane ’75

Terence L. Bowers ’68 Thomas N. Daniel Jr. ’60 Charles C. Schoen IV ’86 John R. Savage ’74 Robert P. Quarles III ’80 William E. Kirby III ’96 Christopher R. Jones ’96

Raymond R. Lawson ’81 Campbell C. Hyatt III ’65 Charles C. Schoen IV ’86 Steve E. Hively ’72 Philip J. Altizer Jr. ’80 Charles S. Sanger ’82 Kevin L. Snell ’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

Grover Outland ’81 outland@

Region V Southeast

Augusta Appalachian Heidi F. Nagel ’02 Atlanta Coastal GA - South Carolina Midsouth Middle TN - Nashville East TN - Knoxville

2011-Issue 3

Chapter Representative

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 David R. Yockel Jr. ’90



Region/ Director

Chapter Name

Chapter President

President’s E-mail

Chapter Representative

Jeffrey B. Morrison ’99 Charles L. Toomey ’74 Michael J. Tutor ’96 Michael S. Anderson ’88 Stephen L. Skakandy ’01 (C) John Moder ’98 (AD)

Brendan A. Kearney ’03

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

William H. Cather Jr. ’65 James G. Joustra Jr. ’76 Charles M. Rogers IV ’83 Jason M. Goldstein ’02 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 Walter L. Chalkley ’72

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 Jason K. Gruse ’97

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

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

Douglas B. Warner ’03 William C. Collier ’72

G. Anthony Esteve ’00

Richmond Tri Cities

William R. Charlet ’01 William H. Talley IV ’77

Samuel N. Stocks ’90 Augustus Robbins III ’47

Rappahannock Richard Duke ’90

Fredericksburg - Quantico Rappahannock Williamsburg Southside

Carl J. DeBernard Jr. ’94 Stephen E. Wilson ’68 Peter J. Kokolis ’96 George D. Dyer ’66

R. C. Thompson III ’74 Robert B. Powell ’63 Jim E. Henry ’68

Region XIV Pacific Rim

Thailand Taiwan

Vaipot Srinual ’72 Ching-Pu Chen ’85



Steven G. Cade ’87

Region VI Carolinas

Charles Ramsburg ’66

Club of the Triad Cape Fear Central NC - Raleigh Charlotte Camp Lejeune/Crystal Coast Palmetto, South Carolina Coastal Carolina, SC

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

Region VIII Southwest VA Bland Massie ’77

Region IX Shenandoah Valley Ted Jenks ’67 tedjenks@

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

Charles H. Alligood ’61 Charles L. Toomey ’74 Jonathan D. Atkins ’98 James A. Sharp ’93 Karl L. Klinar ’54 Steve E. Hively ’72

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

Region XI Metro D.C.

Sean Boyle ’91

Steve Nakazawa ’03

Region XII Central VA

Hilbert Wilkinson III ’94 vmirichmondnetwork

Samuel Stocks ’90

Region XIII


Vaipot Srinual ’72 Ching-Pu Chen ’85


ALUMNI NEWS ALUMNI NEWS The first annual Giles H. Miller Jr. Republican Banquet was held April 15, 2011, in Culpeper, Virginia. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the state’s top lawyer, christened the event honoring the late Giles H. Miller Jr. ’24, a stalwart of Republican values who is said to have treated everyone equally. Tripp Butler, Miller’s grand-nephew, said, “The fact that Giles would look a man in the eye no matter his stature was his most endearing quality to me. He was bigger than life but never considered himself better.”

Miller worked tirelessly to strengthen the community and maintain strong conservative Republican values, “before it was popular to be a Republican in Culpeper,” said Butler. Miller, who died in 2005 at the age of 102, matriculated from Lynchburg, Virginia, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. Frederick G.L. (Fred) Anson ’51 was featured in an April 2011 opinion column of the American Chronicle. The article focused on the accomplishments he made

William F. (Frank) Gilmore ’57 was featured in Montana Tech’s MNews 2011 Chancellor’s Edition. This edition, which comes out annually, is intended to recap the events of the previous year and identify the near-term plans for the future. However, the 2011 edition also highlighted Gilmore’s accomplishments and contributions for the past 13 years, since he retired at the end of the 2010/2011 academic year. During his tenure, Gilmore helped establish the first comprehensive fundraising campaign that provided funds for new buildings and structures on the campus, more money for scholarships and funding to increase faculty support, as well as increased the endowment from $9.6 million to almost $25 million – a 158% increase. Gilmore and his wife, Ann, joined Montana Tech and the Butte, Montana, community in 1998. The chancellor’s edition described the significant role that Ann played as the chancellor’s wife and included interviews with Gilmore children and grandchildren. The final 10 pages of MNews are dedicated as a tribute to Frank and Ann Gilmore. The pages are filled with letters of support and appreciation from some of the lives the Gilmores touched. A distinguished military graduate, Gilmore matriculated from Bir- bachelor’s degree in chemistry from VMI and mingham, Alabama. He earned his his doctorate degree from MIT.

2011-Issue 3

with the football team as well as other sports at VMI. Anson matriculated from Ashland, Kentucky, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He earned his master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. Hugh F. Gouldthorpe Jr. ’61 has received the Verizon Arête (Greek for excellence, skill and integrity) Award. This award is presented to individuals who have a made a difference in the Richmond (Virginia) community, who believe in the future of the region and give unselfishly of their time and talent. After 25 years with Owens&Minor in Richmond, Gouldthorpe has retired as senior vice president of Quality and Communications. Named “head cheerleader emeritus,” he was the driving force behind the company’s focus on putting people first and helping them succeed. Gouldthorpe matriculated from Warrington, Virginia, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He earned his doctorate degree from St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. Creigh J. Kelley ’68 was inducted into the Running USA Hall of Champions for contributions that have enhanced the sport of running, making it more compelling and rewarding. One of the founders of Running USA and the president of BKB, Ltd., Kelly has been a competitor, agent, race director, national consultant and elected leader in the national and international running community for 30 years. Established in March 1999, Running USA is a non-profit organization for the running industry which began as a joint venture with USA Track & Field. It was created to improve the status of road racing in the United States through collective marketing and promotions, services to runners and events, and the development of American world class stars. Incorporated in 1980, BKB, Ltd. provides event management, registration and consulting for running and multi-sport events. Kelley matriculated from Westport, Connecticut, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in English. He 165

ALUMNI NEWS earned his master’s degree from the University of Southern California.

federal government information technology (IT) industry. Curtis was selected from hundreds of nominees for affecting change, progress and efficiency in how the federal government acquires, develops and manages IT. The Federal 100 is considered to be the most prestigious award in the government

was seated in the front row, and after the speech, President Obama greeted him. A photo appeared in the March 29, 2011, Web edition of the Washington Times. (Editor’s Note: The photo was not available for reprint.) Brown matriculated from Williamsburg, Virginia, and graduated with distinction from VMI, earning a bachelor’s degree in history. He earned his master’s degree from the National War College.

David J. Krug ’71 has been named chief financial officer of CareCo Shoreline Inc., a Waterford (Connecticut)-based home health care company. A Kelley ’68 community banker with nearly four decades of service, Krug will play an important role in the organiza- IT industry. tion’s growth. Curtis is president and CEO of Krug matriculated from Brooklyn, New Vangent, Inc., a global provider Hugh M. Fain III ’80 was York, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree of information management and named president-elect of the in history. strategic business process outVirginia Bar Association at the sourcing services headquartered 121st annual meeting in JanuRandolph D. (Randy) Darden Jr. ’77 in Arlington, Virginia, with over ary 2011. was named senior associate at Dewberry, 7,500 employees worldwide. Fain matriculated from RichCurtis ’79 a privately held professional services firm He matriculated from Norfolk, mond, Virginia, and graduated located in Fairfax, Virginia, which special- Virginia, and graduated from with distinction from VMI earnizes in architecture, engineering, VMI with a bachelor’s degree ing a bachelor’s management and consulting. in civil engineering. degree in economDarden matriculated from ics. He earned his Richmond, Virginia, and graduMaj. Gen. Joseph D. (Joe) juris doctor degree ated from VMI with a bachelor’s Brown ’80, USA, attended Pres- from the Universidegree in civil engineering. ident Obama’s address about ty of Virginia. He Libya held at the National De- is a member of the John M. (Mac) Curtis ’79 fense University on March 28, board of trustees received the Federal 100 award 2011. Brown is the commandant of the VMI Founon March 28, 2011, in recogniof the Industrial College of the dation, Inc. Fain is Fain III ’80 tion of his leadership in the Darden Jr. ’77 Armed Forces, National Defense also past president University, and was of the Richmond invited to the press Bar Association, VMI Alumni Association conference. Brown and VMI Club of Richmond.

On Feb. 4, 2011, Capt. Michael L. Soares ’75, USN, right, was inducted into the Victorian Military Society (VMS) in Newport, Rhode Island – the only chapter in the United States. Capt. Liam Murphy ’65, left, sponsored his membership. Principally concerned with British Empire and ally forces, the VMS was established in 1974 to foster interest in the military aspects of the Victorian period. The organization later extended the area of study to include campaigns of the early part of the 20th century.


Col. Keith D. Dickson ’76, USAR (Ret), left, appeared in two episodes of the Military Channel series, “An Officer and a Movie,” hosted by television and movie actor Lou Diamond Philips, right. In this series, guests with military experience offered commentary during war movies that aired each week. Dickson was selected as an expert to comment on two films – one about World War II and the second about the Vietnam War.


ALUMNI NEWS Cmdr. John C. (Colby) Howard ’92, USN, was named the commanding officer of the U.S. S. Dewey stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, in March 2011. Howard matriculated from Norton, Virginia, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He earned his master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Howard ’92 Institute. In March 2011, John O. Noonan ’03 joined the House Armed Services Committee as the deputy communications director and speechwriter. “In his new role, he [is putting] his national security and defense experience to work on behalf of the men and women of America’s armed services,” said U.S. Rep. Howard P. McKeon (R-California). Noonan matriculated from Springfield, Virginia, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in history. Capt. Josh D. Powers ’04, USA, has

been selected to receive the General Douglas MacArthur award for Active Army in May 2011. This program recognizes company grade officers who demonstrate the ideals for which Gen. MacArthur stood – duty, honor and country. The award promotes and sustains effective junior officer leadership in the Army. Powers matriculated from Lawrenceville, Georgia, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in history.

Patrick S. Pillow ’10 was mentioned in an April 2011 article appearing in The News & Advance (Lynchburg, Virginia). Pillow, who is working towards ministerial ordination, shares duties with his grandfather in the Court Street United Methodist church, including activities with church youth and

Thompson ’02 Launches Matthew S. (Matt) Thompson ’02 is the co-founder of, a Daily Deals website exclusively for members of the military community. In forming this company, Thompson and Blake Hall, both Harvard Business School graduates, are “on a mission to make military life better,” as explained in the following May 2011 press release:

Daily Deals Platform Exclusively For Members of the Military Community Debuts in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Prior To Memorial Day, a Daily Deals site exclusively for members of the military community, has announced a major milestone, securing in excess of $585,000 in private funding from investors who believe a life of service should have its perks. The company also announced a team of private/public sector individuals who will help guide their next level of implementation

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Robert J. Dalessandro ’80, second from left, was sworn in as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and appointed as the U.S. Army chief of Military History/executive director of the U.S. Army Center of Military History. Dalessandro is the second VMI graduate to hold this position. Brig. Gen. John W. Mountcastle ’65, USA (Ret), served as the center’s director from October 1994 to December 1998. The SES consists of men and women charged with leading the continuing transformation of the U.S. government to create a more citizen centered, result-oriented Federal Government.

other forms of community outreach. Pillow matriculated from Lynchburg, Virginia, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in history.

and development, featuring a management team led by former Army Rangers and Harvard Business School alumni Matthew Thompson and Blake Hall and a product team headed by William Kern, formerly of AOL and “This represents an important step not just in our business but in the improvement of the lives of those who serve and have served in America’s Armed Forces and their families around the world,” said CEO Blake Hall. “The establishment of our community outreach campaign, led by Matt Thompson, as well as the infusion of capital puts us in a position where we can go from conceptual to actual in our business, and we are excited for the opportunity to delight the military community.” Well-known investors backing the offering include: Frank Monestere, former Green Beret and current president/COO of; Paige Craig, former Marine and founder/ CEO of; and Kelly Perdew, former Army Ranger, winner of Season 2 of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” and CEO of Perdew also serves on the company’s board. only employs military spouses and veterans for community outreach, providing much needed employment opportunities for those groups. Ten percent of TroopSwap. com’s profits are donated to the Wounded (cont. next page.)


ALUMNI NEWS Warrior Project. COO Matt Thompson said, “I served on four combat deployments and observed the Wounded Warrior Project in action on the front lines. It’s an incredible feeling to be part of a business where all of our activities are focused on creating social good for the community that we serve.” The business model is structured along the lines of some of the biggest consumer deal platforms in the market, but offers are exclusively for military members, defined as veterans, service members, spouses and their families. aims to take advantage of its unique distribution network and eventually provide a platform where military family members can buy and sell goods, find services and generally come together to get tips, advice and best practices from their peers in dealing with the challenges of life in the service – all without leaving a values-based community that forms the most tightly knit fraternity and sorority in the world. The team boasts an impressive array of tal-

ent. Tony Huynh leads the engineering efforts for the platform. Arjun Dhillon handles front-end engineering tasks and design, and Caitlin Horn headlines a group of eight military spouses hired to spread awareness for on bases in Hampton Roads, Virginia – the largest military community in the world. was recently featured at StartupXLR8R, an event hosted by iStrategy Labs at Microsoft’s Chevy Chase [Maryland] offices, and has received glowing reviews from the media and the military community. The first deals debuted in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in May 2011. The company plans to expand the platform to more bases soon thereafter. Thompson explained, “We are on a mission to make military life better.” For more information about or to sign-up for the first military-only deals, visit or tweet @TroopSwap. Also, visit the TroopSwap YouTube channel at

... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Women of Summer by I.B. Wells ’61. Dog Ear Publishing, Dec. 7, 2010. ISBN: 1608448231. Available via In the spring of 1908, the pale hue reappears in the Blue Ridge Mountains, as Georgia, a haunting Germanic beauty, falls in love with handsome Bentley. Caught in the illusion and glory of first love, neither understands it will change some lives for several generations. How can this be? A coed disappears as other

mysterious events occur but are not understood. After her body is discovered, others are murdered, gripping the town in fear. Sheriff John Woodward’s physical and psychological limits are tested, as he strives to prevent further loss of life. This is a love story and also a thriller, with moral and religious overtones. About the Author: Irvin B. Wells III, an English major who graduated from VMI and a son of the Blue Ridge, was an FBI agent for 26 years before writing Women of Summer. He and his wife, Sue, who have two grown sons, live in Virginia Beach with their dog, Victor.

the first book of its kind, addressing the ubiquitous Microsoft Windows Registry from the perspective of the incident responder and forensic analyst. This book provides an in-depth technical explanation of the Windows Registry, going much deeper than the author’s previous book, Windows Forensic Analysis, which provides an explanation of the Registry from a binary level and covers how to analyze the registry for application and malware installations and artifacts, using free and open source tools. The book covers accessing the registry on live systems during incident response (including the

Windows Registry Forensics by Harlan A. Carvey ’89. Syngress Inc.; Pap/Cdr edition Feb. 7, 2011. ISBN-10: 9781597495806. Available via Computer crime of all types is becoming more prevalent in society and as such, is gaining more media attention. The prevalence of Microsoft Windows system in the home, corporate and public environments predicts the requirement for specialized knowledge of those systems. Windows Registry Forensics is 168


ALUMNI NEWS ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... Book Announcements ... use of F-Response), as well as during “dead box” forensic analysis. The book also covers monitoring the registry for new artifacts and provides a wealth of real world examples to clearly demonstrate the hidden value of the registry as a forensic artifact repository. Finally, the book provides an explanation of and techniques for accessing registry keys and values that have been deleted, as in deliberate attempts to hide forensic evidence. About the author: Carvey, a former consultant in the information security field, noticed a need for specialized knowledge in incident response and computer forensic analysis. The author of five books on this subject, he wrote the popular Windows Forensic Analysis, second edition. Carvey has provided instruction in digital forensics to law enforcement agencies, as well as within public and private communities. Carvey matriculated from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and graduated from VMI with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He earned his master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School and served in the Marine Corps for eight years. Prohibition in Washington, DC: How Dry We Weren’t by Garrett Peck ’90. The History Press, March 2011. ISBN: 9781609492366. Available via In 1929, it was estimated that every week bootleggers brought 22,000 gallons of whiskey, moonshine and other spirits into Washington, D.C.’s 3,000 speakeasies. H.L. Mencken called it the “13 awful years,” though it was 16 for the District. Nevertheless, the bathtub gin-swilling capital dwellers made the most of Prohibition. Author Garrett Peck crafts a rollicking history brimming with stories of vice, topped off with vintage cocktail recipes and garnished with a walking tour of former speakeasies. Join Peck as he explores an underground city ruled not by organized crime but 2011-Issue 3

by amateur bootleggers, where publicly teetotaling congressmen could get a stiff drink behind House office doors and the African American community of U Street was humming with a new sound called jazz.

About the Author: Peck, a distinguished VMI graduate, matriculated from Carmichael, California, and earned a bachelor’s degree in history. While at VMI, he was a contributing writer to the weekly newspaper, The Cadet. He served with the U.S. Army in Germany and was stationed near the Mosel River, one of the prime wine-growing regions in the country. He earned his master’s degree in international affairs at George Washington University and has 14 years of marketing experience in the telecommunications industry. Peck is a freelance writer for the alcoholic beverage industry and public speaker on alcohol issues. He also led the Temperance Tour of prohibition related sites in Washington, D.C., which has been highlighted on Maryland public television’s “Artworks This Week.” His articles have been published in The Washington Post and in 26 alcohol-related publications.

Defeating Lee: A History of the Second Corps, Army of the Potomac by Lawrence A. Kreiser Jr. ’91. Indiana University Press, April 2011. ISBN: 9780253356161. Available via Fair Oaks, the Seven Days, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, Petersburg – the list of significant battles fought by the Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, is a long and distinguished one. This history of the Second Corps follows the unit’s creation and rise to prominence, the battles that earned it a reputation for hard fighting and the legacy its veterans sought to maintain in the years after the Civil War. More than an account of battles, Defeating Lee gets to the heart of what motivated these men, why they fought so hard and how they sustained a spirited defense of cause and country long after the guns had fallen silent. About the Author: Kreiser, who graduated from VMI with distinction, is an associate professor of history at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He is the co-author (with Ray B. Browne) of The Civil War and Reconstruction and co-editor (with Browne) of Voices of Civil War America: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life.


INSTITUTE INSTITUTE Brand ’44 Receives Superintendent’s Meritorious Achievement Award On March 30, 2011, Edward (Cabell) Brand ’44 was presented with the Superintendent’s Meritorious Achievement Award – the VMI administration’s highest honor. Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, USA (Ret), made the presentation during a luncheon in Moody Hall. The award, which was initiated in 2004, consists of a medallion and a certificate signed by the superintendent. It recognizes many years of extraordinary service and dedication to the Institute. See the certificate below and the article in this section titled, “Cadet Selected for Brand Center Scholarship” for more about Brand and his contributions. Photo at right: Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, USA (Ret), superintendent, presented the Superintendent’s Meritorious Achievement Award to Edward Cabell Brand ’44 for furthering the legacy of Jonathan Daniels ’61 and for a lifetime of humanitarian efforts on behalf of low-income families.

Superintendent’s Meritorious Achievement Award: Edward (Cabell) Brand ’44 March 30, 2011 WHEREAS, Mr. E. Cabell Brand, VMI class of 1944, has been instrumental in support of the Jonathan Myrick Daniels ’61 Humanitarian Award since its inception by the Board of Visitors in 1997 and for furthering the legacy of Jonathan Daniels; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Brand, an astute businessman who established the Stuart McGuire Company, taking it public in 1970 and selling it to the Home Shopping Network in 1986, devoted much of his career and life to assisting the less fortunate in society and continues to do so with an incomparable passion; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Brand was responsible for securing President Jimmy Carter to speak at VMI and accept the first Daniel’s Humanitarian Award at VMI in 2001, and whereas he and his wife, Shirley, erected, on behalf of the VMI Promaji Club – an organization which worked to improve better relations among all races within the Corps of Cadets – a memorial to Jonathan Daniels in the town square of Hayneville, Alabama; and

WHEREAS, he founded Total Action Against Poverty (TAP) in the Roanoke Valley in 1965 and was its president for 30 years, during which time Mr. Brand also helped launch: Head Start, the national program which benefits at risk children with early education; Child Health Investment Project (CHIP); and Virginia CARES Water Project, all focusing on low income families; and

WHEREAS, he received the Promaji Club’s Jonathan Daniels Award in 1992, which Mr. Brand credits as one of his greatest honors. The Promaji Club graciously agreed to give the Institute the name of its award, thus paving the way for the Daniels Humanitarian Award; and

WHEREAS, he served as chairman of the State Board of Health for nine years, was the 1980 recipient of the National Vista Award as the businessman in the United States who has done the most for low income families, and the 1990 recipient of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Humanitarian Award; and


WHEREAS, this distinguished VMI graduate and veteran of World War II has received honorary degrees from Roanoke College, Washington & Lee University, Ferrum College, and Virginia Western Community College; and WHEREAS, Mr. Brand is chairman of the Cabell Brand Center, a research and action organization that seeks to examine, understand and network for students to study poverty, environmental and peace issues, and whereas he has authored a book, If Not Me, Then Who?, which focuses on young people, as well as people of all ages, becoming involved with these same issues; NOW, THEREFORE, based on a life of selfless dedication for the betterment of mankind, General J.H. Binford Peay III, on behalf of the faculty, staff and Corps of Cadets, presents Mr. Cabell Brand with the administration’s highest honor, the Superintendent’s Meritorious Achievement Award.


INSTITUTE Superintendent Inducted into Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame On May 24, 2011, VMI Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, USA (Ret), was inducted into the Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame. According to an article in the Fort Leavenworth Lamp, this induction is Fort Leavenworth’s highest honor and is given to Americans who have contributed to the success of the Army and Fort Leavenworth. The Hall of Fame lines the walls of the Lewis and Clark Center’s atrium, displaying photos, stories and medals dating back to the Civil War, according to the Lamp article. In the photo at left, Gen. Peay, left, is unveiling his Hall of Fame portrait with Command and General Staff College Commandant Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr. and Combined Arms Center Command Sgt. Maj. Philip Johndrow. For the complete story, go to www.ftleavenworthlamp. com/news, and enter “Hall of Fame” in the search box.

History of the Superintendent’s Meritorious Achievement Award This award was established by VMI Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, USA (Ret), when it was presented for the first time on Dec. 4, 2004, to George G. Phillips Jr. ’60. The award includes the Superintendent’s Coin, a medallion which is affixed to the inside front of the award citation folder in such a way that both front and back views are displayed. The award citation appears on the opposite side of the folder. The Superintendent’s Meritorious Achievement Award is the VMI administration’s highest honor. Awardees are selected by the superintendent based on input from members of the VMI Board of Visitors, the VMI Alumni Agencies and others. Below is a listing of those who have received this award, as of this writing: • Award presented to George G. Phillips Jr. ’60 (Dec. 4, 2004) for service as chairman of Reveille, A Call to Excel, VMI’s most successful capital fundraising campaign. • Award presented to Samuel B. Witt III ’58 (June 24, 2005) for service as a member of the VMI Board of Visitors

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(1994-2005) and as its president (20012005). • Award presented to Eugene Williams ’74 (July 20, 2007) for dedicated service to the College Orientation Workshop (COW), founded by him in 1986 for minority male high school students and held each summer at VMI. • Award presented to Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (Jan. 14, 2010) for his service to the commonwealth and VMI (2006-10 as governor of Virginia). • Award presented to E. Cabell Brand ’44 (March 30, 2011) for furthering the legacy of Jonathan Daniels ’61 and for a lifetime of humanitarian efforts on behalf of lowincome families. Editor’s Note: At press time, we were notified that Thomas G. Slater Jr. ’66 received this award on June 7, 2011, for his service as a member of the VMI Board of Visitors (2003-11) and as its president (2008-11). See the next Review, 2011-Issue 4, for more about this.

Cadet Selected for Brand Center Scholarship In May 2011, Cadet Kippur Taylor ’12 of Lynchburg, Virginia, was awarded the first $2,000 Charles “Hap” Fisher Scholarship to Promote the Common Good by the Cabell Brand Center for Global Poverty and Resource Sustainability Studies ( Taylor was selected based on an application essay describing what he plans to do with his studies and his life for the common good. “If I could ever help just half the amount of people Mr. [E. Cabell] Brand [’44] has, I’d be happy,” said Taylor, on being notified of his selection. Brand is chairman of the center and author of the book, If Not Me, Then Who? He is also the founder of Total Action Against Poverty in Roanoke, Virginia. “Mr. Brand made a promise to himself that he would give one-fifth of his work week to helping others, and by keeping this promise for more than 40 years, he’s made great strides for the social welfare of our state and our nation,” continued Taylor. “I hope I can use my life to make a positive difference as has Mr. Brand, and I believe I can use my business skills to do so, just as [he] has.” The scholarships were funded by Charles Harold (Hap) Fisher, Ph.D., of Roanoke and proceeds from Brand’s book.


INSTITUTE Career Humanitarian, Hebert ’68, Receives Daniels Award On March 30, 2011, Paul V. Hebert ’68 received VMI’s Jonathan M. Daniels ’61 Humanitarian Award. In his talk during the ceremony, he shared insights gleaned from his 35-year career in humanitarian work with VMI’s Corps of Cadets gathered in Cameron Hall. The international community, he said, needs to focus on preparedness and prevention, rather than reaction. Nearly three-quarters of all aid goes to conflict-related events; one-quarter goes to alleviate the effects of natural disasters. Just 1 percent is spent on avoiding the disasters in the first place. “Even so, we never raise the amount of money that is necessary to fully restore livelihoods following a disaster or to rebuild.” Prevention is the key to real success. Preventing conflict, he said, is as hard – and as possible – as the work of ending internaThomas Slater Jr. ’66, right, president of the VMI Board of Visitors, presented tional slavery in the 19th century. “We need the Jonathan Daniels Humanitarian Award to Hebert in Cameron Hall. VMI to work equally hard to end armed conflict photo by Kevin Remington. within and between nations. … Recognizing our common bonds may be the first step in preventing and civil rights protests at a doctoral degree in environmental engiconflict.” It’s just a great close range. Later, as a sec- neering/planning at the University of North paradigm shift, he said, and ond class cadet at VMI in the Carolina, to develop low-cost water supply we can do it. 1966-67 academic year, the and sanitation approaches in 12 countries, “I encourage each of you year after Jonathan Daniels mostly through the World Bank. “Training to look for opportunities to ’61 was killed protecting a engineers, technicians and financial planbe of service to others,” he black teenager during the ners in how to plan and design affordable counseled the cadets. voter registration drives in and appropriate systems was my principle The Jonathan Daniels Alabama, Hebert began to focus. … Transferring knowledge, skills and Award recognizes people think his life would take a technology and seeing this put to use in prowho have made significant different path. viding basic services to poor people in need by personal sacrifices to pro“When I graduated in 1968, local professionals was very satisfying,” said tect or improve the lives of there was no internation- Hebert. “By 1990, we had revolutionized how others. Former President al program,” said Hebert. design and planning was done in the entire Daniels ’61 Jimmy Carter and former “There was resistance to region, including in China, India and all of Ambassador Andrew Young, the admittance of African Southeast Asia. We were the first to introduce the first two recipients, received the award Americans and, of course, women. … For me, microcomputers in engineering design, and for their very visible lives of service. Hebert, it was a time of thinking about where I was the technology spread like wildfire.” the third recipient, has labored in relative and what was going on in the world around In what amounts to a second career, Hebert anonymity. me; the oppression was something we had was later employed by the United Nations “I was totally dumbfounded when I learned to deal with.” Department of Humanitarian Affairs. Having that I had been selected by the VMI Board of Hebert and his wife, medical anthropologist just completed a computerized inventory of Visitors to receive this award,” said Hebert. Dr. Mayling Simpson-Hebert, decided they all the rural water systems in Nepal, Hebert “I consider Jimmy Carter and Andrew Young would devote themselves to work in develop- was asked by the U.N. in 1991 to help a new as American heroes who I have admired for ing countries and educating themselves about office develop systems to monitor humanitarmost of my adult life.” diverse cultures. ian relief for the Kurds in northern Iraq who, Hebert’s story has its roots in his childhood Hebert first went to Asia and Africa, using following the first Gulf War, were in what in Richmond, Virginia, where he observed his skills as an engineer developed at VMI Hebert calls a “desperate situation.” both the oppression of African Americans and in a master of science and eventually “I found this need and work so compelling



INSTITUTE that I continued and never looked back. During the next 16 years, I helped direct humanitarian relief in Iraq, the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, Yugoslavia during the Balkan War and in Kosovo.” He also worked in East Africa, raising funds for aid, serving as liaison with the donor and then working with agencies to see that the assistance was coordinated properly to meet the need. Much of this work Hebert did on the ground, in country. “It was at the grass roots level,” said Hebert, “working with young professionals, villagers and local officials.” Hebert found himself on many occasions in difficult situations – in Ethiopia, for instance, just after a government crackdown on ethnic Somalis. “It was creating a huge problem – raping, extrajudicial killings, burning of villages: people were not able to grow their crops, not able to do trading with their livestock.” Hebert, on behalf of the U.N., found a way to insist that the government that had caused the crisis allow his team in to assess the need and arrange for help. “It was very tricky,” he said. “I was not trained as a diplomat, but I had to develop those skills.” Another occasion on the ground in Ethiopia, one of the famines caused by the droughts that region is prone to, found Hebert, day after day, witnessing the starvation even as he helped alleviate it. “A lot of people can’t

do this,” said Hebert. “They can’t take it. You see these people who are basically skin and bone and these children, who you know are not going to live another day. It’s a test of character to be able to endure seeing these situations.” This work of assisting others extended into the Heberts’ home life and into Paul Hebert’s retirement. The Heberts supported a number of children, in addition to their own two. Often the children lived with the Hebert family while the Heberts helped put them through school. Now retired and only recently back in the United States, Hebert is continuing work on a schools project for the Kibera slum that he took up during his first two years of retirement in Kenya. “Even though the [Anajali Primary] school is very basic, with dirt floors and sheet metal roofing and five kids to a desk, the school has risen to be ranked in the top three or four primary schools in Nairobi (out of about 960 schools, based on countrywide standard tests),” said Hebert. “We helped get the school on a U.N. school feeding list, raised money to build a fuel efficient stove and have supported eight graduates from the school to attend high school.” The Jonathan Daniels Award honorarium enabled Hebert to purchase the land for a new high school that more of the primary school graduates can attend. “The legal transfer of land is nearly complete, survey work has been

Paul Hebert ’68, then head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, interviewing villagers in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia to determine humanitarian needs during the large-scale floods of 1996. Photo courtesy Hebert.

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The Jonathan M. Daniels ’61 Humanitarian Award depicts the statue titled “Virginia Mourning Her Dead” by Sir Moses Ezekiel and is inscribed with the awardee’s name, as well as a quote by Daniels: “Above all else, we are called to be saints.” done, cost estimates made and architectural work is underway to design the school, which will be located about 40 kilometers outside of Nairobi in the Ngong Hills, near the setting of the film, ‘Out of Africa,’” said Hebert. “We are about to embark on a major fundraising effort. We need to raise about $300,000 this year to allow the school to be opened in January 2012.” For most of the 200 children who will enroll, the high school is the only way out of the slum. Information about the school project is available at Hebert is also working to reduce the carbon footprint of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which has been his home base since the 1980s and is now his hometown. Looking back, Hebert said he believes that the discipline and camaraderie of the VMI education strengthened his own character and that of Jonathan Daniels. But he also believes Daniels to have been driven by a “deep sense of empathy with the downtrodden,” an empathy he hopes all VMI graduates feel. “I do believe that Jonathan Daniels’ own sacrifice should stand as an example for all of us, young and old, to try our best to make a difference and, when necessary, to sacrifice a little comfort for the betterment of others,” said Hebert. “Making such sacrifices for the betterment of others for me is the essence of the award.”


INSTITUTE Glee Club Performs in Puerto Rico and at NASCAR Event by Col. John Brodie, honorary alumnus VMI Music and Band Director

The VMI Glee Club traveled to Puerto Rico during spring break, March 11-20, 2011, and performed at eight venues in 10 days. The 38-member unit, led by Col. John Brodie, was accompanied by Lt. Col. Funkhouser and Captains Crespo, Bosiak, Jackson and Floyd of the U.S. Air Force. The group travelled to the island on a KC-135 refueling plane provided by the 434th Air Refueling Wing from Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana. In Puerto Rico, the cadets were hosted by Lt. Col. Jose Plaza and the U.S. Army Puerto Rican Fusion Cell. The Fusion Cell arranged bus and van transportation, billets and food at the Camp Santiago Training Center in Salinas, as well as all of the performances and tours for the entire week. Col. Roberto Gorbea ’62, USA (Ret), a prominent, local businessman, greeted the cadets and generously donated the use of two, 15-passenger vans for transportation to and from the base during the week. The cadets responded to Gorbea with an enthusiastic Old Yell. The Glee Club performed at three, large veterans’ hospitals and a veterans’ retirement home (there are over 165,000 veterans in Puerto Rico); the Ponce Museum of Art, Puerto Rico’s premier art museum; and on St. Patrick’s Day, at the Community Club at Fort Buchannan in San Juan as guests of Col. John Cushman, base commander. The highlight of the week of performances was a concert on March 15th at a gallery in the Senate building when the Glee Club was presented an official Resolution from the Puerto Rican Senate by Senator Arce-Ferrer. The senator recognized and thanked the cadets for their performances and interaction with the people of Puerto Rico. Following the presentation, the cadets then spent the rest of the day exploring El Morro and Old San Juan before returning to Camp Santiago. The cadets were also able to enjoy two days of liberty in Puerto Rico. On March 16th, Brig. Gen. Anthony Maldonato, USA (Ret), hosted the group at the Playa Del Mar Resort on the eastern end of the island, and on March 19, the cadets took a tour and spent the day exploring the El Yunke Rain Forest. As a result of friendships made during the week, the club was invited to the home of Fernando and Hernando Perez, private caterers, who threw a cookout for the cadets and staff at their home in Caguas. The most remarkable aspect of the trip was the minimal cost – only $25 per person, per day – since billets, air travel and much of the food were provided through the auspices of the Puerto Rican Army Fusion Cell. This could not have been accomplished without the generous support of Lt. Col. Plaza and the Fusion Cell, the 434th Air Refueling Wing, and Col. Gorbea. On April 3rd, the Glee Club performed at the “Goodys” Martinsville 500 in Martinsville, Virginia. The club made an appearance at the race last year, as well, but the race was cancelled due to bad weather. This year, the weather was perfect, and the cadets sang to an audience of 65,000 NASCAR fans. They were given the opportunity to hang out in pit row and watch the entire event, which was covered on FOX national television. Twenty-one club members attended; all could not be there since FTX was scheduled for the same weekend. They were accompanied


Photo above, top: The Glee Club in Puerto Rico with Col. Roberto Gorbea ’62, USA, (Ret), at center, holding a VMI banner with Col. Brodie, and Gorbea’s grandson. Also pictured are, at far right, Master Sgt. Colon and behind him, Master Sgt. Rivera and Spec. Perez with the U.S. Army Puerto Rican Fusion Cell. Photo above: The Glee

Club during its concert at the Puerto Rican Museum of Art in Ponce on March 17, 2011. Photo below: In April 2011, the Glee Club performed at the Martinsville (Virginia) 500, sharing the stage with country music star Trace Adkins, center.

by Col. Brodie, Lt. Col. Funkhouser and Mrs. Sandi Shiplett, longtime administrative assistant to the commandant and avid NASCAR fan. The cadets performed patriotic selections before the race and shared the stage with country music star Trace Adkins. The Glee Club was well received by the crowd, and as Cadet Patrick Sasai ’13 said when the cars started their engines, “It was the loudest sound I have heard in my life!”


INSTITUTE In November 2010, the photographers presented their work, and Macdonald’s class was divided into three teams. Each team was assigned to come up with a marketing plan for a book of these photos. The teams were tasked to present The Pictorial Story of Cadet Life the finished plans to in the 21st Century Macdonald and invited guests in December. The best marketing The last day of September 2010 and the plan and best presentation won the highest first day of October were very busy indeed. grade, an “A.” Macdonald said, “This was a Cadets prepared for a typical 24-hour period wonderful project, which involved a subject on Post and Homecoming Weekend – includ- near and dear to the cadets’ hearts. It was a ing a parade and a hop – as well as the usual challenging business planning task for them school work, guard duty and other activities to produce the prototype of a book along with its marketing strategies and tactics.” in a typical cadet’s life. Initially, the photos were displayed in LejeHowever, on this day there was something more. Under the direction of Professor Bruce une Hall/Third Barracks. In January 2011, the Macdonald (Economics and Business Depart- photographs were moved to a gallery at the ment), 17 cadets in his “Art in Business” class Marshall Foundation where they remained were guiding 12 Lexington photographers on display until early March. Meanwhile, around Post in an exciting, new class project. Macdonald met with potential investors and The project was called “A Day in the Life of contributors for the book. He discussed it with executives from the Alumni Association, a VMI Cadet.” The framework of the project was that Foundation, Keydet Club, VMI Museum and local photographers would accompany and Marshall Foundation, among others. Col. record all the duties in the life of six, typical Rob McDonald, associate dean of the faculty, (although hand-picked) cadets from the third suggested continuing the book project in through first classes as they performed the Professor MacDonald’s 2011 fall semester standard duties of a cadet in the 21st Century. marketing class, saying that he would be pleased to help with the text and organization They were photographed for two days. Lexington photographer Ellen Martin as- of the book. Professor Macdonald is continuing his sembled and led the group of photographers, giving them assignments and schedules as- meetings with VMI faculty and administrasociated with the cadets they were to follow. tion to determine if and when a book could Macdonald’s marketing class students were be published. When asked why he is pursuing assigned as chaperones and guides for the 12 support for this project, the professor said, “VMI alumni share the same Institute expephotographers. The first photo opportunity was the raising riences regardless of when they graduated. of flags at 7:00 a.m. in front of Barracks. This Although facilities and grounds are changwas followed by a myriad of events, ranging ing – as critical updates and improvements are made on Post – VMI’s core values and from study in the classroom to sentry duty. “As the day progressed, we realized how methods of inculcating these values have not fast-paced the life of a cadet is,” said Martin. changed; they remain strong and solid. The “Through photo images, we could see the photos in this book show the timelessness of everyday rigors of cadet life: running the the VMI experience, as cadets in today’s Corps Woods Creek Trail, weight training, lacrosse carry out the same tasks as their predecessors. practice and getting assistance while donning The book educates and connects alumni and a dress uniform, among many other activities. friends of the Institute with the goal of keepThere were photos taken of cadets focusing ing the VMI Spirit alive and well. I can’t think hard on classroom lectures, others on a trek of better reasons than these.” into Lexington and still others completing If you wish to get involved in supporting the Rat Challenge ropes course.” this project by being an underwriter or pre-

A Day in the Life

2011-Issue 3

Photo at top by Debbie Mauer, Breakfast Roll Call. Photo at center by Jesse Conner. Photo at bottom by Kevin Remington of Cadet Bridget Conley, class of 2012.

ordering a copy of the book, please contact: Mariner Publishing at 540/264-0021 or go to Those who preorder will receive a signed and matted copy of one of the photos taken during the “Day in the Life” shoot. Editor’s Note: The preceding article was submitted by Andy Wolfe on behalf of VMI Professor Bruce Macdonald. 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.



Cadet Athletic Awards Listed below are the 2010-11 Cadet Athletic Award winners, along with a description and profile for each winner. All information on cadet-athlete accomplishments occurred as of April 26, 2011. The Intercollegiate Athletic Award Presented to the Outstanding Athlete Among Football, Basketball, Baseball and Men’s Cross Country/ Track & Field Teams

Track – Felix K. Kitur, 2011

Named 2011 Big South Outdoor Track Outstanding Performer after capturing the 800-meter run for the fourth time and also winning the 1500-meter run … led VMI to the #1 4X800-meter relay time in the world during the indoor season, set at the IC4A Championships, when he posted a 1:47.45 split time … also won the IC4A open 800-meter title at that meet, accomplishing that feat for the second straight year … recognized by noted running website as its #1 “Old School Performance of the Week” for his IC4A performance … is one of only three Keydets to win an IC4A title and now has two individual titles and a relay crown … also won the Big South indoor 800-meter title for the third time … set new VMI and Big South 800-meter

Kitur was named the 2011 Big South Outdoor Track Outstanding Performer and led VMI to the #1 4X800-meter relay time in the world during the indoor season.


records on multiple occasions … opened his outdoor season by running what was then the fastest 800-meter time in the country (1:49.16) … backed that up on April 9th, beating a field that included three other NCAA Regional qualifiers from the previous outdoor season, including 2009-10 NCAA Indoor champion Robby Andrews of UVa … earned his first career all-conference honor in cross country last fall … had a top time of 25:02 for an 8-kilometer race … now a 10-time All-Big South honoree, following his cross country and indoor track exploits. (Editor’s Note: See articles about Kitur and the 4X800-meter relay team on pages 24 and 178 of this issue.) The Intercollegiate Athletic Award Presented to the Outstanding Athlete Among Lacrosse, Rifle, Men’s Soccer, Swimming/Diving and Wrestling Teams

Wrestling – Joshua A. Wine, 2011

als in the Thunder Dome ... member of an elite group of VMI athletes who have been named All-Conference in two sports (football, wrestling) ... is 4-3 on the year against NCAA qualifiers: Tony Nelson, Minnesota (1-1); Pete Sturgeon, UNCG (2-0); Cameron Wade, Penn State (0-1); Ben Apland, Michigan (0-1); and John Danilkowicz, Virginia (1-0) ... Went 4-2 at Southern Scuffle, defeating fellow NCAA qualifier Tony Nelson of Minnesota in their first matchup 7-3 before falling to Nelson via pin in their second matchup ... also took on Penn State’s Cameron Wade in Virginia Duals where he was defeated 7-2 ... defeated John Danilkowicz 5-3 at UVa Dual ... avenged lone SoCon loss of career at SoCon Championships with a 3-1 victory over Appalachian State’s Marc Tyson ... only SoCon loss came against Tyson due to controversial disqualification in Appalachian State dual ... defeated Pete Sturgeon of UNCG in SoCon Championship match 3-2 in double-overtime to secure trip to Nationals ... ended career with overtime loss to eventual fourth-

Three-time NCAA qualifier ... leads time in wins for the second season in a row (19) ... became fifth VMI wrestler in program history to capture three SoCon Championships and the first since Adam Britt 2001-03 ... finishes SoCon career with 14-1 career record, with only loss coming due to a disqualification ... is 23-2 with six pins in his career at du-

Three-time NCAA qualifier, Wine finished his SoCon career with 14-1 career record – the only loss due to a disqualification.

A sophomore, Moye posted three school records in her first three individual events.


ATHLETICS place winner Jarrod Trice of Central Michigan in opening round, followed by being pinned by Maryland’s Spencer Myers in his final match in the consolation bracket at the NCAA Championships … finished season with career record of 64-21. The Intercollegiate Athletic Award Presented to the Outstanding Athlete Among Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field, Soccer and Swimming/Diving

Track – Jenna K. Moye, 2013 Enjoyed a banner indoor season in her sophomore campaign … scored 20 individual points at the Big South Indoor Meet, placing second in the 3K, third in the 5K and third in the mile … posted three school records in her first three individual events … set the school record in the mile (5:03) at December’s season opener before resetting it at Feb. 12th Akron Invitational … her 4:55 clocking in Akron made her the first Keydet woman to break the five-minute barrier … also set the new VMI 3K record (10:02.66) at

Jan. 21st Hokie Invitational … qualified for the ECAC Championships, where she placed 11th in the mile … third at the Big South XC Preview Meet … set a new personal best 5K time (18:14) at the Charlotte XC Invitational … currently holds Academic Stars … holds the rank of corporal in the Corps of Cadets … Dean’s List honoree. The Frank Summers Team Leadership Award Presented to the First Classman Chosen as the Outstanding Team Leader

Basketball – Austin M. Kenon, 2011

eight 3-pointers, including seven in his final 10 attempts … became VMI’s alltime 3-point leader and had 352 which ranks third in BSC all-time … had eight games of five or more 3-pointers this year … ranks sixth on the all-time scoring list with 1,767 points … named Big South Player of the Week twice this season (Dec. 13th and Jan. 17th) … since Jan. 15th, he has averaged 21.7 points and is hitting 51% from the floor including 43% from 3-point range … a pre-season all-conference pick … scored 33 at HPU Jan. 15th and 30 at CSU Feb. 3rd. The Almond Award Presented to the Graduating Cadet Who Has, throughout His/Her Career, Demonstrated Outstanding Contributions to Intercollegiate Athletics While Distinguishing Himself/Herself through Academic Achievement and Soldierly Bearing and Aptitude

In 31 games ... 18.4 PPG, 42% 3FG % ... 844 FT% ... 91 assists ... served as team captain … 27 steals ... named first team All-Big South and was runner-up in Player of the Year voting ... honorable mention All-State … ranked first overall in the BSC in 3-pointers made (93) and 3-point pct. (42%) and led in Justin scoring in league games … second overall in conference in scoring (18.4 PPG) … ranked fifth in BSC in FG%, third in FT% (.844), ninth in assists (91), seventh in assist/TO ratio … ranked seventh nationally in 3-pointers made … had three 30+ point games this year and scored a careerhigh 39 points versus LibPonsiglione ’11 erty with career-high tying

Baseball – A. Topping, 2011 Four-year member of Keydet baseball team … hitting .323 through games of late April … has seen most of his time at DH, hitting either fifth or seventh in the lineup … has 10 RBI and five doubles on the year … reached base five times in opener versus Radford on April 8th … vice president for Cadet Investment Group … also VP for Education on Honor Court.

The Henry Johnson Award Presented to the Outstanding Team Manager

Basketball – Paul J. Ponsiglione, 2012

Kenon, the team captain, received the Frank Summers Team Leadership Award as the outstanding first classman team leader.

2011-Issue 3

Topping received the Almond Award for outstanding contributions to intercollegiate athletics and for distinguishing himself through academics, soldierly bearing and aptitude.

Recognized for his outstanding service as a 2010-11 VMI basketball team manager. Ponsiglione is a biology major from Manakin Sabot, Virginia.


ATHLETICS Big South Track Recap Felix Kitur ’11 won two races and broke his own meet record in the 800-meters en route to being named Most Outstanding Track Performer on the final day of competition, Saturday, April 23rd, at the 2011 Big South Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The event was presented by UCS and Musco Lighting and was held at VMI’s Read Memorial Track at Foster Stadium. In the final team standings, the Keydets notched 101 points to finish in fourth place. Charleston Southern was just ahead in third (109 points), while Liberty and Coastal Carolina went 1-2. Liberty scored 187.5 to take the team title, and Coastal Carolina was second, some 76 points back. Radford finished fifth with 83 markers, while High Point had 78 points and Gardner-Webb had 76 to finish 6-7. Winthrop (54) and UNC Asheville (18) rounded out the standings. Kitur opened his day with the 1,500meter final, an event which he had never tested collegiately. The senior from Eldoret, Kenya, sat back early on, hovering around fifth place for the first two laps before moving into the top three. Isaac Wendland of Liberty, the only ac-

tive runner to beat Kitur at any Big South Championship (2010 Indoor), tried to take the race out from there and distance himself from the VMI standout. Kitur, however, kept pace and on the final lap, kicked away from Wendland and the rest of the field to take the title in 3:55.39. Kitur would return in the 800-meters, a race in which he was heavily favored, and he left no doubt from the opening moments. Taking the race out hard, he had the lead within the first 200 meters and pulled away from there, winning in a meet and facility record time of 1:48.91. Entering the weekend, that time would tie Kitur for 16th on the national performance list. It was the fourth straight Big South outdoor 800 title for Kitur, making him just the third male athlete in meet history to sweep an event all four years of his eligibility. It is the second time in the past three seasons that the Most Outstanding Track Performer came out of VMI’s camp, after Donnie Cowart earned the honor in 2009. Finally, in setting a new facility record, Kitur avenged a rare collegiate loss, as the previous mark was held by an individual who defeated Kitur at the VMI/W&L Meet in 2009.

Indoor Track Recap The indoor season for VMI track and field was highlighted by two major meets: the Big South Indoor Championships and the IC4A Championships. At the IC4A meet held in Boston in early March 2011, Felix Kitur bid not only for an 800-meter title, but also for a time that would allow him to qualify for the NCAA National Championships. Kitur did prevail in the 800, his second straight IC4A title in that event, but fell short with respect to his time goal, despite setting a Big South record (1:48.35) during the preliminaries. That seemed to motivate him just hours later, when he posted a 1:47.5 split time to anchor the Keydet 4X800-meter relay to not only an IC4A title, but the fastest time in the world (7:24.70) during the indoor season. Andrey Dmitriev, Jacob Lysher and Dean Gonsalves comprised the other three legs of the historic quartet, as two seniors


and two freshmen etched their names into the VMI history books. VMI was the only team in the event finals to have two first-year competitors – freshmen Lysher and Dmitriev – on its 4X800-meter relay. The Keydet time was the fastest in the country in at least two seasons, as no team was quicker during the 2009-10 indoor track season, when the Virginia Cavaliers ran Division I’s best effort, a 7:26. Just under two weeks prior to the IC4As, Kitur had claimed another Big South title in Clemson, South Carolina, winning the 800-meters at the conference indoor meet to help lead the VMI men to a second-place BSC finish. He was helped by Dennis James, who won the high jump title for his first career conference crown, and by Antonio Wood, who was second in the heptathlon and finished in the top five in two other events, as well. For the team’s efforts, Darrin Webb earned his

On the strength of a win in the women’s discus, VMI freshman Mary Grace Lemon was named the Big South Freshman of the Year. Before the weather changed on the eventually warm day, Lemon stepped into the cage on the cool, clear morning as the last thrower of flight two in her best event, the discus. She uncorked a 44.02 meter (144’5”) toss on her first attempt, and that effort held up through the rest of the competition to earn her the win. The toss was an ECAC qualifier, as Lemon broke the school record previously held by Mildred Cooper ’05, the multiple-time conference champion in various throwing events. Lemon is the first Keydet to be named Big South Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Freshman of the Year. The Keydets wound up ninth in the final team standings, scoring 33 points to trail UNC Asheville’s eighth place. Radford was seventh with 47.5 markers, Winthrop was sixth at 62.5 and Gardner-Webb had 77.5 points. It was Coastal Carolina breaking Liberty’s stranglehold on Big South Cross Country and Track titles with a win Saturday, as the Chanticleers foiled Liberty’s efforts to win all such titles for the second straight year. Coastal had 228 points to the Lady Flames’ 166.5, while Charleston Southern was third (83) and High Point finished fourth (81).

second Big South Men’s Indoor Coach of the Year honor in the past three seasons. On the women’s side, the headline story of the indoor season was the success of Jenna Moye. The sophomore set school records in each of her first three individual meets, headlined by breaking the mile record by eight full seconds at the February 2011 Akron Invitational. Moye would go on to score 20 individual points at the Big South meet, including three All-Big South honors (second, 3K, and third, 5K and mile). Her season was capped by her first career appearance at the ECAC Championships, where she again broke the VMI record in the mile (4:55), becoming the first Keydet woman to ever run under a five-minute mile. Jennifer Sing also had a strong indoor season, including an All-Big South honor in the pole vault and a school record performance, as well. That would lead to her first career ECAC appearance and a strong beginning to the 2011 outdoor season for the junior.


ATHLETICS Covington Named Basketball Rookie of the Year Virginia Military Institute center D.J. Covington (Virginia Beach, Virginia/ Norfolk Academy) has been named State University Division Basketball Rookie of the Year as voted by the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association (VASID), as announced on April 5, 2011. Covington capped a banner debut season when he was named 2010-11 Big South Conference Freshman of the Year after averaging 9.1 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game, while registering 2.3 blocks per contest. In 25 games, including 12 starts, Covington shot 61.5% from the floor and led the Big South in blocks per game. Covington was named Big South Freshman of the Week four times this season, including three consecutive weeks in February. He scored in double figures in 12 games during the campaign, including five straight outings in which he averaged 12.6 points over that span. Covington turned in his first career-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Liberty on Feb. 15th

and scored a career-high 20 points against High Point on Feb. 10th. His 57 blocks rank fifth all-time on the school single-season list and moved him into 10th place on the all-time VMI list in blocks, after just one season. He blocked a school record nine shots against Southern Virginia and blocked five shots each against Winthrop on Dec. 2nd, Radford on Jan. 13th and Liberty on Feb. 15th. Covington also grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds and hit seven of eight shots from the floor against Liberty on Feb. 15th. Covington overcame a rash of early season injuries and moved into the starting lineup in mid-January. VMI was 8-3 with him as a starter against Big South foes. The Keydets finished the 2010-11 season with an 18-13 mark, their second winning campaign over the last three years. VMI senior guard Austin Kenon also was named honorable mention by VASID as one of six designated players to receive that honor. Other named honorable mention were Virginia Tech senior Jeff Allen,

Covington ’14 ODU senior Kent Bazemore, VCU junior Bradford Burgess, William & Mary junior Quinn McDowell, and VCU senior Joey Rodriguez.

Williams ’08: NBA Update

Williams ’08

2011-Issue 3

Reggie Williams ’08, who twice led the NCAA in scoring during his collegiate playing days as a Keydet, wrapped up his second season in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Golden State Warriors. Williams served as a reserve and spot starter at guard for Golden State and finished the 2010-11 campaign as the team’s fifth leading scorer with a 9.2 average. He also shot 42.3% from 3-point range to rank eighth in the NBA in that stat category. Williams closed out the regular season with a bang as he poured in a season-high 28 points in an April 13th start against the Portland Trail Blazers. In that game, Williams hit on 12-of-18 field goal attempts, including 4-of-8 from long distance, and he also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists.

Williams joined the Warriors on March 1, 2010, after leading the NBA Development League in scoring as a member of the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He averaged 15.2 points in just over a month after signing with the Warriors and was inked for the 2010-11 season. Only two former VMI basketball players have made it to the NBA ranks. Ron Carter ’78 played for the Los Angeles Lakers and Indian Pacers between 1978 and 1980. As of this writing in early May 2011, it is not clear whether Williams will resign with the Warriors or land a deal with another NBA club. See website www.vmikeydets. com for more updates. Editor’s Note: Unless stated otherwise, the articles and photos in the Athletics section of the Alumni Review are produced by the VMI Sports Information Office.


ATHLETICS Lewis Preston ’93 Named Kennesaw State Head Basketball Coach On April 20, 2011, Lewis Preston ’93, a former VMI basketball standout and member of the Institute’s Sports Hall of Fame, was named head men’s basketball coach at Kennesaw State University, a Division I institution located 40 minutes northwest of the Atlanta, Georgia, metro area. It is the first head coaching position for Preston, who served the previous three seasons at Penn State under Head Coach Ed DeChellis. The Nittany Lions reached the NCAA tournament in 2010-11 and finished with a 19-14 record. Photo above: Preston during VMI’s 1991-92 season. He Preston’s coaching career spans more than 10 years and remains the Institute’s all-time leader in blocked shots. began at Coastal Carolina where he was hired by former VMI Assistant Coach Pete Strickland. Preston spent two Institute’s all-time leader in blocked shots, a mark that still years at Coastal before moving on to Notre stands, and also set the season record of 65 rejections Dame, where he served six years under Head in 1991-92. He completed his cadetship as VMI’s Coach Mike Brey. As a member of the Fighting 17th all-time leading scorer with 1,146 career points Irish staff, Preston participated in three NCAA and was the Southern Conference’s second all-time tournaments and three NIT tournaments. He shot blocker. Preston led the Southern Conference then moved on to Florida, where he spent two in blocked shots in 1992 and 1993. He was inducted seasons with the Gators under Head Coach Billy into the VMI Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. Donavan. During his first year in Gainesville in “This is a tremendous opportunity, and I am 2007-08, Florida captured the second of back-tothrilled and humbled to have been chosen by Kenback NCAA national titles. nesaw State,” Preston said in a school-prepared A native of Boones Mill, Virginia, Preston was release. “My focus has always been on developing my Preston ’93 recruited to the Institute as a walk-on by thenstudent-athletes, both athletically and academically, Head Coach Joe Cantafio and developed into one to their fullest potential. I can’t wait to get started of the top Southern Conference post players by the time on hiring our assistant coaches and recruiting the additional he was a first classman. Preston finished his career as the players that will complement our current team.” Sophomore wide receiver Trent White moved into the secondary after catching one of his four passes in the April 30, 2011, Red-White Spring Scrimmage held at Foster Stadium. Using a devised point system that awarded scoring based on specific plays or situations, the Red Team (offense) outpointed the White Team (defense), 34-25. “I feel pretty confident about what we have done this spring and couldn’t have gotten more out of it than we did,” said Head Coach Sparky Woods after the scrimmage which concluded spring drills. VMI opens the 2011 football season on Sept. 3rd at home against Delaware State. For up-to-date news, stats, and videos on VMI football, go to



ATHLETICS Swimming and Diving Highlights The men’s swimming and diving 201011 season included several notable performances, leading to a fourth-place finish at the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Championships. Dallas Disbro, a former player on the men’s soccer team, garnered great success in his first full year with the swim team. Disbro placed third at the CCSA Championships in both the 1-meter and 3-meter disciplines, making him the only Keydet to earn a podium finish. After an under-the-radar regular season, James Goodwillie re-emerged with a vengeance at the CCSA meet, capping a strong performance with a new

school record in the 200-yard backstroke. Goodwillie also swam the team’s four fastest 200 individual medley times during the regular season. On the women’s side, the season was

Professional Baseball Players, Former Keydets

highlighted by Briana Allard and Mia Cunicelli, pictured below. Cunicelli, a freshman from Leesburg, Virginia, set two new varsity records in her first season on Post. She also helped set three varsity relay records and a pair of freshman relay marks, meaning that she set or played a hand in seven, new VMI bests in her first collegiate season. Despite a disappointing CCSA Championship, in which she finished 16th in the 1-meter and 17th in the 3-meter, Allard had a strong senior season, ranking in the CCSA’s top-12 in both events for much of the year. She also set the Keydet school record in both diving disciplines multiple times.

Baseball Hit Record

The following alumni who played baseball while attending VMI are, as of this writing, playing professional baseball in the minor league system. Listed below each player’s name are his position, level, team and organization. Michael Bowman ’09, P (AA – Huntsville Stars – Milwaukee Brewers)

Travis Smink ’09, P (Rookie – Greeneville Astros – Houston Astros)

Trey Barham ’08, P (AA – Midland Rockhounds – Oakland A’s)

Jordan Ballard ’10, INF (Rookie – Casper Ghosts – Colorado Rockies)

Michael Roberts ’09, C (Class A – Brevard County – Milwaukee Brewers)

Tanner Biagini ’10 INF/C (Rookie – GCL – Tampa Bay Rays)

Lacrosse Records On April 2, 2011, against Marist College, junior Stephen Robarge broke the VMI career record for ground balls in a career. He also set the single-game record against Manhattan College on March 26th with 17 pickups.

2011-Issue 3

Senior Sam Roberts set the program’s all-time hit record during the team’s series with Coastal Carolina in late April. For an update on the conclusion of VMI’s 2011 season, which included hosting the Big South Conference Baseball Championships at Gray-Minor Stadium, logon to


VMI FOUNDATION, INC. VMI FOUNDATION, INC. Message from the VMI Foundation CEO by Brian S. Crockett

way for success, service and leadership. The Institute’s 2011-12 academic year is about Those who have donated in support of VMI also to commence. Less than three months after he play an important role in educating young people presented diplomas to the class of 2011 in Cameron during their “crowded hours” as VMI cadets. No Hall, Gen. Peay ’62 will again stand in Cameron matter where they are directed, donations help Hall and welcome to VMI the young people who VMI provide cadets the opportunities to develop will make up the class of 2015. their minds, their bodies and their spirits, as This means that the cycle of VMI life continues as well as ensure that economic need never stands it has since 1842, the year of its first commencebetween a cadet and a VMI education. ment ceremonies. It also illustrates something Of course, donors do not support VMI merely interesting about VMI: the marked transformation to enjoy a feeling of “honest pride” in our cadets. of its students over four years. Think about it – this Crockett They do so because they know that VMI strives August, a group of young men and women will to produce well-educated, purposeful and honorenter VMI, plunging into an incredibly demanding system of education. They will be confused, daunted and able graduates who have the potential to offer their profesnervous. In less than four years, most of these young people sions, their communities and this country what is always will depart VMI, made ready for work, military service, or needed: principled and forceful leadership. In turn, donors graduate or professional education. They will be confident, make gifts and commitments to VMI because they realize that the preservation of this challenging and effective eduresolute and purposeful. Still, after watching them in their early days at VMI, I cation and its improvement demands a steady and steadily often have to remind myself that the cadets I see arriving growing stream of private financial support. As you consider what VMI does, in such a short time, for this August will be the leaders of the Corps in three years. As one alumnus said, after watching platoons of Rats clumsily its cadets – and, if you are an alumnus, what it did for you drill on the Parade Ground during Cadre Week, “It’s hard – I ask that you also think about what you currently are to believe, but in three years, one of them could be First doing to sustain VMI and to support the Corps of Cadets. As much as everyone on Post appreciates expressions of Captain.” The knowledge that VMI’s extraordinary education will support and approval, there is no substitute for material refine its cadets into “objects of honest pride to their instruc- support, especially at a time when it is more likely than not tors” is comforting. However, it also brings with it a sense that VMI will continue to face substantial financial chalof urgency. As any member of the faculty and staff will tell lenges in the future. If you are among those who have made a gift or commityou, although it seems long to cadets, the time these young people spend at VMI actually is short, but the impact of that ment in support of VMI in the just-ended Fiscal Year 2011, time is profound and will last a lifetime. Therefore, they are on behalf of everyone on Post – especially our cadets – I committed to doing all they can to ensure that not a moment thank you. If you have not made a gift or commitment to of time between Matriculation and Graduation is wasted and VMI recently, please consider joining this effort by making that every day is one in which a cadet is developed in some a gift and/or pledge as soon as possible.

Class of ’61 Presents 50th Reunion Fund Gift to VMI On May 1, 2011, the class of 1961 presented the initial proceeds of its 50th Reunion Fund to the Institute at the traditional Saturday morning Reunion Weekend Parade. These Brother Rats were represented by Lee D. Badgett, second from left, the Reunion Fund chairman; Salvatore J. Vitale Jr., center, the class agent; and Wyatt B. Durrette Jr., second from right, the class president. Accepting the initial gift of $8,609,735 on behalf of the Institute was Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, USA (Ret). The president of The VMI Alumni Association, Randolph M. Blanks ’67, thanked the class on behalf of the VMI Alumni Agencies. Photo by Kevin Remington.




The VMI Legacy Medallion Program Since 2010, the VMI Legacy Medallion Program has provided the means for recognition of those donors who make a planned gift in support of VMI – the legacy becomes a reality for the benefit of future cadets and VMI. The program has its roots in and is administered by the Washington Arch Society. The VMI Foundation and the VMI Keydet Club founded the Washington Arch Society in 2005 to recognize those alumni, parents and friends of the Institute who have made legacy commitments to VMI using planned and deferred gifts. Six years ago, VMI Foundation Vice President for Planned Giving Terrie Conrad recalls, “We recognized that many donors were making substantial gifts to the Institute in the form of such planned giving vehicles as charitable remainder trusts and gift annuities. Additional estate gifts are bequests and insurance gifts. We should certainly recognize these people for their generosity when they make the commitment.” Currently, there are 1,575 members of the Washington Arch Society. Deferred gifts, when realized for the Institute, are averaging $4 million per year. In 2010, Conrad represented the VMI Foundation at the funeral of a donor whose realized gift provided a very large scholarship for VMI cadets. After the funeral, she requested a copy of the eulogy. The rector mentioned that he had presided over five funerals of VMI alumni, all of which were crowded with family, friends and fellow alumni. He commented on the intense loyalty that VMI alumni have to each other and the Institute. “After the interment at the church,” said Conrad, “the rector said to me that, while there is recognition of a VMI man during a funeral, there is no indication on churchyard headstones that the people who rested beneath them were VMI alumni. Then and there, I resolved to change that.” The result is the Legacy Medallion, which is used to honor those who have made a legacy gift to VMI that is realized and put to use for VMI as the donor intended. Made of brass, each medallion is four inches in diameter and is appropriate for placement on tomb stones, funeral crypts and urns. In the middle of the medallion is the VMI Monogram and the words famously uttered, “The Institute will be heard from today,” underneath. Along the edge of

2011-Issue 3

the medallion are the words, “The Washington Arch Society” and “1839,” the year in which the Institute was founded. “It is a memorial that is a tribute to the character of the donor and a testimony to the values that formed his life,” stated Conrad. “I believe it is recognition of the ‘Spirit of VMI.’” The medallion is presented to the families of members of the Washington Arch Society, as well as current and former members of the VMI Foundation’s Board of Trustees and recipients of the VMI Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award. Since the establishment of the VMI Legacy Medallion Program, the medallion has been presented nine times. “Family members are quite keen on ensuring that they receive the medallion,” explained Conrad. “Almost all have told me that the medallion is in place on a loved one’s tombstone. It is a fitting testimony to the high value they placed on their relationship with VMI.” Those interested in more information about the VMI Legacy Medallion Program and in becoming a member of The Washington Arch Society, should contact Mrs. Terrie Conrad at the offices of the VMI Foundation. Her e-mail address is, and her telephone number is 800/444-1839, ext. 238.

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 Feb. 1, 2011, through Apr. 30, 2011.

Mrs. Donna M. Adams Mr. E.C.A. Wachtmeister ’71 and Mrs. Wachtmeister Mr. T. Bryan Barton ‘68

Mr. Michael E. Amann ’00 Mr. Scott F. McInnis ’00

Capt. R.T. Arnest Jr. ’46, USN Mrs. Richard T. Arnest Jr.

Mr. Gerald D. Austin ’61 Mrs. Beverly A. Hanlin Mr. W. Thomas Rutledge Jr. ’61

G. Russell Aylor Jr. ’61, D.D.S. Mrs. George R. Aylor Jr.

Mr. W.R. Blandford Jr. ’69 Mr. Carl E. Rhodes Jr. ’66 and Mrs. Rhodes

Mr. Frank O. Brown Sr. Mr. and Mrs. Frank O. Brown Jr.

Dr. Chester F. Burgess Jr. Mr. Robert R. Sparks Jr. ’69

Mr. Peter R. Candler ’71 Mrs. Megan Eschenmann Mr. Ronald L. Gault Jr. ’71 Mr. Randolph M. Hamner ’62 Mr. Samuel H. Kirby Jr. ’71 Mr. Thomas E. Martenstein ’71 and Mrs. Martenstein Mr. and Mrs. Steven H. Maxwell Mr. and Mrs J. Gregory Mooney Mr. J.D. Morefield ’71 Mr. J. Dennis Nelson Mr. and Mrs. John L. Nichols Jr. Robert M. Pickral ’71, M.D. Mr. Michel Robertson Mr. and Mrs. John H. Tison Mr. and Mrs. Travis J. Tysinger University of South Carolina Upstate

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

Mr. John W. Chiles ’39 Mrs. Lucy A. Cella Mr. and Mrs. Guy R. Davis Mr. J. Steven Grist Mr. Louis Harlan Mrs. Helen B. Head


Mrs. Calder L. Hope Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth R. Krauss Ms. Lisa T. Lester Col. A.H. Morrison ’39, USA (Ret), and Mrs. Morrison Dr. Henry Sharp Jr. Mrs. George H. Simpson Mr. Samuel H. Williams Jr.

Mr. Elbert D. Cockes ’54 Mr. Wymer W. Manning Jr. ’54

Col. James P. Coley Sr. ’51, USA Mr. John S. Gray ’51 Mr. Joe T. Howard ’51 and Mrs. Howard

Mr. William E. Crumpler ’53 Mr. W. Scott Crumpler ’82

Mr. Raymond C. Cullen ’66

Mr. Hugh W. Adams ’66 and Mrs. Adams Mr. Richard Y. AtLee ’66 Ms. Elizabeth R. Barnes Mr. Robert B. Barnes Jr. ’54 and Mrs. Barnes Mr. Donald R. Barrett ’66 Lynne M. Berkness and Cadet C. Russell Timmons ’14 Mr. and Mrs. Stewart Buckle Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Cabaniss Jr. Mr. John D. Campbell Jr. Collegiate Middle School Class of 1966 Mr. Albert Z. Conner Jr. ’66 Mr. and Mrs. Richard P. Cullen Mr. Paul W. Flye Jr. Ms. Mary K. Gibbons Mr. William A. Gregory ’66 Mr. William A. Hallett Jr. ’47 Mr. and Mrs. James C. Hickey Mr. Richard K. Hines V ’66 and Mrs. Hines Mr. and Mrs. Jasper P. Horne III Ms. Marietta B. Jones Keiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary & Shreaves Mr. and Mrs. Barry L. Levin Mr. William E. Loughridge ’65 Mr. Paul B. Maini ’66 Mr. John J. Marshall ’77 Bill McClure ’66 and Wyckie McClure Ms. Susan C. McDonald Mr. Jack A. Molenkamp Mr. Albert M. Orgain IV ’65 and Mrs. Orgain Mr. David Pahren Mr. Stephen M. Phelps ’66 Ms. Christine K. Plant Mr. and Mrs. Heath K. Rada Mr. Carl E. Rhodes Jr. ’66 and Mrs. Rhodes Mr. Joseph Riccardo Mr. Robert G. Routh Ms. Donna Silvestri Mr. and Mrs. Mark W. Sisk Mr. Thomas G. Slater Jr. ’66 SonaBank Ms. Rebecca S. Steadman Ms. Mary E. Sturdivan

Thompson Siegel & Walmsley Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Tysinger Ms. Mironda B. Watson Mr. Horace P. Whitworth Edward J. Wiley Jr. ’52, M.D.

Mr. John A. Cummings ’64 Mr. William A. McVey ’64

Mr. Harry G. Dashiell Jr. ’50B Mr. John S. Gray ’51

Deceased Brother Rats - Class of 1972 Mr. Lawrence E. Houseworth ’72

Sgt. Ryan E. Doltz ’00, ANG Mr. Kenneth M. Wing Jr. ’00

Col. Walter A. Edens ’40, USA

Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Brockenbrough Ms. Geraldine Burke Mrs. Leo Burke Mr. J. Douglas Cook ’40 Mrs. Robert H. Deaderick Mr. and Mrs. John C. Edens Mr. John S. Gray ’51 Ms. Sallie M. Greenwood Gregg & Bailey PC Mr. William A. Hallett Jr. ’47 Dr. and Mrs. John W. Harbison Col. B.F. Harmon III ’49B, USA (Ret) Mr. and Mrs. Bruce R. Hazelgrove Jr. Mr. George C. Hutter ’52 Mrs. Kristy Knack Mr. Sol W. Rawls Jr. ’40 Col. Stuart M. Seaton ’41, USA (Ret), and Mrs. Seaton Mr. and Mrs. Henry C. Spalding Jr. Mr. John K. Taylor ’50B Mrs. Vester J. Thompson Jr. Mr. J.H. Van Landingham Jr. ’43 Mrs. Elizabeth Edens Vermillion Mr. Harry H. Warner ’57 Mr. and Mrs. Fred L. Watkins Mr. and Mrs. Fielding L. Williams Jr.

Cadet John A. Evans ’13 Mr. Robert J. Evans ’80

Robert H. Filer ’55, M.D. Mr. Ronald M. Bryan ’55

Mr. John H. Friend Jr. ’51

Mr. John S. Gray ’51 Mrs. Vester J. Thompson Jr.

Mr. William S. Galvin ’57 Mr. Thomas L. Atkeson ’57

The Honorable Michael E. Gersten ’64 Mr. William A. McVey ’64

James Samuel Gillespie III ’94 Mrs. A.J. Graham Jr. Col. George Piegari (Hon. Alum) and Mrs. Piegari



Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Collie

Mrs. Elmon T. Gray

Mr. Donald M. Giles ’64

Eugene R. Griffith ’55, M.D. Mr. John P. Griffith Mrs. William W. Winfree Jr.

Col. Oscar W. Gupton

Mr. William H. Crone IV ’64 Mr. Daniel J. DeForrest III ’64 Mr. William A. McVey ’64 Mr. Thomas C. Myers ’64

Mr. Edwin Y. Hines ’66

Sally and Bill Boice Mr. and Mrs. Everette L Doffermyre Jr. Carolyn Donovan and Catherine Donovan Mr. and Mrs. W. Hampton Morris Mr. Carl E. Rhodes Jr. ’66 and Mrs. Rhodes Mr. Charles C. Schoen III ’56

Mr. Douglas A. Hodge

Mr. and Mrs. T. Bryan Barton ’68 Mr. and Mrs. Joseph T. Carrigan Mrs. Janet S. Mittel Mr. and Mrs James C. Moorhead Mr. and Mrs. Brian C. Price Stone Bridge High School

Mr. Bernard S. Holt Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. T. Glenn Wilson

Mr. Micajah Q. Holt Mr. S.W. Nelms ’49B

Mr. James Hume Jr. ’42 Mrs. James Hume Jr.

Mr. H. Thomas Hupp Jr. ’44 Mr. John S. Gray ’51

Robert W. Jenkins Jr. ’58, Ph.D. Mrs. Robert W. Jenkins

Ms. Elisabeth B. Johnson Mr. C.E. Johnson IV

Lt. Col. George L. Jones III ’55, USAF Mr. Gwynne H. Jones Jr. ’50B

Mr. Torrence V. Jones

Teri Marks Ms. Traci A. McDowell Jon McDowell Nifty Packaging Products Mrs. C. Ann Poole Mrs. Lois J. Robertson Toni Whittington Mrs. Lisa K. Zelenski

Capt. John W. Kennedy ’69, USAF Col. Robert D. Slay Jr. ’69, M.D., USA (Ret)

2011-Issue 3

Lt. Col. Edward A. Kritzer ’48A, USAF Mr. William J. Bond ’48A Mrs. Nelson T. Overton

Mr. L. Winder Lane IV ’38 Mrs. L. Winder Lane IV

Mr. Van T. Langdon ’61

Mrs. Martha B. Ruggles Mrs. Kavanaugh Y. Thrift

Col. T.A. Moseley Mrs. Calder L. Hope

T.A.E. Moseley Jr. ’39, M.D. Mrs. Calder L. Hope

Mr. Holmes S. Smith ’61

Capt. Stanley E. Leck ’79, USAR Mr. Gregory M. Leck ’77

Mr. Lloyd L. Leech III ’66 Class of 1966 Mr. Albert Z. Conner Jr. ’66 Mr. William A. Gregory ’66 Bill McClure ’66 and Wyckie McClure

Percy M. Lincoln Jr. ’57, Ph.D. Mr. Thomas L. Atkeson ’57

Mr. R.N. Lineweaver III ’63 Mr. John S. Cockey Jr. ’63

Mr. Robert G. Long ’52

Ashepoo Hunt Club Inc. Mr. and Mrs. William E. Johnson Mr. James O. Kempson Mrs. Marie McCallion Mr. R.M. Morgan ’54 Mr. Cecil T. Welsh Jr. ’52 and Mrs. Welsh

Mr. and Mrs. Harry A. Lund Mark E. Lund ’87, M.D.

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

Mrs. Joseph E. Martin

Mr. and Mrs. James R. Busch

Mr. Joseph E. Martin Jr. ’72

Mr. and Mrs. Philip T. Jacobs Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Upshaw III

Mr. Walter E. Materniak

Mr. and Mrs. Russell L. Starr

Mr. Rodney D. McCormack ’57 Mr. Thomas L. Atkeson ’57

William W. Mears ’56, M.D. Mr. Charles C. Schoen III ’56

Mr. Thaddeus J. Meler ’48A Mr. Thomas R. Meler ’62

Mr. Michael C. Northrop ’86 Robert G. Rainer ’86, O.D.

Mr. Lucius Nottingham Jr. ’46 Mr. Nate L. Adams II ’45 and Mrs. Adams Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence N. Mauck Jr. Mrs. Therese Tucker

Mr. S. Willis Parsons ’35 Mr. Donald R. McMath ’71

Mr. Robert J. Patane ’54 Mr. Francis E. Boeggeman ’58

The Honorable Ralph B. Robertson ’65 Mrs. Ralph B. Robertson

Mr. Melvin P. Rucker ’83 Mr. Thomas W. Throckmorton

Mr. Eugene R. Rushton IV ’83 Mr. Thomas W. Throckmorton

Harvey S. Sadow ’44, Ph.D. Mr. Yerbury G. Burnham ’50B and Mrs. Burnham Mr. William A. Hallett Jr. ’47 Mr. Robert P. Jones Jr. ’44 and Mrs. Jones

Lt. Col. Robert T. Saunders Jr. ’57, USANG Mr. Thomas L. Atkeson ’57

Jay R. Sculley ’62, Ph.D. Mr. Walter H. Hylton III ’62 Lt. Col. Carl M. Jordan Jr. ’62, USA (Ret) Col. George Piegari (Hon. Alum) and Mrs. Piegari

Mr. Gerald E. Smallwood ’50B Mr. Jack W. Nurney Jr. ’50B and Mrs. Nurney Mrs. William C. Overman Jr.

Selden H. Stephens Jr. ’49B, M.D. Mrs. Vester J. Thompson Jr.

Mr. John A. Michelsen ’57

Mr. Eivind O. Svendsen ’54

Mr. Jeffrey J. Morgan ’80

Mr. Gregory C. Taylor ’57

Col. J.L. Morrison Jr. ’45, USA

Mr. James P. Taylor ’45

Mr. Thomas L. Atkeson ’57

Mr. Richard M. Moore II ’82

Class of 1945

Mr. Francis E. Boeggeman ’58

Mrs. Rose W. Tucker

Mrs. Rose W. Tucker


VMI FOUNDATION, INC. Mrs. Ann M. Terry Mr. Robert B. Barnes Jr. ’54 and Mrs. Barnes Mr. Samuel A. Clement Jr. ’62

Jerry A. Trice ’55, M.D. Robert H. Bowden Jr. ’55, M.D., and Mrs. Bowden Mr. Ronald M. Bryan ’55 Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Tait ’55, USA (Ret), and Mrs. Tait

Mr. Dan M. Tucker ’44 Mrs. Rose W. Tucker

Mr. Grattan H. Tucker Jr. ’41 Mrs. Rose W. Tucker

Lt. Col. J. Thomas Undercoffer ’56 Mr. Kenneth McDonald Jr. ’56 Mr. Graham L. Undercoffer ’74 Mrs. Kathryn Undercoffer

Lt. Col. Robert B. Vail ’57, USA Mr. Thomas L. Atkeson ’57

Mr. Robert L. Wallace ’24 Mrs. Rose W. Tucker

Mr. Wayne C. Weaver ’33 Mr. Mark D. Robinson

Brig. Gen. C.P. Weidenthal ’53, USA Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Tait ’55, USA (Ret), and Mrs. Tait

Mr. Paul Wessinger Mr. David R. Wessinger

Mr. Richard J. Whalen Sr. Mrs. Charline G. Whalen

William H. Whitmore ’48A, M.D. Mr. and Mrs. Steve Pitler

Lt. David L. Williams ’91, USN Lt. Col. Evan J. Brown ’91, USA Cmdr. Stephen W. Dudar ’91, USN Mr. Timothy L. Hayes ’91 Maj. Thomas V. Heffern ’91, USMC Mr. Gregory H. Hurst ’91 Mr. Patrick R. Krug ’91 Mr. Michael J. Robichaud ’91 Capt. O. Van Pelt Sessoms IV ’91, USMC Mr. Joseph M. Sokolowski ’91 Mr. Charles H. Story Jr. ’91

Mrs. Margaret Williams Mr. and Mrs. Donald P. Williams

Col. Ronald W. Williams ’64, USAF Brig. Gen. Lee D. Badgett ’61, USA (Ret), and Mrs. Badgett Bard Peripheral Vascular Mid-Atlantic District


Buzz Birzenieks ’64 and Jane Birzenieks Capt. Matthew T. Bowers ’93, USAF Col. James H. Brittingham ’64, USAF (Ret) Col. John R. Cavedo ’64, USA (Ret) Mr. Clifford A. Crittsinger ’64 Mr. Clinton S. Crone ’93 Mrs. Doris V. Diggs and Bill Mr. Parker W. Duncan Jr. ’64 Mr. Walter S. Duryea II ’64 Mr. Ronald E. Fischer ’64 Mr. C. Ted Gammon ’64 Capt. Craig Honour Mr. Scott Hughes Mr. Wallace S. Inge ’96 Mr. Nga Le Mr. C.P. MacDonald III ’64 Ms. Erin Macey Mr. William A. McVey ’64 Mr. Russell D. Moore ’96 Bishop P. Read ’64, M.D. Mr. William I. Rodier III ’64 Mr. John L. Rowe Jr. ’66 and Mrs. Rowe Mrs. Billye P. Roy Mr. Donald F. Stickles II ’64 Fighter Squadron 31 Officers Mr. J.V. Taylor Jr. ’64 Twiddy & Company Realtors Ms. Amy Walton Randy and Vicki Williams

Mr. Thomas E. Williams ’44 Ms. Virginia Lee R. Anderson Mr. Peter C. Bance Chantal Beaudry and the Resolute Team Ms. Margaret Karen Berkness Missy and Carl Blackwell Richard and Donna Bower Mr. Patteson Branch Jr. ’69 and Mrs. Branch Mrs. Bliss S. Brown Mr. Thomas R. Brown Mr. and Mrs. James R.V. Daniel Mrs. Teresa W. Darden Ms. Melinda Davis Mrs. Overton D. Dennis, Jr. Blaine and Mary Denny Jack & Liz Edsall Mr. Tazewell Ellett III ’44 and Mrs. Ellett Mrs. Nancy W. Fauntleroy Mr. and Mrs. Donald M. Fergusson Mrs. Frances B. Forsyth Mr. Floyd D. Gottwald Jr. ’43 Mr. Thomas E. Gottwald ’83 Mr. Jerry W. Ham Mrs. Cheryl W. Hamm Terrell Luck Harrigan and Elliott M. Harrigan Ms. Alice B. Herron Mr. and Mrs. Gary L. Hooper Mrs. James Hume Jr. Mr. and Mrs. J. Randolph Hutcheson Mrs. Ted B. Jacobsen Ms. Gretchen Japhet Mr. Robert P. Jones Jr. ’44 and Mrs. Jones Mr. and Mrs. Crawley F. Joyner III

Mr. and Mrs. William B. Judkins Ms. Jeanne W. Kenny Mr. Ernest L. Keppel ’42 Kerns & Kastenbaum PLC King’s Creek Plantation LLC Ms. Jean W. Lane Mr. Frank G. Louthan Jr. ’41 and Mrs. Louthan Mr. Charles S. Luck III ’55 and Mrs. Luck Ms. Marie N. Massey Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence N. Mauck Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. McCreary Ms. Margaret F.V. McGehee The GGW’s Mr. and Mrs. Mark Merhige Sr. Mr. and Mrs. Richard F. Mulligan Jr. Mr. and Mrs. James R. Oliver Mr. Charles W. Parker Jr. ’44 and Mrs. Parker Betsy & Jimmy Paul Porter Realty Company Inc. Mrs. Allen R. Potts Dr. and Mrs. Watson O. Powell The Robert H. Pratt Family Mr. and Mrs. Duane H. Ragsdale Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Robertson III Mr. Conrad F. Sauer III ’46 and Mrs. Sauer Shades of Light Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd E. Smith Col. Robert W. Smothers ’44, USAF Dr. and Mrs. Hall Squire Mrs. William L. Stagg III Mrs. George F. White Jr. Mr. John E. Whitmore ’42 and Mrs. Whitmore Mrs. Alexander H. Williams Jr. John Williams ’45 and Mary Williams Mr. and Mrs. E. Carlton Wilton Ms. Isabella G. Witt

Mr. William C. Williamson Jr. ’64 Mr. Kenton B. Patrick ’61

Mr. A.H. Wilson III ’57 Mr. Thomas L. Atkeson ’57

Mr. Donald G. Wise ’61 Brig. Gen. Lee D. Badgett ’61, USA (Ret), and Mrs. Badgett C. Alison Drescher ’61, D.D.S. H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr. ’61, M.D. Mr. Oscar K. Mabry ’61 Mr. Michael H. Pitt ’60

Mr. John H. Woodfin Sr. ’61 Mr. Bowlman T. Bowles Jr. ’60 and Mrs. Bowles Mrs. Mary J. Campbell Mr. Paul J. Johnston ’61 Mr. Scott Smith Miller ’71 Ms. Helen W. Obenshain Mr. and Mrs. Douglas D. Tunstall Sam E. Woolwine ’58, D.D.S. Mr. Terry Wright Mr. R.H. Youngblood Jr. ’61


VMI FOUNDATION, INC. Mr. Robert S. Woods ’66 Mr. William A. Gregory ’66

Mr. William S.D. Woods Jr. ’53 Mr. John S. Gray ’51

Mr. DeWitt S. Worrell ’62 Mr. Howard E. Cobb ’62 and Mrs. Cobb Mr. Eric C. Hyman Mr. Alfred W. Kaemmerlen Col. George Piegari (Hon. Alum) and Mrs. Piegari Col. Steven Riethmiller ’63 and Mrs. Riethmiller

Mr. Gregory R. Wright Jr. ’95 Mr. Thomas Citrano Mr. Jim Flinchum

Capt. Luke C. Wullenwaber ’02, USA Mr. and Mrs. Stephen A. Trant

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 Feb. 1, 2010, through Apr. 30, 2011.

Aerojet Mr. and Mrs. John Schumacher

Altria Group Inc. Mr. William K. Bhatta ’76 Mr. John R. Munno ’84

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Mr. Reverdy H. Jones III ’68

Automatic Data Processing Inc. Mr. Trevor V.Y. Stanco ’09

Bank of America Foundation Inc. Mr. James C. Cosby ’82 Mr. John G. Lester ’68

Bechtel Foundation Mr. Mark H. Seely ’78

The Boeing Company Col. Randolph M. Blanks ’67, USAF (Ret)

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Mr. Christian F. Daniels ’91

Capital One Mr. Jason W. Ancarrow ’97 Mr. Alexander G. Blanton Jr. ’98

Caterpillar Foundation Mr. Wilson E.D. Shepherd ’50B Mr. C. Randolph Williams Sr. ’63

2011-Issue 3

CITGO Petroleum Corporation Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Syverson II

Ernst & Young Foundation Mr. James S.C. Phlegar Jr. ’67

ExxonMobil Foundation Mr. Charles H. Beckham ’43 Mr. William D. Dermott ’66 Mr. Charles W. Kause ’82 Mr. Thomas F. Lemons Jr. ’66 Mr. Horace L. Rose III ’82 Mrs. Horace L. Rose Jr. Mr. Edward M. Seager ’64 Capt. Michael L. Soares ’75, USNR (Ret) Mr. Peter A. Tunnard ’90 Mr. Brenton L. Underwood ’06 Mr. James L. Whitehurst Jr. ’66

Fannie Mae Foundation Mr. David M. Benedick ’98

The General Electric Foundation Mr. Donald T. Doherty ’47 Mr. Paul A. Kuhne Jr. ’54

Ingersoll-Rand Charitable Foundation Mr. Richard C. Murphy ’60

Insurance Services Office Inc. Mr. Joseph R. Jones Jr. ’44

The Merck Company Foundation Mr. C. Stewart Snoddy Jr. ’49C

Microsoft Corporation Mr. Keith A. Lawhorn ’98

Mutual of America Mr. Matthew Wright Atkinson ’80

Nationwide Foundation Mr. Wymer W. Manning Jr. ’54

Nordson Corporation Mr. John Scott IV ’69

Norfolk Southern Foundation Mr. James D. Gearhart ’71 Mr. O. Raymond Martin V ’71 Mr. Phillip R. Ogden ’63 Mr. John R. Savage ’74

The Northrop Grumman Foundation Capt. Walter M. Kreitler ’80, USN (Ret)

Pentair Inc. Mr. Mohammad Khandan-Barani ’84

Pfizer Foundation Mr. William R. Haeberlein ’61 Mr. Hunter H. Mays Jr. ’71 Mr. C. Stewart Snoddy Jr. ’49C Mr. G. Chandler Williams ’68

Pitney Bowes Company Mr. Benjamin W.L. Semmes III ’88

Public Service Electric & Gas Company Mr. James J. Schaffer III ’77

Raytheon Company Mr. Kenneth C. Herbert ’81 Maj. Hubert G. Schneider III ’80, USAF (Ret)

Science Applications International Corp. Mr. Ben M. Bauman II ’79 Lt. Col. James A. Byron III ’81, USAF (Ret) Mr. Jeffrey C. Carver ’71 Mr. and Mrs. Mark W. Davidoski Mr. Stephen E. Evans ’83 Lt. Col. Alan S. Fojt ’72, USA (Ret) Mr. Roy R. Heddleston ’70 Gen. John P. Jumper ’66, USAF (Ret)

SunTrust Mid-Atlantic Foundation Mr. Vincent A. Wood III ’81

Turner Construction Corporation Mr. Richard J. Falcone Jr. ’92

UBS Mr. John R. Fisher ’89 Mr. Walter P. Massie Jr. ’70 Mr. W. Ware Smith Jr. ’62

Unum Mr. Willis A. Council Jr. ’82

The Vanguard Group Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Forbes

Verizon Foundation Ms. Pamela F. Blair Mr. Wayne D. Chiles ’65 Mr. George A. Farry ’75 Mr. George C. Hutter ’52 Mr. R.N. Lineweaver III ’63 Mr. Ralph T. Minor ’97 Mr. Daniel W. Murphy ’85 Mr. David T. Wagner ’82 Mr. David F. West ’76

Waters Corporation Andrew J. Young ’74, Ph.D.

Wells Fargo Foundation Mr. Scott F. McInnis ’00 Mr. John T. Piper Mr. Robert B. Powell ’63 Mr. Brian D. Tate ’90

Yancey Bros. Co. Mr. Mark A. Kincer ’95


KEYDET CLUB KEYDET CLUB Keydet Club’s “Funding For Success:”

An Important Bridge to VMI’s Athletic Future by Greg Cavallaro ’84, Chief Executive Officer, VMI Keydet Club Inc. and Donny White ’65, VMI Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Virginia Military Institute fans and supporters are excited about our recent athletic successes. Winning generates pride in not only the team members but also within the Corps and alumni body. It is important for VMI to have winning athletic teams. There is no question that our basketball, baseball and track programs are in winning cycles and are ultra-competitive in the conference. Success in basketball and baseball is the best it’s been in 30 years. Our goal now is to continue to be successful in these sports and raise the winning percentage in the others. Unfortunately and ironically, the present economic climate is making it more challenging to raise the private money necessary to support and improve the programs – just when our athletic fortunes are improving. If we do not meet this challenge, many of the positive gains could be lost. For many years, going back to the ’90s, the Keydet Club has, without fail, successfully met the financial needs of VMI’s Division I athletic program. This, in large part, helped to swing the pendulum of athletic success VMI’s way. Many of our competitors have larger student bodies which enable those colleges to provide revenues that cover 60-80% of their intercollegiate athletic budget. At VMI, we receive 25% of our athletic budget from this revenue source. We get 30% of our budget from the combination of endowed funds and proceeds from gate receipts, guarantees, marketing, promotions and concessions. The Keydet Club provides the biggest piece of our budget – 45% – with its annual fundraising efforts. While we are

very proud that the Keydet Club raises more money than other schools in the Big South Conference, the Southern Conference and most other Virginia 1AA schools, we have to do more if we expect to field teams that win. Our ability to continue to grow and succeed is threatened by the everincreasing dollar demands caused by the escalating cost of tuition, expensive out-of-state recruiting and scholarships (we have to supplement our good Virginia recruits with the best out of state athletes we can find), the rising cost of transportation and equipment, and a decrease in the amount of unrestricted endowment available to support athletics. Despite these near-term, potentially negative influences, there is hope and promise on the horizon – namely, a comprehensive campaign to benefit all of VMI, including athletics. For over 30 years, it has often been said that VMI has no memory or understanding of how successful athletics could impact the Institute in the development arena. However, we are truly optimistic that we will soon see the impact and reap the rewards. In 1977 and 1978, when VMI basketball went to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, and VMI football won the Southern Conference Championship, the Keydet Club raised $390,000, and the Institute’s endowment stood at $12 million. Without question, VMI’s development efforts were still in their infancy. Today, VMI’s endowment has grown to $330,000,000, and just recently, the Keydet Club raised a record $3,550,000

in annual support! It also is interesting to note that the Keydet Club’s annual efforts have increased from $1 million per year in the late ’90s to over $3.5 million today. In the past 30 years, VMI initiated a few campaigns, but none were coupled with the excitement and success being generated by our athletic teams today and the promise for even bigger and better things to come tomorrow. With increased interest and support from alumni, VMI can win conference championships and compete in the NCAA playoffs. It is important for VMI to win in athletics. It is important for the Corps to know athletic success, to be proud to support their Brother Rats in NCAA competition, and to graduate as leaders and winners.

The Hypothesis It is widely recognized that the Institute’s superintendent, Gen. J.H. Binford Peay ’62, USA (Ret), wants VMI to win in athletics as much as anyone. Through his engagement and collaboration with our coaches, our programs are well positioned and heading in the right direction for athletics, as well as all of VMI. We can and should be optimistic that VMI athletics will continue to experience success in the sports that are funded for success. If we are able to provide more funding for those sports that presently lack consistent success, we can win there, as well. When this happens in the next few years and when we continue to build on the victories that make so many VMI alumni and fans

VMI Keydet Club Mission Statement: To contribute to the SPIRIT and development of a successful Division I athletic program that benefits the whole of VMI.



KEYDET CLUB proud, VMI athletics will realize and experience the positive correlation between successful, winning athletics and the incredible development opportunities that come with a comprehensive institutional campaign. VMI has never experienced this correlation before but could and will IF we are able to get the necessary widespread interest, understanding, and financial support needed for the next few years!

The Predicament The continued increase in tuition to attend VMI and the escalating operational costs of running a competitive, participatory, full-scale, Division I athletic program means the Keydet Club must continue to raise more scholarship and operational dollars on an annual basis. We have come too far now to cut back. The third leg of the proverbial VMI Three-Legged Stool is close to being in balance with all the rest of the greatness that defines VMI today! We can and we must ensure that increased support is committed for the next three years until VMI athletics can benefit from the “rising tide that will raise all ships” in the upcoming comprehensive campaign. The campaign, undoubtedly, will increase the number of donors for athletics, the level of our annual gifts

Women’s Programs

and the size of our athletic endowment. Before the campaign kicks in and its impact can be realized, however, VMI needs “Funding for Success” to be the bridge to get us there!

Cross Country Indoor Track & Field Outdoor Track & Field Rifle Soccer Swimming Water Polo

“Funding for Success” – A Simple, Yet Effective and Impacting, Model In 1996-97, VMI had 13 men’s NCAA Division I athletic teams. Now that we are coeducational, the NCAA rules require that we have 14 sports, with at least seven of them for women. VMI made the decision to provide intercollegiate athletic opportunities for as many cadets as possible, and therefore, we maintain 11 men’s and seven women’s programs. The NCAA Division I sports at VMI today are:

Men’s Programs Baseball Basketball Cross Country Football Indoor Track & Field Lacrosse Outdoor Track & Field Rifle Soccer Swimming Wrestling

A year ago, the Keydet Club and Athletic Department recognized that those programs receiving the necessary financial support were thriving at VMI – especially basketball and baseball. Funding for VMI football, under Coach Sparky Woods, particularly in the areas of out-of-state scholarships and summer school financial aid, has been significantly increased to the point where he believes the program is on the right track and will win again! Basketball and football are funded at or near the NCAA allowable for scholarship equivalencies. Baseball received tremendous support with the construction of Gray-Minor Stadium and Paulette Hall, and the results and accomplishments have been outstanding. To ensure that track & field and cross country are counted by NCAA standards as three sports for men and women, scholarship levels must be funded at a minimum of 80%. Hence, these teams continue to be very competitive and enjoy much individual success. If VMI is going to field (cont. next page)

CAN VMI COUNT ON YOU? Keydet Club Membership Levels Leadership Levels $36,000 Full Out-of-State Scholarship $18,000 Full In-State Scholarship $12,000 Scholarship $7,000 Sportsmen $5,000 Spirit $3,000 Flying Squadron $1,875 Lettermen $1,000 Big Red $500 Big Red Associate (Young alumni out less than 15 years)

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Membership Levels $500 Hail Varsity $250 One Big Team $1 + Keydet Notes: A 25% discount is available for first-year membership or increased membership at leadership levels. A gift of $1,000 to the team of your choice gets your name on a locker room name plate or wall plaque in that team’s locker room.


KEYDET CLUB teams, it needs to be funded for success. It’s a strong belief by many that, if a commitment is made to these programs, VMI alumni and fans will step up with the financial backing and prove that we have the capacity to win in all sports! But if we don’t fund these programs now, we will lose competitiveness in those poorly funded areas, and it will be more difficult to bring them back when the economy is better and the campaign dollars can be used. Therefore, let’s fund all of our athletic programs for success now, so that, one day, we will be able to celebrate the accomplishment of all that Gen. Peay ’62 set out to achieve with Vision 2039.

The Need is Simple All that is needed today is to get more than one-third of the alumni body to support VMI, including VMI athletics. Former cadet-athletes need to become re-engaged with their teams. Parents need to recognize the opportunities that have been afforded to their daughters and sons. All of us need to make a gift to the Keydet Club Scholarship Fund or an Athletic Operational Fund of the team of choice. Everyone who is supporting VMI athletics today needs to sustain and even increase the level of their support, when possible. Young alumni need to start developing a lifetime commitment of financial support to VMI. Every dollar will matter; every dollar will help Funding for Success be the bridge to VMI’s athletic future over the next few years. Just as our beloved Institute and the VMI experience is a CHALLENGE for those who choose to enter Jackson Arch, so, too, is the procurement of financial resources in order to compete successfully in Division I athletics. VMI alumni can and should lead the nation in Alumni Percentage of Participation for Annual Support. What better time than now for all of us to take pride in VMI?! Editor’s Note: Unless stated otherwise, all articles in the Keydet Club section of the Alumni Review are provided by the Keydet Club.


Keydet Club Welcomes New President, Paulette ’69 Paulette ’69 On July 1, 2011, William A. (Bill) Paulette ’69 became the 30th president of the VMI Keydet Club Board of Governors, replacing Charles F. Plageman ’90, who served as president of the board from 2009-11. “We are very excited to have Bill lead this proud and engaged organization at this critical time for VMI athletic fundraising,” said VMI Keydet Club CEO Greg Cavallaro ’84. “His passion and support for VMI athletics, combined with his appreciation for all that Gen. Peay ’62 is working so diligently to accomplish, make him a credible, respected and trusted leader within the VMI Alumni Agencies. The staff and I are collaborating with Bill and the rest of the board in our continued efforts to take the Keydet Club to even greater heights in support of VMI athletics.” Paulette is the founder and president of KBS, Inc., in Richmond, Virginia. KBS is the largest general contractor in the state of Virginia. In addition, he has been involved with the formation of other companies in the construction business, including Hermitage Steel, Mid-Eastern Builders and Systems East. Paulette also is a founder of the Bank of Richmond (now Gateway Bank) and is a member of Gateway’s board. He previously served on the boards of the Virginia State Board for Contractors and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and he is a former chairman of the Henrico County Community Services Board. Paulette, who graduated from VMI

with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering, lettered in both varsity football and varsity baseball as a cadet. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army from 1969-72. Paulette previously served on the Keydet Club’s Board of Governors and was next in line to become the president of the board when he was appointed by the governor of Virginia to join the VMI Board of Visitors in 2002. At that time, he resigned from the Keydet Club Board. His term with the VMI Board of Visitors ended in August 2009, and he returned to the Keydet Club Board of Governors in July 2010. Paulette Hall, which houses the locker rooms for VMI baseball, men’s and women’s soccer, and lacrosse, is named in Paulette’s honor for his generous contributions to VMI athletics. His company, KBS, Inc., managed the construction of the facility, as well. He and his wife, Carolyn, live in Richmond and have two children: Emmeline Paulette Reeves and William H. Paulette ’05. “I am excited about returning to the Keydet Club Board after leaving for eight years to serve on the VMI Board of Visitors,” Paulette said. “Winning athletics at VMI is very important to me, and my goal is to make sure the Keydet Club continues doing its part to make this happen. I’m confident that things are on the right track. Now, we just need to fund our programs for success.”


KEYDET CLUB Former VMI Wrestling Coach Ike Sherlock Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame VMI Wrestling Scholarship Endowed in his Honor On April 23, 2011, former VMI Wrestling Coach Ike Sherlock was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame by the hall’s Virginia chapter, at which time his many contributions and achievements to the sport of wrestling at the high school and collegiate level were recognized. Former VMI wrestling captain and current Keydet Club Board member John Munno ’84 introduced Sherlock at the Richmond, Virginia, event. Ike Sherlock was a stand-out wrestler at Cradock High School in Portsmouth, Virginia. He was a three-time state finalist and won the State Championship at both 180 pounds and in the heavyweight division. In his senior year, he captained his school’s wrestling and football teams, and he received the honor of being named the Senior Class’s Most Outstanding Athlete. His high school success earned him a wrestling scholarship to the University of Northen Colorado. There, he compiled an incredible record of 91-6. He was a two-time Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling champion and a two-time Rocky Mountain Conference Wrestling champion. He was ranked fifth in the country as a heavyweight wrestler. After graduation from college, Sherlock began a coaching career that would last 15 years. From 1970-74, he was the head wrestling coach for North Glenn High School in Colorado. In 1974, he entered the collegiate coaching ranks as an assistant coach at East Carolina University. From 1976-78, he guided the Campbell University wrestling team. In 1977, he coached the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics wrestling team that toured Japan and Korea.

In 1978, after much encouragement from his two VMI brothersin-law – Phil Smith ’72 and Bill Smith ’72, both of whom were outstanding wrestlers at VMI – Sherlock applied for the job of head wrestling coach at VMI. He received the job and remained for seven seasons until 1985. In his book, The Corps Roots The Loudest: A History of VMI Athletics, VMI historian Tom Davis ’64 described Coach Sherlock as “a man of tremendous zest and enthusiasm for the sport … he committed himself from the start to maintaining VMI’s record of excellence in wrestling and to implementing the VMI Board of Visitors’ policy of being competitive in the Southern Conference and with traditional state rivals.” (p. 208) During his tenure at VMI, Sherlock’s teams amassed an incredible dual-meet record of 84 wins against only 19 losses. His 1982-83 team recorded a perfect 19-0 dual-meet record. The 1985 team won the coveted Southern Conference Wrestling Tournament Championship. Ten of the wrestlers he recruited to VMI – Steve Evans ’83, Bobby Greenwood ’83, John Ehrenberger ’84, John Long ’84, John Munno ’84, Jessie Waltz ’85, Ben Walker ’86, Todd Arris ’87, Jay Smaaladen ’88 and Bob Zoeke ’88 – became Southern Conference champions. Three of these wrestlers still rank in the top 10 in the category of career wins: Ranked at # 6 is Walker (107-21-1), at # 7 is Munno (99-34) and at # 8 is Ehrenberger (99-48-2). Munno and Walker also have been inducted into the VMI Sports Hall of Fame. The Southern Conference recognized Sherlock’s many successes by naming him as its coach of the (cont. next page)

Former VMI Wrestling Coach Ike Sherlock, center, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in April 2011. Among those congratulating him were VMI wrestling team captain and Sherlock namesake, Joseph (Isaac) Munno ’12, left, and Joseph’s father, John Munno ’84, right. John Munno, who was VMI’s wrestling team captain from 1981-84, introduced Sherlock at the Richmond event.

From left, Judge Paula Sherlock, Coach Ike Sherlock and President of The Virginia Hall of Fame Dick Besnier.

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KEYDET CLUB year in 1980, 1982, 1984 and 1985. Sherlock did not limit his activities to coaching, however. The widespread interest in and support of wrestling that the Corps of Cadets displays today stems from Sherlock’s tireless efforts to rejuvenate the Corps’ interest in wrestling. After the 1985 season, Sherlock decided to leave coaching and accepted a job with the VMI Keydet Club Inc. as a vice president for fundraising. In 1987, he joined the VMI Foundation as the Virginia director for the VMI Sesquicentennial Campaign, a comprehensive capital campaign that raised more than $150 million for the Institute. His time at VMI concluded in 1989 when he was hired by VMI alumnus Al Fiorini ’64 to work for the Kentuckiana Curb Company (now KCC International) in Louisville, Kentucky. Sherlock remains there as a part owner of the corporation and has been instrumental in its growth to become a leading metal fabrication company that has annual sales of more than $50 million a year. Many VMI alumni remember his wife, Paula, who was the dean of students at what was then Southern Seminary College in Buena Vista, Virginia. Today, she is a family court judge in Louisville. In recognition of the honor bestowed on Sherlock by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and his contributions to VMI athletics and VMI, the Keydet Club has created the Coach Ike Sherlock Wrestling Scholarship. The scholarship will provide grant-in-aid assistance for a cadet-athlete who is a member of VMI’s wrestling team and who demonstrates high character and a commitment to excellence in athletics, academics and in Barracks. First preference in award will be given to a cadet from Virginia. Besides providing a permanent tribute to Coach Sherlock’s service to VMI, it also will help VMI wrestling to be competitive within the Southern Conference and against its traditional state rivals.

Leadership Member Spotlight John Krovic ’77 The Keydet Club recently talked with alumnus and Hall of Fame basketball player John Krovic ’77 about some of his VMI memories and his membership in the Keydet Club.

Name: John Krovic Class: 1977 Major: VMI degree in economics; MBA from the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business Matriculated from: Steelton, Pennsylvania Sport: Basketball


Vice president of Human Resources with Skanska, one of the world’s leading project development and construction groups.

Most influential person at VMI during cadetship:

Certainly, there are quite a few folks who come to mind. Col. Bill Buchanan ’50B was commandant during my cadetship. When he became the director of Admissions, he hired me after graduation to work with Vern Beitzel ’72 for Admissions as the Institute’s first recruiting “roadrunner” during the 1977-78 academic year. Col. Buchanan, Vern and others, like Clark King, Weenie Miller, Bill Blair ’64, Charlie Schmaus ’66, Gen. Irby ’39, Tom Joynes, the Piegaris (George [honorary alumnus] and Melou) and all of their families gave me the regular support and encouragement necessary to complete four years at VMI.

Best basketball memory:

Being part of the success, winning backto-back, regular season and Southern Conference Tournament Championships in ’76 and ’77. Our team went 3 and 2 during the NCAA Tournament in these two years against Tennessee, DePaul, Rutgers, Duquesne and Kentucky.

Krovic ’77

What makes you give back to the Keydet Club and VMI every year as a Leadership Member?

It’s important to me that VMI has the financial resources necessary, so future student-athletes have the unique educational opportunity offered by the Institute. Of course, I want us to compete and win championships, too! Krovic is a Flying Squadron Leadership Member in the Keydet Club. His generous support at this level affords him the opportunity to receive complimentary stadium parking in the Keydet Club VIP Parking Lot for football games, with name recognition in the football gameday program. It also allows him access to the Ferebee Lounge during football games; gives him two season tickets to football, basketball and baseball games; invites him to the prized Keydet Club Leadership Outing in June each year; and gives him access to all basketball game halftime socials for Keydet Club Leadership Members! Contact the Keydet Club at 800/4441839 if you’re interested in a Flying Squadron membership. Join John Krovic in being a Leadership Member in the VMI Keydet Club!

Keydet Club Launches New Website Have you been to the Keydet Club website this summer? If so, you have already seen the newly released www.vmikeydetclub. com site! The Keydet Club spent many hours with VMI’s award-winning Communications and Marketing Department in developing the most user-friendly, informative site for its members. 192

The site was launched in conjunction with the new VMI website ( and the newly created VMI Foundation website ( Check out all the new features and up-to-date information. We hope you will find the interactive site useful and will visit often to stay current on Keydet Club happenings! VMI ALUMNI REVIEW

The VMI Alumni Association, Inc. and the VMI Keydet Club Cordially Invite VMI Football Fans to Cheer On

VMI at The Citadel Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 Time: 1:00 p.m. VMI family and fans are invited to attend a pre-game meal when VMI plays The Citadel. Cost of the pre-game celebration is $20 per person in advance, $25 after Oct. 14th and $25 at the door. Children 12 and under are $15 and under 5 are free. Pregame Meal Location: Joseph P. Riley Jr. Baseball Park 360 Fishburne St. Charleston, SC 29403 Time: 10:45 a.m. Additionally, the Alumni Association has secured a block of rooms for both Friday and Saturday nights at the Charleston Marriott – all locations are within walking distance of the football stadium. For room reservations, please call 1/800/9683569 by no later than Sept. 28, 2011, and ask for the VMI block of rooms. Block of Rooms Location: Charleston Marriott 170 Lockwood Blvd Charleston, SC 29403 1/800/968-3569 Room Rates: $169 Single/$169 Double RSVP by registering at Game tickets are not included but can be purchased through the VMI Ticket Office by calling: 1/540/464-7266.


Alumni Review 2011 Issue 3  
Alumni Review 2011 Issue 3